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A very unique Virginia/Perique blend consisting of four different types of Virginia (bright, stoved black and two types of red), plus a hint of sweet and tangy Perique and made even more interesting by the addition of excellent Turkish tobaccos. Expect toasty sweetness with nice complexity without being heavy.

BrandThe Smoker
Blended ByMel Feldman
Manufactured ByHearth and Home
Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
Contents Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Packaging2oz / 4oz Tin
ProductionCurrently available
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None Detected
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
5 reviews
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Briar and Ice Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briar and Ice (4)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Contrary to unsubstantiated popular belief, this is not an English blend.... now, with that out of the way:

This is a wonderful smoke. The pungency and freshness of the tobacco is ebullient from even before the tin has been lovingly cracked open. With the tin finally, rather ceremoniously cracked the first scent is of the spicy and somewhat acrid (if you've smoked Perique you'll know what I mean) Perique underlaying the relatively mild and sweet Virginias. You will then most likely, glance into the tin to find a light colored blend, with the sparsely populated stoved Virginias littered throughout, as well as the darker brown Perique.

Now, into the bowl....

I must say, from first puff to ash cake this blend changes its flavor slightly. Normally I would conclude that this is a flaw, either in the packing, or the blending, but just to be clear, in this blend I find this characteristic to be the most attractive part of it.

It starts out like any other typical Virginia red, not ultimately very intense, yet satisfying nonetheless. As it begins to develop heat and a crisp topping to the pack, this bowl comes alive about 2 minutes in, where it goes from being an average Virginia blend to a delicately flavorful mouthful, filling a niché that I don't have a specific name for. The bowl continues this way, at its zenith, for the middle 15 minutes of the bowl, where at the bottom it becomes decidedly more intense, with the Perique resin building the crisp, the spicy tang improves, and phase 3 concludes with a satisfying surrender of eloquently sweet and tart virginias, not unlike the tobacco equivalent of candy.

What is brilliant about this tobacco, is that it will not blow you away the first time you smoke it, nor perhaps, even the second, but when the timing is right, you will sit down to pack your bowl after a long day, just like most other times, but for some reason this time, it will work together, the pipe will fill with the moist and dense tobacco, and for some reason, this time, it will be the best damn baccy you ever tasted. Tell me I'm wrong gentleman, but if you enjoy a good Virginia, this here is Lip-Smackin Tasty As All Hell.

Pipe Used: Chacom Jazz Bent Egg

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: McClelland - Bulk No.2015 Virginia Perique Flake, Kind've but not really......

1 person found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (688)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Mostly light to mahogany brown with a few flecks of black tossed in. Tin aroma of a C&D-type mustiness, not unlike the old book aroma of Haunted Bookshop. It arrived at the perfect moisture level and I fired it right up, partly because it piqued my interest and partly because it came in one of those Sutliff-sourced tins that make me worry about the tobacco's longevity.

"Dry Finish" is the first and last thing I'll remember about this blend. Snorking it regularly brought out the subtleties of the various Virginias, which were in turn lightly sweet and earthy. A little more sweetness would have done this no harm, but I'm assuming Russ Ouelette followed the original Mel Feldman recipe correctly. The dry finish was evident in every puff. The flavor would hit the taste buds on the exhale and then evaporate, leaving nothing in its wake. The perique was a minor player and the Turkish even more minor but they did add a slight briny but refreshing flavor to the Virginias. I found this mildly complex but its overall focus was that Virginia earthiness that's sort of a cross between Virginia and burley. Overall the blend is noted for the dry finish... not overstaying its welcome. And it's something I'd like to visit again, although it doesn't make my rotation.

Age When Smoked: New

Nobody has rated this review yet.

es ca. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
es ca. (2)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I like the quality of this tobacco. There is a fair amount of Nic Kick. To My tastes, I was expecting a little more creaminess, it's a bit sharp. Maybe thats the Perique. If there is Latakia in there I did not taste any. I was hoping for a bit more Turkish flavor. It definitely favors the Virginias, it's a little one note for me. If this is your style, go for it. I am intrigued to try some other blends from The Smoker. Just my opinion.

Pipe Used: dr grabow no filter

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: pipes and cigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1272)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

It has been a long time since I smoked a tin of Mel's New York blend. My notes tell me I thought it was a little rough around the edges and a shade on the nippy side; perhaps due to the heavy Virginia element. I suspect older tins will be easier on the tongue with the mellowing of the leaf. I do recall that when I ordered this one in the mid 1990s, it was straight from Feldman's shop and he mixed it fresh. I should have ordered more than one tin and let the other age, I suppose.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

calabashsmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
calabashsmoke (12)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I found this blend to be similar to Legacy and Woodlands. It appears to be a blend of predominantly dark Virginia's and Latakia with traces of lighter Virginia tobaccos. Burns consistent all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Somewhat sweet, very smokey and musty (in a pleasant way) which I would assume comes from the Latakia and Perique. I did find one difference between this blend and other English blends by The Smoker. In these other blends the Perique becomes more concentrated as you get to the end of the bowl to the point where it overshadows the Virginias and Latakia. However I didn't find this in New York New York. A very well made English. Highly recommended.

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