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Rare and precious, this dark, fragrant condiment tobacco comes to us in wooden casks from St. James Parish, Louisiana, where it has been produced in time honored fashion since the days when the natives pressed it in tree trunks. Use it sparingly in your blends for its distinctive cooked fruit, musty, mushroom-like aroma and cool smoking character.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeOther
ContentsPerique
FlavoringNone
CutCoarse Cut
Packaging50 grams tin
CountryUS
ProductionNo longer in production
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Strong, Very Strong
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Very Full
Room Note
Very Strong

Favorite Of 1 Users

3.4
48 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
28
3 star:
16
2 star:
2
1 star:
2
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KinnScience Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KinnScience (30)
★★★★
Strong Very Strong Overwhelming Tolerable to Strong

If this is indeed pure 100% St James Perique, then it is the best there is to be had, anywhere. I am a bit confused by the ratings on this. If it is, indeed, St James Perique. There are perhaps other "perique" imitations out there, and of course there is the Acadian, which is a blend.

Note: There are only two types of actual perique: Acadian, and St James. Acadian is not made using 100% St James Perique tobacco, but a blend using other tobaccos along with St James perique, St James is made from 100% perique tobacco from St James La.

McClellands seems to be the only entity that currently sells 100% St James perique to the general public (unless the wording is designed to connote pure St James and they are really selling Acadia which was, as it says, simply sent from St James). Most tobacco blenders buy and use the Acadian because it is consistent and so they can produce more accurate blends year after year (e.g. C & D). I've also heard opinions that some years the Acadian is simply wonderful. All of this is subjective I suppose. One is going to spend more for St James Perique than they would Acadian. At any rate, if you like real 100% Perique, which is St James (there are no others), then this should be 4 stars. If, on the other hand, you prefer Acadian (I'd wager most people can't even tell the difference when it is in a blend unless they are actual blenders), then ok ... but there is no way to compare this with "another" perique ... unless of course you are talking about a different year. It only comes from one source.

That said, I need to contact McClelland to see if this is indeed Acadian, or pure St James. If the latter, do they blend the St James Multi year (or plan to) .. or if this is from a large lot that they purchased from a single year, or if it is different every year (if so, they should advertise the years as they do with CC).

I have smoked both Acadian and St James straight. I did not like either experience, as both left a strong shitake like mushroom flavor on my palate for about an hour. I did notice a difference between the two (basically the St James offered a slightly more grotesque experience having been smoked alone without any other tobacco. However, I love both if blended properly with a VA, or a VA Lat, and frankly, both were delicious with all types of VA's I had tried. I don't like it with Burley, but some may. I want to add that the Acadia was in bulk form when I bought it, and the St James was of the Jewel Jars that one can find from time to time if they know the right folk. The marked difference I noted might also be in part to the age of what was in the jar, or something else. These were two different tobaccos. When I smoked this tobacco (that I am reviewing now) I did not have opportunity to compare it to the Jewel St. James nor did I take the time to compare it to the bulk I had purchased several years ago. As for what I remember, it would be impossible to tell. I only tried it "raw" once again, because I wanted to see if my tastes had changed and also for the purposes of reviewing VA/Per blends and determining Perique levels. This particular tobacco gets 4 stars, since it is either a St James, or an Acadian, there really is no other current standard.

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: Unknown

Similar Blends: nothing.

15 people found this review helpful.

Pagercat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pagercat (40)
★★★☆
Overwhelming None Detected Overwhelming Overwhelming

For those of you who have never tried to smoke Perique straight, I can tell you that it's like smoking a maduro cigar dipped in pure Habanero pepper extract with a few hits of LSD dropped in. After being able to hear colors for an hour while my tounge was sizzling and popping like overcooked bacon I stuck to using this solely as a blending ingredient.

Moisture content remains intact in the tin, the leaves are shredded and a bit sticky. There is a very strong smell of fruity wine upon opening the tin.

When using this perique in your blend always use it sparingly as it is extremely strong. A large percentage in a blend will provide a strong, peppery, bitter cigar-like flavor that will bite you harder than a pitbull terrier.

When used properly it can create a wonderful adventure in smoking...a whole exciting chapter in the complete story of the perfect smoke.

14 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
★★★★
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Very Strong

Yeah, ok, this is a blending tobacco. But if you're gonna blend with it, you should at least know what it tastes like straight. Right? Right... but just once... and not too much!

I managed about a dozen puffs of this straight before I was overwhelmed. Even that little bit ghosted my pipe to the point where I need to alcohol-cure it to get the taste out, to say nothing of how much my palate was ghosted. But I did get the gist of the tobacco. I found it both peppery and salty - almost briny. It's clear that a little goes a long way with this stuff. Smoking even 12 puffs of this straight is akin to eating a 12 oz bowl of mustard.

Case in point: I put about 3 grams of it in with 3 oz of Rattray's Black Virginia and the perique taste completed overwhelmed the BV's stoved virginia tang (which is very light, to be fair). Cutting back to 2 grams in 4 oz of BV proved to be the right mix, as the two jet black tobaccos then merged seamlessly after a week. I've also put a pinch in with a couple oz of Cornell & Diehl's Haunted Bookshop but it was pretty bad, which I think says more about the C&D than the perique. If you have a blend lying about that is dull and needs some spice, try this in a small batch. I'd experiment with 1/8 gram of this to 1/2 oz of other tobacco to start, and you can even break that down further. Maybe I'll never be a blender like McClellands but it's fun to experiment and sometimes it'll keep you from throwing those boring blends away... and sometimes it'll force you to throw 'em away sooner! If at first you don't succeed....

13 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
★★★☆
Extremely Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

Tried one small bowl, and survived. It's not meant to smoked straight, of course. As a blender, it's very good, giving you the spice (a bit of it), and deep raisin, fig and date sweetness you want from perique, though it's not plumy like the kind used by several other companies such as Hearth&Home. When experimenting, remember that it's easier to add than to subtract from whatever mixture you are designing, so start with less than you think you'll want to use, and work your way up as your flavor profile indicates. In my opinion, it's the best way to discover what percentage works and which doesn't.

10 people found this review helpful.

beaupipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beaupipe (102)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

I'm something of a Perique junkie. Even if admitting so is kind of like shouting, I LIKE TO BE SPANKED while waiting for the teller...I don't care.

A wise man once counseled, "All things in moderation" but what we often forget is that he added, "Including moderation." In the spirit of that wise man, I occasionally load up a small bowl of the stuff on its own and puff away. It is, as others have said, a pain in the a$$ to keep lit, but it's a sure cure for tongue bite, depression, constipation, indigestion, butt zits and fungal nails. Really.

As a blending tobacco, I think it's a stupendous gift. I put it in all kinds of things, especially anything that I've had bite me in the past. It's the muzzle on the pit bulls of the tobacco world.

Even though I haven't gotten around to trying anyone else's pure Perique blender, and so I have no real frame of reference, I have to give this the highest recommendation. It's dark as a swamp night in the tin and tastes like two-hours-on-the-turlet-Teddy's prune breakfast, but it does amazing things in the mouth and in the mind.

8 people found this review helpful.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (127)
★★★☆
Overwhelming Extra Strong Overwhelming Strong

I use this regularly to boost McClelland's #5100 Red Cake. Red Cake is a pleasant smoke that offers a straight, natural sweet Va. flavor, but is one dimensional. I mix ten pinches of Red Cake to one pinch of McClelland's blending Perique in an old McClelland tin and give it a good shake. The ribbon cut of both tobaccos marries well and produces an even blend. The end product is a unique and excellent smoke, just enough sweet Va. and just enough Perique tang. Paddy.

7 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

On it's own: Tastes a bit like stewed figs to me. Fairly rich in flavor. Spicy, but not as spicy as I had expected. I don't inhale, but I can tell this has a substantial nicotine kick. My nasal passages absorb enough for me to really feel it.

As a blender: I've used it to beef up some VaPers that I thought were too mild in Perique. Works perfectly. Really adds some nice flavor. Can't ask for more.

Medium in body. Medium to full in flavor. Needs drying time for a good burn.

Pipe Used: MM Morgan

Age When Smoked: fresh bulk

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

6 people found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (180)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

I am not any kind of tobacco blender, and this is the first 'straight' perique I have tried. So I cannot comment on whether this is 'good' perique for that purpose or not.

Like DK I wanted to know what this legendary tobacco tasted like by itself. Well, now I know...sort of. Sort of because this tobacco is ineffable. It is as much sensation as taste. Many of the descriptors already used: mushroom, pepper, plums- they all apply. There is something of the beef tea about this tobacco. I can only assume it is oozing with umami.

Can it be smoked straight? In my opinion: yes. It is imo no more extreme an experience than a huge lat bomb or some of the more wretched aromatics. In my cigarette days I smoked tobacco harsher than this. (White Ox comes to mind.) It is a bugger to keep alight tho and will command all of your attention the whole time. It will also make your head spin. The effect on the tongue is also worth noting, rather like black pepper, the effect of which endures beyond the smoke itself.

Pipe Used: Lepeltier

6 people found this review helpful.

Darth Vader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth Vader (110)
★★★☆
Overwhelming None Detected Overwhelming Pleasant

Good for blending and very strong so little is needed. Like Sir Thomas Beecham once siad “Try everything once except folk dancing and incest.” so i put some in a pipe and got an education on Perique. Some days later my tongue is starting to heal but i now know what Perique tastes like.

6 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I've actually smoked this one straight just for adventure. And it was an adventure; I darn near singed off my nose hairs when I exhaled (just once), through the snout. True St. James Parish Perique that is bold, dark, spicy and perks up just about any blend I want it to. Spice up some of your favorites with the real deal right here!

3 people found this review helpful.

onetrackmind Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
onetrackmind (2)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Very Strong

To bad this is not even real perique. If you want the real thing it can be had from the only one left farming it. Percy martin in Grand Pointe Ridge Louisiana. This stuff is actually whats known as green river burley. It's fermented in the same manner leading to perique like qualities, but it's not perique. In fact every blend on the market today claiming to have perique in it actually uses this stuff instead. That's right even the holy grail of vapers. Escudo. It's cheaper and far more abundant. Please do your research before you review.

3 people found this review helpful.

Mesh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mesh (50)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I love the VaPers and found 15 per cent of this mixed with 85 per cent SG's Golden Glow (a low-nicotine, 'sipping' Virginia) to be right up my alley - robust, stout and bursting with flavour. A lot of the VaPer blends out on the market will have as little as five per cent perique, so one should initially proceed with caution.

2 people found this review helpful.

gentlytamped Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gentlytamped (3)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Extra Full Strong

Honestly to my surprise, it wasn't as strong as I expected it is going to be based on everything one can read about it.

Smell: Exactly as it is written on the tin. I usually take tin descriptions with a grain of salt, this was spot on, cooked fruits and mushrooms. I took my trusty cob, as I didnt want to ruin any briar with it. Just a small pinch to be on the safe side.

Taste: The taste however was quite different from the semll for me. In the mouth what hit me first was a meat or umami taste (I refer to smoked+spiced salami in my youtube video review) with some mushrooms. I couldnt find any cooked fruits like from the tin aroma. There was a good amount of spice, even some that I would image an incense-burner that they use in the east would taste like. Around 45% umami+mushroom taste, 45% spices and 10% acidic/fruity/earthy quality. The experience changes when you take this to retrohaling. Pushing it out through your nose the spices take over. You get what most people talk about, the strong spicy notes and the umami/meat taste goes to the background.

It's a beautiful addition to pipe tobaccos, a really interesting mix of flavours and smells. I highly recommend to try it smoking straight for anyone who loves blends with perique in them. You'll understand and appreciate them even more. Just me careful and prepare some sizzling water to the side, so you can rinse out yoru mouth regularly... :)

My video review on it: YouTube Video

Pipe Used: Corn Cob

Age When Smoked: ~1 month

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

1 person found this review helpful.

Stefanos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stefanos (150)
★★★☆
Extremely Strong None Detected Full Strong

Bought it out of curiosity at a time when I knew very little about Perique. Opening the tin you are greeted by pitch black ribbons. I wouldn’t say sticky but they are very moist. Tin note is pungent but elusive, very difficult to pin down. It seems tar-like [swamp gas and] combined with a mushroomy smell with something sweeter: licorice, molasses, bitter chocolate and possibly oatmeal biscuits. After drying a small sample the smell of mushrooms is much clearer and more dominant. Some reviewers mention the shitake kind. I am not sure about that, but shitake are known to smell “shrimplike” or even “vaginal” which is close to what I get…

Now I HAD to smoke a bit by itself. I took my small Petersen pipe and loaded it. I used the dried bit because directly out of the tin it wouldn’t even light. First puff… Ok, it’s strong. And what is more, it is a very strong smoke without much flavor, smoky is the best description I can come up with. It is felt almost tactilely leaving a burning sensation on the tip of the tongue and especially on the nose akin to what you get when you eat very hot chili peppers. Yes, it’s actually experienced as a form of PAIN… After a few puffs it produces hiccups. Happily my Petersen is very small… So, on its own it’s not pleasant to smoke and I did not detect many aromas. It would have been nice to smoke something mushroomy, but the tin note does not translate to the smoke. What can I make of the experiment of having it alone, what does Perique contribute to a blend. It obviously must add strength but what about aromas? Is it smokiness?

I tried to add some to a few tobaccos I feel confident I know, just a little bit to see what becomes of them.

I started playing with no.24 McClelland’s Virginia flake. I rubbed it and added a small amount (around 10%) of the black fermented leaf. What did I get? It became smokier, more charcoal-like. On the one hand it toned down the sweetness of the Virginia and the elusive note of the Drama leaf no.24 contains, is eclipsed. I also get a bitter note after the first half of the bowl. Surprisingly I find it has enhanced its burning qualities. Maybe I added more than I should, but the addition of the Perique masked some of the qualities of no.24 which I so much like. It was not a bad smoke but I won’t use it again with no.24. Next I tried a healthy dose of Perique around 30% with a mix of one third each Basma, Smyrna and bright Virginia, a mix which I do at home and also know well. Now this blend has some high aromatic notes from the Virginia and Basma and lower sweeter notes from the Smyrna, it is mild and without much body. The addition of Perique to this blend I think cut – without obliterating - both the highs and lows, added weight, strength and a dark smoky aroma. Do I like my mix with Perique? Yes, it’s not bad, it makes it bolder and since this is a smoke I usually have early in the day, the addition of Perique might make it potent enough for use at later hours.

I’ m not going to bore you further with my experiments, I’m just going to say that if you enjoy micro-blending, having a tin of pure perique is a must. I haven’t tried other pure Periques, so I cannot compare McClelland’s to any other. Yet, as a general observation it added smokiness to all the tobaccos I used it in and a black peppery tactile tingling sensation as well. It also reduced tongue bite in some burleys. It affects burning qualities. But overall for me it’s not easy to imagine the result as sometimes the fact contradicted my intuitions. Happy that I bought it once but it’s not as indispensable to my ‘microblends’ as my precious oriental leafs…

Pipe Used: MM corn cobs, small Peterson

1 person found this review helpful.

JustinCarcerated Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustinCarcerated (99)
★★★☆
Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I dont know how else to rate this than 3-4 stars-I have worked a 2 oz. tin for months now, mkxing very small ratios to Dunhill flake and/or Solani ABF. This has greatly improved my appreciation of this unique toby.

Kept with a wet disc in mason it keeps well. Dont attempt to smoke it as is....its a great condiment rather than the sandwich.

Age When Smoked: 12 months

Purchased From: Pipes Cigars.com

1 person found this review helpful.

Bill Porter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bill Porter (2)
★★★☆
Strong Very Mild Full Tolerable

I just smoked a bowl of a mixture of this Perique mixed with equal parts of Carter Hall and McClelland's blending Latakia. It was a VERY good smoke! I imagine that most would prefer using a much smaller portion of the Perique, but I loved the "zing" of Perique I got with using about 40% Carter Hall with 25% Perique and 35% Latakia. It burned very well, right through the bowl. It was so much better than smoking Carter Hall straight and I can see this mixture being the way that I smoke through the tub of Carter Hall I recently purchased.

1 person found this review helpful.

hiatus67 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hiatus67 (6)
★★★☆
Very Strong Mild Very Full Tolerable to Strong

Excellent blending tobacco that I use to make my mixtures. In Virginia, Latakia and Oriental mixtures do not use more than 5% because it is overwhelming. Only with Virgina it can be added more to 10-12%. Smoked alone it was not very peppery how that I expected, but more than a medical drug.

1 person found this review helpful.

tpatriarche Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tpatriarche (32)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have always wanted to try straight Perique, having enjoyed its contribution to blends such as McClelland's St. James Woods. WOW!

Received as bulk, rather damp but smokeable. Odour in the bag reminded me of strong apple cider, tasting sweet/sour (another reviewer comments that McC generally adds vinegar to their tobaccos, perhaps cider vinegar). Highly recommend airing the tobacco out for a day or two both to rid it of the vinegar to reveal the real Perique musky aroma, and to improve smokeability.

Smoking it was a very different experience. Despite its dampness, my first pipe smoked smoothly with few relights until the bottom of the bowl (must have loaded it just right, as later pipes required frequent relights). Flavour musky rather than fruity, a little like an exotic mushroom such as shiitake; umami flavour, or should that be "Ooooh - Mammy!" STRONG - after half a small pipe, I felt like I'd smoked a Maduro Cigar, and had to pause to take a Valium & draft this review.

Later pipes revealed a light sweet aroma, a little like floral incense. I found the room note quite pleasant, but I have yet to hear from my housemates.

Surprisingly little tongue bite or mouth burn, but I did experience some brief heartburn - probably from the nicotine itself.

Don't be afraid to smoke this straight - just try a small quantity first. Not for the neophyte, but a real treat for the experienced smoker, especially one in search of a truly strong tobacco of unique character.

Pipe Used: Carey System

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: 4noggins.com, goodfellascigarshop.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Young Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Young Piper (300)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

This blending perique is wonderful when used to spice up a boring blend or one that you wish had a shot of tabasco. I use it in Macbaren's mixture flake, I take a flake and holding it in my palm I make a burrito with the perique, filling the flake like a hand rolled cig or a doobie. Then I roll it, fold it in half and stuff into my pipe. Very delicious when used in this burrito fashion, remember a little bit goes a long way! Use sparingly!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

I had reviewed this under "Just For Him," just a brief review stating that I like to keep some around to sprinkle in my Virginia from time to time. Seems it is the McClelland bulk I have been using. I suppose it's not the real thing, but still good.

Actually, the first review of this product is very informative, now that I have read it, and answers a couple of my questions about this one. Called McClelland, good for you!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

½ bowl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
½ bowl (99)
★★★☆
Overwhelming None Detected Overwhelming Tolerable

In a review of Prince Albert some time ago I opined that there is nothing in life much better than the morning paper, a cup of fresh coffee, and a bowl of P.A. To that, add 2% of this ambrosian leaf. That's not much -- but it makes everything much better!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

haredawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
haredawg (47)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

My four stars is of course for blending purposes. I have to agree with puffdaddy being cracked up by onetrackmind. It's not a secret, anyone with internet access or a tobacconist knows the modern perique story, I'm not sure why that'd give this stuff one star. The idea is to add it as a condiment the way you might use A1 on a skirt steak. I personally never eat A1 by itself nor would I criticize Heinz 57 for not being A1 (it's still a steak sauce). My favoirte experiment with this so far was three parts Marlin Flake, two parts Solani Silver Flake and one part McClellands perique. It worked well, though I'm suggesting anyone use such expensive tobaccos to experiment, I just happened to have all around and I didn't mix up a big batch or anything, maybe three bowls in a group 4. The perique made the blend, the solani, a burley, kept the whole mess from getting out of hand. It's a great condiment to have around, though honestly It's the only straight perique I've ever bought so I don't know how it compares to other companies blending perique. In general what bothers me about McClelland blends is the ketchup scent in their Va's. No ketchup to the perique.

Nobody has rated this review yet.