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Stratford is an enticing blend of delicately sweet brights and rich, ripe, red Virginia tobaccos, seasoned with just the right measure of fine Louisiana Perique. The wonderfully nuanced interplay of sugar and spice is sure to delight the lover of this time honored combination. The room note is soft and subtle, the taste zesty and piquant. This is the one for the Virginia/Perique fans.

Notes: Stratford was released in July, 2003.

BrandG. L. Pease
Blended ByGregory Pease
Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
ContentsPerique, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutRibbon
Packaging2oz Tin, 8oz Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy BnB Tobacco
SmokingPipes.com
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 4 Users

3.1
44 reviews
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18
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17
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (578)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

When I discovered Telegraph Hill, it forced me to look at Greg Pease the blender in a different light. Sure he had seemed to master the latakia/oriental mixes but the VaPer, while seemingly the essence of simplicity, is not easy to do properly. I never thought any blend could overtake Escudo or St James Woods for me, but TH did it with ease. I call it perfection in a tin. For those who want to dial down the perfection a bit, GLP gives you Stratford.

Golden brown in the tin with the beautiful nose of perique. The cut is one of those hilarious C&D cuts... a quasi-ribbon chop cut that looks like it was a broken flake at one point until someone with a few shots of tequila got to it. Nevertheless, it works.

While Telegraph Hill was all about flavor explosion and complexity, Stratford brings balance to the table. The flavor is ever-so-slightly muted and the spicy perique is balanced beautifully with the sweet lemon VA and the tangy red VA. None of these components jump too far to the fore at any given time. And yet the interplay shifts with regularity. Usually two of the three components duet on the foundation of the third and then one of the soloists drops to the background a bit while the other two dance. While this is milder than Telgraph Hill, it's no "set it and forget it" smoke. Too much flavor and too much going on. Highly recommended. And I'm told this stuff improves with age. My tin is less than a year old. And this stuff gets better???

3 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Stratford is a delightful Va/Per with some strength and spicy nuances that made my taste buds tingle. Typical top-shelf leaf is used by this tobacco's legendary blender, thus creating a true masterpiece for Virginia/Perique lovers. Burns cool, clean and dry and is also a little on the sweet rather than dark side. Load up and enjoy!

2 people found this review helpful.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (119)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin date: 12/9/09

Aroma: This stuff smells good in the tin, very hay-like with just the faintest hint of fresh-baked dinner rolls. In fact, it smells exactly like Uncle Frank's hayloft in Minnesota from my childhood memories. I can barely detect the perique in the tin aroma.

Appearance: Very light with a beautiful golden color. By appearance it seems to have quite a small percentage of perique, since the perique I've seen is quite dark in color. This is a ribbon but there are a few big pieces of uncut tobacco, some as big as a square inch. I like that though…it adds interest.

Pipe 1: Stanwell Relief Billiard Pipe 2: Skinny No-name Dublin Pipe 3: Chubby Savinelli 320KS Author

Flavor: First pipeful in the Stanwell (my star Virginia pipe) was very underwhelming. A step down from Fillmore for sure. Ashy and short on flavor, I knew immediately that Stratford needs to be nursed very carefully. The second pipe, the skinny Dublin (a great VA flake pipe) fared a little better, as I was able to extract some richness that was totally lacking in the first pipe. In the Sav: another small step up in flavor, at least to the point where I can get some Virginia richness out of it if I really concentrate. But this stuff is even more finicky than Fillmore. I realize that some tobaccos are very pipe-dependent and I have tasted tobaccos that only shine in one particular pipe. I'm hoping to find the magical combination for Stratford but for now I just can't rise above two stars.

This blend has that same ashy flavorless character that OGS had the first time I tried it fresh out of the tin. With the OGS I jarred it for a few months, then re- opened it and actually enjoyed it. In the same vein, I have read similar reviews of Stratford: fresh, it's bland. Aged, it's sublime. Even FVF is aggressively average when fresh, but totally transforms with a year of age. My tin is only three months old, so I think my best bet is to jar this stuff and try it next year when the plum blossoms emerge.

I think Stratford wants to be a Peter Heinrich's Curly, which also emphasizes the fresh hay character in the tin and is similarly quite simple and austere, although much more flavorful. Fillmore is also better than Stratford. Escudo is much better. My favorite vapers, SG's St. James Flake and McC St. James Woods, are in a different league altogether. I have read some very favorable reviews of this blend, but it will not make it to my “buy more” list, although I realize that this tobacco tasting hobby of ours is very subjective. It just doesn't do it for me, but this is obviously quality weed so please chime in, especially those of you who disagree with me!

2 people found this review helpful.

Nojoqui Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nojoqui (28)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Stratford is what I would call a great Virginia/Perique blend. I've been through three two ounce cans of this, and I am now smoking a three year old can. Really good! The newer cans have an almost albino appearance on opening them. There is a nice hay-like smell to them that seems so inviting. Well, the three year old can is a real treat! The appearance is a little darker, but not much. There is more consistency in color now, but it still has a very bright look about it. The tin note on this older can has a slight chocolate-almond aroma that I like. Stratford's ribbon cut packs easily. You might want to pack it a little tighter, as I do with Dunhill's Elizabethan Mixture, my old standard V/P blend. In fact, I've been smoking this more than that lately. I have some older cans of Elizabethan Mixture that I want to save for later. I just bought a new can of that to test the qualities of Orlick's attempts. Aside from that, I will probably be smoking a lot more of Stratford as my daybreak blend. I like the way this tobacco gives you a nice blast of Perique at the first match. A good eye opener, though not excessive. As I progress to mid-bowl I find a good idea in what I want in a V/P blend. That is, the slight sweetness of the flue bright Virginia dominates over the Perique. The pepperish Perique comes back toward the bottom, but not overwhelming. It just sort of "shakes hands" with the Virginia. All in all, great! I am beginning to think Stratford is the "Golden Fleece" of Virginia/Perique blends. I can smoke this any time of day. Stratford is a give me a great DGT if I find myself busy and must put my pipe down, and come back later. A nice "welcome back" with a sweet kiss that any Virginia/Perique lover will really appreciate. Now reserve Haddo's Delight for an evening fare only. I will never leave Haddo's out of my rotation (a real treat!), but I will find myself more often reaching for Stratford. I recommend to all to keep this in your cellars. You won't be disappointed...unless you run out of Stratford. 12-27-08: Now smoking through a delightful five year old can. I can see that this REALLY improves with age. There is now a more even tone from top to bottom that measures pure pleasure. The Perique is less demanding and the Virginia is what counts. What a delight! I find myself smoking this more in the early evening, let alone the early morning. This evening I'm smoking Stratford in honor of my sister Virginia's birthday. I guess I'm the one who gets the best present!

2 people found this review helpful.

Sykes Wilford Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sykes Wilford (35)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

If Greg had come to me and offered to create a blend to my tastes, this is pretty darn close to what he would have come up with. I've had a longtime love affair with Haddo's Delight, but I think Stratford supplants it as my new favorite G. L. Pease blend. Indeed, I've been smoking this to the exclusion of all else since its arrival-- and smoking far more often than I customarily do.

The tobacco appears to be predominantly lighter Virginias, with that light tan, almost yellowish color making up at least 60%. Some red Virginias are evident also. Looking at the tobacco (and this is confirmed later in the smoking), the perique seems to make up only a small percentage, perhaps 5-10%.

The lighter Virginias predominate in the tin nose also, with their distinctive, almost grassy scent. Indeed, the perique is all but impossible to detect.

The burning characteristics are exceptional. The blend stays lit with little maintenance, burning to a fine mostly whitish ash. In spite of this, I find it fairly cool burning-- certainly not as cool as Barbary Coast, but I really have to work to get this to bite me.

The lighter Virginias are certainly most obvious upon the first few puffs. I've found that it takes a little while for the perique to make its presence known. This doesn't have the complexity of some of Greg's other blends-- or at least I haven't yet detected it. The flavor is generally mild and somewhat grassy (but in a good way). The perique subtly makes itself known from time to time, but more frequently as the bowl is smoked. The spiciness that the perique adds is evident throughout, but that musty flavor that is unmistakably perique is less obvious. The blend is slightly sweet, but certainly not cloying.

There are some blends that I like where the affinity for them is easily explained. This is not one of those blends. It's, well, easy to smoke-- pleasant, enjoyable, great burning characteristics-- but that alone would not explain my delight. Perhaps in a tin or two (or ten) I'll figure it all out and addend this, but, for now, that will have to suffice.

2 people found this review helpful.

USVI sailor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
USVI sailor (6)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Very Pleasant

Tried this tobacco for the first time ever - this review follows smoking 5 bowls in various style pipes - Ben Wade freehand (1972), Savanelli Autograph (1974), Barling tanshell (1974), Peterson bent (1984) and a Caminetto egg(1972).

Overall this tobacco has an excellent aroma in the can and the room. Is is very light on the perique side and burns somewhat fast due to the ribbon cut.It is very moist straight from the can and I let it sit out for 3 days to dry before smoking - any less and it is a wet and hot smoke.

To maintain this as a cool smoke I find it does best in a tall narrow bowled pipe like my old Barling tanshell (1974), packed fairly tight and with slow, regular and deep draws.

To me it paired really well with GlenDronach Revival (15 year old single malt, neat) and not so well with coffee (Columbian or Sumatra) or wine (Merlot or Malbec).

Overall it is an OK smoke for early or mid-day, but I prefer something with a more pronounced perique taste in the evening like Escudo (#1 all time favorite) and Bayou Morning Flake (#2).

After finishing this 2 oz. tin I most likely will not purchase again - only because it is too light for my taste.

Finally, this tobacco is best enjoyed indoors ; outdoors the taste and aroma change to that "grassy" state so common with light virginias.

1 person found this review helpful.

Denevei Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Denevei (58)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Greg Pease's Stratford is the first tobacco I've tried in w while that I purchased myself rather than was sent to me specifically for review purposes. As many of you know, I have just moved from Charlotte, NC, to Smyrna, GA; I visited a Charlotte tobacconist before the move and found two tins of this blend on the shelf. I thought, what the heck. Stratford is a blend of bright and red Virginias with perique, a combination I really like. As soon as I got to my car I popped a tin and smelled it. The aroma is both sweet and spicy, with the fine, fig-like aroma of the perique making a statement among the soft and delicately sweet aroma of the Virginias. In appearance, there is a lot of yellow mottled with a mix of tans and brown. The moisture level is, to my taste, perfect. So of course I loaded a bowl as soon as I got home and to a pipe. From the initial light I knew I was in for a treat. The sweet, cloying flavor of the Virginia is wonderfully balanced by the tangy perique in such a way that the perique holds a perfect balance against the usual bite-prone Virginia, making this a real smokers' blend. The flavor of this blend is both unique and yet recalls the pleasures of other Virginia/perique blends. Pease has remarkably found a balance point for the two tobaccos which is unlike anything else I've tried. The end result is just what he promises – sugar and spice. The perique's spice and fig/raisin taste plays on the smoker's tongue happily while the Virginias provide the delicate sweetness expected of the best Virginia blends. And I don't think tongue bite would be possible unless the smoker really tried hard to find it. Puff away – this blend is simply pleasure from start to finish. After the first bowl I started packing my smoking bag for the five hour drive. In doing so, I set aside all other blends, even packing my McCranie's Red Ribbon in a box. Stratford seemed to me to be, for my smoking tastes, the ideal blend for an all-day smoke. Three days later I am still smoking nothing else, even though I've now unpacked about 40 blends. I used to worry that when Greg's Cumberland runs its course I'd be left searching for a favorite blend, but that worry has been set aside. Stratford is here, and without a doubt I can declare it my new favorite Virginia blend. Whether you like Virginias or simply like to occasionally light one up, I think you owe it to yourself to try this blend. If I can find a complaint about it, that would be that the bowl eventually burns to the bottom – but that just gives an opportunity to load a fresh bowl and start anew.

1 person found this review helpful.

Marshall Law Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Marshall Law (50)
★★☆☆
Extremely Mild None Detected Medium Tolerable

A wonderful, tasty VaPer, perhaps a calmer version of Haddo's Delight, packing a noteworthy interplay and imposition of the perique. But alas, more of the classic Pease-ian tongue bite leaves my crying "no mas, no mas". I can see that Mr Pease and I simply aren't going to be good roommates due to this recurring characteristic of his, across his blends. Spoils every smoke.

1 person found this review helpful.

caninjpn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
caninjpn (5)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

First let me say I am not a perique lover. I usually smoke Dunhill Flake or English blends. I was looking for something to add into my rotation that was a little different from Virginia flake while not being as ‘heavy or full' as the English blends I enjoy. I tried Stratford blend based largely on the reviews here and also because our selection is somewhat limited here in Japan (although we can get all the Dunhill blends now unavailable in North America.) I am VERY glad I did! This is a very ‘light' looking tobacco in the can and with a very appealing mix of golds and browns. The tin smells fresh and a little ‘sour' in the tradition of most fine Virginias. Moisture is slightly damp for some who may want to dry it a bit for packing but for me I find all GLP blends to be perfect right out of the can.

I first tried this in a small bowl meerchaum pipe. I admit I smoked it a bit hard and hot as I was in a car with the windows open on the way home from my local B&M (certainly not a perfect environment) but I was in a hurry to give it a try. It lit easily and burned well. In THIS environment the perique came to the fore and it was for me a ‘spicy' smoke with the Virginias being beaten into submission (to almost non existence) by the heat and giving the perique a fiery boost. I enjoyed it this way but wanted it to be a little sweeter and not as spicy. I must note that even smoked hot I didn't experience any tongue bite (some might!)

A day later I decided to give Stratford a fair shake and got comfy in my favorite smoking chair, I chose a fresh long stemmed Mastro de Paja (no filter loaded). This time I smoked it slowly with a proper Va cadence and the change was amazing, the Virginia poked through although the perique was still very present (for me a non perique lover.) The change however was very notable and it was almost like smoking another blend altogether. I decided to see if I could push it farther and broke out a sister pipe (another long stemmed Mastro de Paja) and added in a 9mm filter. Smoked VERY gently. The change was even more pronounced and the blend achieved the ‘balance' I had been looking for (and described on the tin,) the perique had been tamed and was now an accommodating partner to the high quality Virginias! Perfect!

In conclusion, after smoking a full tin in a number of ways and pipes, I think this is a very very interesting blend. You can ‘push or pull' on the flavors depending on what you smoke it in and how. Of course this is true of a lot of different blends but with Stratford I found I could choose to enjoy a perique (VaPer) blend on my terms, something I have not found in other blends. If you don't like perique but would like to, I strongly suggest giving this a try and experimenting with it. I don't think it could satisfy someone looking for a lot of perique (it's not that strong) but for those of you like me who want to try (and enjoy) this spicy leaf but don't like to feel like you are sucking hot sauce through your pipe should defiantly give this a try. Play with it and make it your own! Stratford is WELL worth the effort.

1 person found this review helpful.

john doe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
john doe (41)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is what Haddo's Delight would be if it wasn't on steroids. The flavouring is very similar but much more subdued, dare I say balanced. The cut is most unusual -- sort of a super-broken flake, stiff strands 2cm x 1mm, sort of a cross between a ribbon and a finely broken flake. It comes out of the tin dry, at the perfect smoking moisture. It burns cool and for me does not bite.

For all that, though, it's nothing extraordinary. I opened this tin after finishing 100g of St James Woods, and Stratford is a step down. St James Woods is way better, more complex, sweeter, after DGT, everything (althoug perhaps SJW does tend to bite a bit more).

It's a perfectly good vaper, but honestly I don't think I would buy it again.

1 person found this review helpful.

SirLoirn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirLoirn (126)
★★☆☆
Extremely Strong Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable

Tin: Varied hues of mahogany,with the occasional flicker of something dark, which must be the Perique; ripe, fruity, hay scent, fairly distinct. Tin date: Jan. 06. The aroma mellows a bit, after the tin has been unsealed for a few days. Supple but on the dry side.

Taste & Aroma: Fairly bland and unremarkable, not smooth or creamy, a slight pepper feel perhaps due to the Perique, with a mild VA hay aroma.

Nicotine: Strong, rodenticide strong.

Room Note: Pleasant but a sharp, clinging,oily, fruity note due to the Perique, on my person, but the room was more so a mild VA.

Overall: Nothing stands out, unremarkable, excepting the nicotine sweats after two bowls, back-to-back. Nothing could seem to shine through the Perique pepper blite. 2.4 stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

Packer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Packer (56)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I'm a little late to the party, but better late than never. There are so many blends to try. Since discovering this sight (about four months ago) I have enjoyed, and benifitted from you tobacco mavens....and you know who you are. One of the first to review this blend was Sykes Wiliford of smokingpipes.com. What a guy, and what a great resource for pipes, and tobacco. Sykes hit the discription right on the head. From his , and many more reviews I ordered a 2 oz. tin. WOW! Love at first light....and sure to be a lasting relationship. I'm sure enough that after a couple of days my tin is 'bout gone. Horror....nothing else would do but to order four 8 oz. tins for now, and cellar. It's going to be hard to not smoke this blend before it gets a chance to age. Oh well...such is life. Rate

1 person found this review helpful.

wosbald Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wosbald (111)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

The tin aroma of this short-cut, medium ribbon is of a slightly hay-like, virginia sweetness backed up with a slight note of unmistakable perique.

Composed primarily of golden virginias, the gentle touch of red virginias add a slight richness. The perique is evident, though very conservatively applied.

Delicately citric and nutty, this is subtly intriguing and is one of GLP's finest blends. Aging is highly recommended as is a narrow to medium gauge chamber.

1 person found this review helpful.

flaminbill' Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flaminbill' (57)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of my favorite vapers. It is very peppery and I love the top note of the bright Virginia tobacco. If you like to exhale through the nose, this may be stronger than you think. I particularly like this blend in a Savinelli 2000 and a tall and narrow Nording freehand.

I have sample two tins, one four months old and one nine months old. Oddly enough, I liked the younger tin a little better. On the other hand, I smoked most of the older tin in Chennai, India. It is next to impossible to get your tobacco to dry out in this climate.

This is one of Pease's better values:the tins are stuffed very full.

1 person found this review helpful.

Collezionista Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Collezionista (59)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

At the risk of committing a gross over-simplification, I tend to agree with those who think of Stratford as a sort of Haddo's Lite. This is by all means a good thing as I love Haddo's just about as much as I love Bright VA's. Like a good vaper should be, Stratford is smooth and naturally sweet, with just enough Perique to keep things lively. This is one of my favorite all day smokes, a solid fuss-free affair that I can enjoy anytime. Highly Recommended!

1 person found this review helpful.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Appearance: A fairly light overall color. Mostly lemon and orange (reddish) Virginia, with a few darker strands visible. The cut is long and short ribbons, typical GLP.

Aroma: The first impression is grassy, sort of like a really fine grade of hay that you would feed to a horse you really liked. This tells me that lemon Va. is a major component. There is also a slight tang from the Perique, but none of the acetic acid smell of a McClellend blend. Doesn?t have the heavy, sweet aroma of a matured red, so I anticipate a light, but pleasant smoke. Possibly this is the ?Breakfast Virginia? counterpart to Piccadilly.

Packing: Like all of the GLP blends, this packs easily into any size bowl from group 3 through 5. Experience with this series tells me to pack just a hair tighter than usual, but only a red hair.

Lighting: The blend takes flame readily, but not too quickly. The cut is just right for lighting.

Initial flavor: This is a Breakfast Virginia indeed, the flavor is light and bright on the tongue, with grassy overtones. There is a bit of Perique tingle, not excessive. Shows promise of some complexity. Needs to be puffed slowly. Don?t pack too loosely. Has excellent DGT qualities.

Mid-bowl: This is definitely a light blend, but not bland. There is some interplay of the different Virginias, and the Perique fades in and out as you proceed slowly. Puffed too quickly, this can become monochromatic in taste (read boring), and can get hot. In other words, don?t push her too fast, or she?ll slap your face. Go slow, and she?ll give you everything you want.

Finish: Nothing really changes at the end of the bowl. It finishes dry and cool, leaves a fluufy, light ash behind. You may be ready for another soon, or for something heavier.

Summary: For me this is an eye-opener. For others, it may be a great all-day smoke. Definitely a winner, and I will buy a bag or two to cellar, as well as a few cans to dip into. Another winner in the Classic Series.

1 person found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (299)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

The percentage of bright Virginias in this blend is overwhelming, creating a very nice visual impression of light, vivid gold. This choice of leaf, less sugary than red Virginia, and the presence of a discreet quantity of Perique help in building the characteristic taste of this blend: extremely dry and sour, though absolutely not in an unpleasant way. I was immediately struck by the similarity to another blend I like, that is Three Friars by Cornell & Diehl. And of course, considering that the maker is Craig Tarler for both products, it's clear that the two blends are close relatives! Personally I think that Stratford is a bit more delicate and lemony and has less nicotine, while Three Friars is a bit stronger and sweeter. Both are good products, though, which burn extremely well, dry and regularly (I might also be tempted to say it burns a bit too fast), and with bootloads of taste... at least at first. As a matter of fact, after a few days from opening the tin, the taste of the tobacco becomes much blander, at times even tasteless (while Three Friars stays tasty). The main problem for me, though, is that I am not a great fan of Perique, and I can't stand smoking it regularly. On top of that, I prefer red virginias and their fruity notes to the grassy and astringent bright virginias... but this is just a personal preference and doesn't imply that it isn't a good blend... actually it must be quite exceptional if I enjoy it on occasion in spite of my opposite tastes! I think I'll cellar a few tins of this, as it can't help but improve even more with age. It's sooo smooth (in spite of the lemony sourness) and smokable (the opposite of Haddo's which I find less tasty and overwhelmingly strong) right now, but it still has great potential.

1 person found this review helpful.

mainspring Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mainspring (27)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Sykes Wilford says it best. If I were to have a blend made for me this would be it! A natural flavored smoke with a delicate sweetness. Just outstanding! The flavor of genuine Louisiana Perique comes through on a delicate note. It doesn't get much better than this one. Highly Recommended!

1 person found this review helpful.

The Keeper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Keeper (112)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Update 6/04

As suspected Stratford improves incredibly with age. Fuller body, sweeter and spicier flavors. ------

Interesting Blend.
I concur with the impression of many that it seems to be "Haddo's Light". It has the fruitiness and nuttiness of that blend - the hallmark taste of dried plum and spice - but not nearly so potent.

I'm just warming up to Perique based blends so this may be subject to revision later:

Initial Impressions: Light colored. My tin was very new and the tobacco within was packed to the brim. Typical Pease ribbons that needed a bit of mixing up. I've taken out a sample for the next week or so and resealed the rest to give it a bit of age. I think maturity will do this blend some good.

Nice tobacco flavors through out - especially the sweetness and spice. Similar to Redwood though not as zesty as that. The flavor is fairly full and there is a predominant cigar/cigarette like odor and taste. This element is the only thing that causes me to not give it 4 stars. And this is a subjective taste issue. Otherwise I think I'll enjoy this tobacco when I want the fullness of the leaves - but not the overwhelming kick in the $%# from something like Haddo.

A well crafted blend of lighter tones. Very good burning quality - stays lit and not too fast. Not as complex as other Pease offerings - but also still very young.

1 person found this review helpful.

CaptnDan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaptnDan (242)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

Stratford is even lighter in the can than Piccadilly. Mostly very light brown, with a fair amount of yellow, and the occasional medium brown fleck.

The note in the tin is really mild, almost neutral. But you can detect a bit of the grassy Va aroma if you pay attention.

Lighting Stratford is easy, and it is low-maintenance from there. Nice steady burn rate, a bit faster than I really expected. There was never a hint of biting.

The Perique in this mixture is mild, to say the least. It could almost be a straight Virginia.

What really surprised me was the flavor. From the faintness of the tin note, I didn?t expect much. The flavor wasn?t full, but it was very pleasant. Stratford is a pretty straightforward tobacco. It doesn?t possess the complexity that Greg Pease is so well known for, but the overall quality is what you would expect.

The last third of the bowl does seem to have a bit more of a smoky quality and a hint of bitter-sweetness to the taste if you let it go out and re-light. If you just smoke straight to the bottom without a re-light (something that is very easy to do with Stratford), the sweet-grassy flavor will make a gradual increase without any real deviation.

Considering that this is a fast-burning, light Va mixture, I expected it to be poised to bite every second of the way. Much to my delight, it was nothing of the sort. Never a gurgle, burned down to a powdery ash.

If I smoked straight Va?s with any regularity, I think the hint of Perique here would be a welcome (subtle) change. I smoke heavy English blends, but I think I might just keep Stratford in mind for those hot, humid summer days when I want something light and refreshing. For that reason I feel that I can only give this one a 3-star rating. The Va/Perique fans will no doubt give it a solid 4-star rating.

1 person found this review helpful.

chaplikc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chaplikc (135)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

For those who prefer a realy bright kind of virginia blend, you might enjoy this. When I first got this it was given to me from someone who recieved this from Greg Pease before it was released to the public. It burned quite hot and was not very pleasant. I was very disappointed because I am a fan of many of his other blends such as Cairo and Haddos and some others and was very pleased with the blends and experiences. Normally at this point I may throw a blend away but knowing that this was a Pease blend I let it age for about 8 months and gave it another try. The age made all of the differance in this blend! The blend while still bright was not sharp like it was as I first smoked it. The heat factor also mellowed down a little bit as well. This is a good blend that will get much better with aging. I may age this for another 6 to 8 months and try it again. If it has improved as much as it has in the past 8 months I will definately change the review and give it a higher rating. Update: 4-30-04, I,ve aged this longer and it seems to get better and better! Ihad to change my rating on this because age has realy improved it. Burns cooler, flavors are more integrated and supportive of each other and the natural sweetness is showing itself a little more. Much better with age.

1 person found this review helpful.

caddad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
caddad (53)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I like this blend very much. I was very supprised when I first opened the tin and saw the bright yellow virginias, I mean they are yellow! It did not seem to me to have as much perique as barbary coast, however I really enjoyed this blend. It has a wonderfull flavor and texture. If you are one of those people who have a hard time with virginias because of a sensitive tounge, this is a great gentle blend to try.

1 person found this review helpful.

Cooksmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cooksmoke (29)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Mr. Pease has indeed a well deserved reputation in the tobacco world for excellent blends. Stratford, for me, was not one of them. Beautiful it the tin, and full to the brim it was nice to behold. Yet as I packed and lit the leaf I found it was not very old.

It had a thin, burning taste that always left me with something like tounge bite, but not quite. It had what I might describe as an ashy taste. One other reviewer mentioned cigarette like, I concurr. Perhaps this blend can be rehabilitated by time. The tin will go on the shelf until then.

1 person found this review helpful.

SlowDraw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SlowDraw (23)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Stratford is a seeming mostly yellow VA's blend with a very nice smell from the bag- kinda caramelly & woodsy, chances are if you got into Cairo or even Haddo's you'll probably like it. Not especially biting, it smokes fairly smooth with Perique's trademark peppery power surge present thru-out. Taste is soft, subtle & complex( As in most GLP blends) & sidestream smoke should appease the Gods ( & you ). AS usual with ribbon cuts, I prefer a thinner internal bowl diameter as I find that slows it down.

1 person found this review helpful.

Charmander Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Charmander (5)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Full Very Pleasant

I'm finding that Stratford may be the finest all around smoke for me. The above reviews cover about all that needs to be said.

I wanted to add that the tin I received was packed absolutely tight, and required some decompressing when the seal was broken. I was really surprised but thrilled how much product was in that 2 oz. can. It was really crammed in there and was not overly moist. It lit and burned perfectly. Nice looking leaf!

Also, the tin aroma has an irresistable freshness which was not unlike fresh hay or freshly mown grass. Very nice! When set to flame this fresh, grassy smell becomes just the finest sweet, yet distinctive smoke. Can't keep my nose out of the bowl.

Also,I find that bowls go by rather fast. May be the higher sugar content or might be my enthusiasm, but a tigthly paked bowl might not last as long as you would expect. No bite at all however.

The hint of Perique is just right-on. Hardly noticeable, but wouldn't want to think about it not being there for balance.

I can settle right into Autumn and probably smoke this through Spring and Summer, never touching another blend and be a spoiled and happy camper.

1 person found this review helpful.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (125)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

I first smoked a sample of this at the Chicago Pipe Show this year, and loved it immediately. It does arrive a bit moist so a little drying out helps it. I have now smoked little over 50g and it has me hooked. It is a very light Virginia, mostly yellow and gold with dark flecks of what I take to be the Perique. I would place this blend in the same genre as C&D Three Friars and Bayou Morning in the way it is constucted. There is very little tin aroma, an almost imperceptible smell of some sort of fermentation which reminded me of wine vinegar. It is fluffy and takes a firm pack. The smoke is mild with unique flavor. I think it is the preparation of the Virginias that is the key. The Va. in this blend in combination with the very restrained application of Perique produce a truly distinctive flavor. This tobacco did not bite me, but I think it could if the smoker became agressive. This is the sort of smoke that can be taken in sips and yet provide lots of flavor. Stratford never moves into the Perique zone where it dominates. The Perique remains part of the orchestra and never takes a solo, although occasionally a bright Perique note will burst through. Most highly recommended. Paddy.

1 person found this review helpful.

Darth Vader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth Vader (75)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I have tried all of greg's other VA style tobac's and as usual this one hasnt dissapointed. Somewhat similar to Union square but a bit darker in taste. The Perique is fairly mild in this. Burns well and if not smoked gently the pipe is gone rather quickly. I've given this 3 stars as Union Square and Telegraph Hill are better in my books. Very nice, definitely worth a go.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Abadakus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Abadakus (8)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Won't even try to go over all the description again, a lot has been said in previous reviews. Like many others, I find this blend to be of just the right Virginias with just the right amount of Perique and just the best taste, so deep and satisfying. Five stars!

Pipe Used: Ser Jacopo, L'Anatra

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tleek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tleek (51)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Update I picked this up after about a ear of it sitting in the tin, and I now really appreciate this blend. Its pretty great. Subtle and sweet. The perique adds complexity to the blend while remaining in the background. Great Smoke!

I'm not really feeling this one. It has some sweetness and is a little peppery at times, but just not so appealing to me. Maybe because I usually don't smoke vapers, i don't know. To me it just doesn't have much flavor. I used to like it. This was the first tin of tobacco i have ever tried and before i discovered English blends, or even other vapers i really liked it. Now it just doesnt do a thing for me. I do like haddos delight on occasion, which has much more perique, but i don't know. It isn't the lack of perique in this blend that makes it bland to me its just the over all flavor. In fact i wouldn't even say there is a lack of perique in this blend, i think there's a perfect amount. I rarely smoke vapers but as of right now i think when i do ill stick with my tin of dunhill navy rolls, then i probably wont buy another vaper for a long while.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JohnnyMcPiperson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyMcPiperson (89)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This is one of the closest blends I've found to the old Elizabethan Mixture. I really enjoy this one, the peppery Va/Per taste for me is just perfect for a nice cool spring afternoon or mildly warm summer day with a slight breeze, a cup of iced coffee and a book! I love that some of my paperbacks have assumed the smell of this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ProdigalWeb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ProdigalWeb (18)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is good stuff but I'm only giving it 3 stars because I like Embarcadero and Fillmore so much better. I thought I'd never say this, but I think this could use a touch more Perique. I bought a couple of tins and I'm going to squirrel one away for a year or so and then try it again. A little age on the Virginias might improve the way it tastes to me. As it is, the Virginias have the sweetness I've come to expect, and it burns cool and all the way down to a white ash, usually with no relights. If you're a fan of Virginia/Perique blends a little light to Perique, I think you'll love this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

frankluke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
frankluke (17)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Mild Tolerable

i just finished my tin, i don't think i'll be getting anymore.. it's ok but it's just too boring. not as much flavor as fillmore or the perique/nic hit as haddo's.

if you don't mind a rather muted tasting VaPer, maybe this is for you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Strong

Stratford is another great tobacco from GLPease and a very fine VaPer, one which pleases me every time I smoke it but that hardly makes me zone. Even when I tend to prefer darker Virginias, I like Stratford with its lemon dose better than the all-red Fillmore. Perique is also more noticeable, sometimes getting a bit overwhelming.

A solid 3-stars, maybe I'll upgrade it after more tins.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Eric Cioe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eric Cioe (26)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I was in Iwan Ries looking for new things to try, and saw an old tall-style GLPease tin of this. The date said 7/15/03, almost four years at the time, so I bought it blindly. I had never heard much about this particular blend, even though most of my tobacco has Pease's name on it.

I cracked it on my 20th birthday and shared with my pipe friends. The first few bowls smoked too hot, but I kept changing pipes and found a good packing technique.

My three favorite pipes to smoke this with are: s Peterson System 303; a Stanwell Bishop freehand; and a small Wilkes apple turned from Algerian briar sometime in the 50s. The common theme here is a small bowl - even the Stanwell is probably only a small group 4, and the other two are group 3.

Then, proceed to mash as much tobacco as you can into the bowl, about like it is in the tin. If packed with a light hand, this stuff burns in about ten minutes, cinging the tounge the whole time. But packed tightly, the tobacco seems to burn much more slowly, letting out the flavors within.

And while this contains a hint of perique, the main attraction here is a Virginia taste that can only be described as midwestern. It tastes to me like being on a prairie in September.

This is a beautiful summertime tobacco. I can't see it working well in the winter, and it isn't an all day smoke. But for sitting in the grass on a summer afternoon, nothing beats Stratford.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ajaj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ajaj (69)
★★★☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

A good VaPer and one which fits into the Telegraph Hill, Montgomery, and Haddo's family well. There are many similarities to Montgomery except the high notes are more pronounced. Slight citrus and lemon overtones with only a hint of perique. Here perique is used rather sparingly and adds just enough pep for an enjoyable smoke. Less fruity than the other mentioned above, but this is not a bad thing.

aj

Nobody has rated this review yet.

MD90 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MD90 (1)
★★★☆
Very Mild Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

I tried several Vaper blends, but Straford impress me most, or to say it fits me most. After three tins were tried, a very very big freehand was assigned for Straford exclusively, and it works well in the right way.

Perique produces nice flavor from top to the bottom, and Virginia tastes sweety at the beginning, then mild and peaceful. I found it's not like other tobacco I tried, it can be smoked till the real bottom of the bowl, to finish all, while the taste did not change too much. That's why I did NOT realize it's finished until it turned off.

I'll come back with my experience later, when I try more into details. Enjoy your Straford!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

butman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
butman (41)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The can just sat on the tobacoonist's shelf and never moved. No one seemed to know it. I pulled the orphan off and rescued it. Found a new friend. It is now a regular.

The smoke reminds me of why we all started smoking a pipe. A halcyon joy to smoke. It has a clean tobacco taste with no gloppy flavors added. It is pure tobacco that is blended so well.

It lights quite easily and burns with delight. In fact it burns too well. Use a large bowl this rascal escapes to the gods too quickly.

The Virginia and perique combination is exquisite, but watch it. On an empty tummy this has enough zip to give you the hiccups.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

smokey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smokey (120)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco reminds me of a slightly milder version of Haddo's. The Perique makes its' presence known from the rim to the bottom of the bowl with a spicy, sometimes peppery note. A subtle sweetness from the Virginias contrasts nicely with the spicy notes. Packing, lighting, and burn are all good. My wife only gives the room note a so-so rating, however she just quit smoking (cigarettes) and has been giving tough ratings to most of my blends lately. What else is there to say? Another winner from the one of the world's best blenders. Three stars for Stratford.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Very tasty and smooth with a rich flavor. What I enjoyed most was the fact that the perique is truly used a condimental here and is not as overbearing as it is in may other vaper's. If you like Solani 633 or McClellands 2015, you should love this one!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Smooth and tasty. If you like a rich flavor without the "sledgehammer" effect of too much Perique, this is it. Very high quality tobaccos and the perfect moisture content. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JB (40)
★☆☆☆
Very Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

I guess it just goes to show what Greg would tell you himself, everybody responds differently to a given blend. Stratford smells and tastes like hot smoke to me. It's bland and lacks character.

I love Virginia-Perique blends, but this one just doesn't do it for me.

However, I'm glad that some of the earlier reviewers do enjoy it and vive la difference!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Steve P-H Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steve P-H (6)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I've been experimenting with various Viginia/Perique blends, and while I can't say this is my absolute favorite, it's the one that I buy in bulk and smoke most regularly. For the price it delivers a consistently spicy, flavorful smoke without being predictable.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flint Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flint (30)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Very Mild Tolerable to Strong

I've tried this and I just can't get it to work for me. The blend is mainly light virginia and very little red virginia with a tiny portion of perique.

This stuff is just too light and flavorless for me. I found the flavor too thin with a cigarette note to it. But I gravitate towards dark stoved virginias and strong burley blends. I feel that GL Peases best blends are Barbary Coast, Haddos Delight and Renaissance.

One positive for this and all Greg's blends they're packed to the brim giving the customer a healthy portion.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I found this to make for a great morning pipe. With a cup of coffee it will certainly get you started on the right note. I did find it a little to light for during the remainder of the day however. This reminded me of Dunhill's Elizabethan mixture. Not a lot of sweetness unlike alot of other VA/P mixtures, but plenty of flavor. I like the jalapeno perique flavor, and think that it goes well with the lemon virginias. I could hardly detect any flavor from the red Va's. Another winner from Mr. Pease. I have another tin aging, and it will be fun to see how it affects this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.