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A full bodied "sweet" traditional Flake tobacco prepared with only the finest grade of Virginia leaf with a pinch of Perique. Aged to perfection in order to bring out the best in this cool smoking, magnificent flake.

Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
ContentsPerique, Virginia
Packaging50g Tin
ProductionCurrently available
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Extremely Mild
Room Note

Favorite Of 1 Users

13 reviews
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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1419)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is delicious. Naturally sweet, decent nicotine hit, the flakes broke up easily, the moisture content was perfect and it burned to a clean, dry ash right down to the bottom of the bowl.

The Virginia took top billing with the Perique deep in the background (almost hidden.)

Just a bit more power and I would have given this four stars.

5 people found this review helpful.

Taste Buds Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taste Buds (162)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

This is a little fuller than Birds Eye Flake from the same producer. It is darker in color with a touch more perique. Very cool smoking and flavorful. Rubs out easily and burns effortlessly to the bottom of the bowl. Taste and strength are both medium. A very satisfying smoke. I still prefer Birds Eye to this blend as my tastes are on the lighter side with less perique. But this excellent in it's own right and deserving of 3 stars.

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

Dr. Hall Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Hall (15)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I used to smoke a lot of Capstan Medium, and this blend does have a very similar flavor and aroma. The Former's, however, seems less dark and less full-flavored than Capstan Medium, and it bites my tongue more than Capstan. In its favor, I'll say it is a sweet VaPer flake, mild to medium strength with pretty good room aroma. Overall, not bad, but not my beloved Capstan Medium.

Update: I've gotten to know this blend a bit better over the past week or so in a few different pipes and with a bit more air-time to it, and I like it a lot more than my initial smokes. It is "like" Capstan Medium but not exactly the same. But the "like" at the moment has my attention since I loved Capstan so much and can't get it here in the U.S. any more. So, because Cross Grain Flake is a decent smoke, I can give this at least three stars, and a fourth for capturing a bit of the Capstan essence.

1 person found this review helpful.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (280)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This hand blended flake presents nicely prepared golden VA with lesser adds of red and brown. Tin moisture content, packing and lighting are fine and result in an even burning smoke in various bowl sizes. The room aroma is less objectionable than most other VA/Perique blends but this is problably due to the small contribution from the Perique that I really didn't even taste. Initially, in most pipes, I found the initial 1/4 rather harsh. However, with unusually slow puffing (for me), this blend smoothed out and a sweet VA tang resulted. Since Imperial yanked the plug on Capstans in the US and I never smoked them, I can't compare this blend to them. However, in my view, there are more enjoyable VA/Periques available that I would choose before this one.

1 person found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (150)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Rumored to be like Capstan Medium, which I have never tried, it is still a very good entry into a bright virginia sweet tasting field.

It, nevertheless, is a darker looking flake than the usual bright or golden virginia varieties. Lots of red or brown leaf and some black perique added mostly to keep the mixture cool enough.

It breaks up into a thick shag which I try not to rub out much.

It smells citrusy in the tin. Some scenting or aromatic is added I feel. It feels dryer than most flakes out of the tin. It smokes reasonably steady and dry.

It took a few bowls to get use to, as I feared some heat or bite was ready to crop up. But no, if puffed slowly as you have to for most virginias, it stays with you to a relatively smooth beat.

I puffed about 8 bowls in a medium Ser Jacopo that I had previously smoked McClelland's Honeydew in. That's probably why I sensed some heat at first. But it smoked as sweat and decent as a good virginia flake should after that initial transition period (smoking out the last but similar type blend from the pipe). Then I turned to a new filtered Brigham 7 medium billiard. Again a couple of bowls to adjust. After about 10 more bowls in that pipe, I had finished the tin in about 10 days total. Great stuff. (Incidentally, the Brigham filter is unlike any other; it keeps the smoke dry and cool without seeming to alter or mute the flavor. A quick break in too. An unfiltered Brigham is almost as good too -- I have one. Not expensive.)

I have a couple of extra tins of Former's and will order more. It is a delicious, medium, sweet virginia flake. The perique does not affect the taste much if at all and probably is used to keep the blend friendly.

It is a little similar in the sweetness department to C&D's Briar Fox blend (a crumble cake) and Pease's Stratford (ribbon), but it needs no additional aging in my opinion to produce a surperb and deeper (not heavy) flavor. Again, it may have more scenting than those two. Dunhill's Light Flake and Germain's Medium Flake are also similar flakes, but Former's has more body then the latter and a different flavor than the former.

I highly recommend this if you are a sweet virginia lover and have experience with flakes. I started Former's straight grain flake next, a darker, heavier blend with a berry or fruity hint, but I'll see if I write about that one later.

1 person found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (217)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A nice dark VA with a touch of Perique. If that sounds appealing, give it a try. for my tastes, I'll either stick with with the slightly brighter Elizabethan or Red Virginia superb or with the equally dark but (to me) more balanced St James flake

Pipe Used: various briars

Age When Smoked: 1 yr, 10 mo

Purchased From: pipes & cigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

My tin is from 2004, and I have a couple of newer tins aging in the "cellar." A very dependable VAPER, though light on the perique. Though it hasn't blown me away, I always enjoy a bowl, and have stocked up as well on the other Former offerings, since they can be found at a reasonable price. Easy smoking, doesn't overheat or bite, good burner. Maybe not as much character as say a McClelland Matured Virginia, but never a let down either. Has a slight sweetness, but I think it is mainly natural.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Barling Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Barling (19)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have cellared 5 tins of this dated 2005. The tobacco had taken on a very dark tone with age, and has the classic VaPer sweetness. I like this one better than the Straight Grain Flake, which is definitely stronger (makes my head swim a bit) with sour notes. I am going to let the remaining tins age for at least another year before trying it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TK Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TK Pipe (101)
Mild Mild Medium Pleasant

Former CG flake … Nicely presented lighter brown flakes, with some streaks of yellow, with a dried fruit, tin aroma. This blend is said to have some Perique in it, but I would have never known it was there, if it were not mentioned on this web-sight, and for my taste its perfect, doing just what it should, compliment, and stay well behind the fine Virginias. Maybe not for everybody, but if you favor Danish style Virginias, this IMO is a good one.

After a short airing, I loaded my bowl. As the lighter colors made me think this stuff may burn a bit too hot, I loaded up with only a fold and twist rub out, still somewhat course. It took only a few puffs, and I knew this was going to be a pleasant experience. Starting very mild and growing in strength as the burn continued, the tobacco never bit, burned hot or harsh, loaded with flavors, and just the right sweetness, I was sold. This is nice stuff, reminds me of Villager Late Night (another newer favorite) only a little stronger across the board. Not an all day smoke for me like Villager, but I know there will be times when this stuff will fit in just right. Until now I thought my rotation had no room for another Danish/German style Virginia blend, Guess I'll have to make some room. For what it is, 3 stars. My personal rating 4.2/5

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Davetopay Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Davetopay (43)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Meh. It just didn't speak to me. VERY hay forward. Not as deep, dark, and layered with flavors as I have come to prefer. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with it, but it left me flat.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

highlander999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
highlander999 (8)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

I tried this, mainly just to revisit Perique. I remember that I wasn't that big of a fan of Perique last time I tried it.

A nice blend, easy to smoke, but I guess I still prefer the lighter aromatics.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

UncleBob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleBob (3)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

The tobacco is medium brown with some mottling and a little dry, perhaps. The round tin opens to reveal rectangular, navy slices that have a sweet, Virginia aroma with a touch of straw.

The tobacco lights with one match and the ash is a nice white. Initially, I get a distinct sweetness and slight spiciness that is so indicative of Virginia flake. The sweetness subsides some over the smoke but I do not get any "grassy" or straw-like flavors. I should note that I do not rub-out flakes during packing.

I think I like this better than Escudo which is probably the closest tobacco I can think of to this flake. It is certainly lighter than Escudo but along those lines. The perique does give the smoke some thickness that I enjoy more than with straight Virginia leaf.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Allen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Allen (3)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Wonderful flake-cut VA blend which I find to be very similar to Capstan Medium. (Smoked Capstan a few years ago, but this blend harkens to it very strongly.) Supposedly there is a slight casing which is the same used in that famous European blend that we unfortunately don't have access to here in the States. Nielsen does a great job with this blend, and it's a wonderful change to a move full-bodied VA blend than his Straight-Grain flake (which I also recommend). Flakes are perfect moisture in tin, not falling apart, but not goopy either. Room note keeps me sniffing the air, and is a pleasant smoke. I find it to be no harsher than any other common VAs I've smoked (I'm more of an English/Balkan smoker.) This blend now has a place in my cellar. If you liked Capstan Medium, and can't obtain it, I suggest you pick up a tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.