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A blended, sliced cake of high-grade flue cured leaf, from beautiful, sweet brights to deep, earthy reds, without the added sugars and flavorings common to many Virginia flakes. It's rich on the palate, evolving in layers with the clean, natural sweetness of pure tobaccos. It offers a pleasant room note, and a delightful finish. For those seeking the pure Virginia experience, try Union Square.

Notes: Union Square was released in May, 2009.

BrandG. L. Pease
Blended ByGregory Pease
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutFlake
Packaging2oz Tin, 8oz Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
BnB Tobacco
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant

Favorite Of 10 Users

3.3
90 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
44
3 star:
32
2 star:
12
1 star:
2
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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Union Square is simply a remarkable tobacco with the potential (IMO), to be one of the all-time great "cellar" tobacco blends. Nothing here but pure sweet and strong Virginia leaf in broken flake form. This one knocks the socks off Gawith's Full Virginia Flake in that there is less tang, more strength and less chance of getting bit.

Arriving a bit moist in the tin I chose to let some fully rubbed out leaf sit in the open air for an hour before loading up. The grassy smell dissapated quickly and the tobacco, likewise, dried quickly. It was easy to load, light and keep lit. I was smothered by unrelenting waves of deep and rich Virginia flavor variances that never overwhelmed. I got the blast of nicotine punch (slapped with kid gloves really), with every puff.

Although not a "sweet" Virginia per se, this one has enough sugar content to make for a natural sweetness. I suspect it'll cellar like nobody's business (an accomplishment Pease strives for in his blends... with great past success I might add).

Union Square will soon rise to Superstar status (IMO, of course).

8 people found this review helpful.

wildebeest Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wildebeest (6)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

This is unlike any Virgina blend I have ever tried, and I have been very happily puffing upon Virginias for a number of years. Yet, the fact that that this blend is so different from many others I love does not make it any less appealing. Who would have thought that a blend made exclusively of Virginia tobaccos could be so outrageously unique, especially when the pipe tobacco market is flooded with Virginia blends. This blend is rich, though so are many others. It is also spicy, but so again are many others (especially those featuring orientals). What stands out here is an exceptional earthiness that must be experienced to be understood. This earthiness comes together with the above mentioned spice and richness to produce a truly distinctive smoking experience. This is a blend to luxuriate in. You want complexity and depth? Here it is. Fans of the earthiness of dark-fired burleys may find this a welcome change of pace. And it goes without saying that any smoker who claims to love Virginias should give this blend a try. Those, like me, who fall into both categories may find an experience they had long been seeking. Union Square will, without a doubt, become a part of my regular rotation. I'm breaking in two brand new and highly prized pipes with Union Square as I type these words. The way I see it, these fine examples of the work of Lindner and Shalosky could not be treated with greater respect.

7 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (666)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A variety of Virginias that are rich, creamy, and earthy with a touch of grass. The naturally mild sweetness of the components offers citrus, dried fruit, and tang along with a dark sweet flavor, and an occasional hint of spice. I don't know the proportions of the various Virginias in this flake, but I get nearly all of their intrinsic qualities with none crowding out the other. That, to me, is a rare accomplishment. Burns slowly, cool and dry with consistency of taste, and a very pleasing after taste. No bite no matter how fast you can puff. One of the top straight Va. blends made by this company.

4 people found this review helpful.

Monarchist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Monarchist (4)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Despite my resolution not to open another tin while I still had so many open, this new offering from GLP simply wouldn't stop calling to me, and so I eventually gave in.

To say that I was hugely disappointed would be putting it mildly. The tin aroma was a cross between horse manure and wet sweetgrass, while the smoke tasted like wet hay - very much like what I experienced with PS Luxury Bullseye Flake. Up until this point, my only experience with "pure" Virginia was SG FVF which, along with SG BB, is one of my favorites. We all know that tastes vary from individual to individual, but the fact that this blend has received nothing but accolades from the pipe smoking community thus far has me puzzled to no end.

After the initial shock of the first part of the bowl, I set it down and returned to it the following day, hoping that DGT would perhaps change the experience for me towards the better. Well, change it did, but for the better? Only if I can count the by and large departure of the "wet hay" taste, which was replaced by very little taste of anything at all.

After having given this blend a chance (3 bowls) I will say that I experienced little if any bite from it, but that's about it. Additionally, after opening the tin, each pipeful in succession did become a bit more tolerable, so maybe the trick is to let oxygen do it's thing with this blend?

Again, I admit to being very puzzled. There could be one answer though which I'm leaning towards - that almost all tobaccos have at least casing, if not topping. If I understand the advertising from GLP for this blend, it has neither. It's entirely possible that I'm considerably more reliant on casings and toppings for my smoking enjoyment than I cared to admit?

================================

Follow-up:

WOW! This tobacco is so utterly strange. Granting that I am rather new to the pipe smoking experience, and that taste is subjective, I have to say that this is the first DGT only tobacco I've run across.

In a fit of frustration, I loaded a small bowl, toasted the heck out of it, and laid it aside. About six hours later, I picked up the pipe again and set fire to the tobacco. It caught and burned beautifully, producing the rich, sweet smoke that everyone's been raving about. How can a tobacco that tastes so crummy to me straight from the tin, taste so good toasted and delayed?

Regardless, I now understand what pipe smokers refer to when they speak of complexity as pertains to the taste of a given tobacco. I used my normal flake smoking technique, that is, sipping the smoke gently. There was no hint of bite, and the smoke produced sweet, nutty, and earthy flavors that vied with one another at first, but then settles down, each to claim a portion of the bowl. The sweetness came first, and then gave way to a hard to describe earthy flavor that was sort of spicy, but not perique spicy. The latter part of the bowl produced a nutty, smoky flavor with slight overtones of the previous two.

This tobacco leands itself to nasal exhalation very nicely, and I also enjoy filling my mouth with the smoke and just holding it there. The aftertaste is simply marvelous.

Again, I'm amazed at how a bit of "handling and preparation" in setting this tobacco up for DGT changes it's character and enjoyability. I do intend to experiment a bit with this blend. I'm going to toast a portion outside the pipe, perhaps in a skillet, on high heat and quickly. I'll post the result later.

I'm going to stock up on this, as it is now one of my absolute favorites. Go figure...

4 people found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (92)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I only have a handful of straight Virginia’s in my rotation at the moment & Union Square is one of them. As far as flavor depth is concerned, it’s on par with a couple of my other favorites, FVF & Blackwoods Flake. However, I find Union Square to be a bit more complex and somewhat easier to work with. Comparatively, it has more of that wholesome, earthy Old Belt character with just a hair of natural sweetness found mostly in the side-stream and it does not rely at all on dark stoved tobacco for richness or sweetening agents as flavor enhancers.

I prefer spicier Virginia mixtures which is what I love about Blackwoods Flake and FVF. I don’t find too much of this attribute in Union Square but it does have a rich tannin-like bottom end flavor that creates a different kind of equally enjoyable experience. Also, the taste of Union Square seems to get brighter, livelier and sweeter as the bowl progresses and the sugars caramelize. This of course balances nicely with that aforementioned lower-end bravado.

Despite its relatively rich flavor profile, Union Square still deals in subtleties. Flavors change their direction in the tiniest of ways, yet it’s enough to continually peak my interest. It’s a wonderful combination of delicate grassy sweetness, subtle toasted notes, with a hint of spice and a heaping dollop of rich earth for good measure. Bonus points added for performance as Union Square stays nicely lit at a slow cool smolder.

For honest to goodness unadulterated tobacco flavor, I’d say this blend knocks it out of the park. IMHO, it smokes best in a clean and preferably dedicated pipe. Ages superbly.

Age When Smoked: 4

3 people found this review helpful.

Peter Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peter Piper (41)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is my first journey into GLP teritory and what a pleasant one it has been.

I am a bit bemused by the description as "sliced cake," but then again I'm English, so it may just be a matter of vernacular. What I do see is a very attractive long ribbon cut with shreds of real leaf pressed within it, a nice reminder that this did start life as a tobacco plant.

Sweet hay with a hint of honey on the nose, yep, this is a proper Virginia alright.

Once rubbed out a bit, packing, lighting and smoking are a doddle. And the gentle essence of the fine leaf wafts around your senses, at once fruity with a bit of tang, then just a touch of yeastiness and an almost creamy aftertone.

I suspect what may leave some reviewers underwhelmed - and forgive my impertinence - is that this is quite an un-American blend, the subtle nuances strike me as more characteristic of the type we find over on our side of the pond. If Mr Pease has Anglophile tendencies in his blending style, then that is absolutely fine by me!

Highly recommended.

3 people found this review helpful.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (134)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

In my review of Union Square, I had wanted to compare the blend with Full Virginia Flake. Well, you know how that goes. The ridiculous hoarding of Samuel Gawith tobaccos is one of the easiest things to hate about pipe smoking. It says something about the selfishness of some pipe smokers, those who will buy out every outlet in the US, and then take pictures of their stash, posting them on forums to brag of their booty. It makes me angry and indignant. Thankfully, Union Square cures my animosity for these people, if with a bit of irony, as Pease is in large part responsible for the modern practice of cellaring giant catalogs of tobacco.

The blend is flawless, in my opinion. Deep, rich Virginias in sturdy flake form, sugary and natural, emanating that familiar smell of hay out of the tin, the flakes themselves velvety to the touch, whether beat up or in perfect form (I've seen both, from the samples I've purchased). The presentation is immaculate, the experience, exceptional from the pop of the tin, through charing light, to the last embers as they fade from glowing red to dusty white. If Union Square isn't the king of Virginias, it's certainly next in line to the throne.

Now, aside from my earlier intention, a comparison to FVF isn't particularly fair, as Union Square's intrinsic characteristics demonstrate that it is certainly no clone of any variety, particularly one that should be forced to fall in the shadow of a crowd favorite. In truth, Union Square is a different beast than FVF, its austere simplicity, counterintuitively possesses a complexity which rivals that of FVF. Whereas FVF is dark and creamy, unfolding in layers that modulate throughout the smoke, Union Square possesses a lightness of flavor with tremendous clarity, and ever present grassy undertones that shape and shift with subtlety to define the character of flavor.

Union Square is a sugary smoke, with Bright Virginias in front. The taste is so uncharacteristically sweet, that it's hard to believe there is no casing. I suppose the defining element of FVF is the hot press, which really caramelizes the sugars and brings a more molasses note to the smoke. Union Square sports a narrower flavor profile with a similar strength, sugar cane opposed to molasses. Both avoid the sharp corners of inferior leaf, entirely absent of any bite.

The blend is more than a tobacco, it's a kind of ethos. I would really like to see a trend toward natural tobaccos, an appreciation for the baser qualities of the leaf. Maybe a movement toward pure, unadulterated leaf could put forth a breed of higher quality blends, pure of unnecessary additives. I would think that advances in agriculture would propel the movement, and we have seen limited trials--C&D themselves experimented with a Virginia blend that incorporated Agave as a natural additive, utilized, I think, to impede upon the growth of mold. I know that Union Square does not approach that extent of commitment, but one can be hopeful of future developments.

The noble properties of Union Square demonstrate a higher appreciation for blenders like GL Pease, who strive to innovate in the face of those who cling to established ideals. In their clouded thinking, hoarders rush to past touchstones and fail to recognize emergent trends and product. They are intent only in stocking shelves and cheering each other on in their mindless quest for more and more of the same product. I find them similar to art snobs, intent on the masters and established schools, incapable of acquiring new references, which they deem unrefined and unfamiliar. They seek defined models, and fear exploration as it may devalue the stockpiles of loot they have amassed. As consumers, they care little for the product they collect, and only the prestige in displaying their wares, hence the ridiculous photos on the internet.

This is an exaggeration, I know.

I've likely angered a few people here, and my intent is not to create a conflict, but to demonstrate the changing tides. Union Square raises the bar for microblenders, and the larger houses that predominate. The more recent imperfect batches of FVF and the supreme quality of Union Square exposes the artificiality of demand, as it demonstrates a commitment to scarcity and a rejection of standards and novelty on the part of pipe smokers. Do we really understand our practice, or are we no better than those in the field of fashion, who take to the popular trends? But I suppose the more blatant, practical question remains--how much are other apparently natural tobaccos masked by additives? As all industries are guarded by trade secrets, the answer shall remain elusive.

3 people found this review helpful.

matty Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
matty (21)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Right outside our lazy summer home, with winds a mile long the smell of this pure Virginia tobacco wafts through the air. I smoked a ton of Virginia flakes. This one gives you all you need. Pure tobacco taste. Perfect with morning cafe, or an Italian soda after lunch. Or really searching out the different lip smacking taste late night by the fire. I have two other pure Virginia blends that I put in my Nording freehand, make that three. I wasn't looking for another pure Va, I thought I had the two I would ever need. Im glad I found Union Square. This one will undoubtedly withstand the test of time.

3 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (580)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

The jury is still out on whether GLP blends age to become the classics they are purported to be, but the same jury (my jury!) has decided that, so far, GLP blends don't start off so well. This is my 10th attempt at finding a newly tinned batch of GLP that comes anywhere near a reference blend.

At first blush, the claim of "no added sugars or flavors" reads as a rash of codswallop and Nth-degree marketing hype, but I'm certainly in no position to dispute that claim. However, if true, this blend seems to indicate (when its at a young age, as my tin was) that straight virginias need such added sugars and flavors to taste and smoke to their potential. Not everything we ingest performs best in its pure, natural state. With all due respect to other reviewers and Mr Pease himself, I have to take the minority stance with this one. I find no depth or complexity in this blend, and no real mature virginia tobacco flavor. Instead this comes off as an extremely bland, "cigarette-ish" concoction that fails to excite. Comparing this to straight VA's from McClellands, Samuel Gawith and other blenders (that add sugars and flavors???), further and painfully illustrates Union Square's lack of character. It looks and smells in the tin like a winner but doesn't deliver where it counts - the taste.

As I have with the other GLP blends I've tried, I'm going to cellar my 2nd tin of this (dated 9/09) for a year or so in the hope that further aging will drive it up a notch or two. I'm happy that many others find Union Square so excellent and I certainly have questioned my own senses with this one since my experiences differ so. But I smoke and enjoy many classic straight virginias, and IMHO, this ain't one... at least not yet.

UPDATE 12/6/10

Still no love for this blend. If anything, it's become flatter and more anemic tasting. Two stars is more than enough. Back to the cellar and let's try this again next Christmas!

UPDATE 2/3/12

Age has been a wee bit kind to this one. I'd say it's elevated itself to mediocre. Still mostly characterless but there is a hint of cereal showing through that is rather nice. It's just too fleeting. Most of the time this fizzles into oblivion... smoke with no real flavor. Still a weak 2 stars. But it's a tiny bit better than it was. Perhaps this one will develop further. Worth a shot!

3 people found this review helpful.

BriarChef Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarChef (100)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Pure. Virginia. Perfection.

No goopy additives, just pure tangy, naturally sweet Virginias. The red Virginias take a while to develop and the brighter tobaccos take center stage for the first quarter bowl (a tall, narrow Radice Rind chimney billiard now dedicated to this tobacco only).

Will seem bitey to Virginia newbies, or those more accustomed to cased and flavored flakes....patience, grasshopper. You will be rewarded with a slow cadence.

The red virginias jump up and say howdy about halfway through, and the caramel notes merge with the citrusy brights quite nicely.

End game is divine, especially if you give the pipe a brief rest. Very rich, clean and suprisingly sweet, in a natural way...quite unlike highly cased flakes. Not a bit of gloppy dottle. Few relights, and even fewer pipe cleaners required to finish a large bowl.

A definite keeper in bulk quantities.

3 people found this review helpful.

swenger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
swenger (2)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is quite the interesting blend. A Virginia without toppings? Admittedly, I don't have a huge amount of experience under my belt regarding pipe smoking, but I have surely never heard of such a thing. I was rather excited to discover that my local B&M was carrying this new blend, so I grabbed a tin that had a little over a month age to it (4/6/09). Upon cracking open the sucker, I was met with an intriguing scent. I could definitely smell Virginias in there, but they were unlike any I had put under my nose before. The classic tangy Virginia smell was there with a vague hint of spice, but there was also a strong "earthy" scent in the mix. I found it to be very reminiscent of a burley blend, though it lacked the strong nuttiness. This definitely got me interested.

The cut of this tobacco is a coarse rub, with some larger flake pieces intermingled. The moisture is surprisingly low for what I would expect of a flake tobacco, but this cuts down on waiting for it to dry--I suspect some would even consider it to be just right for packing. The stuff is incredibly soft and flexible, even after a little drying, once again something I haven't seen in most other flakes I have sampled. Incidentally, packing is a breeze. My experience showed it to best benefit from a light packing if using a deep bowl, especially if left a little moist.

Light-up was like any other tobacco. The stuff catches pretty easily, so lighting was a pain-free operation for me. The initial aromas definitely reminded me of other straight Virginias, such as Full Virginia Flake. The flavor, however, is quite a bit different. The more typical flavors of Virginias come through along with the slightest whisper of spice, but there is only a subtle sweetness and a more earthy flavor. The earthiness is very similar to burley, as wildebeest mentioned. Overall, the flavor of the tobacco gave me the impression of a medium Virginia. Compared to FVF, the flavor is a bit less powerful and forthright. Definitely a blend to concentrate on.

In general, this is yet another well-put-together blend by Mr. Pease. I must agree with wildebeest in saying that straight Virginia fans should definitely consider trying this blend, as it offers an experience quite unlike most others. However, I only give it three stars as the lack of sweetness may turn off new-comers to Virginias, and lovers of English/Balkan blends may find it lacking in strength of flavor. Of course, if you think you may enjoy a pure and unique tobacco experience, you should definitely give this blend a try.

3 people found this review helpful.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (128)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

This Virginia broken flake has a fermented dry fruit smell, the moisture level is on the wet side but could be smoked right away. It's a full bodied Virginia tobacco with all the flavor spectrum that a Virginia lover would want. It has become my favorite Virginia flake, it overtakes all the other Virginia heavyweights for me.

2 people found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (41)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant

GLP's Union Square may be more "forgiving" than their Laurel Heights, but it still demands some attention to preparation, loading, packing and smoking before it relaxes and gives up its considerable goods, notwithstanding its "easy" appearance and almost cloying aroma when the tin is popped. In the tin, presentation is beautiful, merely-moist, mottled, soft flakes that I cannot spindle and fold into a pipe before they fall to rough, chunky "ribbons". The note from a young tin is barely damp silage under truly yummy, sweet, blended VA tobaccos, with the brights upfront. With age, add fermented notes of pineapple, apricots and golden caramel, along with distant fresh yeast and a drop or two of rum.

Union Square is one tobacco I prefer to smoke very dry, to the point where it's "crispy". Smoked "wet", and especially if it's rushed, it can get harsh, and/or soot winds up in the air hole, and/or one might detect a faint trace of ammonia in the air. OTOH, smoked very dry, and with some consideration, barely sniffing light puffs, it makes clouds of clean and bracing VA TOBACCO smoke that features most of the tin notes, and the taste follows suit. It does require some attention as it is smoked, or it will go out; but there is no penalty - at all - for re-lighting it.

After a short trial period, US has smoked well for me, and it keeps getting better as it is smoked down. The aftertaste is - surprise - delicious VA tobacco, sweet but not saccharin, never bitter, with no ash. I love it. Nicotine is like Laurel Heights, which is to say, stealthy, building quite slowly toward "strong" over the course of a bowl and thereafter. It only took me a couple of tries to learn to hold off with a second bowl.

While it's hardly a no-brainer, I find US quite relaxing and very satisfying, along the lines of several other Pease blends I enjoy. Highly recommended to those who feel up to the "challenge". And aging just makes it better...

2 people found this review helpful.

Dubinthedam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dubinthedam (133)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

This is the ticket. Benchmark stuff. Simply outstanding! Greg says on his website that he never intended to do a straight VA blend, and and then he goes and pulls off a gem like this.

Carefully select some quality VA leafs, press them, slice them and treat gently - place in a tin. Bingo.

I love my VA's and I love my flakes, if they have some perq, oriental or cavendish added that's fine too. I also love my Navy Flakes like Capstan or Marlin Flake because of that solid VA taste you get with hints of flavor and sweetness from a wee drop of Rum. But with U.S. you get so much sweetness and flavor without anything added...How did he do it?

This blend is what I expected FVF to be, although good - somewhat disappointed me. This is a flake every bit as good as Reiner's Long Golden Flake but it doesn't have any Burley or Perq added!

This blend is a wake-up call for McCleeland VA blenders, Greg's stolen their secrets and pushed it to another level. (A hint of Ketchup aroma from the tin).

This blend makes you wonder what other blenders are doing wrong. This blend is why I love pipe smoking. This blend is why I always say, "America leads the way in blending today".

A must try, must cellar blend. Put simply, dry or just try direct from tin, quality VA leaf with rich earthy hay, figs and citrus flavors, perfect in the tin, perfect half broken slices, plumes of smoke and the least bitey VA I've ever smoked. There is only one problem with this blend...it's too dam tasty to be able to leave in it a cellar for a few years....I'm off for another bowl...see ya.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

This is a wonderful tobacco. Perhaps the everyday smoke that I have been searching for since I deemed Briar fox to be a bit too much for me on a daily basis. First reactions upon opening the tin were very thin flakes, light and almost "tissuey". Lovely pure tobacco scent. Two flakes stuffed into my Castello bulldog and off to the races I went. A dry wheat taste to begin with that lingered well into the bowl. I concur with the "toastiness" expressed by other reviewers. Never became harsh as FVF can. I don't have the tongue for the subtleties but when you can smoke a Virginia tobacco and not get bit, you know that Pease outdid himself.

2 people found this review helpful.

hillbillypalate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hillbillypalate (20)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Very Pleasant

I had a chance to smoke a sample of this at 09 Chicago show and also bought a tin. I must say This is one of the best virginias/Blends that has came out in the last 10 years. I do agree with age this will go down as a legend tobacco. This tobacco has a nicotine kick to it. The Tobacco needs to be dried out as how I like mines. Union Square is different that any of the Virginias I have smoked. Even with its nicotine kick it is still very pleasant. Seriously thought I had an Orgasm when smoking union square. This is a connoisseur smoke just straight to the point Virginia no nonsense just straight to business. I emailed Greg pease everytime I smoke this just letting him know how he perfected this blend. He himself on his Email was very excited of the feed backs on Union Square and glad that we all are enjoying it. I seriously hope they will introduce 1 pound tin so I can buy couple of cans for storage.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Pease Pilgrimage Reviews (a tasting journey through every GLPease blend) Tin date: 05/17/09

This is a delicious, destined to become (or already is) a classic, and all you Virginia-neat fans out there need to stock up!

Aroma: Sweet, tangy, tart, fruity, delicious! Want to eat it out of the tin. There are a few pure Virginias that have a pineapple/tropical fruit aroma going on when the tin is first popped, and this is one of them. My tin has been opened (and jarred) since May 2009, I'm still dipping regularly out of the jar, and it still has that sweet delicious aroma.

Appearance: Not a neat and clean geometric flake like FVF, US is a busted-up flake with some good-sized chunks that need to be rubbed out. It's a bit darker in color than, say, OGS, but not as dark as FVF which I understand is stoved.

Pipe 1: Stanwell Vario Billiard Pipe 2: Meer Bent Billiard Pipe 3: Chubby Savinelli Author

Flavor: Classic straight Virginia, sweet, musty, pure and toasty. Very delicious. One needs to use good Virginia-smoking methods to coax the best flavors out of this – like any other pure Virginia – but the reward is a classic, delicious, rich and sweet smoke for times of gentle contemplation. I can't smoke this stuff while pre-occupied with other tasks. I need to concentrate and think of uplifting things while I sip this treasure.

Yesterday I smoked it back to back with FVF, my other go-to VA. Which is best? Sorry to disappoint but I can't say. It's one of those mood things. FVF is darker and richer, more low-end notes, more earthiness. Not as sweet. Not quite as forgiving but fuller in flavor. US is sweeter, toastier, a bit brighter and grassier, with a more approachable flavor. FVF is British, US is American. FVF is Tom Waits, US is James Taylor. I love ‘em both, enough to keep adding both to my stash in whatever quantities I can afford.

2 people found this review helpful.

Talonr1701 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Talonr1701 (119)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I love trying a new GLP blend, Whether it makes it to my rotation or not, Every blend is interesting, complex, and well put together. This comes in a cut flake form, and on poping the tin smells organic and rich. For me, this is best packed after a couple hours to air. Pipe used was a Bing's Favorite dedicated to Virginias. This Virginia symphony is not sweet by any stretch, It's very earthy at its base- Like Wheat. There is a combining flavor thats a bit sharp, like hops in an IPA- This would be a great smoke on a hot day with a beer. The burn rate is nice and consistant, not too hot, few relights. Faster cadance brought more hoppy like spice, while breath smoking almost reached a nice ale like body. The strength is what I would deem a medium, and the finish was clean and dottle free. My tin was two weeks old, but I imagine this will age nicely given the conditions in the tin and the Virginias sed, but it is fine from the starting gate. I would recomend this as an all the time smoke, but I also plan on aging a few a few years to see how it matures.

2 people found this review helpful.

TattooGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TattooGuy (9)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm a big Virginia fan. I have smoke a few 8oz. tins of this offering and I must say: Union Square is one of the best Virginias I've smoked, probably THE best to this date. When opening the tin one is welcome by sweet VA richness with fresh hay and citrus undertones. A nice broken flake indeed. Packs and lights easily. In the 1/3 of the bowl it's a bit tangy and citrusy with the VA sweetness and hay in the background. In the 2/3 of the bowl the citrusy notes are much in the background with a mouthful of rich VA sweetness. This blend continues to evolve in the last third to become even more delightfully sweet with more earthy richness. Like all VA's, one must sip it slowly to taste all the goodness of that masterfully blended Virginia. This is my go to smoke any time of day, I can't be without Union Square. Thank you G.L. Pease! I give it 4 stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

Wibblefishofdoom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wibblefishofdoom (111)
★★★☆
Very Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the last of three Pease tobaccos I bought a couple of months back and the one I've had the most problems discerning the flavour. Still, I have had a lot of pleasure from it so here goes the review.

The tin aroma has hints of lemon and the flakes are a nice mix of yellows and light brown and rub out very easily, once again I find myself impressed by the colour and consistency of Pease's offerings. The packing is easy and lighting is never an issue. The flavour is funny, as I can't pin it down to anything familiar, there are occasional hints of lemon but it's nothing consistent. I hate to disagree with most other reviewers here but I did find this incredibly strong, perhaps one of the strongest tobaccos I've smoked, and I have learned to puff it gently as a result. I do agree with Moniker that this one is better smoked when dry rather than damp, as the flavours come out better.

For me, this is a very good tobacco, let down a little by the strength and the issues discerning the flavour. It fully justifies another tin and perhaps a bit of aging as and when my bank balance allows.

1 person found this review helpful.

The Happy Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Happy Piper (14)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I've been holding off this review for a while as it has taken me a while to adjust my palate to Mr Pease' tastes. There is little doubt that he has a distinctive House Style- I have so far tried four of his blends and they are all unmistakably Pease. His tobaccos tend to emphasise the upper mids and high notes- you won't find much of that 'slump into your sofa and stare off into the distance' you get from something like Nightcap or Escudo- even with something as satisfying as Cumberland there is a cerebral/controlled aspect to a Pease product akin to a very well prepared IPA (at the proper strength, 3.6% ABV) as opposed to a Titanic stout, which makes you wistful for a roaring fire and a blustery night. I ordered 2 tins of U.S. and used one of them to add complexity and lightness to some McBaren's H.H. Old Dark Fired, which works very well. But on it's own, Union Square is a subtle, clean tobacco which gives most flavour as a broken flake, sipped conscientiously, with the ocassional deep draw. I can't think of any oher Va I have ever tried which so captures the essence of Va- this is a superb product, but be aware, it is subtle. It needs to be unpacked, to be thought about, to be viewed as one would extremely well prepared sashimi. I have learned a lot about Va from U.S. and I feel everyone should have a tin or two in their cellar, to be able to touch base with the purest offering of this quintessential species of tobacco

1 person found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (152)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

I purchased a tin of this around christmas 2012 and wasn't overly impressed when I first opened this in Feb 2013, but by Late March I was really starting to enjoy it and found it slowly becoming one of my favorite Va blends. Although it won't supplant Dunhill Flake from the top of my rotation, I still highly recommend it and find it worthy of four stars as it is different enough from DF that there is room for both.

Greg Pease's objective with this blend was to make a very natural VA and he succeeds in his attempt as it appears to me to be as natural as is possible. This one will come off as pretty harsh if smoked mindlessly or too fast, it is meant for the slow meditative puff. It also has a surprisingly high nicotine content which was something I was not expecting from such a low processed light colored leaf.

I look forward to buying some more of this in the big cans and aging them. Something tells me this will age beautifully.

1 person found this review helpful.

Cochon74 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cochon74 (21)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Two-thirds of the way through a tin from 2011... one word. Pure. This tin description is spot on.

My thoughts are coming from the position of a relative novice in the ways of Virginias... so please, take this all with a grain of salt... but I have to say that Mr Pease's Union Square has been the most overwhelmingly positive experience I've had with a straight VA tobacco to date. I've enjoyed Tilbury, McClellands Brindle Flake and Gawith's Best Brown, but I've come to realize that these smokes have been, for lack of a better word, misguided and uniformed.

The beauty of US is that it more or less TELLS you how to smoke it. Everything I've read and been told about how to enjoy VA's has come to fruition in this flake. You do as you should and it yields immediate and wonderful results. It demonstrates all the rewards that slow, controlled and thoughtful pipe smoking can offer.

As far as flavor goes, zulujerk nailed it. The sweetness is sharper and clearer than more mature, dark flakes. I'd add turbinado sugar, the bready sweetness of whole wheat bread as opposed to molasses, caramel and stewed fruit. Fresh hay, toast and a pleasant tartness like Meyer lemons. The smoke is full and voluminous without being creamy.

The flavor is clean, concise and thoroughly enjoyable. The purity of expression is this tobacco's strong suit. I'd put this experience on par with that of drinking Elmer T Lee bourbon, or playing a Telecaster guitar. It's not flashy. It's not full of bells and whistles. But to the uninitiated, it is a formal initiation into the truest form. And for the experienced, a joyful foray into the simplest (in a Zen sense) distillation of what they love. This is kind of the sushi of tobaccoes, if you will.

But I'm waxing a little philosophical here. In the end, this is just a fantastic way to enjoy pipe smoking.

I'm curious to see how this ages and will be getting another tin or two for cellaring.

Thank you, Greg Pease, for the excellence.

1 person found this review helpful.

Former 965 Fan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Former 965 Fan (7)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I bought this tobacco partly because it seemed a duty to experience the taste of pure tobacco but mainly because it was one of the first batch of Greg Pease's collection available from a UK supplier. Sorry to digress but I never thought I would type those words so Hooray!!! and thanks to the hard work and initiative of Greg and Gauntleys of Nottingham I can say goodbye to wrestling with UK custoums duties - last week I got a refund from an order in March!!! I must add however that my US supplier (Smoking Pipes) are a pleasure to deal with but those custoums duties are both an insult and an Injury.

Sorry the tobacco in question. I had low expectations of pure tobacco having tried McBarens unflavoured tobacco (Nothing but Tobacco or some name like that) years ago and it was flat and dull. Interesting but taste, remember and dump the tin. Union Square is the opposite. Open the drum (drums not cans in Nottingham) and get a lovely smell of sweet hay. Charring light hot but then a cool near bite free smoke particularly notable for a pure virginia but perhaps the additives in most flakes are partly to blame. Then a rich deep smoke evoking layers of flavour including hot raspberry jam on the hot sponge my dear old mother used to make, with, more in the background, strawberries, figs, nectarines. Then a counterpoint of dryer but still sweetish hay. Great smoke now but I think with huge ageing potential - my tin date was 051612 - as the flavours deepen and become more focused. No mean praise from a smoker of English mixtures. Stars? Four even without the ageing potential but with it a very easy four.

Will I buy more of this deep fruity tobacco (which is very easily available in the UK at last) to taste now and lay down for the future? Of course.

1 person found this review helpful.

Supreme Grocer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Supreme Grocer (1)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

This is a high quality leaf that burns well as can be expected of a Pease blend.

Sadly, there's nothing truly spectacular about this blend. It definitely smokes better after the first third of the bowl as it begins to taste how it smells in the tin. There are definitely fig/raisin notes as well as a natural virginia sweetness, but the beginning of the smoke tastes too much like a cigarette. It would probably make an excellent base for mixing, but by itself, it remains underwhelming.

It's certainly a high quality leaf that any virginia lover, or someone looking to try out a pure virginia, should give a try, but I don't see myself buying another tin with so many other offers out there.

----Update------

After storing this blend for about six more months (total one year of age), the nuances of this tobacco really came through. The taste became more full and constantly progressed from spicy to sweet and earthy throughout the bowl. Still a cool smoke without a bite issue. I highly recommend this blend--greatly improved with age and airing out.

1 person found this review helpful.

oregonpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oregonpipe (13)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

One of my all-time favorite light straight VAs. 2oz tins didn't last very long so I graduated to 8oz tins. Yep, it's pricier than a lot of other VAs out there but I think it's worth it. Don't compare this to SG's FVF or McC's Blackwoods, or any Danish flake. It's a totally different animal. Broken flake of light and red VAs with apparently no(?)topping/casing (I believe it). A great light tin note of hay, buttered pancakes, a little malt and a bit of citrus. Basically. makes you want to eat it out of the can. Needs a little air and dry time 'cause it's deceptively rather dry-appearing upon opening. Not conducive to fold and stuff. Flakes are packed on their their side and I have yet to retrieve a foldable flake out of a tin. So I rub it out. Initial smoke is very citrusy but then it builds to an earthy sweetness that is incredible to me. And every now and then a bitter-sweet note of citrus rind in the background. Absolutely the closest I've had a tobacco smoke in comparison to its tin note ! Perhaps not the most complex tobacco on the planet, but then not a whole lot of ingredients in here either. Just some really nicely treated straight Virginia tobacco. No perique, no burley, no nothing. I'm not foresaking any of of my other VA favorites. I have several. Just another addition to a nice variety! If you think you like virginias, or think you might like 'em, give it a spin.

1 person found this review helpful.

JasonNYC Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JasonNYC (7)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Holy cow, this is great Virginia tobacco! I'm on my first tin but so far so great. Found I had to give it a good rub to have it smoke reliably, but that done it requires little tending. Don't know but it seems like one goes down one of several paths when taking up pipe smoking. A lot seem to enter with the aromatics. Many just stay there. Good on them! The remainder seem to veer next towards either the Latakia camp or the Virginia camp. I've found myself in the latter. And Union Square seems to be one of the purest expressions of Virginia I've encountered. No taste comparison intended, but it's like having an extremely dry Martini....one where the bartender just THOUGHT about Vermouth as opposed to having added it. This stuff is 'dry' in that respect, the only sweetness coming from the Virginia leaves themselves. Really great.

1 person found this review helpful.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (195)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

I've been wanting to try this for a long while now and started off with a 2 oz tin. The tin aroma had a very pleasant sweetness to it - no discernible top note, just a pleasant Virginia sweetness. The tobacco was in flake form and neatly stacked about in the small tin.

My sample was just the right moisture level for packing and smoking. It took to the match readily and required one or two relights along the way (more due to the fact that I had to put it down from time to time as I was doing some work at home). The overall Virginia character, for me, was reminiscent of Mac Baren's Virginia No. 1 which I enjoy very much. This offering, however, did not smoke hot like Mac's at all, nor was there even a tingling to the tongue. It was one of the most pleasant tasting Virginia smokes I have ever had. So much so that I won't be as concerned at the moment over the lack of availability of FVF or BBF from Samuel Gawith as it blows those two out of the water. Union Square has a nice nicotine presence for those who are interested in such things, and not over the top. I rated the flavoring as mild. There may not have been anything added as such, but this Virginia was pleasantly sweet and not bland by any means. There was some moisture present even after sufficient drying. The room note was exquisite, subtly sweet and not in any way cigarette-like or ashy. Returning to the room for DGT can be addicting! Smoked like a charm in a Weber sandblast (looks and smokes like a Dunhill) medium poker.

If you favor straight Virginias, this is, in my opinion, much more enjoyable than FVF or BBF, different than Dunhill Flake, but good in its own way.

UPDATE 1-17-12: As tasty as it was originally, the flavor and sweetness really comes to the fore after several months aging. There was some minimal harshness when smoked fresh, but now greatly subdued. Not a 4 star yet for me nor a regular in rotation, but when the muse strikes, it makes for a good smoke.

UPDATE 2-28-13: Going on 2yrs 1mo of aging what's left of my 8oz tin - about 3 ounces - this is the ticket for pure VA flavor and enjoyment. Simply stellar and up to the vaulted realm of 4 stars!

1 person found this review helpful.

risle-lariviere Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
risle-lariviere (33)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

For pure VA i , until today, went for FVF but from today on it's going to be this blend.

It has the best VA taste i had and comes in almost broken flakes which i prefer .

I know Greg is known for his Oriental/Balkan/English blends and while this is different to what he is used to blend he didn't forget to surprise us again as he did before.

May the force "blend" with you Greg.

1 person found this review helpful.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is a three star, not a four star for me right now, but my tin is young, I love the idea of an almost purely natural Virginia, and I can tell that with age it will earn that fourth star. The elements are all there: Virginia sweetness that is understated at first yet grows as the bowl progresses, balance, purity; perhaps too much purity at this age, but I'm sure a few years will corrupt it nicely. There really are no overtones or adjuncts to the young Virginia flavor at this point. Even so, it is a fine smoke. I will return to this review when it has sat in the jar for a while. I think this is a great one to cellar, so as regards the review below mine, anyone wishing to chuck their can, contact me first!

4-6-11 A year along in the jar. I seem to detect an improvement. Nice, natural Virginia smoke.

1 person found this review helpful.

beaupipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beaupipe (100)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I'm inclined to think Union Square is a truly outstanding tobacco. Smoking it this young is perhaps a little more challenging than it will be at 2 or 3 years old, but even now, it's a pleasure to smoke.

This is a sort of faux-flake tobacco, like all flakes produced by C&D. Purists might quibble at the loose, low pressure squeeze put on this tobacco, but it's also kind of charming. The tobacco is a beautiful orangey-reddish-yellow, a sunset in a tin. And it possesses one of the more interesting noses I've encountered lately—a mélange of hay, bread, orange marmalade, and green tea. I've only ever rubbed this flake out and that has been working well for me. It burns beautifully and long and the bowl flavors progress from sweet and grassy at the top to richer, honeyed Virginia scents in the lower reaches. I simply could not stop smoking this stuff after I opened a 2 oz tin and have since stocked up for the future. I don't think I've ever tried a tobacco that so clearly demonstrated potential for longevity and flavor development.

This is a subtle, beguiling, sublime smoke and highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

Alguhan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alguhan (140)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Union Square would be a great smoking experience for all the Virginia lovers. First of all it has a stronger and sweet smoke than the most pure Virginias on the market. The sweetness is all natural.

The broken flakes are quite moist and needs to be aired. They dry fast and the flavorss I think settles nicely. It has a nice true tobacco flavor which can bite the smokers with a fast puffing cadence.

The rich Virginia flavor and the nicotine dosage are just well for my needs. I will surely will keep some tins of Union Square always in the cellar.

1 person found this review helpful.

JoeBriar2 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JoeBriar2 (1)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I was excited to try this as it's a new blend to me (nobody imports this into the UK AFAIK) & I love VA like nothing else.

The tin was a little moist, so I let it air 2 hours. Packed lightly into a small Peterson. Rubs out nice & easy into ribbons of long leaf - so far so good and as expected from a GLP product.

The intital few puffs were very light, like breathing air, but this improved into a good, dense, rich, voluminous smoke. I enjoyed the taste, which is like hay, vanilla top notes, richening out into almonds & nougat, toast, oats (oatmeal is present throughout), sometimes cocoa, othertimes tannin- like a merlot wine- all good and complex. not boring, as it changes as you smoke the bowl, almost with each puff. It burns reasonably cleanly and demands go go slow, threatening to bite a bit, but maybe I'm being too greedy and puffing too fast ;-)

I am going to be really picky now. The tobacco was a slight disappointment insofar as I expected a smoother, more rounded, more mature taste and this is at times a bit tangy and atworst slightly sour, like it's a bit green or immature. I'm comparing it to my gold standard VA, Full Virginia Flake. I think maybe my GLP tin could do with cellaring for a year as the FVF has been left to mature 2 years, so perhaps this isn't a fair comparison. My point is that FVF is half the price, so I excpected more from Union Square right from the start. But don't let that put you off. The tobacco is very good, and would be excellent given a little maturing.

1 person found this review helpful.

Countrygent Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Countrygent (9)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Greg Pease has won my trust by delivering great blends, accurately described, that have nuance and style.

Union Square, straight from a fresh can, might be set aside as bland and grassy. But rubbed out and dried it delivers good but, for me, not yet great virginia enjoyment. The full character of what is obviously high quality virginia tobacco is not expressing itself. There is subtlety and pleasant variation through the bowl down to the dottle

I am convinced this tobacco will mature with grace and bring increasing complexity and depth. It is probably a great candidate for a little jar stoving or home pressing to see where it can be pushed while still fresh ... for the impatient.

Smoked the whole young tin with plenty of pleasure and immediately sent for a half dozen to cellar and age.

Another solid Pease blend with promise it will become something more delicious for the virginia lover with a few months or years in the sealed tin.

1 person found this review helpful.

imago71 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
imago71 (1)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

In my years of pipe smoking, I have had the opportunity to sample MANY Virginia blends, some of which remain in my regular rotation and many more that were little more than a passing fancy.

The only thing I can say about GLP's Union Square is that it is simply a sublime tobacco. The slices are nicely cut so as to facilitate rubbing out (if desired) and packing.

Despite its moisture level, the tobacco lights easily and burns steadily. The experience is one of pure sweet, yet tangy Virginia flavour that only gains complexity as the bowl progresses. The tobacco burns down to a salt-and-pepper ash, and a clean Virginia aroma is left in the room.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

The tin aroma of these moderately hard-pressed, thick flakes is of sweet wheat and hay.

The flavor is of purely cane-sugar-sweet VAs without silage or funky ferment. The gold VA's are dominant at first light while the reds ascend as the bowl burns down. The flavor profile is generous, yet narrowly targeted and elegantly crisp.

A fantastic straight VA, Union Square is laser-clean and flavorsome. A nobly aesthetic creation, it is highly complex within a tightly focused range. Though it will undoubtedly age well, it is remarkably smooth with only a month or two in the can. This went best in narrow to medium gauge chambers.

1 person found this review helpful.

erickghint Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
erickghint (6)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This was my first venture into the land of straight Virginias, and I was pleasantly surprised. The tin smell was somewhat like a good black tea. It lights up nice with the folding method, and doesn't really require too many relights. Burns nice and cool to the bottom of the bowl. The taste is sweet in exactly the same way that sugar isn't. I'll be ordering more of this soon.

1 person found this review helpful.

rosczich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rosczich (9)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

i love virginia blends and of course im a fan of pease blends. this one is outstanding in more then one point, but what makes it remarkable for me is, that it progresses in getting better to the end of the bowl! with most other blends im not really looking forward to the last third of the bowl. only union square makes me doing that. i like the taste of this pure tobacco. its easy to handle in preparing and lightning. the roomnote is good and im happy to have some tins for aging.

1 person found this review helpful.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (234)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I have been on a VA kick of late! I have been trying to smoke all the major VA's in the market and of course I had to try this one especially as it is one of the few uncased tobaccos on the market. So, I opened the tin and took a good long sniff of the pouch aroma and was rewarded with a nice soft vegetal aroma, something like hay but a little more rich than that. It comes in partially rubbed flakes of a medium brown color. I took the flakes and kind of rolled them like I would a full flake and loaded them in a Castello that I have been just smoking VA's in and proceeded to light it. It took several lights to get it going, but once lit, I settled back with it and a freshly ground cup of dark coffee. I liked it from the very start. A smooth sweet hay like flavor with not even a hint of any added to it and absolutely no bite. It remained bite free throughout the bowl. It burned clean and fresh and all the way down to the bottom of the pipe, leaving a medium grey ash with no dottle or moisture. Just a powder was left. After my first bowl, I just had to have another, I just loved the nice simple sweet taste it left on my tongue. The room aroma is somewhat like cigarette smoke but with a sweeter, smoother scent and to me was pleasureable. With my third bowl and much more coffee, I just have to say, this is a very nice VA, it leaves a nice aftertaste and it is just a pleasure to smoke. I am going to put some away to age for awhile as I know it will get better. This one is for those that just want to taste the tobacco and is not looking for anything else in their smoke. I highly suggest trying it!

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I don't usually care if a Virginia flake is actually not pure Virginia but contains something else (a touch of burley, a hint of cavendish, or other condiments) as long as it tastes good. For the same reason, I don't mind casing and flavoring agents, as long as they are not intrusive and/or actually help to enhance the tobacco ending up in a still rather natural tasting experience. For example, I like several of the more conservative Mac Baren blends which are obviously treated with sugar, molasses and honey: they taste good, and that's enough for me.

Anyway, I was curious to try whay Greg would pull out of the magician's hat with this one. Pure Virginia, and absolutely no casing? A recipe for failure? A tobacco which would be devoid of flavor and difficult to keep lit? Since Greg is not crazy, there was no worry about these things.

Actually, to me, the tin aroma doesn't smell particularly different from other Virginia (broken) flakes: an intriguing perfume of dark cocoa, of dried fruits, of sweet/sour sauce, of hay. Same things I have experienced before. So, it turns out, the best flavors that come out of a good blend are actually due to the leaf. Good to know!

Packing and lighting is easy due to the broken flake/ready rubbed appearance: just stuff the bowl, press it a bit and fire away.

It is a very tasty blend from the first minutes: smooth but full bodied, alternating between a moderate natural fruity sweetness, a pleasant grassy astringency, and a very "organic" feel. It doesn't taste over-processed or too restrained: you can clearly always feel you are burning some vegetal stuff, but in a good way (=it never tastes like an overprocessed blend where the tobacco is just a distant hint). It does NOT taste green, edgy or sour, at all. Very consistent from start to finish, and rather complex too. And of course no bite at all.

Again, it is impressive to think that the big flavor this blend has to offer (it probably is the one with the most distinct character in the Fog City line, although Montgomery's creamy balance is still better to my taste) is completely due to the great choice of leaf, some careful processing and nothing else.

My only drawback is that, being used to lighter stuff, I find Union Square a slight bit heavier (in body, taste and nicotine) than I usually prefer. Not a problem, though: it's not a monster like Haddo's or some British Virginias, and I can easily smoke this in a small bowl (no larger than group 3 or 4 Dunhill equivalent). Actually, I feel that a medium-small bowl is also very good for the flavor development, because this tobacco tastes good from the start and doesn't actually need an hour of slow burning in a large bowl (like other Virginias do) to reach its optimum.

1 person found this review helpful.

'Baccy'Ho Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
'Baccy'Ho (10)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

If it were me that was tasked with writing the epitaph of a pipester that hadn't tried this blend, it would simply read:

"He missed Out"

So try this, and I won't feel burdened with writing a fool's epitaph. It's damned good!

1 person found this review helpful.

mainepuffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mainepuffer (2)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

After some years spent exploring Vapers, Balkans, and--I hesitate to admit--some aromatics...but very few, eh....I landed on FVF with a sense that it would become my daily smoke. What can one say about it that hasn't already been said many times: it's just a very fine smoke. So, it was with some interest that I ordered a tin of Union Square, just to expand my experience of straightforward Virginias. Bottom-line: it's a good tobacco, but it isn't FVF. After smoking most of the tin, I went back to FVF and was reminded why I have pounds of it on my shelves. Union Sq. is good enough that I will keep it on hand as a change of pace, but it has a kind of uppity, almost a vaper nip, to it that doesn't make me want to settle in with it. On the other hand, I am gaining a deepening appreciation for what Greg Pease is about, and his Westminster is also my go-to Balkan that I wouldn't want to be without.

1 person found this review helpful.

p4p4 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
p4p4 (52)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

It taste like a strange Virginia/Burley Blend, earthy and with coffee undertones, slightly arsh and bitter. Dominated by red virginia, rich in depth but not in taste. Yes, it's a good tobacco, but I think there are many other better virginia in the market, and so i'll not buy other tins of this Union Square. If you want a very good Virginia flake, for example,smoke the Full Virginia Flake by Gawith !

1 person found this review helpful.

Cyclebum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cyclebum (6)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Sheer heaven, sheer delight. Hands down the best straight virginia I ever smoked. After the first bowl I didn't think it was quite special but it grows on you, it so grows on you ... Try this out, ladys and gents, but please leave something for me. I've found my holy virginia grail. Praise the Dark Lord.

1 person found this review helpful.

Kerdy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kerdy (43)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

Well, what to say about Union Square?

I received a sample pouch of this tobacco. I found the cut to be interesting. It was the perfect moisture. Packed surprisingly well in my Savinelli Roma. Took a few times of lighting to get it going&probably because of the cut. Once lit, it didnt go out. Certainly fine quality, no doubt. These are the good things.

I didnt like the aroma much, but didnt dislike it before lighting. After lighting, I didnt like it at all. Burns much too hot to enjoy. This is a tobacco you MUST pay attention to or it will bite you in a horrible way. I actually found it to be fairly boring. Those who are will surely enjoy Union Square. Unfortunately, I couldnt even make it half way into the bowl before dumping it out. Not for me. I suppose, I am just not a straight Virginia man.

1 person found this review helpful.

Kapnismologist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kapnismologist (30)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

A predominantly light orangey-brown and tan thinly sliced cake which smells of oatmeal, raisins, hay, and fresh whole wheat bread, Union Square comes ready to smoke straight out of the tin.

It packs well and takes to the flame with ease, offering a classic straight Virginia flavor profile which is initially zesty and just a bit sweet. Over the course of the bowl, the zest decreased and very subtle notes of wood and leather began to emerge, with the sweetness deepening. At the start, Union Square reminded me of McClelland's 5100 - McCraine's Red Ribbon/Flake, although seems to possess more depth as well as bit more body. In the middle it called to mind Rattray's Old Gowrie. At the end, however, it told me that it was a classic American flue-cured Virginia. Quite bite-free, the finish is dry and very satisfying.

It should be said that the sample on which this first impression is based was from one of the first runs and tinned just weeks before opening, but there is every indication that Union Square will be winner. Substantial cellaring is highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

Korndog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Korndog (16)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I bought this a couple of weeks ago and tried a bowl right away. It didn't knock me out, but I know how these things go, so I put it away for a bit. I used Pipestud blender technique and got a nice pack. This is an excellent VA smoke and a good change of pace from FVF if you are so inclined. The sweetness can be coaxed out with slow sipping and the burn should be fine if you dry it out a bit. You can also take nice full puffs for a good nic blast, though the subtleties will be somewhat compromised. There is no bite to speak of. Another great GLP offering and worthy of stashing.

Update: Just finishing my first tin of this stuff and have plenty more on order. Make no mistake, the nicotine hit from this tobacco is a wallop, but the flavor is bright and enticing. Excellent smoke, and a new favorite.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

i fell in love with this blend after my first bowl, now just about finished with my first tin i can give this a fair review.

instant classic, thats what this blend is. this to me is one of the more complex pipe tobacco's i've ever tried, it starts out slightly earthy and citrusy. after about 10minutes it begins to taste more like toast with jam, very sweet at times, very creamy and spicy at others. there's so much going on it's hard to pin point every flavor. i didn't think it was possible for a plain ol VA to be so damn good.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

When I started looking into straight Virginia blends, I quickly settled on this one as the first to really try and take apart. I'm a devotee of the GLP blends and know that aging really takes some of them to a sublime level. So when I saw a few 2009 tins on pipestud's website at basically retail, I jumped.

The broken flake is kind of weird. I've found that lots of the GLP broken flakes are really variable, in that you'll sometimes get a tin that's really broken, and sometimes they're mostly intact. I'm guessing that shipping is what breaks a lot of these.

The tin note is really deep and earthy, and if the blend had any bright leaf in it to begin with, five years has allowed them to darken. In the pipe there are lots of different notes coming and going: a subdued sweetness, deeper, earthy flavors that I tend to associate with orientals, a little bit of cigar-like spice. I'm bad at describing component flavors of a blend, but let me say that this is well-integrated and, as I think someone else said, highly complex across a narrow frequency band. There aren't bass notes that latakia or dark-fired Kentucky can provide, and none of the highs that perique or bright Virginias bring, but in the middle there is a ton going on. How much of this is inherent in the blend, and how much comes from aging, I can't be sure. But it's sublime, whatever it is.

I'm happy to have another tin of this aging away, and I'm going to get some more. This isn't necessarily a blend I would smoke all day, as the nicotine can build up a bit, and I do like some condimental leaf with complex Virginias. But for someone like me who doesn't like overbearing sweetness in his pipe, this is a fine, fine blend.

EDIT On the strength of that 5 year old tin, I ordered an 8 oz tin. I did my usual thing and split it up into 4 mason jars, and opened one of them right away. I'm a little disappointed. The flakes are a little chunkier, which is fine, but the cigar-note that I liked in the old tin is really amplified here, kind of taking over the subtler notes that I really liked. So for me, this is 3 stars fresh, and 4 with age.

Pipe Used: Lots of them, but an old Comoy pot worked best

Age When Smoked: 5 years

Purchased From: pipestud

Nobody has rated this review yet.

McKNooB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
McKNooB (34)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

I'm careful to make sure that I have enough time to smoke a full bowl of this stuff. Besides Navy Escudo Duluxe, I don't have a more consistent burning tobacco in the cellar. It's my first GLP and it has really caught my attention.

I would agree with some reviews below; age this a bit and it smokes like gold in your pipe. Though, I did enjoy the first pipe right out of a fresh tin. Man, those are beautiful flakes.

Lights easy, packs well, burns so nicely and so cool that I sometimes think that its not burning at all. To me, when I light this one up I'm left thinking that this is the way tobacco was meant to smoke (and smell).

And I think, contrary to popular opinion, this might be one that somebody relatively new to pipe smoking could try without getting blown away by the strength and swell Vitamin N content.

Nuff sed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CPT/VSG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CPT/VSG (70)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Disclaimer: I find reviewing straight Virginias difficult because they require a very refined palate to discern the subtle nuances...but I'm learning as best I can. US burns well, has an acceptable room note, doesn't bite, and has a rich Virginia sweetness. I'd recommend it for those wnating a pleasant straight Virginia experience.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Passion Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Passion (28)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

This has become one of two replacements for the very hard to come by Full Virginia Flake. Enough said!

Oh, and be sure to try it with some age on it!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrBowes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrBowes (4)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

My second tobacco from G.L. Pease - thanks to the excellent Gauntley's of Nottingham (UK):

I have not been fan of straight Virginias, preferring English mixtures recently, as well as Irish Flake, & Peterson 3Ps. Recently I tried Pease's JackKnife - the finest tobacco I'd ever smoked. I hesitated ordering a VA but wanted to try a flake from Pease.

Well, the first impression was certainly good - lovely, warm tin-note and easy to handle & pack. Smoking this straight out of the tub - I could feel the potential to bite, but nothing like Erinmore or MacBaren's or Dunhill Virginias. This is something entirely different. With other VA's I've tried you get told off for rushing. With this one, you are cordially invited to take your time. It's a far friendlier gesture. After two bowls, I now feel I've finally been given a good example of what a Virginia can be - dry, sweet, a great early-to-mid-day smoke. At £16-odd a tub, it's expensive, but you get slightly more baccy and the quality is worth it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bubbleonce Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bubbleonce (6)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

Hi everyone. I'm a fan of Greg Pease blends during many years, but this is my first review here, and i'am sorry that it will be negative. An 8-ounces Union Square tin was aged for almost three years and at about 110-120ºF. I have tried it in a few various pipes and I seems this is a bitter and biting with a flat taste, and in the room leaves the smell of cheap bulgarian cigarettes )). Disappointment... I'll be back to it after a few months in order to keep the tobacco with the access of oxygen, and perhaps i'll update rating. Time will tell.

UPDATE 29 July 2012: Initially I was not able to discern the nuances of taste of this tobacco, but now, after some time with access of air, left the sharpness and 'vinegar', no gurgles and no tongue bite. Need to dry for 20-30 minutes before packing. Increased to 3 stars for this flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mesh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mesh (21)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Serviceable, well-intentioned, but there's nothing outstanding or spectacular going on here. Pleasant sweet, brown-sugar notes crop up for a few puffs in the second half - otherwise not a great deal happening. It tastes very 'young' (my tin is dated May 2012) and it doesn't seem like the blend has been subjected to much aging prior to packaging, so a sealed tin would no doubt improve after a few years in a drawer, perhaps substantially.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (574)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

It is dried-prune-y and a little sweet as I like my va flakes, but I can only achieve that taste for a short time in the middle of the bowl. During the beginning and at the end of the bowl, it is less sweet and dried-prune-y and has a very savory tobacco taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BarnicleBack Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BarnicleBack (1)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This being my first online review take it for what it's worth. That being said I figured on reviewing this tobacco for a couple reasons; I am almost exclusively a virgina and virginia perique blend smoker, Union Square being a virginia i figured I had some, if any, credibilty, take it fwiw. And two, this blend just doesnt do it for me.

Upon opening you are overwhealmed with that lovely BBQ/ketchupy aroma that some love and some love to hate. I love it, but have learned to grow cautious of it, why? Because sometimes it just needs more maturity, durring this maturity i find that the ketchup mellows out over time, not completely, but subtle hints of other virginia earthy flavors win-out over time. Such is the case wth this blend in my opinion. And I didnt just come to this conclusion from the tin aroma alone, i've got less than 1/4 of the tin left after a trial an error period. While very smooth, and married, lacks depth of taste due to the robust middle-ground flavor. Not many high notes, or low notes usually attributed to the airy Hay-like sweetness of some bright virginias, or the dark muddy notes of a pressure firmented beast, this Union Square lies somewhere in the middle with the potential for subtle whisps of both high and low va tastes. But my tin, without a doubt, needs more age. She's too green for me folks, a little boring. I will let my tins age some more and update accordingly. Would I recommend this? Well yes to a fellow virgina smoker, and no, to anyone else, fore it's not what I would want anyone basing their virgina experiences on. Tempermental, and boring. But has potential to be great. Thanks for reading, hope it helps.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (226)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Perfect, and to think I almost didn't try this because I never thought of G L Pease as a Virginia blender. Now how to describe ? Take 1/4 Briar Fox as a base, add 1/4 Mac Barens Virginia #1 for sweetness, add 1/4 Wessex Brigade Campaign Dark Flake for fruity nuances, finally add 1/4 Solani 660 Silver Flake for the Kentucky spice . 4 Stars

Agree with Zulujerk below

Updated 10/30/12 I'm a little disapointed with my second tin, it just doesn't have the sweet high notes I found in my first. It falls closer to Briar Fox than the others I called out. Maybe it's the age of the second tin but I need to take this down one star . Still a fine tobacco but more of a "Brown Flake"

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ehrling Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ehrling (63)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My evaluation of this blend has been a work in progress over the course of three years. I first acquired a tin of this Virginia flake (containing only “unadulterated” bright and red Virginias) back in December 2010. The date on the tin was 102010, so it was only about 2 months old. Even though it was quite young, I opened it when it arrived, smelled the contents (much like a fresh hay barn), pulled out a couple of streaked chestnut flakes and I set them aside to dry for two hours. I smoked a bowl of it, but I was not terribly impressed, one way or the other. I put the tin aside for six months and then tried it again. It was better, but I thought that it could be even better with time. And so things progressed until three years after this flake was tinned; it is now about where it needs to be. Though this tobacco merits my full recommendation, I just can't bring myself to award 4-stars.
I do like this blend, but I don't find myself overly drawn to it. I classify it as a bit of a "novelty" Virginia. There is just enough flavor and body to provide some interest, but it can be just a little too subtle for my tastes. The overall flavor is quite pleasing and fairly "creamy" and when aged slightly and dried properly there is no propensity to bite.
I have certainly had Virginia flakes that are sweeter, richer, more full-bodied, more flavorful and more interesting, but I'm hard-pressed to think of one that displays as much balance and this degree of smoothness. It is a GOOD tobacco, but not a GREAT tobacco. This is a very reasonable place to start if you're beginning your adventure with Virginia flakes or if you're trying to find a milder and more refined alternative to the more full-throttle VA blends. I would emphasize that this tobacco needs at least a year in the tin to gather some maturity--two years or more would be even better.

UPDATE: After a little more thought and another bowl, I have decided to downgrade this to 2-stars--there's just not enough here to justify 3-stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe-arazzo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe-arazzo (71)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This one took some time to grow on me, or something. The first 13 smokes were uninspiring at best. Very little flavor, and bitter at that. Then it got better; some fuller flavor with a nice subtle sweetness appeared for the final 8 smokes. Always deceptively strong on the nicotene given the light flavor, or maybe I just pulled too hard trying to get more taste, or maybe I inhaled it a bit inadvertantly. Anyway, for the last 1/3 or so of the tin it was good. No bite. Don't know if I'll re-visit, but I did enjoy it toward the end.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hemlock Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hemlock (57)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Smoking a 2 yr old tin. It is a fine VA, and is clearly from a crop selected for pipe smoking. Highly evident crystallized sugars on the leaf. That said, my tin was not evidently sweet in flavour as some suggest it is. Nice format and good tobacco. There are many in its class but it is worthy of recognition since it is available and characteristic. With such simple tobaccos, I sometimes wonder how much is the art of blending versus just harvesting and processing a crop of a particular field in a particular year. Is the Union Square of 2011 the same as my tin of 2009 or am I simply tasting the leaf from a unique crop bought by the blender at an auction, that eventually runs out? Perhaps we must start to treat such tobaccos as vintages, and demand the craftsmen to label their products with the year as vintners do rather than just date the bottom of the tins..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darth Vader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth Vader (75)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

First class VA. Ditto the previous reviewer. Beats FVF by a country mile. If you like Va then you will love this. Ageing will make this truly magnificent.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SirLoirn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirLoirn (126)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Tin: Comes packed in a flap-eared cardboard container inside the tin. Smells of a light wheat, bread or hay. Mottled light to dark tan. The slices are delicate and easily fall apart.

Packing & Burning: It is frustrating the way the slices are packed. They are on edge, instead of lying flat. The slices were easy to rub between the fingers into small pieces. Although I smoked US without any drying, left out to dry, it was fairly dry in a few minutes.

Taste & Aroma: Something like a mild wheat, hints of leather, mixed with a grassy astringency(maybe due to lack of age), tangy and a little sour, with an occasional hint of cigarette.

Room Note: Pleasant and pleasing

Overall: I like the fact that it is pure VA. For this alone, it deserves 4 stars. Some elements of the taste and aroma are too off-putting. 3.4 Stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Esoxhunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Esoxhunter (60)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Wonderful VA flake mixture. This, I think, shows that GLP can compete with the traditional European VA flake blenders, and compete favorably in my view. I flirted with 4 stars, but 3 for now, as I typically prefer some perique in my VAs.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bluenoser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluenoser (34)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I've been waiting for almost two years to review this tobacco. During my initial tin, Novemeber 2009, I knew there was something special going on but it smoked so bitter I simply couldn't have recommended it at that time. So in taking my time with Union Square; aging it, drying it, rubbing it out, smoking it in whole flake etc I have come to the conclusion that it is a very fine virginia. Lots of flavour going on here throughout the smoke. It goes from deep delightful sweetness to sort of earthy bittery grit back to sweet and tasty in nearly an instant. For those of you folks who smoke or have smoked Lustleigh Velvet, a house blend from Martin MacGahey's shop at Exeter UK reputed to be similar to Gallaher's Rich Dark Honeydew, you may find Union Square to have a resemblance to the Lustleigh as that was most definately my experience.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

nitekrawlr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nitekrawlr (26)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Very good quality Virginia Flake. Just the right moisture content (slightly moist), for a good slow, steady burn. Quite similar to C&D's "Opening Night", both excellent, in their own ways. If you like premium Virginis's, you won't be disappointed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Phototone Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phototone (6)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

This is a pretty subtle Virginia flake. Mostly broken flake in the tin. Very light tasting to me. Good flavor, no topping or casing noticed. You really should smoke this in a Virginia-only pipe as it is a very delicate taste that could be swamped by the ghosts of stronger tobacco from your pipe.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

deepbass9 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
deepbass9 (7)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I'm all about variety, I'm all about quality and my palate is wider than many. Tobacco moisture, tongue bite, mood, smoking circumstances and other controllable variables won't be covered. This review is based on multiple bowls over time.

This is a favorite straight VA thus far. Union Sq. grabbed me right from the first bowl and held onto me. It's so sweet, but not in a cloying way, and I find the figgy/raisin note is very present in the taste. Usually I'm disappointed that the flavor doesn't come through as much as the aroma, but Union delivered. I consider this a very good tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This blend was a very new experience for me, I thought I'd had Va before, but when I tried this I realized that those other blends were not a pure as I thought. It is a very interesting smoke, very bitey for me, I found that it smoked best in clay or meerschaum. I like it a bit on the dryer side, I found that when I smoked it fresh it tasted like wet grass, but when I let it dry a bit it likened more to freshly cut lumber or sawdust, but with a nice sweet honey finish, all interesting flavors to me! I like this blend and I'm curious to see what a five or ten year old tin tastes like, I've got one aging, so with any luck, I'll be able to have that experience!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CLRV Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CLRV (14)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A gentle and exquisite tobacco. Converted me totally away from aros to the delicate earthy honey sweetness in this tobacco.

Stunning.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Charring Light Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Charring Light (1)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is a clean natural tasting tobacco the way VAs are meant to be. If you are looking for a pure virginia tobacco this is one that you need to try. Very pleasant aroma.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Union Square is probably the best Virginia blend by GLPease. Sweet, subtle, and hayey, like all good Virginias, with a citrus flavor given by the bright leaf component.

That said, US lacks the taste that I love in GREAT Virginias, like FVF, IRC Flake and the like. Maybe this is the less "bland" from the GLPease Virginias line, but still not quite on pair of the great ones.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Charlie Allnut Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Charlie Allnut (16)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

I take frequent trips to Virginia City looking for gold. Union Square is almost golden.

Like a lot of G.L. Pease tobaccos, it is not always predictable. Some tins are wet, some are dry. Some have a wonderful aroma, some have almost no smell at all. Some tins are sweeter than others.

Union Square always smokes a bit wet and a bit hot, and it is always very, very strong. This is one of the strongest doses of nicotine out there.

Respect this tobacco. Smoke it slow, and you get more Virginia flavors and sweetness, and a truly orgasmic smoke. Puff fast and hard, and you will end up sick from the huge dose of nicotine and miss out on all the flavor.

Excellent with dark chocolate and/or port wine.

Best if rubbed out. Only three stars because you have to baby it and coax it and you can't just load it and go, and it is somewhat variable from tin to tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

vaperfavour Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
vaperfavour (30)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

So... here is my review of Union Square. I will make it short and sweet. Delicious! This is after 15 or 20 tins. The last was dated 5 of 09.very good. I packed an Eltang and decided to take a walk and I swear it tasted just like generic cap'n crunch! Awesome. I cant wait for 2029.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mskywalker2000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mskywalker2000 (11)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Mild Pleasant

This is the best pure Virgina I have smoked thus far. Very bright, for lack of a better word, very clean. It gets hot, too. Takes some getting used to but definitely very high quality, clean and subtle.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

uberhuberman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
uberhuberman (1)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend marks my third tin on a summer long foray into the world of Virginias. So far, I'd say I'm having fun.

Upon opening my tin of Union Square, I smelled alfalfa with a bit of citrus and saw a beautiful dark brown flake. This tobacco felt very wet to the touch when I first handled it, making it really tough to light and keep lit. I let the first bowl sit over night and then tried again in the morning. By then, it had dried out enough to light easily and enjoy. From there on out, I dried this blend out for about half an hour before smoking and found great success with that method.

Over the course of the tin and having smoked the blend in about 6 different pipes consistently, I can safely say that I like this blend. It is light and sweet with a lot of citrus on the palate and some light spice through the nose.

Simple and straight forward, this blend is tasty without being overcomplicated. Blended with some great leaf, this is definitely a good Virginia blend to try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ned Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ned (10)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I totally agree with the tin description written up-there. try it!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

yinyang Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
yinyang (45)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I just finished a tin I started over two months ago, and my initial impression is the same as the one I have now-I just don't get it. There are glimpses of greatness here...my tin had about 10 months aging on it, so maybe age is a factor? But, rating it as the smoke I had at hand, well, it's blase at best.

Initial reaction upon opening the tin-'sour-crab-applesauce'. Not totally unpleasant, but blissfully, a scent that diminished within a few day's airing. (Didn't want to smoke a bad Jolly Rancher.)

My first attempts were with a light rubout....not totally unsatisfactory, as the tobacco took to a match ok. Too bad the taste was 'green', still.

Every subsequent bowl was similar: whether fold 'n' stuff, rubbed, or 'rubbed 'til it became dust'-a quality VA blend that screamed 'I need....(?) Actually, the 'dust' method provided the best smoke at the end...or was it the month or two of air? Either way, at this point, I could actually get a glimpse of what the proponents see- a carmelized sugar-fruit goodness that availed itself on the exhale like almost no other. Unfortunately, it was an occasional, fleeting, glimpse. Give me that 'snork' religiously, and US would skyrocket to no.1 with a bullet. As is, I could take it or leave it.

Is it worth a try? Why, yes! I am only one dude...my taste and yours are most definitely different. Just don't be too surprised if it becomes a 'meh' blend to you. (Try aging it if that's true...that is my plan.)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

anders1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
anders1 (6)
★☆☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

Why bother? Orlik's Golden Sliced is both better and cheaper.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dr. Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Scott (82)
★★★☆
Very Strong None Detected Full Very Pleasant

My first tin was just over a year old. Second tin was just under a year old. Older is better.

The tin aroma is intoxicating, in a good way.

It did not seem too wet straight out of the tin. But even after drying for days, it smoked somewhat wet and hot, and required frequent relights.

The nicotine hit me halfway through my first bowl in a large poker. By the end of my first pipe of Union Square, I was woozy and sweaty and needed to lie down. I smoke a lot of strong tobaccos, and Peterson Irish Flake is a favorite, but this one is significantly stronger. Choose a smaller pipe and go slow. Should have named it Union Buzz.

The flavors are also somewhat overwhelming. Full Virginia Flake is bland compared to Union Square. It is prone to bite, so slow smoking is a must.

This blend has one of the most pleasant room notes that you will come across. It smells the way a pipe should smell.

After leaving the tin open for a couple of days, and still drying the rubbed out leaf for another hour, it smokes much better: less bite, less astringency, more sweetness. When first opened, this tobacco is too young, too wet, and too strong to be an all day or every day smoke. After three months of occasional exposure to the air and storage in a glass jar, Union Square is finally mellow enough to make it into my regular rotation.

Best enjoyed with strong coffee on a sunny morning on the back porch, with the rhododendrons in bloom and the hummingbirds buzzing and a view of the sea, and nowhere to go and nothing to do...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (260)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

A nicely prepared flake that although moist from the tin, packed easily. The intial light was a bit more difficult than others but no relights were needed. Smoked cool and without bite or condensation. I found the taste rather flat although I typically smoke Va/Pers. It also left my mouth extremely dry after each bowl and that spoiled any enjoyment for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BossSauce Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BossSauce (9)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

This isn't my bag at all, but it's not because of the taste. I like the taste. First few puffs don't do much for me, it tastes ashy and flat. But midway through the bowl the flavor is complex and satisfying. The tin aroma is like hay and applesauce. Really nice.

Problem is this: This just makes me nic sick. I don't know if I just have a problem with virginias or what. But I really never could smoke a whole bowl of the stuff without getting the spins and sweats. I can smoke a giant bowl of some popular latakia blends, but both this and EMP kick my butt. I kept wanting more, but couldn't handle it. So I chucked what I head left in the can. Kind of a bummer really. Maybe someone will tell me what is up with this effect.

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skippy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
skippy (8)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

nice sliced cake-- i am always intimitated by tobacco i must rub out not really understanding the proper method to do this but this pulled nicely into ribbon shreds that fit the bowl seemed to be moist enough to get a light sponge but but to loose to make it hot. I have been smapling VA tobacco as a mid day smoke and find they are sarisfying. Not having smoked a lot of other pure VA i don't have a real basis for comparison but i enjoy this and will have it as part of my inventory. The smoke is clean is natural doesn't try to do to much or be overly complex i like that in a tobacco i just want to smoke it - not a chemist or a gourmet

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MDP Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MDP (37)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

This review is after 15 bowlfuls over several months. Yellow sticker on tin bottom has an October 28, 2009 date. Moisture seemed just right in these supple, small flakes, but further drying proved necessary. There is an aroma of mild fermentation (fig-like, touch of vinegar and baking spices). This was quite easy to fold and load. Rubbing out the flakes turned out to be a better move than smoking whole flakes or cutting “cubes.”

Not a one or two vesta affair lighting and regular relights were necessary (which can raise the possibility of tongue-bite). Flavor initially is mild and hay-like. Five minutes into the bowl and the flavor deepens to subtle sweetness, complexity and familiar Virginia flavors. Union Square reminds me immediately of Rattray's Virginias (this is not always good, in my opinion) and maybe something like SG BBF and Old Gowrie, but heavier than BBF. There is some richness, too. The room note will not win admirers unless they like the aroma of better cigarettes.

USq requires great care to keep the burn temperature low as possible. Otherwise, this flake will bite me as badly as Mac Baren Virginia No. 1, Marlin Flake and Fillmore. Contra-intuitively, this required a full rubbing up of the flakes. I believe this allows more smoke volume, thus flavor, when gently drawing the smoke in and out of the pipe (some call this “sipping”). If I smoked this in a gentle breeze, I'd opt to keep the flakes chunky. Harder puffing for flavor proved painful.

On the nicotine continuum, USq is somewhere between Old Gowrie and Hal O' the Wynd. USq burns cleanly to a mottled ash.

Somewhat recommended now. Perhaps time in a sealed tin will prove beneficial, but I am on the fence if I will invest time and cellar space to the experiment, as it does not replace or add anything missing to my regular rotation.

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JazzSmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JazzSmoke (37)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I just opened my second tin of this tobacco which is 6 months old. I never finished the first one but wanted to try it fresh. I found it dull and uninteresting.

This blend is reminiscent of a typical straight burley tobacco. For me this has the same rich but bland smoke that is typical of a cube cut burly blend. There is a slight hint of cocoa, which is nice, and the smoke has very dense body while staying fairly cool. Those are positive things. However I see no reason to smoke this because it's too bland and neutral. I suppose if I smoked all day this would be a nice blend because it would be easy on the palate. However, I smoke only in the evening after dinner and I want to smoke a blend which has some complexity. I love Cairo and Telegraph Hill from GL Pease and will smoke those instead of this.

It's high quality and worth a try for those curious to try everything. And, why not try everything? For a classic "straight" virginia I would skip this and smoke S. Gawith Full Viginia or Rattray's Old Gowrie, Orlick Golden Slices, Reiner Golden Flake, etc.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WmZiggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WmZiggy (66)
★★☆☆
Extremely Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

I am still thinking about this a day later. After openning the tin I let it dry for several hours before smoking. Lightly rubbed out then smoked for over an hour. Light, naturally sweet with some complexity, it never bit the tongue or overheated the briar. This was high qulity Virginia tobacco. Burned down to a fine grey/white ash.

29 April 10

I am downgrading my recommendation two stars on this, and making it 'extremely mild' in strength, and 'flat' in taste. I don't think it's just me, but this tobacco is too flat, as least for what I enjoy in a VA flake. My tin has set for 6 months now, not a lot of age for a VA, but the sweetness/compexity that this flake had when new is gone and it has become a rathering boring smoke. I don't think aging will improve it, as aging tends to round out any sharpness, and this flake needs some "edges" to make it interesting. Perhaps a good flake for the beginner or those liking a very mild smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ChefBethpage Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ChefBethpage (2)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Pure. Virginia. Outstanding. Amazing. No bite, no bark, no kidding. A wee bit of air, a light touch on loading, two vestas and we're off and running. This is my go-to weed after lunch. I generally move to Latakia laced blends during cooler weather, but this will remain the exception. It has a natural complexity that doesn't need any other flavor additions...just good, pure natural tobacco. Brilliant.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mickey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mickey (7)
★★☆☆
Very Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Very Pleasant

I thought I would try this because it is a best seller, I like the cut, and I enjoy VA tobaccos. I find this to be a boring puff. There is no distinct quality that I can taste. Sorry I bought the big can now I have to figure out what to add to it to make it worth while. I will be glad when it is gone.

Well now after smoking this for awhile, and removing the cardboard separators, I think the tobacco has dried enough that by crumbling it some more it increases in sweetness and has a nice comfortable taste. I ordered a big can of Odyssey as well and it is huge as they say, so I tried adding a pinch of Union Square and a pinch of Odyssey about 50/50 and that in a pipe that has been used with other Latakia blends is real nice. I guess if one wants a VA and Latakia, you could use the two separate or as a combo.

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Coskun Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Coskun (23)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Yes this is pure virginia...After the smoke taste still there...

When i open the tin; smels great, flakes are broken piece by piece and its very mostiure, it needs to dry like 1 hour...

When its dry easy to fill and easy lit too...

Ofcourse no bite, rich and sweet smokes waiting for you...Finish is dry and very pleasure...

I like this stuff, but this tobacco have a problem a lot of smilar taste there...If you like FVF, this is good alternative...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

N7COF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
N7COF (56)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Just me Initial thoughts & will update later. It is a sight to behold looking into the tin with a nice aroma, smokes well & sure will improve wit aging. So for now a good 3 star tobacco.

Update: 24 Nov. 2010

I just love this stuff and went through a pound in less than 8 weeks, so had to order more. Hands down my favorite from GL Pease and a favorite straight virginia flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.