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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
Manufactured ByCornell & Diehl
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutFlake
Packaging2 ounce tin, 8 ounce tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy BnB Tobacco
SmokingPipes.com
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant

Favorite Of 14 Users

3.3
112 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
56
3 star:
40
2 star:
12
1 star:
4
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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
★★★★
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).

43 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A variety of Virginias that are rich, creamy, and earthy with a touch of grass. The natural sweetness of the components offers a mild citrus, some dried fruit, and a fair amount of red Virginia tangy dark fruit flavor with a 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 in most every puff, though I would say the red Va. is the most obvious. The nic-hit is mild to medium. Burns slowly, cool, clean and fairly dry with a very consistent taste, and a very pleasing after taste. No bite no matter how fast you can puff, though I recommend not over doing it or you risk a slight harsh note. It does require a few relights. Leaves little moisture in the bowl. Has a pleasant after taste. It's not quite an all day smoke due to its strength, but it is repeatable.

38 people found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (203)
★★★★
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’ll admit, I do prefer sweeter & spicier Virginia mixtures which is what I love about Blackwoods Flake and FVF. I don’t find too much of these two attributes in Union Square but it does have a rich burley-like bottom end flavor that creates a different kind of equally enjoyable experience. Also, the taste of Union Square gets livelier and a hair 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 subtle toasted bread 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. Also, it ages superbly.

Age When Smoked: 4

18 people found this review helpful.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (145)
★★★★
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.

17 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
★★☆☆
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!

14 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I smoke a lot of Virginia/Perique blends and love them, but I don’t have many straight Virginias that I enjoy on a regular basis. Union Square is one of the few. I tend to judge, fairly or unfairly, VaPer’s and straight Virginia’s buy how well they age. Union Square is decent after just a few months, but really shines for me after the five year mark and I am now opening tins squirrelled away from 2009. The tin note at this point is more sour and tangy than sweet or “hay-like.” The combination of thicker flakes (or sliced cake if you prefer) and broken flakes I prefer to leave as is and just stuff them into the pipe with a little shake to get the bowl going. The flavor is sweet and a bit complex for a straight Virginia. I really enjoy Sam Gawith’s Best Brown and as a reference point, I find Union Square to be more complex. And I prefer this much more than Gawith’s FVF in just about all areas. It burns cool and while Lady N is present, I wouldn’t call it strong. I prefer it most slowly sipped in a reverse calabash. Union Square, without any flavoring, smokes sweet and clean right to the end of the bowl. My only wish is that I had put away more tins each year than I did!

Pipe Used: Mainly in a Liskey or Negoita reverse calabash

Age When Smoked: 5 years

12 people found this review helpful.

Jorge Soler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jorge Soler (129)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

If it were up to me, I would have named this tobacco "Jazz Interlude." The tin note is fruity, mellow, sweet, and it sort of reminds me to Playdough, but I cannot detect any casing. These flakes look properly aged, have a fair amount of gold leaf, and I am loving GL Pease's no-nonsense easy-to-crumble approach to it. Even though the moist content might feel somewhat high, you can smoke them straight out of the tin. This tobacco is definitely for those seeking a straight unhindered Virginia experience. The leaf is easy on the palate and very slow burning, but rich, somewhat spicy and full of flavour at the same time. I particularly like how it evolves in different layers unlocking different undertones and flavours the more you progress with your smoke. Here I'd say this is a complex tobacco that it is easy to approach and very forgiving at the same time. I believe this tobacco should be appreciated for what is missing in its moments of silence and interlude, for the real music is being played as a dotted white line underlining the score or music sheet, as a prolonged pause in between high and low notes. And as I retro inhale, I find the room-note simply gorgeous. I really don't see how you could go wrong with this tobacco, so it is going to get 4 stars.

Edit1: Something that is important to note is the fact that this is not your ordinary straight Virginia tobacco. Because of the fact it comprises flue cured Virginias, it tends to be stronger and more full-bodied than your regular Virginia leaf. This is to say this is not your ordinary off-the-peg product. Rather, it has been technically produced, purposely made to cater for the few and not for the many.

Purchased From: 4Noggins

11 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.

11 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.

8 people found this review helpful.

pinko Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pinko (52)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

Union Square is boring, flat, and only propped up by Pease's reputation. It starts as hot air and ends with barely more satisfaction than the beginning. Pease isn't known for straight Virginias, and C&D is better known for handling Burleys and Perique than pure VA. Nothing about this blend plays to either the blender's strengths or the manufacturers.

I consider it a cut rate, uninspired copy of bulk McClelland 2010. I'd recommend any of McClelland's Mature Virginia tins over this. Folks who buy it hoping it will age into a beauty forget the first law of buying tobacco: never cellar a bad tobacco hoping it'll turn into a good one.

Also, the cigarette room note is impossible if you're not fond of how coffin nails smell.

Pease should stick to Latakia mixtures.

Age When Smoked: 12 months

5 people found this review helpful.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (130)
★★★★
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.

5 people found this review helpful.

derlict311 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
derlict311 (70)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

There's something about the pressed flake that GLPease uses that works so well for Union Square. I suspect that if Union Square was finely cut, like Montgomery, it wouldn't be quite as good. As a flake, it's incredible for what it is. That said, it is extremely easy to rub out flake. The strength of it is surprisingly strong for a Virginia, too. To me, this is the absolute best tasting Virginia flake/blend out there. I don't know exactly how he blends this but I suspect all forms of Virginia's are used because it has its own unique signature. Sweet, grassy, dark, pure Virginia tobaccos and nothing else. I keep going back to the word "clean" when I smoke it. It tastes clean. And as always, it's better with age.

P.S. For the record, I read zero of the previous reviews on it before I wrote my review. I find it amusing that so many of us are using the adjective "clean" to describe it and must add that if so many people hold it in this high of regard, Union Square must deliver a consistent experience.

Pipe Used: Lots

Age When Smoked: 2 -3 years, new

Purchased From: Pipestud

Similar Blends: Dunhill Flake?.

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.

BingCrosby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BingCrosby (72)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Why did it take me so long to try this? I guess having had a bad experience with odyssey.. then kind of lukewarm results with haddo's delight, i kind of did shy away from pease thinking it just wasn't my bag... big mistake. Instantly union square has become a favorite of mine.. and maybe the perfect spring/summer tobacco.. Many have compared it to fvf.. and with good reason.. although it has vastly different smoking mechanics.. something about it is very evocative of the gawith flake.. Maybe it's the creamy hay/fig/grass like quality.. combined with a caramelized pastry sweetness.. or something like that.. Must be sipped slowly.. which can be challenging when you are enjoying the enormous flavor.. My tin was only 4 months old and it had a little rough and tart spice to it that wasn't unpleasant at all.. I can only imagine what 5-10 years would do to this.. considering the availability of the gawith flakes, this would be an easy pick for stocking up on.

3 people found this review helpful.

SunriseBoy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SunriseBoy (16)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I can understand the drum beating and flag waving on this one. I got two 8oz tins from Rich at 4noggins and was glad I did. Good smoke. Burns well and easily with only one relight for me. (But I had to go and tend to my Chicken Kiev I had going on the stove). Very pleasant taste and note. Good body without the nicotine buzz. Just the kind of strength for nicotine snowflake like me. A good all day number. Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Cobs

Age When Smoked: 12.9.16 on the can

Purchased From: 4noggins

2 people found this review helpful.

steppx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steppx (152)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

Not that another review is needed here, but I will add one anyway. I love straight virginias of all sorts and this is among the best. And no doubt it will age well. Its a surprisingly weighty Va for sure, and needs to be packed carefully. But it delivers a creamy smooth but still substantial smoke. All those fire cured leaves gives it great character and yet its not at all harsh. Its not really ever spicy -- but teeters on it. Solid nic hit, too. Might need a re-light or two...and its best to let it sit out and dry a bit before smoking the first bowl. But this is first rate stuff. And I find myself reaching for this more than I might have thought.

Purchased From: 4noggins.

Similar Blends: A bit like Butera's flakes in terms of taste..

2 people found this review helpful.

Taste Buds Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taste Buds (65)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a superb blending of light and dark Virginias in cake form. My tin has little age on it, but tasted sublime from the first light. It rubbed out with ease and smoked cool and dry from start to finish. The nicotine, although higher than I'm used to, was very tolerable. The taste is elegant and smooth. I can only imagine what a year or two would do. Unlike most Virginias I've tried, there is little if any tang or sharpness. The slight sweetness is all natural and a welcome addition. I think that Greg has created a masterpiece in this blend and I intend to order a few tins for aging.

2 people found this review helpful.

gladi8tor96 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gladi8tor96 (133)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

First time smoking a blend from the Fog City Collection. Beautiful broken flake that is light brown with specs of dark and yellow throughout. Smells hayishly sweet with notes of earth and slight fruit in the tin.

I have smoked this with loading it straight in the bowl and rubbed out. Both seem to work well for packing and lighting. Stays well lit either way and produces good amounts of smoke.

This should be sipped to allow the flavors to be enjoyed. The flavors are very natural. There is natural sweetness. Natural Tobacco and earth tones with just the tiniest delicate spice. Sometimes I caught hints of citrus and a bit of tang now and again. It is a wonderful tobacco. Quite the deviation from the other G.L. Pease blends I'm accustomed to, but I think he knocked a 'straight virginia' blend out of the park. I could detect the balance between the reds and light virginias. And it burns down to a nice white powdery ash (I often read reviewers talk about this, but have never experienced it like this blend provided...it really ends up as a white ash powder). I thoroughly enjoy this blend and plan to cellar some when I get the chance.

I did mention that this is similar, at least to me, of Orlik Golden Sliced, however, this blend differs in the fact that the sweetness is not as pronounced or manufactured. After smoking more of an aged tin, along with trying some other straight VA flakes, I have some more notes to add.

Between FVF and BWF, I would say that this blend is a bit brighter and toastier. I would even dare say more sharp. It can bite, usually during lighting, but is not a tiger in the pipe. It's a good tobacco but doesn't have the deep and dark or soft tones that both FVF and BWF have. This is a top quality VA blend closer to Renier's or Orlik's.

Pipe Used: Cob, Billard

Age When Smoked: Tin Age 11/2014 (Just under a year)

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Orlik Tobacco Company A/S - Golden Sliced (Red), Samuel Gawith - Full Virginia Flake, McClelland - Blackwoods Flake (Personal Reserve).

2 people found this review helpful.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (191)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant

This broken flake Virginia has a fermented dry fruit smell, the moisture level is on the wet side but could be smoked right away. It's a medium bodied Virginia tobacco with a natural sweetness and all the flavor spectrum that a Virginia lover would want in his pipe. One should be aware of its strength however, especially if smoked fast.

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.

2 people found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (102)
★★★★
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.

BC Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BC (12)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I am on a quest to find a VA to replace McClelland, and this is certainly a candidate. It is not McClelland-ish, but it is a very good smoke. There is no "tang", and certainly no ketchup, but rather a smooth and creamy VA taste. There is no discernible topping, and exhibits, as qualified elsewhere, a very natural tobacco taste. There is a subtle sweetness, and a "bready" quality sneaks in occasionally. It is not a "biter" but can exhibit harsh spots if you get carried away. I read another review that suggested a dedicated "clean" pipe and that is probably a good idea. It is a sort of broken flake and should probably dry out for a few minutes to get the best experience, but it is smoke-able out of the tin. Good stuff, and an excellent candidate for cellaring.

Pipe Used: various dedicated to VAs

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: Watch City

Similar Blends: FVF, Opening Night.

1 person found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1646)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

G. L. Pease - Union Square (Fog City Collection).

I keep a rotation for the mornings in my kitchen, to accompany my morning espresso. I finished my tin of McClelland Brindle Flake so I popped this open. Nowhere near as tangy as the Brindle, but of the same high standard!

The flakes had become stuck together but when I tried to remove one I realised, as it crumbled at the lightest touch, the tobacco had gained the build of a kake, rather than actual flakes. Hydration's great.

The smoke. The flavour's a bit 'fresher' for the first part of a bowl but it isn't 'sharp'; mild hay instead of citrus and grass. There's a little sweetness, some cream, and a subtle tanginess which begins to come through as a bowl's smoked. The burn's medium in temperature and relaxed in speed. I find there's no tongue bite to be had from it.

Nicotine: below medium. Room-note: pleasant enough.

Union Square? A firm four stars:

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Peterson System #312

Age When Smoked: Stamped 5/4/17

Purchased From: 4noggins

1 person found this review helpful.

Napping Puppy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Napping Puppy (25)
★★★★
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant

This is simply a superb morning blend. It easily ranks among the best straight Virginia tobaccos, the likes of FVF, Blackwoods Flake, and Dunhill Flake. However, Union Square shines best after some aging.

It is a natural tobacco that is quite efficient in putting the smoker in a really tranquil mood. When aged properly, its sweetness would evolve into sour creaminess of the sort that each Virginia lover craves for. Highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I was looking for a Va. blend and ordered this to try.

I tried it 'fresh' so maybe my experience was different to others who aged it.

On opening, it was very dry, almost papery but with good texture. It packed very well and lit easily but burned hot.

I was disappointed. Not because there was anything wrong with the product in any way - it was just that I was expecting an awe-inspiring 'wow' factor smoke with a rich 'leafy' aroma in the smoke and notable Va. flavours and sweetness on the palate.

The actual product is more subdued and complex which is what I'd have assumed it to be if I hadn't been led to expect otherwise.

The product is clearly of excellent quality. Regardless of what others may say, it does need to be kept in its drier state rather than humidified as any 'bite' you get from it burning hot is much milder than from it being smoked in a moister state.

It is certainly worth a try as an all-day blend though is one of the milder Pease blends with lower nicotine. A good indoors product as outdoors the smoke aroma isn't very intense.

Pipe Used: Ropp Bulldog

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

1 person found this review helpful.

Glorfindel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Glorfindel (80)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Very Strong

This is one of the best VAs I have ever smoked.... Period. I was surprised how quickly I finished the tin, once opened, My rotation ceased being a rotation. Union Square became my everyday smoke till I ran out. Never wet or hot, just a perfect VA taste. Anyone wishing to try their first pure VA would do well to try this one from Greg Pease. No need for me to rehash what a high quality VA is here as others have done it well in other reviews. Suffice to say this is what a VA was meant to be. 4 stars.

Pipe Used: Any

Age When Smoked: new tin

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr.Woods Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr.Woods (10)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Sweet and gentle, yet still quite strong in nicotine. The tin aroma is earthy and fruity, and the flavor is appealing to me, but it has to be puffed slowly to reveal its mystery! I generally like natural tobaccos, and in my opinion this blend tastes like Virginia leaf is supposed to. It's an all day smoke for me, even if I tend to turn to stronger and a little more complex mixtures in the evening. Simplicity is a word that comes to mind, and this is a good thing!

This is the first straight Virginia I've tried (when it comes to pipe tobacco), and I'm very happy that I did try it. I will definitely get some more to see what it's like with a little age on it!

Pipe Used: Henrik Rydberg, Stanwell

Age When Smoked: 4 months

Purchased From: Mellgren's Fine Tobacco

1 person found this review helpful.

L'Italiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
L'Italiano (170)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Strong, pure Virginia tobacco. The description is exact and this tobacco is a real thoroughbred. A little bit much strong, but tasty and natural. Excellent straight, excellent with a hint of Latakia or Perique if you prefer. Nothing else to say: try it!!!

1 person found this review helpful.

Wibblefishofdoom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wibblefishofdoom (139)
★★★☆
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.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (492)
★★★★
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 (29)
★★★☆
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.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (227)
★★★★
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.

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 (102)
★★★★
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.

rosczich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rosczich (10)
★★★★
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 (249)
★★★★
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 (304)
★★★☆
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.

p4p4 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
p4p4 (59)
★★☆☆
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.

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.

gunner525 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gunner525 (62)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I gave this straight Va offering a go when I was still wet behind the ears in the hobby. At the time I really wasn't able to suss out the leaf flavors well, so the first go wasn't so great. It's also a bit on the stronger side nic wise, so that also deterred me from it. Since then behind my ears have dried a bit and I've branched into LBF, Escudo, Golden Sliced etc., so I decided to give this another go.

The cut is a flake, but to me it's more of a broken flake. Most of them end up being about half the size of an average Orlik or Mac Baren flake. You can still put a few together to fold & stuff or you can just rub it out. With this blend I've rubbed it out and have had good results.

It packs pretty easily and takes a char/true light well. It burns on the slower side which I think helps draw flavors out better. Being a straight Va one would think this would be a fairly straight forward and mundane go, but it's quite the opposite. Because of the diversity of types of Va leaves it offers every flavor profile in that spectrum. You get the plum/raisin/fig notes. The bready yeasty notes come out as well. The citrusy earthy hay like flavors come in as well. It's a rare complex Va blend.

To me this is more of a sit down an concentrate on the smoke kind of blend, because of its complexity.

Overall I'd recommend it for anyone that's in to Va's, but not as a first foray into the Virginia genre.

Pipe Used: Pete Prevost bamboo shanked billiard

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: SmokingPipes

Similar Blends: Nothing, this is a one of a kind type of blend only Greg could create..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

toddsmith7378 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
toddsmith7378 (32)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

It's got a little more nicotine and flavor than the average Virginia Flake by Peterson, McClelland or Dunhill. Perhaps, even less casing is present even in the tin scent. So, I give him credit for something that really does seem a very true pure strong Virginia blend. It reminds me of McConnel's Red Virginia a bit. If I hadn't already smoked that, I'd likely be more wowed, but it's pretty similar in character, and I think McConnell's is a little tastier.

I do enjoy this one and it's a darn good smoke. I just have yet to taste that GL Pease Blend that verifies his stellar reputation as the best. I do think this one has potential to age into something better than smoking it new, but it's certainly not a negative review, just didn't blow me away. It's basically as good as other Straight Virginia's that are out there made by the reputable companies. It does have artisan quality flake, so that's a plus. Reminds me a bit of a McClelland, but completely without their signature.

If he was going for something pure, which maybe he was, he hit the mark. It's almost just a packed raw blend of Virginia tobacco's. I think I can smell the dirt it was grown in, its that natural.

Pipe Used: Meer

Age When Smoked: New

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Well-formed, loose flakes with a mild Virginia aroma greet the smoker who opens an aged tin of US. A tad moist on opening, but easy to pack and light no matter how firmly pressed. So far, so good!

I simply cannot agree with the plethora of laudatory comments with their extremely favorable contrasts to the great English Virginia flakes from so many producers (some of which are blended in the USA)! Perhaps I am not yet ready for a "natural Virginia" and historically prefer adulterated Virginias. I do not know! I do know this blend was very much less flavorful and generously satisfying than about every other "full Virginia flake" I regularly puff. I had high hopes after all the four star ratings!

To be fair, this Virginia flake has grown on me in a subtle way over the last several days. Well-aged and given enough air, the blend "rounds out" into a mild, satisfying smoke that is more generous than initially indicated. There is more sweetness and flavor satisfaction since I first opened the tin: three stars!

Pipe Used: Dunhill Billiard

Age When Smoked: 2-3 years

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gahdzila Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gahdzila (60)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Medium chocolate brown, uniform color, broken flake at an average moisture level. The smell in the jar caught me off guard, so I had my 9 year old check it as well. His assessment - "Hmm! Raisins? And something else. Smells pretty good!". What I smelled was a sweet fermented fruit scent (raisins is pretty close) up front and also a slight hint of hearty grain. Ok, short answer - it smells like raisin bran. Yes, really.

The fruity-raisin flavor doesn't carry over to the smoke at all for me, though. But the cereal grain flavor does. Tobacco-Wheaties. If I'm really really patient and really really careful, I can coax a good bit of sweetness out of it. And if I abuse it, I can get a little bite out of it, but I didn't find it to be particularly bitey. I don't know how old this is, as it was a sample I got in trade, but I suspect it's not terribly old, and I suspect it will show improvement with age. Nicotine level is no higher than medium.

Overall, a decent middle of the road straight Virginia. If that's your forte, you might just love this stuff.

originally reviewed 8/10/2012

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Alhaji Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alhaji (33)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

At the beginning of the smoke, this seemed like a plain, ordinary Virginia, neither sweet nor creamy; but after mid-bowl, it became slightly creamier and a tad sweeter. Yet, IMHO, it did not seem to have the kind of depth to differentiate it from the many Virginias out there in the market. Besides, I had to re-light ever so often that I almost gave up on it altogether.

As I said when I reviewed The Virginia Cream, I have not smoked that many GL Pease (GLP) blends so I am unable to compare it with other GLP Virginias. Incidentally, I've recently been smoking Mac Baren's Virginia Flake Cut and it seems to have more depth that Union Square.

Since the popular opinion is that GLP blends benefit tremendously from aging, I'll put this away and return to it in a couple of months.

I'll settle for a two and half star for now.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dukemans Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dukemans (2)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

I'm somewhat disappointed by this pure Virginia from GL Pease. If you smoke this a little bit too fast, it tastes absolutely nothing. Just hot air. If you take your time with it you can feel the sweetness from the Virginias but that's about it. It has a taste that, unfortunately reminds me of cigarettes. I had hoped for more complexity. Especially from G.L Pease but I guess that it can't be a home run every time. I do however think that this blend will improve with age.

Pipe Used: Stanwell De Luxe Billiard, Estate GBD Bulldog

Age When Smoked: Almost completely new

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Eric Cioe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eric Cioe (37)
★★★☆
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 (35)
★★★☆
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 (72)
★★★☆
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.

Mesh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mesh (50)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Edit (March 2016): Almost four years on from my initial review, either this tobacco or my palate has changed, because what I wrote back then definitely doesn't resonate with my recent experiences.

Having given another tin a try with my latest order, it's been one excellent smoke after another. There is enough sweetness to satisfy, but for me what comes forward the most are the bready/pastry notes from what must be the red VAs, more so than any other VA I have ever smoked, with the possible exception of SG's Best Brown Flake. These flavours intensify after mid-bowl, and there are no harsh notes towards the end as there are with countless lesser VAs. All in all, brilliant stuff. I'll be ordering more tins and hoping for the same quality.

Rating raised from 2 to a solid 4.

----------

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.

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

Edit, 2015, feb.: after revisiting this, and the other tins that had aged over the years... they didn't last long, turned into a stellar tobacco, complex, yet well married, high nic, give it a chance if you're one of the naysayers, hold onto it for a while.

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.

Pipe Used: Cobs meers briars

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
★★★☆
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 (108)
★★☆☆
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.

Hemlock Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hemlock (60)
★★★☆
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 (110)
★★★★
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.

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.

Phototone Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phototone (8)
★★★☆
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 (108)
★★★☆
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.

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.

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.

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 (286)
★★☆☆
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.

MDP Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MDP (39)
★★☆☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WmZiggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WmZiggy (76)
★★☆☆
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.