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A special formulation of six light Virginias plus golden and dark Virginias with air-cured leaf and a pinch of Louisiana perique. Easy burning is ensured by the carefully selected cut. The perique balances the Virginias; for the discerning palate.

BrandEsoterica Tobacciana
Blended ByJ.F. Germain & Son
Manufactured ByJ.F. Germain & Son
Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
ContentsPerique, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutReady Rubbed
Packaging2 ounce tin, 8 ounce bag
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 3 Users

3.2
70 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
30
3 star:
26
2 star:
13
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

When I first opened the 8 oz. bag, I was greeted with the deep sweet smell of raisins, figs, plums, and apricots. The sweet fruit and citrus, light grass and earthy Virginias are more understated than the actual smell of the tobacco out of a bag or tin. Has a very light buttery quality at times. The mildly spicy, stewed fruity perique is just more than a condiment, but I have had a couple bags where it was a little lighter on that varietal. It burns cool, clean, smooth and slightly slow to a dark gray ash with a moderately consistent flavor, though it slightly loses just a tad of it in the last quarter of the experience. May need a slight dry time as the tobacco is a little moist. Leaves very little dampness in the bowl, and needs a few relights. A delicate marriage of Virginias and perique with not the slightest hint of tongue bite or harshness, along with a small bit of tanginess. The nic-hit is just past the mild threshold. The strength and taste is closer to medium than it is to mild. Has a pleasant after taste and room note. An easy going all day smoke with a fair amount of richness.

26 people found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (203)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A bit like Dunbar, but altogether Dorchester has a happier flavor. Even well-aged samples are brighter tasting and sweeter than any of the batches of Dunbar I have smoked. The flavor is somewhat delicate with hints of cocoa, clove, plum & treacle, and the mouthfeel is lively, (practically effervescent). The smoke sparkles on the tongue, creating the same sensation as a well carbonated beverage and this in itself is half the pleasure of smoking this fine mixture. Nasal exhales give a delicate tingle and are a perfect platform for displaying the spiciness of this fine blend.

Like Dunbar, the flavor of Dorchester is perfectly balanced. While Dunbar is dark, savory, spicy and creamy, Dorchester is bright, sweet, spicy and sprite. No doubt Dorchester is an excellent mixture, it smokes cool, burns well and is flavorful and consistent tasting from beginning to end.

Ages wonderfully, go figure.. ;)

Pipe Used: Briar

Age When Smoked: 2 years and 10+

17 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (326)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A friend sent me a sample of this and some vintage ERR in exchange for some ODF and some 7 yo LBF. I had been wanting to try this.

This is a quality Virginia with a little perique that became more evident as I smoked through the bowl. There seems to be a very mild topping with a slight fruit flavor. Another reviewer said apricots, but I don't think that is it. It may just be the plum in the perique and not a topping at all. The fruit flavor is very subtle. This is a flavorful smoke, and there is a depth to it with all the complexity of a sweet Virginia blend kicked up just a notch. I enjoyed this a lot.

Pipe Used: various briars

Age When Smoked: unknown

Purchased From: gift from friend

10 people found this review helpful.

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

Whew, after reading the last two reviews, I sure hope there's enough room on this thread for mine.

This blend has quite a bit of Perique and that Louisiana Hot Sauce makes its presence known from the moment you set fire to the leaf. This is also a very shaggy cut, and careful packing is needed. The cut was not a problem for me as I use a blender on just about all of my tobaccos for an even pack and burn. Similar to Dunbar, but stronger in the Perique department and six varieties of Virginias present what I call less Virginia depth but more variety as you work your way down the bowl. Another home run by Germain, for sure.

10 people found this review helpful.

mdnyc71 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mdnyc71 (22)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

I purchased my first tin of Dorchester at Barclay Rex in NYC about 4 years ago. It was my first VAPer (I had been smoking English blends) and was purchased on a whim. I now most often smoke VAPers and still enjoy Dorchester.

There is a light topping that makes for a pleasant room note but doesn't interfere with the tobacco's flavor. To me, this is a light, mellow smoke (the inverse of GLP's Fillmore) that never bites. I most enjoy Dorchester in a medium to large bowled pipe. The nicotine level is never overwhelming.

It's a shame this has become so hard to find. I'm waiting for Esoterica/Germain to either increase production or raise the price. I'd be happy with either. It's my #2 behind its sister blend, Dunbar.

8 people found this review helpful.

A.E. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A.E. (22)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Esoterica Dorchester blend enjoys a reputation for flavor and rich character that's out of proportion to the reality of it, in my opinion. It has a pleasant dried fruit aroma in the tin. The smoke is rich but essentially one dimensional, except for some pepperiness which was slightly harsh and not an asset. The Virginias weren't as sweet and flavorful as I'd like, which makes me suspect that the quality of the tobaccos may not be top shelf to begin with. This is a reasonably good tobacco blend, but I personally prefer more elegance and complexity. My hope is that over time, a mellowing and marrying of flavors will raise the experience it brings, but if the tobacco is only mediocre to begin with, nothing will change that. I purchased (3) 2oz tins. After opening the first tin, I'll be content to allow at least 2 yrs of aging before opening the next one. I'll review it again at that time. For now, I'll give it only 2 stars.

Pipe Used: Davorin Morta

Age When Smoked: Recent blend

Purchased From: Windy City Cigars

5 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I liked this tobacco very much, but I found it idiosyncratic to a large degree. The tin aroma was pronounced perique but upon smoking, there appeared to be very little of this leaf in the blend. It didn't really rear its head at all until the bottom 1/3rd of the bowl. I almost wonder if the heavy perique aroma is some sort of casing, but I tasted nothing artificial in this tobacco.

As another poster mentioned, I had extreme trouble getting this tobacco to accept a charring light. Once I did, I had no trouble getting it to burn but it always seemed like there was a coating of something or other that was repelling flame.

The extreme fruitiness of the tin aroma did not come out in the smoke. The flavor was mildly sweet and very grassy, but really well rounded. This would make a GREAT all day smoke and a nice changeover for aromatic smokers, due to its natural sweetness. Left a dry heel as a plus! This is a well-conceived blend and is definitely recommended. I doubt I'll buy any more because I found it to lack the "pizzaz" I need but it's a good recommendation.

5 people found this review helpful.

the_dalai_lama_himself Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_dalai_lama_himself (43)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The tin note on this blend is so good. Flavors start off with the lemony citrus golden raisins of some of the Virginias, then the perique interacts in a way creating a figgy nectar you could get drunk on, almost touching on chocolate with a little bit of spice and plum that reminds me of a hot toddy for some reason. The golden VA pops back in and out with a sweetness but the star is the darker VA's along with the perique. Blended very well it's smooth without bite, Great VaPer highly recommended however it could be too mellow for certain people, does not have that bold spicy nature, more delicate.

3 people found this review helpful.

pinko Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pinko (52)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Dorchester smells like chocolate, to the point where I was sitting at a work table where I had set a sample baggie of the stuff and I spent a good 10 minutes trying to figure out where the chocolate was.

Maybe I taste chocolate in the smoke too, on top of good Virginias? The Perique supports but it doesn't ever take center stage (try this sometime, C&D, it's nice.) Dorchester is a sweet and smooth smoke, one of the most well-behaved cut Virginias money can (occasionally) buy.

For the most part, with Esoterica, I don't believe the hype. Almost all of their blends have some close cousin that's easier to buy or another manufacturer's blend that outshines the Eso one. Dorchester, I can't think of what that would be.

Recommended, when you can get it.

3 people found this review helpful.

CubanPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CubanPiper (13)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

When I first opened the tin, it smelled like aged dried fruits. After two years in a mason jar, it smells like old, dirty, sweet cloths, but in a good way. Its suppose to have perique, but I didn't taste it when smoke. This tobacco smokes really well all the way through. Its not boring, but consistent. It's not one of my favorites but I recommend it for its quality.

Age When Smoked: two years

3 people found this review helpful.

BigNick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigNick (58)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I received this as a sample from a friend. The instant wiff I got was dried fruit and something kinda smokey. When smoked it was sweet and earthy, a little tangy here and there. It is somewhat complex, in that, flavors and smells like grass and fruit come together indiscriminately. It's not one after another, the flavors really meld together and make a unique taste and room note. It didn't taste at all like I thought it would, smelling something smokey I was expecting something different. It is very smooth and mellow through the entire bowl. The complex taste is consistent all the way through with no bite. All in all, I definitely recommend.

Pipe Used: MM Washington, Peterson 309

Age When Smoked: N/A

Purchased From: Gift

3 people found this review helpful.

A Northern Breed Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A Northern Breed (16)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Dorchester... it is difficult to review this because I have just submitted my review of Dunbar, and I find the two to be quite similar. The differences are there, but it takes a very refined palate (which mine is not, I do not think) to discern them. However, I will give it a go, because, well, I like it, so why not?

The presentation is typical Esoterica, which is a good thing. The tin has a nice design, rather classical, and I like the fact that Esoterica packages two ounces (being roughly 56 grams) rather than the standard 50 grams that most use. The smell is a bit nicer in the tin than Dunbar, being of raisins and sweetness, and the sweetness is something which Dunbar does not have as much in the smell. This is based upon a literal side-by-side comparison of smells. The Dunbar smells more like it was aged and acquired a bit of mustiness, while Dorchester is cleaner and brighter.

It packs quite well, and it takes a light quite well also. It burns clean to the bottom of the bowl and leaves behind a nice, fine ash. The taste is just right. It is very much a bright Virginia taste, not as heavy on the Perique as, say, Escudo, in my opinion. Really, that's what makes the biggest difference with Esoterica's VaPers: they are bright, and the Virginia is easily the most apparent thing in them, with the Perique adding that nice hint of spice. Escudo, as I have said before, is not nearly as much of a VaPer as Dunbar or Dorchester, just because it tastes sweeter, darker, kind of like a nice, dark basement, whereas these Esoterica offerings are more of the brightness that characterizes fine Virginia tobaccos.

Overall, I would certainly recommend this to anyone who is trying to get into pipe smoking. In fact, the VaPer genre, in my opinion, is an ideal introduction into pipe smoking; either VaPer or a nice Burley, that is. As I say often, the only reason it gets a mere 3 stars is that I reserve four stars for my absolute personal favorites. Highly recommended; your money will not be wasted here.

3 people found this review helpful.

kg0mz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kg0mz (54)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

This is tasty stuff. Grassy, sometimes sweet, strangely organic, and often tangy. The perique subdues the throat-razors of the VA for me. It is a kinder/gentler VAper, but fairly complex. Moisture is about right. Dry VA is REDRUM on my throat, but not Dorchester. Maybe it is the air-cured leaf coming to my rescue? I just noticed the contents: Kentucky. What's with that?

Sweet in the tin, very ripe. In the bowl it has a veiled quality about it that blurs things a bit unlike St. James Flake that is clear as a bugle. My new top 3 (aged St. James Flake bulk, St. James Flake tinned, Dorchester).

3 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

A very nice smoke in the first half that loses some of it's luster in the second. In the first half there is a touch of citrus and hay with a fair amount of darker fruits and a moderate spice. I get a wine-like note on occasion. Lovely stuff. In the second half it seems to get slightly dull with more earthiness creeping in. Still a nice smoke, but it's a bit of a letdown after such a great start.

Medium in body and taste. I can't detect any added flavoring. Burns very well.

Pipe Used: MM Little Devil Cutty, Little Devil Acorn, Marcus

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Cup O' Joes

2 people found this review helpful.

fireball Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fireball (36)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

It took me a while to nail the topping on this, but now I have, I can't help but think 'apricot!' every time I puff away on a bowl of this. This is quite often, as I very much enjoy Dorchester, with its pale golden virginia rough cut ribbons, a touch of perique and a generous helping of the aforementioned soft fruit flavoring. I actually had a rare pipe epiphany, smoking this on a boat on a sunny day, it just felt so good, I never wanted the bowl to end. I've found it works best in smaller bowls, group 3-4, as opposed to Dunbar which explodes with sweetness in larger 5+ sizes, but pushes perique spice to the front in smaller pipes. I'm not quite giving it 4 stars (yet), because since I nailed the apricot taste I find I don't find it as wonderfully intriguing anymore, and am currently in two minds whether to buy in bulk. Will give it another couple of ounces to decide if this is a keeper or a pleasant passing fancy.

2 people found this review helpful.

Bulldog8483 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bulldog8483 (12)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

First off, let me say that I love VaPer tobaccos in general. This blend knocks it out of the park for me with Dunbar being a close and adequate alternative. The tobaccos comes moist and will benefit from some dry time of around 15 minutes to a half an hour. The smell immediately upon opening the tin is rich, bright and light with a hay-like, grassy and slightly earthy smell. It has a hint of sweetness that is raisen-like in odor and very pleasing because it is not overpowering in the sightest. It is completely in the background both from a smell and taste standpoint as you light up the blend.

Takes a charring light just ok, but once lit, it stays lit with little to no re-lights. Burns cool, tastes medium from a mouth/flavor standpoint, and feels light and springy to the draw. As you "sip" the tobaccco, you are greeted with nice grassy, hay notes with utter simplicity, but amazing taste. There is the subtle hint of perique, but doesn't give me a real "peppery" mouth feel like Dunbar does. I rather prefer Dorchester for this reason as well as the lighter Nic hit. I can barely feel the nicotine or the perique through the bowl. Dorchester also has a subtle sweetness as you draw the smoke. It's like a light, but very inviting raisen/plumb note, but it would be like tasting the smell of raisins or plumbs rather than eating it them. Very subtle, in the background and a nice addition. The flavors stay consistent throughout the smoke, nothing added nor taken away which is a very good thing. Smokes down to a fine grey ash with absolutely no dottle. All in all, this is a great blend and I would have it as one of my six desert island tobaccos, I like it that much. 4 stars, without question. A+

Update: After smoking this blend for quite some time now I actually prefer Dunbar over Dorchester. I still really enjoy both tobaccos a great deal, but there is more "pepperyness" in Dorchester then I prefer. The perique seems to be much more in the Forefront for Dorchester than in Dunbar and although Dorchester claims to have the Aged Virginia's, it actually feels much younger than Dunbar does in taste. Dorchester is definitely more sprite, perky and bright tasting while Dunbar seems more mellow. Both get creamy as you move down the bowl and they stay consistent as well. In short, both are four star Blends in my opinion and excellent tobacco's in their own right. There is something about J.F. Germain's Virginia tobacco that I just can't get enough of. I would highly recommend trying either of these wonderful tobaccos.

Pipe Used: Savinelli 1611, random briars. Large bowls!

Age When Smoked: 9 months

Purchased From: Brick and Mortor

Similar Blends: Dunbar, Orlik Golden Sliced, Anniversary Kake.

1 person found this review helpful.

O'Confrère Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
O'Confrère (40)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

When I first tried this blend (from a tin), the smoke was wonderful and I was completely taken with it. Then I purchased the larger pouch, and had several smokes that were so peppery, sharp and lacking in balance that I gave up on it. Have only recently got around to trying it again. The reviews below are surprisingly contradictory and mirror my own experience. I think the problem is that the constituent tobaccoes are not always mixed well. As mentioned, the tangled shag cut is mixed with very stiff, leathery, broken flakes, and sometimes the proportions of shag and flake vary in the tin or pouch more than the producers (and the smokers) would like. The same is true of each pipe. One has to make sure to get a good mixture of all the elements into and throughout the pipe, and this often seems to be more a question of luck than anything else. Of course, I may be completely wrong here, but it might explain a lot, and when I take greater care with packing it seems to increase the probablities of enjoying the smoke.

As to the aroma in the tin, many have pegged it as apricot. To me it smells very strongly of chocolate syrup with perhaps a background of dried fruit or fruits (maybe apricots).

Haven't smoked enough of this to determine whether it's mixed better in the pouches (would seem most likely) or the tins, but my first tin was delicious. So, go figure. I don't know whether to recommend this to you or not. The quality seems to be there, but I've had awful smokes (one star) and smokes that were wonderful (four stars). This may be the one for you, as it seems to be for many below. Will go with that flow and round up the average from 2.5 to three stars. You pays your money and you takes your chance.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Very nice VaPer, smooth, bright, sweet with just the right balance of Perique. I smoked this outside next to the ladies and they commented how good it smelled. The smoke is very satisfying, no bite and not too spicy. It has been some time since I smoked " Dunbar" , which I like very much, and I can't remember the difference between these. I guess I will try a back to back comparison and update later. I do find that this is a little damp right from the tin and I recommend that you smoke it on the dry side.

Updated 8/18/2011 -A back to back comparison between " Dorchester" and "Dunbar" revealed the following:

Cut/ Moisture/ lighting: Same, very acceptable

Tin aroma/ Appearance: Similar but Dorchester had a hint of snuff scent and was a lighter color

Flavor: Similar, Dunbar was more mellow and matured where as Dorchester was brighter and slightly sweeter flavor

Tongue bite: Dorchester had a very slight nip at the tongue where as Dunbar had no nip and was an all day smoke

Overall: Both are excellent Vapers , I favor Dunbar only because I am very sensitive to Tongue bite.

1 person found this review helpful.

M.Toney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
M.Toney (59)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Yes. It is good! Perique is dominant and very noticeable throughout all but the last third of the bowl. Best described as a peppery smoke. It's a very interesting VA/Per with good burning qualities.

An enjoyable VA/Per for "me." I believe that top shelf leaf was used in this blend. Simply a no nonsense blend of quality tobacco that can be enjoyed any time if one likes Perique blends.

This, for me, was a unique tasting VA/Per that is unlike any other I've ever smoked. The end of the bowl tastes good, smokes mild and doesn't become harsh or bitter. Therefore, IMHO, Dorchester merits four stars. Sampled in a size 2 Dunhill Shell Briar.

1 person found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Like many of the tobacco's in the Esoterica line, Dorchester is made from good quality leaf. It is also pretty high in nicotine, which is not a problem for me. The tin aroma is excellent. The reason why I am reviewing this as a "somewhat recommended" is because while I like perique, it lacks the fruitiness I prefer. This blend is a three or four star blend if you like a the pepper side of perique. Dorchester packs well, but because of the cut, I would recommend not packing it too tightly so it doesn't burn hot. Dorchester should age fairly well. Somewhat Recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

Laudante Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Laudante (29)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I know that people can have different tastes, but I can simply not imagine how can some put a one star rating to this astonishing blend. Even from the tin it starts to satisfy. The amount of Perique is just right, it burns perfectly well, the virginia mixture is very interesting, the curing and aging are perfect, made, blended and aged entirely in the British Isles. ¿What else can one ask for?

UPDATE: After almost finishing the tin I started to notice that my first impressions were false as regarding the sweetness of this blend. I found that the taste is indeed so spicy, especially at the last third of the bowl, that too much smoking of this can saturate you. So I made an experiment. I had an old Burley Slice that to be smoked alone was too dull and heavy for me, so I mixed the last three flakes with the equivalent amount of Dorchester, and the result was great. Both tobaccos enhanced one another. The dullness and flatness of the BS was given the freshness and grace that was lacking, and the spiciness (like Tabasco sauce, as my friend Tantric says) was tempered and "rounded", so to say, by the Burley. The mixture acquired a deepness and ripeness, to say something, that none of the conforming tobaccos had on its own. After this update I will change my rating to 3 stars for the Dorchester alone, but 4 stars for the mixture proposed. I guess other high quality burleys would work as well.

1 person found this review helpful.

Slow Triathlete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Slow Triathlete (48)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

The review below is part of a VaPer Showdown that I conducted between several VaPer blends:

Well today was a Dorchester day. I went through the whole sample that Ultramag sent to me last month (Thanks again!!). And after my enjoyment of this blend I've decided that it is now in 2nd place.

Like most people who reviewed this blend, I found that this had the least amount of Perique in it compared to the others that I have smoked so far. However, the taste was still great and somewhat creamy. The perique and the virginias were seperate in the beginning and it was a bit spicy when I finally got it going. After about a third of the bowl the blend settled down and melded together well.

I did have an issue lighting this one. I dried it correctly but I had one clump of tobacco sitting on top that refused to light. After two attempts I scooped that piece out of there and it lit perfectly. This blend stayed lit better than the other two so far. It required two relights but I believe that it was more my fault because my brother called and I was trying to smoke, review, and talk to him all at the same time.

I would recommend this blend to anyone who is just getting into VaPers and doesn't want to get blasted with Perique right off the bat.

The standings so far:

1) Escudo 2) Esoterica Dorchester 3) Stokkebye Luxury Bullseye Flake

1 person found this review helpful.

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

This is another excellent example of why Esoterica is one of the premier tobacco companies in the land. It is made with an exceptionally sweet blend of Virginias and a very healthy dose of Perique. If you don't thoroughly enjoy V/PA blends then you pbobably won't enjoy this very much. The perique is of the fresh jalapeno variety and interplays with the virginias quite well. If you think the perique is a little strong when you first light up, just wait until you reach the halfway point! This is certainly the most perique I have ever encountered in a blend. I noticed that some of the previous reviewers thought that there was cavendish and burley present in the mix when they did blind taste testing. This is probably due to the extremely sweet Virginias used. This is necessary however to offset the strong perique content. The burley taste comes from the interplay of the Virginias and the perique, the same faux burley taste I have found in other VA/P blends. This will bite like the dickens if you are not paying attention to it. Due to the complexity of the flavors here however, this is a tobacco that needs to be smoked nice and slow anyway. Too strong and complex to be smoked everyday, it is something that I will enjoy smoking on occasion, when I can focus solely on the experience.

1 person found this review helpful.

gladi8tor96 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gladi8tor96 (133)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Not much I can say that others have already said about this fine blend. It is similar to Dunbar but the flavors are lighter, meaning the lighter and delicate notes show through more than some of the darker notes that Dunbar has. A bit less spicy than dunbar as well.

In the bag it smelled of raisins, plums, earth and a bit of hay. Loads and lights easily and remains so with gentle but firm tamping. The smoke is slightly sweet and creamy with hints of earth, hay, dark fruit and just a tiny tiny bit of spice. Good stuff, I'll have to pick up a tin of this to explore it more.

Pipe Used: Bent Billard, Dublin, Egg, Acorn

Age When Smoked: Unknown

Purchased From: Gifted

Similar Blends: Esoterica Tobacciana - Dunbar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pryhosm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pryhosm (112)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Esoterica (Germain) has a way with tobacco! There production methods produce top quality products and I haven't had one that I do not like. Dorchester is no exception, in fact of all of the Esoterica's I have tried this is my favorite (sorry Penzance). The tin note is mind blowing, Perique is what dominates the aroma: figs, raisins, plums and honey is what I get with a background floral note. I could breathe this in all day. The smoke is one if not the best VAPer blends made. The sweetness and spiciness of the Perique are ever present in the tin and bag I have smoked from. I have no problem with bite (I air pocket pack all of my Virginia's and often go to my Meerschaum pipes for VA's). The Virginia's are sweet and grassy with lemony notes. There is a faint chocolate like flavor, not sure if it some kind of topping or from the blend of Virginias but it does not interfere with the tobacco flavor, it enhances it quite a bit. The spicy tingly feeling on retrohale is prominent and has adds some white pepper like flavors when I go back for a second puff on exhale. To rate tobacco that leaves white ash and a dry heel.

Pipe Used: Briar, meerschaum and cobs

Age When Smoked: <1 year

Purchased From: Iwan Reiss (BM)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

David Douthitt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
David Douthitt (2)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

This is most probably my favorite tobacco. Opening the tin, the smell of this blend reminds me of fried okra, if that makes any sense. This would be hard to smoke right out of the tin, and takes for me an overnight drying-out to smoke properly. While I normally smoke stronger blends ( my all-day smoke is Cornell and Diehl's Old Joe Krantz), this one is plenty strong, and the flavor is the perfect balance of Virginia and Perique. This one will always find a place in my rotation!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CPT/VSG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CPT/VSG (72)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Many of the Esoterica tobaccos are overlooked because of the adoration (properly bestowed) for Stonehaven and Penzance. I've only recently come to Dorchester as I explore VaPers and it is a solid favorite of mine. A decent helping of Perique gives it spice and fruitness. Ready to smoke out of the tin without much additional drying, Dorchester burns cool and always satisfies and relaxes. I favor it in a Meerschaum which seems to accentuate the rich raisin-like flavor. It has become an addition to my cellar and I always look forward to a bowl. Recommended.

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TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (492)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This was the first VA/Per that I ever smoked and did so on the First IPSD that I have experienced as a pipe smoker. I am glad I did not review this when I first purchased it as I was not really getting the taste of VA/Pers then.

I have purchased two other VA/Pers since (or 1 1/2 if you really consider Old Gow'rie a Va/Per) I really enjoyed it, but feel too unqualified to give it a 4 star. I did like it better than the other I purchased (Anniversary Kake), but that one is becoming better with age and as it dries.

I will say that this blend really taught me about Perique and it is the only blend containing the same where I really smell raisins and can learn to appreciate the fruity smell to which so many here refer.

I love OG, but think it more comparable to straight Va's. Definitely recommended and I may repurchase at least to compare to some other notable Va/Pers I plan to purchase in the future.

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JohnnyMcPiperson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyMcPiperson (108)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I had a sample of this blend last summer that I smoked through. I would like to get some more of it at some point. I very much enjoyed this one. The blend took a liking to my Peterson Rocky Donegal Canadian, and that was the go to blend for this pipe until the sample ran out, I think it really shines in such narrow pipes with medium to longer stems. I nice stout VA with a bit of that peppery perique coming through, another blend that I compared it to was MacBaren's jokingly named Latakia Mixture, I found the two to be similar in flavor and enjoyed smoking them in tandem to get just that bit of difference. I can't give much information on the tin note since I only smoked a sample from a baggie and did not have a tin, but I would like to come back to this one and smoke through a tin as I very much enjoyed it!

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Denevei Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Denevei (58)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Esoterica's Dorchester is a blend of several different Virginias, what they call air-cured leaf, and perique. They describe it as containing a pinch of perique, but to me it seems to be a generous pinch. It is said to be for a “discriminating palate,” and since I really like this blend I'll take that as a compliment! The tobacco itself is a ready-rubbed ribbon, though with some larger pieces of less rubbed broken flake. In color it is mostly browns and golds, though with some very dark, almost black mixed in. The blend is rather moist for my taste, and so I found that I like to allow it some time to air dry; doing so also allows me to enjoy the rich and pungent aroma of this blend, which has a smell that reminds me of the haroset my children bake for Hanukkah. The perique in the blend adds the usual, raisin-ish taste and aroma to the tobacco, though it hits me differently than perique does in some blends. While the flavor from it is a good, pronounced presence it isn't as spicy to me as in other blends, which I think might be the result of some amazing balancing of the other constituent tobaccos with the perique. What it does add, however, is a level of flavor and depth absent in many straight Virginia blends. Dorchester seems to somehow become lost in larger pipes, so I would recommend using only smaller bowls. I have a Group 4 Dunhill which seems about perfect for the blend, as does a Kirk Bosi pipe. In smaller bowls, the nuance and variety of each type of leaf seems able to escape from the others at various times during the smoke, and so to show a wonderful complexity in the tobacco. Smokers who complain that Virginia blends lack flavor will be delighted by this Virginia blend for that reason. The flavors become richer and more pronounced as you get deeper into the bowl, never becoming bitter or acrid. All in all, this is a delightful blend, and one I highly recommend. However, bear in mind that it is best suited for smaller pipe bowls, and prepare to be disappointed if you load it into something large!

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BingCrosby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BingCrosby (72)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

The only other va/per blend I tried prior to this were escudo and mcconnels scottish cake - so my idea of what to expect was limited.. I found those two great blends to be perfectly balanced but I did not taste the spiciness that others associate with perique.. it was more like chocolate and nuts.. which are great flavor notes.. Dorchester is the blend which changed my perception.. while others say this is light in the perique department I found many of the spicy and vinnegary notes that were not so pronounced in the aforementioned blends.. in fact, this blend while it seems to contain some nice virginias, seems to be dominated by tangy high notes and maybe a little pepper.. the aroma from the tin reminded me of scottish cake.. and it seems to come a little on the wet side. It is also slightly difficult to light - but once it gets going it smokes just fine.. Dorchester, for me, is delicious and different - certainly not for everyone as it has a very strange and precise flavor profile.. It is strong but not overpowering.. maybe not an all day smoke. I found it to be spicy in a way I wasn't expecting.

note- some drying out time really mellows out the flavor for me.. much smoother overall smoke with hints of spice

another note- while i cannot understand the negative reviews of this blend.. I will say that after smoking it for awhile now i find it not as well balanced as some other va/per blends.. if you want something more balanced check out solani 633, escudo, mcconnell's scottish cake.. however, having said that for me the flavor profile of dorchester is interesting and different.. so I can still recommend it as a sort of alternative to the standard va/per taste - which is all too frequently the same from blend to blend.

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

Very nice-when the tobacconist had it on sale, I finished the tin and turned around and bought three more. One tin was older, and had a completely different, fermented taste. I still have some of that one left, but I think this one might be better fresh. It has a wonderful smell in the tin, maybe a slight topping but I can't put my finger on it. Mainly just a good grassy, sweet Virginia. The perique is there, but in the background in my opinion. Does not bite, and the taste and body are of the type that allow one to puff away without punishment.

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Tobold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tobold (7)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

12/18/08 - This is a "blue-collar" review from a long-time pipe smoker who is neither a connoisseur nor a gourmet. I like subtleties up to a point, beyond which I cannot detect them. There are very few aromatics that I like anymore. I love orientals, latakias, and Virginias, but burley gives me some trouble. Most of the time, I like stronger blends over weaker ones and in larger pipes than smaller ones. I have exceptions to all of the above. With that said . . .

This review is from a bagged sample given to me by a friend.

A dark brown fine ribbon-cut in the tin with a mild virginia aroma. Complex from the touch of the match! This has such a sweet & flavorful room note you'd think that it was flavored with something. Lots of high, sweet notes. Wonderfully complex dance of flavors that defy description. No bite. William Serad says to use a clean, small-bowled pipe to get the full effect. I'm afraid that most of the complexities may be beyond my simple palate, but I'll keep this around to challenge me. Recommended!

As I detect little of the perique, I'd place this only slightly behind the wonderful Red Ribbon!

I'll keep this on hand because it's a unique complex Virginia blend that challenges my palate!

Rated 8 out of 9 leaves.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dualkarnain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dualkarnain (75)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is a good VAP blend that is flavorful. The virginias really stand out here, which is a good thing.

If you have a few extra dollars, though, try Reiner's Long Golden Flake. It is much more refined and smooth.

This blend brings to mind one of Chaucer's narratives in 'Canterbury Tales.' In the portion of this famous tome you read that a particularly greedy priest is made to promise that he will share out equally that which he is donated. Then instead of receiving monetary gains, the individual in question proffers the gift of flatulence to the surprised, newly wordbonded priest who must now go to his peers to give them their portion...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I must admit to having smoked very little of this to date. I will update this as warranted. At this time it is too rich a flavor for my less-experienced palate. I much prefer Dunbar to Dorchester. If you like big taste in tobacco, give it a whirl. It is of the highest quality as well.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Tolerable

I don't like this blend: it's inferior to Dunbar, not as lively and varied, and showing a finer cut. In spite of the fruit, at times flowery tin aroma (vaguely Erinmore-like), it produces quite a weak, bitterish, empty smoke. Its sourness and dryness can be bothering on the long run. Quite unappealing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (165)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a ribbon virginia-perique blend for sure. The virginia is slighted scented with some type of fruit essence. Sweet tasting even with the perique, but the sweetness fades a bit near the bottom. I found this to be an inconsistent delight. The tins smoked well enough in a medium Upshall and Jacono, but when I graduated to more in a pack size, I found that the blend packed some bite. Not consistently bad, or hot, just some bite. Maybe from the perique, which I normally like in many blends. Similar to Escudo in taste my book, which I don't find to bite but which is a shade stronger (if aged). I can't understand the inconsistency, becasue I smoked this for a while in the two pipes I mentioned, in similar conditions. Obviously, many enjoy it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (302)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a wonderful matured, naturally sweet and fragrant Virginia, with quite a bit of Périque.. It comes in an elegant tin, with a kind of parchment paper printed to make it look like it was hand written in old ink. The tobacco inside is rather moist, but it is very easy to pack and light. The leaf is beautiful and I believe of high quality grade.

Though I am not (yet) an absolute Périque fan, I have come to enjoy blends with this leaf thanks to Fox?s Dorisco, Petterson?s Irish Oak, and Solani?s 633. IMO, after a number of bowls of Dorchester, I believe this could be the rubbed out version of Solani?s 633: the Virginias are as sweet and winey, and the Périque is as juicy and piquant. Because of the ribbon cut, I find Dorchester easier to smoke than Solani?s, but I enjoy both very much. Neither are tongue biting, and they both offer a rich and fresh flavour, and a medium strength smoke. This is my first experience with Esoterica Tobacciana, and I was very impressed with the quality of this blend. I will be enjoying more of this in the future. Highly recommended, especially if already acquainted with Va/P mixtures.

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Albion1956 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Albion1956 (41)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

Once again the weather is changing, here in the east, so it's time to try some new Va/Perique blends. First up; Dorchester. Opening of the tin presented me with that elusive fragrant of Perique, how spicy to senses. Tobacco comes moist, so some air will help. Packing the bowl with this robbon cut can be tricky, so do be careful. Charring light emits the earthy blend of expertly blended Va's, with some Perique. Tamping, and then the second match. Now the tobacco start's to come to life, and great match, providing a fair amount of smoke. This tobacco, like all Va.'s, will bite if your not careful, so smoke slow , and enjoy. Towards the the bottom, it can get a little strong, but should be expected. Tobacco burns to a light grey ash, and all the way to the bottom, with no dottle. A great blend. Now on to Dunbar.

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