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Perique is a powerful tobacco, both in flavour and strength. The long fermentation process makes it a tobacco commonly used as a condiment, used in small proportions to enrich the taste. You would expect to find Perique with a Gold Virginia or mixed in with a powerful Balkan/English blend.

Swamp Flower however, is different story altogether; based upon a heavy foundation of Kentucky and fire-cured Virginias, this gives the blend a solidly rich and earthy footing. In order to give the tobacco a subtle sweeter edge, some flue-cured Virginias are added together with a classic Lakeland Geranium topping; then along comes the Perique; a hefty portion is used to give the blend a little more oomph; after which a minuscule dusting of Turkish Izmir is added to furnish the blend a better combustion without making little difference to the tobacco.

The smoke is very rich, dark and complex; and the high amount of Perique bestows this blend a spicy experience, however, it confers it with a delicate light floral contrast. It is not a smoke for those who don’t like tobaccos with high nicotine content, as this packs an all-powerful punch!

BrandGQ Tobaccos
Blended ByGlynn Quelch
Manufactured ByGlynn Quelch
Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
Contents Kentucky, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Flavoring Floral Essences
CutMixture
PackagingBulk
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
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Strength
Very Strong
Flavoring
Medium to Strong
Taste
Very Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
3.3
3 reviews
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Granny Smith Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Granny Smith (21)
★★★★
Extremely Strong Medium to Strong Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

When I first brought a flame to the tobacco it gave me a strong lakeland taste, reminding me somewhat of Ennerdale Flake but the further I got into the bowl the spiceyness really kicked in and the tobacco took on a life of its own, far from the Lakeland style. Peppery on times, tangey too. The tobacco gives a big hit of Vitamin N and this may prove too powerful for novice pipe smokers but I think I could become a big fan of this blend and will be getting more of this. The perique is absolutely delicious and adds body and substance.

It's a clean smoke with many nuances of flavour that come through when you get to the sweet spot. I've a theory that all tobaccos have a sweet spot and with Swamp Flower it seems to be at the half way through the bowl point that the blend really comes into its own. The flavour intensifies, the tangy quality is heightened and there is a delicious sweetness that is hard to describe, maybe like a rich chocolatey taste, but that description doesn't do the blend full justice so give it a go, I'm sure you'll like it.

I did a far more detailed review on my pipe smoking blog and I've cut and pasted it below -

Blend - Virginia, Kentucky, Turkish & Perique Casings - Geranium Cut - Mixture Origin - UK

We've had some lovely spring weather, perfect for walking the dogs and earlier I sat myself down on an old tree stump and thumbed a generous helping of Swamp Flower tobacco from GQ Tobacco's into the bowl of my battered, much loved, Peterson system. I've had this pipe for several years, it wasn't new when I bought it - it's a bent, small bowled and very comfortable hanging in my mouth which is why I favour this pipe when walking through the woodlands. I walk often and almost always take this particular pipe with me.

And like the pipe, Swamp Flower is the perfect tobacco for sitting back amongst the majesty of nature and simply enjoying the moment. I discovered this blend a few weeks ago and must confess that I only ordered the sample because the name of the blend appealed to me - the name tickled me. I'm odd like that but when searching for new tobaccos I often select on the basis of name or tin design. Of course sometimes this backfires and I end up with something I'm not really keen on, but sometimes, as is the case with Swamp Flower, I stumble upon a true gem. A blend that reminds me why I smoke a pipe in the first place.

It's a rich smoke with a generous nicotine content, and I do like a good dose of nicotine in my smokes. According to the blend description on the blender website -

Perique is a powerful tobacco, both in flavour and strength. The long fermentation process makes it a tobacco commonly used as a condiment, used in small proportions to enrich the taste. You would expect to find Perique with a Gold Virginia or mixed in with a powerful Balkan/English blend. Swamp Flower however, is different story altogether; based upon a heavy foundation of Kentucky and fire-cured Virginias, this gives the blend a solidly rich and earthy footing. In order to give the tobacco a subtle sweeter edge, some flue-cured Virginias are added together with a classic Lakeland Geranium topping; then along comes the Perique; a hefty portion is used to give the blend a little more oomph; after which a minusculedusting of Turkish Izmir is added to furnish the blend a better combustion without making little difference to the tobacco.

The smoke is very rich, dark and complex; and the high amount of Perique bestows this blend a spicy experience, however, it confers it with a delicate light floral contrast. It is not a smoke for those who don’t like tobaccos with high nicotine content, as this packs an all-powerful punch!

- To be honest I couldn't detect the Lakeland topping. I associate Lakelands with an all powerful Geranium taste and aroma and although there was a hint of perfume in the initial light up this Swamp Flower seems far removed from the Lakeland style. It's nothing like Ennerdale Flake for instance, a blend that I consider the ultimate Lakeland, but is equally tasty with a complex array of flavours and aromas. I am told the room note is quite strong but not unpleasant. But the true test for me is in the taste and it is here that Swamp Flower truly hits the ball out of the park. Yes it is intense, yes it is spicey but it is also incredibly smooth.

Look out for an interview with blender, Glyn Quelch here soon.

Find it at GQ TOBACCOS

Smoke it and be transported to a pleasure and true pipe smoking harmony.

This gets the Pipe Smoking Pandemonium 'Freeking Awesome' award!

Pipe Used: Petersons

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: GQ TOBACCO

1 person found this review helpful.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (79)
★★★★
Very Strong Medium to Strong Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Swamp Flower is a truly unique experience. I don't know any other smoke that is at once so soft, smooth, delicate, and nuanced, while being so very assertive and so very strong. And I've never known a perique-dominant blend to have such a supple balance of unique flavors.

Now I like a touch of perique. Too much and the balance is lost. But somehow what is usually a very over-generous helping of perique works here. Perhaps it's the Kentucky, giving some unobtrusive earthy darkness and bass to the pellucid cloud of perique; perhaps it's the hint of sweetness from the virginias; perhaps it's the tiniest hint of oriental to give it a soupçon of tang; or maybe it's the delicate flower topping, which is very present but not obtrusive like it can be in so many Lakelands, that seems to unite all the flavors. (And just to be clear, this cannot in any way be considered a traditional Lakeland. Swamp Flower is in a category all its own.) The pieces all fit together marvelously, though, given the proportions, they shouldn't.

My first impression of this blend was that it was "a clean smoke" with a lot of flavor nuances, so I was delighted to have that impression confirmed by Granny Smith, in her accurate review, who used the exact same phrase. Swamp Flower is unique, "clean", subtle, complex, and has a real kick. It's even refreshing. Lovely stuff. Not a blend that will appeal to all palates, but definitely worth a try for the experienced piper if they have the palate for it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (406)
★★☆☆
Very Strong Very Strong Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

GQ Tobaccos-Swamp Flower. This certainly smells floral, from the pouch there's no mistaking what this has been cased with! Mine is a little too moist at first, not totally soaked but still in need of a touch of drying. So long as it's been aired correctly it lights relatively easily and gives a good/even burn. On to flavour, because the topping is of such a huge calibre it masks the tobacco nuances quite heavily. I get quite a big hit of nicotine from this, not the strongest I've had but it probably would be too much for a lot of people. The room note is floral (as you'd expect) and I don't mind that but the thing I'm not a fan of is the volume of smoke it produces, it generates a good quantity of smoke in the room. Probably best to smoke this unaccompanied! After a few bowls I note how the flavouring stays the same weight throughout and despite the level of topping I don't get much gurgle. I think this would make a great smoke for those who like floral aromatics as it's been executed well but I'm really not suited to it. Two stars.

Pipe Used: Peterson Sherlock Holmes Baskerville

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From: GQ Tbaccos

Nobody has rated this review yet.