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Spicy Perique with tangy Virginia flake.

Notes: Court of St. James is a spicy combination of a broken-flake Virginia and peppery Louisiana Perique, with a tiny whisper of Latika. The result is a zesty blend, bursting with flavor.

BrandSutliff Tobacco Company
Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
ContentsLatakia, Perique, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutMixture
Packaging1.5 oz Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Tolerable

Favorite Of 1 Users

3.4
7 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (657)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

The Virginias are rich and a bit grassy/earthy with a light vinegar essence that is slightly noticeable in the beginning, but mostly disappears after a few puffs. The perique is peppery sweet. Although the tin description doesn’t mention it, there’s a touch of latakia in here. I also sense a hint of mocha. The cut is broken flake, and burns evenly cool with no harshness and no dottle. It’s a medium strength all day VaPer with some complexity. I imagine this will age very well in the cellar.

4 people found this review helpful.

Darby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darby (15)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Presentation: CoSJ appears to be a mixture of broken Virginia flake and a HEFTY dose of black coarse cut ribbons of barrel fermented St. James Perique. Because the broken flakes are thick cut, stiff, and long, this mixture needs to be thoroughly rubbed out and partially dried before you can smoke it.

Tin note: The tangy aroma of Ketchup/Tobasco that’s the hallmark of MacBaren’s matured Virginias (re: Sutliff owns MacBaren) is present, but not to excess. It’s accompanied by a pungent note of dark BBQ sauce, which implies (to me) the flakes were hot pressed after maturation, in the same fashion as MacBaren’s HH Old Dark Fired. The Perique’s plummy and mushroomy aroma is overpowered in the tin, but not in the bowl ... more on that in a moment.

Smoking: Skipping ahead to Mid-bowl, this is rich, full bodied and spicy smoke. Picture a three way combination of roasty HH Old Dark Fired, tangy HH Mature Virginia and peppery Perique, in almost equal measure, and you’ll have a good idea what to expect here. Courtesy of the hot pressed matured flakes used as the base, and the hefty dose of Perique used to balance them, this falls deeply into the strong end of the VaPr spectrum, and almost goes into the upper decks. Despite its strength, this blend works quite well ... the savory caramelized flakes pair nicely with the intensely peppery perique, the plummy notes of the latter round out the saucy tang of the former, and the thickness and age of the flakes (and admirably restrained use of sugar) help keep the smoking temperature in check. Despite the pungency, you can actually puff this at a fairly good clip without it overheating or biting back ... and unlike 1792, you can actually do back-to-back bowls of this potent mix without suffering ill effects.

Summary: This is a big, pungent, and very spicy VaPr that should please aficionados of hot-pressed flakes, perique-heavy blends, and BBQ fare alike. This blend works well, and gets a solid three stars. Add a full star if you're a fan of the MacBaren 'tobasco' note, HH Old Dark Fired and Perique in general.

Speculation: I'm guessing this is a discounted limited release (read: Sutliff blending a bunch of well-aged but overstocked MacBaren flake with some overstocked perique in order to clear warehouse space). I suggest buying it now, while supplies last and discounts abound. Definitely worth laying down a few tins.

---------- Pairings: I’d say pepperoni pizza with hot sauce, or hot wings with a chipotle based BBQ dip, or a dry-rubbed steak (served with A1 or HP), would all be winners here. For liquor, I’d go dark and full - for whiskey I’d do Baker’s 107 or Macallan 12, and for rum I’d do Gosling Blackseal. For beer & wine I’d counterpoint with a crisp dry pilsner or a dry sparkler, to keep flavor fatigue at bay.

Pipe Used: Grabow Freehand (Group 4)

Age When Smoked: Unknown (tin not vintage dated)

Purchased From: Pipe Club Promotional Tin

4 people found this review helpful.

puro66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
puro66 (73)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I bought three of the new Sutliff Private Stocks in a recent sale. COSJ was one of them because I love VaPers and thought what the heck. It is true that the tin does not list latakia as an ingredient, yet it is the first thing I smelled when opening the tin but there is almost no taste of it while smoking. I get good tasting full virginia and a nice bit of perique with no bite. The cut is long strip broken flake which I easily twist and stuff into the pipe and it takes to the match quite well with minimal relight. This blend puzzles me a bit but I surely do like it cause I'm about to finish the tin. Wish I could lay a bunch aside and see how it develops over time.

Pipe Used: Tinsky Panel Pot

Age When Smoked: New

3 people found this review helpful.

Fazby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fazby (37)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This! This is delicious! A gift from the Chicago show and a wonderful surprise.

I was told it was a Virginia with some perique, but when I was smoking it something was different. Finally, I realized that there was a touch of latakia in there. Not a LATAKIA blend (get some penzance for that). Just a latakia-touched blend. The latakia isn't really tasted as such. rather it complements the other components. It just blends in.

Wonderful!

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Sutliff hit a grand slam with this one! I'd give it five stars if I could! I'm mostly a Va/per smoker with at least eight in my rotation. I ordered two tins from pipes and cigars just to give it a try and glad I did! Upon opening the tin I was flooded with a latakia smell that overpowers the other tobacco. Strangely enough I didn't even see the addition of the latakia in the ingredients while researching the bled. Upon lighting I detected absolutely no latakia!! Anyway, tons of taste and smoke! No harshness, sweetness from the Virginia's and just enough parique to tickle your tongue and not overbearing at all! And all this from a fresh tin with no ageing on it!!!! Love this stuff! I'm ordering a sleeve of tins to cellar! Give it a try my friends!

Pipe Used: Ser Jacopo, Ferndown

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: pipes and cigars

Similar Blends: Bayou morning, Escudo, McClellan 2015 Va/per.

1 person found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (578)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

Mostly walnut-browns with a fair bit of black pieces, the cut of this is sort of a cross between broken flake and ribbon. I liked the cut of this, as I've never folded and stuffed ribbons before, and it worked here. Kind of cool. Tin aroma was of latakia and some sort of topping that I couldn't place. Review is based on half a tin, as a buddy brought it over saying that Sutliff was getting into "serious" (his word) blends and not just aromatics or "matches" for someone else's recipe. Because he knows I'm a sucker for new tobaccos, he laid half his tin on me and smoked the other half. But I have to say that even with my mostly less-than-encouraging results from Sutliff blends, I was a bit anxious to see how they treated the venerable VaPer style.

I'll often scan other reviews before I write one but this time I read them all because I was disquieted by what I was tasting. Indeed, my impressions differ greatly from the other reviewers. I've posted on pipe chat sites that even after all my years of pipesmoking, I'm still discovering my own tastes. Whereas every review I've ever read is not just about the tobacco but about the symbiotic relationship between smoker and tobacco, this review will be even more about my tastes than about the blend.

I didn't get anything close to the "bursting with flavor" that is on the ad copy. What I got was a bed of almost completely characterless Virginia with the barest of smidges of perique flavor. The abiding flavor I got was latakia with a casing. Even those were light. I see where others can't taste the latakia and that's almost all I taste. I see where others are picking up the main components and I'm not. Viva la difference, I guess. I do have a high sensitivity to latakia and I can taste even a pinch in a blend. Conversely, I have a lower sensitivity to perique and often think there's less in a blend than there really is. Both worked against me here, as this blend was extremely boring to me... smoke with very little tobacco flavor. I'm not sure how the VA was when it was put into the blend but it suffered badly in the end. The latakia was prevalent but even when I smoked a bowl while plucking out every black strand I could find, I found no character in the Virginia... no sweetness or grass or complexity, just flatness. Two things solidified their obviousness to me with this tobacco experience and that is that reviews are a minor tool to the reader (certainly the other reviewers of this blend would have unwittingly suffered if they'd shunned the blend based on my review) and that the Sutliff blending house holds almost nothing of interest to me. Their style simply doesn't fit my palate. Thankfully, I think both parties will get along just fine without each other going forward. :) Incidentally, my friend got much less latakia than I did but confirmed that for his taste it was at the low end of the VaPer scale.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

rekamepip Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rekamepip (72)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Sutliff Private Stock Court of St. James

Virginian, Perique and Latakia Tobaccos

Tin Note: Kind of a rough texture broken flake tobacco mixture. Good Moisture Content. Nice rich smelling tobaccos with a slightly smokey and pungent aroma

Burn: This tobacco blend may require a little rubbing out or preparation if you are using a small chamber pipe. The tobacco burns well straight out of a newly opened tin with no drying time required.

A medium bodied smoke with a Good all around flavor profile. Good combination of tobaccos and this tobacco should age well too !

My 5 star rating = 3.5 out of 5

Pipe Used: briar, clay, corn, pipestone

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: sutliff

Nobody has rated this review yet.