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Iwan Ries

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The original piper's choice blend of premium matured and stoved Virginias liberally seasoned with the finest Louisiana Perique, was created by pipe collector Steve Stein. He describes it well: "Its wonderful after meals and as an evening aperitif for the seasoned Virginia-Perique pipe smoker. A complex, bold blend for the sophisticated palate"

Notes: Released at the 2014 IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas, NV

BrandMcClelland
Blended BySteve Stein
Manufactured ByMcClelland
Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
ContentsPerique, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutRibbon
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy Iwan Ries
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant
3.4
5 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (1113)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Very Pleasant

The red and stoved Virginias are very tangy and fruity with the barest hint of grass and some earth. The perique is a noticeable but minor player, offering more raisins and figs than spice, though that spice is an important nuance that seems a little more obvious as you go along. The familiar McClelland vinegar note mostly disappears after a few puffs. There’s a slight woodiness present, too. It’s not as bold as the description claims, but it has enough strength to please with a little nic-hit. The sweetness mitigates the strength enough that it could be an all day smoke for the experienced smoker who likes sweet VaPers. It may be a good place for a new VaPer smoker who has a sweet tooth to start. Produces lots of smoke, burns cool, clean, and even with few relights, very little moisture and a consistent flavor. Leaves a very pleasant after taste, too. Three and a half stars.

6 people found this review helpful.

SteveS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteveS (2)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant

Very rich full bodied VaPer. One of my favorite evening/after dinner smokes. Also, one of a handful of tobaccos I turn to for breaking in a new pipe due to the high natural sugar content of the Virginia tobaccos that help in building a remarkably good cake in a relatively short time. This blend rewards with great complex flavor that builds throughout the smoke!

Pipe Used: Italians and American carvers

Age When Smoked: Two years and recently tinned

Purchased From: Cigar and Tabac

Similar Blends: Bayou Morning Flake, Bayou Morning, Escudo and Solani 633..

2 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (672)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Kind of a choppy cut of walnut brown to black, with a moderate nose of McClellands rich Virginia aroma and a healthy amount of perique. I found the perique much fruitier in the nose and more spicy in the taste, which is interesting. I actually had to rub this out a bit or I got pieces stuck in my pipe's draft hole. Drying it out helps the flavor develop, as per usual.

The creator states that this is for the seasoned VaPer smoker, and he's telling it straight. A rich, bordering on heavily spiced perique flavor (which is weird because my tastebuds are sometimes slow to pick up perique) coupled with the mildly sweet and wonderfully tangy Virginias, this is probably not the best choice for a morning smoke, nor for the perique newbie. Not as bold and rich as my reference VaPer, GL Pease's Telegraph Hill, this also misses a bit from my lighter reference, said Pease's Stratford. There's something keeping this one from greatness in my book, and I haven't quite figured out what it is yet. Again, I don't think I have this one's full measure, even though I did not find it terribly complex. I think perhaps (for my taste, anyway) a bit more weight from those benchmark McClelland Virginias and a bit less perique would have done the job. But there are other blends to suit that purpose. Try this one if you enjoy your VaPer tilted decidedly toward the Per side.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

½ bowl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
½ bowl (51)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Medium Unnoticeable

Soft, naturally sweet Virginias pump out loads of zesty citrus tang while a fruity Perique carries the bottom end very nicely. Good body. Can be boring if smoked in a deep bowled pipe because the flavor doesn't ever change -- but is that bad?

Pipe Used: no-name meerschaum

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: SmokingPipes.com

Similar Blends: 4noggins' Prairie Wind (which I actually prefer), or McClelland Beacon.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bbrown626 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bbrown626 (34)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Normally I smoke aromatics and cigars - depending on my mood. Top Hat was my first adventure into VaPer's. This fits nicely in the middle for a smoking experience. It has a pleasant enough room note to smoke inside. Great natural tobacco flavor, lights and burns well. Definitely will be trying more VaPer's based on this experience

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.