|This absolutely one of the best tobacco blends out there. I like St James Woods and Copes - but I love this. There is no tobacco available today which I enjoy more. I also love playing the field, so the old gal gets compared to a lot of others. If you are ever lucky enough to find a blend that is just perfect for you then on that day you will appreciate what this tobacco is to me. I have had several tins from the first, and have now several more from the second batches. I have started to grab from the third (current) batch. Initially, to be honest, I can't tell if certain subtle differences have more to do with the inevitble difficulties inherent in the proposition of matching tobaccos available in different years vs. the differences OF the years. Aging can be most of the difference - and the difference is mild. If this newest batch is half as good as what I've smoked in the past then it is a bargain at twice the price. This is one blend you need to have around. It will be the stuff of legend in your very lifetime. If you are unlucky enough to never smoke it then I will pity you, but I will not share any blame because I am warning you now to not miss it. You can use terms like Va/Per and go grabbing C&D versions all day long, or Jeff's, Greg's, or Joe's or whatever - but this is the perfect example, and if you miss out it is your own danged fault. I suggest in all sincerity that ,after I place my next order, you buy at least a dozen tins and then put them up. Next buy some to smoke and be putting up more as you do. If you don't like it now you will make a killing selling it to me later.
|The pipeguy website claims this blend is akin to the old Cope's Escudo blend... hmmmmm... not sure I'll quite buy that - but this is a pleasantly tangy, spicy and tasty VaPer. I find no top note on opening the tin, other than a subdued McClelland stoved Va tang (which I love!) and a quiet undercurrent of the Perique. The Perique is subdued in this blend (at least in my tin) and much more so than I remember the old Escudo (and certainly the ACP version). I have been smoking quite a lot of 633 over the summer and it's nice to smoke a quality VaPer without the sweetish overbite that I get from that (admittedly addicting) weed. This is clean, fresh and quite unadulterated tobacco - carefully blended, with the components allowed to be themselves, thereby enhancing the whole to a marvelous effect. This is blended by McClelland, but it is certainly not like the other VaPers from that company - especially the ubiquitious 2015 - and other than the stoved Va component, this is really nothing like anything else they do.
At the first light, the smoke is almost purely Virginia. After a tamp and a relight, the bowl smokes strong and sweet with just a little tingle from the Perique. As the bowl progresses, the Perique brings it's fruity spice to the party, but not in an aggressive way at all. This is a very smooth blend. At the last third, the sweetness gives way to a matured Virgina heartiness and the Perique just dances around in the background, tingling your nose and making sure you don't just drift off into Neverland... and then - ash. Just nice clean ash left in the pipe at the end. No dottle to speak of and not a lot of anything gurgling through during the whole affair.
I smoked this in a variety of pots and billiards - Group 3 to Group 6 - and even had the huevos to load up my big old Boswell Dublin, which is ODA and then some - and is not my usual VaPer choice (yeah this weed is that smooth) - with this stuff and it still went down nice and easy. My little Italian pots love this stuff too, although the smallest ones (my little Caminetto Sports) remind me that this is stoved Virginia after all... calm down!
So - I'm not sure why I'm the first one to review this marvelous blend, but if you like VaPers, I have to predict that you'll love this stuff silly.
Four stars - easy!