The orange, red and stored Virginas offer a lot of citrus, fermented tangy dark fruit and earth, some stewed fruit, sugar, wood, a little grass and slight touch of floralness. They also sport a little of “vinegar” essence McClelland blends are famous for. The spicy, raisiny, lightly plummy Louisiana perique is a supporting player most of the time, and when it isn’t, it’s still an important condiment. The depth and richness of the Virginias occasionally tone down the perique just a mite. The strength and nic-hit are in the center of mild to medium, while the taste level is a little closer to medium than it is to mild. No chance of bite or harshness, and has no rough edges. Burns cool, clean, and slightly slow with a fairly consistent tangy sweet and lightly spicy flavor that translates to the pleasantly, slightly lingering after taste. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and needs a few relights if not dried. I don’t think it needs dry time. Can be an all day smoke that has a little more complexity, some of which are subtle, than some other blends in this genre.
Tiny ribbons of black and dark brown with just the faintest whiff of the matured Virginias that throw the "ketchup" folks into a tizzy. Came overmoist in the tin and benefited from some drying time to bring out the flavors. Did not need to be crispy - dry to the touch but still retaining its form was perfect.
Two things come to mind - again, this was indeed a melding of the minds, as this leaned neither towards the McClelland nor the Ouelette side, at least as far as I understand those sides. This would be a great blend to use in a blind test! Second, it was quite a little changeling in flavors, not just in a single bowlful but from pipeful to pipeful. At times it was a perique bomb, with a heavy but delicious spiciness. At other times it was a sweet stoved meditative blend. At other times it was an orange-rich crisp Virginia with a hint of both sweetness and spicy heat. It was nearly impossible to multi-task with this one, for fear I wouldn't notice the gradual color gradation before the big change. This one has everything I look for in a VaPer, if not as much of everything. Generally speaking, it's a milder, mellower blend that may not suit those who want a more robust flavor. In this one, the flavors come to you when they're ready... all 20 different ones! :) This is what I'd expect coming from two expert blenders. Well done! Perhaps not a rotation maker but a 4 star blend all the way.
Not a big Perique fan; however this blend is too good to pass up. This blend is another tasty blend from two outstanding tobacconist. Open tin is a bright note of vinaigrette and grass. Burns very cool and lights easy. Tasty blend with grass and hay sweetness with a peppery kick from the Perique. This is simply a very tasty blend with a huge mixture of flavors that continue throughout the smoke. This is another outstanding smoke that anyone can enjoy.
The Virginias taste very much like Mike and Russ' Virginia ribbon. I think that's what it is with the addition of a little Red. The Perique amps it up with plenty of spice and some darker fruit. The stoved Virginias really smooth this out and provide a flavor not commonly found in VaPers. It's a very nice smoke that I could easily live with if it were the only VaPer available. I do have a few that I prefer over this, but it still rates 4 stars.
Body is medium. Taste is mild to medium. No added flavoring. Burns very well.
Pipe Used: MM Little Devil Cutty, Little Devil Acorn, Marcus
I was very disappointed in this. It is pretty bland, the perique flavor mild, and there is very little of the "tang" that I like from VAPERs. It burns well, I am not sure about the room note. The pouch smell is mild, there is a little of the "ketchup" smell mentioned so often about McClelland blends. The smoke is monochromatic. Nothing wrong here, just short of expectations given its pedigree.
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