Truly a luxurious tobacco. Virginias are carefully conditioned to ensure sweetness. They are added to rich, heavier and cooler Virginias. A unique flavor is added to the final blend to enhance the subtle and piquant aroma.
"Royal Yacht" proves so distinctive that people generally love it or hate it because the 'Yacht has a unique flavor and format that serves as a genre of its own. The recipe behind "Royal Yacht" remains a secret, but the general formula is crushed empire Virginias, perhaps doused in honey and vinegar, which are mixed with some Burley and pressed into cakes, then separated and soaked in a "secret sauce" which resembles a mixture of cognac and fruit juices that convey some of the sweet-sour spiciness of Perique without having Perique in the blend. In this way, "Royal Yacht" is like a big brother to "Elizabethan Mixture," which does contain Perique, and fits well within the Dunhill product line as well as appealing to those who like a stouter blend in the English style.
By rumor the Dunhill blends are disappearing, possibly within a year, which makes this a good time to investigate alternatives. Sadly, the Sutliff "Royal Yatch" match does not resemble the original except (partially) in the topping, but the good news is that it is perfectly enjoyable on its own. The match blend is a single-cut (long strip) flake made of bright Virginias that have a hay, wheat, honey and slight citrus flavor as the best lighter preparations of that cultivar tend to do. Some say the match resembles "Sutliff Tobacco Company - Virginia Slices #507-C," and this seems accurate to me from the small sample of the latter purchased from a local tobacco hut, but a special sauce has been added, although it falls short of the 'Yacht variety and is sweeter, with something like vanilla in it and not quite the exact combination of fruit flavors. As a result, there is no Perique-like flavor (and no Perique) to this blend, only a lovely grainy flavor but not overly sweet like the "breakfast cereal" Virginias, which mellows into a slightly more acidic but caramelized Virginia honey-and-grain taste. It burns easily and leaves behind a mottled grey ash.
For those looking for a replacement for the disappearing Dunhill blend, the Sutliff match is not a good substitute for "Royal Yacht," but if you like bright Virginia flakes it might be worth purchasing, although it is close enough to the #507-C Virginia Slices that I would just buy those, as they are considerably less expensive.
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