I recently purchased several tobaccos online from EA Carey UK. They say they have 15 or so tobaccos blended exclusively for them by blenders in Europe. Two of them, their Dark Flake No 7 and the same as a ready rubbed are, in my opinion, none other than Irish Flake. So if you want a ready rubbed version of IrF, EA Carey UK is the place to look. The only difference with the flake version is that the flakes are twice the length of IrF. The tobaccos look (and feel with the flake version) identical, the pouch aroma is the same, and I can not detect any difference in the smoking quality. In a double blind test, I wouldn't be able to tell the IrF from the Carey version in either their flake or ready rubbed version, and IrF is one of my top favorites. I smoke IrF regularly enough to make a statement like that. The interesting thing is it is priced cheaper than what IrF goes for in Europe, but slightly more expensive than what we pay for IrF in the USA. A fine tobacco, indeed, and I am sure it is blended for Carey by K&K, the current blenders of Peterson's tobaccos. Several days later I noticed that the pouch had a sticker "Made in Denmark" - the ready rubbed as well. Could it be that this is really Highland Sliced, both the flake and RR now made in Denmark by Orlik? I have heard they are similar. I have some HS Flake on order and will update accordingly.
UPDATE 3-23-12: I just received my Highland Sliced today (sticker says made in Denmark) and I will say that the Carey version I spoke about above IS indeed HS and not IrF. Other than the size of the flakes, HS are very similar in taste and smoking properties to IrF. I am hard pressed to tell any difference. I would be stretching my imagination if I thought they were different. End of mystery. A stellar blend for me along with IrF and 4 stars! Since IrF is easier to come by in the USA, I'll be sticking with that one. P.S. HS is not soapy or perfumed in any way!!
Please: do not, under any circumstance, try this tobacco. If you think Condor is strong and soapy, try to imagine it on steroids. It's lady Virginia transfigured into an overly perfumed elderly street walker. A very traditional, blue collar blend for those who have nothing left to lose.
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