Sutliff Tobacco Company Crumble Kake Va. Perique

Generous amounts of perique are combined with black cavendish and a variety of mature red Virginias. The combination is then processed into an old fashioned crumble cake to create a VaPer lover's dream.


Brand Sutliff Tobacco Company
Blended By Sutliff Tobacco Company
Manufactured By Sutliff Tobacco Company
Blend Type Virginia/Perique
Contents Black Cavendish, Perique, Virginia
Cut Krumble Kake
Packaging 1.5 ounce tin
Country United States
Production Currently available


Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.38 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 21 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 18, 2023 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant
Appearance: the tin of tobacco was released in 2021 and had an excise stamp reading "Q4 2021." The contents of the tin are three plates of cake (finely chopped and pressed tobacco), each approximately 6mm thick. The blend is fairly uniform in color, having a hint of medium-roasted coffee. In my opinion, the tobacco is a little dry, although some would say its moisture content is perfect. In any case, there is no need to dry it out. Cake easily crumbles into a fairly small fraction, but despite this, there is almost no dust in the tobacco.

Flavor: first of all, it is worth mentioning that some pipe smokers do not like Crumble Kake from Sutliff for its characteristic smell of "vinegar" or "ketchup", which is especially well felt when opening the tin. The firm itself states the following: "Red Virginia tobacco undergoes an 'accelerated' version of fermentation when pressed. We NEVER add vinegar to our products - it is simply not a recommended ingredient. However, Red Virginia inherently exudes a "vinegar/ketchup" type flavor based on the breakdown of its own natural sugars. When the tobacco is placed in the press, the tobacco undergoes anaerobic fermentation, which is basically a secondary (i.e., accelerated) fermentation process. We agree that the smell is quite pungent and reminiscent of a vinegar/ketchup smell - but again, this is a natural characteristic of Red Virginia - especially when pressed." As for my personal preferences and perceptions - I have picked up similar notes not only in Sutliff blends, but also in some Cornell & Diehl blends, and the legendary now-gone McClelland blends with similarly processed red virginia have become a signature smell. Personally, this smell does not irritate me, it does not show up in the flavor, but those who dislike it can put the tobacco in a glass jar for a couple or three weeks and periodically ventilate the tobacco. The "vinegar" will, for the most part, weather out. As for other notes, the blend has a pronounced flavor of very sweet boiled fruits (raisins, figs, prunes) with some molasses and a very slight woody note.

Taste: extremely smooth, mild, but at the same time dense enough. By means of additional processing the manufacturer succeed to reduce the intensity of woody notes of red virginia, while the sweetness of tobacco was reduced less. As a result, the leading notes of the taste are played by rather sweet fruity gathering, slightly enhanced by raisin-plum shades of perique and smoothened by the addition of cavendish. Woody and bread notes are definitely present, but are clearly in the second roles. Despite the manufacturer's description, the amount and brightness of perique in this tobacco is certainly inferior to blends such as my favorites Fillmore, Carolina Red Flake with Perique and St. James Flake. Still, there is enough of it to give off a spicy bouquet on the palate and fragrant pepper on the retrohale. A barely noticeable sour note adds to the tobacco's resemblance to the taste of various fresh fruits and berries. Toward the middle of the pipe, the woody notes, which are more prominent in straight pipes, become slightly stronger in the bouquet. In addition, the brightness of the perique fades towards the middle of the pipe. The tobacco does not bite, does not have harsh edges, however, it requires attention, as it is prone to overheating, letting you know about it with bitterness in the taste. The strength of the blend is a bit below average, but in very large pipes it can surprise with a light nicotine hit. The tobacco burns out into an even gray ash without lumps, leaving no moisture in the pipe. The aftertaste is sweet and woody, extremely unstable.

Smoke from tobacco has a slight sweet-woody odor, which does not linger in the room.

What's the bottom line? Some compare Crumble Kake Va. Perique in terms of composition and flavor to Samuel Gawith's St. James Flake, while others raise its bar almost on par with McClelland. I wouldn't compare Sutliff's products to either of those. In my opinion, the blend lacks a bit the density and strength of St. James Flake with its stoved and bright Virginias and a good dose of perique, and the addition of Cavendish did not make it as much mild as McClelland's blends were in this respect. Nevertheless, there is a definite influence of the best of the best, and the endeavor to resemble them deserves only kind words. I bought a few tins of the already aged tobacco for further aging when I had the chance, pushed them farther back on the shelf Pretty sure it was worth it. As for the smell of "vinegar", as it was said one joke, "You don't have to smell Simon..."
Pipe Used: Peterson 69, 106, 312, 606
PurchasedFrom: Online
Age When Smoked: 2021
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 20, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
The tangy, earthy, woody, lightly floral and bready, lightly citrusy and sugary stewed fruity, very dark fruity, matured fermented red Virginias are the lead components. They also have a few notes of sourness, grass, lemon and spice. The tingly spicy, raisiny, plummy, perique is a supporting player. The unsweetened black cavendish provides a little smoothing sugar in the background. The perfectly intermingled varietals create a harmonious, deep, rich, consistent sweet and lightly savory flavor from start to finish. The strength level barely reaches medium, while the taste sits squarely on that mark. The nic-hit is just past the center of mild to medium. Won’t bite or get harsh. This mildly moist crumble kake easily breaks apart and burns cool, clean, and a tad slow. Hardly leaves any dampness in the bowl, and depending on how one prepares the tobacco, may require some relights. Has a very pleasant, mildly lingering after taste and room note. The blend packs a little punch, but not enough to preclude it from being an all day smoke, especially for veteran pipers.

39 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 15, 2019 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Sutliff Tobacco Co. - Crumble Kake Va. Perique.

Love it!

Well, Fridays are my favourite smoking day of the week. I always use, on this day, my prized Altinok Meer', based on the model formerly owned by the actor Lee Van Cleef; I bought this as a present to myself after spending a year, ill, in hospital; so, I love smoking it! And, this is the ultimate blend to fill my best pipe with!

The tin holds two, thick, slices of dark kake, which emanate a dark-fruit aroma, have the moistness I like (a little damp), and although they're fairly thick I don't need to rub too efficaciously; a gentle hand produces the perfect consistency. I like mine to be a little chunky when I fill my pipe.

From first light, at the risk of sounding melodramatic, the smoke is heavenly. To my palate, there's a hearty amount of fruity, slightly spicy, Perique, which intertwines perfectly with the doughy, bready, Virginias. The black Cavendish is a lesser addition; this brings a euphonious, soothing quality, and prevents any rough edges becoming apparent. Because I keep my kake fairly coarse to smoke it I get a slow, cool, steady, burn, with the number of relights being a tautological and superfluous topic; it goes perfectly!

Nicotine: a little less than medium. Room-note: not bad.

Crumble Kake Va. Perique? Four stars, easily:

Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Altinok Lee Van Cleef: Friday pipe
Age When Smoked: One month
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 23, 2018 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
I can't give this 4. It's a nice presentation, smells like good clean va/per fun in the tin - a little sharp but some deeper tastes are promised in the tin note. Busted up, filled and lit, no trouble. It is a little sharp at first but settles down into a pleasant but to me unremarkable va/per sort of taste. It hits me as a little unrefined to be honest. If I think of Navy Rolls or any of the other real classic va/pers, I am reminded of the balance they offer, the interplay between sweet virginias, leaf selected for body, and perique, I find that missing here. It's got a little spice, and enough sweetness to balance it, but the basic flavor is just that - a little spice and a little sweetness and I don't have a lot else to hold on to. I could not, for example, specify how this is in any way better than Sutliff's other va/per, the 1849.

Glad I tried it, and I'll throw a tin in the cellar, but this isn't in the same class to me as other top-notch va/pers (Solani 633, Gawith Cabbie's, DNR, Scottish Cake). It lacks a softness and a fullness which these all present. Room note sees approval from Mrs. Squatch.

EDIT bumped up to 3. No bite, friendly smoke, lots of worse stuff out there.
Pipe Used: big and small
Age When Smoked: new
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 06, 2019 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Opening the tin, I’m greeted by a couple of superbly crafted, handsomely hewn cakes that smelled of spice, raisins, fig, notes of bread, accompanied by a faint whisper of vinegar. The Virginias bring the tang, dark fruit, bread and hay, while the Perique delivers the pepper that tingled almost the entire tongue. It’s the addition of the Cavendish, however, that really characterizes this blend and sets it apart from the more orthodox VaPers -- those containing only Virginia and Perique. The cake itself, a Goldilocks crumble (virtually identical to that of the Red Virginia release in this series), which has a semi-soft, faintly moist, brownie-like texture. Pleasing to the touch and fun to crumble, it is indeed a cool, slow-burning blend. Lovely stuff, this crumble – highly recommended.

8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 14, 2019 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Upon lighting, I’m greeted with tart and tanginess. The red Virginia is sour, vinegary, sweet, tart and mouthwatering. I also sense a tingling spiciness on my tongue. The perique is slightly sweet.

The burn rate is quite slow, but consistent and even. It’s medium in strength, and the nicotine level is slightly more than mild. I’ve smoked at least a dozen bowls in various briars and cobs. It smoked well in all varieties.

I highly recommend this tobacco. It will be appreciated by both VaPer and Red Virginia aficionados. It’s excellent now and I suspect it will age magnificently.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 16, 2019 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I bought this at Emerson's in Williamsburg so I could smoke in the lounge.

Presentation in the tin is a little awkward. It belongs in a rectangular tin to match the rectangular kake. There is a lot of air space in there. The kakes are maybe 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick and hold together nicely. They crumble readily in the fingers with no residue and the result is a wide chopped ribbon - mostly dark browns and black. The tin note is earthy and slightly sweet. I smoked it as delivered and did not let it dry. It came at a good level of hydration for me - maybe a little on the moist side of things.

Smoked, this is a tasty red Virginia first. There is enough perique to give it a little plum and some spice when puffed. It has the bready and darker citrus notes you expect in a red Virginia. I am not really tasting the black cavendish, and I think it is a pretty mild touch that may contribute to the sweet and fairly smooth smoke.

It burned as expected and stayed lit as well as you might hope. It was on the medium end of the mild->medium range, and it is not heavy in the vitamin N. It was a pleasant smoke, but it was not awe inspiring. There is a lot of competition in the VaPer market.

This is a solid 3 on the scale. It is easy to recommend. It is not fussy, and it is a good smoke. if it were all I had, I would smoke a lot of it with no regrets. I am not likely to buy more.
Pipe Used: various pots
Age When Smoked:
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 25, 2019 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Unnoticeable
I bought this gem last Sunday at my pipe club meeting. My first peeve is having square tobacco in a round tin but have complained about this in prior posts so I will move on. When I opened the tin and unfolded the paper doily the round black paper cover was creased and folded up like a triangle. Not sure if this is packaged by hand or not but it made me feel that whoever or whatever packaged this did not give a darn. Has a nice sweet VA smell out of the tin and there were two squared kakes about ¼ inch thick. It smokes smooth, slightly sweet but did not offer a whole lot for me. In fairness I have been smoking some Perique bombs lately and this blend did not have that Perique pizazz that I have come to like. For me this is an average smoke, maybe the VA’s need to age somewhat. I will not be buying this again. Sorry to be the first two-star reviewer, wait a minute, no I am not sorry. Ha. Good but not that good.
Pipe Used: Meerschaum
Age When Smoked: New
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 13, 2019 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Soft smooth and very tasty. This tobacco burns dry and slow with hardly any moisture ever. It’s a nice way to enjoy a smoke and reflect the day.
Pipe Used: Corn cob
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Cigars
Age When Smoked: 2018
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 15, 2021 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Crumble Kake Va. Perique is a winner in my book.

I’m the type of inexperienced pipe smoker who tends to try to rush through a bowl... Especially if it’s something I really like. And, as we all know, rushing a pipe can be problematic.

But man this stuff is good.

I came to pipes over a decade ago, having been a daily smoker of Cubans for a while. So, after briefly messing around with aromatics, I began searching for more flavorful (and oftentimes stronger) types of tobacco.

I still prefer flavorful tobacco. I’ll occasionally smoke something mild-medium, but my baseline is at least medium, usually with a bowl or two per day of bold/strong thrown in for a change up.

This CKVP is probably a haircut past medium, flavor-wise. I’m not going to bother going into the specifics of presentation, tin-note and what have you, as that’s been capably handled already by previous reviewers.

I just felt the need, considering the fact that there have been relatively few reviews, to help spread the word about what I consider a really good, possibly great tobacco.

I’d compare my personal smoking experience similar to St. James Flake. I’m not trying to say they taste a lot alike, but they do resemble in enough ways, particularly depth of flavor, for it to be MY current favorite replacement for the aforementioned hard-to-find SG VaPer.

CKVP certainly has more in common (per my palate) with SGSJF than it has with, say, Escudo, Fillmore or Bayou Morning.

I’m fond of those three, but I love SJF. And this Sutliff Crumble Kake Va. Perique is definitely a contender for my affection.

All this is subject to change, of course, as my palate evolves. But for now? 3 3/4 stars, rounded up to four for our purposes here.
Pipe Used: Various
Age When Smoked: New stock
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 30, 2019 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
Mostly black crumble cake that breaks apart easily. Fruity and heavy tin nose of perique and red Virginia. I rubbed this out fairly vigorously but left some small chunks for the bottom of the bowl, as is my custom for crumble cakes so that I don't get tobacco chunks in my mouth or plug up the draft.

The first half tin or so was really excellent - so good in fact that I accused Ernie of Watch City of putting this together, which he denied. A nice rich and savory tasting VaPer with a goodly amount of fruity, spicy perique. The various red Virginias ruled the show but not by much. A rather punchy and tasty blend with the "unflavored" black Cavendish providing some smoothness. I did taste a very light casing which may not have been a casing at all - hard to tell, really. I spun through the first half-tin pretty quickly. Then I began to notice a bit of unruliness to the smoke, particularly when I compared it to other VaPers, such as Watch City Old Dominion and McClellands St James Woods. It still tasted good but as I neared the end of the tin, I found it lacked the character and balance of the best VaPers on the market. Something was amiss, although this is still a very smokable blend. In fact, this may be the best blend Sutliff has ever produced. There aren't a lot of Sutliff blends to choose from in that regard, but I have to say that with this crumble cake series, Sutliff is raising the bar on what they themselves have produced. I find that encouraging. I hope they continue to improve. Oh, and no Sutliff chemical taste in any of the three! That's cause for celebration! I'd give this 3.5 stars. This is pretty close to a reference - it just misses the mark by a bit and I'll be focusing elsewhere. But this is a heroic effort and is worth an audition by any VaPer fan.
3 people found this review helpful.
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