The mildly smoky and spicy, woody, slightly sweet, floral, dry and sour, earthy, herbal Katerini takes a varying lead; sometimes minutely, sometimes a tad more than that. There are a couple of times it falls half a slot behind the stoved Virginia, and other times they are virtually equal partners. The stoved Virginia offers a lot of tangy, fermented stewed fruits, dark fruit, earth, wood and sugar. The tangy, fermented dark fruity, earthy, woody red Virginia is the third star in the firmament much of the time. The nutty, woody, earthy, floral, barbecue sweet and sour, smokey, herbal, spicy dark fired Kentucky may be a condiment, but it always rises a rung or more above that level. Sometimes, it just surpasses the red Virginia. The bright Virginia offers a lot of tangy citrus, a little grass and sugar, some tart lemon, and a touch of floral. Although I see a bit of it in the mix, it’s mostly a condiment by effect. The perique is very rich in stewed raisins, figs, plums and dates along with a fair amount of spice and wood, and seasons the experience in a small way. The strength is two steps past the medium mark, while the taste is in the center of medium to full. The nic-hit is almost as potent as the strength level. Won’t bite or get harsh, but it does have a rough edge or two. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable rate with a rich, deep, occasionally inconsistent, mildly sweet and rather savory flavor that translates to the lingering after taste. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Not an all day smoke, but the veteran smoker may repeat it if so desired.
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