My go-to VaPers were Peterson's (formerly Dunhill's) Elizabethan mixture and C&D's Bayou Morning. That changed when I picked up St. James Mixture. This, for me, is it when it comes to VaPers. The Virginias are a nice mixture of both matured and bright. The Perique is substantial (not sure what the makeup is, but I would wager 50% or slightly more?). Peretti got it right where so many other blenders got it wrong. The Perique is the main focus with the sweet Virginias set in their place a supports. Too often it is the other way around. This is my new favorite. Once again, L.J. Peretti comes through with an absoutely impeccable mixture. Recommend to the highest degree.
IMHO,a slightly hopped up version of #8 Slice.I happen to like the stewed fruit/funky socks odor and flavor of Perique.This is NOT as strong as other perique forward Knee knockers such as Old Joe Krantz,Oak Alley,but I still like it just the same.This will not make your planets whirl and twirl,unless it's your first time smoking tobacco.I would call this a crumble cake having an identity crisis.I had to rub it out.A drying period would be a plus.Reccomended.
Presentation is broken ribbon, almost an “OTC cut” of medium to light browns. Like any Peretti product, St James Mixture arrives at the perfect moisture level to smoke immediately. Both char and true lights are somewhat flat, and perhaps this was more a function of my packing of this slightly awkward cut, but a few good tamps and some slow sipping coaxed out spicy, peppery Perique framed by what I found to be some one-dimensional Virginia’s.
This blend burned hot and fast for me with peppery Perique the dominant flavor throughout. Now of course I love Perique, but with so many incredible blends out there, St James Mixture takes one and a half stars for not standing out in a crowded and diverse field of rich, flavorful and complex Va/Per blends. The half is for those rare birds that like to get slapped in the face with the peppery side of Perique without any other enjoyable flavors to get in the way.
Somewhat boring with a poor cut, hot, and a bit ashy, the only Peretti blend I’ve tried that I can’t recommend. I haven’t had tongue bite in years, but this blend managed it (likely a function of me sipping too frequently trying to find the flavor beyond pepper). If you want a Peretti Va/Per, London Flake is a vastly superior blend.
Bought at the L.J. Peretti store in April 2019 and was told that it was a new blend. I stepped outside the store and had my first bowl in a Corn Cob. My first smoke was perfect. Excellent weather, no relights, just smoked the whole thing while watching people going in and out the Boston Commons. Whenever I smoke this blend I think about that specific visit to Boston and my first bowl of St. James.
Virginia is just a bit on the sweet citrus side, with the Perique just lightly complementing it, although it shows itself more towards the end. Not a complex blend, excellent for a hot day.
Smokes well, usually kept lit with some bowls requiring a few more relights. Sometimes can get hot, so smoke slow. For me was better to smoke in a small bowl. perfect moisture level from the store's jar, ready to pack and smoke.
All day, everyday blend.
Only downsides are the occasional heating up and the cut, which is somewhere between a broken flake and a ribbon, so not the smoothest packing and initial lighting. Aside from that, excellent blend that I'm sure will get better with aging. I buy an ounce or two every time that I visit Boston.
A very nice broken flake VaPer. It has a bit too much moisture as it comes from the pouch. Some goo in the dottle resulting in mild steam burns to the roof of my mouth. Letting it dry for a few hours prior to loading the pipe should solve that problem. I didn’t experience any tongue bite. I like this blend and look forward to trying it in different pipes.
Ten days later: I put enough for two or three bowls in a small dish and leave it out overnight. Perfect! Burns clean; tastes good.
I purchased this blend because I was looking to try a Virginia-Perique blend that had a higher perique content than Escudo, which I gretly enjoy.
I was underwhelmed by this blend, and the why is important to those reading this.
I'm not a fan of straight Virginia blends. The notes that some describe as "bright" I would transalte to "thin" for my palate. There just isn't enought compelxity and depth to straight Virginia. And you have the added challenge of keeping to bowl cool.
That flavor dominates this blend. It is the most forward note - thin, sweet, acidic, citrus flavor. And, as I'm sure comes as no surprise, it runs very hot.
The perique is in the background, more than in Escudo in my opinion. Also, in my experience, there are three notes that come from Perique - spice, ripe fruit (raisins, stewed plums, figs) and what I can only describe as umami (rich, deep, feremented tanginess).
This blend has a bit of spice on the front of the tongue and a touch of barnyard (my wife literally said it smelled like poop, though I didn't taste this), but I get none of the ripe fruit or umami which is what I live about Perique.
Strength was mild to me, I could barely feel the nictotine.
I'm going to let it age another year and see where it lands. But right now, in the face of my love for other Peretti blends, this one scores 2 out of 4 for me,
The bag smells more perique than Virginia. It’s a nice sharp spicy tangy pungent fermented Virginia Perique aroma . I had to rub this out completely or else it was hard to pack. Came in a mostly rubbed out cake format with bits and pieces or spare parts.
Smoking this one blind. Meaning I didn’t read what it was beforehand. Bready, dark semi sweetness, lots of dried fruit and spice without tingling my mouth. A little tart and citrus on the way back end. It feels like a heavy perique vaper blend. Notes of stewed fruit on the retrohale and it’s quite nice although a bit spicy. Didn’t bite, slight aftertaste that lingered, strength seems to be medium maybe a step past it. When confirming I was correct this is a perique forward vaper blend. It’s nice and not overwhelming. It’s not a complicated blend, almost boring. It’s easy going for a heavy perique blend and I’ll happily smoke the rest of this. 2.5 stars.
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