A semi-broken flake connecting the qualities of Bob Peretti's original artisanal Old Virginia Flake with a subtle hint of sweetness for today's pipe smoker. Medium in strength, with an excellent room note.
Notes: While serving overseas in World War 2, Bob Peretti enjoyed mature Virginia flake tobacco. When he came home, he set to creating his own. Despite its popularity, we had to discontinue it for several decades because we couldn't source some key ingredients.
This is hands down my favorite Virginia Flake. For me, it was love at first puff; it’s also my favorite Peretti’s offering. It’s a broken bright Virginia flake, with a small amount of Perique. There is also something else, some slight topping, somethings so nuanced that I can’t put my finger on it. Although, this is not unique amongst Virginia flakes, even “Dark Flake in Co. by Dunhill, “Golden slice“ by Ohralik, and so on and so forth all have some sort of topping, although they are so nuanced, that they just enhance the natural taste of the Virginia’s, and that’s exactly what is going on here, and in my opinion, that’s exactly what a good blender uses a topping for. The topping should not supplement the tobacco flavoring, it should enhance it and bring out the nuances that make that particular tobacco great. Ampersand Flake has a creamy quality to it. It is the smoothest Virginia flake I’ve ever smoked, I would put it in the same wheelhouse as “vintage“ by F&T, although it is also quite different; The similarity being the creaminess and lack of sharp edges, an & has these qualities more pronounced. I think this might be the perfect Virginia flake for someone who has recently switched over from aromatic Tobaccos, yet in no way would I refer to this as an aromatic. This would also be great for people who like the taste of Virginia’s, but don’t like sharp edges maybe smoke a little fast. But also, it’s great for people like me that absolutely love all Virginia’s & smoke slow. With doing so with Ampersand, the creaminess really comes through, you get a beautiful grassy hay taste with hints of cocoa, vanilla, and cream (i’m not suggesting those are the toppings, I am pointing those out as natural nuances of the Virginia). A typical morning smoke/1st smoke of the day would be “blackjack“ by F&T’ with a cup of Earl Grey. I have since replace that with Ampersand, but for me, & is more than a morning smoke, it can easily be an all day small, and has become one of my all day smokes. I truly think this is a brilliant Virginia, one that anyone who likes Virginia’s must try, and anyone who has any interest in Virginia’s must try.
Pipe Used: Lots of different Briars over the past few months
Age When Smoked: New
Purchased From: LJ Peretti Co
Similar Blends: Not similar to anything else on the market, although, the closest I could possibly think would be F&T’s Vintage Flake, if it was a lot smoother and creamier. If you took any good Virginia flake and made it very smooth, creamy, and got rid of the sharp edges, it would be similar, but this has a little something extra that makes it very unique..
Very sweet Virginia with a slight touch of spice and a buttery finish. To my pallet this is a flavored Virginia flake that tastes like salted caramel with a superior grade of base tobaccos. Whether you like that is a matter for you to take up. I am still on the fence as to whether this will become cloying. Smoked fresh from the bag with an hour dry time. Larger chunks folded and stuffed; bits and bobs topping the bowl. Stays lit very nicely. I find the flavor delicious, but not subtle. Yet the quality tobacco does come through.
The review that suggests this is a flavored Virginia is simply wrong. It is straight virginia flake. Period. And it is a very good one. Since the demise of McClelland, it might be the best virginia flake on the market. It is a creamy medium stoved flake, and reminds me a bit of a cross between Gawith Full Va. Flake and Gawith Best Brown. Also in the same ballpark as Astley #44. There are no flavorings and it is simply a smooth slow burning Virginia with natural sweetness, some undertones of stewed fruit and even a hint of grass. Quality stuff as is everything from Peretti.
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