G. L. Pease Stratford

(3.19)
Stratford is an enticing blend of delicately sweet brights and rich, ripe, red Virginia tobaccos, seasoned with just the right measure of fine Louisiana perique. The wonderfully nuanced interplay of sugar and spice is sure to delight the lover of this time honored combination. The room note is soft and subtle, the taste zesty and piquant. This is the one for the Virginia/Perique fans.
Notes: Stratford was released in July, 2003.

Details

Brand G. L. Pease
Series Classic Collection
Blended By Gregory Pease
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Virginia/Perique
Contents Perique, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 2 ounce tin, 8 ounce tin
Country United States
Production Currently available

Profile

Strength
Medium
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
Flavoring
None Detected
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Taste
Medium
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.19 / 4
29

25

10

3

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 67 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 01, 2011 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
When I discovered Telegraph Hill, it forced me to look at Greg Pease the blender in a different light. Sure he had seemed to master the latakia/oriental mixes but the VaPer, while seemingly the essence of simplicity, is not easy to do properly. I never thought any blend could overtake Escudo or St James Woods for me, but TH did it with ease. I call it perfection in a tin. For those who want to dial down the perfection a bit, GLP gives you Stratford.

Golden brown in the tin with the beautiful nose of perique. The cut is one of those hilarious C&D cuts... a quasi-ribbon chop cut that looks like it was a broken flake at one point until someone with a few shots of tequila got to it. Nevertheless, it works.

While Telegraph Hill was all about flavor explosion and complexity, Stratford brings balance to the table. The flavor is ever-so-slightly muted and the spicy perique is balanced beautifully with the sweet lemon VA and the tangy red VA. None of these components jump too far to the fore at any given time. And yet the interplay shifts with regularity. Usually two of the three components duet on the foundation of the third and then one of the soloists drops to the background a bit while the other two dance. While this is milder than Telgraph Hill, it's no "set it and forget it" smoke. Too much flavor and too much going on. Highly recommended. And I'm told this stuff improves with age. My tin is less than a year old. And this stuff gets better???
40 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 08, 2011 Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
Stratford is a delightful Va/Per with some strength and spicy nuances that made my taste buds tingle. Typical top-shelf leaf is used by this tobacco's legendary blender, thus creating a true masterpiece for Virginia/Perique lovers. Burns cool, clean and dry and is also a little on the sweet rather than dark side. Load up and enjoy!
30 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 09, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The sugary bright Virginias provide a burst of mildly tart and very tangy citrus, grass, toasted bread, floralness, light lemon, wood, and spice along with a few drops of honey as the lead component. The red Virginias offer a lot of tangy ripe dark fruit, earth, wood, bread, some sugar, light floral and slight spice notes as a supporting player. The peppery, earthy, woody, plumy, raisiny perique is in an important secondary position. The strength, nic-hit and taste levels are medium. There’s no chance of bite or harshness, and has very few rough edges. Well balanced, rich and deep, it burns clean and cool at a moderate rate with a very consistent sweet and mildly spicy flavor that translates the short lived, pleasant after taste. The room note is a tad stronger. Barely leaves any dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Despite its zestiness, it can be an all day smoke for the veteran, and easily repeatable for the less experienced.

-JimInks
21 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 08, 2011 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Greg Pease's Stratford is the first tobacco I've tried in w while that I purchased myself rather than was sent to me specifically for review purposes. As many of you know, I have just moved from Charlotte, NC, to Smyrna, GA; I visited a Charlotte tobacconist before the move and found two tins of this blend on the shelf. I thought, what the heck. Stratford is a blend of bright and red Virginias with perique, a combination I really like. As soon as I got to my car I popped a tin and smelled it. The aroma is both sweet and spicy, with the fine, fig-like aroma of the perique making a statement among the soft and delicately sweet aroma of the Virginias. In appearance, there is a lot of yellow mottled with a mix of tans and brown. The moisture level is, to my taste, perfect. So of course I loaded a bowl as soon as I got home and to a pipe. From the initial light I knew I was in for a treat. The sweet, cloying flavor of the Virginia is wonderfully balanced by the tangy perique in such a way that the perique holds a perfect balance against the usual bite-prone Virginia, making this a real smokers' blend. The flavor of this blend is both unique and yet recalls the pleasures of other Virginia/perique blends. Pease has remarkably found a balance point for the two tobaccos which is unlike anything else I've tried. The end result is just what he promises – sugar and spice. The perique's spice and fig/raisin taste plays on the smoker's tongue happily while the Virginias provide the delicate sweetness expected of the best Virginia blends. And I don't think tongue bite would be possible unless the smoker really tried hard to find it. Puff away – this blend is simply pleasure from start to finish. After the first bowl I started packing my smoking bag for the five hour drive. In doing so, I set aside all other blends, even packing my McCranie's Red Ribbon in a box. Stratford seemed to me to be, for my smoking tastes, the ideal blend for an all-day smoke. Three days later I am still smoking nothing else, even though I've now unpacked about 40 blends. I used to worry that when Greg's Cumberland runs its course I'd be left searching for a favorite blend, but that worry has been set aside. Stratford is here, and without a doubt I can declare it my new favorite Virginia blend. Whether you like Virginias or simply like to occasionally light one up, I think you owe it to yourself to try this blend. If I can find a complaint about it, that would be that the bowl eventually burns to the bottom – but that just gives an opportunity to load a fresh bowl and start anew.
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 24, 2010 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Tin date: 12/9/09

Aroma: This stuff smells good in the tin, very hay-like with just the faintest hint of fresh-baked dinner rolls. In fact, it smells exactly like Uncle Frank's hayloft in Minnesota from my childhood memories. I can barely detect the perique in the tin aroma.

Appearance: Very light with a beautiful golden color. By appearance it seems to have quite a small percentage of perique, since the perique I've seen is quite dark in color. This is a ribbon but there are a few big pieces of uncut tobacco, some as big as a square inch. I like that though…it adds interest.

Pipe 1: Stanwell Relief Billiard Pipe 2: Skinny No-name Dublin Pipe 3: Chubby Savinelli 320KS Author

Flavor: First pipeful in the Stanwell (my star Virginia pipe) was very underwhelming. A step down from Fillmore for sure. Ashy and short on flavor, I knew immediately that Stratford needs to be nursed very carefully. The second pipe, the skinny Dublin (a great VA flake pipe) fared a little better, as I was able to extract some richness that was totally lacking in the first pipe. In the Sav: another small step up in flavor, at least to the point where I can get some Virginia richness out of it if I really concentrate. But this stuff is even more finicky than Fillmore. I realize that some tobaccos are very pipe-dependent and I have tasted tobaccos that only shine in one particular pipe. I'm hoping to find the magical combination for Stratford but for now I just can't rise above two stars.

This blend has that same ashy flavorless character that OGS had the first time I tried it fresh out of the tin. With the OGS I jarred it for a few months, then re- opened it and actually enjoyed it. In the same vein, I have read similar reviews of Stratford: fresh, it's bland. Aged, it's sublime. Even FVF is aggressively average when fresh, but totally transforms with a year of age. My tin is only three months old, so I think my best bet is to jar this stuff and try it next year when the plum blossoms emerge.

I think Stratford wants to be a Peter Heinrich's Curly, which also emphasizes the fresh hay character in the tin and is similarly quite simple and austere, although much more flavorful. Fillmore is also better than Stratford. Escudo is much better. My favorite vapers, SG's St. James Flake and McC St. James Woods, are in a different league altogether. I have read some very favorable reviews of this blend, but it will not make it to my “buy more” list, although I realize that this tobacco tasting hobby of ours is very subjective. It just doesn't do it for me, but this is obviously quality weed so please chime in, especially those of you who disagree with me!
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 06, 2013 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
I have tried all of greg's other VA style tobac's and as usual this one hasnt dissapointed. Somewhat similar to Union square but a bit darker in taste. The Perique is fairly mild in this. Burns well and if not smoked gently the pipe is gone rather quickly. I've given this 3 stars as Union Square and Telegraph Hill are better in my books. Very nice, definitely worth a go.
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 13, 2003 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
If Greg had come to me and offered to create a blend to my tastes, this is pretty darn close to what he would have come up with. I've had a longtime love affair with Haddo's Delight, but I think Stratford supplants it as my new favorite G. L. Pease blend. Indeed, I've been smoking this to the exclusion of all else since its arrival-- and smoking far more often than I customarily do.

The tobacco appears to be predominantly lighter Virginias, with that light tan, almost yellowish color making up at least 60%. Some red Virginias are evident also. Looking at the tobacco (and this is confirmed later in the smoking), the perique seems to make up only a small percentage, perhaps 5-10%.

The lighter Virginias predominate in the tin nose also, with their distinctive, almost grassy scent. Indeed, the perique is all but impossible to detect.

The burning characteristics are exceptional. The blend stays lit with little maintenance, burning to a fine mostly whitish ash. In spite of this, I find it fairly cool burning-- certainly not as cool as Barbary Coast, but I really have to work to get this to bite me.

The lighter Virginias are certainly most obvious upon the first few puffs. I've found that it takes a little while for the perique to make its presence known. This doesn't have the complexity of some of Greg's other blends-- or at least I haven't yet detected it. The flavor is generally mild and somewhat grassy (but in a good way). The perique subtly makes itself known from time to time, but more frequently as the bowl is smoked. The spiciness that the perique adds is evident throughout, but that musty flavor that is unmistakably perique is less obvious. The blend is slightly sweet, but certainly not cloying.

There are some blends that I like where the affinity for them is easily explained. This is not one of those blends. It's, well, easy to smoke-- pleasant, enjoyable, great burning characteristics-- but that alone would not explain my delight. Perhaps in a tin or two (or ten) I'll figure it all out and addend this, but, for now, that will have to suffice.
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 27, 2007 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Stratford is what I would call a great Virginia/Perique blend. I've been through three two ounce cans of this, and I am now smoking a three year old can. Really good! The newer cans have an almost albino appearance on opening them. There is a nice hay-like smell to them that seems so inviting. Well, the three year old can is a real treat! The appearance is a little darker, but not much. There is more consistency in color now, but it still has a very bright look about it. The tin note on this older can has a slight chocolate-almond aroma that I like. Stratford's ribbon cut packs easily. You might want to pack it a little tighter, as I do with Dunhill's Elizabethan Mixture, my old standard V/P blend. In fact, I've been smoking this more than that lately. I have some older cans of Elizabethan Mixture that I want to save for later. I just bought a new can of that to test the qualities of Orlick's attempts. Aside from that, I will probably be smoking a lot more of Stratford as my daybreak blend. I like the way this tobacco gives you a nice blast of Perique at the first match. A good eye opener, though not excessive. As I progress to mid-bowl I find a good idea in what I want in a V/P blend. That is, the slight sweetness of the flue bright Virginia dominates over the Perique. The pepperish Perique comes back toward the bottom, but not overwhelming. It just sort of "shakes hands" with the Virginia. All in all, great! I am beginning to think Stratford is the "Golden Fleece" of Virginia/Perique blends. I can smoke this any time of day. Stratford is a give me a great DGT if I find myself busy and must put my pipe down, and come back later. A nice "welcome back" with a sweet kiss that any Virginia/Perique lover will really appreciate. Now reserve Haddo's Delight for an evening fare only. I will never leave Haddo's out of my rotation (a real treat!), but I will find myself more often reaching for Stratford. I recommend to all to keep this in your cellars. You won't be disappointed...unless you run out of Stratford. 12-27-08: Now smoking through a delightful five year old can. I can see that this REALLY improves with age. There is now a more even tone from top to bottom that measures pure pleasure. The Perique is less demanding and the Virginia is what counts. What a delight! I find myself smoking this more in the early evening, let alone the early morning. This evening I'm smoking Stratford in honor of my sister Virginia's birthday. I guess I'm the one who gets the best present!
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 19, 2019 Mild None Detected Mild Very Pleasant
Presentation: A short ribbon cut in the tin with mostly brights and light red Virginias enveloping the larger and thicker ribbons of perique which are gently applied. The first three quarters of the tin make way for the uniform short ribbons while the last quarter offers even smaller cuts and shake.

Palate: Stratford is appealing because it doesn't boast about what's in the mix. It's not a powerhouse in the Va/Per category, and certainly underrated, but that's what makes it great. The tin aroma is of slightly aged grain, sweet bread, butter and a touch of milk and spice. The bright Virginias are more of the fermented hay mixed with a bit of silage while the reds applied give you the yeast and sweetbread tones. The perique is pinched in ever-so delicately and offers a mild black peppercorn touch with of hints creamy ripe plum. A delicious and no brainer Va/Per that will surely please your umami buds. Excellent side stream that makes you wonder how a simple blend can be so rewarding. Smells like walking into a kitchen in the early spring with the bread rolls just pulled out of the oven while your father washes his hands after the first mowing of the lawn for the year.

Performance: Packed a little more firm than other ribbons, this blend burns exceptionally well. Moderate pace with usually only charring light and one re-light to get things going. Usually can smoke to the bottom without any additional lights. Mild nicotine hit, an all day smoke and can easily puff two bowls in a row.

Conclusion: For one that is just entering the realm of Va/Pers, or a pipe smoker who mainly smokes straight Virginias, this would be an absolute must try for a transition into the Va/Per category. It's a sweet Va/Per and still offers mostly a Virginia taste. The perique is sprinkled in from what it seems and is a great blend for any time of the day. It's not a popular blend, but it doesn't need to be. This blend will benefit from age no doubt, probably toning down some of the bread like qualities and bringing out the more natural sugars of the brights. My favorite Va/Per to date and I have stocked many 8oz tins.
Pipe Used: Moretti Noir Devil Anse
PurchasedFrom: SP
Age When Smoked: 1+ year
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 10, 2009 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
First let me say I am not a perique lover. I usually smoke Dunhill Flake or English blends. I was looking for something to add into my rotation that was a little different from Virginia flake while not being as ‘heavy or full' as the English blends I enjoy. I tried Stratford blend based largely on the reviews here and also because our selection is somewhat limited here in Japan (although we can get all the Dunhill blends now unavailable in North America.) I am VERY glad I did! This is a very ‘light' looking tobacco in the can and with a very appealing mix of golds and browns. The tin smells fresh and a little ‘sour' in the tradition of most fine Virginias. Moisture is slightly damp for some who may want to dry it a bit for packing but for me I find all GLP blends to be perfect right out of the can.

I first tried this in a small bowl meerchaum pipe. I admit I smoked it a bit hard and hot as I was in a car with the windows open on the way home from my local B&M (certainly not a perfect environment) but I was in a hurry to give it a try. It lit easily and burned well. In THIS environment the perique came to the fore and it was for me a ‘spicy' smoke with the Virginias being beaten into submission (to almost non existence) by the heat and giving the perique a fiery boost. I enjoyed it this way but wanted it to be a little sweeter and not as spicy. I must note that even smoked hot I didn't experience any tongue bite (some might!)

A day later I decided to give Stratford a fair shake and got comfy in my favorite smoking chair, I chose a fresh long stemmed Mastro de Paja (no filter loaded). This time I smoked it slowly with a proper Va cadence and the change was amazing, the Virginia poked through although the perique was still very present (for me a non perique lover.) The change however was very notable and it was almost like smoking another blend altogether. I decided to see if I could push it farther and broke out a sister pipe (another long stemmed Mastro de Paja) and added in a 9mm filter. Smoked VERY gently. The change was even more pronounced and the blend achieved the ‘balance' I had been looking for (and described on the tin,) the perique had been tamed and was now an accommodating partner to the high quality Virginias! Perfect!

In conclusion, after smoking a full tin in a number of ways and pipes, I think this is a very very interesting blend. You can ‘push or pull' on the flavors depending on what you smoke it in and how. Of course this is true of a lot of different blends but with Stratford I found I could choose to enjoy a perique (VaPer) blend on my terms, something I have not found in other blends. If you don't like perique but would like to, I strongly suggest giving this a try and experimenting with it. I don't think it could satisfy someone looking for a lot of perique (it's not that strong) but for those of you like me who want to try (and enjoy) this spicy leaf but don't like to feel like you are sucking hot sauce through your pipe should defiantly give this a try. Play with it and make it your own! Stratford is WELL worth the effort.
6 people found this review helpful.
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