Here is a terrific VA/PER that I believe anyone would enjoy. The crumble cake is very easy to break-up and pack. I found lighting was extremely easy considering it's Virginia. Although this is (IMO) a mild smoke, the sweet VA flavor comes through and the perique is probably in it's proper proportion, but I'm used to a heavier presence. I recommend this highly to first time VA/PER smokers and experienced as well. Great job Watch City!
The tangy, dark fruity, earthy, lightly woody red Virginia takes a lead over the lightly tart and tangy, citrusy, grassy lemon Virginia, which also has a bare touch of floral. The matured Virginias provide a little sugar, stewed fruit, wood and earth, and are just a tad more obvious than the lemon Va. The spicy, raisiny, plummy perique has some strength, and while it’s not quite a supporting player, it’s close enough. The taste level is a step past medium, though it starts out as just below that. The nic-hit is closer to medium than it is to mild, and gathers a little strength after the half way point. The strength is medium. No chance of bite or harshness. Burns cool, clean, and a little slow with a slightly inconsistent, spicy sweet flavor as it tends to lose a very small amount of sweetness in the last quarter of the experience. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires a fair amount of relights. Has a pleasant, lingering spicy sweet after taste, and the room note is a little stronger. Not an all day smoke, but it is repeatable.
I can't ever remember deciding to order a pound of tobacco based one just one bowl……until now. Hampton Roads is one great VaPer. My initial four ounce order arrived with the flakes mostly broken up and at the perfect moisture level to smoke. The pouch scent is lightly tangy and the flake is on the darker side, the color resembling Escudo when Escudo has been aged for three or four years. Hampton Roads tastes like it has already been aged and the flavor is a mixture of perique pepper and sweet Virginia. The sweetness does diminish in the bottom half of the bowl. This is not a VaPer that is light on the perique as there is a healthy dose in this blend, albeit not overpowering. There is also a visit from Lady N so if you are not a fan of the lady, slow smoking is recommended. The deep flavors of Hampton Road will only improve with age, and one can only imagine how great it will be in a couple of years. Very Highly Recommended!
First off, the bag of Hampton Roads I smoked was most definitely a flake not a crumble cake. I sent an e-mail to Watch City and they informed me that three months into the run of the blend Ernie the owner switched style to flake from crumble cake but and had not updated the labels.
That being said this is one of the best Virginia flakes I've smoked. Great tangy, lemony smell in the bag. Smoking: the Virginias are very, very smooth but the overall taste is strong and clean. Strong on tobacco flavor and nicotine. Nice straight, rich tobacco taste. Just a hint of perique. I bought this bag of flake in June of '10 and Ernie suggested I might want to put it away for a while. I cellared the bag and didn't start smoking until 6 months later in Dec '10-Jan '11. I don't know if the cellaring helped but it was a very enjoyable smoke I will definitely smoke again.
Normally, I prefer English-latakia/oriental blends to english-virginia mixes/vapers. However, I have been finding that Virginia FLAKES have been knocking me out lately. I still don't prefer regular va/vapers blends. Something about the flake apparently.
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