G. L. Pease Union Square

(3.40)
A blended, sliced cake of high grade flue cured leaf, from beautiful, sweet brights to deep, earthy reds, without the added sugars and flavorings common to many Virginia flakes. It's rich on the palate, evolving in layers with the clean, natural sweetness of pure tobaccos. It offers a pleasant room note, and a delightful finish. For those seeking the pure Virginia experience, try Union Square.
Notes: Union Square was released in May, 2009.

Details

Brand G. L. Pease
Series Fog City Selection
Blended By Gregory Pease
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Straight Virginia
Contents Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Flake
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
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Taste
Medium
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.40 / 4
84

50

13

5

Reviews

Please login to post a review.
Displaying 1 - 10 of 13 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 25, 2009 Mild to Medium None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant
The jury is still out on whether GLP blends age to become the classics they are purported to be, but the same jury (my jury!) has decided that, so far, GLP blends don't start off so well. This is my 10th attempt at finding a newly tinned batch of GLP that comes anywhere near a reference blend.

At first blush, the claim of "no added sugars or flavors" reads as a rash of codswallop and Nth-degree marketing hype, but I'm certainly in no position to dispute that claim. However, if true, this blend seems to indicate (when its at a young age, as my tin was) that straight virginias need such added sugars and flavors to taste and smoke to their potential. Not everything we ingest performs best in its pure, natural state. With all due respect to other reviewers and Mr Pease himself, I have to take the minority stance with this one. I find no depth or complexity in this blend, and no real mature virginia tobacco flavor. Instead this comes off as an extremely bland, "cigarette-ish" concoction that fails to excite. Comparing this to straight VA's from McClellands, Samuel Gawith and other blenders (that add sugars and flavors???), further and painfully illustrates Union Square's lack of character. It looks and smells in the tin like a winner but doesn't deliver where it counts - the taste.

As I have with the other GLP blends I've tried, I'm going to cellar my 2nd tin of this (dated 9/09) for a year or so in the hope that further aging will drive it up a notch or two. I'm happy that many others find Union Square so excellent and I certainly have questioned my own senses with this one since my experiences differ so. But I smoke and enjoy many classic straight virginias, and IMHO, this ain't one... at least not yet.

UPDATE 12/6/10

Still no love for this blend. If anything, it's become flatter and more anemic tasting. Two stars is more than enough. Back to the cellar and let's try this again next Christmas!

UPDATE 2/3/12

Age has been a wee bit kind to this one. I'd say it's elevated itself to mediocre. Still mostly characterless but there is a hint of cereal showing through that is rather nice. It's just too fleeting. Most of the time this fizzles into oblivion... smoke with no real flavor. Still a weak 2 stars. But it's a tiny bit better than it was. Perhaps this one will develop further. Worth a shot!
28 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
MDP
Feb 08, 2010 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong
This review is after 15 bowlfuls over several months. Yellow sticker on tin bottom has an October 28, 2009 date. Moisture seemed just right in these supple, small flakes, but further drying proved necessary. There is an aroma of mild fermentation (fig-like, touch of vinegar and baking spices). This was quite easy to fold and load. Rubbing out the flakes turned out to be a better move than smoking whole flakes or cutting “cubes.”

Not a one or two vesta affair lighting and regular relights were necessary (which can raise the possibility of tongue-bite). Flavor initially is mild and hay-like. Five minutes into the bowl and the flavor deepens to subtle sweetness, complexity and familiar Virginia flavors. Union Square reminds me immediately of Rattray's Virginias (this is not always good, in my opinion) and maybe something like SG BBF and Old Gowrie, but heavier than BBF. There is some richness, too. The room note will not win admirers unless they like the aroma of better cigarettes.

USq requires great care to keep the burn temperature low as possible. Otherwise, this flake will bite me as badly as Mac Baren Virginia No. 1, Marlin Flake and Fillmore. Contra-intuitively, this required a full rubbing up of the flakes. I believe this allows more smoke volume, thus flavor, when gently drawing the smoke in and out of the pipe (some call this “sipping”). If I smoked this in a gentle breeze, I'd opt to keep the flakes chunky. Harder puffing for flavor proved painful.

On the nicotine continuum, USq is somewhere between Old Gowrie and Hal O' the Wynd. USq burns cleanly to a mottled ash.

Somewhat recommended now. Perhaps time in a sealed tin will prove beneficial, but I am on the fence if I will invest time and cellar space to the experiment, as it does not replace or add anything missing to my regular rotation.
4 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 05, 2009 Extremely Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant
I am still thinking about this a day later. After openning the tin I let it dry for several hours before smoking. Lightly rubbed out then smoked for over an hour. Light, naturally sweet with some complexity, it never bit the tongue or overheated the briar. This was high qulity Virginia tobacco. Burned down to a fine grey/white ash.

29 April 10

I am downgrading my recommendation two stars on this, and making it 'extremely mild' in strength, and 'flat' in taste. I don't think it's just me, but this tobacco is too flat, as least for what I enjoy in a VA flake. My tin has set for 6 months now, not a lot of age for a VA, but the sweetness/compexity that this flake had when new is gone and it has become a rathering boring smoke. I don't think aging will improve it, as aging tends to round out any sharpness, and this flake needs some "edges" to make it interesting. Perhaps a good flake for the beginner or those liking a very mild smoke.
3 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 24, 2021 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Straight Virginia blends are not typically something I reach for, but this tobacco was very nice. It has all the Virgina flavors that you come to expect: sweetness, citrus, bread, grassiness, some mild pepper, and earthiness. This tobacco also offered some occasional notes of coffee which was very nice.

It performed pretty well but burned a little hot for me, and needed attention. This is not something I will go out of my way for but I could see myself reaching for it if I have a serious craving for a straight Virgina blend that is on the brighter side.
2 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 15, 2020 Medium to Strong None Detected Mild Pleasant
The tin note was nice filled with mild fruitiness. This sample has been aged for 6 years.

The smoke itself was mediocre on my palate at best. The flavors were quite bland and lacked the fine, sweet, hay richness I have experienced in other aged straight Virginias. Some say this lack of sweetness is an attribute. I did not find it so. I found this tobacco to be very ordinary and bland, kind of like a cigarette.

The tobacco burned hot and was difficult to light but once going, was easy to keep it going. Perhaps I have an off batch?

Not my favorite and I think I will jar the rest and give it another go in a few more years or maybe forget about it and give it away. In the meantime, there are plenty of other tobaccos out there to enjoy.

Out of respect for Greg and some of his other blends that are truly amazing, I give this a 2.
Pipe Used: Castello Bent Dublin G size
Age When Smoked: 6 years aged
2 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 26, 2015 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
At the beginning of the smoke, this seemed like a plain, ordinary Virginia, neither sweet nor creamy; but after mid-bowl, it became slightly creamier and a tad sweeter. Yet, IMHO, it did not seem to have the kind of depth to differentiate it from the many Virginias out there in the market. Besides, I had to re-light ever so often that I almost gave up on it altogether.

As I said when I reviewed The Virginia Cream, I have not smoked that many GL Pease (GLP) blends so I am unable to compare it with other GLP Virginias. Incidentally, I've recently been smoking Mac Baren's Virginia Flake Cut and it seems to have more depth that Union Square.

Since the popular opinion is that GLP blends benefit tremendously from aging, I'll put this away and return to it in a couple of months.

I'll settle for a two and half star for now.

2 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 03, 2010 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
A nicely prepared flake that although moist from the tin, packed easily. The intial light was a bit more difficult than others but no relights were needed. Smoked cool and without bite or condensation. I found the taste rather flat although I typically smoke Va/Pers. It also left my mouth extremely dry after each bowl and that spoiled any enjoyment for me.
2 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 08, 2015 Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable
I'm somewhat disappointed by this pure Virginia from GL Pease. If you smoke this a little bit too fast, it tastes absolutely nothing. Just hot air. If you take your time with it you can feel the sweetness from the Virginias but that's about it. It has a taste that, unfortunately reminds me of cigarettes. I had hoped for more complexity. Especially from G.L Pease but I guess that it can't be a home run every time. I do however think that this blend will improve with age.
Pipe Used: Stanwell De Luxe Billiard, Estate GBD Bulldog
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: Almost completely new
1 person found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 03, 2010 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I just finished a tin I started over two months ago, and my initial impression is the same as the one I have now-I just don't get it. There are glimpses of greatness here...my tin had about 10 months aging on it, so maybe age is a factor? But, rating it as the smoke I had at hand, well, it's blase at best.

Initial reaction upon opening the tin-'sour-crab-applesauce'. Not totally unpleasant, but blissfully, a scent that diminished within a few day's airing. (Didn't want to smoke a bad Jolly Rancher.)

My first attempts were with a light rubout....not totally unsatisfactory, as the tobacco took to a match ok. Too bad the taste was 'green', still.

Every subsequent bowl was similar: whether fold 'n' stuff, rubbed, or 'rubbed 'til it became dust'-a quality VA blend that screamed 'I need....(?) Actually, the 'dust' method provided the best smoke at the end...or was it the month or two of air? Either way, at this point, I could actually get a glimpse of what the proponents see- a carmelized sugar-fruit goodness that availed itself on the exhale like almost no other. Unfortunately, it was an occasional, fleeting, glimpse. Give me that 'snork' religiously, and US would skyrocket to no.1 with a bullet. As is, I could take it or leave it.

Is it worth a try? Why, yes! I am only one dude...my taste and yours are most definitely different. Just don't be too surprised if it becomes a 'meh' blend to you. (Try aging it if that's true...that is my plan.)
1 person found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 11, 2010 Medium to Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
This isn't my bag at all, but it's not because of the taste. I like the taste. First few puffs don't do much for me, it tastes ashy and flat. But midway through the bowl the flavor is complex and satisfying. The tin aroma is like hay and applesauce. Really nice.

Problem is this: This just makes me nic sick. I don't know if I just have a problem with virginias or what. But I really never could smoke a whole bowl of the stuff without getting the spins and sweats. I can smoke a giant bowl of some popular latakia blends, but both this and EMP kick my butt. I kept wanting more, but couldn't handle it. So I chucked what I head left in the can. Kind of a bummer really. Maybe someone will tell me what is up with this effect.
1 person found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.

target="_blank"