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558 is a decadent "Crumble Flake" of three different Virginias and perique. A rich matured Virginia, a deep, dark stoved Virginia and the highest grade of bright Virginia is used as a backdrop for a heavy dose of perique. Rich and satisfying with a subtle natural sweetness.

Notes: Blender's note- Some well meaning fellow edited the original description of this blend to say it contains Kentucky fire cured. This blend absolutely does NOT contain even a trace of Kentucky or fire cured of any form. This is a blend of Virginias and perique only.

BrandWatch City Cigar
Blended ByErnie Q.
Manufactured BySutliff Tobacco Company
Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
ContentsPerique, Virginia
CutKrumble Kake
ProductionCurrently available
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3046)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

The matured, bright and stoved Virginias offer some tangy dark fruit, bread, tart and tangy citrus, sour lemon, floralness, grass, vegetation, mild sugar, and a lot of earth and wood as the lead components. In a support position, the earthy, woody perique has more tingly spice than it does raisins, figs, sour plums, and dates. I would call this a crumble cake, and not a flake. The strength and taste thresholds are medium. The nic-hit is a slot below the strength level. Well balanced with a very consistent, mildly sweet, lightly sour and rather spicy, rugged, savory, deeply rich flavor, it burns very slow, clean and cool no matter how you rub it out. No dull, weak or harsh spots, and leaves virtually no moisture at the finish. Requires some relights. Won't bite no matter how far you push it, though it does have some rough edges. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste, and stronger room note. Not quite an all day smoke, but it is repeatable.


28 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Another classic from Ernie Q, this VePer with Kentucky crumb cake is a bit darker in color than his Slices. The aroma is sweeter and tangier as well, which is far from surprising. Ernie moves to the Virginia spectrum but still adds a bit of Kentucky to keep this one from hovering towards the "too sweet". As a result, it's excellent.

The tang from the Virginias is not of the typical "grassy" nature but more of a sweet hay. The perique strikes a perfect balance between darkly sweet and spicy that works wonderfully, while the Kentucky provides a bit of down home grit to the proceedings. This was another blend that just wouldn't stay out of my pipes. Generally I smoke a lot of bowls of my favorites alongside the blends I'm reviewing but this and the Slices wouldn't hear of it. Those two blends are extremely complementary, one being bold and earthy and the other tangy and "upscale". I have no doubt this one will age beautifully. If you have yet to check out the Watch City blends, don't wait any longer. I wish I had gotten onboard sooner.

18 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

How many cigar/pipe shops in America still create their very own flakes and kakes? My guess is that it is less than five. But as with the other flakes and kakes that I have tried from Watch City, Flake #558 doesn’t disappoint. #558 is a flake that is cut a little on the thick side and the pouch sent offers a deep, earthy, slightly sweet scent. Flake #558 is comprised of red, bright and stoved Virginias with added perique. The flake is a little on the darker side than Old Dominion, another WC flake I am working my way through. I thought there might be just a pinch of added Cavendish in there too, but it was just the effect the stoved had on the blend. But that is just a guess. Due to the thickness of the flake, I prefer to let it dry a bit and then break it up into small pieces with a little fully rubbed out to get the party started. In the pipe, this is one smooth flake with no hint of bite. #558 burns cool and slightly sweet. Kudos to Watch City on another fine blend. I can’t wait to see what three or four years in the cellar will do to this one. Good stuff!

Purchased From: Watch City Cigar

15 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (633)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This is another great blend by Watch City. I purchased a couple of ounces of this about 6 months ago in a mega order I placed. I did not order the Flake 556, but was fortunate enough to have a friend send me some while I was smoking through the 2 ounces of 558. I actually preferred 556 to the 558, but I really liked them both.

The tin notes of both blends were very similar in that it had a smell of tangy fruit; sort of like the way cranberry juice smells. It reminded me a little of the smell of C & D Exhausted Rooster; another blend I really enjoy.

In appearance, the flakes are more like thin cakes, or thick flakes that rub out effortlessly. They are pretty much what you are accustomed to seeing if you like Seattle Pipe Club's Mississippi River. Both are produced by Sutliff and both are great. They crumble out extremely easily and are actually kind of fun to deal with.

It isn't until you light 556 and 558 that you notice any real difference and that is when it is obvious that one has burley added in. The DFK in 558 is noted as lightly added, but I found it to be a big component of that blend. It was pretty nutty/earthy, particularly when contrasted against the uber sweetness contained in 556.

As I said, I do enjoy both and I think both are wonderful representative blends in the VaPer and VaBurPer Genres. Both are probably deserving of four stars, but with 558, I have had too many VBP blends that I actually prefer to this one, so my subjective rating is three stars. If I were to go objective on this, I would give it four stars.

Pipe Used: Peterson Deluxe System 2s

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: Watch City Cigar

6 people found this review helpful.

½ bowl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
½ bowl (103)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Unnoticeable

I pretty much concur with Steelcowboy's review, which will spare you a lot of redundant reading. I was surprised to see such thick, crumbly flakes -- a unique presentation in my experience. It is a crumble cake sliced into thick flakes. Slow burning and satisfying with a good whole mouth feel, great body, and a pleasing combination of bready Va flavors and fruit-like Perique. Nothing sharp nor grassy, nor peppery here. It has a sweet woody edge, as if there was some nut-like Burley in the mix. Top notch!

Customer service needs a wee bit more attention. In a recent (2017) online purchase one of two bags arrived without any label, and the shipment was packaged without an invoice. No reflection on the quality of the tobacco, however.

Pipe Used: Ser Jacopos and Radices

Age When Smoked: Fresh, young.

Purchased From: Watch City

Similar Blends: 4noggins' Prairie Wind for its fruitiness, and Dunhill's Elizabethan for the nuttier flavor elements.

5 people found this review helpful.

cakeanddottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cakeanddottle (105)
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

Long, thick black flakes that are more krumble kake than flake. Imagine a VaPer with all sweet and no spice, and add a little Kentucky for a smoky, savory counterpoint. This is really like no VaPer I ever smoked, and it's extra delicious.

What to say? I love VaPers and this one is way, way above average. I don't understand how a small tobacconist in Massachusetts is coming up with bespoke blends that are this good. This and their Slices are absolute must try tobaccos.

4 people found this review helpful.

brashboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
brashboy (84)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Watch City Cigar's No. 558 Flake is a broken flake that rubs out easily, yields up figgy Perique, smoky and spicy Kentucky and hay-like Virginias. What a treat! When asked to describe the room note, my family voted "strong." Delicious all the way through - - if you like Perique you'll really like this one (Perique is toned down from the similar No. 556). Moisture in my batch (a free sample) was just right.

A dry and cool smoke that is never boring nor too sweet. This just tastes really, really good. Nicotine is about in the middle. Another great Watch City blend. Their blends are just really special, and if you haven't tried them you really should. If every other tobacco source disappeared but WC, I would miss a lot of great tobacco but could get by just fine with WC's marvelous (and high-rated) blends.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

4 people found this review helpful.

Lit a Kia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lit a Kia (69)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Fat, juicy flakes with a pouch aroma that's mostly perique with some nice matured Virginia and a hint of leathery Kentucky.

Nice and moist, rubs out easily. A bit of drying time does it some good. Smoking a very fresh batch, I've had a slight gurgle when I light it up too fast.

The smoke itself is on the thin side; no billowy clouds of white here.

The flavor is all spice and leather. The sharpness of the perique is very noticeable, held up on a solid spine of pleasant, well-behaved Virginias. The dark fired is very much in the background but provides a nice, subtle, earthy accompaniment. The room note is spicy and a bit pungent, but not overpowering.

Despite the flavorful components, this seems like it could be an all-day smoke, especially for perique lovers.

4 people found this review helpful.

HabaneroHardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HabaneroHardy (401)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

I have been smoking this on and off for the past few weeks, one of a trio that I bought along with Old Dominion and The Churchwarden. The “flake” which I have to concur with several other reviewers is really a crumble cake sliced into about ¼ inch blanks is an excellent smoke, somewhat on the semi-sweet, slightly sour side of the spectrum, if that makes any sense, and guessing the Kentucky and perique shows itself toward the end of the bowl. Probably best to crumble this up and let it dry some as I had a tough time keeping this one light but consider it operator error. Nice middle of the road kind of smoke. I would like to see how this ages.

Update 082521: This evening I was smoking this and read "Blender's note- Some well meaning fellow edited the original description of this blend to say it contains Kentucky fire cured. This blend absolutely does NOT contain even a trace of Kentucky or fire cured of any form. This is a blend of Virginias and perique only." Glad to see Ernie Q. set em straight.

Age When Smoked: New

3 people found this review helpful.

Kingdom Danimalia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kingdom Danimalia (13)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

It's very, very good. The stoved VAs are at the forefront for me. There is a lot of tangy, ripe, dark fruit. The perique likely contributes to that, and while I don't find it spicy in flavor, I do notice a bit of a spicy tingle on the lips and mouth. The Kentucky adds a bit of body and stoutness, but I don't get much of that BBQ smokiness. It's very well-blended. I bet this ages an absolute dream. I just find myself reaching for my jar all the time.

Recommended for fans of: McClelland VAs, H&H Anniversary Kake, some of the Pease VaPers.

Strength I'd peg at medium for both nicotine and flavor. YMMV, of course

Age When Smoked: Fresh From Vendor

Purchased From: Watch City Cigar

Similar Blends: Hearth & Home - Anniversary Kake (Signature Series).

3 people found this review helpful.

nkulk8r Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nkulk8r (90)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Watch City Flake #558: The Penzance of VaPers.

Okay – so it’s not a VaPer – 558 has Kentucky in it. But 558 nearly looks and crumbles exactly like Penzance, and it certainly smokes and tastes like something from the realm of Penzance -- so talk about a Luxury Blend – Damn, this stuff is good! And I mean 558 is fantastically, indescribably good. The 13 people who’ve reviewed before me have done a wonderful job of summing up/describing 558, so all I can say is this: 558 is some really high quality, first-rate smoke.

Truth be told, 40-ounces of Watch City product appeared at my door yesterday: 8-ounces each of Flake #558, Watch City Slices, Deep Elem, Nor’Easter and Deluxe Crumb. As soon as I opened the box and saw what had actually arrived, I was completely mesmerized, absolutely absorbed, entirely entranced and altogether enthralled by what lay inside: 5 bags, each one full of stunningly beautiful tobacco, all of it in shades of dark, beaver brown – chestnut, cocoa, chocolate – all of it smelling fantastic, all of it beautifully presented, exquisitely supple and pleasing to the touch. There were no “slices” or “flakes” – it was all crumble in the form of slices and flakes (except for the Deluxe Crumble, which was already course-cut, but that’s for another review, another day). Of the dozen or so people who have discovered/reviewed the aforementioned Watch City blends, 90% of them are the same folks. Quite frankly, I really struggled with whether I wanted to post this review or not, because if Watch City ever catches on, these blends will all but disappear from the face of the Earth (only to be found on ebay, at a 400% markup). I can't believe I missed the #556 -- I will be unapologetically hoarding this stuff -- and I simply cannot wait to try the other four Watch City blends that came to my door. Don’t say nobody ever told you so about Watch City Flake #558 – if you miss this stuff, shame on you. Abundantly recommended. 4-stars.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Watch City Cigar & Pipe

3 people found this review helpful.

SunriseBoy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SunriseBoy (21)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

A kind friend gave me a small sample of this leaf. has now rocketed to the top of my favourites. Ernie Q. is a skillful blender that's for sure. The leaf smokes fairly easily and has a most pleasant and full taste. A great pipe out walking on a moonlit night. Absolutely highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Cob

Age When Smoked: A year or so?

Purchased From: Gift

3 people found this review helpful.

BC Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BC (21)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I bought this from Watch City over the weekend. It is an outstanding weed. Not really a pure VAPER in that it contains Kentucky, but no less tasty than the best out there IMHO. The smell in the pouch is very pungent: a sharp vinegar over moldering hay. It reminds me a little of the bark mulch laid in your flower beds in the spring, weird as that sounds. An interesting aspect of this stuff, for me, is the crumble cake/flake hybrid texture of the blend. It rubs out easily, and packs perfectly. It can be difficult to light, but once you get it going it requires minimum relights. It burns very cleanly all the way to ash. Perfect. With regard to taste, I have a little different take than some of the other reviewers here. I do not taste the perique as a fig or plum flavor-think Escudo, but I taste the spice as a sort of a tingle on the tongue. No bite, and no harshness, just a tingle. I can taste considerable citrus, I find it fairly tart with a base "woodiness" presumably from the Kentucky. It is well balanced, very smooth with hay and earth undertones and a slight Virginia sweetness that gets stronger as you smoke down the bowl. I bet it ages well, and I will certainly buy more.

Pipe Used: bent Vauen, full bent Vesz

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: Watch City

3 people found this review helpful.

Snappo's Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Snappo's Pipe (23)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Fat, juicy, meaty, sweet BBQ excellence!!! Please read all the other reviews here for the nuances if you must... otherwise, just order yourself a couple of pounds and smoke and cellar your treasure.

Pipe Used: Nording Nickel Apple

Age When Smoked: Fresh out of the postal pouch...

Purchased From: Watch City Cigar

Similar Blends: None other... a class of it's own..

3 people found this review helpful.

Heliumbro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Heliumbro (13)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

(I am a newer and irregular pipe smoker. My reviews are subject to my preferences and tastes and pipe smoking habits)

As before, SteelCowboy has really done the heavy lifting in describing this tobacco, so I will only add any differences I may have noticed in my smoking experiences. As Ernie at WCC had treated me so well in the past, I knew I had to give some return business and especially to his house blends. He informed me that he felt his blends were presented in a 'Crumble Flake' form, a little bit of both worlds. This thick cut flake was rubbed out and packed gently. Took a flame easily and required only a few relights on my part. Aside from the aforementioned VaPer flavours, there is a woody/earthy note in the background throughout the smoke. I didn't get much in the way of strong sweet and sour, but a more rich, dark meaty smoke that was a little drier than I was expecting. Still very nice and different from what I normally have experienced in VaPer's. The Burly adds that extra little something to the taste, yet stays cool with little to no bite. I did get some Perique spice but it was very slight. Overall a very balanced smoke and a surprising treat. WCC is one of the hidden gems with a great in store selection and an honest, no BS proprietor who knows how to blend and sell his own tobaccos.

Pipe Used: Estate Cesare Billiard

Age When Smoked: unknown/Fresh purchased

Purchased From: Watch City Cigar

3 people found this review helpful.

Pipesolitude Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipesolitude (23)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Very nice choice in the category of sweeter and milder VaPer. I’m a big fan of St James Flake, and I would say this is fairly similar, but a notch sweeter, milder in perique, and, IMO easier to pack and smoke, with few relights needed. There is some tanginess to the perique, but as the bowl progresses the flavour develops into a very well integrated, smooth and sweet smoke. And the smooth quality definitely stands out here.

Taste: What strikes me is how well integrated the flavour is. It starts a bit more on the perique-side, but soon you get at farily consistent brown sugar type of sweetness with an earthy body with almost a bit of (very) dark chocolate note (a bit like burley). Nothing tart or harsch here, just mellow and smooth. To be honest, I don't think it is the complexity of nuances that characterizes the flavour profile. In no way is it flat, but the flavour is more integrated than it is complex. I would say it's just perfectly integrated in the way that you want your VaPer to be. The flavour is just mild sweetness and well balanced amount of perique that provide a little robust backbone and spice.

So, for those looking for a sweeter VaPer that is easy to handle and smokes smoothly, this is a good choice. The only thing I reacted to was the tin note, for some reason it did not smell very nice, but that is something I could not care less about, as long as the smoke is good. It is just funny sometimes how the smell of the tobacco has nothing to do with the taste when smoked. So don’t be fooled all you aromatic sniffers, in the world of pipe tobacco something can smell like shit but smoke deliciously good in the pipe. : )

Similar Blends: SG, St James Flake.

2 people found this review helpful.

WorkingClassChap Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WorkingClassChap (197)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Smoking now:

The jar note is as close to a fig newton as I’ve smelled. That sweet bread cookie smell and the fig fruit filling. The cake crumbles apart perfectly and uniformly with its moisture being perfect. Another outstanding crumble flake cake from WCC.

The taste on this is different. It’s not as sweet or fruity as it smells. It’s an earthier tone. Dark. Fermented. Spice but not tickle your nose white pepper spice but more like black pepper. The figs and fruit are there in the foreground. A little hay, but no grassy bright Virginia flavors. Very dark, mature, dare I say, elegant. There’s bursts of tangy citrus fruit here and there as the bowl progresses. There’s a deep dark sweetness to this that I get from time to time. It’s makes for a pipe that I needed to concentrate on when smoking. Definitely a blend to smoke when you’re not doing anything else. Not overly heavy on the mouth feel, the nic hit is certainly noticeable. Stayed lit fine, below average relights. Most certainly not an all day smoke for me. Struggled to finish it in a large bowl as I’m a nic hit light weight but the flavor was consistent to the end.

I’m glad I got a pound of this. Spicy, earthy, mildly sweet and fruity. Not usually what I go for in Virginias but it’s damn good.

there is no kentucky or smokey flavors to this at all because it contains none

Age When Smoked: 3 years

2 people found this review helpful.

REO Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
REO (13)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I am not a regular reviewer since I restarted pipe enjoyment about 5 months ago and feel my palette and experience are of limited tenure. I lean to Vapers and a YTPC member pointed me to Watch City and recommended Flake 558. It is an amazing blend offering some sweetness and a fain sour note that play very well together. No bite and each bowl is total enjoyment. Well worth a try at a reasonable price with great service.

Pipe Used: Savinelli

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: watch city cigars

Similar Blends: Escudo.

2 people found this review helpful.

Phototone Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phototone (9)
Mild None Detected Mild Unnoticeable

Well, after reading all the glowing reviews of this tobacco, I ordered 8 oz. of it. I like and smoke mostly Virginia, Vaper and some Burley blends. First off, this blend is very mellow, no sharp notes, no bite, and alas, very little nicotine to me anyway. Construction wise, I would not really call this a traditional flake. I understand Watch City makes their own blends and "flakes". Now, traditionally a "flake" tobacco is made up of a blend of whole tobacco leaves placed in a press and pressed together to form a very dense plug, which is then sliced into flakes. The pressing allows the tobaccos to marry and often intensifies the flavor. I do not believe this is made from whole-leaf tobaccos, rather I think it is made from pre-cut tobaccos so in effect this is a crumble cake that happens to be sliced. Very thick slides that fall apart when handled. They fall apart into parts that are not unlike the cut of tobaccos like Granger or Prince Albert, not ribbons, which one would expect from traditional flake tobaccos made from whole leaf. If you are OK with this really being a crumble-cake that can't be exactly treated like a traditional flake, then this may be for you. The flavor is nice, no really high notes, like I said, mellow.

Pipe Used: Various cobs, Peterson system pipes

Age When Smoked: Fresh from the mailbox

Purchased From: Watch City Cigar

Similar Blends: Well, I think it is similar to other crumble cake Vapers. I think the cut greatly influences the tast..

2 people found this review helpful.

Mijnnif Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mijnnif (130)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Bag note very spicy sweet Virginia the smell is wonderful. The flakes are very easy to rub out. Mine was just slightly moist let it sit and dry for 10 minutes. This is a spicy earthy perique forward blend. The Virginia balances it out nicely with some sweetness and citrus. Burns a bit hot, no need to rush this smoke. Puffing gently will provide a more enjoyable result. Slight tongue tingle from the perique . All around really good smooth full flavored blend that has some sweet, sour and pepper going on as you progress though the bowl as well. Nic hit is middle. Highly recommended for Vaper smokers. Not quite an all day smoke but a few bowls are nice.

Pipe Used: Comoy Briar

Age When Smoked: fresh bag

Purchased From: watch city

Similar Blends: Old Dominion's little brother.

1 person found this review helpful.

b7q Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
b7q (54)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

When I opened the bag, I smelled a pair of stinky socks that could stand up. The wide, tidy appearance gave me the courage to crumble them into my terracotta bowl (a must for tobaccos testing). The flavor was rich, sweet, spicy, salty, but with all due respect, my lady went into action after the tobacco was lit, patrolling the neighborhood garbage bags and dog kennels. I know some people love blue cheese, but I don't, and thankfully I only have a 2-ounce sample and won't be buying any more.

Pipe Used: Clay

Age When Smoked: new

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