Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG) Escudo Navy De Luxe

(3.48)
A combination of full bodied Virginia from North Carolina and Virginia blended with Perique from Louisiana are the cornerstones in Escudo. The blend is pressed and matured before it is spun and cut into coins. This process ensures the unique character of Escudo.
Notes: Produced by the Cope brothers from 1912 to 1952, at which point they were bought by Gallaher, which produced Escudo until discontinuing it in 1994. A&C Petersen began production in 1997, with the original recipe and presses. Escudo was pulled from US market in 2000 but sold elsewhere. In 2004, production was moved to Orlik/STG and Escudo was reintroduced to the US in 2006.

Details

Brand Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG)
Blended By  
Manufactured By Scandinavian Tobacco Group
Blend Type Virginia/Perique
Contents Perique, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Curly Cut
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country Denmark
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

3.48 / 4
288

109

37

17

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 450 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 15, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
This is as solid a VaPer as they come. Lovely presentation, sour/rich aroma, smooth and biteless, nice development of medium flavor at the top of the bowl to pungent and earthy at the bottom.
Age When Smoked: New
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 31, 2009 Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Put off by all the hype I delayed opening one of my Escudo tins. I explored other VaPer blends and especially flakes, working my around to the "King Of VaPers". Well I finally decided that I had enough perspective to give Escudo an honest go.

All the hype holds true. This is a masterpiece tobacco. The tin aroma is sweet and tangy. Enough to make a non-smoker want another deep whiff! The discs are pretty to look at and fun to handle. One great thing about flake tobaccos is that once you know the best quantity and fill method for a pipe, you can recreate it quite easily. Anyway, Escudo is sweet, tangy, plummy, silky smooth, and burns great. There is a small nicotine effect, but it's gentle and welcome. I have smoked bowl after bowl of this exceptional tobacco.

May Escudo never part from our midst.
93 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 16, 2012 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Late 1990s to circa 2005 A.C.Peterson version: The Virginias provided a fair amount of tart and tangy citrus, tangy dark fruit, vegetative grass, bread, sugar, earth, wood, hay, mild foralness, tart lemon, and light spice as the lead components. The spicy, raisiny, plummy, figgy, earthy, woody, moderately sweet perique was a supporting player. Had an obvious prune topping. The strength, nic-hit and taste levels were a notch past the medium mark. Didn’t bite or get harsh. Had a few small rough edges. Burned cool, clean and a tad slow with a very consistent VaPer flavor. It was more citrusy and grassy than the Murray’s Deluxe Navy Rolls at the time, and a couple of step less fuller. Wasn’t an day smoke. Four stars.

Circa 2006-2013: It didn’t change that much. It was a little lighter overall than the A.C. Peterson version with a higher degree of vegetative grass and hay, and a tad less sweet and spicy. The dark fruit, earth, wood, and sugar were mildly lower. The strength, nic-hit and taste levels were medium. The rough edges were slightly higher. Burn rate was the same. Wasn’t an all day smoke. This was a three and a half star experience. Was a little further away from Navy Rolls than before.

2014-2022: This version had a duller Virginia presence using youthful Stokkebye stock with very little dark fruit earth and wood due the the use of lighter Virginias. Was more grassy, too. The perique remained the same with a tad more plummy presence, and that much less spice. It also had a light sour acidity that was never present in earlier manufacturers. The prune topping was lightly weaker. The strength, nic-hit and taste levels were a step below the medium mark. Had a few more rough edges than all previous productions. Burn rate didn’t change. This was a two and a half star blend that I lowered to a two star rating due to the mild, but heightened astringency. Had a smaller similarity to Navy Rolls than what I reported in the second paragraph.

5-16-2023 Update: The citrus level is a little higher now with less tartness. No dark fruit exists here now. Earth and wood are minimally present. The lemon notes have very slightly lessened to mild. It has a little more bread and sugar, and is a touch more floral and spicier. Has a fairly high grass content, though the vegetative aspects are very light. Acidity is very slight. Due to the severe reduction of the perique content, it is a condiment now. Very mild spice, barely has any figs and raisins, and the plum is lightly more obvious than the spice notes, but much less than before. The prune topping is very mild, more so than at any previous time. The strength, nic-hit, and taste levels are a couple of steps below the medium mark now. Rough edges are minimal. Burn rate hasn’t changed. The flavor is less complex than all previous productions although the astringency of the previous Escudo has vanished. It’s an all day smoke now. Two and a half stars upped to three because this is a more pleasant smoke than the 2014-2022 manufacture even if it is different. My current ratings are reflective of the 2023 product.

-JimInks
76 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 17, 2013 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is, quite simply, the best VaPer out there. The benchmark by which all others are judged. The Holy Grail of VaPers. the gold standard. While there are many fantastic VaPers available (and some not-so-fantastic), Escudo is The One. My desert island tobacco. Rarely does a day go by when I do not smoke it. The Virginias are divine - that perfect, fresh hay tin note. I get very little Perique in the tin note. Flavorwise, the Perique is mild in this one compared to some other Perique-forward blends, but it's in perfect proportion. Remarkably cool burning. Not sure how you top this. I like to rub out the coins, and will typically smoke only one at a time in a smaller, wider bowled pipe such as a small pot or prince. I have a Stanwell 242 dedicated to Escudo that probably gets more than its share of use.

Everything that needs to be said has been said in previous reviews.

If you are thinking of trying it, stop thinking and order it. You will not be disappointed. And if you are, you can send the rest to me.
63 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 08, 2002 Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
I have always found it difficult to make Escudo behave. I tend to over-smoke it. When it burns too hot, it is horribly aggressive. When it burns just right??it is one of the supreme experiences.

A lot of guilded cant has been piled up under the heading "complexity" in tobacco talk. Mixing up a few strands of tobacco is not exactly like writing Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics. The unique simplicity of Virginia tobacco, as tasted in Escudo, is like the scent of a rose: not complicated, just ineffable. Ineffable is enough.
48 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 14, 2015 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Escudo Navy De Luxe is the benchmark for Virginia/Perique blends. That does not mean it is automatically the best, but it is the standard against which others are judged. Escudo means "shield" in Spanish and Portuguese, and the word was used for a large coin used in times past, a coin of roughly the size of these large medallions.

Escudo has a varied history. Originally made by Cope Brothers of Liverpool, it was bought by Gallaher, then A&C Peterson. and then resurrected after a hiatus by Orlik, which has now become a fully owned subsidiary of the Scandinavian Tobacco Group. It is listed as made for Peter Stokkebye, the Stokkebye name also now part of STG.

Open the tin and you find perfectly shaped disks varying with blond, medium, and dark brown color. The older the tin, the darker the hue. The tin aroma is typical for a Va/Per--grassy, slightly citrus Virginia and the rancid fig tang of perique.

The medallions can be rolled and crammed into the pipe, or rubbed out. The resulting load is easier to light with the rubbed out version. There is also a slight difference in smoking flavor. The rubbed out version has a steadier taste. The crammed version tends to show a puff by puff variation in the degree of perique flavor that comes through. The taste is medium, and neither the Virginia nor the perique totally dominates.

The room note is not generally perceived as offensive, although it has a touch of a burnt popcorn smell. As with all blends with more than a whisper of perique, the nicotine level is apparent, not really heavy, but certainly up to the medium range. It burns down to a fine clean ash with no goop.

The debate rages: Is Escudo Navy De Luxe the same as Dunhill Navy De Luxe? They are manufactured in the same facility. I suspect there may be a slight variance in the percentage of Virginia versus perique, but i doubt seriously if even the most veteran pipester could detect which was which in a blind taste test. Be that as it may, there is a discernible difference--the price. On that basis alone, my vote goes to Escudo.

I am giving Escudo the fourth star, but I must note that smokers who eschew perique will not like it.
43 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 17, 2014 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The presentation is excellent. The tin smells great - figs and hay - just a whiff of spice. It was a little damp when I started the tin, and I mostly smoked it without drying. Moisture was perfect by the end of the tin. I smoked this folded and rubbed out. I never tried cubing it.

It was a good Va/Per which I claim has some topping that contributes to the sweet. The perique was condiment+. You notice it, and it contributes to the flavor. There is a slight suggestion of caramel in taste, but it is really just good golden Virginia with a citrus, grassy, slightly sweet taste and a mildly peppery perique.

This tobacco has some serious fans, and I thought it was good. I only bought one tin and did not buy another when I finished it. In this type of blend, I think PS Luxury Navy Flake is just as good and comes at a better price point.

Having said all this, Escudo is a standard that probably every pipe smoker should try. You might be one of the fans. Even if you don't decide to buy it 10 tins at a time, you will know what others are talking about.
38 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 02, 2012 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
A very good reliable VaPer. I don't get as much sweetness as many others do, but I enjoy it for both the high quality Virginias used and what seems to be the perfect amount of Perique. I can see why this is used as such a benchmark to compare other Vapers.

UPDATE: 8/1/14

As I have now finished about six or seven tins of this since my review, I think it is also time to add another star. This one really does grow on you. I have had it aged and fresh and it is always good. It probably helps that my smoking has much improved over the last two years as well.

UPDATE 7-7-2017

32 tins in the cellar and I am not sure it is enough. Piper problems. 🙂
33 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 27, 2009 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
In my overall 20 years of smoking virginias and VaPers, I have to say that this is the best of the bunch - as the last reveiwer said, the "holy grail" of VaPers. Complex, smooth, hugely flavorful... a genius of a blend. I've smoked the new stuff back to back with the old and while I prefer the older Cope's blend, it could very well be because of its age, not because the blend is different. Youthfulness in tobacco isn't as desirable as it is in humans!

Many blends come close to Escudo. None have captured its essence. It is without a doubt the King of Virginia/Perique blends, in my humble opinion.
30 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 03, 2009 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
This is my no.1 tobacco. Has been for a long time. A smooth Vaper - no tricks. Easy to rub out, easy to light, stays lit. Enough flavor to not over puff. I hate to see a bowl end. When they throw me in the fire, I hope they stuff a couple of tins of Escudo in my pockets.
29 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 09, 2009 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
My review is based on a couple of six coins left-over in a tin bought in 1998 at JJFox in London. Producer was still A&CP.

The coins were dry but not brittle. They were briefly rehydrated over a humidified tissue, loaded in a unfiltered Savinelli Professor Pot smoked exclusively with Va & VaPer's, and left wait a hour.

Well, like Condor and other Gallaher's, Sobranie's, John Cotton's and other old British, Escudo has a special place in my earth. It was one of the tobaccos of my youth, I didn't even know it contains Perique... Four stars may seem something affected by that sentimental feeling, not in this case: Escudo is the benchmark of VaPer's, just or more than Three Nuns (the old days' one, I mean).

A medium strength, sweet/peppery smoke, very well balanced. The body is bit weak, common feature for VaPer's. The pleasure to the nose is great with notes of malt biscuits and occasional pepper.

Care must be put in non rushing the draw, but I have not faced particular problem or hot pipe even during enthusiastic sets.

Unfortunatly Escudo is missed from very long time from the Italian tobacconists, and I understand not very easy to find even in Europe. As a comparison, Solani 633 seems the one going very near to Escudo. Black Parrot is even more Perique oriented. Torben Dansk's Sailor Flake no. 15 is also something good substitute to Escudo.

Highly recommended.
27 people found this review helpful.
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