Sutliff Tobacco Company Court of St. James

(3.22)
Spicy Perique with tangy Virginia flake.
Notes: Court of St. James is a spicy combination of a broken-flake Virginia and peppery Louisiana Perique, with a tiny whisper of Latakia. The result is a zesty blend, bursting with flavor.

Details

Brand Sutliff Tobacco Company
Series Sutliff Private Stock
Blended By Carl McAllister
Manufactured By Sutliff Tobacco Company
Blend Type Virginia/Perique
Contents Latakia, Perique, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Mixture
Packaging 1.5 oz Tin
Country United States
Production No longer in production

Profile

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

Average Rating

3.22 / 4
7

9

1

1

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 18 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 11, 2024 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Latakia, Perique, Virginia all are present. Opening the tin smells of a standard English as expected, but a few whiffs makes one salivate a tad after you close it back up and think about it.
Smoking is uneventful in a good way. Typical lightly complex English blend that's smoothed out with a creaminess, probably from the Virginias. It's pleasant and tolerable shards that look as if they were hand-rubbed flake.
The expected tang and plumb-y flavors are muted and seemingly slathered with cream to be a tasty and mild, inoffensive English.
Mine has been aged for 10 years and to good effect and a smooth blending occured.
Reminds me vaguely of Arango's Balkan Supreme's baby nephew, diminished and gentle.
Surprisingly cool smoke, this is a dainty English and is lightly flavorful and good and makes you want more the next day. Probably a good rainy-day smoke.
Pipe Used: Peterson Dracula
PurchasedFrom: Tinbids
Age When Smoked: 10 years
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 31, 2014 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable
The Virginias are rich and a bit grassy/earthy with a light vinegar essence that is slightly noticeable in the beginning, but mostly disappears after a few puffs. They also have some citrus and a touch of darker fruit. The perique is peppery, raisin and plum sweet in a support role. Although the tin description doesn’t mention it, there’s some smoky, woody, lightly sweet Cyprian latakia in here, and it takes a light lead over the other components.The nic-hit is mild. The cut is broken flake, and burns at a moderate pace, clean and cool with no harshness, no bite, and a very consistent flavor. Needs an average number of relights, and leaves little moisture in the bowl. It’s a medium strength all day smoke with some complexity. I imagine this will age very well in the cellar.

-JimInks
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 18, 2014 Mild Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable
UPDATE 6/11/18

Got a two bowl sample as part of a blind test. I nailed this one! My initial thoughts held up quite well... characterless, flat, dull, and the VaPer that looks up at every other VaPer I've smoked. A couple of years of age did squat for this one. There appear to be many more smokers that enjoy this than those that don't, so don't let me sway you from trying this. It's a very... uh... distinct blend, judging by how easily I named this one while smoking it blind. For my tastes, this one rates very poorly against all others in its genre, which I find typical for this blender. But that's just me, folks! Happy to report that I didn't get a bad tin for my original review... this stuff is just bad!

ORIGINAL REVIEW

Mostly walnut-browns with a fair bit of black pieces, the cut of this is sort of a cross between broken flake and ribbon. I liked the cut of this, as I've never folded and stuffed ribbons before, and it worked here. Kind of cool. Tin aroma was of latakia and some sort of topping that I couldn't place. Review is based on half a tin, as a buddy brought it over saying that Sutliff was getting into "serious" (his word) blends and not just aromatics or "matches" for someone else's recipe. Because he knows I'm a sucker for new tobaccos, he laid half his tin on me and smoked the other half. But I have to say that even with my mostly less-than-encouraging results from Sutliff blends, I was a bit anxious to see how they treated the venerable VaPer style.

I'll often scan other reviews before I write one but this time I read them all because I was disquieted by what I was tasting. Indeed, my impressions differ greatly from the other reviewers. I've posted on pipe chat sites that even after all my years of pipesmoking, I'm still discovering my own tastes. Whereas every review I've ever read is not just about the tobacco but about the symbiotic relationship between smoker and tobacco, this review will be even more about my tastes than about the blend.

I didn't get anything close to the "bursting with flavor" that is on the ad copy. What I got was a bed of almost completely characterless Virginia with the barest of smidges of perique flavor. The abiding flavor I got was latakia with a casing. Even those were light. I see where others can't taste the latakia and that's almost all I taste. I see where others are picking up the main components and I'm not. Viva la difference, I guess. I do have a high sensitivity to latakia and I can taste even a pinch in a blend. Conversely, I have a lower sensitivity to perique and often think there's less in a blend than there really is. Both worked against me here, as this blend was extremely boring to me... smoke with very little tobacco flavor. I'm not sure how the VA was when it was put into the blend but it suffered badly in the end; however, the typical Sutliff chemical taste was not as prominent here as it was in most of their other blends. The latakia was prevalent but even when I smoked a bowl while plucking out every black strand I could find, I found no character in the Virginia... no sweetness or grass or complexity, just flatness. Two things solidified their obviousness to me with this tobacco experience and that is that reviews are a minor tool to the reader (certainly the other reviewers of this blend would have unwittingly suffered if they'd shunned the blend based on my review) and that the Sutliff blending house holds almost nothing of interest to me. Their style simply doesn't fit my palate. Thankfully, I think both parties will get along just fine without each other going forward. 🙂 Incidentally, my friend got much less latakia than I did but confirmed that for his taste it was at the low end of the VaPer scale.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 22, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
Presentation: CoSJ appears to be a mixture of broken Virginia flake and a HEFTY dose of black coarse cut ribbons of barrel fermented St. James Perique. Because the broken flakes are thick cut, stiff, and long, this mixture needs to be thoroughly rubbed out and partially dried before you can smoke it.

Tin note: The tangy aroma of Ketchup/Tobasco that’s the hallmark of MacBaren’s matured Virginias (re: Sutliff owns MacBaren) is present, but not to excess. It’s accompanied by a pungent note of dark BBQ sauce, which implies (to me) the flakes were hot pressed after maturation, in the same fashion as MacBaren’s HH Old Dark Fired. The Perique’s plummy and mushroomy aroma is overpowered in the tin, but not in the bowl ... more on that in a moment.

Smoking: Skipping ahead to Mid-bowl, this is rich, full bodied and spicy smoke. Picture a three way combination of roasty HH Old Dark Fired, tangy HH Mature Virginia and peppery Perique, in almost equal measure, and you’ll have a good idea what to expect here. Courtesy of the hot pressed matured flakes used as the base, and the hefty dose of Perique used to balance them, this falls deeply into the strong end of the VaPr spectrum, and almost goes into the upper decks. Despite its strength, this blend works quite well ... the savory caramelized flakes pair nicely with the intensely peppery perique, the plummy notes of the latter round out the saucy tang of the former, and the thickness and age of the flakes (and admirably restrained use of sugar) help keep the smoking temperature in check. Despite the pungency, you can actually puff this at a fairly good clip without it overheating or biting back ... and unlike 1792, you can actually do back-to-back bowls of this potent mix without suffering ill effects.

Summary: This is a big, pungent, and very spicy VaPr that should please aficionados of hot-pressed flakes, perique-heavy blends, and BBQ fare alike. This blend works well, and gets a solid three stars. Add a full star if you're a fan of the MacBaren 'tobasco' note, HH Old Dark Fired and Perique in general.

*Speculation: I'm guessing this is a discounted limited release (read: Sutliff blending a bunch of well-aged but overstocked MacBaren flake with some overstocked perique in order to clear warehouse space). I suggest buying it now, while supplies last and discounts abound. Definitely worth laying down a few tins.*

---------- Pairings: I’d say pepperoni pizza with hot sauce, or hot wings with a chipotle based BBQ dip, or a dry-rubbed steak (served with A1 or HP), would all be winners here. For liquor, I’d go dark and full - for whiskey I’d do Baker’s 107 or Macallan 12, and for rum I’d do Gosling Blackseal. For beer & wine I’d counterpoint with a crisp dry pilsner or a dry sparkler, to keep flavor fatigue at bay.
Pipe Used: Grabow Freehand (Group 4)
PurchasedFrom: Pipe Club Promotional Tin
Age When Smoked: Unknown (tin not vintage dated)
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 19, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Court of Saint James is a broken honey topped Virginia flake spiced with perique and a smidgen of Latakia.

Initially I was very impressed with this tobacco, but I started to notice issues with it.

The perique wasn't amped up enough in my opinion and the Latakia was a mess. The honey sweetness from the Virginias throws off what there is of perique and Latakia. This blend is tossed together with broken flakes and sprigs of Latakia and perique. It may also fall victim of being too young. A little age may redeem it.

If you want to try a Virginia base spiced with Perique and Latakia, pick up a tin of Cornell and Diehl's BUFFALO SOLDIER and G.L. Pease PICCADILLY. Don't waste your time with The Court of Saint James.

PurchasedFrom: PipesandCigars.com
Age When Smoked: Shrug
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 07, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
I bought three of the new Sutliff Private Stocks in a recent sale. COSJ was one of them because I love VaPers and thought what the heck. It is true that the tin does not list latakia as an ingredient, yet it is the first thing I smelled when opening the tin but there is almost no taste of it while smoking. I get good tasting full virginia and a nice bit of perique with no bite. The cut is long strip broken flake which I easily twist and stuff into the pipe and it takes to the match quite well with minimal relight. This blend puzzles me a bit but I surely do like it cause I'm about to finish the tin. Wish I could lay a bunch aside and see how it develops over time.
Pipe Used: Tinsky Panel Pot
Age When Smoked: New
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 16, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
This is an odd sort of blend. I did enjoy it, but I can't say I would purchase anymore. I think of this as one of those blends that a year from now I will have to look at this review to remember what I thought of it.

My biggest problem with it is the inconsistency each bowl presents; which in a way, also made it somewhat enjoyable. The reason I believe this happens is more the cut than anything. It is a mix of broken flake and ribbon cut that is all over the place with nearly all pieces being quite large, so unless you rub out the whole tin first and then mix it together, you will have a smoke that is dominated by one or two of the elements.

I used to be zealous enough to rub out a whole tin, but I have grown a bit lazy over time. I used to rub out flakes now I fold and stuff. Not for the flavor or burn, but because it is easy. so with this blend I would have some bowls that clobbered me over the head with Latakia or perique. The virginia element was quite nice and seemed to bring sweetness to each bowl which clearly shows that it is the lead component with the other elements holding a condimental role.

As I stated at the beginning of this review, this made for many different tasting bowls and there is something to be said for that. That alone might propel this to four stars for some, but for me, this is a three star blend.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 25, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
This! This is delicious! A gift from the Chicago show and a wonderful surprise.

I was told it was a Virginia with some perique, but when I was smoking it something was different. Finally, I realized that there was a touch of latakia in there. Not a LATAKIA blend (get some penzance for that). Just a latakia-touched blend. The latakia isn't really tasted as such. rather it complements the other components. It just blends in.

Wonderful!
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 23, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Quite possibly my new favorite blend from Sutliff. This broken flake smells amazing right out of the tin. Rich with perique and just a touch of latakia to give it a nice smokiness. I usually never expect tobaccos to burn perfectly right out of the tin without a little dry time but this one took to the flame and smoked beautifully. Although it's not a phenomenal blend with tons of complexity, the flavors are there for fans of good Virginia/Perique blends. The latakia was a welcome addition for me. One I will probably want more for sure.

Austin Pipe Club
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 20, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Sutliff hit a grand slam with this one! I'd give it five stars if I could! I'm mostly a Va/per smoker with at least eight in my rotation. I ordered two tins from pipes and cigars just to give it a try and glad I did! Upon opening the tin I was flooded with a latakia smell that overpowers the other tobacco. Strangely enough I didn't even see the addition of the latakia in the ingredients while researching the bled. Upon lighting I detected absolutely no latakia!! Anyway, tons of taste and smoke! No harshness, sweetness from the Virginia's and just enough parique to tickle your tongue and not overbearing at all! And all this from a fresh tin with no ageing on it!!!! Love this stuff! I'm ordering a sleeve of tins to cellar! Give it a try my friends!
Pipe Used: Ser Jacopo, Ferndown
PurchasedFrom: pipes and cigars
Age When Smoked: New
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 04, 2016 Very Strong None Detected Very Full Strong
My tin says "Spicy Perique with Tangy Virginia Flake" and that's exactly what I got. No Latakia in this iteration of the blend, and loving Latakia like I do; I'd notice it if it was present. (see EDIT below.) It is very much like St. James Woods as I was hoping- almost to the point of being indistinguishable from it. I do detect more perique though, and it seems a little stringier and less chunky. I like it just as much though.

While one reviewer did complain about the small quantity, the price I paid for this was totally right. Formerly I've avoided Sutliff blends, being under the impression they were all aromatics. I am however looking forward to dipping into this throughout the coming autumn.

EDIT: There is indeed a bit of Latakia in this after all. I happened to smoke a bowl through a clay pipe which I'd never used for a Latakia blend (all my pipes are ghosted with it) and there it was. I do think it'd be better off without it. 9/22
Pipe Used: Mitchell Thomas pot, cob, Spanish no name
PurchasedFrom: Pipes & Cigars
Age When Smoked: new when purchased
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