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Virginia /Perique Tobacco » G. L. Pease Stratford Tobacco Reviews Write review

1 unique reviews

RATED Average Rating (by 1 users)
Flavor  rated 4/5   Recommend It?  rated 3/5   Tin Aroma  rated 2/5  
Brand: G. L. Pease
Blender: G. L. Pease
Tin Description: Stratford is an enticing blend of delicately sweet brights and rich, ripe, red Virginia tobaccos, seasoned with just the right measure of fine Louisiana perique. The wonderfully nuanced interplay of sugar and spice is sure to delight the lover of this time honored combination. The room note is soft and subtle, the taste zesty and piquant. This is the one for the Virginia/perique fans.
Country of Origin: USA
Curing Group: Flue Cured
Contents: Virginia, Perique
Cut: Ribbon
Packaging: 2oz tin, 8oz tin

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# 1/10/2012 User rated 3/5
Review by Cortezattic

Stratford: woody, peppery, and wonderful after dinner

Stratford, from Pease’s Classic Collection, is a non-aromatic VaPer blend. Popping the tin reveals a mix of short ribbon-cut leaf and flecks of some irregular shapes. It has mostly dark golden, mahogany and brown tone tobaccos with occasional deeper shades of brown that I take to be Acadian Perique -- a mix of St. James Perique and "perique-processed" Kentucky Green River Burley. I’m not privy to the recipe, but I come to this conclusion because it doesn’t have Perique’s usual oily black appearance; and the tin description cites “Louisiana” Perique, not “St. James”. More importantly, it doesn’t seem to have the same stewed fruit and musty flavor profile that I have found in “black leaf” blends. That said, this blend can stand on its own merit, and taste buds have the final say despite any ambiguities that I might create.

The tin note, or bouquet, pretty accurately predicts the soft sweetness and woody character of the blend’s flavor when smoked; but it only hints at the peppery sting waiting to accost the nose and sinuses. “…[Z]esty and piquant. This is the one for the Virginia/Perique fans…”  Indeed!  I look back on the first few bowls of this as the rite of passage by which Pease grants admission to his personal take on Elysium. Surprisingly, once I became inured to the pinch – or should I say habituated – the blend blossomed with delightful woody flavor.

The Virginias in this blend are neither citrus, nor sharp and grassy, nor characteristically sugary, though they do possess a bread-like sweetness that serves as a foil to the woody, almost bark-like brown tobacco flavor. It has a delicate bitter edge similar to that of the woody flesh packed in the convolutions of a walnut; and there are taste elements that remind me of both fennel and nuts – especially in the finish. I find this faint bitter edge intriguing, if not entirely yummy, and it works well – both with the woody taste, and against the background sweetness.

As I mentioned earlier, the Perique in this blend doesn’t have the stewed fruit and musty flavor that I at first expected, but it seems to meld nicely with the Virginias to create a deep woods, brown tone flavor. In a blind taste test I would have guessed that Burley, or perhaps stoved red Virginias create this blend’s flavor and body. But of course, that wouldn’t explain the ubiquitous pinch.

There are no packing, lighting or burning issues to deal with. It is a perfectly well-behaved blend. It smokes cool and dry; it is free from bite; and it generates a nice volume of chewy smoke with good mouth feel. The balance between body, flavor and strength – which I would place at the upper end of medium – makes for an overall smooth smoke.

I recommend Stratford as a after dinner smoke, though I suppose it would be a good choice for any outdoor activity too. If you have enjoyed Cumberland, Jack Knife, or the sweeter Cairo, I think you’ll discover some hidden delight in Stratford too – though some might consider it an acquired taste.

User Rating
Tin Aroma -  rated 2/5
Flavor -  rated 4/5
Recommend It? -  rated 3/5
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