Review by Schmitz Bitz
An under-rated gem
The gaudy tin and kitchy tag-line (Blakeneys toasting bans the bite) simply don't do this fine tobacco justice. My tin did have eight months of age on it before I cracked it, but this was retailer age - obviously an under-rated blend!
The presentation is broken flake, with dark browns flecked with tans and interspersed with strips of coppery browns. The tin aroma leaves no doubt in ones mind that this is a McClelland blend; with the ketchup odour prevailing. Over time, this will dissipate to some degree, allowing a sweet, earthy, almost musty smell to come forth, which, when mixed with the McClellands odour, is akin to a sweet bbq sauce.
I usually use the "stuff and puff" method of loading this tobacco, and although some fiddling is required, nothing more than with any other flake/broken flake. If anything, this tobacco is broken down more than other offerings I've sampled, making it somewhat easier to deal with.
On the charring/true light, the flavour of this blend really kicks in; offering up sweet hints of citrus and figs, while hints of fresh earth play on the back of the palate.
As I progress through the 1/4 point of the bowl, the perique in this blend really begins to assert itself. Unlike other VaPer's, I don't get so much of a peppery note, but rather a flavour more akin to figs and cider. This compliments the sweet notes of the Va's wonderfully, and each puff offers up a slight variation on the profile.
Through the last 1/4 of the bowl, the perique really steps to the forefront, and although it retains the earthy sweetness of the first three-quarters of the bowl, the peppery notes begin to assert themselves, although never becoming overpowering.
The room-note on this blend is extremely pleasant; the creamy, rich smoke offers up strong notes of figs, wet earth, and hay, while fleeting naunces of hardwood, citrus and rasins occasionally pop up.
The vitamin N in this tobacco isn't overpowering, however, the high concentration of perique does make it one to watch out for.
While not my go-to VaPer, certainly something worth keeping a couple of tins on hand for special occasions or when the mood for something sweet strikes me...and age will certainly only improve this blend. Highly reccommended; assuming, of course, you like Perique.