Maybe it's just the power of suggestion, but this blend's Red Va. sweetness and somewhat woodsy character makes the name totally appropriate. The batch from which I'm smoking was purchased in bulk and cellared in a Mason jar since March, 2009; but I've been smoking from it for the past year.
It is composed of various rough-cut brown and black leaves that pack, light, and burn very nicely at the original moisture level. The jar I'm currently smoking from has dried just a bit, which makes it perfect for me. From the jar, its fragrance has a characteristic Red Va. sweetness that is complemented by a soft, chocolatey aroma.
The product description: Sweet Red and Stoved Red Virginia's, Perique, and unsweetened black Cavendish, immediately invites a comparison to a popular benchmark, Stokkebye's Luxury Bull's Eye Flake. But Redwood has a darker, softer sweetness that, while not as fruity as some Vapers, is more fruit-like than Bull's Eye's brighter, grassier sweetness. A second point of departure is that Redwood's Perique is more peppery. While its musty, stewed fruit plumminess integrates well with the Red Va.'s, it is less subtle than that found in Bull's Eye. Finally, Redwood's unsweetened black Cavendish produces a chocolate, or perhaps carob flavor that defines this blend's individuality; in Bull's Eye the black Cav is a mere tint.
For me, the Perique in Redwood has a peppery tingle: both in the nostrils, and upward toward the bridge of the nose. I get thisclose to being annoyed with it; but, since it does fade somewhat as the smoke progresses I don't let it distract me from the taste of the sweet Va.'s, and Perique's more fruit-like aspects. Around the last half of the bowl the chocolate flavor of the black Cav fades, but lingers in the finish for the duration of the smoke. The last part of the smoke becomes a plain, if toastier, mix of thoroughly integrated tobaccos.
Redwood packs, lights, and burns well, producing a good volume of smoke with a chewy mouth feel that I thoroughly enjoy, whether sipping of puffing away. It burns coolly and dryly, with no bite, gurgle, goop or dottle. This is a well balanced blend. It has good body, or depth of character; a slightly woodsy quality; a mildly sweet, though not entirely fruity flavor; and medium nicotine strength. Taken together, these characteristics provide a nicely balanced, satisfying smoke.
Though I like Redwood (I've got about 8 ounces cellared), it's not part of my regular rotation. It is a good, quality Vaper -- but I'm not totally gaga over it. It is distinctive enough to justify a recommendation to all who wish to experience the diversity of the Vaper genre; and confirmed Vaper lovers should put it on their short list of blends to try.
4 stars if you like a Perique blend with a forward peppery tingle; 3 stars or less, depending on how willing you are to tolerate that.