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Old 01-16-2009, 09:06 AM   #6
Slow Triathlete
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First Name: Scott
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Default Re: Virginia/Perique (VaPer) Showdown

Okay, looks like I’m back on track with the reviews here. I was going to review the Hearth & Home Anniversary Kake in this post but the past few bowls that I have had shows that this blend is still too wet for my tastes and it would not be fair to judge it in that state. So instead I will be reviewing the Robert McConnell Scottish Cake, not to be confused with their Scottish Flake offering. I know that IHT has recommended it in the past as a good VaPer and when I called to order it, I told them about the VaPer comparison that I was doing. The gentleman on the phone stated that they had some on order but I had to wait for it because this was his favorite VaPer. With those two recommendations and what I’ve read on, I knew that this was going to be a good, possibly great, blend.

I got the tin the other day and I immediately cracked it open and took a whiff. Mmmm, it smelled like the sour fruitiness of the Virginias and the peppery spice of the Perique. I think that I read somewhere that this might have a small amount of burley mixed in there for good measure. It is a course cut flake and I rubbed it out a little more to help with drying. The appearance is kind of a red, and light and dark browns (mostly dark brown). I let it air out and dry for about 15-20 minutes and then loaded it up into my Peterson Bent Bulldog.

Right off of the bat this was a great tasting blend. Lighting was extremely easy with only one false light. As the bowl progressed, the flavor got fuller and fuller and leveled out at about a medium to full in taste and strength. The Virginias provide the sweetness throughout and while there is a decent amount of Perique in this blend it never overpowers the taste. It’s always there in the background and weaves itself in and out through the Virginias. It has a great, lively flavor that never goes flat. Also, I never had any kind of tongue bite even though I’m sure I got it going hot a few times. The Virginias never go sour either.

The smoke aroma comes off as sweet and fruity and for some reason it smells a bit chocolaty to me. Not sure why that is or if it’s another scent that I just can’t identify but it is close to chocolaty.

Now, I know that I’m going to cause a stir by saying this but I enjoyed this more than Escudo. And the tin of Escudo that I’ve been smoking from is 4 years old. Escudo seemed to have a lot of ups and downs throughout smoking it whereas this blend is steady throughout. It burns slow and it didn’t require a lot of relights from me. With that said, this is just me and my opinion. I know that Escudo has a huge following and I’m one of them but I’m ranking this one above Escudo. Not far above.

Here are the standings so far:

1) McConnell – Scottish Cake
2) Escudo
3) Treasures of Ireland – Limerick
4) Dorchester
5) Luxury Bullseye Flake
6) Kajun Kake

Here are the blends that are remaining:

McClelland Bulk 2015
H & H Anniversary Kake
Bayou Morning (Just received this in a PIF so I thought that I’d include it)
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