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Old 01-16-2009, 09:10 AM   #13
Slow Triathlete
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First Name: Scott
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Default Re: Virginia/Perique (VaPer) Showdown

Good morning everyone. Well after a long hiatus from reviewing I am back and ready to update with another review. This time the lucky tobacco is Samuel Gawith’s St. James Flake. One thing that I must mention about Gawith’s flakes is that I love how they basically fall apart when you take them out of the tin. Now I’ve never mastered the art of folding and stuffing flakes so I always break them up to some degree. Gawith’s flakes seem to be thinner than a lot of flakes and broken flakes (McClelland) and are really, really easy to rub out and pull apart. Because they are thinner, they also seem to dry out a lot faster before smoking them whereas a lot of the other brands take forever!! Another great plus in my book.

As a lover of Gawith’s Full Virginia Flake (FVF), I knew that they had the Virginia blending down to a science but I was curious as to their knowledge of throwing Perique into the mix. Here is how this blend is described:

A sumptuous blend of Virginias and Perique, this big, bold British style flake incorporates a generous proportion of St. James Parish, LA perique.

The tin aroma was typical fruity and spicy, maybe more on the spicy side, which is what I would expect from the description of this VaPer. The Virginia aroma is very reminiscent of FVF and I suspect that they might use a Virginia blend very similar to it. I took out a tin of FVF and gave them both the “sniff” test and they the Virginias were almost identical.

As stated above, I took a couple of flakes out of the tin and gently rubbed them out and let them dry for about 30 minutes before I loaded up the bowl. It was very easy to light and had a white ash right off of the bat. This blend burns extremely clean, just like FVF. During the smoke, the Perique dances along with the Virginias almost as if to a beat. It comes to the front then goes to the back and so on and so on. It was a great experience!!

Now I am going to go against what most people on have stated about this blend. A lot of people on there have stated that the Perique quantity in this blend is way over the top and that there is a high level of nicotine in this blend. I did not find either of these statements true for any of the bowls that I smoked of this. And I have smoked two tins so far. While the Perique is noticeable in this blend it does not come to the front and punch you in the face with its strength like other blends (Kajun Kake, Night Train, etc). Also, there is nicotine in here but not anymore than I have experienced in other blends.

This blend is very tasty to me and the price when buying in bulk really can’t be beat. Taste-wise, I enjoyed this more than Escudo. The reason is that the two types of tobacco (Virginia and Perique) seemed to be blended together with more consistency than Escudo. I have smoked Escudo where I almost didn’t have any Perique until I hit the bottom and then it came on too strong. St. James Flake is not like this. The Perique chimes in as if on cue every time. It’s a wonderful blend and will be a staple in my rotation and cellar from now on. This one takes over 2nd place.

1) McConnell Scottish Cake
2) Samuel Gawith’s St. James Flake
3) Escudo
4) GL Pease Filmore
5) H & H AJ’s VaPer
6) Peretti’s Park Square
7) H & H Anniversary Kake
8) Reiner’s Long Golden Flake
9) Treasures of Ireland - Limerick
10) Dorchester
11) Luxury Bullseye Flake
12) McClelland Bulk 2015
13) GL Pease Telegraph Hill
14) Kajun Kake
15) Luxury Navy Flake
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