I love Escudo as well, but I'm a bigger fan of Dunhill Deluxe Navy Rolls.
Now I know I just opened a big can-o-worms, but I DO believe there is a difference!
To me, and others (I'm not alone in this), Dunhill DNR is on the sweeter "stewed fruit" side of Perique, whereas Escudo leans towards the "peppery" side of Perique. They are both top notch Va/Pers, but I give DNR a slight edge over Escudo, for my tastes anyway.
I do cellar both, by the way, but DNR tins outnumber Escudo in my cellar by about 3 to 1.
Reading this thread got the mental gears turning - I could almost hear the Escudo I have aging calling out to me - temptation over-rode common sense and at 2am while I should have been sleeping, I folded and stuffed a couple of discs of well-aged Escudo into a 1930's era KBB Yello-bole apple and enjoyed some middle-of-the-night bliss ... thankfully, it's Sunday, so I can sleep in and even add an afternoon nap if worst comes to worst ...
thanks for the inspiration ...
I do enjoy LBF, its affordable and tasty. I do agree though, it lacks that nice clean peppery taste of Escudo.
I generally dont mind basic VA/BUR's, so I have a nice big jar of LBF thats been there for over 6 months, and gets cracked open to refill a rotating tin every month or so. It seems to be getting tastier with some age, and pretty much ready to rub out and pack with no drying time.
I find that I get more flavour and less relights with some drying time with Escudo.
LBF is best with some age on it in my opinion. I have some that is about 1.5 years old and it was way better than fresh. I have nearly 2 lbs stashed away. I haven't tried Escudo yet. I have about 10 tins waiting to pop open from about a year ago. I love enjoy VaPers and from what I read I had to get some. I add a tin in every order I make just to cellar it. One VaPer that is underrated in my opinion is 4noggins Praire Wind. That is yummy stuff.
I like LBF too, but liked it a lot better with the center popped out like Cosmic said. I'll pick some Escudo up one day, but am still footdragging so far. It sounds like I'd like it very much (and maybe that's why I haven't yet). I love Virginia but since she showed up at my place a few years ago with her spicy cousin from down South it's been nothing but threesomes.
On a side note, I recently tried 4Noggins' Prarie Wind because Cortez recommended it and wow! That is a great plummy sweet perique on the other end of the spectrum, so to speak. Tasted it in the front of my mouth instead of the back of my mouth and throat the way I do with white pepper or with with a peppery perique.
I've been in love with Escudo for a number of years, the boldest VA/Perique that I've smoked. Though I can enjoy a moderately flavored blend, I love most those with full-flavor, and Escudo is certainly that.
I've aged both the A.C. Peterson and Orlik versions very successfully, but not as yet the STG version. We shall see, but I'm sure that it should do well. The only difference I perceive is the STG topping.