Understanding Virginias With OGS

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pipefish

Senior Member
Aug 25, 2013
336
0
I am still quite new to VA tobaccos because I tend to like over the top latakia flavors like Nightcap. I enjoy Dunhill Flake but recently I tried Orlik Golden Sliced and find myself smoking 2-3 bowls a day of this stuff and I'm usually a one bowl/day smoker. I find it easy to light, easy to smoke, no tongue bite, and plenty of flavor with a spicy note that I really enjoy (not sure if that's perique or burley, but it's darn good). Even the War Dept. said the smell is "not bad" which is a massive complement coming from her.
But since I'm still sort of new to VAs, is this what top quality VA should be? Or is OGS an undergraduate math course, with other specialty VAs like McClelland the equivalent of Matrix Theory? The price is certainly reasonable and it doesn't look like it's going away soon...RIGHT????

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,881
1,911
United States
OGS is a great starting place for VA flakes, very approachable and easy to smoke. OGS transforms itself with 10 plus years of aging. The grassy and hey like notes are replaced with raisin and fig like flavors.
For some different VA flavors you might want to try the following:

Wessex Brigade Campaign Dark Flake

Wessex Brown Virginia Flake

Capstan Blue Flake

Samuel Gawith Best Brown and Full Virginia flakes.

Astleys no 109 Medium flake and no 44 Dark Flake

John Aylesbury Classic Flake ( used to be called Luxury Flake)
Some can be difficult to find but worth the effort in my opinion. For some reason there have been shortages on many of these flakes and I am not sure why. Peck and I have been done buying any of these years ago.

 

johnsteam86

Member
Jan 1, 2018
271
0
Like you I to have been turned on the Va blends lately especially with Perique added in. Glad you like OGS cause that was going to be the next purchase so I think I will go with the 3.5 oz. MSO recommended a lot of blends that cigrmaster did so that makes two with a close to 90% comparison that they both enjoyed. I know I am making a list of the ones above so I can start getting those to. I say take the leap and start trying different manufacturers to see how you like them. If you don't like them you can always age them to see if you like them better that way. Either way it is always good trying new blends. :D

 

pipefish

Senior Member
Aug 25, 2013
336
0
Thanks for the recs, Harris. I've tried FVF but it was like trying to light water on fire. No matter what I did I could not dry the stuff out! I went through at least two lighters trying to smoke that it and decided it was not worth the hassle. I have some John Aylesbury Lux Flake (based on an earlier reco from you) aging for the last two years, so may have to pop a tin soon.
@johnsteam68--there apparently is a debate on whether OGS has perique in it. I have no idea, but it has a wonderful spiciness on the retrohale. You definitely need to give OGS a try.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,881
1,911
United States
John, here is my full list of flakes that I cellar. The TR next to a name means ready to smoke out of the tin with no drying time. I prefer my flakes to be a bit moist as too dry I loose flavors.
Virginia Flakes:

Fribourg&Treyer Cut Virginia Plug TR

Fribourg and Treyer VintageTR

Fribourg & Treyer Special Brown FlakeTR

Wessex Campaign Brigade Dark FlakeTR

Wessex Brown Virginia Flake TR

Wessex Gold Virginia Flake TR

Wessex Gold Brick TR

Wessex Virginia Slices

Samuel Gawith Best Brown Flake

Samuel Gawith full Virginia Flake

Samuel Gawith Kendal Plug

Hamborger VeermasterTR

Dunhill Flake TR

Astley’s no. 44 Dark Flake TR

Astleys 109TR

John Aylesbury Luxury Flake now called Classic Flake TR

Rotary Navy CutTR

Capstan Blue FlakeTR

Brigham Klondike Gold TR

Butera Royal Vintage: Dark Stoved
Virginia/Perique Flakes

EscudoTR

Solani 633 TR

Samuel Gawith St James Flake

Dunhill Deluxe Navy RollsTR

Peter Heinrichs Curly Block

Dan Tobacco Salty Dogs
Virginia/Burley/Kentucky Flakes

Solani Silver Flake TR

Peterson Perfect Plug

GL Pease NavigatorTR

Petersons Irish Flake

Peterson University Flake

Esoterica Stonehaven

Mac Baren HH Old Dark Fired

Wallace Flake TR

Orlik Dark Strong Kentucky TR
Aromatic Flakes

Mac Baren Modern Virgina Flake

Mac Baren Vanilla Creme Flake

 

pipefish

Senior Member
Aug 25, 2013
336
0
Fantastic list--thanks for sharing! Christ, just when I thought I wasn't going to buy any tobacco for a while...

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,881
1,911
United States
pipefish, I know what you mean about Full Virginia Flake, here is what I do to get it to smoke nice. I cube cut it into very small cubes, maybe an 1/8 of an inch. I let it dry for a couple of hours and then I load it into one of my group 4 Dublins with a conical shaped bowl. Until I did all those things, FVF busted my balls much like you have described. Once I was able to get it right it has become one of my favorite smokes. I have been working through a tin of 2004 FVF and it is superb. Smokes great every time with my system.

 

pipefish

Senior Member
Aug 25, 2013
336
0
Related note--what does "dark" in dark flake signify? Do they tend to be stronger in flavor than other types of VA tobacco?
And thanks for the tips on FVF. Pretty sure I got that tin stashed away somewhere--probably still at "Hound of the Baskervilles" level in terms of dryness.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,881
1,911
United States
Dark flakes like the Astleys 44, Wessex Brown and CBDF are processed in a way that makes the colors darker than a bright VA. As far as strength goes no they are not stronger but they have a molasses like sweet thing going on that I love. Astleys no 109 Medium flake is as dark as any of them yet is mild and bite free. Lots of flavor to my tastes but definitely not a strong flake.
One thing that all my flakes have in common is they don't have any red virginia's in them. The Solani Silver flake has a little but not enough to bother me. I have an allergy with red virginia's. I will get a burning sensation the minute the smokes hits my tongue and it feels like acid if there is too much red in it. That is why the only McClellend blend in my cellar is the Butera Dark Stoved. That is made from Lemon Virginia's which are fine for me.

 

pipefish

Senior Member
Aug 25, 2013
336
0
Harris, you need to write up a "VA Primer" for all of us and post it as a sticky. Searching for the Astley's 109 as I type this. Thanks for the great info!

 

pipefish

Senior Member
Aug 25, 2013
336
0
LMAO. I can't tell you how awesome that was. "The War Department" LOVE IT
Full disclosure--I started using that term for SWMBO after seeing it used on this forum years ago by other members. But it really is fitting...

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,881
1,911
United States
pipefish, Smokingpipes has the 109 but no 44. The 44 has been a bitch to get for years now. You should sign up for an email notification.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,881
1,911
United States
john,
Your cellar room has to smell awesome.
Actually my whole house smells pretty good as I have tobacco everywhere. My living room, my bedroom closet, under my bed, my night stands, my sons closet are all full. I am now working on my 3rd bedroom closet as boxes are starting to get loaded in that as well.

 

workman

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
1,725
66
OGS was my intro to VA flakes and I found it sweet and easy to handle. At one point I did the mistake of dtinking a cup of earl grey tea with honey, which I seldomly do, and found it to taste exactly like OGS. Now, I do like earl grey with honey, but a bowl of OGS lasts 90 minutes at least and that is like drinking a gallon of the damn stuff. So I've decided to give it a rest and try some of the other stuff. I don't think FVF is more difficult than any other blend. They are all difficult.

 

jazz

Preferred Member
Feb 17, 2014
787
0
UK
I'm mainly a Virginia smoker and I see people say that OGS is a good representative of a Virginia but I disagree. I absolutely hate the stuff as all I can taste and smell is bergamot and not in a pleasant way. It's repellent to me. I hardly ever see anyone mention this and I can't understand why. Perhaps I was unlucky with the tins I had and the flavouring was overdone but I will never buy it again to find out. Ach-y-fi!

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,881
1,911
United States
jazz, I won't smoke fresh OGS. I find the flavors to be very grassy and hey like. I opened a 1997 tin of OGS in 2012. The tobacco had turned black and the grass and hey flavors were replaced with raisins and figs. I still have on more of those 100 gram tins that I will crack one day. If you didn't notice OGS was not listed in my cellar. When I first got into flakes years ago I tried OGS and kind of liked the fact it didn't burn my tongue, but I quickly found flakes such as F&T Cut Virginia Plug and Astleys 109 and Hamborger Veermaster that had better flavors for my tastes. I do think OGS is still a good starter flake because it is easy to smoke, but when recommending a flake for someone I always suggest Capstan Blue and Dunhill Flake as they are at least available and quite tasty. I would also recommend Astleys 109 as that has flavor and is totally bite free, however it has been becoming more difficult to find.

 

jazz

Preferred Member
Feb 17, 2014
787
0
UK
Harris, I hear you but tell me, do you get bergamot from it? I wonder, does anybody?
Workman, indeed, Earl Grey does contain bergamot but it's pleasant in that.

 
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