What are Your Favorite Straight Virginia Tobaccos?

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sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,592
83
Since we're talking Virginias in general and not what's still in production:

McClelland 40th Anniversary
McClelland Red and Black
McClelland Christmas Cheer
McCrainie's Red RIbbon and Red Flake - '96, '00, '08
McClelland 5100 - as a blending base
McClelland 2010
Astley's 44
Astley's 109
SG Full Virginia Flake
SF Full Virginia Plug
Brigham Klondike Gold
John Aylesbury Luxury/Classic Flake
Wessex Brigade Campaign Dark Flake
SG Best Brown Flake
Union Square
F&T CVP
Capstan Blue and Gold
Watch City Simply Red
C&D Yorktown
Sutliff 515RC - 1
 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,592
83
If one were to observe my drawers and drawers of tobacco tins and bags and boxes they would surely notice one blend that outnumbers all the rest. Shiny golden bags and tins of ESOTERICA TILBURY.
I have untold pounds of Tilbury. It's the one I will never run out of.

(A distant second is probably Gawith Best Brown.)
I like Tilbury as well, but it's not a Virginia. It's a Va/Bur.
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,890
80
Are there any known resources that detail the components officially?
I detect burley in quite a few tobaccos in the Virginia Genre. I am not sure whether every leaf "has" to be listed, as Virginia is a genre that even VaPers fall under, as well as a few that have a light sprinkling of latakia. Think: OGS and the perique sprinkles. It's not a true VaPer, but also not a "pure" Virginia either.
I think the descriptors of leaf within a blend is there mostly to let the smoker know about what to expect. Not, an absolute ingredients list.
 

bluegrassbrian

Preferred Member
Aug 27, 2016
1,898
100
I detect burley in quite a few tobaccos in the Virginia Genre. I am not sure whether every leaf "has" to be listed, as Virginia is a genre that even VaPers fall under, as well as a few that have a light sprinkling of latakia. Think: OGS and the perique sprinkles. It's not a true VaPer, but also not a "pure" Virginia either.
I think the descriptors of leaf within a blend is there mostly to let the smoker know about what to expect. Not, an absolute ingredients list.
Yeah there’s certainly some leeway amidst the semantics pertaining to “Virginia blend” and “straight Virginia”.

When someone asks me what tilbury is I say it’s a blend of several Virginia’s and a pinch of burley... but in my head I consider it a Virginia blend more so than a Va/Bur. To me, rightly or wrongly, most Va/Burs include dark fired burley.
 

rmpeeps

Preferred Member
Oct 17, 2017
505
1
San Antonio, TX
Lots out there, but these are my favorites:
Christmas Cheer ‘97
McCranie’s Red Ribbon ‘96
SG Scottish Autumn Flake
SG Best Brown Flake
GLP Union Square
Esoterica Brighton
 
Jun 23, 2019
101
36
Seems like a lot of people have McClelland's 40th Anniversary Blend and the Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake on their list. And I don't blame them for it!
 

bluegrassbrian

Preferred Member
Aug 27, 2016
1,898
100
Would JimInks count?
I threw caution in to the wind and emailed an enquiry to JF Germaine & Son. The reply is as follows,
"Thank you for your interest in our Esoterica Tobacciana range of tobaccos.
In answer to your question there is no burley leaf in Tilbury, it is just
Virginia and Perique but carefully aged."

If that is accurate I suppose Perique counts as burley.
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,890
80
There are Virginias that have not had the carbs fully flue-cured to sugars that taste exactly like a light burley. Just a guess, but it could just be the type of cure or variety of brightleaf used. We pipesmokers toss around the term "Virginia" as if it were a real genre, but the tobacco growing world would call them brightleafs, by the way the leaf sets on the stalk, and there are many different varieties. Add in a touch of a darker brightleaf and a blend tastes of that nutty darker harshness... which is what Tillbury reminds me of. I am not a fan of it, myself, and when it ages, it tastes like dirt to me. I prefer a crispier citrus taste.

I also suspect that the leaf used by C&D has been cured in a way that leaves a lot of those carbs unturned also. It adds a bolder flavor, with less acidity on the tongue. I really like the way it tastes in their Virginia Flake, but some other blends using it just don't appeal to me.

Playing around with flu-curing to pull out different flavors is just one of my nerdy tobacco hobbies. ::puffy::
 
Last edited:
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badbeard

Member
Sep 9, 2017
140
10
Oregon, USA
I will echo a few - I have not typically been a Straight VA smoker, but a friend of mine hooked me up with a huge sampler of probably 20 different straight Virginias and these stood out.

F&T Cut Virginia Plug
Wessex Gold Brick
C&D Yorktown
Dan Hamburger Beermaster :)

And if we are getting weeirrd.. cough Grousemoor cough.

Another one that I really enjoyed was a result of me messing around testing tobacco prep methods.
Bulk Lane Virginia stoved at 200 F for 2 hours. Super mellow, and cheap!
 

bluegrassbrian

Preferred Member
Aug 27, 2016
1,898
100
There are Virginias that have not been had the carbs fully flue-cured to sugars that taste exactly like a light burley. Just a guess, but it could just be the type of cure or variety of brightleaf used. We pipesmokers toss around the term "Virginia" as if it were a real genre, but the tobacco growing world would call them brightleafs, by the way the leaf sets on the stalk, and there are many different varieties. Add in a touch of a darker brightleaf and a blend tastes of that nutty darker harshness... which is what Tillbury reminds me of. I am not a fan of it, myself, and when it ages, it tastes like dirt to me. I prefer a crispier citrus taste.

I on the other hand love the dirt flavor.

I see quite a few people listing CD Yorktown. More like Blandtown. I've never been so let down by a tin of tobacco. I couldn't discern a single redeemable feature in it.
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,890
80
I've never been so let down by a tin of tobacco. I couldn't discern a single redeemable feature in it.
I wasn't really even suggesting one was better than another. I love a few C&D Virginias. I really don't care for Tillbury, but I am not disgusted by it. I mean, if I was stranded on an island with just a tin of Tillbury, I'd smoke it. But, there are a few other blends that I wouldn't. Kae sera sera
 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,592
83
I threw caution in to the wind and emailed an enquiry to JF Germaine & Son. The reply is as follows,
"Thank you for your interest in our Esoterica Tobacciana range of tobaccos.
In answer to your question there is no burley leaf in Tilbury, it is just
Virginia and Perique but carefully aged."

If that is accurate I suppose Perique counts as burley.
That's very cool that they responded!

So it's still not a Virginia, it a Va/Per. Hah! Try again!🙃
 
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bluegrassbrian

Preferred Member
Aug 27, 2016
1,898
100
I wasn't really even suggesting one was better than another. I love a few C&D Virginias. I really don't care for Tillbury, but I am not disgusted by it. I mean, if I was stranded on an island with just a tin of Tillbury, I'd smoke it. But, there are a few other blends that I wouldn't. Kae sera sera
Oh no I wasn't inferring you did.

That's just been on my mind for a while.
I don't mind their Simply Elegant series at all, especially with some age on them.
 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,592
83
see quite a few people listing CD Yorktown. More like Blandtown. I've never been so let down by a tin of tobacco. I couldn't discern a single redeemable feature in it.
Bland? I do not find it so. A powerhouse of myriad complexity? Oh hell no, but not bland. There's a nice gentle sweet/sour to it, especially if the moisture content is right. It's a nice all day mindless sort of unfussy blend. It, Bijou, and the Carolilna Red are the only C&D blends that I've cellared a bit. Their other Virginia and Virginia varietals just aren't in the same class as McClelland, Gawith, K&K, HU, and the Pease blends they produce for Greg. Were I a Burley smoker, C&D would probably be much more represented.
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,890
80
"see quite a few people listing CD Yorktown. More like Blandtown."

This is why I don't pay attention to reviews these days. I find that I enjoy a lot more variety in my tobaccos if I don't let the reviewers affect my tastes. TR.com was great early in my pipesmoking, but these days, I find that avoiding the site has me more happy and diverse with my smoking. Same for avoiding the news and politics... I am just much happier not listening to someone else's opinions. YMMV
 
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