captainsousie, don't give up on FVF. In my experience I have never dealt with a flake that is as finicky as FVF. If it is just a tad too wet it will burn hot, if you smoke it out of too big a pipe, it can taste not so great. I finally figured this one out so I can get a great smoke out of it every time. I now dry it for at least 2-3 hours. When I cube cut it I make the cubes very small in comparison to any other flakes I cube. I have found it smokes best for me in a group 4 Dublin, not a group 5. I think if you experiment and find what works best, you will be rewarded with a great smoke.
I can smoke SG Best Brown or St James in a myriad of pipe shapes and different sizes and they always perform great for me, but the FVF is a fickle mistress for sure.