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  • Started 2 years ago by toobfreak
  • Latest reply from mawnansmiff
  1. toobfreak

    toobfreak

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    With the looming FDA, I'm surprised to see some of the expanding lines (perhaps started before the FDA thing), but hear little/no talk of them.

    Has anyone tried Golden Triangle and do you taste any significant differences between the different Perique varietals?

    What about the Gurkha blends? I know I tried a Gurkha cigar in a glass tube years ago and it was lousy. Wet, burned crooked, fell apart. Maybe their real thing is pipe tobacco.

    And finally, Cult. When Blood Red Moon came out it was all the rave. Since then, they've come out with six other blends! Last year I bought a tin of their 'Conspiracy,' but I haven't tried it yet. Now there is Abacus, Anonymous, Militia, Embassy and Profile. Has anyone tried any of these and what are your thoughts?

    To Master Po: Is it not being able to see that makes you tire of life?
    Master Po: No! It is being able to hear!
    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Well, "Golden Triangle" has an entirely different meaning for me.

    The Gurkhas are repackaging of different blends as is Cult Red Moon. I do like the Gurkha blends.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

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    Posted 2 years ago #
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    lestrout

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    Yo to

    The Golden Triangle series put together by the great RussO and Mark Ryan are among the finest examples of Russ's work. He told us about the project at Lehigh Valley Pipe Club meetings and was enthusiastic about the concept of single batch Periques. It turns out that there are more than one (or two) Periques, since individual regions produce distinctly different flavor profiles. This isn't surprising if you think about analogies with single malt Scotches or wines.

    I've been working my way through both the Golden Triangle series as well as the RO Series of Perique Blends and it is a very interesting journey. The GTs are a bit like the McClelland Grand Orientals, where the base Virginias (and burleys) are held constant while the varietals are introduced individually. The ROs capitalize on the individual character of each specific Perique, so Russ started with the particular Perique and built the rest of the blend around it. None of these 8 blends is shy - the flavors, even in their relative youth, really jump out at you.

    The blizzard of new blends last year probably obscured the worthiness of these 8 blends, and the premium price may have influenced the budget minded. Even without the overreaching FDA Deemers, these are essentially limited editions, since there is only so much of the core regional Periques around.

    hp
    les

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    The RO Series are unique, with the Perique and Acadian series being strictly a one time shot. At the last WCPS, Mark brought along a great selection of Periques, aged Orientals, and Virginias and I was able to buy some of these same components from Mark before the leftover runs out. Will be fun to experiment.

    As far as the FDA Deeming Rule, it applies to finished products, not components, so I don't wee why a wider array of blending components wouldn't be a great product to market.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    baaron

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    I bought the Golden Triangle series to see if I could discern the difference between each varietal of perique. Even though I only sampled two of the blends so far, both were unique in their own way and I look forward to trying the others.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. toobfreak

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    Interesting that while some bemoan the passing of Syrian Latakia, little has been said of the passing of St. James Perique, or that when a blend says it has perique in it, it does not say which or how many of the blended varietals it has!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    It's the myth of the month club. There's this perception that Syrian is the real deal and Cyprian is an also ran. Same goes for Perique. The St James Parish product is wonderful, but so are others.
    Now that I have some free time, I'm looking forward to trying out these components, especially a St James that was accidentally barrel aged for 14 years. The fragrance of that stuff is big, fruity, and fabulous!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. mso489

    mso489

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    I too have wondered about various introductions of new blends and series, not just these but various others. Without any inside information, it seems to me that a number of companies are making the calculated bet that the FDA deeming regulations will be delayed, withdrawn, or not enforced, or not enforced rigorously. And there are some rational reasons to make that bet, though it could be a losing bet. I think pipes and pipe tobacco must be the least fertile ground for attaining health benefits, returning public support on enforcement, and being cost effective in enforcement. In terms of public relations, it could be a real horror story -- raiding ma and pa pipe shops, grandpa pipe clubs, and artisanal countryside blending workshops. It could be a real antagonistic stinker for FDA, and itch up public dissent for years to come. I think it may be a bigger loser for FDA than for the pipe and pipe tobacco business. As a regulator, I wouldn't want to go near it with a ten foot churchwarden.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    I have another suggestion. Many pipe smokers like to try new things. Tobacco manufacturers know this. They have large stocks of tobacco. They can sell X amount of tobacco sticking to the same old same old They figure they can sell X + some % of X by using their existing stock of tobacco to make "new" blends. If they have to return to selling the same old same old when the FDA regs take hold, so be it. All they are out is the cost of printing labels, etc. In todays world, you don't even need a sales force pounding the pavement and getting shops to stock your new product. Social media does the job, and panicked consumers are begging you to take their money.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. cosmicfolklore

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    Russ's blends were concocted before the FDA thing got started, and a few others afterwards. These are all limited editions and will disappear with FDA implementation. But, they knew this going into it. Lane has a few also that they either 1) know these will disappear or 2) they will pay for them to stay. It's not that they cannot make any new blends. But, once the FDA gets to its cut off date, either they will go away or the companies will pay for all the hoops that will have to be jumped.

    I have no idea what the assertion is about St James perique, but I have heard nothing about them going away. There is/were controversy concerning perique, but Mark Ryan, who is Mr Perique is quick to squash any controversies... even if you don't want to hear them, ha ha. Just go to a pipe show and strike up a conversation. He's very elaborate in his explainations, and to me, there is no controversy. Perique is perique. I've seen the process and even kissed the barrels.

    Michael
    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. cosmicfolklore

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    Just my $0.02, but if people would follow what has been said by folks in the industry, and not just the handwringing folks like us on the sidelines, you'd have a better idea of what is going on.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. toobfreak

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    I've seen the process and even kissed the barrels.

    Michael, can you say more about this process? Or is there a website you'd recommend?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. cosmicfolklore

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    I can't find my original post with a lot more pictures, but this one has a few http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/true-perique also http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/put-that-in-your-pipe/the-mystique-of-perique/
    Basically, the factory is two different rooms about the size of my garage. The newer section is where they strip the stems and load the palates , and then they unload the barrels after pressing. The older side is where they press the perique. I've heard that some can do this at home with some results. But, it's like wine. The microbes that have been doing this work for generations are all living within LaPoche. So, that is where the true perique comes from. However, there are families in the Delta that also make true perique and have been working with LaPoche for generations also. McClellands and C&D buy from Mark Ryan at the old LaPoche factory.
    So, all of the world's perique could literally be stored in my garage. That should tell you how small the pipe tobacco industry is.

    I hope that helps.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. cosmicfolklore

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    Crap!!! My big fat fingers accidentally deleted my post on that thread with the photos as I was trying to copy them to post here. Ahhhhh!!!
    Here are the pictures from my Photobucket.





    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. toobfreak

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    Thanks Michael, all very interesting. It would seem that the key is the wooden keg, log, etc., that the tobacco is pressed in. Microbes grow and develop within the wood that guide the fermentation process. Every month the tobacco is turned and a little air introduced then the fermentation is continued until the tobacco is essentially rotted black with the fermentation producing untold flavor agents. It would be interesting to try this on a small scale just to see what can be made.

    As I understand it, the Acadian Perique is basically a heavily dark-processed tobacco leaf blended in with St. James and this greatly extends the supply as well as giving a unique character. But to be called "perique" it must have a certain percentage of genuine St. James.

    Also noted was the comment about finished St. James being vacuum sealed in bags due to it being highly susceptible to moulding. That is pretty understandable as it is very wet and bio-active! I have several periques stored in house, including McClelland's Perique, McClelland's Blending Perique and C&D Long Cut Perique. Without checking, I imagine at least two of those would probably be considered Acadian with maybe one being St. James, I'm not sure off the top of my head; I think I have them stored tightly pressed pretty airtight but will have to look in on them soon to be sure nothing is going south. Keeping the air out should go a long way to preserving them as the one article says they can be stored for years in the kegs so long as air is kept away from them!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. cosmicfolklore

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    All perique is cut with a Burley of sorts. He had said that this was for several reason, of which I can't recall. But, cutting it for financial reasons was not one of them, because of the man hours in handling it all. But, perique has been cut that way for as long back as records will show, longer than any of use have been around, for each batch he send samples to various well known tasters, such as Greg Pease and such, to make sure the blend is spot on. But, cutting it is not an issue.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. toobfreak

    toobfreak

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    Man, couldn't you just love being in a room with all of that tobacco and black ooze dripping through the sides of barrels? And to think, the whole thing was discovered by accident, some Indian stashed his tobacco in a hollow log somewhere in the woods and put a rock on it to protect it, and being in the damp log pressed out of the sun with no air over time, he went back and found it had all turned black and smelled rich and earthy!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Mark will be at the Chicago show with blending components for sale. Hopefully he will have the Periques that I sampled at the WCPS. He'll happily tell you about the process and it will be a wonderful opportunity to obtain unique varietals that are otherwise unavailable.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. cosmicfolklore

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    Yes, any opportunity to talk with Mark is an informative treat. Also, try his Perique amd Madura cigars, mmmmm...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. toobfreak

    toobfreak

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    Wish I could be there Jesse! I would love to go to one of those. Best I can keep track of from my cellar notes I have several tins of the McClelland's Perique from McCranie's which AFAICT is the highest grade REAL DEAL pure St. James. But I also have McClelland's Blending Perique in bulk form. Is that the same? I'm betting it is Acadian in nature though recollection does not recall any visible difference. It's all very black. However the tins are also called blending perique. I am guessing both of these are considered the granulated form.

    Then I have the Long Cut Perique from C&D which reviews say has more of the sour vinegary mushroomy aroma than the fruitier McClellands, plus it is in the longer form which ought to be more stable over time. It has been 8 months since I have dug out my chests of these things so hopefully one of these days I'll pull it all out to check on the condition/progress. Either way, I feel pretty well covered in the Perique department.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    As long as you enjoy how it smokes in a pipe, it's all good!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. deathmetal

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    They figure they can sell X + some % of X by using their existing stock of tobacco to make "new" blends. If they have to return to selling the same old same old when the FDA regs take hold, so be it.

    I agree with this analysis, with a wrinkle: they learned from the Shiner Beer people how to make a domestic product sell for import prices through novelty and ease of access.

    "My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey." -- William Faulkner

    The Metal Mixtures
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    jitterbugdude

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    It would be interesting to try this on a small scale just to see what can be made.

    It's very easy to make. I have some Semois that will be done "Periqueing" in another few months. Having made close to a dozen batches over the years I believe the reason for the periodic un-packing and re-packing of the leaf has nothing to do with actually making perique (from a microbe perspective). If you were to press a 50 gallon barrel of leaf for 1 year it would be a concrete block when you were done. I believe the periodic unpacking is so that when the fermentation is finally done it can be separated for shredding purposes.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. cosmicfolklore

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    I don't even remember Mark Ryan saying anything about packing and repacking. Looking at that tar-like bubbly mess of wet leaves in the barrel, I would probably have to scoff at the notion.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    jitterbugdude

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    If anyone sees him at the Chicago show, ask him how many times a year he unpacks-repacks. Maybe he's come up with a newer method?

    It would seem that the key is the wooden keg, log, etc.

    Not really, The microbes in the final product are yeast. Anaerobic yeast at that. So once the leaf is pulled out and the barrel is exposed to air all of the yeast will die off.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. cosmicfolklore

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    Hmmmm, when I dry yeast out, and then add sugar salt flour and water to it again, it comes back to life. All yeast comes in a bone dry form.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    jitterbugdude

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    Hmmmm, when I dry yeast out, and then add sugar salt flour and water to it again, it comes back to life. All yeast comes in a bone dry form

    Yes, Falcultative anaerobes will do that. The yeast of Perique (pichia anomala)is an Obligate anaerobe (as near as I can tell) which means it dies in the presence of oxygen.

    Oh, and don't worry about all the goo you see on the top of a Perique barrel. Once you lift the lid the rest of the tobacco is free of any goo. So unpacking and repacking several times is not as messy as it may seem.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. mawnansmiff

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    Michael, if that's the size of your garage I'd love to see the size of your car. I reckon you would get twenty of mine (Skoda Fabia) in that space

    Regards,

    Jay.

    ...take up thy stethoscope and walk...
    Posted 2 years ago #

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