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Understanding Virginias With OGS

(26 posts)
  1. pipefish

    pipefish

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    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????

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    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.

    Harris
    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. johnsteam86

    johnsteam86

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. pipefish

    pipefish

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    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

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. johnsteam86

    johnsteam86

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    Your cellar room has to smell awesome.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. pipefish

    pipefish

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    Fantastic list--thanks for sharing! Christ, just when I thought I wasn't going to buy any tobacco for a while...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. pipefish

    pipefish

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. derfargin

    derfargin

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    Even the War Dept. said the smell is "not bad" which is a massive complement coming from her.

    LMAO. I can't tell you how awesome that was. "The War Department" LOVE IT

    There are 10 types of people in this world, those who understand binary, and those who don't.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. pipefish

    pipefish

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    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!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. pipefish

    pipefish

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    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...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. workman

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    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.

    Smoking is one of the leading causes of all statistics.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. jazz

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    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!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. workman

    workman

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    Earl grey is bergamot flavored too.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. jazz

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. workman

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    I think OGS is pleasant for as long as a cup of tea lasts which is about 5 minutes.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    jazz, I had to look up what Bergamot was. The last time I smoked fresh OGS was back in 2012. After smoking through my 1997, I ordered a tin to see if I wanted to cellar it. All I got was grass and hey and don't remember if citrus was there as well. I am going to find that tin and see what it looks like as I only smoked one bowl of it. I'll let you know after I smoke it to see if I get that Bergamot flavor.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    oldtoby

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    Harris,

    Do you detect any difference between the FVF tins with the older gold paper liners than the newer tins, age aside?

    To my palate, the blend seemed to change a bit around the 2006-2008(or '09) mark. I believe the earlier Empire tobaccos were a little better (sweeter maybe?) Could just be me, but I've heard from others this may be the case. Can't prove any of it, of course. Just wondering if you noticed any difference.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. theloniousmonkfish

    theloniousmonkfish

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    For me fresh GS tastes like orange blossom and honey. Get no grass or hay from it but it's so light. If I have a tin it's usually an in between smoke to break up heavy blends, also like it mixed with Peterson PP, hits those sweet notes and has some bass and depth to keep me happy. With Orlik I prefer Dark Strong Kentucky.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. cigrmaster

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    oldtoby,

    Harris,

    Do you detect any difference between the FVF tins with the older gold paper liners than the newer tins, age aside?

    To my palate, the blend seemed to change a bit around the 2006-2008(or '09) mark. I believe the earlier Empire tobaccos were a little better (sweeter maybe?) Could just be me, but I've heard from others this may be the case. Can't prove any of it, of course. Just wondering if you noticed any difference.

    The only tins I have been smoking lately are from 2004 with the gold liner. I have a bunch of 2012 bulk but haven't smoked any of that in over a year and only remember enjoying it. I think I have some 2012 tins around here somewhere and will try and find them. I can crack one of those and maybe do a comparison to the 2004.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. mso489

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    That spicy note is supposed to be Perique, though folks debate over whether they can taste Perique in there. In any case, I consider OGS the "old dependable" of the extensive list of wonderful Va's and Va/Pers. If you have to grab something in a hurry, and don't want to consult reviews or notes you've made, OGS won't disappoint you. If it were rare and three times the price, people would swoon over it, instead of calling it old dependable.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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