A Newfound Fondness For Virginias!

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petes03

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2013
5,245
7
I used to be completely turned off by straight Va's or Va forward blends, but in recent months I've decided to really give them a chance. The first Va I smoked and actually liked was McClelland 221b Black Shag. It really got me thinking that I might actually find a few Va's that I could enjoy. I also used to be somewhat opposed to flakes in their various forms, but decided to give them a chance as well. The first flake I tried that I actually liked was Peterson University Flake, though it took several bowls before I really started to enjoy it.
Since beginning my endeavor to give Va's and flakes a chance, I've found quite a few that I really enjoy! I've developed a fondness for Mac Baren blends such as Navy Flake, Roll Cake, and Dark Twist as well as other Mac Barens in general. I've also taken a liking to McClelland blends such as Deep Hollow and Navy Cavendish Flake.

What spurred me to write this post was this mornings smoke, 2013 Christmas Cheer.

My wife got it for me for Christmas! I read that it's best to let it sit for a week or so after opening before you smoke it, so I jarred it the day I got it. Well, I finally smoked my first bowl this morning and all I can say is this stuff is really really good! It's probably the best Va I've had so far, and I can only imagine how good it will be with some real age on it!

Needless to say, I'm definitely becoming a Va and flake fan!

 

piperl12

Preferred Member
Apr 7, 2012
971
1
Pete03 cellar some of that deep hollow for 16 years and try it. It's a religious experiace!

 

rmbittner

Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2012
2,098
1
Pete:
Virginias aren't my primary blends, but there's always one in my rotation. I'd highly recommend McClelland's Anniversary, a VA blend with a touch of latakia (and no other orientals). It's amazing. I'm also a big fan of Rattray's Jocks Mixture, which combines VA with cavendish and a tiny bit of latakia. And if you can smoke it slowly enough, Rattray's Hal o' the Wynd can be amazing. (If you don't smoke it slowly enough, you'll miss out on its inherent sweetness.)
For straight VAs, I think Rattray's Old Gowrie, Samuel Gawith's Full Virginia Flake, and Dunhill's Flake are all stellar.
Since you're open to flakes, I have to recommend Butera's Dark Stoved as well as McClelland's Dark Star. The latter requires a lot of work to prepare for smoking (the flakes are extremely hard to rub out), but the flavor is worth it, IMO.
Enjoy!
Bob

 

petes03

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2013
5,245
7
@piper. 16yr old Deep Hollow, man that sounds good!
@bittner. Those are some good sounding suggestions, the McClellands and the Rattrays especially sound good! Thanks!

 

rockymtnsmoker

Senior Member
May 31, 2013
418
1
Like you Petes I'm a recent convert. Just stumped out to the shed for a bowl of GH&Co's Rum Flake. The perfumy Lakeland element takes some getting used to but that just becomes background mid bowl. Also loving the Christmas Cheer. Have a tin open and one for the cellar. Great stuff.

 

cobguy

Preferred Member
Oct 18, 2013
3,743
3
While it may be considered a VaPer, technically, I think Robert McConnell's Scottish Cake has a fantastic Virginia forward flavor. The Kentucky that's there is merely for balance and the Perique is barely present.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
19,107
2,760
Outer Space
I'll spare you my long list of recommendations. But, everything mentioned is good.

That Christmas Cheer is good stuff. You've got good tastes.

 

petes03

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2013
5,245
7
@rockymtn. Thanks for the recommendation, but I absolutely can't stomach Lakelands! Lol!
@cobguy. Thanks for that recommendation, as long as the Perique is in the background I'm OK. There are only a couple of blends with Perique in them that I regularly smoke, and they are Latakia forward. Nightcap and FM On The Bayou.
@cosmic. Your reccomendations are welcome anytime, no need to spare me! Lol! And yes, the Christmas Cheer is very good!
Presently, I'm smoking a bowl of Mac Baren Roll Cake from a tin dated January 2007, amazing stuff!

 

jgriff

Senior Member
Feb 20, 2013
425
0
It's your first step into a wonderful new world....
But seriously, it's a wonderful realization that there are some virginias you'll like. It's my primary type of tobacco and I haven't had them all yet. The difference between a McClelland bright leaf and a Gawaith african. Fire-cured or flue-cured. Add some perique. Add some subtle top-dressing. Mix 7 or 8 types in a single blend. It never ends.
The key is if you like want you recently tried. Branch out inside the same blending house. The best part of virginias is the exact same tin of tobacco aged for 6 months, 1 year, 10 years, etc. will be different at each stage.

 

salewis

Senior Member
Jan 27, 2011
413
0
Try Dan Tobacco's Hamborger Veermaster which is a wonderful tasty light virginia that is easy to smoke and has a true Virginia disposition.

 

ejames

Preferred Member
Oct 6, 2009
3,917
1
I used to be completely turned off by straight Va's or Va forward blends, but in recent months I've decided to really give them a chance.
The same thing has happened with me here in the last couple of months. I decided to try some VA blends and so far have a few I really like,especially Rattrays Old Gowrie.

Straight virginias or virginia/burley blends seem to agree with me. Anything with very much latakia or perique I cannot smoke.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
27,549
3,403
There are so many superb Virginia blends no one will ever enjoy them all, but Orlik Golden Slice is

often mentioned with warm approval, and I learned to enjoy Virginia blends with Cup O Joes #5

sliced, just a lovely balanced blend. Virginia is also often the basis for quality aromatics.

 

sallow

Preferred Member
Jun 30, 2013
1,145
12
I too have been reaching for Virginias more and more. In particular Capstan Navy and Germain's medium flake.
@rockymtn. Thanks for the recommendation, but I absolutely can't stomach Lakelands
That's o.k. More for us!

 
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