Aged Wessex Campaign

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Jacob74

Preferred Member
Dec 22, 2019
505
2,149
Spokane, WA
Well team, I broke open a tin of Wessex Campaign that has been aging since 2013. Please forgive me if I get too enthusiastic, because this (as they say) is the "good stuff" that has been hiding in my cellar for awhile.

Step 1: Pop the tin, good hissing sound. The tin note: Divine.
Rich dark fruit, raisins, prunes, some fig smell. Very sweet, pronounced tobacco scent. I don't smell any particular topping.

Step 2: Wipe up involuntary drool puddle, after all, we aren't mindless savages, or even worse: drummers.

Step 3: Observe the stuck together broken flakes, some crystals present, no signs of mold danger. The tin has a very small amount of oxidation in the edges that were in contact with the gasket material in the lid. Nowhere else in the tin has that, and that gasket material is still pliable with a grippy feel.

Step 4: Handle a small bit of the flake, rub out enough for a bowl. Moisture content near perfect. No sticky fingers, no clumping. Dry time less than 5 minutes. (going into a cob, no worries here)

Step 5: Apply flame. Charring light good, top charred easily...I could have probably just let it rip with this light, but allowed it to go out anyway and shaped it up before lighting it for real. Started the smoke. mmmm

Virginia Nirvana. Seriously all, this experience was outstanding. The flavor is rich and tasty. Quite mellow though, nothing harsh or over the top. Smokes very cool, no moisture issues (in a cob though, so duh). The mouth feel of the smoke is creamy, but not thick or oily. I blew some smoke rings, because reasons.
Observed my chest, new hair growth. Must be some nicotine in here, but I don't feel sweaty or dizzy. Started feeling like now would be a good time for whiskey; good news, it's Saturday. Whiskey time activated.
It burned really well, average number of tamps and relights.

If you like Virginias, for the love of all that is rich, mellow, and tasty, get some of this as quickly as you can and put it in your cellar.


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cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
16,835
27,532
United States
Good review. Most people don't know what this is as I bought over 200 tins for my cellar. I have been smoking 2012 stock and it is as tasty anything in my cellar. I was lucky as there were no limits back then so I. would order in lots of 25.. I bought most of mine from 4noggins and smokingpipes. I think they put in limits shortly after people began buying it up quickly. People who were fans of Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake began buying this thinking it could be a substitute and the shortages began for this blend. I have plenty of FVF and had bought around 12 pounds, with no troubles. I will smoke the Campaign over the FVF if I had to choose between them.
 

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Jacob74

Preferred Member
Dec 22, 2019
505
2,149
Spokane, WA
Good review. Most people don't know what this is as I bought over 200 tins for my cellar. I have been smoking 2012 stock and it is as tasty anything in my cellar. I was lucky as there were no limits back then so I. would order in lots of 25.. I bought most of mine from 4noggins and smokingpipes. I think they put in limits shortly after people began buying it up quickly. People who were fans of Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake began buying this thinking it could be a substitute and the shortages began for this blend. I have plenty of FVF and had bought around 12 pounds, with no troubles. I will smoke the Campaign over the FVF if I had to choose between them.
That was quite an investment! Cheers to you, and good smokes for life!
 

vink

Member
Aug 31, 2015
150
37
Longueuil, Quebec
Damn I got to try it again then. Got an aged tin from another piper since I knew it was a favorite of @cigrmaster and l’ve been a fan of pretty much everything he recommends. When I opened the tin it got that licorice smell that I associated with many German blends. Smoked one bowl and all I got was that licorice taste and no sweetness at all. Got to give it another chance...
 

rushx9

Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2019
2,187
16,064
39
Shelby, NC
An absolute favorite. I think it's better than FVF, personally, but there is obviously a touch of licorice, and maybe something fruity in the top note that would make it less of a direct comparison and place it out of the runnings for some.
For me, the top note is what lifts it above the rest.
I'd stock up if only I could make it to checkout without it selling out and getting pulled from the cart! I've heard rumors that Rattray's Black Virginia is pretty close to a ready-rubbed version of WCD.
 

coming to_falling too

Preferred Member
Mar 13, 2020
1,706
16,226
29
missouri
An absolute favorite. I think it's better than FVF, personally, but there is obviously a touch of licorice, and maybe something fruity in the top note that would make it less of a direct comparison and place it out of the runnings for some.
For me, the top note is what lifts it above the rest.
I'd stock up if only I could make it to checkout without it selling out and getting pulled from the cart! I've heard rumors that Rattray's Black Virginia is pretty close to a ready-rubbed version of WCD.
Interesting 🤔. I have a tin of BV and a few of WBCDF in the cellar. Would be interesting to do a side by side.
 

BROBS

Preferred Member
Nov 13, 2019
10,941
36,179
38
IA
An absolute favorite. I think it's better than FVF, personally, but there is obviously a touch of licorice, and maybe something fruity in the top note that would make it less of a direct comparison and place it out of the runnings for some.
For me, the top note is what lifts it above the rest.
I'd stock up if only I could make it to checkout without it selling out and getting pulled from the cart! I've heard rumors that Rattray's Black Virginia is pretty close to a ready-rubbed version of WCD.
The black VA is not at all like CDF IMO. Not sure who said that haha
 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
16,835
27,532
United States
That was quite an investment! Cheers to you, and good smokes for life!
Thanks very much.

I have never gotten any licorice flavors from this blend. I get a big molasses flavor plus other sweeteners. I really like that you can smoke this almost anytime. I don't smoke it first thing in the morning but after that it is in play anytime after that. I agree that it is much different than FVF. I recently cracked a 2004 FVF and it was awesome but nothing like Campaign. Maybe when the Campaign is aged as long as the FVF was it might get closer in flavors. I doubt it though.
 

Devil Anse

Senior Member
Mar 29, 2020
495
2,991
California
Great review! Absolutely delicious! I will agree aged is better. However, my one true nirvana smoke was with a year old tin. One of my all time favorites new or even better aged.
I should also note my interest in this blend came from Cigarmaster & Hoosierpipeguy and is much appreciated.
 

Jacob74

Preferred Member
Dec 22, 2019
505
2,149
Spokane, WA
My 2020 Wessex Campaign Dark Flake looks a little different. Yours seems to have more light colored virginia and is more of a broken flake.
Mine is for sure a broken flake. They are all stuck together, and I handled them tenderly as I jarred it up...but definitely not the well pressed flake like in your photo. The shreds on top in my photo are the pieces of flake that were lightly stuck to the spacer.
 

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