Astleys 44 Confusion

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wolflarsen

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Jul 29, 2018
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I just picked up my first few tins of Astleys 44 and am a bit confused after reading the tin description. TobaccoReviews and SmokingPipes list Virginia as the only component in the blend but the tin reads "A powerful English flake made of dark Virginia, Perique, and Kentucky which has matured in the press for a longer period."
I assume that it probably has origins in England so I can get by that fact that it isn't what I would normally consider to be an English blend because it doesn't contain any latakia. However, I was expecting a straight Virginia flake, not one with perique and kentucky.
This all reminds me of the recent discussion about Wessex Brigade Campaign Dark Flake in which it appears that there is no consensus about what is actually in the blend.
Is the addition of perique and kentucky in Astleys 44 a new thing? Are perique and kentucky made with virginia so it would be technically correct to call a blend with all three components a straight VA? If it has perique then wouldn't we normally call it a VaPer and wouldn't SP and TR list perique and kentucky in the list of blend components? What gives?

 

workman

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
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Neither perique nor kentucky are virginias. I smoked a tin of Astleys 44 some time ago. I haven't the acute palate of some of the connoisseurs here, but I would be very suprised to find out that any dark fired was present in there. Perique can be elusive to me, so I don't know about that. To me it was a dark virginia blend, not very flavorful, somewhat harsh, and with a mild topping of liquorice.

 

peckinpahhombre

Preferred Member
Dec 24, 2012
7,118
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Hmmmm.
Check out this thread. Similar issue.
http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/wessex-brigade-campaign-dark-flake-first-impressions
I think someone is drinking when they put the labels on some of these tins. Astely 44 is a straight Va - now, all my stach is 4-6 years old, but unless they have changed the ingredients since then, it is inquestionably straight Va.

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,990
1,194
Shades of K&K! It's possible that there was some Kentucky and Perique in condimental amounts so small that they didn't register and weren't listed. Maybe with newer labeling regulations these tiny additions have to be declared. It's also possible that the blend has changed in more ways in the last few years and some Kentucky and Perique are now added to it that weren't there before. There was some comment a year or two ago about 44 not being the same.
A lot of blends may have a tiny percentage of a different varietal, a few percent or thereabouts, added to provide some needed aspect to the blend's flavor profile.

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
2,333
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I could believe a condimental amount of Dark Kentucky but I don't detect any perique. However, I don't really detect perique in Dunhill Dark Flake unless I'm looking for it. Even then, faint. Why don't you just smoke some? If you like it, keep smoking. If not, sell it. It is a superb tobacco blend and reasonably difficult to come by. I'll buy it if you don't like it.

 

sasquatch

Preferred Member
Jul 16, 2012
1,008
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44 smokes flat as a pancake for me, smooth and mellow, but nothing interesting going on, therefore I doubt ky or per. Something like Scottish Flake on the other hand obviously (to me) has all sorts of weird leaf in it, definitely a virginia with a bunch of other stuff doing work in the blend.

 
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