Moving From English Blends to Pure Virginias

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Jef

Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 10, 2019
280
501
67
North Carolina
I like Va and cavendish blends. I am definitely not the expert, but I find red Va. less smooth and hotter than golden Va.
 
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coys

Can't Leave
Feb 15, 2022
336
781
Missouri
Newminster No. 400 is a good moderate one. I’ve also found that there can be quite a variety of tastes even in straight VAs, and that the darker or more red Virginia content there is the more flavor.

Some like 507C benefit from age but Union Square is one that’s good right from the tin and is freely available.
 
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LudwigB88

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 4, 2023
201
242
Warning: be careful! Successfully switching from Englishes to Virginias may cause a sudden depreciation in appreciation for English blends once held in high regard. The difference is like taking straight shot of Jack Daniels vs sipping a nuanced scotch that will only benefit from proper aging, not that I don't enjoy JD now and then. But once you get a taste for it, everything else seems adulterated.
Yes. I have tried to keep my English not too Oriental forward nor Latakia bomb. Also, as a newby to VAs coming from English, I highly recommend H&H Viprati. Russ did great job with different VAs, healthy dose of Perique, and some nice dark Burley. Very balanced and deep like a good English.
 
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LudwigB88

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 4, 2023
201
242
C&D Virginia Ribbon: a straight Virginia that smokes well and has a citrus and hay note to it.

I mixed the Virginia ribbon with some C&D Burley-Perique #3: very nice, too.

I mixed the Virginia ribbon with some Mac Baren HH Dark Kentucky flake and some of the C&D Burley-Perique #3 in relatively equal proportions: wow, it was fantastic. I couldn't place it precisely, but it brought back a scent memory from childhood.
Sounds like H&H Viprati !
 

PipeIT

Lifer
Nov 14, 2020
4,453
26,752
Hawaii
When I switched mainly, to now smoking only VAs/VaPers, I started to really experience the roof of my mouth getting irritated.

Now we all know, or most know, that the PH balance of VAs, can be quite bothersome to some, and I have noticed I have to go easy with a lot of them, some more forgiving than others.

It might also be the fact, that at some points in time, with other blends I was also smoking to fast. I did notice too with English blends my mouth also feeling slightly irritated from Latakia.

I know I’m sensitive regardless of what I smoke. Let’s face it, smoke in our mouths isn’t natural.

Either way, I’ve given myself a rest, haven’t smoked in a month, and I’m now considering waiting till June before picking it back up, to give my mouth some extreme rest.

During this time, I plan to instead smoke some cigars.

P.S. Go easy with VAs! Dry them out, pack lightly, sip slowly, and don’t worry about keeping them lit, sometimes better to go out, cool down, and relight later, just a few sips here and there.
 
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PipeIT

Lifer
Nov 14, 2020
4,453
26,752
Hawaii
^^^ This . . . And to the original poster, do not overlook Virginia blends that have dark fired Kentucky.

Union Square is ok...

But it’s VA Profile, doesn’t portray all the flavors of VAs, but then again, so do many VAs, but then there are VAs, that do have a wider spectrum to them.

Sticking to one blend, I can certainly understand the concept of staying with it, until you get a fair grasp of it.

But it’s not really needed, there’s nothing wrong with rotating through several VA blends.

After all, does everyone eat chicken every day, all week, or month long. LOL 😝

I don’t eat chicken every day! ;)
 

cwpiperman

Can't Leave
Jun 15, 2018
382
2,434
For me it’s not my tongue, the roof of my mouth feels like it gets slightly scalded and raw, and then it throbs and aches slightly.

I’m actually on a pipe rest now, haven’t smoked in two weeks because of this. I’m probably going to wait one more month, you know, getting old, you slow down healing.

One bloody thing is for sure, I will dry my VAs/VaPers drier and sip them even slower than before.

edger there has some good advice too, just barely keep them smoldering. I personally will barely light them, take a few sips and let it go out.

Jim mentioned to me before, to watch out for Bright VAs.

P.S. I can’t wait to get back to the pipe from resting from the VA Blues! LOL 😆
Have you thought about trying a charcoal filter with a 6mm or 9mm pipe? Quite a few folks seem to have good luck with reducing the bite of Virginias.

CW
 

PipeIT

Lifer
Nov 14, 2020
4,453
26,752
Hawaii
Have you thought about trying a charcoal filter with a 6mm or 9mm pipe? Quite a few folks seem to have good luck with reducing the bite of Virginias.

CW

I don’t own pipes with filters, but I have thought about this.

I just smoked to aggressively in the past, and didn’t dry enough.
 
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eaglebleyes

Might Stick Around
Jan 23, 2017
61
300
Mars
I used to like the flavors of the aromatics etc..It seems like the older I get I stick with straight burleys...Like 5 Brothers that's about all I smoke anymore..I have ages tins of 1792 and boxes of Gawith Hoggarth whiskey roll twist but always go with 5 Brothers...
 

Auxsender

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 17, 2022
856
4,799
Nashville
My $0.02:

Try Ken Byron Ventures Brown Flek for a taste of the deep, dark, sweet, caramel-esque end of the Virginia spectrum.

Try Watch City Cigar’s Rhythm and Blues for a move toward the more tangy/fruity/deep section of the Virginia spectrum.

Capstan Blue is a touch closer to the bready/pastry and further from the fruity Virginia tone but its flavor is still rich.

Hamborger Veermaster is a little less deep than Capstan but still tasty if you can smoke it slow.

Ashton’s Gold Rush and GH&Co Kendal Gold are lighter in color and taste grassier/sugary/citrusy to me than all the aforementioned blends.
 
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ParkitoATL

Can't Leave
Mar 11, 2023
339
1,318
Atlanta, GA
I don’t own pipes with filters, but I have thought about this.
Honestly, I don't think I could be a pipe smoker without a filter. I periodically remove the filter, or switch stems on my Peterson army mounts, to compare filtered vs. unfiltered; smoking unfiltered really beats the crap out of your mouth. Even when I dry a blend before smoking, it's not uncommon for the filter to weigh 1/4-1/3g more after the smoke. Some of that is tar, but most is moisture.

Grab a couple of MM Prides and some Vauen 6mm charcoal filters and try switching mid bowl. Unfiltered is always a bit prickly for my tastes.
 

proteus

Lifer
May 20, 2023
1,160
1,935
53
Connecticut (shade leaf tobacco country)
507C is to me a solid VA. Simple and basic. My fav is Newminster 400. If you want to be sure about VA try these

Peretti 150th
Capstan blue flake
PS402
WCC Simply Red and Simply Orange
CD Opening Night
Mac VA 1
Sam G. Full VA Flake

These should run the gamut of straight VA as I see it. Then you could try VA/bur and VA/perique or Oriental blends which take Virginias and season them a bit.
 
After you develop a palate for all of these other Virginias suggested, or some of them, I would suggest giving these a try for an unadulterated Virginia experience with no casings.
C&D Virginia Flake with an oatmeal cookies taste. I suggest a large bowl.
C&D Red Carpet and Sunday Picnic, both excellent blends, but Sunday Picnic has a touch of Turkish for variety.
 
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