Recommendations For First Excursion Into Virginias

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Preferred Member
Apr 28, 2019
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All of the above are great suggestions. Just bear in mind there's is a huge array of flavors possible with straight Virginia depending the type of leaf and how it's been processed. There's no single blend that will give you the whole picture. Sweet, bready, malty, grassy, hay, tangy and sour, earthy, and tea are all possibilities, but no blend will have them all. It might be best to try to pick the flavors you're looking for and then search for a Virginia blend that provides them.

There are too many examples to list but for starters Sutliff Matured Red Virginia 515 has a super-tangy zing, whereas Stokkebye Virginias often have a grassy hay quality. Lots of other possibilities exist. If you want to try them all, you'll have quite an adventure.
 
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sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
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In no particular order:
FVF, John Aylesbury Classic Flake, GL Pease Union Square, F&T Cut Virginia Plug, Astley's 44, SG Best Brown Flake, C&D Yorktown, Capstan Blue, Sutliff Virginia Slices #507 - C, Wessex Campaign Dark Flake and Watch City Simply Red. These are all pure Virginias, not Va/Pers
 

docrameous

Senior Member
May 6, 2019
351
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Colorado
@all - thanks for this treasure trove of intel! You've given me plenty to go on...!

I don't have a good pipe tobacco shop in less than two hours drive, so I really appreciate this community!
 

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d4k23

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2018
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Glad someone else said it, but Opening Night from C&D is very good. Give the tin a little age and it’s even better!

I second PS luxury navy flake as a good intro. Not pure but delivers great hay/tobacco flavor.
 
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glockky

New member
Jul 13, 2019
14
10
Keep an eye out for Watch City Cigars Simply Red and Rhythm and Blues to come back in stock.
I usually don’t care for Virginia’s but I love both of these.
 
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hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
3,606
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I recently bought a couple of tins of Sillem's Mayor 1814 Flake. It has some honey and citrus topping that is clearly evident but doesn't completely overwhelm the tobacco. Compared to other Virginia Flakes and Va blends, I found it a bit boring and mild. However, I think this could be an excellent transition blend for Aromatic or first time Virginia smokers.
 
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samw74

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2017
567
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Brooklyn, NY
Here are some straight Virginia that are mild but savory:

Capstan Yellow Flake
John Aylesbury Classic /Luxury Flake
D&R Windsail Silver/Platinum
C&D Opening Night (more medium)
Samuel Gawith Golden Glow
Wessex Gold Brick
 
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shanez

Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2018
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Las Vegas
I don't think you'll go wrong with any of the suggestions so far but I'll add if you want to try something sweet and inexpensive try either, or both, Sutliff 707 Sweet Virginia and/or Sutliff 507-S Stoved Virginia. Both are simple and tasty plus you can add an ounce of either for less than $3 per to an order of the more expensive tins mentioned above. If you try a small amount and don't like them you won't have spent much. On the other hand if you try them and really like them you can order them by the pound which is what I do.
 
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mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
30,577
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Did somebody already say this? Standard advice on starting with Virginias is slow your pace, sip don't puff. Otherwise you get bite when there's no need to do so. Also, coming from burley to Virginias, tune down your expectations. Virginias are somewhat more subtle, so you have to take your time and acquire the taste, which can be delightful. This from a burley devotee. sable' is a Virginia master, so attend to him when he posts on the subject.
 
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anotherbob

Preferred Member
asking for suggestions is dangerous. I say better to pick five and then ask us to vote and comment on your choice. Just find Virginians that grab your attention that said Yorktown and Escudo are both awesome blends that have one major problem that they somehow seem to evaporate from the tin because there is no way I've been smoking that much of them.
 
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trubka2

Preferred Member
Feb 27, 2019
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As someone whose first forays into VAs were recent enough that I can still feel the pain, I'd recommend going with the blends that are least likely to hurt you. Unlike many of the blends listed so far, Capstan Blue is both incredibly tasty and very easy on the mouth for the VA beginner. Unless dried out too much (i.e. more than 15 minutes), it's harmless as a basket of puppies. I'd further recommend the ready-rubbed version of it so as to remove the whole flake thing from the equation (one step at a time). I had particularly brutal first experiences with Yorktown and OGS. I now really like well-hydrated Yorktown, but OGS has earned my undying hatred for all eternity.
 
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jtaggie320

Member
Jul 18, 2012
234
2
Texas
Orlik Golden Sliced as mentioned was the most forgiving and best experience for me starting into Virginias. DO NOT dive off into Full Virginia Flake right off the bat would be my best advice. I made that mistake, still a little gun-shy but I'm able to enjoy it now 7 years later.
 

Worknman

Senior Member
Sep 23, 2019
306
593
Capstan blue is top notch but its subtle compared to full flavored blends you're probably used to. Sam. G FVF probably has a better, fuller taste but my only issue is getting it to behave in my pipe and dealing with the tongue bite.
 
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