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sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
14,162
19,400
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
Woah! When I posted about Mark saying that he cuts his perique with dark fire, he told us that it had always been done that way, for as far back as they’ve been using it commercially. So, there shouldn’t be anything different, except for what the blender can expect in crop differences year to year.
Jeremy Reeves cleared up the difference regarding what gets blended into the Perique, which is a different situation than what has happened with the HU blends. jiminks contacted Hans and suggested that he sample the newer release of Directors Cut and Hans concurred that the blend has been changed in the manner that Jim and I tasted. So not the same issue.
 

pappymac

Preferred Member
Feb 26, 2015
2,626
2,170
One important step people miss about perique is the fermentation aspect. Lots of tobacco is pressed and matured, so that's only half the story. What really separates perique from most other varietals is the collection and subsequent fermentation of the squeezed tobacco juices into carboys (glass fermentation vessels). This juice naturally ferments with local wild microbes (part of the reason Perique is a regional product only, like Belgian beer and French wine, it's more about the local microbes than just the soil). The resultant "tobacco wine" is maybe closer to "tobacco vinegar", as the wild microbes quickly convert any alcohol produced directly into acetic and lactic acid. This fermented juice is added back to the tobacco as it's pulled from and repacked into the barrel so the entire batch can referment with the juice that already has a head start and is now "trained" on tobacco sugars. Because the juice was squeezed from the tobacco, fermented, then added back, the Perique "wine" isn't considered an additive, just a process.
Other tobaccos used to go through a similar process. I believe putting African VAs through this process was the original way now unique tobaccos such as Royal Yacht or Germains Brown Flake were created. Also the reason so many old timey straight VAs are now VaPers or have a "light plum or apricot topping". A touch of perique or a plum topping mimics the natural fermentation flavors that used to be common in hogshead pressed dark VAs.
I most have zoned out on that part of the presentation at the L.A. Poche Perique facility in St. James Parish when Mark Ryan explained the process of making Perique. Of course that was back in 2015 so the process may have changed.
 
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cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
26,909
34,298
Helena, Alabama
Jeremy Reeves cleared up the difference regarding what gets blended into the Perique, which is a different situation than what has happened with the HU blends. jiminks contacted Hans and suggested that he sample the newer release of Directors Cut and Hans concurred that the blend has been changed in the manner that Jim and I tasted. So not the same issue.
I am more confused by this than I was before. But yes, thanks Jeremy and HU? Whatever that is. And long live C&D! And perique. And burley! Mix it all up and stick it in my pipe! puffy
Hell, I’m not even sure what this whole thread is about. Did someone tell a joke?
 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
14,162
19,400
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
I am more confused by this than I was before. But yes, thanks Jeremy and HU? Whatever that is. And long live C&D! And perique. And burley! Mix it all up and stick it in my pipe! puffy
Hell, I’m not even sure what this whole thread is about. Did someone tell a joke?
HU is a German made line of high quality blends created by Hans Biederman. Hans is one of the most inventive blenders working today. Who uses Balsamic vinegar as a flavoring for tobacco? And it works brilliantly with the rich underlying blend of tobaccos that forms the base for his 5th Anniversary blend. I'd been hearing about the HU line for years before finally deciding to order some to see what the hubbub was all about. I found out, and how. Amazing blends. I wish they were available for sale in the US.
 

ofafeather

Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2020
2,167
7,365
48
Where NY, CT & MA meet
Amazing blends. I wish they were available for sale in the US.
I’ve greatly enjoyed all of the ones I’ve tried so far. There is something in the flavor profile that carries through all of the blends that I’ve tried that I really like. Yeah, wish they were available in the US. Not going through Estervals again.
 

anotherbob

Preferred Member
Mar 30, 2019
8,640
16,010
43
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
It’s like those people with incredible eyesight.

My favorite story is when they gave three professional wine tasters a blind taste test of three glasses each of the same mid-grade wine, and they rated all three differently. If I remember correctly, one even declared that wine A was awful, while wine C was clearly high-class...

As far as Perique goes, if it goes, it goes. I’m not worried. Or even sure it’s going anywhere.
That's the problem with self declared experts. You know the people they tested only had the qualifications of being hired as wine experts. When people actually get strict certification their distinctions aren't so all over the place. Basically all the people tested had to do was convince a restaurant that it was profitable to let them make the wine lists. So....
 

anotherbob

Preferred Member
Mar 30, 2019
8,640
16,010
43
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
Hey, fellas! I go to St. James Parish to hand select barrels of Perique 2 to 3 times a year. I know many of the farmers in St. James, and have visited their farms and seen their crops and been in their homes. I have seen the process, through many various stages. I’ve stripped leaf at Poche with Mark Ryan and the rest of the workers. I’ve helped roll bunches, called “cah-rahts”, to be packed into barrels. I’ve helped with turning barrels, a particularly laborious process which is done multiple times throughout the year that the tobacco spends in the barrel. Making Perique is hard work. Most people wouldn’t do it. It is hardly surprising that manufacturers don’t make their own Perique when one sees the process and the constant attention and troubleshooting involved to keep from having quality issues.

Perique is not made anywhere outside of St. James. There’s a product from Brazil called Arapiraca, which is sometimes compared to Perique but it is not that similar. Someone here said Perique is a marketing term. Perhaps, in the same way that Chocolate, or Wool or Steel are marketing terms. These are terms to communicate what materials are used in a product, what the end user can expect the product to be like. Perique is a specific tobacco type and quality that is produced through a specific, unique and labor intensive process and the results of this process are totally unlike anything else in tobacco, that I’ve ever seen.

A few other points worth noting:

Mark has one small barn where he processes Dark Fired Kentucky in barrels, under extreme pressure, like Perique. The results are totally unique and the sole customer for this product is a very well known cigar manufacturer. There is none of this Dark Fired that is used in Perique and it is not called Perique. It is called Cajun Black. Years ago, McClelland used some in a handful of blends.

The crop grown in St. James Parish is not enough to fill demand and this has been the case for decades. Not just the last few years. Mark Ryan found that back into the 20’s and 30’s the accounting books at Poche Farms show that they were supplementing St. James leaf shortages using Dark Air Cured from TN, KY or Canada, depending on the availability and quality available. The vast majority of pure St. James Perique is being used in American Spirit Perique cigarettes, due to exclusive contract with one processor. It’s been that way for a long time. Years. What is available for use in pipe tobacco currently, is often, though not always, comprised of a blend of St. James leaf and leaf from TN, KY, of Canada. The imported leaf used is very similar to the St. James leaf, which is basically a Dark Air Cured type. Not Dark Fired, Dark Air Cured.

The blending is done at the end of the Perique process, once the two products are nearly indistinguishable. Again, I’ve personally seen all of this. St. James is wet, hand stripped, rolled, packed and pressed into bourbon barrels separately from imported leaf which goes through the same process. Once they are in very nearly the same range of aroma, flavor and color, they are blended together into a barrel, pressed down under many tons of pressure and then capped for about 3 months. None of this blending practice is new or recent.

Lastly, Latakia is produced by hanging small, oily tobacco leaves over a smoldering fire that must be maintained for 5 to 6 months. This is an incredibly wild process. Dark Fired is usually done in 14- 16 days and that is a very stressful and sleep deprived time for the farmers and their families. 5-6 months is just wild.

These kinds of extremely labor intensive tobacco processes are the reason that both Latakia and Perique are in short supply. If anyone could do it, that supply problem wouldn’t exist.
so basically the last point is there are many other crops that have a better profit to labor ratio?
 

glassjapan

Member
Feb 11, 2017
269
53
Hey, fellas! I go to St. James Parish to hand select barrels of Perique 2 to 3 times a year. I know many of the farmers in St. James, and have visited their farms and seen their crops and been in their homes. I have seen the process, through many various stages. I’ve stripped leaf at Poche with Mark Ryan and the rest of the workers. I’ve helped roll bunches, called “cah-rahts”, to be packed into barrels. I’ve helped with turning barrels, a particularly laborious process which is done multiple times throughout the year that the tobacco spends in the barrel. Making Perique is hard work. Most people wouldn’t do it. It is hardly surprising that manufacturers don’t make their own Perique when one sees the process and the constant attention and troubleshooting involved to keep from having quality issues.

Perique is not made anywhere outside of St. James. There’s a product from Brazil called Arapiraca, which is sometimes compared to Perique but it is not that similar. Someone here said Perique is a marketing term. Perhaps, in the same way that Chocolate, or Wool or Steel are marketing terms. These are terms to communicate what materials are used in a product, what the end user can expect the product to be like. Perique is a specific tobacco type and quality that is produced through a specific, unique and labor intensive process and the results of this process are totally unlike anything else in tobacco, that I’ve ever seen.

A few other points worth noting:

Mark has one small barn where he processes Dark Fired Kentucky in barrels, under extreme pressure, like Perique. The results are totally unique and the sole customer for this product is a very well known cigar manufacturer. There is none of this Dark Fired that is used in Perique and it is not called Perique. It is called Cajun Black. Years ago, McClelland used some in a handful of blends.

The crop grown in St. James Parish is not enough to fill demand and this has been the case for decades. Not just the last few years. Mark Ryan found that back into the 20’s and 30’s the accounting books at Poche Farms show that they were supplementing St. James leaf shortages using Dark Air Cured from TN, KY or Canada, depending on the availability and quality available. The vast majority of pure St. James Perique is being used in American Spirit Perique cigarettes, due to exclusive contract with one processor. It’s been that way for a long time. Years. What is available for use in pipe tobacco currently, is often, though not always, comprised of a blend of St. James leaf and leaf from TN, KY, of Canada. The imported leaf used is very similar to the St. James leaf, which is basically a Dark Air Cured type. Not Dark Fired, Dark Air Cured.

The blending is done at the end of the Perique process, once the two products are nearly indistinguishable. Again, I’ve personally seen all of this. St. James is wet, hand stripped, rolled, packed and pressed into bourbon barrels separately from imported leaf which goes through the same process. Once they are in very nearly the same range of aroma, flavor and color, they are blended together into a barrel, pressed down under many tons of pressure and then capped for about 3 months. None of this blending practice is new or recent.

Lastly, Latakia is produced by hanging small, oily tobacco leaves over a smoldering fire that must be maintained for 5 to 6 months. This is an incredibly wild process. Dark Fired is usually done in 14- 16 days and that is a very stressful and sleep deprived time for the farmers and their families. 5-6 months is just wild.

These kinds of extremely labor intensive tobacco processes are the reason that both Latakia and Perique are in short supply. If anyone could do it, that supply problem wouldn’t exist.


How dare you come in here with the facts and truth. Don't you know this is a Perique topic?!?!

Okay, all kidding aside, thanks for that info. And for those who haven't watch it yet, you want know about Mark Ryan? He explains everything from his side of things in dealing with Uncle Sam, the roll your own industry, D & R, and the story of perique. Good stuff and Mark comes in about the 3 minute mark:


 

saltedplug

Preferred Member
Aug 20, 2013
5,221
5,058
Hey, fellas! I go to St. James Parish to hand select barrels of Perique 2 to 3 times a year. I know many of the farmers in St. James, and have visited their farms and seen their crops and been in their homes. I have seen the process, through many various stages. I’ve stripped leaf at Poche with Mark Ryan and the rest of the workers. I’ve helped roll bunches, called “cah-rahts”, to be packed into barrels. I’ve helped with turning barrels, a particularly laborious process which is done multiple times throughout the year that the tobacco spends in the barrel. Making Perique is hard work. Most people wouldn’t do it. It is hardly surprising that manufacturers don’t make their own Perique when one sees the process and the constant attention and troubleshooting involved to keep from having quality issues.

Perique is not made anywhere outside of St. James. There’s a product from Brazil called Arapiraca, which is sometimes compared to Perique but it is not that similar. Someone here said Perique is a marketing term. Perhaps, in the same way that Chocolate, or Wool or Steel are marketing terms. These are terms to communicate what materials are used in a product, what the end user can expect the product to be like. Perique is a specific tobacco type and quality that is produced through a specific, unique and labor intensive process and the results of this process are totally unlike anything else in tobacco, that I’ve ever seen.

A few other points worth noting:

Mark has one small barn where he processes Dark Fired Kentucky in barrels, under extreme pressure, like Perique. The results are totally unique and the sole customer for this product is a very well known cigar manufacturer. There is none of this Dark Fired that is used in Perique and it is not called Perique. It is called Cajun Black. Years ago, McClelland used some in a handful of blends.

The crop grown in St. James Parish is not enough to fill demand and this has been the case for decades. Not just the last few years. Mark Ryan found that back into the 20’s and 30’s the accounting books at Poche Farms show that they were supplementing St. James leaf shortages using Dark Air Cured from TN, KY or Canada, depending on the availability and quality available. The vast majority of pure St. James Perique is being used in American Spirit Perique cigarettes, due to exclusive contract with one processor. It’s been that way for a long time. Years. What is available for use in pipe tobacco currently, is often, though not always, comprised of a blend of St. James leaf and leaf from TN, KY, of Canada. The imported leaf used is very similar to the St. James leaf, which is basically a Dark Air Cured type. Not Dark Fired, Dark Air Cured.

The blending is done at the end of the Perique process, once the two products are nearly indistinguishable. Again, I’ve personally seen all of this. St. James is wet, hand stripped, rolled, packed and pressed into bourbon barrels separately from imported leaf which goes through the same process. Once they are in very nearly the same range of aroma, flavor and color, they are blended together into a barrel, pressed down under many tons of pressure and then capped for about 3 months. None of this blending practice is new or recent.

Lastly, Latakia is produced by hanging small, oily tobacco leaves over a smoldering fire that must be maintained for 5 to 6 months. This is an incredibly wild process. Dark Fired is usually done in 14- 16 days and that is a very stressful and sleep deprived time for the farmers and their families. 5-6 months is just wild.

These kinds of extremely labor intensive tobacco processes are the reason that both Latakia and Perique are in short supply. If anyone could do it, that supply problem wouldn’t exist.
Fabulous post! Thank you!
 

mingc

Preferred Member
Jun 20, 2019
2,200
5,164
The Big Rock Candy Mountain
How dare you come in here with the facts and truth. Don't you know this is a Perique topic?!?!

Okay, all kidding aside, thanks for that info. And for those who haven't watch it yet, you want know about Mark Ryan? He explains everything from his side of things in dealing with Uncle Sam, the roll your own industry, D & R, and the story of perique. Good stuff and Mark comes in about the 3 minute mark:


Mark is giving lots of info here. He talks for about 2 hours and I'm only about halfway in. He talks about the air cured from Green River TN and other places. He says there are 150 acres planted in LA. And that there are barrels of straight St. James. As I understand him, the air cured start in their own separate barrels but are then mixed with the St. James for the final pressing.
 

logs

Preferred Member
Apr 28, 2019
1,786
4,825
Mark is giving lots of info here. He talks for about 2 hours and I'm only about halfway in. He talks about the air cured from Green River TN and other places. He says there are 150 acres planted in LA. And that there are barrels of straight St. James. As I understand him, the air cured start in their own separate barrels but are then mixed with the St. James for the final pressing.

Thank you for the Cliff's Notes version. I started watching but then quickly realized I don't have the patience to sit through a two hour zoom meeting. (I get enough of that at work).