Trying Perique blends: PS Luxury Bullseye Flake & Savinelli Doblone d’Oro

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beastinview

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Jan 5, 2016
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I decided to give the classic Virginia / Perique combination a while ago. I’ll review two blends I tried in this category: Peter Stokkebye’s Luxury Bullseye Flake & Savinelli Doblone d’Oro. The Bullseye Flake I’ve been smoking for a while, but the Doblone d’Oro was a free sample received with a Savinelli pipe.
PS Bullseye Flake

Preparation & Smoke:

This arrived with great moisture, and an interesting tin note. The spun cut tobacco came in large coins that reminded me of the big round bales of hay I’d see in fields growing up. There was also a bit of a sweet, hay smell in the tin (actually bag) and a topping of peppery perique. The appearance of the tobacco really made me want to smoke it. I rubbed the coins out: the moisture level was perfect, and the blend smoked without problem.

Flavor:

This was my first taste of a blend that showcased perique, and I was a tad underwhelmed. The only other condimental tobacco I had experienced was latakia, and I was expecting a similarly dominating flavor. The peppery flavor, though quite discernible, sort of floated on the top of a standard Virginia. The Cavendish center did make things interesting, as a hint of sweetness would pop through every once in a while.

Nicotine Level:

I did detect a bit of nicotine buzz during one smoke, but none otherwise.

Summary:

This was an enjoyable smoke, but I was looking for something a little more special for my first experience with perique. I’d hazard a guess it’d be a great all day smoke, but I’m an occasional smoker, so I tend to want a really flavorful, end-of-day smoke. This was a bit more bland than I expected, but I think it's unfair to expect a blend to conform to my ignorant expectations of what it should be.
Doblone d’Oro

The Bullseye Flake had almost put me off of purchasing more Va/Pers, as there were other blends I was more interested in. I bought a Savinelli pipe for my father, however, and when choosing a sample tin, the Doblone d’Oro looked the most appealing to me, so I figured I’d give it a go.

The fact that this was not such a straightforward Va/Per further aroused my curiosity—Burley and Dark Fired Kentucky should make for a complex smoke.
Preparation & Smoke:

Upon receiving the tin, I was pleasantly surprised that it was 100g and not 50g. I was even more pleasantly surprised when I opened it: here was the tin note I had been looking for! A deep raisin / fig / date aroma, with a backdrop of earthy Dark-Fired Kentucky, grassy Virginia, and nutty Burley. It was the kind of tin that keeps you coming back for another smell--shifting, chameleon-like, so that you never felt you quite digested its smell.
The tobacco was spun cut, but the coins were much smaller and looser—probably only about 50% still intact. The moisture level was on the dry side of perfect, but only slightly so. This blend also smoked without problem.

Flavor:

Again, this was more what I had been expecting with a perique blend. This was a very complex smoke, with flavors and aroma that matched the tin note: a figgy, earthy, grassy flavor. I smoked this with some friends after dinner, and it was a perfect end-of-day smoke for relaxing. My palate isn’t so refined, but I’ll quote Jim’s review, which I could not have written, but can concur with in retrospect:
The Virginias are naturally citrusy sweet, grassy with a little earthiness. I taste a little honey, too. The dark fired spicy, woody Kentucky is an important player, adding some flavor depth and strength. There is a fair amount of raisiny, peppery perique that plays well with the Kentucky spice as it tingles the tongue. You'll want something to drink while you smoke it.

Nicotine level:

Not like the ropes I smoke, but surprisingly stout. It must be the perique effect everyone talks about, coupled with the Dark-Fired Kentucky.

Summary:

I was very pleasantly surprised by the Savinelli [MacBaren] blend: I had read several bad reviews of it, and would have never even tried it had I not been offered a free tin, but it was one of the more enjoyable smokes I’ve had. The only bad thing about it was its slight dryness—it was perfect out of the tin, but for storing, I think I might want it a tad wetter just to avoid having to rehydrate if moisture level dropped a little further.

 

atboth

Junior Member
Dec 7, 2012
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Try Germain's Royal Jersey Perique mixture. Most Germain's tobaccos are packed too wet to smoke immediately (which also determines how they age in the tin), but a little bit of drying works wonders. They are delightfully old-fashioned.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
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I've been aging some of the PS Bullseye. I tried it first, and enjoyed it, but it tasted a bit green, so I am hoping the Virginia will have taken on some maturity.

 

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ltstone

Senior Member
Dec 30, 2015
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As I am very fond of Elizabethan Match I was really looking forward trying another VaPur in Bulls Eye Flake and found it to be bland and disappointing as well. The tin note was promising but I don't enjoy having to focus hard to find whatever subtle flavor I can.

 

phred

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Dec 11, 2012
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If LBF doesn't do it for you, you might try Luxury Navy Flake or Escudo. Personally, I prefer the Bullseye to the Navy Flake, but that's just the way my palate works.

 

cigrmaster

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May 26, 2012
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Because most Vapers have red virginia's in them, I am relegated to a very short list for my cellar. My list is as follows.
Samuel Gawith St James Flake

Escudo

Dunhill Deluxe Navy Rolls( I find this blend to be sweeter and less peppery than Escudo)

Solani 633. This vaper is unlike any of my others as the longer you age it, them more of a pepper bomb it becomes. I have a bunch from 2002 that is incredibly different from the fresh version. All my other vapers have the perique smooth out the longer it ages.

 

beastinview

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2016
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If LBF doesn't do it for you, you might try Luxury Navy Flake or Escudo. Personally, I prefer the Bullseye to the Navy Flake, but that's just the way my palate works.
I think it's a good blend--don't get me wrong. I've just been a fan of knock-off-your-socks strong, flavorful blends as of late. Bullseye isn't that sort of blend, and it's unfair for me to expect it to be so. It still has its place in my rotation, but it wasn't quite what I expected it to be--you have to load up the perique to get the kind of effect I wanted.

 

ltstone

Senior Member
Dec 30, 2015
483
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I think it's a good blend--don't get me wrong. I've just been a fan of knock-off-your-socks strong, flavorful blends as of late. Bullseye isn't that sort of blend, and it's unfair for me to expect it to be so. It still has its place in my rotation, but it wasn't quite what I expected it to be--you have to load up the perique to get the kind of effect I wanted.
I'm with you beastinview on this one.
Cigrmaster: I've heard alot about Escudo but since its compared often to Bullseye I'm thinking it might be a bit too mellow for me...

 

newbroom

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Jul 11, 2014
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I'm smoking some aged LNF right now and reading this thread. Escudo is amazing. I've got a tin aging. Just one.

I've also got a tin of Marlin Flake with at least a year on it, and it too is amazing.

I've enjoyed McClelland's 2015, LBE, and others.

Marlin Flake

 

danhester

Member
Jan 17, 2016
249
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The first time I bought LBF, I thought it was amazing. The second batch I got, which was from a different retailer than the first, I was pretty underwhelmed. I'm guessing it may be a difference in age. Thinking of buying one of the 24 oz boxes, and aging it for a couple of years. I also enjoy the Navy and Twist flakes as well.
Man, that Doblone D'Oro just keeps getting a lot of positive feedback. After being a bit underwhelmed with Cabbies Mixture (another spun cut VaPer), this seems like it might be a better blend for me to try.
Great reviews!

 

beastinview

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2016
504
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Man, that Doblone D'Oro just keeps getting a lot of positive feedback. After being a bit underwhelmed with Cabbies Mixture (another spun cut VaPer), this seems like it might be a better blend for me to try.
I just received some Cabbie's Mixture that I'm going to use to try to approximate the old Three Nuns by adding more perique. Cabbie's mixture only has 6% perique, as opposed to the original Three Nuns' 22% manufactured perique, but I thought it at least might be similar: they are both spun cut Va/Pers from over the pond. It will at least be closer than the new Three Nuns that has no perique at all.
Anyway, the Cabbie's Mixture smelled delicious in the tin--I should have smoked a bowl just to see what it was like before mixing in more perique. That said, based on the tin note, I don't think it would have been as flavorful as the Doblone d'Oro. The d'Oro's Dark Fired Kentucky and Burley seem to add quite a bit to the mixture. The Cabbie's Mixture had a similar smell, but just less depth and earthiness, even though it was a bit more moist. They do look almost identical in the tin.

 

deathmetal

Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2015
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The Savinelli was the one that allowed me to recover from sugar-Va/Pers and enjoy the possibilities of this mixture type. Great stuff, and I am told it ages well.

 

gtrhtr

Member
Feb 2, 2016
224
3
Thanks very much for your great reviews and welcome to the world of Va/Pers. I found your insights interesting as I haven't tried either blend yet. There are a lot of great ones out there, and some ar better than others.

 

tmb152

Senior Member
Apr 26, 2016
392
1
I think PS Luxury Bullseye is meant to try to emphasize the Virginia while the Perique is there just to give it added dimension. Also, do not forget this is not a true VaPer, as it is all spun around a core of silky black cavendish, so, it is /supposed/ to be a gentle, sweet smoke. I find it smokes best in a big bowl pipe like a danish freehand or a large calabash.

 
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