In October of 2015, while spending a day with Mark Ryan at the L.A. Poche Perique Company in St. James Parish, Louisiana. our own Russ Ouellette asked Mark if he had ever thought of trying to process Virginia in the same method as Perique. Mark said that he had thought of it, but was told it wouldn't work. After a bit of conversation, Mark decided to bring down some bright, sweet, yellow, Canadian-grown Virginia to give it a try. The processing time had to be much shorter because of the aggressive fermentation due to the high sugar content; but the result, called Acadian Gold, has more depth than normal Virginia with a malty note unlike anything else.
In the RO Series Acadian VaPer, Acadian Gold is combined with Acadian Perique for a VaPer blend with an unusually deep flavor and body. It is is one of the naturally sweetest Virginia/Perique blends you will ever try. Get it now, because when it's sold out, it's gone forever.
The various Virginias offer a big burst of tangy, fermented citrus with a mild malty tartness, a fair amount of grass and hay, some sugar, a very light dark fruitiness, wood and earth, a slight floral and bare spice note, and a few drops of honey and bread. The plummy, raisiny, very mildly spicy acadian perique also has a touch of stewed fruit in a support role. The strength and taste levels are a hair past the medium threshold. The nic-hit is slightly past the center of mild to medium. No chance of bite, harshness, or roughness. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a mostly consistent, rich flavor from start to finish, and easily burns to ash. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasantly lingering fruity sweet and mildly spicy after taste. It’s almost an all day smoke, and experienced VaPer aficionados may well consider it to be one.
This one hit the spot. One of the most exciting new blends that I've tasted in a long time. The Canadian Virginia was light brown bright, but unlike the tangy American variety, this one indeed had a deeply fermented smell and taste that was greatly appreciated. The Perique danced in slowly as the smoke progressed, and by mid bowl, was a major player for awhile, and then danced away again.
A lot of bottom to this blend, and despite the high sugar content, it offered a bite free presentation, I believe Acadian VaPer will age beautifully. I bought a half dozen tins and will begin the cellaring process immediately. Man, I'd love to taste this one with 20-years of age on it. My tins might last that long but it's a long shot that I will (sigh).
In short. I like it and I will buy more if it's still available when I make my next order. Acadian VaPer
Tin note: If you open this tin and expect the usual ketchup or grassy notes of Virginias, you will be disappointed. The Virginia is a yellow Canadian leaf that has been processed using the Perique method. This has sour cherry or homemade red wine just before it turns to vinegar. I really like this tin note and after one bowl, I decided that I like smoking Acadian VaPer and that it is not like any other VaPer that I’ve smoked.
There are a couple of things that sets this apart for me. One is the Yellow Virginia, which has been processed using the Perique method. To me it has little of the tangy, vinegary aroma that I associate with an aged virginia. The Perique processing method has made it sweeter and more mellow, and, I can understand where others say there is a maltiness. The tobacco is a very thin ribbon cut. I almost find myself wanting to pull the ribbons apart before packing into the bowl.
While the Virginia is the star of the show, the Perique wins the Academy Award as the best supporting character. It stays in the background and only serves to highlight the quality of the Virginias. The fruitiness of the Perique melds with the Perique processed Virginia to give it that sour cherry aroma when I open the tin.
The first bowl I smoked was from a freshly opened tin and it started off smooth and soft with a mild strength but like the suspense in a good movie the nicotine just kept slowly building up. The moisture content of the fresh tin was at about the right level for smoking. I have been smoking it almost daily for 11 days now and it has dried out some in the tin. As I expected, getting drier has changed the tobacco to where I’m picking up the Virginia component better when smoking it.
The strength of the tobacco starts off more mild/medium to my senses but as I smoke it, there is a subtle development of more strength. I wasn’t expecting it to build up as much when I first smoked it but I definitely felt the nic starting to hit when I stood up. I found that adjusting my cadence as I get towards the bottom lessens the hit.
I normally don’t smoke a lot of Virginia forward tobaccos because I have found that they bite me. I believe this is more due to a chemical reaction than how I smoke. However, the Acadian VaPer hasn’t burned or bitten my tongue yet. I’m attributing this to the processing.
I do most of my smoking either outside or in my two car garage that’s been converted into a storage space/man cave. It’s too big for me to pick up much of a room note. What I do get is the grassiness of the Virginias and a slight fruitiness of the perique.
I have smoked it in a Clay pipe, three different briars, two different meerschaums and 3 different MM cobs. In the Clay pipe I get just the flavor of the tobacco and that’s when the Virginias really sing. That being said, I like it the best in a cob. It may be psychological but I feel the cob adds to the mellow sweetness and presents even more of hay note to the smoke. Besides, what’s better than sitting in the shade of a swamp oak with a light breeze and a glass of ice tea.
There are two downsides to Acadian VaPer. First, it is a limited production tobacco so once it’s gone, it is probably gone forever unless someone running for President chops the FDA’s authority as he has said he would. Second, it is pricey. The higher price is because it is a limited production tobacco. I view the high cost the same as I view the high cost of a 24-year old Single Malt Scotch versus a 12-year old Blended Scotch – you get what you pay for.
The tin note is a potent, wine-like, almost boozey aroma of fermentation. The cut is a thin ribbon -- almost a shag. The taste is naturally sweet, with a musty/malty natural Virginia tobacco flavor -- a very full flavor, but medium nicotine strength. The Virginia(s) are soft, not piquant, sharp or bitey. Very smooth and full bodied. The Perique is fruit-like, not peppery. It is prominent, but it remains a team player in the mix.
Very elegant blend. Great whole mouth feel and long lasting finish. I need to smoke this in a medium-to-small bowl because the Virginia flavor is so deep it can fatigue the palate.
The only downside is the price: about double the average; but if you can afford at least one tin, give it a try.
Pipe Used: Ardor, Tinsky, Castello, GBD
Similar Blends: Esoterica Dunbar, Germain Royal Jersey Perique, and pretty similar to, of all things, Newminster #701 Straight Virginia (if it's been aged 5yrs., as my supply has been).
A VaPer, this tobacco is mild with little bite, has a subtle peppery perique note and sweet Virginia flavors. The nicotine is medium strength (wish it were stronger) and it smokes well. I bow before the much more sophisticated perceptions of other reviewers but agree with them. This will be among my favorite smokes!
Wow! I smoked a tin about 6 years ago when it came out and I thought it was fantastic. Well with 6 more years of age it is even more delightful. A sweet, fermented wine note dominates both taste and smell. Absolutely incredible tobacco that I hope Russ makes again one day so I don't have to smoke so sparingly. Four stars all the way!!!!
When I saw that all reviews before mine gave this blend the full score I was very skeptical. Having smoked the Acadian English and the straight Virginia Acadian Gold, I didn't expect much difference. Acadian Gold was nice, but didn't give me much of motivation to buy it again in the future, maybe except for the purpose of having a tin of tobacco that is no longer in production.
But Acadian VaPer did exceed expectations. The aroma from the tin is similar to the straight Virginia version. Fermented fruit, tanginess, sweetness. You can feel that something has fermented for a while. It has a bit of whisky notes to it, even though there are no toppings. It's simply the aging and fermentation that gives that sensation.
Like its sibling blends, it arrives in a bit dry and is ready to smoke right out of the tin. Also like its siblings, it is not the easiest blend to smoke, mechanically speaking. It requires a few relights and the ribbons, due to being pressed down for a while, sometimes stuck to each other to create a mini-flake which slows down the burn. Also noticeable are sugar crystals.
The smoke starts with sweetness and only a drop of spiciness, although the two switch as you go down the bowl. There are nice bread and citrus notes and a bit of wine, again, from the fermentation.
Medium body, mild-medium in strength, although closer to medium. Aside from the fact that it's no longer produced, I'd still not consider it as an all-day smoke because I could rarely get it to be a "casual" smoke. I frequently had to think about the packing and the relight. However, in my last few smokes of the last tin, things have gotten a bit easier in that department as I moved to smoke this in a larger billiard bowl, rather than my usual small pot.
I wish I'd buy more of this blend before it went out of production. While I immediately liked it, it was only after a few tins that I truly learned to appreciate it and now it is too late.
Four stars people are absolutely right. This is a gem.
I just finished my first of two tins of this delightful Va Per. This would not unseat my favorite vapers such as Escudo, SJF or Solani 639, but those are all flakes which I tend to prefer to ribbon cut blends such as this one. Even in Ribbon form I would rather prefer Dorchester or Dunbar to this for the taste, yet this blend is still a four star blend to me.
It is both very good which would garner it three stars, but it is so unique that it deserves a fourth star. It is not the first time a Virginia has been processed as burley is to make Perique. If memory serves right this was how Acadian Black was made by McClelland. I don't think that I like this as much as I did those McClelland blends, but it has been so long since I tried those McClelland blends it is hard to remember.
Aside from all of that malarky and getting back to the blend itself, it is very tasty. The virginia has ample sweetness and zest. The zest I expected: the sweetness was a treat. The perique level is just about right to allow the virginias to shine. I could have handled a bit more of the perique, but as I said, it is plenty good. It performs well, I found it did best with a little bit of dry time.
This is the best VaPer I've ever smoked...I'm not an old time seasoned vet but this blend is incredible.... it's different than any of the style that I've ever had. The Perique is a perfect compliment to the sweet yellow Virginia...I'm ordering many more tins of this....spicy...tangy...rich...full bodied.... it has replaced Louisiana Red as my go to...
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