The Indian Virginias offer earth, a lot of spice, a little tart and sour dried dark fruit and a fair amount of smoky wood, along with a few grass notes. There’s a very noticeable floralness present as well. Sometimes, I sense a few nutty burley notes. The strength is a step short of medium. The taste and nic-hit are just short of the center of mild to medium. May bite a fast puffer. Burns warm with a slightly slow pace with a fairly consistent, discreetly sweet, a little bitter, sour and more spicy, savory flavor. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires some relights. Has an unattractive bitter, spicy finish and after taste. Can be an all day smoke for the veteran.
Great sized 50g tin (feels bigger than a UK tin), a very slight mellow aroma from bright coloured tobacco strands and good moisture level straight from the tin.
But therein lies the problem : by 'very slight' I mean the merest whiff of something and that does not bode well for the taste.
Fact is, there isn't any, taste that is. None at all. At first I thought it was my loading, then the pipe I used. I chose my big old favourite olive wood German pipe with big old fishtail acrylic stem. It didn't help. It was utterly tasteless.
In desperation I dragged out my old corn cob, and yes, with the same result.
What a shame. I've got the best part of 50 grams of this. If it wasn't so well presented I'd suspect it was a 'filler' of some kind - like a mixing tobacco. It desperately needs a topping of some sort if not it needs cutting with something else.
Pipe Used: My favourite German Olivewood, corn cob
Age When Smoked: New
Purchased From: Dan Pipe, Germany
Similar Blends: Mellow Virginia, Gold Block, Peterson/Sam Gawiths unflavoured tobaccos..
I , too, am surprised at the negative reviews. One of which is ridiculous. This is a very nice straight virginia flake. Not as full, perhaps, as the other Former flakes, but delicious and if you enjoy very slightly cased Va flakes, this is an excellent one. Might be compared to Cut virginia plug by F&T, or Dan Tobaccos Tordenskold Virgina flake. Cool smoking, high quality. I cant tell what the casing is, but its MILD...very very mild. Might be cognac or brandy flavouring.
also....jimmilinks says there is no casing. Well, there is....so perhaps this blend has been changed because jimmi is usually reliable. But trust me....this has added casings.
I am very surprised by the negative reviews – a few in any case but from experienced reviewers – because I found Former’s Private a superb Virginia!
It comes in ready-rubbed broken flakes of mostly darkish brown color. Tin note is quite intense for a tobacco without any noticeable casing. It is tangy and fruity – citrus fruit mostly and quite ripe and sweet at that – like ripe blood oranges. After a few days the more pungent aromas dissipate and a faint fruity perfume is left, a sign that there is a minimal topping after all.
From the first whiff I sense a very tasty tobacco. Fruity, honey sweet and very tangy – a thing I enjoy very much – with bready tones as well. The mouthfeel is very smooth with the tangy/yeasty notes balancing nicely the sweetness.
Strength is past medium, as is nicotine and room note is quite nice. It comes in perfect moisture to smoke straight away and the mechanics are superb. And it smokes nicely to the end.
It reminds me a lot of Dan Tobacco’s Mellow Mallard, but if I can remember well, FP is superior in taste. To me Former’s Private is a superb dark Virginia which can be smoked as an all day tobacco. Were it produced by a more popular make, Dunhill let’s say, it would command a fame similar to Royal Yacht. I suspect it can be used as a blender as well but I have not tried it yet because I like it so much as it is. Actually it is my favourite dark Virginia alongside Tillbury.
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