The matured red Virginia provides a lot of tangy dark fruit, earth, wood, bread, some sugar, mild floralness, a couple pinches of spice and a light vinegar note. It takes a small lead. The aged bright Virginia offers a fair amount of tart and tangy citrus, bread, some grass, sugar, floralness, very sour lemon, light vegetation, spice, and a touch of acidity. It’s right behind the red Va. in terms of effect. The peppery perique produces an abundance of earth, wood, plums, some raisins, and light figs. It’s almost a supporting player. The strength, nic-hit and taste levels are medium. There’s no chance of bite or harshness. Has a few very light rough edges. The flakes are mildly moist, and easily break apart to suit your packing preference. No dry time is needed. They are most decidedly NOT crumble cake flakes. Burns cool, clean and a little slow with a deeply rich, very consistent, fruity, sugary, spicy, lightly sour, fermented flavor that extends to the pleasantly lingering after taste. Leaves little dampness in the bowl. Requires some relights. Has a pleasant room note. Despite it’s zesty punchiness, it can be an all day smoke.
There are differences between this flake version and the regular Old Dominion product, which is a crumble cake. This manufacture has a deeper fermented fruity flavor, and is a little less sour. The red Va. is tad more obvious, and the perique is more potent. Has a little more sugar, too. This flake version is a little more well rounded, and a notch stronger. Four stars.
I am a huge fan of the original Old Dominion, with 6+ pounds cellared away. Given my love of the original, I approached this tinned flake version fully expecting to love it as well. It delivered on the promise, and then some.
Upon cracking the tin I get familiar aromas that I associate with well aged and matured red Virginias, as well as plenty of perique. From the sniff test I would guess that the perique content is a bit higher than in regular OD, once lit that impression is even stronger.
The cut here is a thick flake, roughly on par with 2020 and 2021 Kringle Flake from Sutliff. Make no mistake, this is a true flake cut from whole leaf plug. Anyone who thinks this is a crumble cake either doesn’t know what they are talking about or has never actually smoked or handled this blend.
On first light I get sweet, bready, and somewhat earthy reds in the lead. I get acidic, citrusy brights in the number two spot, with perique right behind. There is a slight sour note, less so than I get with fresh OD. (By year 3 this sour note is totally absent with OD). Very quickly though, the perique surpasses the brights in prominence and the brights remain background players for the duration. The perique’s contribution is very much of the stewed fruit type, at least at first. As you progress down the bowl, however, it swings toward the peppery end of the spectrum and the pepper is dominant by the end of the bowl.
Towards the end the VA’s “firm up” (like all good VA’s do) and everything comes together. Minimal moisture and dottle are all that’s left- just a slightly domed disk of unburned tobacco maybe 1/8” high that falls right out when you flip the bowl.
Compared to the original OD this version strikes me as a solid medium in strength/nic (vs mild/medium for the original), more perique-forward, smoother, less of a sour note, and slightly deeper and more rich in flavor. Original OD ages phenomenally well- even with just 3 years in the jar it matures remarkably. I have no reason at all to doubt that the tinned flake version will do so as well.
I’ll be buying the limit whenever this comes available again, fantastic work Ernie!
I find that my opinion of this blend is right on par with tfdickson and JimInks. I have smoked a bunch of the regular Old Dominion and have found it to be an excellent blend! Having it in flake form raises everything up a notch in my opinion.
If you love a good VaPer then this is a good one and it will only get better with aging. If Ernie decides to put this one in regular rotation then I'm buying a bunch!
A fellow piper from the club brought this in today and was nice enough to share. I have tried Old Dominion and cannot nor will I even try to compare the two as my expertise in the types of tobacco used, toppings and or casings, method of processing etc. is just very limited. I can tell you this is a really smooth and tasteful flake tobacco. For further detail read JimInks review. As he states this is a flake while Old Dominion is a crumble cake. A good smoke, and glad I was able to sample it.
No reason to fluff this review up with everything already mentioned... This is a great tobacco! just a step up from the still available Old Dominion that happens to be a fan favorite of the LIPC... It's tangy, citrus, bready tones will offer a delight on every puff. If you were not fortunate enough to pick up these BEAUTIFUL flakes.. be sure to grab some of the orignal Old Dominion, which will truly not disappoint the veteran or novice pipe smoker.. YES even in a factory pipe !
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