A full bodied "sweet" traditional flake tobacco prepared with only the finest grade of Virginia leaf with a pinch of perique. Aged to perfection in order to bring out the best in this cool smoking, magnificent flake.

Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
ContentsPerique, Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy TobaccoPipes.com
Cup O' Joes
Product Image
None Detected, Extremely Mild
Room Note

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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is delicious. Naturally sweet, decent nicotine hit, the flakes broke up easily, the moisture content was perfect and it burned to a clean, dry ash right down to the bottom of the bowl.

The Virginia took top billing with the Perique deep in the background (almost hidden.)

Just a bit more power and I would have given this four stars.

11 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3046)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

The lighter Virginia is the dominant component, providing some citrus, grass and hay, with a touch of bread and honey. The tangy, dark fruity, earthy, woody darker Virginia is a tad beyond being a condiment. The spicy, raisiny, figgy perique is a small addition, but lightly noticeable in every puff. The taste is in the center of mild to medium, while the strength level is a step closer to medium. The nic-hit just passes the mild mark. Won’t bite or get harsh, but does have a slight rough edge. Burns fairly cool, very clean, and slightly slow as flake blends tend to do. The flavor is consistent from start to finish. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires a few relights. Has a pleasant after taste, and is an all day smoke. Reminds me of OGS with no fruit/citrus topping, a little less grass/hay, and couple more pinches of perique.


9 people found this review helpful.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (305)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This hand blended flake presents nicely prepared golden VA with lesser adds of red and brown. Tin moisture content, packing and lighting are fine and result in an even burning smoke in various bowl sizes. The room aroma is less objectionable than most other VA/Perique blends but this is problably due to the small contribution from the Perique that I really didn't even taste. Initially, in most pipes, I found the initial 1/4 rather harsh. However, with unusually slow puffing (for me), this blend smoothed out and a sweet VA tang resulted. Since Imperial yanked the plug on Capstans in the US and I never smoked them, I can't compare this blend to them. However, in my view, there are more enjoyable VA/Periques available that I would choose before this one.

7 people found this review helpful.

steppx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steppx (186)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Excellent. A real surprise. Must now try the other Former tobaccos. This is high quality virginia with a touch of perique. The Perique is strictly background but its there nonetheless. This is as good a mild VaPer has one can find these days. Reminds me a bit of solani 633...but i like this one better. The virginias have more character for one thing.

This is a milder iteration of Straight Grain flake in the same line up from Former. But its a very smooth and highly recommended blend.

Purchased From: cup o joes

4 people found this review helpful.

marosi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
marosi (70)
Mild None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Although this is one of about a million VA Perique blends available, I must admit that I find myself reaching for and enjoying this more than many others in my collection. It seems to have a richer, fuller flavor (although it is certainly not heavy in the taste or strength department) with the perique forward a bit, and the burn characteristics are very nice. One caveat is that my tin was already about 8 years old when I bought it and it is now more than 11 years. This is one that I have purchased multiples of to cellar, and it is recommended. I would put this with Escudo and Flake Medallions as one of my favorite VAPERS.

The tin is filled with mottled rough flakes of rich red virginias mottled with darker strands of perique. It dries out very easily, and I usually rub it out and let it sit for about ten minutes prior to smoking. Smoking directly from the tin will produce less flavor, a hotter smoke, and more tongue bite.

The mixture burns readily after a charring light, and starts out spicy. This mellows into a wonderful sweet medium bodied VA flavor peppered with spice and a little smokiness, clearly from the perique. It is very cohesive and not grassy in the least. The smoke is rich, creamy, and when smoked moderately the mouth feel is very pleasant. Like all VA's the faster and stronger you puff the hotter it gets, so sip this one and it will not reward you. I tamp as a I go down the bowl, and it burns evenly and the flavor is very consistent. If anything it gets a little sweeter and less spicy as you go, which is very nice indeed. There is very little nicotine here which I am fine with, there are many other stronger blends to smoke if that is what you require, this is about sweetness and spice, not strength.

Overall this is a sweet, spicy, rich VAPER which offers more flavor and pleasant smoking characteristics than average. This is highly recommended for a lover of VAPERS, and if you are looking to try a first one, this is a good start, although you need to dry it out and smoke slowly to get all of the sweetness and flavor that it has to offer. Delicious.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Spigot

Age When Smoked: 11years

Similar Blends: Escudo (but not really).

4 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Very nice flavors. A bit of hay and citrus with hints of darker fruit. Has a fair amount of spice and sweetness. My only complaint with this flake is that it's just a little lacking in roundness. Needs a little more of the dark fruit to round it out better. Still a very nice smoke though.

Mild to medium in body and taste. I can't detect any added flavoring. Burns very well.

Pipe Used: MM Dagner Poker, Country Gentleman, Marcus

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

4 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2080)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Former - Cross Grain Flake.

The flakes are a little lighter than medium brown and nicely hydrated. I thought they may be too damp at first as they'd all stuck together, but once I peeled some away they seemed fine. A bowl lights easily, giving a good burn.

I like the flavour, it's sweet but savoury, if that makes sense?! The sweetness comes from the Virginia, but the Perique has more savoury spices, as opposed to rich tangy fruit. Tongue bite can occur if I puff voraciously: nothing terrible, but whichever way I look at it, it's a bit of a biter!

I find it about medium with nicotine, get no added flavours, and like the room-note.

Even though I get a little bite, I'll happily highly recommend this.

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Peterson Harp #05

Age When Smoked: One month

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

2 people found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (179)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Rumored to be like Capstan Medium, which I have never tried, it is still a very good entry into a bright virginia sweet tasting field.

It, nevertheless, is a darker looking flake than the usual bright or golden virginia varieties. Lots of red or brown leaf and some black perique added mostly to keep the mixture cool enough.

It breaks up into a thick shag which I try not to rub out much.

It smells citrusy in the tin. Some scenting or aromatic is added I feel. It feels dryer than most flakes out of the tin. It smokes reasonably steady and dry.

It took a few bowls to get use to, as I feared some heat or bite was ready to crop up. But no, if puffed slowly as you have to for most virginias, it stays with you to a relatively smooth beat.

I puffed about 8 bowls in a medium Ser Jacopo that I had previously smoked McClelland's Honeydew in. That's probably why I sensed some heat at first. But it smoked as sweat and decent as a good virginia flake should after that initial transition period (smoking out the last but similar type blend from the pipe). Then I turned to a new filtered Brigham 7 medium billiard. Again a couple of bowls to adjust. After about 10 more bowls in that pipe, I had finished the tin in about 10 days total. Great stuff. (Incidentally, the Brigham filter is unlike any other; it keeps the smoke dry and cool without seeming to alter or mute the flavor. A quick break in too. An unfiltered Brigham is almost as good too -- I have one. Not expensive.)

I have a couple of extra tins of Former's and will order more. It is a delicious, medium, sweet virginia flake. The perique does not affect the taste much if at all and probably is used to keep the blend friendly.

It is a little similar in the sweetness department to C&D's Briar Fox blend (a crumble cake) and Pease's Stratford (ribbon), but it needs no additional aging in my opinion to produce a surperb and deeper (not heavy) flavor. Again, it may have more scenting than those two. Dunhill's Light Flake and Germain's Medium Flake are also similar flakes, but Former's has more body then the latter and a different flavor than the former.

I highly recommend this if you are a sweet virginia lover and have experience with flakes. I started Former's straight grain flake next, a darker, heavier blend with a berry or fruity hint, but I'll see if I write about that one later.

2 people found this review helpful.

Dr.sadik Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr.sadik (120)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Unique presentation unlike any other flake i have seen. To compare i am going to point out orlik dark strong where their flakes are vertically divided into rows of dark and yellow. This one however is striped horizontally but its not divided, its like the flake end is dipped in a dark color syrup, you may understand when you see it. Now of to the tobacco, it burns well and smooth, very rich tasting and feels like it packs stronger punch than the straight grain but much less sharper and grassier. All former offerings are great virginias but this one is certainly unique. I wonder what age would do to it. Al janabi

Pipe Used: Briars

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Tobaccopipes.com

Similar Blends: Think luxury twist flake without topping and with perique Or a matured version of luxury navy flake with less perique and sharpness. Dare i say old dark fired with less smokiness.

1 person found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (633)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I was given the remaining amount of a tin with about 10 years of age on it at the past Chicago Show. This worked out to be about 5 bowls. It was tasty and I did enjoy my time with it, but there was nothing about this that made me feel that I needed to buy more.

The Virginias used in this blend are what it is all about as the perique is a very minor player. So minor, in fact, that I did not realize it had any in it until I opened it up to do this review. The Virginias were sweet as one would expect for a 10 year aged Va, but honestly, not as sweet as I had hoped. The Virginias are of the grassy/citrus variety which are what I favor. In all honesty, I would have rather had a tin of fresh Dunhill Flake or Escudo than this, but it was still an enjoyable 5 bowls.

As a Virginia blend it is easily a three star blend, as a VaPer, it is probably lower since the perique is almost unnoticeable. I am leaving it at 3 and may adjust if I ever have a chance to try more.

1 person found this review helpful.

Corncob3 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Corncob3 (77)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium Very Pleasant

Very good but needs airing out first. A tad too sweet and strong for my taste. If you like sweet and.a good dose of perique this blend will fit the bill. Prefer Private Flake and want to try Bird"s Eye, seeing that my palate is geared toward burley blends or Virginia, burley, oriental mixtures. I'll give this one four stars because it's very well done and does provide a great smoke.

Pipe Used: Corncob

Age When Smoked: Fresh out of the tin

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild Pleasant

Small round tin filled with mostly light colored (with some darker leaf) flakes. Nice scent of Virginia tobacco and lemon ice tea in the tin. The flakes were a bit overmoist in the tin but broke apart easily for rubbing out and folded easily as well.

The first bowl was at tin moisture and, similar to just about every Virginia flake I've ever smoked, screamed for drying time. The smoke was steamy and overly sour, with no body or depth. My main problem with this one is that I could never get the tobacco "in the zone" with respect to moisture content. Too wet - see above. Too dry and it tasted better but that came with a bit of tongue sizzle. Not too terrible but enough to throw me off. As best I can figure, since I couldn't really get this one dialed in even after smoking the entire tin, this one is citrus first, but not to the extent that I felt like it was marinated in lemon juice. There was a hint of spice from the darker Virginias as well as some type of mild casing that I couldn't identify. The perique was more fruity and hard to target, as it was very light. It was sweet and mild and seemed very "Danish" in character (not sure who makes this). It was a pleasant but unmemorable smoke, and failed to excite. Might be good to try for someone preferring very lightly added perique with their citrusy Virginias. It just lacked that "heart of darkness" I prefer in Virginia-based blends.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

This is a little fuller than Birds Eye Flake from the same producer. It is darker in color with a touch more perique. Very cool smoking and flavorful. Rubs out easily and burns effortlessly to the bottom of the bowl. Taste and strength are both medium. A very satisfying smoke. I still prefer Birds Eye to this blend as my tastes are on the lighter side with less perique. But this excellent in it's own right and deserving of 4 stars.

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

1 person found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (318)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A nice dark VA with a touch of Perique. If that sounds appealing, give it a try. for my tastes, I'll either stick with with the slightly brighter Elizabethan or Red Virginia superb or with the equally dark but (to me) more balanced St James flake

Pipe Used: various briars

Age When Smoked: 1 yr, 10 mo

Purchased From: pipes & cigars

1 person found this review helpful.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (251)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

My tin is from 2004, and I have a couple of newer tins aging in the "cellar." A very dependable VAPER, though light on the perique. Though it hasn't blown me away, I always enjoy a bowl, and have stocked up as well on the other Former offerings, since they can be found at a reasonable price. Easy smoking, doesn't overheat or bite, good burner. Maybe not as much character as say a McClelland Matured Virginia, but never a let down either. Has a slight sweetness, but I think it is mainly natural.

1 person found this review helpful.

TK Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TK Pipe (101)
Mild Mild Medium Pleasant

Former CG flake … Nicely presented lighter brown flakes, with some streaks of yellow, with a dried fruit, tin aroma. This blend is said to have some Perique in it, but I would have never known it was there, if it were not mentioned on this web-sight, and for my taste its perfect, doing just what it should, compliment, and stay well behind the fine Virginias. Maybe not for everybody, but if you favor Danish style Virginias, this IMO is a good one.

After a short airing, I loaded my bowl. As the lighter colors made me think this stuff may burn a bit too hot, I loaded up with only a fold and twist rub out, still somewhat course. It took only a few puffs, and I knew this was going to be a pleasant experience. Starting very mild and growing in strength as the burn continued, the tobacco never bit, burned hot or harsh, loaded with flavors, and just the right sweetness, I was sold. This is nice stuff, reminds me of Villager Late Night (another newer favorite) only a little stronger across the board. Not an all day smoke for me like Villager, but I know there will be times when this stuff will fit in just right. Until now I thought my rotation had no room for another Danish/German style Virginia blend, Guess I'll have to make some room. For what it is, 3 stars. My personal rating 4.2/5

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I used to smoke a lot of Capstan Medium, and this blend does have a very similar flavor and aroma. The Former's, however, seems less dark and less full-flavored than Capstan Medium, and it bites my tongue more than Capstan. In its favor, I'll say it is a sweet VaPer flake, mild to medium strength with pretty good room aroma. Overall, not bad, but not my beloved Capstan Medium.

Update: I've gotten to know this blend a bit better over the past week or so in a few different pipes and with a bit more air-time to it, and I like it a lot more than my initial smokes. It is "like" Capstan Medium but not exactly the same. But the "like" at the moment has my attention since I loved Capstan so much and can't get it here in the U.S. any more. So, because Cross Grain Flake is a decent smoke, I can give this at least three stars, and a fourth for capturing a bit of the Capstan essence.

1 person found this review helpful.

Davetopay Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Davetopay (43)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Meh. It just didn't speak to me. VERY hay forward. Not as deep, dark, and layered with flavors as I have come to prefer. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with it, but it left me flat.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

I tried this, mainly just to revisit Perique. I remember that I wasn't that big of a fan of Perique last time I tried it.

A nice blend, easy to smoke, but I guess I still prefer the lighter aromatics.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have cellared 5 tins of this dated 2005. The tobacco had taken on a very dark tone with age, and has the classic VaPer sweetness. I like this one better than the Straight Grain Flake, which is definitely stronger (makes my head swim a bit) with sour notes. I am going to let the remaining tins age for at least another year before trying it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

The tobacco is medium brown with some mottling and a little dry, perhaps. The round tin opens to reveal rectangular, navy slices that have a sweet, Virginia aroma with a touch of straw.

The tobacco lights with one match and the ash is a nice white. Initially, I get a distinct sweetness and slight spiciness that is so indicative of Virginia flake. The sweetness subsides some over the smoke but I do not get any "grassy" or straw-like flavors. I should note that I do not rub-out flakes during packing.

I think I like this better than Escudo which is probably the closest tobacco I can think of to this flake. It is certainly lighter than Escudo but along those lines. The perique does give the smoke some thickness that I enjoy more than with straight Virginia leaf.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Wonderful flake-cut VA blend which I find to be very similar to Capstan Medium. (Smoked Capstan a few years ago, but this blend harkens to it very strongly.) Supposedly there is a slight casing which is the same used in that famous European blend that we unfortunately don't have access to here in the States. Nielsen does a great job with this blend, and it's a wonderful change to a move full-bodied VA blend than his Straight-Grain flake (which I also recommend). Flakes are perfect moisture in tin, not falling apart, but not goopy either. Room note keeps me sniffing the air, and is a pleasant smoke. I find it to be no harsher than any other common VAs I've smoked (I'm more of an English/Balkan smoker.) This blend now has a place in my cellar. If you liked Capstan Medium, and can't obtain it, I suggest you pick up a tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.