Light colored small ribbons with a bag aroma of latakia and... dirt. Yes, dirt. It smelled a lot like dry earth. The small cut made for very easy loading and I don't think I ever had to relight once I got it going.
The previous Peretti blend I reviewed had its Virginias pretty obviously sourced from McClellands. The Virginias here were just as obviously from someone else. They were as lacking in character as any Virginias I've ever tasted, similar to the Sutliff Court of St James I smoked not long ago. No sweetness, no tang, no spiciness, no anything. No body, either, or I might have thought it was burley in the mix... a very light burley. The base of this was an extremely bland cigarette taste with a sprinkling of latakia on top. the latakia saved this from a single star, but didn't offer enough to elevate this one beyond mediocre. On the other hand, this has promise as a blender and might be useful to tone down too heavily flavored blends. So two stars for that reason.
L.J. Peretti's Devonshire (as per the store description) is basically a matured Virginia blend with a condimental amount of Latakia. The cut is a short-ribbon, coarse cut. My first sample was a single ounce, and it was a little too dry for me; but when I ordered an 8oz. can, the hydration level was perfect. I think Virginias in particular need to be fairly well hydrated, otherwise they lose they flavor, smoke too hot, and end up scalding the palette.
The color is mostly tan and brown Virginias with specks of black Latakia. I'm not sure of the exact Virginias used, but there is clearly more than one varietal involved. It lights and burns well--as all Peretti blends do. The taste is earthy (but not at all "dirty"), and while there is some background sweetness, the taste is dominated by the fermented, somewhat sour taste of the matured Virginia base. There are hints of lemon and tea, with a Bergemontesque (to coin a word) edge akin to Earl Grey Tea. The Latakia makes its presence know around the edges, adding a little smokiness and a bit of darker depth.
An easy-smoking, straightforward blend, especially good in warmer months. Should please Virginia fanciers and English blend smokers looking for a change of pace.
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