This is the Aged Limited Edition, the cakes have been aged for 2 years. The ageing process has enhanced the tobacco by mellowing the Virginias which brings out more of the natural sugars. This in turn has created a change to the flavour producing now a rich dark pudding with meadow notes.
This two year old limited edition of Full Virginia Flake has all the aspects of the fresh version, with a few differences. It’s mildly fermented tangy dark fruit sweet, has a little tart and tangy sugary citrus, plenty of earth and wood, a little vegetative grass, light floralness, and a touch of spice. This version is a tad sweeter and little less grassier with slightly more fermentation. The small rough edges are lightly mellower as well. Nothing else has changed. The strength is a couple of slots past the center of mild to medium. The taste level is medium. The nic-hit is a step below the center of mild to medium. Won't bite or get harsh. It needs some dry time. Burns slow, no matter the moisture content, with a very consistent cool, clean flavor that translates to the lightly lingering, pleasant after taste. Requires some relights, and leaves little moisture in the bowl. The room note is pleasant to tolerable. Can be an all day smoke. if you really want to see the difference age makes, give it five to seven years as I do.
Tin Aroma: Deep fermented fruity, sour, tangy, plummy. The 2 year aging has done well for this already famous blend. If you love virginia flakes expect instant involuntary drooling. It feels like someone threw a leathery, earthy virginia bomb on all of your senses. It'll make you want to eat the flakes right out of the tin.
The Flake: The flake is cut a bit chunky as all SG flakes are, the aging has done a fantastic job on the flake, a very rich dark texture along with lovely bright flecks in abundance. The moisture is in abundance in a fresh tin and it's a good practice to let the flakes breathe for a few minutes every day.
Preparation: I have smoked FVF folded and stuffed, fully rubbed and coarsely rubbed and for me the best experience has been when the flake is coarsely rubbed. YMMV.
Charlight: Depending on the moisture content of your flake, it will take 2-4 relights to get this puppy going. The first light blackens the flake a little too dark, what I got in all of the charlights was bitterness at first and then the taste slowly coming out of the flake.
The first half: This tobacco is a pleasure, if you are looking for a more complex alchemy in this blend, please move on, but, if you are a big fan of the grassy hay and sharp taste of the virginias this tobacco is your best bet. This blend has subtle undertones and they will blow you away. Don't worry much about the alchemy rather enjoy the full experience. Close your eyes and let it please your sense in its entirety.
After a few sips of this beauty, you are greeted with the full blown strong taste of the aged virginias. Very sharp, spicy and tangy taste. Hits you hard in the flavor department but is actually mellow when it comes to Nicotine. A very honest leaf is what I will call Full Virginia Flake. You can just relax in your chair, lean back and let the virginias work their magic on you. Sip slow
beauty, hurrying with this tobacco will make it bitter and very very hot. This tobacco is all about the taste of the leaf, its pretty mild when it comes to nicotine, which is good for non cigarette smokers and a little sad for ex-cigarette smokers like me. Do not let down by this however, a true gentleman is always patient with his date.
The second half: Rich creamy sharp virginia, a little sweet from time to time, always reminding me of the days when I used to visit my maternal grandfather's farm. The sharp flavor accompanies your smoking experience till the end. Consider it as a faithul friend who will never leave your side even when things go sour. You might have to coax it a little if you are smoking it very moist without letting it breathe for 5-10 minutes. A fair warning, DO NOT dry this tobacco or it will leave its ghost and will just become a husk of its former glory.
The good thing about this leaf is that the extra 2 yearson it makes it extremely mellow. It won't bite you if you treat it with respect. Puff it hard and it will put you in your place, trust me I have experienced the famous virginia leaf tongue burns when I first started smoking. Hence, I will not recommend this Lady to new pipe smokers. Stick with Orlik Golden Sliced for a few months before you ask this Lady out on a date.
Climax: By the time you reach at the end of the bowl, you will be either blown by the sharp character of this amazing Mistress or will completely be hating it. Patience is the key when it comes to Virginias and this blend demand your utmost respect, especially when you are a newcomer to the pipe and tobacco lifestyle.
A very satisfying smoking experience, it has become a part of my rotation. Trust me, your mouth and your brain will agree with me after you've smoked a few tins of this beautifully made flake.
I will give this blend a solid 3.75 out of 4.
Smoking Companions: A chilled can of Coke Zero, some potato chips.
Pipes used: Peterson 2014 Christmas B35 Zulu, Falcon with Green Apple Genoa bowl and a Rick Black freehand sitter.
Tobacco Components: Virginias hot steam pressed to perfection.
Will buy again? Hell YES!
Pipe Used: Peterson 2014 Xmas B35, Rick Black Poker
Something of a classic, but probably not for the less experienced smoker. Full bodied and like all SG virginias the quality is superb. It has a bit of sweetness beneath the musky grassy notes, and burns pretty cool for straight virginia. As I said....this has been a renowned flake for many decades. A staple of serious smokers.
I am not sure why this tobacco has gotten good reviews. The flake was too wet upon opening tin. When smoked wet, it was difficult to keep lit. When smoked dry, it was harsh and bit my tongue even when smoked lightly. The flavor was bitter and harsh. The tin note was pleasant with hints of fruit and raisins. I do not care in the least how a tobacco smells in the tin and have never understood why that is a concern of anyone. I have heard the tobacco improves with age and mellows out. Maybe the maker should age it first and then sell it.
If this were the only pipe tobacco left on earth, I'd be a happy boy. If you like regular FVF, you will love this. Somehow it's got all the usual FVF characteristics but they're elevated to a level that is simply sublime.
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