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Samuel Gawith - St. James Flake 50g
S.G. reinvented Virgina/Periques
I affectionately refer to this blend as 'The Hammer' as it vastly eclipses just about every other VaPer I've come across. Samuel Gawith has really changed the game with their expertise in creating full flavoured, full bodied virginia flakes applied to creating a full virginia perique blend. If you like Full Virginia Flake, and I'm pretty sure you do given how hard it is to find it in stock, and you are fond of VaPers, then this might be, for you, like me, your The One tobacco. The virginia in this flake is very dark and intense, yet mellow to smoke - this is enriched and spiced up with the application of particularly spicy perique. I do not know if this is a factor of their source of perique, or whether it's the crusty bits falling off of their three century old flake presses, but this has all the flavour, strength, and pleasure of smoking 3 bowls of escudo at once; yet it's quite mellow and smooth! As with all S.G. Flakes, it's very earthy, dry, and smokey, rather like my favourite red wine, and as mentioned, the perique in this blend is a spicy fig-and-pepper bolt in the dark.

Reiner - Long Golden Flake (Blend No. 71) 100g
Definitive white burley/VaPer blend
Start here if you want to know what a proper Burley/Virgina Perique blend tastes like. This blend is very smooth and creamy, due the burley, with a solid whollop of nicotine, useful for waking the dead (read: myself at 7am), and then progresses into a simultaneously dry and sweet spicy virginia perique blend. The creaminess of the white burley is prominent throughout the smoke, melding it together. Great with a cup of coffee, better with a pint. Though I suppose that's true of all tobaccos; this one especially.

G. L. Pease - Union Square 2oz
Do not smoke this without some age
As with most Pease blends, this one benefits enormously with some age - in fact, do not smoke it for at least a month, for it will bite and taste like burning. Given some time, this blend melds into a veritable cornucopia of virginia flavours, notably sweet, dark, earthy, and bright - simulataneously.

McClelland - Matured Virginia: No. 27 100g
Red cake virginias at their finest
This is my first choice in red virginia flakes. Do note that "shag cut" does not mean shag, it means crushed flakes. Best on a hot day, or at night after a hot day, this is a spicy yet smooth full bodied smoke. Best if dried out almost to a crisp, to me anyway. I would compare the flavour to a heavily peppered cream soup, if forced to compare it to soup: This makes next to zero sense however, as it's impossible to describe the delight in the taste of red virginias, just as it's impossible to describe the taste of elderberries with absolutely no frame of reference. I digress - this is a must try red flake.

Peter Stokkebye - PS400 Luxury Navy Flake
Phenomenal, with some age
I bought a half pound of this back in 2005. At the time, I found it was a little bitter, burned with a random collage of flavours and didn't strike me as a VaPer at all. I jarred the rest of it and set it aside. Given 6 months, this flake bloomed into a scintillating delicate dark red-virginia VaPer, with subtle peppery hints and a creamy virginia undertone. Given 5 years, this flake was the about the best I've had. 4 stars only because it needs a little time to meld, 5.5 stars after 5 years. I've yet to decide how much of a factor any rum flavouring plays - Navy Flake is supposed to be topped with rum, though I'm not sure I can taste it succinctly.

McClelland - BB - Biteless Burley
Too flavoured
The description here and on other sites suggests this blend has no flavouring or casing on it. I for one was unable to taste burley, or tobacco of any kind - it tasted like some kind of chemical flavouring. My friend (who received the last half of the 2oz I tried) found it to be a great straight up burley with no flavouring and smoked quite cool. Sample before buying in bulk, as it may or may not work for you.

McClelland - 2015 Virginia-Perique Flake
The definitive all-day VaPer
As a bulk offering, this is by far the McClelland's blend I consume the most of- and I love all their virginias. This is the absolute baseline for a great virginia/perique blend - sweet, dry, tangy, and smooth: the harmony that makes a VaPer what it is. Great straight out of the bag from the smokingpipes.com box (as I had it yesterday), and even better with some age in a jar. I smoke this for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a midnight snack. Best if dried to a crisp, though that's usually just me.

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