Dan Tobacco - Hamborger Veermaster 250g
A Noteworthy Subtle Virginia Flake
I was pleasantly surprised to discover how much I enjoyed this pure Virginia flake. The tactile presentation I found quite interesting which is unusual. At first glance it looked normal enough with the lighter coloring one would expect to find in an recently tinned tobacco but when I tried to peel away a layer of flake it was rather difficult to separate without damaging the slice. Almost like it had been pressed, cut, and re-pressed under extreme pressure. The moisture level was also nearly perfect as it was malleable yet firm and held together well without being sticky. Having tried many Virginia flakes over the years I found this to be unique when handling. The tin note was inviting and refined with a hay-like aroma persisting around a wonderful natural tobacco scent, with maybe a hint of vinegar though I cannot tell for certain whether it comes from a topping or fermentation, but my guess is it is a topping given the sharpness of the note. The Virginias seems to be of above average quality though not very high in sugar content. Now knowing this is a very subtle tobacco, I prefer to load these flakes either “cube-cut” or with a “fold and stuff” approach, as rubbing it out into ribbon unfocused the flavor and raised the temperature for me. I have some quite old tins of this which I have never opened, and I am now wishing I had discovered this sooner. I recommend smoking this in a pipe seasoned to Virginia tobaccos lest you run the risk of overpowering the delicate flavors this tobacco has to offer.
Sutliff - 515 RC-1
An Unfortunate Mockery of McClelland's 5100
I had high hopes for this remake of the venerable 5100 Red Cake by McClelland but much to my dismay it bears nearly no resemblance to its archetype. This is quite evident without a back-to-back comparison to the original and even more obvious when a rigorous assessment is conducted. As best I can ascertain Sutliff has attempted to mimic the natural fermentation of high sugar content, flue-cured leaf by adorning inferior tobacco with a healthy dose of vinegar topping resulting in a foul, damp mess. I had hopes that age would impart an improvement to this offering but sadly this was not to be. I believe Sutliff has the means to do better and I hope they may one day try again to recreate this much revered blend with the aid of a more refined palette.