Samuel Gawith - Full Virginia Plug 8oz
Lighten up, Francis
It's unsliced FVF (hence, the same 4.5 stars). If you missed out, smoke some FVF. I happened to get a box from another retailer, but if I hadn't, I wouldn't be crying about it in the review section. Like Sean V said...it's tobacco. You'll live.
A&C Petersen - Escudo Navy Deluxe 50g
Yes, it is that good
Pretty much THE standard for VA-Pers. The undisputed champion. Escudo is what I measure every VA-Per against, and so far they've all come up lacking.
Kramer's - Blend for Cary Grant 50g
This was a very pleasant surprise. Kramer's excellent English Blend with a slight - very slight - added sweetness. It's called an "English Aromatic" here, but it's a lot more English than Aromatic. Moisture level almost perfect right out of the tin, and the smoke was very cool and dry. I'm more of a VA/VaPer/VaBur guy, and only an occasional English smoker, but this stuff is definitely going to find its way into my rotation. I'll be re-stocking this for sure.
Peter Heinrichs - Dark Strong Flake 200g
Just about everything you want in a tobacco. Strong, but not overly so. Very full flavored, but the Kentucky smoothes out the VA perfectly so there is no sharp edge - just a rich, satisfying taste. Thick, rich room note that will draw approving glances and comments, too. Careful not to smoke too quickly, because it will bite you if you do, but otherwise this is an excellent, excellent tobacco. Until the day I can get Stonehaven whenever I want, this is my "go to" blend.
Esoterica - Stonehaven 8oz
The Gold Standard
My absolute favorite tobacco. That familiar delicious "jar" note of a fine aged VA flake only gives you a hint of what's to come. Don't get too hasty with it - smoke it too fast and you might wonder what all the fuss is about. Smoke this stuff S-L-O-W-L-Y and it's positively magical.
Dan Tobacco - The Mallard 50g
Solid VA smoke
Yes, the tin says "aromatic", but this is a straight ready-rubbed VA/Bur flake tobacco, and a pretty good one at that. Not as full a smoke as most of my other VA stash (FVF & HOTW, mostly), it is very mellow and smooth, with a pleasant "room note" that gets approving nods from smokers & non-smokers alike. Does require a bit of drying upon opening, but it's an easy smoke, and I've yet to experience any tongue bite. Overall, a rather pleasant "change of pace" tobacco, and one that I'll be stocking up on for sure.