Fribourg & Treyer - Golden Mixture 50g
Light is right
If you prefer lighter tasting, low nicotine tobacco this one is definitely for you. It is a little lacking in flavor for my liking, although I do enjoy it as a summer evening smoke. It takes a good slow smoking cadence to coax any complexity out of the blend, although there is some. I would think this would be great for someone switching to a pipe from cigarettes.
Capstan - Flake Blue 1.75oz
Just a good flake
This is certainly a solid Virginia flake, but I think it is a bit over-rated. I can instantly tell that it is a Macbaren product due to the unnatural sweetness. I guess I just prefer my Virginia flakes to be less dressed up.
John Aylesbury - Classic Flake 50g
This stuff is incredible. Excellent tin presentation and aroma, it presents with a sweet, grassy scent that you would expect of the lighter VAs that comprise it. The real surprise comes from the very hearty and robust flavor that this tobacco delivers- sweet, yes, with grassy notes, yes, but with a wonderful bouquet of floral, fruit, and earthy tones that I would expect of a much darker Virginia. This stuff is hard to find, and it is easy to see why.
McClelland - Personal Reserve: St James Woods 50g
Decent American VaPer
This is probably one of the best American produced Virginia Perique blends. Good robust flavor with just the right amount of Perique. I almost feel that the tang of the red Virginias steal the show here though. Not a bad thing if you prefer red Virginias, which McClelland seems to use so liberally. I prefer Gawith St. James Flake, even though it is more difficult to prepare.
Esoterica - Stonehaven 8oz
Stonehaven is without comparison. It is a finely crafted VaBur flake. The tin note will probably make any Virginia tobacco lover weak in the knees, massive wafts of dried plum/apricot typical of a fine fermented VA flake, with the heady sweetness from the traecle topping. The smoke is very smooth, with very consistent medium strength through the bowl, with the typical bloom of more complex flavors in the 2nd 3rd. Peparation is all about drying time. They flakes are pretty thin, so when this stuff is properly dried it almost rubs itself out into shag. You don't want it straw dry, as a little moisture is necessary for this stuff to truely sing. I will always be on the lookout to add more Stonehaven to my cellar.
Fribourg & Treyer - Cut Virginia Plug 50g
For Virginia lovers, it doesn't get any better than this. An absolutely spectacular flake. Beautiful in the tin, very smooth and easy to smoke even in the wind, a hearty, rich Virginia flavor with just enough sweetness. I don't cellar many different tobaccos, but this is one of them. It will only get better with some age.