Peter Stokkebye - PS402 Luxury Twist Flake
An Outstanding VA
I'm an S.G. FVF guy, and G.H.'s Bob's Chocolate is a close 2nd (and my favourite desert tobacco); and I definitely agree with the review below in a comparison with the Lakeland VA's (I reckon due to the Zimbabwean leaf?) without the intrinsic essence. This stuff is excellent on its own and in its own right (and rite). As a recovering pipe purist (who is quite keen on rethinking all of my old biases), it honestly surprised me with the intrinsic quality of the leaf and of process. When FVF is enveloped back into the fog of unavailability (which again appears to be the case), Stokkebye's Flake -- which again must be taken on its own -- will absolutely take a place within my VA rotation, and even allow me to ration my FVF stock. I never thought there would be another VA out there that I could enjoy nearly as much as my beloved SG's and GH's. I am excited in how incorrect I was... Sweet fresh hay at first light, VA sweetness-sorcery with growing complexity at 1/3rd, a little spice and deep VA flavours on the soft palate at 2/3rds, and then I've found it starts to mellow from there onwards. Burns to a clean white ash and my pipes are also remarkably clean. It seems to benefit from a bit of drying time, but doesn't need much. Now, I'm smoking this business green as hell -- straight out of the bag from SP.com. And, don't get me wrong, it's great. But like any green VA, I reckon she'll bite you if you piss her off. So technique out the bag is paramount. But, this stuff is going to age beautifully. Have thus far smoked LTF out of a Jimmy Craig XX Ashton, an Askwith billiard, an MM cob, and my favourite Ferndown, and it's worked really well in all of them. Folding & stuffing works great for a slow burn (allow for some rest-time and relights, especially if it's green), but I've found rubbing out coarsely has been my preferred method. Have paired it with dark roast coffee blends (heavy on the cream), and, my personal favourite when smoking straight VA's, whole milk. Don't judge... No judging...