Are all Periques created equal?

Saint_klaus

Well-known member
Obviously not. But what makes for the difference?

Is it more in the manufacturing? Is it the blender who is to “blame”? I was beginning to think that aside from small amounts as part of a blend (Ogs etc) perique was not for me. C&Ds perique tastes and smells like fowl sludge to me (I will die on this hill) I didn’t really care for St James flake (Blasphemy I know!). I have very much despaired that I am missing something based on the high regard so many people seem to place on it, The upshot is that has left me with some nice tins to smack people with.

as recently as today though I was absolutely loving…I mean like on cloud 9 does this bowl ever have to end…absolutely loving some Watch City 558 with its funky smell and taste. To me the smell is ALMOST unpleasant when you rub out the flake but in a good way. I had always put that down to the Stoved VA for some reason but today it donned on me that a good deal of that must be the perique too.

how is it that I, a self professed Perique skeptic am loving this perique? Certainly Ernie and co are outstanding at what they do. Beyond that does where they source the leaf come into play? Are there other factors I’m not thinking about? Am I overthinking this (trick question because:yes). I could happily smoke 558 as the only perique containing blend for the rest of my life and be more than ok with it. Just got me thinking is all.

cheers
 

Spearheadbill

“so it goes…”
Obviously not. But what makes for the difference?

Is it more in the manufacturing? Is it the blender who is to “blame”? I was beginning to think that aside from small amounts as part of a blend (Ogs etc) perique was not for me. C&Ds perique tastes and smells like fowl sludge to me (I will die on this hill) I didn’t really care for St James flake (Blasphemy I know!). I have very much despaired that I am missing something based on the high regard so many people seem to place on it, The upshot is that has left me with some nice tins to smack people with.

as recently as today though I was absolutely loving…I mean like on cloud 9 does this bowl ever have to end…absolutely loving some Watch City 558 with its funky smell and taste. To me the smell is ALMOST unpleasant when you rub out the flake but in a good way. I had always put that down to the Stoved VA for some reason but today it donned on me that a good deal of that must be the perique too.

how is it that I, a self professed Perique skeptic am loving this perique? Certainly Ernie and co are outstanding at what they do. Beyond that does where they source the leaf come into play? Are there other factors I’m not thinking about? Am I overthinking this (trick question because:yes). I could happily smoke 558 as the only perique containing blend for the rest of my life and be more than ok with it. Just got me thinking is all.

cheers
Good to hear as I am awaiting my first shipment of 558 this weekend. I love perique and look forward to this blend.
 

dobbs

Well-known member
Patron
I've smoked a decent amount of straight perique and the way it smells is very different from how it tastes when smoked. It also drastically changes based on amount in a blend. I mix VaPer from Sutliff blending virginias and both Sutliff and C&D perique, and flavors change greatly based on perique percentage. Less so based on "manufacturer." Synergy!

All that to say, if you like 558, which is great, you probably like perique. Wouldn't blame you for not liking specific blends as there are too many other variables to account for.

-dobbs
 

SwampWeed

Black Twist & Black Beer
Sales
All Perique is not the same, but I'm thinking that whatever casing is used plays an important role in the flavor of the blend as a whole.

Here is a helpful bit of reading - note the difference between Acadian and St James Perique, and also note that flavor can vary wildly year to year.
 

Zembla

Well-known member
All Perique is not the same, but I'm thinking that whatever casing is used plays an important role in the flavor of the blend as a whole.

Here is a helpful bit of reading - note the difference between Acadian and St James Perique, and also note that flavor can vary wildly year to year.
There are so many great stories in the world of tobacco, and the story of Perique is second only to that of the origin of Latakia.
 

Adeptus_Minor

Well-known member
I love 558, and Old Dominion too.
Ernie clearly chooses some good perique for his blends.
That said, I'm pretty sure I've enjoyed the perique content in most of the other blends in which it's featured. Sutliff Fox & Hound comes to mind.
It's got a mild dose of that perique funk, but it doesn't throw off the overall English profile.
 
Last edited:

LoneWanderer

That crazy kid from Vault 101...
Patron
I am far from an expert on this especially concerning matters of processing and production, but VaPers are, and long have been, hands down my favorite class of blends and having tried many, many (many) of them, there are clear and succinct differences in the taste and aroma profiles of Perique across blending and production houses. At a very high level I think I can mentally draw some vaguely straight lines that separate Perique’s main attributes (as they occur to me anyway) as: funky (as in a rich, almost savory, cheesy/fermented type funk), peppery/spicy, and rich, dark stewed fruit. This is a massive oversimplification and sometimes there is crossover but I usually land somewhere on this triangle.

There are far too many unknown variables to me in how the stuff is grown, processed, cased, and ultimately combined with other varietals by the blender and/or producer that yield the final products that I enjoy, but from my anecdotal experiences the ‘basic’ C&D Perique blends - especially those in ribbon cut - almost all present to me as sharp, peppery, and spicy and usually with little subtlety in flavor. I’m not going to jump on the C&D bashing train because sometimes I’m in the mood for that, but it’s more like a hammer smashing a nail. A lot of the Sutliff mainstay Perique blends (CK Va/Per, 1849, Cringle, SPC Virginia Jazz, and even the Match Victorian bulk which has become one of my favorites of all time) all have the funky/cheesy thing going on which is by far my favorite presentation of Perique. WCC’s Perique-based mainstays all have this going on too including 558 and Old Dominion which is why I enjoy those equally as much, and so does LJP’s #8 (another favorite of all time). I want to say I’ve heard that WCC sources some of their raw stuff from Sutliff which would fit, but I don’t know that for sure and don’t want to draw any conclusions without knowing. The Danish and German productions with Perique I find tend to be more of the fruity-forward character with typically just a pinch of spice which I find to be much more subtle and usually doesn’t overpower the Va’s (or whatever else happens to be in said blend) but rather emboldens or enhances them. Of these I would include things like Escudo, Navy Rolls (an all time favorite), Elizabethan, and Dunhill Dark Flake.

All of them VaPers, but all of them quite different from each other, which is why I enjoy them so much.

So I would honestly just suggest trying a wide variety of different presentations and eventually you’ll develop that cross section of your Goldilocks zone for Perique. Knowing that you are enjoying Flake 558 as you are, I suspect you would probably enjoy LJP’s #8 and some or all of the Sutliff stuff. Just my two cents as an armchair VaPer lover.
 
Last edited:

id10t

Active member
I am far from an expert on this especially concerning matters of processing and production, but VaPers are, and long have been, hands down my favorite class of blends and having tried many, many (many) of them, there are clear and succinct differences in the taste and aroma profiles of Perique across blending and production houses. At a very high level I think I can mentally draw some vaguely straight lines that separate Perique’s main attributes (as they occur to me anyway) as: funky (as in a rich, almost savory, cheesy/fermented type funk), peppery/spicy, and rich, dark stewed fruit. This is a massive oversimplification and sometimes there is crossover but I usually land somewhere on this triangle.

There are far too many unknown variables to me in how the stuff is grown, processed, cased, and ultimately combined with other varietals by the blender and/or producer that yield the final products that I enjoy, but from my anecdotal experiences the ‘basic’ C&D Perique blends - especially those in ribbon cut - almost all present to me as sharp, peppery, and spicy and usually with little subtlety in flavor. I’m not going to jump on the C&D bashing train because sometimes I’m in the mood for that, but it’s more like a hammer smashing a nail. A lot of the Sutliff mainstay Perique blends (CK Va/Per, 1849, Cringle, SPC Virginia Jazz, and even the Match Victorian bulk which has become one of my favorites of all time) all have the funky/cheesy thing going on which is by far my favorite presentation of Perique. WCC’s Perique-based mainstays all have this going on too including 558 and Old Dominion which is why I enjoy those equally as much, and so does LJP’s #8 (another favorite of all time). I want to say I’ve heard that WCC sources some of their raw stuff from Sutliff which would fit, but I don’t know that for sure and don’t want to draw any conclusions without knowing. The Danish and German productions with Perique I find tend to be more of the fruity-forward character with typically just a pinch of spice which I find to be much more subtle and usually doesn’t overpower the Va’s (or whatever else happens to be in said blend) but rather emboldens or enhances them. Of these I would include things like Escudo, Navy Rolls (an all time favorite), Elizabethan, and Dunhill Dark Flake.

All of them VaPers, but all of them quite different from each other, which is why I enjoy them so much.

So I would honestly just suggest trying a wide variety of different presentations and eventually you’ll develop that cross section of your Goldilocks zone for Perique. Knowing that you are enjoying Flake 558 as you are, I suspect you would probably enjoy LJP’s #8 and some or all of the Sutliff stuff. Just my two cents as an armchair VaPer lover.
I just bookmarked this post so I can refer to it again and again as I delve into VaPers.
Thanks, you spoke to me in a way I can start to understand.
 

LoneWanderer

That crazy kid from Vault 101...
Patron
I just bookmarked this post so I can refer to it again and again as I delve into VaPers.
Thanks, you spoke to me in a way I can start to understand.
I’m sure there will be replies forthcoming from other folks here with far greater knowledge and better palates and nostrils than mine, so keep an eye out for those too, but I’m very glad you found it helpful!
 

Terminus

Drink Water, Walk It Off
Patron
This one time I was putting on my armor and about to go see my girl right. I show up in my swan drawn boat and she was like, this asshole thinks I killed his brother!

So I fight him but don't kill him, he was a total pussy. Ok so we get married but I was all like, dude you can't ask about my swans, right? She fiddle sticksing ASKED ABOUT MY SWANS bro.

So I call my swan drawn boat and bail. I can't believe this carp, I specifically told her not to ask.
 

mingc

Well-known member
Perique is both a type of tobacco that is grown only in St. James Parish, LA, but also a type of anerobically fermented tobacco product made with that leaf and potentially others. The world's pipe tobacco blenders have only two sources for fermented perique.

C&D has an exclusive with 31 Farms in St. James Parish, LA. I understand that this means not only that C&D buys it's fermented perique only from 31 Farms, but also that 31 Farms sells only to C&D and no one else. According to C&D, 31 Farms' perique is made only of leaves grown in St. James.

The only other manufacturer that sells to pipe tobacco blenders is L.A. Poché. Its owner Mark Ryan bought the company and saved it from extinction in 2005. Mark makes perique both from leaves grown in St. James and dark air cured burley grown elsewhere. He says his ability to choose the best dark air cured on the market makes his perique a more consistent product as leaf grown in St. James can be in inconsistent in both quality and quantity.

Another famous St. James perique manufacturer and grower is Percy Martin Farms. As I understand it, Percy Martin sells all the perique that it makes to Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. to make American Spirit cigarettes and does not supply the pipe tobacco market.

There are other growers of perique in St. James but the above are the only makers of perique that I know of.
 
Last edited:

Zembla

Well-known member
Perique is both a type of tobacco that is grown only in St. James Parish, LA, but also a type of anerobically fermented tobacco product. The world's pipe tobacco blenders have only two sources for fermented perique.

C&D has an exclusive with 31 Farms in St. James Parish, LA. I understand that this means not only that C&D buys it's fermented perique only from 31 Farms, but also that 31 Farms sells only to C&D and no one else. According to C&D, 31 Farms' perique is made only of leaves grown in St. James.

The only other manufacturer that sells to pipe tobacco blenders is L.A. Poché. Its owner Mark Ryan bought the company and saved it from extinction in 2005. Mark makes perique both from leaves grown in St. James and dark air cured burley grown elsewhere. He says his ability to choose the best dark air cured on the market makes his perique a more consistent product as leaf grown in St. James can be in inconsistent in both quality and quantity.

Another famous St..James perique manufacturer and grower is Percy Martin Farms. As I understand it, Percy Martin sells all the perique that it makes to Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. to make American Spirit cigarettes and does not supply the pipe tobacco market.

There are other growers of perique in St. James but the above are the only makers of perique that I know of.
Such a fascinating tobacco!
 

Yakster

Well-known member
These links have more information on Mark Ryan's use of other leaf in the perique process including the Perique-Processed Katerini oriental leaf from Greece.


 
Top Bottom