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Ongoing Virginia review thread

Chris B

Well-known member
“The Grape: The name Brunello, meaning “the brown one,” came from the description of the Sangiovese Grosso grapes at harvest time – a dark colored, dusky brown berry. Brunello was the local name given to this type of Sangiovese Grosso, originally identified in 1842 by Clemente Santi. Today, the term is officially reserved for the name of the wine. Sangiovese grown in Montalcino has comparatively thicker skins, compared with grapes grown in other regions, and excellent anthocyanins. Both of these factors contribute to Brunello’s deep tannic structure and rich hue.

Sangiovese is Italy’s most planted single grape variety. It comprises 67% of the Tuscan vineyard acreage and is the main grape in 25 DOC(G)’s of Toscana. Sangiovese is an ancient grape, believed to have resulted from a spontaneous crossing during the Etruscan period. Recent DNA evidence reflects its parentage as a crossing between Ciliegiolo and Calabrese di Montenuovo.

However, there is significant diversity within the grape variety. Sangiovese tends to be genetically unstable and very adaptable; thus, many clones exist. Banfi Vineyards has documented over 600 versions of Sangiovese on their estate alone! Currently, as a result of extensive clonal research trials, the best clones are being propagated. Most estates are using multiple clones in order to add better balance and more complexity to their wines”

Somewhat interesting re: Brunello
Are you a wine geek too?
 

Sasquatch

Wizzard
Staff member
Moving in a different direction (having done some American and a lot of continental virginias here), I got me a tin of Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake. I've had this in the past, and I didn't remember it too fondly. But I had some Cabbie's a month back, and just tore through it. Smoked it before it dried out in that crappy rectangular tin, and I didn't even think that was a thing. So I ordered some FVF. This is a new tin, not aged.

IMG_7005.JPG


I laughed when I opened it - the tin is comprised of a pile of nice 1.5 mm flakes, long and kinda shaggy, and one farm-style-bacon monster flake, 5/16" thick at the one end. LOL. A kind of musty sweetness on the nose, not quite raisiny, but.... that kinda thing. A burlap bag that USED to have raisins...

Getting it dried, rubbed and lit... reminds me of McClelland flakes - this isn't springing into fire, it's more like coaxing it along, convincing it to get going. A little spice off the bat, but there's a treacle sweetness here at all times (that I do not remember from prior samples... either the blend is sweeter than I remember, or far more likely I am just a lot more experienced with Virginias at this point). It's not grassy, not lemony, it's a much deeper, darker sweetness, a Christmas Cake rather than a pie-n-ice-cream sort of sweet.

Burn temperature is pretty low. I've had a couple small pipefuls, currently smoking the big Punto and it's doing well, although my head will swim for it.

I can see why people kill for this, it's great. There's all kinds of deliciousness here, and very "Gawithy" in flavor, no one else has this signature. Lanolin. Britishness. Not an everyday smoke for me, this needs some attention. Pleasant with port late at night rather than just a load-n-huff kind of experience, I reckon.
 

Teddy Jeavons

Leaf and Leaf
Sales
Moving in a different direction (having done some American and a lot of continental virginias here), I got me a tin of Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake. I've had this in the past, and I didn't remember it too fondly. But I had some Cabbie's a month back, and just tore through it. Smoked it before it dried out in that crappy rectangular tin, and I didn't even think that was a thing. So I ordered some FVF. This is a new tin, not aged.

View attachment 20131


I laughed when I opened it - the tin is comprised of a pile of nice 1.5 mm flakes, long and kinda shaggy, and one farm-style-bacon monster flake, 5/16" thick at the one end. LOL. A kind of musty sweetness on the nose, not quite raisiny, but.... that kinda thing. A burlap bag that USED to have raisins...

Getting it dried, rubbed and lit... reminds me of McClelland flakes - this isn't springing into fire, it's more like coaxing it along, convincing it to get going. A little spice off the bat, but there's a treacle sweetness here at all times (that I do not remember from prior samples... either the blend is sweeter than I remember, or far more likely I am just a lot more experienced with Virginias at this point). It's not grassy, not lemony, it's a much deeper, darker sweetness, a Christmas Cake rather than a pie-n-ice-cream sort of sweet.

Burn temperature is pretty low. I've had a couple small pipefuls, currently smoking the big Punto and it's doing well, although my head will swim for it.

I can see why people kill for this, it's great. There's all kinds of deliciousness here, and very "Gawithy" in flavor, no one else has this signature. Lanolin. Britishness. Not an everyday smoke for me, this needs some attention. Pleasant with port late at night rather than just a load-n-huff kind of experience, I reckon.
Lanolin. Man, that's it. Did you come up with this?
 

soutso

Well-known member
Moving in a different direction (having done some American and a lot of continental virginias here), I got me a tin of Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake. I've had this in the past, and I didn't remember it too fondly. But I had some Cabbie's a month back, and just tore through it. Smoked it before it dried out in that crappy rectangular tin, and I didn't even think that was a thing. So I ordered some FVF. This is a new tin, not aged.

View attachment 20131


I laughed when I opened it - the tin is comprised of a pile of nice 1.5 mm flakes, long and kinda shaggy, and one farm-style-bacon monster flake, 5/16" thick at the one end. LOL. A kind of musty sweetness on the nose, not quite raisiny, but.... that kinda thing. A burlap bag that USED to have raisins...

Getting it dried, rubbed and lit... reminds me of McClelland flakes - this isn't springing into fire, it's more like coaxing it along, convincing it to get going. A little spice off the bat, but there's a treacle sweetness here at all times (that I do not remember from prior samples... either the blend is sweeter than I remember, or far more likely I am just a lot more experienced with Virginias at this point). It's not grassy, not lemony, it's a much deeper, darker sweetness, a Christmas Cake rather than a pie-n-ice-cream sort of sweet.

Burn temperature is pretty low. I've had a couple small pipefuls, currently smoking the big Punto and it's doing well, although my head will swim for it.

I can see why people kill for this, it's great. There's all kinds of deliciousness here, and very "Gawithy" in flavor, no one else has this signature. Lanolin. Britishness. Not an everyday smoke for me, this needs some attention. Pleasant with port late at night rather than just a load-n-huff kind of experience, I reckon.
This past October I took the family to Europe and we happened to stay in Windsor, England. I can't tell you how glorious it was to visit a tobacconist and see so many pipes and tobacco on display, it was a privilege that just no longer exists in Sydney, Australia. I bought some FVF and BBF. It was the first time I'd seen such long strips of flake as the tobacconist pulled them from a jar. I loved both of them and was surprised that they smoked so well with no drying time. I bought some tins of each, shoved them into my sneakers and smuggled them home.

No matter how much I try, straight from the tin and all sorts of drying times I'm just not hitting that particular spot. Perhaps the flakes I smoked in England, which were by no means dry, were a thousand years old. I'm wondering if the tobacco just suits England's climate. Anyway, its a glorious tobacco when it works.
 
I really like 109 and CVP. 109 improves significantly with age of you like set flavors. No question about CVP having some topping but it Diminishes quickly I always let CVP sit for a couple of weeks after opening the tin, improve significantly. CVP and Vintage are a couple of my favorites. The topping on Cut Blended Plug is much more noticeable to me but I still like it a lot
 

Sasquatch

Wizzard
Staff member
Just working a bowl of some 3 year old MB Virginia Flake. This is really nice, and for people lamenting (quite rightly) the lack of real quality virginias around right now, this is a good, available, friendly flake. Well worth getting past any "Mac Baren sux" mentality for.

Also, I ordered some Sir John's flake which is supposed to be better than Dunhill Flake(!) but it kinda sorta sounds like the last tins of Sir John's that hit these shores are actually some other product, mislabelled. So I'll have a review of..... something... pretty soon.
 

Cappadoc

Well-known member
Patron
Just working a bowl of some 3 year old MB Virginia Flake. This is really nice, and for people lamenting (quite rightly) the lack of real quality virginias around right now, this is a good, available, friendly flake. Well worth getting past any "Mac Baren sux" mentality for.

Also, I ordered some Sir John's flake which is supposed to be better than Dunhill Flake(!) but it kinda sorta sounds like the last tins of Sir John's that hit these shores are actually some other product, mislabelled. So I'll have a review of..... something... pretty soon.
Wow, I almost bought the Sir John’s. Might be glad I didn’t.
 

Sasquatch

Wizzard
Staff member
My Sir John's Flake actually is Sir John's Flake, a big long roll-up of flake, and not the broken danish one, so I guess that's good, although it sounds like I would really like the Danish one.

I'll take a pic and do a proper review tomorrow, but Sir John's is real good, like a k and k version of Dunhill Flake almost.
 
My Sir John's Flake actually is Sir John's Flake, a big long roll-up of flake, and not the broken danish one, so I guess that's good, although it sounds like I would really like the Danish one.

I'll take a pic and do a proper review tomorrow, but Sir John's is real good, like a k and k version of Dunhill Flake almost.
I've had both, got the real deal a few days ago. The Danish version was okay but had a bit more topping than I care for. Like you, I really like the real flake version. Nice, natural sweet citrus flavors.
Just working a bowl of some 3 year old MB Virginia Flake. This is really nice, and for people lamenting (quite rightly) the lack of real quality virginias around right now, this is a good, available, friendly flake. Well worth getting past any "Mac Baren sux" mentality for.

Also, I ordered some Sir John's flake which is supposed to be better than Dunhill Flake(!) but it kinda sorta sounds like the last tins of Sir John's that hit these shores are actually some other product, mislabelled. So I'll have a review of..... something... pretty soon.
While it wasn't aged, I smoked around half a tin of the MB Virginia Flake last week. I kept wondering why this blend gets negative reviews? It did not bite, burned nicely and had lots of rich, sweet Virginia flavor. I'll be buying this blend to cellar.