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VaPer Showdown

Slow Tri

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#5
I love VaPers.....there I said it. Are you happy now?

Ha, a few years back I began a quest to smoke and rate as many VaPers as I could get my hands on. I believe that I started this back in 2008 and since then I have reviewed and ranked over 30 blends.

I have posted this showdown on other forums but I was asked to bring it over here as well. I add to it from time to time so I don't think that it will ever be finished.

Over the years my tastes have changed a bit and I would re-rank some of these but the initial reviews are still accurate. Like most people however, I go down other roads from time to time where I will smoke only straight Virginias for a while or aromatics from time to time but I always come back to VaPers.

You may wonder if my tastes have changed what I do smoke now as a day-to-day. Well I would have to say that it would be Samuel Gawith's St. James Flake.

Enjoy and please feel free to add comments, argue, or make suggestions for other blends for me to try and review.
 

Slow Tri

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#6
Well I smoked my first two contestants over the past couple of days. I decided to put Escudo against Stokkebye's Luxury Bullseye since they are so similar in appearance. Also, because I'm waiting on my order of 2015 and Anniversary Kake from pipesandcigars.

I smoked these pretty much back to back in seperate pipes. One day I smoked Escudo first and then followed it about an hour later with LBE and then did the opposite the next day.

I would have to say that Escudo appealed to me more. LB is kind of an Escudo Lite if you will. Escudo had a more pleasing taste and aroma to me. It seemed that the tobacco was married a little bit better than the LBE.

The LBE was also a lot more dry coming out of the pouch. The Escudo stayed a bit more moist in the tin that it was in when I cracked it open. This might have to do with the better flavoring. The Escudo had a more date/fig/dried grapes smell while the LBE had a more grassy/hay smell. The LBE was still sweet smelling but in less of a fruity way.

Both tobaccos lit and stayed burning well. I dried them out about even so this didn't surprise me. The LBE kind of lost it's taste and started to sour at the end of the bowl.

Here are the standings so far:

1. Escudo
2. LBE


I plan on tackling the Dorchester and the CAO Treasures of Ireland - Limerick next.

After that, I'm going to pit the two Kake tobaccos against each other.
 

Slow Tri

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#7
Well today was a Dorchester day. I went through the whole sample that Ultramag sent to me last month (Thanks again!!). And after my enjoyment of this blend I've decided that it is now in 2nd place.

Like most people who reviewed this blend, I found that this had the least amount of Perique in it compared to the others that I have smoked so far. However, the taste was still great and somewhat creamy. The perique and the virginias were seperate in the beginning and it was a bit spicy when I finally got it going. After about a third of the bowl the blend settled down and melded together well.

I did have an issue lighting this one. I dried it correctly but I had one clump of tobacco sitting on top that refused to light. After two attempts I scooped that piece out of there and it lit perfectly. This blend stayed lit better than the other two so far. It required two relights but I believe that it was more my fault because my brother called and I was trying to smoke, review, and talk to him all at the same time.

I would recommend this blend to anyone who is just getting into VaPers and doesn't want to get blasted with Perique right off the bat.

The standings so far:

1) Escudo
2) Esoterica Dorchester
3) Stokkebye Luxury Bullseye Flake


On a side note, I found a sample of Esoterica Dunbar that will enter into the contest somewhere.
 

Slow Tri

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#8
C & D Kajun Kake

Well, I smoked about three bowls of this yesterday. I had had this before but wanted to see if my opinion on this had changed. This is one of those blends that I really, really wanted to like but I just don't and I can't really put my finger on it.

These come in small brick-like cakes that are wrapped very carefully and placed in the tin. The pre-light aroma is awesome. The cakes smell like chocolate brownies!! This is one of those blends where the smell doesn't match the taste. The cakes arrive right around the right moisture level so I only let these dry for about 20 minutes before I packed my pipe.

The main components in this blend are Red Virginia Cavendish and Perique. Now you might be fooled into thinking that since it is a cavendish then it is going to be sweet. You would be far from the truth. It is not sweet at all and that may be why I don't really like it. It has a very dark taste similar to unsweetened chocolate or bakers chocolate to me. Someone on Tobaccoreviews.com likened it to smoking a very dry cigar. I would agree with that. There is also quite a bit of Perique in this blend but the virginias and the perique never seem to blend to me. Not to say that this is a bad blend, it just wasn't the taste that I was expecting. I think that the care of packaging and overall quality of the tobacco makes this an above average blend but you have to like the taste of it.

Overall, like I said above, I think that this is a quality blend but it just wasn't my cup of tea. I will probably trade this one out with someone who either wants to try it or really likes the taste of this one. If you're interested in a trade them PM me. I have 1 whole cake and about half of the other one left.

Overall Standings:

1) Escudo
2) Dorchester
3) Luxury Bullseye
4) Kajun Kake


In other news, I'm still waiting on my Scottish Cake, 2015, and Anniversary Kake to come in from pipesandcigars.com. I called there yesterday and they were waiting on the Scottish Cake to come in before they shipped. Really nice people there!! Anyway, I will probably concentrate on the CAO TOI Limerick and the Esoterica Dunbar until the others come in.
 

Slow Tri

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#9
Well, after a couple of day’s absence, I’m ready to review another blend. This time it is the CAO/Dan Treasures of Ireland-Limerick blend. I also have the good news that the order that I placed with pipesandcigars.com is finally going to get here. Apparently they were waiting on the McConnell Scottish Cake to come in. With that said, I will now be able to review the McC 2015, H&H Anniversary Kake, and the McConnell Scottish Cake.

Right, now back to the Limerick blend. I have to say that this blend smelled better in the tin than any of the others so far. It has a very sweet Virginia smell and to tell you the truth, I didn’t really smell any Perique in there. This blend comes in flake form so I grabbed two flakes and rubbed them out to dry. I let this dry for about 2 hours as it is rather moist in the tin.

It packed decently even with the long flake strands in there. It was a little hard to light up but once it was lit it burned very well. I had mostly sweet Virginia tastes in the first part of the bowl but then the Perique kicked in a bit and stayed present for the rest of the bowl. It may have been that when I rubbed it out and packed the pipe I may have separated the tobaccos a bit. Either way, once it got started I knew that this was going to be a great blend! This blend is kind of in between Escudo and Dorchester as to the amount of Perique involved. It isn’t hidden in the background like Dorchester but it’s not really in your face like Escudo.

This was a well behaved blend and it didn’t require many relights. It burns down to a grayish-white ash that is very easy to tamp. It burns very cool and I never had any hint of bite from this blend. I have to admit that this blend didn’t wow me the first time that I smoked it. But after the first, it got better and better with each consecutive smoke. It took me a while to notice the subtleties of the different Virginias playing off of the Perique. It is medium in strength and can probably be smoked throughout the day.

All in all, I really liked this blend and will definitely buy more. This blend almost unseated Escudo as my favorite. Almost. I rank this one a solid second.

Here are the standings so far:

1) Escudo
2) Treasures of Ireland – Limerick
3) Dorchester
4) Luxury Bullseye Flake
5) Kajun Kake
 

Slow Tri

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#10
Okay, looks like I’m back on track with the reviews here. I was going to review the Hearth & Home Anniversary Kake in this post but the past few bowls that I have had shows that this blend is still too wet for my tastes and it would not be fair to judge it in that state. So instead I will be reviewing the Robert McConnell Scottish Cake, not to be confused with their Scottish Flake offering. I know that IHT has recommended it in the past as a good VaPer and when I called pipesandcigars.com to order it, I told them about the VaPer comparison that I was doing. The gentleman on the phone stated that they had some on order but I had to wait for it because this was his favorite VaPer. With those two recommendations and what I’ve read on tobaccoreviews.com, I knew that this was going to be a good, possibly great, blend.

I got the tin the other day and I immediately cracked it open and took a whiff. Mmmm, it smelled like the sour fruitiness of the Virginias and the peppery spice of the Perique. I think that I read somewhere that this might have a small amount of burley mixed in there for good measure. It is a course cut flake and I rubbed it out a little more to help with drying. The appearance is kind of a red, and light and dark browns (mostly dark brown). I let it air out and dry for about 15-20 minutes and then loaded it up into my Peterson Bent Bulldog.

Right off of the bat this was a great tasting blend. Lighting was extremely easy with only one false light. As the bowl progressed, the flavor got fuller and fuller and leveled out at about a medium to full in taste and strength. The Virginias provide the sweetness throughout and while there is a decent amount of Perique in this blend it never overpowers the taste. It’s always there in the background and weaves itself in and out through the Virginias. It has a great, lively flavor that never goes flat. Also, I never had any kind of tongue bite even though I’m sure I got it going hot a few times. The Virginias never go sour either.

The smoke aroma comes off as sweet and fruity and for some reason it smells a bit chocolaty to me. Not sure why that is or if it’s another scent that I just can’t identify but it is close to chocolaty.

Now, I know that I’m going to cause a stir by saying this but I enjoyed this more than Escudo. And the tin of Escudo that I’ve been smoking from is 4 years old. Escudo seemed to have a lot of ups and downs throughout smoking it whereas this blend is steady throughout. It burns slow and it didn’t require a lot of relights from me. With that said, this is just me and my opinion. I know that Escudo has a huge following and I’m one of them but I’m ranking this one above Escudo. Not far above.

Here are the standings so far:

1) McConnell – Scottish Cake
2) Escudo
3) Treasures of Ireland – Limerick
4) Dorchester
5) Luxury Bullseye Flake
6) Kajun Kake
 

Slow Tri

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#11
So, I decided to bundle all of the remaining bulk blends together into one post because only one of them really knocked my socks off. These three include McClelland’s Bulk 2015, Hearth & Home Anniversary Kake, and I just recently got some Stokkebye Luxury Navy Flake so I thought that I would include it in here.

I’ll start off with the ones that didn’t really impress me. First off is Stokkebye’s Luxury Navy Flake. When I put my nose down into this one I didn’t really smell much and what I did smell was more like buttered popcorn than any kind of Virginia or Perique. Weird, but that's what I smelled. This comes in small flakes that are a bit smaller than Orlik’s Golden Sliced flakes. It had the right amount of moisture right off the bat so I rubbed some out and packed it in.

To summarize the whole smoke I would say that it was bland. Bland to the point of monotony. I kept hoping that maybe, just maybe the taste, strength, or spiciness would develop somewhere but it didn’t. Nothing stood out to me with this blend. Oh and it had a bite like a rabid dog when I smoked it a bit too fast. This one is going to the bottom of the list.

Up next was McClelland’s Bulk 2015 blend. Originally this blend was a pain in the butt because it came extremely wet and no matter how much I rubbed it out it never seemed to dry out. Finally, I put my sample on a cutting board and minced it as I do garlic. It finally broke up small enough that it was able to dry out. I did smoke a bowl before it was dried out enough. I was extremely disappointed because I had to relight so many times that I couldn’t take notes well enough to give a proper review. After chopping this blend into oblivion I was able to smoke it almost to the bottom of the bowl. Even though this blend is pretty good for a bulk blend, I feel that the amount of prep work just isn’t worth it to me. However, if you are very patient with this then you will be rewarded with a fine bulk blend. The different Virginias taste very good against the amount of Perique that is in this blend. Taste-wise this was a very good blend but like I said earlier the amount of work to get it there just isn’t for me. I put this one just above the Kajun Kake blend because the taste was a lot better than the Kajun Kake.

And finally, Hearth & Home’s Anniversary Kake. This blend is made for pipesandcigars.com by master blender Russ Ouellette. I had never had any of his blends before this one but everyone raves about his skill. After tasting this blend I believe them. I ordered 4 ounces of this about a month ago. I spoke with someone there before I got my order and he stated that when they make this, they make it in a 3 lb cake and then split it out from there. He also stated that they run the machinery that makes this blend pretty much 24 hours a day to keep up with demand. My sample was about an inch thick and looked like it had been ripped off of the larger block. It was extremely dark brown and smelled wonderful. The only way to get this blend smokable is to rip off a hunk, rub it out and then rip off another hunk. By the time that I got done my hands were a bit stained but I didn’t mind because it was fun rubbing it out. This is a hard blend to describe when you rub this out. It just kind of falls apart and packs into the pipe extremely easy. I went to do my false light and soon realized that this was all I needed to get this blend going. From there this blend never stopped surprising me. This bulk blend was better than a lot of tinned blends that I have tried so far. The description on their website states that there are many different Virginias in this blend, from Brown to Lemon and it has a healthy dose of Perique added in. Although I’m not experienced enough to know that difference in taste between a Brown or a Lemon Virginia, I can say that this blend is delicious. The flavors change throughout the smoke and the Perique really kicks in towards the end of the bowl. I thoroughly recommend this blend not only as a good, cheap bulk blend but possibly as an everyday smoke. I plan on grabbing a couple of pounds of this, separating it into smaller samples and cellaring it. I want to see how this blend changes over time. This blend has now taken over 3rd place.


Okay, here are the results so far:

1) McConnell Scottish Cake
2) Escudo
3) H & H Anniversary Kake
4) Treasures of Ireland – Limerick
5) Dorchester
6) Luxury Bullseye Flake
7) McConnell Bulk 2015
8) Kajun Kake
9) Luxury Navy Flake


After several people requested this be added, I was finally able to pick up some Solani 633. In addition, I grabbed some Gawith’s St. James Flake as well. I also have Dunbar and Bayou Morning Flake to add as well.

I never knew how many good VaPer blends were out there until I started this. I hope that these reviews are helping everyone out because it’s been a lot of fun reviewing and judging these.
 

JRCA97

Well-known member
#12
Thank you for the reviews and guidance. I'm a newbie that came over from the cigar side about 8 months ago. I totally fell in love with VaPer's. I love the twist of Perique. I have been kinda stuck on Escudo, not a bad thing. But with your list, now I have a better idea what to try next
 

Slow Tri

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#13
Thank you for the reviews and guidance. I'm a newbie that came over from the cigar side about 8 months ago. I totally fell in love with VaPer's. I love the twist of Perique. I have been kinda stuck on Escudo, not a bad thing. But with your list, now I have a better idea what to try next
Oh just wait.......I'm bringing this over from the old site and there are currently 30+ reviews.

I'm posting them slowly so people's heads don't explode!
 

Slow Tri

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#15
Okay, so I’m finally sitting down and smoking the much touted Filmore by GL Pease. I have to say that when I first opened this tin I was immediately mad because I could swear that it smelled like it had Latakia in there. Well, after airing out for a bit I noticed that whatever that initial strong odor was it was fading and was pretty much gone by the time I finished drying this stuff out.

It’s kind of funny how I came about adding this stuff to the showdown. I was calling down to smokingpipes.com about getting some info on the new Peterson that I wanted to buy and I got talking to a guy down there named Adam. Now I’ve been in their store a few times and Adam is the guy I always go to. He’s a young guy, probably in his mid to late twenties and kind of eclectic. The first time that I met him he was wearing some plaid pants straight out of the seventies, a black t shirt, and some horn rimmed glasses. I was a bit taken aback by his appearance but quickly found out that he is incredibly knowledgeable about pipes and pipe tobacco. He has a quick wit and a very dry sense of humor. Anyway, I digress. I had told Adam about my VaPer Showdown the last time I was in the shop probably about a month ago. Well on the phone the other day he asked me how it was going. I replied that I had never realized how many VaPers were out there and when I think I have most of the good ones covered someone suggests another one. He kind of laughed and said, “Well, I was talking to an older gentleman the other day about your comparison and he stated that it would be a ‘Bloody Travesty if I didn’t include Filmore’”. Now, I’m unsure if I have ever committed a Bloody Travesty in my whole life and I certainly don’t want to start now. With that said, here’s my review of Filmore.

After I got it dried out and aired out a bit I lit up the first of five bowls before I wrote this review. If there is anything to be said about GL Pease I will say that his tobacco is consistent. Every bowl was exactly like the other and there were never any hidden surprises or let downs. This blend comes in what I would call a broken flake. There were still some pretty big pieces in there that I rubbed out so that the whole tin was pretty consistent size-wise. The appearance is mostly dark brown with some lighter or darker spots here and there. This is listed as being a Red Virginia with a “generous” amount of Louisiana Perique mixed in.

This blend packs really well. So well that I had to dump it a few times because I felt that I had packed it too tight. Upon lighting this blend up I was greeted with great billowing white clouds of some of the creamiest tobacco I have ever tasted. It lasted through the first five or six puffs and then the perique joined in it created a mix of both creamy and spicy, peppery and chocolaty that I haven’t encountered in any of the blends so far in the showdown.

About halfway through the bowl I also started to detect some hints of caramel but very faint and somewhat muted in the background. Something that I also found is that this is a very slooooooowwwwww burning blend. It will keep you around for awhile but it is worth the extra time.

The end of the bowl was more of the same but I was finally realizing just how much nicotine is in this blend. It’s not bad but it is definitely noticeable.

Now this blend is definitely not a sweet Virginia blend as are most of the others so far. This one I can only classify by saying that it is mellow. Mellow in a good way. Mellow like waking up after an afternoon nap or going to a jazz bar to drink and hang out. That’s what this blend is like. No bite, no hassle, pure enjoyment.

I thoroughly enjoyed this blend but I don’t think that the taste is as good as Scottish Cake or Escudo. But this is above Anniversary Kake in quality.

1) McConnell Scottish Cake
2) Escudo
3) GL Pease Filmore
4) H & H Anniversary Kake
5) Treasures of Ireland – Limerick
6) Dorchester
7) Luxury Bullseye Flake
8) McClelland Bulk 2015
9) Kajun Kake
10) Luxury Navy Flake
 

Slow Tri

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#16
I was intrigued by the “gift donation” to my VaPer challenge that I received from EvanS and decided that I would go ahead and review one of the blends that he sent me. The blend that I chose was Telegraph Hill from GL Pease. This is the second entry on this showdown from Pease, Filmore is a hard one to beat but we will see how Telegraph Hill ranks.

The sample that I got was a bit too dry for my tastes so I put the sample in a bowl and put a wet towel over the top of it for about 4 hours. After that I pulled some out and started loading my pipe. This stuff was really easy to load and tamped down really easily.

Upon lighting this blend up I was greeted with very, very mild Virginias. I didn’t taste any Perique in there yet but since I have experienced this before with other blends I wasn’t too worried about it. This blend burns very cleanly and doesn’t require any relights.

Okay, getting near the middle of the bowl and I am still waiting for any kind of appearance from the Perique. I get subtle whiffs of it as I’m smoking but nothing that ever tastes like it in my draw. Now I had read some of the reviews on tobaccoreviews.com and knew ahead of time that this blend was pretty light on the Perique but I certainly wasn’t expecting this.

Down at the bottom of the bowl now and there has been the vague appearance of Perique right near the end of the smoke.

Overall, I didn’t like the blend as a VaPer blend. As a Virginia it was pretty good. It was very mild and never presented a problem either to my tongue or to the burn of the blend. This blend would probably serve as a good bridge for a straight Virginia smoker to start down the VaPer road but I think that anyone who is a VaPer smoker will find this blend way too plain. This one will take 9th position because it is so low in Perique. With that said, I still enjoyed it better than Kajun Kake and Navy Flake.

1) McConnell Scottish Cake
2) Escudo
3) GL Pease Filmore
4) H & H Anniversary Kake
5) Treasures of Ireland – Limerick
6) Dorchester
7) Luxury Bullseye Flake
8) McClelland Bulk 2015
9) GL Pease Telegraph Hill
10) Kajun Kake
11) Luxury Navy Flake
 

Slow Tri

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#17
Okay, so I have smoked a few bowls worth of Reiner’s Long Golden Flake and am finally ready to review it.

First off, I have to touch on what this stuff looks like coming out of the can. I received this in a New to Pipes trade. It came in a big golden 100g can that looked like a gaudy German Christmas gift. Very little of the writing on the can is in English and most of it is in German. And there really isn’t a description of what is inside the can. Anyway, when I popped the lid I was very surprised to find what was inside. It had a total of 3 flakes in there that were about 4 inches wide and 15 inches long all wound up in there begging to be rubbed out. They looked like FVF flakes on steroids to be exact.

The tin aroma was very “Virginia-ey” with the normal dried fruit (raisons, dates, etc) smell wafting from inside. I could smell a little bit of Perique in there but not much. The flakes themselves were very golden in color (hence the name) but there were dark flecks mixed in here and there.

I went ahead and rubbed out the whole tin because I’m not what you would call skilled at smoking tobacco in its flaked form. I usually end up getting frustrated and then being mad the whole smoke so I just avoid that by rubbing it out fully. Once this was at the consistency that I like I went ahead and packed a bowlful. The tobacco was a bit moist but nothing like McC’s 2015 or some other blends that I have seen.

Lighting this up was fairly easy. I think it took about 3 matches to finally get this one going. During the first half of the bowl this was pretty much a sweet Virginia smoke. The Perique would slide in and out every once in awhile making its presence known but was not the main component of the first half of the bowl. I would say that the first part of this smoke was going rather well. It was a very smooth, easy smoke. Based on the taste I can tell that this blend has a lot of high quality tobacco in it. Once the blend got going I didn’t have to relight during the first half.

In the second half of this blend, the Perique seemed to make an appearance more often and with a bit more strength. And the blend turned a bit creamier smooth and had a bit of a buttery taste to it. I know that this blend also is supposed to have a bit of White Burley in it so that may have brought about the creamy, buttery taste. I’m not sure. It was very pleasant however.

Overall, this is a very well put together blend and is made with some high quality tobacco. It has an initial flavor very similar to FVF but has some different taste undertones as you progress through the smoke. The price is another concern for me. While this is a fantastic blend, unless I win the lottery someday it will be in my rotation only as a “treat” smoke and not a daily smoke. If money is not a problem for you then I would say buy a few tins. One to smoke now and a few to cellar. If money is a problem for you then I would suggest that you try this at least once in your pipe smoking lifetime. It’s worth the extra $$ to try once.

For the taste and the smoothness of this blend I think that it now holds the 5th place position in the showdown. I feel that it has a higher quality tobacco than those below it but the Perique amount wasn’t enough to go any higher.

1) McConnell Scottish Cake
2) Escudo
3) GL Pease Filmore
4) H & H Anniversary Kake
5) Reiner’s Long Golden Flake
6) Treasures of Ireland – Limerick
7) Dorchester
8) Luxury Bullseye Flake
9) McClelland Bulk 2015
10) GL Pease Telegraph Hill
11) Kajun Kake
12) Luxury Navy Flake
 

DocAitch

Well-known member
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#18
Now that I seem to have discovered Virginias, 5100 in particular, I am going to be reading this thread quite often!
Sorry you like 5100. I saw 8 oz for $100 at the show. I fell in love with Red and Black, had one tin before mcClellands crashed, but did snag 8 tins at the show. I am also just trying Quantum for the first time today and am having the mixed emotional state of smoking a tasty Va and knowing that the next tin I see, if ever, will cost an arm and a leg.
DocAITCH
 

DocAitch

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#19
Okay, so I have smoked a few bowls worth of Reiner’s Long Golden Flake and am finally ready to review it.

First off, I have to touch on what this stuff looks like coming out of the can. I received this in a New to Pipes trade. It came in a big golden 100g can that looked like a gaudy German Christmas gift. Very little of the writing on the can is in English and most of it is in German. And there really isn’t a description of what is inside the can. Anyway, when I popped the lid I was very surprised to find what was inside. It had a total of 3 flakes in there that were about 4 inches wide and 15 inches long all wound up in there begging to be rubbed out. They looked like FVF flakes on steroids to be exact.

The tin aroma was very “Virginia-ey” with the normal dried fruit (raisons, dates, etc) smell wafting from inside. I could smell a little bit of Perique in there but not much. The flakes themselves were very golden in color (hence the name) but there were dark flecks mixed in here and there.

I went ahead and rubbed out the whole tin because I’m not what you would call skilled at smoking tobacco in its flaked form. I usually end up getting frustrated and then being mad the whole smoke so I just avoid that by rubbing it out fully. Once this was at the consistency that I like I went ahead and packed a bowlful. The tobacco was a bit moist but nothing like McC’s 2015 or some other blends that I have seen.

Lighting this up was fairly easy. I think it took about 3 matches to finally get this one going. During the first half of the bowl this was pretty much a sweet Virginia smoke. The Perique would slide in and out every once in awhile making its presence known but was not the main component of the first half of the bowl. I would say that the first part of this smoke was going rather well. It was a very smooth, easy smoke. Based on the taste I can tell that this blend has a lot of high quality tobacco in it. Once the blend got going I didn’t have to relight during the first half.

In the second half of this blend, the Perique seemed to make an appearance more often and with a bit more strength. And the blend turned a bit creamier smooth and had a bit of a buttery taste to it. I know that this blend also is supposed to have a bit of White Burley in it so that may have brought about the creamy, buttery taste. I’m not sure. It was very pleasant however.

Overall, this is a very well put together blend and is made with some high quality tobacco. It has an initial flavor very similar to FVF but has some different taste undertones as you progress through the smoke. The price is another concern for me. While this is a fantastic blend, unless I win the lottery someday it will be in my rotation only as a “treat” smoke and not a daily smoke. If money is not a problem for you then I would say buy a few tins. One to smoke now and a few to cellar. If money is a problem for you then I would suggest that you try this at least once in your pipe smoking lifetime. It’s worth the extra $$ to try once.

For the taste and the smoothness of this blend I think that it now holds the 5th place position in the showdown. I feel that it has a higher quality tobacco than those below it but the Perique amount wasn’t enough to go any higher.

1) McConnell Scottish Cake
2) Escudo
3) GL Pease Filmore
4) H & H Anniversary Kake
5) Reiner’s Long Golden Flake
6) Treasures of Ireland – Limerick
7) Dorchester
8) Luxury Bullseye Flake
9) McClelland Bulk 2015
10) GL Pease Telegraph Hill
11) Kajun Kake
12) Luxury Navy Flake
As I noted before, this thread has cost me a Carp load of money, and now I am going to have to search out some Reiner’s. I will say that I really trust your reviews, and may quibble slightly about the rankings, but this is a great thread.
DocAitch
 
#20
Okay, so I’m finally sitting down and smoking the much touted Filmore by GL Pease. I have to say that when I first opened this tin I was immediately mad because I could swear that it smelled like it had Latakia in there. Well, after airing out for a bit I noticed that whatever that initial strong odor was it was fading and was pretty much gone by the time I finished drying this stuff out.

It’s kind of funny how I came about adding this stuff to the showdown. I was calling down to smokingpipes.com about getting some info on the new Peterson that I wanted to buy and I got talking to a guy down there named Adam. Now I’ve been in their store a few times and Adam is the guy I always go to. He’s a young guy, probably in his mid to late twenties and kind of eclectic. The first time that I met him he was wearing some plaid pants straight out of the seventies, a black t shirt, and some horn rimmed glasses. I was a bit taken aback by his appearance but quickly found out that he is incredibly knowledgeable about pipes and pipe tobacco. He has a quick wit and a very dry sense of humor. Anyway, I digress. I had told Adam about my VaPer Showdown the last time I was in the shop probably about a month ago. Well on the phone the other day he asked me how it was going. I replied that I had never realized how many VaPers were out there and when I think I have most of the good ones covered someone suggests another one. He kind of laughed and said, “Well, I was talking to an older gentleman the other day about your comparison and he stated that it would be a ‘Bloody Travesty if I didn’t include Filmore’”. Now, I’m unsure if I have ever committed a Bloody Travesty in my whole life and I certainly don’t want to start now. With that said, here’s my review of Filmore.

After I got it dried out and aired out a bit I lit up the first of five bowls before I wrote this review. If there is anything to be said about GL Pease I will say that his tobacco is consistent. Every bowl was exactly like the other and there were never any hidden surprises or let downs. This blend comes in what I would call a broken flake. There were still some pretty big pieces in there that I rubbed out so that the whole tin was pretty consistent size-wise. The appearance is mostly dark brown with some lighter or darker spots here and there. This is listed as being a Red Virginia with a “generous” amount of Louisiana Perique mixed in.

This blend packs really well. So well that I had to dump it a few times because I felt that I had packed it too tight. Upon lighting this blend up I was greeted with great billowing white clouds of some of the creamiest tobacco I have ever tasted. It lasted through the first five or six puffs and then the perique joined in it created a mix of both creamy and spicy, peppery and chocolaty that I haven’t encountered in any of the blends so far in the showdown.

About halfway through the bowl I also started to detect some hints of caramel but very faint and somewhat muted in the background. Something that I also found is that this is a very slooooooowwwwww burning blend. It will keep you around for awhile but it is worth the extra time.

The end of the bowl was more of the same but I was finally realizing just how much nicotine is in this blend. It’s not bad but it is definitely noticeable.

Now this blend is definitely not a sweet Virginia blend as are most of the others so far. This one I can only classify by saying that it is mellow. Mellow in a good way. Mellow like waking up after an afternoon nap or going to a jazz bar to drink and hang out. That’s what this blend is like. No bite, no hassle, pure enjoyment.

I thoroughly enjoyed this blend but I don’t think that the taste is as good as Scottish Cake or Escudo. But this is above Anniversary Kake in quality.

1) McConnell Scottish Cake
2) Escudo
3) GL Pease Filmore
4) H & H Anniversary Kake
5) Treasures of Ireland – Limerick
6) Dorchester
7) Luxury Bullseye Flake
8) McClelland Bulk 2015
9) Kajun Kake
10) Luxury Navy Flake
I’m glad you’re reposting these here. I thought I had read the whole series but your Fillmore review really intrigued me. Added to TAD list.