Good morning lads. Yet another small review of a Virginia flake tobacco. This time it's Tavern's Laurel Flake. A Va./Perique that is blended up for them by Samuel Gawith. If you get the notion I like Sam Gawith tobaccos, you are corect. They do wonderful things with the Va. tobaccos. The first thing I noticed about this tobacco was it's appearance after the "resting" it had taken. Look at the photo of the flake itself. Notice the white looking dust on the flakes? This is not mold. It's sugar crystals! I have not had an opened tin of tobacco do this for me before. I don't know if it's common or not but it has not happened for me. I've only gotten this effect on sealed tins that were aged for a good bit. So this was a nice surprise. Though the tin label says this has Perique in it, I don't detect it either in scent or taste. I really only notice the Virginias.
This one is a bit over dry as well so did not rub out as well as I'd like. Some of it turned straight to powder, some just broke in shards. Not the easiest thing to pack properly or get a good charring light with. Once going though it provided a good smoke that was fairly bland in the first third of the bowl. As is fairly common with Va. flakes, it mellowed and the flavour really richened up midway through. I let this one go out as I felt it was getting just a bit hot and harsh. Mayhaps the Perique coming through? After about 15 minutes I relit it and was reawarded with a wonderful toffe/earthy/buttery flavoured smoke with an incredibly creamy texture. It was very nice indeed. I let this one go out when that great smoke started to fade. I think there was maybe a 1/4 tsp. of dottle letf over and very little moisture buildup in the bowl. An over all good smoke that really benefitted from the aged tobacco. It's not going to knock Astley's 109 or some of the McClellands off my list but it's a darn good tobacco from a top notch blender. Here are some photos.