For the past few months I have been smoking a lot of Burleys with the occasional bowl of a good GLP english. Coming off this expedition I took up the Virginias once again and have been re-discovering the joys of this leaf. I smoke these flakes intact with no rubbing out.
I've long been a fan of the McClelland Matured Virginia "Brown Label" blends so I decided to begin my journey there. Each one of these exquisite tobaccos has it's own personality and characteristics that make them a delight with every bowl. This is not an endorsement of McClelland, although I do recommend them highly, but rather a statement of my appreciation for the subtle nuances of Virginias presented in a fine flake form.
Virginia No. 24 is a darker Virginia and it has some sharp notes and a rich full flavor. It matures further down the bowl as the tobacco cooks presenting a wide spectrum of flavors. Sweet, tangy, tart, dark but mostly just plain good.
Virginia No. 22 is a brighter leaf with a light flavor with an emphasis on the tangy flavors. I enjoy this one as a morning smoke as the bright zest of the leaf wakes me up and charges my batteries.
Virginia No. 27 is a nice mixture of sweetness and tang. It has a pleasant room note and a gentle light flavor. The more it cooks, the more robust it gets. This is a great mid-day smoke!
There are many other great Virginias from McClelland that cover the entire range of this magnificent leaf. I look forward to revisiting the "Reserve Series" blends like Blackwoods Flake and St. James Woods.
Won't you join me in a bowl of matured Virginia with a favorite beverage (mine is fresh strong coffee). Forget the world for a while, sit back and enjoy the show of flavors.