by William Serad
I’m sure many of you have had the experience of rummaging around in your collection of cellared tobacco and unexpectedly finding something misplaced, lost or forgotten. I was looking for ancient tins to support the resurrection efforts of Standard Tobacco of Pennsylvania (to no avail; I gave what I was looking for to my wife’s uncle in Mississippi some time ago), and I came across a bunch of small tins segregated because they are rectangular or square, shoved to the back of a shelf and hidden by round tins or some tubs. I had forgotten completely about them, but they proved to be a delightful find. In no particular order:
- The Blend 633 Solani Virginia Flake with Perique—exceptional tin note and refreshingly sweet and smooth without the potential heat, given the ingredients. I should have been stock-piling this; it is one of the best bright- tilted Va/Per flakes around.
- Holger Danske Royal Navy Flake—Virginias with a note of aromatic fruits, which normally turn me away. Here, they enhance the aroma in an integrated and delicate way and add to the pleasant room note. Potentially a scorcher, this is also quite cool and a delight. I wish I had stumbled upon it in the summer. It does add to the conundrum about what Navy Flake means. There are so many unrelated blends that evoke the naval descriptor, would that it were just rum in the Brit- ish tradition. Navy Flake has no particular meaning to me at this point.
- Robert McConnell Scottish Flake—dark Virginias, Kentucky and Perique in an excellent flake. Definitely a darker and heavier flake than the previous two, it is a serious blend, not all that sweetened by the Virginias, more a tasty aid to contemplation. Note that McConnell also makes a Scottish Blend, a mixture of red Virginia, Kentucky, black Cavendish, Turkish and Latakia. There is also Scottish Cake, a rubbed-out flake of dark Virginias, Kentucky and Perique, called a honey-dew (another word largely ambiguous to me), which is the one I prefer among all of these various Scottish products. What then does Scottish mean in these various usages? It is very confusing.
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