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June 2007

Golden Cake by Butera

This flake is made entirely of “bright, golden Virginia Long-Leaf?. The tin I smoked had been cellared for six years. I found it to be smooth and naturally sweet, with classic Lemon Virginia flavour ‘highlights’’; a fine example of an all Virginia flake. While many of the Virginia flakes available today are made of predominantly Red Virginia leaf, there are few that showcase the qualities of the brighter grades of Virginia. Mr. Butera is to be complemented for keeping this classic Virginia tobacco available in such elegant form. “Golden Cake? is well worth cellaring—a fine alternative to the darker, heavier Virginia flakes. Highly recommended!

Blend #7 by Cornell & Diehl

This blend is made up of ribbon-cut Burley, brown Virginia, Latakia, Perique and bright flake. This is an Americanized English blend, as the Virginia content is reduced, and the Burley and brown flake substituted. I found it delightful with a medium level of Latakia complimented by Burley and Virginia. Recommended for those who are looking for a Latakia change of pace.

Professor by Cornell & Diehl

In 1999, I bought a pound of this bright Virginia and Latakia blend, put it in a glass container, sat back and watched it mature-away contently. Patiently, I waited for the much-vaunted Virginia tobacco’s fermenting qualities to take hold and work its magic. Six years later, I opened it up and gave it a try. The result? Pure Ambrosia! Smooth aged Virginia sweetness and mellowed Latakia mustiness wonderfully combined. Listen carefully class… obtain Virginia tobacco, age in a glass container and be rewarded with unique smoking g experiences. The Tarlers think you need a tweed jacket with elbow patches to smoke this blend; I think this is one of the great Latakia blends available today, well-worth the effort to age and perfect its qualities.

Silver Flake by Solani

This is Solani’s entry into the red Virginia flake arena. It is described as “ripe red Virginia with spicy dark-fired Kentucky?. There has been a rediscovery of dark-fired Kentucky Burley, starting with Greg Pease’s excellent Cumberland, which features twenty-year aged Burley. “Cumberland? a most excellent loose-leaf blend is a masterpiece of blending. Solani’s flake is quality tobacco, but I cannot detect the dark Burley until mid-bowl. The Red Virginia used in this flake is heavily sweet-so much that I thought at first it might be artificially sweetened. The Burley is there, but faintly so. Considering the high price, I was expecting much more.