Red Queen V Virginia/Perique pipe tobacco blend was the fifth iteration of a blend that started with some very old perique. A local tobacconist was going out of business and gave me a giant bag of perique that likely had 5 years of age on it. This is not the spicy perique but more stewed fruit perique. Did not know what to do with it so jarred it up in several quart jars and forgot about it.
Rediscovered the jars and opened them up and whew-wee that is some stinky stuff. There was a post or article somewhere 4 parts perique to 5 parts Virginia would be ph neutral. True or not, that is where I started. Made a small batch of red Virginia and perique and tried it. Ho-hum. Put it in a jar and forgot about it. 6 months later revisited it again and oh-my, very tasty. Still, it needed to be steered in a few directions.
That is what happened with Red Queen I – IV. The fifth iteration was the winner! Finally settled on the ratios for blend with adding matured Virginia’s and stoved Virginia’s. It still is one of my favorite blends and like to press this blend a lot. At times I can get it as dark and dense as Salty Dogs and it will just burn forever. Broken flake from the plug allows me to enjoy a one and half hour smoke with no relights.
On a side note on perique, Mark Ryan stated that spicy or fruity perique is barrel by barrel and luck of the draw. Farm origin has nothing to do with it.
3/12 Update: For the last month I have been making a whole leaf version of Red Queen which I call Red Queen Plug. While it is slightly different it seems have more body. Plus the bonus of being able to fold and stuff flake makes me very happy! If I had my choice between the RQV blended with commercial components and RQP blended with whole leaf, I would pick RQP. I guess I have done something right . . .
This is a slightly different blend the Red Queen V which is made with commercial components. The whole leaf version is
- 40% Red Virginia (with plum casing)
- 30% Bright Virginia (with plum casing)
- 30% Perique
Here are four 200g and one 100g plugs unstoved after a week pressed.