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L.J. Peretti Blend D.D - A Review

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Vito

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I'm posting this review at the request of the esteemed Bro' Signore Alfredo Buscatti. I originally posted it on the Knoxville Cigar BB in January 2007. I've updated it minimally to reflect the fact that it needed updating.
__________________________________

Peretti Blend D.D came to me courtesy of the esteemed Carlos, along with ample quantities of several other Peretti weedages. Eventually I hope to review all of them. This is the third one I've smoked, but it's the first one I'm reviewing. I couldn't NOT review it, for reasons that will become clear below. This is one of the most extraordinary tobaccos of any kind—Burleyweed or otherwise—that it has been my pleasure to smoke. Carlos...yer not gonna get away with this! You may expect retaliation when you least expect it, bro'. ;)

Here's the blender's description:
  • A cool, slow-burning blend that is quite sweet to the taste, and very fragrant. A good after-dinner smoke. It required 4 years to perfect this blend.
Blend D.D is a complex Burley blend that is true to its description. It's an unusual tobacco in that its sweetness doesn't seem in any way to be suggested by its aroma or its flavor. In fact, at first the flavor is simply that of plain smooth, nutty Burley, only sweeter than usual, augmented by some other flavors that are both intriguing and undefinable. It's difficult to say whether the sweetness is in the tobacco or in the top dressing that so commonly accompanies Burleyweed. It's probably both. There is a hint of fragrance in the smoke—definitely something that is more a smell than a taste—and also in the room note, but it's surely in the tobacco itself. There is the faintest hint of fragrance in the unburned weed, but it's not even barely detectable in the pipe. By comparison, the pouch aroma's fragrance is much less noticeable than even the most lightly scented Lakeland tobaccos or those wonderful top-dressed "pure" Virginias like Wessex Red Virginia Flake, Hamborger Veermaster, or F&T Cut Virginia Plug, and it's far less noticeable than the top dressing on, say, Marlin Flake, or Wessex Brigade Classic Virginia Flake.

There's a certain spice in the smoke that makes it very intriguing. I don't detect any condiment tobaccos like Perique or Latakia, but it's possible that there might be a bit of Oriental; if so, it has been added with a masterful hand. The spice is too robust to be coming from the top dressing. It's vaguely reminiscent of the kind of spice in the great old classic, London Dock. That was actually a very complex tobacco, and unquestionably an aromatic, but oh...what an aromatic! The tobacco flavors just poured out of the smoke, and the added aromatic essence worked with it in the most extraordinary way. I'm getting much the same kind of spice and rich tobacco flavor from Blend D.D, except that it's all coming from the tobacco, not from any added aromatic essence. In fact, I would recommend Blend D.D to anyone who mourns the demise of London Dock, not as its equal, but as one that recaptures some of the unique spice and flavor of that bygone weedage in a non-aromatic, natural blend. Blend D.D is truly a work of great blendmeistering artistry.

By mid-bowl, the spiciness has intensified, but the burn is so even and so well-controlled that only the slightest sip is necessary to pull loads of spicy tobacco flavor through the bit. This is a magnificent tobacco! A glance at the rim reveals a smooth, oily sheen—the tell-tale sign of a sugary Burleyweed. Yup...no question about it; like all Burleys, this one has been top-dressed with sugar solution, and probably quite a more concentrated solution than most, but it's done with a masterful touch. Not only doesn't it interfere with the tobacco's flavor, it definitely enhances it.

As I begin smoking my way down into the last 1/3-bowl, the flavors are really becoming quite concentrated. I'm getting flavors of black ropeweed, plus the caramel toastiness of stoved Virginia, and still there's this massive base of good, nutty Burley and the aforementioned spice. This is a vastly more complex smoke than any pure Burley I've ever smoked, so I will definitely have to scrutinize this to sleuth out its constituent weedages. There's no question that there's something else in here besides Burley. Jeez...this stuff is amazing! I'm starting to get the slightest hint of nico-buzz, and the pipe is getting a bit warm, so maybe it's time to set it down.

I'm smoking Blend D.D in a very old Caminetto Business KS102 billiard with a 1/16-bent stem from the Ascorti-Radice era. There is virtually zero resistance in the airway, which tells me this probably is one of Gigi Radice's pipes. It's easily a large Group 6 to ODA size bowl with a very thick sidewall, and the Business finish rustication is a helluva radiator. It's normally a very cool smoker, so it's unusual for me to set this pipe down due to elevated bowl temperature, but in this case it's understandable because I've been smoking this stuff so greedily. It has all the intensity of full tobacco flavor that I usually find in ropeweed, but with only a fraction of the nico-punch, and a high multiple of the complexity and sweetness of ropeweed.

I examined the tobacco under bright light and found that it's quite a melange of colors and textures. It unquestionably a blend of at least four or five different tobaccos—possibly more. I can see what looks like Bright and Red Virginias, as well as tobaccos in several different hues and cuts of medium to dark brown. There's no blackweed of any kind that I can see, so if there's any stoved Ginnyweed in here, it's not heavily stoved.

The smell in the room now is phenomenal—like roasted nuts, caramel, cloves, and maple sugar—yet there is no hint of any such aromatic additives in the tobacco, either in its pouch aroma or in the bowl. It's all in the tobacco.
_____________

After letting the pipe rest and cool down, I've relit the pipe. There's just this massive mouthful of flavors here. I'm now willing to assert firmly that there must be at least one type of Oriental tobacco in this blend. There is no other way to account for the exotic, spicy complexity here. As is common with Turkweed, the relight seems to have brought the slightly bitter/burnt flavor of Orientals to the foreground, but now there's something else; is it cigar leaf? Yes...that's the flavor! Deep brown cigar leaf.

What an extraordinary blend this is! The strength of the natural tobacco flavors is really coming through now. What started out as a deceptively mild yet very full-flavored blend and pleasantly sweet blend is simply roaring with a great, complex mix of flavors that is bound to satisfy all lovers of high-octane pipeweed. I'm avoiding the nico-buzz by the most carefully slow sipping, but each little puff brings the most amazing burst of flavor. Hmmm...it has just occurred to me that I haven't had to run a pipe cleaner into the stem even once throughout this entire smoke. OK...I'll fess up; that's normal for one of these old Ascorti-Radice Caminettos, which are probably the driest smokers this side of a true calabash, but it's still worth noting that the weed didn't gurgle even once. The ambient temperature here is about 44°F—the coldest January hereabouts in the past 20+ years. If anything would condense the water vapor in the smoke, that ought to do it. The moisture content in Blend D.D is about as close to perfect as you can get.

I have smoked enough bowls of Blend D.D to reasonably conclude I could easily make this my desert island Burleyweed blend. If I were a fool, I wouldn't buy any more of this for my cellar. I'm not. :mrgreen:

Vito
 

Vito

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After I wrote the review above, I contacted L.J. Peretti to inquire about the constituent tobaccos in Blend D.D. I got the following message back from Steve Smith:
Steve Smith":84k3hszw said:
"DD is primarily cube cut burley, ribbon cut burley, and virginia. There is a slight aromatic essence added as well. I'm afraid I can't tell you what it is, but it is only added in a very small amount, as we are not trying to disguise the flavor of the tobacco, (cf. cherry cavendish), merely enhance it."
I'd say they succeeded.

If you're an absolute purist about so-called "natural" tobaccos, Blend D.D isn't for you. Then again, if you're an absolute purist about "natural" tobaccos, I wonder what you're smoking. Not Burleyweed, I'll wager. According to GLP, the vast majority (if not all) Burley is dressed with sugar solution, without which it would be unpalatable. In fact, the number of tobaccos that are top-dressed with sugar solution and some light aromatic essence would probably astonish the unsuspecting piper. (Many Virginia flakeweeds come to mind.)

I've smoked (and enjoyed) some fine quality aromatics—not goopweeds like the kind of "cherry cavendish" concoctions Steve Smith referred to above, in which all semblance of tobacco flavor is absent—but blends of high-quality tobaccos that are subtly and wonderfully enhanced by the addition of flavors that complement the tobaccos rather than bury them. Blend D.D isn't even as much an "aromatic" as some of those, in my opinion.

In fact, it would be quite a stretch to call Blend D.D an "aromatic" at all. There's no question that the added essence is present, but it's done with such a delicate hand and complements the tobacco so beautifully that it provides a superb example of what such blends can be when they're at their best.

Vito

:joker:
 

Carlos

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You are gonna make me break out the burley blends for spring. Just when I was getting real comfortable with Balkan's and English.
 

Vito

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Carlos":vwu2upcl said:
You are gonna make me break out the burley blends for spring. Just when I was getting real comfortable with Balkan's and English.
You know me, Carlos...always willing to help... :twisted: :joker: :mrgreen: 8)
 

regor

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Like Carlos you have made me want to smoke some of my burley blends LOL. I have some very good Old Gowrie and marlin flake and some 2015 that tinned along time ago when Dave did that for people. I got this in a trade with a big Ham LMAO. Thanks again :cyclops: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:
I do have a tin of Cumberland and some aged Burley from Solani and one from Wessex. I sure look forward to smoking them now even more than I did before.
 

Vito

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Hey regor, all three of the Burleyweeds you mentioned — Cumberland, Solani's Aged Burley, and Wessex Burley Slice — are good stuff. I have pipes dedicated to Cumberland and Wessex, but I approach Cumberland with great care. It's one of the most massively high-octane weedages — "HO", as Signore Alfredo says — that I've ever smoked. It's more potent that Dark Flake or Dark Plug...really, it's on a par with ropeweed in terms of its ability to kick my butt with nico-buzz. I love the stuff, but a little goes a looooonnnggg way for me...nico-wimp that I am. :oops:

Meanwhile, Signore Alfredo inhales the stuff. :twisted: (Just kiddin', Mike.)
 

alfredo_buscatti

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Vito: I only very rarely inhale and would certainly not do so with any of the HOs; good way to start coughing.

Both Haddos and Cumberland I would classify as full-bodied; Dark Flake and Plug, Dark Birdseye, Irish Flake and the GH ropes are HOs.

Different strokes. . .

I've been considering a purchase of D.D. for several months, Vito, but your review was the clincher; burleys, VA, Orientals and cigar leaf sound oh! so alluring. I've been looking for a complex burley. Justpipes gave me a sample of EWRR, and although I liked the flavor, to me it was monochromatic.

D.D. seems just the ticket; thank you for your review!!
 

Vito

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Mike:

My review doesn't actually say there's cigar leaf or Orientals in Blend D.D...or at least, I didn't mean to say that those tobaccos are part of the blend. Steve Smith (of L.J. Peretti) did not mention them when he listed the component tobaccos. Those were just my best-take descriptions of some of the tobacco-related flavors I experienced when I smoked the weed. Your mileage may vary.

BTW, I agree that Edgeworth Ready Rubbed is not a complex smoke. Alas, it has gone the way of so many other tobaccos that have seen better days. It is still a decent smoke—sometimes it's exactly what I want—but it's not the same wonderful Burleyweed it once was. They're mostly gone. There has been something of a Burley renaissance in the last couple of years. LL sez it's because there is actually some better Burley coming off the farms now. If so, it's not ubiquitous. There's also a change in the flavoring they're using in ERR. It's definitely not the same as it was when Larus & Bro. Co. was making it. In fact, the whole "House of Edgeworth" thing is a just a name...nothing more. In any case, there is only a modest resemblance between the stuff being made now and the original ERR that Larus made before they closed their doors in 1974.

It's interesting that you classify Cumberland as full-bodied and not HO. It's definitely full-bodied...no question about that, and so are the others you mentioned. But my characterization of Cumberland as an HO weedage doesn't pertain to its intensity of flavor as much as it does to it's ability to kick my butt with a nico-knockout punch. I have never been able to smoke a bowl of it without setting the pipe down in self defense long before I hit mid-bowl.

But maybe if I used a Group 1 or Group 2 pipe... ;) :lol: :mrgreen:
 

Justpipes

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With Cumberland I don't find that I have to put the pipe down at all. Rather it never lasts long enough for me. I especially like Cumberland as an early morning smoke with a cup of coffe. WOW! Just great stuff!
 

docwatson

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Incredible review Vito. I really enjoyed reading that post. Peretti makes my favorite Burley Blends, and lucky for moi they are only an hour and a quarter from my MA home base. I don't get there as frequently as I used to, but if you enjoy burley's as I do I highly recommend D-7485 and D-9575. I never have less than a pound of each on hand.
Happy puffin' and I look forward to more of your reviews.
 

Vito

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docwatson:

Thanks for your kind feedback, amigo. Always warms the heart to know one's blathering has done some good. 'Tis just the thing to encourage more reviewage. :mrgreen:

Vito
 

Justpipes

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Vito,

I am definitely going to have to try this blend at some point and time. My dad smoked London Dock and I remember seeing the tins around the house many many years ago. Towards the end of his life he smoked Borkum Riff but I have never been able to bring my self to smoke Borkum Riff with any regularity in homage to my dad.
 

Vito

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JP:

On its face, Blend D.D bears little resemblance to London Dock...certainly not in its pouch/jar/tin aroma. In fact, it took me a while to nail what was familiar about Blend D.D. It's so different from London Dock in almost every immediately obvious respect that it was a flat-out surprise to find that similarity emerging briefly at about the second 1/4-bowl. But there it was.

As for Borkum Riff...well, you know that matters of taste can be very peculiar. Normally, I advise folks who find a tobacco not to their liking to give it a second or even third chance, if not immediately, then somewhere down the road. They might be surprised to find that their tastes have changed, or that they just judged too quickly without giving the weed a chance to show its virtues. I can list numerous tobaccos that initially didn't appeal to me, but revealed some redeeming virtues on closer examination, later.

However, where Borkum Riff is concerned, I can easily understand how someone might be put off. I smoked it once ~38 years ago, and I can still recall the experience vividly; reverse peristalsis was involved. It's not an experience I'm inclined to repeat. Of course, that's still purely a matter of taste. I don't disparage anyone else who enjoys it, but it's just not for me.
 

smokey422

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Great review, Vito, as usual. I'm a big fan of Peretti burley blends, although I have not yet experienced Blend DD. If I might make a recommendation for your next sampling, you might want to try their BPC. This is one of my absolutely top burley smokes and I am a confirmed burleyphile.

Smokey :pipe:
 

Vito

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Hey Smokey:

Thanks, bro'! Glad you enjoyed the review.

I received a healthy sample of Peretti's BPC from the esteemed Brothah Carlos (along with Blend D.D...and numerous other Burleyweed blends), but it didn't hit the bullseye in quite the same way as Blend D.D. Doesn't make sense to me, because based on the description I figured I'd fall in love with it. I suspect I still haven't found the right pipe for it.

Speaking of Peretti's Burleyweed blends, one of my favorites is their Thanksgiving Day Blend. It's a seasonal tobacco—one they make up in limited quantities each year before the Thanksgiving holiday. When it's gone, it's gone. If you have a chance to glom on to some this year, you might find it enjoyable.

:joker:
 

Puff Daddy

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I just received the last pipeweed order of the year, a very modest package from Peretti's. Along with a paintcan of Somerset Slice, I got a 4 oz cake of Thanksgiving Day blend and a couple of ounces of Blend DD as a side note - just something you's guys had been talking about and that stuck in my mind. So glad I glommed onto this stuff, it's really fantastic! When you stick you shnozz into a bag or tin of old timey burleyweed you get a preconceived idea of what it's going to taste like, and it's usually a bit of a disappointment. This stuff, it is only faintly reminiscent of those old time baccy's when given the schnozz test, but when lit it becomes what those other blends make you yearn for. It's fantastic stuff! I've tried a few other Peretti's blends in the past and they were OK, but blend DD (and the Somerset Slice) is a wonderful blend that must be stocked up on. Thanks Vito for a review so tantalizing as to prompt me to try this stuff, mucho's gracias for putting the bug bro 8)
 

Vito

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Brothah PD:

You nailed it, amigo. All of the other Peretti weedages that I've tried match your observation, wherein the bag/tin//jar aroma promises one thing, and the actual burnage delivers something else...something less. Even Thanksgiving Day blend has some of that affliction, although it's closer to delivering on its schnozz-promise than some of the other Peretti Burleyweeds I've tried. Not so with Blend D.D, which delivers MORE than it promises...to my tasticles, anyway.

I'm glad you posted about this, because I've been meaning to place a Perretti order, and your post pushes the Act Now<img class="emojione" alt="™️" title=":tm:" title=":tm:" src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/emojione/assets/png/2122.png?v=2.2.7"/> button. Time to restock Blend D.D and Scottish Flake. I also want to try some o' that Somerset Slice. If you bought a paint can of the stuff, it's gotta be good!

Hey...I just checked Peretti's site, and I can't find any mention of Somerset Slice. How did you order it?

:joker:

p.s. Hey...WTF happened to my "mrgreen" smiley? How'm I s'posed to paste a shit-eatin' grin on my posts without it? Where's the smiley janitor's office? :?:

p.p.s. Jeez...I just noticed that my avatar is gone too. What'd youse guys have over here...a terrorist attack or something?
 

puros_bran

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Yes, it was called Forumotion Upgrading the servers. Will Techies like they have you have to consider it a Terrorist Attack!
 

pipetongue1

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Yo Don Vito, You have to ask for SS, it's not on their menu, Ken :tongue:
Pacem en Puffing! :tongue:
 

Vito

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Thanks Ken! Will do.

pb: Yeah, I suspected it might have been the server upgrade, but I wasn't sure. We didn't lose any data (like smilies and avatars) over on FE during the upgrade, but we're using a more recent version of the software over there. Maybe the older version being used here at BoB isn't as robust, or something. Huggie might know.

Ah, well...no harm done on my account. It was time for a new avatar anyway. But I still want "mrgreen" back. I can always paste it as an image [
], but the javascript thingie makes it a lot easier.

:joker:
 
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