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 FVF Revisited

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AJ

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Age : 68
Location : NC
Registration date : 2012-03-18

PostSubject: FVF Revisited   Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:26 pm

Several years ago when I first tried FVF I was sorely disappointed because at that time I found it to be a one dimensional, overly wet, way too much trouble,and overly priced tobacco. The only redeeming quality I could find was that being a Virginia it held promise if allowed to age. The tin I had opened was from 2010 and I took the remaining flakes and stored them in a Mason Jar. A friend of mine here at home was placing a very large order for several blends to put into his cellar (this was in 2012) and wanted me to help increase his volume so he could get a better discount. For some reason I agreed and against my better judgement I ordered a dozen tins of FVF to stash away thinking I might be able to sell them if I decided I didn't want them and might actually make a couple of dollars profit. Last night I was scrounging around in my cellar and ran across the jar of 2010 FVF that I stashed years ago. I decided to open it up and have a go to see if aging had made any difference. WOW! What a difference! Upon opening the jar I was meet with the odor of dark fermenting fruit. I was thinking to myself that this has possibilities. The flakes were still very moist but I let them air dry for almost 30 minutes before taking one flake and broke it into pieces and stuffed them into my Hilson Upperten pipe. Even after drying for 30 minutes it still took awhile to get it lit but eventually I accomplished the deed and was rewarded with a very creamy semi-sweet tobacco taste that had just a bit of spice. There seemed to be other flavors that I couldn't identify but all of them were very good. There was a sufficient volume of smoke with each puff and each puff delivered and excellent rich tobacco flavor that could be savored. I tried to smoke it slowly and most of time I was successful but on occasion I'd push it a bit because it was so good. Even when it was pushed I didn't get any tongue bite. The semi-sweet notes were constant until the end. The spiciness was a little more pronounced toward the bottom of the bowl. The nicotine was satisfying and I'd say it was in the medium range. It required several relights but that happens with a lot of blends that I smoke so it's no problem to me. I've smoked a lot of aged tobacco but this is the first time I've smoked a tobacco that I really disliked when it was fresh and it has become one of the better tasting blends with age that I've ever smoked. I'm more than pleased that I've got a dozen tins from 2012 in my cellar becoming a fine blend that will give me many hours of pleasure starting next year. I don't understand all the hoopla around this bled a few years back because everyone was smoking it fresh. But with it having some age on it has become a noteworthy blend.

While smoking my second bowl of it last evening I went to Tobacco Reviews to see what others had written about this blend and I found one review by our Brother, Drums and Beer, that hit nail on the head. He was able to describe it with more detail than me and yet everything he wrote was what I was experiencing. So if you're interested in knowing in detail about the nuances of this fine blend then I suggest you go to his review and read it.Tobacco Reviews

I know this blend has been the subject of numerous reviews but I thought it rather significant that this was a blend that I really disliked when it was fresh but with almost six years of aging the change is remarkable. Maybe this will serve to encourage some of the newbies to give aging a try before they decide about a blend they didn't like at first. áSmile

AJ
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: FVF Revisited   Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:37 pm

I too am one who thinks it's just soggy beef jerky garbage and I have about 500 grams of the crap.
It too has been sitting in my cellar for about 2 years now and if your tastes are anything like mine
I'm hoping that this crap turns into something smokable in another 3 years. I reckon we'll have to
wait and see. Wink
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: FVF Revisited   Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:51 pm

Very interesting to know of your experience AJ.

I've had a very difficult time getting FVF to perform acceptably. It's very moist, and even after drying it out to a tactile feel it still frequently defeats me!

I've recently been trying the method of cubing the flakes and then drying them to almost brittle, and then loading them up by gravity with minimal tamping. That seems to be the way forward.

FVF is a fussy bitch, IMO. Almost not worth the effort. But when I get it right it's sublime. Needs very shallow sipping as well. And yes, much age seems to do wonders for this.

I really want to like this flake. BBF is much less fussy.


Cheers,

RR
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Old Nate
Not Really Old
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Age : 34
Location : Western PA
Registration date : 2014-08-27

PostSubject: Re: FVF Revisited   Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:27 pm

I like to rub this out almost immediately out of the jar/tin and I only let it dry about 15 mins maybe 20 then load up and smoke away.... delivers era great sweet smokes consistently. However, it is finicky... sometimes it's good, sometimes it's excellent, and a few rare occasions it's just OK or a little less so.... but this post reminds me that I'm low on fvf and need to RE-stock!
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MisterE
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Location : Mexico City
Registration date : 2009-08-24

PostSubject: Re: FVF Revisited   Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:40 pm

Yeah, áwhen FVF is good, it's amazing. I think there's a learning curve to get the most out of it. My first impression was that it was way overrated, too. After some experimenting and getting better at smoking at very low temperature, I started to get it. In that barely-lit, smoldering spot is where the flavor really comes out. Some other Virginias are more forgiving if you haul on the pipe a little, but FVF, no. It just shuts down and becomes two dimensional. But when you get in that right zone, youll definitely know it. It's a little like those drawings that appear to be just an odd pattern, but when you look at it just right, a 3D image pops out of the page. That's FVF.

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Many of the greatest pleasures in life are illegal, immoral, or smelly.

-Yak
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AJ

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Age : 68
Location : NC
Registration date : 2012-03-18

PostSubject: Re: FVF Revisited   Fri Jun 17, 2016 3:42 pm

MisterE wrote:
Yeah, áwhen FVF is good, it's amazing. I think there's a learning curve to get the most out of it. My first impression was that it was way overrated, too. After some experimenting and getting better at smoking at very low temperature, I started to get it. In that barely-lit, smoldering spot is where the flavor really comes out. Some other Virginias are more forgiving if you haul on the pipe a little, but FVF, no. It just shuts down and becomes two dimensional. But when you get in that right zone, youll definitely know it. It's a little like those drawings that appear to be just an odd pattern, but when you look at it just right, a 3D image pops out of the page. That's FVF.

I've smoked several more bowls of this since posting and you are so right about sipping this slowly. By sipping slowly the flavor comes through in spades. There are so many things going on that only by sipping slowly can you detect and savor them. I had no idea that a tobacco could be so complex and my taste is no where as sensitive as a good many others here on this site. I'm amazed how a tobacco can be so crappy when fresh but become a shinning star when allowed to age. Now I'm wondering if the dozen tins that I have aging in my cellar is enough.
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puros_bran
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Location : Brandenburg, Ky
Registration date : 2007-12-10

PostSubject: Re: FVF Revisited   Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:18 pm

They changed the recipe sometime in to OO's due to political upheaval in Africa. The legendary blend and the current iteration are not the same. Having said that...I'm not suggesting that it is no longer worthwhile, if it's your thing smoke early and often.

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AJ

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Age : 68
Location : NC
Registration date : 2012-03-18

PostSubject: Re: FVF Revisited   Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:36 pm

puros_bran wrote:
They changed the recipe sometime in to OO's due to political upheaval in Africa. The legendary blend and the current iteration are not the same. á Having said that...I'm not suggesting that it is no longer worthwhile, if it's your thing smoke early and often.

I don't think I ever smoked any before trying this tin in 2011. I still can't tolerate it while it's fresh and having only now discovered how well aging improves the taste. I wouldn't recommend this blend to anyone unless they want to wait at least five years so it can age and become a decent smoke. JMHO. BTW thanks for the information. I didn't know they had changed the formula from when it was first introduced. I wonder if the original was any better when it was fresh? Smile

AJ
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puros_bran
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Location : Brandenburg, Ky
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PostSubject: Re: FVF Revisited   Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:00 pm

From all reports, a resounding yes. á
Excepting a couple pipeful in 05/06, I've never tried any variation of the blend. áI won't pretend to have great knowledge about the blend...
But I know Pirate, Vito, TJ, and Yak had months long conversations about it as they examined it inside and out.

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ftrplt

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Age : 70
Location : Split between Raleigh, NC and OKC, OK
Registration date : 2007-12-15

PostSubject: Re: FVF Revisited   Sat Jun 18, 2016 1:28 pm

Can only say I truly enjoy the stuff, yet totally agree that it's a bear to get lite and requires a few relites to really settle it down. FVF is a "slow sipper," but is rewarding once it settles down!! Small disclaimer here...All the FVF I've had/have is from 2009 or earlier. I have tins and 250 gram pkgs. jarred. I have no idea what later years FVF smokes/tastes like. cheers FTRPLT
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