I think the best way to figure out perique is to get a blend that does NOT have it, and compare it to a similar blend that does (from 1 manufacturer). So a guy could get a virginia flake like McClelland 2010 and compare it to the Va/Per flake, 2015 (or Tudor Castle or one of their other Va/pers).
Perique is interesting - spicy, deep, kind of mushroomy smelling. It adds some punch and zest to otherwise kind of flat/creamy blends.
Escudo (same as Dunhill Navy Rolls), Elizabethan (if you find it), Heinrichs Special Curly (this is GOOD).... there's a hundred good ones.
It's a completely different kind of spice than Latakia, but odds are if you enjoy straight Va's you'll like VaPer's. Dunbar from Esoterica is about the best I've tried so far, but my experience is limited. Red Carpet from C&D will be a test of your manhood as far as flavour, tastes like pepper and a can of gunpowder went off in a pipe. Grey Havens is a da'gone good Va/Per/Bur and could easily become a daily smoke for me if I wasn't interested in trying other blends. It's got a lot of sweet in it, so it plays a unique harmony to the Perique, really cool.
If you have access to a decent B&M - you could do what I did today, and buy 25grams from their G&H bulk jar, then add spareingly to other stuff (VA's in my case) - and taste the difference. Don't be put off by the pouch smell - IMO it's foul!, but greatly improves an otherwise bland blend.
H&H Anni Kake is an awesome, figgy, slightly sweet, slightly spicey blend that I can't get enough of. Escudo is very good too, but is more malty to me. There are others I like plenty, but these two are my favorites right now.
It's funny that it does because I'm not even sure Charles Rattray was aware of the existence of perique when he first made the blend. I know absolutely that it didn't contain any when I used to smoke a lot of it many years ago. My guess is that the only way the new blender could make it taste close to how it did in the early days was to add a smidge of perique. It always was a spicy blend but it was mostly red VA with a dab of other VA's - no perique.
Thanks for all the opinions, Special thanks to OBD (Randall)
Most of the tobaccos are only available in America and the postage charges really don't make it an option to me unless I buy a ton.
Dunhills Navy Rolls seems the best available option and I've ordered some.
Great Forum, smashingly great members.