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Squadron Leader and Squadron Leader SE back to back

#1
Recently received some Squadron Leader SE as well as some of the original blend from 2009; as they were similar age I though it would be the perfect opportunity for a back-to-back comparison.
Squadron Leader
Plume was everywhere. Tacky ribbons full of crystals, little to no tin note, oily, musty, slightly metallic. I gave this no dry time, found the moisture level near perfect. Lit easily, immediately produced thick, rich draws. Woody, sweet; standout characterics for me were smoothness, and the consistent flavor, a warm, dry and nutty balsa-like flavor. Flavor remained cool and sweet from the top to the bottom. No bite, very smooth cool smoke. I had no re-lights, found this a very easy pleasant smoke and was better than I remembered.

Squadron Leader Special Edition
Some crystals here and there, noticeably less plume here than there was in the original, despite this being a year older. Also very little tin note, similar to the original. I gave this about ten minutes to sit out, seemed slightly more moist than the original out of the tin. Lit well, because my mind was set on comparison, the first thing I noticed is this is not sweet. The flavor is the same; woody, nutty, slightly smokey, but no sweet. Then I noticed the pepper. Had been there all along, but I hadn't really noted it anticipating a sweetness that isn't here. The perique is pure pepper; there's no figs or raisins or ripeness here. It's neither subtle nor bold. I found it consistent throughout the smoke, but it never gets unpleasant. I did notice the perique tends to dominate if this is smoked quickly, as well as a certain dampness to the taste, I found I preferred smoking very slow, and re-lit several times. This was a nice smoke that I found smokes best sipped, but simply put is not Squadron Leader. The addition of perique and the consistency of its application (I mean, I tasted it in every smoke all throughout the pipe), make this an entirely different blend with a different flavor profile altogether to my tastes.
 

Billy Joe

Active Member
Member
#2
Recently received some Squadron Leader SE as well as some of the original blend from 2009; as they were similar age I though it would be the perfect opportunity for a back-to-back comparison.
Squadron Leader
Plume was everywhere. Tacky ribbons full of crystals, little to no tin note, oily, musty, slightly metallic. I gave this no dry time, found the moisture level near perfect. Lit easily, immediately produced thick, rich draws. Woody, sweet; standout characterics for me were smoothness, and the consistent flavor, a warm, dry and nutty balsa-like flavor. Flavor remained cool and sweet from the top to the bottom. No bite, very smooth cool smoke. I had no re-lights, found this a very easy pleasant smoke and was better than I remembered.

Squadron Leader Special Edition
Some crystals here and there, noticeably less plume here than there was in the original, despite this being a year older. Also very little tin note, similar to the original. I gave this about ten minutes to sit out, seemed slightly more moist than the original out of the tin. Lit well, because my mind was set on comparison, the first thing I noticed is this is not sweet. The flavor is the same; woody, nutty, slightly smokey, but no sweet. Then I noticed the pepper. Had been there all along, but I hadn't really noted it anticipating a sweetness that isn't here. The perique is pure pepper; there's no figs or raisins or ripeness here. It's neither subtle nor bold. I found it consistent throughout the smoke, but it never gets unpleasant. I did notice the perique tends to dominate if this is smoked quickly, as well as a certain dampness to the taste, I found I preferred smoking very slow, and re-lit several times. This was a nice smoke that I found smokes best sipped, but simply put is not Squadron Leader. The addition of perique and the consistency of its application (I mean, I tasted it in every smoke all throughout the pipe), make this an entirely different blend with a different flavor profile altogether to my tastes.
Great review, darth. Love the comparison. Also, SL is a long time favorite, so its great to hear how others see/taste it.
 

Russell Hartman

Stay Silver
Patron
#4
Great review. I liked them both, and made attempts at blending my own with Perique. I too found it to be totally different, but can honestly say I like the Perique. I was also told the original SL had Perique. Perhaps Jim will let us know his point of view on the blends. I HIGHLY value his input when it comes to reviews. My last blending I had a little less Perique added, and I like it better. I really have always liked Squadron Leader. For me it was, and is an old favorite. Thanks for a great review darth finster.
 
#5
Great review. I liked them both, and made attempts at blending my own with Perique. I too found it to be totally different, but can honestly say I like the Perique. I was also told the original SL had Perique. Perhaps Jim will let us know his point of view on the blends. I HIGHLY value his input when it comes to reviews. My last blending I had a little less Perique added, and I like it better. I really have always liked Squadron Leader. For me it was, and is an old favorite. Thanks for a great review darth finster.
Funny thing about Squadron Leader. The first two times I smoked it, it was very grassy, and not mildly sweet. Recently, I tried it again, and was surprised at how sweet it was, and less grassy, too. I have heard in the past from a few fellow smokers that there has been some inconsistency regarding SL, and after my experiences, I believe it. I haven't tried SLE, but thanks to @darth finster , I soon will.
 
#8
Funny thing about Squadron Leader. The first two times I smoked it, it was very grassy, and not mildly sweet. Recently, I tried it again, and was surprised at how sweet it was, and less grassy, too. I have heard in the past from a few fellow smokers that there has been some inconsistency regarding SL, and after my experiences, I believe it. I haven't tried SLE, but thanks to @darth finster , I soon will.
Anxious to hear your thoughts, Jim. The perique really changed things for me.
 
#9
Great review. I liked them both, and made attempts at blending my own with Perique. I too found it to be totally different, but can honestly say I like the Perique. I was also told the original SL had Perique. Perhaps Jim will let us know his point of view on the blends. I HIGHLY value his input when it comes to reviews. My last blending I had a little less Perique added, and I like it better. I really have always liked Squadron Leader. For me it was, and is an old favorite. Thanks for a great review darth finster.
What perique did you use? I lean towards McConnell's when mixing, but I don't think that would work here for a match...
 

Russell Hartman

Stay Silver
Patron
#15
One thing I will say is that I decided to experiment in general with what Perique I had. I find that (at least for me) that Perique will quickly tame Latakia forward blends forcing it into the background in a blend. Now I've been asked before if using a tobacco called 'Perique" for my attempt at making my own blend makes a difference.
I wonder what exact tobacco was used in the remake of the Squadron Leader SE. I found this link, and thought I would ask folks like Jim, and others as I have been told that most all blending Periques are what is described, or talked about in this link. Let me know your ideas, and opinions. I'm not trying to derail, or take this thread off the rails, but have REALLY thought about this in my attempts to blend Squadron Leader with available Perique blending tobacco, and how close I could get the blend to taste decent.
http://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/3883-Perique-quot-red-Burley-quot-green-river-burley
 

Slow Tri

Is it Friday yet?
Patron
#16
One thing I will say is that I decided to experiment in general with what Perique I had. I find that (at least for me) that Perique will quickly tame Latakia forward blends forcing it into the background in a blend. Now I've been asked before if using a tobacco called 'Perique" for my attempt at making my own blend makes a difference.
I wonder what exact tobacco was used in the remake of the Squadron Leader SE. I found this link, and thought I would ask folks like Jim, and others as I have been told that most all blending Periques are what is described, or talked about in this link. Let me know your ideas, and opinions. I'm not trying to derail, or take this thread off the rails, but have REALLY thought about this in my attempts to blend Squadron Leader with available Perique blending tobacco, and how close I could get the blend to taste decent.
http://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/3883-Perique-quot-red-Burley-quot-green-river-burley
I wonder it SG would share with you who they source their perique through? Might be worth a try.
 

John Lawitzke

Active Member
Member
#17
I had some Perique from the Martin farm from years back. I have NO more left so I can only say that you will have to check around for a blending Perique.
Looks at the D&R Blender's Bench series. Mark Ryan released this line of something like 40 straight tobaccos for people to do their own blending. Several different Periques including Acadian Virginia which is Va put through the Perique process. Not surprising since Mark owns the Perique factory.
 

Ol Brokedik

Active Member
Member
#19
My experience was the same as @darth finster. I love Squadron Leader because it loves me. It's the only English I can smoke after finally getting over my winter cold. The addition of perique made this a completely different smoke for me. I get black pepper. That is not my preference. I enjoy the fig/plum flavor. Thank's for the review. Now I know it's just not me tasting pepper.

On a side. If you like the fig/plum taste I've got a VaPer I think you'd like. I have some old Anniversary Kake when it was still pressed into cakes. It's the sweetest VaPer I've found, but doesn't taste artificially flavored. It's neither black pepper or fig/plum , but something in between. Let me know if you want to try some. I think the Kake has gone away not to return.

Be well.
OBD.
 
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#20
@Ol Brokedik, we must have the same palate. I love Anniversary Kake, and still have a little from a sample from '06 that another generous member sent as part of a trade; matter of fact, I just sent some of it along to someone who mentioned that he's getting the hang of perique, I thought that he'd like it. There may be a chance that I can get my hands on some more from a piper I've met locally, so you should hang on to yours, I know you'll enjoy it, and Thank You.:puffy: