Montgomery is a typical G.L. Pease virginia blend. That is to say, it's not really a straight virginia blend; it has the addition of Dark Fired Kentucky to, as the label states, “for a little added richness”, but more on that later. It is a wide spectrum virginia, ranging from yellow to red, but it smokes more like a light virginia. There's none of that red 'zing' that you get from HOTW or Red Cake. I would compare the flavor more to Hamborger Veermaster or Dunhill Flake than to other wide spectrum virginias like FVF.
Montgomery is a rather subtle blend, with a lot going on. As far as recommendation, if you're the type who finds complexity in virginia blends, you'll find it here in spades. If you're the type who finds virginia blends to be rather monotonous, you'd do better to avoid this one; it'll probably confirm your worst suspicions.
As far as the Dark Fired Kentucky, I really don't notice it in the blend, which is unfortunate. I tried this back in '09, and was really on the fence. It seemed to have something, but my palate really hadn't figured out virginias yet, so I was unsure. I managed to find a six year old eight ounce tin for sale, and decided to find out what it would do in the long run. It was a magnificent eight ounces, primarily because the Dark Fired Kentucky was a major player in the mix. It wasn't strong enough to overwhelm the subtlety of the virginias, but it definitely made it's presence known. Very tasty stuff! Unfortunately, I've yet to have a tin since that had that flavor. I'm starting to wonder if I had a tin that somehow had an extra clump of Dark Fired added or something. Or maybe this really needs six years in the tin before that flavor comes out. If not, well, far be it from me to offer blending advice to the master, but I might suggest that a bit more Dark Fired might, to quote Fred MacMurray in Double Indemnity, “get it up on it's hind legs”.
Nice review, Mark! I'm still trying to figure out how you managed to go 5 years without doing one I tend to fall in the category of smokers you warn about monotonous Virginias- but your description of the aged version sounds quite tasty.
Nice review, Mark! I'm still trying to figure out how you managed to go 5 years without doing one
Well, I decided when I joined Puff that I was too new to the pipe to do a proper review, and that I'd know more about what I was doing after smoking five years. Of course, now that I've reached that mark, I still don't feel like I know what I'm doing, but realize I probably never will feel that way, so what the heck...