Dark Fragrant encompasses the need to relax. Rich in flavor, smooth in body, a high proportion of black cavendish is seasoned with a pinch of perique to enhance this sublime mixture.
I must admit I had difficulty figuring out if this was truly a Virginia blend (natural, no topping/casing) or an Aromatic (topping/casing; flavored) with a name including the word 'Fragrant', but after smoking the first half bowl I realize why the name is perfectly fitting for this richly aged Virginia/Perique blend. The Black Virginia Cavendish is a striking experience when opening the can; there's a cool blue/grey hue to the black leaf, but the scent is warm and rich - a hint of vinegar more akin with McClelland Virginias tells me this is a well-aged blend. It doesn't take much to open up in the pipe, and burns so cool it's almost hard to keep lit initially (user error I imagine!). Once stabilized, it continues to burn cool and even. Mild in body, but rich in flavor and scent. It leaves a pleasant, light grassy room note (hence the Fragrant) though it tastes more of rich earth and red wine, with a hint of peat (hence the Dark). I imagine the Perique is portioned on the heavier side to give it that punch of earthy flavor, mellowed out nicely by cool smoking Cavendish. It's a tantalizing experience, and while I'm familiar with Rattray's English blends (highly recommended for Latakia lovers), this is quickly making its way into my Virginia rotations. I'm even considering it as a blend suitable for breaking in new pipes dedicated to natural Virginias. I look forward to aging a few tins to see how the flavors marry with time.