The finest tobaccos are brought together in careful balance to provide a smoking experience like no other. It is my sincere wish that you will derive as much pleasure from smoking this mixture as I have from its creation.

G. L. Pease

When you pop the top on a tin of a G.L. Pease tobacco, you’re greeted with this message, printed on a paper disk atop the tobacco mixture hidden below. While it may seem like a quite generic effort, those that know Greg Pease know that he means every word of his greeting from the bottom of his heart.

GL Pease Tin Liner

The newest creation from Pease is the first installment in his new Zeitgeist Collection, a new and upcoming series of tobacco blends evoking the spirit of different modern art periods. According to Pease, “The Collection will be a celebration of culture more than of a specific style of or movement in art, and more expansive than that,” Greg says. “I think that every blend in the Zeitgeist series will represent or acknowledge a moment in time and space, connecting with a particular location, period, or cultural milieu. It’s an artist series in some respects, but it’s more. There are plenty of ideas for the future.”


The inaugural entry in a new series from G.L. Pease, Bankside introduces the Zeitgeist Collection — a line celebrating the often avant-garde and rebellious themes of the modern era — with a strikingly modernist reinterpretation of the archetypal Virginia/Perique flake. From a bold, traditional canvas of Red and Bright Virginias and genuine St. James Perique emerge subtle, contrasting strokes of dark-fired Kentucky and Latakia tobaccos — originating exotic, smoky undertones that support and enrich its notes of sweet cream and citrusy tang.

When you pop the tin, you’re immediately hit with a slight smokiness, which obviously comes from the Latakia in the blend. While that might not be everyone’s cup of tea, the Latakia is far from the only note in this complex cord. (Think of the ingredients in a chocolate cake. While most don’t taste very good or smell like much individually, when brought together, they morph into something sublime.)

Get your nose closer to the tobacco and you’ll start to recognize the combined aromas of some seriously well blended tobaccos, especially the sweet citrus notes of the Red Virginia.

This flake cut blend comes almost perfectly humidified — not too wet or dry — so it’s ready to smoke immediately. I tend to grip, rip and pack my flake tobaccos, giving it a little rub between my fingers as I place it in my pipe bowl. I believe that I’m bringing the essential oils that naturally come from each tobacco to the surface so I may truly enjoy what they have to offer. My experience with Bankside reaffirms my personal theory in this regard.

When I finally light my pipe, I immediately sense the smoky notes coming from the Latakia and Dark Fired Kentucky, but the sweet characteristics of the Red and Bright Virginia’s seem almost to be the platform on which those smoky tones come alive, melding together to produce a very unexpected taste. Of course, I can’t leave out natural plum-like tones of the the St James Perique, which sort of tie the whole mixture together. Like the Bankside Gallery, the tobacco brings together a touch of the industrial (smoky) with a flourish of art (sweet) in perfect harmony.

Bankside takes its name from the neighborhood of London where the Tate Modern art museum is located. Among the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the world, the Tate is housed inside the old Bankside Power Station, which echoes the striking combination of the raw and the refined, characterized by the industrial spaces of 20th century architecture.