The Beast is back — now featuring 51% Perique from Cornell & Diehl’s exclusive farm in St. James Parish, Louisiana. The official retail launch date is 6:00 p.m. EDT, March 21.
As an annual Small Batch release, The Beast is one of the only mixtures on the market to highlight the unique, umami characteristics of Perique when used in large portions; indeed genuine St. James Perique comprises more than half of the blend. Together with Cornell & Diehl’s proprietary Red Virginia Cavendish, unsweetened Black Cavendish, and a whisper of Dark-Fired Kentucky, the entire mixture is soaked in spiced rum for seven days, yielding a smoke that’s rich, robust, yet exceedingly complex — supported by tangy sweetness, robust mesquite wood, rich stone fruits, and piquant spice.
In the sample tin I opened, the humidity level registered about 75%. I’d dry it a little, but I think this particular blend is best enjoyed a little wetter than the typical 62% target range for most pipe tobaccos.