In accordance with its inspiration, the blend is immersed in rum for seven days. Aleister Crowley, The Beast himself, originator of his own religion and called by some the wickedest man in the world, famously smoked straight Perique soaked in rum, thinking that the infusion would release higher concentrations of nicotine and that the concoction could generate advanced levels of consciousness. Sadly, it doesn’t work for that, but the resulting flavor profile is fascinating and worthwhile.
“Crowley’s writings,” says Jeremy, “indicate that he was aware of blended versions of Perique, cured in combination with Green River Burley, and he knew about pure St. James Parish versions as well. He took great pains to emphasize that the Perique he was using was from St. James Parish, Louisiana, and was pure Perique.”
While The Beast is a tobacco that acknowledges Crowley’s experimentation and highlights the tobacco’s unique character, it does so in a much more sophisticated manner. “It would’ve been a little too on the nose for us to just take pure Perique and soak it in rum,” says Jeremy. “Smoking straight Perique is kind of like standing in a very detailed and very intricate, labyrinthine room with all the lights off.”
Small Batch: The Beast | 51% Pure St. James Perique (smokingpipes.com)
Perique only grows in one area of the planet in St. Parish, Louisiana. As a former pipe smoker, a friend of mine, another Crowley enthusiast told me about it. So, I purchased a small tin from the local smoke shop. I can’t say I liked it, bites too hard. But I can see its appeal, it is very robust. I know Crowley recommended tobacco as an “incense” suitable for work. Currently I smoke cigars, (Churchills) another Crowley pastime.