I have been experimenting with flue cured tobaccos lately to come up with a straight Virginia blend (or even mixed with Latakia and Orientals). I have been successful processing flue cured tobaccos by either steaming or toasting. However, smoking flue cured leaf without any processing is pretty harsh and I have failed to produce any flue cured blends using unprocessed whole leaf - even using up to four different varieties of flue cured whole leaf together. I have read posts that suggest adding Perique to refine the smoke; but I am trying to figure out how commercial Virginia blends that contain no Perique are relatively much smoother. For a long time I was under the impression that premium commercial flue cured Virgina blends were not processed in any way other than aging perhaps. But now I am beginning to suspect that flue cured whole leaf tobacco has to be processed (steaming or toasting). Has anyone had success with Virginia blends using unprocessed flue cured whole leaf (minus the Perique)? Or am I under the false impression that the flue cured leaf in "premium" pipe mixtures has not been processed?