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Rich Hearty smoking, Long Lasting and cool. Square cut.

Notes: Originally blended by P.J.Carroll & Co Ltd, Dundalk, Ireland and Murray & Sons Ltd, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

BrandMick McQuaid
Blended ByScandinavian Tobacco Group
Manufactured ByScandinavian Tobacco Group
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
Packaging50g Tin
ProductionCurrently available
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Medium to Strong
Room Note

Favorite Of 2 Users

19 reviews
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Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (118)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

The generic taste of St-Group's VAs...

Mick McQuaid has been in my mind for fifteen years now, but I never got to buy it when it was produced in England. I was not surprised when I discovered that my tin was produced in Denmark. Basically I'm not a fan of big conglomerates, but I will hand it to Orlik, that they do keep the classics on the market.

But I also suspect that this one has absolutely nothing to do with the British made version - even though I'll never know - could this be blue Capstan in a different tin??

Anyway, it tastes quite good being a Danish made flake. It's classic brown semi non-sweet tobacco. Burns well, packs an ok wallop, but is also very monochromatic.

Bored you ask? Well... a bit: As in "ok-standard-reliable-unobtrusive-daneificated-smokeable-baccy-bored".

The cool tin art barely triggers three stars.

=== Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark ===

Pipe Used: Duncan Billard

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: W.D. & H.O. Wills - Capstan Medium Navy Cut Ready Rubbed, Astley's - No.44 Dark Virginia Flake.

2 people found this review helpful.

paulwfromtheden Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
paulwfromtheden (14)
Medium to Strong Mild Full Tolerable

Very nice to look at in the tin and the square cuts rub out very easily. This is a very 'full' tobacco, with a strong nicotine level. Those who do not like strong tobacco are well advised to avoid this, but for anyone who wants a fulfilling smoke, this is to be recommended.

2 people found this review helpful.

Philosopher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philosopher (27)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

I've got through 2 tins of this and like it very much: a robust brown flake with a subtle hint of berry fruits. I'm intrigued that the ready rubbed seems to score higher but have yet to come across a tin: I'll snap it up if I do.

1 person found this review helpful.

Connoisseur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Connoisseur (33)
Strong Medium to Strong Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Mick McQuaid brings back special memories for me as it was the first quality tinned tobacco I purchased upon commencing my pipe smoking adventure. Admittedly, I really only bought it because I liked the tin. It was the "cut plug" version in fact, and as I recall, not only was it difficult to pack and light, it was overwhelmingly strong with enough nicotine to give the thoroughly inexperienced smoker I was a nasty head spin.

Several years hence, and a little more seasoned, I bought the "square cut" version with the hope it was only my youthful folly that made this tobacco so insurmountable. On popping the lid, a row of neat dark tobacco squares circled the tin in domino fashion. The aroma was as I remember it: a rich sweet plum-like boquet that was good enough to eat. I would describe this tobacco as "full" with a rich flavorful smoke with little tongue bite - something ideally enjoyed after a hearty meal with a glass of Islay malt or a cognac.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipemanuk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipemanuk (76)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Not being a son of Erin, except in the holidays, I had not tried this tobacco before. I love the's one of the greatest tobacco's you will ever ever smoke...but this is, well nothing really. You can't believe that the two share a familial relationship. To paraphrase Briar Chef...the Plug is awesome stuff....this is just stuff. I'd avoid it.

1 person found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (630)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of the most beautiful tobaccos to behold in the tin. Small square cut flakes of dark virginia mixed with some lighter leaf. The tin aroma is of natural tobacco with perhaps just a hint of flavoring. At times I think I taste a little casing but I can't be sure.

The overall flavor is quite an enigma. I'd classify this as a fairly powerful smoke, heavy in body but very light in taste. By that I mean this tobacco just sort of "is" in the flavor department. There's no burst of flavor upon first light and no development or depth as the bowl progresses. Full Virginia Flake this ain't! I wouldn't classify it as boring; more just monodimensional. A nice "set it and forget it" smoke - nothing to write home about. I'll finish the tin but won't buy any more. Try it if you like a nicotine rush with a nice middle-of-the-road flavor.

1 person found this review helpful.

Plunket Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Plunket (39)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

For clarification, the blender was originally P.J.Carroll & Co Ltd, Dundalk, Ireland; subsequently, Murray & Sons Ltd, Belfast, Northern Ireland, and now Orlik.

Not strictly a flake: originally this was sliced plug under P.J. Carrols banner, and I believe both Murray's and Orlik have remained true to its cut - hence the name 'square cut'. I believe the ready rubbed version is manufactured by Peter Stockaby - also a subsidiary of Orlik. The blend is still a market-leader in the Irish tobacco market, and although P.J. Carolls no longer exists since the 80s their cigarette brands are still the market leader in Ireland.

I have just finished two tins and was disappointed, but I can still remember the original. The square cut is now substantially smaller in size, but overall the flavour and taste is not too far from the Murray's blend. All virginian, there was the virginian tang, but it disappeared all too quickly. If anything, it's stronger than the orignal version but is still palatible.

Not one I that will go out of my way to re-visit too often.

I am updating this to 4 stars - why? well I just returmed from Ireland where I smoked this for two full weeks and it was substantially better than my last experience. I used a larger bowl pipe and rubbed-out a little mmore this time - the smoke was more intense and vibrant with a more pronounced virginia flavour - good stuff!

1 person found this review helpful.

Invigilator Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Invigilator (14)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

This is a wonderful tobacco for the experienced smoker, a traditional square cut flake with depth of flavour and a pleasing amount of nicotine. Smooth and mouth filling, it delivers a truly rewarding smoke with an occasional note of sweetness showing up like a distant flare of light in a coal black night. Most highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

My tins came from the UK, which may explain the absence of any casing. The square flakes are a delight to handle, and the smell out of the tin is nothing but tobacco. Strong and pure in taste, there is a satisfying level of nicotine. Masculine and muscular, Mick McQuaid makes the perfect companion to a stout or a lager.

1 person found this review helpful.

Steerpike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steerpike (60)
Strong Mild Extra Full Strong

Very good quality, rich tasting flake tobacco. Much the same as the plug variety, but with perhaps a hint of casings. I'd smoke this a lot, if the plug were not available, but I simply find the plug tobacco much more fun and versatile.

Technical notes: The moisture content is perfect, the flakes are cleanly cut and carefully packaged, they rub with ease, light with ease, dont gurgle and never bite.

Basically its the same as the plug, but the cutting has been done for you.

1 person found this review helpful.

chaplikc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chaplikc (135)
Very Strong Mild Full Tolerable

Wow, I don't normally get light headed from smoking a pipe but this one did it to me! Was the chubby guy on the tin laughing at me? The virginias seem to be of very high quality and as mentioned before I think there is some burley in this as well. If I didn't get such a nicotine dizzying experience with this I would give it a higher rating and smoke it more often as the taste was very good and full with the sweetness from the virginias and the light nuttiness from what I think is burley. This is a blend that I might try again in the future as I have had some other blends give me an ill nicotine affect and when tried later it was very pleasing. I recomend this as a try it blend for virginia flake lovers.

1 person found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (264)
Medium to Strong Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

A brawny Virginia, with a strong, assertive personality! Nice and rich, these flakes seem to have a slight sweet topping that, never the less, does not preclude the natural tobacco leaf from making its mark. This is no nonsense tobacco. Its manly, designed for cold, windy weather, and to be drank with Murphy?s or Guinness? beer.

I presume this is high quality leaf, but it is not processed in a sophisticated fashion (compared to N° 44, Astley?s full strength Virginia flake, or to Hal O? the Wynd, this tobacco seems a bit raw). IMO this trait can make it a notch overwhelming: after a bowl of MM other tobaccos will erroneously seem pale and tasteless.

The square cut flakes come a bit dry in the tin for my taste, but they are easy to crumble or roll in as they are. It burns very well: cool, producing with clouds of smoke. IMO this tobacco is especially suited for outdoor smoking. A great, straightforward and unambiguous smoke, excellent for a seasoned palate.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1260)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Very Pleasant

Mick McQuaid Square Cut Flake is no longer being sold in the USA. Too bad. It is an outstanding flake tobacco with just the slightest hint of casing. It rubs out easily, and the short strands are easy to pack in any sized pipe. (Because of its strength, you might opt for a smaller bowl).

Unlike Mick McQuaid Ready-Rubbed (which I prefer), the Square Cut boasts a bit more muscle and burns more slowly. The Virginias are top shelf, and I particularly enjoyed the "no bite" smoke from beginning to end. I think there is a bit of Burley in this blend which aids the cooling properties.

If you prefer a straight tobacco taste from your blends, this might work for you, even with the top coating. Absolutely delightful!

1 person found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (358)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Square Cut . I find this to be a reasonable smoke . The only draw back is that the flakes are a touch overly robust and require some tenacity in preparation . However it has a very full Virginia taste and delivers no bite . Nicotine level is good ( about that of Mac Baren Virginia Flake) and does not hurt if inhaled . For Virginia lovers this is a must !

Pipe Used: Peterson

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Mysmoking Shop

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (113)
Strong Mild Full Tolerable

My late mother-in-law used to say that this smells like a frying elephant. She was a woman with a remarkable turn of phrase, now entertaining the angels. The room note is certainly a little surprising, but as a smoking experience it's pleasant enough: cool, full, heavy, slow and consistent. It's a winter smoke, if you know what I mean. It has a distinctive flavour that I can't quite place, something in the vicinity of St Bruno, Walnut Flake and Gawith & Hoggarth's Bosun Cut Plug, but also different (that, I'm afraid, was not a very helpful description). It's perhaps too distinctive for an all-day regular smoke, but quite pleasing in smallish doses. Beware, though: Mick is strong lad and swift to anger, and you need to approach him with care.

If you're partial to strong flakes, give this one a try. It's no better and no worse than many other strong flakes, and I wouldn't smoke it regularly; but it makes a change. Beware of the room note, though, if you value company. The chief downside, to me, is that I just can't keep it lit. I don't think it's my bad technique, either; I've heard quite a few people say the same thing. It's best rubbed out; fold and stuff doesn't work at all well.

Recommended, but I wouldn't sell my children for it. As the popularity of pipe smoking has declined, and as we move slowly towards prohibition, so many old favourites have ceased to be available. It's a bit surprising that Mick McQ has survived in a world from which so many good 'uns have perished.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stewiebob69 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stewiebob69 (7)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

This is a re-review as I initially thought that I must have got a duff batch. The flake at the top of tin must have dried out, so lacked the flavour & taste I expected. However,after smoking the flake in the lower layer of the tin which had retained it's moisture there was a big difference to quality of the smoke. I bought it after reading recommendations of fellow pipe smokers. I actually asked for plug @ local tobacconist, but they put tin in a paperbag so found out it was square cut when got home.

Tin smell: like St Bruno flake - peaty, but more molasses than fruity smell but not as strong.

Room note: Smoked it in entry. Then went back to smell smoke afterwards - quite pleasant.

Flavour & taste: again, similar to St Bruno flake, more peaty & meaty with a more molasses/treacle sweetness than fruity/plummy.

So glad I stuck with it!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Juna Gu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Juna Gu (31)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Slight hint of casing or something from the tin, definitely. Nice smell. This is an awkward tobacco. When it smokes well it's good. It will not be rushed at all and demands a lot of attention. I find that it really likes being packed loose. It can bite easily, but as long as it's treated gently it has a nice pungent, tangy taste. However the tobacco in the flake has a sort of waxey surface and I find myself having to relight this too many times during a smoke. I don't mind that too much but I notice it doesn't happen so much with other tobaccos.

At first I liked this but after two tins now I'm finding myself lowering this to 2 stars. I think that once this is mastered it might be a good smoke but I'm having trouble with it.

Edit 25th Jan 2010

Well, I have to say I'm finding this one perplexing. I was getting thoroughly cheeeesed off with this one as I couldn't seem to keep it lit. Then I tried rubbing it out and that makes the difference. And I started noticing what Invigilator described as little bursts of flavour going off like flares in the black night, right down at the bottom of the bowl too.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hagen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hagen (91)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

another update: "a lovely, typical british, classic", i wrote. well, so it was 10 years ago, perhaps, but today it's made in denmark - or that's what mcgahey tells me :-/. probably orlik, then, and i'll have to revise my ideas of that manufacturer's capabilities.

06.06.2007: update. two things: having smoked it some more, i find it now to be medium-strong. and believe me, THIS IS WONDERFUL TOBACCO and you should get hold of some BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE, as those classics are disappearing one by one!

05.31.2007 a lovely, typical british, classic. rich, fruity/berry'ish/chocolaty aroma, mellow in taste (but not exceedingly sweet), slightly topped in a way that complements the mature, stoved virginia beautifully. it's first class virginia and, i think, (as has been suggested by others) a bit of burley.

absolutely no tongue bite; leaves a nice dry pipe.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipesmoking101 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipesmoking101 (31)
Strong Mild Very Full Tolerable

I bought a tin of this with no idea of what to expect, having read no reviews of it or spoken to anyone who knows their tobacco. I was pleased with it indeed. Upon opening the tin, one can detect a slight hint of cherry mingled with the stong, alluring tobacco aroma of fine virginias (with a slight burley addition, I think). The casing is very light, but nonetheless noticeable - moreso in the aroma than the smoke. Upon rubbing this out, I found it to be slightly over-moist, in contradiction to the other reviewer's opinions shown here. The moisness did not hamper the light too much, with the bowl requiring 6 relights throughout a 1 & 1/2 hour smoke, but I did experience some gurgling after the fist 1/2 of the bowl. As I was smoking in a short straight pipe, this slightly marred the experience for me. On the whole, though, a straightforward, forthright, startlingly honest & powerful tobacco. At the end of the day, it is nice to put you feet up & have a cool beer & a pipeful of this. The casing is light enough to allow the tobacco to come through with force, but adds something which would be missed if absent. I think I will allow my tin to dry out some, & possibly alter my review if it alters the experience noticeably. Even before this is done though, heartily recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.