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Selected red mottled leaf from Carolina rich in flavor and oils, small Oriental leaves from Macedonia of piquant aroma and bright nut-flavored broad leaf from Virginia, all combined to form the framework of this blend. All are left in bulk to merge and finally a quantity of pure Louisiana Perique is added. This blend is then hard pressed as in the old maritime method of "carrottes" hydraulics taking the place of spun yarn and muscle. The resulting 'cake' is then cut and stoved to impart a light toasting effect and packed. Surely one of the most popular tobaccos of all it brings back flavours long since forgotten in today's mass produced substitutes.

BrandRobert McConnell
Blended ByKohlhase & Kopp
Manufactured ByKohlhase & Kopp
Blend TypeOriental
ContentsOriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutBroken Flake
Packaging100g Tin
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 2 Users

3.3
32 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
14
3 star:
13
2 star:
5
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0
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Kapnismologist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kapnismologist (30)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Comprised of ragged broken flakes, the tin nose is sharp with a strong aroma of fresh cut grapefruit. Sugar crystals are to be found here and the flakes tend to darken in color as the tin is allowed to breathe, turning from a deep mottled brown to a dark chocolate brown with streaks of chestnut and tan. Benefiting from the type of attention typically due such broken flake preparations, it can be rubbed to taste and does well in a variety of pipes.

Marked by a persisting high note which is alternately tart and sour, Pebblecut showcases an integrated combination of Macedonian Oriental and Louisiana Perique against a background of mellow, well-aged Carolina red Virginia. Mildly sweet, once comfortably settled in the bowl it offers a mélange of subtle flavors which range from mild citrus and sun tea to malt vinegar and old wood. On the light side of medium bodied, the finish is short and has a tendency to fall flat. The flavors are there, but the body to carry them is not.

Opened ten years after it was tinned by the good folks at McClelland, the sample on which this review is based clearly displays the effects of a decade at rest. Muted in parts and deepened in others, the Perique has been shorn of all but a modicum of the peppery spice of its youth and the fragrant pungency of the Oriental has mellowed considerably. While both appear well integrated into the mild Virginia base, to this reviewer's tastes the overall lack of body throws off what might otherwise have been quite a pleasant vintage smoke. While certainly known for its ability to play on the high end while young, in terms of aging potential the overall lack of a solid Virginia base makes its stunning looking tin label its most endearing characteristic. In this reviewer's opinion, the old McClelland made Ashton Pebblecut looks much better on the shelf than it tastes in the pipe and I for one do not lament its passing.

3 people found this review helpful.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (118)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

This is a review of the McClelland version.

I have been venturing the line of McClelland's offerings and I must say, as a Dane, that that weirdo BBQ aroma does not appeal to my tastes at all. McCranies Red Ribbon and VA Woods (pardon my French) sucked real bad. It was as if I could sense some quality leaf underneath a heavy load of Heinz, but all along just wished that I could smoke a bowl without that particular condiment.

Hmm.. All that said: Pebblecut does have some of that vinegar aroma in the tin and when I popped it, I was sure I had wasted my money. But Pebblecut, when lit, does not taste like ketchup at all thank goodness!

Instead I was greeted with a fine rich, soft and creamy smoke that is countermeasured by a certain "zing" from the Périque, and great spiciness from the Macedonian leaf. Some of the "rich-soft-smooth-creamy" VA blends tend to get boring after a while but Pebblecut has that little ekstra "tickle" that keeps your papilles awake.

My surroundings loved the room note, burn qualities are exceptional plus no blisters on the palate. I could wish for more nicotine though, (and this is why Pebblecut only receives 3 stars) but all in all satisfactory.

Recommended.

Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark.

August 17, 2005========================

This stuff has really grown on me; I have ordered more for cellaring, and will upgrade this review to four stars. Yummy!

3 people found this review helpful.

Montague Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Montague (32)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Blended by the McClelland Tobacco Company, Ashton?s Old London Pebblecut tobacco blend is an interestingly tangy Virginia based flake.

The tin aroma shouts of a pleasing sweetened Vinegar smell. Although this particular aroma diminishes in pungency over time, it does remain a distinctive characteristic of this blend. Red mottled Carolina leaf, Macedonia, Virginia broad leaf, and Perique tobaccos combine to form this blend. Pebblecut is of a deep mahogany red striated slightly with bands of yellow.

Pebblecut appears in a longer, slightly broken flake with a thicker cut. This tobacco rubs out relatively easily especially after it has dried out a bit. Loading a pipe of this tobacco blend is fairly simple. Pebblecut arrives slightly moist but no real drying is necessary for a satisfying smoke.

Pebblecut also lights easily for a flake tobacco and has a trend of burning evenly. A match or two is usually needed to finish the smoke completely. The burn leaves the sides of the pipe bowl clean and no real gurgling was noticed during the smoke. The room note tends to be somewhat sharp and overall decent.

The taste of this blend tends to be tangy, sweet, and with a slightly spicy background. This spiciness is no doubt due to the Perique though this added Perique only plays a subtle background role, never asserting itself throughout the smoke. The smoke remains medium hot but subsides about half way through until eventually cooling considerably. Also, as the smoke progresses, the entire taste becomes smoother with perhaps a slight loss in the tartness of the blend. A somewhat wispy yet smooth and continuous smoke is rendered by the blend.

Pebblecut is a very interesting Virginia flake variant. The full tartness of the pouch aroma may at first seem overpowering but with a bit of familiarity it becomes a very interesting a favorable characteristic of this tobacco blend. Tangy, sweet, slightly spicy, and recommended.

3 people found this review helpful.

Lingo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lingo (8)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a very nice and easy VaPer. Wouldn't say if the easiness of this tobacco is mostly due to the elegant fraggy pebble-cut, or maybe to the number of elements in the plate (I usually don't go into anything that blends more than 2-3 different qualities, there are more in here...).

Anyway it's an easy all-day VaPer, burns well, not super-cool but very round and mellow. I bought it when my man was lacking Old Gowrie, and I must admint that it really took the stand, even if you will not find here much of the spice and complexity of OG. Also, many may prefer this to OG for not that much of sweetness here, and surely less Nicotine.

Pipe Used: Mastro de Paja

Age When Smoked: New

2 people found this review helpful.

cheapsk8 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cheapsk8 (5)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

I was using this to break in my new Peterson. That pipe is now dedicated to this blend. My new Fav tobacco!

Rubbed out only. I love that job as it is cathartic and part of the pipe experience. Best gas mileage of any tobacco yet for me. 1/3 bowl for break in lasted 40 min! In a B11! SMOOTH! CREAMY! RICH! Amazing tin note, with a bit of the infamous condiment smell, but VERY light. And none when smoked.

I now understand what "soapy" means, and it is NOT a bad thing! Smoked out of a breeze and at a break-in pace, it smoked cool with zero gurgle. And that was was rubbed out only, no dry time.

Definitively changes mid bowl, but still amazing and polite. My first "stock up" tobacco.

Still no cake in my new pipe and 50 grams down. May have to break in with something else, super clean and dry burn with very little ash and zero dottle.

BUY! SMOKE! ENJOY!

2 people found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (300)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

My second venture into Virginia flake territory, after the wonderful Marlin Flake by Rattray. Much of what I said in the review of MF applies here, too, so you might want to take a look there before reading this. What are the differences? First of all, the can aroma has a much more fermented smell. More pungent, with a dominant dried plum flavor and almost-vinegary overtones. Probably it's the presence of Perique. In comparison to MF, it unrubs even better, and smokes just as well. It is a bit less "rounded" and sweet/grassy in taste, and while sometimes it shows a higher spiciness, some other times it feels a bit "empty" and watery. While the first half bowl of Pebblecut is very stimulating to the palate, with citrus note and an everchanging taste, the second half degrades a bit. While Marlin Flake can be relighted at will, this Ashton blend seems to lose something. And even without relighting, the last 1/3 of the bowl has a rather plain and sometimes even slightly unpleasant taste. Personal impressions, no doubt: both MF and Pebblecut are great Virginia flakes which resemble each other in look, taste and burning characteristics, and the preference towards one or the other is just a matter of taste. A serious Va smoker should definitely try both. The presence of Perique in Ashton's tobacco is quite discreet and tolerable even to those who usually don't love this kind of leaf. This one is less famous than Rattray's blend, but it might just click for you. Note of warning: the European packaging of this blend is in a 100g parchment colored tin. The american version is in a 50g tin with a completely different look. This review was written following my notes based upon the European version: several months later, I also tried the US version: the look in the tin is completely different (it's broken flake, not a whole one), the smell is even more vinegary and fruity (of course, being made by McClelland) and the taste slightly differs, suggesting more than a hint of the Orientals. It almost tastes like a much fuller and slightly sweeter version of GLPease Cairo. I like both versions, but probably I prefer a little the European one.

2 people found this review helpful.

CharatansMake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CharatansMake (3)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Unfortunately I can't compare the McConnell version of this tobacco with the older Ashton version. What I can say is that it was true love from the very first hit. This tobacco is fantastic and one of my top favorites. Highly recommended 4 stars!!

Pipe Used: Charatan Belvedere 4651x

Age When Smoked: fresh

1 person found this review helpful.

joelson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
joelson (3)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Extremely pleasant tobacco, made with high quallity leaves, dexterously put together to create a mild tasting and mild strength smoke. It burns cool if conduced with ability and with the right moisture, and produce a very nice arome, that is very natural and not irritable to the nose nor to the mouth. A tobacco that, because of it's mildness, can be smoked as an all day without being annoing or overwhelming. Atention, it is defined mild, but is very flavorfull and develops incredible aromes as the bowl goes down. The presence of the orientals gives a roundness to the blend and broke the strength and harshness of the virginias, and the touch of perique gives just the right spicy taste!

I would define it as an ELEGANT blend.

A tobacco that should be proved!

1 person found this review helpful.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Looking at the description of this tobacco in the review below, I must conclude that the European version of this blend is much different! My tin is from 2003, has the typical McClelland blend/batch/year code on the bottom, and contains typical McClelland broken flake. Smelled like McClelland, but not as vinegary as some. Flake mottled and attractive, a fact I noticed even more as I broke up my first bowl. I smoked the first couple bowls in a small-bowled Savinelli Capri. The impression I got was one of purity, an impression I last got with a McClelland when I smoked 2002 Christmas Cheer. This mystified me somewhat, because while the Christmas Cheers are usually single-crop or at least a single type of Virginia from the same general area, Pebblecut has Macedonian, Carolina, Virginia, and I think a bit of Perique. Next, I tried it in a larger-bowled pipe, and noticed more contrast, but still the balance is so good that I still get that sense of purity. I like purity in a McClelland. This McClelland, I must say, is just about the best balanced and pure one I have smoked yet. There are no great contrasts or layers of taste, except for the spiciness of the Oriental and Perique that comes through from time to time. Mainly, there is just this perfect Virginia sweetness, best taken in in small sips, that I don't want to change too much, or ever end! This tobacco is a perfect burner. If I puff continuously, the pipe doesn't even begin to get hot. Let up for a while, the tobacco stays lit. Burns to ash and a few strands of black dottle. There are no off-tastes and no harshness. It's not mild, but pretty much stays in the middle all the way through the bowl. I'll try this in more pipes and try to find more to add, since I am reviewing after only three bowls. I do this sometimes; when I find one that is a real winner with me, I really want to get my initial thoughts down. I will elaborate if I discover any new revelations as I finish the tin. Thing is, I may never find another tin of this!

1 person found this review helpful.

Steden Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steden (85)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Opening the tin I found what is described on previous reviews as the old presentation, at least in the EU version, a singular long strip of marvellously oily tobacco rolled on a spiral similar to an hay bale! But the real surprise was the heady scent emanating that induced my nose to overstay on sniffing: fragrant fruity notes of wine must, dried figs, sloes, linalool. Once lit OLP shows a workmanlike blend with complex but harmonious accords: fruity-sourness, nuttiness, spiciness, a captivating grassiness, redolent of crispy citrus and astringent sage, in the middle a peppery zing remind the presence of Perique. Classy tobacco which smokes smooth and cool, gentle yet masculine. Exquisite

1 person found this review helpful.

LV9 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LV9 (59)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

This tobacco presents a broken flake type of cut, mostly red and black in appearance, my tin if 2003, the scent coming out of the tin is of slight smell of fish food. The virginias and the orientals are the most noticeable ingredients I noticed the 6 bowls I have smoked so far which gives you a sort of sweet and sour taste during the whole smoke is a very monochromatic blend, the taste you get in the beginning is the same taste you get at the end, is easy to light, it's impossible to get this blend to bite, and the nicotine is about average, overall is great for the virginia smoker who wants a change of pace from smoking virginias all day, the biggest knockdown from me is that there's nothing here that challenges your palate, is this was bulk blend I would gave it 3 stars but being that is not it gets 2. Would i buy it again no, Ashton does not distribute it anymore, I have 2 tins from the McClellan re-issues that I'll be exploring in about 2 years; but for now this edition Pebblecut is just a bored.

1 person found this review helpful.

Alguhan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alguhan (140)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I smoked a couple of 100 gr tins of EU version of this blend, blended by William Taylor. It is an elegant and nutty smoke with a nice balance of the orientals.

I could rate it 4 stars but it is a bit sour for my taste which tends to get me bored easily. This doesn't mean that I will never smoke it again. Surely I wil have some tins in my cellar for future.

1 person found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (586)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

As one who doesn't normally fall into the adage of "this was good until it changed blenders" pitfall, I find this blend to be quite an anomaly. I smoked a lot of this in the early to mid 1990's when it was made by (I believe) McConnell's. It was so good that when I gave up pipe smoking from 1995 until 2007, I kept 6 tins of it, knowing that I would return to smoking when my kids were raised.

The "McConnell's" version is nothing short of a classic. Beautiful broken flakes with the zest of perique and the wonderful tang of fully matured virginias. I smoked quite a lot of this back then. It rivaled Cope's Escudo then, and it rivals A&C Peterson's Escudo now.

Fast forward to 2007. I still had my six tins of the old stuff but was anxious to try the McClellands version, as they are far and away my favorite blending house overall. I was not terribly pleased with the change. Granted, all I had to go on of the old stuff was my memory and tins that had aged over a decade, but the newer stuff had lost the pizzaz somehow. Let's just say I was happy to have those old tins, and I've found a few more on Ebay since.

Now we have the K&K version, available only in Europe. Worse still. It's not a bad tobacco on its own but it has retained little of the depth of flavor and complexity of the old version. This is heartbreaking to me.

I wish I could smoke the K&K version with a clear mind but being intimately familiar with what this blend used to be is hard to overcome. Consequently, this review is worthless and I don't exactly know why I'm writing it. I guess it's to tell Vaper fans that if they find the oldest version in the 100 gram tins that look exactly like the current version but aren't stamped "made in the EEC", they should either buy it on sight or contact me immediately so that I can!

1 person found this review helpful.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (155)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

UPDATE FEB13/2009:

At the beginning of the current week I have put approx. 50grms of "strips" into my leather pouch, and intensively smoked this as "working-day" tobacco, and have to say that it's been a very nice and satifactory experience. I have never found myself bored, having 3/4 bowls per day of this (diversions have been allowed just in the evenings). I basically re-confirm my previous review, while amending the strength to "medium". I have enjoyed very much the statements of the Perique here and there.

ORIGINAL REVIEW JAN14/2009:

This review is based on the 100grms tin of the european version, which I guess belongs to the K&K family.

The tin is not vacuum sealed, nevertheless the moisture was just perfect and is still the same after several weeks. The tobacco is presented in uncommonly long flakes (two or three times long than a standard flake, but I remember in the past it was one single "belt" rolled on its own inside the 100grms tin). The smell is sweet, grassy an dried-fruity. This is pure Virginia with just hints of Orientals and Perique.

Smoked in a medium-bowled Savinelli Professor straight, Liverpool shape, filtered with 6mm balsawood, which I have dedicated to Virginias. It's the most friendly pipe I have experienced for this kind of products.

I have never thought in terms of the "desert island tobacco", but this may be the one of my choice. The smoke is delicate, smooth and creamy; never sharp or sour, and very steady all the pipeful. Faintly sweet, with hints of spices and dried fruits. Pleasant to the tongue and the nose. Leaves the mouth completely clean.

I do agree it may be considered a variation to Marlin Flake, but I find this much more satisfying, having all the subtleties I'm looking in an all-day tobacco which should never be overpowering.

Four stars

1 person found this review helpful.

Past Master Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Past Master (17)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I don't know why this is listed as "Old London Pebblecut." The picture above and the tin in front of me are both clearly marked "Pebblecut."

The aroma on opening the tin does not smell as vinegary as the Black Parrot. The Macedonian and Red Carolina tobaccos combined with the Virginia are modestly flavored by Perique to create a very nice broken flake. This is pretty good stuff. It smokes cool and clean, and has a nice rich taste.

This would go well with a Glenmorangie Portwood Finish. But then, what wouldn't?

To date, eighteen of the twenty reviews are about evenly split. Eight give Pebblecut 4- stars, and ten give it 3-stars. Only two reviewers give it 2-stars, and no one has rated it a 1-star.

1 person found this review helpful.

Puff Daddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puff Daddy (43)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A good friend of mine shared some of this with me, and since it was from 1996, I was kind of excited. The sugars - especially on the darker leaf - were visible in regular light, and under brighter lights, just shined out at us...a harbinger of great things to come. And, it was wonderful. A delightful tin aroma led to a really nice room aroma when lit. This is a medium VaPer with some good Orientals to round out the blend. It began at medium strength, and kept that balance all the way through. If you can find some of this with age on it, by all means buy it. You won't be disappointed...at least until the tin's empty.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

This is McClelland's #27 with a touch of Perique added. Smoke as is or rub it out a bit further before loading to enhance an even burn.

You'd know this was a McClelland's offering with a blindfold on. The ketchup smell is overpowering. The presentation at the match is that of a solid, middle of the road in strength Virginia with a smashing dash of quality Oriental leaf and a smidgen of Perique to round out the blend.

Pretty decent stuff.

1 person found this review helpful.

jackhackett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jackhackett (76)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Even more so than some McClelland blends I've tried, Ashton's Pebblecut really smells of fermenting ketchup and wine vinegar. And it really put me off trying this blend. The flakes even have ketchupy orange-tinted streaks throughout.

However, when smoked, the taste is something completely different---more smooth, and the winey scent becomes sweeter and more rounded. Without patient puffing, though, this can get a little hot and aggressive.

Still one of the better Ashton blends I've tried.

1 person found this review helpful.

jazzmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jazzmoke (57)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Very good tasting tobacco. I smoked it after rubbing it intensively otherwise it lights hard. Do not let it dry it loses it's quality.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Collezionista Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Collezionista (59)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

The following review is for the European-market version (made by Kohlhase- Kopp instead of McClelland, I believe). Old London is a good vaper/oriental blend. Its a little bitey and sour but if smoked slowly yields a really nice, robust flavor. The VA's are definitely in charge but the orientals round it out and the perique adds spice. I'm a fan of Kohlhase-Kopp's work on this and especially the Rattray's VA line, and I'm looking forward to trying more of their Ashton blends. I'd recommend OLPC as an occasional change of pace for VA fans.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lochinvar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lochinvar (75)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is an enjoyable, though odd tobacco. It strikes me that it highlights the taste of the Virginias and Orientals equally, whereby you cannot give a definite answer as to what the dominant note is. All that said, Virginias and Orientals are my two very favorite types of tobacco, and I am always intrigued by the Virginia/Oriental flake type tobaccos (i.e. this, McClelland?s VA No. 24). They are vastly different in character, but each occupies that realm which many call exotic. The taste is something odd, giving a very heavy rich almost bullion like impression.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A very good selection for the Virginia flake afficianado! The addition of the oriental leaf is quite apparent in the flavor. This starts out with an astringent quality,but then settles down nicely into a very tangy smoke. This has a very McC. quality to it. This is ketchup,vinegar,and bbq sauce all rolled into one.I liked it,but it was the Virginias that irritated my throat.This is a very similar blend in taste to BUTERA VINTAGE FLAKE. Worth a try. 3 of 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

lustra Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lustra (170)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

If you try this blend, bring along a welding torch as it is the devil's own business to light. Upon lighting it, you will find it spicy and a little bitey , like many other rude boy Virginias. It's worth patiently puffing your way through this smoke's nasty little adolesence, though, since as you smoke your way down the bowl, you'll find that it smokes nice and cool for a flake. The taste alternates between a slight sweetness, a light natural taste, and neutral. A load in a little Prince lasts me well over an hour. On the whole, a nice smoke, but I can't find anything hugely special about it.

A year later: I find that smoking this tobacco quite dry, not rubbed out, in a small-bore pipe leads to a much better smoking experience. It is good, and I enjoy smoking it, but it won't make my flake rotation. Rating upgraded to *.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is a wonderful tobacco to smoke as first bowl of the day, when your palate is absolutely clean, so you can taste all the subtleties it brings. It's a pretty complex tobacco, the format Va-O-Per is unusual even in a mixture; upon opening the tin you're overwhelmed by a dried fruits smell and the tobacco is incredibly moist, so leave it open for a while. When it will be at a decent moisture level, you'll find it's easy to rub out and to pack. The smoke proceeds easily and regularly, the blend is sweet for the Virginias, but still deep thanks to the Oriental presence and the hints from the Perique.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Upon opening the tin the McClelland famous vinegar smell really jumps out at you. The first few pipes of this were hard to light, hard to keep lit, and had quite a harsh bite to them. I left the lid off for a few days to let the smell and the moisture escape and now it has become a very fine smoke. Try airing it thoroughly and smoke it as the first pipe of the day. Very rewarding!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Inquisitor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Inquisitor (155)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Reading over the other reviews, I'm kind of confused. I am a McClelland Virginia enthusiast. Pebblecut, though, never ceases to confound me. For the record, I find it quite unlike any other McClelland Virginia that I have tried. I don't know the source, but there is a sharp edge, a harshness, in Pebblecut that both repels and attracts me. I find this same characteristic in GLP Barbary Coast. I'll smoke a bowl, say "hmm, that's kind of disconcerting", and I'll put it back on the shelf to get some more age. Then I'll find myself thinking "maybe I just misunderstood that flavor, maybe it is really, really interesting. I'll have to try that again."

My recommendation rating, therefore, is not necessarily permanent. But Pebblecut is a challenging, complex smoke, very unique - and therefore worthy of trying.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JB (40)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

You either like the Virginia tang that this blend delivers, or you don't. I love it myself. I read one of the reviews saying that this blend is cased with vinegar. That, of course, isn't true, but there is a vinegar-like quality to the tin aroma. This is one beautiful pressed tobacco, and once you get it broken up sufficient to provide a good pack, you are in for a real taste treat.

It is McClelland's to the core. You can tell that careful blending goes into this mixture and it consistently satisfying.

I highly recommend this blend and it ages wonderfully.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dwise Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dwise (25)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is definitely a McClelland blend; it bears all the hallmarks of their Virginia flakes (thick cut, tart tin odor) yet proves to be an interesting variant, due to the presence of the Carolinas and Orientals. While the classic McC sharp smokiness is present from the first puff, it is matched by a very noticeable sourness, round and full and pungent, and a sweetness almost like ripe figs. This little flake carries a big load of flavor that remains complex and interesting to the bottom of the bowl. It also seems to carry less threat of tongue bite than your average McClelland, probably due to the VAs being "cut" by the other tobaccos. Good stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

fourshephards Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fourshephards (51)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I picked up a small tin of this a few weeks ago because I thought that it might be a good tobacco to use for "breaking in" new or pipes that I have reconditioned. What I found upon opening the tin was a broken flake with a range of colors - from light tans flecks to deep mahogany stripes. The tin aroma had that sweet and acidic brown sugar and vinegar that says "blended by McClelland" all over it. That, IMHO, speaks WELL and good things of this. I chose not to rub it out much at all. I like to leave high VA content broken flake without much rubbing out as it seems to help them smoke cooler. The tobacco was not overly moist and proved easy to light with my trusty little Colibri butane lighter.

At first light, the pungent smoke filled my nostrils with that kind of sweetness that to me is similar to what you get when you bite into a ripe Jersey Tomato. Not that it tastes like tomato, it does not, it just has that same satisfying effect on your taste buds.

Pebble Cut then settles down to a nice even burn that provides a smoke that is hard to describe, it is so delicious. No harshness. Just a nice clean burning, sweet smoke that gets richer as it burns.

The perique lends a presence but does not assert itself at all but, instead, lingers in the background adding a bit of spice - just enough to keep it interesting. The orientals (READ - NO LATAKIA) enrich the aroma and seem to attenuate the sharpness that one can get with perique blends.

There is no dottle left at the end of your smoke. All that is left is a fluffy white ash and a nice spice scent left in your bowl.

The small tin I bought was dated 10/98. I quickly ran back to the store and bought two 100gr tins and noted that the dates were 1995 on both. I can hardly wait to open them but I am cellaring them for now.

I don't care what Gretchen thinks about this one. I give it 5 x 5. No reservations.

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Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (263)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I should start by saying that I have tried both, the McClelland version and one blended in Europe (it did not specify in which country it was blended in, but the parchment like label, very much like the ones in Rattray?s tins, said it to be blended by William Taylor). They are completely different. Whilst the McClelland rendering has virtually no distinctive trait other than that BBQ-Vinegar casing that, IMO, ruins the delicate diversity of tobacco flavours, the EU one is a subtle mixture of aromas and flavours producing a very singular smoke. I cannot say I completely enjoyed it. Perhaps the absence of Latakias made it different to what my palate was seeking, but it did have a very different taste from any other tobacco I have tried. Woodsy, slightly bitter and piquant, Old London Pebble Cut seems like a crossover blend: not entirely a Virginian, not entirely an Oriental tobacco. The tobacco presentation in the European version is very similar to that of Marlin flake: a long single flake-like strand of dark and mid brown tobacco coiled inside the tin. Breaking it up and filling it into the bowl were not a problem. Lighting was also easy (something which did not happen with the McClelland version, albeit it comes in a broken flake form). The initial flavour was that of Virginia and Perique, the latter being perhaps a little overwhelming. By mid bowl both predominant flavours had subsided, and a strange, slightly sweet and salty savour emerged, but it never really made a stand. I then sensed a mixture of indeterminate under tastes, dark and mushy, as if the whole thing had tangled up. By the end of the bowl the blend had shunned the best of both taste spheres, leaving a rather dry aftertaste, as if one had chewed on a piece of tree bark, and it was burning a little hot. The room aroma was quite strong and indefinable. I think it is a good tobacco, medium to strong, and would recommend it to any one who would like to try a strange, and slightly strong, variety of Virginia Perique.

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Stogie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stogie (26)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Outstanding! This blend is a mainstay in my VA/Perique rotation. Such a unique yet consistent taste and burn. I love McClelland flakes, so I knew I would probably enjoy this before I even lit up. Two tins later, I was right!

Aroma: Typical McC's smell. Maybe even more pungent if you can believe it. On par with McC's VA. No. 24 or St. James Woods

Visual: Partially broken flakes consisting of reddish brown with streaks of dark gold.

Texture: I find most McClelland flakes to be just a tad moist as was the case here.

Pack/Pipe: In general, I fully rub this tobacco out. It seems to behave a little better for me than just loading it as is. I smoked this in my entire range of VA flakes pipes, but mainly in two medium Nording Freehands, Dunhill Redbark Pot, Ashton xx Pebbleshell Pot and Ashton xx Pebblegrain Apple. A light hand in packing seemed to help this burn well. More moisture = more tang.

Light/Burn: Usually took three matches to get this going. But then only one or two more to get to bottom. Usually end up with a tiny charred puck of tobacco at end. This tobacco burns slow!

1st 3rd: Immediately get a wallop of Tangy VA and a unique flavor I can't quite put my finger on. But I like it! Semi-sweet in a lemonade sort of way. Burns warm, not hot.

2nd 3rd: Still plenty of tang, however, a lesser type of sweetness and a cooler flavor now come to the front. Often needed a relight mid bowl.

Final 3rd: Tang is still there, however, it is now smoking a bit sweeter and cooler than at any other point in the bowl. One more match to finish

Notes: This tobacco is the one that got me hooked on VA/Perique flakes. nuff said!

Stogie rating of: 9 Magnifecent Montecristos

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NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (263)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

Don't know the significance of the name of this one since it is a slightly broken but nicely prepared flake. From the opening of the tin and the vinegary aroma to the last puff, this is typical McClelland work. Please see my comments on their 2015. I didn't sense the added influence of the orientals in the Ashton blend. Although an enjoyable smoke that receives my top rating, unless you collect tins, save your $$ and buy McClelland in bulk.

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