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Virginia, Carolina & pure Louisiana perique, this unique square-cut tobacco emcompasses flavor, maturity and mellow smoking.

Notes: Previously produced by Ashton, this mixture is now under the flag of R. McConnell, but the manufacturer is always Kohlhase & Kopp.

BrandRobert McConnell
Manufactured ByKohlhase & Kopp
Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
ContentsPerique, Virginia
CutBroken Flake
Packaging100 grams tin
Product Image
None Detected
Medium, Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable, Tolerable

Favorite Of 3 Users

33 reviews
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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I popped the seal. I stuck my nose down into the tin. Whew! I pulled back quickly with eyes watering. This Black Parrot has a smell that shivered me timbers boys!

Once past the whiff, I got my bearings and pulled out a few chunks of the flake and rubbed it out to some degree and then let it dry for awhile. That took care of the smell. I then loaded up in a small Jacono billiard and set fire to 'er. This is a somewhat strong Virginia/Perique that needs very slow puffing to be appreciated fully. It also needs some relights, particularly during the first third of the smoke.

My impressions; a classic!

4 people found this review helpful.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Wow, that's an acridly vinegary McClelland, but I am in the camp that likes that smell. Not acrid when smoked, yet the perique content is moderately high. Not for the faint of heart; still I do love these aged VaPer flakes. My can is from 1995, and some of the tobaccos in this blend must have been well-aged when they went in the can. It has held up well, with just a touch of moisture remaining, and will continue to improve, which is good because I can't smoke this every day. More of a special occasion tobacco, like an evening when I've had too much ale and feel like singing pirate shanties to the imaginary black parrot on my shoulder. Raaak! Ahoy maties, there be rough waters ahead! Seems like a tobacco pirates would have liked, anyway. Salty brine in the nose and rum to chase it down with. Still, can be mellow and tasty as well, especially towards the end. Sip slowly, this one does not lend itself to heavy puffing.

2-15-10 A couple of months opened, and a couple more in a jar have mellowed this quite a bit. Still a bit sour and peppery if I puff a little harder, but I consider that a strength of this tobacco. Not for every day, but absence makes the heart grow fonder!

1-27-11 And another year almost in the jar. Very nice. I have nothing really to add, but glad I still have a few bowls left. I will buy another aged can if I see it. Wonder what the reissue's like? Nah.

2 people found this review helpful.

L'Italiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
L'Italiano (170)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

I am disappointed about this mixture. Honestly I thought it was better. I haven’t still found a perfect Virginia Perique and also this mixture didn’t satisfy me. Neither very negative nor very positive it is a simply perique mixture. In my personal rating (from 0 to 10) my score is 6 and two stars.

UPDATE 2017 - 05 - 03 I tried again this Perique mixture and I changed my opinion. It is a quite good Virginia/Perique blend with a high Perique content. No great defect. At the moment, in my personal rating (from 1 to 10), my score is 8 and three stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (145)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I cracked open a January 2000 tin today. What a great feeling. It's amazing to see the tobacco still moist after years aging in the tin, to see the glitter of the power crystals that mark this time machine embedded in the flakes, and to smell that distinct McClelland aroma as strong as ever.

I have little experience when it comes to aging--and in the future, I'd like to try a batch of old stuff alongside the new, but I don't have that luxury at the moment. So, my review will be limited to what I have on hand, and thankfully, it's very nice.

I understand that aging is supposed to mellow a tobacco, and judging by the very mild taste, I suppose that to be the case here. Fellow reviewers seem to give Black Parrot a higher strength rating, but this particular tin falls well below those marks. That isn't to suggest there is a lack of flavor. The Perique is ever-present but doesn't strangle the Virginias with an uneven proportion. It's welcome getting that Perique fix without having to run for cover.

Black Parrot reminds me very much of McClelland's 2015, although smoother and better integrated, which isn't a surprise since Ashton is an extension of the McClelland line. I'd like to see some kind of blind taste test with these two, I'd bet that there would be a bit of confusion.

Again, this is best for those who like Vapers with a less pronounced Perique component. I fall within that category, and yes..although I very much admire Escudo's, I prefer this to such a Perique powerhouse.

3.5 out of 4

1 person found this review helpful.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A very nice small flake, mostly dark with some light flashes. The smell is slightly vinegary, with the sour ang of perique quite noticeable. The moisture level is fairly high, so it neds to be aired out for a while. It is a classic Va/Per blend which is rather milder than Escudo, but not wimpy. Think of it as an all-day version of the Big E. Definitely worth a try.

1 person found this review helpful.

NobbyR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NobbyR (79)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This Va/Per comes as a coarse ready rubbed flake of tan and dark brown color, effusing a slightly sour ketchup-like scent from a fresh tin. Since the tobacco is rather on the moist side, letting the opened can rest for a while does it some good and gets rid of the acrid smell. After that, what's left is a sweetish tin note reminiscent of dried figs or prunes and brown bread.

In order to fill my pipe I like to make small balls of tobacco, which I stuff lightly into my bowl, because Black Parrot tends to expand upon setting fire to it. It helps lighting to put some broken bits and pieces on top. After the charring light you need to level out the ashes before applying a thorough true light to get it burning evenly.

From the first puff on there's a full boddied tobacco taste. Smoked with leisure, it develops a tangy sweetness from the Virginias together with some pleasant fruity acidity from the Perique, which lasts throughout the bowl, as well as some dark chocolate kind of aftertaste. Nicotine content is fairly high. It burns down leaving only a little moisture and some dark graying ash.

The room note is dominated by a sweetish, typical pipe-tobacco-like smell.

Pipe Used: Vauen Oxford 024

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Esterval's Pipe House

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TEO Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TEO (31)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Here with Black Parrot, a blend I thought would have me spending lines & lines of review, but alas...this is much less extraordinary than I've been told or I expected. Winery flavour, perique is here, nothing to say. But I would like this blend to have slightly more punch and flavour overall, I feel it like an all day tobacco, nutty, but not that much...even woody, of burning wood flavour, I mean, this tobacco may appear...Somewhat recommended, but still lacking the virtues I expected.

Age When Smoked: 3+

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Steden Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steden (94)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

European version, K&K 100 gr.

Can smell: pepper, spices, vinegar and fermented fruits, quite classic smell for a VaPer. Then the smoke... The blend seems too fresh with some roughness on the edges, a bit astringent and tannic but not really “green” just a bit underripe, some aging is recommended. Despite the freshness BP is far to be unpleasant: an interesting VaPer with rich flavors uplifted by the proverbial briskness of the Perique, BP is a bit on the strong/full side for my preferences …. but good! For the matter, it also leaves a quite clean aftertaste which surprise me pleasantly and if you (unlike me) are fond for DGT it works very well.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

elelion Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
elelion (25)
Medium Medium to Strong Very Full Strong

This blend is recommended by the tobacconist when I bought a Danish freehand. Although the freehand only has a chamber of 18mm diameter, it does well with the Ashton Black Parrot!!

Ok, about the blend itself. Upon opening the tin, you know this would be a good stuff, although not as sweet in smell as the Orlik Golden Slice. The ABP is a broken flake and you do not need to rip before filling into a bowl. Just grap several and fold, pack it to the bowl and then enjoy the magic brought to you by fire and weed. The first taste is not that strong, thanks to the aged virginia. If you can make the ABP stay lit for the first 5 minutes, then you will have no trouble to smoke it until the end of the bowl, otherwise, you will have the pleasure to relight again and again.

During the entire smoke, ABP delivers a pleasent taste, however the others around you may not enjoy it as much as you do. The room flavour smells like something rich in oil and overburned. But as the smoker, this is definitely a blend worth enjoying.

Pitty to hear that ABP is hardly available now. Good news is that I have another 2 unopened tin in my collection. Guess I would age them for a very long time.

A definitely 4-star blend!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ELF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ELF (40)
Mild Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Very nice any time smoke;most people Prefer"I"smoke it Outdoors. Definitely Diffrent,i find this almost like McCl's Oriental#14 with Perique(tinned+prepared for Ashton by McCld's) Nice change of Scenery for those of YOU Tired of driving in CITY.....Give it a try! :+)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dubinthedam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dubinthedam (133)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I'm almost finished my 100grm tin (European version). Very nice Va/per. There are actually far to many aromatics on the European market and not enough solid VA based non-aromatics. Some may find this two bland, I like it a lot...solid stuff, similar to Scottish Cake and just as good IMHO. Raisins and plums, easy on the Perq. a good honest non-aromatic, non-latakia based blend. For sure a few tins will go in the cellar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Read my pointless review on Ashton Old London Pebblecut. My review of Black Parrot follows that one word for word, and is equally as pointless.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (187)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Original review 03/08/2009:

I'm reviewing the 100grms can european version made by K&K.

It's a broken flake, mostly medium brown with brighter and darker flecks. The can smells grass & sour, nothing overpowering. Moisture is high, the can stayed opened a month or more and the weed is still very "gummy" under my finger. I loaded my leather bag with 25grms or so; normally the tobacco gets dry in a week, but not this one...

I had a dozen of pipeful till today, and first I would say that the rest will stay in the can for a longer time, since I notice it's too "fresh" and needs aging. The smoke is kinda neutral, bit peppery and astringent. It doesn't develop well any strength and body and stays quite monocromatic... the first half bowl being more enjoyable, the last rather dull. Needs very slow and short sipping to bring any flavour out. Again: sure it's a matter of aging.

Edit 07/18/2009:

yes, it truly was a matter of aging.

After four months the second half of the can has actually improved, both in strength and body, which is not weak anymore. The vinegarish note of the Perique is very intriguing and ... appetizing.

I will buy more tins for my cabinet, that's sure.

I will update this further.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Past Master Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Past Master (20)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Black Parrot is a good solid harmonious mixture of Virginia, Carolina and Perique. When the tin is first opened, you are met with a familiar tangy, vinegary, tin-can aroma. The square cut, broken flake is dark, with flecks of black and brown. The Perique component does not overwhelm the mixture, but remains as a good team player in the blend.

If I were to pair this with a good single malt Scotch, it would probably be the Highland Park or the Talisker, something that can match the full taste of the smoke.

Of the twenty-one reviews to date, including mine, eighteen (86%) are about evenly split between granting Black Parrot a 4-star, 3-star, or a 2-star rating. Only three reviewers give it a 1-star rating. Of those three, two complain that there is too much Perique and one complains that there isn't enough. I guess you can't make 'em all happy.

Overall rating from 21 reviewers to date = 2.76 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

EU version: I don't know why they call it square cut, since it's a broken flake similar in looks to Rattray's Brown Clunee (made by the same manufacturer, Kohlhase & Kopp). The tin aroma is delicate, fruity and sour. It packs easily and burns nicely if dried a little, with a delicate taste typical of a good Virginia with a moderate amount of Perique. It's good, but I have smoked more interesting tobaccos in this genre (including Ashton's own Old London and some McClellands), and at times it can become a bit dull and ashy. Recommended if you want a lighter approach to this classic type of blends, otherwise too delicate and undistinguished.

Update on the US version: I like it more! The taste is richer, sweter and fruitier, although undistinguishable from many McClelland offerings (after all it IS a McClelland!). If you like the Virginias from this Kansas City brand, get this Ashton if you can still find it. Tasty, not bitey, and very enjoyable. The US version deserves a "Recommended".

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (120)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Whew! Vinegar 'n Heinz! And that should be enough said about this McClelland product. However - as most of the Ashton products - that sour smell disappears during the smoke. Black Parrot is quality VA with a good dose of the smoothest Périque I've ever had; peppery yes, but newcomers to Vapers might enjoy this anyway.

I love to smoke Vapers once in a while, but because of the vinegar aroma, I'd rather have some Elizabethan or some Escudo. If, however, you like the base of Black Parrot but would like some of this without Périque, I highly recommend Old London Pebblecut from Ashton. The similarities are quite many, but with no added Pepper.

Ok but not great either.

Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

McClelland, vinegar odor, big taste, broken flake, smokes nicely, too much Perique for my taste. If you enjoy Esoterica's Dorchester you will probably enjoy this as well. Three and one-half stars. Actually, I might upgrade this review after the summer heat subsides. Not many pipe tobaccos do well in 100 degree heat!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flint Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flint (30)
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

I typically like McClellands blends but for some reason this one did not work for me. The tin had 5 years of age on it and it was still moist in the tin but Black Parrot seemed to taste like vinegary soot with a cigarette like aftertaste. This is the only time the famed McClelland vinegar smell came through the taste. I hope it works for you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stogie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stogie (26)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I'm down to my last bowl of this enjoyable blend. Having fallen in love with another Ashton blend, (read; McClelland), Pebblecut, I had high expectations for Black Parrot.

Tin Aroma: McClellands signature.

Visual: A mottled broken flake, (Square cut?), consisting of mahogany brown base with streaks of lighter brown, blond and almost black.

Texture: I think most McClelland flakes ship just a tad on the moist side, and that's just fine with me. Nice thick chunks of broken flake, with not to much "dust".

Pack/Pipe: Smoked this fully rubbed out, and gravity fed into the bowl with plenty of tapping to settle tobacco. Topped of after tamping down once, and ready to light. Although I prefer smaller pipes, and especially when smoking flake tobacco, this particular blend seemed to perform best in taller stacks, so I usually smoked this in a pair of Nording freehands, a Von Erck classic, and numerous Ashton xx & xxx pots.

Lighting/Burn: With the exception of Escudo, this is the best burning flake I have ever smoked. The rule was one long charring match, one quick relight after tamping the char down, and then smoke to bottom of bowl with just one more match at the very end to finish off a few remaining bits. And this was in my larger bowls!

1st 3rd: A little dull and ashy on first light, but it quickly settles down into a tangy bright flavor with an immediate background taste of stewed fruit. (Tastes very close to Escudo, but this has a lot more tang.) Produces plenty of white smoke.

2nd 3rd: Very consistent flavor. Still bright and tangy with just a little bit more stewed fruit. No ash or heat at all.

Final 3rd: This portion begins just like the previous. Tang and stewed fruit. At the very end, it gets ashy and loses most of the flavor, but I carry on to cure the bowl properly. Leaves a grainy gray ash with very little charred tobacco.

Notes: A very good blend, and super consistent. Really shines after it has been open for about 2 weeks. This blend does not unseat Ashton Pebblecut from first place though.

Stogie rating of: 8 Pristine Punch

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (127)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Very Full Pleasant

This my first experience with Black Parrot and what a delightful experience it is. The tin aroma does carry the faint zing of vinegar which tells you it is a McClelland Va., but none of that comes through in the smoke as it does not with other McClellands. It arrives a bit moist in flakes as described, above, and rubs out easily. The initial light is strangely hot at the match, but once lit, the smoke smooths out immediately. On the tongue, it tastes of a sweet, raisiny Virginia with the unmistakable tang of Perique, a Three Nuns taste that makes me salivate. On the tongue, for me, it is almost identical to Three Nuns (tin version). It does not remind me of Escudo. But the smoke is quite different from Three Nuns in the nose where it is nuttier with a roundness which makes me think of a very high quality Kentucky, just a trace. There is also an almost imperceptible dark note that appears in the nose from time to time. The first bowl I smoked in an Ashton Old Church pot in which I usually smoke Va./Periques, and it was so delicious, I immediately smoked another in a Wiley apple which I also use for Va./Periques. There was no difference in the flavor of the smoke. This is a first rate tobacco, and it is a treat to know that if and when I cannot get hold of Three Nuns, I have something in its stead. Matter of fact, Black Parrot could be as satisying in its own way as Three Nuns - time will tell. Most highly recommended to the Va./Perique smoker. Paddy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (286)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Another McClelland blend under the Ashton name that has the typical McClelland attributes for similar tobacco composition and form. I'm not sure what makes this one a 'unique square-cut' but it's a nicely prepared, partially rubbed out flake of mostly darker tobaccos with some golden intermixed. A rich, creamy smoke with a nice balance to the Perique. In some pipes or due to my techniques, the last 1/3 got wet and therefore bitter but partial drying eliminated this problem. Overall, an enjoyable smoke but I'm not convinced that it warrants the increased $$ compared to other McClelland bulks that I've tried.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tillmanj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tillmanj (73)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin Aroma: barbeque sauce, vinegar, and all those other smells in a tinned virginia that spell McClelland. This one smells a bit spicy, due to the perique in the blend.

Physical Characteristics: A very dark flake, partially rubbed out, or 'broken'. Not too moist on opening the tin, and rubs out easily.

Notes: A very balanced virginia/perique blend. This blend showed up on my smoking radar just as I was discovering how to smoke virginias without destroying my palate. Though it is slightly 'steamy' on first light, it settles down very quickly into a pleasant full-bodied smoke. I have been somewhat non-plussed by the bulk of McClelland virginias, preferring the fuller flavors of the lakeland types, but the Ashton Black Parrot is full and satisfying, without any noticeable added topping, such as tonquin bean essence, as is used in some lakeland virginias. Black Parrot DGT's well, and is a pleasant smoke at any time of day, though I have gravitated towards smoking it mostly in the mornings, with some light coffee. The perique in it is very mild, not even leaving a spicy aftertaste on the lips, as many other Perique blends do. The finish is pleasant and does not get overly strong or 'dark' at the bottom of the bowl.

Nobody has rated this review yet.