|Up until recently, I was not aware that McClelland even produced this Virginia. I purchased a tin and removed half of the tin's contents in order to mix with a smidgen of McClelland's Blending Perique. I then proceeded to try the remainder unadulterated.
By itself, the tobacco is surprisingly mild, yet flavourful. I can detect the richness of the red Virginias and the slightly sweet snap of the lemon and orange tobaccos. The first third or so of the bowl was a bit too snappy, in fact, but this never developed into full-fledged tongue bite. The room note was, as one might guess, woodsy and pleasantly fragrant. I actually prefer this to 5100 (although Blending Virginia is too expensive to serve as a replacement for 5100), but it is by no means the equal of McCranie's Red Flake and Red Ribbon.
With the Perique added, the tobacco became even sweeter and snappier. The mixture was actually quite tasty; however, the bottom third of the bowl was a bit too much for me to enjoy.
My skills as a tobacco blender are not top-notch, but I think this is one tobacco that I prefer to enjoy on its own.
|Tin Description: Zesty lemon, sugary orange, and rich Red Virginias aged, cold-pressed, then aged again.
Tin: Very pleasant scent, sweet, raisins, cinnamon. Overall red-brown tinge with flecks of dark blonde to dark brown. BV is on the dry side. Standard short to long ribbon. Tin date on bottom: 980208, meaning tinned in 2008.
Packing & Lighting: Packed until the draw was slightly restricted, it burns well.
Taste & Aroma: Meerschaum Outdoors: A well-behaved VA, it does have a zesty effect on the palate. It is bland until the bottom third, where a mellow VA hay evolves. Only until right at the finish does a taste and aroma evolve which mimics the tin aroma, light and delicate.
Smoked in more controlled conditions, it has a mellow walnut and woodsy taste and aroma from top to bottom.
Caveat: In the first bowl smoked in the briar, I got a raw, unnatural taste like acrid walnuts, and processed wood. It was like a chemical, plastic, that was nauseating. It even felt like the buzz was due to this. The room note was a nasty, acrid chemical smell. I even considered not finishing the tin. But, subsequently, I have not been able to reproduce this acrid chemical walnut taste.
Nicotine: Compared the taste, it is surprisingly present, a decent medium effect which fades quickly.
Room Note: Pleasant, mild, mellow VA hay, with nuances of the tin aroma.
Overall: Mostly bland, this would make a decent filler, where you wanted a base that does not interfere with other components. BV is blander than C&D's 517R: VA Ribbon, a Lemon blending tobacco; and not nearly the sweet rich taste of McCrainie's Red Ribbon(McCrainie is a partner of McClelland). BV is not worth a premium price, but what is good about it is that there is nothing bad. Recommended only as a low-priced bulk filler(which apparently isn't available), 2.9 stars.