|Seldom finding disappointment with anything produced by McClelland, this is my second consecutive 1 star review of one of their blends.
I’m certain it’s not a change in my personal tastes as I’m currently working through tins of Ashton Pebblecut, Holiday Cheer 2011 and Holiday Spirit 2011. A tinned 2004 bulk No 2010, and pouches of No. 1 Balkan, Oriental Mixture and Dark English. All McClelland product, and all ranging from good to exquisite.
Pouch Aroma: Traditional sweet American Aromatic with just a hint of McClellands signature scent.
Visual: Black & Lemon – what else!
Texture: I think most McClelland bends & flakes ship just a tad on the moist side, and that's just fine with me. Nice spongy mix of ribbon with a few chunks of broken flake, not too much tobacco "dust".
Pack: Smoked this gravity fed into the bowl with plenty of tapping to settle tobacco. Then a little more sprinkled on top and pressed down lightly. Definitely don’t want to overpack this stuff – turns your bit into a faucet.
Lighting/Burn: Takes a bit to light, one long charring light, then collapse the ash and take your time lighting again. Sometimes wants to burn down the middle. I tried to diligently tamp from the edges inward. Needed a few relights in the last 3rd.
1st 3rd: A little dull and ashy on first light, then settles down into a slightly sweet bland insipid smoke. Where are the Virginias?
2nd 3rd: Very consistent - no flavor. Again, I thought there were Virginias here. Definitely gurgles.
Final 3rd: This portion begins just like the previous. Ends with lots of sticky dottle. Cleaning out the pipe makes me not want to load another pipe with this stuff.
Notes: Another disappointing aromatic from McClelland. Pretty looking stuff with practically no flavor, and mediocre burn qualities. Burned through almost 2 of my 4oz pouch. Will not finish.
Stogie rating of: 2 Tasteless Thompsons