|There aren't many tobaccoes, if any, that I enjoy more. Rich Virginia Ribbon and Matured Virginia No. 24 are my favorites in McClelland's Virginia lineup. From time to time you discover a tobacco that makes you ask, "Why bother with anything else?" This is one of those.
These short, springy, spun ribbons are easy to pack and burn beautifully. RVR's moisture level is such that it can be smoked directly after opening, but I prefer it just a tad dryer. As far as the development and potential of this blend goes, I bought a bunch of this when it was re-released in 2010 and it just gets better and better. Can't wait to see what it does after five to seven years in the tin!
The flavor at the match is soft and delicious, and only gets better as the bowl progresses. Producing a lot of delicious smoke, it develops depth and richness which are complemented, at first, by an invigorating tanginess, and later, by a subtle herbal complexity.
This well conceived and beautifully executed blend offers Virginias at their best. As a result of the curing and the pressing, the dappled orange and red leaf has darkened considerably, subduing the sweetness which only emerges with an accompanying fruitiness about mid-bowl.
Delicate (at the beginning) and complex, if smoked slowly the flavor development seems to take the following course, with depth and richness increasing noticably all the while. At the match it is soft and alluring, developing tanginess relatively quickly. Then a certain sweetness and fruitiness emerge as the tanginess diminishes. As the slow burn stoves the tobaccoes below the danger of tongue bite (which was minimal to begin with) passes and the sweetness subsides into rich earthiness. It becomes more full-bodied, robust and substantial, perhaps a bit 'woodsy,' with a wealth of subtle herbal elements, and rich, rich, rich! In spite of the richness of the finish, it leaves the mouth feeling very clean. (Great Lowland single malts, like Rosebank, come to mind.) This is what smoking Virginias is all about! And it is one relaxing and thoroughly satisfying smoke!
I only have one question: how can this be only the third review of this exceptional tobacco?!?
Very, very highly recommended!
|I am just finishing another bowl of this fine tobacco in one of my favorite pipes, an old Sasieni Four Dot Canadian, an heirloom pipe from one of my oldest friends.
If you do not like straight Virginia tobacco, you will not like this. This one is excruciatingly high in sugar, but is not syrupy sweet. It is what I would call high on the flavor tones, if you smoke it too fast, it will bite. If you take your time and savor you will be in for a flavor treat. I would put it up against the old 1983 McCranie's Red Ribbon, in some ways, it is identical, given age, it should mellow in the tin and gain some balance.
The taste of Rich Virginia Ribbon is as you would expect from the name. It is very rich. It burns well, and the flavor is consistent to the bottom of the bowl. The novice pipe smoker might not like this and those who disdain Virginias ought to stay away from it, except that many of the Virginias on the market that are not McClelland tobaccos usually have some sort of casing or topping and this one clearly does not.
To those that smoke McClelland 5100 Virgina Cake or McCranie's Red Ribbon, I strongly recommend it. I give it 5 stars but I can only give it four.
|Wow, first review of this??
The first thing I thought of while smoking this is that it's a higher octane version of #5100 Red Cake. There is some truth to that, but it doesn't really describe this one as well as it could. I found this one less sweet than 5100 and with a spiciness and depth of flavor that 5100 cannot match.
Tin moisture was perfect for me - no drying out needed. For a virginia, that is rare. And as much as I love flakes, I can definitely appreciate a nice ribbon VA! No problems with bowl loading, this one lights easily and stays lit. I had no issues with anything resembling tongue bite or burn.
The tin description says "zesty" and that is spot on. This isn't a dark tobacco but it has the richness and allure of dark VA's. I didn't get nearly as much sweetness from this that I was expecting but the tobacco was better for it... deeper and more complex. This is also one of those tobaccos that makes DGT so satisfying. Try this if you think straight virginias hold no further mystery for you. You'll be surprised! This tobacco is headed for my cellar!