|Firstly an apology if you think that its pointless to review a blend no longer available. I have written this out of interest for those and myself who enjoy reading and writing about this great tobacco House. This was marketed as one of the Personal Reserve Oriental series and my tins date back to 1991 though the one I have open is undated and may be slightly older..
Appearance. A fine ribbon cut (rather than the flake version) of dark brown and black strands, not too moist in this can. The smell from the tin is of a rich plum/damson fruitiness with a raisin background....very akin to a sweet fruit pudding. Utterly delicious, smells alcoholic.
Packing On account of the thinness of the ribbon, it tends to clump in the pipe, so I tend to smoke it in a Barling apple shaped bowl. I can imagine the danger of this clumping together all too easily and the burn not drawing too well.
The Smoke. It lights very well owing to the lack of wetness or humectant in the tobacco. There is a consistent piquant sweetness throughout the experience. I am not knowledgable enough to differentiate all the subtle nuances of flavour though I can frustratingly sense them in the background. I get incredible smoothness (which is expected I guess after 17 years ageing), wafts of intense fruitiness and occasional slight mustiness. If this is truly an oriental, then the blending must have been very delicately done. It burns steadily and DGT is not really an option as it doesnt want to go out! Ends with a clean pile of white and grey ash.
Conclusion. A superb variety. Was created for Levins Pipes and a pity McClelland did not continue to produce it for themselves as it's a very worthy blend. I know there is another Redwoods blend and I haven't tried it so I don't know whether there's any relationship between the two. If you ever get the chance to try this, I urge you to grab the opportunity.