|McCelland Bulk No. 720 - Gran Marnier
Star Rating = 3
Rating Scores - 10 is the Best and 0 is the Worst
Pouch Note = 8
Room Note = 8
Flavor = 8
Bite = 8
Burn = 8
After Taste = 8
Raw Score = 48
Rated Percentage = 80%
Comment = Smooth, Mild, Mellow, actually has an orange Flavor, just a hint of After Taste on finish
|False advertising. I detect absolutely no Grand Marnier in this blend whatsoever. There is something, but certainly no orange casing/topping.
On the other hand, it smokes cool, never any hints of biting. Burns clean if it is the right RH.
I give it two stars, only because it is quality tobacco. Minus two for false advertising.
|The little blurb from tobaccomkt.com says: "Very satisfying with a mellow, nutty flavor, this medium mixture is based on our fully rubbed Burley Virginia Cake Cavendish [what the heck does THAT mean] and is seasoned with black lemon, lemon Virginia and a small amount of Xanthi. The orange liqueur top note combines well with this blend to produce a fine smoke with a truly refined aroma both in the pouch and the room."
The product consists of wide, short ribbons of black cavendish (~50%), about 30% reddish-brown virginia that was once a flake (tiny flakes in the sample) rubbed out into ribbons, a smattering of bright virginia, and the rest is probably burley. The cut on all ribbons is shortish, so it is easy to pack. #750 is also very sticky but not especially goopy. The moisture content is not all that great considering the manufacturer, though a little drying out is in order.
There is not that vinegary aroma often associated with McClellands blends. (It seems to me that this is confined largely to their tinned blends, esp. virginias.) There is also almost no pouch aroma, definitely no blast of that favored orange liquor. What little nose there is is slightly sour, like many unflavored black cavs.
The taste is also dominated by black cavendish, at least initially. it IS sweet, but no surprise given the stickiness. Also burns a bit steamy, so some more drying out is in order. As the bowl progresses, a nuttiness comes to the fore, and the sweetness increases. Towards the bottom, the sweetness deepens and a slight bitterness develops. A significant dottle remains, which is steamy and flat if relit. My tongue also feels a bit abused.
My overall impression is sweet black cavendish, a tobacco experience that I seem to enjoy less and less as time passes. I do not know, maybe I got a batch that missed the Grand Marnier topping, but this has NO orange flavor, not much flavor of any kind. One dimensional may even be too generous. This, as well as other McC. aromatics, makes me think that McC. does not do aromatics very well.
I will try again after the product has died, er, dried (Freudian slip) and had a few months of aging. I am not keeping my hopes up though.