|A fellow pipe forum member was kind enough to send me a generous sample of this tobacco from a tin dated 1996. Boy is this stuff great
Aroma - smoky, molasses, tomato paste, dried ground ancho chile, and sweet smoked Spanish paprika. Very sweet unsmoked aroma.
I count 3 shades of leaf color - black, walnut brown, and deep mahogany.
Course cut, leaves in chunks, a little rubbing out is needed, as well as a tiny bit of dry time - approx 20 min.
Charring light/true light - sweet smooth charring light, the smoke is amazingly soft, sweet and slightly bitter. Cyprian pine undertones are so subtle, almost more cedar like, and a rich buttery oak aroma is present. Reminiscent of a more aged sample of VA Woods. A faint sour VA flavor providing a bit of contrast in the overall taste, spicy pine pitch Cyprian latakia flavor that you might expect in a youthful Cyprian Latakia blend is completely altered by age and practically undetectable, but is still evident to a certain degree in the aroma. Aroma is rich, with a sweet, sugary, slightly spicy burnt fruit wood scent.
Mid bowl - tart/ sweet contrast intensifies. Reminds me of a pink lady or honey crisp apple and the way those varietals satisfy the sense of taste and smell with a dual layer of flavor. The VA is doing most of the work here. Flavors are very nice and demand your attention. Smoke it still extremely smooth, not a whisper of bite. A testament to how well McClelland's VA's age. Flavor is slightly more rich leaning toward the sweeter side of the spectrum. Breath technique at mid bowl brings forth a bit more spice and a subtle yet enjoyable bitterness. One relight brought forth a rich hot cocoa/mole` like flavor. Damn!
Bowl of my pipe is still very cool to the touch even with me puffing a little more than normal. The tone of the sweetness of this blend reminds me a little of GLP Maltese Falcon.
End bowl - tar flavors amplify some, smoke is still delicate, soft, cool and smooth. A slight pine flavor is at play as well as a forward pepperiness. Aroma is still very sweet, like brown sugar/treacle sweet. Latakia is so delicate, the balance here is done to absolute perfection. As it burns down a bit more the flavors are deeper, almost a stout quality burley like depth. Sweetness is dying down, spiciness has picked up, smoke it still velvety smooth and very delicious.
This stuff smokes effortlessly with minimal tamping required. My bowl stayed very cool. Absolutely no bite or leather tongue at all. I even drank a carbonated beverage afterwards with zero tongue-zap. Excellent tobacco.