Fair dues to Mac Baren, this is a sleeper on the aromatic front. I only discovered this today when my newsagent in England (and one of the very few left in my area that sell a variety of pipes AND tobacco) waved this under my nose and said in his native pidgeon English tongue.."This one new sir...This one new!"
Mac Baren 7 seas?!?! Never heard of that before. So out of the three that were available in this range, I opted for the 'regular blend' because it says it has a cocoa and vanilla taste/aroma to it.
Well, this is quite a surprise from Mac Blowtorch.....because there is absolutely no bite whatsoever from this superlative blend. Saying that it is what it is, an aromatic. So what? It's not actually a crime to be an aromatic, or for that matter to like one. Most tobacco's are, including those that like the Latakia's under the English banner (myself included).
This blend was a REAL surprise. It actually smoked like it smelt (A rather nice concoction of chocolate with a hint of vanilla) It smoked utterly dry with no goopiness, yea sure it got a fraction toasty in the last few millimetres of the bowl, but what aromatic doesn't?!?!? I generally tend to smoke aro's with 9mm filters to keep the moisture, and heat out of the smoke should it be there.
Not a trace of the Mac Baren honey flavour at all, and I'm one of those who find MB blends relatively similar. (Mixture, Navy Flake, etc) This should be promoted immeadiately to '50gm/100gm tin available' status.
I wasn't looking for the rich tobacco taste nor the 'N' word hay- maker, because I knew it wouldn't be there. Primarily because I knew what I was smoking. An aromatic. However, for when I need to smoke in company, such as waiting to go into bat on a Saturday/Sunday afternoon during the cricket season, this was a real team/crowd pleaser.
This enhanced by the fact that I was smoking it in a churchwarden (always novelty value for the un-initiated) was a real visually quintessential and oral-factory experience for smoker and observer alike. All whilst sat on the bench of the thatched pavillion, with summers evening shadows stretching across the field of play to the sounds of blackbirds melodically chirruping nearby.
Just as the local church bells tolled 6pm there's a cry of HOWZAT!!! And the thin blue aromatic wisps of SSRB's chocolatey/vanilla smoke that have been drifting out to deep mid- on from my direction, slowly dissipate, as I place down the long- shanked briar, and stride out to place leather on willow!
Well done McBaren. (For a change)
Still, the three stars you get from me (Coz I'm a VA man at heart) will only stand tall if you make this blend available in massive tins!!!! This is certainly comparable to my other aro fav's such as those by Peterson so why not tin it?
Give it a go all, but remember to take it for what it is...
Even the missus, (who thinks everything else I smoke, from Penzance to Erinmore to FVF, smell's of dead old men's clothing, and in turn, begs me the question as to how she knows what that smells like in the first place ?!?) thinks that this is acceptable........she being a women, and this being chocolate after all!!!!
Still, the floor......or rather, the 'bowl' is yours.
I'd say it's certainly comparable to Navy flake by the same blender.