|Pouch Aroma: If this isn't a McClelland's 2000 series, I'll eat a meerschaum. It's got that lovely fermented, acidic smell (some folks describe it as 'smelling like ketchup') and it makes my mouth water. It seems to be a Virginia flake with little or no perique judging from the smell.
Appearance: Thick broken flakes made up of tobaccos that vary from yellow to dark brown. It looks like #2015 but is just a tad lighter in color.
Packing and Lighting: I rubbed this up just a little and put it into a Savinelli Punto Oro, shape 803 which smokes great with flake tobaccos. The pre-lighting taste is a little more subtle than #2015 - sweet and musty, but not in a sugary way. This is classic matured virginia sweetness...
The first puff tastes quite sweet and sharp, but again lacking in that signature perique 'bite' when blown out of my nose. Tasty and mellow, and each following puff gets more mellow and flavorful and is developing the usual McC's taste.
Exposition: I have gotten in the habit of letting flake tobacco go out and rest after I get a good burn going. This seems to accent the fuller flavors and tone down some of the sweetness. The re-light is heavy and spicy, as expected, and the smoke feels cool on my tongue. The smoke itself is on the thin side, but is a lovely blue-grey. There is quite a bit of sharpness here; I'm assuming it's from the lighter virginias. Overall, a very savory smoke which I'm enjoying immensely.
The Story: Once I got going fully the sweetness is subdued to the point where it's a subtle counterpoint to the sharp woodsy taste of the heavier virginias. The room aroma is leathery and spicy, and I'm tasting something suspiciously oriental that I can't quite place.
Denoument:These last few puffs are quite dark and creamy-tasting, with the sweetness is coming back nicely. A great finish indeed!
Pros: This is rich and creamy-tasting, with wonderful earthy undertones. The Virginia sweetness never faded, but the way it presented itself changed in unpredictable ways throughout the bowl. There is a spicy-sweet aroma left in the room and a definate 'tobacco' taste lingers on my tongue. This would be a great reading tobacco, or one to smoke unrubbed in a large pipe while taking a walk.
Cons: Some folks may find this to be a biting tobacco, as it must be puffed very patiently to allow the flavors to outweigh the sharpness. The flavor also intensifies quite a lot toward the bottom which may put some folks off if they're used to a milder smoke.