The sister blend to the Berkebile Virginia, this is a much darker version with latakia and orientals. Still loads of the well-known McClelland Virginia tin aroma but with the addition of some hugely fragrant orientals and a modest amount of latakia. My tin was also a broken flake but it crumbled easily and lent itself more to a careful rubbing out. I loaded it as a cross between a ready rubbed and a ribbon cut. Drying time was similar to the Virginia version but with more moisture content.
McClellands latakia blends have been dissed for having too little latakia flavor and too much Virginia. This blend falls squarely into that category. Those incredible McClelland Virginias ruled the show from the outset and never let go. Beautiful red tang with some minor citrus and an excellent lightly toasted bread quality. The orientals were next in line and were robust and exotic, with an excellent incense quality and some moderate sourness. The latakia was lightly applied and lent its usual smokiness and leather. This was a mouthfilling smoke, robust and rich tasting but not strong. Kind of a restrained Balkan type of flavor, but also what I view as a Scottish blend. If I had more of it, I would add some unflavored black Cavendish to ramp up the sweetness just a half-notch. However, it was an excellent smoke as blended. I couldn't put a finger on if this resembled a McClellands-branded blend. Tried to compare it to such things as Traveler and Venture Forth but they weren't quite the same. This may have been a Georgetown Tobacco recipe. At any rate, it's gone for good but I'm glad I had a chance to try it. Highly recommended... and inexpensive for an out of production blend. I think both tins cost me less than $100.
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