|Reviewed By||Date||Rating||Strength||Flavoring||Taste||Room Note|
|DK (896)||Medium||None Detected||Medium||Pleasant to Tolerable|
Rather expensive these days but perhaps not so bad as some rare blends. This is a very dark, dense broken flake in the McClellands tradition. Rich and savory tin aroma of latakia and the full monty of orientals. This came fully moist and performed its best when dried out to the point where it wasn't crispy but also wasn't pliable, and it felt dry in the hand.
For the first quarter or so of each bowl, this blend's nuances were overpowered by the latakia. Odd because latakia softens over time and this one isn't supposed to contain that much in the first place. But it was difficult to discern much else. The 2nd quarter showed the latakia backing off and the orientals coming through with a subtle sour and perfumy flavor. The Virginias were still non-descript for the most part but were starting to form. In the last half of the bowl, this blend finally showed its colors. The latakia became a true condiment in the Scottish style while the orientals were boisterous... juicy and rich, with a nice mix of sweet, sour and exotic incense. The Virginias were crisp and tangy with the barest hint of citrus, providing some much appreciated sweetness. The blend became more than the sum of its parts by the second half of the bowl, with just enough smokiness and sweetness to enrich the palate without taking the lead over the orientals. This is an Oriental Blend but it doesn't taste like any of McClellands Green Series, nor its regular Oriental Series. This is not very close to anything in the McClellands-branded stable. Kind of expensive and not exactly ambrosial but definitely worth a try. I give it 3.5 stars rounded down. If it smoked like the last half for the entire bowls worth, it would be a resounding 4 star blend for me. The second half of the bowl is certainly one of the half-dozen finest smokes I've ever had in this category.
Age When Smoked: 29 years
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