McClelland Black Parrot

A balanced blend with Virginia, Carolina and pure Louisiana perique, this unique square-cut pipe tobacco encompasses flavor, maturity, and mellow smoking. The several growths interact and the skill of the blender is exercised in arriving at a balance to tempt the palate. Rediscover this classic. You will be richly rewarded.
Notes: "Ashton Revival" introduced at Chicagoland Pipe Show in May, 2010


Brand McClelland
Series Ashton Revival
Blended By McClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company
Blend Type Virginia/Perique
Contents Perique, Virginia
Cut Broken Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country United States
Production No longer in production


Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Medium to Full
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

2.95 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 20 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 13, 2018 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
The dark and sugary stewed fruity, earthy, lightly woody Carolina and stoved Virginias also have a touch of citrus and a little grass as the lead components. The raisiny, plumy, spicy perique is a supporting player. The “vinegar” isn’t strong, and weakens after the half way point without totally dissipating. The strength and taste levels just cross over the medium threshold. The nic-hit is closer to medium than it is to mild. No chance of bite or harshness, but it does have a rough edge at times. Burns cool, clean and a little slow with a mostly consistent sweet, spicy flavor that also has a hint of savoriness. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires some relights. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste. A repeatable smoke, but not an all day one.

10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 27, 2012 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I smoked a fair bit of this in the mid-90's when Robert McConnell blended it. It was a classic, second only to the same blenders Old London Pebblecut. I smoked my last tin of the original a few years back, as well as the first iteration of McClellands and also the K&K version. Each subsequent change was not for the better. And now we have Version 4.0.

Still a nice mottled square cut (kinda...a bit of a mishmash but the squares are there, too!) with an excellent tin note of perique fruitiness and hay. Now I like blends with a lot of perique, but this one either went a bit overboard on that condiment or the virginias just aren't mature enough to offset the plummy nature of the perique. Nice depth, but a bit too heavy of a lean toward the spicy. And I hate to fall into the trap of snobbiness, with the old "it was better by its original blender", but I believe it with this one, as this version lacks the balance and complexity of the original. This is a good blend, but the original achieved a level scarcely found by me - an absolute classic. Even so, this one is worth a go if you like a heavy hand on the perique. Quite frankly, I'd like to think I gave this a fair shake, but I'm just not sure. I've found better VaPers out there, but this one might just be The One for someone else.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 13, 2011 Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
I was sent the Ashton Revival tins to sample and review and this is the first one I popped the top on. This Virginia/Perique square cut blend really packs some strength and loads of flavor. Not quite as gentle on the palate as I would prefer, but I imagine some age will really make this one shine. Easy to light and keep lit with typical coolness displayed by quality leaf. If you try and decide you like this one now, make sure you cellar a few tins for aging.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 10, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Black Parrot – Then and Now - It was my good fortune to have purchased a half dozen tins of Ashton’s offering when they reintroduced it a number of years back and I recently broke out one of them. Personally I like this Vaper and noticing that I was now down to my last unopened tin I decided to order more. Most of us using this resource do so because we can see what others think about a particular tobacco and since Black Parrot is now being offered under a different label I thought I would avail myself of other’s thoughts on the matter. Keeping in mind that “one man’s meat is another’s poison” we all have to consider the preferences of others when reading reviews but that said several of the reviewers were folks who had experience with Ashton’s original offering. Some thought they detected differences in the blend so I decided to do a comparison of my own. Now it stands to reason that a tobacco that has been “cellared” for more than ten years will enjoy the benefit of having mellowed considerably (when I say mellowed I’m suggesting the flavors have matured and blended) A quality in Vapers that is to my palate very desirable. One would expect that a freshly purchased can will differ from its aged cousin. My question was not would they differ but by how much. Below are my findings. (Can markings, new 5/1/2010, old 5/1/03). Suggesting about 8 years difference in the samples but also indicates you will receive tins that are already aged somewhat. Can note & Appearance Upon opening the cans you will immediately notice the aged sample has become a dark brown and the light streaks found in the newer sample are almost nonexistent. The difference in the browns is similar to that of milk (newer) as compared to dark chocolate. The smell however is quite similar. That is you will be greeted with that vinegar smell with hints of sweetness. I found the aroma stronger in the new sample but only slightly so. Both samples are a broken flake and the newer sample was decidedly more moist when opened. Both the older and new tins come with a pop top removable aluminum cover like found on modern microwave soup cans. I attribute the moisture difference to the age difference. Accordingly the older sample rubs out much easier. When put to the match On first light the older sample, as would be expected, lit easily and stayed lit throughout the bowl. The newer sample benefits from about a half hour of drying time as I found it moist as I have suggested. In the first half of the bowl the difference manifests itself right away. The Virginias are much more obvious and sharper than in the aged sample. I found the perique to be somewhat mild in both samples, present but not overwhelming. The main difference seems to be with the Virginias. They benefit decidedly from ageing and when comparing the two, the older sample was for me a much more enjoyable smoke. As Vapers go this blend falls somewhere between Solani’s 633 and Escudo. By mid bowl the flavors of the newer sample blend and it better resembles its aged cousin. You will however find that both have much the same flavor, the aged sample simply makes them less distinct. They remain present in the older sample but seemed to have become better balanced. Both finish with a gray/white ash and very little dottle. The younger sample left me with that distinct peppery sensation on the back of the tongue. This is a tobacco that will give you a far better smoke if you buy some and put it away to age a bit. But that said if you like a Vaper this is what I would class as a moderate one. None of the components are overwhelming and each comes through throughout the smoke. The Perique element is clearly present but in balance with the Virginias and Carolinas. It’s a wonderful Vaper and it will present you with a special gift, when aged it will become a Vaper that is something truly special. I guess you have figured out I didn’t find a big difference that ageing couldn’t explain. Three stars fresh, four after 10 years and I only rate a tobacco as a four if it is truly exceptional. What I didn’t detect was any significant change from the original blend which only goes to confirm that a good tobacco blend like a good wine will improve with age. Even if you can’t age yours this is a blend worth considering. Like most of us, young it’s a little brash and spicy but with time it mellows wonderfully. Put a few tins away and take them out again in 2025. Your only regret will be that you didn’t put away a few more. In younger samples I find this blend to be slightly less peppery than Escudo. My overall evaluation of this blend is that it closely resembles the old Ashton offering of the same name. If you liked that blend you will like this one. The tobacco is of excellent quality and that is essential in a good Vaper. The flavors are full and rich throughout the smoke. Try this one, I think you will like it. For my part I’m just glad an “old favorite” I thought lost has been found again.
Pipe Used: GBD 9438
Age When Smoked: new7& 10 years old
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 18, 2017 Overwhelming None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
This tobacco shpuld come with a cardiac waiver- as it is not for the faint of heart [did you see that play on words]?!

Seriously - it's strong. I know it states clearly '...and mellow smoking.' but well, no. It's strong, probably the strongest single tobacco as it relates to nicotine rush I have ever consumed.

I'm talking gotta sit down and wait out the jitters & head-spinning rush strong, Geez maybe i should get a yearly physical strong. Even following a heavy meal... it's strong.

Generally it's a rough chop flake, texturally has a strong malleable plasticity - typical of many fine McClelland Virginia flakee, that if a food- would resemble a good homemade jerky. The typical difficulties ensued with bowl prep and lighting, but once on it was a VaPer not for the faint of heart.

Very tasty and initially smooth. It becomes even sweeter to mid bowl- whereupon that St. James pepper comes through in a flash. No tongue bite, never hot, exemplary in the manner that McCelland's is known for with all blends they offer which are Virginia forward.

It was that skill at blending that required me a full 1/ 2 tin of consumption prior to realization that this stuff is way to strong for me! I learned my lesson when attempting to use a widebowl-wide stem "basket pipe", thinking the extra space would help it to burn easier- I almost got sick from that decision, such was the nic hit.

And for the record, I don't ever worry about nicotine generally. This seems a resurrection from earlier days- b4 rompers, cross-fit and all things PC. If you truly love Vitamin N, get yourself a tin.
Pipe Used: Meers & Briars
PurchasedFrom: Pipes&Cigars
Age When Smoked: 2 years
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 01, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
I purchased 3 tins of 2010 Black Parrot from a B&M. Tins had no bulging - The plastic lids had yellowed significantly.

The smell is very strong "MccLelland" also notice a slight clove spice smell and strong vinegar note. A deep smell of a newly opened tin hurts the nostrils.

The flakes are half broken and half intact. The appearance is a deep dark brown with no lighter spots. It looks much darker than pictures I've seen of fresh tins. The flakes are wet, maybe a little less than Sam Gawith. They fell apart into cubes rubbing out. The strands of tobacco not staying intact.

The taste is closer to Mc 2015 than St James Woods. Strength slightly less than Beacon Extra. It has a sweetness, but this is under the thick sour notes. In a clay pipe the sour flavor really comes through. I get slightly less than medium amounts of Perique. I get a lot of subdued spice tastes like cardamom and allspice. Reminds me of a homeade east coast BBQ sauce (vinegar based) taste.

This tobacco tastes best imo smoked wet. Drying it I lose some sour flavor and gain more malty toast flavor. It takes a slow deliberate false light to get the top toasted and burning even. Trying to rush light this wet will leave a pipe wet on the bottom.

I like it best stuffed or ripped by hand into cubes. Makes a lot of smoke that is easy to inhale and doesn't tingle the nostrils. Stays consistent through the bowl. Faster puffing brings out a slight bitter harsh taste. I smoke slow to get the sour flavors.

I will update this when I get some fresh to compare. Easily in my top 5 vapers and my favorite VaPer from McClelland. A sleeper and I like more Perique than most.
Pipe Used: Savinelli Lumberman, Clay, R. Hahn Brandy
PurchasedFrom: Local B&M
Age When Smoked: 7-8 Years
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 23, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
maybe not the very best McClelland Va.Per.....but its certainly a good one. Broken flake and maybe that is why I think it not quite the zenith of this brand. I liked it a lot overall. Its the usual high quality McC virginias and a fairly solid dose of Perique. The virginias are not quite as complex as some other blends, but thats subjective I think. Good stuff. Not for those who love sweet aromatics, but for those who like Perique blends, this is a 3 and a half star. But i lean toward 4.

Update: returning to this blend after a while I find i like it more than I remember. Its a bit rustic, by which I mean its not as perfectly balanced as , say Bayou Slices, or St JamesWoods, but it has a definite appeal. You really can taste the individual tobaccos, and the Perique lingers and is very seductive. This is good stuff, just a bit rough around the edges.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 09, 2017 Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong
McClelland - Black Parrot.

A medium brown, with lots of lighter flecks, not too broken, flake. The majority needs rubbing, but although the flakes are thick they do so with ease. The moistness is without any problems.

The smoke has a great flavour. The Perique has more a lot more weight than the Virginias, but tastes sublime. At first it has an almost vinegar-like flavour, and seems fairly tangy, which may deter a few pipers. It takes until a quarter has passed for some traditional Perique spiciness to announce it's presence, with an accompanying 'mustiness'. The Virginias are a fair few steps back, giving a flavour of a much lighter calibre; MUCH lighter. The burns quality is unquestionable, giving quite a cool smoke. Tongue bite? None.

Nicotine: strong. Room-note: not pleasant.

Room-note aside, this is a great VaPer. Highly recommended:

Four stars.
Pipe Used: Stanwell Pipe of the Year 2016
Age When Smoked: Four months
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 22, 2017 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
This tobacco simply has the finest bouquet out of the tin that you can imagine . It simply invites you to smoke . This bird has the usual Mc Clelland Virginia which means it is really good Virginia . The perique is present but not over the hill . I do think that Mc Clelland makes even finer VaPers sich as Tudor Castle but this is a treat for the tin note alone.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 24, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Tin aroma: dark fruit, figgy, minor sweetness from the virginias. Less of that typical McClelland smell than i normally notice from their matured virginias.

Taste: I got a lot of flavor coming from the perique. Lots of dark fruit flavors, fermented figs, moldering earthy flavors. I did taste some of the sweeter virginia flavors, but much more in the background. The virginias are not citrusy or grassy, but more smooth.

i found this to be fairly down the middle as far as strength and flavor goes.

I enjoyed this quite a bit because the forwardness of the perique and I am a bit of a perique fiend.

I did not notice any vitamin N hit from this.

I would by again.
Pipe Used: al pascia curvy
Age When Smoked: one year
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