A blend of light matured Virginias that is transformed through pressure, aging and light stoving into a beautifully dark navy flake. Rich and rewarding without being as strong or stout as traditional dark flakes.
I am not nearly as enthusiastic about this McCranie's offering as my esteemed colleague above. Smoking it was like going to an action movie and not finding much action.
It looked rich, but in this case, looks were deceiving. A mild Virginia flake, for sure. Dry it a bit before smoking as this one arrives moist. Comperable to Mac Baren's Navy Flake with less punch and more sweetness.
While browsing this site, I've read the 'ketchup smell' cliche many times but this one really does remind me of ketchup when nosing the baggy. I really like smoking this though. It's only my second flake (other is petersons university) so take this as a novice's point of view. Nice taste. Good stuff for new folks trying to get away from heavily cased aromatics and for experimenting with new cuts.
Wavered a bit between two and three stars while smoking this, and smoked three bowls on different days before reviewing it. It does look a lot like the picture of McClelland 2035; dark, thin flakes in varying degrees of falling apart. I have been in McCranie's several times, being originally from Charlotte, and though they do a lot of blending, I don't believe they press their own flakes. It is a small shop in the middle of a shopping center parking lot. They have done rebranded McClellands in the past. This is tasty, but my main problem with it is that it gives me some bite when I puff it hard, as I tend to do with these mellow stoved Virginias. It is not as forgiving as Dark Star or Esoterica Stonehaven (though I believe that one is a VABUR). I liked it better at the end of the bowl, when I could get the flavor I needed from smaller sips. This blend left some unsmokeable dottle at the very end, but that is not too much of a problem. Reasonably priced.
I believe this blend is McC. #2035 (Dark Navy Flake). I haven't smoked this for some time, but I remember thinking when I did smoke it that it was an OK blend and being bulk may have a price advantage for the cost-conscious folks who like this sort of tobacco. Knowing which blends are sold as whatever elsewhere gives one the option to shop around. The description I have states this is made up of Eastern Belt lemon, leaf and cutter grade tobaccos and processed as stated above. See McClellands #2035 bulk page for more reviews.
This tobacco is a good bulk Virginia flake. It looks just like Dark Star to be honest- beef jerky! The sweet virginia smell however tells me a different story. This tobacco is a little difficult to rub out, but burns like a champ. It did arrive a little to moist but some drying it helped it immensely. The taste is all stoved virginia- sweet and yummy! This blend will bite if you don't watch your smoking technique, however DGT'ing does seem to remedy this quite well. All in all another great tobacco from McCranies!
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