Sunday, October 06, 2019

WHAT THEY WERE DOING IN KANSAS CITY (MCCLELLANDS)

Seeing as they've been out of production for nearly two years, and besotted mavens are still buying and selling them on the internet for ridiculous prices, it is, perhaps, time to do a few recollective reviews. McClelland tobaccos were in many marvelous iterations mainstays of the industry, and this blogger has smoked his fair share of their products. Of all types.

That said, other than for the purpose of writing her doctoral thesis, a young lady reader of this blog will not find much in this post to interest her.
Unless she likes the smell of burning leaves in Autumn.
Because that's what this post represents.
Burning leaves in Autumn.



ACADIAN RIBBON (BLAKENEY'S BEST)
A lovely peculiarity. Aged Virginia, touch of Perique. Goes very well with a cup of milk-tea, while torrential rains cascade from the eaves.
Deep and fruity, a note of pepperiness. Very satisfying.
Aged for a long time it can be awesome.


ARCADIA (221 b SERIES)
Frankly, I cannot understand why every one is excited about this one. It's okay, but kind of boring. A very good friend swears this is the best tobacco blend ever produced, and he's heartbroken that it's no longer made.
Stinky Turk, elderly Virginian, not enough Syrian pervert.
Yeah, um, no. Stick to your cigars, dude.

AURORA (COLLECTORS SERIES)
The full array of possible Virginia flavours and smells. Figgy, raisiny, plummy. Just enough black Virginia to add depth, not to dominate. This is a complex and enjoyable product, and I'm glad I still have a few tins left.
☆☆

BALKAN BEAUTY
Spicy and woodsy, and not at all like a Slavic woman with hair on her lip. Sort of recommended. In the tin it is truly a lovely variegated product.
I did not stock up on this.
Which I regret.


BAYOU SLICE (BLAKENEY'S BEST)
Nice small slices of a mottled appearance, matured Virginias paired with Perique. Mid-winter, bitter cold, and a lovely fire going. Like, for instance, your non-smoking neighbor's house.
Yes, I miss this one. I may have another tin of it somewhere.
Tangy, with a fermented fragrance.
☆☆

BEACON (COLLECTORS SERIES)
Mixed Virginias with Perique. Smooth, delicate, delightful. This is an exceptional VaPer, of which I wish I had stashed more.
☆☆☆

BEACON EXTRA (CLUB BLENDS)
Dark, dark fruit. An indulgent decadent flake.
The paradigm of figginess.


BLACK SHAG (221 b SERIES)
This isn't shag. It's a good smoke, though. Despite the deliberate appeal to Sherlock Holmes fans. Who are just as insufferable as Trekkies and Star Wars geeks, on the level of the RPG brutes.

BLACK TIE (PIPER'S CHOICE)
Uninteresting.

BLUE MOUNTAIN
Supposedly a reproduction of Balkan Sobranie 759. It isn't. But it's excellent. One of the best things I ever did was buying all the tins that Grant's on Market Street had in stock so that a fellow pipe-smoker wouldn't have it. Rich and fun, an over-the-top smoke.
I'm sitting on a pile.
☆☆

BOMBAY COURT
Latakia and Turkish forward.
Good. Not exceptional.

BOMBAY EXTRA
Better.

BOSTON 1776 (GREATER KANSAS CITY CLUB BLEND)
The local pipe club had a sample tin of this. I smoked all of it. Dense, mottled, tangy. A little too earthy and bold to be a mainstay, but a nice indulgence now and then.

BRINDLE FLAKE
Darkish flake, nice.

BRITISH WOODS
A superlative English-style for the cold season.
Nice, and offensive to non-smokers.
I treasure this.
☆☆☆

DARK STAR
Old tramp steamer, smuggling guns to the rebels.
Dark Virginias, heavy press.
Good.


DEEP HOLLOW
When your cat finds you petting another animal.
Somewhat regrettable, but I enjoyed it.
Apple cider and light vanilla.
A mundane Aromatic.

DOMINICAN GLORY, DOMINICAN GLORY MADURO
Both of these are damned fine smokes for a contemplative man.
Which I sometimes claim to be.
Aged Virginias, cigar leaf.
I've stashed a bit of it.
For a rainy day.
☆☆

FROG MORTON
English in style. It's okay.

FROG MORTON ACROSS THE POND
More English in style. Also okay.

FROG MORTON ON THE TOWN
Also English. Likewise kind of okay.

FROG MORTON'S CELLAR
Unique. English. Okay.

FROG MORTON ON THE BAYOU
Balkan with Perique. Why?



FULL BALKAN RESERVE - CORPS (CLUB BLENDS)
Smooth and rich, not as Latty as you might like. Similar to Frog on Town, but considerably better. A solid medium level.


GREY HAVENS
Burley, Virginia, Perique, top dressing.
Not my style, but whatever.

HONEYDEW (221 b SERIES)
A peculiarity of monumental dimension. John O. writes: "Honeydew is a sugar-rich sticky liquid, secreted by aphids and some scale insects as they feed on plant sap. When their mouthpart penetrates the phloem, the sugary, high-pressure liquid is forced out of the anus of the aphid."
Hello Kitty likes this.


LATAKIA FLAKE (BLAKENEY'S BEST)
Smoke this slow, late at night, with a glass of sherry. Reminiscent in several profound ways of the old Bengal Slices.
☆☆

LEGENDS
Smooth and exceptionally well-balanced, a medium English.
This is what lazy afternoons are meant for.
Compounded by Fred Hanna.
☆☆☆

NAVY CAVENDISH
Dark Virginias and rum. Tangy and fruity.
Sometimes it hits the spot perfectly.
Your wild animals will like it.
As do I.


NEW CENTURY (CPCC - CLUB BLENDS SERIES)
An exercise in Balkan mixtures, dark in hue, with Cyprian and Basma. Smooth medium. Dammit, I only have one tin left.


NO. 22
Matured Virginia broken flake. It's tasty.
Medium strength, and balanced.


NO. 24
Old dark Virginias and Turkish. Somewhat more subtle than many flakes. and altogether rather good. When the time is right, this tobacco sings.
Woodsy, grassy, and ages exceptionally well.


NO. 25
Almost monodimensional.
Good. Not great.

NO. 27
A mild-smoking medium Virginia, with nice notes. Good for an all day smoke, or middle of the night after going to Bob's Donuts.
It's mostly red Virginias.
Very enjoyable.


NO. 5100 RED CAKE
Good for smoking straight or as a blender. Medium-mild.
It was one of their bulk offerings.

NORDING'S DOGS
Beagle, Foxhound, Labrador, Pointer, Retriever.
Decent, albeit uninspired.

OLD DOG (ASHTON SERIES)
Prominent presence of Latakia. A dark blend, woody and somewhat fruity. Surprisingly easy smoking, and enjoyable, but one really has to be in the mood for this, as in a way it's more-or-less a one shot wonder.
The Xanthi does add a note of complexity.
This may piss off your better half.
Worth it.


ORIENT 996 - VINTAGE 2007
Resinous and woodsy, spicy notes. An easy smoke. Not very much Latakia, the red Virginias are more noticeable.
The Yendidje is almost inconspicuous.
A decent blend, not a great blend.

ORIENTAL MIXTURE NO. 1
Mild, well made, but almost bland. In the general category of Dunhill EMP or some of the lighter German offerings.

ORIENTAL MIXTURE NO. 6
The orange Virginias dominate, and for people who like that this is perfect. The Orientals play a strictly secondary role.

ORIENTAL MIXTURE NO. 8
Medium strength red cake and Orientals, it is a very good product that packs well and burns cleanly. It has Latakia, but not in buckets.
A restrained blend for a quiet afternoon.

ORIENTAL MIXTURE NO. 12
A nice blend. Not very complex. This one benefits from aging, but you will have to wait several years.

ORIENTAL MIXTURE NO. 14
Deeper and richer. We're getting there.

SMYRNA NO. 1
This is one of the blends in the Grand Oriental Series that I actually thoroughly enjoyed. I made off with the sample tin, and rather regret that it is no longer available. Medium, with a good spectrum of Turkish saveur.


ST. JAMES WOODS
Spicy-sweet, dark, earthy. The smoke is rich and creamy.


SYRIAN FULL BALKAN
Dark, full, and like many Latakia blends at the blacker end of the spectrum, monochromatic.

SYRIAN SUPER BALKAN
The fullest of their Syrian offerings, with the addition of Perique, which may have been a mistake.

SYRIAN STAR (GREATER KANSAS CITY CLUB BLEND)
Not a Latakia powerhouse, more of a medium English. But an exceptionally nice medium English. Perfect for rainy days, when you've slammed the phone down on your mother-in-law, and wish to relax for an hour.
☆☆

TAWNY FLAKE (BLAKENEY'S BEST)
Straight Virginias, very nicely done. Mild to medium, and a very pleasant early Autumn or late winter indulgence.


THREE OAKS (SYRIAN)
A lovely English style mixture, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Far less of the signature McClelland pong than many other of their products, very likely because the original genius who invented it (Tad Gage) did not use too much McClelland blending tobacco in his composition. I have slightly more than a three month supply of it left, sealed, and it's all mine.
Outstanding and memorable.
☆☆☆

VIRGINIA WOODS
Now, I liked this, a lot, but very many people didn't. Good thing I have a few tins left. Ribbony and mostly red.


WILDERNESS
Medium English. This is a very good blend composed by Fred Hanna, and well-worth acquiring. Complex and masterful.
☆☆☆

YENICE AGONYA
Smells lovely, benefits from age.
Too much Virginia.

YENIDJE HIGHLANDER
I am not so sure that the addition of Maryland was a good idea, but it may please some Dutchmen. It is a beautiful looking mixture, but it takes a few bowls to appreciate. Worth acquiring, but no idea how it will age.

YENIDJE SUPREME
Illustrates why Turkish leaf must be paired with Latakia. Which this blend does not do. Ethereal, and reminds me of expensive European cigarettes.



McClelland ceased operations at the beginning of 2018, ending a forty-year run which brought many hours of civilized pleasure to grumpy old coots of every age, from teens to decrepit fossiltude. The shelves of many tobacconists look far emptier now.

Special mention must be made of Legends, Three Oaks, and Wilderness, those being English style mixtures of which I am glad I still have tins.
They gild the past, and will make glorious the future.

Oh, and the tins of Blue Mountain.
Splendid stuff too.



TOBACCO INDEX


==========================================================================
NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
LETTER BOX.
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.
==========================================================================

No comments:

Search This Blog

OKAY, THAT MONTH IS FINALLY OVER

June ended not a moment too soon. It wasn't a good month, and the less said about it the better. Stop me before I go on about it ad naus...