Tuesday, February 04, 2020


Two years after McClelland Tobacco shut down people are still desperate to find their products, or reasonable replacements. Which is a predictable development; I myself, had I known what was going to happen, might have stockpiled their stuff. More than I did.

I have not opened a tin of McClellands in probably thirty months.
Yet I have enough MC to smoke for four years.
Neener neener neener.

One pipe smoker I know, a remarkably stingy piece of work (a nice man), was desperate in those first few months, and picked my brain on the matter.
I steered him in what I thought would be the right direction, he was naturally disappointed with what he found, and thinks less of me in consequence.
And though I like him, I do not regret him fading from my circles.
Despite my immense affection for neurotic dickheads.

If you liked blends with heavily pressed red Virginia, you liked McClellands. But they are gone. Get over it. There are other tobaccos to put in your pipe, enjoyably, and even if your routine for the last ten centuries has been 5100 in your pipe while you dawdle over the Methodist Clarion and it's thoughtful editorials with half a pint of ale for three hours to the despair of the genial bar tender who puts up with you and your hogging the counter you remarkable cheap bastard, change is good.

If you cannot find something under the imprimatur of Samuel Gawith, Robert McConnell, Rattray, or Cornell & Diehl / Greg Pease that suits you, or goes well with a cup of strong Assam tea (stop drinking Whatney's Red Barrel, you pretendeur!), you are probably hopeless. Even Sutliff is trying to cater to you, and Scandinavian Tabak also has some fine products.

I personally find McConnell Red Virginia (tangy, fruity, faintest vanilla-like hint naturally occurring) more than passable, and Robert McConnell's Scottish Cake (Virginia, Kentucky, Perique) is also a fine product. Neither are, strictly speaking, my cup of tea, being much more of an aficionado of Elizabethan, Dunbar, and Dorchester, but both should keep you happily pissing off your bartender with your five feet of necessary counter space and one measely half pint of Auld Pretencion IPA in six hours during the busy part of the evening when sports is on the telly. And none of us civilized folks will have to run into you in Chinatown when we wander about smoking after a nice hot cup of Hong Kong Milk Tea and a delicious pastry.

Like my aunt, I find myself obsessing over delicious pastries.
Not as bad as when she came to San Francisco.
But never the less.

Pastries and vodka. Those were quests of hers.
She should' have smoked a pipe.
That's just a thought.

Go ahead; ensconce yourself.

Delicious pastries, mmmmmmmm!

Ran into a chap looking for 'Christmas Cheer' by McClelland the other day. He had a list of 'must try' tobaccos, but had no blessed clue that all of the McClelland oeuvre is damned hard to find now. They made a special blend for the holidays since 1992, different each year but all listed as Virginias, and avidly sought after. Unless, like me, you eschew special edition tobaccos.


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