Exploring New Blends
I’m an enormous fan of J. R. R. Tolkien. Of course, I dig that he was a pipe smoker and am particularly fond of the fact that he included in the world he called Middle Earth an entire roster of characters who too preferred fine leaf and pipe smoking. Naturally, there have been crafted numerous Tolkien-inspired blends over the years but unfortunately most have been either troublesome to acquire or rather terrible to smoke.
In my opinion, ‘Frog Morton’, of McClellands’ Craftbury Collection, is likely the most remarkable tobacco blend anchored in the fictional Arda, despite that it’s a Tolkien reference totally obscure. The name itself is derived from a small hamlet mentioned in ‘The Return of the King’ in the East Farthing of the Shire called Frogmorton, which means frog marsh. The village is notable for its inn ‘The Floating Log’, the place where Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin are arrested as they make their way back to Hobbiton having destroyed the One Ring. However, McClelland’s tin depicts the pipe smoking frog, ‘Frog Morton’, sitting on a log, probably smoking what’s described on the label as the result of four years of blending and his proudest achievement. What’s this have to do with LOTR? Pretty much absolutely nothing.
Nevertheless, ‘Frog Morton’ is some good tobacco. The mild addition of smooth latakia to McClelland’s signature mature Virginia has this blend smoking so sweet I might have thought it spiced with Cavendish. Flavorful, yet mild, ‘Frog Morton’ is one of those blends that I find I enjoy terrifically with a book on a cold night after dessert. This stuff is big time satisfying.
Because I’m a total geek Because I’m so fond of Tolkien and his wonderful world of characters, I’ll keep
waiting for that perfectly inspired and readily available Middle Earth based pipe tobacco to hit the market. In the
meantime, it doesn’t get any better than ‘Frog Morton’.