McClelland - Grand Orientals: Classic Samsun 50g
Fruit and Spice
I opened the Samsun from the Grand Oriental collection by McClellan. Surprisingly, it reminds me a lot of GLP new Sixpence. Opening it greats you with the fruity scent that 6p has. It isn't quite as strong in the fruity department but really has the spice note that orientals are noted for. It certainly isn't a straight Samsun like you might guess but has a mixture of brown and black flakes. The difference between it an the 6p is really the spicy background note and, of course, the form with 6p being a flake. Either makes an interesting and different taste experience that really can satisfy everyone from an aromatic smoker to a mild English follower without leaving out the VaPer fiends. Zero bite. Burning it in a Sidney P. Ram - Algerian Briar, saddle bit, Billiard that is one of my favorite smoking tools.

Newminster - No.84 Oriental Pipe Cut
The golden Virginia stands out. The oriental adds a subtile note. You are smoking a fine Virginia with the oriental a gentle background note. It is a great adjunct blend for Va and VaPer smokers.

Mac Baren - Club Blend 16oz
Tasty Roll with a Twist
First the Cavendish isn't a rocklike bit in the center. It actually bends and mixes. It isn't an everyday smoke for me but one that I enjoy and Ifairly often. It has a different note than others in it class. It a bit hard for me to describe. The has a leathery-spicey taste that just isn't like other coins. It smokes easy. I just cram a bunch of coins in a fairly broad pipe and go at it. I try a few ounces at first. I think it is a love-hate type of smoke. It has a uniqueness that some might not care for. I'm not one of those.

Newminster - No.400 Superior Navy Flake
Needs some age
I usually smoke LNF but tried this Virginia Flake when it started production. It was bitty and unpleasant. Let it age about 9 months or so and what a difference. It darkend noticably and became a sublime smoke. It is now soft, sweet, gentle. It is better than nice. I need to pick up several pounds of this for the future.

Peter Stokkebye - PS701 Virginia
The Change in blender wasn't great
I've used Va 701 for ages and feel comfortable in what it is/was. I bought it in the recent sales and am assuming it came from the new US source. It came much wetter than in the past and isn't drying well. I am guessing that glycol is the culprit. I left it open for a week and it is stll fairly damp and has a sticky feel that was never there in the past. If this is more than teething pains at the US house, I'll be looking for a different source. e.g. Newminster

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