McClelland - Syrian Latakia: Full Balkan 50g
Smooth and Tasty
I will admit I felt a little mislead by the name. It isn't what I would consider "Full flavored Balkan". That being said it is a pleasant smoke. This was my first experience with Syrian Latakia and I was amazed by how smooth and creamy the Latakia is compared to the Cyprian. The Va and Orientals blend nicely and the sum is a very nice Medium Balkan.
Samuel Gawith - Squadron Leader 50g
A well balanced blend with Turkish and Virginia leading the way and Latakia in the background. Comfort is indeed the right word for this stuff. Its a classic medium English with a permanent place in my rotation!
McClelland - Personal Reserve: Bombay Court 50g
Made Me a Little Sad
This was my first McClelland tobacco and although I had read plenty of reviews, most of which mentioning the "ketchup" smell, I thought I was prepared for the smell to be a bit odd when I opened the tin... Keyword thought.... I was wrong. The smell when I opened the tin reminded me not only of ketchup but of rotten, nasty, gross ketchup. Needless to say I was a little put off, but I plowed on anyway. The reviews I read said to spread some out on some news paper and let it dry 15-20 minutes before smoking, so I did just that. Throughout the first bowl I kept tasting the rotten, nasty, gross ketchup and so I emptied the bowl half way through. Never having been one to give up I poured about half the tin out to let it dry/air out for about 3 hours, put it in a separate jar and tried it again the next day. This time I could no longer taste the "ketchup" and actually enjoyed flavor. However, since then I haven't had the same experience twice. The flavors get kind of murky, tends to burn hot as well. I wanted to like it, but I can't seem to get a consistent smoke out of this one.
McClelland - Craftsbury: Frog Morton 50g
Really Like This One
Frog Morton did not disappoint, I enjoy a good English and that is exactly what I got from this blend; a really good English style blend. The smell of the latakia was strong when I opened the tin, which made me even more anxious to smoke it. Having learned the hard way that a little dry time is needed with most McClelland blends, I let this one dry for about 45 minutes before smoking it. I was surprised to see how dark it is. You have to search to find the Virginia, but when I lit up I had an easier time finding it. The Virginias in this are distinct however sparse. Every bowl has been consistently smooth and cool burning with little to no bite and a flavor I really enjoy. Looking forward to trying others in the Frog Morton line.
McClelland - CPCC: Scottish Woods 50g
Roughly two minutes into the first bowl I realized I had a new favorite blend. The first thing I noticed was how smooth it is. The Orientals carry the flavor and while the Latakia is ever- present it doesn't take over bowl. The Virgina adds its characteristic sweetness and the end result is a blissfully smooth, medium-full flavored blend that I can smoke at any time of day, in any type of pipe. I will be stockpiling this one.