A Message From Mike & Mary McNiel

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pipestud

Preferred Member
Dec 6, 2012
1,737
97
Robinson, TX.
Howdy Gang,
I have been in conversation with Mike and Mary McNiel (owners of McClelland's), over the past couple of days while the two of them were sampling from a 500 pound batch of Red Virginia that they hoped measured up to their standards in order to produce more 5100 Red Cake. Mike called me this morning to say that, unfortunately, after extensive smoking tests in clay, Briar & Meerschaum pipes, the tobacco did not meet their standards and was headed for the trash bin.
Mike asked me this morning to let everyone on the forum know that 5100, after having been sold publicly since 1980, is no more and has been officially retired from the McClelland's lineup. He knew that McClelland's 5100 had been a topic of discussion here and wanted to put an end to all the rumors and guessing. He and Mary also want to thank all of you for your kind comments concerning McClelland's and their 5100, and knew that everyone would understand that he and Mary would not put out a sub-standard product just for the sake of making a few dollars.
Mike also said that quality Red Virginia is becoming extremely difficult to locate these days and that he doesn't expect that will improve any time soon. What this means regarding the future of great tobacco blends that use Red Virginia, I don't know. I sure hope that beautiful sweet red stuff isn't headed the way of Syrian Latakia.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,455
1,111
What this means regarding the future of great tobacco blends that use Red Virginia, I don't know.
So, more speculating and rumoring is needed? I don't understand why they don't come on and post themselves. Otherwise this is still just hearsay.

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,709
1,787
Chicago, IL
I think pipestud has enough credibility within the community to act as a reliable source.

What still needs some explaining is the cause of the red Va. crisis. (Cosmic, get a spell-checker.)

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,455
1,111
I would think that a depleted source of reds would mean an end to McClelland's pipe tobacco altogether. And, I am a little surprised to learn that they don't flue cure themselves. That means they have been leaving most of their magic with Virginias up to the farmers?

 

perdurabo

Preferred Member
Jun 3, 2015
2,941
433
I'm not as knowledgeable as most of you about things like this, but my thoughts were about the same as Cosmic's. Plus the fact that McClelland matures their virginias may play a role. I don't know. It's been interesting listening to these threads about red Virginia. Perhaps tobacco blenders need to do what Jade Liquers has done, be the source(farmer) of their products.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,455
1,111
With as much respect as possible, Pipestud hasn't said anything other than exactly what has already been said in every McClelland thread. It didn't answer any of the other questions that constantly comes up. A Q&A session or at least a post that sums up some of these speculations would help.

 

perdurabo

Preferred Member
Jun 3, 2015
2,941
433
Listening? Ha ha ha Look at me. Reading was what I meant......
Yea, Not really an answered question. But I think Pipestud did the best he could do.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,695
1,075
I'm a 5100 fan and this is bad news. I'll smoke my remaining little bit with reverence. However, I do remember that McClellands is a master craft blender of a wide variety of Virginia blends and I am pleased to be able to roam through the offerings and have on hand tins to smoke now and to age for the future. So as much as I lament the end of 5100, I commend their offerings. I'm looking fondly at my Christmas Cheer 2015 and my Navy Cavendish "smiling" down from the top of my pipe cabinet.

 

alan73

Senior Member
Apr 26, 2017
449
0
I do believe PIpestud, while I do not believe some random posters. His livelihood is dependent on trust, he wouldn't make up a story. I have seen many posts that lack facts and lean towards gossip or worse sensational "click bait".
I do wonder what this means for McClelland in general. Red Virginias make up a significant part of their available blends. I see an interview on the radio show, getting lots of airplay. Someone make it happen.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,455
1,111
I've been calling every B&M possible to buy up remaining stock of 5100, but if all reds are in jeopardy, I may have to widen my hoarding to include all Virginias.

Buys, the game is on. Time to buy, buy, buy... Whether it is truly the end of McClellands Pipe Tobacco or not, it doesn't sound good. :puffy:

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,455
1,111
I do believe PIpestud, while I do not believe some random posters.
You guys are getting sidetracked. I don't question Pipestud's validity, he just hasn't said anything that every single other McClelland's poster has said. The point is, hit those credit cards, and hit them hard!

 

perdurabo

Preferred Member
Jun 3, 2015
2,941
433
I think this is a false alarm. This is about McClelland standards. Crops will come and go. It's like wine. Some years suck. I think there may be something else at play.

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,905
910
Well, 5100 was officially retired last week and evidently McNeil was hoping to stave that off. I do find it hard to believe that they would throw out 500 lbs of leaf and not just sell it off elsewhere, but if it's been processed and has that McClelland signature Ketchup, maybe so.
Bottom line, nothing has changed. There's no more 5100 coming your way. So if you're a big fan, get busy tracking down the tons of it in the wild before it truly goes away. It's expensive and it won't get any cheaper

 
May 5, 2014
237
0
I spoke with Mike right after he ended his call with our PipeStud.

What Steve is saying is true and Cosmic said hit those Credit cards...I second that.

Not a false alarm...Mike gave me permission to post (known about this for months) that quality is not there and soon his product will not be produced anymore .

 

admin

Smoking a Pipe Right Now
Staff member
Nov 16, 2008
7,961
232
St. Petersburg, FL
Sorry to hear. Thanks for the info PipeStud.
We'll see if Mike wants to do an interview.
Brian is still in the UK, and won't be back in time for this Tuesday's show, so we are moving it to Thursday for this week only.
I just emailed him a link to this thread.

 

pipestud

Preferred Member
Dec 6, 2012
1,737
97
Robinson, TX.
And thank you, Kevin, for working on a follow-up to my "hearsay" opening post. :wink:
Webster's definition of Hearsay -
noun

1.

unverified, unofficial information gained or acquired from another and not part of one's direct knowledge:
2.

an item of idle or unverified information or gossip; rumor:

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,455
1,111
Pipestud, I apologize. But, the reason that I used that word was because all of the other posts came from someone who had just heard from Mike and Mary also, and said the same things. Again, not to say that you are unreliable, but secondhand news is still not the same as from the horse's mouth. Your post was the same as the rest of the posts, where we had said that we needed more information.

I apologize for not elaborating. I meant no slight on you, just a desire to hear more on what was going on, to help make sense of all of this.

 

pipestud

Preferred Member
Dec 6, 2012
1,737
97
Robinson, TX.
No offense taken, Cosmic.
All I did was respond to a direct request from Mike & Mary McNiel. I never thought for a moment that I was delivering old news, especially when just last night Mike told me that he and Mary wouldn't know whether 5100 would be produced again until after their taste tests were completed this morning. The McNiel's respect this particular forum so much that they wanted me to get the word out that they were ceasing production of 5100 to stop the rumors, not add to them. It was certainly not my intent, or the McNiel's, to add any speculation or rumors and I don't believed I conveyed either in my post. If I did, then I apologize, too.
Pipetud

 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,608
36
...but secondhand news is still not the same as from the horse's mouth.
Depending on the character of the relayer of the news, it CAN be the same.
Also, besides having an impeccable reputation, Steve was confirming what I said in last week's 5100 thread. And Mike and Mary live about three miles from me, we're in the same club, and I've known him for years.
You are either very stubborn or not very perceptive.

 
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