McClelland's Royal Cajun Blends. . .?

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rmbittner

Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2012
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Seven years ago, I picked up a tin of McClelland's Royal Cajun Dark. I can't physically tolerate perique, and the Royal Cajun series contained something called Cajun Black, which was touted at the time as a perique substitute. I figured it couldn't hurt to at least sample a tin.
But I haven't noticed any discussion about these blends here. (It gets favorable reviews on TR.com.)
So I'm curious: Has anyone tried any of the Royal Cajun blends? If so, I'd love to hear what you think. (For the record, my one tin of RCD is still in the cellar.)
Bob

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,703
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Chicago, IL
I smoked a tin of RC Dark some months ago. Since I avoid Latakia, I thought the fire cured/Perique-processed Va would have some appeal. It still tasted a lot like Latakia to me. While I would give it low marks because of the smokey taste, for some reason I blew through a tin of this pretty quickly. Go figure. Maybe some guys who are really tuned-in to Latakia's subtleties can make a meaningful comparison.

 

rmbittner

Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2012
2,099
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roth:
By all accounts, there's no burley in this one. . . but I have yet to find an explicit description of what, exactly, "Cajun Black" is.
And, no, since I'm so sensitive to perique -- and so uncertain about how I'd react to this series -- I only picked up a single tin of the Royal Cajun Dark. My apprehension about it has kept it in the cellar for the last seven years.
I'd love to hear more comments on it, though.
Bob

 

tanless1

Preferred Member
Sep 14, 2010
644
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I remember liking the RC Special, but I also remebering burning my tounge a lot.....maybe that's why its not in my rotation. However, I believe I've got a couple of unopend tins somewhere.

 

rmbittner

Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2012
2,099
1
roth:
The proof will be in the pipe, I reckon. I can suss out burley very easily, so there shouldn't be any question once I actually try the stuff.
Bob

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,703
1,751
Chicago, IL
It's my understanding that there are red and stoved red Virginias in the blend along with

a Kentucky grown Virginia that's been fire cured and Perique-processed. No Burley, no Perique, no Latakia.

From the website:



 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,703
1,751
Chicago, IL
OK, I browsed through some cases of Mason jars and found one with a few bowlfuls of RC Dark. I just had a bowl,

and I can tell you it's fairly tart (citrous) with a woody character -- and to my tastes smokey and a bit leathery.

There is enough sweetness to balance the tartness and smooth-out the woodiness. It resembles a Latakia blend

so closely that it would fool me completely in a blind taste test. I guess that's due to the fire cured leaf.

 

kcvet67

Preferred Member
Jul 6, 2010
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I'd ask McClelland if you really want to know.
I did. I talked to Mike McNiel about the Royal Cajun blends two years ago at the KC Pipe Show. He said that Cajun Black is made from Virginia that has been fermented in the same fashion as Perique. Their source for it has a proprietary process and prefers not to reveal all the details.

 
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