What Was Your First Time Like?

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Feb 16, 2014
With all this talk about McClelland, I got to thinking about my first time. I have been smoking a pipe for about 12 years. I can remember as I explored different blends I was steered toward the Frog. That was my first experience with McClelland and I was blown away. On the Town has a strong presence in my cellar as well as several different years of Cheer. What was your first McClelland blend and is it still in your rotation?



Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
Monterey Peninsula
We were but teenagers; She was nervous, and so was I, as we had never gone all the way to the tobacco store together. I loaded up a bowl of Christmas Cheer and thought that Virginias are quite tolerable.
Yes, still have some tins but not exactly in a rotation. Nor is she.



Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
3 Oaks Syrian turned me into a serious pipe smoker, that stuff just blew my mind when I first started piping. Over the years my tastes have changed quite drastically but I still have one more tin in my cellar, saving it for a rainy day.



Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
I think Frog Morton was my first experience with McClelland and it was quite pleasant. I think Dark Star was my second. I was very much a novice at the time, didn't dry it, thought it tasted wonderful up to the point I fried the majority of my tongue. Thankfully, the tongue healed and it didn't deter me from enjoying thousands of bowls of McClelland Virginias since that first experience.



Senior Member
Nov 28, 2011
Frog Morton for me. I loved the tin art and hobbit reference. I was hooked on Penzance at the time so this was right up my ally. Smokey deliciousness. My "rotation" back then was Penzance, Squadron Leader and Froggy. Ahh, the days when you could go to P&C and get whatever blend you want including Esoterica.



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
With a Tinderbox pipe and aromatic, and years of watching my dad "fire up his briar," as he said, it was pretty easy and pleasant. I think people who start out never having been around a pipe smoker or smokers are brave. It would be a lot more tentative and awkward, but it's not advanced calculus, I guess.



Preferred Member
Jun 6, 2017
Red & Black made me not a fan. I turned to other offerings, like LBF and ODF.
I have a few tins of Frog and Orientals scattered through the cellar, but haven't really messed with them yet.
In the future, I'll likely pop them and say to myself, "So THAT'S what the fuss was all about."
Then I will load another bowl of the state sanctioned reduced nicotine tobacco simulation product and tune back in to the approved propaganda media content. 8O



Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
Bought a tin of Christmas Cheer 2017 and was blown away by it. I still have a lot of it left too. I have an unopened Holiday Spirit 2016 and Blackwoods Flake that I'm eagerto try, but not too eager as I won't be able to get any more.



Senior Member
Mar 2, 2016
I haven't had any McClelland's blends yet, though I may have had a bowl of 3 Oaks, that sounds familiar. That being said, I was just gifted a jar of cellared Frog Morton from 2000, so I'll get to have that at least.



Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
The year after I started smoking, Christmas Cheer 1992 came out. Discovered that Virginias were a favorite early on.



Preferred Member
Jul 12, 2011
12 years ago with some St. James Woods and Blackwoods Flake - not knowing what I was doing and not giving the blends enough dry time...they tore the crap out of my mouth , had burns for weeks - painful experience. I have lbs stocked up for the years to come and now that I know what I'm doing and with extra age on all of them I'm excited to break back into them.



Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
United States
Original Frog Morton was my first MC blend. Back when I smoked English blends it was a favorite. When Frog on the Bayou came out, I bought some right away and really enjoyed that as well. I stopped smoking English blends over a decade ago, but still have fond memories of the Frog.

My first attempt at smoking their red virginia's was when my buddy Mark told me I needed to buy a pound of 5100. That shit tore my tongue off and I ended up trading it ten years later. At the time I had no idea it was red virginia's that were burning my tongue off.



Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
Her name was Heidi. We were freshman at Albany . . . I'll leave the rest to your imagination.
You lost your cheery to a German Shepherd??!! 8O
My first remembered experience with McClelland was buy one of their bulk Virginias, under another name tagged to it by the B&M, about 27-28 years ago. I thought, "Do all Virginias taste like ketchup?"



Preferred Member
Dec 5, 2016
My first MC blend was Christmas Cheer back in 1993/1994; that's the time when I started trying premium tobaccos. At the time, I couldn't imagine anything more delicious -- the same with their En/Balkan blends. I still have a few tins of 3 Syrian and Frog Morton from when I smoked more English blends. Although I do like MC VAs -- their CC and 40th and Dark Star and 24 blends especially -- I think now I have grown to prefer other VAs, especially those by Mac Baren/Capstan and SG and Wessex. But I am glad I have a few of the MC VAs I like to enjoy for the next few years. Harris, I think I understand your aversion to red VAs, as I find I have to be much more conscious of my cadence when I am smoking them. Sometimes I just want to read or think and not be so conscious of how I am sipping.



Preferred Member
Aug 24, 2013
My first McC was a blend made for a pipe enthusiast who ran a newstand near me. He was a bit of a mentor and got me on Escudo, his one main smoke. He also sold me my first can of an Esoterica blend. And sold me a bunch of pipes.



Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2015
Sunny Cornwall, UK.
My first venture into McClelland tobaccos was a boxful of various Virginia flake tins. Though they were tasty I was left a little underwhelmed by their depth of flavour or rather lack of. I was comparing them (rightly or wrongly) with FVF which I find to be the best straight Virginia blend going. That said, I still did enjoy them.
I have some more tins waiting for me in the States which once they arrive here will be put away and forgotten about as I hear there is much improvement to be found after a few years.
Then of course I tried their #2015 VaPer Flake and was immediately smitten. By far the best of its genre in my humble opinion. I have a little put away and yet more on the way but not nearly enough to keep me smiling until I pop my clogs.



Senior Member
Jun 29, 2016
My first love was and still is Full Virginia Flake. McClelland offered change of pace, twists and diversions, but I always return to FVF.



Preferred Member
Feb 7, 2018
The only blend i have tried is the Dark Star. I have found that i really enjoy Virginia's, however the Dark Star tasted like ketchup as the old cliche goes . So i have put it away to age . Do all there blends have this same flavor, because i have read that a lot. And if thats the case i feel like i won't be missing out as this blender retires.

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