Who Is The Best Oriental Blender With McClelland Now Gone

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64alex

Senior Member
May 10, 2016
386
8
I copied the title of another thread but changing here to Oriental instead that Virginia as in addition to Virginia the other important line of blends of McClelland were the Orientals. Actually I care more about the Orientals as McClelland was one of the very few offering blends with specific Orientals (Drama, Smyrna, Samsun, Yenidie...). I cellared a good amount of their Syrian blends before they runned out of it and I have enough for the rest of my life, but I have only a little of the other oriental blends. So the question is who to look for oriental blends now particularly for blends with specific leaf as McClelland did.

 

pianopuffer

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2017
464
25
NYC
I will be following this closely as I too have recently discovered Orientals and love 'em!
Sort of a lateral move here, but I find the Orientals in Dunhill tins to be quite lovely. Durbar, Aperitif, London Mixture, even EMP.
Never got the chance to get any of the McClelland stuff before it got scooped up.

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,571
794
Chicago, IL
C&D's Oriental Silk and Orion's Arrow come to mind immediately.

While I don't smoke Latakia blends, I'm given to understand that the Oriental leaf in Mac Baren's HH Vintage Syrian creates a highly regarded incense-like aroma.

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,717
376
+1 on the Vintage Syrian, the last run of which is being sent out. MacBaren's Syrian is now depleted. I also suggest that you have a look at L J Peretti's line of English/Balkan/Oriental blends including Omega, Royal and Tashkent and Oriental #40.

 

sasquatch

Preferred Member
Jul 16, 2012
982
27
There's lots of good orientals out there. Durbar tops my list right now. If it disappears, we are left with Red Rapparee, McConnell's Oriental, sadly Presbyterian seems only to be distributed in Europe right now but it exists.... there are oriental-heavy English blends like Old Dublin which have substantial quanities of certain leaf (basma in that case).

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
15,973
850
There are a couple of sites that still have some of Mcclelland's Oriental blends. Just ordered 10 tins of Oriental Mixture No. 6. Google is your friend. :wink:

 

lazar

Senior Member
May 5, 2015
446
0
To me, C&D Orientals are nothing like McC's. But +1 on the McConnell's. And Esoterica Margate, if you can find it.

 

balkisobrains

Preferred Member
Jun 27, 2016
1,174
5
Was McClellands the best Oriental blender? Most of the Grand Orientals seemed pretty VA-forwards to me, and at least a couple seemed topped with weird flavoring. Some are good smokes, but I didn't feel that many of them really highlighted or expressed what the Oris taste like. I also think that the McC VA casing worked against the Ori flavors for the most part. I would have tried some green labels, but didn't want to go through the same thing again. Peretti and C&D seem to do a better job of highlighting the Oris. People have mentioned Tashkent, Ori#40, and Royal, and C&D Star of the East Gold is another one to try. I think it's mainly because their VAs are not as robust as the McC stuff was. The C&D stuff that I have tried seems lightest on, or perhaps devoid of casing beyond some water, which also helps. I still flip back and forth as to whether or not Peretti Ori#40 has some sort of light topping on it, but it still consider it Ori-forwards, and I enjoy smoking it because of that. I've had the best luck with straight, sometimes whole-leaf, Oris and initially smoking them straight, and then adding them to taste to blander blends. A member sent me two or three home-grown varieties, which I am really looking forwards to trying. Through doing all of this I have begun to get a really good idea as to what Oris I like and which I don't. Although many blends don't really tell me what exactly is in there, I can compare back to what I know from the straight stuff and make some educated guesses, but at that point it just comes down to if I like it or not, and guessing what might be in a blend is just a fun game for me if they don't specify. :puffpipe:

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,717
376
Balkisobrains makes a very good point. McClelland held a dominant position in Virginia blends, not so much with their English and Oriental offerings. I liked their Grand Orientals, but when I'm in the mood for English/Balkan/Oriental blends I'm more likely to look elsewhere, which is why I mentioned Peretti. You will find fine blends in this part of the flavor spectrum from a number of other blenders.

 

glassjapan

Member
Feb 11, 2017
250
5
If you're a fan of the Grand Oriental Series then I'd suggest G.L. Pease's Cairo, Temple Bar and Regents Flake. A lot of folks like Embarcadero but not so much here. I would also toss in Robert McConnell's Scottish Flake. And, SG BS Flake from The Danish Pipe Shop.

 

coldsmoke

Member
Nov 29, 2016
125
1
Nunavut
Lots of Peretti recommendations.

I've been wanting to find an excuse (and someone else to pay the ticket) to visit Boston for a while now with no luck. It is, after all, a heck of a distance and my main reason is to sample some Taskent and Cambridge Flake.

 

prairiedruid

Preferred Member
Jun 30, 2015
1,680
12
I don't have a "go to" blender for orientals just certain blends I like such as John Cotton's Smyrna and PS English Oriental Supreme.

 

barepipe

Member
Aug 29, 2017
134
0
For me the best orientals comes from our very own Greg Pease. I have never thought of McClelland as an oriental brand. I have always thought of Virginias as their strength.