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Jim's McConnell's Dunhill Clones Reviews.

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  1. jiminks

    JimInks

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    Here's my reviews of seven of Robert McConnell's Dunhill clones.

    Robert McConnell Durbar Square:
    The dry, mildly floral, woody, spicy, and fairly sour Orientals takes a lead here. The dark Virginia offers dark fruit and earth as a important secondary player. The smoky, woody, musty sweet Cyprian latakia competes with the dark Virginia for attention, and at times supersedes it a mite. The citrusy, lightly grassy yellow Virginia also provides a touch of spice in the background. In most all respects, it’s rather similar to the re-release version of Dunhill Dunbar, except the latakia and especially the spice are a tad more obvious, and this is a slightly fuller smoke, so it doesn't quite have the balance that Dunbar has. This blend is a little sweeter as well, which I attribute to the dark Virginias. The strength is just past the center of mild to medium, while the taste is medium. The nic-hit is almost at the center of mild to medium. Those last three attributes are similar to the Dunhill version. Won’t bite, or get harsh, and has no rough edges. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a very consistent, moderately sweet and lightly more spicy, savory flavor through out the experience. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasant, short lived after taste and room note. Can be an all day smoke. I gave three to the Murray’s production, and the re-release. This gets three and a half stars.

    Robert McConnell Early Bird:
    The smoky, woody, earthy, musty sweet Cyprian latakia is the lead component. The dry, lightly floral, sour, woody, earthy Orientals take second place in this blend. The mildly tangy, dark dark fruity, earthy red Virginia is a supporting player, and is more noticeable than the citrusy, grassy bright Virginia, which is more of a condiment. This compares favorably with Dunhill’s version, though the latakia and Orientals are a tad stronger here, and the Virginias are a hair less so than what I experienced in Early Morning Pipe. The strength is just past the center of mild to medium, while the taste level is medium. Won’t bite or get harsh, and has a couple rough edges in spots, unlike EMP. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with very consistent, mildly sweet and savory flavor to the finish. Leaves little dampness in the bowl and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasant, short lived after taste and room note. An all day smoke that is slightly fuller than EMP. I gave two and a half stars to EMP. This gets three.

    Robert McConnell Eclipse:
    This isn’t that much near Dunhill Deluxe Navy Rolls at all. NR doesn’t have a sugary black cavendish core, and it’s a stronger blend in every way. The various Virginias offer some dark fruit and earth, a mild citrus and grassiness along with a touch of the floral. The lightly spicy, plummy, raisiny perique is a supporting player. The black cavendish appears at various times, depending upon how you prepare the coins, so there is a little inconsistency in the taste of the blend as well as the burn rate. The strength and nic-hit are a couple steps past the mild level, while the taste is a little closer to medium than it is to mild. No chance of bite or harshness. Burns cool and clean, and a tad slow. Leaves little moisture in the bowl. Needs a few relights. Has a pleasant, lightly lingering after taste, and is an all day smoke. I gave four stars to DDNR.

    Robert McConnell Majesty Elizabeth:
    The citrusy, grassy, lightly hay-like and earthy Virginias also have a modicum of dark fruit. The very spicy, lightly raisiny, mildly plumy perique is a supporting player. There’s more perique and a lot less grass in this than in the current version of Dunhill Elizabethan. The dark fruit note is not present in DE either. This has a fuller flavor, also. The strength and nic-hit are in the center of mild to medium. The taste is step or so past those marks. It won’t bite or get harsh, but the spice does give a slight tongue tingle. Burns fairly cool and very clean at a moderate pace with a very consistent taste from start to finish. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires few relights. Has a lightly lingering, pleasant sweet and spicy after taste and room note. An all day smoke that is superior in every way compared to Dunhill’s latest version, to which I gave two stars.

    Robert McConnell My Mixture 999:
    The smoky, woody, musty, earthy sweet Cyprian latakia is the lead component. The lightly floral and sour, woody, dry, spicy, smoky, earthy Orientals play a support role. The Virginias offer some citrus and grass with a little dark fruit and earth in a secondary position. The sugary black cavendish provides some sweet smoothness. The Dunhill version is slightly more complex with a touch less latakia, and the Orientals are a little more prominent here. This also a tad sweeter. The strength and taste levels are medium. The nic-hit is just past the center of mild to medium. Won’t bite or get harsh, and has very few rough notes. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a mildly sweet and more savory flavor from start to finish. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. The pleasant after taste lingers a mite as does the more pungent room note. Can be an all day smoke. I gave the original three stars as I do this one.

    Robert McConnell Night Club:
    The smoky, woody, earthy mildly sweet Cyprian latakia is the lead component. The dry, smoke, woody, lightly floral and sour Orientals are secondary players. The grassy, lightly citrusy, earthy and dark fruity Virginias are the third stars in the mix. The spicy, raisiny, plumy perique is a condiment. The latakia and Orientals are not as forceful as they are in Nightcap, while the Virginias and perique play a similar, but not exact role in regard to being a close match. The strength is medium, while the taste is a step or so past that mark. The nic-hit is a little closer to medium than it is to mild. Won’t bite or get harsh, but like Nightcap, does have a rough edge here and there, though it’s a tad more obvious in Nightcap. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable rate with a very consistent mildly sweet and fairly savory flavor from top to bottom. Leaves little moisture in the bowl and requires an average number of relights. The after taste lingers a little, and the room note is a little stronger than that. Can be an all day smoke for the veteran. It’s fairly similar to Nightcap, but lacks a little of the strength inherent in the Dunhill product, which isn’t an all day smoke. I gave four stars to Nightcap.

    Robert McConnell Virginia 5 Year Matured:
    The very grassy/hay-like, mildly earthy, citrusy, lightly dark fruity Virginias take the lead. The dry, lightly floral, earthy, woody Orientals are in the background. These attributes are fairly close to the original Dunhill version, except the dry and floral notes are a tad less obvious. The other attributes of the Orientals are a step stronger. The lemon and apricot toppings in the original are extremely mild here, and mildly noticeable, unlike the original where they are a touch more potent. The toppings tone down the tobaccos a little. This version is a little less sweet. The strength and nic-hit are mild, and the taste level is a step past that. Won’t bite or get harsh. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a very consistent, mildly sweet and lightly savory flavor. Leaves little moisture in the bowl and requires an average number of relights. Has a short lived, pleasant after taste. An all day smoke. I gave the Murray’s version two stars, and two and a half for the re-release. This gets three stars because it’s better, even though it’s not that close a match, it's in the ball park despite being just a little stronger. While I doubt the tobaccos were aged five years, they do have the feel of aged varietals to a small extent.

    Posted 8 months ago #
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    derekflint

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    Great reviews.........Thanks Jim......

    Posted 8 months ago #
  3. shanez

    shanez

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    Excellent as always.

    When you say the Night Club isn't as strong as Nightcap, do you mean in general or in the nicotine department?

    Posted 8 months ago #
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    redone

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    Excellent reviews, as always. Thanks, Jim.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  5. artificialme

    artificialme

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    This is what I waiting for. Time to go hunting those nightclub...hahaha

    Btw, great review Jim...

    Adhie was here
    Posted 8 months ago #
  6. jiminks

    JimInks

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    Shanez: I meant overall. It's a pretty good match, but it lacks a little of the fullness in strength nicotine, body and flavor that Nightcap has.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  7. crashthegrey

    crashthegrey

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    Thank you for the thoroughness we all love.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  8. jiminks

    JimInks

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    Thank you for the kind words.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  9. hoosierpipeguy

    hoosierpipeguy

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    Nice reviews Jim, as usual. Sounds like their version of Navy Rolls is a repackaged Stokkebye Luxury Bullseye Flake.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  10. tavol

    tavol

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    Nice reviews!

    I was looking forward to these blends being available, any truth in the rumours they're being discontinued already?

    Posted 8 months ago #
  11. madox07

    madox07

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    I appreciate the reviews, this is certainly a good start to exploring the new pseudo Dunhills. I have ordered myself a Royal Island, so curious as to how it compares to Royal Yacht. Jim, overall would you say that the Robert McConnel project is a success or failure, compared to the old blends? I am sure they are not meant to copy the past blends to par, but overall would you say they are quality blends?

    Sea Wolf Pipers

    "Like the mariners of old, a loner is acceptable but a pipe is best enjoyed in a pack"
    Posted 8 months ago #
  12. judcole

    Jud

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    Thanks, Jim.

    Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
    Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close
    Rudyard Kipling
    Posted 8 months ago #
  13. folanator

    folanator

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    Jim, I got a little bit lost on your DNR comparison. Was unsure if you liked it or not. Did you like the match?

    Posted 8 months ago #
  14. jiminks

    JimInks

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    Folanator: I did give it three stars at TR,com, which means it is recommended.

    Maddox: they are quality blends in my opinion.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  15. crashthegrey

    crashthegrey

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    I am assuming the likelihood of these hitting the American market is still pretty slim?

    Posted 8 months ago #
  16. jiminks

    JimInks

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    That's what I'm thinking.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  17. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    Great reviews Jim, thanks for taking the time.

    Harris
    Posted 8 months ago #
  18. mso489

    mso489

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    Seven reviews! Major work. Are all of these clones vulnerable to the FDA deeming regulations? i have found with various matches or ostensible matches, the similarities are not necessarily perfect nor even terribly reminiscent of the original product, but either by similarity or just by careful blending, they turn out well in their own right. C&D Tuggle Hall 965, which doesn't seem to be a match or clone exactly, is an admirable Cavendish based blend that is pleasurable in itself. I just shop for what looks tasty, by reading the specs on constituent tobaccos, and I don't worry too much about how it imitates something else.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  19. crashthegrey

    crashthegrey

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    Russ mentioned on a previous thread that the threshold of proving that they are substantially similar is tough to meet and that these are thus likely going to fall under the deeming regulations.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  20. perdurabo

    perdurabo

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    Thanks for the reviews Jim. I’ll have to give the Elisabeth a try. I couldn’t stand the Dunhill Version. To me there was some type of topping that threw the taste off. I say topping, but some say there wasn’t a topping. Maybe there wasn’t and it was the Virginias. I wonder when the Royal Cruise will surface? Royal Yacht and Ye Olde Signe were my favorites.

    It's not my position nor want to help another man. It's his responsibility to help himself, as where he can learn to dig down deep enough to save himself. -I. Kidd
    Posted 8 months ago #
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    glaswegian

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    Like always great reviews! Thanks a lot!

    I wish you would smoke more german blends so it would be easier for me to choose....Hahaha!
    Keep up the good work. I´m really enjoying your texts.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  22. jiminks

    JimInks

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    Glaswegian: these samples were gifted to me by a friend in Germany. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to try them. I can't do overseas ordering, so I have to rely on friends.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  23. bluegrasspipe

    bluegrasspipe

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    Thanks Jim, I always look to your reviews for clarity when smoking a new tobacco, or looking for something new to try.

    For tho' at my simile many may joke,
    Man is but a pipe—and his life but smoke.
    Posted 8 months ago #
  24. retreadpipeapprentice

    retreadpipeapprentice

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    Thanks Great reviews, much appreciated for the time and obvious effort put into them!

    Posted 8 months ago #
  25. jiminks

    JimInks

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    Thank you folks for the kind words.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  26. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    Jiminks, I knew we can rely on You,any new on the market pipetobacco will sooner or later be reviewed by Your experienced person.
    Much appreciated, Thank You Sir.

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 8 months ago #
  27. jiminks

    JimInks

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    You are very welcome, Paul.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  28. lawdawg

    lawdawg

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    Without speaking at all to the quality of the blends themselves, the renaming and repackaging of these pseudo-Dunhill blends is a little sad. What a way for the iconic Nightcap with its fine packaging and presentation / tin art to go down... Night Club!

    Posted 8 months ago #
  29. jiminks

    JimInks

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    Here's the latest three that I have tried:

    Robert McConnell Black Flake:

    The mildly floral dark Virginia provides mild, lightly tangy sweet and slightly sour dark fruit, wood, earth, and light bread notes. The lighter Virginia offers a little tart citrus and some grass and hay in a secondary role. The dark Virginia is not as deep or dark as the Orlik version, and there seems to be a tad more brighter Va. here as well. No fermentation or sugar from the Virginias to speak of, whereas the Orlik production has a small hint of both. Despite the product description, there is a little raisiny, plumy, figgy, lightly spicy perique in the mix as a background player. The strength and taste levels are medium. The nic-hit is in the center of mild to medium. Won’t bite or get harsh, and has very few rough edges. The flake is lightly moist and easy to break apart. Burns cool, clean and a little slow with mildly sweet, consistent flavor from top to bottom. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires some relights. Has a pleasant, short lived after taste and room note. Can be an all day smoke. As this blend lacks some of the depth and sweetness of the Orlik version, I give it three stars (barely) for its own merits and two and a half stars as a match. I gave three stars the the Orlik version.

    Robert McConnell Paddington:

    The Virginias provide a lot of citrus, grass, hay, earth, some dark fruit and wood, and light, dry floral and spice notes. I believe a pinch of dark fired is present as well, chiefly due to a slight smoky nuance that I have also detected in the original. The fermented plum topping is the star as it sublimates the tobaccos to a fair degree, though it does allow the varietals to speak to your taste buds. I also sense an added light fruit topping in the mix. The toppings are similar to Orlik’s Royal Yacht, but lack a little of the depth, sweetness, and delicate balance employed in that manufacture. The same can be said for the tobaccos to a mildly lesser extent compared to the Murray’s and Orlik brands. However, the toppings are a little closer to the Murray’s version than they are to the Orlik. The strength and taste levels are a couple of steps past medium, and both fall just short of the Orlik version of RY thresholds. The nic-hit is a rung short of medium. No chance of bite or harshness. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable rate with a very consistent flavor that continues on to the lingering after taste. Has a strong room note. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Not an all day smoke. Three stars for its own merits, and two and a half stars as a match. I gave four stars to the Orlik version.

    Robert McConnell Shakespeare:

    The Virginias provide a fair amount of grass, hay, and citrus, a little earth, wood, bread and darker fruit as well as a floral note. Not sure what the very mild topping is, but it doesn’t tone down the tobaccos. It’s present to help create a sliver of fermentation and “Royal Yacht”-like plum essence which is more evident in previous Dunhill Ye Olde Signe versions. It succeeds on a minor scale as it’s muted in its effect, though it does gather a touch more potency by the half way mark. Overall, the entire composition is weaker in every way than what they have tried to copy. The strength is in the center of mild to medium, and the taste is a step and a half past that. The nic-hit is almost as potent as the strength level. No chance of bite or harshness, and has no rough edges. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a very consistent flavor that translates to the lightly lingering after taste. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. An all day smoke. I give it three stars for its own merits, and less for being a successful clone. I gave three stars to the Orlik version.

    Posted 1 week ago #

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