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Life After McClelland.. Any Suggestions?

(43 posts)
  • Started 3 months ago by stevuke79
  • Latest reply from troutface
  1. stevuke79

    stevuke79

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    I was always overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of tobaccos to choose from. I found McClelland. Tried a few other things and just decided that I didn't need to bother looking any further.

    And I go online to order more tobacco and find they are no more.... So I'm looking for suggestions. I'm honestly pretty ignorant about what's out there.

    My go-to's were Navy Cavendish and Blackwood's flake. I also really liked their "fragrant matured Virginia's".

    Does anyone have any ideas about tobaccos that are similar to those?

    (I also loved their English tobaccos... But I don't feel I'm at a loss for finding other good English tobaccos.)

    I also really love Lane BCA but they're still around. But that's just to give a picture of what I like.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  2. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Thousands of blends to fall in love with, no McClelland replacements.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 3 months ago #
  3. stevuke79

    stevuke79

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    That's what Ive been reading... They were truly unique.

    What if I narrow it down.... Are there any standouts in Virginia department? Not necessarily just like McClelland... But anything near that level when it comes to Virginia's?

    Posted 3 months ago #
  4. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Are there any standouts in Virginia department? Not necessarily just like McClelland... But anything near that level when it comes to Virginia's?

    GL Pease - Union Square, Telegraph Hill
    HU - Director's Cut, Dockworker, Old Fredders
    Gawith - Full Virginia Flake, St James Flake, Full Virginia Plug, Best Brown Flake
    Rattray's - Hal O The Wynd
    Germain's - Dunbar, Hastings, Dorchester, Cardiff
    Astley's - 44
    Fribourg & Treyer - Cut Virginia Plug
    John Aylesbury - Classic Virginia Flake
    Robert Lewis - Wingfield Mixture
    Wessex - Campaign Dark Flake, Brigade Classic Virginia

    None of these are like McClelland but are fine smokes in their own way.

    Some of these are Va/Pers.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 3 months ago #
  5. stevuke79

    stevuke79

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    Thank you! I will definitely look into these!

    Posted 3 months ago #
  6. mortonbriar

    mortonbriar

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    newminster #400 superior navy flake for a quality virginia at bulk prices.
    I also second the union square, wessex dark and best brown flake recommended by Sablebrush.

    Isaac

    I don't really care if the cup is half full or half empty, I just want something to sip on.
    Posted 3 months ago #
  7. ray47

    ray47

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    I've found Sutliff Red Virginia 515 RC-1 is close to McClelland 5100 Red Cake and makes a good mixer also.
    http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend/11631/sutliff-tobacco-company-matured-red-virginia-515-rc-1

    Posted 3 months ago #
  8. 3rdguy

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    Wessex Gold Slice, Wessex Gold Brick, Solani 633, St James Plug.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  9. seanv

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    Captain black white

    Posted 3 months ago #
  10. tfdickson

    tfdickson

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    After spending 6 months + trying every VA flake I could get my hands on after McC closed the one that really stood out that I hadn’t tried before was Mac Baren HH Pure VA. It’s not a substitute for McC VA flakes, but it is worthy in its own right.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  11. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    Here is a list of Va,Vaper and Vabur flakes that in my opinion are every bit as good as anything MC put out. All of these are available at the larger on line retailers such as Smokingpipes,tobaccopipes,4noggins,mars.

    Capstan Blue and Gold Flake
    Escudo
    Mac Baren Old Dark Fired
    Solani 633 and 660
    Savinelli Doblone d'Oro
    St Bruno Flake
    John Aylesbury Classic Flake
    Fribourg & Treyer Special Brown Flake

    Harris
    Posted 3 months ago #
  12. stevuke79

    stevuke79

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    Tfdickson -thank you ... I was looking at that one. I'm excited to try it now. Thanks!

    Posted 3 months ago #
  13. stevuke79

    stevuke79

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    Thanks all of you guys... I'm glad to have some recommendations. When you go on "pipesandcigars.com" and search for Virginia's it's hard to know where to start.

    I've noticed and have been considering many of the ones that I see mentioned here. Hearing that others like them makes it easier to give them a try.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  14. mso489

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    I'm not Virginia-centric, but I liked Russ O.'s Fire Storm, PC, if you like a little dark fired with your Va/Per. He also does a series of Acadian (Va/Per) blends. I still have some McClelland blends, a few, so my McC years will go on for a while.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  15. mikestanley

    mikestanley

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    I put away three pound of Union Square when it came out in 2009. I've smoke enough to know that it is a fine quality Virginia. I don't know if the current stuff is the same. I enjoy Hamborger Veermaster as well. Both seem to be available. Most of the Virginias I smoke are very well aged and I am fortunate to have a comfortable supply of most McClelland blends I enjoy. I would add GLP Stratford and Solani 633 for vapers.

    Mike S.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  16. ashdigger

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    633 is okay fresh, but put a couple of years on it and BAM. Hits all the spots.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 3 months ago #
  17. jiminks

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    GLP Telegraph Hill is amazing with a few years of age, too.

    Posted 3 months ago #
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    bent1

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    Hearth & Home anniversary Kake satisfies my desire for McClellands 2015. Now through 11:59 pm tomorrow, Pipes & Cigars has free shipping on orders $49.00 & over.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  19. stevuke79

    stevuke79

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    I just bought a buttload of tobacco on that offer.. funny,.. that offer of free shipping got me shopping.... and I bought over $100 of tobacco.. which would be free shipping anyway.

    Great marketing on their part, LOL!

    Posted 3 months ago #
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    jeff540

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    I was in your same shoes last year, couldn't find anything to replace my beloved McClelland blends such as Dark Star, Butera's Dark and Golden cakes, Royal Cajun Ebony, Bombay Extra, all the Christmas Cheers, and the wonderful but short-lived 40th.

    I tried many different Virginia and VaPer flakes, and while most have been decent if not good, not much was on par to McClelland to my taste. A few notables:

    - Wessex curley cut coins - nice sweetness and moderate body
    - Esoterica Blackpool and also Kingsbrdige - very similar to Dark Star and Navy flake. I actually like them better than Dark Star, and happen to be enjoying a bowl of Blackpool at this moment.

    Lastly, this may not help too much if you're strictly on-line shopping, but I discovered several of the Esoterica virginia blends that I prefer over most of the former McClellands, especially Brighton and Cardiff. Their only downfall is slightly faster and hotter burning than folded flakes. I have yet to try Peacehaven, but that's on the list.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  21. cohibajoe

    cohibajoe

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    I was always overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of tobaccos to choose from. I found McClelland.

    Nothing will be McClelland...But this from King Smoking Pipes is close...and the aroma is right.

    http://www.kingsmokingpipesandcigars.com/product-page/king-s-frog-morton-pipe-tobacco

    Posted 3 months ago #
  22. balkisobrains

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    In general, try some RO Gold. Different flavor profile but has some flavor characteristics & reminds me most of Dark Star/Dark Navy Flake if I were to compare to McClelland VAs.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  23. folanator

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    Add Sutliff Red Virginia Crumble Kake to your list. I think it's solid right now. Looking forward to the future.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  24. donjgiles

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    I find Marlin Flake reminds me a bit of McClelland 2015.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  25. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    The rapturous adoration of McClelland is interesting. Before they shut their doors, there wasn't much discussion of their blends on this forum. What little occurred mostly pertained to either the Cheers or the Frogs and the occasional mention of Dark Star. Once their closing became news there was much rending of sack cloth, gnashing of teeth, and flowing of tears. A lot of their stuff sat on shelves for years. The Tawny Flake that I picked up last year was from 2012.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  26. mso489

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    Nothing so enhances blends like being unavailable. The memories of their excellent taste profiles soar into the heavens.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  27. chasingembers

    Embers

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    The rapturous adoration of McClelland is interesting.

    No kidding, people used to give me grief for cellaring ketchup. Now I've got a lifetime supply of it.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  28. stevuke79

    stevuke79

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    Fair enough. Perhaps my title was overly dramatic. I was being cute.

    Tbh I started smoking a pipe only a few years ago... McClelland was one of my first, it was great, and I stopped there. Perhaps less because McClelland was great (bc I'm no expert) and more a combination of being both contented and lazy. Lol.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  29. stevuke79

    stevuke79

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    In any case it may be a good thing. I have a literal butt-load of tobacco en-route to me now, and I'm kind of looking forward to that. I'm sure they won't all be winners but im sure to like most of them.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  30. sunriseboy

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    I've got no real skill with leaf appraisal, but you ought to have a crack at Ernie Q's gear. Personally, I can't fault his products. I've just got some Four Nuns and had a crack at it, and it is sublime, imo.

    As far as I'm concerned all tobacco blenders could learn a hell of a lot from him. A lot of his stuff puts most blends in the shade. Does great service too.

    Besides, he's a funny bugger!

    Posted 2 months ago #
  31. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    For those of you who don't know who Ernie Q is, he's the proprietor of Watch City Cigar Co and the blender of some of the best tasting blends I've smoked. Deluxe Crumb Cut and Watch City Slices are just two of many that are worth trying.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  32. sittingbear

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    I've found Sutliff Red Virginia 515 RC-1 is close to McClelland 5100 Red Cake and makes a good mixer also.

    +1

    I really like Sutliff 507C Virginia Flake. It's closer to Dunhill Flake than McClelland's VAs, but still a top notch VA.

    I also really love the natural flavor you find in dark fired tobaccos, such as ODF, Bold Kentucky, and Peterson's Irish Flake (on backorder at the moment). Although they're nothing like McC's, I find I like them for the same reasons I liked McC.

    Other high-quality VAs that are very affordable are Stokkebye's Luxury series. Navy Flake, Bullseye Flake, and Twist Flake, all great tobaccos!

    Posted 2 months ago #
  33. chuckyeageronlsd

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    The local tobacconist told me he heard a rumor at the pipe expo that sutliff or someone was toying around with buying the rights to MC. Obviously there's no way of actually knowing right now, but one can hope right?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  34. ashdigger

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    I heartily recommend Watch City Slices as a KyVaBur.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  35. donjgiles

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    I also recommend Watch City blends. The two I enjoy are Old Dominion and Flake 558 for delicious Va/Per and a Va/Per/Bur.

    Don

    Posted 2 months ago #
  36. litup

    litup

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    The power of this forum . . . I had never heard of Watch City until I read JimInks' review of their Simply Red. Then I read the glowing recommendations in this thread. And now I've made my first purchase from them. I am trying the Watch City Slices, Old Dominion, and Flake #558.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  37. xingpao

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    Having onky smoked a pipe for a few years, I understand the OP's question. McClelland seemed like sort of the basline for overall quality and now that is gone. Obviously, many blends exceed McClelland, but across the line, they seemed like a good benchmark to me. Seems the SG and GL Pease are bound to take that baseline role now.

    Being of limited experience comparatively, I would certainly say start buying some SG with this drop and get yourself a new baseline.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  38. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    The local tobacconist told me he heard a rumor at the pipe expo that sutliff or someone was toying around with buying the rights to MC. Obviously there's no way of actually knowing right now, but one can hope right?

    The rights to what, exactly? The McNeils could have sold the business, but chose not to. They didn't trust anyone else to make their blends their way. So I would imagine that they would not be interested in someone buying their recipes. But even if they were, the kind of tobaccos that they used are not being produced in the manner they felt was necessary and Mike McNeil isn't overseeing every step of the processing, which means that the recipes are kind of worthless.

    McClelland is gone, gone, gone. And it isn't coming back. They had a great run. Plenty of other great choices in the world.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  39. cigrmaster

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    McClelland is gone, gone, gone. And it isn't coming back.

    Says you. What if someone was to offer Mike 20 million for just the name? No one needs the recipes as the flippers will buy everything no matter what is in the tin. He can sell the name, go on pipestuds blog and tell the world he has nothing to do with the new company and ride off into the sunset with a cool 20 mill. Just think of the fun we could have with that scenario.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  40. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    What if someone was to offer Mike 20 million for just the name?

    I'd go for it. I have a left handed coffee cup that I'd let go of for a mere $20,000,000. My understanding is that they got a couple of very good offers to sell and turned them down flat.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  41. mso489

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    No one's going to source, process, and blend like the McC outfit did. Selling the name would just perpetuate a scam instead of reviving these classic blends, and in this regulatory climate, no one is going to make a mega-million offer. As they said in Navy boot camp, you have a move to make. Start shopping for what you like that is now available. It's work and a bit of money but entirely possible.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  42. cohibajoe

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    No one's going to source, process, and blend like the McC outfit did. Selling the name would just perpetuate a scam instead of reviving these classic blends, and in this regulatory climate, no one is going to make a mega-million offer. As they said in Navy boot camp, you have a move to make. Start shopping for what you like that is now available. It's work and a bit of money but entirely possible.

    Agree...The blends are there baby's and no amount of $$ will pry them out...This is how Legends are made and many threads will be added...End of Story...next.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  43. troutface

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    The rapturous adoration of McClelland is interesting. Before they shut their doors, there wasn't much discussion of their blends on this forum.

    That's because the smart money kept their mouths shut and just kept stocking up. I have something north of 120 tins of McC squirreled away and it's not going anywhere any time soon.

    "Each of you be a light unto yourself; betake yourself to no external refuge. Hold fast to the Truth. Look not for refuge to anyone beside yourself." -The Buddha
    Posted 2 months ago #

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