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What's America's Most Popular US Made Straight Va Flake?

(86 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by mawnansmiff
  • Latest reply from fitzy
  1. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

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    I ask the question as I am trying to find another straight Virginia flake to sit alongside my beloved FVF.

    I am currently working my way through ten McClelland straight Virginia flake blends and though the majority of them are good smokes, they are just that...good smokes. Nothing yet has really hit all my buttons and yelled back at me. Granted it is early days but all of the blends I have have been smoked at least three times in various pipes, plenty of time in my view to get a rough idea of a blend.

    In a scoring of 0 - 10 I would perhaps put FVF at 9 yet the best of what I have tried from McClelland only just manages a 7+ on my personal scale.

    Now I know FVF is very popular over in the States, indeed it currently has no fewer than 510 reviews on Tobaccoreviews.com (the vast majority being positive) but no McClelland blend comes anywhere near that so perhaps I am looking at the wrong manufacturer?

    So folks, what American made straight Virginia flakes should I be seeking out?

    Regards,

    Jay.

    ...take up thy stethoscope and walk...
    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    It's all about personal taste, Jay. I would turn your ratings upside down and put McClellands well above SG.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. jmill208

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    This.^^^

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. jefff

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    That^^^^

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. ashdigger

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    Those ^^^

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    elpfeife

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    Them^^^^

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. mikestanley

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    I personally find smoking FVF a little difficult but I do have a couple of pounds of it from 2006 and 2009 jarred up for the future. The best American Flakes are broken flakes IMHO. McClelland #27, #24 and Blackwoods Flake. Union Square by Greg Pease is showing promise. Smoked a tin from 2009 earlier this year. I better like it. I put 3 pounds of it away that year.

    Mike S.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. jmill208

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    This too.^^^

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. mcitinner1

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    I'm kind of "thick" as Jay would say. Would youse guys mind splainin' all the ^^^ ??

    Stan
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    The Plenipotent Key to Cope's Correct Card of the Peerless Pilgrimage to Saint Nicotine of the Holy Herb:
    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. johnbarleycorn

    johnbarleycorn

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    Jay my personal opinion is that the only flake that equals FVF is F&T cut Va Plug. So if you do find and American flake that equals those 2 please let me know. So I guess I must disagree with all of ^^^^^this and ^^^^^those. But that's just me. And you I suppose.

    And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last
    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. ashdigger

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    Stan, ^^^^ means you're discussing the poster above you.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. ashdigger

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    John, I'm a huge fan of FVF and smoke it daily. The question was about AMERICAN virginia's so it's too subjective. But it's definitely FVF for the win!

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    kanse

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    As far as popularity goes I doubt anything beats Blackwoods.
    If we are talking about the best one, that's a bit more complicated.

    Union Square and Opening Night night might interest you, I have yet to taste them, though.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. johnbarleycorn

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    Gotcha Ash. And I am truly curious about good American flakes because I would love to find some that I really like but I have trouble finding any that I like as well as European flakes. I have found some good ones just not any great ones.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. mawnansmiff

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    As it happens I also have a tin each of Opening Night and Union Square (both with a bit of age on them), again they are OK smokes but not anything special to me.

    As regards F&T Cut Virginia Plug, that's an aromatic, I'm after straight unflavoured Virginia flakes.

    Basically I am looking for something that is so delightful fresh that I could add to my nascent cellar for future smoking alongside FVF. I am not looking for a FVF match by the way!

    Before I bought my McClelland collection I did my homework by reading many reviews so I wasn't buying totally 'blind'. The ones that excited me most (going purely by the reviews) were Dark Star and Blackwoods, and though they are ok (it takes a while for the flavour to come through) I was a little disappointed with the end result.

    Thanks for your input chaps.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. cosmicfolklore

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    I don't have one particular favorite that just "wow's" me above all others. I do smoke PS LTF with LNF twisted together more than any other smoke. But, FVF is good, as well as all of the McClelland Virginias. In that range of pure Virginias, I do grab Dark Star more than any other. And, I can see where you could say that about DS flavor, Jay. It is subtle. But, all in all, tastes vary. Heck, we all can't even agree on what movies are good, so I guess it's to be expected in tobacco preferences also.
    If you like FVF, then enjoy it. But, I think you are like the rest of us also, in just enjoying trying new blends. That's where the real joy is for me.

    Michael
    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. paulie66scandinavian

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    Correct If I'm wrong , arguably the most popular Virgina Flake in The Usa is Orlik Golden sliced though its Danish production

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. cosmicfolklore

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    Paulie, it's definitely the cheapest, and it's good, but I am not sure how to judge whether it is the most loved. I know that blends that I love most aren't necessarily the ones that I buy the most of. Tastes tests, and records for sales, sometimes differ.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. aquadoc

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    Jay, for you, your inherent taste bias will never place an American or Latvian or Martian Virginian Flake above what you have smoked since the beginning of time. You learned the love of Virginia's with FVF. It is your standard whether you admit it or not. Similarly, I grew up eating Blue Crab and oysters from a Georgia Creek. Apalachicola oysters and Maryland Blue Crab are tasteless to me in comparison. It is what it is.

    My first good Virginia was Blackwood and when I tried FVF for the first time, I was what is all the fuss about? BWs seems to me to deliver a richer, deeper more nuanced smoke while FVF was strawish and oat like. Probably a function of my lack of a refined tobacco taster but they did not compare. Or maybe the FVF needs age.

    "If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and sex, you don't actually live longer; it just seems that way."
    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. sasquatch

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    Right aquadoc - there's no objective standard here. I am a big virginia smoker at this point, my favorite being Dunhill Flake probably, another one which Mawn found pretty tasteless if I remember right. I find Gawith virginias muddy and muted. That doesn't make anything better or worse than one another. Just means I like lighter sweeter stuff.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. fitzy

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    It's great how two people can smoke the same product and have completely different results. I'm in the same camp with Wood. I find McClelland's to be far superior to FVF. (Also not that crazy about Stonehaven either)

    Have you tried McClelland's bulk offering 2035 Dark Navy Flake?

    Also one thing I've noticed with McClelland's flakes is that they smoke best when drier than other blends.

    I would never smoke PS LTF, LNF or LBF anywhere near as dry as a McClelland's flake. They seem to lose their flavor where as the McClelland's gain their most flavor when crispy.

    Granted this is all my personal experience. I smoke more LTF than anything else.

    I'm hoping Jim and Steve chime in here.

    "These are ghosts that are more at home in a girdle-filled drawer than one of my pipes." Quote by Neil Archer Roan on lakeland ghosts
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    I am not sure of the answer, but how much of the ingredients of FVF are grown in Virginia and the Carolinas as opposed to leaf sourced in the Commonwealth? (Africa, India). The same question could be asked of the various other English/European "Virginias".

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. sjmiller

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    While it certainly isn't definitive, a look at SPC bestsellers lists is interesting. In tinned tobaccos, the best selling American Virginia Flake ( all Virginia) is McClelland's Blackwoods Flake. In bulk, the best seller of American Virginia Flakes is McClelland's Dark Navy Flake.

    Abbot of the Apostles of St. Bruno
    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. mso489

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    For the mystified, FVF is Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake. Is that U.S. made? I guess members are saying, FVF is more popular than any made in U.S.?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. cosmicfolklore

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    MSO, I think that the majority is...

    It's all about personal taste, Jay. I would turn your ratings upside down and put McClellands well above SG.

    ^^^This

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    Dark Navy Flake, #2035, is highly under rated IMO. Also good with about 4 parts 2015 to 1 part 2035, rubbed out, mixed together and packed tightly in a jar for about a month, but that is getting away from the point of the thread.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. sjmiller

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    At SPC, FVF is the second bestselling tinned tobacco.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. mawnansmiff

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    Dark Navy Flake, #2035 is one of the better of the McClelland blends I have tried. Also I just now smoked a bowl of Blackwoods I loaded three days ago and that was really rather nice, much nicer than when I first smoked it.

    I do, like most folks prefer my FVF a bit on the dry side and bearing in mind the above mentioned experience with Blackwoods I shall try doing the same with my new blends.

    Don't think I am knocking my McClelland blends, I most certainly am not, I'm just struggling to get the most out of them. Not one of them have I found to be any way unpleasant.

    Perseverance is the key methinks

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    Jay, I find it almost impossible to dry out McClellands flakes too much. To me, the flavor is much better. I can actually smoke them more or less fresh if I pack them loosely, which dramatically cuts down on relights for me, but they taste much better dry. I would say loading a bowl and waiting three days is a decent start. LOL. (Seriously, that depends on the ambient humidity).

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    Stealing a post from another forum:

    "Generally, when I want a bowl of Dark Star, I start by opening the can about a week early. Just pop the can, and put the lid back on. Then leave it for a week.

    After that week is up, and when I'm ready for a bowl, I pick out about a bowlful's worth grab a flight out to Death Valley, where I place it in a shallow sandpit. I then bury it and light a fire above it. The dry sand and ambient heat begins to wick the moisture away from the flake. After a few nights of this, its time to get home, so I dig it up, fly back.

    It's still a bit moist, so I ensure I have a blowtorch to get a nice charring light, four lighters to keep it going, and three packs of pipe cleaners to stop the gurgle. Then I sit back and enjoy."

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    kanse

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    Why does it have to be American anyway? There is Wessex Campaign Dark Flake and Astleys No.44 you might want to try as well.

    Also, there is McClelland: CPCC: Rich Virginia Ribbon and McClelland - Red and Black.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  32. cosmicfolklore

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    Astleys 44, is that not a licorice aromatic?

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    kanse

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    Cosmic
    44 is straight Virginia. You might have mistaken it for no 88.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  34. cosmicfolklore

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    Nope, all I taste is licorice. I have been smoking Astleys since I picked up the pipe. The label says one thing, and my tastes buds say another.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  35. fitzy

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    Jay you should do a drying experiment with McClellands. I had a jar that I didn't seal well enough and thought I would have to rehydrate but thought I'd try a bowl of it first and it was great. That's how I stumbled upon smoking them very dry. Previously I hadn't been all that impressed with them.

    A lot of times I'll pack a bowl get the charing light on it and leave it for the next day and this is on top of already drying it before I packed it.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  36. folanator

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    +1 on the Red and Black.
    Also enjoying the McC Boston 1776

    Posted 2 years ago #
  37. oldmojo

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    Does Blackwoods emit the "ketchup" tin note common to other McClelland blends? I find it quite off-putting in many otherwise good McClellands.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  38. mawnansmiff

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    "Generally, when I want a bowl of Dark Star, I start by opening the can about a week early. Just pop the can, and put the lid back on. Then leave it for a week."

    Oldgeezer, I read several posts suggesting the same and to a certain degree have already done that, but not for a whole week yet.

    Some tins I have emptied out onto a tray, rubbed them out and allowed to air for a short while. I then replace them in their respective cans to decant from when I dry properly afore packing.

    Clearly I am expecting too much too soon

    I do have difficulty in drying Dark Star for some reason. Asbestos perhaps?

    Yes, I have both 1776 (rather nice) and Red And Black, the only one I have yet to try...got some drying as I write.

    Kanse, surely CPCC: Rich Virginia Ribbon is not a flake given its name?

    Thanks again chaps, your input is appreciated

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    Jay, it is hard to generalize about preparing tobacco, and McClellands is a style that causes more differences of opinion than almost any other. Dark Star has a reputation as being particularly hard to deal with, though I think it is a matter of relatively small degree. YMMV is particularly applicable here. Which is why I plagirized the post from another forum, to add a humorous note to the subject.

    Where I am, in the Southeast with central heat and air, I open a tin of tobacco in the early evening, spread it out in a lid off tuppeware container with a paper towel on the bottom, and check on it the next morning. Most of the time, that is about right. I put it back in the tin and put the tin in a ziplock bag. Maybe the first few bowls need a little time before lighting or a rest after the charring, but after that it's fine. I can't recall the need to rehydrate anything. I recently opened a tin of And So to Bed and it needed to be left out until early afternoon the next day. Delicious, by the way.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  40. hawky454

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    If I were you Jay, I would go with another Samuel Gawith VA before going for an American made VA. In my opinion, nothing in the States even comes close to the Gawith house. Have you tried Best Brown #2 by GH&Co? Do you mind a bit of Perique with your VA? Right now I'm on a huge Cabbies Mixture kick and their St. James Flake is about as good as it gets. The only VA's I hold equal or even possibly above the Gawith's would be Esoterica. McClelland's are pretty good but they put too much preservative (PG) on them and not only do I have trouble drying the tobacco out but it gives my mouth a weird coat as I smoke them and that ketchup note does often translate to the smoke. The tobacco almost feels like it has a thin layer of wax all over it.

    That being said, my favorite from McClelland are:
    Red & Black
    Blackwoods
    Dark Star
    Dark Navy Flake

    None of which are actual flakes.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  41. cranseiron

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    I suppose I'm in the FVF camp, too. It's been a while since I smoked McClelland's, but I thought at the time McC. tobac wasn't as full and more subdued-- not as rich I suppose and admitting this is a subjective opinion. Jay, I'm curious as to what pressing DS and BWF might do for it? It just might ramp up the flavor if exposed to some pressure. But, why go to the trouble when FVF is a readily available-- well, usually.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  42. mawnansmiff

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    Oldmojo, yes the ketchup stink aroma is indeed present on Blackwoods but it is not as powerful as in some of their other offerings. Plus, if the tin is opened and allowed to 'breathe' a little this reduces it hugely.

    Hawky, yes I have tried most if not all of the Kendal made Va flakes with varying degrees of success. As for St. James Flake (a VaPer) I adore the stuff, also in plug form. In fact I enjoy the flake version more when I mix it 50/50 with FVF!

    I currently have two McClelland VaPers, Tudor Castle and #2015 Virginia Perique Flake and enjoy them both exceedingly.

    Eric, your description of McClelland flakes is very accurate, they are indeed quite subdued and don't seem to have much 'depth'. That said, I shall continue my journey by airing my tins a little more and drying out my flakes even further just prior to smoking. After all, they have so many positive reviews so it must be down to me

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    Interesting discussion re McClellands. I started smoking their products around 1980. I went to dozens of pipe shows over the next 15 years or so where the merits of various tobacco were passionately discussed, read every word of The Pipe Smokers Ephemeris, and had more lengthy discussions of tobacco in phone conversations than I could ever count.

    I do not recall any discussion where anyone complained about McClellands having a ketchup or vinegar aroma up until the advent of the internet and alt smokers pipes in the 1990's, or that McClellands used PG on their tinned or bulk 2000 series products. One prominent ASP poster who loved Gawith products beat the anti-McClelland drum incessantly. I have said here before that having had the experience of opening tins of Rattray's that were indisputably made by Rattray in Perth (not that hard to find in the early 80's) I find the McClelland tin aroma identical. So, to me, I smell what I think Virginia tobacco made from leaf or strip diverted early from the cigarette monopolies ought to smell like. Heavily sauced "Virginia's" from God knows what third world countries, where as far as I can find out the tobacco is initially processed into strip suitable for cigarettes, will never develop that smell. The accusations about PG similarly strike me as off base. McClellands tinned products are packed at a high moisture content as that is how Mike McNeil wants to pack his product. In a shop environment, I know one tobacconist who stopped carrying McClelland bulk flakes because they dried out faster than competing products from Lane, Consolidated, etc.that indisputably had PG I have never had any of the McClelland products discussed here that have the waxy feel of PG.

    I suppose this discussion has been had here many times before, and I have not really added anything new. Manufacturers, including McClellands, have all had to learn how to deal with the raw (or more likely, processed to some extent by others who might or might not do anything differently than what they do for cigarettes) ingredients available to them. Their strategies will differ, and they will succeed to varying degrees. There are a few Gawith products I like, several Germain/Esoterica blends that I enjoy, and some of the products introduced by MacBarens in recent years are very good. There is nothing wrong with having a personal preference for any of these over McClellands, or vice versa. But the raw ingredients and their initial processing can be, and as far as my own research takes me, is, very different.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  44. cosmicfolklore

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    I imagine a TV preacher in a sparkly sharkskin suit with huge lapels and a Grand Ol Opry haircut pointing into the camera and shouting, "The One True Virginia, or you're goin' to Hell!!!"
    Luckily, we don't have to chose a best. No Miss Virginia contest here. No firey brimstone, just selections, diversity, and differences. Smoke whichever you want, or all of them. No demons will drag us to Hell if we chose the wrong ones, and we may treat the selections as if it were a buffet. A little of this, a little of that.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  45. pitchfork

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    So much of this comes down to personal tastes and how our tongues and noses respond to different tobaccos. Like Jay, I generally prefer the Lakeland flakes to most McClelland flakes, but at the same time I'd argue that McClelland VAs are higher quality products, both in terms of raw leaf and processing. With a McClelland Va, you can really taste all the subtleties of the natural leaf, but I personally prefer the earthiness and strength of the Empire tobaccos used in the Lakeland/Kendal flakes. To use a food analogy, a perfectly cooked, high-quality pork chop can be delicious, but often I'd rather have an ordinary bacon cheeseburger made with processed American cheese.

    At the same time, my favorite VA of all is GLP Union Square. It has all the subtleties of the McClelland VAs (sweetness, spice, bready flavors), but with a cleaner, less sugary/vinegary aftertaste. Plus, it has decent strength. Ultimately, though, it really comes down to how our palates respond to particular stimuli. I really enjoy strong, natural burleys, but some people find them harsh and/or tasteless. Something like that applies to different styles of VAs, it would seem.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  46. aquadoc

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    Do folks really taste vinegar in McClelland tobacco? I don't but I have tried. I love the smell. But I also like Grousemoor and the only other SG tobaccos I have tried, FVF, 1792. And I hope to buy some FVF to put away for 3 to 5 years one day. Maybe it will become my nirvana smoke. And fiery brimstone is oft needed for both SGs and McClellands without prior drying.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  47. pitchfork

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    Do folks really taste vinegar in McClelland tobacco?

    Technically, no. As far as I know, it's just the acidic taste of aged, fermented VAs that have been treated well. But I do taste that vinegar-like flavor in McClelland VAs, even in the smoke itself. I don't mind it -- it adds a nice tanginess. Just for whatever reason I don't enjoy McClelland VAs as much as I do some others.

    I'd make an exception for some of the Christmas Cheer vintages, though. I have to be in the mood for it, but nothing I've ever smoked has the spiciness and depth of flavor I get from 2003 Christmas Cheer.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  48. fitzy

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    McClelland's are pretty good but they put too much preservative (PG) on them

    Actually I find it quite the opposite. FVF for me is a pain in the rear to prepare as for me as it's very damp. In the years I've been on this forum I think I've seen more posts on how to prep FVF than any other blend.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  49. mawnansmiff

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    "Do folks really taste vinegar in McClelland tobacco?"

    For the large part the answer is no though I personally can just make it out on the first few puffs of some of their blends but it quickly dissipates.

    It is most noticeable to me in a freshly opened tin and that initially put me off when I first experienced it last year. Thankfully I have been educated on this forum about airing the tobacco first, that deals with most of it. Indeed, after a good airing I get to smell the gorgeous aromas that I would expect from a quality, aged Virginia.

    Their Tudor Castle has a phenomenal aroma once the ketchup has been driven off.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  50. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    That being said, my favorite from McClelland are:..{snip}...None of which are actual flakes

    Perhaps you mean to say that none of which look like the flakes made by STG, Mac Baren, etc. that have glue in them.
    You think OGS sticks together on it's own accord? No, it has gum arabic added to it.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  51. aquadoc

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    Yeah, I do not buy the PG on McClelland blends statement. Of course, I have not tried them all but the few I have, no sign of it.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  52. aquadoc

    aquadoc

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    Why gum Arabic? I put that in my iron gall inks.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  53. jpmcwjr

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    Jay, I find it almost impossible to dry out McClellands flakes too much. To me, the flavor is much better. I can actually smoke them more or less fresh if I pack them loosely, which dramatically cuts down on relights for me, but they taste much better dry. I would say loading a bowl and waiting three days is a decent start. LOL. (Seriously, that depends on the ambient humidity).

    Yes, indeed. I am a neophyte when it comes to VA's. So, after reading this thread, I opened a tin of Christmas Cheer 2016. Two 15 second sessions in microwave of a bowl's worth, rubbed out, and loaded in a large bowl gave me a pleasant smoke, one which I am continuing this morning. Do not the Xmas blends count as very fine American VA tobaccos?

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  54. woodsroad

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    Why gum Arabic? I put that in my iron gall inks.

    Gum Arabic is an adhesive/binder. It glues the layers of tobacco leaf together to form a solid block that can then be sliced thin without falling apart.

    Read through the link I provided. There are some eye openers there.

    Pipe Tobacco Additives for STG

    Pipe Tobacco Additives for Kohlhase & Kopp

    And skip to the last page here for a list of additives in Presbyterian Mixture (which evidently is made by Planta).

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    kanse

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    Cup O' Joes - #4 Yeti Flake

    Caught my eye today.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  56. aquadoc

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    Woodsroad, yes, a binding agent but not one I thought to find in tobacco. Will go read more. Thanks for the links.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    @jpmcwjr, Indeed, Xmas Cheers are fine Virginia's, usually higher natural sugar leaf or strip that would have required down blending before being used in cigarettes that has been sold to McClelland instead.

    I am not an advocate of using the microwave, but neither an I opposed to it. Most of the threads that I have read advocating it say 10 seconds is enough/ideal. It is not anything I have tried since I have a decades long practice that works for me, as described above.

    BTW, I have fond that SG and G&H Flakes, twists, etc., Are about as challenging as McClellands. Germain/Esoterica ribbon cuts are the one family that I can thank of off the top of my had that I prefer not dried out as much as I do the others, though still a lot drier than it comes from the tin or bag.

    I cellar all my tobacco as it comes, drying them out as I intend to smoke them. Just about everything I have is from McClellands, Esoterica, Germain, G & H or SG. If the EPA opened my closet, they would declare it a protected wetland.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  58. woodsroad

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    Take note also that Bagpiper's Dream, a revered favorite around here,, contains Gum Arabic, as well as PG

    Posted 2 years ago #
  59. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    I am not an advocate of using the microwave, but neither an I opposed to it. Most of the threads that I have read advocating it say 10 seconds is enough/ideal. It is not anything I have tried since I have a decades long practice that works for me, as described above.

    BTW, I have fond that SG and G&H Flakes, twists, etc., Are about as challenging as McClellands. Germain/Esoterica ribbon cuts are the one family that I can thank of off the top of my had that I prefer not dried out as much as I do the others, though still a lot drier than it comes from the tin or bag.

    Ten seconds is ideal.... For certain cuts at certain moisture. Margate, for example dries out (and re-hydrates) very fast, as it's a fine cut shag or ribbon.. The thicker the cut, more time. Wetter, more time. I generally don't use microwave, but I didn't have a day to spare. RH where I am right now is ca. 45%, ideal for tray drying.

    Heh on Estericas- They seem to come in around 90% RH, way to moist for a good smoke.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    kanse

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    Bagpiper's Dream
    I remember my cigarette rolling papers had Arabic Gum too.

    Also this topic reminds me that Glynn Quelch mentioned in one of his youtube videos that tobacco he pressed together usually fell apart easily.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  61. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    This is exactly why War Horse Bar and War Horse Green crumble: They do not contain Gum Arabic.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  62. cosmicfolklore

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    Damn, so I have to add my own gum arabic? That stuff aint cheap.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  63. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    Michael, they sell it on Amazon. I have a pound of it down in the basement. It's sitting next to the hydraulic press. And the 5 pounds of whole leaf Kentucky Dark Fired. Some day, I will make whole leaf plugs.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  64. cosmicfolklore

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    A plug of nothing but Kentucky Dark Fired. I just drooled down my beard. Oh, and gum arabic.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    kanse

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    woodsroad
    I think the fact that they are not made of whole leaf is a major contributor as well.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  66. mawnansmiff

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    "Perhaps you mean to say that none of which look like the flakes made by STG, Mac Baren, etc. that have glue in them."

    Dan, that is very interesting to read and something I had never considered before. But it leaves me a little puzzled as FVF bought in 50g tins are flakes of uniform size, shape and consistency. However FVF bought in bulk 250g boxes, the flakes are much more friable and loose in nature. That would suggest that gum Arabic is used only for that which is destined to be tinned which I find difficult to get my head around.

    Can you explain further?

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  67. cranseiron

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    Doc, so you make your own iron gall ink-- well, I'll be damn!

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    @kanse, use of whole leaf is actually rare. McClelland s is set up to handle it, but their web page acknowledge s that they also use strip. Most countries, other than the US, control the export of tobacco and insist that it be processed domestically, which means raw leaf is never exported. Which means strip that is made to cigarette monopoly specs.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  69. fitzy

    fitzy

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    Hey Jay have you tried McCranies Red Flake??

    I've got a tin of their 1996 waiting to be opened as well as their 1983 ribbon.

    As of yet I have not smoked any of the McCranies.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  70. aquadoc

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    Making iron gall ink is simple enough. I spend so much time in the field that finding oak galls (any good source of concentrated tannins will work to varying degrees) is easy enough, steeping crushed galls (or whatever) and adding some gum Arabic and ferrous sulphate.. The pH is the trick... And I am still working on making a cool green iron gall. I have yet to make one safe for fountain pens but I use it with a dip pen frequently.

    Posted 2 years ago #

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