By Bob Tate
The tin aroma of this blend smells really good and reminds me of some of the smells that are encountered during Holiday baking. Dark rum is the predominate aroma and there is a hint of dark chocolate and I also picked up on a slight hint of coffee. The moisture content is a little on the moist side and some drying time wouldn’t hurt. I smoked it right from the tin with no drying time and it smoked well with no problems. The cut on this blend is pretty chunky with some large pieces of leaf.
I loaded up my pipe and proceeded to the charring light. On the charring light, I picked up on tastes of dark rum, chocolate, and also very slight hint of a nutty taste as well. There was a nice sweetness to the background that tied it all together. The aroma was very nice as well. There were the scents of the rum and chocolate with a nice sweetness. I finished lighting the pipe and settled in for a nice, relaxing smoke.
At the start of the bowl, the most predominate flavor is dark rum. There is a hint of chocolate that fades in and out and I am not picking up on any of the pecan flavors. As the bowl progressed the rum subsided a bit, but it was still noticeable. The sweetness is very pronounced in the flavor. Around the half bowl point, I started picking up on another flavor that I couldn’t quite place. It might have been the pecan flavor showing up, but I can’t really say that it tasted like pecans to me. All during the bowl, the rum continued to subside, but never left entirely. Light hints of chocolate continued to fade in and out for the entire bowl.
There was also a peppery/spiciness to this blend that was there from start to finish. By the end of the smoke, it was very noticeable in the back of my mouth/throat. It was not totally unpleasant, but it did distract from the blend a little bit.
This is a very good blend and I like it quite a bit. It smoked cool, dry, didn’t bite me at all, didn’t get bitter, and it didn’t leave a mess in the pipe. This is another good holiday blend and I will be smoking it next year during the holiday season. You could certainly smoke this blend at any time of the year, but it is only produced for a limited time. So if you want to smoke it other than during the holidays, buy a few tins to last until it is released the following year. There is a fair amount of sweetness to this blend. If you are one of the types that don’t like a lot of sweetness in your tobacco blends, then you may not like this blend. However, if you like aromatics, don’t mind some extra sweetness, and are looking for a nice holiday blend; I suggest giving McClelland Holiday Spirit a try.
I Recommend it.
Blend: Holiday Spirit 2008
Description: This mild, smooth blend of Burley, Virginia and Cavendish tobaccos is flavored with dark rum, pecan and cocoa. It brings a warm glow to the coldest winter day. The aroma of a favorite holiday confection wafts from the bowl bringing pipe smoking contentment.
Cut: Coarse Cut
Tobaccos: Burley, Virginia, Cavendish
Taste: Dark Rum, Dark Chocolate, Very Sweet
Room Note: Very Pleasant