Mouthful of rattlesnakes, playing kick the hornet's nest, juggling chainsaws, playing that game where you throw a box full of knives into the air as high as you can and running in circles under them; these are just a few things that I prefer more than Virginia #1. And, why is it called #1? They didn't call any of the less aromatic Virginias #2 nor #3.
I tried to like it. I smoked about half the tin in briar, Meerschaum and a cob.... nothing helped. I put the other half in a jar and it's somewhere deep in my cellar. Hopefully I'll forget about it.
Good review though.
Thanks guys. I think the best part of this tobacco is the hate-inspired creative response it seems to bring out of unsuspecting smokers...who then in turn eventually get a smart-ass response from left field. One of the best counter-responses I've ever read (paraphrased):
"So your tender tongue wears panties and a pretty dress to spout poetry about how hurt it is, ain't that cute."
I about rolled out of my chair laughing.
I don't care what people do or don't put in their pipe. The joy (and amusement) lay in the interaction and camaraderie. I've had plenty of tobacco feel as if I made out with a weed wacker. None to the degree some have, apparently. A few drinks and it all ends up the same--as long as the story is good.
As a genuine explorer in the world of Mac Baren, I am quite pleased to see a tin carrying the brand name on the front page of the most visited pipe smoking magazine. As I don't yet smoke straight VAs I cannot comment on this particular blend, however, some of my all time favorite blends come from the House of Mac Baren.
I got into MacBaren Virginia #1 after a trip to Phoenix. It's different in the way that fried chicken is different from baked chicken, at least IMHO. Virginia #1 is one of those tobaccos that I will smoke through the entire tin and neglect everything else until I am done with it.
I think that at the time VA #1 was released, there really weren't many pure Virginias out there in Europe, except for Samuel Gawith. And, even in America, we didn't yet have C&D nor McClellands. So, the Virginia era had yet to begin fully, as we know it today. This is just my estimation. I don't have any sources to pull from, just doing the math on when companies existed, and even looking at the best of Virginia offerings out there at the moment, most have come about just since I have been smoking a pipe, which isn't ancient history by any means.
So, when guys talk about how bitey Virginias are, and how damned hot they burn, they are most likely reffering to their experiences with old #1 here. Because honestly, McClellands never burned hot for me. And, who the hell can even get a fresh flake of FVF top light, ha ha (just kidding, you have to let it set on the dashboard of the car for a weekend first). ::
I had some #1 left in my rotation jar and some PS Luxury Twist Flake left in its rotation jar. The amount was probably 70% #1 and 30% LTF. I mixed the two and WOW it tasted so good. The LTF calmed down the honey flavor from the #1 and gave the mixture more of a coconut flavor. The LTF also lessoned the bite from the #1. Thanks for the MacBaren #1 review Brian.
I haven't found a Bac Baren tobacco that I liked. They all have something lacking, to give an example, I had high hopes for HH Pure Virginia but it was a meh experience in the end. A luxury wanna be pipe tobacco, at a good price, that works with the power of suggestion. I mean the tin artwork and tobacco presentation is amazing, you want to try it forthwith and then talk about a letdown. Nevertheless, they must be doing something right as Mac Baren has a lot of followers.
I never "got" this tobacco in the past and it always smoked hot and i got bitten every time i tried it.
Then, one day at my pipe club, a buddy offered me a bowl, so i tried it again. It was nirvana! I don't if it was dried a bit or whatever, but i smoked it very very slowly and really enjoyed it for the first time! Since then, i revisit it from a sealed jar and it gets better with age on it and it smells wonderful in the jar too.
The way to tame this tiger is to go SLOW----i mean SLOW. It just might reveal itself to you the way it happened for me. Try it again, LET IT DRY a bit, and remember----go SLOW.