McCellands 221B Black Shag

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chuckw

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 7, 2009
679
13
I don't understand all the bad press this tobacco gets on TR. Well, maybe I do. My supply has had 12 years to age and meld it's flavors. I guess if one bought a fresh tin and tried to smoke it immediatly, they would have a different experience.

Tin art is nothing special. A white label and plain black lettering. The caricature of Holmes peering thru his glass with a gourd calabash adds little. The tin has a Tupperware style plactic cover over a peel and discard lid.

The tin aroma has the standard McCelland ketsup smell along with a slight tangy note.

The presentation is a deep choclate brown with specks of lighter tobacco and is a shag cut.

The pipe of choice is a Peterson Sterling prince that is about 60 years old. I pack the pipe using a slightly heavy handed three step methode so it draws like a filter cigarette. If you pack this with a light touch, it will burn hot and bite like a junk yard dog. Draw through the unlit pipe and the ketsup is about all you taste. Char, tamp and relight. A Va. tang and sweetness erupts immediatly followed by a mellow earthiness that is hard to describe. Kind of a cross between roasted cashews and avocado. It is a mild and somewhat one dimensional smoke as you progess down the bowl with the flavor remaining constant.

Push this tobacco and that junk yard dog and two of his buddies will come visit you. Sip it slowly, turn on the radio to background elevator music, reflect on life and enjoy.

 

cortezattic

Lifer
Nov 19, 2009
15,147
7,639
Chicago, IL
Black Shag is the only one of the 221B series that I haven't tasted -- and I think it's because of some of the negative comments on TR. I'm glad you took the time to review this, because now I will consider it in a different light; and I need some shags to round out my cellared stuff.

 

python

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 8, 2009
3,756
7,265
Maryland
pipesmagazine.com
Thanks for the great review Chuck!
I have a couple of tins of this in my cellar and haven't gotten around to opening one of them yet, but I have been thinking about this blend a lot over the last month or so. The time to open one might be coming up soon!

 

cortezattic

Lifer
Nov 19, 2009
15,147
7,639
Chicago, IL
Bob, I can picture you in a cape and deerstalker cap, a calabash in one hand, and a magnifying glass in the other, looking for Kevin's fingerprints on a slipper mysteriously relieved of its prized cache of black shag.

 
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