McClelland 5100

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jmatt

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Aug 25, 2014
760
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I'm really bad at reviewing tobaccos, because my sense of taste is weak. I know if I like it, or if I don't, but I can't pretend to tell you about all the subtle nuances of flavor. But I do know that I love straight Virginia tobacco.
McClelland 5100 you say? I always thought "it's just a bulk blend, it can't possibly compare with the tinned blends I prefer." And I thought "it's ready-rubbed. All of the best Virginias are flakes, or even plugs." So while I have FVF, WBCDF, Dunhill Flake, Christmas Cheer, McCranies, etc. in my cellar in decent quantities, I just never got around to trying McClelland 5100.
So I finally ordered 8 ounces. It's cheap compared to tins, so what have I got to lose? My reaction?
WOW!!!!! Why in the world didn't I try this long ago? It's got that rich tangy sweetness of great red Virginia tobacco. It's ready-rubbed, so packing was a breeze. Mine came to me at a perfect moisture level. It lit easy enough, and I think I relit once in the hour it took me to smoke my first bowl. Nice thick smoke, which matched what I will call a dense flavor, rather than an airy one (if that makes sense to anyone but me).
Was it the best red virginia I've had? Nope. But it was good. A solid 3 stars, maybe even 3.5 stars. But based on the cost, it's a spectacular value. Buy it by the pound and the price is currently $3.12 an ounce. And that's one of the best tobaccos you'll get for $3.12 an ounce.
I didn't get any tongue bite, but I'm pretty decent at smoking slow. With red virginias you're always taking a risk with your tongue. Straight Virginias also don't provide big nicotine kicks, so you'll miss that if that's what you're after.
So if you've gone through all the tins of virginias out there and you've never ordered a couple ounces of 5100, you owe it to yourself to add some to your next order.

 
May 5, 2014
237
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For sure

I keep a solid 8 ounces on hand to throw in other blends too. Boring VA or a drab English...a small pinch and you might have a good time...Add a little to a bitey blend and it dulls the teeth

 

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mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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Lovely stuff, all by itself or in home mixes. It has a subtle complexity all its own. Don't mind the ketchup smell in the jar; just light it up and all will be revealed.

 

cosmicfolklore

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Aug 9, 2013
19,635
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Good review!

It stoves really well in a tall narrow pipe as well. I also get compliments on the room note and the aroma that follows me after smoking it. I hear it being called "pipey" smelling. If you like it, you might try H&H Aniversary Cake for a great bulk VaPer along the same level of flavor with just a tad more nicotine. Also, try some McClelland Top Hat, which tastes exactly like Red Cake with a good dose of perique added, but it comes in tins, no bulk.

 

peteguy

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Jan 19, 2012
1,109
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One of my top choices as well. 10-12 oz stored away in the cellar. I tell my wife it is marinating.

 

andystewart

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Jan 21, 2014
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Thanks for the review, jmatt. I love 5100 - it has a great taste and is a very easy smoke. I'm also a big fan of Anniversary Cake; they both have a bit of spice, which keep things interesting.
Andy

 

frozenchurchwarden

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Mar 1, 2014
2,056
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I didn't get anything really tangy from McClelland until my second sample of 2015.

I'm not sure if it's just me but my first samples of 2015 and 2100 were just starchy, and then the second batch of 2015 that I tried has a very sharp smell that actually translates into the smoke. I have no idea what the difference between the samples is. Maybe the others just weren't aged enough?

 

jmatt

Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2014
760
1
Thanks for all the comments and feedback everyone.
I definitely agree about Russ' Anniversary Cake. I've got about a pound if it stored up, and it occupies one of my always-open short term tobacco jars. I hadn't thought about it, but yes, I'd say Anniversary Cake is to Vapers what 5100 is to straight Virginia. It's not my favorite. Doesn't knock my socks off. But it's a great smoke, no fuss lighting, no fuss packing, burns great, tastes great. And it's a spectacular overall value for VaPer fans. I definitely keep it on hand as well.

 

mortonbriar

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Oct 25, 2013
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Yeah, I try not to run out of 5100, for all the reasons stated above, consistently enjoyable on its own, and also a great base for any mixes I might throw together.
Isaac

 

perdurabo

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Jun 3, 2015
3,151
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Thanks for the review... I'll have to order this. Eyeballing it for a while.

 

hawky454

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Feb 11, 2016
3,048
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I find it a tad boring on it's own but I use it as a base for one of my own blends

 

jcsoldit

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Mar 27, 2010
1,063
11
Wisconsin
I like it fresh, but it is special with a year or two of age. I'm smoking some now that was jarred back in '09 and it's amazing.
Very good review. :puffy:

 
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