Except he didn't suggest he's retiring over lack of good reds at all. His whole premise for thinking they are shutting down is based on information from his tobacconist, who he trusts. He went on to say that if this happens and someone else bought the recipes, he can't trust they'd get it right and said blends would be different.Mike said he could not not find reds that meet his standard to continue to make 5100. You are creating "fake news" by suggesting that he is retiring because he cant find reds for any of his blends...that other blenders will not be able to make those blends right because they will also have problems sourcing reds (or because they are incompetent)...and that because your tobacconist is unable to order more McClelland now, he will never, ever be able to order those blends again.
I think the problem, with C&D Virginias is whomever they are using to do the flue cure and fermenting. Just my opinion, but it's just awful. When I air cure my homegrown Virginias it tastes exactly the same as what C&D calls their flue cured... with one exception, and that is their bulk Virginia Flake. It still has that a little of the air cured flavor, but at least the rest of the process does something to it that makes it very palatable.GLP/C&D fans might take offense, but comparing their red VA blends to McClelland's imo is like comparing Budweiser to a craft ale... woefully inferior, but some people like it.