McCranie's Red Flake - Well, That's Disappointing

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pipesmokingtom

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May 4, 2015
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I received my first ever artisan pipe in the mail - a FABULOUS Larrysson Plateaux Dublin and decided it's first smoke would be from a tin of unopened Red Flake 2008 (tinned 2012) that was generously gifted to me. I probably shouldn't have smoked such a tobacco in a brand-new bare bowl, but... I assure you, it did just fine. What a pipe.
I cracked the tin the night before to let it air out some after the 5 years it had been stewing and wow - what a scent. Signature McClelland fermentation that mellowed in to a fruity, sweet, earthy and delicious aroma. Beautiful stuff.
After cube cutting enough to fill my new pipe and allowing it to dry a bit, I lit it up with a hemp wick (my preferred method for Virginias as of late) and goodness gracious... I'm not sure what it is about Red Virginias, but I perceive them as one of the sweetest things I've ever tasted. Not artificially sweet, not syrupy sweet, but naturally sweet to the point I have to take sips of a drink after 5 minutes or so to reset my palette. The sweetness just builds on me for some reason and the flavor is something like a tangy dark plum jam, eaten by the spoonful.
I'm 99% sure I'll never acquire any Red Flake again, but I'm so thankful I did. This 50g will have to last me and I'll stretch it out! I'm quite certain it's the best Virginia I've ever smoked - it's certainly the best Red Virginia I've ever smoked.
Very disappointed it's gone forever.

 

civilwar

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Mar 6, 2018
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It amazes me how McClelland was often criticized as McKetchup and now that they are no more everybody seems to miss them. Personally I always liked McClelland's McKetchup taste. :puffpipe:

 

cosmicfolklore

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Aug 9, 2013
21,781
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Helena, Alabama
I know, right. Used to whenever we would suggest McClellands, half a dozen crackheads would pop up and blister us for suggesting it. Now, it's everybodies sweetheart. Kinda irritating, even for someone who has loved their Virginias from the beginning.

 

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theloniousmonkfish

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Jan 1, 2017
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2015, Beacon and Best Bayou Slices. Have very little of all of them and will miss these tangy treats when gone. Congratulations and condolences on the Red Flake.

 

oldtoby

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Dec 7, 2011
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Well said Civilwar and Cosmic. :clap:
BTW Tom, congrats on the new pipe.

 

pipesmokingtom

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May 4, 2015
3,210
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It amazes me how McClelland was often criticized as McKetchup and now that they are no more everybody seems to miss them. Personally I always liked McClelland's McKetchup taste
I've always like McClelland Virginias as well - Dark Star, 2015, 5100 et all. Most definitely get the vinegar in the tin (which I've found enjoyable as a natural-smelling part of the bouquet), but I've never "tasted" it, save for maybe the very first draw when lighting.

 

pipesmokingtom

Preferred Member
May 4, 2015
3,210
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I keep a supply of Mixture 79 around. I won't buy any more of it though, since all of my tobacco dollars henceforth will go towards blends that I perceive to be more desirable and/or endangered. Same goes for Carter Hall and a bunch of others. Have to change the priorities!

 

jaytex1969

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Jun 6, 2017
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I never heard crackheads complaining about a singed tongue... :rofl:


 

pipesmokingtom

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May 4, 2015
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I bet you didn't need one pipe cleaner to soak up excess moisture did you?
Not a one!
It's considerably bigger than I expected. Comfortable to clench, but it's so nice to hold with the awesome blast that I mostly just fondled it the whole smoke haha. It's gorgeous and I couldn't be happier with it.

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
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I mostly just fondled it the whole smoke haha.
We are talking about a tobacco pipe here, right? LOL I think it was your post that led me to Paul. Thank you, he is an awesome carver.

 

pipesmokingtom

Preferred Member
May 4, 2015
3,210
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Yeah - I should have reread that before I sent it. I'll admit - it's a little suggestive.
And you're welcome! You ended up with the pipe that drew me in his direction in the first place!

 

pipesticks

Senior Member
Jun 29, 2016
336
9
Chicago
Just visited Larryson's website. Those Dublins are gorgeous. I especially like that Ring Grain Dublin top left.

Then I looked at his photo gallery page.....way too crazy over the top for me but I certainly appreciate the workmanship.

They are pieces of art, I just prefer more classic shapes. Incredible pipes...

 

pipesmokingtom

Preferred Member
May 4, 2015
3,210
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That ring grain Dublin top left is the one that hoosier ended up with!
Mine is similar with a plateaux top and a deer antler ring.



 

smittyd

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Feb 7, 2018
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Pennsylvania
The only McCleddland I have tried is the dark star. I was not a big fan, but after learning here a out the effects of aging , I have pact 50g away neatly and will try it again in a couple years.

 

renfield

Preferred Member
Oct 16, 2011
1,637
6,548
Red Flake of any age is a treat.
Dark Star isn’t the easiest blend to smoke and reveal its best. Definitely one that takes experimentation and some attention while smoking. IMO one of the tougher of McC’s blends to smoke. Worth the effort, though.

 
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