Would McClelland Sell Their Recipes and Methods?

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fireground_piper

Senior Member
Jan 30, 2020
365
1,082
New Jersey
A few years ago I asked a blender about availability of specific grades directly. The answer I received was, it's not that it's impossible to get but the minimums you have to buy now doesn't make it worth while for small operation.

I imagine this aligns with federal subsidies being removed, farmers seeking the larger contracts, etc. that has been mentioned. It makes sense.
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
24,450
23,802
Helena, Alabama
To come back to the point, it's about imprinting and change I think. I'd imprinted on Dunhill Nightcap and the new Peterson tins I had were 100% the same
Of course it's the same. Dunhill wasn't making those blends. The same company that had merely licensed Dunhill's name for the tins just changed the labels.

When I read the way pipesmokers talk about blends on here, from the pipesmoker's perspective, we assume that there are merely some Virginias, maybe a few burleys, and one dark fired tobacco from Kentucky, and some condimentals tobaccos. As if blends are merely some bananas, apples, and oranges and some condiments like sugar, salt, etc... and, we can make some fruit salad just like grandma's. Which isn't the way things really work.
 

chasingembers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
28,303
40,313
My own eye opening experience was Dunhill stopping production,
Dunhill stopped producing tobacco in the '80s and was taken over by a different manufacturer.


I'd imprinted on Dunhill Nightcap and the new Peterson tins I had were 100% the same with those from 2012 or so, so some leaf is available that meets my needs, and I'm content
Yep, made by the same company in the same facility using the same tins and tobacco.
 

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judcole

Preferred Member
Sep 14, 2011
5,682
10,302
Detroit
Not sure I have anything new to add, but here it is anyway.
I gotta come down on the side of Sable and some others. Some folks have special talents...gifts, if you will..and those cannot be passed on. You see that in the arts - Picasso, Ellington, etc, etc - these folks were unique in what they did, and no one can replicate it. I cannot see why tobacco blending should be any different.
Do I wish I had more tins of some of my favorite McClelland blends? Oh, hell, yes. Are they going to come back? No, and thank heavens, because Mike and Mary are retired, and anybody trying to reproduce those blends would fail to do so. I am going to enjoy what I have, mourn a bit when they are gone, and move on. puffy
 

karam

Preferred Member
Feb 2, 2019
1,033
3,917
Athens, Greece
When I read the way pipesmokers talk about blends on here, from the pipesmoker's perspective, we assume that there are merely some Virginias, maybe a few burleys, and one dark fired tobacco from Kentucky, and some condimentals tobaccos. As if blends are merely some bananas, apples, and oranges and some condiments like sugar, salt, etc... and, we can make some fruit salad just like grandma's. Which isn't the way things really work.
I hope I'm a little more sophisticated than that! I won't claim to know the difference between Malawi and Green River Burley but at least I am aware they exist, then you have leaf grades, stalk position, curing and fermenting etc etc. Blending's a real art form.
 

pantsBoots

Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2020
1,147
3,495
Ain't no place I'd rather be
This starts evolving into a popular discussion among beer- and wine- heads. Terroir. With beer, the terroir, other than the ingredients such as malt, hops, and yeast, also involves the complicated water chemistry at play. My favorite example is Belgian beer. Stateside brewers have had some success in obtaining the precise strains of yeast used by the monasteries in Belgium who make what is, to me, the world's best beer (narrowly edging out Germany). And yet, if blindfolded, I could usually pick out an American-made Belgian style vs. a true Belgian Trippel, Dubbel, Quad, Golden, etc. I'll go so far as to say there is only one Belgian-style made in America I've had that, somehow, matches the flavors and aromas of beer from Belgium (Dragonmead Final Absolution. It's made with Detroit water, too - some of the lowest quality municipal water I've ever had).

All that to say, when you dive deep into the chemistry, it gets really complicated really quick, bouncing between organic and inorganic chemical theory. If someone develops an art or a touch, it is not always something that can be taught by anyone or anything other than raw experience and, often, local conditions, unless you have a state-of-the-art laboratory at your disposal.
 

pipezilla

New member
Jun 18, 2018
3
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If anyone has Instagram, go search McClelland and look at their profile.

they’re coming back....
When?

im sure this Christmas will be full of Cheer for a lot of us.
 
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cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
24,450
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Helena, Alabama
If anyone has Instagram, go search McClelland and look at their profile.

they’re coming back....
When?

im sure this Christmas will be full of Cheer for a lot of us.
I saw that someone had created a new IG for McClellands a couple of days ago, but I wasn't sure what to make of it. I mean, I can create an IG pretending to be any company I want... at least until the company convinces IG that I am not the real company, but sometimes this kind of thing doesn't matter to IG at all. First come, gets to keep the IG.
 

logs

Preferred Member
Apr 28, 2019
1,774
4,785
I saw that someone had created a new IG for McClellands a couple of days ago, but I wasn't sure what to make of it. I mean, I can create an IG pretending to be any company I want... at least until the company convinces IG that I am not the real company, but sometimes this kind of thing doesn't matter to IG at all. First come, gets to keep the IG.

There's a bit a whispering and speculation a re-release of Frog Morton all because of that recent Instagram page and the pictures of the frog label, and especially because GL Pease is "following" (whatever that means).
 

logs

Preferred Member
Apr 28, 2019
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4,785
Like I mentioned earlier, it always seemed to me reasonably possible for some kind of McClelland re-release just because all the old classics always seem to find a way back to the market one way or another. Frog Morton is certainly low-hanging fruit in that regard. Whether this IG page is any kind of indicator I have no clue. I'm too unhip to pay much attention to Instagram but the Facebook crowd is loving it.
 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
13,252
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SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
Like I mentioned earlier, it always seemed to me reasonably possible for some kind of McClelland re-release just because all the old classics always seem to find a way back to the market one way or another. Frog Morton is certainly low-hanging fruit in that regard. Whether this IG page is any kind of indicator I have no clue. I'm too unhip to pay much attention to Instagram but the Facebook crowd is loving it.
I'll believe it if or when it hits the shelves. Even if, given the changeling that is current Balkan Sobranie, it may not be a thing of joy.
 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
34,548
30,559
In a sense, no blend remains the same for more than a few years, since the soil, weather, and growing conditions change even if the tobacco is sourced from the same farms, and especially if it isn't. The secret sauce of the McClelland brand wasn't the recipe or even the sourcing but the special sauce of the blenders who doted over their creation like a child. Could the brand be licensed and recreated under some of the same blend names? Sure. Would it be the same blend? Nope. And ... you can bet that the old timers who remember the originals would never taste them the same. Like, change is an inherent part of life and everything else. It's not a conspiracy, it's the way the universe works. Shopping for blends is like shopping for produce; find out what's good this week.
 

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