My thoughts on McClelland’s Holiday Spirit 2010 Edition.
I know it may be a little early for a review of a holiday blend, but I figured since McClelland’s 2011 holiday blends just went up on smokingpipes.com last week it would be OK.
This mild, smooth blend of Burley, Virginia, and Cavendish tobaccos is flavored with dark rum, pecan, and cocoa. It brings a warm glow to the coldest winter day. The aroma of a favorite holiday confection wafts from the bowl bringing pipe smoking contentment.
In the Tin
This stuff smells wonderful! I can smell the pecans and rum in the tin aroma, and it smells good enough to eat. The tobacco is a brown and black confetti of tobacco goodness. The tobacco is a little moist out of the tin, and could benefit from a little drying time to get it to your preferred smoking condition.
I smoked this straight out of the tin, and after letting in dry a little, and it let well with only one or two charring lights necessary. Even straight out of the tin this stuff burned exceptionally well, I only needed to relight once in about 50% of my smokes. I have smoked this in both briars and cobs, in a bent briar I did find that I needed to run a pipe cleaner through the pipe once to alleviate some gurgle, in the cob it burned cleanly with no gurgle. This stuff burns well, not as well as a pure uncased tobacco, but this burns just as good as any other aromatic. The only downside to this was the end where the last few pieces of tobacco did not want to burn. There was also a minor amount of goop in the bottom of my bent briar after the smoke.
Sweet and a little salty, interesting I know but it works, really well. I love the way this tobacco tastes, there is no real tobacco taste, so if that is what you are looking for look elsewhere, but if you want a pleasant, sweet, and tasty smoke, this could be the stuff for you. I can taste the sweet dark rum in this smoke, and I would bet the saltiness I taste comes from the pecan flavoring. This gives a cool smoke, and I could not get it to bite, which is good news because this stuff tastes so good it can make you want to smoke faster than you should.
Again this stuff smells great, I think one of my friends said it best when he said “that smells freakin awesome”.
The Bottom Line
This is a great aromatic tobacco. My tin was from the 2010 stock, and I hope this blend doesn’t change much from year to year because I plan on keeping this around. This is a great blend for both the smoker and those around the smoker, it smells great, and tastes even better. This tobacco has quickly jumped to one of my top 3 favorite aromatic tobaccos.