Re: Mac Baran Xmas Cheer Review
- From: BigSam@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 18 Dec 2009 08:01:06 -0500
On Thu, 17 Dec 2009 18:30:32 -0800, Steve J
BigSam@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:Thank You Steve,
On Tue, 15 Dec 2009 19:23:29 -0600, Mark Peeples
Smelt like ketchup when you opened it, Awfull Bite.
Hot Smoke. Does not remind you of Anything about Xmas.
Maybe eating burgers with bad ketchup.
Left everything smelling like keychup.
Threw it out First time I ever did that.
I probably shouldn't have thrown it out.
I'm just couldn't get over the ketchup smell.
I have smoked Cigars and have just taken up pipe
smoking so maybe some of the aromatics aren't for me.
Although I do like some this just wasn't for me.
I did react hastily and should have given it to someone.
Sorry to hear of your experience, however let's try to give you some
insight (at least of my experience). Others may choose to pitch in too.
First, just to be clear, McC CC is not an aromatic. They are (all the
different years) single crop (I'm pretty sure) pure Virginia tobaccos.
It may be a bit misleading, but they are not intended to be "Christmasy"
tobacco blends, but they come out around Christmas each year for the
Virginia lovers/collectors who treasure them.
Regarding the "ketchup smell": If you do some reading (I highly
recommend checking peoples comments out at
http://www.tobaccoreviews.com) That is considered common to *most* all
McClellands blends. I believe this is mostly dependent upon the
amount/types of Virginia leaf contained. I find this odor to be present
(albeit to lesser degrees) in many Virginias, especially if they dry out
and are rehydrated. Most people find the smell diminishes significantly
if the tobacco airs a bit. Some people also think of it as barbecue
sauce or A1, personally if find it to be kinda tomato paste, chocolate &
a bit of vinegar (yeah... that might qualify as a barbecue sauce). At
any rate, yes the smell can be overwhelming at times, especially when
first cracking the tin. You should realize that smell highly affects
taste. So with the airing the taste you noted would likely not exist.
Now then, because Christmas Cheer is a single Virginia and not a blend,
I believe most people find the treasure in this backy to be in its
aging/cellaring. Even though it may be great when new, the CCs tend to
age *wonderfully*, just like whiskey or wine (though whiskey really only
ages in the cask).
The next thing is the bite & heat: Virginias have considerably higher
sugar content than most tobaccos, especially a Burly. Sugar is very
hygroscopic; that is, it attracts and holds water/moisture. For that
matter sugars are carbohydrates; molecular chains composed basically of
carbon and water. Because of the sugars, a Virginia leaf that "feels"
just as dry as a Burley leaf will likely have a considerably higher
actual moisture content. Also, carbohydrates are fuel and can tend to
burn hot (they function in your body just like gasoline in your car -
imagine how hot straight alcohol would burn in your pipe), and with this
heat and the higher moisture, there can easily be steam in the smoke
that you would find as bite. For this reason you will frequently find
Virginia smokers referring to DGT (Delayed Gratification Technique - do
a search, or someone can comment more on it). The higher sugar content
also contributes to fermentation and the frequent vinegary note.
Because of the peculiarities of Virginias, they are *not* typically
thought of as "beginner tobaccos", as they can be unforgiving to poor
pipe smoking habits such as smoking too fast. Some of us are crazy (or
stupid) enough to push through the agony of learning the hard way, and
days of not smoking a pipe afterward. Virginia smokers (especially) will
commonly warn "sip... slowly" (even if you have to put the pipe down
and/or let it go out for a bit) to help keep the pipe and smoke cooler.
As a cigarette smoker, I definitely learned the hard way, but even still
get carried away on occasion.
Once one catches the Virginia bug, with the inherent natural sweetness
and other subtle flavors, most can understand why it's worth the extra
efforts required (they're generally not plug and play tobaccos).
Virginias are never as sweet as an aromatic blend with it's casing, nor
bold as an English or Balkan with latakia. They're not brilliant
diamonds, but precious pearls. It's sort of like the difference in
requesting a red or white wine, and specifying a Shiraz or Chardonnay.
This DOES NOT mean one is any better that the other. It DOES mean, what
is best is what you like best.
Just one last thought; frequently a disgusting tobacco can be a
completely different animal a month or so later (hold on to it for a
bit), not to mention in different weather, a different pipe, or a
different mood... especially when starting out. It's generally best to
try a tobacco more than once (different occasions and/or pipes), before
committing to a "no-good", or even a "great", opinion. Some of my pipes
will make a favored tobacco nasty, while a less then impressive tobacco
may absolutely sing in another specific pipe. Even many of the seasoned
smokers smoke different tobaccos as the seasons or their palates change.
If nothing else, it's always great to make a new friend trading (or sell
or gift it).
Best of luck.
I'm new to pipe smoking as I have been a cigar smoker.
But am learning so much from this newsgroup and your description
and what to do with it will help me to deal with some
of these tobacco's in the future. Sounds like a lot of these pipe
tobacco's are like fine wines and get better with age. I reacted
hastily and am truly sorry now that I tossed it. Pipe smoking is truly
a great pastime as it is a hobby it is so interesting and it looks
like I have a lot to learn.
- Re: Mac Baran Xmas Cheer Review
- From: Ken Dixon
- Re: Mac Baran Xmas Cheer Review
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