McClelland 2015

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JudgeRusty
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McClelland 2015

Post by JudgeRusty » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:24 am

I did not find a review thread of 2015 on CPS.

I smoked my first bowl of 2015 this morning and I believe it is a winner. My current tastes lean toward VaPers that are heavy on sweeter Virginias and lighter on the Perique.

I folded and stuffed the broken flake. It lit with mild difficulty much the same as most flakes or broken flakes. It required only two re-lights and left little dottle. I smoked it in a bent Sav Roma that has a small bowl that has become one of my most reliable smokers for flakes.

The smoke was cool and didn't try to burn me even with my bad technique. It had the right amount of sweetness, but no syrupy notes--I suppose the Perique brightened up the blend correctly. Most folks say McClelland knows Virginias and they seemed to have gotten this right.

Beth has become less tolerant of the lingering smoky smells of my habit in the house of late. When I was smoking this (alone on a Saturday morning watching TV) I noticed a nicer room note, even though it is hard to detect while smoking. An hour later, I asked Beth to comment on the smell in the room and she said she didn't smell anything--that is some good news.

If this smokes as well through the rest of the 2 ounces I purchased and does as well in other pipes, I foresee it becoming a staple I try to keep on hand.
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Post by Steverino » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:36 pm

Good review. I have some of this that's been in a jar for a few years so I guess I need to try it again. McClelland blends aren't usually my thing but it might be pretty good by now.
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Post by DAN » Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:06 pm

I love the stuff. Got a pound of it cellaring in my hall closet right now. Yum Yum Yum...
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Re: McClelland 2015

Post by fisherofpipes » Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:47 pm

JudgeRusty wrote: Most folks say McClelland knows Virginias and they seemed to have gotten this right.
That might be the understatement of the year. Almost belongs in that "best quotes" thread, though it is perhaps too obvious...
Odi profanum vulgus et arceo:
Favete linguis. Carmina non prius
Audita Musarum sacerdos
Virginibus puerisque canto.

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Post by JimVH » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:12 pm

2015 is a consistent favorite of mine. Glad to hear you find it a winner, also.

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Post by Del » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:03 pm

2015 is a wonderful blend! I finished up an aged jar back in February.... it's on my list to buy some more. this is one for my desert-island list.

I do like young, bright virginias. These must be smoked carefully, because they will bite-bite-bite your tongue if they get a little hot. But I love the citrus tingle of lemon and orange virginias when they are young.

With a little age, the citrus mellows and the bite is tamed... and I suppose the perique gets to put in a few more words edgewise into the conversation.
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Post by JimVH » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:49 pm

Come to think of it, Del is the one that turned me on to 2015.

I am ever grateful.

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Post by Rusty » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:25 am

Yep, I like this one too.
As long as this is here I'm trying to figure out when McClelland introduced them (the bulks)? They've added to them over the years but I suspect there was a core set at the beginning and the question is when was that?

Any of you detect the slight earthiness to #2015? It's not quite a straight Va/Per. This used to be more obvious because there was a cousin blend. King Eider from Bufflehead, was very close, and it had to be made by McClelland too. It was a little brighter but otherwise it was similar enough that some folks thought it was #2015 rebadged. But it wasn't. It lacked the slightly earthy quality of #2015. It was really obvious that #2015 has/had something in it that makes it a Va/Per 'dirty'. A few years later Bob Hamlin posted a fact... it has a little bit of Oriental in it. I think that's the answer. Not quite enough to make it like Tudor or Blended Flake but enough to make it slightly earthy I think.

The other Va bulks are quite good too. Whenever I'm smoking one I figure that it's the best. They're all good. But still #5115 still strikes me as superb. Much better than you might expect from the reviews.
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Post by Del » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:53 am

Rusty wrote: It was really obvious that #2015 has/had something in it that makes it a Va/Per 'dirty'.
The recipe for a Dirty Va/per?

No doubt, there are just a few drops olive brine added to the ketchup!
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Post by JudgeRusty » Mon May 13, 2013 1:55 pm

McClelland 2015 isn't available at any B&Ms that I visit. (It's pretty cheap online, I know).

But I was wondering, how do you folks compare and contrast 2015 and McClelland's Beacon?
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Post by Rusty » Mon May 13, 2013 2:19 pm

JudgeRusty wrote:McClelland 2015 isn't available at any B&Ms that I visit. (It's pretty cheap online, I know).

But I was wondering, how do you folks compare and contrast 2015 and McClelland's Beacon?
Sweeter and more refined. Not particularly fruity though. I added more Perique. No longer in bulk territory with that. I think the refined comment is saying it doesn't have anything like Oriental dirting it up. I think you've had Beacon, right?

The Collector series is very nice. My favourites are Aurora and Tudor Castle. If you want to discover what happens when they increase the Oriental in the Va/Per try Tudor Castle. That's marvelous stuff.

What did you think of McClelland St. James Woods?
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Post by JudgeRusty » Mon May 13, 2013 3:41 pm

Had to check to make sure, but I have not had opportunity to try St. James Woods (I have tried St. James Flake from SG).

I have Beacon and smoked some today. I think it is a good VaPer but it doesn't punch the same buttons as 2015; I'm just not sure which buttons those are.
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Post by Rusty » Mon May 13, 2013 4:00 pm

JudgeRusty wrote:Had to check to make sure, but I have not had opportunity to try St. James Woods (I have tried St. James Flake from SG).

I have Beacon and smoked some today. I think it is a good VaPer but it doesn't punch the same buttons as 2015; I'm just not sure which buttons those are.
The number of 'buttons' is a bit startling. Even within a manufacturers style there are a huge number of variations in Virginias, Va/Per, Va/Per/Or, etc. Even within a style we may think is reasonably confined eg Va/Per. This is made even more obvious when you consider things McClelland makes but are/were under other brands. PCCA used to be a slightly different brand. Ashton too, and so with Butera, Bufflehead and historically others like Levin Intl.

After you poke through the McClelland branded stuff there is more.
I really went after the Bufflehead blends in the early 2000's and they had three Va/Per that are each superb (King Eider- closest to #2015, Bufflehead Decoy, Canvasback Decoy) that are McClelland style but again different blends. Their Surf Scoter was the first dark stoved cake (in the style of #2035, Dark Star, Butera Dark Stoved etc) out of McClelland. They're each unique blends that are distinct from their cousins. I still have some Bufflehead in the cellar. Here's a archive link to the Bufflehead blend catalog...
http://web.archive.org/web/200411290144 ... atalog.php

Here's another piece of recent history ... Levin Intl catalog page from 1995. Do the blend names and descriptions look familiar? But there are some that you won't recognize. This is the origin of the current McClelland Personal Reserve and Craftsbury series.

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Re: McClelland 2015

Post by mont974x4 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:14 pm

McClelland No. 2015 VA/Per
This is a bit of bulk I ordered a few months ago. The label reads 9957-2-9 and 15272899. I transferred it to a small mason jar as soon as I got it. I am not sure what those mean though. It is broken flake of red and orange VA's with perique. The tin note is the typical ketchup smell found in many of these blends. The moisture content was a little sticky. To smoke it I broke it up into very small pieces and rubbed some of it out to help with the charring light. I have not gotten much of the sweetness of the VA but the perique is very much enjoyable. It is a bit strong, IMO, for an all day smoke, but it's a great start the day smoke. I think this would be a good blend to go in the cellar.
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Re: McClelland 2015

Post by Rusty » Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:56 pm

mont974x4 wrote:McClelland No. 2015 VA/Per
This is a bit of bulk I ordered a few months ago. The label reads 9957-2-9 and 15272899. I transferred it to a small mason jar as soon as I got it. I am not sure what those mean though. It is broken flake of red and orange VA's with perique. The tin note is the typical ketchup smell found in many of these blends. The moisture content was a little sticky. To smoke it I broke it up into very small pieces and rubbed some of it out to help with the charring light. I have not gotten much of the sweetness of the VA but the perique is very much enjoyable. It is a bit strong, IMO, for an all day smoke, but it's a great start the day smoke. I think this would be a good blend to go in the cellar.
Did you like it? This is one of the bulks that tends to worm its way into our hearts as you can tell from the thread. There are actually a bunch of these bulks that are really worthwhile - 2010, 2015, 2020, 2025, 2035, 5100, 5115. I'm nursing an 8 yo jar of 2035 just now and boy is it good. It's been almost 15 years since I first tried 2015 and at first I thought it was just ok and that the SG & GH bulk Virginias were a little better. Over time I changed my mind. At about $20-24 / lb., at the time, the McCl bulks were priced quite a bit lower than the SG & GH bulks too. Of course that changed. Between 2005 and 2009 McClelland's annual increases doubled the prices. You're right about the cellar. Mine are 8 to 10 yo, depending on the jar and they're fine. The SG & GH bulks generally won;t outperform the McCl over longer cellar terms. The stickiness may be a little PG, I know there is a bit on them, even so they will dry out. I don't know what the numbers mean either.
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Re: McClelland 2015

Post by ryland » Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:30 pm

I've got some I jarred in 2010. Might be time to try it out. I've also got some 2025 that I jarred in 2005. The 2000 series of McClelland is a winner, IMO.
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Re: McClelland 2015

Post by Goose55 » Fri May 19, 2017 12:16 pm

I very much like that this McCl bulk flake gives the deep, plummy Perique note on first light. Some VaPers seem harsh on first light, but not this one.
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Re: McClelland 2015

Post by Goose55 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:32 pm

Currently smoking a bowl of McClelland 2015 VaPer. It really is a good value in bulk as it comes on the dry side, so one gets more form their money.

Just ordered 19 more ounces from Pipes & Cigars in there current 48 hour 10-20-25% off sale. That and (for the cellar) 4 more 3.5 ounce tins of McClelland St. James Woods VaPer. That'll make 10 or 12 tins, which should be plenty for this old man.
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