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 McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same?

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Natch

Natch

Age : 68
Location : foothills of the Ozarks
Registration date : 2007-12-21

McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? Empty
PostSubject: McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same?   McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? EmptyTue Feb 01, 2011 2:17 pm

A while back Kapnismologist posted a thread about McClelland's Dark Star that garnered several responses, including one by Slow Puffs indicating that he thought McClelland's Dark Navy Flake was a poor man's McClelland's Dark Star in bulk form. I subsequently bought a couple of pounds of Dark Navy Flake and a 100g tin of Dark Star and intended to do a comparison. Trying to be scientific, I thought I'd survey ten of our brothers, send samples of both tobaccos, and see if they could find differences.

So I bagged up samples (roughly 1/2 ounce worth) of each and sent them out to 9 of our brothers, planning on being the 10 myself. I ran out of Dark Star, so two of the ten "blind" samples A & B were actually both Navy Flake. Two months later, we have six of the 10 results. One participant never responded, one (unfortunately, our dear brother Kan) passed on, one it turns out can't take Mc Virginias in any form and found both samples burned his mouth, and the last one that we can't count was me; by the time I sent all the samples out, I had run out of Dark Star, so I never had a chance to compare the two!

The six testers were our three South African brothers, Piet, bluedigital & Muddler, Puff Daddy, Carlos, and Kapnismologist. A two page survey was included and the samples were simply labeled A or B (and varied by person). I had SWMBO randomly mix them up. While I was bagging up the two different blends, I could not see, feel, or smell a difference between them, they looked identical. The results are listed below based upon their "secret" number. It seems that most found the Dark Star (DS) had more taste or was sweeter than the Dark Navy Flake (NF), and most seemed to either slightly prefer Dark Star or mentioned the differences were too minor to influence their preference. The fact that the Dark Star had two more years of age (sealed, at least) than the Navy Flake might have made a difference?

#2. Found the samples similar, but overall preferred DS; DS had more taste, NF was stronger;
#5. DS "slightly smoother" than NF, but quite similar; guessed right; DS slightly sharper smell in baggie
#6. Similar taste, but DS "spicier" than NF; NF "broader taste" and "more satisfying" than DS; preferred NF
#7. DS was sweet, hints of molasses, malt, figs, and increased flavors during smoke, NF was flat, not complex. Guessed correctly which was which.
#8. Similar but DS slightly more taste; "not enough difference to mention"
#9. Both baggies were NF, (ran out of DS!); described minor differences between them.

So, there we have it, a resounding huh?
Laughing

(Note to self, get some Dark Star and don't send it to anyone, dipshit!)

Natch
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Wet Dottle

Wet Dottle

Location : Littleton, CO
Registration date : 2008-02-27

McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? Empty
PostSubject: Re: McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same?   McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? EmptyTue Feb 01, 2011 5:32 pm

Thanks for sponsoring the blind tasting, Natch.

So, what's the conclusion?
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Guest
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McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? Empty
PostSubject: Re: McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same?   McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 4:23 am

Howdy Natch!!!
OK word is out, Piet gets the official baccy tasters ass award!!!
only I will be able to find differences in two identical blends!!!!! Shhhheeeesh I'm an ass!!!

Either way it was great!!
Muddler gave me a half pound of NF for the cellar, you Sir gave me the opportunity to sample 2 identical blends. I really like them uhhhhhh NF a lot and cant wait to crack my bulk in a couple of years time!

May I ask, are both NF samples from the same stable, or is one older than the other????????
Please say they are different, I need to save some face here!!

Thank for involving me Natch!
It was an honor!
You Sir, are saluted!! cheers
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MisterE
Moderator
MisterE

Location : Mexico City
Registration date : 2009-08-24

McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? Empty
PostSubject: Re: McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same?   McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 10:50 am

Jajajaja! I went through the same thing recently with Dunhill Deluxe Navy Rolls and Escudo....

I think we end up "seeing" what we want to.... Rolling Eyes
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Wet Dottle

Wet Dottle

Location : Littleton, CO
Registration date : 2008-02-27

McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? Empty
PostSubject: Re: McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same?   McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 1:27 pm

Piet Binsbergen wrote:
only I will be able to find differences in two identical blends
You know, Piet, the same blend can taste very differently in different pipes. There may have been other factors, such as different levels of moisture, etc...
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Obelus



Location :
Registration date : 2010-12-25

McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? Empty
PostSubject: Re: McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same?   McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 2:42 pm

..


Last edited by Obelus on Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Natch

Natch

Age : 68
Location : foothills of the Ozarks
Registration date : 2007-12-21

McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? Empty
PostSubject: Re: McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same?   McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 3:28 pm

Piet Binsbergen wrote:
Howdy Natch!!!
OK word is out, Piet gets the official baccy tasters ass award!!!
only I will be able to find differences in two identical blends!!!!! Shhhheeeesh I'm an ass!!!

Either way it was great!!
Muddler gave me a half pound of NF for the cellar, you Sir gave me the opportunity to sample 2 identical blends. I really like them uhhhhhh NF a lot and cant wait to crack my bulk in a couple of years time!

May I ask, are both NF samples from the same stable, or is one older than the other????????
Please say they are different, I need to save some face here!!

Thank for involving me Natch!
It was an honor!
You Sir, are saluted!! cheers

Piet, no one but you and I knew your number, well, until now that is! Laughing

Natch
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Natch

Natch

Age : 68
Location : foothills of the Ozarks
Registration date : 2007-12-21

McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? Empty
PostSubject: Re: McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same?   McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 3:35 pm

Oh, and yes, the two NF samples in your package did have different ages on them. They came from the same bulk bag, and were transferred into the little baggies back to back, but your sample B had at least 10 more seconds of age in the bulk bag before I scooped it out. You, sir, have an incredibly, sensitive pallet! cheers

lol! lol! lol! Natch
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Muddler

Muddler

Age : 63
Location : Pretoria, South Africa
Registration date : 2008-05-22

McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? Empty
PostSubject: Re: McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same?   McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 3:43 pm

It was a heck of a lot of fun - thanks Natch. I really enjoyed the trial. And I really enjoyed the DS.
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MisterE
Moderator
MisterE

Location : Mexico City
Registration date : 2009-08-24

McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? Empty
PostSubject: Re: McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same?   McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 7:17 pm

I am working my way through my first tin of DS. It´s good stuff, and I´m enjoying it more as I go along. Maybe I ll get some DNF next order and see how it goes....
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Maiser

Maiser

Location : Charleston, SC
Registration date : 2009-11-23

McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? Empty
PostSubject: Re: McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same?   McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 11:02 pm

Incredible, Natch, just incredible.

I applaud your thoroughness.
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Guest
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McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? Empty
PostSubject: Re: McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same?   McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? EmptyThu Feb 03, 2011 4:33 am

Wet Dottle wrote:
Piet Binsbergen wrote:
only I will be able to find differences in two identical blends
You know, Piet, the same blend can taste very differently in different pipes. There may have been other factors, such as different levels of moisture, etc...

I used 2 pipes both identical 3613 Sav's and alternated the blends between the two pipes in order to assist the good Dr. using a qualitative research methodology!!!
As what you have mentioned, I am well aware of!!
Natch, you kept the names hidden in order not to expose what an ass I really am!!!!
I appreciate your kindness Sir, but, why it be I who draws the short end of the wishbone!!!!

this just proves that it may be time to pack up and move on!
48 pipes up for grabs on ebay soon! cheers
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Natch

Natch

Age : 68
Location : foothills of the Ozarks
Registration date : 2007-12-21

McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? Empty
PostSubject: Re: McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same?   McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? EmptyThu Feb 03, 2011 12:18 pm

My wife randomly (grabbed the samples from a large bag) deciding which two puffers got the same samples, it turned out to be you and pipetongue1. No "asses" here, (well, actually perhaps a board full, but none more so than others Laughing ). Just basic psychology/placebo effect that we all experience every day. Notice how even those that had the two different samples found little if any differences and not all perfered or guessed which was which the same.

My conclusion from this was that the two are, if not the same tobacco, so close as to have little if any noticeable differences. I think your experience shows how two identical pipes holding identical tobaccos can, on any given puff, give different tastes and experiences. Too many uncontrollable variables to ever draw definitive and universal conclusions for any tobacco, or wine, or whiskey, or women? But I digress...

Natch
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Guest
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McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? Empty
PostSubject: Re: McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same?   McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? EmptyThu Feb 03, 2011 12:56 pm

Natch wrote:
My wife randomly (grabbed the samples from a large bag) deciding which two puffers got the same samples, it turned out to be you and pipetongue1. No "asses" here, (well, actually perhaps a board full, but none more so than others Laughing ). Just basic psychology/placebo effect that we all experience every day. Notice how even those that had the two different samples found little if any differences and not all perfered or guessed which was which the same.

My conclusion from this was that the two are, if not the same tobacco, so close as to have little if any noticeable differences. I think your experience shows how two identical pipes holding identical tobaccos can, on any given puff, give different tastes and experiences. Too many uncontrollable variables to ever draw definitive and universal conclusions for any tobacco, or wine, or whiskey, or women? But I digress...

Natch

It's all good Natch ol buddy!!!
No worries here, just having a light hearted go at you, one academic to another! LOL!!!
Hope I didn't stress you out to much there, you are a good man Jeff!
..........and I for one am having a laugh at myself here!!!
Thanks again for involving me cheers
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Carlos
Admin
Carlos

Age : 62
Location : Chestnut, IL
Registration date : 2007-12-10

McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? Empty
PostSubject: Re: McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same?   McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? EmptyThu Feb 03, 2011 1:28 pm

I was #6. I had no clue which was which. By appearances they were nearly identical except for the scent. One was more Worchestershire in smell. One was definitely more satisfying. Interesting to see that it was not Dark Star. I have trouble with these dense, dark, American made flakes. I think part of the trouble is the type of tobacco used. I find a very pronounced cigarette taste. IMO, it's probably a yellow tobacco used as the main component. Where the Lakeland's are using a brown Virginia as the base. That all a guess on my part. Maybe I just haven't found the right bowl shape to get the best out of these.

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McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? Icon_sunny

"Never turn your back on a Breen".
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Kapnismologist

Kapnismologist

Registration date : 2008-11-09

McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? Empty
PostSubject: Re: McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same?   McClelland Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake bulk the same? EmptySun Feb 06, 2011 11:17 pm

First, thanks to Natch for doing this. It was a great idea, and I think we all appreciate the time and effort which he put into it.

Second, I was #5, if that matters.

Third, this seems to confirm initial impressions that the main difference between DS and NF is that the former is tinned and the latter is bulk. The differences as enumerated seem, to me at least, to be attributable to the effects of tin vs. open aging (e.g., the increased sweetness and depth of flavor of DS noted by several of the trial participants).
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