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2008 Holiday Spirit

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Has anyone tried McClelland's 2008 Holiday Spirit? I am thinking of ordering some and was curious if anyone has tried it and their thoughts.
 

Doc Manhattan

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My tin arrived today--I'll def. be trying it out before Saturday (to see if I keep it for myself or pawn it off on some aro-loving party guests.)
 

Benjamin Button

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What is the difference between the Holiday Spirit and the Christmas Cheer? You know, all religious jokes and political incorrectness aside. :)
 

free_byrd15

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never even heard of this stuff, but I wouldn't mind trying it....may have to find some.
 

free_byrd15

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Benjamin Button":l7frak7q said:
What is the difference between the Holiday Spirit and the Christmas Cheer? You know, all religious jokes and political incorrectness aside. :)
Holiday Spirit: 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. Happy Holidays!

Christmas Cheer: An exceptionally fine vintage tobacco handblended and aged in pressed cakes to develop its natural mellowness. This 2008 blend is made with a special selection of beautiful, ripe, orange-red Old Belt Virginias from the 2000 crop. It is rich in flavor, pleasing in aroma, and high in natural sugar so it should age well should you choose to go that route.
 

Doc Manhattan

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Okay, cracked the tin of Holiday Spirit... I'll try to limit the editorial and just describe:

Tin aroma is sweet with a strong chocolate note, with something nutty underneath--mocha-flavored coffee beans came to mind. No McC trademark "vinegar" aroma to speak of. You can clearly see the three listed tobaccos: equal, large amounts of black cavendish and ribbon-cut burley, with significantly less Virginia. Pretty moist--I picked out a few bowls' worth and let it dry out a bit.

I tried a bowl each a straight cob and a basket bent briar, both dedicated aro pipes. The experience was pretty similar in either medium: Lit fine but required relights (might need more drying on my part). Initial flavor was much like the tin, sweet chocolate above all. That chocolate declines steadily throughout the bowl: five minutes in, it's a burley-rum-chocolate mix that seemed a lot like a sweeter Edgeworth RR; second half of the bowl, you're left with a pretty monochrome cavendish. In the cob I had one or two puffs where I could taste a bright VA note, but it's a bit player at best. No bite, even puffing pretty quickly. Room note is mild. Didn't goop up my pipe unusually.

If you like mild aromatics and chocolate, HS will certainly be in your zone. I suspect it's also a very crowd-friendly mixture; I'll test that theory at my holiday party tomorrow.
 
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Good to hear. I ordered a tin the other day-should be here tomorrow and I will write up my 2 cents on it as well.
 

Benjamin Button

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I just might order some of this for myself. Seems like an interesting aromatic, even though I am not a big aro fan, I trust McClelland. I have had the best success with their blends of anyone. As long as it doesn't gunk up your pipe, and doesn't have an acrid flavor, I'd be down for some of this. Probably better to smoke this Christmas morning around the house rather Christmas Cheer 08. :D
 
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I received my 2008 Holiday Spirit the other day and I opened the tin to smoke some. The tin aroma is great as well as the room note. It definitly does need some more drying, as I had mine drying for over an hour and still it required many relights. Unlike Doc Manhattan, I myself couldn't taste the flavors he described, it seemed kind of bland to me. As far as tongue bite, there was none at all. Unless it gets better the more I smoke it, it hasn't taken a high spot on my list yet.
 

Doc Manhattan

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I feel badly if I steered you wrong, MM.

It did get pretty bland for me in the second half of the bowls I've smoked. As I smoke more of the stuff, I totally agree that the effect in the pipe is much weaker than the aroma leads you to believe.

I didn't dry mine out as long as you did, so I wonder if that toppping is more volatile than the usual aro--it skips town during drying or combustion. (Maybe I'll try some straight from the tin, and some very dried out overnight to test my theory.)
 
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You didn't steer me wrong. You may be onto something with the topping fading out the more it is dried. I will have to try some experimenting as well. Good Luck.
 

JohnnyO

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I received, and smoked some HS last night. The tin aroma was amazing...sweet, chocolatey...I was looking forward to having a bowl full. It required a few relights, as others have stated, and tasted good but not as amazing as the tin aroma. There was a bit of nuttiness and chocolate that poked through, but overall it was just sweet....It actually reminded me of Tinderbox Nut an Honey mixed with Tinderbox Black Russian...
 

JohnnyO

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Aaron

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It is very delicious! I've been smoking it for a couple of days now and I really like it. Amy likes the room note and that is fine with me!
 
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