A tale of three tobaccos

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Andy Lowry

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I asked for some suggestions for some Scottish-y type (VA, Oriental, light Latakia, with Oriental on center stage) bulk mixtures, and DrumsandBeer wisely suggested EMP and SG Skiff. I ordered a pound of each of those, and some McClelland #2045, since it kinda sounded like what I was looking for.

I'd had EMP before, but it was a long time ago, so I didn't really remember much about it. I think it was part of a gift pack of several Dunhill tins that I got as a wedding gift the first time I was married, so that would have been 1982-- I was mostly smoking McBaren's Mixture, Brush Creek, BS 759, and Rattray's Accountant in those days. It didn't make much of an impression on me at the time (although the Royal Yacht did, and I've smoked it occasionally ever since). I'm really pleased to be re-introduced to it. It's exactly what the name says it is-- a perfect first, or first and second, or first and second and third, bowl of the day. Flavorful, not heavy, slightly sweet, tinges of spiciness from the Orientals; it's a very pleasant day-starter and a good one to fall back on anytime of day after something heavy-duty like GH Dark Flake or SG 1792. I'm sure all y'all already know all that, so I won't spend too much time talking about it.

I'm familiar with a lot of SG products, but had somehow managed to overlook Skiff. I'm glad to be introduced to it, and plan to lay away more whenever I can. It's a great all-day easy-going sort of smoke, with just enough Latakia to let you know it's there, but with Orientals taking the microphone for some duets with the slightly subdued Virginias. I can overpuff it a bit without destroying the flavor or hurting myself, which makes it a great choice for those moments when you're doing something else while smoking-- in my case, practicing the guitar, writing, coding, reading, stuff like that. Very nice.

Ahhh, McClelland's 2045. I've had several of McC's bulk tobaccos, and haven't really been excited by any of them. Some of my very favorite tinned tobaccos are McClelland, such as Blue Mountain, Scottish Woods, Ringlow, Wilderness, 999, and Samovar, but the blenders seem to think that all bulks simply must have weird stuff sprayed on 'em. 2045 is no exception. Want to make some 2045 at home? Thin down some molasses, add pumpkin pie spice mix, a dash of vanilla, and spray it on some 5100 Virginia. Bingo! I won't say I hate it, but the fakey flavors are not something I'd seek out when I have other choices around. If I were into aromatics, I'd probably think pretty highly of it. I'm not, so McClelland wasn't thinking of me when they created this blend. I ordered a pound of it, because I'm crazy like that, so I socked it away to sit for a couple of years or so. Maybe things will settle a bit by then.

Edit to add: Forgot to say thanks to DandB for the suggestions. Good choices!
 

HCraven

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Excellent reviews, Andy.  It's been a while since I tried EMP, too, and even then it was in bulk from Reigel's, so God knows how long it had been sitting in that big jar, losing it's flavor, while they sell Steve's Choice and Match It by the pound.  Needless to say, I found it a little flat at the time.

I like Skiff pretty well, and though it isn't a power house by any means, I thought it still had a little more Latakia than Squaddie.  I'll have to do a side-by-side one day.  Definitely worth a try for Oriental aficionados.

Sorry to hear that 2045 is such a disappointment. For a good Oriental blend from them, I'd try the #14 in the green label Oriental series. That is pretty tasty stuff.
 
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