Darkstar

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Carlos

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Not an easy blend to smoke. Oh, it can burn just fine. Getting the best of flavors out of it can take some doing. In the past they seemed fleeting. I would arrive at nirvana for a few minutes, and then, gone. This tin from 2005 has been much improved. Maybe it took this many years to get the experience I needed. It does seem a bit drier. Crumbled up nicely when rubbed out. Very rich. Quite tangy. A bit woody. Some ash, but not really cigarette-like. Meaty. Spice. But so hard to know what spices exactly. Sweet. Not honey, more a natural, concentrated sweetness that makes my mouth water. No more relights than anything else really. Some savory in there. Not an all day smoke. After two bowls, my tongue is a bit well used. Not bit, but more sensory overload.

Few flakes are as dense as these thin little chips and broken flakes. Good stuff!
 

Timbo

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I love the flavour profile of Darkstar but lighting it up is like trying to get asbestos burning. Got some from 2016 or so, will sit on it for a few more years and will dry it out prior to loading and lighting. Hopefully it will behave a bit better then.
 

Ranger107

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Haven't had it for years but I did enjoy it when it was available. Was introduced to it by a gentleman at a pipe shop in Little Rock. Always used the fold and stuff method. Worked fine for me.
 

Carlos

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I have had difficulties lighting Darkstar in the past. But well crumbled with more fine stuff on top, it lit just fine.
 

Zeno Marx

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I'm assuming you're talking McClelland. I don't think I've ever had the tin, but I do like #2035. Isn't Darkstar said to be the same, but aged a bit? I still have a little #2035 jarred. I don't smoke it often because, as you said, it can be a little finicky about the rub. I'm amazed by a few things with it 1) how it feels leathery 2) how well it holds humidity and seems like I never have to re-humidify 3) how little aging has changed the flavor, which I like.
 

Carlos

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Yes, McClelland. Similar to #2035 I understand. As I recall, Natch did a comparison using a number of volunteers to see if we could tell the difference between them. Unless I am thinking of other blends. Does not fold well, at least mine is wanting to crumble.
 

Zeno Marx

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That's my experience. It wants to crumble into little hard bits. You'll wear out the pads of your fingers trying to fluff it. It ain't happening.
 

Gusto

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Our old iMac died la week and I'm using new hardware today - so I'm late to this discussion. Carlos, you rang a few bells mentioning a tin from 2005 that made your mouth water. So I checked my stash and found some Butera Royal Vintage Dark Stoved from 2005 that I find mouth watering and easy burning inspite of being a tough dense broken flake. I've never tolerated McClelland tobaccos including Darkstar and #2035 but McClelland did produce Mike Butera's blends back in the day and those I tried were better than tolerable. Thank you for the reminder.
 

Natch

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I used to smoke it in the past. If memory serves me correctly (which increasingly it doesn't), we even ran a blind taste test on this board with 10 of our BoB's several years ago. We had been having a discussion regarding Darkstar and MC #2035 Dark Navy Flake. Some, including me, thought it was the same and some tasted a definite difference. I sent each enough for three good bowls of Darkstar and MC#2035, unlabeled of course, or some got two samples of the same. I recall the test was quite inconclusive, some found one better than the other, and two described notable differences between their two samples, although they had gotten two of the same tobacco. I still have a bit of each, perhaps with age and wisdom (only one of which I have acquired), I can tell a difference today.
A similar tobacco that I quite enjoy is L. J. Perretti's Scottish Flake. It seems like a stoved, dark navy flake that has been marinated in red wine. Quite tasty.
 
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