This blend is all that's promised. The flavorings are so well done and balanced that none of them dominate. During the smoke, different nuances of the advertised flavorings emerge, being able to taste and experience them all throughout the bowl. I even suspect McClelland has added a pinch of nutmeg to this blend. I seem to detect it in the tin note and slightly during the smoke. Having not tried the other siblings from previous years, I can't compare. But likely, that doesn't matter. I like this one and it's yet another high quality tobacco with the perfect aromatic touch. No bite, stays lit, great flavor and room note. Another winner from McClelland.
Now here's an afterthought challenge for McC. Could this combination of flavorings or some variation of it be used on the Christmas Cheer type of straight VA? Now that is something I would be excited to try..... !!! Just a suggestion from a satisfied customer.. :)
Pipe Used: Peterson
Age When Smoked: New Tin
Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com
Similar Blends: None that I've tried.....................
I am surprised that I am writing this review, one reason is because I am not a huge aromatic fan. I do enjoy them occasionally when I want a simple mindless smoke that pleases others around me and I do find it can put me in a "mood". I also find them to be generally uni dimensional and obvious not requiring a review. However, I do enjoy reading the reviews and some of the "stories" that some folks include in their reviews, so on the off chance someone might enjoy the following drivel, here it goes....not to anyone that manages this site (it would be nice to have a "comments" function added to create a feedback mechanism and stoke some conversations about our beloved hobby, just a thought)
I like this stuff, there let's get that out of the way. As I am typing this I am smoking Syrian Super Balkan just to confuse things. But I smoked 4 bowls of this years Holiday Spirit in under 48 hours. This is by far the most interesting aromatic I have ever smoked.
Tin note is fantastic. If you are a Christmas junkie, you will love this stuff. I actually has a Thanksgiving / Christmas smell that evokes memories of years gone by. From older pipe smoking relatives to the foods and drinks that come along with my favorite time of year. The Rum, is what hits you right away the spices and cocoa are in there as I bury may face in the tin and just breathe. I would scent my car with this stuff if I could, it is that good. If I had to pin the aroma to one thing I would say eggnog others may disagree and my wife said pecan pie...maybe it is a pice of pie dipped in eggnog. Either way if is awesome!
The smoke is rich and smooth, mouth filling . You get the rum and pecan and cocoa. It is pretty consistent all the way through the bowl . The cavendish is the backbone of the smoke and the casings and flavorings were masterfully the rum and pecan is what is so tasty. It is a sweet smoke, don't get me wrong but the sweetness isn't super sweet or overbearing. The seasonal nature of the blend is spot on. I love the idea of the blend and how well it brings out the feeling of the season. I would recommend this to all pipe smokers.
In keeping with aromatics there's a larger quantity of black Cavendish than the rest. It's coarse cut, smells Christmassy and has a good hydration.
Although there's plenty of added flavour it doesn't seem sticky. The rum has quite a fragrant flavour, rather than just one of alcohol and molasses. This is the leader of the aromatic additions until about a quarter in. From here the pecan and chocolate enter, along with a mace-like flavour. I don't get much Virginia, there's far more vanilla black Cav' and Burley. The burn isn't the coolest, but it doesn't bite.
Nicotine: mild to medium. Room-note: very pleasant.
2017 Holiday Spirit? It just missed out on four stars:
This is truly a pleasure. From the moment the seal is cracked on the tin it fills the air with the scent of coco, pecan and caramelised dark rum undertones. The taste is milder than other previous holiday spirit blends, but i feel this results in a much more rounded flavour profile.
The flavours call to cold winters in front of a warm fire with those who care; You really can trust the label on this tobacco, it is specifically made for the holidays.... but that doesnt mean you cant enjoy it all year round!
Really enjoyed this one. Has a bit more on offer for tobacco taste than your average aromatic. The topping comes through though, the previous mentioned hint of nutmeg is spot on. Burns clean, no bite, amazing room note. A winner, most smokers would find something to enjoy here.
Cocoa based rum cake, not the kind that used a light brown rum either, the one made with dark rich rum with top quality spices. Really good stuff if you like quality tobacco that has been perfectly blended. This one puts you in the Holiday spirit for sure! Rings of Grandma’s Christmas baking. Just a good blend. Packs and takes fire well and delivers a thick rich smoke. No goop and burns to a fine grey white ash with little to no dottle. Will procure more for the cellar. 4 stars for this Holiday Spirit!
I have had a few tins of this over the years. Primarily being a straight Virginia smoker, it's a nice change up during the holiday season. It is just a well put together aero that didn't skip on the quality of tobacco. It is an easy smoking bowl of fun without the heavy overpowering goop of typical aeromatics. Pick up a tin... may be the last time it's offered thanks to the nanny state government.
My early Christmas present to my self was to pop a tin of 2016 Holiday Spirit.
The tin note was cocoa/pecan. The moisture is a little damp, so I let it sit out for 30 minutes before loading. It took a couple of lights to get going, but burned well after that. Little bit of moisture during the smoke, but nothing that a pipe cleaner can't fix.
The first part of the smoke is rich cocoa. The nuttiness is barely there. The sweetness is in the lead through the bowl as I never get much of the tobaccos behind it until maybe the last 1/3 of a bowl. The rum is not overpowering at all but comes through behind the cocoa in my opinion. Smoked slowly.. it doesn't get over hot and makes for a pleasant evening smoke and goes great with a cup of cocoa or come coffee.
I jarred the tin after a few bowls and will dole this one out during the holidays to make the pleasure last as long as possible.
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