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McClelland decided to celebrate their 35th anniversary with an American classic, bourbon. But instead of aging tobacco in the barrel, they aged the barrel in the tobacco. There is a piece of a charred Kentucky Bourbon white oak barrel in each tin imparting its subtle, long-aged whiskey aroma and flavor and soft, mellow character.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeAromatic
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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Mild to Medium
Room Note

Favorite Of 6 Users

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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Very Pleasant

Mike McNiel has got to be the most underrated blender on the planet. He is always coming up with new innovative pipe tobacco for the smoker and his Stave Aged Virginia, with the block of whisky barrel wood in the center is exceptional. The Dark and Red Virginia leaf, combined with the natural flavoring that has escaped from the block of wood, combined to make the ribbon cut leaf naturally sweet with overpowering hits of spice at first light. The blend settles and provides a creamy smooth flavor that is unique, simple and refined, all at the same time. A nice bit of nicotine hit with this one and the wife loves the room note. A win-win blend all the way around.


15 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3046)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

The various light, red and dark Virginias provide a bit of tangy fermented ripe dark fruit, tart citrus, a little stewed fruit and sugar, a lot of earth and wood with a little grass. They also have a little essence of “vinegar”, which weakens quickly, but never totally dissipates. The quality Kentucky bourbon has some depth to it, and is responsible for the obvious spiciness. It does sublimate the Virginias to a moderate extent, and mostly holds on to the finish. The strength and nic-hit are just past the center of mild to medium, and the taste falls a tad short of medium. No chance of bite or harshness. Burns cool and clean and slightly slow with a mostly consistent, deeply rich sweet and mildly savory flavor. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and needs a little more than an average number of relights. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste, mostly due to the bourbon. Can be an all day smoke for those who like aromatics and straight Virginias. Three and a half stars.


11 people found this review helpful.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (183)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Since trying Frog Morton's Cellar a bit ago, I decided to pick up a tin of this as well. Boy, am I glad I ever did. This is great stuff. I too thought it a bit of a gimmick, just to help in selling a new blend, but the cube of the barrel wood really does add to the flavor and room note of the Virginia nicely. This baccy does not even come close to biting and burns down to a nice ash at the bottom of the pipe. Recommended highly.

11 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

Ribbon cut of sandy brown through to black in color. Tin aroma reminded me of rum-raisin ice cream (bourbon-raisin?). Little oak smell as well from the bourbon-soaked chunk of oak that resides in the tin, black on on side. I was mildly intrigued but not overly optimistic.

Lights easily and stays lit. I did not dry this out but found that it smoked a bit better as it dried in the tin - subsequent bowls worked better than the first 3-4. The phrase "it's all in the snork" rang loudly true. This one came alive through snorking and I found myself doing so more often than usual. More savory than sweet, which surprised me, but still a hint of VA-with-bourbon sweetness at the rear. Up front was this very light but very wonderful spice note that was quite compelling. I can't help but wonder how this will age, and I'm going to buy more tins to find out! This is not quite up there with my favorites (yet) and I wouldn't call it a 4 star blend to my tastes (not quite!) but it's deserving of a taste test by anyone who's eyes aren't crossed by a little booze in their 'baccy. Doesn't unseat GLP's Haddo's Delight for me but it's a worthy blend that is quite tasty, if not the last word in complexity.

8 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (633)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is an interesting take on the McClelland Virginia and a very good one at that. The quality of the leaf cannot be denied as it comes from a brand long known for Virginia excellence. The anti ketchup crowd may be able to tolerate this one as the whiskey presence tends to mitigate the characteristic McClelland scent.

This is a straight Virginia flavored with both Bourbon and a Stave; the latter of which is a piece of a bourbon barrel that is placed in the tin. It is unique and good. It smokes like a typical MCC Va with a different sweetness to it, no doubt from the addition of the Whiskey. It is also more of a shag cut as opposed to the normal broken flake composition of many of my favorite MCC Vas.

The stave is a neat concept and as I discovered with my Frog Morton Cellar (which also includes a bourbon topping and stave) it can later be reused in other blends with good results. I found Mac Baren Navy Flake to be a little bland and I added the Stave from FMC to it and it really brought the blend to life to my tastes. I just finished this one up and have put the stave in a remaining Jar of Uhle's 00. That blend is fantastic anyway, but I just smoked some after the Stave had been sitting in it just a few days and it was still good with an different type of sweetness to accompany the already fantastic nuttiness of the blend.

Back to the Stave Aged 35th blend. I do recommend this one, but maybe more as a novelty than as a regular smoke. I will give it three stars as I don't think any Virginia lover will be too disappointed with the purchase, but I also don't see it becoming a mainstay in many of those cellars as it does kind of lean heavily to the aromatic side. It might be a great blend for the aro smoker looking to jump into Virginias.

Purchased From: Ash Tobacconist, Gaylord, Michigan

6 people found this review helpful.

Hunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hunter (54)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant

At first I thought the chunk of oak barrel was a bit gimmicky, but I really do believe it adds a nice woodsy, mild whiskey aroma to the room note. This is a delicious blend that I can smoke pretty much all day. The sweetness of the Virginia really shines in this one without bite.

6 people found this review helpful.

wmjotten Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wmjotten (12)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant

I popped open my tin some months ago, just to try it, and to take note of my initial impressions. To the nose on opening, it smelled flavorful, a hint of light bourbon whiskey aroma and fairly typical Va smell. The first pipe was nice, not a rush to get out and buy more, but definitely something to try again. Tonight, I filled a corn cob with it and got volumes of rich, white smoke and a sweet and wonderful blend of lightly topped whiskey tobacco with the sweetness of the Virgina tobaccos. The aftertaste had that delicious grassy Virginia taste, no bite. A re-light or two necessary but became more tasty as the bowl burnt down. I think the corn cob is the pipe for this blend. I'll buy more.

4 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant

A very delicious tobacco to say the least! I opened the tin and smoked away and it smoked wonderful! There was no bite, no continual relight, it was great straight out of the tin. I couldn't taste bourbon or whiskey but the tobacco has notes that you'll find in any whiskey. The notes compromised of raisin, vanilla, caramel and fig, all typical flavors that you'll find in a whiskey. By the way, the tobacco pairs wonderful with a porter or stout beer, especially one that has been oaked. I suggest you grab yourself your favorite porter/stout and enjoy this tobacco. If you don't enjoy aromatics, this might be for you because it doesn't smoke like your average aromatic. The flavor and topping are very light and the Virginias definitely make their presence known. I would say this tobacco is definitely worth the try to say the least.

4 people found this review helpful.

runswithdogs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
runswithdogs (41)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild Very Pleasant

This is a really wonderful light aromatic/Virginia crossover. As a lover of Frog Morton Cellar, I know what magic McClelland can do with their blends by the simply ingenious addition of a small block of wood from a bourbon barrel.

Upon opening my six year old tin, the soft aroma of bourbon wafted upwards, along with a gentle fruitiness from the finely cut Virginia ribbons. The cut, color, and mix of reds reminds me of Aurora.

This is, thank goodness, not a heavy aromatic. Easily packed, and lit, this tobacco delivers a gently sweet aromatic smoke from start to finish. Lite nic hit, great room note. Very much of an all day smoke. I started, as many pipe smokers do, focusing on aromatics, but have (for a while now), moved on to smoking mostly Virginias. These days, heavy aromatics no longer appeal to me. But as a “light aromatic,” this blend satisfies my love of Virginias with a reminder of how pleasant a soft aromatic can be.

Highly recommended, and a great introduction to Virginias if you are coming from a preference for aromatics.

Pipe Used: Castello Canadian

Age When Smoked: 2012

3 people found this review helpful.

Cochon74 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cochon74 (29)
Mild Mild to Medium Medium Very Pleasant

I’m not an aromatic guy... I like to taste the tobacco. Using the bourbon barrel stave was a fantastic idea. I don’t know enough about artificial toppings to know if there’s been any other tampering with McClelland’s top notch VA’s, but there’s none of the gloopiness, the stickiness, or by-product aromas/tastes that is often associated with chemical additives. I get only a subtle, authentic vanilla-y toffee note which marries with the gentle, moderately complex and agreeable VA’s.

Not a commanding tobacco by any stretch. It requires little practical attention in terms of prep or lighting, and even less attention in terms of my taste buds - offering up its goodness readily. My wife absolutely loves the smell of this one and, while tolerant of my Latakia fixation, wholly appreciates when I light this up.

Just as I am something of a VAPer tourist, I am even more so with flavored tobaccos. And this one, satisfies that occasional foray perfectly.

Pipe Used: MM Cob Billiard

Age When Smoked: 2013

Purchased From: Cigar and Tabac, Kansas City

3 people found this review helpful.

Mark Combs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mark Combs (2)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Remember years ago when you bought that pouch of Borkum Riff Bourbon, fried your tongue and faced your first total disappointment in a tobacco? Well, this is your reboot. Tastes like Red Cake that's been stored in a tin with bourbon flavoring added. Except that of course, it's not really "flavoring" the way we normally think of it in tobacco, so I had to really debate my 'flavoring' rating. I put off trying this as long as I could, to let the 'barrel' do it's magic, and it certainly did. Highly recommended!

Pipe Used: Radice Rind

Age When Smoked: Four years

Purchased From: 4Noggins

3 people found this review helpful.

Mike10 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike10 (17)
Mild Mild to Medium Full Very Pleasant

I loved this blend from the first bowl. Its tin aroma is wonderful, but only hints at how well it smokes. It is the driest, most even-smoking aromatic I have ever tried, with a rich and balanced feel and utterly satisfying flavor.

If all aromatics were this dry and flavorful, then I would smoke aromatics at least half of the time. I think the manner in which this tobacco is "cased" (by way of the small piece of whisky barrel stave in the tin), is pivotal in its success. The tobacco marries the stave's aroma in a very dry but thorough manner, leaving it so flavorful that I would list it as one of my top-ten favorite tobaccos.

This tobacco, much like their Tastemaster, is one of the many reasons why I love McClelland products. These aromatics are both on the dry side and smoke very cleanly. No ghosting results if one's pipe is properly maintained. Yet, flavor-wise, they are rich extremely enjoyable, and even offer a little complexity to keep your taste buds and mind stimulated.

Pipe Used: meerscaum, Comoy

Age When Smoked: as labelled

Purchased From: online

3 people found this review helpful.

Kyrob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kyrob (41)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

with mostly reddish brown finely cut ribbons with some lighter brown shades and flecks of black thrown in for good measure. There was a chunk of bourbon barrel nestled inside like a hen’s egg in a nest. A slightly sour hit me initially, but a deeper smell brought bourbon and a hint of homemade hard cider. The moisture level was perfect for me, a little moist, but on the dryer side. The unlit sip brought a slight bourbon taste, and the charring light brought this same taste along with a sweet Virginia taste.

The overall smoke was of a caramelized sugary sweetness with bourbon overtones, and at times some slightly grassy undertones. It was good in every pipe I put it through, but it was really excellent in my meerschaums. The room note was pleasant and left the place smelling like toasted bourbon goodness. I could absolutely smoke this all day, and have. The finish was short, but the desire for another bowl hit me almost immediately each time. I guess I liked everything about this blend, and would recommend it to anyone. I would particularly recommend it to aromatic smokers looking to try some Virginia blends, and I think Virginia fans should try this blend at least once. I have definitely got a good supply of this in my cellar.

Pipe Used: Various - especially meerschaums

Age When Smoked: 1 Year 4 Months

3 people found this review helpful.

Joeray Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joeray (61)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I can lie to my self if this a nice and great blend. A mature virginia staved is very great smoked in any of my pipes. The taste almost similar with Mac Baren Old Dark Fired, just little bit different at flavor. Is just a pleasant and wonderful smoke with citrus scent and the whiskey flavor just really great.

I just make a 3 layer packing into my pipe, at bent shape or straight shape i had tried both and i dont get any difficult to pack it well into my pipes. needs a good charring light to make it burnt well and keep the light well. Easy to draw and the smokes are quite great with increasing flavor and taste, i found a whiskey, citrus, and a thin soy bean flavor at the middle of the bowl. the smokes is cool and no tendency to get any bite at my tongue.

Pipe Used: Peterson Dracula 221, Savinelli Oscar Aged Briar

Age When Smoked: Fresh and 1 year

3 people found this review helpful.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (138)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Straightforward Virginia, bolstered with a mild vanilla/bourbon flavor. Somewhat tasty combination. Lit and burned well, a bit dry on the palate. Overall tobacco flavor stays constant as you work through the bowl. Retrohale brings out more of the pure tobacco flavor. No marked flavor transitions. 2+.

Pipe Used: Grabow Grand Duke, MM

Age When Smoked: B&M shelf placement date of OCT 2013 noted on tin

Purchased From: Corona Smoke Shop, Jackson, MI

3 people found this review helpful.

Stefanos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stefanos (222)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco is sublime!! The tin note is sweet and creamy with just a whiff of Bourbon (sweeter than whisky). Actually the stave smells more of the cookie-sweet casing than Bourbon. It reminds me also of ...bubblegum, but it is nice!! It has the sweetness of 5100 and the Oriental series and attests to the craftsmanship of William McNeil. Not more of an aromatic than the above mentioned. Cut in nice ribbons it loads with ease and moisture is just about right to smoke as is. Very smooth and mellow on the palate, tasty with a creamy sweetness and woodsy overtones, it smokes perfectly to the last bit. An elegant tobacco with an almost pleasing room-note. One of the best McClelland tobaccos I have ever tasted. Four stars wholeheartedly.

2 people found this review helpful.

½ bowl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
½ bowl (103)
Mild to Medium Medium Full Pleasant

The Virginias are soft, sweet, and wine-like; and maybe a little malty. The blend has just a tinge of fruity bourbon essence and a hint of spice. Somehow, the taste comes off as a faintly orange liqueur. This is nothing like an OTC aromatic (i.e. cased White Burley), so tobacco purists should have no reservations about trying this. It is a soothing blend -- quite the opposite of some "hot-smoking", grassy, or sharp Vas. Couple all of this with a solid tobacco flavor; thick, chewy smoke; and excellent mouth feel, and you're in for a delightful experience. (The 3.5-star average rating seems about right.)

Pipe Used: Wide bowls allow the blend to sing at full volume.

Age When Smoked: 4 yrs. in the tin

Similar Blends: If you like either Haddo's Delight or Two Friends' Valle Crucis, this blend may hold some interest for you.

2 people found this review helpful.

Brandr ODS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brandr ODS (15)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Very Pleasant

My review may be a little influenced by the fact that one month ago I was looking for a mild, smooth blend with whiskey topping in order to put something into my weekly rotation that would have helped my taste buds to rest from the usual Latakia mixtures I use to smoke. I thought about the only one I’ve ever smoked, McClelland Frog Morton’s Cellar, and how I loved it, so why not fishing in the McClelland sea again?

This is how I got to this Stave-Aged Virginia.

The tin-note is very charming, warming and alluring. The bourbon topping reveals its presence at the very first sniff.

I let it dry a little and then packed in a straight pipe : I got a lot of malty sweetness, the taste is overall pleasant, really smooth and rounded but two things I’ve found foreigner to my likings. First, the smoke is flat and without any significant evolution through the bowl; second, even though the bourbon topping fits really nice in the blend, it is still too sweet, almost molasses-y to some extents that causes me no little troubles in finishing a pipeful. Many will enjoy its room note, as I and my friends did.

Unfortunately for me, the only combination of tobaccos that I see working well with whiskey topping is Virginia and Latakia, just like in the aforementioned Frog Morton’s Cellar.

I guess I caught the wrong fish this time…

Cheers Everyone, Brandr ODS

Age When Smoked: Fresh

2 people found this review helpful.

WillBrown Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillBrown (137)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

====Update July 30, 2015==== I feel the need to make an adjustment with this blend. I don't change my mind often about a blend (I've done so only twice before), but I feel obligated to downsize this one.

Several weeks ago I really enjoyed this blend, but, after leaving it in its tin for a few short weeks, its once intriguing taste has largely dissipated. It still remains a good blend, but the tobacco has lost its initial magic (the oak chunk dried out really fast—maybe that's why the taste has withered, though I don't know that for certain). So, 4 stars upon opening, but withering to 3 if you don't smoke it all right away.


A piece of bourbon soaked oak in a tin of tobacco? A gimmick? Maybe. But it's a gimmick that works wonders for me. On the inhale I got a combo of the whiskey, not overpowering, and a wisp of cocoanut and vanilla, on the exhale, the oak came through loud and clear (so this is what oak tastes like? Marvelous! It reminded me of cedar). What a wonderful combo!

It's amazing what this fantastic hobby of ours delivers—the blend before, not so good, this blend, truly restores my confidence in the pipe!

This baccy needs to be sipped, or the virginia will kick back slightly, and, as the bowl got down to the dottle (of which there was very little), it got a wee bit hot. This is typical of many virginias, if you chug you can get scorched, so take it slow. Overall, this a smooth blend and it delivers! Excellent!

This is one of the best smoking experiences I've had in a pipe!

Highly recommended!

Keep on Pipin'!

Pipe Used: Viprati bent egg

2 people found this review helpful.

ColinK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ColinK (15)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Tried this because of the Cellar as well (and my love of all things Bourbon)- and I was pretty happy with it. Smooth burning smoke with a pleasing scent, much like the Frog without the perfumey scent. Nice addition to the collection for sure.

Pipe Used: MM Cobbit

Age When Smoked: Fresh From the Tin

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Similar Blends: Frog Morton Cellar.

2 people found this review helpful.

LightMyBriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LightMyBriar (18)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

I love this stuff! It burns clean and clear, and the tin note is amazing. Almost like root beer. The flavor is excellent all the way to the bottom of the bowl. I finished my tin quickly and definitely need to get more!

Pipe Used: Paul's Pipes Castle, Mitchell-Thomas churchwarden

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

codyp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
codyp (65)
Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

The only reason I don't give the blend a four out of four, is because it's not something I reach for every day.

The strength of this seems to be your average Virginia, it's a nice medium that's definitely not lacking. The flavoring was not overpowering and very simple. I'm not sure if the wood block does help, but I would think it does. It gives a great taste you look for in a blend such as this.

The taste besides the casing is very good, McClelland always does a full Virginia. The room note was also very nice. The wife approved and said it was pleasant. Definitely one I would recommend if your looking for a stronger Virginia aromatic.

Pipe Used: Peterson System (Bent), Corn Cob

Purchased From: Smokedale Tobacco WI

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (321)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Like a "Cream Sickle" , orange and vanilla flavor ( ok maybe Bourbon) ,but very well done, not cloying. I'm not an Areo smoker, but I can get by with this. I thought this was very bitey when I first opened a fresh tin, but give this two weeks to breath, and it is a creamy Virginia. I'm sure new pipe smokers would like this and probably good for public smoking. As you get halfway down the bowl, this turns into a nice flavorful McC Virginia and you lose the topping. I never give Aros 3 stars but this is a 3 star, even for me. Will bite if you don't pay attention

Agree with most of what reviewer, "DK 10/08/2012", said

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I LOVE THIS TOBACCO! Sorry for using all caps but I felt it was necessary. This is a tobacco that goes well with a glass of bourbon and a good book. I paired it with Elijah Craig 20 year bourbon and it was incredible. The use of the stave in this tobacco is such a wonderful touch. It smokes to a nice ash right from the tine and burns wonderfully. McClelland hits another home run in my book with this one and I have two more tins on order!!!! Thumbs up and I hope this tobacco is around for some time to come.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Mild Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

High sugar lemon VA, high sugar red VA, plus stoved red VA - very rich taste, yet easy smoking right out of the tin. This blend did not tend to bite the tongue if the enthusiasm got too high; more like gives a warning note of heat and allows one to back off and resume enjoyable puffing. The essence of bourbon from the barrel stave is just enough to detect during a bowl, and leave a hint on the tongue afterwards. Sort of an afterglow :-) My taste buds' reaction is similar to the first bowl of 2000 Red Ribbon I smoked: a classic right here in front of me. Looks like I'm gonna have to cellar a case of this tobak too.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Great Virginia taste with a touch of bourbon flavor, definitely not an aromatic, just a hint of added flavoring. Rich tobacco taste, never bitter. Moderate nicotene level. A great addition to a Virginia lovers rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a really great blend for the Virginia lover. The smell from the tin is sweet raisin/plum with a hint of oak...the oak cube in the tin is a great idea in my opinion. Burns clean to a white ash fresh from the tin. Has a great sweet woodsy flavor with a hint of bourbon lingering in the background. This is a great morning pipe to start your day or late evening complement to your favorite whiskey or dark beer...even coffee if that is your preference.

I really enjoyed this blend and plan on buying some tins for cellaring as I can only imagine how well the flavors will meld over a couple years.

Nobody has rated this review yet.