Even as a "starter" tobacco, there is absolutely nothing outstanding or original in this tobacco. I like McClelland VA's. We have so many examples of their red VA already. I'm just not really sure that anything new was really "developed". Seems like they may have changed the casing a bit, and repackaged it. I can't see any blender really using this, other than perhaps those wanting to experiment with a "home brew", but for that I'd simply pick a good VA from either McClelland, or PS. The point is that several reputable blenders already use "starter" VA's from McClelland and PS. But I can't say I've ever heard anyone call the base or "predominate" a "starter". Apologies to McClelland, I'm a big fan, but this one is just pointless IMO.
The red Virginia is mildly tangy sweet with a light earthiness and the familiar "vinegar" note that rapidly fades away. The matured Virginias have a mild fermented dark fruit note and earth. The flavors seem duller than I have come to expect from McClelland blends, and maybe that was done intentionally to attract new smokers to their products, as this is labeled a "starter blend". But, the lack of depth and strength might be enough for a newbie who wants a very mild smoke. Has a mild nic-hit. Won't bite or get harsh. Burns cool and clean a little slow as you'd expect a broken flake to do, and leaves very little moisture in the bowl. Needs a few relights. Has a pleasant, but very short lived after taste and room note. I'd recommend Tawny Flake over this for a new McClelland adventurer.
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