Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Cheer

I've held off on trying this tobacco for a while now. But this
year the time had come. And I was unable to find it because my local tobacconist had not received his shipment in. So I bought a tin of last year's Christmas Cheer. Seeing as I bought it a year late, I figured I should review it a day late. Good logic, right? So here I am a day after Christmas, still enjoying wonderful Christmas Cheer. It is a beautiful smoke. Though I have no other years of "Christmas Cheer" to compare it to, 2009 is simply lovely. I didn't realize how very much I enjoyed Virginias until I tried this blend. I have had plenty of Virginias, this one just took it to a ne
w level for me.

I have written at least once about the importance of a good name for a tobacco. I am very responsive to advertising and am happy to mentally embrace whatever picture is offered by the title of a given tobacco blend. I must now moderate my previous view. I thought my imagination could overpower most any tobacco, but it turns out I was wrong. I recently tried some bulk aromatics that were so incredible terrible that even the witty names that they were given couldn't redeem the experience. Always having gone to Edwards before, I was used to bulk blends that weren't overly goopy, and tasted like tasty tobacco, rather than a mouth full of napalm death. I have not liked every bulk blend from Edwards, but they are mostly good and many of the aromatics are so lightly cased that they maintain the wonder of the tobacco.

Getting back to McClelland's Christmas Cheer. I notice that it is it seems almost trendy to give McClellands a hard time. I can't figure out why for the life of me. I have found them to be far the superior of many other "boutique" blends. Frog Morton is fantastic, this Christmas Cheer blend is beautiful. The three Oaks blends are miraculous. More investigation is needed, but I have to say that McClellands is a favorite tobacconist for me personally. I must also note that this tobacco has brought me a great deal of Christmas cheer for the last month, and I look forward to trying 2010 when the time is ripe.

On another note my new pipe came in. It was a miracle (and a testament to the greatness Virtual Smoking Lounge - that it came before Christmas. It came and it was smoked on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. What pipe, you ask? It is the Bing's Pleasure from Savinelli:
It is a Balsa System filter pipe, which I thought I would immediately replace, but after 3 filtered smokes, I am resolved to try more (because they have been great). I ordered some extra filters (which Dave at the VSL makes very easy for the buyer). In any event a thoroughly enjoyed pipe, and in honor of finally moving a step closer to smoking like one of my pipe heroes (Bing Crosby) I watched the Bells of St. Mary's and Going My Way this weekend. Beautiful movies, absolutely uplifting and beautiful movies.

I loved the laid back and loving way in which Father O'Malley goes about his business of loving people and gently encouraging them to a better life, to better choices. I so much enjoy the balanced, loving and caring view that doesn't need to be right all the time, even when he knows he's right. He just gently tries to point people to where they need to be, and away from the danger that they are driving into. That gentle, cool confidence that takes him right where he needs to be and doesn't strive to fix everything, but rather facilitates things to be fixed of their own means. I want to be like that when I grow up.

Merry Christmas!


  1. I like your description of Bing in those movies, so I must watch them.
    I'm so glad you liked the Christmas Blend and your new BING! xo

  2. "Filter?!" Heresy! Travesty! Profanity! The inhumanity! Some things ought not be, sir! I have held many a conversation with many pipes and the thing I so often hear from them is that they understandably do not like balsa wood anything shoved up their arse. A nice, soft pipe cleaner is all they can stand, and do not even think of sticking one of those pipe cleaners that look like quilly caterpillars. A good pipe does not need a filter. It filters itself. Like early Americans, it practices self-government. Bring relief to your poor pipe by pulling the damned thing out of its ass before your tobacco starts tasting of "anice"! It will show you it's gratitude in a wonderful draw and much more fluid smoke. And it would be most gentlemanly of you to also apologize to it for not being more prompt as a first responder. You might be forgiven for your ignorance but not for being insolent. Show your quality man, and do the right thing straightaway, before the offending object "recks'um." Do unto your pipes as you would have done to you, unless, of course, you are a rectophile.