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· Heavy Puffer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been smoking some HH Mature VA & some VA #1, I gotta be honest, I don't really like this stuff. It burns great but I get almost no taste from it. When compared to a SG VA this stuff just seems bland. Am I smoking the wrong MB VA's? Am I doing something wrong? Does anybody really like either of these? :help:

Also are there any other Mac Baren blends I should try that I may enjoy more? Thanks in advance.
 

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I doubt you are doing anything wrong, just different strokes fer different folks.

I really like HH VA. I get plenty of flavor from it. Not to strong, nor is it to light. The tinned version has more flavor, IMHO, than the bulk, but that is usually the case with alot of blends.

FVF on the other hand, I simply can`t enjoy. I`ve tried it on many times over the years, and it doesn`t work with me.

Have you tried the HH Perique blend? I think you`ll find plenty of treats for your taste buds there, but you must be a perique fan. I just had some for breakfast.
 

· Heavy Puffer
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I doubt you are doing anything wrong, just different strokes fer different folks.

I really like HH VA. I get plenty of flavor from it. Not to strong, nor is it to light. The tinned version has more flavor, IMHO, than the bulk, but that is usually the case with alot of blends.

FVF on the other hand, I simply can`t enjoy. I`ve tried it on many times over the years, and it doesn`t work with me.

Have you tried the HH Perique blend? I think you`ll find plenty of treats for your taste buds there, but you must be a perique fan. I just had some for breakfast.
Thanks for the reply Dave.

I LOVE FVF, but for some reason this Mac Baren stuff doesn't do much for me. Perhaps it's just too mild for me.

I am a Perique fan though, so I'll have to give that a try.
 

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FVF is very rich in flavor, but for my straight VA, Opening Night wins every time (I am partial to C&D though as well).

Back to the topic: Another thing to mention too is the the packing method you use with HH VA. It is not a true straight VA. So what I`ve found is that different methods of loading your pipe, will produce or highlight different flavors.

I use this. Try at your own risk, its funny, but works for me.

Don`t dry your next bowl out as you normally would. Keep it somewhat moist. Then I gravity fill just a bit at the bottom. Then I use the reverse, or upside down Frank method. Turn your pipe sideways or upside down to fill. This keeps a semi air pocket in the bottom and a nice firm plug at the top. Tobacco again, should be a little moist, to help contain the cherry and burn nice and slow. The semi air pocket at the bottom will allow proper draw, and the loose tobacco will help filter/ flavor the smoke. Don`t tamp to much, you won`t need too.

Odd, maybe, but it works for me with this blend, and most ribbon or loose cut baccy.

(All my pipes are Canadians too, some large, some small. Works best on wide rimmed, deeper bowls).
 

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I like the HH Mature Va. Not my favorite VA, but I found that McHoney hint to be pleasing on it. Did not hurt that the tin was 2 years old before I cracked it open!!!

The HH Vintage Syrian was OK but I have had better.
 

· Heavy Puffer
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice, I'll give that a try. You got me thinking, maybe the sample I have is a little too dry & has lost some of it's original taste. I may have to get a "fresher" sample in order to accurately try this stuff out.
 

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Your mouth might have become accustomed to tobacco with a more pronounced flavor. Also if you've smoked something with a stronger character already today, following up with a lighter tobacco can be pointless or tasteless. You might try it again as your first smoke of the day or commit to smoking it for a few days. Then again, maybe it could use some time in the tin. I really like the VA#1. Matter of fact I bought about 5 pounds of it a few months ago.
 

· I desire macaroni picturs
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I dunno, VA #1 for me was a really sweet smoke... naturally sweet to be precise. HH Virginian definitely had that MacB. signature taste to it, but it had a certain "smokey" note that is hard for me to describe (because it's unlike the Latakia smoke taste).

Body chemistry maybe?
 

· Up-n-coming tobacco dork
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When compared to a lot of Sam Gawith VA's, Mac Baren's IS bland! But Danish tobacco is a different animal than English, the same as an aromatic is different from Prince Albert. The interesting thing about Mac Baren's is most of the time, their tobaccos are WAY off my scale of interest, but when they hit it, they nail it! I find Symphony to be one of those rare blends that satisfies me totally. It's not overly flavorful, either, but it's one of those highly nuanced tobaccos with massive complexity and depth.

Virginia #1 is ok on occasion but I find it unnaturally sweet. The rest that I've tried, I don't care for very much. HH Acadian Perique is something to try if you like perique, though. Should be on any perique lovers short list. That doesn't mean they'll like it but it's definitely an experience.
 

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When I tried the HH Mature Virginia I had the same experience.

I do like the other Mac B blends: Navy Flake, Mixture Flake, Dark Twist Roll Cake, Club Blend (Roll Cake), Golden Extra and even Vanilla Flake Loose Cut and Honey Chocolate. Some of them do tend to be very subtle in flavor, but I like them nonetheless. As for the bite that folks complain about, yes, they can bite hard if you smoke them too aggressively. But, properly packed and slowly sipped, they're wonderful tobaccos that give all day enjoyment.
 

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One other thing I might add on top of what I already stated is that I have a group of pipes set aside for MacBaren blends and I always have ever since my pipe collection numbered 5 total. The only other tobacco I'll share these pipes with is PS LTF. I almost never smoke those blends like say in my VA pipes because the flavor just doesn't come through. That's why I have cavendish pipes in my rotation. Just like a stronger tobacco can overpower the taste of the smoke in your mouth, it can also cover a more subtle flavor in a pipe. Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth.
 

· Heavy Puffer
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
One other thing I might add on top of what I already stated is that I have a group of pipes set aside for MacBaren blends and I always have ever since my pipe collection numbered 5 total. The only other tobacco I'll share these pipes with is PS LTF. I almost never smoke those blends like say in my VA pipes because the flavor just doesn't come through. That's why I have cavendish pipes in my rotation. Just like a stronger tobacco can overpower the taste of the smoke in your mouth, it can also cover a more subtle flavor in a pipe. Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth.
So you're telling me I shouldn't smoke it in the same pipe as 1792???

Seriously though I'll give that a try.

If I still don't enjoy it after trying it in a different pipe dedicated to mild VA's, I may have to decide that Mac Baren VA's just aren't for me. As of now it kinda reminds me of smoking dried out hay, not very pleasant.

I will try some other MB blends just to see if anything else sticks.
 
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