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Whole Leaf Tobacco

McClelland Tobacco Company, Maker Of Legendary Pipe Tobaccos, Closes Down

FmGrowit

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#1
McClelland Tobacco, one of the most legendary names in pipe tobacco, is closing its doors after more than forty years in business. The company, which created some of the most popular pipe tobaccos in the world (Dark Star, Personal Reserve: Blackwoods Flake, Christmas Cheer, and Turkish Ribbon, to name a few), cited policy and regulatory changes as the dominant driver behind the company’s closure.

Read the entire article here
https://finetobacconyc.com/2018/03/...ompany-makers-legendary-pipe-tobaccos-closes/
 

deluxestogie

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#3
And the Frog Morton blends vanish. All things must pass. Shocking and not shocking.

The greatest impact of the regulatory environment on pipe tobacco blenders is the virtual banning of innovation. If a specific blend did not exist prior to xxxx year, then you will have to spend $100,000+ in laboratory analyses, in order to request that it be approved by regulators. If any single constituent changes from one year to the next--as it must with an agricultural product, then you have to pay again and request again. Although pipe tobacco blenders continue to sell particular blends year after year, their overall profitability depends on innovation.

At least we are reassured by the knowledge that our regulators are top men. Top men.



Bob
 

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#5
The sad bit is it's not just tobacco; it's everything. And it's not just the beginning; this has been going on for years.

I work for an unemployment cost control company. Twenty five years ago, our typical client was a small to medium sized Pennsylvania factory supporting a mill town -- everything from shirt makers to sawmills to steel makers. By five years ago, they were all gone -- every last one of them -- driven overseas by regulations. Today, our typical client is a staffing agency paying minimum wage to Latinos, and ensuring they don't work 30 hours a week so as not to have to pay for Obismalcare.
 

deluxestogie

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#6
SmokingPipes.com:
Cup O' Joes:
4Noggins:
  • tinned McClelland blends all out of stock
  • bulk McClelland blends all out of stock
JR Cigars:
  • tinne McClelland blends all out of stock
  • bulk McClelland blends not sold
PipesAndCigars:
I'm sure that there are numerous retail tobacconist shops that may have a few tins of McClelland in stock for the moment.

Bob
 
Last edited:

KiwiGrown

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#7
That's real depressing, I thought something was up when they said there going to discontinue some blends due to not being able to source Red Virginia.

This company turned me to Virginias when I started pipe smoking, I haven't smoked any of there blends in a while but I would of liked to cellar a few tins of my old favourites.

Sadly the one company who knows how to deal with international customers is sold out.

I'll have to smoke something of theres I have cellared in there honour, then horde what small amount I have left.
 

Jitterbugdude

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#8
You guys are a few days behind the times. They made the announcement last week and everything sold out within a day. Lucky for me I snagged 40 tins of 40th Anniversary at $17.00/tin. They are selling like hotcakes on Ebay for $60.00/tin.
 

KiwiGrown

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#9
News travels slow to New Zealand, this internet thing is great except it ties up my phone line.

A friend once told me when they moved to New Zealand, they stepped off the plane and thought they had time traveled back 50 years.
 

Levi Gross

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#10
You know there are some absolutely amazing commercial products out there, and this may very well be the end of an era. But I have to honestly say that since I purchased my first whole leaf order from WLT I have not smoked anything else. I feel better and the fix is better. The taste is a whole new experience along blending into the mix some of my own home grown I am on my way down the farewell road to commercial tobacco. So good bye to McClelland and good day. They've made their millions.
 

deluxestogie

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#11
Over the years, I purchased what were among the final few existing boxes of:
  • Marsh Wheeling Deluxe Stogies
  • Hoyo de Monterrey Demi-tasse
  • Farnham Hill
  • Judges Cave
  • El Verso
  • Flor de Farrach
  • Excalibur VI
There are probably others. They were mostly nostalgia. Two were truly great cigars, one was very good, the others were just nostalgia. I enjoyed them all. Now they're gone, so I enjoy others (and my own).

As for McClelland, I always had an issue with the ketchup aroma of every one I opened. I assume that was vinegar used as a preservative. But they lost that after being opened for a bit. The company was fairly good at marketing, and with selecting appealing blend names. Frog Morton was a reliably solid Latakia blend--good but not great. Yenidje Highlander promised too much, and was disappointing. St. James Woods offered Perique with its Virginia, but not enough Perique. I suspect our blending goals were not well aligned. (I always preferred Rattray's and Alfred Dunhill, until they sold out to the lowest bidder.) I won't weep about Balkan Sobranie here.

I think the primary story is that regulation aimed at Big Tobacco really clobbers Little Tobacco. Makers of less expensive (mostly machine-made) cigars were killed off faster than the pipe tobacco blenders. But the latter are now beginning to feel the impact of poorly designed regulation.

Aside from the nostalgia (which can be powerful!), I would prefer some of my own WLT blends of pipe tobacco to most of the branded blends that I've smoked over the course of nearly a half century.

If you are seeking very specific aromatic magic that you remember from brand X, that's a tough project. I'm sure you can eventually come close. BUT...if you enjoy pure tobacco in your pipe blends, the world is your oyster. It's all available as whole leaf.

So I lift a bowl for McClelland, in honor of 4 decades of pretty damn good tobacco. [Sorry, McClelland. It's a bowl of straight, sun-cured, kilned Prancak-N1 tip leaf.]

Bob
 

Levi Gross

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#12
I read somewhere that the cigarette companies don't have to disclose everything they put into their products because their recipes are protected etc. etc. So why is big brother so hard on wonderful pipe tobacco makers.
And the Frog Morton blends vanish. All things must pass. Shocking and not shocking.

The greatest impact of the regulatory environment on pipe tobacco blenders is the virtual banning of innovation. If a specific blend did not exist prior to xxxx year, then you will have to spend $100,000+ in laboratory analyses, in order to request that it be approved by regulators. If any single constituent changes from one year to the next--as it must with an agricultural product, then you have to pay again and request again. Although pipe tobacco blenders continue to sell particular blends year after year, their overall profitability depends on innovation.

At least we are reassured by the knowledge that our regulators are top men. Top men.



Bob
 

KiwiGrown

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#13
Probably comes down to money, the big boys are to big of an asset to lose.

The small tobacco blender on the other hand, they can shut them down not lose much profit and make themselves look like there taking out the evil tobacco.

I always try to think about who is making the profit, someone will be making mega bucks out of anti tobacco.
 

Jitterbugdude

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#14
The Cig companies are the ones that went to the FDA and begged them to increase regulation of all tobacco products. Seems that the Vape industry was really hurting their profits. The way the new Deeming Laws are written, cigarette companies are safe. Pipe tobacco, et al are just collateral damage.
 

Levi Gross

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#15
It's not right... Just not right... They are the ones injecting the consumers with their chemicals and poisons what a shame. We live in crooked times.
The Cig companies are the ones that went to the FDA and begged them to increase regulation of all tobacco products. Seems that the Vape industry was really hurting their profits. The way the new Deeming Laws are written, cigarette companies are safe. Pipe tobacco, et al are just collateral damage.
 

deluxestogie

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#18
Way back in 1952, Herbert Muller published an iconic book called Uses of the Past (395 pages). It is a philosophical exploration of how each present culture uses its own interpretation of the "past"--usually a creative misrepresentation--to lament current times, or long for the previous "better" times.

https://www.amazon.com/Uses-Past-Profiles-Former-Societies/dp/0195000323/

In general, the good old days were more difficult, more restrictive in personal opportunities, and less healthy, though they usually had their good points.

Bob
 

Levi Gross

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#19
I will be investigating this thanks for the link
Way back in 1952, Herbert Muller published an iconic book called Uses of the Past (395 pages). It is a philosophical exploration of how each present culture uses its own interpretation of the "past"--usually a creative misrepresentation--to lament current times, or long for the previous "better" times.

https://www.amazon.com/Uses-Past-Profiles-Former-Societies/dp/0195000323/

In general, the good old days were more difficult, more restrictive in personal opportunities, and less healthy, though they usually had their good points.

Bob
 
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