SmokingPipes Banner

Oriental / English Tobacco » McClelland Grand Orientals Drama Reserve Tobacco Reviews Write review

1 unique reviews

RATED Average Rating (by 1 users)
Flavor  rated 2/5   Recommend It?  rated 2/5   Tin Aroma  rated 2/5  
Brand: McClelland
Blender: McClelland Tobacco Company
Tin Description: The famed Drama leaf is sweet and subtle with a natural olive oil fragrance. It is grown on the Southern slopes and foothills of the Rhodope Mountains, the Classic Drama Basma District in Greek Eastern Macedonia, and includes the renowned Mahalia. It is refreshing, delicate, intriguing. This blend is designed to demonstrate just why the classic top-grade Drama leaf is so celebrated.
Country of Origin: US
Curing Group: Air Cured
Contents: Virginia, Oriental
Cut: Ribbon
Packaging: 50g Tin

Write a Review

# 7/1/2011 User rated 2/5
Review by cortezattic

Like herbal tea: tasty, but weak

Out of the tin my supply was overly moist and had McClelland's signature sour smell. It is a thin ribbon-cut tangle of brown-tone and darker leaf. I air-dried it until a pinch would not cling together; firm but not brittle.

In general terms this blend has spicey flavors that are both unexpected and exotic. By unexpected, it is an experience that is unlike regular tobacco in the same way that herbal tea is unlike regular tea.

The charring light reminded me of India's beedi (bidi) cigarettes made of the Tendu leaf -- a clue that I shouldn't expect the characteristic flavor of regular tobacco. Here, the world of spice will dominate, and the only familiar tobacco flavor is a gentle Virginia serving as a foil for the Orientals. Someone expecting an assertive tobacco might find this blend lacking body. Drama emphasizes sensuous fragrance, not strength. I did not detect much nicotine, and that left me somewhat wanting after the smoke. (Pretty much the same way an herbal tea leaves me wanting for real tea.)

By exotic, expect a blend dominated by tastes and room notes that generally elude description, but resemble the savory spices: clove, bergamot, cumin, caraway, wintergreen, etc. There are other scents that evoke olfactory memories like, for instance, the hint of something vaguely antiseptic or minty, suggesting a dentist's office. Occasionally the pungent taste of giant green olives makes an ephemeral appearance. These aren't the exact flavors and scents, of course, but they're close enough to give you a reference. For an herbal tasting blend this leans somewhat toward the sweet, but not too much. It is mildly astringent on the tongue, the inner lips, and the palate; and it tingles weakly in the bridge of the nose with a pinch similar to raw mustard or wasabi, not pepper.

Near the bottom of the bowl the blend fades, and the exotic tastes dissipate -- seemingly played-out. Maybe it goes flat; but maybe it just fatigues the palate, because this blend throws a lot of unusual flavors. For this reason a small bowl capacity may work better. Drama seems to work best on an empty stomach and a clear palate, later in the day.

For me, Drama will be an occasional indulgence at best -- interesting, but not yummy. If you decide to pop a tin, have a Mason jar handy. You will come back to Drama, but not too often.

Summary: easy packing and lighting; minimal re-lights; good smoke volume; no vitamin-N; no gurgle or dottle; lots of sensuous fragrance and flavor; anti-climactic end game; fine ash; lasting finish.

Recommended for the epicure seeking Mediterranean and Eastern flavors.
Somewhat recommended for the curious with $10 to burn; or those seeking an Oriental condiment for homebrew tweaking.
Not recommended as (or intended to be) a regular player in the daily rotation.

User Rating
Tin Aroma -  rated 2/5
Flavor -  rated 2/5
Recommend It? -  rated 2/5
Was this helpful?
50% said yes.           


Return to Oriental / English Tobacco Reviews

SmokingPipes Banner