THE PROFESSOR'S PIPE TOBACCO REVIEWS

Robert McConnell Tobaccos


These tobaccos gained their fame as a product of the UK, but are now produced in Germany.

Oriental Mixture
Yum! What strikes me the most about this medium-strength blend is how the latakia flavour is so significant, yet not as overwhelming as it is in some of the darker blends I like. Nor is it bitter like some others; fragrant Orientals mix with the latakia and give the blend a slightly sweet aftertaste. On the other hand, its flavour is extremely alive and pronounced. In terms of this sweetness and its strength, it reminds me a bit of Rattray's Highland Targe, however, the former is much richer and smokier, while the latter is lighter and more perfumy. This medium-cut mixture of yellow flecks on blackish-brown smells distinctly smoky in the pouch and is somewhere toward the middle along the sharpness-mildness continuum. The room aroma and aftertaste are both strong and woodsy—very pleasant if you like latakia. I like to puff away on this during my lunch break as it is satisfying without being too heady. '95

Scottish Cake
SCOTTISH CAKE
Body: 9/10
Nicotine Strength: 8/10
Flavour Depth: 9/10
Flavour—sweetness: 4/10
Flavour—fruitiness: 3/10
Flavour—floweriness: 2/10
Flavour—smokiness: 5/10
Flavour—mustiness: 6/10
Flavour—nuttiness: 5/10
Bite: 3/10
Room Aroma: Musty-sweet
As I read my comments on McConnell's Scottish Flake from '97, I realized I could insert them here. Without a side-by-side comparison and only memory to go by at the moment, this comes off as a rubbed-out version of Scottish Flake. It's not rubbed out to the texture of a ribbon-cut tobacco, however—it still contains a few nice thick pieces of broken flake. As soon as I light up, I get that delicious fruity, cherry-like Virginia flavour superimposed on a light smoky background. If you appreciate a full-bodied smoke like I do, you'll love the way that even small puffs of this are thick-tasting. Soonafter, the sweetness that was initially so prominent gets overshadowed by a fudgy quality that reminds me of unsweetened chocolate. Further on, the flavour develops a slight salty taste and a little background bitterness. I love how the original sweetness is still around, occasionally weaving its way in and out. After the halfway point, the transformation from nearly floral to stout-like is complete (a Guinness lover should appreciate this!) If you've ever taken a sniff off a smouldering bowl of tobacco and enjoyed the intensity of that scent... that's what the taste of this reminds me of. Mmmm... And a nice heavy room aroma to go with it. '01

Scottish Flake
A fermented, almost alcoholic, scent wafts from the tin of these medium-dark, easy-to-crumble slices. Put some of this in your pipe and obtain a notably thick and full smoke. It has some of that background fruity sweetness that is common in aged Virginia mixtures, and here it is almost matured to the point of being reminiscent of dried dates or cherries, except that it is blurred by the presence of a drier, nuttier taste. In fact, this sweetness fades quite quickly and leaves a tangy, strong smoke. The dominant impression is one of an "imposing neutrality": just enough fruitiness to offset any bitter elements and no distinctive added essences to take away from the pure tobacco taste. Its sidestream smoke teases the smoker's nostrils, yet offers little aroma. This is an excellent example of tobacco made in the old style of the United Kingdom and would be a good introduction to the genre for someone unfamiliar with such mixtures. Although it smokes smooth and cool to my palate (if the slices aren't rubbed out too finely at least), I suspect that some could possibly interpret its tanginess as bite. It is a rich source of nicotine, so you might want to take care to smoke it slowly. It burns clean and dry to a fine, grey, perfectly incinerated ash and leaves a dull, natural tobacco aroma in the room after smoking. '97