MacBaren Vanilla Cream Loose Cut Mar 5, 2019 9:42:02 GMT -5 sperrytops, Ronv69, and 12 more like this
Post by atison on Mar 5, 2019 9:42:02 GMT -5
Edit: "sorry this one got long"
Wound up scoring a tin of this stuff on Cbid for pretty cheap but this one has also been on my radar for some time. I enjoy vanilla in blends as I think it goes well with the natural flavors and it is, to me, the quintessential "sweet" flavor without actually being sweet (if that makes sense). I have been hesitant to try a vanilla labeled blend though because I didn't want something that was trying to be too much and wind up with a sickly sweet vanilla topping that lead vs complimented the natural flavors.
Upon popping the tin I was skeptical of this one. Very sweet tin note but it is a really deep and rich vanilla, not a cloying/fake/artificial vanilla. What I wasn't prepared for was the notes of coconut that I pick up. I love coconut, but if you asked me if I wanted a pipe tobacco with coconut in it I would say no. It isn't overpowering but is definitely there for me.
Appearance of this loose cut is absolutely gorgeous. Multitudes of colors ranging from jet black (cavendish?) to almost golden. There is also the presence of nicely pressed and cut flakes in there too but which are cut super thin. The consistency is nice with the looseness of the ribbons and an occasional clump of flake when felt in your hand. Moisture level is a bit wet and probably packable out of the tin with it easily falling apart after pinching, but I let it dry a bit for my first bowl and subsequent bowls were out of a stanwell pouch which isn't airtight so some additional drying occurred.
Takes a bit to get lit and going and puffs up considerably upon charring lights. I packed it a bit too tight on the first bowl and have backed off on subsequent bowls which resulted in far fewer relights. I made a point to keep my cadence low with this one as I imagine it could bite, however, I kind of tested it under a few freight train moments and didn't get anything close to a nip from it. It went a little mute if fired up too much but quickly settled back into its flavors.
Out of the gate I was expecting overwhelming vanilla. Not the case for me with this one. It starts off pretty light and muted to the point that my first bowl had me wondering what the hype was with this stuff. After about 10 minutes the flavors start to show up and there are lots of them to my pallet. As much as I wouldn't think I would like coconut in a pipe I loved the occasional coconut blast I get from this stuff and on occasion you get that blast on lighting. But the coconut is never around for very long when it pops up, and it pops up randomly for me making me think it could be coming from the bits of flake that are more compact. The vanilla starts to build and become the backbone for this although I do get some base notes of virginia hay in there as well as base tobacco notes of leather, earth, nut, and maybe cocoa. The combination of all this rounds out the "cream" part of this blend for me that wraps all the flavors up together.
What I really like about this blend though is how it transitions through the bowl. You are kind of hunting for the flavors the first 10 minutes. Then you get transitions of flavors for the next 20 or so from coconut to vanilla to virginia hay to leather. After that, the blend settles for me into a wonderful slightly sweet yet nicely smoky bbq type flavor. It is a good deep flavor too. Don't think BBQ sauce but the awesome aroma that comes from a beautiful pork butt that you finally get to pull apart after resting in its smoky juices for hours. It is a sweet/smokey lip smacky goodness.
I expected to like this stuff, but for very different reasons. Thought it would be my high octane vanilla go to when I wanted to go overboard with vanilla (which I don't always want but have cravings for from time to time). It turned out to be quite an interesting blend that takes me on a journey every bowl through transitioning flavors all of which I love.
I loaded the stanwell pouch with a few ounces and tossed in my center console thinking I would dip into it from time to time on my commute. Turned out that I almost blew straight through the pouch hitting this stuff both morning and afternoon for almost a week straight. Although I did eventually yearn for a change in flavors and went to another blend, this stuff surprised me how much it had me coming back to it.
I imaging it would be quite a crowd pleaser and the beard note was not overwhelming but left me with plenty of the flavors to enjoy for quite some time after.
This one gets a stamp of "Nervous when getting low" for me as I want this to be on hand when I get the craving.