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 Compared Red Ribbon & 5100 RC

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AJ

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Age : 68
Location : East of the Rocky Mountains
Registration date : 2012-03-18

PostSubject: Compared Red Ribbon & 5100 RC   Mon May 02, 2016 12:58 am

I know there's been tons of discussion about MrCrainie's Red Ribbon and McC 5100 RC but I don't recall anyone stating that they had compared the two that were packaged in the same year and smoked in identical pipes one right after the other. Tonight I wanted a nice smooth straight Va. that wouldn't require me to think about what I was smoking. I just wanted a nice sweet calming smoke before going to bed. I opted for some Red Ribbon. The tin was from the 2008 crop of tobacco packaged in 2012. Upon opening the tin the "ketchup" aroma was somewhat diminished and the tobacco was a little drier than what I usually find in a newly packaged tin. I also thought this is an opportunity for me to compare it to the 5100 RC. It has been said and I believe confirmed that the two blends are one and the same. Well it so happenes that I have a fair amount of the 5100 jarred up from 2012. I have two identical pipes made by Hilson. Both are Hilson Uppertens 140 paneled bent Dublins. Having smoked both many times I can assure you there is no difference in the way they smoke.

The first pipe was loaded with the Red Ribbon. After the initial light and a couple of light tamps followed by the second light I settled back for an enjoyable smoke. As expected the red Va.'s provided a smooth slightly honeysweet smoke that seemed to have a creamy note with a mild hit of nicotine. As the smoke progressed there was a notable increase in the sweetness and continued to the end of the bowl. There was never a hint of harshness, raw edges, or tongue bite. I couldn't detect and toppings or other flavors besides the tobacco. Only required one relight because I set my pipe aside to talk on the phone for about 5 minutes. At the end of the smoke there was only some gray ash in the bottom of the pipe. The smoke had been rich in sweet tobacco taste especially during the last half of the bowl. I never tasted any of the "ketchup" though it was present in the tin upon opening. The volume of smoke was about average for a good straight Va. It took almost an hour and 15 minutes to smoke the entire bowl. In conclusion I have to say I enjoyed the bowl immensely.

After getting a bite to eat an hour or so had passed so I took opened the jar of 5100 from 2012. It smelled delicious. There was a strong fermented tobacco aroma that made my mouth water. The contents were a little moist so I dried it for about 20 minutes so it would have approximately the same moisture content of the Red Ribbon. After rubbing out enough to load my pipe I picked up the other Hilson and loaded it in my usual method. After the usual two lights with some light tamping in between I settled back to smoke one of my favorite blends. I immediately noticed the same volume of smoke that was slightly sweet with just a hint of spice. None of the fermented tobacco taste was apparent only the goodness that comes from a superb red Va. I noticed the richness and the creamy taste earlier than with the Red Ribbon. The spiciness was way more noticible in the 5100 and like with the Red Ribbon the sweetness increased as the smoke continued. About half way the bowl I noticed a fruity like sweetness that I didn't detect in the other blend. The nicotine hit was definitely more acute but I would say it was still in the mild to medium range. No harshness, no tongue bite, and no relights. The tobacco burned a little slower that the Red Ribbon and perhaps a little bit cooler. During the last quarter of the bowl the sweetnes began fade with a little blandness taking its place. By the end of the bowl there was a slight ashy taste. By the time I noticed this I was at the bottom of the bowl and the fire went out. Nothing in the bottom of the bowl except just the tiniest bit of moisture and gray ash. The smoking time was almost the same with the 5100 taking only 10 minutes longer to complete the bowl.

Now to answer the big question, are they the same? Any differences I noticed could easily be attributed to when the tobacco was harvested and where it was grown. The color, feel, smell, and taste were essentially the same with minute differences. The difference in the burn rate was probably due to a difference in moisture content. The noticable difference in nicotine is probably due to the time when the tobacco was harvested, where it was grown, the weather conditions during the growing season. I believe the recipe for Red Ribbon and the 5100 RC are identical.

For me this was a fun experiment. Probably doesn't qualify for a truly strict scientific experiment but I think the my conclusions can stand scrutiny and if the experiment is repeated I think one will get the same results. Will others disagree with my findings? I can guarantee it. McClellend says they are the same and my experiment seems to bear that out but some will refuse to believe it. That's OK! We don't need a nation of sheep that believe everything they are told even if the weight of evidence is greatly against them. Smile

AJ
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: Compared Red Ribbon & 5100 RC   Mon May 02, 2016 9:11 am

" />
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eklektos44

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Age : 61
Location : Virginia
Registration date : 2015-04-10

PostSubject: Re: Compared Red Ribbon & 5100 RC   Mon May 02, 2016 9:14 am

Interesting... Shocked
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ftrplt

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Age : 70
Location : Split between Raleigh, NC and OKC, OK
Registration date : 2007-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Compared Red Ribbon & 5100 RC   Mon May 02, 2016 11:26 am

I've also read that these two 'baccy's are the same, even stated by Mr. McClelland himself (or so I've read; never had the pleasure of speaking with him directly). I ain't arguing here...BUT I do know that the McCrainie's version (trusting that you believe the brothers and the tin label!!) is from North Carolina "Old Belt" tobacco fields (kinda' covers the who, what, where, when, wx conditions stuff) exclusively. I can neither refute nor confirm that all the tobacco used in MC 5100 Red Cake comes from said "Old Belt." FWIW... cheers FTRPLT
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Compared Red Ribbon & 5100 RC   Mon May 02, 2016 7:34 pm

Richard Burley wrote:
" />

Preach it brother, preach it!

jocolor

Kidding aside, many thanks AJ for posting this review. McCranie's Red Ribbon/Flake vs 5100 comes up often on the forums and it's always good to read of other's experiences with them.

Me, I clearly remember becoming beguiled with McCranie's Red Ribbon back around '01 or so when I started getting serious about the pipe. Never had the flake back then though.

Fast forward to '11 or so when I got back into piping after an 8+ yr hiatus, and joined BoB. Soon learned of 5100 bulk and duly got in a sample. It became a fast fave, and it reminded me of Red Ribbon, which I then got in and rediscovered it's delights. As well as the flake.

For me, the difference is minimal at best and might as well be one and the same except for the cut.

And while the price point on the bulk 5100 is clearly better than the McCrainie's I'll always have a tin or so of McCranie's on hand as it's one of those I started out on.


That's my take FWIW.


Razz



Cheers,

RR


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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Compared Red Ribbon & 5100 RC   Fri May 06, 2016 10:43 am

Great comparo! Thank you. I think I'd better augment my supply of each.
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MisterE
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Location : Mexico City
Registration date : 2009-08-24

PostSubject: Re: Compared Red Ribbon & 5100 RC   Fri May 06, 2016 11:51 am

I've always felt they are one and the same. I think the 5100 might taste a little different only because it's stored in a more oxygen rich environment. Much in the way bulk Nightcap  tastes a little different than the tinned stuff, same for FVF etc. That said, it's still far and away my favorite Red VA tobacco- whether it's called McCranie or McClelland....

_________________
Many of the greatest pleasures in life are illegal, immoral, or smelly.

-Yak
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Compared Red Ribbon & 5100 RC   Fri May 06, 2016 10:46 pm

It would be a pleasure, though, to replicate your experiment out under my maple trees this summer. A nice DIY caper blend is a 4::4::1 mix of 5100, 5105 and Perique.
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CharlG

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Location : Cape Town, South Africa
Registration date : 2012-01-26

PostSubject: Re: Compared Red Ribbon & 5100 RC   Sat May 07, 2016 3:20 pm

This was interesting! Thanks so much.
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DrumsAndBeer

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Age : 45
Location : Northern, CA
Registration date : 2012-04-04

PostSubject: Re: Compared Red Ribbon & 5100 RC   Sat May 07, 2016 7:55 pm

Excellent write-up AJ. Well done.
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AJ

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Age : 68
Location : East of the Rocky Mountains
Registration date : 2012-03-18

PostSubject: Re: Compared Red Ribbon & 5100 RC   Sun May 08, 2016 1:19 am

KevinM wrote:
It would be a pleasure, though, to replicate your experiment out under my maple trees this summer. A nice DIY caper blend is a 4::4::1 mix of 5100, 5105 and Perique.

If we ever get some weather with the temps above 80 degrees again I think I'd like to try the blend you recommended one morning while sitting in my big swing under 3 big shade trees in my backyard. It's a custom built swing that's 6 feet long. A perfect place to smoke my pipe or lie down and take a nap. Smile

AJ
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: Compared Red Ribbon & 5100 RC   Sun May 08, 2016 5:17 pm

That sounds tasty! I just might have those components floating around here as well...........
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SpeedyPete



Age : 73
Location : Cape Town
Registration date : 2011-01-28

PostSubject: Re: Compared Red Ribbon & 5100 RC   Wed May 11, 2016 1:11 pm

McCranies First Light bulk is the same as McC 5100 bulk. I've had them both and there is no difference at all.

McCranies Red Flake / Red Ribbon in the tin did not taste like the above mentioned tobaccos for me.
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