The Search for the Quality of Old
The finest leaf still exists and the exquisite flavors still remain but the village names are not as indicative today because of changing production methods. Seed types originally developed in the classic villages may be distributed more than 50 miles away and may not always be grown in the kind of soil that produces the best leaf. So now we must go beyond village names to be sure we are in the specific classic geographic regions and elevations and place on the plant to insure that we get the quality we seek.
With Oriental tobaccos, altitude is supreme. The finest tobaccos are grown in the mountain districts and on lower slopes of the mountains, not the plain. The prized smallest leaves with the most pronounced incense-like aromas are from the tops of the plants, what we would call "tips." They call them "outch" (Greece and Izmir) or "dourouk" (Turkey except Izmir) or "vrah" (Bulgaria). Back before World War I, the delicate top Basma leaves, the most aromatic and most valuable, from the best, most famous districts of East Macedonia and Thrace, were sorted out and packed in very small bales wrapped in white linen. This was the "djubek" of legend.
The folks at McClelland have searched for years to find the individual Oriental tobaccos. They've been able to bring us blends from the best parts of the plains (tips for aroma and upper hands for sweetness) grown generally in the best areas but they have wanted also to make available leaves separated out so that they can experience the direct descendants of hte famed classics in seed, soil, in selection and in their systems of production. It is only now as rules and the business climate are changing over there that McClelland can bring to you these supreme top grade varietals for individual appreciation.
McClelland's 30-Year Quest Rewarded
Over the last few years, McClelland has been able to secure stocks of the finest grades of these individual varietals one-by-one. McClelland is pleased to be able to present these glorious tobaccos individually in blends that highlight their unique characters. McClelland believes this is the first time for a series highlighting the individual varietals. It is hard to contain the enthusiam for this project. It is the culmination of 30 years of searching and dreaming.