Pipe Tobacco: MacBaren Vanilla Cream (Archive, 2013)

The TOBACCO Cellar: “Reviews”

1. MacBaren’s Vanilla Cream

Originally Posted: 6th December, 2013.

As exhausted as he was, sleep evaded Earnest Shakckleton.

With the entire ship’s crew now stranded on the Antarctic ice,
Shackleton was cold – and frustrated.
Unable to sleep, he paced about the ice floe
while the rest of the ship’s company slept in their respective tents.

A sharp crack made Shackleton turn his head
– realising instantly, from sounds of pandemonium
following the noise, that the ice floe had split in two;

and that one man, cocooned within his sleeping bag,
had fallen into the freezing cold sea water.

As the crack in the ice widened to about four feet,
Shackleton saw a white object in the water – grabbed it,
and heaved man and bag together, onto the ice floe.

The soaking bundle had scarce touched the solid ice,
when the ice mass slammed together once again.

Struggling to extricate himself from the bag,
was the saturated figure of Able Seaman Ernest Holness,
absolutely soaked from waist to head.

Shackleton promptly arranged a set of night watchmen
to ensure that Holness was kept active –
walking around in the freezing cold night air.

With the man having been dropped into icy sea-water,
and now, saturated and stranded without any comfort on the ice floe,
Shackleton asked the dejected man if he was alright.

In mortal danger of freezing to death from his icy immersion,
Holness quickly put the dire nature of his predicament
into perspective:

“Yes Boss – but I’ve lost my bloody tobacco in the drink.”

To open our tobacco cellar then, we begin with

1. Mac Baren Vanilla Cream

This is the tobacco that never fails to attract the warm,
sentimental compliments of passers-by,
when I have been sitting at a coffee-house patio table,
enjoying a pipe with a frothy Mocha coffee.

Not one day has ever passed, sitting at one of the little tables
outside the coffee-house, in which at least one man or woman
has not stopped and mentioned how much they loved the aroma
of this pipe tobacco.

Some have inquired in passing; others have sat down
and stayed for a few minutes … still others, have asked
if they could sit and enjoy the aroma
while they finished their own coffee.

More than a few women, having asked if they could sit down
at the table, whereupon they have begun to reminisce fondly
of youthful memories of family,
of far more moral times,
and of bittersweet days now past.

Vanilla Cream exudes the aroma of sweet, toasted Vanilla
that pleases all in the vicinity, whose minds
are not given over to the ludicrous,
self-obsessed hypochondria of the day.

To the Virginia, brown Burley, and sweet Cavendish,
is added the strong Vanilla flavour which makes Vanilla Cream
a true pleasure to all who find themselves
within the compass of its aroma.

If consideration for the senses of others is paramount,
Vanilla Cream is the one that will, most certainly,
draw a crowd.

Toasted Vanilla … pure and simple.

P Livingstone