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Handblended, premium pressed Virginia flake pipe tobaccos. A fine vintage, naturally sweet, in limited quantity.

Notes: From tin insert: We are proud to offer our 2016 Christmas Cheer pipe tobacco, an exceptionally fine vintage tobacco, hand blended and aged in pressed cakes to develop natural mellowness. This 2016 blend is made with a special selection of ripe, red, flue-cured Virginia from a beautiful 2010 Middle-Belt crop. Superb leaf picked at peak ripeness, it is naturally sweet, rich in oils. It should age with distinction. Each buying season, we look for tobaccos of exceptional quality and distinctive character. In various combinations, their flavors, aromas, textures, contribute to the overall excellence of all our products.

The leaves of different crops and regions are combined to maintain consistency from year to year.

With Christmas Cheer pipe tobacco, we treat our discriminating customers to the singular pleasure of a tasting of the very finest in tobaccos of a particular vintage, not worrying about maintaining the flavor and appearance of this product into future years but actually striving instead to present the unique character of a single crop and area.

That's what Christmas Cheer pipe tobacco is all about. Happy Holidays!

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutBroken Flake
Packaging100 grams tin
CountryUS
ProductionNo longer in production
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium, Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 4 Users

3.8
6 reviews
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (852)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Looks like a typical CC in the tin... medium brown broken flake with the classic McClelland fermented sileage. I alternated bowls of this with the 2017 crop, mostly because that was the only way I could pinpoint the differences between the two. They were very close, and any diffs I detected could very well have been my imagination.

Once properly dried (and again, for those who don't like the signature McClellands smell, dry out the tobacco and it will go away. It'll also smoke a lot better!)... and they both took a pretty fair investment of time to do so... this tasted like it smelled - a fairly typical McClellands CC. That's not to say these vintages weren't very good. They were. They just didn't stand out from the rest of the pack like many of them do. This seemed more along the lines of the 40th Anniversary substitute rather than a full monty CC. The 2005, for example, is a classic Virginia that I'm happy to have found multiple tins of, at no small expense. The '16 and '17 would have been excellent if I had never sampled some of the other vintages. These seemed ordinary by comparison. That said, ordinary for McClellands is better than most blenders can ever aspire to when it comes to straight Virginia. The '16 seemed to have a bit more spice to it and more upper range while the '17 seemed to have a hair more depth. It was consternating to try and distinguish these. I tossed in a bowl of 3 other vintages just to make sure I wasn't going bonkers and those 3 were quite different, both from each other and from these two. I have no doubt these will age magnificently and I have an extra tin of both. But as of now, they aren't the classic, mortgage your house for a tin, perfect example of straight Virginia blends. If you're a red VA fan, you need to try these. I'm saving my other tins for at least 10 years, and we'll see what I have to say then.

7 people found this review helpful.

Noctivagant Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noctivagant (10)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This tobacco is an absolute joy. It has a heady nicotine hit, a deliciously grassy/fruity/earthy taste and burns supremely well. I've packed bowls of this many ways, but for me, rolling two whole flakes and stuffing them for a half bowl or four for a full bowl and crumbling one more on top with a slightly-stronger-than-average tamp is the best.

I really should have let this age longer, but with a full tin and several more on the way, I was dying to try this young. I'm really glad I did. It begs for slow sipping, something with which I struggle, but hasn't bit me in the least. It really works well with a breath smoking strategy if you've time to relax and sit down.

This is a simple smoke and a wonderful tobacco. It will reward you with grassy and fruity taste in inverse proportions to your smoking speed. Fight the urge to chase that wonderful flavor with more puffing, it comes best with slowness. It lights easily and requires few relights. It will age incredibly well, it is very sweet and for those worried about the famous McClelland 'ketchup', it dissipates with a little drying or once lit and influences the flavor not at all.

There will be an addendum once this has been sampled with some age.

Pipe Used: Nording apple

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: Tobaccopipes.com

7 people found this review helpful.

J.R. Patton Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
J.R. Patton (106)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I know I shouldn't have opened this yet, being what it is, but I couldn't help myself. I was late to the gold rush on this one and was only able to secure 2 tins. But I'll keep the other cellared to open years down the road. Smells like a delicious McClelland VA should in the tin, with a touch of fermentation. From first light I am amazed at the depth and complexity of flavor here. There's a lot more going on than what I've experienced with previous Christmas Cheer year models. It's rich, deep, and dark, and only just sweet enough to round the edges. Black cherry comes to mind. But what's got me so intrigued is the obvious spiciness, like the peppery sort of spice I get from Escudo. Obviously that comes from the perique, but where is it coming from in a blend of straight red Virginias? Interesting...very interesting. Right off the top I've got to give this one 4 stars. The leaf is top-notch quality, flavors are rich and abundant, and it burns evenly with no issues. It can bite if pushed but is sublime when sipped...par for the course. Highly recommended!

7 people found this review helpful.

gladi8tor96 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gladi8tor96 (133)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I was able to sample a few bowls of this fine tobacco from my local Wine and Cigar/Pipe shop.

From the tin it smells like a McClelland Va....tangy, earthy, woody, hayish goodness.

Loads and lights easy, whether you stuff the broken flakes directly in your bowl, or rub them out. Takes a few relights directly from the tin unless you are super attentive to it and puff at a regular cadence.

The smoke is wonderful with deep and complex notes. I was surprised at the creamy, bread-ish flavors. Another reviewer mentioned the tang, and I don't disagree, but it was a softer tang, without any kind of sharpness....hence why I mention the creaminess of it. Good red VA dark fruit, earth, with a bit of wood and spice here and there.

I was quite impressed with the blend and I need to get a few tins to cellar away before they are gone.

Pipe Used: Cob, Billard

Age When Smoked: Unknown

Purchased From: Sample

Similar Blends: McClelland - No. 5100 Red Cake, McClelland - Virginia Woods (Craftsbury Series), McClelland - Christmas Cheer 2011.

6 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Christmas Cheers 2016/2017 - I've decided to review these together as they were released at the same time. Which one is better? Well, I really have to split hairs, it's hard to tell them apart unless I smoke them back to back. The 2016 has slightly, and I mean slightly, more tang and high notes, while the 2017 is slightly more base. Both are very fine examples of McClelland Virginias. both are good on the relight, the flavor stays and doesn't get ashy. I find the 2016 has slightly more tanginess and stays most of the bowl. I find the 2017 closer to FVF, darker ,less spice. I'll try to buy more. Both are 4 star.

DAMN THE FDA for our loss of this yearly treat ,I thought we already had one Federal agency, the ATF, making tobacco rules. Next the EPA will be putting out rules requiring us to filter our exhaled smoke as we would be adding to pollution and Global warming. Will the government ever stop making useless new regulations ?

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: 1 month open

Similar Blends: similar to other Christmas Cheers, all great.

6 people found this review helpful.

Mork Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mork (36)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Very Pleasant

It's hard to describe how excited I was when I finally took the mason jar, carefully sealed and annotated by my friend in January of 2017 after being tinned in July of 2016, down from its exceptionally short stay on the top shelf of my cellar. This was, for all intents and purposes, a moment nearly a decade in the making for me. My first taste of CC. Even better, I actually have a bit of a palette developed for serious VAs now, thanks to careful work on technique over the past months and a lot of serious taste testing of a wide variety of currently available VAs. I credit the Club for this gigantic leap forward.

The seal on the jar was perfect. The button completely sucked in and tight from the 18+ months of fermentation and aging. Sure, it's not the 20+ years some of you are experiencing with VAs, but for me, at my stage of development? This was going to be my longest aged taste of a VA. By a long shot. And it was a perfect one to start with. A benchmark moment.

As I unscrewed the lid it took some serious prying to break the seal. A deep breath before I applied the last push and pop, the deed was done. I immediately shoved my nose into the jar like a greedy hound and was met with the famed fermented, vinegary, pungent odor of depth and beauty.

The small flakes were dark and beautiful. I had cleaned my favorite VA pipe earlier and stuck it in my moisture death trap box for a few hours for a perfect smoke delivery system. Loaded the flakes whole in the bottom, not too loose but not jammed. I had about a quarter of an inch of headroom left so I rubbed a half a flake out and laid that on top to get things going smoothly.

The lighting took me a bit, mostly because I was doing my absolute damndest to set this one going by the books. No scorching the top that might influence the lower layers. I really babied it. When I finally got it going I was off to the races.

The first presentation was the tangy vinegar. But not ketchup. It was more like umbashi without the salt. Incredibly pleasant, though it started to fade pretty rapidly. In its place the gentle red sweet welled up and began to peek its head out to play. My first full flavor blast was of true fresh mown hay. Not fresh in the sense of a green tobacco, but rather purity. A summer's day where the heat and breeze is drying the cut pasture. Beautiful. I got the faintest whisper of honeydew melon, you know that perfect inner rim once you've scraped the seeds out? That lovely, almost creamy fruit that has layers of flavor all vying your your attention? Yeah, that. It was wild.

The deep, swirling complexity of this tobacco amazes me. Incredibly cool burning, but again that may be because I was being as gentle with my breathing as I possibly could. Even with the complexity there was an exceptionally clean presentation on the palette. No coating. Nothing but pure smoke and flavor.

As I made my way through the bowl it started getting a bit darker, developing hints of plum and dark cherry. It was really hard to not push the burn for more of the flavor, but I managed to restrain myself. The mildest sips are needed here for the flavor to remain at their peak.

I got some waves of loamy earth, like a fresh tilled plot of soil. That sounds unpleasant in the reading of it, but it was far from that. It was... centering. That only stayed for a bit then faded back into the complex undertones.

Something that surprised me as I smoked my way through, and especially in the final third of the bowl, was how spicy it was. I know there's no perique, and quite frankly it wasn't that peppery feel. It was more like the sweeter flesh of a hot pepper, stripped of most of its heat with the light, intense flavor remaining.

As a final treat, perhaps the last sixth of the bowl it turned into straight up gingersnap cookies. I don't know how. But that's what I got.

When I finished the bowl I turned it upside down and some of the purest white ash fell out without any need for a pipe tool. No moisture. Absolutely no dottle. My first bowl that literally burnt all the way through the tobacco from start to finish. I will also say that I had to relight only once the entire time.

Final Thoughts: What an experience. An absolute joy to smoke. I now feel the pain of thousands of brothers who cried out in agony when McClelland shut their doors. And there is some beauty in that, a shared loss. I feel like I just undertook some initiation into the upper echelons of pipe smoking. I know there are more tins out there and that it's not lost forever, for a premium of course. But that's also OK. This tobacco is one to be savored and saved for special moments and occasions. I've resealed the jar until December when I am afraid to say I will burn through my dear friend's gift in record speed. I just couldn't hold out without having just one bowl before then. I know now what I will buy when I have extra cash in the coming months and years. I know now that it is worth the premium. And I know now where the bar is set for VAs in the current market.

Age When Smoked: 2 years

1 person found this review helpful.