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McClelland's 40th Anniversary offering is dedicated to Virginias, and of course those with a love for Virginia leaf as well. The tobacco itself is a red Virginia flake, promising a rich, mellow, sweet smoking experience, and something that will age superbly.

Notes: Superb North Carolina red Virginia worthy of a very special occasion...

Blended ByMcClelland
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
Packaging100g Tin
ProductionCurrently available
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Mild to Medium
None Detected
Room Note

Favorite Of 4 Users

13 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2028)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

The tangy, ripe dark fruity, earthy, woody red Virginia takes a lead over the lighter Virginia, and also sports a little sugar. The light Virginia provides a bit of citrus, light grassiness, and a couple pinches of spice and a bare hint of floralness. The proportions of the Virginias vary from flake to flake, so there is a small inconsistency in how you will perceive the inherent flavors of the tobaccos. Having written that, it should be noted that they meld fairly well, and you’ll observe every nuance in every puff to one degree or another. There is a very slight hint of “vinegar” from the tobaccos that barely make their way into the experience, and very quickly disappears. Although this manufacture isn’t as deep in flavor as some other McClelland Virginia offerings, there’s a couple subtleties present that some of them lack. The nic-hit is just past the mild mark. The strength level is a couple steps shy of the center of mild to medium, while the taste almost reaches that threshold. No chance of bite or harshness exists here. The product is a little moist, but it needs no dry time. Burns cool, clean and a little slow as flakes tend to do, but they are easily broken apart to suit your packing preference. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires some relights. Has a pleasant, lightly lingering after taste. Can easily be an all day smoke. Has great age potential. Three and a half stars out of four.

15 people found this review helpful.

Big Train Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Train (50)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I simply cannot believe that Mike and Mary made a blend this good . Even by their very high standards this is exceptional . This is a complex Virginia that delivers simply the smoothest smoke that I have ever had .As the smoke progresses it goes from Virginia highlights to a deep and mellow flow with earthy overtones . Although it was freshly tinned this tobacco smoked like a xmas cheer that had a chance to ferment for a few years . I will wait a few months for the tobacco in my unopened cans to ferment a while and it will be even better . I cannot imagine where they got this Virginia but it might not have been on Earth . The tobacco is cut in little squares and rectangles and real easy to prepare for the pipe . The moisture level is perfect . A bunch of us opened this tin in Chicago this year . We had been smoking Four Square Red in a cutter top can . It was great . The Mc Clelland stood up to it very nicely . In my 55 years of smoking I guess that I have smoked it all . Nothing beat this .

15 people found this review helpful.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (169)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Wonderful and it should only get better with age. 40th Ann. reminds me of the level of leaf that McClellands uses for Christmas Cheer, but this has more heft and less tang. If you enjoy Virginias at all, you will love this.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

5 people found this review helpful.

Dmitri Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dmitri (3)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Mild to medium body Virginia Flake. Ready to be smoked from the tin, though air drying for a few minutes wouldn't hurt. Lights up easily and burns slowly and evenly to fine ligh gray ash. Tin aroma of dry fruit with a touch of citrus. Very mild and pleasant smock with not even a hint of tongue bite. Very pleasant natural sweetnes of Virginia, slightly tangy with touch of citrus and grassy overtones. Just enough spice to add complexity to the smoke. I am huge fan of Christmas Cheer and tried all of them for at least last 20 years, but this is even better. Probably the best Virginia Flake ever made!

5 people found this review helpful.

PeterD Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PeterD (91)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

...a very nice offering from McClelland...after several bowls, it has quickly become a favorite...More to follow after a few more bowls...I don't get any of the ketchup or vinegar smell or taste and this could be an all day smoke for many...

More to come...

Pipe Used: group 3-5size

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: higher quality than many straight Virginias....

4 people found this review helpful.

toddsmith7378 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
toddsmith7378 (9)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is my favorite blend I've smoked so far. I'd had my share of vapers before this, but never a straight Virginia and though I like my Vapers, this is just something special. There is jus something savory about it. It's not peppery like a vaper, but it has this tang of spiciness that is amazing. From the first puff to the last. It's a really flavorful fully tasteful Virginia. After enjoying it so much I picked up some 5100 red cake, hoping it would be a close enough flavor that I could not have to worry about the "limited edition" tag this has, and be able to enjoy that taste in bulk forever, but it just wasn't happening. I enjoy 5100 red cake, but the label on this isn't lying. It's a whole lot richer than the red cake. 1/2 a bowl in on the red cake, I taste a hint of similarity, but while red cake is kind of airy, this is rich flavor all the way. I really hope they find a way to keep this stuff around a while longer than "limited edition" would indicate. No tongue bite, just great taste.

Pipe Used: cobs and briars.

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Tobacco Junction

3 people found this review helpful.

butman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
butman (47)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Very Pleasant

I just got one bowl of this at the GKCPC meeting the other night. Boy, howdy. This a great tobacco. It will bear aging I should think, but even at this young age it was quite rewarding. Mike and Mary are just masters of Virginia tobacco.

Pipe Used: Ashton

Age When Smoked: 3 weeks

Similar Blends: Somewhere between Union Square and Telegraph Hill..

3 people found this review helpful.

Briar Baron Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briar Baron (6)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Yes, this really is a great tobacco. It has the same DNA as the Christmas Cheers offerings which are my favorites. Less ketchup smell than the CCs but as with them that note soon disappears and does not come through in the smoke. A little less tangy than the Christmas Cheers also. Seems to be pressed fairly hard so took a little more rubbing out than normal for this cut of tobacco. Perfect moisture straight out of the tin. Cellar some for sure, this will be a classic.

Pipe Used: Ferndown

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

Similar Blends: Christmas Cheer.

2 people found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (171)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Exactly what it says on the label. These broken flakes burn slowly with beautiful, and mellow yet rich Va flavour. Aside from the signature acetic McC note, this really is in the tradition of British flakes of years gone by.

It's not complex, but nor is it linear. There is plenty of flavour, and it is all ripe Virginia.

The flakes are thick and rubbery and they will not rub out completely by hand. Go with the flow and stuff and go. As others have noted, absolutely bite free and mellow till the last ash. Lasts an age in the bowl. Good for anytime, but well worth making this a 'down time' smoke.

As a final note, I found it did far better in briar than cob or clay, which is always a surprise to me when a tobacco does that.

Pipe Used: BC Old Root Bulldog

1 person found this review helpful.

billinrio Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
billinrio (1)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I simply had to try this after reading the enthusiastic reviews. I purchased two cans, opened one and will leave the other to age. I agree with my "golden nose and palate" friends regarding the aroma and taste. This is a truly excellent red Virginia. I don't agree with those who claim that this tobacco is "easy to rub out", especially not right out of the tin. It's a "broken flake", and the flakes that do happen to remain entire in the tin are about one and half inches long and quite thick. No way to fold and stuff these babies, and it takes some vigorous rubbing to break them down so the pipe can be filled. If they were thinner and more flexible I would give this tobacco the full monty. Expect some relights. As it is, I like it a lot, but it loses one star.

Pipe Used: Ashton XXX Sovereign Canadian

Age When Smoked: On the bottom of the can: 2017

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

1 person found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (161)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

A true short flake, but easy to rub. I don't rub much.

Smells great in tin, a true deep, spicy "red" note.

similar in flavor as Red Cake, but more robust and more body here. Just not quite as sweet. Still tasty.

A little less richness than some Christmas Cheers (which are not all red Va.). Not quite as rich or sweet as McC's Red Flake (which also is a single, periodic red crop, just not the same one here). This one may age to be sweeter, but it is just fine now. This may well be a limited addition.

Burns at a nice pace for a flake. Not hot or wet. Just slurp away. Can be smoked more than once a day. Great for a flake. A true fine for a flake. Often a pick of the little, or at least my default selection when nothing else will do. Other members of N.O. Pipe Club enjoy it too.

Pipe Used: Peterson Large Jap (POY 2017); Ashton ELX

Age When Smoked: new tin to two months

Purchased From: smokingpipes

Similar Blends: McC's Red Cake, McCranie's Red Flake, some McC Christmas Cheers.

1 person found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (806)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

Typical McClelland broken flakes with much less of the signature fermented Virginia aroma than most of their VA's. Purported to be a straight red, this also has streaks of light color I associate with lemon Virginia. Indeed, there was a definite citrus aroma among the normal red's deeper scent.

I've been working on this tin for a month and it finally dried on its own to the proper level. I've never smoked a Virginia tobacco that was this characterless right out of the tin. This needs drying time to get at those flavors the extra water hides. Dried out, this produced a nice mix of red's usual tang and punch with lemon's citrus and light sweetness. Not nearly as deep as a Christmas Cheer offering, this one does share with the CC's - and indeed, with all McClellands blends - a seamless top to bottom consistency of flavor. There were more differences within a single bowl than that of one bowl to the next. The flavor reminded me of various Christmas Cheers but this didn't have the depth nor the complexity, not to mention a lack of CC's vigor and boisterousness. This one was pretty subdued in comparison, and needs aging as much as it needs drying, as it tasted like a youngish strain of Virginia. Not that it was bad... in fact, it was very good. I'd say 3.5 stars but not a great 4 star blend - yet. However, I have a feeling it will become one in 5-10 years, so I'm keeping the rest of my stash to age.

1 person found this review helpful.

crazy owl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
crazy owl (70)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Just the better Va. flake ever smoked.It´s like a forgotten tin of Christmas Cheer in a dark corner of the cellar.Ripe to perfection,ready for smoking right now,aging neither needed nor desirable.A master piece from the great tobacco masters of Mc Clelland.Simply wow!.

Pipe Used: meers

Age When Smoked: fresh from the tin

Purchased From: smokingpipes

Similar Blends: an old tin of Christmas Cheers.

1 person found this review helpful.