Reviews: 83388 Tobaccos: 7257What's NewLoginRegister
Product Image


Regular red Virginias have a flavor that can best be described as toasty sweet. Processing and maturing red Virginia can bring some surprising results. People used to buy McClelland 5100 Red Cake by the pound because of its zesty flavor. For those who miss that terrific flavor, you should try Sutliff Matured Red Virginia 515 RC-1. This isn't an exact match for 5100, but it has a depth of flavor and a tang that you wouldn't normally find in a regular red Virginia, and it's priced very nice.

BrandSutliff Tobacco Company
Blended ByCarl McAllister
Manufactured BySutliff Tobacco Company
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Mild to Medium
None Detected
Mild to Medium
Room Note

Favorite Of 1 Users

5 reviews
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Sort By
Please login to review this blend.
StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1728)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Sutliff Tobacco Co. - Matured Red Virginia 515 RC-1.

A blend inspired by Red Cake? Tough act to follow. McClelland were the kings of tangy Virginias; to me, at least. So, how does it compare?

On a very minor negative it arrives a touch moist, but nothing a short airing doesn't solve. The nose from the pouch is McClelland through and through: ketchup!

I love the smoke, it's just like a McC' Virginia. The flavour's inordinately ripe, rich, and mature. It isn't just a Va of hay and citrus sharpness, it's deep, tangy and sweet. The burn's medium in speed, exceptionally cool, giving a smoke without a bite in it. This is a blend where a long review isn't required, it's just a great smoke!

Nicotine: quite mild. Room-note: nice.

515-RC? The description may say it's not an 'exact match', but it's damn close! Highly recommended:

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Rattray's Celtic

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

12 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2231)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

The fairly tangy, earthy, woody, ripe dark fruity red Virginia also sports a very light tart sour note with a bare hint of the floral and bread. The strength is a step past the center of mild to medium, while the taste is close to medium. The nic-hit is tad less potent than the strength level. Won’t bite or get harsh. It may need a very light dry time. Burns cool and clean at a slightly slow pace if the tobacco is moist. Has a very consistent sweet flavor with a touch of savoriness from start to finish. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasant, lightly lingering after taste and room note. An all day smoke that also makes a excellent mixer. It’s not quite McClelland 5100 - much less vinegar, and it's tangier, but just a little less sweeter - but it is the closest you will get to it. Should age well, though it’s ready to go as it is.


8 people found this review helpful.

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

I walked into my tobacconist and asked him for something reminiscent of the dearly beloved and mourned McClelland 5100 Red Cake. He plopped two jars down on the table and happily obliged to let me have a half a bowl or so of each right there. So, I chose the first jar, which happened to be Sutliff Red Virginia Ribbon, a fine choice, I thought. I lit my pipe and settled in, and what I found was a slightly young, tangy red Virginia with no reminiscent McC "smell", and only did I get pockets, or perhaps, subtle, faint hints of the old 5100 we know all know of. Happy, but not what I was looking for, I opened the next jar, and had my fill. This one brought me back to the same mental state that my brain associates with 5100 almost immediately. I found, though it wasn't quite the same, the hint of the McC Virgnia smell and hurriedly in excitement lit my pipe. Much better. Much more tangy in the same way 5100 was, and that deep red Viginia sweetness was present. I let my pipe go out, bought a healthy sized bag, and relit my pipe for the drive home. Hands down, folks, this is the closest you will get to 5100 this side of the moon. Granted, it comes a bit moist, and isn't exactly Red Cake, it's pretty damn close. I do get the sense that there is a hint of sweet topping that at times gets a little "sugary" for me, which is a difference between it and Red Cake, but hey, let's all appreciate that this tobacco exists, and be satisfied with this cheap, Red Cake-esque tobacco that will scratch your McC red Virginia itch. A final caveat - Let it age. It does seem a bit young to me, and will age beautifully, just as all Virginias do. I feel that with some age on it, it will perhaps be as close to Red Cake as anyone will get.

8 people found this review helpful.

ATW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ATW (72)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Since I found out McClelland called it quits, it got me into a Virginia kick. I was trying to find something to fill the void since to loss of 5100. While almost every blend was good in its own rite, it just isn't 5100. 5100 is what got me started in appreciating natural tobacco due to its pure, zesty, creamy, semi sweet, unadulterated nature. Just light it up, puff away and don't think about it type of blend.

That all being said, I think Sutliff knocked this one out of the park. I can only find 3 difference so far. The bag aroma if more of a straight vinegar then a ketchup smell, and the tang is more pronounced and the zest is a little lower. But that's all fine by me. To me, this is similar to a well aged 5100. No matter what, nothing will ever be like for like. But I'm pretty sure this will be very much appreciated by most. And I'm damn sure my sample is not going to last long.

Update 9-30-2018. A difference that I am finding between 5100 and 515 is I've noticed 5100 actually starts to lose its flavor in the last 3rd but 515 keeps gaining in flavor. The sweetness starts to turn into a very nice creamy caramel/mocha flavor. Almost like McClleland Virginia #27 and in some ways it reminds me of Samuel Gawith Best Brown Flake. Very very interesting. I am enjoying this more and more. A pound of this will be ordered very shortly. Excellent Virginia right here!

4 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (853)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

A Tale of Two Red Virginias, Part II. Golden ribbons with a bag note of hay. I get none of the McClellands-style sileage aroma from this, which was expected since it's not a McClellands blend. Came very moist and the proper moisture content was hard to dial in but it required some drying to get the PG to evaporate but not so much as to make the tobacco too dry. I left this one with a bit of moisture - not crispy. Review based on one ounce.

My first few bowls were what I would expect from a Sutliff match blend of #5100 Red Cake... very little depth, a definite subduing of the Red Cake tang and sweetness, and a fake "sweet-ish" taste from the PG (the flavoring I listed). I understand this is a bulk blend and requires some form of preservative, but I wish Sutliff could find something else, as the PG definitely contributes negatively to the taste and moves this further from a "match" blend (it isn't so named but Sutliff states that it's a substitute). But the good news is that there is almost no Sutliff signature chemical taste, once the blend dries out a bit. At any rate, as this blend dried on its own, it began to smoke more like a typical Red. Still nowhere near the depth of 5100, but at least moving in that direction. And once again, a single ounce of tobacco usually does not tell the entire story, even in a blend as simple as this one. I think this has potential - probably not to classic status like the McClellands but I would never expect that from a Sutliff blend, anyway. As a substitute for Red Cake, this one has a lot to aspire to, but again, I think it has the potential that, with some age on it, it might approach a fresh batch of Red Cake (which we will sadly no longer find). I'm going to pick up a half-pound and give it another spin in a year or so. 2 stars for my personal taste, 3 stars for its potential.

3 people found this review helpful.