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A clean smoking, lightly sweet and mellow taste from a blend of premium Virginias and cavendish tobaccos. A classic you'll be retrieving over and over for your pipe smoking pleasure.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsCavendish, Virginia
FlavoringAlcohol / Liquor, Other / Misc
CutCoarse Cut
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
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Room Note
Very Pleasant

Favorite Of 3 Users

24 reviews
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DeadMensPipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DeadMensPipes (38)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Out of the tin, this stuff smells wonderful. Not much more to be said about this blend than has been said by others below. However, when I read that this particular private label has been discontinued (Nording "Retriever") I wondered which McClelland blend it might actually be. Well, except for the very delicious tin note, which does not translate into the smoke - it is almost identical in taste and smoking quality to McClelland's Bulk No. 2050 Oriental Cavendish, which does not seem to have as strong of a casing or topping note. Since I wrote a more extensive review of that blend, you can go there to read it. The same description may be applied to Retriever. So don't be bummed out because Retriever has been discontinued - just order McClelland's Bulk No. 2050 Oriental Cavendish.

NOTE: This blend does not seem overmoist straight from the tin, but if you do not let it dry out for an hour before loading your pipe, it tends to smoke steamy with some gurgling and frequent re-lights. If you don't let it dry a little, just packing your bowl very loosely seems to do the trick and it smokes just fine. Tamp VERY lightly as it burns down.

4 people found this review helpful.

colonel jpl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
colonel jpl (20)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

This is a great blend. Open the tin and enjoy the hazelnut note. New from the tin expect a moist tobacco not wet. It burned well for me. the taste of the virginia came through mild and sweet. The room note is great.this is a good evening smoke. If you like aromatics try this

Pipe Used: ardor

Purchased From: smoking pipes

2 people found this review helpful.

crapgame1967 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
crapgame1967 (54)
Mild Mild to Medium Medium Very Pleasant

Perfect for being in the field or sitting in a chair watching the leaves fall! The hazelnut and caramel is what gives me pause when lighting this one, the tobacco needed to sit in my pipe after I first toasted it for about half an hour and even after being torched and sitting in my pipe the tobacco did not have that funky burnt taste one may expect from a relight tobacco. I had to relight a few times and still no relight funk. Aroma was to die for right from the tin and it smoked as well as it tasted or vice - versa. This is a winner and I will "retrieve" several more tins!

Pipe Used: Stanwell HCA

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: P/C online

1 person found this review helpful.

basko Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
basko (1)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

Very nice blend. I'm partial to virginia/cav blends, but don't like too sugary of flavor in my smokes. This has a light vanilla overtone and smokes very nicely. Lights well too!

Pipe Used: Solid Block meerschaum

1 person found this review helpful.

KD8TZC Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KD8TZC (2)
Mild Medium Mild Very Pleasant

My review is after smoking most of the entire 2oz container of this and I just love this stuff.

The first thing that I noted when I opened the can was the richness of the tobacco. It had such a beautiful scent to it... almost like brandied plums or something.

It burns well, and packs well for me. I did not notice much of a bite with it, but I did have some trouble keeping it lit in one pipe... I think that was more of an issue with the pipe than the tobacco though.

I was really disappointed though when I spilled a good part of this on the floor of my car... Luckily, I was able to get some of it back in the can without much fuss, but I did lose some of this beautiful blend.

As of this writing though, this has to be my favorite smoke... I just wish they made it is larger quantities or sold it in bulk (or I could find something in bulk that was close to this). I hear that it may be similar to the McClelland Bulk 2050... I will have to try it to see.

Similar Blends: McClelland - Bulk No.2050 Oriental Cavendish Mix.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Very Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

The tobacco does burn clean and you do get a sweet, almost banana budding (that's fermented) taste. Not really one I enjoyed much. It will stay lit well and won't goop up your pipe.

1 person found this review helpful.

Muddy River Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Muddy River (7)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

This is simply the best aromatic I have ever had. Its buttery rich flavor makes one consider trying it as chewing tobacco or for a snack. What a treat this on is. The tin smell is completely confirmed when smoked. If you like aromatics, this cool smoker will not disappoint.

1 person found this review helpful.

CaptnDan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaptnDan (242)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Very Pleasant

This is an aromatic lovers dream. A Cavendish blend without equal. The aroma is a real crowd pleaser. The mixture of Cavendish in this blend reminds me of Captain Black Royal.(Blue) - But where C.B.R. hits you between the eyes with flavor, Retriever is much more subtle. The Cavendish burns clean, leaving just the slightest moisture in the pipe. I even tried it in a Kirsten to see how much moisture there was ? surprisingly little.

The flavors stay in motion, with a steady dance of vanilla, chocolate, and spice dancing across the palate. I don?t smoke very many aromatics these days, but now and then I feel the urge. When the urge hits in the future, I will reach for Retriever. I started my pipesmoking journey with C.B.R, and I sometimes smoke a bowl of it for ?nostalgic? reasons. With Retriever, I can get the same tastes, but with the subtlety and nuance that I have come to appreciate, as well as real tobacco flavor. Highly recommended for fans of aromatics.

I used a 4-star rating of "One of my favorites, I smoke this regularly". I don't smoke aromatics that often, but the tobacco warranted the highest rating.

For the new pipesmoker who wants to smoke aromatics, this is THE choice.

1 person found this review helpful.

runswithdogs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
runswithdogs (15)
Mild Medium Very Mild Very Pleasant

This one is for those who favor aromatic pipe tobacco. If you don’t enjoy aromatics, you might not like this. Delightful room note, sweet flavor, burns well, little to no goop. I thoroughly enjoyed this! A perfect any-time-of-day smoke.

Pipe Used: Scott Klein billiard

Nobody has rated this review yet.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (180)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Just a so-so blend for me. I really wasn't impressed by it, but YMMV. This was at the right moisture level for me to smoke right out of the tin. It smoked well and I had no problems with lighting it up or keeping it lit once a lighter is put to it. Like I say, it just wasn't my cup of tea. Recommended to give it a go no matter, it may well be what you are looking for.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Paleoman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paleoman (9)
Mild Mild Very Mild Pleasant

My review follows 5 bowls in the same pipe, a Don Carlos rusticated billiard. My personal puffing regimen runs the gamut between light aromatics (Lane 1-Q and the Villiger/Stokkebye equivalent are regular smokes) to Latakia blends (Frog Morton blends are a go-to smoke). I provide this let others know my puffing preferences.

The tin aroma is very pleasant, and the blending of tobaccos and flavoring is nicely proportioned. The flavoring is cased in a way that does not produce a wet smoke. The blend burns clean to the bottom of the bowl to a nice gray ash. I detected the flavoring in the first quarter of the bowl. After that the Virginia hinted through occasionally but never quite enough for me. The room aroma was very nice according to others, with slightly nutty, sweet scent that was not overwhelming.

While I do recommend this blend and will buy another tin or two to puff, my motivation is less for myself than for the benefit of others. I received many complements on the aroma, and when I am out and about, it will be a nice puff, particularly since it is very forgiving if I occasionally puff a little too much. The blend does not bite if I am more vigorous in my smoke, but overall it is not one I would choose when I am back home and am seeking a blend to enjoy for me.

It was, as others have pointed out, a bit underwhelming but not in a negative way. It just did not excite me, and in the same way I will use the Lane 1-Q when I am in public, I will occasionally substitute this blend for public places or in the car.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

FP Stew Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
FP Stew (20)
Mild Medium Medium Very Pleasant

I was given a sample bowl at JR Fielding in St. Paul and was hooked. Great tin aroma and plessant smooth taste all the way to finish.

It is one of my crowd pleaser blends that my family and fiends all like.

I have also used it to blend with other bulk tobacco ... it adds a nice smoothness and sweetness to some of the strongers tobacco that I play with. I am glad to learn that it is still in production. It will be one of my staples.

UPDATE (1-16-2014) I still smoke this on occasion and enjoy it every time ... it is an excellet aromatic and a nice change of pace fromr the Virginia-Perique and English that I typically smoke. I still agree that it is a Perfect Blender. Finally, It ages well and I have yet to find anyone who dislikes the room note either straight or in a blend.

Age When Smoked: Tinned in 2011

Similar Blends: Golden Leaf - Frog Town.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Captain bob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Captain bob (38)
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

A friend asked me to smoke this blend and I agreed. I am impressed. I can't understand why this has presumably been discontinued. It deserves a place in the "best" mild aromatics of all time. Beautiful bellows of extremely smooth smoke, taste and wonderful aroma. My tin is dated 2/26/08. I treasure this sample and will keep it and smoke it until it is gone. I hope you all can grab a bowl full before it is gone from reach forever. Such a shame.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

john1179 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
john1179 (10)
Mild Medium Medium Very Pleasant


Nobody has rated this review yet.

BobB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BobB (19)
Mild Medium Mild Very Pleasant

Yep, hunt bird and have a black lab, gotta try this. Moist from the tin, not as damp as what I find in my McClelland's tins. Sweet almost candy like aroma from the tin. Room note is very nice,(earns the sacred "Wife Approval" rating). Everyone at work enjoyed the aroma. Very light and sweet tasting. Taste seemed consistent through the whole bowl. I would like more tobacco flavor,but not a bad experience. Just not satisfying for a real sit down and enjoy my pipe quality time. I'll finish my tins with no regret and give generous samples to friends. Happily, the quest continues...

4/23/2009 Okay, let me update, I work on a flightline at night. Sporadic action and almost nobody to bother me.

The above view lives, except that with McClelland 620, these two tobaccos are my easiest to enjoy, put down and come back to.

I've read that it has been discontinued, my tins are dated 2/2008, but I'm not taking any chances. I don't give out samples anymore and 20 more tins are on the way.

I have to upgrade to four stars for an everyday smoke. I know my stars look high on my reviews, but I discovered this site recently and it has led me in directions.

I've been smoking a pipe off and on for 30yrs and exclusively for the last 6 months, great intro to aromatics and a decent go to tobacco.


Nobody has rated this review yet.

peterson314 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
peterson314 (3)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I love this stuff. It won my heart with its phenomenal taste and its resistance to bite throughout the entire smoke. A great aromatic for those of you who want a little more from your aromatics. And since I'm not much a fan of Erik Nording's pipes, this tobacco makes up for that.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SGTPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SGTPiper (1)
Mild Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

I haven't been a pipe smoker for long but I would like to say that this blend would be a good beginner. Upon opening the can I got a nose full of caramel and amaretto. Upon putting flame to this tobacco I got the same throughout the whole bowl. It is very sweet. I would use this tobacco in an aromatic pipe. I'm a burley guy myself but this was a nice change of pace.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tboothby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tboothby (2)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

Conditions: Smoked outside in a Stanwell "Horn", cold weather, early evening.

Tin: As another reviewer has mentioned, this product smells as if it is something you eat. Very sweet, candy/caramel/(honey??) smell from the tin.

Smoke: Sweet smelling but not as strong as the tin smell. Very volumous/thick smoke.

Taste: Subtley sweet, a good tobbaco taste in mouth/nose.

Personal: A very pleasurable smoke. Good combination of taste and smoke texture. I would liken smoking Retriever to drinking coffee with cream in it as opposed to skim milk. The smoke is very full and buttery.

I would appreciate any suggestions about similar products.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nick O'Teen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nick O'Teen (90)
Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand why this one is no longer in production. Retriever (the correct spelling) is about as bland and boring as an aromatic gets.

There is some kind of very sweet casing that is difficult to identify.....maybe vanilla + something else. Retriever is not offensive in any way, it burns cool without bite. It also happens to be devoid of tobacco taste. If I didn't see smoke exiting from my mouth, I'd swear that my pipe wasn't lit.

Like canopener, I'll add some Virginia to this in an effort to salvage the tin.

If smoking warm, sweetened air is your'll love this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (171)
Mild Medium Medium Very Pleasant

The only reason I bought this tobacco was because I am an avid bird hunter who owns a Labrador Retriever. So when I saw the tin, I said why not? I bought it to smoke out on my hunting adventures with my lab. Now, I buy it because it is THE BEST aromatic I have ever smoked. The inital lighting brings out flavors of vanilla and maple, while the remainder of the bowl smokes fresh and cool, without any hints of biting. If you are an aromtic fan, do yourself a favor and pick up a tin of this. You will not be disappointed!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Harley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Harley (5)
Mild Mild to Medium Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

My latest favorite tobacco is Nording Hunter Blend Pointer. I like it so much that I hadn't opened the tin of Retriever until I finished two tins of Pointer.

On opening the tin, I smelled a very woody chocolate smell. I was concerned that the tobacco was too moist. But I packed my Nording Hunter, and started to enjoy the blend.

The tobacco crackled like frying bacon in the pan. The taste is very light. The tobacco does a fairly good job of stying lit despite the best efforts of the moisture content. It reminds me of a few of the other aromatic cavendishes I have sampled.

Mid-bowl, the flavor has become even milder. The crackling is gone. I would say this is a very non obtrusive blend with a nice room note. It would be very tolerable around non smokers.

Bottom line, I still prefer the Pointer blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SFC/E7 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SFC/E7 (93)
Very Mild Very Mild Mild Very Pleasant

Nording Retriver is another one of my favorite tobaccos to smoke, I could smoke this one all day long. Even though to me the aromatic is very mild it makes for a great smoke and people are generally not offended by the aroma.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (286)
Mild Medium to Strong Mild Pleasant

Nice strong,sweet tin aroma, just wish the taste matched. This one is much moister in the tin than I prefer and resulted in multiple relights even with varied packing techniques. I normally don't smoke aromatics but wouldn't class this as a 'light' one as per the tin label. Although it smoked cool without a hint of bite, I don't feel it's worth the premium price as compared to some drug store aromatics.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

canopener Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
canopener (5)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I bought this blend mistakenly for the Pointer blend of the same blender. Upon opening the tin, I was greeted by a rush of sweetness...chocolate mixed with caramel (I double checked to make sure I didn't buy a Milky Way candy bar instead). The tobacco was somewhat damp, so I let it air out for a few days before I put a match to it.

After day three of an open tin sitting out, I decided it was not going to get any drier (I now prefer drier blends) so I packed it in and lit up. The description on the tin suggests this is a light aromatic with VA/cavendish tobaccos, although right away I detected mostly cavendish...which, I can only assume nullified the few parts VA that were packaged in this tin.

The first bowlful was quite pleasant, with a flavor resembling that of a burley blend. It burned clean with almost no gurgling, and no bite. However I cannot say the same for the second. The first half of the bowl was much like the first, flavorful but mild with no gurgling or bite...the few days of drying must've worked...or so I thought. Gradually, a weak gurgle turned to a consistant gurgle, so I put it down for a bit. I fought through goop and gunk to relight about two hours on. The pleasant flavor had morphed to an ugly, sour monster. This was an A-typical, full blown aromatic.

My pilgrimage from cased aromatics to natural blends has taken a sharp detour with this one, however, I might try adding a pinch of this stuff with a straight VA blend to give it a little more kick every now and again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.