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Hand-blended, premium pressed Virginia flake tobaccos. A fine vintage, naturally sweet, in limited quantity.

Notes: Produced in 1992, 1994-present in limited quantities. Tinned in July of the respective year.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
CutBroken Flake
Packaging50 grams or 100 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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10 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

The familiar "vinegar/ketchup" smell was less noticeable in the taste of the tobacco than it was to my nose, though I didn't find it distracting. The Virginias were very ripe and dried dark fermented fruit sweet, rather tangy with some earth, and a little spice, sugar, and grass here and there. It burned slow with some moisture at the finish even when dried a little, but no dottle. Found it worked best when packed a little loosely. The nic-hit was mild with no bite, and had a consistent flavor, and a pleasant after taste. An all day smoke.

5 people found this review helpful.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

12-03-04 Age makes a difference!

Appearance and Tin aroma: Dark reddish flakes lots of sugar crystals (6 years aged). Yes, it has the tang you either love or hate.

Packing and Lighting: The flakes were pretty tough after all these years of ageing. I found that it burns a lot nicer if fully rubbed out. Took 3-4 lights to get it going.

Initial Flavor: If smoked gently, delicious sweet VA tanginess. If you puff on it too strongly upon lighting, you'll get a bitter and astringent flavor.

Mid-Bowl: Sipping at this point yeilds a sublime flavor. You can almost taste each leaf's distinct flavor.

Bottom of Bowl: A nice build up of strength and spicyness that is not overwhelming. Very nice! Light grey ash is all that is left.

Overall: This is not a beginners blend. I found it worked best in Group 3 sized bowls. You must have good control in order to get the pot of Gold at the the end of the Rainbow. If smoked gently and methodically, you will be blessed with a fine, fine smoke with a clean aftertaste when it is all over. Unfortunately, when this is all gone (I'm about 3/4 done on a 100g. Tin)it's gone. I suppose I am going to get on the ball and start buying these CC's from MCC every year now so I can age them.

Rating: 4 out 5 points, Enjoy!

2 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (492)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I have tried quite a few years of this annual McClelland offering and this is not the oldest, but it is the oldest that I could actually review. I was given a bowl of the 1994 offering at the last Chicago Show, but as is always the case with bowls at the Chicago show, they are accompanied by much whiskey and so many more bowls than I normally consume, that my palate is too overwhelmed to give a worthy review.

So I was happy when a friend from Quebec shared some of his bounty with me. This turned out to be about 4 big bowls worth. I am not good at differentiating between the diffrering vintages of CC as they all taste pretty similar to me, so I can't comment on how this particular vintage compares to the year before or after it, but with 20 years gone by at this point, I think it is a moot point.

Some say Virginias peak at 10 years aging, I say that is hogwash as I found this to be the sweetest tasting CC I have had to date and this comes not too far off finishing a tin of CC 2002 about a year ago. It was a phenomenal experience. The leaf itself did not contain much plume, actually less than was on the leaf from 2002, but it did not matter.

I have tins in the cellar dating from 2000 to the final year of 2017 (really 2016?) and this experience has mre really pleased at the prospect of trying these in the coming years.

As a friend once explained it to me. McClelland Christmas Cheer is to Virginia tobacco as the single malt is to Scotch whisky. And as always with the varying vintages, I highly recommend it.

Age When Smoked: 19+ years

1 person found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

After being gifted an ounce of this at a recent pipe show, I was hesitant to smoke it due to the number of poor reviews. With that said, when I finally did smoke the 11+ year old blend I was pleased to find a quality Virginia flake. '98 is wonderfully sweet, with no bite, even when pushed. I wish I had more of it. Most of my Christmas Cheer tins are less than four years old so I am going to stay away from comparisons. Like most straight Virginia flakes, they are not meant for beginners. It is a little light in the strength department for my tastes but if offered another tin at a reasonable price, it would be a no brainer. Recommended!

1 person found this review helpful.

RMP Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RMP (7)
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

After experiencing the '97 CC, the '98 was a real let down. I seemed to be just another Red VA, with no real distinguishing flavors to make it stand out. Of the '97 I bought 15 tins; of the '98 I bought 1 tin, and ended up using it as blending tobacco. This '98 CC was just a blip, as all the subsequent CC's have been noteworthy from the start.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CornCob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CornCob (94)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I had purchased two cans of this series(98'&02')and i held them in high regard and they earned a distingushed spot on the shelf next to my most prized vintage/limited edition blends, all but ready to be smoked with high anticipation when the time is right.Upon opening the can of 98', i was expecting a burst of festive aromas;nutmeg?eggnog?plum pudding perhaps?Instead i was met with christmas vinager!I was not optimistic at this point and was ready to call the whole thing off, but i perservered.I rubbed out a pinchful in my hand, then cupped my palms and went in for a sniff.I was greeted with a simple smell of the most typical run of the mill flakes on the market today.It took some effort to get it lit, but when it did, WOW did it burn hotter than hell.It lacked the flavour, complexity and body i had expected from a holiday smoke, especially one held in such high regard. Now thinking i had opened the only bad vintage, so i trucked on and against my better judgment i decided to open the 02' once my mouth had cooled. I so desperatly wanted to like the series, i wanted to look forwrd to ordering and smoking this treat of yule!But to my dismay and disgust there was absolutly no difference between the two in my opinion.I decided to give the two cans away to someone who may enjoy them, and vowed never to buy this series again. I think there are much better holiday/Christmas blends out there at better prices.

Nobody has rated this review yet.