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An elegant matured Virginia ribbon-cut blend, naturally sweet with that clarity of flavor possessed by only the best Virginias. Seasoned lightly with fine, cool-smoking Cyprian Latakia. Aged for months to mellow.

Notes: Originally released in 2002 to commemorate 25 years of quality tobacco manufacturing, a total of 3000 tins were issued wrapped in commemorative ecru paper with a red wax seal. A second issue, bearing a green wax seal and an updated date span on the paper wrapping (1977-2005), was released in 2005. A third issue, bearing a (brownish) natural wax seal and updated date span (1977-2010), was released in 2010.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland
Manufactured ByMcClelland
Blend TypeVirginia/Latakia
ContentsLatakia, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutRibbon
Packaging100g Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy 4noggins.com
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant

Favorite Of 3 Users

3.1
60 reviews
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Bear Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bear (24)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Like a lot of folks, I remember the old McClelland tobacco tins. Beautifully wrapped in white paper, with a giant, red wax seal displaying a Whale breaching the Ocean's surface in the moonlight, the tobacco was a stand out in it's market, even before you opened the freakin' tin.

Packaging: 100g tin, labeled with ecru paper, gold embossed logo and script. Covered in Ecru paper, sealed with red wax. Tobacco appearance and fragrance: Fully rubbed, good uniformity, overall very dark in composition. Upper olfactory registers the ever so faint McClelland signature acetic acid, with delicate hints of Latakia, rounding the lower realms. Perfect moisture content, by my tastes. Packs well, let take 'er for a drive!!! Flame hits weed, releasing soft clouds of muted fragrance, soft? This stuff makes velvet seem like sandpaper. The scent is primarily Va, with utterly no edge. Latakia is present, but in such small amounts that it only provides a slight darkness for the Moon (Va) to hang in. The Bear's palate can detect no orientals (save Latakia, if you choose to categorize it thus), and no perique. Burn was consistent all the way through, developing an extra dimension of nuts in the bottom third of the bowl. Bottom line: Outstanding example of a soft, all day, indoor English tobacco. Displays great finesse and breeding. Would especially recommend to those who prefer their weeds with less Latakia, and to Va lovers that would like to add an occasional Latakia into their rotation, but who have been put off by "Big Shouldered" Lats. 9 out of 10 Bear Claws.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

TK Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TK Pipe (101)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

McC Anniversary… Let me first say, Latakia is not my favorite flavor enhancer, like to much topping on a overdone Aro, IMO latakia can likewise ruin an otherwise good tobacco. But the good folks at McClelland did not just roll off a log when it comes to blending to perfection, and this blend IMO is just about perfection. I found it much easier to smoke than some of their (McC) other fine Virginia blends, Anniversary seems milder for one thing, and just seems to adapt to a variety my sometimes unorthodox smoking styles without getting nasty.

My tin had a hard brown wax seal, the tin was dated 2010 so I guess it is some of their latest lot of this product. Lights easy, and has a smooth creamy taste with some pleasant sweetness. I found almost zero true tounge bite, just the typical tingle, I get when smoking any full flavored VA.

IMO this blend is dominated by the flavor of fine Virginia's, with just the right amount of Latakia that is noticable in it's aroma, but not so much in its taste. For me, a worthwhile and satisfying smoke.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

ErichPryde Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ErichPryde (9)
★★★☆
Mild Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

It was the green wax seal and almost plain looking paper packaging that caught my eye. McClelland Anniversary? What's this? McClelland makes some (of what I consider) good tobacco! I popped onto this site and as soon as I saw that it was a combination of Virginia and Latakia, I was intrigued, and knew I had to give this a go.

This is one of those tobaccos that is truly different. After first popping the tin, the sweet smoke of latakia drifted up to my nostrils. Just the faintest hint of vinegar and BBQ sauce floated around in the air. I sealed it again, and upon popping it a second time, I was struck with a beautiful scent of dried sugar plums. Nosing this tobacco is a curiosity.

It's late 2011, and this tin was from 05, so perhaps it was the additional 6 years of aging this tin did in an Albuquerque tobacco shop. The moisture level was perfect- throughout the smoke, I got absolutely no gurgle, and next to absolutely no tongue bite. The other tobaccos I regularly smoke- They couldn't boast that on their virgin experiences with me.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I carefully loaded half a bowl into an askwith accustomed to english tobacco, and put flame to it. First light came and went, and the tobacco uncooperatively went out on me. The first tenative sips were almost exclusively the sweetness virginia leaf. The tangy, smoky latakia just barely started to underscore the Va leaf, but died with the flame. I patiently finger tamped the tobacco, and lit it again. Then, it stayed lit without complaint, The soft, silky smokiness of latakia filling both my palate and the air. The next puff was straight back to virginias- sweet lemon! Then Smooth smoky sugar. And again- back to white sugary sweetness that for just a fraction of a moment nearly reminded me of white cake.

I set the pipe down to go find a proper tamp just in case it decided to play with me more. I dug through a junk drawer, finally locating a czech tool on my nightstand. 3 minutes later, and this tobacco- amazingly- is still cooperatively lit in the pipe! And upon picking it up again I was struck by the true dichotomy of the tobaccos present- Balance is not a word suited to describe this tobacco, because although The Virginias and Latakias are evenly matched, it is not "balanced" in the way we use the term to describe a good english blend.

No. This tobacco IS equilibrium. It is the see-saw. not balance, but the act itself.

I don't know what category of smoker I fall into- I was an on again, off again smoker of aros for years, and then finally, several years ago wised up and picked up some "real" tobaccos. I tried an English blend at the local tobacco shop, and found it much too "strong" for my liking. So then, I looked into Virgina tobaccos. I bought some university flake, which was not exactly to my taste, and after trying a few others (including orlik's golden sliced) I settled on Marlin Flake as a semi- regular tobacco to smoke, finally moving somewhat back into the English tobacco scene when someone recommended Legends (and then Wilderness) to me.

But Marlin Flake was my primary smoke. Just... as I adjusted to the English blends, something began to disturb me, more and more, about the high Va content tobacco. Perhaps it was too sweet. Perhaps it was the mouthfeel. I don't know.

I think, when I picked up this tin, I was at that perfect moment when this tobacco would be my sunlight. I was lost somewhere between Va and Lat, with most aro's a distant, dusty thought in my mind.

And this tobacco fit perfectly into the transitioning gap I had made for myself.

Near the end of the bowl, it finally did gutter out and require a re-light. It re-lit without argument and stayed that way, but the quality of the smoke had changed again. It was thicker, creamier. There's something magical about the way a tobacco can change towards the end of a bowl. Perhaps, in those last minutes of bliss, this tobacco became more than the see-saw.

For those of you out there who are aromatic smokers just trying virginias, add this to your list to try in the not too distant future. If there is anyone out there, like me, who truly wasn't sold on the complexity of English or the sweetness of VA, This may be the blend for you. Some few pipe smokers will truly not appreciate this blend- the die-hard on either side of the Va(VaPer)//English(Balkan) line. Most will at least appreciate it. Some will love it. I for one, will be ordering additional tins for the cellar... It is perhaps the best marriage of sweet and fruity Va and smoky, luscious latakia I could imagine.

UPDATE 10/25/11: I still love this tobacco and stand by what I said, but this blend, as good as it is, does not compare to mcclelland legends.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (141)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Given McClelland's history of producing top quality products, one would expect that a blend meant to serve as a sort of flagship commemorative product would be outstanding. In that respect, Anniversary doesn't disappoint.

Anniversary is a bit of a cipher for me, as I can't think of anything quite like it. First off, the VAs are superb but different than any I've sampled before. The tin description for this mixture says they have "clarity," and it's correct -- they have a lot of high notes and an almost fragile quality about them. Another way of describing this is to say that the range of VA flavors are exceptionally well-defined. I get primarily hints of lemon, cinnamon, and cane sugar as well as the signature McClelland's tang (some call it ketchup or vinegar). There is very little of the depth I experience with, say, Blackwoods Flake or Dark Star. The VAs are delicious, but also thin -- they have little in the way of a bottom note. To invoke a musical analogy, the VA flavor is akin to listening to a symphony played entirely on flutes: achingly beautiful, in large part because it's so delicate, even ephemeral.

This is where the cyprian latakia comes in. Most of McClelland's most successful products are straight VAs, and I imagine there might have been some temptation to release an all-VA blend. That would have been a mistake in this case, snd the decision to use latakia in Anniversary was absolutely perfect. Rarely have I encountered a blend in which the attributes of latakia when used as a condiment are so dramatically illustrated. As the tin description indicates, it slows the burn and cools the smoke. More importantly, it provides desperately needed bass notes to the concert, anchoring the performance in a way that allows the VAs to dazzle the audience with intricate solos.

Okay, okay -- I'm maybe waxing a little too poetic here. Oddly enough, it's not even that I like this blend THAT much (it's not a desert island smoke to me, as much as I enjoy it). It's too mild, for one thing. It's also not at all complex. But I am really impressed by the overall composition of this mixture -- this is one of the best presentations of both latakia and VA that I've come across. There is almost no integration of flavors here, and this blend is all the better for that lack. The sharp contrast of sweet/smoky allows both types of leaf to really shine. For this reason, Anniversay might be the most ideal introduction to latakia I could imagine, and it could easily turn someone into a drooling addict of McClellands unique style of VAs. I find it interesting to note that many reviewers have said they feel that Anniversary has more latakia than advertised. I'm not sure I agree with that assessment. Instead, I believe that the latakia is thrown into such a sharp contrast by the VAs that the smoky taste seems far more potent than the actual proportions would indicate. I actually get more of the spicy nuances that define latakia's flavor from this blend than I do from many Balkans, even if the brute strength isn't there.

Anniversary doesn't fit well into traditional categories, at least not in my opinion. It's obviously not a straight VA blend, but I also wouldn't call it an English mixture even though its ingredients should automatically qualify it as such. But the flavors simply don't remind me -- even in passing -- of a traditional English or Balkan. What Anniversay DOES make me think of is that genre known as "American English," in which blenders typically use a base of burley and varying amounts of latakia (sometimes with other leaf included in condimental amounts). I just can't put it in the same category as Westminster or Commonwealth, but I do find it very easy to compare it to Epiphany, Bald-Headed Teacher, or Morley's Best. Strange ....

Anyway, the burning qualities of this are typical for a ribbon cut. It's a lot drier than most McClelland products, which is a nice surprise. I experience minimal tongue irritation with Anniversary, which I consider essential to my enjoyment of a blend (my mouth is quite sensitive to VAs). The strength is also minimal -- there's more nicotine here than in Frog Morton, but not by much.

This is one of those blends that makes me wish that tobaccos were rated here using five stars instead of four. Why? Three stars doesn't seem to do this justice, but Anniversary also doesn't quite deserve the highest rating available. I would like to give this four out of five stars, but I guess I'll just call it a 3.5. If nothing else, I have a hard time imagining anyone genuinely disliking this mixture (unless they just despise latakia) and I'm sure that some will love it. As I said earlier, I doubt this stuff will ever be a true favorite but I nonetheless hope to have a tin on hand at all times. I could easily imagine some smokers calling it their Holy Grail.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (529)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

An excellent virginia blend with a smidge of latakia. The virginias are naturally sweet and complex and the addition of a light amount of latakia really takes this blend to another level. On the face of it, it seems that mixing two tobaccos together should be easy. As an amateur blender, I can say it isn't!

I never got a chance to smoke the original issue but this 2005 is excellent. It has a nice level of smokiness... not too much so that the virginias are buried, but enough to elevate this beyond their green Oriental series. This is one blend that in my opinion the smoker needs to exhale through the nose, at least occasionally, to get the most from it. It's very nuanced, and simple puffing will cause the smoker to miss a lot of the subtleties. Exhaling through the nose includes the entire tasting palate and elevates this blend to superstar status. Anniversary is that good! I'm going to stock up on this and hope that when this vintage is gone, they'll come out with another that is just as excellent!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (119)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This review is based on the later release, with the green wax seal - the date stamp on the bottom of the tin indicates 2005.

Upon opening I was surprised how comparatively little of the signature McClelland ketchup aroma is present and how forward is the Latakia smokiness. The label says "seasoned lightly" with Latakia but I take issue with their interpretation of "lightly." Seems to me from the aroma, the appearance, and the taste that there is a bit more in there than the description suggests.

I have loaded this blend traditionally and with the Frank method, the latter seeming to provide a bit more consistent flavor throughout the smoke. And what a wonderful smoke it is! The natural sweetness that is indicative of a very fine Virginia leaf is unmistakable, while the Latakia smokiness is also right there in the foreground. Both characteristics blend smoothly but remain distinct and enjoyable throughout the smoke. I could not detect any flavorings.

Again, the level of smokiness indicates to me there is more than just a light serving of Latakia here. Seems to me it's more likely in the 20 to 30 percent range. The flavor is neither monochrome nor complex, but the constant interplay of VA sweet and LAT smoke compliment one another perfectly. Rather mild, very well behaved in the combustion department, providing copious smoke, and great flavor to the very end make this an ideal all day smoke.

I can easily see myself stocking up on this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

haredawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
haredawg (46)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I?ve really tried hard to like McClelland blends, really hard. They are a big furry lovable company with a great many suitors, and, gosh darnit, they?re American as Apple Pie. Apple Pie with Ketchup. No matter how I try to get around it, that ketchup in the tin just bugs me, even in their heavier latakia blend, the ketchup rises to the top. It?s not like it tastes like burning ketchup in the bowl or anything, it?s just getting that far, packing ketchup into one of my precious Radices? or even one of my not so precious Savenelli?s, or decidedly knock around Peterson system pipes. That said, I really like the anniversary blend. Not sure why exactly, it?s not like you can?t tell it?s a McClelland blend or a bottle of Heinz from across the room, but burning in the bowl it?s sublime, a subtle combination of sweet and earthy, complex, mysterious, like an aged Pu-Erh cake or something dark and red in bottle in a cellar. After the char it stops smelling like ketchup too. I?d suggest it?s just the aging, their anniversary being almost four years ago after all, but I?ve smoked aged McClelland blends before that weren?t good enough to get me over that ketchup hump. No, this is a superior blend of tobacco, and though I might have limited credulity here (if I like it four stars, if I don?t one, no in between) this really is a four star blend, unless you don?t like Virginia blends at all.

If I were helping wean someone off of aromatics, this is the blend I?d choose, not because it?s similar to any aromatic, but because it?s a very well behaved Virginian, no biting or barking, and because unless you have a stubborn palette, it?s hard not to like this stuff, and it?s mild but not bland and not lacking in nicotine. Ok, shutting up. Four stars. Smoke it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

A. Morley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A. Morley (72)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

When I smoke a blend consisting of nothing but Virginia and Latakia there are two things that I have come to expect. First that I will be treated to a tangy, meaty, smoky combination that both invigorates and relaxes; second, I expect this experience to be negatively augmented by a fair share of heat in smoking that detracts from the overall experience in that I have to be extra careful not to scorch my tongue and ruin all further enjoyment of flavor. It is the one great curse of all blends of this sort.

Or, at least, it was up until now. Somehow, the notoriously inconsistent McClelland Tobacco Company have managed to make a blend of naught but Latakia and Virginia that not only showcases all of the best smoking, olfactory, and visual appeals of those varieties of leaf, they do so without any heat or harshness coming through in the smoke. This stuff is good, righteous good and a truly worthy commemoration of the company?s fortuitous anniversary. Truly, that charming waxen seal was not wasted on these tins.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

JustPlainChris Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustPlainChris (11)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Like so many before me, I read the reviews here and also noted Mr. Serad's glowing accolades in P-T Magazine. The presentation of the tin is magnificent with white paper wrapping the tin itself and topped of with an old-style wax seal bearing the famous McClelland whale. I carefully opened it and the seal now sits proudly upon my bookshelf. Upon opening the tin, my nose was greeted with the wonderful smell of fine, aged, natural tobacco and the wonderful smoky scent of Latakia. The moisture level was spot on for my money and the ready rubbed cut was exemplary. Packing was easy in all of my various pipes. Unlike many others, I had no problems lighting this tobacco nor keeping it lit. Just smoke slowly and patiently and use the tamper wisely and you should have no trouble.

(I think too many pipe smokers tend to puff too fast, and thus, either fail to enjoy the blender's labors and/or scald their poor tongues and blame the tobacco and not the technique.)

The first impression of taste was of sweet, fragrant Virginias with the Latakia only there to compliment and add coolness. As the bowl burns to midpoint, the Latakia fades away and comes back at just the right time. The aroma is of fine, burning tobacco and to me the room note was delicious to smell both during the smoke and after the pipe was back resting in my cabinet. My wife, on the other hand, hates any pipe smoke that doesn't smell like a Glade scented candle, and her comment was "Oh! Stinky!" That sealed the deal for me and this shall now be added to my growing rotation! This is a very satisfying smoke if you smoke it slowly and actually take the time to try and taste all the nuances it brings to your senses. I really enjoy many of McClelland's fine tobaccos, and this one is definitely worth trying. It is something special.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

NapaWineLover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NapaWineLover (66)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

After having a number of tries at this tobacco from samples or from friends sharing out of plastic bags etc.... I finally decided to buy it myself. Until then, as with many other blends, it just wasn't the same. How people store their tobacco, reconstitute dried tobacco and a plethora of other conditions matters greatly to the experience. Until I started buying tins of this myself, I was not a fan. Then ... it all changed. I love the blend. Its in the greater rotation and I'm often a pig about it ... lighting consecutive bowls. Probably because the tin reads 'for special occassions' - my version of 'stick'n it to the man' ... but it's always terrific.

As usual with tinned tobacco, a little airing goes a long way. I like to open them ... seal with the supplied lid and sniff it a few days before smoking. Quite often I empty the contents into a mason jar and come back a week later to begin consuming. NO plastic bags and NO squirting distilled water on it. If it goes a little dry in a pouch, I'll reconstitute it in a humidor. Period.

Well that is why it took me so long to circle back and re-try this blend. I'm glad I did. It is a classic. Not overly complex, not boring at all. Wonderful high quality and very refined.

Cheers, VC

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

bernie c Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bernie c (6)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

After reading William Serad`s review of this tobacco in Pipes And Tobacco magazine, I knew I had to try a tin. Beautifully packaged with a wax seal over the paper wrapped around the tin, I felt that this was going to be `it`. McClelland tobaccos have always been a favourite of mine, and this was supposedly their flagship offering. First impressions: The smell of latakia coming from the freshly opened tin was stronger than I had expected. I thought this might have just a little dash of the black smoky stuff..but actually it`s quite prominent..although in absolutely no way overpowering. Smoking it...Anniversary is a real treat. It has a deep mature virginia taste, but with enough latakia to add a delightful amount of depth without going into the realms of a full english. The taste becomes more complex as you progress through the bowl. All in all, this is a great tobacco...and as the tin suggests, should be saved for special occaisions. I am aging a jar of this in my tobacco cupboard and can only imagine it will improve with time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I waited three years to break the seal on this blend since I was only able to secure a solitary tin in 2002. Reading the reviews of this during my waiting period did not motivate me to get into it sooner.

Now that McClelland invites us to continue in joining the celebration of their founding with a regular supply of 25th Anniversary, I am now imbibing.

This blend is a gift to anyone capable of appreciating just how splendid matured Virginia tobacco can be. Reminiscent of Royal Vintage Matured Ribbon, 25th Anniversary blend is even deeper, richer, heavier and wondrously confectionary (without the slightest addition of sugars or topping) mélange.

The Virginias hit all the notes at various times throughout a bowlful, with emphasis on the darker VA flavors. This is fairly potent and near full-flavored in its class.

The Latakia is neither stingy nor the bulk of the flavor, yet there is plenty present nonetheless. It shows a side of McClelland Cyprian Latakia atypical to that of say British Woods, the Bombays, or Frogs (where applicable). Meaning, the Latakia here seems a little more distinct, spicier and richer and not muted as I note in my reviews of RV Latakia #2 and Frogs.

I think that the McNeill's choice of this style of blend to mark such an auspicious occasion tells us much about them and their perception of their loyal customers. I would have thought of a special flake tobacco more likely ala roll cake or something, but this was inspired to show their unexcelled processing and blending skills (not to mention patience).

The first third of a bowl is the sweetest part of the smoke and most varied, with Latakia keeping far in the background. Things even up between the VA and Lat mid-bowl and the last third is all about the richest flavors, especially that of the smoky smoked Smyrna called Latakia. From the nose of the unburned blend to its finale, there is nothing to disappoint and enough reasons to cellar for future privileges. Sip do not chug, a cool experience waits. Cheers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Cooksmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cooksmoke (29)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Twenty-fifth Anniversary is for me an all time favorite. The rich blend of latakia and virginia tobaccos was just right. This is all to rare a blend. The pack and burn were perfect. Rich and smokey the blend was a delight to savor.

I especially enjoyed this in a meerschaum in the evening where I could relax and enjoy it. It has plenty of high notes. The strange, McClelland taste was in the background to be sure, but not as pronounced as in some blends, and I like it anyway. This is an excellent blend well deserved of its appelation. There are several tins of this stored away in the cellar.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

ArtGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ArtGuy (8)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I found this to be a very well balanced blend throughout. Enough smokiness from the latakia to make things interesting and healthy amount of sweetness to satisfy my love for Virginias.

For a latakia mix, the room note is not bad. I smoked this over the holiday and even my sister in law commented on the nice pipe smell emanating from the patio.

One of McClelland's best to date. If you find a place that still has it, buy all of it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (135)
★★☆☆
Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is an aged virginia blend consisting of rich red ribbon, stoved virginia, and some latakia. That's all. The black leaf is not all latakia. But there is no other condimental leaf in the mixture.

Virginias, not latakia, dominate the flavor, but the black stoved virginias add depth and the subtle latakia adds coolness.

When I first tried the blend after the first of the new year in 2002, the bottom half of the smoke developed too much in strength. I realized the blend, probably already aged for over a year by the manufacturer, still needed another 6 months plus aging. Now, after 7 additional months in my "cellar" (boxes), I am smoking up the final two-three ounces in a medium large Wiley rusticated horn. I have a few bowls left. It is much smoother now but still on the strong side of straight virginia blends.

It is heavier than Oriental No. 1 (which is a mild-medium English and which has more of a red virginia base and less dark leaf) by the same manufacturer, but not as dark tasting or rich as Mc Crainies' Murdocks Pipe (which is Scottish and has more dark leaf including more latakia, added perique, etc.), also by the same manufacturer. So it is a middle of the road between these two but still weighs in closer in fullness to the latter, Murdocks (which is much smoother and more balanced to me even though it has heavier tobaccos). The manufactuer has other somewhat similar red-stoved va. blends and flakes, like Butera's matured ribbon, but the latakia here is what makes this one different.

You can still taste the red virginias in the blend even with the darker leaf which adds a deep contrast to the flavor. It has weight, is not hot, and is fairly steady burning after you have the bowl going good. If you are a straight virginia smoker and want somether with a little more weight than virginias alone, give this a try. I understand the manufacturer will continue to make this into the future and so it will not remain a limited edition.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Tigerdad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tigerdad (3)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I just came back from CORPS in Richmond Virginia. On a table outside the hall sat an open tin of Anniversary.

Let me say that I don't like latakia blends because IMO the latakia usually overpowers everything else. Moreover. smoking latakia makes me cough. But in a moments madness I began to pack my Ashton OC XX Billiard. I noticed first the rich virginia tin aroma with the characteristic McClelland fruit with just a hint of smoke. [Land sakes, I don't get this ketchup business. What you're smelling is high sugar Virginia tobacco.] The tobacco packed well and lit easily. The first taste was of rich virginia with the slightest taste of latakia. As I smoked, I noticed the latakia began to assert itself but did not overpower the smoke. Anniversary burned well with few relights until the last quarter bowl.

I hope MClelland continues to favor us with this blend as a change of pace for Virginia smokers. In Anniversay we have latakia used as a spice but not the whole meal.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Daniel Morlan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Daniel Morlan (50)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

Without a doubt, the absolute best of the best as far as full-flavored pipe tobaccos go. It is an absolute treat. The flavor is rich, complex, and has that McClelland's saltiness to it that makes it an unmistakably McClelland tobacco. I've never had a tobacco that can be so smooth and so harsh at the same time. I love the beginning of the bowl, but it gets a bit rough towards the end. I have to remind myself to sip slower near the conclusion of the bowl. I can't wait to get my hands on (or make) a churchwarden so I don't have to worry about the bite so much.

I give this tobacco a whopping 8/10. It's hands down my favorite non-aromatic tobacco.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1004)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

First, let me say how much I appreciate McClelland's tobacco company for all it has done for our hobby. They have many wonderful blends to choose from, including 25th Anniversary. My pipe club popped a tin of this at our 5/28/02 meeting. All 16 members who attended tried a bowl and the reviews were very, very mixed.

About half the group enjoyed the upper part of the bowl, but agreed that the blend turned harsh and bitey as the smoke progressed. It starts out sweet with the virginia and smidgen of latakia intermingling well. But, as the smoke continued, it was obvious the virginias could have used a bit more aging. This led us to believe that cellaring the blend for a year or two will make this an awsome smoke.

The other half of the group enjoyed the blend from top to bottom. Their impression of the virginias was that it was stronger near the bottom, but not harsh. My personal belief is this group boasts leather tongues!

I suggest you grab a tin or two, stick it in your cellar, and pop the tin a year or two on down the road.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (121)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

When I saw a tin of this at my local B&M, I simply had to have it and give it a whirl. It was well worth the slightly higher price. First off, this is a marvelous blend that you just wish McClelland had made a ton of. All the components come together for me the almost perfect smoking experience. The packaging just adds to the pleasure of getting to the tobacco. High recommended, if there is any left I would grab them.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darth Vader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth Vader (72)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Nice packaging but the tobacco fails to deliver the expected amazing smoke in my opinion. Pretty mild; to my tastes it is very one dimensional and while this tastes ok, it doesnt really excite me. The Lat is tangy with no bitterness and i feel it's the quality of the Latakia that lets this down. Since i wont buy any more of this, there will be more tins available for the people who love it. Everyone wins.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

derlict311 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
derlict311 (65)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is a review on the second issue of this Anniversary blend from 2005, dated 9/2005. What a treat! I can't say that I've ever smoked a blend with seven years of age on it. The tobacco was dark brown with shades of latakia mixed in. The smell was lighter that I expected but had remnants of the McClelland smell I've gotten use to, some "ketchup and/or pickles". AB was physically lighter and drier than I'm use to with any ribbon cut, no doubt due to the years it's lived in a vacuum abyss. At first, I hardly notice the latakia. The orientals and mellowed-out virginia takes the lead. The latakia becomes more pronounced and begins to really show itself after the bowl warms up and boy does it take over towards the finale! I smoked some with my friend who manages Ted's Tobacco in Omaha. Both of us had a pronounced pipe-smoker buzz and we weren't real sure if it was the N factor or the unknown qualities from the aging of the tin. Regardless, it smoked like a dream needing only a couple relights. Smoking AB is something special and puts me firmly in the camp of those who seek aged tobacco. I am going to savor the rest of it, making it my nighttime blend for the fall season.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipelovingcalvinist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipelovingcalvinist (68)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I had high expectations for this 2002 blend which is perhaps why I feel so let down. I was expecting some great aged flavors but it just tasted bland. I did like the latakia that was used in this blend, it had a nice creosote taste but that's all that shined in this blend.

Soli Deo gloria!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Brother Of The Leaf Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brother Of The Leaf (8)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant

The Anniversary I'm smoking is the 1977-2010, brown wax seal. As others have noted the packaging is outstanding. The wax seal is a great touch. When smelling the tobacco in the tin I pick up both the spiciness of the Latakia and the sweetness of the Virginias. The tobacco packs nicely, but was a little difficult to light and keep lit. Just as a side note I'm reviewing this on a fresh tin. I'll come back and update once I've let it dry out a little. The tobacco gives a very sweet blueish smoke and produces a nice white and black ash. I get a bit of tongue bite, but this could be due to the wettness of the tobacco. As of now I'll give this tobacco a 3/4 and will update once it dries out.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipester1990 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipester1990 (5)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I am a huge fan of Virginia Tobaccos. I am a true believer in aging and this can is already pre-aged. I love the fact that it is so mellow on the draw, and even if you over puff, the tongue bite is not unbearable. I would say this is a good smoke for someone who wants to try a Virginia Blend for the first time. McClelland has been making excellent Virginia tobacco for years. Good starter tobacco for people venturing off into another type of blend as well. This is a mild english with virginias mixed in. Starts off with a sweet and mellow taste and develops over the course of the bowl to become more sweet and more smokey. Great smoke for the money. I found a tin of this at a local tobacconist and was impressed with the packaging as well as the wax seal that holds the paper together at the top. Really an elegant tin design. Definitely an impulse buy for me but it was worth the $16 I paid for it. I will make sure I pick up another tin hopefully when I finish this tin if the tobacconist has not sold out of the 10 tins they had in stock. I hope this review was helpful and I look forward to seeing future reviews on this tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

briarroot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
briarroot (4)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I was donated some of this at my local pipe and cigar shop. I am a VA lover and this has it in spades but the Latakia seems to do something to the blend that reminds me of menthol. It smokes a little "too cool" if that makes any sense. I had anticipated really enjoying this one, but it was not to be. It is not fault of McClelland, it is just not my personal tastes. the VA and Latakia felt at odds with each other. Sometimes I felt as though the latakia was just drying and taking a toll on what I knew to be some great sweet VA. I found this blend to do nothing special for me. It was a great smoke in that it stayed lit and packed perfectly.

In these reviews I hope to show my tastes and give readers something to identify with, as that is how I use this site. I find a reviewer with similar tastes and explore the tobacco's they rate highly.

the tin presentation is superb and so are the ingredients. I smoked this through a few different briars and found the results to be the same. A smokey flavor that just slightly pushed the sweetness of the VA around. Not enough for me to give up on the bowl but enough that if felt like the pairing wasn't as balanced I had wished for.

If you like a bit of latakia give it a go, if you want to really taste those Virginias go elsewhere.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (120)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Tin date 092005. Latikia blended perfectly with the VA. Sweet and creamy, this is one of the few McClelland Va's that do not bite my tongue. Rich and chewy smoke, burns perfect to the bottom of the bowl. Moisture content perfect upon opening. A definite recommendation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

A7Guitar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A7Guitar (5)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As a new pipe smoker my knowledge is somewhat limited yet I felt I had to try this once it came in from JR Cigars due to a shipping error on their part instead of what I was supposed to be shipped. However as this was $4 more expensive than what I ordered I thought not to look a gift horse in the mouth so to speak. Upon opening the 3.5 ounce tin there were heavily severe notes of ketchup and vinegar but not so bad as to make one rethink trying it. I pulled some out to break it up a little as I do with all my tobaccos and noticed it feels very dry compared to everything I have smoked so far. It packs into a pipe just like any other tobacco and lighting takes about average around other tobaccos of this price. The only downside is after about 2 1/2 short puffs from this it went out and had to be relit. Now as Ive said I am new but this is quite odd considering I can usually manage at least 5 long puffs at least on every tobacco. This was in added oddness to the fact that as Ive said it feels very dry out of the tin. I am unsure about this but considering its flavors it is worth trying. I have actually successfully gotten it to burn longer by mixing it with some 777 amaretto and it even broadens the flavor gamut. I will air this out more but it is definitely one of those tobaccos you will have to give a try. If you like it then you will surely be keeping it around even if it has problems with short burn time for whatever reason.

Additional notes: I have noticed but to me it seems odd that the top 3/4 of the bowl burns so fast and what im left with in the bottom of the bowl while maintaining the flavor seems to last much much longer than say a full bowl of other tobaccos.

In addition as far as JR Cigar goes im glad they screwed up my order this time. This was a great smoke but as I checked with them by phone and through their website they have no more Anniversary 2005. Im not sure why it is still listed as such but a sure way to tell what you have is by the end date on the tin and the wrapping. On the wrapping for instance mine said 1977-2010 indicating it was made in 2010 however one stating 1977-2002 would be from 2002. Also look on the bottom of the actual tin itself as mine was stamped 09 2010 which I can only guess is the month and year of either its packaging or of the tobacco's month and year in age.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tortuga Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tortuga (17)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This review is from a sample of the 2005 edition and it was 5 years old before I smoked it.

It took me several bowls to get it. At first it seemed a bit too simple. Va. Latakia. I kept wanting to insert oriental flavors that are so often companion to the two main ingredients. The latakia is a good one and it is always pleasant. The Va. is the real show and the stuff is terrific. Very sweet and mellow. When I realized that the purpose of latakia in this blend is to throw the Va. into relief, I understood. The latakia is there to underline the Va. This truly is a Virginia blend supported as it may be the latakia. It really isn't missing anything if you enjoy a mild smoke of a flavorful Va. If you find yourself drawn to this blend, it is definitely worth a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fellow traveler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fellow traveler (64)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

If we have called some blends kings of the flavor range, we are now in the presence of a genuine emperor. For many smokers, it is the indisputable number one. If you have scaled all the heights of the art of pipe smoking, there, if you dare try this blend, it will be love from that moment, and you will not want to know anything about the others. It is the blend par excellence of great times, public or private. Giving yourself Anniversary from McClelland is giving yourself the pleasure of smoking one of the finest tobaccos in the world.

As good as a Partagas Lusitanias, yes, that good!,,,,

or listening to a silver flute in the great dome of the Taj Mahal.

Or perhaps you choose to continue the quest for that clumsy dull eyed ox complexity, as you wish. Just remember that simplicity is the teacher of complexity.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

arpie55 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
arpie55 (27)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

my first 2 bowls of this were pleasant enough but after having smoked it for awhile i find it to be rather boring. it tends to have just one line of flavor all the way through a bowl and if not careful it tends to bite. i am a big fan of most mc's va. blends but would not buy this again, i am even sorry that i bought it in the first place. i thought maybe adding a little blending perique would make it more interesting but did not really even have good results with that.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

t-rexxx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
t-rexxx (5)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

very smooth and ready to smoke right out of the can.bought 5 tins after a sample from a friend.burns well and stays lit to the end a rich tasting mccranies red ribbon with a little latakia kick.my tins are all from 2001.Once you open the tin you can't stop.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

My tin is the 2005 run. I smoke Latakia blends as a change-up, but really like the touch of Latakia found here. I could smoke it all day. The Virginias are high quality, as I would expect from McClelland.

Downgrading to three stars-that is just my opinion. Still a tasty blend, but it is not going to make my greatest hits list.

Edit 7-18-12: Well, I'm well into a huge Marxman Jumbo-full of this blend, and I like it. Maybe a bit more Latakia than Oriental #1, and the thing is with this one, is that it has the Latakia combined with that well-known "vinegar" thing found in McClelland matured Virginias. I just don't think it would be the first McClelland I would buy again, unless I got a really good deal on it.

So, I'll smoke up the rest I have, enjoy it, and stick to McClelland Matured Virginias and Christmas Cheer before I go buying anymore of this.

Don't get me wrong; I'm enjoying this pipe, but I think my main issue with it is that I don't like the typical McClelland "vinegar" (even though I know that's not what it really is) combined with this Latakia. It has taken me a while to finish this tin, and I gave some away, so I guess this is my final word. Still recommended, of course, even if it's not my favorite McClelland.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

OPCguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OPCguy (46)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I finally popped a can of this stuff and glad I did...yum yum. I have a bias going into any McClelland blend and that is I expect a lot which given that I am not neutral can hurt the review or help it. Because I have high expectations when trying a new blend by them I suppose I can be let down easily but not with the case of Anniversary...its pretty darn delightful!

I am a sucker for marketing so the packaging is top notch here, wax seal...common got to love it. Tin smell is a tangy mild ketchup not quite as ketchuppy as the Frog but noticeable. This is a well behaved smoke, packs well and burns consistently after initial scaring. On intake you get the mouth watering tangy Virginia and exhale the cool-smoking Cyprian Latakia which tames the Virginia quite nicely without destroying it. This is a one-two punch smoke and could be an all dayer no problem.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

northernsmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
northernsmoke (2)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

This is a wonderful blend of VA/Latks. My tin needed a good week before the moisture level was down enough for a good pack. It burns clean with the sprinkle of latakia. I didn't have to rub much out except for the occasional little brick. Take time to savor this one because the flavors towards the end are quite tasty. I got some fruit flavors...lemon, orange, cherry, grape but these were really just highlights to the overall robust brown sugar body of the smoke. A delicious tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Big bad Jon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big bad Jon (232)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

I had waited a very long time trying to find one of the original run tins. Finally having one show up at our last pipe club meeting, I snatched the opportunity to have a few bowls full. The tin was sealed, but the tobacco was acceptably dried and of good consistency to smoke. The tin note was of VA tobacco and small faint hints of Latakia. There was also a very, very faint hint of the McClelland vinegar smell. I am not sure if the seal was less than perfect, I expected a slightly more moist and pungent smell from the tin. The tobacco packed well, and light with only two matches, and proceeded to burn as I expected. The taste towards the top was of sweet VA and slightly woody Latakia. As the bowl progressed the tobacco became a bit fuller that I expected. It never got too hot, but the flavors became a bit unbalanced and maybe even harsh. I am certain that there is some casing on this blend, but I was unable to put my thumb on it.

This bend was a bit of a disappointment. I am a huge fan of McClelland's blends and having tried many of their other blends I just expected a bit more out of this one. All and all the blend is not bad, but as for a special release blend I just expected a bit more.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RMBittner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RMBittner (66)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a rich, nuanced matured-Virginia blend that really hit the right notes for me. Smoking it back-to-back with Old Gowrie (a favorite straight Virginia) brought out the distinctive qualities that make Anniversary deliciously unique. The latakia, which a few others here have found overwhelming (much to my dismay), is actually a very subtle presence that adds a layer of depth and complexity to this blend without ever becoming a dominant presence.

This doesn't reach the heights of sweetness or complexity that you'll find in Hal o' the Wynd or Dark Star (hence my 3 stars), but, to my palate, it never fails to deliver an enjoyable smoke. It's something special, and it's definitely worth cellaring.

Bob

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JEM Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JEM (12)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have to go against the other reviews. I read the reviews and bought this tobacco anticipating greatness. I gave it away after two bowls. I do not like this one at all. I'm not a big fan of latakia, which is the predominant taste, for me, in this blend. However, if you like latakia, give it a try. I don't want to turn anyone away. I'm just giving you my review. It was easy to light and keep lit, the texture of the smoke is what I like, and the aroma in the room is okay.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

The more I smoke McClelland products, the more of an appreciation I have for them. I am now approaching their style of blending with a new attitude. They are unique blends unto themselves. What could be more American than Ketchup? Let's be honest, Who doesn't like ketchup? This blend is truly unusual. An English mixture with no oriental component. Not many out there like that. Commonwealth by Samuel Gawith is one of the few that comes to mind.This is in that class. A very flavorful blend where the Virginias are the Backbone and condimental leaf(Latakia) is actually used as a condiment and not a main course. The flavor profile of this blend is a very McClelland Viginia base with just enough Latakia added to bring the blend to life. I believe the best description for this would be a crossover blend. A crossover of a straight Virginia/ English. It has a distinct Tang to it from the Viginias with a sufficient amt of Latakia to give it a smoky undertone.The result is a cool smoking blend with a lot of flavor. This truly is a barbecue blend.A nice piece of smoky pork with a sweet/sour sauce on top and grilled to perfection. It reminds me of a McClelland version of Commonwealth mixture. I would encourage all Straight Virginia and English fans to try this one. It is not the Holy Grail as others here have described it but it is an excursion into the unique and unusual. 3 solid stars for being bold and succeeding at the venture.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ranger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ranger (58)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

This a good smoke with virginias predominant and the latakia a background player. While the smell is sweet, the taste was less pronounced. While this does seem to be one of the drier blends from this company, for me it is also one of the harder ones to keep lit.I have two more tins which I will stash for quite a while to see if my impressions have changed. Overall, two and a half stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ChicagoPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ChicagoPipe (45)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I must concur with the other reviewers about this blend. I think this one of McClland's most exiquisite blends, with a deep VA taste, and not over powering latakia, which makes this a superior English type blend. This blend will definetly be in my rotation.

Highly Recommended

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mel51us Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mel51us (47)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Just as the wrapper states, this is a tobacco blend to be enjoyed on special occasions. Now, the dilemma is to find a reason for an occasion every day. This blend is fantastic. The tin aroma lets one know that this is a Va/Latakia blend, but it in no way expresses the pleasure to be found. I found Anniversary to be a mild to medium blend of exquisite flavor. While this may not replace my favorite blend, McClelland's bulk #5110, it certainly will be in this pipesters rotation regularly.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tony B Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tony B (8)
★★☆☆
Very Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I tried a sample of 25th Anniversary by McClelland. This tobacco being a quality tobacco just didn?t do it for me. On the beginning I would smoke to hard trying to get some flavor and all I would get is a hot pipe. I was able to taste a light sweetness from the Virginias but that was all. After mid bowl the tobacco did gather more strength as the latakia became more noticeable.

In the end it became an ok smoke but this blend I will not keep on hand.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

GeoLogger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GeoLogger (16)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I toggle, since I am not a politician it is toggle. Flipflop is for congressional delegates. This is sometimes the very best tobacco I have ever had. Other times it is only very very very good. I love a tobacco with a modest dose of latakia. A little turkish is also pretty good in my book. And Virginia is a must. So how can a "two out three" be my favourite? Maybe that is why I toggle. Perfectly blended, perfectly balanced. Perfectly suited for me. I am glad to get a blend like this to have around, and I hope the continued issue is as good. All I have smoked so far is the special issue. Get this stuff and get plenty of it. Thank me with lavish gifts when you are old and the tobacco is old and you come to realize how valuable this advice was/

Nobody has rated this review yet.

miracleman83 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
miracleman83 (13)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I can't say anything bad about this blend. It's a good smoke, but when the time comes to buy another baccy for my Ser Jacopo, I'm going to try something else. Anniversary is sweet with a hint of latakia. If you like virginias and latakia, but not too much of either, this is for you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JulioJustice Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JulioJustice (12)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

not much I can say, but an outstanding blend. Very very good.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (294)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Mild Tolerable

Drier than usual McCs, and dries faster in the tin. The Virginias may be of good quality , but the result is bland and they don't really shine, neither does the Latakia. Typical very light EM, one of those middle of the road efforts with little taste and no particular merits that don't belong to any of the two categories... Overhyped, to say the least.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (125)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a tobacco I allow to become bone dry before smoking. It offers a pleasant Virginia smoke with a modest dose of latakia. I think there is a flavoring additive underneath the smokiness of the latakia, just enough to give this blend a unique flavor, but not so much as to distract. I smoke this on rare occasions and a 100g tin will last me a long time. About half way down the bowl it becomes a smooth Virginia experience wrapped in that latakia smokiness. Not bad. Not great. A pretty good change of pace. Recommended. Paddy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JB (40)
★★☆☆
Very Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

I echo the comments made by some of the reviewers earlier that I appreciate McClelland's for everything they have contributed to the pipe smoking hobby. Perhaps I had my hopes up too high thinking that this would be a blend that would ecclipse other McClelland's blends in some fashion? I'm not sure, but Anniversary is a bit too mild for my taste. I like the company's blends that have a bit more tang and flavor. It is almost like McClelland's wanted to show that they could do something different with this blend. There is nothing wrong with Anniversary, but I would't rush out to buy any more than what I currently have. Now Pease's Stonehenge, that's another story!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Joe Patterson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joe Patterson (48)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Mild Pleasant

Let me start this review by making a recomendation: If you like lots of latakia and you come to this, you'll taste VA, and if you like lots of VA, you'll taste the latakia. I fall in between, but was told (before smoking) that this has lots of sweet VA, I tasted that, but noticed the latakia more. Later, after smoking latakia lader blends, if I reach for this, I rend to taste the VA prominently. I agree with some of the other reviewers in saying that this blend has a "salty" component -- I can't put my finger on what it is exactly?!?! Another winner for McC. I was able to grab about 10 cans of each of the two packagings for the "cellar"...I'll update this in 2007 or so...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mephisto Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mephisto (31)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Very nice and unique a soft and balanced blend with high quality all over it. A limited blend and a treat if you can find some. I do like itbut it is a special occation kind of thing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

omegapd Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
omegapd (81)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is the perfect blend for the Virginia smoker who wants just a little bit more complexity. That said, I don't care for very sweet Latakia mixtures unless there's a whole lot more Latakia than whats in here. The quality of tobacco is top-notch and it would probably be a great ageing tobacco. I did get bit a little trying to sap out more flavor than what's actually there. The tin aroma is typical McClellands and while I don't hate it, I don't go searching for other blends that have the same. Overall, a nice blend but I'll stick to things that suit my tastes more...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

While the quality of this blend is very apparent, I have to say that the room note is a "killer" My wife stated that it smelled just like cigarettes and I had to concur. This for me was definitely an outside smoke. As i smoked this, two things came to mind: First, smoke slowly, even though this is rubbed out, the virginia will toast your tongue if you are not careful. Second, not enough latakia for my palate. I kept hoping the latakia would develop near the bottom of the bowl but such was not the case. This is one of those quality blends that just didn't work for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gryan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gryan (1)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

After being cellared for about one year I decided that it was time to enjoy this much discussed blend from our friends in Kansas City.

I choose a vintage Savinelli Capri for this tasting, The Savinelli Capris are some of the driest and coolest smokes that I own.

After opening the tin, the first thing I noticed was that this blend did not have any of the common "acetic acid" aroma that I have noticed in freshly opened tins of other McClelland products. This may be a factor of cellaring; I have noticed that aged bulk blends of this maker also loose this smell over time.

Even though it is not mentioned in the tobacco description above, I can not help but notice some ribbon cut flue cured tobacco in the blend. This is mixed with a fully rubbed out Virginia Flake and dark ribbon cut tobaccos, some of which may be fire cured virginias and of course Latakia.

The blend loaded easily into the pipe. It is one of the few tinned tobaccos that are dry enough for me to smoke directly. A charring light took well and I was in business with the second match. One of the first things noticed was that the Latakia tasted more like a Syrian variety than the more "sweet" Cyprian variety usually found in McClelland mixtures.

This tobacco has more of the characteristics found in an English blend of decades ago and is reminisent of the original Scottish Rattray's I have been privy to. The tobacco would be ideal for many smokers all day blends, I found it just a little lacking in body. The flavor did not change at all from the first to the last puff, a rarity these days. All that was left in the bowl was some white ash and pleasant memories!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Crazyquilt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Crazyquilt (2)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

For my first review, I'm going to review one of the first "real" tobaccos I've had the pleasure to enjoy. Previous to Anniversary, I'd tried a few aromatics, but I was interested in trying an uncased blend, and this was suggested to me.

I liked it from the first, and, several months on, I still smoke it fairly regularly. It has a nice sweet tone to it, which seems to be perfectly balanced (at least to my admittedly inexperienced palate) with the nuttier Latakia. It packs easily, even for me, and smokes well. In some ways, it is similar to Frog Morton, although, of course, with a much lighter Latakia content and a more pronounced VA taste. It has sharper 'teeth' than FM, but it doesn't bite hard or easily, with some care.

Unlike some of the other McC blends I've since tried, it isn't overly moist; in fact, it seems to be a bit on the dry side, which I like. It also doesn't have quite as strong of a tomato-vinegar smell as some of the other McC's do, either, which, imo, is a Good Thing.

While I certainly like the taste, and consider it well balanced, I would not say it's complex, like one of the Pease blends. That isn't bad; sometimes I want fine Indian food, and other times I want a nice, rare steak -- but that doesn't mean one is bad, and the other good. Still, I'm more likely, now, to go for Samarra or Raven's Wing, yet there are still times when Anniversary is a comfortable, pleasant, and delicious experience.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tomgrega Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tomgrega (6)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I love the way the tin is packaged and presented. I found that it packed and lit well right after opening. It was a wee bit stronger on the Cyprian Latakia opening scent than I was lead to believe based on opening. However, while smoking the Virginia really came to the front and the Latakia stayed nicely in the background. I personally tend to prefer blends heavy on the Latakia side, but have come to really appreciate the subtle nuances one can obtain from a good Virginia blend. I felt this blend married both in a wonderful way. At the end of the day, I would recommend this blend to anyone, but especially to those that would like to try a bit of latakia without fully committing themselves. I would add this to my regular rotation, and have several stored away, however I got the impression, (and this could just be marketing), that it would be limited, hence the only reason that I categorized it to only smoke occasionally. I highly recommend that you buy this while available, and hope that I am wrong and they continue to market this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sonny Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sonny (5)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

What can I say, it's absolutely terrific! From the very first time that I smoked this I thought it was terrific. I smoke this occasionally in a Sasieni Richmond, the same pipe that I use whenever I experiment with different tobaccos. Has a nice bowl and I'm partial to bent pipes anyway. I would most definately recommend this to anyone that likes Virginias and even those who don't care for them, it's a most welcome change from the same old same old. On a scale from 1 to 10, I would give it a 9.5. Happy Smoking!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

afranks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
afranks (2)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I have just started smoking a pipe after many years of cigarets. This is one of the first tins that I have bought, and so far it has to be my favorite. I'm sure my ability to taste will improve as I learn more about pipe tobacco, but I really like the smokiness of this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tobaccoman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tobaccoman (19)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

upon opening the tin, I discover to my nose a smell of sweet virginia with a undertone of smokey smell from the latakia. Packed into a peterson Sherlock holmes pipe, A very old one not from the current series, the initial taste reveals the same. Latakia in the background with a nice viginia sweetness upfront. Burned a little hot for me but that may be me more than the tobacco. Fresh opened can too. I have 3 cans in the storage area. Taste was consistant to the end and the burn was quite nice reducing to the tell tale white ash dottle. looking forward to this blend in the future

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Briar Snob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briar Snob (10)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Generally, I do not like tobaccos with even the slightest amount of latakia. Yet, this tobacco is appealing and tends to grow on me each time I smoke it. It's got just the right amount of smokiness to it to offset the wonderful flavors of the Virginias to make it a memorable smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mparker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mparker (51)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Excellent blend. Smells like your standard McC virginia in the tin, but the first puff reveals the latakia's presence. I also pick up a fair bit of Turkish (esp Smyrna) in the aroma, though the tin copy is silent on this. After a few minutes the Virginia begins to assert itself, but it remains a very balanced smoke throughout. Some minor bite, but not much for McC. Smoked all the way to the bottom, and it was great all the way. They've certainly got a winner here.

Nobody has rated this review yet.