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A blue ribbon blend of Americas finest tobaccos. You'll judge it full flavored, satisfying, mild. We have polished it off with nougat flavoring. Tastefully opulent. A winner.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Burley, Cavendish, Virginia
FlavoringNougat, Sherry, Whisky
CutCoarse Cut
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
Where to Buy
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Mild to Medium
Room Note
Very Pleasant

Favorite Of 4 Users

34 reviews
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Hunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hunter (52)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant

One of my favorite aromatics. I usually keep a tin or two in my rotation. Not overpoweringly topped, but the nougat is very noticeable both in taste and in room note. Like most McClelland aromatics, the balance in this blend is outstanding with little or no bite. I find it burns relatively cool and reduces down to fine ash with little goop in the bowl. An all-day aromatic.

4 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Mild Medium Mild Very Pleasant

The unsweetened black cavendish has no vanilla notes, and is a minor player beyond adding a little smoothness as far as I can see, because I don’t really notice it much until the half way point. The cavendish is sweet, but sublimated. The same mostly goes for the burley, though I get a light nuttiness from it. The Virginia is dull with a “vinegar” note that fades soon, and a hint of grass. The stars are not the tobaccos as the toppings dominate. I believe it’s the sherry that adds an alcohol essence that I did not care for. The whiskey is faint. The nougat is the most obvious topping, but it’s just kind of “there”, and not enough "here". The flavors somewhat fades toward the finish, though it burns well enough. Leaves just a little moisture, and does not bite. Has little nicotine. An all day smoke while you do routine work, but the taste doesn’t match the smell out of the tin in terms of flavor strength.

3 people found this review helpful.

TheAdversary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TheAdversary (4)
Mild Mild Mild Very Pleasant

First off I am a relatively new pipe smoker, but I have done quite a bit of research both hands on, through reading some very good books on the subject, talking to experienced pipe smokers, and a lot of time on the internet. I have tried well over a dozen aros, from cheap drugstore mixes to high end offerings from Boswell and Russ Ouellette, but nothing I have had has ever compared to McClelland Best of Show. It lights easily, burns all the way down with minimal relights, has one of the best room notes of any aro ( according to the wife). And according to reports from my father to whom I gifted some, it is the only tobacco that my mother ( who has drunk deeply from the second hand smoke Kool-aid cup) that she will actually encourage him to smoke in the house. It is my desert island tobacco. That is not to say I don't enjoy non aros, in fact BoS is pretty much the only aro I regularly smoke. I really enjoy English, Vaper, burleys, and Balkans as well. Any well made quality tobacco I will make room for in my tobacco cabinet. Among my other favorites are Solani 656 aged burley flake, davidoff red mixture, frog Morton cellar, and dunhill flake among others, soon to be reviewed. My point is after reading so many reviews that started "I really don't like aros but I am reviewing this aromatic anyway.....and I never understood that.

Maybe it is because I am new and don't have any preconceived notions, and after trying several dozen tobaccos of all different types, I like what what I like regardless of what is on the label.

And when I open a can of Best of Show, it's like a whiff of nirvana, packing a pipe and lighting it up, It is the only aro that I can actually taste! Hints of caramel and brown sugar in my mouth. If I could only have two it would be BoS first and Frog Morton cellar second, I'd be a happy camper.

Pipe Used: Peterson Killarney straight, P-lip

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: 1 year old

2 people found this review helpful.

Daniel W. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Daniel W. (23)
Mild Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

An amazing tobacco! Very smooth, tasteful and well balanced. It has aromas of white chocolate and caramel with a hint of Sherry. It burns pretty well and it has a mellow taste of caramel. With low sweetness at the end. Highly recommend for aromatics fans, a piece of at.

Pipe Used: Peterson PSOI POY 2016 (XL15)

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Paulo Santiago

1 person found this review helpful.

Cumarinophil Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cumarinophil (105)
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Among aromatics, this is really something. Tin note and room note are hard not to enjoy and actually match the taste in the first half of a bowl. After that it’s like chocolate cream on toasted dark bread combined with sporadically appearing earthy tones.

Buttery smooth and too mild for after lunch/dinner, I like Best Of Show exclusively in the early mornings, when the taste buds are still sensitive. For that, and only that, it’s a winner to me.

Pipe Used: Various with and without filter

Age When Smoked: fresh to 2 yrs

1 person found this review helpful.

Kraft1994 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kraft1994 (54)
Extremely Mild Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Very Pleasant

How this blend is called "Best in Show" is beyond me. Its rather flat, bland and just not really enjoyable. If you want to please others noses with no regard to your own enjoyment of what your smoking then this ones for you. It burns cool with no bite but also no flavor. However it smells fantastic so if the in-laws are coming and you're looking to please them then give this one a go. Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend it. After all smoking is a personal pleasure meant for personal enjoyment. So what's the point if all the blend does is smell good to others? However I must admit I am not much of an aromatic smoker and maybe my aromatic palate has been destroyed by latakia, perique and flue cured tobaccos. So I'll give it a two star rating instead of a one.

1 person found this review helpful.

gunner525 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gunner525 (62)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Medium Very Pleasant

Had a bowl of this lastnight and it was amazing. The tin didn't say what leaf was in the blend, only that it had a nougat casing. I also detected a bit of caramel in the tin aroma and smoking flavor. Tasted like a nice pastry of some sorts. The tobacco burned very evenly and to the bottom of the bowl. No tongue bite or anything. One of the other pipe club members said it was "an aromatic for non-aromatic smokers". Definitely recommend picking a tin of it up, especially if you're looking for a good aromatic to please the wife and smoke inside.

1 person found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Mild Medium Mild Very Pleasant

This, along with Boswell's Christmas Cookie, has the most delectable pouch aroma of any standard aromatic pipe tobacco I have ever smoked. I found myself sniffing the opened tin very often. Absolutely wonderful aroma. Smells good enough to eat (but don't!).

Taste-wise, I found this very ordinary. Unlike Tastemaster, this one did not rise above traditional flavored black cavendish based aromatics. The cut is a chunky ribbon, very black but with some flecks of lighter leaf. It burned very well and was mild to the tongue except when I puffed more vigorously - which is one way I taste test tobaccos in order to see how they behave in multiple situations. When puffed slowly and methodically, this was very mild and crossed well over into bland territory. There was an underlying sweetness (nougat, caramel, butterscotch, or some such) that was pleasant enough but too mild to really savor. When puffed a bit harder, the casing wore off too soon and the blend became harsh after about half a bowl. That's typical of aromatics. Best to smoke them slowly and not overpuff, so as not to wrongfully expand the blend's focus.

Room aroma was traditional black cavendish. The nougat scent got lost in the fog. Overall, a very ordinary experience. Not bad, but not repeatable.

1 person found this review helpful.

Wīglāf Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wīglāf (11)
Mild to Medium Strong Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I had high expectations for this blend after I got the tin note for the first time. Man, does this stuff smell good! It smells like buttery toffee, with a light hint of coffee. When I lit up my first impression was enjoyable, but I have to say I was a little underwhelmed the further down the bowl I got. It tasted faintly of caramel, with little stabs of coffee and nougat. The Cavendish was nice, but not great. If you smoke this blend dry and cool (and I liked it best smoking outside toward the end of Fall), you can get an easygoing, even buttery palette. More times than not, however, Best of Show is bland, burns too hot, and leaves a pungent goop behind in the bowl. The blend is is not entirely without merit, but with many far better options in my rotation, I rarely smoke this blend at all anymore.

Pipe Used: Dr. Grabow Savoy

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Most caramel/nougat aromatics, unfortunately..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fred T Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fred T (67)
Mild Medium Mild Pleasant

This is really an excellent tobacco in my view. A wonderful smell when you open the tin. A very smooth smoke with a great flavor. One of my favorite tobaccos by McClelland.

Pipe Used: Grant Batson

Age When Smoked: Several months.

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

codyp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
codyp (65)
Very Mild Strong Medium Very Pleasant

This blend. Starting with the good. If your an aromatic smoker, you will find this room note to be amazing. The wife absolutely loved it. It was a cool smoke, and easy to light, which is not the case for all aromatics.

I did not appreciate how it was more overwhelming of the actual tobacco itself that mc does so well. It was a bit too much. The tobacco is not bold whatsoever. If that's your thing look elsewhere.

If your looking for a good extra cased aromatic, this could be for you.

Pipe Used: H.I.S Egg, Peterson System (Bent), Cob

Purchased From: Various

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mnadz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mnadz (66)
Mild Medium to Strong Medium Pleasant

To me, for the flavoring, I would rather smoke Captain Black. I much rather prefer Topic of Town for its maple flavoring and room note. If you like Captain Black for its flavor and room note, I say stay with it. I would normally recommend this, but since I find it same as Captain Black but a bit less, I have to just "somewhat" it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

smoke'a'bowl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smoke'a'bowl (3)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is my first review, so please bear with me. I haven't been smoking pipes for long. This is my first of McClelland's Premium Aromatics. It wasn't quite as aromatic as I expected, but it was tasty. However, it began to burn fairly hot especially in the second half of the bowl. It also had some bite, which I'm not a fan of. I'll give it a couple of more tries and we'll see where it takes me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (84)
Very Mild Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant

The casing for Best of Show is not applied with a deft hand. It's very sweet (sure, it tastes like nougat, which is kind of nice), very thick, quite chemical, and quite gloopy.

It might be a step up for aro lovers used to drugstore brands, but it was too cloying, chemical, and gurgly for me.

A surprisingly subpar offering from McClelland, recommended only for aro lovers looking for something very sweet.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

McCelland, in my opinion, is a maker of some of the most mellow aromatics around. This is no execption. Best of Show seems to be missing the vanilla notes common in other aromatics like Captain Black, Blue Note, etc. but makes up for it with the nougat flavoring, and it does taste like nougat. A smooth, cool smoke all around that is not much different than Town Topic (same base tobacco?) when the casing is taken out of consideration. Overall it's cool, smooth like velvet, and rich - definately not something that is hot, bites, or pierces the tongue.

I like this particular blend much better than Town Topic's uneventful Maple flavor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (302)
Mild Strong Mild to Medium Pleasant

Best of Show was the other McClelland blend I got as an early Christmas gift. Similar to Taste Master in composition and structure, Best of the Show has a sweeter taste due to the nougat flavoring, which my daughter compared to Krispy Kreme donoughts. Though initially it?s difficult to set both blends apart, in the long run the after taste of Best of the Show does become actually cloying.

Steam-cased Burley, shiny black in color with some golden strands thrown in, Best of Show is very sweet and tasty. A quality aromatic, it appeals to the almost infantile sweet tooth one still has. It?s yummy and rich in flavor (perhaps too rich), but unlike Taste Master I found this one tiring and eventually bloated. Still, if you are strong aromatic fan, this one is a quality smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Strong

I haven't deliberately smoked many "Aromatics" since my first encounters with a pipe in the 1960's and early 70's. This was highly recommended by many reviewers I have often agreed with and am very impressed also. However, be aware that the aroma is somewhat overwhelming to one not used to flavored tobaccos. It is kind of like being hungry and coming indoors and smelling fresh-baked sticky buns or pecan rolls. The aroma is really out there. If you are a person with a moustache, you will remember this blend for a good long while!

Updated 6/12/2005: For newer pipers wanting a very nice smelling tobacco with very little strength. Really smells teriffic!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This one didn't win any awards in my pipe, much less Best of Show. Now, that isn't to say this isn't a quality aromatic. I don't like most aromatics (even quality ones) because they fail (like this one did) to sock it to me with some nicotine.

This tobacco is light and airy. This tobacco is sweet. This tobacco does not have a tendency to bite. This tobacco burns rather dry, (all things considered.) This tobacco was created by a quality blender.

But, this tobacco doesn't taste like tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

08-24-04 What is nougat anyway? Appearance: Black and Tan leaf, nice medium ribbon Tin Aroma: Sweet something, I guess this is what Nougat smells like. Packing and Lighting: easy in spite of moisture. Initial Flavor: sweet, something between coffee and chocolate. Mid-Bowl: a little rounder and fuller, nice room aroma. Bottom of Bowl: a little bitterness from the casing, not much more strength. Overall: this is a very nice aromatic, but I didn't care for the flavor too much. It can bite so be cautious. My quest for the perfect aromatic will not end here...

Rating: 3 out of 5 Points.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
Very Mild Medium Very Mild Very Pleasant

This is an ultra high quality aromatic, just like it's advertised. However, it still isn't so much more than other bulk blends, such as those from Lane, as to justify the expense. At least for me that is. Others who fancy aromatics and little else may want to spend the money and use this as a celebration smoke, much the same way I do with Penzance and Red Ribbon. It burns extremely cool and reminded me and the friends that I tried it with of "Snicker's candy bars". There's a marketing Idea for you!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Although I normally smoke VA flakes, this was one of the better aromatics I've recently tried. The nougat casing is sweet and strong in the tin and room aromas and slightly less evident in the taste. The predominant black blend has some lighter leaf included and is coarsely cut into rather uniform chunks. As with many other true aromatics, I found that the casing overpowered any natural tobacco taste. It also lacked nicotine strength as compared to my normal fare. However, a cool and very mild smoke resulted until the condensed moisture in the heel started popping like fireworks. On subsequest bowls, I just dumped the last part of the smoke. If you favor rather mild blends that are still strong aromatics, give this one a chance.

Nobody has rated this review yet.