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Handblended, premium pressed Virginia flake tobaccos. A fine
vintage, naturally sweet, in limited quantity. Made with a special selection of
the rich, smooth Mahogany North Carolina flue-cured crop of 1994, ripened to
perfection in the Oxford area.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland
Manufactured ByMcClelland
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutBroken Flake
Packaging100g Tin
CountryUS
ProductionNo longer in production
Product Image
Strength
Mild to Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant
3.1
14 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
6
3 star:
5
2 star:
1
1 star:
2
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Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I love smoking Christmas Cheer, but hate reviewing it. I love the pure Virginias, and love McClelland, but have a hard time distinguishing among the 5-6 CCs I've tried. The only one I think I could pass a "blindfold test" with is the 2002, since to me it seems to be even purer and more austere of a "single malt" Virginia than the others I've tried.

No exception here. As I have come to expect with this series, a lovely, pure Virginia best suited for slow sipping. 2002 is my favorite so far, but only by a little. This one does seem to have a slightly fuller flavor to it than 2005, 2007, 2010, and certainly the very subtle 2002. Yes, maybe I could pass the blindfold test with this one, for different reasons than with the 2002, but 2005 and 2007 taste almost the same to me!

I've only tried CCs from the 2000s, though I do have a sealed tin of 1999 (don't think I'll crack it anytime soon, though I would like to try some of the older ones).

2 people found this review helpful.

gnossos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gnossos (39)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

A great, great flake. I got the last tin at my tobacconist this past December '06 and I'm only a few short bowls away from never tasting it again here nearing the end of February 07. It will be sorely missed. If you like McConnell's Scottish Cake you'll love this stuff. I don't know why I'm even bothering to review it any more as I imagine most of the tins are sold out by now.

There's a solid flavor throughout, very woodsy and sweet, reminiscent of a campfire. I'm not too poetic when it comes to describing flavors sometimes, but I know that this is one of the best flakes I've had in my pipe, for whatever it's worth.

1 person found this review helpful.

GeoLogger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GeoLogger (16)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

This is my favourite of the Christmas Cheers thru '05. It is a very sweet, almost tart and perhaps sharp Virginia. Brassy is a word I sometimes use. Grampa oftened complained if a tobacco was too "bright". I think possibly the terms are for the same concept. But everyone I ask thinks bright is a different thing than the next guy seems to think. Well, brassy is to me the ability to find that bit of bite, a sharp dose of tangy, that is your tongue warning you of a Va that would bite if you let it. And I think this is a bit brassy. A little brass is a good thing. I smoked this mildly and evenly and often. I smoked the first three tins of my original four tins without even realizing the risk. But I got back to town and got some more. I don't know what there is to not like in Christmas Cheer 2004. The stuff was ten yrs old before you ever got any - but age it if you like. If I have any left by the time '06 comes out it will be a miracle. If you have any left in ten years or so look me up.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I have enjoyed many of the McClelland's Christmas Cheer tobaccos of years past. My 2004 vintage tin had aged a bit in my "cellar", and being in the mood for a pressed Virginia Flake, I grabbed it.

Well, one reviewer here claimed to know how best to smoke this flake to make it shine brightly. So, I gave it a try. I used a well broken in pipe, I rubbed the flakes out somewhat, and let the 'baccy sit for 20 minutes to dry just a little bit. Finally, I gravity fed the leaf into the pipe without much tamping down. Out came the Carona Old Boy and I set fire to the leaf which promptly released all kinds of wonderful flavors onto my tongue.

This one burned just a tad warm so, I smoked slowly. It is long on flavor and light on strength.

It's hard for a Texan to enjoy Christmas in July (Predicted high today in my neighborhood is 102 degrees), but Cheer '04 did the trick!

1 person found this review helpful.

Halfpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Halfpipe (3)
★★★☆
Very Mild None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend didn't really do it for me at first. I could smell a bit of a cinnamon from the tin, but it tasted too tart (almost bitter) for my palate. After smoking about a third of the tin, I decided to stove it. The result was fantastic! It really matured the smoke, and the bitterness all but disappeared. If you didn't like it, stove it. You might be surprised.

1 person found this review helpful.

peacepipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
peacepipe (16)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I wish to respond to a few of the above reviews, as I've found that there is an art to preparing this flake before enjoying it's true bounty. Not that any of you are wrong, boys (at least, I think you're boys/men, not too many female pipe tobacco reviewers out there, seemingly ... ). Taste is such a personal thing; whether you enjoy the finest Balkan, or ground up hay soaked w/ cheap bourbon, is up the individual. That being said ...

First off, select a pipe that cools/softens the flavor -- it would seem that any Ashton or the right Dunhill would do the trick, to name a few possibilities. Or a long clay (Xmas Cheer was great in my new clay Dutch clay, bought here in NY at the historical Keene's Chophouse). Then, rub it out somewhat carefully/thoroughly, and let it sit for 20 minutes to dry just a little bit if you have a freshly-opened tin (unless you are in a very humid room/space--if so, skip that part). Finally, gravity feed without much tamping down. Gentle tamping can happen later once the blend is cooking right.

Smoke this baby easy & slow and she'll reward you big-time. Some of that magical VA 'toastiness' that I've come to look forward to is in there, as well as some fruitiness and spiciness; and after a somewhat harsh beginning, Xmas Cheer '04, like all the others I've tried in this series, rewards your patience and care.

1 person found this review helpful.

emmbee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
emmbee (174)
★☆☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Unnoticeable

I sampled a bit of this at a local tobacconist; He had an open tin. It?s a festive can, and the description of the contents courtesy of McClelland?s own extensive product brochure, makes this out to be a truly unique designer blend full of the most unique cuts of tobacco culled from a variety of vintages. Alas, it did nothing for me. The tin aroma is flat. The thick cuts of Virginia are broken into small, chunky bars. It?s not an easy slice to rub out, nor is it easy to pack. Like other experiences I?ve had with matured McClelland Virginias, it?s next to impossible to keep lit, requiring half a box of matches for one pipeful. The taste is static and doesn?t seem to develop into anything. I smoked about half the bowl, became disinterested, dumped it out and tried something else; Frog Morton Across the Pond, I think it was. Fortunately, Frog was magnificent and I?ve been hooked ever since. Cheer is a holiday gimmick with the kind of marketing hype one gets too familiar with at Yuletide. Save your money and buy something else.

Luckily, this blend, like Christmas, comes but once a year.

One of five stars

1 person found this review helpful.

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

This is the only Christmas cheer I have smoked so far. I am lucky enough to have various years cellared so I'm sure to review more when I do decide to pop those tins.

First of all let me just say from my experience I find mcclelland Broken flake blends a little difficult to deal with. I have found that ample drying and fully rubbed out seems to burn best. If left in their broken clumps they require tons of relights.

This being almost ten years old I wasn't sure what to expect. Truth be told I don't have that much experience with aged tobacco. When I popped the tin I was greeted with the classic ketchup smell. The tobacco was still fairly damp. I smoked several bowls fresh from the tin and it was to damp to deal with plus I did not really rub it out all the way. I decided to allow the remainder of my tin to "air out" for a day then rub it out and put it in a mason jar.

Now when I smoke this I completely rub out a bowls worth and allow to dry 10-15 minutes. From the initial light I was greeted with a very delicate but sweet Virginia flavor. That flavor is very consistent throughout the bowl. I find gentle sipping seems to bring out the best of this blend. I get sweet grassy flavors with a light citrus taste here and there. This is a rather pleasent tobacco to smoke. It suits me well in the morning with my coffee. The wife thinks the room note is ok.

I have DGT this and it does gain a little deeper flavor but not too much. Overall this is a good smoke. I would reccomend it. I only gave it three stars because for me it's not strong enough, but I don't think it's supposed to be. It is overall a great smoke but can be a bit of a bitch to work with and keep burning.

Pipe Used: Mr brog amigo 51

Age When Smoked: 9+ years

Purchased From: Ebay

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Big bad Jon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big bad Jon (232)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

I finally got up the nerve to open my tin. What awaited me was the very faint smell of vinegar and mildly sweet yet earthy Virginia flakes. Great I thought, the moisture content was good, and things seemed to be aligning them selves well after a good rub out and light packing I went to light and wait, where is the flavor??? This has to be the mildest straight Virginia I have ever tried. I was hoping for something a bit stronger in the nicotine department too. The flavors were not bad, but just lacking in strength. If there was a way to concentrate the flavors this one would be a winner. It burns extremely well and exhibits no tongue bite. I guess this is a good first pipe of the day Virginia.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bigjonburley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigjonburley (64)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

I believe that this VA has not been given enough credit for its composition. I agree with POUNDER's review, in that the beauty of this blend lies in its potential. Although this tobacco is already ten years in the making, there is still so much unmetabolized sugar remaining, that this VA will age to perfection. I really can't get over the amount of sugar that must have originally been present in this leaf but, this is what allows most VA to age so well. Stock up on this one boys, the future of this blend is bound to be legendary.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This stuff burns the mouth and tastes like No. 27 and The Navy cavendish had a kid that couldn't live up to his poor parents name! So why the high rating ? Because I believe in this flake. I have utter faith that given a few years of aging this stuff will be remarkable. Opening a new tin right now and tasting it is an exercise in what is to come. Greg Pease is one of the most esteemed blenders in America today. His only problem is his typically American trait of impatience. All of his wonderfully blended tobaccos are sent out to the consumer far to young. If you taste a Pease blend that is absolutely no good, simply put the remainder in a mason jar and wait a year. The transformation is amazing. Now this is a problem that the McNeills have never shown us before and I hope this doesn't become a habit. How many smokers around the world have been informed that Mr. Pease is one of Americas best only to pop the top and taste an unsmokeable tobacco that is merely lacking age? Do you think they will ever buy anymore, much less take these American tobaccos as seriously? Hopefully so, but I still think that all of these young blends would sell better and make a much more favorable impression if they were sold when they are mature and ready. Perhaps they were just in a rush to find a special leaf for this years Christmas blend and had to release it. But don't you think they would have been better served by keeping it in good aging conditions and releasing it as next years blend? At the very least they could put a note with the tin description with the advice to open and put in jars for aging awhile before partaking. I think the public would appreciate this and would end up buying more. Oh well, enough rambling- go ahead and stock up on this stuff- just be more patient with it than its blenders- and in time I think you will have a heavenly smoke!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Zone Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Zone Smoke (199)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

A one dimensional smoke that is nothing special in any way. Small, thick flakes that are mediocre tasting at best. The only thing this blend offers is some tongue bite.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darth 69 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth 69 (76)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I agree on many points with the previous reviewer. In my own words this is a wonderful qualilty in a virginia flake. A somewhat mild, yet profound complexity to be experienced by the smoker. Spice notes that accompany a higher than average natural sweetness with a noticeable coolness than one usually finds in a straight VA flake. There is also that characteristically McClelland vinegary tang upon opening the tin. The only one complaint I have is like with many of McClelland flakes and blends the tobacco is cut to wide. This makes it troublesome to keep lit. However, what a fantastic example in natural tobacco qualities can be achieved with top quality leaf and extended aging. In this case 10 years.

- Recomended

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Luke_Wyatt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Luke_Wyatt (7)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

I look forward to Christmas Cheer each holidy. It doesn't really vary much from year to year except that i would say that 2004 is a bit stronger than the previous one's. Tin aroma is like Russion Tea minus the cloves. Cinimin, apple, and tea are the main complements on top of a good virginia. I smoke this stuff on a regular basis. Even though it's seasonal, there's even Christmas Cheer to go year round.

Nobody has rated this review yet.