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Handblended, premium pressed Virginia flake. A fine vintage, naturally sweet, in limited quantity.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutFlake
Packaging100 grams tin
CountryUS
ProductionNo longer in production
Product Image
Strength
Mild to Medium, Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant
3.4
28 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
15
3 star:
12
2 star:
0
1 star:
1
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Like the 2004 version, this is a chestnut brown broken flake with the wonderful McClellands tin aroma. This is an orange virginia, unlike the 2004, and also unlike the 2004 version, this one is nothing short of absolutely amazing!

This is one of those blends that I knew was going to be incredible from the first few puffs. The very mild citrus sweetness was offset by a malty spiciness that melded perfectly. Reasonably but not too complex, this improved as the bowl progressed, and the final 1/3 was absolutely sublime, with a toasted oat flavor amidst the very light citrus. Like all the Christmas Cheers I've smoked, this is virginia in its purest form (at least, it's purest that is ready to smoke!) with no added flavors or artificial sweeteners. Yet, it's sweet enough to be satisfying to an aromatic fan as well as the Virginia aficionado. McClellands has the finest virginias in existence, bar none, and also the ultimate method of processing the leaf, to my tastebuds. In fact, I would have to rank this as in the Top 3 of all straight virginias. Naturally it's as rare as hen's teeth, and I only have one more tin. So here's hoping that those who call McClellands virginias "ketchupy" or "vinegary" will stay away from any sales of this incredible blend and leave them for me! :) I'm going to buy whatever I can find. This one is that good... as good or better than any straight virginia in existence.

8 people found this review helpful.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (171)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I purchased a tin of this back in 08. I refrained from leaving a review after the first few bowls, as I was just not that impressed, but I could see this gaining quite a bit with some age. I would smoke a bowl every 5-6 months, and see how the aging process had progressed.

The first few years left an ashy-cigarette coating in the mouth, along with unbearable tongue bite. The flavors were getting there, but the tongue bite had restrained any definite flavor profiles.

I smoked a bowl of this today 7-27-11 and I must say, these tins are now ready. I have every single year starting from 1999 cellared, and plan on smoking a tin, and keeping a tin. With today's economy, you never know when you may have to sell off your prized collection to pay the bills. hahaha

Pairs well with bourbon and Tanzanian Peaberry coffee.

5 people found this review helpful.

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

The red Virginia is a little earthy with a deep dried, ripe dark fruit and a little citrus; tart and tangy. Has mild bursts of cinnamon and nutmeg, but it’s a smooth smoke with a little sugar. The "vinegar” smell and taste lasts longer than other years, and sublimates the tobacco flavor more than some other years. It’s a little stronger and deeper in flavor than it is in other productions. Burns slow and moist, and needs a slight dry time. Requires relights, and leaves a little moisture at the finish. Has a mild nic-hit. No bite, no dull or harsh spots. Has a smooth and consistent flavor with a nice after taste that pleasantly lingers. An all day smoke.

4 people found this review helpful.

Duke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Duke (41)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I picked up a couple of tins at the 0808 NASPC and boy oh boy am I glad. It is a great looking dark red and brown broken flake Virginian. It looked overly moist straight from the tin. I found that if I place tobacco on the back of my hand I judge the moister content better; think of checking the baby?s bottle for excessive heat. So I rubbed the flake first then aired it for 30 minutes. Vinegar schminegar who the heck cares how the pouch aroma smells, it is when oxidation occurs we are rewarded. There is no doubt that this is prime leaf and not over-burdened by excessive topping. If McClelland said it used Hawaiian Punch for topping I say, bravo, because I don?t taste the Punch just great tobacco. This leaf is simple and subtle in that it?s only Virginian leaf, yet sweet and spicy. Its flavors magnify as I advance down the bowl-Oh yeh! At different smokes I?ve noticed various waves of nicotine, and each were quite pleasant. The room note is exquisitely Virginian.

I spent a long weekend comparing CC 05 with Dunhill Lt Flake and McB?s Virginian #1 with Lt. Flake my overall favorite. See, for years I?ve reached for Lt Flake when wanting a Virginian smoke. Christmas Cheer 05 though is one superb tobacco and I highly recommend it to all Virginian tobacco lovers.

For me to understand and appreciate and choose a tobacco I must smoke it exclusively over a period of time, such as a week or two. So prior to the weekend of multi sampling, as mentioned above, each of those tobaccos was smoked exclusively. I simply cannot smoke multiple tobaccos one after another and form an opinion on one, let alone all. I simply get sensory overload. Anyhow, McClelland makes some fine Virginians.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Just finished one of my tins of Christmas Cheer 2005 after letting it age over a year in my cellar. This has to be as good as any, if not better than any Christmas Cheer McClelland's has produced.

The pressed cake was simply delicious. Sweet, a bit of strength, and a complexity not found in other years.

I think McClelland's tried their best to make Christmas Cheer 2005 a bell ringer, and they succeeded.

2 people found this review helpful.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Well, could be four stars but I can't give everything four and there are some McClellands I like better. Just seemed to have slightly less character (only slightly) than Blackwoods, Brindle Flake (Ashton), or Dominican Glory Maduro. No one else detected the aroma in the tin of nutmeg, so maybe it's just an overtone of the aged Virginia. This is the only Christmas Cheer I have tried, so I'll try to find some more, especially the older ones.

1 person found this review helpful.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (146)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I am giving this blend three stars although I can't personally stand the vinegar/ketchup taste that comes with it (and seems to be a feature of all McClelland's VAs).The quality of the leaf is first-rate and the flavor has a great many subtleties as you work your way through the bowl (including, as others have noted, the occasional hint of cinnamon). I used to smoke lots of McClelland VAs, but over the past few months the trademark McClelland flavor mentioned above started tasting horrible to me, and I can barely stomach any of this company's VAs nowadays -- I find myself smoking lots of VAs from C&D, GLP, and Rattrays instead. Nonetheless, I believe this is a matter of personal taste and would highly recommend this blend to anyone who likes quality VAs and isn't put off by the ketchup/vinegar taste that accompanies it. I'm aging three tins of this right now in the hopes that (a) the ketchupy taste will fade over time or (b) I'm once again able to stomach it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bent-1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bent-1 (36)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

This blend is pipe picky. But, in the right pipe, it yields a sweet, warm citrus taste. I experienced no bite, burned cleanly down to the bowl's bottom. The first draw to the last was consistent. Rubbing out is recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Strong

Little I can add after many superb reviews, so I'll just stick to what I have not read below:

The (in)famous vinegar/ketchup McClelland smell: it's there on every McClelland tobacco I have tried, but that never bothered me in the least. One of my favorite tobaccos is Bulk #2015, where I've found it to be very strong. Who cares, I'm in heaven when I smoke it. Now, when they actually make me taste vinegar, even in a subtle and inconstant way, I don't appreciate that. That only takes one star away.

The second minor drawback is a sharp, almost tangy taste. Had I tried a well aged tin, this baccy would probably get that fourth star back. Aging should improve this enormously.

Overall, a top quality Virginia.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

If you have tasted previous Christmas Cheer offerings, you know what to expect here... I will simply add that this edition is slightly smoother, rounder and tastier (and less grassy) than previous editions I had tried (2002 and 2003).

A good solid Virginia tobacco, still not up to the best (#27 and Blackwoods Flake) but certainly consistent and recommendable.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Yorkie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Yorkie (2)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

You need to be setting down in your favorite chair the lights low and quite all around to pickup all the flavors in this offering from McC. The flavors run from sweet and zesty then creamy back to zesty then just sweeet and other that I can not describe but feel. There is alot going on here and slow puffing is required because it can bite if pushed to hard. I found it smoked the best just rub out a little and on the dry side. I would put 2005 at the top of the Christmas Cheer line.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kerdy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kerdy (43)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is the first time I have tried Christmas Cheer. I have been buying tins since 2003 and putting them back. This year I decided to get an extra tin and try it out. I am glad I did, but I have to say that if you arent careful, your tongue will pay the price. It was a nice tobacco. No special flavoring added. I rubbed it out and let it dry a bit before I smoked any. The things I like best about it was that it burned clean all the way to the bottom, produced good hearty volumes of smoke and once it caught and took off, I never had to relight which for some reason tends to be a problem for me. If I could have kept from having my tongue singed, I would have given it 4 stars. I hope that aging it will take care of that problem. Good experience!

Nobody has rated this review yet.