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Bright high sugar content Virginia cake made with lemon yellow and orange Virginia leaf along with a healthy dose of seven year old Louisiana perique. A blend to calm a weary sailor outrunning an approaching storm.

Notes: Repurposed in 2009 from a PCCA Blend.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
ContentsPerique, Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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Favorite Of 8 Users

39 reviews
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babysinister Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
babysinister (51)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The orange and lemon-yellow virginias are well in the foreground. The perique is present but almost muted, being expertly blended to cool down the virginas. As a result, those sugary virginias provided me with a cool smoke and no tongue bite whatsoever, which I find astonishing.

This is the smoothest VAPer with the best virginia flake that I've smoked to date. I like milder blends (i.e., lower to moderate nic strength) ideal for multiple and relaxing smokes, and this one is it for me. It bumps down the blends that were at the top of my list, which I thought hardly possible until today. This very rich and flavorful tobacco is ideal for me, a lover of virginia blends. Those who like heavy nic blends beware.

Yes, there is some whiff of vinegar/catsup in the tin aroma but none in the smoking, and even then subdued in comparison to other McClelland virginia tin notes (added to the fact that this is a 2 year old tin). I didn't fully rub out the flakes, just broke them down into strands. It filled the bowl well although there was some need for relights in the first half. This is just niggling, however, and maybe rubbing it out completely will fix that "problem".

14 people found this review helpful.

Ehrling Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ehrling (106)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This was one of the better balanced VAPER flakes on the market. While not one of my favorites (I much preferred Beacon Extra), it was nevertheless a worthwhile smoke. McClelland is gone and with it goes Beacon.

Similar Blends: Beacon has a very similar taste, body and strength in comparison with McC Bayou Slices, but I believe that Beacon is the better blend overall.

12 people found this review helpful.

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

I agree with most of my fellow reviewers, this is an exceptional VaPer that is heavy on the Virginia and light on the Perique. In fact, one of the most delicate Virginia/Perique blends I have tasted in quite some time. It is a delightful blend (as evidenced by all the folks giving this one 4-stars), with a full measure of taste and decent strength. I can see where experienced pipe smokers would gravitate to this leaf. Not only is the flavor and strength very noticiable, the flake cut gives this one staying power. Beacon has it all!

12 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2151)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

The lemon and orange Virginias have a tangy smooth fermented fruity sweetness with some citrus and earth, and minor grass notes. The perique is spicy, raisins, and dates. It's "vinegary" as many McClelland blends are, but it weakens after a while, and quite nicely compliments the other flavors. Well blended, you taste every nuance in virtually every puff, though I do not find the perique to be a "healthy dose" as it is advertised. To me, it's more of a supporting player, likely due to the Virginia sweetness. The nic-hit is just past the mild level. The broken flake is a little moist, though I found it didn't cause excessive relights, and it's very easy to pack. Burns cool and clean at a slow to moderate pace with a consistent flavor: no dull or harsh spots. Leaves just a little moisture in your bowl, but most of the time, will burn to the last ember. Has a very pleasant after taste and a nice room note. Can be an all day smoke.

11 people found this review helpful.

bigdummy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigdummy (6)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The pipeguy website claims this blend is akin to the old Cope's Escudo blend... hmmmmm... not sure I'll quite buy that - but this is a pleasantly tangy, spicy and tasty VaPer. I find no top note on opening the tin, other than a subdued McClelland stoved Va tang (which I love!) and a quiet undercurrent of the Perique. The Perique is subdued in this blend (at least in my tin) and much more so than I remember the old Escudo (and certainly the ACP version). I have been smoking quite a lot of 633 over the summer and it's nice to smoke a quality VaPer without the sweetish overbite that I get from that (admittedly addicting) weed. This is clean, fresh and quite unadulterated tobacco - carefully blended, with the components allowed to be themselves, thereby enhancing the whole to a marvelous effect. This is blended by McClelland, but it is certainly not like the other VaPers from that company - especially the ubiquitious 2015 - and other than the stoved Va component, this is really nothing like anything else they do.

At the first light, the smoke is almost purely Virginia. After a tamp and a relight, the bowl smokes strong and sweet with just a little tingle from the Perique. As the bowl progresses, the Perique brings it's fruity spice to the party, but not in an aggressive way at all. This is a very smooth blend. At the last third, the sweetness gives way to a matured Virgina heartiness and the Perique just dances around in the background, tingling your nose and making sure you don't just drift off into Neverland... and then - ash. Just nice clean ash left in the pipe at the end. No dottle to speak of and not a lot of anything gurgling through during the whole affair.

I smoked this in a variety of pots and billiards - Group 3 to Group 6 - and even had the huevos to load up my big old Boswell Dublin, which is ODA and then some - and is not my usual VaPer choice (yeah this weed is that smooth) - with this stuff and it still went down nice and easy. My little Italian pots love this stuff too, although the smallest ones (my little Caminetto Sports) remind me that this is stoved Virginia after all... calm down!

So - I'm not sure why I'm the first one to review this marvelous blend, but if you like VaPers, I have to predict that you'll love this stuff silly.

Four stars - easy!

8 people found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1281)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

You had me at 7 year old perique!! Beacon is a wonderfully balanced and rich vaper. The virginia's are tangy, not too sweet. The range of virginia flavors is great. Then there's the perique. The perique flavor is there but it's not overly peppery up front. I prefer Beacon to Beacon Extra. Not surprisingly Beacon is less stout and strong of the two. Beacon is more of a pipe taste than a stout cigar type taste. If you like the genre its a number 1!

Saint James Woods is still my #1, followed by 1776. Beacon is a strong third. I can definitely see why people put Beacon above SJW. Beacon is very balanced and smooth. There's just something about the reds and black stoved combo that keeps me coming back to SJW more. As far as 1776 I really like the sweet, lighter flake with a pinch of perique at times when I want a lighter smoke.

I hope this helps other va/per lovers. I think that there is nothing better than a virginia and perique combo smoke. Some say that McClellands vapers are all the same. I will say that they are similar but there are subtle differences and they are all top notch blends.

Pipe Used: lovat

Age When Smoked: New, less than a year old tin

Purchased From:

7 people found this review helpful.

vaperfavour Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
vaperfavour (30)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

destined to be a classic. I have been smoking this for 15 years. I dont consider it for smoking till it hits 5 years old. i haqve a few tins with 15 years on them and let me tell you, age some tins this long it becomes a near religious experience at this age. sweet witha touch of citrus yet dark at the same time with the perique becoming that sugary plum like taste that is so deep its incredible, my mouth starts to water just thinking about it. the flakes become leather to the touch covered with crystals and bloom. I opened a 15 year old tin 3 months ago that had a light dust all over it that smoked so good it was indescribable. when young, beacon can bite if smoked quickly so for those new to this blend, age it, age it, age it!

7 people found this review helpful.

Tom Servo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tom Servo (58)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Popped new tin to the scent of tangy-sweet McClelland Virginia. Then add a little hint of black pepper, and strong hard cheese (Perique). Cured hay, malt flour, dry oatmeal, surrounded by the sweetness of the bright Virginia. Delicious aroma. Nice Perique, chewy and tasty Virginia cured as only McClelland can.

Rub, rub, rub - pack and light.

Bright Virginias, fresh and sweet, oat flour and rising dough. Lemongrass tanginess, feed grains and cut hay. Autumn leaves, incense-like notes, dry cocoa. The whole thing has a feeling of depth and earthy richness. Sweeter and richer as the smoke progresses. Peppery spice slips in halfway down the bowl, this only seems to cement the balance rather than upset it.

This is a top quality flake. Don't rush the bright tobaccos or they can bite, not really too much of a problem at first, seemed to get worse halfway through the tin, seems like I had to be more and more careful to avoid a burnt tongue. Still masterfully done. Perique is nice, just a whisper. A balanced, tasty Virginia flake of depth and complexity.

A solid 3 ½ Stars

6 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (834)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

After reading the previous review, all I can say is "Viva la Difference!". I have no doubt that the reviewer wrote what he experienced; it's just that my experiences were wildly different.

I found this to have a bit milder taste than I was hoping - certainly not strong. The perique was applied delicately, as the tin actually states, and the wonderful McClellands virginia flavor was the dominant one. The tin aroma was the usual McClellands fermented tangy VA smell... the kind that makes me overanxious to fire up a bowl. I had zero problems keeping this lit, even straight from the tin, but I preferred the flavor when I dried this out overnight, as is typical for me with VA's. The room note was very nice indeed.

I finished this tin in record time. Even so, it wasn't a perfect smoke, and not nearly as good as their Bayou Slices, a blend that is close in lineage and looks similar in the tin. That blend had a bit heftier dose of perique and was sweeter as well as spicier. This one, surprisingly enough, was smoother than Bayou - I say surprisingly because the toasting process in the latter was to smooth it out, I thought. It seems to me that Bayou uses red VA as a base while this one uses more lemon and orange, and that may be why I prefer Bayou. Nevertheless, Beacon is a great smoke and I will probably buy more to age but I prefer other McClelland vapers.

5 people found this review helpful.

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

Without a doubt, one of the very best blends I have smoked. As a VAPER, it is in the upper tier in its class. Along with Fillmore and Escudo, it is tops with me.

Beacon is also in the category of Escudo and Fillmore in fuller flavor, stronger in the nicotine department and complex. It is pretty hard for me to imagine someone liking Fillmore and Escudo and not liking Beacon. However, put another way, if Fillmore is not sweet enough and Escudo too sweet and peppery, Beacon fills-out the middle ground and won't overwhelm those moderately sensitive to Perique.

Beacon is heavier than most other VAPER blends that profile brighter tobaccos, casing or little to middling Perique. I think few blends are heavier (Night Train comes to mind). As much as I truly enjoy McClelland's SJW and other VAPER's they blend, this is nothing whatsoever like what McC has done previously.

Rubbed-out and a tiny bit dried-out made for my nearly being bowled over with Beacon's depth and creamy, smooth personality, rich complexity and full mouth satisfaction. It is also very cool. This is also a visually appealing flake, if you are like me and your mouth waters at the sight of ruddy Virginias.

I will try to age some for a few years as long as I am able to smoke Beacon regularly. Beacon is available only direct from

Four very bright stars. This blend alone could make Bob Hamlin a world-renown blender (and to a few insiders, he is renown already).

5 people found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (180)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is a very rich VaPer built on a solid foundation of tasty matured Virginias. I smoked a tin of this alternating with a tin of McC 40th Anniversary, and the Virginias here are every bit as wonderful as each other. To my limited tasting abilities they are of the same stock.

The Perique is first evident on the nose straight out of the tin. That ineffable fruit and pepper quality that Perique has. The first few bowls I struggled to find Perique in the smoke itself. I knew it was there, and I was sure I would notice if it were gone, but it took me a while to dial into the flavour. But when it hits you it never leaves. Great stuff, perfectly balanced.

This is not much like Dunhill DNR, or its kissing cousin, Escudo. This is more like Cabbie's Mixture. The Virginias in Beacon and Cabbies' are much riper and richer. That doesn't mean better, nor does it mean worse. They are all 4 star blends in my book, but it is a lesson in how the same core ingredients can produce quite different outcomes.

This is an easy, bite free, medium strength blend that suits any occasion and can easily work as an all day smoke.

4 people found this review helpful.

eon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
eon (11)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

One of the very finest tobaccos I have smoked in my almost a decade of wanderings. The Beacon deserves its name, shining across the oversaturated supply of halfling mixtures, with strength of flavour and structure like no other.

I am a big admirer of Virginia-Perique blends. I find their elusive sweetness enticing and have several open tins in constant rotation, always searching for those perfect moments when all the variables align and the blend comes to its own.

What sets Beacon apart for me, first, is that those sweet spots are far more common and dependanble than many its competitiors. While blends like Solani 633 shine thanks to their creamy smoothness, their sugars taste drier and more straightforward to my palate. With Beacon, the sweetness is at once rounder and more complex, ranging from sourness to dark molasses.

I love the characteristic smell of McClelland's vinegar that seems to scare off so many first timers. If that means more aged tins for me, I could hardly complain. For my part, I can forget myself with a freshly opened tin for a very long while.

I find the Beacon smokes as well in colder weather as it does in warm. I have enjoyed it on a blazing and moist day in central Vietnam, just as I have in the biting Midwestern winter in the US. I do recommend drying it out a little, as the flakes come well moistened in the tin. They rub out beautifully though, never crumbling too much while still being pliable in the bowl.

I very hearty recommendation to add to the hundreds before me. For once, a blend deserves every single star in spades.

4 people found this review helpful.

pipey duck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipey duck (23)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

This is so far the best Va/Per i have smoked in nearly 20 years of pipe smoking. There is no detectable flavour but it tastes almost cherry like to me. I think it is a result of the very matured virginias. The perique is there but in a minor supporting role. Just right to lift the virginias to a much more interessing level. It has a decent nic hit too and I can not see myself getting tired of Beacon. Sweet, Smooth a little Spicey and not biting. A flake almost in the english style of the past,Capstan Blue for example. Highly recommended

Pipe Used: Parker 109

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: smoking pipes

Similar Blends: mc clelland blackwoods flake.

4 people found this review helpful.

puro66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
puro66 (74)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

No long review here. I've been smoking this (heavily) since it was re-launched, just didn't get around to a review. Simply put it's one of the finest VaPer's on the market. It is perfectly balanced in my opinion and delivers a flavorful and gratifying smoke with no nicotine assault. I consistently reach for it and it never lets me down. A top five tobacco for me.

Pipe Used: varies

Age When Smoked: varies

4 people found this review helpful.

Flyerdog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Flyerdog (9)
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

I love this tobacco. If smoked gently it will give you flavor that lingers in your mouth long after the dottle has been tapped out. Hints of citrus similar to a lemon drop (tho not as sweet) and black pepper. I'm currently smoking a tin from 2009 which has been aged in the tin - that may explain the mellowness. If you like VA/Pers you should give this a try

Pipe Used: Comoy's, Dunhill

Age When Smoked: 4 years

4 people found this review helpful.

munozdj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
munozdj (5)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I love the tanginess of McClelland's VA. I don't know if it is the Lemon VA, but this blend left a tangy note in my mouth that makes it water still. The smoke begins mild but, after you get to about half of the bowl, it begins to show its true colors. Complex, bodied and soothing, this blend was the first one for a friend who wanted to know what all this pipe-nonsense of mine was about. He loved it! I expect to have more tins of this in the future but, as much as I liked it, it won't enter my rotation. Hence the three stars.

4 people found this review helpful.

Flyguyid Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Flyguyid (4)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I enjoy pure aged Virginia flakes. Virginia flakes have what I call the "Yum" factor. The exception to that rule is the adding of a little Perique. I love this tobacco. I went through a 50 gram tin in a week and ordered a bunch more. In my opinion it is much better than St. James Woods and slightly better than its cousin Beacon Extra. I love Beacon Extra too. I do not care that it smells like catsup when I open the tin... it tastes great! After all, parmesan cheese smells like smelly feet and people pile it on their food!

4 people found this review helpful.

krumpelman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krumpelman (10)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Upon opening the tin you are greeted with the typical McClelland smell, some refer to it as a ketchup smell, or a strong tang smell; Either way I find it pleasurable. The tobacco is in the broken flake style, and seems to be fairly consistent in size. Each flake consists of dark and orange colored virginias, with highlights of lemon virginia and streaks of perique. The moisture content is average, not overly wet, but most people would probably want to dry it out for about 30 min or so, depending on your preference.

The tobacco flakes rub out easily into fine ribbon strips. I chose to gravity fill the pipe, but I am sure this tobacco would work great for the air pocket method as well. Packing was easy and the blend lit well after an initial char lighting.

My first few puffs of this blend were very sweet. Sugar and perique with a hint of Virginia were dominate for the first 10 puffs. After the initial puff the sugar sweetness subsided to a nice matured virginia sweetness and a solid virginia taste came through. The balance of Virginia and Perique is very nice. The perique never seems to dominate the matured virginias. About 1/4 of the way through the bowl the lemon virginias start to play on your tongue. A nice lemongrass flavor is apparent but like the perique, it never overtakes this blend. !/2 way through the bowl the flavors seem to meld into a sturdy, cool, and slightly sweet virginia. The Perique kicks back in towards the end, with the occasional note of lemon virginias.

This blend burns down to a fine ash. I never had much of a problem with moisture. I ran a cleaner through the stem of my pipe once, and more for good measure then out of necessity. I did not notice an extraordinarily strong nicotine content in this blend, and feel it is on par with most Vaper blends.

In my opinion this is a surprisingly good Vaper blend. honestly I didn't have real high hopes for this blend, but I ended up being very satisfied with it. If I had to compare it to another Vaper I would say it is reminiscent to Solani 633, but subdued on the lemongrass virginia and a higher sugar content. I would heavily emphasize the word reminiscent though! My experience with this blend was in a medium to large billiard shape Stanwell pipe. I feel this is a great offering from McClelland and would not hesitate to recommend it or purchase more. DGT Update I went ahead and set 1/2 a bowl aside for DGT. The flavors seem to have melded. Medium in virginia flavor with a spicier note of perique in the foreground. Once in a while the smallest whiff of lemon will appear. Personally I cared more for it before the DGT, but just one mans opinion.

4 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (485)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I only had a tin of this in the cellar and finally got to popping it after it aged nearly three years. It is a great VaPer and finds it way between three and four stars for me.

Anyway, to the leaf itself. This is another great use of Virginia from one the masters of that leaf. It is a shame McClelland is no more as of this time as there processing of Virginia was so unique and fantastic that any of their Virginia blends are immediately identifiable from the tin note and from the first puff. And they pretty much all rock.

While a great deal of attention for McCleelland goes to their use of the red leaf, Beacon shows they can also do justice to both orange and lemon Virginia. This is citrusy and I loved it. Having tried Beacon Extra, I did expect to love it, but I thought it would be a little weak for my tastes.

All the talk of the Virginia should not distract one from the fact that there is perique in the blend. It is not a large amount, and anyone who has smoked Extra should expect that, since the latter has more perique and, IMO, is not very heavy on the condiment. In fact, I found Beacon Extra to be about the perfect amount of Perique so I anticipated this to be too light for my tastes, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was a good amount of perique. It didn't add as much spice to my tastes as it did body. It brought greater depth to the wonderful Virginias and I never felt cheated by a smoke that was too weak.

As I started by saying it is between three and four stars and my preference of Beacon Extra would normally doom this to 3 stars, but where the perique lightens up in Beacon, it does allow more of that fantastic Virginia base to shine through, so I am rounding it up to four stars.

Age When Smoked: Just under 3 years.

2 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1626)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

McClelland - Beacon (Collector Series).

The flakes themselves are thick and robust, but because the moisture was great when I opened it they weren't too difficult to prepare. It's actually a broken flake, not to the point of being virtually a ribbon, but it's slightly broken.

This is a fantastic smoke. Sure, the Virginias may have been added more heavily, but the inimitable flavour of the Perique still comes across; the Perique gives some 'zing', while the Virginias sweeten the smoke. They work together great. The Perique cools the smoke, and a bowl burns perfectly steady. I don't get an ounce of tongue bite, no matter how hard a chug on my pipe.

I find the dose of nicotine about medium, and the room-note's good.

Highly recommended, easily.

Pipe Used: Altinok Meer'

Age When Smoked: Two months

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

JustinCarcerated Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustinCarcerated (99)
Medium None Detected Medium Unnoticeable

A fantastic blend where light sugary yellow Virginias are paired with darker heavier -yet still sweet - Carolina leaf with a delicate and yet pungent perique, the likes of which this Cajun hasn't tasted outside of St James Parish in any blend that I can recall. Cut is nothing special, correct in every way as one would expect from McClelland, doesn't burn out of the norm, but somehow the pairing of this VaPer is near perfection in that it delivers a nice nicotine-laden experience without being overbearing or harsh... no bite whatsoever.

I have had half a dozen VaPers of which University Flake and La Flake are favorites, but this blend surpasses them in that the flavors are layered. Think tiramisu vs pudding in that sense. Both have sugar and are pudding-like, but the former has such depth compared to the latter. So goes Beacon. Have a tin of Beacon Extra I am about to sample... VaPer and Virginia lovers should consider this outstanding blend.

Pipe Used: Meers

Age When Smoked: 2012

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

2 people found this review helpful.

MAPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MAPiper (10)
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

This is a lighter VA Per consisting of lemon and orange VAs and a little bit of perique. It's a light bodied and sweeter VA Per. It has the flavors you'd expect from lemon VA but it's substantial and has a rich flavor. It's great on a summer afternoon or evening. Just an excellent smoke. I smoke this in the summer or when I want a smoke that isn't too heavy with perique. I used to smoke a lot of in your face perique blends but I am finding that I look for more subtly now from my perique. More often than not I smoke Saint James Woods but enjoy Beacon for a change of pace.

Pipe Used: briars, meers

Age When Smoked: new

2 people found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1281)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Wow what a fantastic virginia experience. Very natural and burns great. Plenty of flavor but mild and smooth. Slightly sweet, fruity, and perique-y, but certainly not enough sweetness or perique-ness to turn anyone off. If you enjoy medium strength virginia blends and have not tried this yet, this should be on the tippy-top of your list imo.

2 people found this review helpful.

wekers Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wekers (14)
Very Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I like the sweet that virginia of this VAPer do in my taste, not so hard to keeping lit. Pleasant tobacco, but have a bad aftertaste (burning tobacco) after some time smoked, so makes this a very negative point to try smoke again.

2 people found this review helpful.

Dr. Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Scott (82)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Until I tried Beacon, I never really knew how hot a blend could burn. This mild VaPer flake will singe the hairs from your tongue if you're not careful. This blend will make an acrylic mouthpiece too hot to handle.

If you smoke it slowly, you will have a tolerable, and somewhat bland VaPer. The Virginias are too young, not the aged or stoved stuff you see in so many McClelland's. Not one of McClelland's best.

But I love VaPers, and there is a generous amount of Perique here. I bought several tins, so I'm putting them away for a while. Maybe in 2016 I will find that it has aged into the great blend that others have experienced.

2 people found this review helpful.

DavidP Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DavidP (25)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

A mellow, sweet smoke with a bit of spice. Throughout this tin I've had trouble drawing a lot of flavor from the flakes even when rubbed out. Seems to burn hotter than other VA flakes.

Don't think I'll try this one again as there are so many other VAs out there.

1 person found this review helpful.

Fellow traveler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fellow traveler (64)
Medium None Detected Full Very Strong

Looks nice and smells like a McClelland blend. Very strong taste with heavy dose of perique. Very hard to light and keep lit. The smoke is heavy and seems to stick to everything, wife hates the smell, REALLY hates the smell. Tar buildup in the pipe is interesting to clean up, like telephone pole creosote.

Given a choice I would opt for 2105, but feel the Frogs are far smoother and easier to deal with. For me it is not sweet enough. If you like Blackwoods flake with perique, this is the stuff. Buy a blow torch to keep it lit.

Bottom line, only wasted $7, could have been worse.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mike Toney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike Toney (44)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I like VA/Pers & this is another quality presentation. Pungent tin aroma similar to other McC's VA & VA/Per blends that has been well documented, so, no need to go into that. This tobacco is quality leaf blended to perfection with excellent smoking characteristics. The broken flakes are very moist from the tin and require some drying time before stoking. It is sharp & a bit harsh upon initial lighting, but after a few puffs it settles into a smooth, pure, tobacco taste that is easy on the palate.

I prefer this VA/Per blend over McClelland's St. James Woods because it is slightly easier on the tongue/palate. Other than that, it's hard to discern the difference between the two. However, neither blend tastes as good to me or satisfies as well as my two favorite VA/Pers...Three Nuns & Escudo. Therefore, IMHO, Beacon merits three s*s!!

1 person found this review helpful.

wosbald Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wosbald (111)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

The tin aroma of these medium-cut, partially broken flakes is of lemon, grain, and cooked fruit, along with the typical McClelland tang.

Rich and pointed light VAs take center stage with a supporting background of perique strengthening their presence and ratcheting up the richness a notch.

A vaper composed of primarily golden virginias, this spryly pointed and meandering blend fills a long-vacant hole in the McClelland portfolio. SImultaneously rich and youthful, Beacon is simply a gem.

Chamber Gauge: Narrow

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KahveDelisi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KahveDelisi (52)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Tried almost all PCCA blends except tudor castle and I like jubilee more.

take it slow with beacon and you'll be rewarded. at first try I was carried away, so yes, it can bite :) for me the cube cut works better than fully rubbed.

EDIT: I've done a little experiment with beacon and dunhill london mixture. With both blends I was having similar problems and I thought It takes a thief to catch a thief :P so I fully rubbed some beacon and mixed it with LM. 50% first. results were promising but mcclelland virgina was overpowering. so I changed the ratio to 1/3 beacon + 2/3 London mixture. WA-A-O-OW! improved burning qualities, cooler, less to no bite and the flavor profile is much more complex now. I just invented my own --medium-- nightcap :P okay I didn't but give it a try if you can, I suppose this ratio will work with several latakia/oriental or latakia/turkish mixtures

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SMOKETSES Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Heinz participates in this mixture too. Especially when you open the tin, finding dark black colored flakes, with some brown and golden shades among them. It is most fortunate that gradually this aroma fades away, and all that remains is the natural taste of Virginia. It is a strong tobacco that tastes real good, and the Perique just adds a spicy note, without bothering me at all, as I am not a big fan of it. A big disadvantage of this mixture though is how it lights up. It is very difficult, and equally hard is to keep it lit for long, especially if you fill the bowl with whole pieces that you haven't rubbed or cut into cubes. I will keep the second tin, that my good friend “Hetfield” brought me, and smoke it after 2-3 years. I'm sure that the results will be more than impressive.

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M.Toney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
M.Toney (59)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I recently opened a tin from 2009 and stoked a bowl after drying & rubbing it out some. I didn't think I was going to like this but I persevered. It was a little sharp initially but quickly faded. After a little burns off, you're left with pure tobacco flavor.

This is a good VA/Per blend that burns fairly slow and stays lit really well. The Virginias in this blend are very sweet and my overall impression was...a blend that anyone would enjoy, regardless of preference.

For me, this mix became a little bland & lite after mid-bowl. I like VA/Pers & this is a good one. Therefore, IMHO, Beacon merits three stars.

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RMP Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RMP (7)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

PCCA Beacon, from Bob Hamlin and McClelland, is the ultimate Bright Yellow Virginia/Perique blend ever.

This blend is for long term aging, and smoking anytime!

Just hoping McC keeps the good thing going.

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SirLoirn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirLoirn (126)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Tin: This is a partially broken flake with a familiar McClelland sweet oats and raisins smell, chestnut to brown, mottled with blonde. Supple and somewhat moist. Tin date is 2009.

Handling: Needs to be rubbed out like any flake. Difficult to get lit and burns slowly. With the tobacco very well rubbed out, a much more savory smoke is had.

Smoking: Similar to other offerings in this genre: Aurora, McCranie's My Reserve II; sweet VA, but with a terse edge to it.

With the tobacco very well rubbed out, Beacon is a more complex smoke.

Nicotine: mild to medium, closer to medium

Room Note: tolerable

Overall: In that there are similar offerings in ribbon form, two stars; well rubbed out, 2.9 stars.

Beacon is part of the 6-member Collector Blends produced by, and labeled as, McClelland. McClelland originally made it available for the Pipe Collector's but McClelland no longer puts PCCA on the label.

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oldsouth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldsouth (9)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

This tobacco is very rich and flavorful.It smokes like a well aged Virginia right out of the tin and in my opinion doesn't require aging to experience a wonderful sweet Virginia smoke.The perique is in perfect proportions, and must cool this blend on the palate.Because with heavy puffing I couldn't detect any bite.

This is by far in twenty plus years of pipe smoking the best Virginia flake that I have smoked.

It is best fully rubbed out.

Treat yourself to this blend,you want be disappointed.

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KAW999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KAW999 (5)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Beacon where have you been all of my life! Just like your true love, you remember where and when you met, the lighting on the street corner across the street, the way she walked over to your SUV, watching her ample hips sway, your dream lady is coming towards you; you roll down the window & sigh &.. , I have that feeling for Beacon, I have vivid memories of when we met. This was not a cheap hookup, it is magical, its for real man!! We are in love!!!

I am new to pipe smoking, ex cigarette smoker, started our hobby in October 2008. I ordered three tins of Beacon along with two others (Haddos Delight and Waccamaw) to be honest to the other brands I have not tried them, and I am not to sure that I will, unless my woman burns me. Beacon I think is my holy grail of pipe tobacco.

When I open my first tin I was put off by the smell. From reading the blender review of their products I expected this. So after the initial opening I let the tin sit for an week at the office. Then I open the tin and let it sit for an half hour trying to get the initial smell out of my tobacco. I also rubbed some of the Beacon tobacco out on a paper towel from the coffee room and let it set out for an hour. I packed my pipe using the three step method. The pipe I used was a Dunhill group 4 Dublin. This was the best smoke that I ever had. Upon the first puff after the charring light there was a citrus overtone to the tobacco which in my opinion is perfection. Beacon is highly recommended.

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Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (163)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is a great, somewhat broken, bright flake with a touch of perique. I really don't taste the perique, so it must be in there mainly to cool the blend. Plenty of natural flavor from the get go. North of medium. Not wet.

Burns easy, sweet and savory to the taste, but can have a trace of an edge (not bite or hot per se), if smoked in a large bowl. Smoother if smoked in a smaller or medium bowl I feel.

Taste reminds me a little of the flavor of McClelland's Honeydew flake tin, but not as sweet and certainly not as potentially hot as that one. I don't think this blend is scented; it just has well aged virginia.

If you like sweet virginias (but not real sweet or aromatic) and are into flakes, this is a good choice. Recommended.

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LeGunnCat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LeGunnCat (18)
Medium None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The blend to me has no topping flavoring I can distinguish. The natural taste of the tobac is unadulterated by this giving the smoker only the pure taste of the tobacs, especially the Perique. The flavor of the Perique is pure; it's quite delicious. Upon opening the tins I smelled a lovely plum aroma , no topping smell noticeable to me. The tobac is presented in small flakes which are fairly broken up. I rub out the tobac and then grind it a bit in a manual grinder. This allows for me to smoke the slightly moist tobac easily having more edges to burn, thus giving me more flavor (from the moisture level of the tobac). Easy to light, easy to burn, this blend leaves no bite on my tongue, but a big flavor hit in my taste buds! I recommend this tobac to anyone who is a fan of vaper blends. Yummy!

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GeoLogger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GeoLogger (16)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This absolutely one of the best tobacco blends out there. I like St James Woods and Copes - but I love this. There is no tobacco available today which I enjoy more. I also love playing the field, so the old gal gets compared to a lot of others. If you are ever lucky enough to find a blend that is just perfect for you then on that day you will appreciate what this tobacco is to me. I have had several tins from the first, and have now several more from the second batches. I have started to grab from the third (current) batch. Initially, to be honest, I can't tell if certain subtle differences have more to do with the inevitble difficulties inherent in the proposition of matching tobaccos available in different years vs. the differences OF the years. Aging can be most of the difference - and the difference is mild. If this newest batch is half as good as what I've smoked in the past then it is a bargain at twice the price. This is one blend you need to have around. It will be the stuff of legend in your very lifetime. If you are unlucky enough to never smoke it then I will pity you, but I will not share any blame because I am warning you now to not miss it. You can use terms like Va/Per and go grabbing C&D versions all day long, or Jeff's, Greg's, or Joe's or whatever - but this is the perfect example, and if you miss out it is your own danged fault. I suggest in all sincerity that ,after I place my next order, you buy at least a dozen tins and then put them up. Next buy some to smoke and be putting up more as you do. If you don't like it now you will make a killing selling it to me later.

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