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The full spectrum of matured Virginia flavors from naturally sweet, mellow red to rich, deeply fragrant black stoved lemon unfolds as you smoke. Awaken to a dawning of tantalizing tastes in every bowl. Aurora is a mellow rich mixture of high sugar content red Virginia, a bit of bright and black stoved Virginia.

Notes: Reintroduced in 2009 from a PCCA Blend.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
CutReady Rubbed
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
Where to Buy
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Mild to Medium
None Detected
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 5 Users

36 reviews
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Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
Mild Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

My tin was dated 1 year old. Upon opening, the tobacco was of perfect moisture content, however, anyone that does not like "McVinegar Virginia " will not like this tobacco . I happen to LOVE McVV and think McClellands Virginia is the best, it has a sweet and sour flavor that I crave. From the newly opened tin, I had a difficult time distinguishing it from "5100 Red Cake", which I rate at 4 stars . Aurora has slightly more "N" and flavor but only slightly, 5100 RC beats this on price.

After a few days of opening and closing the tin ,I found that the McVV had dissipated and you could really pick out the nuances of the Virginias. Some sour lemon, a hint of cocoa ,maybe even a pinch of Oriental Five Spice, it reminded me of the base of "Jubilee" without the Latikia, very tasty and totally smooth and without bite. This had developed into a very complex blend, especially for a straight Virginia. I realize that Perique is not listed , but I seem to detect a hint of that "basement" taste that I like from Perique.

As far as straight Virginia's go, I like this better than C&D's "Opening Night" as ON has a slight bite and not as complex. I will keep this in stock

5 people found this review helpful.

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

I recently smoked a 12 year old tin of Aurora (original PCCA version), and was super pleased with the depth of flavor this fine blend provided. The Virginia leaf had darkened considerably and there were sugar crystals all over the place. I smoked slowly and was rewarded by a host of tremendous flavor variations as I worked my way down the bowl. Yummy stuff! I hope to one day find another old tin.


3 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Very Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant

UPDATE 12/16/14

This one has always confounded me because it looked like a McClellands, it smelled like a McClellands but it didn't taste like one. McC's virginias may be a lot of things but flat is not one of them. Well, apparently 4 years of age opens this one up considerably. I stumbled upon what was left of my 2nd tin which had been jarred and fired up a bowl. It was much better this go 'round...richer, deeper and just a bit more complex. The various VA leaves seem to meld better. Still not a world beater but very smokable and enjoyable. I doubt I'll buy anymore but I smoked 4 bowls of this over a couple of days and all I can say is if you buy it, you might want to let it sit for several years before smoking. Three stars.

UPDATE 4/28/12

As I suspected, Aurora does a bit better with some cellar time. But only slightly. This is still a very simple blend, lacking any real depth, a trait I find odd for a McClellands virginia. But the flavor asserted itself just a tad more. There was more tang and a hair more sweetness. But 2 stars is still plenty. I'm with Ruffinogold on this one... perfectly fine, no glaring faults, but this is one that could have stayed in the recipe rolodex. It still doesn't distinguish itself the way most McClellands VA's do.


This may be the first McClelland virginia or Vaper I've smoked that didn't score at least a 3. Most of them are pushing 4 stars for me. This one didn't do so well.

Beautiful looking tobacco with that gorgeous McClelland fermented virginia aroma! McClelland VA's supplant new car smell as the finest smell in the world for me. Unfortunately, the look and tin aroma of this blend were its two best features. This isn't a bad blend by any means; it simply doesn't distinguish itself in any way. The flavor was much too light, bordering on flat. No red VA richness present and very little tang. This tasted like a subdued Rattrays Dark Fragrant, which by itself is subdued enough, thank you very much. Red VA, in particular, typically has a lot of character, but this blend failed to realize its potential. Soft and mellow, to be sure, but no underlying richness and about as much depth as a puddle. Blowing smoke out the nose helped but didn't elevate this one beyond mediocre.

I think our friend Aurora needs more time in the cellar, as I smoked a tin marked 2010. To be fair, I will update this review in a year to see if this blend has improved with age. By all rights, it should.

3 people found this review helpful.

Abadakus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Abadakus (9)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Tobacco was moderately wet and seemed a bit sticky out of the tin, maybe owing to the casing. Yes, the ketchup is there, both in the smell from the tin and taste when smoked, from first to last bowl, wet or dry or whatever. But anyway, it's still one of my favorite Virginia blends. Burns slowly and quite cool, no tongue bite or any other problems here.

Once lit, it won't overwhelm you with strong taste. It's subtle and delicate, but possesses LOTS of fine detail. It combines sweetness and fruitiness with some more earthy and sour notes. Generally resembles the 5100, but seems a bit more complex and full-bodied to me.

A lovely blend!

Similar Blends: McClelland - Bulk No.5100 Red Cake.

2 people found this review helpful.

ruffinogold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ruffinogold (107)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

It seems that whenever theres a flowery description of a blend it's because it needs it . Zzzzzzzzzzz . This blend is pretty flat and boring ... " Awaken to a dawning of tantalizing " ... give me a freakin break . Good quality tobacco that dosent stand out in any way . On the light side of medium for sure . The bowl developes a little but not much . With the number of blends out there I cant figure why McCll bothere making it . Nothing offensive but nothing to gain ... 2 stars

2 people found this review helpful.

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

On a few occasions, I have fallen madly in love with a blend at first light. A couple of times, the romance faded as I got into the second or third ounce. A couple of times, the tobacco has proven only to get better with the passage of time. This is one of the latter group. As excited as I was when I first lit a bowl of Aurora, it only gets better and better.

My first tin was just under a year old. Like all Virginias, it must be smoked slowly to avoid bite and get all the flavor and sweetness. There are more flavors when a little moist, so don't dry it out too much. It is perfect straight from the tin. The excellent ribbon cut makes it easy to pack, and it smokes great.

There is only a very mild ketchup aroma from McClelland's aged Virginia process, and it is not detected in the smoke. It is right up there with the best Virginias in terms of taste. Nicotine is not too strong. A great blend. I plan to purchase as many tins as I can afford, to smoke now and to age for my retirement.

As one who is passionate about Virginias, I can say that Aurora is one of the very best, and presently is my absolute favorite.

Update: newer tins are more on the savory end of the spectrum. With a year or more in the tin, this blend becomes sweeter and much more complex.

Update, April 2014: Time has not dulled my enthusiasm for this blend. It is worth repeating that, like any all-Virginias blend, it must be sipped slowly to avoid unpleasantness and fully enjoy the wonderful flavors.

Unlike those blends containing Latakia, Aurora leaves the breath relatively fresh: you might actually be able to get a kiss from your sweetie after Aurora!

A note on the nicotine: Aurora has an undeserved reputation for being light on the Vitamin N. Not so! But the nicotine comes on slowly. Instead of making your head swim and your guts churn, Aurora induces a strong sense of relaxation, and leaves you with a very mild but long-lasting buzz, and a mellow mood that stays with you long after the bowl is finished.

Pipe Used: Larger Billiards

2 people found this review helpful.

Goose55 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Goose55 (15)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I recently purchased a dozen more tins of this splendid Virginia blend to shore up the ten or so tins that I hope to continue to get some age on, as I have heard that it ages to something unbelievable. I am utterly amazed at how McClelland created this absolute treat of a pipe tobacco. To me, this blend leaves other pure Virginia blends such as Dunhill Flake, and Orlik Golden Sliced far far behind in terms of complexity, and so many dimensions of delectably sweet flavors. And they did this with no toppings. Remarkable. Just pure tobacco! It is celestial. Get some. You will not be dissapointed.

Edit: March 17, 2018 Only very few knew at the time of my above post that McClelland Tobacco Co. would close its doors. If I had known I'd have tried to find 100 tins. But now I will try to make the 19 I do have last as long as possible. I am thankful I have it.

Pipe Used: Pipa Croci Scoop

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: P&Cs

1 person found this review helpful.

Stefanos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stefanos (150)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

There’s no McClelland’s tobacco I have tasted that I did not like. I especially enjoy the Grand Oriental series, but while initially I thought they were all plain tobaccos without any topping, they all seem to share a particular aroma which I also found in Aurora (I am not talking about the vinegary note). It may come naturally from the Virginias but I doubt it. In any case it is a pleasing tell-tale McClelland aroma.

The tobacco consists of ribbons and pieces from broken flakes of dark stoved Virginia, red Virginias and a few bright. It has the look of matured tobacco, the ribbons have a luster which reminds me of cured meat… It comes a little dry and takes to the fire easily and stays lit.

At first I was not impressed. I found the tobacco a little one-dimensional and not having a very typical Virginia flavor. It had a dry taste with a mild spiciness. But after the third or fourth bowl it started to grow on me. I began to appreciate its considerable sweetness and slowly I came to recognize the taste as mostly red Virginia with an earthy and tea-like aroma, an underlying sweetness and faint hay-like notes. The topping might also play a role in smoothing out the tobacco and adding a sweet note but I cannot put my finger on what it is.

I also came to appreciate its rich full bodied smoke while its strength being only mild to medium with just the right amount of nicotine for an all-day smoke. I found that it is a very forgiving tobacco even if you puff hard as it never gets harsh.

Summing up, Aurora is not a tobacco to sit down and contemplate about, but it is a very good Virginia blend with a slight sweet topping which is very congruent with the tobacco flavors, burns excellently, can be an all-day smoke and it is ideal in case you need a quick fix of nicotine without side effects.

1 person found this review helpful.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (191)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Plenty of flavor in this tin, the strength is perfect for an all day smoke. A sophisticated Virginia mixture, a smokers delight. The preservative smell is quite strong but does not mix with the rich taste while smoking. It does what it says on the tin. Burns flawlessly without drying. Nice after taste and no bite.

1 person found this review helpful.

Bluegrassbrian Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluegrassbrian (7)
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've been working my way through Mcclelland Virginias for a while now. While I enjoy and appreciate their many Virginia blends, I find that most of the ribbon cut varieties are improved by adding a pinch of 5105 (stoved virginia). Aurora however doesn't need it. The stoved virginia in this blend is very tangy and adds depth of smell and flavor that's much appreciated. Upon my first smoke I had to re-read the ingredient description on the tin because I thought I detected a hint of Oriental tang, but I've surmised it's just the stoved virginia here. To me it is a different stoved than what's used in other blends.

Often, Virgina blends are (for better or for worse) labeled as having little complexity, usually by English smokers. If you want to smoke a "complex blend of Virginia tobaccos", look no further than Mcclelland Aurora.

Pipe Used: Various billiards

Age When Smoked: Less than a year.

Purchased From:

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (180)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Exactly what it says on the tin. What one would expect of a mix of bright Va and stoved Va, with the notable presence of Red Va adding some spice and mouth feel.

Packs easy, burns a treat and I have no doubt that as others have already noted, this will age beautifully. Full marks.

Pipe Used: Lepeltier

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xortex Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xortex (6)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

After much experimentation, I've learned McC's tobacco just isn't for me. But if you like McC, you can do no wrong with Aurora. It has all their hallmarks, but maybe a little sweeter, with a really pleasant room note.

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: 2009

Purchased From: custom blends, York pa

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Another hit from McClelland, and one of their Virginias with less ketchup/vinegar smell. This is a complex blend suitable for the contemplative smoker, providing subtle flavors. Sometimes sweet, sometimes earthy, sometimes grassy. Very enjoyable overall.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KahveDelisi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KahveDelisi (52)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Mother of all PCCA blends. Smoking Aurora you may get a better understanding of MC collector series. That being said, please be warned, not one tin identical to other.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Arkie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arkie (129)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

This blend is ok. I was disappointed but it didn't seems to be as good to me as the reviews here indicated. The baccy behaved well but the taste was a bit bland. I would rate it higher but I expect a premium priced blend to have a bit more flavor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Country Doc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Country Doc (20)
Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

OK this is a clear winner right out of the gate. No work required – excellent, full, rich Virginia sweetness, relatively cool smoking and no bite. I have tried Union Square and definitely prefer Aurora.

A beautiful smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (165)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A ribbon mix of dark stoved and red virginias. Well balanced so neither completely dominates. P&T reports it is the best Virginia blend out there. I do not concur, but it is certainly not bad in any way.

The two strong virginas produce plenty of flavor fullness. Maybe too much for some. Burns easy.

The balance is good but a drawback if you love red virginias only (bulk "red cake") or just adore dark stoved blends (Butera "dark stoved"). That is, the scent and sweetness of the reds are there but restrained by the darker virginias which are constantly sneaking through. Yet the darker taste does not completely dominate. Nevertheless, an interesting combo.

Due to the body of the tobaccos, this is not a mild blend for beginners I feel. Still smoother burning that a shag cut mixture of the reds and stoves (another one of McClelland's numbered virginia tinned blends).

A quality blend, but it simply did not have enough "red" in it to satisfy me on the first tin go 'round.

Nobody has rated this review yet.