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Highlander is the one blend so far in the Grand Orientals Series using Latakia. It is a classic mixture of the finest mountain grown Yenidje with both Cyprian and Syrian Latakia and just enough Matured Red Virginia and mellow Maryland. This is a smooth cool-smoking oriental mixture of outstanding character. Our inspiration was a vintage tin of the old Balkan Sobranie.

Notes: From McClelland: Oriental tobacco cultivation began in the 1600s around the villages of Yenidje and Kirdzhali after Venetian and Genoese traders introduced tobacco smoking to the area in the 1500s. The classic Basma seed introduced there over 300 years ago is believed by some to derive from an ancient Venezuelan variety of Nicotiana Tabacum named Barinas. The very finest Xanthi still comes from the original Yenidje (Genesaia) area of Western Thrace just north of the modern town of Xanthi. It is the Xanthi-Yaka-Basma and the Xanthi-Djebel-Basma that comprise the legendary Yenidje leaf which is thin, full-bodied, flexible, with fine veins. Full of oils, the best leaves are quite small, yellow to brown in color, with a pleasant, delicate aroma and sweet, mild, fresh flavor.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeOriental
ContentsLatakia, Maryland, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
CutCoarse Cut
Packaging50 grams tin, 100 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This Oriental blend has quite a range of nuances ranging from sweet to minor sour notes, smoke, wood, earth, a little dryness, some spice, and in the case of the yenidje, what I classify as an “unflavored soda” taste. As expected, they rule the day with this blend. The Virginia provides tangy sweet dark fruit and earth with a very light spice as a smoothing additive as an important condiment that acts bigger than its actual content. The Maryland essentially acts as a flavor carrier and doesn’t really add anything to the taste. The Cyprian and Syrian latakias add a smokey, woody, sweet and dry tone you’ll always notice as it continuously lurks in the back ground. There is the familiar McClelland “vinegar” that mostly lightly translates to the earlier portion of the experience. The nic-hit is in the middle of mild to medium. The taste and strength are closer to medium than it is to mild. Well blended with a fair amount of complexity, you’ll notice most every aspect of the lightly creamy, very smooth consistent flavor from top to bottom. Relights a few relights, and leaves just a little moisture in the bowl. Has a lasting, very pleasant after taste, and the room note won’t scare away your dogs or cats. It’s close, but not quite an all day smoke, though some experienced smokers may find otherwise.

13 people found this review helpful.

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

This is the last of the Grand Oriental series - so far. I saved this one for last because I was afraid the addition of latakia would overwhelm the subtleties of the oriental tobacco. I was wrong.

Getting this out of the way first, I preferred the GO Yenidje without latakia but this one was a fine smoke. The latakia was expertly applied so as not to be overbearing. In fact, the latakia is mostly in the bouquet, with just enough flavor so you know it's there. I find this to be a nice, mild and spicy blend that doesn't knock you about the head with either flavor or nicotine. There is the virginia sweetness at the match that gradually gives up some ground to the oriental spice and the latakia just sort of hangs around to provide some further depth. I recommend you try this one with latakia and the Yenidje Supreme without latakia. The differences are subtle but significant. Both are worth a try.

10 people found this review helpful.

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


This is a mega-winner from McClelland's and as fine an Oriental blend as I can remember ever smoking. The Virginia and Latakia components really meld into a rich, pure smoking experience that leaves me both satisfied and eager for another bowl.

The cut, though a little coarse, packs very well and stays lit with no trouble. There is a bit more strength than is normally encountered with this type of blend, and the taste stays with you for awhile.

I particularly enjoyed the way this tobacco presented its Virginia base up front, yet allowed me to taste the other components without being muffled.

This one gets my nod, for sure.

9 people found this review helpful.

Perique Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Perique (150)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Yenidje Highlander presents very similarly to Yenidje Supreme but with a darker shade of brown and a smattering of black. The tobacco is on the dry side, as one might expect with an Oriental. Tin note is somewhat pungent, spicy-sweet, herbal with just a hint of ferment and tang. Takes a match well and burns dry and cool.

I expected this to be basically Supreme with a pinch of Latakia, and perhaps it is. But Highlander surprised me with more complexity than Supreme. I found the Virginias to be more assertive here and had you told me that was the case, I probably wouldn't have bought it, not generally being a raving fan of McClelland Virginia-forward blends. But the nuance and balance of blending here is simply extraordinary. The interplay of sweet, sour and spicy is a true testament to the blender's artistry. There is perhaps no better marriage than Oriental and Virginia tobacco in the hands of a master blender. The Latakia is truly condiment here but does magical things to this blend, grounding the sharper tobaccos and adding a mushroomy earthiness by mid bowl that contrasts beautifully with the dryer Basma notes and sweeter Virginia.

Highlander is smooth, rich, balanced and extraordinary. Fully satisfying without overwhelming, Highlander is a world class blend.

Miss Perique found the room note awful. But I loved it.

7 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I bought this in order to get a better idea of what Yenidje taste like. In that I succeeded. I find it to be a bit sharp at first, but it does round off after a bit. Has a nice flavor, spicy, mildly sour and mildly buttery. The blend itself is very nice after the Yenidje rounds off. The Latakia is in just the right amount to keep from hiding any of the Yenidje and the Virginias providing a nice bit of sweetness. The Latakia does come out more in the finish and by then I'm ready for it to do so. A decent smoke.

Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From:

7 people found this review helpful.

tleek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tleek (48)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I Definitely highly recommend this tobacco. The latakia is light and the majority of flavor is provided by the top quality, very delicious, oriental leaf. Throughout the bowl the is an underlying Virginia sweetness that mellows and sweetens the smoke. It occasionally comes to the forefront of the flavor profile while being smoked, but for the most part provides that much needed back drop.

The Yenidje or Xenthi, or whatever kind of oriental leaf I cant pronounce is in this blend is excellent. Very spicy, not in the sense of a burning sensation, but like spices used to flavor meets. A bit of a clove flavor, and even a very very subtle mint like flavor in the way background of the smoke behind the virginias.

The Latakia produces its usual smokiness, though combined with the intense oriental flavor, produces something very close to a very spicy ham or turkey flavor, less the obvious taste of the meat itself.

Smells delicious to me in the tin and in the air.

This truly is an amazing tobacco, everything about it is great. It was good enough to make me want to try the other blends in the series.

5 people found this review helpful.

tpatriarche Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tpatriarche (32)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

In one sentence, this is a perfectly good tobacco, but it in no way deserves to be called "Grand Oriental" or "Yenidje". The Yenidje almost vanishes in smoking, instead of being a strong top-note as one would expect from the name. This is what My Favourite Tobacconist would call a balanced blend.

On opening the tin, the charcteristic McC ketchup aroma was apparent, but doesn't seem to affect the taste of the smoke. I could smell the yenidje in the tin but barely taste it in the smoke. Mac Baren - HH Vintage Syrian has far more yenidje, and a little more latakia, even my local blender's imitation of Dunhill MM 965 has much more oriental character. Instead the red-cake Virginia dominates the flavour. Oddly,the Yenidje is more noticeable in the room aroma.

All that being said, this is a fine, satisfying smoke; the Latakia does not dominate & there is little tongue burn; smokes evenly; not too strong but very flavourful, with a fairly complex makeup. It's just misnamed or badly marketed. I'm tempted to downgrade it to 2 stars for misleading advertising, but that would be unfair. It is not McC's best or most charcterful blend (I nominate St. James Wood for that place), but it deserves 3 stars.

Pipe Used: Carey System

Age When Smoked: Fresh in tin

Purchased From:

3 people found this review helpful.

petrisz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
petrisz (9)
Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

A fellow pipe smoker smelled the tin and said "Saloon Latakia". Well the tin aroma features a restrained but evident Latakia. The beautiful red-brown and dark brown leaves are spotted by black ones. But smoking it is a different experience.

The Latakia is only nice condiment to make this sophisticated blend more interesting. It is blended into this oriental-forward blend to such extent that at times it is barely detectable. It gives a nice smoky-ness to the flavour. Otherwise Yenidje Highlander is more similar to the other Grand Oriental, Drama Reserve, than to any blends I know having Latakia in it.

On the palate it is creamy, delicate and inviting to explore: butter, peanut, hay, some smoky-ness, pepper and paprika. In the first 1/3 of the bowl I sometimes detected anise as well but it vanished before I could investigate the nature and origin of this anise flavour.

Down the bowl the peanut turns to chestnut and then to walnut, the pepper and paprika to cinnamon and chilli. Also a little citrus-bitter flavour starts to appear which turns to bergamot and to something too ashy at the end.

This tobacco does not bite at all but I recommend you smoke it slowly because otherwise you would miss some of the subtle flavours and it would turn a bit bitter and less enjoyable.

I discovered only two things on the downside: 1) the ashy taste at the end; 2) in the first 1/3 of the bowl the smoke was sometimes irritating to my throat and my palate. Do not ask me how I don't understand it myself.

My favourite oriental + virginia blend is Drama Reserve which is full of subtle flavours to explore. I had thought that Yenidje Highlander would be a blend like Drama Reserve with a pinch of Latakia added. It surely sounds like a great idea. While the result is still a delicate blend it is somehow uneven.

Pipe Used: meersch

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: 4noggins

Similar Blends: McClelland - Drama Reserve (Grand Orientals), McClelland - Blending Latakia.

3 people found this review helpful.

balkan_boy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
balkan_boy (49)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

This tobacco is to be smoked as a treat, and not like everyday tobacco. I've been smoking it regularly for the past days, but this requires comfortable atmosphere, and not in the rush or while doing something else. I smoke it while driving lately, and I regret for missing all the subtle notes that require more attention. I'm not going to write about it's tin aroma, because every McClelland tin is absolutely the same, you can't tell by the tin aroma which is which because they are all like ketchup. If you leave it a bit to settle down, dry and mellow, the ketchup aroma disappears and it's ok. I put mine in a leather pouch and after a few days there it gets just as it should be. Latakias are less than expected, but there are both syrian and cyprian, so it's ok in the first third of the bowl. Yenidje is present, adds sweetness and freshness and together with syrian latakia makes the blend somewhat noble. After the first third, latakia goes completely in the background and the oriental comes upfront and the fun starts. VA also comes to the attention, and combined with the oriental it gets as fantastic as it can be. Wonderful all the way down throughout the bowl. You can dry it a little bit more than usual if you wan't to underline even more the fantastic oriental note. It tends to bite however, even if sipped gently. Nicotine is ok, but taste isn't full as I expected. It's subtle and mild, I know, oriental blends are like that, and if you put more of the "body" tobaccos, the orientals wouldn't play well, but this one could use just a little bit more VA and Latakia for my account. Anyway, awesome tobacco, try it, you won't regret.

Pipe Used: briars

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From:

3 people found this review helpful.

tacoeatingzebra Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tacoeatingzebra (37)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I have been smoking a 2007 tin of this superb blend a lot over the past couple of weeks. I'm near the end of a bowl in a Peterson B5 Donegal Rocky p-lip that is dedicated to lighter Latakia blends like GLP Piccadilly. But I digress... The yenidje is sublime, lending an herbal, vaguely floral note. The Virginias are sweet and give a solid foundation to the more exotic varietals from the former Ottoman Empire. I get that meat & potatoes flavor of burley here & there, and I assume that emanates from the Maryland tobaccos. The Cyprian gives a little body, but that Syrian is so intriguing. I'm familiar with it through MacBaren's HH Vintage Syrian, FMAtP. It's a big treat. Much more complex and definitely spicer and less smoky than the Cyprus leaf. This is good stuff and have a few more sealed tins from the early days of the blend, along with Black Sea Sokhoum--my other favorite in this series. I give it a 3.95 out of four because I occasionally get the McClelland ketchup thing. It's nice to exhale via the nose to experience a little more completely.

3 people found this review helpful.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This pays homage to the Sobrranie of old. It is a very flavorful blend. A true Balkan in every sense of the word. The Xanthi is strong in this blend and I love its bitter mid-range flavor notes. Unfortunately this one stinks really bad to non-smokers, so be warned. I have gone through several tins of this blend and am currently out, time to re-stock! Definitely one of my favorites...

3 people found this review helpful.

don1688 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
don1688 (27)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Wow this stuff is wonderful. I bought a few of each in this series and let them age for over 2 years. This one I bought one. As DK below stated, I was woried the Latakia would over power the oriental.

Man, was I wrong. The flavor is amazing. I'd have to put this one up with 3 Oaks Syrian. Not because they are so similar, but because they are both top English blends.

To those who have a hard time picking out the individual weeds in an English blend, this can be your education. The Latakia, both Cyprian and Syrian balance the Va's- which add that typical Va sweetness, and the wonderful oriental spice. I believe using both Latakia types is great, as GLP proved with Renaisance and Ravens Wing. The Cyprian gives us the smokey leather, while the Syrian give the wonderful spice quality.

I can't believe I waited so long, but I will stock up! The age probably married the leaves together and the Va leaves are coated in wonderful crystals. Try it, it is sublime.

3 people found this review helpful.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (145)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I have a dreadful fear, that the day may come when the Grand Orientals have run their course, and I have yet to sample the greater majority.

I absolutely love this blend. It's got an English kick like I've never tasted before, and the Syrian leaf is a beautiful accompaniment to an already well blended mixture.

I remember my early pipe smoking days...just a couple of years ago...I bought the McClelland Super Balkan variety, and I just couldn't pick it apart from a regular Cyprian mix. I think the defining moment came when I smoked MacBaren's Syrian mixture and fell in love with the different properties from the Cyprian leaf.

Now, Highlander has both, but I can easily detect the Syrian, and I cannot fathom a time in the future where the supply may run short and dry. I don't care what it takes, I want more Syrian Latakia in my blends. Bashar al-Assad is a jackass to be sure, I understand, but I am willing to overlook some serious flaws if I can keep smoking this masterful concoction. dwindling tins!

Four of Four.

3 people found this review helpful.

SunshineBob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SunshineBob (1)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Sounded exotic so I took the plunge. This is a smoke that reveals itself over time. and it is worth the journey. There are many things going on here. Im not a big latakia lover--but i do appreciate and enjoy the smoky exhale of the leaf. Here it is applied with grace and a true blender's skill. the Latakia supports rather than leads. and it is only noticeable on the back end of the smoke--which is perfect for that effect.

The full body of the blend is a cool and easy smoke. its there to enjoy if you want it, but not bold or in your face. All I can really say is--when i first smoked it-I thought--OK, mellow English blend with slight sweet overtones of a hint of Syrian will be OK for that rotation disruption once in a while. But now, its my go to smoke morning or night. I appreciate its light complexity and character of the smoke. it seems to bend to fit the mood.

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: Smoking

2 people found this review helpful.

brashboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
brashboy (84)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Good stuff, indeed. The tin I bought had a few years of age on it, which had greatly softened the Lat and focused the Turkish leaf. The Turk was out front, the Virginian well in the background in this tin, with the Lat providing a bit of generalized smokiness. It was terrific.

No McCletchup, just a wee vinegary frisson to the tin note upon opening. The sweet and sour of the Turkish leaf tasted great on the draw, but the room note did not make me any friends. Don't know how this compares to a fresh or fresher tin, but I recommend it wholeheartedly. Not too strong, though: nic-hitters will have to get that somewhere else, though there is enough nic and tobacco taste to satisfy all but the hardest hitters, I think.

Let me confess that I am not one of the Oriental cognoscenti, though I like the stuff. This blend is really tasty if you like the sweet-sour Turk experience, with a strong VA bottom. Love the coarse cut, too.

Age When Smoked: 10

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Tin note is a mix of dried fruits. pine, candy and earthy, vegetal spice notes. Takes a light beautifully and burns without a care to white ash,

This is an orientals forward light English with a modest amount of Latakia. The balance of the smoke is sweet and sour. The sidestream of this tobacco is distinctive, earthy, musty perhaps, like the first rains after drought. Very evocative and romantic. Light and easy enough to smoke anytime, I am enjoying this as the sun sets on a summer's evening with a cool breeze blowing from the sea. Beautiful all round.

2 people found this review helpful.

OSR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OSR (78)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

To me, this is the closest blend to the Original Balkan Sobranie White that I've encountered. That says it all. Your mileage may vary. McClelland knocked it out of the park.

Similar Blends: Original Balkan Sobranie White.

2 people found this review helpful.

Geronimo Von Klaus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Geronimo Von Klaus (76)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Incense with some woody and Lat aroma. That is the shorthand way to describe another glorious McClelland contribution.

Clearly high quality, deep and murky Oriental dominates this blend, and what a great way to be dominated :)

I am not enough of an expert to expound upon all the different names for the Orientals and will leave that to someone with greater expertise, but the ones that are in this really smell like you are standing in an Orthodox Church in Greece and that are waving around the incense.

Its backed with just enough of the accompanying tobaccos to make sure that there is contrast and compliment, all in all, the best of its kind.

Pipe Used: Dunhill Reject Billard

Age When Smoked: Unknown

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

2 people found this review helpful.

BigCasino Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigCasino (27)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

A delicious oriental blend, tin aroma has that nice sweet aroma from the oriental leaf, and accompanied with smokey latakia, there is just enough latakia, to accompany both the aroma, and flavor with out stealing the show from the Yenidje

Pipe Used: CassanoCanadian, a Big Casino Cutty

Purchased From: Allegheny Smoke Works

2 people found this review helpful.

Demetri Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Demetri (113)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

There is really very little I can add to all the superlatives used below to describe this blend. It is all that is praised of it. I was particularly impressed at the melding of the two Latakias along with what I imagine is the Xanthi. My tin quickly disappeared. I remember smoking Balkan Sobranie back in 1969 but not enough to imprint my memory. But in any case, with that inspirational pedigree this is most worthy.

2 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
Mild None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Wonderful stuff, great balance between the latakia, Orientals and Virginias. Has that typical McC sweet and sour that I love. A little light on "N", but very smooth and no real hot spice. You can smoke this as fast as you want without tongue bite and without turning bitter ,but its' also great at a sip . Give the tin a week to breath. Oh , I do find it goes out at a sip very easy, but it is smooth and not ashy on the re-lights . Placed on my favorites

I have to agree with almost everything said by reviewer, Michael 03/14/2012

Pipe Used: cob

2 people found this review helpful.

Tumbaki Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tumbaki (9)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild Pleasant

I love it. I would order more, save my cellar is full to the rafters. Moisture perfect upon opening the can. No need for drying out. Burns sweet and cool. No bite. Lots of creamy white smoke. Burns to a white ash to the bottom of the bowl. Second relight seldom necessry. My hat off to the folks at Mclelland for this superior blend. Try itt, you won't de dissatisfied.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

I mostly enjoy the famous ketchup-smell from McClelland's tobaccos, particularly the one found in Virginias. The problem here is that this mixture's taste is pretty subtle, and the vinegar taste makes it difficult to savor the nice Orientals.

The solution is patience: open the tin, close it, and let it rest for a month or so. Then take what you want to smoke, leave it over a piece of paper for a couple of hours, load your pipe, and smoke away. The ketchup taste will be greatly reduced and you will be able to enjoy one fine Oriental mixture.

It didn't blow my mind up, but it was a nice experience.

2 people found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I really can't agree with most of the enthusiastic comments here...

This is a good tobacco, but not that different from other McClelland Latakia offerings: that is, very "green", vegetal, lemony and not as full, leathery and nutty as other great latakia blends from the UK or the USA (such as GLPease's).

Take any other Syrian Latakia blend by this brand (such as Rose of Latakia), add a little more Oriental fragrance and just pinch more Latakia... and that's it.

Nowhere as classic English or Balkan as some reviews would suggest. It is less ketchupy than other older McC blends, and it actually has more Latakia flavor, but it's bland to the point of boredom.

Not enough "juice", pals...

Anyway, quite pleasant and well-behaved.

2 people found this review helpful.

RMBittner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RMBittner (66)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If you are a fan of -- or are curious about -- orientals, you must give this one a try. It's an outstanding blend that highlights the Yenidje while still giving the latakia room to make its presence known, and placing the Virginia and Maryland quietly in the background. Apart from my first tin of Odyssey, I can't recall the last time I smoked through a new mixture so quickly.

Technically, I'm not sure this qualifies as a true Balkan; the latakia isn't quite as predominant as I would expect. (The Syrian lends it a bit of delicacy...and "delicacy" isn't something I typically associate with Balkans.) For that reason -- as well as the fact that the Virginia is subdued and the Yenidje itself is delightfully mellow (not acrid, as some other oriental varieties are) -- I wouldn't call this a "full" blend. To me, it's of light-to-medium strength and flavor.

I smoke outdoors, usually, so I can't comment on the room note at all. I can say that the aroma for the smoker is enthralling.

But how you categorize it is pretty much beside the point. It's definitely Balkan-ish, it's definitely of high quality, and it's definitely delicious.

2 people found this review helpful.

tabaco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tabaco (111)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Far too much Propylene glycol making it difficult to light and keep alight, it also shuts down the flavour. So much PG you can leave the lid off for months on end, never dries out. There's really no point in cellaring PG laden blends and McClelland in some of their blends really over does it with this stuff, regrettably such is the case here. PG also makes it burn a lot slower, too slow in-fact the flavours are often mute.

Overall not a very 'Oriental' blend, kind of suspended in the PG dimension of the cosmos. The Yenidje is occasionally apparent but not nearly often enough for my liking, alas the Syrian Latakia is also obliterated by it. This could be a stellar blend if they didn't screw around with it as much as they did . . . oh well.

Decent yes, but nothing special whatsoever which I think it ought to be. I'll finish the tin and share it with a few friends; however, won't bother with another. I prefer both of the McClelland-made Butera blends which oddly enough are McKetchup free with a more natural presentation, not slimy/shiny with PG salad dressing.

1 person found this review helpful.

Cochon74 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cochon74 (29)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is only my second McClelland blend... and I have to say it's a little underwhelming for my tastes. Maybe I am not familiar enough with Yenidje to understand it's characteristics, but if my palate does not lie, I'm not entirely impressed with this king of Orientals. I have hopes, especially as it was a 4 year old tin... thinking it should have maybe developed nicely.

The Good: It is a completely unoffensive smoke. I can happily puff on this in any of my latakia-dedicated pipes and not dislike it. It lit and burned nicely, did not bite horribly and gave great volumes of creamy smoke and balanced flavor. Almost too balanced.

The Bad: I wanted more... more latakia, Cyprian... Syrian... or anything. I also wanted more Yenidje. I detected a familiar dryness and sharp, clean flavor... but nothing of the swirling, dancing, exotic Oriental flavors I love in Esoterica's Margate or GLP's Charing Cross. And it lacks the balance, yet distinct flavorfulness of Gawith's Squadron Leader or Skiff Mixture.

This would be an excellent "gateway" tobacco for those who have never had a proper English or Balkan Blend... but for me, I found it somehow lacking in ALL departments. It didn't satisfy my Oriental itch, OR offer me a mild, sweet alternative to bolder, more distinct blends.

I love 3 Oaks Syrian and am curious to try other MC blends... my next foray into them will be Wildnerness... and I've heard good things about Blue Mountain. So I'm not giving up on McClelland (especially as a Kansas City native who supports local business!)... but I won't be returning to this blend any time soon.

It is clearly quality leaf and thoughtfully blended... just not to my tastes.

Two solid stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

JohnnyMcPiperson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyMcPiperson (108)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This was an enjoyable blend, although I only had a small sample, so I would like to smoke through a whole tin of it sometime. I heard such raves about this blend that when I first got my sample I dreamt of my previous experience with Katerini Classic from the same series. When I tried it, I can't say I was entirely disappointed, but it was not what I was expecting. It was good but for me the latakia was not strong enough and the orientals didn't shine like I wanted them to. It's a good smoke, and I want to try a bigger sample, but my initial bout with it didn't drive it up to my favorites list along with it's cousin Katerini.

1 person found this review helpful.

DSturg369 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DSturg369 (1)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I received a sample of this from a friend. I've smoked a few bowls of it now and I really like it. No cover-up tastes, just good tobacco flavors. It lights easily, burns fairly cool, and requires few relights. Leaves a nice grey/black ash all the way to the bottom of the bowl. It does end in a slight "ashy" taste, and that's why only 3 stars. I'll be getting more of this.

1 person found this review helpful.

Latakia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Latakia (70)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

A great blend. Initially when opening the tin, had the typical aoma of McClelland catsup (I disagree witht he review that this is not a distinct McClelland smell...not that I don't l ike is distinct and for lack of a better descriptive aroma, I think catsup) The taste after the light was magnificant. The Yenidje tobacco is very unique and blended with the latakia, it gives off a beautiful room aroma. The latakia is not prnounced and I wonder what a bit more latakia would do for the blend. The Yenidje makes the smoke very smooth but spicy. Could the cooling be the Maryland or is it this oriental. Would like to try the other Grand Orientals to sample the combinations with Yenidje. Burns well and leaves a light ash. This blend is unique and when a change is needed but do not want to compromise the spice or the bit of latakia smoke, this is a great one.

1 person found this review helpful.

churchwarden398 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
churchwarden398 (19)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Grand, indeed, is the word for this blend! This was my first experience with Yenidje. So I prepared myself to be cautious. Like some of the reviewers on this site, I was never blessed to have tried Balkan Sobranie. So I will not waste your time by guessing with imagination. However, if this blend is even half the blend Balkan Sobranie was in its heyday - what a treat that must have been!!! My pipe smoking, traveling friend used to smoke Balkan Sobranie as his regular blend. So the next time he and I travel, I will invite him to have a pipeful of YH and report back with his reactions. Knowing him, this might be a bit tame for him as presently he blends his own using a 60% latakia mix.

Back to the task at hand. YH, imho, is well worth the extra money. Latakia is definitely present with its campfire- like smell. The Yenidje provides a good scent as well. The intro- duction of Maryland helped to calm down the Yenidje just a tad. Had it not done so, I imagine it could have been what those people on this list describe if one were to smoke a pipeful of only Perique. Do not get me wrong, I love perique! However, I am a bit skiddish about trying it as the main course. After my pipes cooled a bit they had the aroma of finding one of granddad's pipes years after he had last smoked. I tried this blend in two regular-gauge, chambered pipes and it was wonderful. Today, I got out my favorite, large-bowled, rusticated, Savinelli and the tobacco really seemed to sing. All in all, this was a WONDERFUL experience. To be sure, this will be a mainstay in my rotation.

1 person found this review helpful.

Lochinvar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lochinvar (78)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A great offering from McClelland and so totaly unlike their other Orientals, and by that I mean the insipid Green Line and Not the personnal reserve that was created by Barry Levin and stolen by McC. This is a blend of a bygone era. Wonderfull, campire smoky with a great edgy acidity from the yenidje, balanced by the sweet virginia component. The syrian really shines and masks the inherent problems with cyprian Latakia.Really loverly. This is a smooth blend, to me good any time of the day, but especially after dinner. Reminds me of the old Cotton and Rattrays offerings. There may be no finer line today than this new oriental line. Huzzzahhh!!!!

1 person found this review helpful.

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

This isn't a bad Latakia blend. One gets an idea of the interplay between Yenidje & Latakia. Fairly interesting smoke but not one I intend on purchasing again. It was...not all that enjoyable for me. Maybe I'm just looking for too much Sobranie flavor in these Latakia concoctions. Most leave me...dissapointed due to little more than a dominating Latakia presence.

I think more Oriental, less Maryland and more Virginia might fix this blend. Therefore, IMHO, Yenidje Highlander merits two stars. Sampled in a size two Stanwell.

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bent-1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bent-1 (36)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Zulujerk nailed it, 100% I like this blend dried just a tad, and smoked in a .750" (19mm) bore. Smoked slowly, it's completely enjoyable, and rich. The Syrian is so smooth, and the Yenidje adds buttery smooth spice, as well, the VA is sweet, but never overpowers. This is just delicious!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stacey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stacey (40)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

For starters I didn't detect any of the ketchup/vinegar smell in the blend, not that that puts me off anyway. This is a very nice blend, occasionally the virginia dominates and that is unfortunate. I like this company's virginia, it just seems a tad out of place here. This blend really shines when you get that incense-like whiff, that I'm assuming is the Yenidje. I love Syrian and this doesn't seem to have much of that or else the Cyprian is interfering with it. All in all, when the bowl doesn't contain too much virginia, this hits its stride and is pretty good!

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Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (180)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I must have gotten a bad tin, this blend seemed rather bland to me. For so many years, I have heard discussions about the Yenidje leaf and how it was the primary spice of Sobranie, this cannot be representative of that long hallowed leaf. I tasted a decent some Virginia with a slightly spicy Latakia afternote, there was some new flavor, which has to be the Yenidje, but it was so subtle as to be almost missed.

I very much wanted to taste this magic leaf that I have heard so much about, but I can only assume that my can was lacking or that the current crop of Yenidje lacks the character of the leaf of 20+ years ago.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Though new, this blend belongs to the past: the leafs and the taste remind me of old Balkan, with a marvellous smoky flavour and deep oriental penetration. The cut is fine, so I expected a pretty fast burning: not at all, it burns slowly and dry, completely biteless. There are few words to describe the deepness and interplay between latakia and yenidje here, just perfect, Balkan at its best. The only little annoying thing is that I had to relight more than usual but, as the previous reviewer, I'm experiencing a definitely wet weather here, and that counts. For sure I will stock some tins in my cellar, I've very curious about how will this blend refine with some age. At McClelland they proved again that they're among the best blenders in the world.

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