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Sokhoum tobacco in grown on the mountain slopes in Georgia, beyond the far eastern shore of the Black Sea. It is considered by many to be among the finest Oriental tobacco grown. Sokhoum is a strain of Samsun seed and the leaves have the appearance of Samsun and share a very similar aroma, but notice how the flavor has a quality that is almost cigar-like, rich and deep and mellow in this blend. Sokhoum is the easternmost of the Classic Orientals, fewer than 400 miles south of Sokhum is Iraq.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeOriental
ContentsOriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
Where to Buy
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None Detected
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 2 Users

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

Probably the most robust of the McClelland's Grand Orientals line, I liked this one very much. There was a lot of depth to the smoke (hard to find with blends dominated by Oriental tobacco) but I guess the Sokhoum is as advertised, and allowed by the Oriental taste I sought to come at me in waves. For those who like a stronger Oriental tobacco.


9 people found this review helpful.

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

The tin aroma is intensely like a plum pudding. Reducing that down to dried fruit, caramelised sugar, vanilla and brandy, I don't believe anything but the fruit aroma is natural to the tobacco. There is also a pepper, cloves and spice aroma that may or may not be part of the heavy casing.

Visually, the tobacco is a mix of mid to dark browns with a large proportion of black leaf. As others have suggested this dark leaf could be stoved virginia or a mix of stoved and cavendish.

This tobacco burns cool and sweet. It produces generous amounts of creamy smoke. I get only vague hints of the cigar aroma promised and almost nothing of the oriental aroma. If there were an award for a tobacco being least like what I expected, this would be a winner. But McClelland will not win friends with this sort of marketing.

I agree with other reviewers who say this is a processed virginia blend to which has been added some condimental oriental leaf. I would go further and say that it is a light aromatic. The orientals themselves are lost in this mix. They do however contribute a mellowness and the result makes for a very gentle and enjoyable smoke. I would buy this again on that basis, but because it is so far from being the oriental varietal the labeling suggests, I cannot give it better than a 'somewhat recommend'.

6 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The Virginias provide rich fermented ripe dark fruit, light stewed fruit, a lot of earth, and mild sugar as the base of the blend. The woody, earthy, dry, buttery sweet, slightly floral Samsun is an important second lead. I didn't really notice anything resembling a cigar note. The strength and taste levels are a little closer to medium than they are to mild. The nic-hit is a shade past mild. No chance of bite or harshness. Burns cool, clean and a little slow with a very consistent flavor. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl, and needs a fair number of relights. Has a pleasant after taste. Almost an all day smoke, it seems to be a little more filling to your senses than the strength and taste aspects indicate.

5 people found this review helpful.

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

Black Sea Sokhoum presents as an array of brown ribbons from very dark through medium with a small scattering of light. Tin note is both sweet and pungent with rich chocolatey notes and some herbal scents further in the background. There is a slight Virginia tang that emerges as the tobacco has some time to breath. As a Samsun comparison, I find Black Sea Sokhoum to have a deeper and richer, less sweet tin note than Classic Samsun of this same line. In either case, the complexity of tin note that I have come to expect from this series is present.

In the charring light, the flavor profiles are reversed: saltiness on the first sip or two, followed by a more herbaceous flavor with deeper base notes than the tin note might suggest. There is some wood here, some salty nuttiness and a bit of chocolatey sweetness in the background.

Overall the flavor is very rich here, but the body is medium - a hallmark of an outstanding Oriental. The salty, spicier notes balance harmoniously with the semi-sweet chocolate and the tanginess of the Virginia is held cleverly in the background. Lots going on here: a true sippers blend. Whereas I view Classic Samsun (a 4-star blend in its own right) as an all-day smoke, Sokhoum is a more complex tobacco more suited to the evening and the easy chair - a more contemplative blend.

As with any good Oriental, the smoke is cool and dry, even with the Virginia component. A truly first class blend and among my favorites of the series.

(As with many of the other reviewers, I'm not picking up on the cigar leaf analogy. Though not being a cigar man, perhaps that flavor profile of this specific Samsun varietal is too subtle for me to detect.)

5 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

It's no surprise that this is a stain of Samsun as I find it tastes similar to the Grand Oriental's Samsun. I view view this one as Samsun's little brother. As a long time cigar smoker, I don't seem to be able to find the cigar like flavor that McClelland is referring to. I find this to be a mild sweet tobacco best enjoyed in the early day. Recommended.

5 people found this review helpful.

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

This is fantastic even among the other tobaccos of the Grand Oriental Series. As I said, I have the suspicion that a little something is added as a scent and/or sweetener but it is very light and delicious.

Tin aroma is sweet, nutty like it came out of the bakery, but very delicate. It smokes easy, it packs some nicotine and for those who inhale it's difficult to resist. It tastes sweet and tangy and nutty with sweet spices. This a delicious and complex "straight" tobacco, because ''straight' is what it tastes like. Cannot imagine anything better for the first morning smoke.

Only reservation is that it does not smoke as good throughout the bowl, it becomes a little 'muddy' and bitter towards the end and does not burn uniformly. Four stars because of the excellent smoke for the first 3/4 of the bowl.

4 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Definitely agree that this tobacco is "cigar-like" and that the cigar note is more like a burley blend than an actual cigar leaf blend or cigar. It's a mild, good tasting smoke, at least until you hit the bottom 1/4th of the bowl, where it becomes a little harsh and bitter. Easy to pack and stays lit, and produces a nice volume of smoke with low nicotine. I honestly don't taste much in the way of oriental here, though, and I'm not familiar enough with the taste of Soukhoum tobacco to know for sure. But the blend description says that the oriental "lends depth" to what is basically a matured virginia blend.

This is a fine smoke but I probably won't buy more. It's recommended as something slightly different, and shows that a tobacco that is a mild smoke doesn't mean that it's low on flavor. Whether you like the flavor is up to you. I find it ok... somewhere in the range of a 2.6 rating.

4 people found this review helpful.

LannarkGent Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LannarkGent (111)
Mild None Detected Mild Very Pleasant

I love orientals. There, I have said it This is a rich complex oriental. To me this is an all day smoke that continually remains tasty every time to the end. Robust, even non smokers like the aroma.

3 people found this review helpful.

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

I like this, very mellow. The description states it's Samsun and Virginia tobaccos with no mention of Latakia, but I think it's in there and Cigar leaf. Maybe it's the cigar leaf that I'm mistaken for the Latakia, I'm not sure. I really don't get an overall flavor of cigar, more of a creamy smoke ( agree with Steel Cowboy's review).

When I compare this to McC's. other Samsun, ( Grand Oriental Classic Samsun , which is a much hotter burning Red Virginia forward blend, I do like it ) ; this is much smoother, creamier and not as spicy a blend. Two totally different uses of the Samsun, both good, but this one has a little more body ( agree with Pipestuds review).

There is also a spice note that I'm having trouble identifying, cinnamon ?, nutmeg? most noticeable in the scent and very intriguing.

I'd buy this again.

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: 1 moth open & 6 months open

Purchased From: local tobacco shop

Similar Blends: NOT Classic Samsun.

3 people found this review helpful.

Magambi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Magambi (2)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Recommended to me because I was looking for a cigar blend. This is not it. When I'm thinking corona or maduro, this falls far short. Settling that aside, I'll review it for its own merits.

I'm a heavy puffer, so I prefer blends that smoke cool. This isn't too bad. It smokes completely down to a fine white ash. But no hash taste. There is a bottom-of-the-bowl taste I don't like, though. A sweet, off flavor.

The tobacco has a sweet flavor, but it's a bit sour to me. I'm not a huge fan of orientals, but I've had several I like. I tried it, then waited a year and tired it a few more times. I'm not really a fan. It's not bad, but not my style.

Pipe Used: Newlook

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Purchased From: Cigar & Tabac, 6898 W 105th St, Overland Park, KS (913) 381-5597

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Black Sea Sokhoum is an excellent Oriental mixture, my favorite among the Grand Orientals collection. It shares the spiciness and sweetness with its cousins, with aditional subtle tastes of burley and cigar. Although I enjoyed the others, I won't be buying tins in the foreseeable future. BSS is the exception: I feel I need some more of this one.

2 people found this review helpful.

WolfmanSam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WolfmanSam (7)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This review is based off an 11 year old tin.

Upon opening, I’m greeted with the McClelland apple-vinegar barrel smell. The ribbons are short in length and full in girth. They’re mostly dark and very dark brown. It did not need any time to dry. In addition to the savoury apple-vinegar Virginias, I sense a slight amount of burning wood. There’s also a spicy tang that’s consistent throughout the smoke. The bowl can get hot with puffing, but never harsh.

Black Sea Sokhoum is a full bodied , medium strength non-Latakia, Oriental forward blend. I recommend this to anyone who loves Oriental blends.

Age When Smoked: 11 years

1 person found this review helpful.

JustinCarcerated Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustinCarcerated (99)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Delightful in every way! I appreciate how McC has taken these Oriental's and packaged them so we can accurately compare the lead ingredients in very similar base blends.

Samsun seed leaf has a very airy, yet spicy richness to it that cannot be accurately explained by me, but its a leaf that really can add bloom to a blend. Here this Sokhoum strain really did add a medium spicy cigar wrapper taste to this blend, some sweetness as it heated up, yet never hot and always consistent. Ribbon cut, perfect humidity even at 5 years of aging.

I tried Key Largo years back as it boasted a cigar-like component, but I found that to be overbearing. This blend is spot on, somewhat Balkan like in its make up but absolutely sweet and sour at the same time.

This blend did best for me in a small Peterson bowl with a P-lip, treating it like a desert.

I cannot recommend the Grand Orientals enough if your into Orientals at all - even as a crossover for aromatic lovers.

Pipe Used: Briars

Age When Smoked: 5 Years

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

1 person found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (492)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This was a real treat and, to date, my favorite of the grand oriental series. This blend is cigar like, but not much like a cigar if that makes any sense. The oriental used (BSS) is one I never hear of as being called out in other blends. In fact it seems many blenders are hesitant to really detail what Oriental or Turkish leaves they actually used. In a sense it makes this series, produced by McClelland almost a must try for anyone curious of the differences between Orientals.

I find many oriental and Turkish varietals come off as sour to my tastes. This has held true for the other GO blend I tried, but this one very little sourness to it. Aside from describing it as cigar like, it is a little woody tasting. It is hard to describe the actual flavor. One should just buy it and discover for themselves.

It is my hope in going through the various GO series, I will find the Oriental flavors that make me go wild. Like those used in John Cotton 1&2. It may have been a touch of this, but was definitely not classic samsun. I have also smoked enough Smyrna and Yendge to know it is not them. With all of the rest of the series in the cellar, hopefully I will be able to narrow in on it.

Anyway, back on topic. Try this one for something different from McClelland. As an endnote, the oriental will not completely cover the Ketchup smell, so the ketchup haters should give it a pass. ;)

1 person found this review helpful.

L'Italiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
L'Italiano (170)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

First of all, I would like to thank McClelland for the wonderful blends he has given us in these 40 years of activity. It seems impossible to me the factory is closing down. I can’t believe it, but unfortunately all is true. Great McClelland and thanks for all. We will miss you. And I want to thank Pipestud for the latest blog that represents all of us.

Now the review. Black Sea Sokhoum is another McClelland masterpiece. Sokhoum is a particular leaf very difficult to find. Delicate, aromatic, but also mellow and tasty. And this blend (Virginia with Sokhoum) is a natural aromatic mixture with a full-bodied flavor. Really pleasant. No defects with a clean, gentle and harmonious taste. Just a little more “rustic” than the other “Grand Orientals”. Without any doubt, this could be a four stars, but I give it only three stars because, in a hypothetical preference scale among Grand Orientals, in my opinion Smyrna n°1 and Drama Reserve are superior. Anyway a great natural blend. So, in my personal rating system (from 1 to 10) my score is 9 and three stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

steppx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steppx (152)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Superb. Just an absolute must if you like oriental leaf at all. The entire line of Grand Orientals is very good. Its hard to pick a favorite although this is in the running. And for those who complain of ketchup.... just stop. You give yourself away as a novice. McClelland is, perhaps, the best producer of pipe tobacco today....though Gawith is in the running. The virginias are top flight...a mix of various kinds and the cut is ribbon, though not too fine a ribbon. It smokes easy and very cool. In fact amazingly cool given its a ribbon cut. The flavors are multi layered and smoking slow is the best way to get to appreciate the complexity. This is gourmet stuff. A top five star blend if such a thing were available here. No casing, just tobacco.

Purchased From: 4 noggins

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Very good stuff, and not really what you think of when you think oriental or cigar-like. I find most cigar blends to taste like a cigar in between the stage of an inch left to smoke and sitting in the ashtray for an hour (do you detect I'm not crazy about them?). This was different, it has the orintal spiciness with the sweetness of the Virginia, but with a depth and darkness that are usually only components within the overall cigar taste. No, this is no twin for a cigar, but it is a very mellow, almost intoxicating blend. An excellent tobacco from McClelleand whose other offerings in the non VA arena have been......insipid, watered down, disgusting, good tobacco for babies, mulch..take your pick. These will get them into oriental tobacco heaven after all.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

wipipecop Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wipipecop (3)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Also a new reviewer here.. My palette bases a lot of things by my normal go to blend of MCs 5100.. I saw this in the store and didnt know much about it but bought it as to the description of a virginia and cigar blend which got my attention.. I like a cigar on occasion but due to a bad overbite seldom smoke them.. a pipe stem suits my mouth better.. I also am a wimp on nicotine as I don't like feeling light headed, ( got enough middle ear problems to not like that feeling). This blend burned great right from the tin and only had to relight once after the charing light.. Burned smooth, started out more sweet and virginia like and then seemed to move into the cigar taste and smell to me.. I smoke a lot in my truck and this was a great blend for a 45 minute trip, no relighting! I will keep this on my list and recommend it to anyone looking for a light great smelling and tasting blend. Not sure what to expect with it aged though.. will cellar a tin and revisit again.. will the virginias win out and sweeten with age? We will see Mike

Update Nov 3rd... after trying this a few more times I got to lower my rating to 3 stars.. that last half of bowl is not that great anymore.. I like some flavor till the end.. and this wasnt as flavorful as some of the virginia blends I smoke ...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stacey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stacey (40)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Well normally I would wait until smoking quite a few bowls before reviewing something but I felt completely confident after only one bowl that this was going to the trash heap. This stuff is vile in the extreme. Cigar-like might be accurate in the way that leather-like might be for a really cheap leather jacket if you catch my meaning. It tastes like a particularly cheap and nasty cigar. I like good cigars and this doesn't even cut it in that respect. If you want a cigar, you'd be better off buying one than this. Can you tell I detested it? :}

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I generally wait until I am half way through my second tin before passing judgement on a blend, but Black Sea Sokhoum has to be an exception. When I opened it, that god forsaken ketchup smell was very present and I winced and worried that it would be no good. I always do this with McClelland blends, but generally at least feel okay about them. I must say, however, that the scent disappeared more quickly than it has in other McClelland blends I've tried.

Semi-sweet seems a bit of a misnomer, it is very sweet, at least to my tastes. Not in a bad way however. Cigar-like, yes. In fact, as someone who is somewhat lukewarm on cigars, this stuff tastes like what I think cigars should taste like. There are lots of chocolatey notes, perhaps a touch of coffee and other times tea and hints of vanilla and maybe dabs of a green herb like taste weave themselves in and out of the smoke. Very complex smoke with lots to look for and a pretty pleasant room note. It's also a very cool smoke and leaves a dry pipe with fluffy whitish grey ash.

I give this one the highest recommendation.

P.S. - Everytime I smoke it, I wind up with Back in the USSR in my head because the Sokhoum tobacco originates in Georgia (not the state containing Atlanta, Macon & Savannah) and there's the line "and Georgia's always on my mi-mi- mind."

Nobody has rated this review yet.