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Tudor Castle uses a very high sugar content bright Virginia with a good amount of rare No.1 grade Yenidje, Red Virginia both dark stoved and raw red plus a full amount of barrel aged Louisiana Perique.

This is a rare and expensive blend. It is designed to age due to the very high grade bright very high sugar content Virginia leaf. Pressed flake produced in the same vein as Beacon.

Notes: A very special mixture in very limited numbers as only 340 tins were produced for 2007. Reintroduced in 2009.

Blended ByMcClelland
Manufactured ByMcClelland
Blend TypeVirginia Based
ContentsOriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Packaging50g Tin
ProductionCurrently available
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Favorite Of 14 Users

51 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2059)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

The "ketchup" smell disappears from the taste for the most part after some puffs. The sugary cased bright Virginias dull the grass notes, but sweetly compliments the dark fruity, tangy, mildly earthy red Virginias, the latter being the most dominant due to the processing of the very sweet stoved red. The yenidje offers a very slight sourness along with some woody smokiness, and is obvious in virtually every puff as slightly more than a background player. The perique is more plum and raisin than spicy, and though it's not a major player, its presence adds some depth and important complexity, elevating the taste of this well balanced blend. The nic-hit is mild. No chance of bite here. Burns very slowly as flake tobaccos often will, and stays cool no matter how much it's pushed with no dullness or harsh spots. It does require some relights.The flavor is consistent from start to finish as every ingredient shines with a very sweetly pleasant after taste that lingers. Not quite an all day smoke.

22 people found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (178)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

For me, this is a sublime tobacco. It is a close relative of McC's Grand Orientals series, with imo the bar raised even further. The backbone is of the most beautiful sweet and tangy Virginias, over which fragrant Yenidje is flawlessly married. Underneath this is a perfect measure of peppery Perique. Altho this tobacco is intended for aging, I could not fault my sub 1 year tin. Lord knows how good this stuff will be in a decade.

It is a pity there is no blender's name(s) attached to this tobacco, because it is a masterpiece, and whoever is responsible deserves the accolades.

Age When Smoked: < 1 year

15 people found this review helpful.

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

Yenidje! I love this stuff and don't see it in too many blends. Sometimes the blenders overpower us with that condiment but the combination here with the base Virginia and Louisiana Perique produces an exceptional blend that is strong enough to be enjoyed by those who seek a nicotine hit yet mild and flavorful enough to be enjoyed by just about anyone.

The cut of the leaf and moisture content makes for a perfect presentation and easy burn. One of PCCA's best, IMO, of course.

14 people found this review helpful.

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

This is a perfectly balanced flake. Medium bodied and flavored. All three components provide an equal amount of flavor and the interplay between them is delightful. This review is from a 2 month old tin. I have more aging and will have more to say in a couple of years. As one reviewer noted, it burns better when fully rubbed out. Rub once, let dry a bit, then rub again. Stuff, light, and enjoy a very pleasurable smoking experience.

Pipe Used: MM General

Age When Smoked: 2 months

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Stands alone..

12 people found this review helpful.

AfternoonPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AfternoonPipe (5)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

This is a lovely tobacco. You can see the little crystals of sugar on the flake, and the flake breaks up nicely. I usually break it up, let it sit for a bit and then break it up again. It definitely satisfies my criterion for something in the Virginia realm, with the stoved red adding a deeper, bolder flavour. I had never had Yenidje before, so I didn't know what to look for in the flavouring, but I suspect it somehow complimented and balanced the red. The perique was subtle enough that I wouldn't have known it was there if I hadn't known the contents of the blend. I would describe the flavour as having a bolder, darker version of the Virginia hay/grass quality, something almost more toward a british blend but not quite, with a lovely, very subtle sweetness. The nicotine content was very pleasant... the stoved red and the perique probably helping that. It burned very well, no girgling from moisture, no tongue bite, stayed well lit... which I normally don't mention because that usually has more to do with the smoker, but in this case it definitely had something to do with the tobacco, and not simply good technique or the pipe itself.

Pipe Used: Il Ceppo smooth bent apple

Age When Smoked: 2009 batch smoked in 2014

Purchased From: Holt's Cigar Shop Philadelphia

9 people found this review helpful.

Ehrling Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ehrling (90)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a noteworthy tobacco and it merits a hard look from anyone who enjoys Virginia/Oriental/Perique blends. I've awarded 4-stars because it is simply one of the very best in this genre.

This blend is presented in a mottled chestnut, more-or-less broken flake and it arrives relatively moist--so it needs some air time (as do all of the McClelland Virginia offerings). The tin aroma carries the aroma of fermented leaf and is dominated by the Virginia and Perique tobaccos--I don't detect much of the Oriental element. The blend has undergone some additional aging and/or processing, so it doesn't display any fresh, grassy or green qualities. This is not a blend that I would characterize as being overly dark, earthy or heavy, but it does display a somewhat dusky personality.

The main characters in this blend are the Virginias--the mature yellow Virginias provide some mellow and slightly sweet qualities while the red Virginias darken the blend. Because this blend contains some Perique to go along with the Virginias there is the temptation to automatically classify it as a VAPER. But the Perique is not applied with a sufficiently heavy-hand to warrant the VAPER designation. The Perique probably works to ENHANCE the flavor and body of the smoke, but I just can't find much of that fruity figs, dates and/or raisins taste that so often accompanies Perique. And while I am aware of the presence of an Oriental element in the aroma of the side-stream smoke, I suspect that, as with the Perique, the Yenidje is employed primarily as a condiment tobacco and a spice element. In short, the Perique and Yenidje function more in supporting roles, but they do become more distinct in the latter half of the bowl--especially the "black pepper" from the Perique.

This is a supremely sophisticated and refined blend. I will undoubtedly need to cellar a few tins for the future; I suspect that this one will age quite well.

Pipe Used: Typically my KE Ekstravagant "Pumpkin"

Purchased From: Mars

Similar Blends: Somewhat similar to Butera Blended Flake (another blend from McClelland), but Blended Flake displays a more pronounced Oriental character and the Virginias are fresher.

9 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (813)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I need to request this be moved to the McClellands page as it's sold outside of PCCA now.

This blend has excellent flavor - robust tasting while medium in body. Not overly powerful, it's "just right". The Yenidje adds its usual piquancy and nuance to the virginias and this blend has just enough perique to spice things up but not so much as to make its presence more than a steady murmur. This is a blend in the true spirit of the term, with each individual tobacco creating the overall flavor and none of them calling too much attention to themselves.

This blend was created by master blenders and it's quite obvious that they knew it was being created for the highly discerning audience that is PCCA! I'm buying more for cellaring. I think my favorite blending house has truly outdone themselves on this one.

9 people found this review helpful.

Lit a Kia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lit a Kia (69)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

First Va/Per I've tried that includes a Turkish. Great stuff, almost an English feel and taste to it, with a subtle sweetness from the Virginias. The Virginia provides a nice round base for the Yenidje and Perique to play on.

The Virginia and perique are understated (the perique especially so). Very unique blend and quite tasty. Woodsy, tastes of cedar and occasional hits of chocolate.

Nicotine level is pretty moderate. This is one to smoke for flavor. The room note can be a bit harsh for non-smokers.

06/02/2014 - In recent bowls (rubbed out and dried more fully), the perique has become more noticeable, with its peppery notes playing an entertaining tug-of-war with the more woodsy Turkish. I've also noticed a flowery lavender note a few times during the smoke. The only other tobacco I've caught that in is Couvert Cordemoy, a Semois (burley).

1/21/2015 - At times, this one can throw off notes that are a bit cigaretty; I assume that's the VA and the Yenidje playing together? I accidentally left a partially smoked bowl to sit out for 3-4 days. Relit it with lowered expectations (but heartened by DK's advice to let your VA blends sit in the bowl for hours to days) and was pleasantly surprised (almost blown away). Give the Yenidje a few days to air out, and the beautiful McClelland VAs get to shine a bit more; lot more of the flowery and woodsy flavors.

Age When Smoked: 2012

Similar Blends: McClelland Ashton Revival Pebblecut, Hearth & Home Mississippi River.

8 people found this review helpful.

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

In the tin, this tobacco looks fantastic. It smells fruity and sweet, and it sparkles with sugar crystals. My tin was seven years old, and I love to see that sugar bloom on high-quality Virginia-based flakes.

While smoking, I really noticed how great the sidestream smoke smells. The combination of taste and aroma is just delicious. I noted dark and savory notes, sweet and chocolatey notes, and meaty/umami notes at various times. I also noted that this is one of those rare blends that tastes great when smoked hard and fast as well as slow and carefully. Of course, the best results are had when maintaining a barely smoldering ember.

Pipe Used: Sasieni RR Hurlingham and GBD apple

Age When Smoked: Seven years old

6 people found this review helpful.

LightMyBriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LightMyBriar (13)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is top notch tobacco. The tin I bought had no age on it, and it is excellent. There is no doubt that this would be 1,000 times more excellent with age, but even brand new it is one of my favorites. The red Virginias stand out the most to me and create a very rich base for the perique and orientals to play off of. There are some bits of the flakes where the sugar creates a glassy mirror shine. It is naturally sweet, not candy-like, and the spice hints last through the whole smoke. I wish I had more patience and more money so I could put a tin away for a few years. Anyone who likes a dynamic and rich Virginia based blend should give this a try.

Pipe Used: Stanwell, meerschaum, clay

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Beacon Extra (but with much fuller body), McClelland - Beacon Extra (Club Blends).

6 people found this review helpful.

WillBrown Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillBrown (102)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Tudor Castle has a wonderful (if not a bit stodgy) taste. The perique doesn't overwhelm, and the Orientals are well blended, providing the framework for a superb blend. I loved sipping this one. I also enjoyed the flakes, though I would have preferred them to have been more consistent in presentation; many of the flakes in my tin had broken apart, so really, this is more of a broken flake (I prefer pressed flakes; as I like the option of breaking the flakes up myself). Tudor Castle fired up well after an initial char and stayed lit and consistent in taste throughout. My only complaint, and I'm sure everyone's tired of hearing me hark upon this, is it's strength (I truly wish for more lighter pipe tobaccos in the market today—Dunhill take note).

McClelland has got to be the most consistent manufacturer of good pipe tobacco around today. I've yet to experience a bad blend.

A solid 3 stars.

Keep on Piping!

Pipe Used: A different Molina big bowl

6 people found this review helpful.

Old German puffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old German puffer (105)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant

This is an excellent blend of tobacco. I am a little confused though about some of the comments here on this blend. I have been smoking this for years. It is not rare or hard to find. I have 20 tins in my cellaring vault from when it first came out. I add to it yearly and have never had a problem finding a tin. Average cost is 8 to 10 dollars. It lights well and smokes better as it ages. I always roll it out let it sit and then drizzle it into my pipe to pack. I keep it light and let it sit to smoke later in the day. I stay with this routine on about a good third of my tobaccos.

Pipe Used: KBB, Kopp,

Age When Smoked: Tin - 2 years plus

Purchased From: WASH. DC

5 people found this review helpful.

Big Train Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Train (54)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This might be the best VaPer I have ever smoked . The tin note is simply amazing , very earthy . The perique is delivered in just the right amount to add character to the Virginia but not overwhelm it . The moisture level was perfect too . I simply do not notice the vinegar smell that some claim Mc Clelland has. The thing Mc Clelland does have is the highest quality Virginias available anywhere . Tudor can be best enjoyed out of doors but it is fine in the living room too . Although I do smoke other VaPers this is the gold standard in my opinion.

4 people found this review helpful.

Wagon25 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wagon25 (14)
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

Having smoked almost three tins of this I feel qualified to submit a review. I had put this aside for almost a year and finally opened a new tin, thinking it would be my last. But after a number of smokes I will probably get it again, simply because it is complex enough to not get boring.

I am certainly not able to detect the amazing variety of tastes many other reviewers can, but even I can identify the Yenidje in this blend. It is different from any other taste in anything else I've smoked, and it finds a comfortable place with the VA and Perique. The balance is good.

I would offer only two minor complaints. It bites the tongue a little more easily than I would like, but that may be due to the fact that I'm a fast smoker and like the avoid the relight if possible. Also, I enjoy the side stream but my wife does not. It's always nice when everyone can enjoy it.

But this is full and complex, and worth having on-hand. It burns very well; it's a great final smoke of the day, for me; the complexity goes well with the contemplative spirit of the waning hours.

4 people found this review helpful.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (286)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Popping the tin top presents nicely formed flakes with very few broken. The McClelland ketchupy smell is there but much toned down from some of their other blends and not noticed @ all when smoked. Thought it was bit moist from the tin and since I don't rub out my flakes several relights were needed until I mastered the packing technique. However, no condensation developed and a cool smoke without any bite was enjoyed. I missed the Turkish or it was overpowered by the Perique but the relative proportions of the ingredients seem just right for a great and comparatively sweet flavor.

4 people found this review helpful.

yinyang Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
yinyang (45)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a four star blend for sure. I just wish I was a four star pipe smoker. I would prefer to blame the tobacco of course, but this time I'm gonna have to say it's my technique. When the stars align, this is a sublime smoke. All the components are skillfully integrated, none taking center stage...a hallmark of a quality mix. I do like a good Va/Per, and the addition of Yenidje is icing on the cake. The reviewer below me has stated it has a monochromatic character, and I tend to agree...I really didn't notice any subtleties as a bowl progressed, but then again, the flavor is so spectacular I didn't care either. However, I found contemplation whilst smoking a must. (Well, maybe not contemplation, more like careful attention.) My problem with Tudor Castle was a fickleness that I thought was the 'baccy itself. Nope. It's me...smoke it a smidge too fast, the flavor tanks. Too hot? Yep, the flavor tanks. (Specifically, the lovely Yenidje.) Even rubbed out, (and possibly packed too tight, too loose) the flavor...well, you get the idea. Now, smoked properly, which I realize is something I should do always anyway, it is a must have. I'm glad I bought several tins.

I think tonight I will step outside, put match to bowl, and see if the stars can align again. Knowing my luck though, it'll rain.

Four stars anyway.

Personal notes-

-Better when kept as a flake. -Go ahead and DGT it. You can still enjoy/salvage? a bowl this way. -Oddly, does better in briar, over a cob or meerschaum.(!?!) -Larger bowls work better than small.

4 people found this review helpful.

Young Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Young Piper (298)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Having just smoked through a half pound of B.S.O.S.M Match from Pipes and Cigars i went into my local B&M here in Vegas to find another English blend with Yenidje as i find that little oriental leaf to add extraordinary nuances and aroma to a blend. I picked up this tin, saw the word Yenidje and proceeded home to enjoy the afternoon. Boy was i surprised when i opened the tin and saw broken flakes in various shades of mahogany, no smokiness and no latakia!! Totally expecting an English blend but excited for a new McClelland blend i spread out a bowlful and let her dry for 30 min (its super dry here in summer, 3 percent humidity) rubbed out and stuffed a pipe to let sit for another 30 min packed. The lighting is a bit of a chore as it tries to scramble out of the bowl like an octopus but two or three false lights gets her going. Confectionery sweetness from the Virginia's dominates in the first third, the oriental adds dimension until the Perique adds its flavor but never gets to the spicy peppery level which is fine since its the oriental i really want to taste. Tudor has that unbelievable duck sauce like sweetness I've only found in one other blend, Saint James Woods by McClelland, another favorite.

My tin had two years of age and i can only dream of smoking a 5 year or older tin! 4 stars and a wonderful companion to a hot summer day...

Pipe Used: Stanwell Golden Danish #83

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Purchased From: Tobacco Leaf

3 people found this review helpful.

steppx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steppx (138)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I probably give too many four star reviews on here. But then, I also like a lot of tobacco out there. But this...THIS is a ten star blend. Honestly, this is as good as it gets. I think Pease's Triple Play is a ten star, too. Maybe a handful of others. But Tudor Castle is just sublime. The balance of oriental and virginia is perfect. I cant think of another blend that has such lush flavor from Oriental leaf (Pebblecut is the closest)/ And the perique is nicely backgrounded ....all of it to make the stoved Virginia shine through. And its great McClelland virginia....and i dont know what else to add. This is just a great tobacco blend.

Purchased From: 4noggins

3 people found this review helpful.

JuanOrez Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JuanOrez (14)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I'm finding that everything that McClleland touches tastes good to me. This is the exception. THIS TASTES HEAVENLY. I didn't know what yenidje was but now I've added it to the condiment tobaccos I love. If you like virginia or a good VA/PER, try this one. Let's hope this one stays in production. I'm adding this to the top of my anytime, all day favorites.

3 people found this review helpful.

Stefanos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stefanos (134)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

Thick mottled flakes of irregular sizes, brown in color speckled with brighter spots. Tin aroma is sweet with dried fruit notes, black pepper and a sort of vanilla-like topping – something very common among McClelland tobaccos – with a faint vinegary undertone. I find it very appealing. The flakes are too thick to fold but they rub out easily and are dry enough to pack and go.

Lights easily and burns steadily producing a lot of full-bodied flavorful smoke with a smooth mouthfeel.

From the first exhalation through the nose it feels spicy (black pepper) but in good measure, not in any way overwhelming. It sure is a quite potent tobacco in both nicotine and strength and very complex as well. It offers a combination of spicy, bitter (chocolate) and acrid (ashy) flavors together with a discreet fresh fruitiness especially in the beginning of the bowl (pear comes to mind), dried plum notes and a hint of minty/lavender coolness, while there seems to be a very light vanilla scenting on the background. Tudor Castle is a full-flavor blend and though it tastes dry I have no reason to doubt that the Virginias are very sugary, it’s just that their sweetness is balanced out by the dryer and bitter elements and is not felt as sweet per se. As for the Yenidje component it adds a tang and contributes to the complexity of the blend. It leaves a lingering spicy refreshingly bitter aftertaste.

This is obviously the product of a master blender. An excellent take on the Va/Per theme, do not expect a sweet and easy smoke though, this is a complex and demanding blend full of ‘adult’ savoury flavors .

3 people found this review helpful.

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

Yummy yummy, got the Tudor Castle in my tummy!

This is to date (nearing fifty reviews) the longest aged tin I've experienced, being stamped 2010 [why oh why can't our European manufacturers follow suit with dating tins?] and having four (4) years of age to date.

I've never experienced such a naturally sweet tin note: profoundly sweet, apricot and ...prune-like scents. I thought it must be topped, but it seems this sugary coolness is from sugary Reds and Yendjle ?. Either way, it was fantastic!

The flake itself was broken, very dark, unevenly shaped. Here again the consistency was new to me, in that the flakes almost had a rubbery elasticity to them. Where many flakes tear easily...or as with Penzance crumble, with Tudor Castle when bent or twisted the flakes seem to rebound to their original shapes. This was prevalent enough that I settled on stuffing flakes as is, as shedding became tedious otherwise. Id just roll and wad pieces individually.

Perhaps due to that this blend took some time to light, at least charred to the point of smoke simple maintenance. Once lit, it burned remarkably slow, which kept the smoking process slow, sweet, and enjoyable. Relights were minimal.

The flavors here kept my interest l bowl, for several bowls. In my experiences here, I offer up that the Turkish component is the ever-present base flavor, whereupon the Yend and Vas dance a jig to the bass line laid down by the Perique. Sweetness by Va, fragrance by the Orientals, heat from St, James, earth from the Turk.

So I love this blend, as it grew on me. Despite my prior difficulty with all blends sporting any heft of Turkish leaf-always seem harsh to me....but this blend changed my perception. Such unique tastes here, an all day smoke for me, enough nic to get me going. I'm gonna get some new tins and compare to see what part the 4 years in the tin played in the overall picture, and I'll update then.

Pipe Used: cobs, briars

Age When Smoked: 2010

Purchased From:

3 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (316)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Revised Review 12-14-2013-I just retried this blend from a CLAY ! and it really shines, tangy & complex. I really love this tobacco, McC VV sweet and sour Vinegar Virginias, Perique in perfect balance . but the star is the Yenidje, Herbal incense scent ( or am I confusing the Perique for Yenidje???).

Needs some drying and rubbing out or it gets spicy and and hard to keep lit. I would actually classify this is a VaPer. Has a slight bitter aftertaste, And you pick up a slight perfume/incense scent when "French inhaled", very interesting( call me crazy, but it smells like the print from a new book?). I will keep in stock. I find this a little spicer than I like for my everyday rotation or it would be 4 stars.

I have to agree with almost everything said by reviewer "Wagon25 -2011-06-08" , below.

Pipe Used: Clay & Cob

Age When Smoked: 1 Week

3 people found this review helpful.

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

Tin Date - 2009...The aroma is that of pickled peppers & sweet BBQ sauce. It doesn't come through in the taste nor the smoke aroma. I liked the fresh, sweet/sour smell of this blend. I found it to be mouthwatering & refreshing. Moist flakes were a mix of very dark brown & medium brown mottled with a small amount of bright Virginia leaf.

Tin nose gave me the feeling I was in for a tasty treat...and sure enough, a smooth, lofty, sweet/sour, biteless tobacco that smokes cool & dry. It has a unique, change of pace flavor & a slow burn rate. I simply dried this to a proper moisture level & rubbed out to a shag-like consistency & stoked. It smells and smokes better a few weeks after opening. This is an exceptional VA/Per/Yen blend, if you will, that kept me coming back for more.

Although not totally dominate, the Yenidje flavor is certainly noticeable. I'll experiment & add a bit of Syrian Latakia & other oriental varietals & create a Balkan mixture just to see what develops. This is a well proportioned blend that probably couldn't be improved upon. I rated the room note pleasant because I liked the smell. I'm sure others might find it appalling. I could smoke this daily and will purchase more. Therefore, IMHO, Tudor Castle merits four **s!

3 people found this review helpful.

½ bowl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
½ bowl (91)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Unnoticeable

To me, this blend lacks balance -- not that of strength, taste, and body to which the word is generally applied; it is an imbalance of competing flavors. Once the notorious McClelland ketchup/vinegar dissipates, and it does so pretty quickly, the smoke is dominated by a ubiquitous sour taste. It is not a refreshing citrus tang, but a sour of fermentation -- in a bad way.

This sour comes into competition with a bread-like sweetness reminiscent of McC's 5100 Virginia red cake, and they clash. I don't find these tastes complementary in the way that such a contrast works in, say, Chinese sweet 'n' sour sauce or BBQ.

While one's salivary glands and sweet tooth are "fighting it out", along comes a bitter, herbal presence in the family of, for want of anything more familiar, the bay leaf. These flavors do not mix well for me.

As of this writing, 40 reviewers awarded 4 stars, and the remaining 7 awarded 3 stars. I experienced a similar lack of agreement with another McClelland featuring Yenidje tobacco, so I'm pretty sure I just don't get along with that particular leaf.

Pipe Used: Ardor, Rinaldo, Tinsky, GBD -- all briars

Age When Smoked: 3 yrs. in the tin

2 people found this review helpful.

runswithdogs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
runswithdogs (13)
Medium Mild Mild Pleasant

I am new to reviews like this, and I don't pretend to have the refined taste of those who can distinguish so many different flavors and blends, but I think this review will be helpful to pipe smokers like myself who simply know what they like. I was fortunate to snag a ten year old tin of this delightful tobacco. Upon opening the tin, I was greeted with a wonderful sweet aroma, very fruity in nature. I rubbed out the tobacco flakes, and settled in for a slow smoke, sipping my pipe, and savoring a sweet flavor, likely from the Virginias, and appreciating the complexity of this fine tobacco. I find the room note quite pleasant, the flavor of this tobacco was excellent, and I highly recommend it. To those who wish they could savor this blend after some aging, I can only observe that my ten year old tin was outstanding. The aging process allowed the yenidje and perique to marry and complement the Virginias beautifully. This is a wonderful tobacco. As someone who loves a fine aromatic (I am partial to Pipeworks and Wilke), I found this a great change of pace. I just snagged a second tin, also ten years old, and look forward to savoring this blend again.

Pipe Used: J.T. Cooke Lovat, Northern Briars Canadian

Age When Smoked: 2007 tin smoked in 2017. Ten years of aging!

2 people found this review helpful.

Goose55 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Goose55 (7)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

This absolutely splendid tobacco has not had so many high reviews for nothing. It is without reservation, an ambrosia VaPer. Perhaps the very best one in the world. It's provides one of the most blissful pipe smoking experiences one can ever hope to relish from this genre. It burns cool, creamy, and refreshing with an excellent mouth feel.

The tobaccos used in this blend all come together in harmony and absolutely sing in the side stream (puffing with mouth open) smoke. Instead of becoming harsh or tiring, working one's way down the bowl, the flavors dramatically improve and become celestial. How many tobaccos can do that? And if that isn't enough, the room note will have people following you!

A relight does not in any way hurt the tobacco, it won't ever bite, when enjoyed slowly, and it leaves a pleasant aftertaste. What more could anyone ever expect from McClelland for creating an such a stellar, unrepeatable masterpiece?

This tobacco will reward you even more if you decant it for a couple few weeks after opening. Pour it out on a plate for a couple hours, and then pop the lid for a few minutes every couple days and it will be sublime!

But get your hands on some tins soon because I have heard that McClelland may be doing away with the Collector Series, of which Tudor Castle reigns as king.

Pipe Used: A large, Preban Holm Ben Wade half bent Brandy

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

Similar Blends: There is no tobacco I can compare this to. It is that good..

2 people found this review helpful.

cakeanddottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cakeanddottle (66)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I go back and forth between this and MV24. Different Orientals in each, and this has perique. Both spectacular. Butera Blended Flake also deserves to be in this conversation.

I don't think you can cellar just one of these. They're all three unique and special. This one, when your palate is on, is the sweetest of the group, with the added spice from the perique. I have had lackluster and brilliant bowls of this, but when it's good it absolutely sings. I blame me for the off bowls, not the tobacco. A delicious spicy sweet broken Flake, I adore this tobacco.

2 people found this review helpful.

p120d16y Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
p120d16y (19)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

An extremely well blended treat. Very tangy and naturally sweet Virginia, a constant backbone trickle of Yenidje oriental flavors, and the constantly prevalent spicy & peppery plum goodness from the perique. This is a top of the line favorite tobacco of mine for the past three and a half years. Does extremely well with half a bowl DGT'd for a few hours or even a day or two. Takes on many different nuanced flavors when a large bowl is left for DGT.

5/7/17 edit: Smoking quite a bit of this lately and it just doesn't disappoint. I've noticed from bowl to bowl that sometimes I will get more forward Yenidje Oriental flavor throughout, sometimes more Red or Bright Yellow VA, and sometimes Perique can come and go through bowls. It can be a chameleon blend and that makes even better. And excellent VaPer with the addition of Yenidje.

Pipe Used: every type of briar, clay, bakelite and others

Age When Smoked: 4/5/6 years, fresh, a few months of age

Purchased From: B&M

2 people found this review helpful.

samcoffeeman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
samcoffeeman (33)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Early review of this, as I plan to smoke more to get the full experience. First impressions are good. The Yenidge brings a woodsy character which I enjoy and gives the smoke a full flavor. It also takes the forefront of this smoke, leaving the Virginia and perique as subtle undertones. I found this one to take on a completely different flavor profile with a retro-hale through the nostrils, quite pleasant and a nice tingle, showing its potency. I did feel a bit heady after this smoke. It is quite different and not for everyone.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

After Balkin Sobranie (BS) stopped producting their excellent blend, for years I tried locating a replacement, getting close but never quite there. I was told it was the yenidje tobacco that gave BS its je ne sais quoi. As far as I know, McClelland's Tudor Castle is the first blend I've smoked since BS that contains yenidje, and I'm now certain it was the yenidje in BS that gave it its distinctiveness.

Of course, Tudor Castle is a VaPer varient, unlike BS, but the yenidje serves the same purpose, giving the product an elegant and subtle finish others are better able to put into words.

In Tudor Castle, the yenidje comes through as a subtle, herbal addition balancing very nicely with the tangy/spicy perique and top-shelf virginia.

I'd smoke this all the time if it were available in bulk. It's too pricey in the tin so I treat it like a rare scotch whiskey, sipping a bit after a fine meal or special occasion.

2 people found this review helpful.

Sasquatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sasquatch (77)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Another winner in the PCCA redux series. Gentle and sweet, a real classy Va/Per, McClelland style. A little monochromatic for me, but a no-brainer if a guy just wants a pleasant smoke and nothing too challenging. Not really a contemplative tobacco for me, but just straightforward and tasty.

2 people found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (259)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I wasn't sure what to expect from this, and with one bowl left in the tin, I'm still figuring this blend out. The VA components gives this a good structure, the Perique gives it strength (and a bit of roughness), and the Yenidje complexity. An interesting blend that I wish I had let age more (the tin was just over a year old).

On the other hand, the flakes themselves (more like large broken flakes in my tin)were tough to bend or rub out, and a tad flame-resistant. Once it catches, however, it burns nicely without much tending. If I manage to let a tin of this age, I wouldn't be surprised to see me up the rating.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr.MeerBill Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr.MeerBill (35)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Great change of pace or special treat tobacco very unique

1 person found this review helpful.

McAdder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
McAdder (10)
Very Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This mixture is definitely spicier than any other VAPER I've yet smoked, because this is harsher than Escudo. It is smokes wonderfully when rubbed out, which is how I smoke my flake tobaccos. This is not a gurgle smoke either, which is always a bonus. I did get a tin which was tinned in 2009 according to my can and the McClelland's smell was very strong! That doesn't deter me, however, because I have smoked numerous blends by this manufacturer and the smell never affects the flavor or room note of the tobacco. The vinegar must be used as a preservative or anti-mold agent. Moreover, The flavor is like nothing else I have ever smoked. The subtle buttered pop corn flavor is present, which comes from the perique, but the yenidje is doing something I can't quite put my finger on. Oh well, I agree with a previous reviewer: this will be a classic generating myriad spin-offs. One can be sure of that!

1 person found this review helpful.

happy jack Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
happy jack (25)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

this is the reason why us brothers of the pipe smoke. When I went to my tobacco closet in the basement I noticed out of all of my tins, that I had only one TC, I had read so much about this blend. I made a mistake when I placed my tobacco order, Im a stickler for VA,s McClellands mostly, and there Aromatics, so my order was for my 'REALY LOVE THIS BLEND', needless to say I added only one tin of TC, 'OMG, my bad', I opened the tin and was so intrigued I keeped it opened, and with me for 2 days. I just wanted to let the essence of this tobacco wisper its sweet nothings in my nose. The first thing that came to me was that there was magic in that tin and only Norting will do. I rubed and peeled this broken flake a few times in the tin. OK, I was getting hints of walnut and cinnamon, soft spicy notes, O man I just could not wait any longer, I droped filled my Nording, gently tamped, slowly I lit, taking more than some sips, tamped and relit, Wow, thats it, thats about all I can say, not one tobacco over powered the other, yet there was an ever changing tast, that was so enjoyable, I hate to say this is my favorite, so I added this fine smoke to my list of 'All TIME GREATS' catagory. I am gonna stock up on this big time, 5 stars on my rating list,...simply put, this is a must have.

1 person found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (469)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I finished up my first tin of this at deer camp last week and was impressed. I purchased about three tins of this about a year and a half ago based on many recommendations, mostly from Europeans who really enjoy McClelland blends.

The tin I smoked was 1 yr 3 mths old. The tin note was typical McClelland vinegar/ketchup and had some broken flake and some full flakes. When I bought this, I never looked at the contents to see that it contained Yenidge. I am not really a fan of yenidge, so this may have stopped me from the purchase at the time. It is the taste of yenidge that turns me off, but I must admit the sidestream, or the smell of it burning, is one of the finest scents in pipedom.

Clearly TC has a good amount of Yenidge, and hence a wonderful sidestream aroma, but with the Virginia and perique it really works for my tastebuds as well. This blend has incredible balance and offers a very unique flavor experience. I am glad I will have a chance to try some aged tins down the road.

I am leaving this at 3 stars for now and will revisit, but this could easily be a four star blend.

Age When Smoked: 1 yr 3 mths

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Book-Nut Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Book-Nut (1)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This stuff is excellent! Never had a VaPer like this before. Even with the first lighting you get a mix of very sweet and also peppery, spice, creamy smoke. Very complex! Burns very cool with no bite. There are a lot of good VaPer´s on the market. But this one is very special for me. Never got such a sweetnes in VaPer before.

Pipe Used: Volker Bier Handmade, Ringling Handmade

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

Nobody has rated this review yet.

babysinister Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
babysinister (51)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Excellent VaPer, with Yenidje. Along with McConnell's Red Cake, this is my favorite blend of Red Virginias with Perique, in the right amount for me. The Yenidje provides an additional savory tang to the ginnies.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Wellpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wellpipe (59)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A very fine smoke indeed - mellow, refined, slightly sweet and quite flavorful. I get a nice clove / pumpkin pie spice in the second half on the exhale. Gently rubbed out and packed inverted in a large bowl and left to rest a few hours before firing up is best. Destined for greatness.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Blue Bayou Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blue Bayou (60)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Nice, but I like Blackwoods Flake better. But a good strong, fragrant smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Katharsis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Katharsis (39)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

First off, I'm a new fan of VaPers, and this stuff is great. The Perique is definitely there and strong, yet the sweet richness of the Virginias and Orientals are also powerfully there. It's wonderfully well-balanced with the Perique. Sweeter and richer than Escudo (the one most people seem to compare).

UPDATE: I have to come back almost a year later now to say that I still haven't had another VaPer that I've enjoyed more than this blend. (I've been smoking since April 2011, but have picked it up rapidly.) It is simply amazing. The only one that came close was Reiner's Long Golden Flake. They are both full of flavor (not nicotine, but flavor). TC also seems like a dessert flake, if there is such a thing; it's that tasty. Just read the rest of the reviews -- this isn't four stars for nothing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TheSmokinDragon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TheSmokinDragon (56)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Four-stars all around, as all others have said..I find a little dry time works best for getting max-flavors out and running dry smoke...I just folded up some of the broken-flake and stuffed, burns nice and cool, min relights (with the dry time about 30-min to a few hours), DGTs well...smoking in a Savenelli Leonardo Bombard Smooth (BTW-Great flake-smoke'in pipe) As for the tin aroma, guess I got used to the typical McClelland smell...grows on you and I look forward to it now (I know, call me crazy), but I love pop'in a fresh tin

All in all this one is worth stocking up on for the I'm off to smoke another bowl and place another order

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Billy777 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Billy777 (17)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The ketchup which is so strong when the tin is first opened diminishes after about three weeks. It's now only slightly noticeable if I hold the tobacco next to my nose and take a good sniff. I could go on about the play of flavors between the Yenidje, the Virginia and the Perique but there is no need: this tobacco is great, that's all that needs to be said.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SirLoirn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirLoirn (126)
Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

Tin: Stoved to a dark brown with spots of light tan. A pressed flake, sliced then broken up. Light vinegar scent. Tin date stamped on bottom is 2008.

Packing & Burning: For me, rubbing a flake out is a chore-I'd just as soon it was pre-cut as a ribbon. The rubbed out chunks have to be stuffed fairly tightly to get it to draw well. Well-stuffed, a bowl lasts quite a while. Not as much puffing is required to keep it lit, if TC is allowed to dry out for a few minutes.

Taste & Aroma: Aroma is of scented wood and sandalwood; and perhaps honeysuckle would not be out of line.

Taken from the top, TC has a mild Red VA tang, soon followed by the Yenidje, with the VA then receeding into the background.

Room Note: Excellent, even for the most pedestrian of bystanders' noses.

Overall: A soft mellow smoke that compares favorably to McClelland's Blending Oriental and Robert McConnell's Oriental, though different varieties, in overall quality of smoke.

TC exemplifies the qualities of the Yenidje variety of oriental, doing it well, subtly. TC Arcade, having the same namesake, is not even in the same category or quality. In the Collectors Series, TC ranks with Aurora in overall quality of smoke. All of the tobaccos in TC are well-married, with the Yenidje on center stage. 3.9 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RxMan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RxMan (17)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Fast becoming a favorite of mine, and only a half tin gone. Excellent taste, sweetness is highly noticeable, although not totally dominant. Good anytime of day. Will become a classic IMO.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

M.Toney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
M.Toney (59)
Medium Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Well...It surprises me that any pipe smoker wouldn't like this stuff. The Yenidje tin note is very prominent. I didn't detect the usual McClelland aroma from my tin as others have noted. The tin note to me was mostly Oriental...Yenidje, as it were. For an Oriental blend, this stuff if admirable. Thouroughly enjoyable! I liked it and that's all that matters. Enough said!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (144)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Well, I guess I should review this blend, now that I'm staring at my last bowl, still sitting in that nearly empty tin. I'm about a foot away now from that tin, pecking away at the keyboard, and I can easily smell that McClelland tang, which happens to be particularly strong in Tudor Castle.

I've enjoyed every bowl, each one a pleasure to smoke, just gobs and gobs of flavor. Tudor Castle seems to me very similar to Black Woods Flake. Super sugary but with an inseparable contingent of Perique. They say there's Yenidje in this, and I fault myself for having detected none of it. Still, I enjoy seeing blends out there that shy away from a reliance on Smyrna and move in another direction. I suppose McClelland set a standard with the Grand Orientals series, hopefully pushing other blenders to diversify.

Since it's damn near impossible to order a tin of Full Virginia Flake at the moment, I'd suggest trying something different. And you can't go wrong here. Tudor Castle is open--I say move in.

Five of Five.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Alguhan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alguhan (140)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A fantastic blend for those who do not regret Perique added blends. This blend has McClelland's specific sweet-sour flavor. The Yenidje addition gives its sweet-spicy flavors all the way you smoke and this fantastic flavor is enhanced with the high quality real tobacco tasted Virginias. Perique is added just to fix the strength of this fine blend.

This tobacco packs well and burns even offering a nice dosage of nicotine and some enjoyable flavors for the real pipe tobacco seekers. If some good Perique addition does not bother you, give it a try, you won't regret.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Aesthete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Aesthete (2)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I've recently taken up pipe smoking again after a long absence. Originally, I was a regular 965 smoker, and I loved the latakia kick. Now, my taste has evolved to VaPers and perique ... a whole new, and delightful world. When opening the tin of Tudor Castle, I immediately sensed the familiar McLelland "ketchupy" smell, of which I am not a great fan, but which, thankfully, does not come through with the smoke. This blend smokes like a dream. The Virginias, perique, and exotic Yentidje are blended in just the right proportions so that none are too dominant but instead produce a harmonious smoke which is complex and exquisitely satisfying, leaving you wanting more. And I will order more, as it is in limited supply.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

GeoLogger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GeoLogger (16)
Medium Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Tudor Castle is soon to be a legend. World class. Best New Actor is a cinch, but this one will be anything but a flash in the pan. This will probably kick off a genre. (you want to get a pencil - remember I told you so). Like Balkan Sobranie, the eventual additional players will be compared to this one. Luck to them. This makes me wonder why Yenidje isn't already part of the standard so that it would be Va/Per/Yen as the familiar term we now all tossed about. Everyone who has had the misfortune to read my other reviews knows I like Va and Turkish. To get good compliments for quality flake Virginias I usually have to mix my own Turkish. I'm too big of a chicken to mix my perique or I'd do that too. Lots of folks' next call to PCCA will be to get some more of this, so you better write this on your shopping list and get some while the getting is good. PCCA does run out of the good stuff on occaision - supplies could get iffy.

My three favourite tobaccos are all here: (1) Turkish - Yenidje; goes with everything - dress or casual. (2) Perique - done to scale perfectly here- perhaps light if you really want the perique to punch, which I usually do not. (3) Virginia - which everyone knows is done best by the company that crafted this for PCCA.

I am so pleased to find this I could just kiss somebody. Not Bob, but somebody. A mellow Va flake like no other on one side, and that lovely Yenidje on the other, with a spinner down the lane of perique picking up the spare. I should tell you to get some in April or May and concoct some sort of story for it. That way I can have the rest of March to beat you to the checkout counter.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TwoCents Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TwoCents (4)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

Love At First Puff. This was easily my favorite at about the 170th blend mark, and that right out of the tin. Absolutely delicious! It has a distinct and incomparable bouquet I look forward to. High quality aged leaf in small unique batches really does seem to make a big difference. And the RC Hamlin formulation is outstanding.

Now into my fourth tin, I am currently smoking it in a Paolo Becker Stack: Loaded with the Frank Method. Layers within layers within layers of flavors. A big puff exhaled very slowly through the nose and catch a wave, leave it on idle and coast along in delight, let it go out and start over in a better place. No burn, no bite, no gurgle, no rough edges all the way to the bottom of this 2 ½ inch Stack. Nice. Very nice. I feel even better when I grin about how much of this I put into the cellar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.