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The famed Drama leaf is sweet and subtle with a natural olive oil fragrance. It is grown on the Southern slopes and foothills of the Rhodope Mountains, the Classic Drama Basma District in Greek Eastern Macedonia, and includes the renowned Mahalla. It is refreshing, delicate, intriguing. This blend is designed to demonstrate just why the classic top-grade Drama leaf is so celebrated.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeOriental
ContentsOriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutRibbon
Packaging50g Tin, 100g Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Strength
Mild to Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 11 Users

3.6
42 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
29
3 star:
11
2 star:
2
1 star:
0
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SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (513)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have to admit that the comparisons to olive oil made me slow to try this blend even though I have smoked the majority of the Grand Oriental line and enjoyed most of them. I find that Drama has a richness to it that is lacking in some of the other Grand Orientals. There is an underlying Virginia sweetness but its slight and not as sweet as Samsun or Smyrna. As with the other Grand Oriental blends, Drama is best sipped slowly in order to get all of the subtle flavors that this wonderful blend has to offer. I do like olive oil very much and did find an underlying taste of it, but in a good way. I think its that taste that makes the blend rich. I nice change of pace from the heavier English blends I often smoke. Highly recommended.

4 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (557)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the 2nd of the Grand Orientals I've smoked, and is much preferable to the Yenidje Supreme, although I liked it reasonably well. This has more zest than YS. I smoked several bowls of this and my mind latched onto something. I told myself that it reminded me of one of the McClellands brown label virginias that I used to smoke boatloads of 15 years ago. Sure, enough - the #24 also had Drama leaf in it. Sometimes Memory Lane comes to you! I'm going to dig out my one tin of #24 and do a head-to-head, but based on my recollection, the two taste a lot alike.

This tobacco has a great pouch aroma, is easy to keep lit and settles in nicely. The virginias are suitably tangy and somewhat sweet, while the oriental leaf adds just a smidge of excitement and "color" to the flavor. I didn't notice any difference of taste as I progressed down the bowl, but just a nice "Steady Eddie" that rewarded in its own way. Still, I would not call this monodimensional, even if it seems that way. McClellands conservative use of orientals in a high quality virginia leaf is not new, and I think they nailed it with the #24 flake, but if you prefer a gorgeous ribbon cut, this is your manna. Smoke it up; they'll make more.

4 people found this review helpful.

Lochinvar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lochinvar (71)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Another great from this line, perhaps a classic in the vein of Three Nuns Sobranie and Rattray. It lights easily and produces beutifull smoke. The interplay of the Drama and Virginia is like a party on the tongue. This blend is doubly sweet (but not overly sweet) with a honeyed sweetness from the virginias and a nutty, earthy sweetness from the orientals, as well as citrusy, hoppy astringency flirting in and out. But this blend is not for everyone. In fact, no other piper needs to bother with this or Smyrna No1, just leave it to me to get rid of them.

4 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (217)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This is a fine blend and a nice change of pace. It is very fragrant , with just the right amount of spice and sweetness. While I like this , I prefer Smyrna more. Unlike Smyrna, the Virginias do not lead the show (and I love McCVV), the Drama tobaccos are more out front. I do find Drama intriguing and I think this would be the better choice for "public smoking"

updated 11/4/12- I've really grown to like this, the best of the Grand Orientals. It has a background taste of cocoa and clove. A sweet and sour taste. If you push it, it will get hot and bitter ( as I found with Smyrna also). I've decided to add this to my favorites.

2 people found this review helpful.

Marshall Law Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Marshall Law (50)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

So much good tobacco and so little time! Yet another entry in the Grand Orientals line-up, and a grand slam, at that. An intriguing, light, savory Turkish blend with tasty, slightly spicy orientals, a tiny hint of mild pepperiness, and most appealing...the wonderful, periodic, welcome assertion of mellow, smooth, oily-sweet olive, as you burn down the bowl. The classic rich Turkish flavor stays with you pleasantly for a bit after your smoke. This is a smooth experience that starts off mild, nutty, and leafy, then builds to a more dense, slightly spicier and richer taste, but keeps returning to its olive-tinged mellowness throughout multiple, delicate transitions along the bowl. Mid-bowl is simply delicious. Never harsh, imbalanced or bitter, right to the end, and nothing dominates or overpowers. A consummate harmonious blend. The lighter you sip, the more subtle nuances can be drawn out and explored over and over. This is yet another cool-burning, long-burning, relaxing and rewarding smoke. Highest quality, right up there with Samsun although not as full, and slightly less spicy than Smyrna or Katerini, but no less tasty, and certainly more unique. Three stars.

UPDATE: The truly unique subtleties and nuances of this mild, tasty blend are sufficently appealing as to cause me to question my order of preference of the excellent Grand Orientals series. After extensive exploration in various bowl sizes, I find myself reaching for Drama more often than even Samsun...McClelland's incredible virginias provide unstoppable flavor and ideal pairing for the delicate and intriguing Drama leaf. Four and a half stars? Indeed.

2 people found this review helpful.

Briar Mike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briar Mike (17)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is another Grand Oriental that just delivers in every way. The Drama Leaf is unique and this blend is a very nice change of pace. I find it to pack well and burn nicely down to the bottom of the bowl. The taste really does remind you of olive oil, to where even my wife can note its presence. I don't really know what else to add other than to suggest you try it yourself. If you like McClelland blends, this one will deliver.

2 people found this review helpful.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (118)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Smokes well, great taste. Perfect as a once in a while change of pace. The ketchup smelling preservative persists even after six months, that is the only minus. Subtle and delicate flavor, better smoked on a sunny day. This should hit the spot for people who prefer Oriental tobacco blends.

2 people found this review helpful.

WmZiggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WmZiggy (66)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

There is a reason that Camel cigarettes were the "ciggy" of choice among those who like their leaf in that form; they were made with a high percentage of Oriental leaf, which imparts many pleasing qualities. Likewise for pipe smokers in many enjoyable blends. My first introduction to Oriental leaf came with Balkan Sobranie of old. Their liberal use of this tobacco made their blends "pop" with complexity. There are many many varieties of Oriental leaf and like wine grapes their differing qualities are imparted by climate and soil. If you want to dig deeper, I recommend Frederick Wolf's book: "Aromatic or Oriental Tobaccos", Duke University Press, 1962. It is probably out-of-print, but worth the hunt.

Drama Reserve is a wonderful blend. I am guessing it is composed of red and stoved Virginia, Maryland leaf, and of course a high percentage of Drama and Mahalia. It has a nice sweetness typical of Oriental leaf with deeper notes provided by the Virginia leaf. It is smooth and light on the tongue and palate. I let the tin dry for a day, and especially enjoy this with a cup of coffee in the morning. It is high quality tobacco in a ribbon cut which burns easily to a grey ash. A 'go to' tobacco.

2 people found this review helpful.

Wetheel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wetheel (4)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

McClelland belts one out of the park. It's pretty, it smells good in the tin, it burns in a most civilized way, and it makes great smoke. Unprompted, I would not have used "olive oil" to describe this; having read that on the label, I noted a slight catch in my throat while snuffling the tin, not too dissimilar to what you get when you take a spoonful of extra virgin oil. Smoking Drama Reserve quite slowly, I observed some progression in the three-way balance--sweet, spicy and bitter--from top to bottom of the bowl. I felt more spice early and more bitterness late, with sweetness throughout. A fine experience, and I hope they made some more.

2 people found this review helpful.

bent-1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bent-1 (32)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

Lochinvar nailed it for me. I'll add this to Lochinvar's description: The blend has a smooth, silky creamy texture/taste, does quite well in a meerschaum or neutral smoking Italian briar pipe. As most blends, a nice open drafted pipe, & slow sips yield a melange of flavors.

2 people found this review helpful.

codyp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
codyp (65)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This blend was surprisingly good. Mostly because I had no idea what was in here. Olive oil would be used quite a lot in this review if I were to go in depth. In the taste and even the room note. It pairs well with the sweet virginia and makes it slightly complex. It's a smoke that won't be the same twice, which makes it a keeper.

The strength seemed mild and it smoked very very cool.

Pipe Used: Peterson System (Bent), AKB Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: 3 Years

Purchased From: Local Shop

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Great tobacco really does taste like fine olive oil

1 person found this review helpful.

rimchar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rimchar (4)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is for me the most oriental-forward tasting of McClelland's GO series. I've found it to be more expressive when smoked in about a #4-5 pot where the flavor is bright, high-key, spicy and dry – nothing else quite like it in my experience. I also find fewer stems in this (and others of this line) that in some McC offerings, and that is always welcome for ease of preparation. If there is a down side, it is only in the burn characteristics. I find generally that McClelland tobaccos are hard to keep lit, and this fulfilled that stereotype. About ¾ through the bowl a distinctly peculiar head of steam became the primary product of combustion, surprising and not especially pleasant. I give 4 stars on the unique and intellectually satisfying taste experience, but 3 stars for burn behavior.

1 person found this review helpful.

Passion Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Passion (28)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Medium Tolerable

The sweetest and most refreshing oriental I've tried. A blend with Drama leaf included always makes for a fun smoke. This one is a keeper and the best in the grand oriental lineup!

1 person found this review helpful.

Blue Bayou Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blue Bayou (59)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

A laid back, shaggy cut, sweet mild blend. Great as an all day smoke, no bite. Mellow, smooth and tasty.

1 person found this review helpful.

Splat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Splat (2)
★★★☆
Very Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my first Oriental. I have only been a pipe smoker for about 5 months, usually smoking every day. I usually smoke aros like Lane's 1Q and BCA or Orlick's Golden Sliced red, and some English: MM965 and Nightcap, and dabble in local store offerings of all types. Drama Reserve is touted as being one of the best Orientals. I've had about 7 slow bowls of this so far and though it is very smooth, it's like smoking air. Very little body, some good lightly sweet bacco flavor with light nico content. I don't get any of the spicyness or tangyness that others have noted. Definitely want to smoke this slow.

Update 12/1/12: OK, switched to a bigger bowl, Savinelli 606KS and it's definitely better in a bigger bowl for me. Now the world of taste is opening up and very, very good. As I said, this should be savored slowly. After the laste puff I'm left with a very clean palette. I just may be ordering more of this or one of its brethren down the road.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

After sompling several grand orientals I discovered this blend.. What a discovery! Sampled in several well smoked pipes which caused me to order a new No. 3 Shell which will be dedicated to this blend. Best sipped slowely like a fine cognac. It deserves not to be rushed. Treat it thus and you will not be disappointed. Will be one of my favourited as lomg as it is available. Kudos!

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipe-arazzo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe-arazzo (71)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This stuff is unique. You're not gonna get anything that is exactly like it. And it's pleasant. The burn is relatively quick, and perhaps a bit hot, but not too bad. I definitely needs some drying. My first smoke out of the tin tasted like sweet and sour sauce, but drying fixed that. And the nicotene was a bit low for my tastes, but that was just a matter of getting used to it.

So what does it taste like? Sweet, but with a kind of smooth bitterness. Slightly earthy. Metalic. Tart. I know that sounds weird but I liked it. I'll be trying som #24 later in the year, which as you may know also has drama, but which (I think) features the virginia more.

1 person found this review helpful.

Peppino Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peppino (74)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

If you like Drama get yourself some #24. I think you'll enjoy it in the Virginia. Drama has a wonderful sweetness that is like heaven to me. The aroma is like vanilla to my daughter(my official aroma tester)and a sweetness that is pleasant. It burns to a nice gray ash and dry smoke. This is my 1st Grand Oriental, so this is a good start I hope the other's are just as good as this! When dealing with McClelland I'm very rarely disappointed. Good job! IMHO it smokes best in a larger pipe. In a smaller pipe it really starts to purr and it's over, a group 4 or larger should do it.

1 person found this review helpful.

Dr. Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Scott (82)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Perhaps my favorite Oriental blend. Really special. Mild enough for an every day smoke, it begs to be saved for special occasions, or a leisurely weekend afternoon. A true classic, Drama Reserve is right up there with Presbyterian and Penzance.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

The tin aroma is true McClelland Virginia, but the ketchup is now sweet & sour sauce. The Oriental, led by the Drama, provides the tangy notes on top of the sweet Virginia, as well as that additional odd sweetness Drama and some other Turkish leaves have. It also adds spice and oily herb-like aromas, floral whispers, thin sour citrus-ish odors, faint hints of clove, ocean air, Worcestershire sauce, dark chocolate, malt, and curing hay. Just the tin aroma is frickin' amazing.

Ribbon cut - easy packing, even burn, careful not to let it get too hot.

Cool and easy. Virginia sweetness, another interesting blend of Oriental leaf. Common in many blends, Drama spotlighted like this, is a cool experience. This series is a great idea. This is my second “Grand Orientals” blend. (My first was the Samsun, my favorite so far.)

Very easy smoking' stuff. Complex in the Orientals, simple sweet Virginia background. I did catch the whole olive oil taste, and less of the salty sea air notes I get from most Oriental-heavy blends. The room note is a little too cigarette-like for me.

Very interesting and appealing. You can imagine yourself on some Mediterranean dock, your clay pipe filled with this stuff, waiting to set sail for adventure across the dark blue waters. (I think that was a Popeye cartoon!)

1 person found this review helpful.

hufflepuff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hufflepuff (8)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A deliciously delicate blend with subtle characteristics that showcase the fine Drama leaf. This is a satisfying blend and should be savored to let the intricacies wash over your palate. Don't try to smoke it too quickly or you'll miss a lot of what it has to offer. The Drama adds a slightly oily sort of richness to the blend that's hard to describe but is very satisfying and unique, especially when combined with the beautifully supporting virginias found here. Top notch!

1 person found this review helpful.

Mike__P Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike__P (87)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The reviews here (and a tobacconist) inspired me to give Drama Reserve a try and I am very pleased that I did. When I saw "delicate" on the label, I was initially concerned that this would be lighter fare, but that is not the case. The signature McClelland aged Virginias are at the core, providing a rich, tangy foundation for the pleasant and mildly-sweet Drama leaf.

Man, this stuff is good -- a nice contrast to the piquant English blends that I typically enjoy, but considerably more satisfying, especially from a nicotine-delivery perspective. It does have that ketchupy-barbeque sauce tin note, but who cares? Whatever McClelland does with its vinegar/apple cider fermentation process works for me where it counts: in the bowl.

DR pairs well with a nice Cabernet Sauvignon. I highly recommend it.

1 person found this review helpful.

camachoman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
camachoman (6)
★★★★
Mild Very Mild Medium Tolerable

This tobacco has a wonderful, delicate flavor. By smoking slowly and savoring, you can really pick-up the subtleties. Nice spiciness and wonderful flavor. A fantastic Oriental!

1 person found this review helpful.

bentontool Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bentontool (6)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is my first tobacco review... When I first purchased this blend, I made the mistake of smoking it in several pipes in which I had prior smoked VAPERS and Latakia mixes of all kinds... I know... dumb. It is therefore easy to see why I did not understand all the fine praise this blend had engendered. One third of the way down the tin, I read the review by "bent-1", who suggested using a "meerschaum or neutral smoking Italian briar pipe". Wow! What a difference. Bent-1 was absolutely correct! I dedicated a clean meerschaum to this blend and now I see why this is a 4 star blend. I will admit having difficulty describing the flavour of tobacco, but I know what I like, and this blend is indeed fabulous. Hard to describe but all these apply: subtle, sweet, and exotic. Burns well right down to the bottom... no bite whatsoever. I bought several tins based on the reviews and am very glad I did.

1 person found this review helpful.

Alguhan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alguhan (140)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Medium Tolerable

Another great tobacco from this series.

Besides the nice spicy, oriental taste it really has a particular taste which I liked a lot. If I would'nt read the tin information regarding olive oil fragrance, I wouldn't describe this gentle and delicious flavor. Yes it is olive oil indeed.

A must try and must have for all the oriental fans.

1 person found this review helpful.

Society of the Briar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Society of the Briar (13)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I bought this based on the reviews posted here and I'm so happy I did. Not quite as strong of a fermented "ketchup" smell upon opening the tin as from say, Christmas Cheer 2007 (which I also love), but it's still there. By this point, I don't know what/where this particular smell comes from, but I know to trust it, so I don't care! What a truly great blend!

Nothing bashing you over the head, no casing or topping to speak of, or at least none that I could detect. Olive oil? Couldn't find it, not that I would mind.

This tobacco tastes like pipe tobacco, not like cigarettes and thankfully not like a cigar - sorry, just my taste. Smooth, tasty, slightly nutty and natural with a well balanced sweetness on every puff. McClelland has nailed it again. If you absolutely cannot stand an aromatic but still want to smoke around people who don't smoke without offending them, give this a try.

Edit: 04/11/09 Just dropping in again on this one try echo my earlier sentiments. Ridiculous? Sure. I love this tobacco. Beautiful, subtle, natural, nutty and toasty with a enough development throughout the bowl to keep things interesting. Sip gently and enjoy.

1 person found this review helpful.

Gordy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gordy (16)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Many people dont like using the "fourth star". I think they believe that a four star rating is for that special occasion extraordinary smoke. Maybe. I think a four star rating can be given to an extraordinary tobacco one can enjoy anytime-anyplace, as well as on special occasions. One that is consistantly perfect in flavor and burn. Drama reserve is one of those extraordinary blends. There are so many good products out there these days for nuts like us but its still hard to believe that some are well. Perfect.

Upon opening the tin the sweet, natural aroma of the Drama and the honey sweetness of the Virginia are compelling. The stuff is cured perfectly and burns cool and even everytime. The flavor is wonderful and room not too strong so even non-smokers enjoy it, (as much as when I smoke "Town Topic"). Bottom line, I love this stuff!

Not to be a trouble maker but it could deserve a 4+!

1 person found this review helpful.

PharaohFitz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PharaohFitz (1)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Smoked some of this at the Chicago show before it hit the market. This was prior to the nicotine Nazis banning the enjoyment of our fragrant weed. I have tried it in 5 or 6 pipes and, while I prefer more oriental leaf, I can recommend this blend. I would suggest smoking this blend in different pipes to fully gauge the sweetness and complexity. I found it to smoke very evenly in the different pipes I tried, but they were clean and not stained black and only one was allegedly "oil cured". The bore ranged from 3.5mm-4mm. I usually smoke two bowls of this (sequentially) which could mean that I either crave more nicotine or really like the blend. If you regularly smoke Latakia in your blends, you may not fully appreciate this one, it actually has flavor, aroma, a complex sweetness and does not need the condiment of Latakia to deliver enjoyment or complexity. Not a main course but a desert smoke.

1 person found this review helpful.

Lit a Kia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lit a Kia (35)
★★★★
Very Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Beautiful blend. Bit of a high-pitched tin note from the Drama, maybe the Virginias. Burns perfectly. Chocolate, cedar, gentle spice. Great warm-weather smoke. Finding it ages well too.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kraft1994 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kraft1994 (54)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

This was my first venture into Oriental tobaccos and I must say this one blew me away. What a strange, wonderful blend. Interesting floral bouquet of flavors and aromas. Smokes incredibly cool and produces silky, oily, smooth smoke. Being inexperienced in oriental tobacco I can't really pick out which leaf is delivering which flavors but I can pick out a sweet, light, sugary virginia. Along with that is the earthy and sweet orientals. The earthy, sweetness is what really gets me with this one. It gives it a unique olive oil flavor and quality to it that is very pleasant. A very interesting blend. Good for tossing your palate a curve ball every now and then. Definitely one of those blends that makes out pipe smoking hobby so interesting.

Age When Smoked: Tin was dated 2010. 4 year old tin

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BigCasino Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigCasino (27)
★★☆☆
Very Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A Very nice oriental blend, good quality tobacco, a mild sweetnes, and it really does leave the faint taste of olive oil on your palate, not an upfront bold taste just a little in the back ground

Pipe Used: CassanoCanadian, a Big Casino Cutty

Purchased From: Alegheny Smoke Works

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WillBrown Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillBrown (27)
★★★★
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is, quite frankly, one of the best tobaccos I've ever smoked. I love oriental tobaccos, especially Turkish, Balkan leaf. Drama Reserve is light and very tasty. Many comment on the olive oil taste—I would say olive oil aftertaste, myself. The tobacco does have a slight tang to it, yet, at the same time it's a smooth smoke. I couldn't really differentiate the virginias from the drama leaf. This might be because the tobacco is so wonderfully balanced. It was the only tin of tobacco I completed during my entire smoking season, that's how much I liked it. So, this 'baccy has everything I look for in a smoke—smoothness, mildness, taste and low nicotine. I'll be keeping a tin or two of this around for awhile. I wonder if the other Grand Orientals are as good as this one? I'll be finding out next year, I've got a tin of Katerini and Smyrna on tap next.

Cheers!

Pipe Used: Alexander Zavvos Greek Briar

Age When Smoked: ?

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (149)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Nice tangy oriental mixture. Anyone who likes the category should give this a try -- not overly complex to my tastes, but solid, and the olive oil aftertaste is pleasant.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

beardedhermit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beardedhermit (30)
★★★☆
Mild Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A very creamy sweet rich smoke done on the mild side. the tin aroma reminds me of cotton candy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bike Pipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bike Pipes (10)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Well, after a long series of four star ratings for this blend, I'm going to have to break the trend and rate this tobacco three stars.

Executive Summary: An overall smooth smoke with an indescribable oily tongue note; however, due to its extreme delicateness this tobacco tends to require too much concentration.

Review: The base tobacco of this blend is very familiar in taste to McClelland's #5100 Red Cake, somewhat sweet and slightly tangy, but there is an added note of the orientals that delivers a very nice dimension to the smoke. The only real downside (for me at least) is that you really have to pay attention to the bowl, the forgiveness of this blend is practically nil. If you puff at just the right rate, you'll get a wonderful oily tasting, multi-dimensional smoke, puff a bit (and I mean a tiny bit) too much and it becomes a one-dimensional Virginia tongue stinger.

Conclusion: This is a "should try" blend, but be warned, to really enjoy what this blend has to offer you need to dedicate all of your attention to the smoking experience - if you do, you'll be aptly rewarded.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Billy777 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Billy777 (14)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The Nicole Kidman of tobaccos, elegant, cool, and sexy.

You have to sip gently though, drawing heavily only results in tongue bite.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Outstanding Oriental mixture that actually provides the true taste of Drama tobacco. This is my current favorite from the Grand Orientals line, and the one with less vinegar casing. As with most McClelland's, airing out for a while before smoking really enhances the flavors and mitigates the dreaded "ketchup" casing.

Update: no longer my favorite, which is now Black Sea Sokhoum.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

OPCguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OPCguy (46)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

McClelland's Drama Reserve is a tasty smoke giving way to beautiful billows of thick white galvanized smoke. This is a hard smoke to define for me for its not quite like any other Virginia/Oriental I have smoked before. The taste is both sweet and spicy with an added layer of something else that feels like a hint of latakia but is not...perhaps that is the olive oily Drama leaf. This an exotic blend and surely worth a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

butman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
butman (40)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Wow, that McClelland crew really hit a winner with this one. It has an exotic aroma when you open the container and it just gets better all the time. I was a little afraid when I lit up as I have been bitten by Orientals in the past, but this just keeps offering flavors. Nothing overwhelming just subtle and you are stuck in your chair just enjoying a unique and wonderful flavor. Really sorry when it burns out clean and dry at the bottom of the bowl.

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½ bowl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
½ bowl (36)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable

I smoked Drama Reserve in a meer with a fairly narrow and deep bowl. It is a sweet, rich smoke with good volume. There were no packing, burning or bite issues. A gentle pepperiness, astringency, and soap-like perfume (in an acceptable, almost refreshing way ? Irish Spring??) is eclipsed by a taste reminiscent of Lifesavers? wintergreen and/or clove. Vague floral notes are sometimes present. At any rate, whatever these tastes are, really, I think I've experienced them in a non-smoking context like, say, a trip to the dentist's office.

I would call this tobacco ?tasty? as opposed to bland ? but I do not find it delectable. Also, I cannot discern whether its sweetness derives principally from Virginia leaf or the Drama and Mahalla (both of which, I read, are sweet in their own right.)

I don?t think anyone will accuse this stuff of being uni-dimensional. There?s a lot of spice and fragrance action throughout the smoke ? very evocative, if not exactly yummy. I didn?t perceive an evolution of tastes as the smoke progressed, but it blossoms with creamy intensity at the bottom of the bowl.

It?s worth a try if you think you'd like a spicy tobacco. I know it won?t push my Virginia flake and Prince Albert off the shelf.

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Pagercat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pagercat (41)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

McClelland's Drama Reserve is a blend of ribbon-cut Virginias with Drama leaf added to the mix. Upon opening the tin you can smell the spice immediately. Due to the cut it packs easily and burns well. It is a bit moist out of the tin but a few minutes of drying time brings it to a better moisture level for smoking.

The flavor at first light is a slightly sweet spiciness. It is not a peppery spice like that of Perique but a more exotic one like saffron. As the bowl progresses the sweetness increases slightly and the spice moves to the background playing a supporting role to the VAs. Towards the end of the bowl there is a good base of sweetness with the spice coming through now and then. The blend gets more full at the end but it never gets harsh.

Drama Reserve is a cool-burning blend that leaves the pipe and palate clean. If pushed it can bite but that is a given considering the ingredients. Not a blend to be puffed like a locomotive but slowly sipped and savored like a fine wine.

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