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Back when Istanbul was Constantinople, Izmir tobacco was Smyrna. "A rose by any other name..." These tiny, top-grade tobacco leaves from mountainous Western Turkey across from the Island of Khlos have long been prized as the most aromatic of all Orientals. They grown dense and extremely fragrant in this dry country moistened by Mediterranean Sea breezes.

Look for a whole Smyrna leaf on top of the tobacco when you open the tin. Notice the tiny hole where it was string up by hand to air cure in a time-honored , labor-intensive process. There is no Latakia in this blend. Smyrna is the defining ingredient in this sophisticated Oriental tobacco. Our intention here is to spotlight the character of this extraordinary, delicate leaf.

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

Favorite Of 4 Users

3.3
36 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
19
3 star:
12
2 star:
3
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2
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Alguhan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alguhan (140)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

McClelland made a nice surprise and has placed a uncut leaf at the top of the tin content. I still remember the tobacco fields nearby my grandpa's town, very close to Izmir. Those tobacco plants had the same leaves as the one which I've found in this tin. The tobacco is at a nice grade of humidity but I also aired it a bit. So the well known sour McClelland smell settles well. Packed and lit very easy.

With first puffs a sweet and creamy flavor occupies the mouth and immediatelly the spicy taste adds its presence. Till the half of the bowl the spices are at background and then they take the main appearence, giving a delightfull and gentle strength to smoke. It is hard to smoke this tobacco because it is very tasty. But be patient and smoke it as slowly as possible, otherwise it leads a hot smoking. With a slow burning it will satisfy your flavor and strength needs better. Ends with a clean and soft ash.

This tobacco is one of the best oriental blends I've ever tried. With the other blends of this series it will be in my routine for sure.

While smoking this tobacco I remember my mom's stories. When she was a little kid she and her brothers were helping their neighbours for harvesting these tobacco leaves. They've had very nice childhood days on those fields. Who knows, maybe I am smoking now the leaves harvested by those neighbours' grandchildren!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1004)
★★★★
Very Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

This is the template for sweet, light and spicy Oriental leaf. John Cottons made Smyrna leaf famous many years ago. While often imitated (sometimes somewhat successfully), I've never found anything quite like it... until I tried this McClelland's Grand Oriental Smyrna #1.

It is absolutely delightful. Although lacking in the strength that I normally gravitate toward, the flavor was delicious and slow puffing brought about a palate pleasing smoke.

Easy on the tongue, easy to load, light and keep lit, my puffer meter is pegged!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (531)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Call me easily amused, but I think it's way cool to pop a tin of tobacco and find two full leaves on top! I found this to be a mild, spicy blend with delicate but noticeable flavor. I did not find this to be full flavored at all, as many of the reviewers did. Instead I found it subtle, with nuance upon nuance, and very complex. I liked the roasted nuts comparison, and I agree.

Again, this McClellands Grand Oriental is worth trying but I did not find enough here to bring me back to it. Still, I think it's a marvelous achievement for McClellands and I suspect it will have its share of devotees. The Classic Samsum is probably the only one of the series I will smoke regularly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Slow Triathlete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Slow Triathlete (48)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Short review this time.

When compared to GL Peases's Embarcadero, which is also a Virginia/Izmir blend, this blend fails miserably.

The Izmir/Smyrna is extrmely muted in this blend and doesn't come to the forefront the whole time. It's there sporatically but not enough for my tastes.

Do yourself a favor and get the Embarcadero instead. It is usually cheaper and burns a lot better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Doggie_Daddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Doggie_Daddy (5)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This was my first try to orientals, what a nice surprise. Will be trying all the grand orientals. A slow go is best for this blend.

Pipe Used: beckler meerschuam

Purchased From: local shope

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sgt_Fig Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sgt_Fig (3)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

I enjoy all Orientals and after ordering several tins of the McClelland series, I was very impressed. While English Blends, medium to full, are my usual tastes, from time to time a lighter, subtler sensation is the order of the day. This particular blend is a highlight for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I bought this six months ago today and just opened it. I wasn't actually planning that, but interesting. When I open the tin, I find the neatest presentation I've seen yet: a whole leaf of Smyrna sitting on top of the ribbon cut. That was cool. Is there a ketchup aroma? Of course, it's McClelland. Does it carry into the smoke? No, thank goodnes.

I bought this blend for two reasons. 1) My previous experience with Classic Samsun was amazing, and 2) I wanted to try more from the series, so I read up on the descriptions of each, and I found these words over and over about this one: "Earthy, musty, pungent, spicy." That's exactly what I was looking for.

And that's exactly what this is, and I love it. If you don't like spicy lingering in the back of your throat, occasionally even bothering you, you might not like this...well, at least not the first half of the bowl. It mellows out in the second half (which is where I'm at in my bowl now). I actually like all of the above. As a side note, I think this tin is the black tin of the series for a reason: Even though this series is light overall, this is probably the heaviest from what I've read.

This is fantastic stuff if you're into earthy tobaccos.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

The Izmir is light, and Smyrna No. 1 is the typical aged Virgina with McClelland's acetic acid application. Not my favorite of the Grand Orientals, but I will revisit from time to time. I would have preferred a little more Izmir in this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (206)
★★★★
Mild Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

First let me say that I do like all Orientals and this is no exception. This comes with perfect moisture to smoke. I find the taste so interesting, full Oriental, and a great change from the Latakia/Perque blends. The taste is a sweet & sour with a smooth musky scent. Doesn't bite, just the right spice to make it interesting but not spicy hot and it lights and burns great. I detect a hint of clove , nutmeg and cocoa. It is a little light on "N", but that doesn't bother me. This is somewhat complex depending on how fast you smoke this as you can change the flavors .This actually passed MY wife test, which is very hard to do. This gets 4 stars, as I want to keep this around and keep in the rotation.

PS I do like this slightly better than "Drama" because the Virginias are more out front.

Updated 7/19/12- I find this tobacco starts off very flavorfull, sweet and maybe some cocoa flavor. Unfortunately I tend to smoke this fast and by about halfway, the smoke turns hot and bitter, my fault. For me, "Drama" holds it's flavor better at a faster paced smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (100)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Nice tin presentation with that tobacco leaf and the preservative smell is more subdued. Not as sweet or fragrant as Drama Reserve but fuller bodied. As with all Orientals, the fragrance is specific and yet stands apart on its own. Pleasurable outdoors smoke on warmer days, with time to spare, in order to get the full spectrum of flavors. A four star mixture for Oriental tobacco lovers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

The tin note does not have much of the McClelland tomato ketchup smell, (Why do so many McClelland blends have that ketchup smell?), instead it's just a natural sweet tobacco smell. It's a gently does it blend any heavy puffing results in tongue bite.

Overall a good any time of day smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JohnnyMcPiperson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyMcPiperson (89)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I heard good things about this blend, but for me it came as somewhat of a disappointment after my love affair with Katerini Classic. I found the flavor to be sweet, almost too sweet and very one dimensional. I liked the blend at first, but became bored with it quickly. The tin note and room note were very similar to Katerini, however the smoke just didn't stand out IMO. Packs well, burns well, sweet and mild, you may enjoy it coming from aromatics, it burns much better than the traditional American aro.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Smyrna No. 1 is one of my favorites from the Grand Orientals collection. An excellent Oriental leaf delicately balanced by sweet Virginias, providing a mellow, earthy, cool smoke with solid taste from the beginning to the end of the bowl, with very little vinegar taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Latakia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Latakia (67)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I was not impressed on my first pipe full but eventually, got to appreciate the subtle sophistication. A sweet smokee most probably from the VA in the blend. Burns nicely and is a nice break from my usual latakia-based regulars. Will review again at the end of the tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I read through the reviews here carefully, and my excitement built for a long time. No local shops carried it, so I have been really excited waiting for it to arrive with my new Stanwell hans Christian Anderson. I tell you, it totally lived up to the billing. Its spicy and robust, but fragrant and layered. I could tase the sugary McClelland Virginias, and I have tried all the other GA's in some way, this one is so cool and different though. Its more "exotic" to me and feels so natural. I am going to be buying much, much more of it, and it will be a regular outdoor and afternoon smoke. I can't wait to sit down in the evening and pair it with an Irish Whiskey.

Thanks to all the great reviews of it on here, it replaced Drama as my Fav Grand Oriental.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

yinyang Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
yinyang (45)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend was slated for a four star review by me, until, that is, I made a simple mistake: I smoked one of my wife's Marlboro Special Blend cigarettes. Smoking it like a pipe(not inhaling, snork only), I found the similarities between the two disconcerting, to say the least. (I realize ciggy's occasionally have some oriental component, so maybe I shouldn't be suprised?) Anyways, part of the allure of pipe tobacco is the vast array of tastes/flavours/aromas to be had. Realizing this blend tasted much like a cigarette disappointed me to a point I have yet to recover.

That said, I really enjoy Smyrna #1. I admit to a minor love affair of all things oriental, so this may be a no-brainer. (Previous statements notwithstanding). Mild, spicy(kitchen cupboard spicy, not Perique spicy, if you know what I mean), a quality Virginia blend. Lights well, burns to fine ash, and who doesn't get a kick out of those tiny leaves staring up from an open tin? Only my aforementioned annoyance keeps this from the highest rating here.

Three stars for now.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (226)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I rarely give a tobacco a low rating as I find I enjoy most all tobaccos and can find something good to say about most of them. I struggle to do that with this one. I just tastes plain hot and bland to me. Very one dimentional. It presents itself nicely in the tin, mostly small rough cut brown leaf with a few whole leaves thrown in. It has the nutmeg smell I get from most Turkish tobaccos in the tin and it loads quite easily into the pipe. It came at a good moisture level in the tin and it lites quite well, one the first light after the rise for me. On the first puff, it emits the very fragrant aroma of the Smyrna, which is kinda aromatic with a spicey overtone. I like Smyrna in a blend as it adds charactor, but in the proportion this blend uses this leaf, it is just overwhelming to my pallette. It is so spicy that that is all I taste all the way down the bowl. It tastes hot to me, though my pipe in reality stayed cool and I experienced no tongue bite. It burns all the way down in the pipe to a light grey ash and little dottle and no moisture. I would imagine this would make a good mixer with other blends, but as it stands alone, I do not recommend it at all.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Country Doc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Country Doc (20)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Light, smooth, complex. There are sweet notes and occasionally a dark sugary quality comes through fleetingly. Spicy cinnamon pepper present but not overstated. Gentle, subtle, intriguing. A most elegant smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

7formy1911 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
7formy1911 (34)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I've been holding off on this review for a bit because I almost expected myself to get tired of this blend but I haven't and find myself wanting to smoke it more and more. In the past anything that had a large percentage of orientals just did not sit right with my mouth and throat. I particularly remember Red Rapparee and how acrid the orientals were and they just seemed to hit me right in the back of the throat. I had almost given up on oriental leaves and figured they weren't for me. Boy was I wrong.

Enter Smyrna No. 1. To this point in my pipe smoking I have not found a blend that I really liked in a meerschaum. Smyrna No. 1 changed that as well. It is absolute perfection when smoked in meerschaum. The Smyrna leaves are brought to the fore front and the virginia base provides a rock solid altar on which the Izmir (Smyrna) leaves are offered to God in thanksgiving for this blend.

I have a sensitive tongue and I think that is why burley and English blends find their way into most of my pipes. This blend is quite easy on my tongue despite the Virginia and Smyrna. I certainly have to take it slow but even a faster puffing rate didn't hurt me much at all. I liked the Virginias so much that I'm actually looking at McC Virginia blends to find something I like.

In any case the taste notes are as follows: There is a sweetness to the Virginia that is certainly not overpowering but it is evident. The Virginias add body and provide a great back drop for the Smyrna. With the Smyrna I detect hints of cinnamon along with a mild spiciness and other warm spice notes I can only liken to mulled cider. It honestly reminds me of Christmas spices if that makes any sense.

When all is said and done I truly enjoy this blend and it has given me renewed hope in finding some wonderful Virginia/Oriental mixtures. I think the McC Grand Oriental line has hit a home run and I'll continue my quest through their other Grand Oriental offerings.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deckard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deckard (1)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

This has become my favorite blend. It packs and burns easily, has the most wonderful tin and room note, and the perfect balance of sweet and spicy flavor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarBurner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarBurner (29)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

The dominant feature in this blend is the sweet/spicey orientals that really pop with slow steady draws.I found this to be an easy packing, smooth smoking, no bite tobac. The strength is no powerhouse, but the flavor delivers throughout the bowl, As for room note, I could care less. I have found that in 45 years of pipe smoking what people think of my tobacs' smell is a non-issue, compared to the enjoyment I get from some of the more foul smelling blends out there.. Enjoy

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is one of the outright smoothest, creamiest and delicious tobaccos I have ever had the pleasure to smoke. It smells so wonderful in the can that you almost think you could eat it with a spoon. Ketchup and vinegar? I think NOT! For those of you who have smelled the fragrance of fresh-ground 100 percent Kona Coffee..... then add the aroma of a fine Oriental tobacco.... That is what wafts its way past this set of nostrils, in my humble opinion. So what's not to like? By the way, this tobacco goes exceptionally well WITH a cup of 100 percent dark roast Kona made espresso style.

Needless to say, I am impressed with this one. So much so that I have dedicated two of my finer meerschaum pipes to it. Well, ok, I use them for the Samsun, too, but you get my point. My wife wants me to smoke it on a fairly regular basis...... she likes the aroma that much! Finally, one my wife enjoys almost as much as I do.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This puppy really settled down and mellowed out after opening and leaving it to rest in the tin for a week or two. Yet another winner in the Grand Orientals series. Smyrna is similar in some ways to Samsun and the much lighter Katerini. By comparison, however, it is richer and more dense than Katerini, and a bit darker and more earthy than Samsun, with what could be perceived as undertones or suggestions of fig, cinnamon, and some other light spices. It is a bit two-dimensional and simple on the palate, but its focused, balanced flavor is sufficient to carry it on its own merits. Like the rest of the series, it lights and burns flawlessly, down to a light grey powdery ash, with no goop or mess. Won't bite or burn hot, but if you go ballistic on it and puff like a freight train, it can dry and numb the back of your throat, like most Turkish blends with a fair amount of nicotine. Prefers to be sipped and savored from a small bowl to explore its smooth, rich flavor, or worked more intently from a large bowl to kick up its spicier side. Unlike Katerini which is more delicate and better smoked in the morning or early afternoon, this is an all-day anytime smoke with plenty of flavor, but still smooth, mild and sweet. Tasty Turkish satisfaction. Well done. Three stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Eric Cioe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eric Cioe (21)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

I support the idea of the Grand Orientals series so that we can get an idea of what individual leaves taste like. This is the only one I've had and I'm reviewing it from memory, but with a full tin under my belt I felt like I could say some nice things about it.

The presentation is impeccable with the two leaves atop the ribbon. Such a nice touch. I found this stuff a bit hard to keep to lit, but then I smoked my tin pretty fresh and didn't let it dry out at all. It left my pipes a bit moist in the bottom, which was no big deal, but worth noting.

The flavor itself was really ... rich and exotic, I guess. It wasn't a very deep blend in my experience, but while it was a bit one-dimensional it was a good dimension.

In short, I bought this mainly out of academic interest in the Smyrna leaf but ended up enjoying the smoke itself well enough to consider buying another tin eventually. Worth a try if you're interested in orientals at all.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Wonderful stuff. The VAs are of the usual McClelland quality and smell amazing in the tin. The Smyrna adds a lightly spicy tone in the tin as well.

I find the smyrna very noticable at the first match and then settles in behind the sweet VAs and is always there.

Smoked slowly it is very flavorful, but if puffed somewhat quikly it starts to taste like a quality VA only- losing the orientals contribution.

Must try for VA lovers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (500)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I am pretty split on the Grand Oriental line in terms of my likes and dislikes. Along with Samsun, I really enjoy this one. I think the best way to approach Smyrna is to enjoy is slowly. Puffing will not bring about a deeper more complex smoke. This tobacco scores big points because it is what it sets out to be, a delicate, light, sweet smoke. I enjoy this most in the mornings. Highly recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WmZiggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WmZiggy (66)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

To add to the trivia regarding this blend, you can see the hole in the Smyrna leaf where each leaf is strung for curing. Can you imagine running a needle and thread through each leaf and the quantity it takes to make a pound! Ok, that said, this is wonderful tobacco. The light, spicy, almost cinnamon-like flavor and sweetness develops after lighting and one settles into this smoke. This blend has a wonderful complexity moving between suble sweetness and cinnamon and other taste notes. As with oriental leaf, it is light, soft and smooth. My guess - and I stress guess - is that this blend contains Maryland to enhance burning qualities, and a red Virginia to deepen the sweetness. The tobacco is a ribbon cut. It burns to a nice white ash. It was not wet on opening the tin, nor did it have the ketchup or vinegar smell McClelland is often noted for. It does not burn hot, nor bite. This is a light and nice smoke any time of the day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flagg1122 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flagg1122 (15)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I really love this blend. Great everyday smoke. It is a great late evening tobacco, the spicy almost cinnamon flavor is truly relaxing after a hard day. Recommended!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

oldsouth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldsouth (9)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Once again another excellent blend. Mike and Mary have sure done their homework on this one. It amazes me at what lengths they will go, in order to secure the best leaf, so that we may enjoy these rare and exceptional blends.

Realizing peoples taste vary, but to me ,it is reminiscent to sweet toasted nuts! By far one of the best orientals on the market. It is a blend I will put in my rotation daily.

Thank you McClelland. Keep sending the pipe smokers the best.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

fmichaelnv Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fmichaelnv (5)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Is there anyone else tired of hearing that McClelland's blends smell like "catsup" or "vinegar" in the tin? As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter what a tobacco smells like in the tin: what matters is how it tastes and smells in the pipe.

The first time I tried Smyrna No. 1 was in a churchwarden outside in my backyard in a slight breeze with a dark Greek coffee. That was a mistake (not the coffee). The tobacco burned fast, slightly hot and tasteless. I figured it was much too light for my taste.

Shortly thereafter, I wanted to give this tobacco another chance; but this time indoors. I tried this fine blend in an old, small GBD pipe from the far end of my pipe rack. I made some Greek coffee again, which I love to smoke with any tobacco, and lit this tobacco in my basement.

The flavors are there but subtle. I can understand why I missed out on the cool, slightly sweet, spicy, peppery taste outdoors. I especially liked the taste on my tongue at the end of drawing on the smoke. The smoke was creamy, full and the oriental taste light. The smoke dissipates quickly. There is absolutely no bad aftertaste. The tobacco packs easy and smokes dry all the way to the bottom of the bowl to a fine grey ash.

I think it an ideal blend in a small pipe, indoors and should be smoked early in the day. I don't know yet if it will be part of my regular rotation, but when I'm looking for something subtle and exotic early in the day I may turn to this blend more often than not. I will always keep a tin around.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Psyktek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Psyktek (20)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Still working on the first bowl of this new blend in the Grand Oriental series. A very different direction from the first offerings in this line, I think McClelland has a real winner! A fruity, raisin-like quality in the first aroma from the tin does not carry thru in the bowl. Herbal, light, complex flavor and aroma is present immediately. If set aside, a vanilla component is apparent from the unlit bowl and, after relighting, an entirely different profile is presented. It's a little hard to keep lit at first, I think it would benefit from a brief drying out. Definitely worth trying, if only for a tobacco that is very different.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cbd2 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cbd2 (10)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Just as I finished my first tin, and was ready to write a review, Pipes & Tobaccos jumps in with a review that says it all (and I urge all to read). Rather than sum up what was written there, however, this was the review that I was writing in my head as I smoked...

The tin aroma is sweet and fragrant and the blend packs and lights nicely right out of the tin. The sweetish taste only remains in the first couple of puffs and then it's an array of spices - an array that can't quite be pinned down but similar to that found in a fragrant tea. And that's what you find in the remainder of the bowl: a spicy, not overly-sweet, cool smooth smoke that is a delight to the palate.

This blend is now on my "favorites" list. I also found, having just a bit of "Larry's Blend" remaining, that this mixes well with a blend heavy on Latakia in a mixture of about 3 parts Larry and 1 part Smyrna. I would suggest that others might use this as a blending leaf, as well.

BTW - it's also very cool to find your very own, smokeable, leaf at the top of the tin!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lochinvar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lochinvar (69)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

The best in the series! It displaced Samsun! This is sweet rich acidic satisfying, one of the greatest tobaccos on the market today (they are sure to cancell it now). It starts of dry and then develops the rich, spicy exotic oriental taste, soon followed by a virginia with a flavor like freshly cut clover hay. I am putting as much as I can behind. If you smoke no other tobacco this year than Smyrna, you have spent the year well. If you dont like it, dont smoke the rest of the tin, send it to me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

½ bowl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
½ bowl (34)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A rich, creamy, fragrant blend. Somewhat sweet, peppery and herbal with incense-like (bordering on soapy) notes. The taste resembles raw vanilla (maybe it has a deertongue top dressing which gives it that peppery edge.) Very exotic -- makes you wonder if there's non-tobacco herb leaves in it. It packs and burns well without bite; burns evenly, effortlessly, and dry to the bottom of the bowl leaving white ash.

To date I've tried Smyrna #1 and Classic Samsun from McClelland's Grand Orientals series, and I liked the Samsun much more. If memory serves, I think John Cotton's was a better Smyrna blend.

I don't wish to discourage anyone from trying a tin of this merely because I'm not keen on it. If for no other reason, do it for the experience -- which is the real benefit of having McClelland produce an entire series of orientals.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dug Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dug (18)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

In the tin, this is a medium-light colored blend, with a whole, small Smyrna leaf on top (my tin had 2!). The fragrance is strongly and assertively sweet (that adjective will appear frequently in this review) -- kinda like a good VA flake turned up to 11 -- with a vaguely herbaceous spice in the background. (I'm not adept at disentangling the influence of constituent tobaccos, so don't know how much of that is due to the VAs in the base blend; I tried tearing and smelling the whole smyrna leaf, but couldn't discern a bouquet significantly different than the tin as a whole.)

The smoke reminded me of a good navy flake or VaPer blend, but with more honey and a bit less pepper. It's an extremely rich, sweet smoke that maintains an almost fermented complexity, but avoids becoming saccharine or cloying. Think gourmet Fig Newton with a hint of white pepper on a bed of sweet hay, and you're getting close. Every once in a while, there's an evanescent, fleeting moment of something completely different, like green olives, or brown sugar. It stays interesting (and sweet) to the bottom of the bowl.

Virginia and VaPer lovers definitely should give it a try for a slight change of pace (without crossing that dreaded line into a topped aromatic).

UPDATE: Having let my tin breathe, and trying this blend in other pipes, I find it to be more assertive, with a peppery, perique-like nip. I don't find myself craving it very often, but it's definitely an exotic, quality tobacco.

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Passion Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Passion (28)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Overwhelming Overwhelming

I love Drama Reserve and Yenidje Supreme. But this Smyrna, although a small leaf (the single intact leaf included in each tin is a very nice touch), it is so fragrant. And let me tell you, this fragrance is either one you love or one you hate. This is not a taste I can even describe with words. You'll just have to give it a whirl, but from memory, it is musty and potent. It ghosted my pipe for 5 bowlfuls afterwards. Not a pleasant taste at all. I gave the remainder of my tin away.

If you love it, more power to you. But it was not for me.

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