Reviews: 58708 Tobaccos: 5075What's NewLoginRegister
Product Image

-

Handblended, premium pressed Virginia flake tobaccos. A fine vintage, naturally sweet, in limited quantity.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutFlake
PackagingTin
CountryUS
ProductionNo longer in production
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
3.2
36 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
15
3 star:
13
2 star:
7
1 star:
1
Sort By
Please login to review this blend.
Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (155)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Well, some months ago I was fortunately gifted with well more than half of 100gr tin of this, from a friend pipster who's not accustomed to smoke Virginias. I tried to refuse his incautious gift, trying to explain him what the hell he was doing but, thanks to the Heaven … unable to convince him to come back on his steps, then I offered him my sincerest thanks. OK, being on the other side of the pond, I guess it will take some long time to get some other of the nice Virginias by McClelland, and decided myself to share this lucky chance with another friend (no, it's not to better deserve Paradise when it will be my time…), and still kept some bowls for me.

I think my words of review would exactly be the ones by Davie Jones so, better you read just here below. Nice weed indeed. To me it's quite singular because of the spicy tinge of the smoke, which none of the Virginia sold in the European side offers.

Hope I'll cross some further, eventually…

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I've 'sampled' (as the packaging suggests one treats this) each Christmas Cheer edition since about 1999. They all seem to share that pungent, slightly fermented sweet-and-tangy scent on opening the tin (not like any catchup I've ever had, don't know who started that dang "catchup" business...), and they all have that moist, broken pressed flake presentation and fortunately, all of that is present in the 2008 The main difference for me in 2008's edition is that the bite of years previous was gone; this one is smooth and sweeter than many of the others. A large-bowled pipe, mixture well rubbed out, and not too tightly packed was the winning combo for me but you can enjoy this in whatever you've got handy. It doesn't seem to evolve/change much smoking down the bowl to the heel (perhaps getting a bit fuller- flavored near the heel?), but this is not an issue for me. An enjoyable smoke for sure.

1 person found this review helpful.

Big bad Jon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big bad Jon (232)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

With only two exceptions Christmas Cheer has never even slightly disappointed. This year is great. After trying this at the last pipe club meeting I am off to cellar a bunch of this stuff. After only few years this stuff is going to be like gold. The flavors are matched very well, but not as bright as some of the past. McClelland seems to be moving away from the super sweet Virginias. I really like the almost smokey taste in this one. No tongue bite no thermal nuclear meltdown in the pipe. As most all have already said this one is destined to be a classic.

1 person found this review helpful.

Benjamin Button Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Benjamin Button (6)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin Aroma: Typical McClelland ketchup/vinegar smell, but really rich and smokey.

Appearance: Broken pressed flake, dark brown with hints of lighter tobacco pressed between the darker flakes.

Moisture: Out of the tin it was too moist, but I laid a pipeful on a paper towel for about 2 hours and it was perfect (our apartment is very dry due to the New England winter weather and having the heat on).

Packing: I cut the flake into cubes and gravity filled the bowl about 3/4 of the way then rubbed out some flakes and packed on top to light.

Lighting/Smoking: Lit fine, went out a few times but always re-lit with no issue. Tobacco was a nice rich VA blend, with a nice sweetness left on the palate. I tried to smoke it as slow as possible, as I could feel a bit of bite when puffed harder. A lot of subtle characteristics (mostly different sweet /spicy notes) with this but I think I am going to give this a week or so since opening and see if it changes. This blend should age very well, and I have another tin that I will leave unopened for a few years at least.

Room note was hard to gauge, but my girlfriend, who was on the couch next to me, said it did not bother her at all, and wasn't bad.

Definitely recommended if you are a VA fan.

1 person found this review helpful.

al1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
al1 (58)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This 2008 version is very nice. Good moisture for tin but needs some drying to smoke properly and get the full taste. Mine arrived just how I would like it. In all fairness it is august and this was just tinned last month for this christmas, I just had to see how it was in case I want more before it is all gone this year. I do want more. So that means it is very good stuff. I don't waste time with mediocre blends.

A very rich red va blend. This is top quality tobacco. A little on the strong side in terms of red va flavor but very nice and it will mellow as it ages I'm sure.

I know I will have to get a couple more tins to hold on to for a few years.

I find at least 2-3 years of aging on these makes a lot of difference. More time is better if you can get enough or wait that long.

This is naturally sweet with a decent amount of twang. The tin aroma is a little more mellow and fruity than other mc va's but the (notorious to some) smell is there a little. Not offensive to me in any case, I think all mc va's smell fine. Very straight forward and high quality. Very good leaf and this is the sugary va type that will age very well.

I reccomend this to lovers of sweet rich red va.

Very high quality. Reserved for when I have time to sit and savor this one.

I suspect this is what dark star would be like before all the stoving, Mmmm this is good. Get it while it lasts. I'm ordering more ASAP.

1 person found this review helpful.

BriarChef Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarChef (100)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I was very tempted to give this one star and trash it...just so I can buy more without competition from the ladies and gentlemen on this forum. Alas, the truth will out.

This one is shaping up to give the 1992 vintage a strong run for its money. Half a tin has gone up in smoke already.

Wonderful broken flake that rubs out into a coarse textured, chunky ribbon. Too moist out of the tin and needs a bit of air. Tin aroma is divine and again reminds me of the '92.

Right now the red virginias dominate with a sweet spiciness and some sharpness. The balance of the blend is very muted in a sweet, mellow manner. Very well behaved.

Lights easily, stays lit. Comes into its own quickly balancing exquisite sweetness, tangy brights and spicy mid-range. Mid bowl is mostly sweet with pastry and caramel flavors underlying true virginia tobacco flavor.

End game is a pleasure...pure deep virginia that makes its exit gracefully and quietly with no resistance.

THIS IS THE WORST TOBACCO I'VE EVER HAD! DO NOT BUY ANY! SAVE YOUR MONEY AND PUT IT INTO A CD OR SOME MUTUAL FUNDS. AVOID AT ALL COSTS! CAVEAT EMPTOR. E PLURIBUS UNUM. CARPE DIEM!

(Bear...put me down for another 30 tins and charge it to Pipestud's account.)

1 person found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (89)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the first and only vintage of Christmas Cheer that I have tried and it’s a good one indeed. I have to hand it to McClelland, they have a very unique way with straight Virginia. This version of Christmas Cheer is no different. The tin note is sweet and spicy and the aroma rings of their hallmark deep-fermented, high sugar Virginia.

When smoked it has a wonderful warm tone, it’s fairly sweet and some complexities develop with flavorful hints of holiday spices. From charring light to finish this is a fairly uncomplicated smoke. It’s smooth, mild yet full of flavor and quite enjoyable. This mixture would be an excellent candidate for any piper looking to segue into the world of VA Flakes for the first time.

Altogether I prefer the flavor, complexities and the slightly warmer tone of Blackwoods Flake, but this is still a top notch McClelland offering. Judging from this 5 year old version, I imagine CC ages quite nicely.

Pipe Used: Jesse Jones Billiard

Age When Smoked: 5

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Davie Jones Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Davie Jones (61)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

My first venture into the Christmas Cheer series, I was not disappointed! my tin was dating from Oct 09.

As usual, the vinaigar/ketchup tin aroma does not transfer in the smoking.

Beautiful, very dark brown broken flakes were very easy to break up despite the farly high level of humidity. 1 hr on a sheet of paper solved the problem.

Lighting up brought not much at first. Pure VAs like this require some patience before the flavor start unveiling. Usually, flavors start displaying around 1/4 of the bowl. It then brought forward intense notes of leather, cinnamon, nutmeg and baked bread. Past 1/3 of the bowl, earthly and leathery notes appeared, combining harmoniously with the rest until the end.

This tobacco is rich but never overwhelming. The Vitamine N is moderate.

I will rebuy anytime the Christmas Cheer series!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mickey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mickey (7)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

At first after purchasing 15 tins of Christmas 2008 it was hard to light and smoked very slow and needed to be re-lit. So I left it alone for 2 years. Now it is easy to light and very enjoyable puff with lots of natural flavor. It just needed time to age, I guess. Update:

Tired of the hard to stay lit and the bite, I put the can in a

coffee blender, reducing the flakes to small chunks, top it with

MacBaren Burley to help start it, put it in a large bowl pipe. This helps make a reasonable slow burning puff.

If I had to stick with one Brand it would be MacBaren. I will not be doing the Christmas offerings again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

happy jack Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
happy jack (25)
★★★☆
Very Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I agree with quantumboy 100%, I think with time," and it has already been to bed for 8+years" this will only get better, smoked a 100g can, and put 2 100g tins to bed, Its Virginia man, sweet, sweet Virginia.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (119)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the only Christmas Cheer I've tried. It's very good stuff, good enough to justify my buying several tins when I first tried it. It just does not dazzle me with complexity or richness so I can't give up that fourth star. Certainly recommended, but by a guy who prefers English or Balkan blends (I do, however, love Blackwoods Flake, FVF and Union Square).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

As N7COF stated below me, he gave the blend to a fellow pipe smoker...I was that pipe smoker LOL. Thanks sir for the blend. I tried a bowl of it...not bad...but not good either. The catsup smell is a real put off for me as well. This won't be smoked anytime soon. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth my friend.

10/26/2009: After letting this blend age for about 9 months, it is a great tobacco. Yes, the smell is still rather catsup or vinegar...but when it burns it is all the better. I stand corrected.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

N7COF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
N7COF (56)
★★☆☆
Medium Strong Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This one of those blends I discovered what I don't like & gave it to a fellow pipe smoker. I'm sure it's a good blend, it turns out I don't like as mentioned in a earlier review the typical McClelland ketchup/vinegar smell.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fly ticky Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fly ticky (26)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Very Full Pleasant

Yum Yum Yum on Christmas day on Christmas day in the morning.Gentelman this is top shelf.If you like virginian tobacco this a good year.It has been aged eight yrs already before you even get it,so realy all ya need to do is smoke it.A very smooth and great tasting blend.Not realy sure how to describe it.Ill say this its worth the money.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

periqueguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
periqueguy (43)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I figured that the holidays would be a good time to try this tobacco and I regret the purchase. In my opinion this doesn't belong in the same sentence as several of the other virginia flakes on the market like Rattray's Marlin Flake or any of the Gawith flakes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Latakia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Latakia (68)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A nice VA flake. Similar to the Christmas 2007 but I gave the 2007 a higher mark...not sure why and I don't have a 2007 to compare to. Typical McClelland ketchup scent when opeing the tin. Beutiful cut flakes that as a result of the sweet VA would age well. Moist and could use a bit of drying out before smoking but never seem to wait long enough. This is my current VA on rotation since I usually have one VA, one Aromatic and a few latakia blends always open. If I buy another tim, will store it and smoke in a few years. Nice for a break for a latakia smoker. If I was a hard core VA smoker, would rate it higher.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (198)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a typical McClelland Virginia with ketchup aroma; this is a fruity and naturally sweet tobacco, tasty and deep, easy to smoke directly from the tin and will get much better after few years, overall good investment and great stuff.

Buy some now, enjoy them later!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

smokinitnatural Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smokinitnatural (7)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I just needed to throw my 2 cents in on this outstanding tobacco. Not too much to add other than this stuff is VA done right. Pure natural tobacco. If you love VA tobacco you owe it to yourself to try this stuff. As far as the catsup smell (I personally think it smells like a good worcestershire) You either like it or you dont.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gran Grifón Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gran Grifón (9)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

I recognize that got high expectatives on this tobacco. I would recommended this blend just for VA lovers. It´s funny the vinegar-ketchup smell when you open the can, but it tastes flat for me. Anyway is an high quality tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Quick_nick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Quick_nick (27)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Christmas cheer confirms my suspicions that Most any straight Virginia needs at least a year to develop and mellow. I was expecting a great straight Virgina smoke and was looking forward to a seasonal blend. I was disappointed; it is harsh and not as pleasant as other virginia's, I've smoked about half the tin and will have to force myself to smoke the other half. This was my first stab at CC but I don't think it will be my last I may get another tin and let it sit for some time. One plus is that it does have a nice unadulterated tobacco taste and essence but I can't give it 3 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (96)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Having read that the tobacco's for this were chosen in 2000, an eight year old flake sounded like a dream come true.

Sadly I was a little dissapointed, this tobacco wasn't as rich and tasty as I had beleived it might be, that being said, this is a tobacco that I beleive will age beautifully in two or three years, thus my purchase of three tins, one for now and two more for two or three years time.

Having got past the ketchup smell, I found this to be a mild almost monochromatic mild smoke of a good quality virginia, no huge burst of taste or flavour. I was unable to distinguish anything special at all, but for some reason, I have this unshakable (suspicion if you like) belief that in a year or two, or maybe even three, this will be a tobacco I will regret not having bought by the pound.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

What better way to start Christmas morning 2008 than with a bowl of McClelland's 2008 Christmas Cheer loaded up in a new Christmas pipe? (1970s Peterson's Shamrock Canadian estate piece that I purchased for the occasion).

I should have taken the time to let the leaf dry after popping the tin. It was too moist and made the full rub out difficult and the blend had to be re-lit often. I smoked slowly to avoid tongue bite and was rewarded with loads of Virginia flavor.

The McClelland's Christmas Cheer series is always top-shelf each year. Always similar in taste, this one's flavor is near the top of the ladder. Get you some.

Merry Christmas to all at tobaccoreviews.com!

Pipestud

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kkurilj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kkurilj (2)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Silent night, holy night...

Magnificent Blend!

Highly Recommend!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BigBear Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigBear (10)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild Unnoticeable

I decided to purchase a tin of this because of the great reviews and am sad to say that I either expected too much or appreciate it too little. I don't understand the fan fair this blend gets. After repeated attempts my opinion does not change on this tobacco. It rubs out nicely and after a few hours of drying out still has a hard time staying lit. It starts to bite if you attempt to keep it smoldering and I just was not impressed with the taste, room note or the flame outs. I tried to be objective and introduced it to my pipe club cohorts and the jury had the same verdict. I doubt I will finish what is left in the tin and will revisit this in a few months to see if something changes. I really don't know if this was just the hype that got to me or what. Sorry guys whether its catchup or ketchup I would go for something else in the future.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (134)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

After popping open the tin, I got the usual McClelland catsup smell which seems to stand out more than usual with this than other blends from McClelland IMHO. Packs well after a little rubbing out. One of the best tobaccos I have had the pleasure to burn. This burns to a nice fine ash at the bottom of the bowl. I may just horde a tin or two for later consumption just to see what time does to this fine weed. I can only imagine it will get better with time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Than Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Than (14)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

This is my first Christmas Cheer, and it is some good stuff. A most excellant Virginia smoke with a nice fulfilling taste and note. My only issue is that I can't seem to keep the darn thing lit for more than 2 minutes, but the smoke is so good its worth the cost in matches and lighters. Good stuff get some.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

nyelton Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nyelton (2)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This one is interesting. (This was my first time trying Christmas Cheer) With a name like Christmas Cheer, I was expecting something that smelled more like spices stereotypical of holiday time. When I opened the can, the smell was almost like tomato paste or ketchup. It wasn't a bad smell, it just wasn't what I expected. After smoking a few bowls, I began to enjoy it. I think I just had to adjust my frame of reference and expectations on this one. I recommend it and will probably order 2009's edition.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Black Seamus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Black Seamus (56)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Chardonnay, caramel, pecans, oak, ginger, macadamias, a little leather.

If you're familiar with the Christmas Cheer series, you know what to expect.

If you're a Virginia lover and haven't tried Christmas Cheer, this is a great year to become addicted.

Get it before it's gone!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

drmeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
drmeer (20)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Ketchup in a can! Nice flavor, but the tin odor is stomach turning.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
1 (8)
★★★★
Very Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

I concur with BriarChef, this is some nasty stuff. Save your money and your time and purchase anything but this.

Truth be told, I enjoyed every aspect of this blend. From the moment I popped the top on the tin, I knew this was going to be a great smoke, not to mention all of the positive reviews. I sat down in my smoking chair and enjoyed every puff. Highly recommend. This tobacco get me in the mood for jingle bells, ho ho ho and all that good stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (298)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Mmmm... I reall prefer the 2002/2003 vintages: this one doesn't seem as sweet and rich, although it certainly is a nice Virginia and it's more or less what one would expect after so many years of Christmas Cheer.

It has some sourness and a certain background musty/woody taste: not bad, but on the long run it is quite astringent.

If packed well (I like to rub it out a bit), it burns fine and clean, though it may require some relightings towards the bottom of the bowl.

Once again I will say that this is fine tobacco, typically McClelland, but that #27 and Blackwoods Flake have more personality IMHO.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Oouder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Oouder (11)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Virginia flakes are my hands down fav smoke. This is a fine vintage (2000)broken flake and although I have already opened 2 tins and smoked through most of them this tobacco should really be saved for a few years and then smoked very very sparingly and slowly. I love the presentation! The broken flake is a perfect moisture in the tin. I rub this out and then let it dry a bit before smoking. Very high quality flake. Stock up while you can! I know that I did.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

butman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
butman (41)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

The McClelland team has surprised me again. Way back when I tried the Christmas Cheer and the cider flavor just knocked me away, but this 2008 has brought me back to the fold. It's a little damp out of the can (I call that fresh) and it takes 3 matches, but it is worth it nice round flavor and great delivery of clean, spicy Virginia flavor. Mike and Mary have put another one over the fence.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

shihan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
shihan (22)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A little moist right out of the tin,the broken flake was very attractive. Leaving it out overnight seemed to help. It lit easily and needed minimal re-lighting. A good, solid virginia tobacco with no flavoring. I will be ordering more.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

varg winter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
varg winter (11)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This is the best CC from McClelland I've smoked till now! Great taste! The tobacco is not to moist, I fully rub it out, don' let it dry, put it in my pipe and enjoy!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flaminbill' Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flaminbill' (57)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

No surprises here. Another great Christmas Cheer offering from McClelland. More and more, McClelland is becoming my mainstay for straight Virginia blends. This is not as sweet as say 2035 or Dark Star, but of course it isn't meant to be.

There is the notorious smell when cracking open the tin, but it has never bothered me in the slightest.

Get it while it lasts!

Nobody has rated this review yet.