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This mild, smooth blend of Burley, Virginia and Cavendish tobaccos is flavored with dark rum, pecan and cocoa. It brings a warm glow to the coldest winter day. The aroma of a favorite holiday confection wafts from the bowl bringing pipe smoking contentment.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Burley, Virginia
FlavoringCocoa / Chocolate, Pecan, Rum
CutRibbon
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUS
ProductionNo longer in production
Product Image
Strength
Mild
Flavoring
Medium
Taste
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Very Pleasant

Favorite Of 1 Users

3.0
21 reviews
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9
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Morgoth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Morgoth (22)
★★☆☆
Very Mild Medium to Strong Full Very Pleasant

A tad past Christmas...lol...nonetheless...a standing ovation for McClelland Holiday Spirit 2008. The tin aroma is exquisite...the smoke is mild pecan with an essence of cocoa...as professed by the manufacturer. Little-to-no rum flavour...which is just fine. This blend is on par or superior to those of Pipeworks & Wilke...well done!

No false promises by McClelland here. If you want to dabble in the occasional aromatic...or more so, if you are a regular aromatic connoisseur...try this, there will be no disappointment. Flavourful, cool...no moisture or dottle...smokes to a fine white ash.

I hope that Holiday Spirit 2008 has an agreeable shelf life in my weed-cellar...because forgoing this before its availability passes me by would be a grave disappointment.

A companion infusion: a cappuccino with just a tad of Tia Maria...drop in a bean to crunch when the libation is done.

UPDATE 05/01/10 I found that this does not cellar well...losing most of its flavor. If you have it...smoke it.

2 people found this review helpful.

Society of the Briar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Society of the Briar (13)
★★★★
Mild Medium to Strong Mild Very Pleasant

From the moment I opened the tin, I knew it would be a guilty pleasure. Strong and sweet caramel-like aromas from the combined efforts of the intensely aromatic cocoa/rum/pecan casing. I'm sure this is likely a bit too heavily cased/topped for some, but for an aromatic this stuff is like candy and the casing is still mild enough for a pleasant though light tobacco taste to shine through. If you're going to be smoking around others, particularly in a bar/pub, if you don't get compliments from this one then you're doing something wrong. I know I did, get compliments that is. ;) The first few puffs are fine, but the sweetness really comes through about mid-bowl with a chocolatey almost coffee liquer kind of thing going on. Definitely low on the nicotine content, which I honestly don't mind. Sure it smokes a bit wet and can get hot, so make sure you've a pipe cleaner or two on hand and go easy on the steam-puffing. Ultimately, I can't do much better than the description on the tin itself:

"This smooth blend of Burley, Virgina and Cavendish tobaccos is flavored with dark rum, pecan and cocoa. It brings a warm glow to the coldest winter day. The aroma of a favorite holiday confection wafts from the bowl bringing pipe smoking contentment."

2 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (513)
★★★☆
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

When I first transitioned from cigars to pipes, I started with English blends and it wasn’t until several years later that I tried my first boutique aromatic. I guess they say you never forget your first time and mine was with a tin of 2008 Holiday Spirit. I used to smoke it only in a churchwarden and it was wonderful. It started a Christmas morning tradition of a cup of coffee and an aromatic while opening presents with the family. I digress…..Anyway, while looking for something for the most recent Christmas; I opened a tin of Holiday Spirit that I had stashed away. It was still good, although I have found other aromatics more to my liking in the years gone by. There is just the right combination of rum, and cocoa sweetness that I remembered. I didn’t get much of the pecan however. As an aromatic, it is difficult to tell if aging helped to improve this blend, but it didn’t seem to hurt it either. There was no bitterness that I sometimes find with aromatic blends as the bowl progressed, just a deepening sweet rum flavor. There was no goop in the bowl either. While it didn’t make this past Christmas morning, and I don’t know if it was produced in 2013, it was a nice change of pace and a fond memory of when the kids were younger.

Pipe Used: Churchwarden

Age When Smoked: 5 years

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

1 person found this review helpful.

Big bad Jon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big bad Jon (232)
★☆☆☆
Mild Medium to Strong Medium Very Pleasant

I did not like this blend very much, it was like a Christmas party gone wrong! Too much rum, chocolate and pecan pie. The blend was very wet and seemed to linger in my pipe for several bowls. It did not bite my tongue, which surprised me as wet as it was. The manufactures of pipe cleaners must love this blend because I sure went through them smoking the few bowls I had. If you are a die hard aromatic smoker, you might like this one, otherwise I would stay away.

1 person found this review helpful.

Dr. Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Scott (82)
★★☆☆
Mild Strong Mild to Medium Very Strong

Mine was the 2011 version, but I think the recipe is the same from year to year.

Tastes and smells like burnt pecan pie. Did they case it with Karo syrup?

My wife hated the smell of this one.

Only for the diehard aromatic lovers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (120)
★★★☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

If you can find this, buy it. I bought a few tins and I am down to my last one.

Something in the topping gives this a musty odor, maybe the cocoa or pecan. However, it doesn't transfer over to the smoke. Burns clean and cool, leaving a dry bowl and a happy palate.

I have paired this with a hot buttered rum, with good results.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Briar Mike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briar Mike (17)
★★★☆
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

My first aromatic, very pleasing smoke, love the tin note and room aroma. My wife wants me to get more, and I won't mind doing so. A nice change of pace.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kissphantom05 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kissphantom05 (20)
★★★★
Very Mild Medium Medium Very Pleasant

When I opened the tin I was almost overwhelmed by the smell of rum. This was not bad, however, because I like rum! It was a tad moist, but I could not wait to try it so I skipped letting it dry and packed it and lit her up. The flavor I was hit with was amazing. There was absolutely no tongue bite and no gurgling even straight out of the tin. Its aroma reminded me somewhat of Lane Limited BCA and also of Blue Note.

The room note is among the most pleasant that I have experienced so far. Although it lacks the smell of cinnamon and holly, it makes up with the remnants of a freshly baked pecan pie! I am thinking of ordering more of this before it is gone! Cheers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BBlevins Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BBlevins (102)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant

This is the exact same blend as the 2009 version, just a different date on the label. A good aromatic that burned well and with only the slightest inclination to bite if puffed too aggressively. The flavors described are certainly present, although none of which remind me of the holidays. A good crowd pleaser with a pleasant taste for the aromatic smoker.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hopkins1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hopkins1 (7)
★★★★
Very Mild Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I really enjoyed this Aromatic. I feel that when rating aromatics, they of course have their own category. This should not be compared to cool smoking English blends.

Being an aromatic, it can smoke a bit hot, but that is natural. The casing is something very sweet, and nutty. The rum tops it off to produce a very fragrant and pleasing aroma to those around.

I think if you are searching for an AMAZING holiday aromatic, this is it. Pick up the 2008 or the 2009 as I am sure by the tin description they are nearly the same.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jimmyc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jimmyc (3)
★★★☆
Mild Medium Medium Very Pleasant

The tobacco I'm reviewing is the 2009 Edition which has the same tin description as the 2008 Edition. So I wonder if there is any difference in the two years?

I've had a few bowls of Holiday Spirit and can say it is a great smoke. The best part of this smoke for me is the smell while I'm smoking. There is a nice spice aroma and that aroma lingers for awhile after the smoke. Over all its a smooth, great tasting smoke, but smoke slowly to avoid tongue bite. Also use a pipe dedicated to aromatics. I will purchase a few more tins to cellar for when the mood hits me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

k_pip_k Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
k_pip_k (8)
★★☆☆
Extremely Mild Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Very Pleasant

I don't have much to say about this blend. It didn't strike me as spectacular or even just mildly enjoyable. It is a very so-so blend.

The fragrance from opening the tin is rich with coco and vanilla. The room note is pleasant as well, as indicated by my wife and kids. But the taste comes off flat.

There is no taste to speak of. I can sort of assume that the sensitivity on my tongue has been worn off. So someone with a more discerning palate may taste the nuances of this blend. I couldn't.

The only reason I would smoke this is to provide pleasure to others with the pleasant room note. I would not make this my daily or occasional go to blend.

K

Nobody has rated this review yet.

rhapsodyofmetal Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rhapsodyofmetal (42)
★★★★
Medium Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Excellent blend. I love these niche tobaccos. It truly does remind you of a fragrant Christmas air...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I'm not a big aromatic smoker, but I recieved a tin of '08 Holiday Spirit from a good friend as a christmas gift. I really enjoy smoking it, and I wish I had more pipes dedicated to aromatics so I could smoke it more often.

It's a good mixture of Burley,Virginia, and Cavendish with wonderful tin notes of Caramel.

The room note is great, and even the most up-tight non-smoker would enjoy it.

It smokes great, although I have to be carefull when I pack it because of the broken flakes. I've yet to get any tongue bite from it, and it smokes to a fine dark grey ash.

On a different note, I reached into my pipe bag to load some up, and realized I only had enough for about 2/3 of a bowl. Rooting around I found some Dubliner from Ted's Pipe Shoppe in Tulsa, a strong English blend, and mixed a little in. It smoked great and took the edge off of the Latakia. I think I'll try it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Big Nick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Nick (72)
★★★★
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Great blend, mild and tasty. They should make this one of their regular blends so that it is always available, although here it is May 22/09 and it is still fairly easy to get.

Very nice combination of flavors, Burley, Virginias and Cavendish with Rum, Pecan and Cocoa. All of the flavors are present at one time or another wafting in and out creating an aromatic bonanza. My taste buds would say that the pecan is more of an almond/amaretto type flavor than pecan, but hey, close enough. The first half of the bowl seems to be more dominated by the (lets just say) Rum and Nuts. Then the Cocoa works its way in. Great aromatic smoke !

One thing has always struck me as odd. Why do some people think a blend like this is only good around the Holiday's. I understand that many flavors and fragrances remind us of certain holiday's, but good is good. When I BBQ a steak in the winter, its good. When I eat turkey in the summer, its good. When I smoke a bowl of 2008 Holiday Spirit in May, hold on to your shorts now, oh my God, its still good !

Don't practice self deprivation, get some while you still can !!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kyscco15 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kyscco15 (3)
★★★☆
Very Mild Mild to Medium Mild Very Pleasant

I find that this is a wonderful blend, with subtle notes of nut and rum. Very Christmasy; definately not a year-round smoke. Still really enjoyable.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cigarman43035 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cigarman43035 (15)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

All I have to say about this blend is DELICIOUS! I cant get the stuff to bite and there is very little moisture left in the bowl when finished!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Sampling at my local tobacconist, I purchased a tin believing with a little more aging, this might develop a bit more flavor depth due to the fine Virginia leaf. So, I will smoke it next Christmas in 2009 for a likely treat. I like it now, too.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PipenGuitar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipenGuitar (15)
★★★☆
Extremely Mild Strong Mild Pleasant

RUM RUM RUM! That's the main smell I got opening the tin. Fine by me...I'd dry it out a bit just because it's so damn moist. I find that drying it out for an hour prior to smoking will help lessen the syrupy texture that was accumulating in my mouth. I found that a corn cob pipe was best for maintaining a cool(er) smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
★★☆☆
Mild Strong Very Mild Very Pleasant

I judge all respective tobaccos on their individual merits. I never compare English blends to Aromatic Blends or Virginia Flakes to Burley Flakes. So with that in mind, take this review for what it is worth. This is a rather bland and disappointing blend. EXACT DESCRIPTION: A mixture consisting of both Best of Show & Tastemaster in one tin. That is it. VERY McClelland aromatic flavor- which means not easily defined. It is sweet and harmless. I would skip it. For true aromatics go to Pipeworks at Wilke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BigBear Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigBear (10)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

As far as an aromatic is concerned this is a good blend and the taste reflects caramel and rum. Perfect for the holidays but I don't think I would smoke much of it at other times of the year. The flavor seems to die close to the bottom of the bowl and loses a lot of character. I found it to be a bit of a hot smoke and had to really watch myself to keep it smoldering at the right temperature to avoid the tongue bite. I would not invest in a large portion of this blend but I do think it is appropriate for this time of year.

Nobody has rated this review yet.