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Three Oaks Pipe Tobacco has been called a modern-day classic. Generous amounts of the finest Cyprian Latakia are balanced with premium Oriental tobaccos and sweet Virginia leaf. Rich, yet cool-smoking from the tin, Three Oaks matures gracefully, developing sweetness and additional complexity.

Notes: Reproposed in 2009 from a 1989 Tad Gage's Blend.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByTad Gage
Manufactured ByMcClelland
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutRibbon
Packaging50g tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy 4noggins.com
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Tolerable
3.1
12 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
4
3 star:
5
2 star:
3
1 star:
0
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moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (37)
★★☆☆
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

When I first opened a tin of this I was not pleased with a strong stench of what I took to be a heavy handed application of the so-called condiment, Liquid Smoke, aka "Barbeque Sauce". I hate any trace of this stuff, and here it is the main thing going on, IMO, a pox on this blend. Is this "Latakia"? I think not! I spread the tobacco on blotter paper and aired it until the "smoke" smell lightened up, a couple of days. As with most McC blends, I had to re-light often when smoking it, but the smell and taste of this stuff isn't so bad, once the BBQ thing was throttled back. Jarring and cellaring have helped it quite a bit. I still smoke it occasionally, and it has become more and more like a decent (if weak) Balkan as it ages. 2 stars it is, due to aging "potential".

Update: 10-08-13: While the Liquid Smoke topping smell has finally about worn off, it appears that any "Latakia" aroma and taste went with it. Basically, any tobacco flavor TOO starts out with seems to diminish over time, once the tin is cracked. Since I only had time for one bowl, I did not even want to smoke it. I dumped it out, and I was left with an unpleasant, oily aftertaste that went on to ghost the next tobacco I put in the pipe. I'm presently stuck with the worm of an idea that part of the problem is propylene glycol; but another problem for me is that there's not much going on here, otherwise, either.

Pipe Used: various briars

Age When Smoked: young-ish to 4 years +

Purchased From: Liberty Tobacco

Similar Blends: Lots of weak, vapid, me-too "English/Balkan" blends.

1 person found this review helpful.

tleek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tleek (51)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

This blend is not bad. The majority of the flavor comes from the latakia, but the strong presence of Virginia is always noticeable. The orientals also come through strong. Every ingredient in this blend is very noticeable, and mixes to create an odd, musty, smoky sweet sort of taste. More smokey-sweet than anything.

Burns pretty cool, and has a decent flavor, however it is a little hard for me to keep lit, but all Mcclelland tobaccos are, so must just be me.

I dont know why but it seems like a smoke for foggy/rainy days.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

A true classic English mixture, masterly balanced to provide a rich, smoky and sweet smoke. Hard to tell wether I like this one or the Syrian version better. Both are really great!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

roscoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
roscoe (11)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A nice blending of good-bodied tobaccos with a delicious tin aroma. Not sweet.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is another great "staple" English blend that is the brother of the Syrian version. While this blend is very nice and could be smoked everyday, the Syrian version has much more character to my palate. I actually prefer this blend to GL Pease's Westminster though.

As for it smoking characteristic's? Very well behaved, gathers some fullness as you get to the bottom of the bowl. I really enjoy this bend in my Ashton Old Church Poker...

Yes, this is in the "classic English" category and well done...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Nice tasting rendition of our old familiar "virginia, latakia and orientals" recipe. Smells sweet and smoky in the tin. Call it ketchup or vinegar or whatever, but McClelland tobaccos have the finest tin aroma! And I hate ketchup and vinegar.

At any rate, I enjoyed the flavor of this one as an all-'rounder, but I especially enjoyed it's layers of complexity. The blend changed from moment to moment. Sometimes it was a sweet virginia with a side of smokiness, sometimes it produced this tart toasted quality, and sometimes it approached a lat bomb. Memories of certain Pease blends constantly came to mind as I smoked this and ultimately I came to the conclusion that it had 90% of the flavor of Odyssey and 90% of the complexity of Abingdon in one blend. It's like someone combined those two but reduced their top strengths somewhat.

This is an excellent blend. I wasn't crazy about all the stems and clumps and that loses one star. I can't call this a modern day classic but it's definitely a blend that someone who is into this traditional recipe should try. It has its own flavor signature that I find quite worthwhile.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Grim_Puffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Grim_Puffer (2)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Very nice blend here one of my favorites.

I prefer the Syrian version but i make sure to have both on hand

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is my first blend and I am making this review for others who are not experienced smokers. I am very sensitive to cigarettes and was worried about biting off more than I could chew. I also am not a fan of cloves or clove cigarettes, so I was looking for something enjoyable that was not flavored with strong aromatics or sweet things. This tobacco was a perfect choice for me, and it was made based on the reviews from others. I would recommend this to any new smoker who is looking for something that is not too strong but, at the same time, is not designed to taste like something other than tobacco. Experienced smokers should disregard this review in favor of others, as I have an undeveloped palate and am just getting started. I don't know if it is common to need to relight the pipe often when smoking slowly, and so I will say that I do have to do that with this tobacco. Also, most of my pipes take a filter, and I am using Savinelli balsa's. I have one other tobacco that I find very similar called Frog Morton On the Bayou, and it claims to be a Balkan blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (74)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is another delicious, extremely high-quality blend from McClelland. Demetri used the word "regal" to describe this blend, and I think that's a perfect characterization. Indeed I don't think I can improve on Demetri's review. I will however offer a couple of annotations to it.

Before I had read his review I, too, thought of Johnnie Black. Whereas Three Oaks Syrian is an excellent example of tobacco blends being like a "single malt" scotch, this can be likened to a top-notch blended scotch. And, to continue the comparison, like a blended scotch this can be enjoyed with more frequency, unlike a single malt which ought to be savored when the time is right.

You can taste the many similarities between these two siblings, and yet they're different enough to be entirely different smokes. To use another analogy: by taking an image and shifting its color lookup table (eg: moving the hue slider in photoshop) the image can have an entirely different feel. This blend feels like the taste-lookup table of Three Oaks Syrian has been shifted from unique, translucent waves of creosotic amber to more opaque waves of a more familiar sweet-smoky ivory creaminess to create a different, though equally exceptional smoking experience.

I don't experience the aftertaste that Demetri does, which causes him to drop his rating to three stars. However, I was reluctant to give this one four stars because I didn't think it would be fair to its sibling Three Oaks Syrian, which is a truly transcendent blend. But it would be wrong to give this any less than four stars since it legitimately deserves it -- it's an exceptional blend in its own right, one which I find I can smoke more regularly than its brother which, to me, is to be more savored. This and its brother have both become desert island blends for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ItarPeyo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ItarPeyo (19)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Yes, it is what the tin description says.

But...

First of all, this is my first McClelland blend so far. I read somewhere that the ketchup/vinegar kind of sour tin aroma is they're signature thing, something about preservatives they are using on the tobacco. Might be, but it's not very pleasant. Yes it's cool-smoking from the tin. But, it still gives me some tongue bite. Drying doesn't help. So, I guess it's the virginias they use. I can't say that I like this stuff too much. However, it's never a boring smoke. You get a different dominating component with each puff. And every time I smoke it seems to be a different experience.

2.7 stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Demetri Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Demetri (98)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Another sleeper. This is a regal blend the description above of which is absolutely correct - no hype, just exactly accurate. Yes, "Three Oaks matures gracefully, developing sweetness and additional complexity", but I might add this blend also exhibits a creamy mellowness that I find so rarely since the Dunhills went AWOL. To light a pipe load of Three Oaks Original is to make a commitment to SMOKE because one will get lost in the fine experience. A couple light pulls and then savoring the taste. A couple more, and then, again, just staying engrossed in the fine flavors it lingers in one's mouth. Superb. It reminds me of my first taste of Johnnie Walker Black Label or my first bottle of a Russian River Valley Chardonnay. The creamy, mellow aspect - Drama? Izmir? Who knows? It works. The predominately dark blend promises a Latakia overload, AND the Latakia is evident in every puff, but curiously it does not drown out the Virginia's and Orientals until the last of the bowl. So, why do I give this magnificent blend 3 instead of 4 star rating? Aftertaste. While these fine flavors persist well after the pipe has gone cold, the creamy, Virginia sweetened Oriental flavor disappear and seven hours later the smoky Latakia remains in my mouth, but now as if I had consumed some tanning agent. I can imagine what Socrates tasted in his last drink. Still, I'll smoke this again, maybe once a month or so.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is my kind of smoke! Tin aroma starts off sweet as can be, with a delicious smokiness that makes you impatient to light up. Moisture is perfect, a little on the dry side compared to most, which is the way I like it. Lights easily and stays lit with very little maintenance.

This is such an interesting tobacco! The first third is what you'd expect with a blend including these ingredients - a smooth, smoky, latakia-driven flavor with sweet virginias adding support and an occasional kick from the orientals. After the first third, there is an interplay between the orientals and the latakia, as the virginias always maintain an even-keeled supporting role. At times it tastes just like Lancer's Slices - just VA and lots of LAT smokiness. At other times, especially when the temperature of the smoke rises a little from some more concerted puffing, the orientals kick up and take the lead. You can control which flavor you experience by just changing your cadence.

This blend never burns hot, barely warming the surface of my Nording Signature freehand. Granted, this is a thick-walled pipe but many other blends have heated it up significantly. Three Oaks Original keeps cool, stays rich, never gets sharp or bitter, and smokes to the bottom with a dry, dark-colored ash. No gurgling, just a wonderful, sweet/smoky, oriental-spiced wonder.

Nobody has rated this review yet.