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A Matured Virginia flake tobacco in the classic tradition. The quality of the leaf makes all the difference in this supremely smokable blend. This is Matured Virginia at its finest, naturally sweet, mellow from extended aging, clean-smoking... a pleasure to experience by either name.

Notes: Originally introduced in March, 1995 as "Avatar" for the Chicagoland Pipe Collectors' Club, is now part of the Club Blends Series.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland
Manufactured ByMcClelland
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutFlake
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Mild to Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant
2.9
10 reviews
Reviews
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5
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (813)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

A nice looking thick broken flake with a beautiful mahogany color. The deep rich aroma of matured virginia is present... or ketchup, for those who have more experience with McDonalds fries than with aged tobacco - heh, heh. This smokes and smells like it's mostly red virginias, a nice earthy sense with a hint of sweetness. This required a fair amount of drying out prior to smoking. It seemed on the low end of the nicotine spectrum.

I agree with the previous reviewer that this is more savory than sweet. Heavy hay-like flavor with hints of spice and just a trace of sweetness... more of an unbuttered sweet roll flavor than sugar or citrus. Not a terribly complex tobacco but not a one trick pony, either. In the quartet of the McClelland pipe club VA reissues that I've smoked, this one lacks the depth of flavor of Rich Virginia Ribbon but eschews the bland quality of Aurora. I'd rate this as the equal of Quantum, very good but well short of greatness. RVR is the great one of that bunch for me. However, this one is well worth trying for flake lovers.

5 people found this review helpful.

Big Train Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Train (54)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I believe that McClelland produces the highest grade Virginias that I have smoked . Epitome is just another example of what can be achieved by a master blender who personally selects and processes his/her own tobacco . This blend has such beauty in the tin that one might look at it a while before smoking . The tin note is earthy and inviting , one might be in the tobacco fields just from smelling it . The taste is complex and changes through the smoke going from a more grassy taste to a deep and rich experience . With the exception of SG and K and K , no company is making or has made Virginias like this . High grade tobacco , well matured speaks for it's self . Just enjoy it.

2 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2058)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

The red Virginia has a little "vinegar" essence that isn't in the smoke. It has much less sweetness than a McClelland red Va. usually does, but what is there is slightly tangy with a touch of fruit and a little earth. There is a definite grass/hay quality with a hint of spice, the former being much of the main flavor, which is consistent in its effect. Rather monochromatic with very little nicotine to speak of. Needs a little dry time, burns slow and leaves a little moisture at the finish. Needs some relights. Won't bite. Has a decent after taste and can be an all day smoke. Two and a half stars.

2 people found this review helpful.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (286)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Nicely prepared 11/2x1x3/32" dark brown flakes that have the typical McClelland ketchup tin aroma that I don't relish. Ideal moisture content and a pliable flake result in easy packing without rubout as I prefer. Lacks the real VA sweetness that I like but smokes cool and without any bite or condensation. Don't see this as any better than several of their 20xx series bulk blends that are less than this one in unit cost.

2 people found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (178)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Lovely dried fruits and Christmas pudding aromas from the tin, this broken flake burns beautifully. It is sweet and savoury, and surprisingly complex given that it is a straight Va. There are at times notes that are almost DFK like, and sometimes the odd cigar note. I know, these aren't notes that should be there at all and YMMV.

Not sure how these flakes were crafted but there seems to be some stoved in here, which is always a plus for this little black duck.

Is on the mild side of medium for nicotine and has, to my nose, a pleasant room note. Just shy of 4 stars.

Pipe Used: Cobs

1 person found this review helpful.

½ bowl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
½ bowl (91)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

The most prominent flavor is a citrus tang riding on smokey sweetness, and a touch of spice. This is a solid Virginia blend, but I wouldn't call it one of McClelland's best efforts. It has good smoke volume and body, but light in the nicotine department. If you need something to smoke while your attention is focussed elsewhere, this'll do.

Age When Smoked: 7 yrs., which probably helped a lot.

Similar Blends: If you like 2035, you'll probably find this acceptable.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Very Pleasant

Epitome is sort of a grassy tasting Virginia flake that doesn't offer any sweetness, but has the expected depth that a quality Virginia will provide. The flake form produced a slow and rather cool (for a Virginia) burn for me and I enjoyed puffing on it in the evenings when I had the time to concentrate on it.

Pipestud

1 person found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1165)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This sample was gifted to me by a good friend on my online tobacco club. The blend needed some drying time and lit and burned well afterward. The volume of smoke was moderate. I would say that there was some mouth bite, yes mouth bite...my whole mouth was stinging. This was more of a savory smoke than sweet, and had a nice grassy aroma. I found this to be a mild VA and very low in nicotine. Thanks again to my friend for the sample.

1 person found this review helpful.

puro66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
puro66 (74)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I've smoked seven or eight bowls of this and will shortly finish my first tin. This is a small cut flake (McC) style with a medium brown appearance. It is quite easy to work with (for me) and the moisture content right out of the can is perfect for me. It is a very well rounded virginia with lots of flavor but not overly strong. I can definitely see laying a few tins aside for aging and belive the result will be sublime.

A note: I regard most tobaccos I smoke to have a pleasant room note, those who don't like the aroma are free to leave! :)

1 person found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1506)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

McClelland - CPCC Epitome (Club Blends)

In all fairness I opened this by mistake. With it being Sunday I fancied a relaxing aromatic and popped this believing it to be so. But, I'm not disappointed by my ineptitude!

My first mistake was thinking it's a ready rubbed or ribbon, it's actually a blend comprised of slightly broken dark flakes. These flakes are of a very good moisture amount and fairly robust in build.

On to the smoke: although the description highlights this as being 'naturally sweet' I get nowhere near enough sweetness to warrant that being a selling point. To me the smoke is more of a savoury one, the usual Virginia hay flavour and a bready note. It seems like a straight forward flavour: hay and bread without any fruit/citrus and only a miniscule amount of sweetness. It burns nicely, but like most flakes the speed's dependant on how finely the flakes have been rubbed!

Nicotine: just a little above mild. Room-note: pleasant.

McClelland Epitome? It's just shy of getting full marks. Three stars:

Recommended.

Pipe Used: Atinok Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: One month

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

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