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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.

Blended ByMcClelland
Manufactured ByMcClelland
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
Packaging50g Tin
ProductionCurrently available
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Mild to Medium
None Detected
Mild to Medium
Room Note
7 reviews
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (799)
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.

4 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (1951)
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 (283)
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.

Big Train Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Train (50)
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1826)
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.


Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1151)
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 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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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! :)

Nobody has rated this review yet.