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This remarkable blend formulated by Fred Hanna provides a multi-layered, rich, taste experience. The highest quality Syrian Latakia combines with a small amount of Cyprian to form the base for an exquisite array of rare and precious orientals - sweet Drama, exotic Yenidje, and more. Red Virginias complement the blend, adding sweetness, richness, strength, and creaminess. Smoke this mixture and listen for the echoes of savored
memories.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByFred Hanna
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
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 11 Users

3.6
39 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
29
3 star:
6
2 star:
4
1 star:
0
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Kraft1994 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kraft1994 (54)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A fantastic blend here. Just a wonderful, sweet, spicy and mild English blend. An all day smoke that really sings. This blend could not be more appropriately named. Weather your camping in late summer, hunting in the fall, ice fishing in winter or going for a spring stroll through the forest this blend is made for the outdoors. Such an earthy, natural blend that just seems to enhance the beauty of the wilderness. You'll never catch me on a fishing trip with out my deep bowl corn cob and a tin of McClelland Wilderness. An absolute favorite.

Pipe Used: Missouri Meerschaum General

5 people found this review helpful.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (134)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

To me, Wilderness is Frog Morton camping. It is an exceedingly mild English blend with grand ambition, apparent in the use of rare Turkish leaf, Yenidje and Drama, which add a wonderful spice to the smoke. I admire McClelland for their ability to take risks, and I would say that having Fred Hanna concoct his own mixes with their best leaf easily demonstrates McClelland's commitment to extending the breadth of fine pipe tobaccos.

But as usual, I have problems with McClelland English blends. They are simply too light for my tastes and I find myself puffing at a ridiculous pace in an effort to absorb enough nicotine. I know that not everyone feels this way, those that seek flavor more so than strength, and I extend an enthusiastic recommendation to these people. For a mild English, Wilderness really is hard to beat, and I think fans of the Frog Morton line will find this a truly exotic, novel creation that may present a pathway to appreciating greater complexity.

So, my "two star" rating in no way suggests that Wilderness is an average blend--it's not. One should only read the relevant (and fascinating) Smoker's Forum posts to understand Fred's passion in its creation, and the deep respect his fans have shown in their embrace of the blend. Yet in my own drive, I find it a bit difficult to fill my pipe with Wilderness, often going for inferior, yet stronger mixes that populate my cabinet. It is these second choices that will compete with Wilderness when my favorites are on back order.

Smoking the blend now in a large bowled Peterson billiard, I am happy for having gone the other route, though I know I will run into the same, conflicting motivations when the time comes to fill my pipe with another English.

* Update

Well, it's taken me nearly half a year to finish off this tin, and the last two bowls, smoked in quick succession, have warmed me up to Wilderness. I wouldn't call it a favorite, but I have to appreciate the Turkish component, which puts the blend in the same category as Russ's Magnum Opus, different and powerful. It gets in your face and reminds you that you're smoking something special. I still do have some problems with the blend--it starts off kind of so-so and the mildness is always evident. But about a third in when those Orientals kick in it's a sublime smoke. I have a hard time placing the Syrian leaf, but it's not a problem, anyhow. The smokey Latakia flavor is always in the background for me. One bowl left...I think my vacation is coming to an end.

* Update

A day later and I'm just about finishing that last bowl. Wilderness went from a hated to loved blend in a very short time and I can't quite understand what I missed through the majority of the tin. Perhaps my ability to appreciate Oriental blends has matured, and my desire for overwhelming nicotine doses and Latakia bloat have declined. In any event, this is an excellent Oriental blend--and I say that because the leaf seems to me the most prominent in the mix. Now I'll have to go and reorder based on this brief window of experience. Tastes can change dramatically, I have found, and while I know that to be true, usually my opinions flop in the opposite direction, from Loved to Hated. I have learned to appreciate the Wilderness--sorry for the lousy joke.

5 people found this review helpful.

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

I popped the tin of Wilderness in great anticipation. I had previously smoked a tin of Legends, which is the companion blend to Wilderness and created by the same tobacco chef (Dr. Fred Hanna), and I went bug-eyed bonkers over that one. I stuck my nose within a whisker of the leaf and took a long whiff... Oops, there went some drool.

I plucked a bowlful of leaf from the tin. I then spread it out on a sheet of paper and somehow managed restraint and let the broad ribbon cut tobacco greet the fresh Texas air for about 15-minutes. I then carefully loaded up my pipe. At the match (well, my Old Boy lighter), a thick cloud of creamy, rich smoke began to fill my office. I took a few long, slow pulls. I don't know how deep an ocean is, but this tobacco surely matches its depth with a starburst of flavors. The delightful Oriental presence made itself know immediately. The sweet Yenidje and bold Drama interplay was stellar as was the leathery background provided by the highest of quality Syrian and Cyprian Latakia. My tongue was also occasionally washed with the Virginia addition that always supported, but never interfered with the star players.

What would I compare Wilderness to? Nothing. It is that wonderfully unique. As long as I have an opened tin of Wilderness within easy reach I know this is going to be a wonderful New Year!

5 people found this review helpful.

Marshall Law Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Marshall Law (50)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Well, this is certainly an interesting treat. This sublimely mellow, smooth concoction is full of wonderful, diverse flavors, burns well, and simply won't bite. And what the heck is it? Perhaps a fine medium Blakan with a creative twist, it would seem.

The first half of this smoke is intriguingly outdoorsy and flavorful, true to its namesake. It blatantly displays a brilliant interplay of Syrian and cyprian latakia, which truly does create an intense sensory experience of pine...pine cone pitch, pine sap, pine needles, slightly sweet and not bitter in any way. This is not the dull two-dimensional bludgeoning that excessive doses of cyprian alone can effect. The intoxicatingly interesting, slightly sweet pine sap notes are wonderfully tempered by a smooth smokiness as well, much like a small pinewood fire burning lightly in the open air of a pine forest. Wilderness indeed, or perhaps we could call it Campfire Companion. The orientals are pleasant, smooth, tasty, and very much in the background....until...about 2/3 of the way down the bowl, an oriental bomb goes off. After doing an extensive tour with all of McClelland's Grand Orientals, and having several of them in my regular rotation, I immediately recognized mild, sweet, tangy Yenidje and what seemed more like mild, savory Katerini than Drama leaf, in big doses which come solidly to the forefront together. Excellent! Peppered with hits of latakia bits all the way to the bottom of the bowl, which rounds out the orientals, the overall experience remains smooth, rich, mellow and flavorful, preserving some of the pine forest suggestions right to the end. The pleasant aftersmoke taste is undeniably that of the tasty orientals, which firmly but gently control the last third of the smoke without totally displacing the latakia. Quite unique and tasty, an easy three and a half stars. Pine wilds, indeed, and yet another delightful application of Syrian latakia. If you like the flavor of Syrian latakia and enjoy the oriental-forward smoke experience of a blakan over a traditional english, check this one out. I'm glad I did.

(update 9-27-10) My initial opinion of this excellent blend hasn't changed in the slightest. In fact, I've been enjoying it so much I've ordered more tins, some to cellar. I'm upgrading this to four stars, as I can't imagine how I'd improve on it. This isn't just power of suggestion, clever marketing, an appealing name, and handsome packaging. The refreshing pine needle essence of this smoke from the perfect dose of Syrian begs you to go out into a pine forest on a still, cool evening and savor it slowly. It mingles intoxicatingly and seamlessly with the dense, woodsy air. And it lights and burns so well I doubt even Smokey the Bear could kill this campfire. An outstanding smoking experience, masterfully crafted. It is firmly in my rotation and I sincerely look forward to savoring it in the cooler months ahead.

(update 10-25-10) All verbose blithering aside...Dang, this is tasty stuff! This and Three Oaks Syrian have become fixtures around these parts, along with welcome visits from Samovar and New Century.

(update 3-17-2013) This blend has become widely acknowledged and appreciated. I was lucky enough to be turned on to it when it was first released, and my impressions have remained consistent. It is a top-five favorite solidly in my rotation, more for what it isn't than what it is. This is not intended to be an overpowering english or a gagging, monotone cyprian lat bomb. My initial appreciation for the pine sap qualities may be from the use of pine gum essence in the blend (from boiled pine pitch), among many other subtle but unique techniques and ingredients in the blend. If you have Wilderness and are having a less than positive experience, try a different pipe, by all means!

A good review of this excellent blend can be found here:

http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/pipe-tobacco-reviews/mcclelland-wilderness-pipe-tobacco-review/

5 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (718)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A complex English where all the flavors work together without crowding each other out. The spicy from the Orientals are noticeable from the first puffs, as are the smokey woody sweet Syrian and Cyprian latakias. The Yenidje provides a slight soda note. The red Virginia is tangy sweet with barely a hint of the famous McClelland vinegar note. The Turkish lurks in the background, adding an ever present depth. Being that this is not a latakia-dominant mixture, it's milder than you might expect. I rate the taste as "medium" more for the spice content than the strength of the latakias. Smooth and creamy sweet, it's designed to smoke several times a day without wearing out your tongue.

4 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (203)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This English is lead by the Virginias and Orientals with the Latakia providing a strong base. There is a nice amount of sweetness, but I wouldn't quite call it a sweet English. The wonderful Orientals counter-balance that sweetness to a certain degree. My tin was slightly dry and just the way I like it for immediate smoking. Lights well and burns great. Mild to medium in body. Medium in taste. Although I could easily detect the McBBQ in the tin note I couldn't taste it in the flavor. This isn't my favorite type of English, but I found myself enjoying every bowl. It's a great smoke.

Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

3 people found this review helpful.

KinnScience Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KinnScience (29)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I want to start off by saying this is not Balkan Sobranie ... thankfully. While I believe the hype surrounding Balkan Sobranie was more about it's absence than it's essence, I have enjoyed it more than once. Wilderness is its own blend, and has its own character. Are there components that are similar to BS? .. sure, one can distinguish throughout the smoke the hits of elements synonymous what what BS offers. But this blend is a much fuller and complex blend IMHO. The name "Wilderness" is apt indeed as the tobacco imparts flavors and essence to remind one of a deep green forest of pine with a few patches of hard oak. The blend is remarkable. The Syrian Lat offers a sublime smoky foundation that is sprinkled with a touch of juniper. The orientals rise quickly to the surface to infuse the palate with sandalwood and mid-Eastern incense. The relatively small amount of VA offers a delicate and subtle sweetness that can be missed the smoker is not paying attention, though it marries to the sweet pungency of the Drama to create a new creature that dances across the foundation of dark earth and pine needles like Autumn leaves on October's wind. All of these delightful components infuse the senses in waves of differentiation like a Tchaikovsky concerto. The richness of Wilderness' essence can often be strong, but not overpowering, as its music takes us from elegance to climax, and back again.

One previous review demonstrates the faceted construct of this blend by offering 3 reviews at three different time periods. He begins by experiencing only a glimpse of rich taste Wilderness imparts, then later realizes he has missed a great deal, and finally understands that he had only begun to explore the enigma of this blend. Prevalent in oriental and Syrian elements, if you enjoy a tobacco rich and full of flavor, you are sure to enjoy this blend.

Pipe Used: Cavicchi, Dunhill, Ferndown

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Some elements are similar to other blends .. but clearly this tobacco stands on its own as an original..

3 people found this review helpful.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (119)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Fred Hanna has created an absolute masterpiece in his new Wilderness blend. When I finish a bowl, I just can't wait until the next one! This is one of the most flavorful blends I've had in a while and in my opinion destined to become a legend (wait...that's the name of his other blend...hmmm...)

One might think the star of the show is the Syrian latakia, which is close to the truth, but the orientals Fred chose ("sweet Drama, rare Yenidje, and more") put it over the top. There is a buttery toastiness that starts at first match and doesn't stop. There is a hint of lingering Virginia sweetness but that is not what will appeal to people with this blend. By no means a LAT bomb, yet woodsy, rich, and deep, one of the most complex blends I've had in a while.

The Virginias stick with their supporting role and never really make much noise. The interplay of the two types of Latakia with the Oriental weed is absolutely delicious and entertaining. I find myself concentrating just to try to identify the myriad flavors that present themselves as the bowl progresses. It certainly gains some strength during the last third, and a bit more finesse and attention to technique are required to keep the flavors flowing. But Wilderness is good to the last drop.

A true desert island - or wilderness - blend for me!

3 people found this review helpful.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (146)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I was leery buying this one at first, as I normally don't care much for McClelland's latakia blends because they usually lack both the complexity and strength I like in English/Balkans. Wilderness, however, is the first latakia blend from this company I've fallen in love with, in large part because it remedies the most important of those two issues.

This is one of the most complex things I've ever smoked, rivaled only by the new Magnum Opus blend from Hearth & Home and some batches of seriously aged Renaissance and Samarrah I lucked into. Every few seconds the flavor seems to shift, yet always retaining a subdued sweetness and the smoky spice of both types of latakia. It never fails to hold my attention throughout the smoke, as it never grows tiresome or bland. While some reviewers have stated they don't taste much latakia, I have to question whether they are simply accustomed to the sharp, smoky Cyprian variety. This is the closest thing to Syrian "lat bomb" I've ever smoked! But that also means the character is very different from Cyprian-based blends, which have a "smoky" or "campfire" flavor. The Syrian, on the other hand, is more reminiscent of red wine, incense, or even curry. Hannah has stated publicly that this contains nearly 35 percent Syrian latakia, which is a prodigious amount of that particular leaf (which is considerably stronger in flavor than its Cyprian counterpart).

Fred Hanna, of course, is known as one of the world's premier experts on the legendary Balkan Sobranie mixtures, and it's interesting to note that the ingredients listed on the label are a dead ringer for the Sobranie "white" mixture of old. It's also worth noting that Hanna has not chosen to describe this as a recreation of that famous blend, although he has said publicly that his appreciation for the classic mixtures is what inspired him to take on this project. I doubt that he could have recreated the Sobranie's flavor with the constituent tobaccos here (McC's virginias are too pungent and unique to ever sucessfully mimic those used in European blends) but this stuff is absolutely superb on its own terms. I've picked up flavors that I've never before encountered in a pipe tobacco, and I've gone through hundreds of blends over the past 20 years. Hanna has said this blend has 12 different tobaccos in it (Syrian, Cyprian, a mix of Vas and a whole slew of orientals) and boy does it show!

The burning characteristics here are pretty good if not spectacular, it's very cool in the pipe, and it doesn't have much potential for bite.

If I have a criticism, it is one voiced already by several others. Wilderness has relatively little in the way of nicotine strength even though it is (to my palate) full flavored. I like powerful blends such as Old Joe Krantz, Billy Budd, Bosun Cut Plug, etc., and Wilderness falls far short of those. On the other hand, I've run into VERY few blends of this type that satisfy my cravings for Vitamin N, and Wilderness does at least have more nicotine than other McClelland mixtures (I estimate it to be about the same as Carter Hall).

Anyhow, Wilderness has shot to the top of my English/Balkan rotation with a bullet. Primo stuff. If you go into it looking for nicotine or a large dose of Cyprian latakia, you will likely be disappointed. For the rest of us, four stars.

2 people found this review helpful.

Mike__P Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike__P (87)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This Fred Hanna blend is another bell ringer, alongside Legends. Wilderness is darker, smokier, and more complex than its sibling, and I would place its flavor profile somewhere between Pease's Westminster and Charing Cross. It has plenty of Latakia, but it never dominates or eclipses the other tobacco flavors, and the Orientals really hit their zone halfway through the bowl and add that familiar incense-like essence that merges beautifully with the famous McClelland Red Virginia. The Orientals here unify and deliver a lightly spicy-sweet, pleasantly unique flavor when compared to similar Balkan mixtures. I know this is a hackneyed term, but this blend truly is "balanced;" all of the ingredients are well-integrated and provide a tasty, relaxing, full-flavored smoke that is sure to please the Balkan enthusiast.

Perhaps it's the Syrian Latakia that keeps everything cool, calm and collected compared to other blends in this category, although I've had some with this ingredient that don't deliver the goods the way Wilderness does. It achieves a creamy richness and pungency devoid of the sharpness and bitterness that overwhelm in other Latakia-heavy creations. Like Legends, McClelland has managed to offer another Balkan that tastes great and is as smooth as Oriental silk. Highly recommended for those who enjoy a robust smoke -- but also appreciate some finesse.

1 person found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (595)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

Tan-to-brown-to-black in color, a beautiful looking ribbon cut with an astounding tin nose. Light but pungent, there is no doubt of the presence of Syrian latakia. A lighter tasting version of its Cyprian brother, Syrian adds a wine-like taste and bouquet.

Well, this didn't bring to mind any long-lost blends of yesteryear, but it stands pretty well on its own. I wasn't as impressed with the flavor and smokability of this one as I was its Fred Hanna stablemate, Legends, but this is certainly a worthy blend. It may be more complex than Legends. There was a pretty active tapestry of flavors weaving in and out, with the Syrian latakia adding its usual mild sourness and piquency. The orientals were of the spicy variety, which made the overall picture gel. I found this one a little difficult to smoke when I wasn't paying attention, as the blend forced me to deal with it. As I said, this is one active blend that didn't seem to want to rest. However, the flavor was far from assertive. I wouldn't have objected to a little more "oomph".

As with Legends, a pretty good smoke but nothing I'll smoke again too often. The oriental/latakia market is booming (although Syrian seems to be the provenance of one U.S blender) and there just isn't enough boldness here, even amidst the activity. But if you want a good tasting smoke that is very complex and you like a mild blend, this one could be for you.

1 person found this review helpful.

Wagon25 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wagon25 (14)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Mild Tolerable

(8.7.10) I heard this was formulated by a guy from Toledo, which is where I'm from, so I gave it a try. It was a little bit more potent than I expected.. in a very good way. It has a noticeable taste, but subtle enough. When I opened the can I was surprised.. no "ketchup" smell that usually seems to characterize McClelland. The can scent was fairly mild, but what I could smell was very pleasant and sophisticated (interesting since the name is "wilderness.") The only thing I have to compare this to is Dunhill Nightcap, of which I still have a small stash. It's not quite as potent, but very similar, and with a touch more flavor. All in all it's really outstanding. Even the last few dregs are fresh and intoxicating, not the burnt taste I sometimes get with the late relights. All in all it's a sure keeper. If you miss Nightcap, I think this might be a similar smoke. I highly recommend.

(9.7.10) This stuff is really good. I defer to Marshall regarding flavor; I couldn't hope to describe it better. It goes on and on; the only thing I've smoked where the last few dregs are the best--it retains its strong, full character and then some. And It burns superbly.

(10.7.10) I don't mean to have this on the seventh of every month, it just happens. Weird. STILL OUTSTANDING!

1 person found this review helpful.

Brooklynsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brooklynsmoker (9)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

An English blend with virginias and orientals and something else? On opening the tin you get the McBBQ thing but that has never really bothered me.Smokey latakia and deep virginias come forth.The taste is really a medium English and yet their is a lot of complexity to this blend.I can not figure out what the mystery taste is but it does have an almost piney character to it.might be one of the Orientals. This is a favorite for me and one of Mclellands best in my humble opinion.

Pipe Used: some cobs and some briars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (97)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a fantastic tobacco blend. From charring light to end, Wilderness is sweet with a distinctly fragrant incense-like wood smoke scent. Faint hints of McClelland's famous fermented Virginia tang are also noticeable as are hints of the holiday spice flavors that one finds in their Matured VA's. However I find that the most compelling aspect of Wilderness is the use of both Cyprian and Syrian Latakia which seems to deepen the aroma while providing a richness in flavor that is both profound and unique. This has been done in a few other blends, but the Syrian/Cyprian harmony struck in Wilderness is superb.

As the bowl progresses everything just gets better. The Latakia while used generously, never overwhelms. The smoke remains smooth & lightly sweet, yet the flavor deepens and the spicy richness of the Orientals provide plenty of sparkle, making the later portion of the bowl all the more interesting.

Altogether, Wilderness is not a flavor hammer, it's actually quite mild. But that's not to say it lacks flavor. If anything it's a perfect example of what makes McClelland so great. Here's another blend produced by them that is perfectly balanced, mild enough to smoke any time, and yet has plenty of flavor and complexity. In fact there's enough nuances and tricky little olfactory sensations in a bowl of Wilderness to write plenty more about. And of course all this makes for a very wonderful smoke.

Age When Smoked: 3

Nobody has rated this review yet.

codyp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
codyp (65)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I tried this blend a while ago for camping and such, long enjoyable smokes and was very pleased. I got it again recently and am still very pleased, even though it is -20 degrees outside(MN).

I find this blend to be very sweet and a decent body the same time. It's a good all around blend for an english smoker. The Virginias really come out in this blend which I appreciate from such a good virginia blender such as Mc.

In short, good taste, decent room note, and a good all around english you should try.

Pipe Used: Peterson System (Bent), AKB Meerschaum

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes, Local Shop

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Polaris82 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Polaris82 (14)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Before reading any off the reviews below, and lighting my first bowl of Wilderness, the first thing that came to mind.......Frog Morton on the Town crossed with Britts Balken! This is VERY Smooth, and leaves a very apparent creamy taste in your pie hole! Lots of puffy white smoke also. The yenidje does not play second fiddle to the latakia in this blend! If you want to experiment with the yenidji leaf, try this blend! 4 stars easy!

Pipe Used: Mizzu meerschaum

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From: Boswells Chambersberg, PA

Similar Blends: Frog Morton On The Town/Britts Balken, Drama Reserve.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hottgunn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hottgunn (19)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Very nice. I would call it a very soft (creamy to some) Oriental tobacco. Keep your "Nose Peeled" while smoking this one as it has many different aromas and favors floating around - as other reviewers have already said. You can't really tell what's coming next and I suppose that's the joy of it. Tin aroma is very similar to Legends but this is more like a loose cannon as far as flavor goes. A more or less incense like aroma most of the time. Somewhat damp right out of the tin but not as extreme as some McClelland blends. It is good to me now but I'll wait for final judgement later on.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Joeray Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joeray (61)
★★★★
Medium Medium to Strong Medium Pleasant

I really like this blend, feels so balance between the flavor of east and west. Quite complicated but i like it. I can feel the sweetness of virginia, the smell of Latakia and the spicy of Orientals at this blend. Sure does this is a blend that i will buy it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

King Weed Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
King Weed (46)
★★★★
Strong Very Strong Extra Full Pleasant

This is another of the modern englishes that I've recently gotten around to smoking. I couldn't find it on local smoke shop shelves, so I bid on a tin or two on e-bay. When I opened it I knew I was into something nice. When I lit it, I was sure. The tin appearance was attractive - a brown and black mixture with a wonderful aroma. Being a McClelland blend I anticipated it would be quite damp. It was a pleasant surprise to find that it was only slightly damp and a sample dried out overnight to a smokable condition. I can't help but wonder if the blender, Fred Hanna, had anything to do with this drier presentation.

When you light this tobacco up, you know you are smoking something solidly traditional and of very high quality. The smoke is rich, smooth and dense and very, very enjoyable. There was absolutely no bite nor did it have any unusual qualities. I smoked it straight through with constant enjoyment and had no desire to alter it in any way. It is an outstanding example of what I refer to as a "sweet english".

Wilderness is one of the best of our renaissance englishes that we are so lucky to have today. I rank the top three modern englishes as: Magnum Opus, Wilderness and Black House in that order.

Ah! Wilderness. Thanks Fred. Four Stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

portugesepride Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
portugesepride (7)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This seems to be what I stuff in my pipe after a long day of trying new blends, and I need a tongue saver. The different tobaccos all smell and taste fresh, smoke cool and it leaves a rich, creamy aftertaste. I can close my eyes and picture why this is called Wilderness - Earthy tones always leaving a cool, satisfying feeling during its entirety.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cochon74 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cochon74 (21)
★★★★
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I'm writing this review months after finishing my tin of Wilderness, so it will be largely impressionistic. But I can say thati remember it fondly - a well- orchestrated blend. I remember a fairly rich, complex smoke with lovely Syrian Latakia notes, with ample smokiness, Orientals and a savory-sweet Va base.

Lighting and burning characteristics were superb. All in all, this tobacco was a winner.

The tin did not last long, as I recall. I bought a second to have on hand and plan on opening it soon.

A solid 4-star blend

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (577)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

a very good verginia based english blend. if you like a light, sweet, woodsy english blend this is for you. this has made its way into my regular rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (140)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I won't go into detail about the composition of this fine blend, others have already covered that. I will say that this blend snuck up on me, it smells wonderful in the tin but it had little flavor....at first. I thoroughly cleaned a pipe and dedicated it to Wilderness for the rest of the tin. Wilderness is subltety defined, the flavors come through like a fine Jazz quintet, each leaf takes his turn at the lead, as the others lay back and keep the rhythm. This is one of the most complex tobaccos I have ever smoked, do not try to rush this smoke, it takes a soft touch, but you will be rewarded handsomely for the effort. As others have said Fred Hanna is a master blender of the first order.

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

This is just a super blend, period. It has become my "Early Morning Pipe" replacement due to the smoothness and the calming mood it produces. Sets me up for a hectic day.

I've read with much sadness all the lamentation regarding the disastrous 2004 Syrian leaf warehouse fire which resulted in the loss of G.L.Pease's great blends such as Renaissance, Raven's Wing etc. Wilderness is the proof that you can still enjoy the incredible smoking experience of this unbelievable Syrian tobacco. An experience not to be missed. How blessed are we?

A nice dose of Drama lends a hand and wafts in and out of the subtle and winey smokiness of the Syrian. Pure and wonderful down to the last draw.

In my pipe smoker's mind, this is what the air in heaven must smell like!

My 1-4 star ratings are very simple: 1 star = garbage or trade; 2 stars = to be enjoyed once in a while for a change of pace; 3 stars = a great tobacco that becomes part of my regular rotation; 4 stars = A magical desert island smoke I couldn't live without.

I've probably smoked over 500 different blends in my lifetime and only 3 active blends have ever made my 4 star list.

This is one of them. Thank You Fred Hanna!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Katharsis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Katharsis (39)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I just finished a couple samples of this from a friend -- the end of his tin. I must say, if the end of the tin is this good, it must have been great throughout. This was on my to-try/to-buy list recently, and having smoked some finally, it's a definite to-buy.

Smooth Syrian latakia definitely comes out even though this blend is very well balanced on the VA/Or/Lat front. The description says "sweetness, richness...creaminess." Yes, definitely yes, to these three descriptors. This is great stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (230)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

With the first touch of the match I was reminded of a 90% Dark Chocolate flavor , some sweetness but a slight bitterness. Very smooth and bite free with excellent balance between all the components. Yes, this reminds me of Legends and Jubilee. Very complex and interesting . Pleasant incense like aroma. I can't see why this isn't 4 stars , and I do like this better than Jubilee which is very similar.

Updated 8/18/12 I had both a tin of Wilderness and Legends open and was switching smokes between the two, I could not tell the difference. I decided to load two pipes and smoke them at the same time ??? Results: Legends Is creamier, zero spice on the tongue, almost no "McC Vinegar", and a bitter sweet cocca taste. Wilderness, is also very smooth but has that tangy sweet and sour "McC Vinegar" ( I love McC Vinegar), not as creamy, but more hidden flavors of cocoa and sweeter. I think Wilderness is the slight winner for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Krosham Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Krosham (11)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I ordered a tin of this based on all the positive reviews here. As soon as it arrived I opened the tin in eager anticipation. The tobacco was beautiful. The tin note was amazing. I excitedly fired some up.

What a struggle. Could not keep it lit....burned hot when it burned at all. Flavor was not terrific. REALLY disappointed. I thought that perhaps because I was new to pipes that I did not "get" what this blend was all about.

Now that the tin has been opened I cellared it in the tin with just the cap on it.

Fast forward 2 months....time to try it again. Hmmm...not as moist in the tin as I remembered. BAM!! Now I get it. The reviews are correct. This stuff is awesome. The flavors are all there in perfect harmony. No relights....no struggle...just blissful thick smoke.

Time to buy some more (and cellar it!)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hawky454 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hawky454 (30)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

Wow! I think Fred Hanna gave Tad Gage a run for his money on this here blend! I went home with a sample tin of this yesterday and I can't believe how good it is! It reminds me of 3 Oaks Syrian, only a bit more full bodied and complex. I think I may have a new favorite blend! Only time will tell. The room note is fantastic too!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tabaco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tabaco (70)
★★☆☆
Mild Strong Medium to Full Tolerable

I'm 98% sure there is propylene glycol in this and too much of it in my view. A lot of blenders use the stuff, and is generally considered a safe food additive. Of course aromatics are swimming in the stuff, which is one reason why I stay away from them.

Propylene Glycol is a flavour enhancer, in addition to moisture management.

One can tell by looking at the leaves, they are too shiny, colours are too rich, and a bit spongy. You can also tell by chewing some of it, a slightly sweet taste similar to balsamic vinegar.

I've some McClelland non-sealed tins which I forgot about in a drawer for fifteen years or so with only the snap-lid on them and they are still supple and moist.

Propylene Glycol obviously keeps things moist for a ridiculously long time. It also enhances the combustion with a cooling effect, all the leaves combust slowly and evenly, around the same temperatures. It also contributes to mouth feel with a slight creaminess, basically because your converting it into a steam vapour and it cools again in your mouth, thus coating it.

Of course there is a trade-off, it obscures the tin-nose a lot. This is quite obvious with Wilderness. And the colours no longer look natural. It also messes things up flavour-wise about mid-bowl when the wheels seem to fall off the bus and the flavour completely shuts down. It does smarten up a bit in the last 1/4 of the bowl with a few hints of the first half.

The first half of of this blend was pleasant, interesting Orientals layered and complex reminded me of Pease's Odyssey in many ways. Mid-bowl it did fall apart and was rather benign.

The last quarter it did come back to life a bit, but was still struggling.

Regardless enjoy your mileage may vary, mine certainly did.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

porshcigar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
porshcigar (27)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Another great blend from McClelland, formulated by Fred Hanna. Legends is a great blend that I smoke on a regular basis. Wilderness is another great blend that I will also buy and smoke in the regular rotation. For me, Wilderness lights well and smokes cool and dry to the bottom of the bowl. I love Latakia blends, and this blend delivers the taste I crave. However, I would not classify this as an overwhelming Latakia blend. The Latakia is very well balanced with orientals and other leaf to satisfy, but not overpower. A great smoking blend with a beautiful taste. I recommend it very highly.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

risle-lariviere Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
risle-lariviere (33)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

A special Oriental , quite difficult to put words on it even after 2 tins because it's quite complex but certainly interesting .

A great blend to be kept.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nonpareil Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nonpareil (13)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I was disappointed with my trip to this wilderness. I had high hopes after reading so many positive reviews and the tin aroma seemed just about perfect. I was immediately reminded of Squadron Leader or Rattray's 7 Reserve.

Unfortunately, the taste has just not been as satisfactory. The Virginias used here have a sharpness to them that does not blend well with the other tobaccos. At least to my taste the blend seems out of balance. Mclelland's own Arcadia is a better choice.

There is potential here and perhaps 3 to 5 years of age will meld things together, but for now I will look elsewhere for a nice light English blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

M.Toney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
M.Toney (53)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The tin aroma is similar to another McC blend...Yenidje Highlander but the taste is quite different. There is black, brown and light colored leaf in the mix. For the first few puffs, I mainly noticed a spice-like flavoring. This flavor soon deminishes and the various tobacco flavors begin to meld and interact.

I'm not experienced enough to sort out the types of tobaccos in this blend but the compilation evolves into a satisfying, anytime smoke. The Latakia presence is not overwhelming but is applied in good balance. This stuff burns great, produces good tobacco flavor & is fairly easy on the palate for a Latakia blend.

Wilderness doesn't produce a sweet tasting smoke but delivers more of a straightforward, smoky tobacco flavor. I did not immediately crave another bowl but will probably get lost & wander in the Wilderness again soon.

I'm not overly fond of this mix and feel it is already much over-rated. For me, it was too plain/bland/tasteless and Latakia dominant to deserve four stars. I cannot sense the "depth" in this mixture as compared to...say, Mississippi Mud & other Latakia blends. C&D easily tromps McC & GLP blends...Westminster was a major letdown as well...bummer! I have pretty much disregarded GLP stuff because Westminster was a real stinker. Therefore, IMHO, McC's Wilderness only merits three stars!! Sampled in a size two Stanwell.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

yinyang Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
yinyang (45)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I procured a tin of Wilderness with much anticipation a few months back. The glowing reviews here did much to fire my enthusiasm, I admit. That, plus knowing McClelland's expertise with Virginias and Yenidje(ala Tudor Castle) made me think this was a 'must have'.

There is no accounting for taste, it appears.

It's not bad by any means. Just not what I hoped it would be. It comes off to me as an oriental blend, the Latakia playing second fiddle. This in itself is neither here nor there, but I find Squadron Leader a tastier rendition. There are some nuances in Wilderness that are worth exploring further, no doubt, but I find after every bowl I've had that I don't care to flesh them out. Not caring to fire up another bowl is a death blow for a blend, at least in my book.

I still have a tin of it's kissing cousin, Legends, on hand. It will be interesting to see how it compares.

For me, Wilderness gets two stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ewlewis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ewlewis (7)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

When I first began this blend I found very little to appreciate. After smoking a few bowls I now can detect the magic. The flavors of the orientals really creep in and play a fine tune.

I suppose I should say the VA is purely a base. There is a detection of its earthy sweetness, however, at no point is it really in the spotlight. The Latakia is very mild, hardly detectable. Then there are the orientals. They are strong and seem to enjoy a friendly spar between the two types on your tongue. Overall this blend is enjoyable.

As some side notes I will add these thoughts. This is not, in my opinion, considered an English blend. The latakia is to muted and the orientals are more pronounced. I will also add that as such it does have some difficulty in staying lit, though, I find that to be true in most oriental heavy blends. I feel compelled to also report that I have smoked this in VA designated pipes with no ill effects, do not let the presence of latakia deceive you in this blend, it is merely a complement, not a major role player.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (517)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

I know that I am going to go against the majority on this one. I really loved Mr. Hanna's Legends so I couldn't wait to try Wilderness. The tin smell is fine with me and at first light, I found Wilderness a slightly sweet, creamy smoke. There is a lot going on in this blend. The mix of different flavors is very interesting. My issue comes up when I reach about mid bowl and the flavor really turns nasty for me. I tried several different pipes in hope that I had just selected the wrong briar. I have come to the conclusion that there is something in my chemical makeup that just can't tolorate this blend. A quality tobacco for sure, but just not for me. Two stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fellow traveler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fellow traveler (64)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Not much I can add to the review by Marshall Law. The pine aroma/flavor is exquisite unique and smooth as silk.

Wilderness makes you glad you are alive and can quietly enjoy a blend of this caliber. The signature aroma of a McClelland product is there when you open the tin (I love that smell, call it what you wish, to me it will always represent the promise of pleasure to come).

How good is this tobacco? If dumbo sat with the taliban, shared some Wilderness and gave the promise of instate tuition, perhaps we would not be at war. Tobacco for the "peace pipe". Enjoy!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrRaoulDuke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrRaoulDuke (3)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

After smoking a tin of Frog Morton and 3 Oaks Syrian, I felt McClelland english blends were maybe to mild in the flavor department. Good tobaccos, but too mild and monotone for my abused tastebuds. I deciced to try Wilderness after reading QuantumBoy's review since he likes many tobaccos i do. I've smoked an entire tin of Wilderness in less than a week and have 10 tins coming to me this week. This stuff is amazing. Mild to Medium in strength, but FULL in flavor. Super creamy and velvety, with tons of flavor layers. Although the Syrian latakia is prominent (You'll be familiar with the winey flavor from 3 Oaks), to me this is an Oriental blend, with the Syrian latakia playing support. Sweet and sour and velvety and slightly smokey and winey and creamy and savory. Wow!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dtboomer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dtboomer (6)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Some will tell you there has never been an English blend I hated, but that's not true. The owner of our local shop brought back a number of blends from the RTDA show. He put out a few of them out for us to sample, and this was one. It was the last of the group I sampled and I enjoyed them all However, Wilderness was over the top. I'm thinking that Fred Hanna is my new favorite blender. I'd even bet if GLP tried this one he'd say, Wow!

Great from the match to the bottom of the bowl. Good latakia flavor without knocking you over. It has a hint of sweetness that comes in and out. I'm only hoping that they eventually pack it in a larger can. I know I said the other day that Nocturne my new go-to, but I may have been a permature.

Nobody has rated this review yet.