McClelland Pebblecut

Selected red mottled leaf from Carolina, rich in flavor and oils, small Oriental leaves from Macedonia of piquant aroma, bright nut-flavored broad leaf from Virginia, and pure Louisiana perique all combine to form the framework of this blend which is hard-pressed and then lightly stoved to smooth and enrich, Pebblecut long-flake pipe tobacco is savory with a concert of ever-changing flavors, always intriguing, never dull.
Notes: "Ashton Revival" introduced at Chicagoland Pipe Show in May, 2010


Brand McClelland
Series Ashton Revival
Blended By McClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company
Blend Type Virginia Based
Contents Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Cut Broken Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country United States
Production No longer in production


Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.56 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 25 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 21, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The fermented red Virginia is richly tangy dark fruit sweet, earthy, bready, vegetative, sugary and woody with the patented McClelland vinegar notes, thought they are fainter than usual and mostly disappear before long. It's the main component. The bright Virginia provides a light tart and tangy citrus, grass, floralness, bread, sugar, and a pinch or two of spice in a support role. I get a few tangy stewed fruit and brown sugar aspects from how the Virginias are stoved. The earthy, woody perique is moderately evident, more peppery than plumy and figgy, and almost competes with the bright Va. for attention. The condimental Orientals may be a minor amount of the mixture, but you will notice a bit of smokey, earthy, floral, herbal, woody dryness from them, maybe a tad more so after the half way point. The strength and taste levels are medium. The nic-hit is a couple of steps past the mild mark. Won't bite or get harsh. Burns cool, clean and a little slow as the broken flakes are a little moist. I wouldn't dry them much though, because you'd lose some of the flavor. The flavor has a little inconsistency at times, but it also has nuance and a little complexity. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl, and requires some relights. Has a pleasant, short lived after taste. The room note is a notch stronger. Not quite an all day smoke. It has enough body and depth to please your senses without overwhelming you. Three and a half stars.

18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 09, 2012 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I find this a very smooth VaPer as the Orientals stay in the background. Very complex and it holds your interest all through the bowl. Comes in a large broken flake form, for those that like the fold and stuff method, but I prefer to rub it out, as I find this easy to smoke at a brisk pace, no bite, plenty of flavor. My first impression was that this was similar to Tudor Castle but much smoother and less spice. I also compared it to St James Woods (a straight VaPer)and again, Pebblecut was smoother but similar in flavor. Maybe closer to Beacon Extra ? Overall, I'm buying more.
16 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 05, 2012 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
After 40 years as a pipe smoker I think I've found 'the grail'...or at least one of them as I tend to think of it as a top five thing. I'll preface any comments with 'in my opinion'. Other than that, this is easily better than the prior version. The infamous Mickey C aroma is extremely light in the tin and doesn't go over to the bowl at all. To me it's just a guarantee you're getting genuine McC Red. The torn up flake is beautiful and in fairly large sized pieces, as well as being at an ideal dryness level with little to no dry time needed. The flake rubbed and once packed ignited easily, then burned with little fuss to the bottom of the bowl. Flavors are the most subjective part of any evaluation...the terms I might use to describe some specific nuance might mean something different to you. So I'll just say that I found the base Red VA noticable as such, of perceived very high quality and more sweet that tart. The Perique was lightly noticable and fairly constant. The "Oriental" aspect of this blend is the reason I sought it out and what sets it apart from most everything else. Whatever it is, it is spot on perfect in terms of level and flavor. It kicked in about a quarter of the way down the bowl and slowly became more instense til the end. I get exactly the same Oriental flavor profile from C&D's "Oriental Silk" which is a rather coarse loose leaf and which I like very much and from Captain Earle's "Honor Blend" which I also find very fine. And the latter is a plug, so that's a plus as well. Taking those three I have my bases covered with this specific condimental leaf in terms of torn leaf, one broken flake and one fairly soft plug. Overall, Pebblecut offers the best smoking experience for me. Quite simply it may well be the single best first bowl experience I've ever had. Well worth exploration, my very highest recommendation.

Oh...and I had to laugh at the guy that whined about the tin graphics and lamented that he got confused in trying to read the text printed there. Oh my. God grant that we be so spoiled by the goodness of the blends we try that all we can find to complain about is the tin art! What a world!
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 06, 2011 Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
Better than the original! The delicate and spicy Orientals added to the top shelf Virginia and Perique combine to make this blend really shine. One of the finest of its genre that I have had the pleasure of putting in my pipe.

Pebblecut Revival arrives at the perfect moisture content, is easy to pack and light and burns wonderfully down to the bottom of the bowl.

Are you a VA/Per fan? Well then, here you go pardner!
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 13, 2014 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
"savory with a concert of ever-changing flavors, always intriguing, never dull"

I assumed that was just marketing copy, but it's bang on. This stuff is good. Tin note is softer (and more harmonious, imo) than, e.g., Tudor Castle; perhaps more Oriental and less Virginia? The smoke isn't quite as harmonious, but it's enjoyable. Flavors rotate among earthy, floral, dark fruits/spices, roasted nuts, toast and burnt cedar. Burns nicely.

Agree with other reviewers who recommend this as a VaPer intro (as long as you enjoy Orientals) or a change of pace from straight-up VaPers. Really nice. Complex but mellow.
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 05, 2012 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
I suppose I'm happy that McClellands has seen fit to re-introduce these old Ashton blends. On the other hand, this and Black Parrot were staples of mine when McConnell's blended them and I have about a dozen old tins of this in my cellar. This Version 4.0 is preferable to the old K&K version and the first McClelland iteration but sadly does not come close enough to the original classic. But if you've never smoked that one, you probably won't be disappointed here.

This is still a fairly robust VaPer with the addition of some fine orientals. Interestingly, the orientals settle differently in this blend. Instead of melding perfectly with the VA's and perique in the original, they get more feisty here as the bowl progresses. The overall strength of this blend is sure to please those that find McClellands VaPers on the lighter side. Burns well with appropriate drying time and definitely smells closer to an Ashton blend than the typical McClellands. I'm definitely going to pick up more tins of this to see how it ages. It's very good.

Again, I'm glad newer smokers have a chance to taste this recipe. But as much as I hate to fall into these cliches, I'm also glad I have a lot of the original, which replaced Escudo in my rotation in the '90's. This one, as good as it is, falls a couple of skyscrapers short of the original.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 24, 2010 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
I bought this tobacco on the strength of Tudor Castle, which shares similar components. Both contain Virginias, Perique, and Orientals, a combination I've grown to appreciate and may well dub with the ridiculous moniker "Super Virginia" (try C&Ds Sunday Picnic for their version). The tin rather cryptically declares that Pebblecut contains "Macedonian" leaf. What does that mean, anyhow? Can you blenders be more specific?

The tin itself is an odd creation--a reissue version of the old Ashton line, it's barely readable. Under light the aqua coloring and sparkles crassly mix with black lettering, which has easily flaked off the tin. The description is typed in tiny letters with a sharp slant, covering nearly half the tin. By the time one makes his way to the end of a line all hope is lost of continuing. I know, it's an odd thing to complain about, I apologize, and the smoke isn't compromised by bad typography, obviously.

When lit, Pebblecut isn't as sweet as Tudor Castle, but seems to have a marginally greater strength, or maybe not (I could be imagining this). Sunday Picnic definitely trumps both on the strength factor, by a considerable margin. She can burn hot, and I've found the best smokes coming from larger pipes, particularly my Tinsky bulldog, which tends to afford my best smokes. I can get her to go for a good half hour, which isn't bad considering the fast pace at which I puff. I like to smoke Pebblecut when throwing the ball around with the dog. The slower burning broken flakes easily lengthen an already pleasurable experience, and by the final puff my dog's ready for other things, my arm nicely worked.

I love the old Ashton line (in contrast to the newer candy coated offerings), and lamented its demise, recalling well those dedicated few who fought hard to keep Old Dog, among others. I haven't found a stinker among the handful of blends I've tried, from the Englishes (Old Dog and Celebrated Sovereign) to the Virginias (Black Parrot and Pebblecut). I'd like to compare the new and the old, and I suppose I eventually will, when I get around to picking up another tin of Celebrated Sovereign. While some lines have thinned over the years, McClelland grows and grows. Please don't stop.

Four of Five.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 11, 2013 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I've only had this blend aged for 3 years (I haven't had it soon after tinning). With that said, it's an extraordinary blend. If you like Virginia-based blends and can detect the subtle nuances in a Virginia blend, you will love this. If you do like Virginia blends, this one will blow you away with a full-bodied, spicy smoke. If you are new to Virgina-centric blends, this may be a good introduction because it has a little more character than most. This is probably inadequate (I'm sure professionals would see this as pathetic), but the best way I can describe this blend is as tobacco cider. By "cider," I mean the unfiltered, unpasteurized, non-alcoholic variety you can get in the fall from a local orchard. To me, this blend is the tobacco equivalent of that type of apple cider. It's complex at every turn, but not overpowering in any one component. It has the sweetness, the tanginess, and the spiciness that a good cider should possess, but in an entirely tobacco kind of way. The Orientals and Perique add the wonderful spiciness (by spiciness, I don't only mean the peppery hit through the retro-hale, although I love that), and the Virginias provide the tanginess and sweetness. Although distinct, none of it's components out way the other; each is in perfect proportion and contributes to the complete symphony of flavors. It's currently my favorite blend (but that changes with my moods, as in I smoke what I feel like that day, and that's my favorite blend on that day). I highly recommend this blend to anyone.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 01, 2015 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
A blending masterpiece. It's not so much the flavors here as it is the way they interact and present themselves. You can get these flavors in many different blends; wood, smoke, leather, nuts, fruit, with sweetness and spice, but I've never quite experienced them this way. It's constantly evolving and gets better and better until, sadly, it's over. Truly, one of a kind. A must try if you like complexity.

Mild to medium in body. Medium in flavor. Burns very well straight from the tin.
Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman, Diplomat Apple, Mark Twain
Age When Smoked: fresh
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 30, 2011 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
This is an excellent VA/OR/PER. I have certainly not tasted the original Ashton's but this tobacco brings an interisting note with the addition of orientals.

Over the last year or so, I have lost my interest in English and Balkan mixtures and have discovered a preference for VA/PER and BU.

This is a nice discovery. I have placed an order of a dozen tins or so of different tobaccos (1 tin per brand)and, so far, have been seduced by Brown Clunee, The Malthouse, Christmas Cheer and now, Pebblecut.

Until now, I have smoked either VA/PER or VA/DFK/PER. So Pebblecut is a first for me in its genre.

The PER is present and detectable, the VAs just a little sweet anf the presence of Orientals bring a clear spicy addition that completes very well the 2 other players. These last are detectable right from the start.

Just be careful because this broken flake can bite if pushed.

I believe I will rebuy a cellar a fair quantity.
6 people found this review helpful.
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