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Rare Syrian at its finest, rich Virginias at their flavor peak, the finest fragrant Basma. This extraordinary leaf is aged in cakes, then spun into ribbon for a blend that truly shines.

Notes: Originally introduced in February, 1997 for the Greater Kansas City Pipe Club, is now part of the Club Blends Series.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland
Manufactured ByMcClelland
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutRibbon
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
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Strength
Mild
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant
3.6
5 reviews
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Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (252)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Syrian Star is an excellent blend with just the right balance of Syrian and Virginias. This is slightly sweeter than "Three oaks Syrian" and a little lighter ( middle of the day blend). I find it very smooth and smoother than Three Oaks Syrian.

Now let's bring in "Orient 996" for another comparison ,with its Syrian and a touch of Yenidje. 996 I find even more flavorful, just as smooth and just as sweet as Syrian Star. These two are closer matches than with "Three Oaks Syrian" that just isn't as sweet.

My personal preference would be Orient 996, then Syrian Star, then Three Oaks Syrian in that order. I also find that all three are best smoked from a corn cob rather than a brier , as the smoke is sweeter and more flavorful.

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Similar Blends: orient 996.

4 people found this review helpful.

Lit a Kia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lit a Kia (62)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Despite the name, Virginias play the central role here. The latakia is there but, as the label description admits, it's there as a condiment.

It's a red-VA heavy, light latakia/Oriental blend and a nice smoke. Imagine McClelland's Legends with the lat/Orientals turned way, way down, bringing the VAs to the front. The room note might be more pleasant to the average passerby than more lat-heavy blends. It's enjoyable but won't knock off any of my current favorites.

Like most of this blender's offerings, you can't go wrong with it. It's solid enough to take a flyer on, especially if you are a fan of McClelland's Virginias. It's mellow enough to work as an all-day smoke. Also, if the barbeque-sauce aroma of McClelland's red VAs puts you off, it's not as strong with this one (at least the tin I have, which I believe is a 2013 vintage).

As with most McClelland's blends (all of them that I've tried), you can give it plenty of dry time before lighting up if you want to.

7/26/2014 - This one seems to be aging REALLY well, judging by the tin note. Might be adding another star to it at some point.

1/11/2015 - Finally getting my head around McClelland's Virginias, thanks to Rich Virginia Ribbon, and now suddenly "get" this one. Very similar (or the same?) VA base with some beautiful latakia added. For the first half of the bowl, it's like someone's throwing fat, juicy navel oranges onto a camp fire. In the last third, it turns into very mellow camp fire and whiffs of grilled meats. The room note is beautiful. This is not a heavyweight English like MacBaren's Vintage Syrian or Hearth & Home Magnum Opus. But it's beautiful in its own adventurous, cocksure way. Adding a fourth star.

Similar Blends: McClelland Rich Virginia Ribbon w/o the Latakia..

2 people found this review helpful.

thejavaman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thejavaman (3)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I'm a relatively new pipe smoker (been smoking cigars for years though). I definitely am becoming a bonafide lat-lover & this blend satisfies my sweet tooth for the stuff. It's got that signature McClelland ketchup aroma upon opening the tin (which I personally like) and its easy to pack & light with minimal dry time. It's pretty mild to me with sweet, smokey flavors, a nice matured Virginia base and just enough Oriental leaf to tie it all together nicely. The retrohale is very enticing as well - I can almost taste the fragrant woods & spices that were used in the curing of the high quality Syrian Latakia in this blend. Highly recommended.

2 people found this review helpful.

Country Doc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Country Doc (20)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This is a lovely smoke. Dark, smoky, with hints of carmelized sugar. Deep and elegant flavor, invitingly complex. Good smoke volume obtained easily. Flavor deepens and strengthens as one moves down the bowl.

To my taste, this is a four-star tobacco.

2 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (672)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A bit less black in color than the Cyprian version and the cut is a little more solid as well... not as many tiny pieces at the bottom of the tin. Tin nose was of Syrian latakia with that same coffee-like aroma from its Cyprian sister.

Again, this started off as Syrian latakia, quickly moved into sweet Oriental territory and then firmly settled into that Royal Cajun-type coffee flavor that I get from stoved Virginia mixed with the RC processing (whatever it be). Ultimately, the Syrian is the same minor player here that the Cyprian is in the other, but it's a crucial player. This gets complex at times but is mainly kind of a simple tasting stoved Virginia blend. As a fairly new fan of Syrian latakia, this is not the one I'd recommend to those jumping into those waters. For that I'd go with McClellands Syrian Full and Syrian Super Balkans. This would be for those that want to dip their toes into Syrian. And IMHO, McClellands has the finest stash of Syrian latakia on the planet, as well as the finest batch of Virginias. 3.5 star blend that doesn't threaten a 4th star. Very good, but I'm sticking with the other two mentioned blends for a preferred Syrian hit.

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