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For this blend, the Beacon recipe was enhanced by adding more vintage, barrel-aged Perique. The result is naturally sweet, incredibly smooth, dark as a Louisiana bayou, studded with bright highlights like beacons along the coast.

Notes: Originally introduced in May, 2010 for the Greater Kansas City Pipe Club, is now part of the Club Blends Series.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
ContentsPerique, Virginia
CutBroken Flake
Packaging50g Tin
ProductionCurrently available
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None Detected
Medium to Full
Room Note

Favorite Of 3 Users

12 reviews
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (634)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Beacon was a very good example of a lighter VaPer, while Beacon Extra is an excellent example of a richer one. This reminds me very much of McClellands Bayou Slices, both in cut and flavor. Both are very smooth, produce no bite and are incredibly tasty. As usual, this one will be a bit hard to light if it's not properly dried out, as it comes moist in the tin. I gave this one a few hours to dry.

Tin aroma is the typical McClellands fermented virginia which I love and others view as "ketchupy" or "vinegary". Since I'm not a big fan of either of those condiments, the explanation of why I love the McC's aroma is a mystery. ;) At any rate, the first thing I want to do when I open a tin of McClellands is immediately fire up a bowl, and this one did not disappoint!

I would not call this a heavy or strong tobacco, but it was deep and rich and flavorful. No Nancy-boy here! It was a complex mix of VA's and perique that deepened in nuance as it progressed. Really nice room aroma here, if you enjoy the aroma of perique. I smoked a bowl of this next to a bowl of Bayou Slices and found the latter just a tad more complex and interesting. That one will stay in my rotation, but if you're a VaPer fan, this is one not to miss. Perique isn't the easiest tobacco to blend but McClellands has mastered it.

5 people found this review helpful.

Esoxhunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Esoxhunter (60)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

May 2013

What an exceptional Virginia Perique blend this is! Rich, sweet, spicy, strong and full, this blend is one of the few that actually tastes as good as it smells. And, it smokes soft with virtually no bite. The smoke volume and resulting flavor rivals that of a fine cigar. This ia an A-Plus blend that deserves a lot more attention than it's received. Kudos to McClelland! DO NOT EVER discontinue this.

4 people found this review helpful.

doc pipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc pipes (17)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This tobacco came tinned and had 139 09 stamped on the bottom , leading me to believe this was from the original club release. I have had this stuff since 2011 when I purchased it from iwan ries in Chicago.

The tin aroma is deep and fermented, like many McVirginias. The typical vinegary ketchup aroma graces these dark chocolate brown broken flakes of various sizes. The heterogeneity of size in flakes helps in either packing or rubbing out the perfect amount. This stuff rubbed out easily in my opinion, and dries out well enough to smoke within several hours. This stuff does get better and better the longer the tin is open. The aroma is light tobacco, and is very faint and inoffensive to others.

This stuff is a bit difficult to light, but rewards the palate with rich mature VA flavor. There are toasty bread like notes that swirl with dry hay. The VA is quite sweet on the tip of the tongue with each puff, and is quite pleasant, leaning toward fruity at times. The perique adds little to the fruitiness IMO but does add to some notable pepperiness in the nose on the retrohale. This definitely is quality tobacco, and I can easily appreciate the high marks this one gets. Much better than many other VAPers on the market, and quite approachable with regards to strength and nicotine.

Pipe Used: numerous

Age When Smoked: 5 years

Purchased From: iwan ries

3 people found this review helpful.

Ehrling Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ehrling (63)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

If you were to ask me, "What is your FAVORITE VAPER EVER??", this could be it!! I have a great deal of difficulty identifying another VAPER that I enjoy more. This blend pushes the Perique content right to the very edge--one more pinch of Perique might be too much. In relation to "Beacon" there is an extra ration of Perique that provides more body and strength to the blend, but it does not overpower the Virginias, it merely further enriches the flavor. (Once you've smoked Beacon Extra it is real tough to go back to Beacon.)

The combination of Virginia and Perique in a blend, to my mind, makes for the perfect marriage of tobaccos--they compliment each other so very well. This flake has everything that I look for in a tobacco--it's rich, it's smooth, it provides ample sweetness and body and it's very satisfying. Most of all, it smokes COOL!! It packs and smokes fairly easily once it's been dried properly and stays lit all the way to the bottom of the bowl with an absolute minimum of re-lights. I simply cannot find any fault.

This is a truly EXCEPTIONAL tobacco blend and for the VAPER smoker an absolute MUST TRY!!

Pipe Used: Georg Jensen High-Grades

Age When Smoked: 6 months to a year

3 people found this review helpful.

Bluenoser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluenoser (34)
Medium None Detected Very Full Very Pleasant

Absolutely wonderful. The experience for me begins upon opening the tin. I was greeted with waves of unrelenting fragrances of the deepest and most complex Virginia tobaccos I have ever experienced. These first moments of olfactory bliss were further enhanced by an amazingly pungent Perique bursting with flavors of raisin, plum and prune. The broken flakes are dark brown with jets of black and tan throughout. They are quite moist but can be smoked without drying. At the match your tongue is greeted with creamy sweet smoke with unmistakable characteristics of the finest Virginia-Perique blended to mastyerful perfection. I call the strength medium but it does creep up into the medium-strong level at times throughout the smoke. For a point of reference I can safely compare Beacon Extra to St. James Flake except it is sweeter in taste. This tobacco has become my favorite and will remain a mainstay in my smoking rotation. With resounding conviction and confidence, Highly Recommanded!!

3 people found this review helpful.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (265)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Opening the tin provides just a hint of the McC ketchup but it fades pretty quickly. The flakes are dark brown to black and rather moist. This and their thickness made the initial light a bit difficult since I don't rub out my flakes. However, minimal relights were needed. Smoked cool and smooth with a rich taste. It's pretty heavy with perique and about @ my limit. Even got a + on the room aroma from my wife and that doesn't happen often. An enjoyable smoke for those that like perique blends.

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: pipes &

2 people found this review helpful.

vaperfavour Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
vaperfavour (30)
Strong None Detected Very Full Very Pleasant

Delicious! The tobacco is a little young and a little too moist, but in years to come this will develop wonderfully. It is very good now but i have a feeling this will be 5 stars with age. I taste all sorts of things in this. It is very complex and delicious.Strong perique at first, then once your palate settles down all sorts of tastes come out, lavender, sunflower seed, corn oil, pepper. I think I am in love!! Thank you McClelland!!

2 people found this review helpful.

Perique Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Perique (91)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Fantastic stuff! One of my top-ten favorite VaPers. It has that characteristic McCelland tin note - ketchup, vinegar. Beautiful, dark, broken flakes. A Perique-forward blend that can't be beat for the VaPer enthusiast. As with most McClelland VA blends, this one will benefit from drying in the open tin for awhile. I'm currently smoking from a tin that's been unsealed and left to think about itself for around a year, and it's outstanding. McCelland VAs are the only ones I don't jar. They can use all the drying out they can get. You'll notice the changes after 3/6/9/12+ months and want to lay this stuff down for a few years. (But can you resist the temptation to smoke it?)

Highly, highly recommended. Perique lovers will not go wrong with this blend. Outstanding. I can't believe this blend has only ten reviews.

Similar Blends: McClelland - St. James Woods (Personal Reserve), McClelland - Bayou Slice (Blakeney's Best).

1 person found this review helpful.

deepbass9 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
deepbass9 (7)
Medium None Detected Very Full Pleasant

I'm all about variety, I'm all about quality and my palate is wider than many. Tobacco moisture, tongue bite, mood, smoking circumstances and other controllable variables won't be covered. This review is based on multiple bowls over time.

I can't beat the high praise that precedes this. I wanted a full Perique blend that really let me know it was there. This blend does that, but with a soft hand.

Wonderful leaf; this is an excellent tobacco.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (239)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I find Beacon Extra (BE) to be one of the top VaPers. It is heavy on the Perique but allows the Virginias to play a major roll. I really like McClelland Virginias as they get a zing from their "Vinegar" processing , I call it McVV, a sweet & sour taste. This has the same McVV taste but with very high quality, mature Virginias used. This has no bite, is smooth, high "N" and is very similar to "St. James Woods", so much so I had to try a side by side taste test. Even side by side, it was almost impossible to distinguish any difference except maybe a touch more Perique in the BE and a touch smoother . I would rate SJW=8 and BE=10, I would buy BE again except that the SJW comes in a 100gram tin that I can get a price break over the 50 gram tin of BE. Price wins !

1 person found this review helpful.

JohnMA Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnMA (17)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Exceptional in every way. I bought a small tin of this to try. I should have bought many more. This is very smooth. Very rich virginia and perique flavor. There's a little perique spice up front but its more reserved and refined than I'm used to. It takes a little longer for the flavor to really develop in comparison to Saint James Woods but when it does it's superb. I think Beacon Extra isn't as sweet as SJW. It's so well blended it's hard to pick out the individual ingredients.

With all that said I Beacon Extra is a little too strong for me. This is personal taste. I love perique but I get the cotton mouth and too much nicotine if I over do it with this blend. I think regular old Beacon is just right for me. It's more of a balanced pipe blend than a cigar like Beacon Extra.

Pipe Used: Large lovat

Age When Smoked: New, less than a year old tin

Purchased From: smoking

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SMOKETSES Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

Heinz participates in this mixture too. Especially when you open the tin, finding dark black colored flakes, with some brown and golden shades among them. It is most fortunate that gradually this aroma fades away, and all that remains is the natural taste of Virginia. It is a strong tobacco that tastes real good, and the Perique just adds a spicy note, without bothering me at all, as I am not a big fan of it. A big disadvantage of this mixture though is how it lights up. It is very difficult, and equally hard is to keep it lit for long, especially if you fill the bowl with whole pieces that you haven't rubbed or cut into cubes. I will keep the second tin, that my good friend “Hetfield” brought me, and smoke it after 2-3 years. I'm sure that the results will be more than impressive.

Nobody has rated this review yet.