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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.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
ContentsPerique, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutBroken Flake
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
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Strength
Medium to Strong
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant

Favorite Of 5 Users

3.9
21 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
19
3 star:
1
2 star:
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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.

7 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (736)
★★★★
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.

6 people found this review helpful.

Alhaji Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alhaji (33)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a truly good tobacco that lives up to what many of the reviews below have attested to. Right from the tin, the aroma and the sight of the tobacco are things to behold. It looked like black crystals and smelled real good in a way that I'm unable to fully describe. It is very balanced and smoked well without being relit more than once, ending in a nice grey ash. IMO opinion the perique was present but in such a subtle way that the mature Virginia was not overwhelmed. It had this really palatable creaminess from well before mid-bowl to finish. I enjoyed it so much that I emptied the 50g tin in circa 2-3 days of (continuously) smoking this brand and none other, using three different pipes. I will order some more for aging. And indeed, I will get some Beacon to compare with this as I've never smoked Beacon before.

Pipe Used: Giordano 14661, Aldo Morelli 665, Capitello 3

Age When Smoked: New Purchase. Tin date underneath is 03/15/15

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

5 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!!

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.

Perique Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Perique (119)
★★★★
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).

3 people found this review helpful.

Big Train Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Train (41)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Extra Full Very Strong

Beacon extra is a perique bomb of the first class . It takes regular Beacon and pumps it up to Olympic status . This blend benefits from rhe use of Mc Clelland's great Virginias and Mike and Mary's superior blending skills . Aside from Tudor castle , it might be the best VaPer ever made . That being said one is not always in the mood for this much perique . I smoke this outdoors when I want a really perique forward after meal smoke . This is a strong tobacco , not for the faint of heart .

2 people found this review helpful.

Swiss-smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Swiss-smoker (39)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Extra Full Pleasant

This outstanding tobacco comes as a coarsely broken flake, looks a bit messy. The tin nose is wonderful. Vinegary sourness from successful fermentation and the most delicious Perique aroma of fig, plum and fruit. To be honest, there is a hidden tomato-ketchup flavour I can pick-up, which some reviewers write about. But it’s only in the tin, not when smoking.

It needs some preparation effort, breaking or/and rubbing. No drying necessary. Good smoking conditions. It’s a fantastic mixture, strong, deep, heavy, made for Perique aficionados. It’s not a smoke for in between. Do sit in a comfortable armchair and take your time, may be observing a harsh winter day through the window. Smoke it patiently, at the rate of a beacon perhaps, and give it about a quarter of the bowl for all flavours to deploy. I suggest to smoke BEACON EXTRA in a churchwarden or any deep, narrow mid-size bowl.

The Perique is dominant and shows off with its famous and distinctive aroma palette, the most obvious being white pepper. The body of this blend is a robust Virginia. Although the typical Virginia flavours (hay, wood, bread, earth) are there, they are pushed back to some extent by the dominance of the Perique. The welcome low-grade sweetness originates from both, Perique and Virginia, I believe. No doubt, it is a top rank full Perique/Virginia mixture, which I shall enjoy occasionally, without adding it to my rotation.

UPDATE, 14th January 2016:

BEACON EXTRA has become one of my top 5 favourites in no time. I must add it to my rotation. I have to downgrade the strength from very strong to strong, and upgrade the room-note, according to comments of family and visitors, from tolerable to pleasant. I also upgraded taste from very to extra full, due to the fantastic Perique in this blend.

Age When Smoked: New, out of the tin.

Purchased From: Internet, www.smokingpipes.com

2 people found this review helpful.

TXBulldog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TXBulldog (63)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant

I cracked open my tin of Beacon Extra to see if it lived up to some of the reviews I have read. Upon opening the tin you get that tangy ketchup like aroma. Reminds me in many ways of the Mississippi River like note. Took a bit to get her lit and get her going but when I did, I knew I was in for a new experience. There's a lot to this. It put me on my palate heels as I figured it out - and I mean that in a good way. This is very rich, very deep, and very smooth. The perique is nicely forward with a creaminess that develops with some very good virginias. I probably have never smoked and savored a bowl like I did with this one. This is like a fine, fine wine that you savor. It certainly lived up to its billing. I can't say I could knock this back regularly, but it is exceptional - so much so I already ordered a tin to stow away so I know it is always there.

Pipe Used: bjarne, rossi, la strada

Age When Smoked: 3 mos

Purchased From: P&C

2 people found this review helpful.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (281)
★★★★
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 &cigars.com

2 people 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.

2 people found this review helpful.

Ehrling Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ehrling (69)
★★★★
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 certainly 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. Beacon Extra (BE) has more Perique than Beacon, so it's earthier in taste and there's more body and strength to go along with an enhanced richness. The fruit quality is more like dark raisins than the figs that I find in Beacon. The additional Perique in BE does not overpower the Virginias, it merely accentuates the overall flavor. (Once you've smoked Beacon Extra it is real tough to go back to Beacon. There's a pretty fair amount of difference between the two blends.)

The combination of Virginia and Perique in a blend, to my mind, makes for a near 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 am hard-pressed to find any fault.

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

Pipe Used: Various Danish Briars

Age When Smoked: Less than a year & it should age well

2 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (349)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I bought this when a friend in Germany asked me to get him a tin. I figured if he would be trying it, I might as well try it also so we could compare notes. We were both lucky to secure tins that were more than five years old and I am not sure how much that contributed to how much I loved the blend, but make no mistake I did love the blend.

McClelland is one of the top blenders when it comes to Virginia leafs and it only makes sense that they have a great vaper as well. Until this time, I have not found that blend. I did enjoy both Pebblecut and St. James, but this one surpassed both of them IMO. I have yet to try Beacon although I do have a tin in the cellar that anxiously awaits that trial, so I can't compare those two.

BE has the distinction of having more Perique than the other McClelland Vapers I have tried which gives it a little more spice and nicotine. It is less about showcasing the Virginias as I find 2015 to be. It is also far from overwhelming on the spice or nicotine. I do prefer my blends strong and I would still not call BE strong from my point of view, but it does stand out amongst McClelland blends.

I love this one and have already started stocking up on it.

1 person found this review helpful.

Sybariten Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sybariten (32)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

VaPer heavy on the perique, that is something I tend to enjoy. It is rich and full and offers upp good smoking mechanics (a few relights will suffice), but I can not really get around the tomato flavour. Many have mentioned this "ketchup" taste of McClelland's and now I have experienced it for myself, it is not to my liking. It fades a bit throughout the bowl though, and the last third or so is very good. Medium strength.

Conclusion: Fine leaf, good burn, nice strength but not really to my taste. Would not pass on a bowl, but would not buy myself.

Pipe Used: Cobs and briars

Age When Smoked: 12 months

Similar Blends: Bayou morning flake by Cornell & Diehl with a hint of Bloody Mary..

1 person found this review helpful.

wmf Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wmf (11)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Smells more like good ol GA BBQ than anything else, but I attempted to smoke on anyway. Yummeh! About the fifth puff I knew I had a winner! Flavors of rich VA just kept on coming with the perique perfectly, almost harmoniously, swirling about. An amazing blend with a bit of the vitamin N. Spicy foods will not overpower this blend and the room/porch note is deep, rich, and quite enjoyable. Almost 4 stars. Dang near perfect!

Pipe Used: Dr Grabow anniversary billy

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: p&c

Similar Blends: Six Pence- BE gets the nod.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (279)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I find Beacon Extra (BE) to be one of the top VaPers. It is Medium 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.

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!!

1 person found this review helpful.

fishfinder21 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fishfinder21 (2)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I've been smoking a pipe now for about 2 years. I've only smoked aromatics and english blends and thought it might be time to venture to the straight virginia and VaPer side. So when I read the reviews about Beacon Extra, I knew this was the one to try first. I also bought Viprati, which is a ribbon cut. Venturing to VaPer's and flakes...I'm a rebel!

So I smoked Viprati first. I enjoyed the peppery taste of the perique, but didn't get anything sweet like I thought I would from the virginia's. It was enjoyable, but I needed something to compare Beacon Extra with (since I knew this was the one I really wanted to like).

So here I go...I pack my first pipe full of broken flake using the fold method that I've watched about 100 times on youtube. I light it....now maybe it's the novice flake packer in me, but I swear it took me 15 minutes to get a char light. But once I did, WOW! I was initially greeted with pepper, but a tangy pepper. Much more pleasant than that of Viprati. I was able to keep the bowl lit for a good 5-10 minutes and just in that short time, the flavors changed to that sweet, bread flavor that I've read virginia's give. Now, let me say this is where it gets interesting...I went to relight my pipe, and when I did, the tobacco got sweeter. At that moment, I didn't know if I wanted keep letting my pipe go out and relighting to get that flavor or if I just wanted to continue to smoke and see what the flavors changed to next!

So as I sit here enjoying the masterpiece that McClelland calls Beacon Extra, I type this review with a pipe that wants to go out again just to relight that sweet flavor, but continues to get puffed on because I'm so intrigued by the changing flavors. I give this 4 full stars and two thumbs up! I say if you have never tried VaPer's, you have to try Beacon Extra!

Pipe Used: savanelli Poker

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

crazy owl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
crazy owl (60)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Mayhaps a little heavy on the perique side,but anyway excellent with a outstanding virginia background.Needed as usual in Mc Clelland a fair time of breathing to disipate the famous ketchup smell,not disturbing for me,and drying.Very worth to try,I,m looking forward a comparation with the sibling Beacon.IMHO quite better than VaPers of another brands.

Pipe Used: meers

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: smokingpipes

Similar Blends: St James Woods but stronger.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (896)
★★★★
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 pipes.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SMOKETSES Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SMOKETSES (208)
★★★☆
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.