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Blended ByMcClelland
Manufactured ByMcClelland
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50g Tin
ProductionNo longer in production
Where to Buy
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Very Mild, Medium
None Detected
Mild, Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
12 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2192)
Very Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant

The Virginias are lightly fruit and fermented stewed fruit sweet with a touch of earth and grass. They have a very minor tanginess. The Orientals have a mild smoky woodiness with a hint of spice and sour. The Syrian latakia is dry with almost no sweetness, and offers a slight smoke and wood to the blend. Has a mild nic-hit. Won’t bite. Burns well with few relights, and leaves very little evidence of moisture in the bowl. Has a consistent flavor, though fairly innocuous in nearly every way. Probably deserves two stars, but as I wouldn’t recommend it, I have to give it one.


6 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Very Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have been smoking Ringlow Syrian Reserve on and off for the past year with mixed feelings about it. It is mild, very mild. I find most McClellend English's on mild side when it comes to Lady N, and Syrian Reserve is even mild by those standards. I generally want more of a punch than this blend offers. Also like many McClelland English blends, it takes a very long time to dry, something I really dislike. On the upside, RSR is very smooth and balanced. I think it could be an all day blend for many folks. The quality of the tobacco is high and the Orientals and Latakia really play together well. I detect only a hint of sweetness here. Lovers of mild English blends that still have an ample amount of Latakia will be pleased by RSR. Recommended.

Update: I was lucky enough to obtain several tins of the Levin era of this blend (which is not listed under Levin International BTW), and it is fantastic. If a rare tin pops up, it is worth the extra money. Four stars all the way.

6 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (850)
Very Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Finishing off the year with two Syrian latakia blends. The first of these is a dark black narrow ribbon with a slight whiff of latakia in the tin, enmeshed with a light MClelland Virginia scent. I'd call the aroma non-descript overall.

Mild and smooth describes this on a superficial level. Balanced is another word for it. There is very little sweetness from the Virginia, very little spice from the latakia and very little incense-y sweet/sour tang from the orientals. So it's balanced in the sense that none of the components assert themselves in any meaningful way. It smokes dry on the tongue, with a finish that evaporates almost immediately. The flavor is kind of...quiet. Subdued. It reminds me of McClellands Rose of Latakia blend, and comparing this one as well as that one to McC's Syrian Full or Syrian Super is a study in vivid contrasts, as the "Balkan" Syrian blends are much more flavorful and have an abundance of character. Also unlike those, this one needs to be sipped very slowly or it becomes unfocused and dull. No flavor powerhouse, this one, which might make it good for the latakia fancier that wants to start the day with a mellow smoke. This one is ok - just not enough "there" there. Reviewer Beaupipe recently commented that he'd prefer they name it something like "Matured Stoved Virginia with a smidge of Syrian". I'd say that sums it up nicely. 2.5 stars for this one but I have to round down, as I really don't see the point of this in light of McC's other Syrian blends which are my reference for the genre.

Age When Smoked: 3 years

4 people found this review helpful.

beaupipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beaupipe (102)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Ringlow Syrian is a bit of an odd duck. The paltry number of reviews here suggests that it hasn’t struck much of a chord with smokers since its re-release. Maybe others are as baffled as I’ve been with Ringlow. I haven’t really known what to make of Ringlow and I’m actually smoking from a tin first opened 5 years ago. I didn’t love it enough to stick with it when I first tried it, probably because it was purchased alongside a bunch of other re-released McClelland blends that were more immediately appealing.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Ringlow, but it hasn’t been marketed particularly well. Sure, there’s some Syrian Latakia in here alongside some other Orientals, but the more I smoke this, the more convinced I am that Ringlow is primarily a matured, stoved Virginia with some compelling seasoning.

In the tin, it’s mostly a ribbon-cut mix of black and brown leaf with some chunks of dark Virginia flake here and there. The star of the show here is the Virginia, which is reminiscent of what we find in something like Dark Star. It’s sweet, and loaded with fruit cake aromas of spiced plum, clove, and raisin. The Orientals serve as light seasoning for these Virginias, and that is the strength of Ringlow.

Sometimes when I smoke this, it seems to be all Virginia—mild, fruity, sweet—and I’m happy enough. Perhaps I’m just a little miffed at the word “Syrian” in the blend name. Other times the incense of the Syrian makes itself known and I’m very happy. It really works and conjures up plum pudding beside a cedar wood fire.

I’ve enjoyed finishing up this tin, but I have to admit that I don’t know if I want more of it. It’s probably a flaw in my own thinking, but Ringlow doesn’t fit very neatly into the categories around which my desires have been shaped. It has too much Latakia to satisfy when I want a straight Virginia and too little for when I want a big Latakia mixture.

Age When Smoked: Fresh and 5 years old

3 people found this review helpful.

Cochon74 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cochon74 (29)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a fine blend by McClelland. I’d put it in a group with Frog Morton tobaccos - smokable, tasty, inoffensive, and ultimately forgettable. As far as Syrian Latakia blends go, I’d rather smoke Three Oaks Syrian, Wilderness, or even Yenidje Highlander - all highlighting the fragrant, winey, sophisticated smoked tobacco in amazing ways.

I was happy to fill my pipe with Ringlow, but it was never a transcendent smile for me. But the thought of the precious Syrian Latakia being thrown into a “working day” blend was mildly depressing - and it always affected my enjoyment.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

The Levin Pipes International original was one of the finest English/Oriental blends ever! I had heard that the late Barry Levin had searched the world for the finest Oriental leaf he could purchase, and was able to receive a small batch of exotic leaf to produce a limited production of this blend. This newer version is a little different with the Syrian leaf being sort of a backwash to the overall presentation. Typical quality Virginia leaf and Orientals will keep most pipe smokers happy.

2 people found this review helpful.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (186)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I purchased this expecting a serious fix for my Latakia cravings. Instead, this blend is a much more subtle mix, that is primarily Virginia, where the Syrian Latakia acts as a condiment along with several Orientals. At first I was disappointed with Ringlow SR, but the more I smoked it, the more it grew on me. Not recommended for those seeking Latakia nirvana, but if you enjoy tangy Red Virginia and you would like a spicy change of pace once in a while, this could be your blend.

Pipe Used: Various briars

Age When Smoked: Three years old

Purchased From: Local B&M

1 person found this review helpful.

SeoulSister Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SeoulSister (37)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have smoked a full tin of RSR and my first impression of it is that it burns smooth and mild with no bite. But I have to agree with “Mr. Big” below, something doesn’t agree with me in this blend. It leaves my mouth dry and there is no sweetness even though the tin is aged. I get the opposite of that with some bitterness. I don’t dislike this blend enough to give up on it as there are more tins in our cellar. But I won’t be opening another any time soon.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (28392)
Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

A very excellent blend from McClelland, very smooth and complex, just makes a near perfect smoke right out of the tin. It packs effortlessly, stays lit quite well and does not get moist or too hot. I find it the best when paired with my Savinelli Prince. I will be buying much more of this blend.

As I smoke it more, it is even outpacing my normal fav, Three Oaks Syrian. It is just so robust and pleasant to smoke, its an ease and joy to keep it going, no tongue-bite at all. Again, highly reccomended.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (28392)
Medium None Detected Full Strong

This is an incredible blend! To my tastes, this is London Broil! I never had the original but I wish I had! A perfect afterdinner smoke. Another home run by McClelland.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
Very Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Nice balance between the Latakia and Orientals but I don't find much sweetness from the Virginia. Smooth , no bite or spice, mild and could be an all day smoke, however, I don't find this very complex. Kind of Blah, I don't know why I would crave this. I'm not a fan of the particular Orientals in this blend , has a strange flavor to me. Also, hard to light and stay lit. 3 Oaks Syrian much better and no "funky" taste!

Updated 7/16/12, After a year in the cellar ,I went to finish up this tin, somewhat improved. My initial reaction was ," there is that strange Oriental ( Syrian?)", but as I smoked this all day I acually found it interesting. Still won't buy again. FYI,was smoking this back to back with Rattrays Black Mallory, this is similar ( don't know if I was getting some pipe ghosting) but this is much smoother. 2 1/2 stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (28392)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This was the first tobacco I bought when deciding to smoke a pipe. So far, it is my favorite and I smoke it every evening.

Smooth with no bite.

Nobody has rated this review yet.