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Handblended, premium pressed Virginia flake tobaccos. A fine vintage, naturally sweet, in limited quantity. We are proud to offer our 2011 Christmas Cheer pipe tobacco, an exceptionally fine vintage tobacco, hand blended and aged in pressed cakes to develop natural mellowness. This 2011 blend is made with a special selection of ripe, orange-red, flue-cured Virginia from the 2007 crop grown near Wilson, North Carolina. It is rich in oils and sugars, deep in color intensity, a beautiful leaf that should age with distinction.

Notes: Each buying season, we look for tobaccos of exceptional quality and distinctive character. In various combinations, their flavors, aromas, textures contribute to the overall excellence of our products. The leaves of different crops and regions are combined to maintain consistency from year to year. With Christmas Cheer pipe tobacco, we treat our discriminating customers to the singular pleasure of a tasting of the very finest in tobaccos of a particular vintage, not worrying about maintaining the flavor and appearance of this product into future years but actually striving instead to present the unique character of a single crop and area. That's what Christmas Cheer pipe tobacco is all about. Happy sampling!

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
CutBroken Flake
Packaging100 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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Mild, Mild to Medium
None Detected
Room Note

Favorite Of 2 Users

22 reviews
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meerkat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
meerkat (64)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

To me, this smells like HP steak sauce in the can and tastes of it in the pipe, along with a good, lightish Virginia flavour. I found gentle background flavours of hay and citrus along with oats and soft spices (cinnamon, nutmeg etc.).

Not sure why this is marketed as "Christmas Cheer", as there was nothing about it which seemed particularly Christmassy to me except, perhaps, the light hint of sweet spice. I think that this would be better suited to summer smoking, which is probably when I will finish the tin I have.

As good a straight VA as you will find. I prefer Dunhill flake, in this genre, as it has slightly more backbone but there is nothing at all wrong with this. In fact, it exudes quality with evey puff.

On a side note, I really like these American style cans. They seem to keep the opened tobacco fresher for longer than the European style tins. If, like me, you do not reside in the land of the free, you may want to check out for low prices and hassle free international shipping.


It's 6 months since I first smoked this tobacco and it has developed really well in this time. The Steak Sauce taste has mellowed and integrated into the main flavour. It now seems a somehow more robust experience with a full, tangy, sweet & velvety smoke.

Still not sure why this is marketed as a Christmas tobacco, it really shines in the warmer weather.

7 people found this review helpful.

KinnScience Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KinnScience (30)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

A friend of mine spoke to a member of the family back in 2011, and they happened to mention that this crop, and subsequent aged product was one of the better years. In short, McClelland's knew they had something special in this year's CC.

There is no accounting for taste I suppose, but I have to say that I think many are missing how special this year's CC really is. Perhaps it is because the expectations did not align with the special elements of this very fine tobacco. If you were expecting a heavy taste, I can tell you that it is definitely lighter than previous year CC's. But to say that it has fewer dimensions seems a bit like saying a single malt is not as complex as a blended scotch. The flavor is not heavy, but the multiple facets are there, and frankly IMO this is one of the better CC years. There is a quality to the smoke, a subtle flavor that teases the palette. Like the best wines, there is no heavy taste to this, but the elements that are there are not jumping up for all to immediately see. They need coaxed and for the sensitive taster, the reward is worth the attentive exploration.

This tobacco has subtle flavors of fig, citrus, and apricot, all originating from the tobacco, not the result of any topping. I imagine each year's crop may recieve a different amount of casing depending on the type of yield, and if that is true, McClelland certainly recognized that this crop likely required less than the previous years. Perhaps that is why some have complained about a lack of flavor. But if one seeks to uncover the aroma and flavor of tobacco, in place of casing (all tobacco recieves casing of some amount), then 2011 CC should delight. Hints of vanilla, touches of cranberry, with very subtle hints of black cherry and pine nuts are there for your discovery ... if you have the time .... they've got the tobacco (to coin an old phrase).

Update 12/31/2013 This tobacco, like the best of wines, ages very well. As good as this was in 2012, it is a even better after another year. I suspect this will only continue to get better. I ended up buying as much of these tins as I could lay my hands on, and only now wish I'd have gotten more last year.

Update 11/26/2015 We are almost upon the year 2016 and I have cracked a tin just to note the continuing changes from the aging. Delighted, but not surprised, I find this tobacco to be aging extremely well. There is a definite accentuation to the natural sweetness that, in tandem with the fruit/citrus and grass, continue to bring this tobacco to very notable peak levels of "pipe bliss". I expect maybe moderate improvement over the next year, which will likely be the pinnacle after which we should see slower changes for the following 5+ years.

Pipe Used: Dunhill, Charatan, Ardor, Askwith, Stanwell

Age When Smoked: 2+ years

Purchased From:

6 people found this review helpful.

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

It is always a pleasure to sample each year's McClelland's Christmas Cheer offerings. One always gets a quality, tangy yet smooth Virginia flavor. I was somewhat surprised at the mildness of the '11 edition. I can't recall another vintage that was this light in flavor and strength. That's not a bad thing, just different. 'll is not lacking, but what it does have is just not enough for me to give this one the max.

6 people found this review helpful.

TennWordsmith Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TennWordsmith (2)
Very Mild None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

McClelland's 2011 Christmas Cheer is the finest Virginia flake I have ever put in a pipe! And, yes, I have a few years of pipe smoking behind me. Here is my first piece of advice: run, don't walk, to the closest computer. Get on the Internet and order as much of this as you and your pocketbook can handle. It is a superb. In fact, I would say, like single malt Scotch, this is a rare volume, a vintage that is ethereal. This hand-blended limited edition is aged in press cakes, according to McClelland's tin information. It is “a special selection of ripe, orange-red, flue-cured Virginia from the 2007 crop grown near Wilson, N.C..” 2007 was a very, very good year. These beautifully dark chopped flakes with light specks is rich, sugary and provides a plume of creamy smoke. Oddly, there is little to none of the “McClelland” ketchupy hint upon opening the tin. But there is the rich, deep earthy smell of a great Virginia. I smoked this in an ancient briar and a meer, both about size 4s. It was excellent in both, if not just a touch better in the meer. The meer allowed the real Virginia flavor to run right to the forefront. My palate detected nothing but the sweet these extraordinary Virginias. McClelland says it should age with distinction. I believe it will be a legend after a year or two on the shelf. This leaves an affectionate adieu on the tongue. There is absolutely no harshness, no bite, no bitterness. How could there be with this quality of Virginia? This is one amazing Virginia. I highly recommend it, and hope to buy more tins before they disappear. For me, this is the best Christmas Cheer McClelland has produced in several years. Outstanding!

6 people found this review helpful.

Tripjoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tripjoker (65)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Was gifted a tin of this by a friend who tends to smoke light Virginia as all day fair. He and I are not in agreement on most tobaccos as we are at opposite ends of the spectrum. I tend to like full and strong blends. When I smoke, I want to be occupied by it. I'm not a person who does alot of other things when he smokes.

With that being said, I have on occasion liked a lighter style very much. I tend to smoke them in the morning with tea. This is one that I would really have liked had it had more flavor and a hair more strength. There are pleasant flavors here. Some of the best actually that I have tasted in a Virginia. The problem is that I feel like a deaf person at a whispering contest. The volume is just not there. You must attain an almost singularly meditative state to ride the flavor. The waves are so shallow.

I will jar the remaining ounce and set it in the back of the cellar. Hopefully in 5 years or so, I will come back to it and enjoy it with age. If not, it will be a gift to someone else. Regifting is a glorious thing!

I give it 2 Stars for my own tastes. I give it 3 Stars for those that really get into this light style of tobacco.

As a personal sidenote, I have to disclose that McClelland is not one of my favorite houses because of this very experience. If they could just up the strength and flavor of some of their offerings I would follow them with enthusiasm.


4 people found this review helpful.

gladi8tor96 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gladi8tor96 (133)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

McClelland Does Virginia's right! I don't know of any other brand that seems to hit the nail on the head with VAs.

I noticed I hadn't reviewed this tobacco though I've smoked this blend several times over the years. I just, literally, opened one of my tins up again and smoked a bowl. With age, it's superb! When opening the tin you can smell the sweetness with a hint of earthy tones and a bit of vinegar. This tobacco does have a bit of difficulty staying lit sometimes, but behaves well. It can bite if you don't learn to sip. If you do sip this tobacco the nuances of flavor become even more pronounced. Sweet, tangy virginia flavor mixed with earthy tones with just a hint of spice. I often wonder what this blend would be like with a bit of perique, but it is wonderful all on it's own. It can have a little bit of a kick, but hasn't ever been overpowering. Love this blend and hope to try some other years of the same blend....just for comparison and enjoyment.

Pipe Used: Bent Billard, Dublin, Egg, Acorn, Corn Cob

Age When Smoked: New from store - 1-5 years

Purchased From:

3 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2205)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Very Pleasant

The vinegar/ketchup smell does appear in the taste of the tobacco, though it's much lesser than it smells. The Virginias are very ripe and dried dark fruit sweet, a bit tangy with some earth and a hint of grass. I get raisin and fig notes and some nutmeg. The tobacco taste is sublimated by the fermented sweetness, and this crop seems milder than other years. Burns a little slow with some moisture, unless you dry it some first, which I don't recommend. Not a dull or harsh spot to be found. No bite. Has a mild nic-hit. Requires relights, and will leaves a little moisture in your pipe. Has a smooth and consistent flavor with a nice after taste that pleasantly lingers. An all day smoke.


3 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (28406)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I usually get several tins of CC each year, as this style is one I can enjoy almost year round, barring the worst of our southern New Mexico summer heat. By comparison to other years...this one's well flavored but smooth and easy to smoke right now. I'd argue against clove; to me, that's a darker, heavier flavor. Or, at least, straight clove. I get the orange, but something closer to Chinese 5 Spice. Just ordered the last 2 cans from smokingpipes, along with a few other things that I hope can serve as fill-ins until FVF becomes available again...the fact they were down to 2, tho, suggests fast action may be necessary. It's usually easy to get more CC through the following summer, but that may not be the case this year.

2 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (28406)
Mild Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I opened a tin of this now as I couldn't stand cellaring all the tins I purchased for a future time. You know what? This is amazingly smokeable now. I load it by stuffing the bite-sized flake bits into my dedicated flake pipe and it lights easy, giving off a wonderfully pure white cloud of smoke even without drying time.

I'm one of the group of people who actually enjoys the "ketchup" flavor present in a lot of McClelland blends. This tobacco, however, does not have any of that flavor. If it does, it's too subtle for me to pick up. Instead, you get a wonderfully pure Virginia flavor: grassy, a bit earthy, and a slight suggestion of citrus when "snorking" the smoke. The flavor is fairly consistent throughout the bowl and is very satisfying.

CC 2011 may not be overly complex in its composition, but it is well worth purchasing as much as you can afford. It's great now, so I can only imagine how good it will be in years to come as it ages.

2 people found this review helpful.

itsKoit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
itsKoit (5)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

As a virginia lover I had to try out a McClelland Christmas cheer, and I'm glad I finally did so. The typical McClelland flakes are not ketchup-like as some say, at least not to me, though I can see where that distinction comes from. The taste and quality are exactly what you expect from McClelland, top notch all the way. Where I start to frown a bit though is lighting. For me it is incredibly difficult to keep lit! I've tried it in just about every way imaginable, fresh from the tin, dried, stuffed, rubbed out, and any variation in between! It's either one extreme or the other, it doesn't stay lit, or it burns like sawdust. Of course, this is all more of an annoyance tan anything. The flavor when smoking though is VERY delicious indeed, sweet grains like oats and a slight spice. To me it's more along the lines of ginger than cinnamon, either way it is delectable! If you have the patience give it a whirl!

Note: I have a second tin that I'm letting age a number of years (hopefully). Perhaps then I'll have better luck keeping it lit.

Addendum - MY! What do you know, just after submitting this review I relit a bowl from earlier, and WOW! This stuff is a prime candidate for DGT. Really superb stuff now! Bumped to three stars from two.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (28406)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I remember smoking this. I remember it well. Last Christmas, actually. It was good, specifically because I smoked it after I had actualized my revenge upon all of Whoville. Thats right, Whoville. That propaganda that you watch every Christmas about me is all BS. I didn't "Steal Christmas"... I destroyed it. Of course I didn't want to destroy it, but my hand was forced. It was that stupid idiot of a Mayor, Mayor Who. He hated me. He turned Whoville against me. The "Grinch" they called me. My name is Regenald Smithers. But I bet they didn't tell you that in their Nazi style Propaganda. I'm also sure they failed to mention the part where their favorite past time was to catch me each Christmas Eve and torture me in the village square. For 15 years this went on, until I put a violent stop to it.

The "Grinch Team" was the Special Operations team tasked with catching me each year. Every year they came up the mountain, broke down my door, tied me up and took me down Mt. Crumpit to the village square. I remember the day I put a stop to it like it was yesterday. Mostly because the faces that each member of the Grinch Team made as I killed them is burned into my mind like a brutal scar reminding me of that fateful Christmas Eve. I remember them marching like men, and me slaughtering them like animals as they came through my door.

Unfortunately one of the Grinch Team managed to radio in what was happening before I could club his brains in. But this ended up being their downfall. I knew that soon more men would follow, so I laid in wait. As the other team advanced I destroyed them too with my advanced knowledge of Who-Fu and Who-Kwon-Do. I then took the gear they had on them and headed down to Whoville under the cover of dark, planting all the explosives I had around the city of Whoville.

I made my advance into Whoville and set up a top a commercial building on the west end of the village square, facing the backs of the Whos as they listened to the Mayor try to explain why I wasn't there being beaten for the Christmas festivities. Then I opened up fire with the high powered rifle that I stole from the W.H.O Spec Ops team. The City was in panic after I shot their precious leader's head off. The other Whos scattered as I picked them off... men... women... children... I didn't care, I had no more mercy left in my bones; only revenge. Eventually I ran out of bullets and resorted to killing as many Whos as I could with my bare hands. To this day I still cannot count the number of necks that I snapped or the number of Whoville nuts (testicles) that i roasted over an open fire.

In the midst of the chaos, I detonated the explosives, sending half the city away in a glorious ball of fire. At this point the Whoville PD had located me and sent all they had at me... but it wasn't enough. I was too much for them and made certain that they wouldn't live to unwrap another present. I remember one cop in particular that almost got the best of me, but in the end, I drowned him in his own urine.

The Whos should be rewareded for their bravery. Many of the city's men tried to take me down, but none suceeded. At the climax of the chaos the Whos attempted to bring me down with whatever they had: Chairs, Butter Knives, Stockings, Christmas lights, Gingerbread Men, Candles, Roast Beast,,, but in my rage I made certain that I impaled them all with their own sad weapons. It was rather sad seeing the men of the town killed with their own cookies lodged into their heads.

Their bodies stayed in Whoville, but their faces stayed in my minds forever.

When all was said and done I put a Christmas wreath made out of their dismembered arms and legs on the city hall and lit my pipe of Christmas Cheer off of the flames of burning Who coprses..... It was lovely weather for a massacre. My revenge was complete and all the remaining Whos mourned. And there was no Christmas Cheer singing loud for all to hear. From that day forth, children were not regarded as naughty or nice, for they were all in danger of my might. No more Santa to tell good or bad, just Regenald to choose which life will be had. No more letters asking for whirley twirls and spinney tops, only letters begging me to STOP! They treat me as if I'm God, but I'm no god... for God has mercy.

1 person found this review helpful.

Dr. Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Scott (82)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I finally opened my tin as an early Xmas present to myself. One-dimensional. Somewhat bland. The McClelland vinegar treatment gets a little old with such weed. Overall, it is a well done Virginia flake, but it will be better with a little more time.

Update, 2 October 2012: the vinegar/ketchup flavor is gone after some more time to mature, but this weed will never cut it. It is bland and boring. It should have been used as a base for a great McClelland blend, but it is not worth smoking on its own. Life is too short to wait on a tobacco to improve with age. There is simply not enough here to work with... Downgraded to one star.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (28406)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is my first experience with the Christmas Cheer collection. I am sort of a McClelland fan and enjoy many of their offerings. I've pleasantly worked my way through my first tin of CC 2011, and now have three more tins on the way if that tells you anything. This is a very very good virginia. Burns easily without much attention and provides loads of flavor throughout. I highly recommend this leaf for anyone wanting to experience a true virginia.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (28406)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

If this were a regular production offering, it would easily become my second favorite Virginia---only FVF is better. Beautiful broken flakes of red and orange Va. that are well-aged. Great flavors of raisins, figs, and light spice. Nice moisture level right out of the tin. Just rub slightly, wait 15 mins., and smoke away. Can bite a little if you smoke it in a hurry. I need to buy more before it's gone!!

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

It took me some time to identify the flavors in this very fine blend, orange peel and clove. Not a cloying heavy topping but just a hint, very well done as it marries so well with that " McC Vinegar Virginia". I love" McC Vinegar Virginia" as it has a sweet and sour zesty taste. Plenty of flavor here and a nice "N" kick. No bite just "zesty". I find by rubbing this out, it burns beautiful . Picture a matured 5100 Red Cake, add some extra "N" and a pinch of Orange/clove. I'm really stoking this pipe and I'm getting no bite, no bitterness, not even that hot spice, just flavor. Try some "French Inhales" to get that Orange/clove scent, stays the entire bowl . I can't agree with some of these reviews that say this is mild, not the way that I'm smoking it. I'm filling another pipe as I'm getting to the end of this one, I want more. I will buy again

Updated 11/12/11-I'm on my second tin of this fine blend and I've run into a disappointment, the small flavor nuances have quickly faded in the tin. I do not pick up the orange peel and the clove is barely noticeable. This is still an excellent Virginia ,but I have to remove a star because it no longer stands out as something special. I still believe this will age wonderful as a straight Virginia.

1 person found this review helpful.

Wawalsh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wawalsh (8)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

TennWordsmith is crazy. This tobacco is terrible. Do not run to order this tobacco, it is not worth it. Besides, that will enable me to purchase every available tin. This stuff is fantastic especially if you like McClelland Virginia tobacco. Very mild and a great fragrance. I originally ordered three tins and as I was smoking the first bowl, I went online and ordered 10 more. Highly recommended!

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (28406)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

The first half of this bowl was amazing. Light citrusy flavors with definite apricot overtones. Last half got a little more flat and harsh, although not unpleasant. Did have trouble keeping it lit as others have stated. I think it needs a bit more drying out. I did smoke it completely rubbed out. I look forward to trying this again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (177)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I usually like to add at least 5 years of age to this particular blend, but I was in the mood to sample a Va to change up my heavy Latakia obsession this time of year.

On opening the tin, the aroma reminds me of mincemeat in the jar. Christmas spices such as nutmeg, cloves (light) and candied oranges. Good moisture, it rub out fairly easy, and packs well.

Initial lighting is nothing more than a plain old Va. Throughout the smoke it was monotone, and unexciting. Mild, and mild mannered, it never thought about biting. I have several more tins of this sealed, so I will take this tin, jar it up, and sample every so often to see how it is coming along. For something with so much hype involved, this surely fell flat.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Thbg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Thbg (29)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

This was a good christmas gift.

It is mellow and naturally sweet with an organic spicy taste to it. I am a virginia tobacco lover and this is a good one for me.

Giving it three stars because Dunhill Flake is still better.

Looking foward to enjoying this outside in the Summer!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ThePipescott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ThePipescott (3)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Looking for that enjoyable and pleasant holiday smoke Christmas Cheer 2011 fits the bill.

This is my first foray into the McClelland specialty blends and I really like this one. It provides a cool lightly sweet smoke with some of that wonderful holiday flavor I was looking for.

I have heard that McClelland tobaccos smell ketchuppy in the tin and that is the case here. This does not carry over to the smoke however.

After rubbing out enough to fill a bowl I let it sit for about 15 minutes before packing it. The tobacco puffed nicely on the false light and after a light tamp I was in business.

If you are looking for that holiday Virginia this may be the one for you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darth Vader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth Vader (110)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Similar to previous years Xmas cheer in that it is the best "lighter" Va that money can buy. 2011 seems particularly good. It is the only thing my wife smokes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (28406)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a very smooth flake. It is pure VA heaven. It starts nice and grassy and builds to a mildly pleasant spice. Highly recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.