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McClelland has been asked to provide this blend several times over the years for the slow-smoking contest held by pipe clubs. In every instance, contestants have commented on the good taste, pleasant light-up and easy draw. It's a winning blend, even for those who didn't come in first (or is it last?). Why wait for a contest to enjoy this exceptional pipe tobacco blend of matured and stoved Virginias with a very little touch of Latakia. It was developed for the long-distance pipe smoker, but is enjoyable even in a sprint.

Blended ByMcClelland
Manufactured ByMcClelland
Blend TypeVirginia/Latakia
ContentsLatakia, Virginia
Packaging50-gram tin
ProductionCurrently available
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Mild to Medium
None Detected
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
4 reviews
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Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (164)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A no frills stoved Va. If I didn't read the tin before I smoked this, I probably wouldn't have guessed there is Latakia in here. Smokes cool and dry, it also packs and lights well. Towards the middle of the bowl, the Latakia peeks it's head out, but only for a moment. The Latakia is more in the room note than on the palate. A nice blend to relax with midday.

This blend is well balanced, Not as monotone as a staight bulk Va offering from McClelland. I'm sure this would age nicely, if you want to do that sort of thing.

3 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (705)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

On the darker side of brown with a choppy ribbon cut, and an aroma that would send anyone in the McClellands Ketchup Brigade into a tizzy. Very powerful in the beginning but dissipated after 4 days in a popped but covered tin. I often enjoy a little fun (but also a little cruel!) game with McClellands haters by giving them something like this to smoke blind but waiting until the aroma goes away. The aroma doesn't give the blender away, and they usually enjoy the taste until I tell them they're smoking a McC blend. Then I listen to them mumble, fume and rationalize. :) Yeah, a bit cruel but blind tasting is the great equalizer and removes biases, so I highly recommend it to anyone that wants to sample several different tobaccos and be completely unbiased.

This blend is blend of stoved and non-stoved Virginias, with the stoved flavor ruling the proceedings. It's a mildly spicy Virginia taste with a mellow tangy red to moderate. Latakia is here but it's easily missed in the flavor except on rare instances. I do smell it in the room note but it's not even enough to become noticeable if smoked in a dedicated Virginia pipe, which is what I ended up doing. Smoked in a latakia-dedicated pipe, this was pretty bland. Actually, it's on the bland side anyway, which is probably what you get with most slow-smoking contests anyway. This also had a tendency to nip a little when smoked moist, but properly dried out it was fine. Nothing special here - just a basic stoved VA with a tiny bit of extra oomph. Really, a 2.5 star blend for my tastes. It does seem like a good choice for contests, though, as it smoked slowly without requiring many relights. A solid, decent blend with not much to make me want to revisit.

Age When Smoked: 3 years

2 people found this review helpful.

GarBear Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GarBear (2)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a very enjoyable tobacco to me. It is like a good friend; dependable and a pleasure to be with. I smoke many different tobaccos, but I find myself reaching for this blend on a regular basis. Easy burning, long lasting, good flavor. McC's description is right on. If you like Virginias with a little unique taste to it, give this a try.

Pipe Used: Mastro De Paja

1 person found this review helpful.

Kevfoong Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kevfoong (6)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

The name says it... Contest Blend. Very suitable for all beginner and expert as the blend was average in everything. Just a very mild Latakia taste can be detected. No bite as I always smoke slow. But will hot if fast puffing.

1 person found this review helpful.