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McClelland decided to celebrate their 35th anniversary with an American classic, bourbon. But instead of aging tobacco in the barrel, they aged the barrel in the tobacco. There is a piece of a charred Kentucky Bourbon white oak barrel in each tin imparting its subtle, long-aged whiskey aroma and flavor and soft, mellow character.

Blended ByMcClelland
Manufactured ByMcClelland
Blend TypeVirginia Based
Packaging50g Tin
ProductionCurrently available
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Mild to Medium
Room Note

Favorite Of 4 Users

21 reviews
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krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (156)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Since trying Frog Morton's Cellar a bit ago, I decided to pick up a tin of this as well. Boy, am I glad I ever did. This is great stuff. I too thought it a bit of a gimmick, just to help in selling a new blend, but the cube of the barrel wood really does add to the flavor and room note of the Virginia nicely. This baccy does not even come close to biting and burns down to a nice ash at the bottom of the pipe. Recommended highly.

5 people found this review helpful.

wmjotten Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wmjotten (12)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant

I popped open my tin some months ago, just to try it, and to take note of my initial impressions. To the nose on opening, it smelled flavorful, a hint of light bourbon whiskey aroma and fairly typical Va smell. The first pipe was nice, not a rush to get out and buy more, but definitely something to try again. Tonight, I filled a corn cob with it and got volumes of rich, white smoke and a sweet and wonderful blend of lightly topped whiskey tobacco with the sweetness of the Virgina tobaccos. The aftertaste had that delicious grassy Virginia taste, no bite. A re-light or two necessary but became more tasty as the bowl burnt down. I think the corn cob is the pipe for this blend. I'll buy more.

3 people found this review helpful.

Hunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hunter (44)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant

At first I thought the chunk of oak barrel was a bit gimmicky, but I really do believe it adds a nice woodsy, mild whiskey aroma to the room note. This is a delicious blend that I can smoke pretty much all day. The sweetness of the Virginia really shines in this one without bite.

3 people found this review helpful.

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

A very delicious tobacco to say the least! I opened the tin and smoked away and it smoked wonderful! There was no bite, no continual relight, it was great straight out of the tin. I couldn't taste bourbon or whiskey but the tobacco has notes that you'll find in any whiskey. The notes compromised of raisin, vanilla, caramel and fig, all typical flavors that you'll find in a whiskey. By the way, the tobacco pairs wonderful with a porter or stout beer, especially one that has been oaked. I suggest you grab yourself your favorite porter/stout and enjoy this tobacco. If you don't enjoy aromatics, this might be for you because it doesn't smoke like your average aromatic. The flavor and topping are very light and the Virginias definitely make their presence known. I would say this tobacco is definitely worth the try to say the least.

3 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (269)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is an interesting take on the McClelland Virginia and a very good one at that. The quality of the leaf cannot be denied as it comes from a brand long known for Virginia excellence. The anti ketchup crowd may be able to tolerate this one as the whisky presence is pretty strong in this one.

The stave is a neat concept and as I discovered with my Frog Morton Cellar it can later be reused in other blends with good results. I found Mac Baren Navy Flake to be a little bland and I added the Stave from FMC to it and it really brought he blend to life. I just finished this one up and have put the stave in a remaining Jar of Uhle's 00. That blend is just fantastic anyway, but I just smoked some after the Stave had been sitting in it just a few days and it was still good with an different type of sweetnes to accompany the already fantastic nuttiness of the blend.

Back to the Stave Aged 35th blend. This one is a straight Virginia flavored with the whiskey Stave. It is unique and good. It smokes like a typical MCC Va with a different sweetness to it, no doubt from the addition of the Whisky. It is also more of a shag cut as opposed to the normal broken flake composition of many of my favorite MCC Vas.

I do recommend this one, but maybe more as a novelty than as a regular smoke. I will give it three stars as I don't think any Virginia lover will be too disappointed with the purchase, but I also don't see it becoming a mainstay in many of those cellars as it does kind of border on the aromatic side. It might be a great blend for the aro smoker looking to jump into Virginias.

Purchased From: Ash Tobacconist, Gaylord, Michigan

2 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (690)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

Ribbon cut of sandy brown through to black in color. Tin aroma reminded me of rum-raisin ice cream (bourbon-raisin?). Little oak smell as well from the bourbon-soaked chunk of oak that resides in the tin, black on on side. I was mildly intrigued but not overly optimistic.

Lights easily and stays lit. I did not dry this out but found that it smoked a bit better as it dried in the tin - subsequent bowls worked better than the first 3-4. The phrase "it's all in the snork" rang loudly true. This one came alive through snorking and I found myself doing so more often than usual. More savory than sweet, which surprised me, but still a hint of VA-with-bourbon sweetness at the rear. Up front was this very light but very wonderful spice note that was quite compelling. I can't help but wonder how this will age, and I'm going to buy more tins to find out! This is not quite up there with my favorites (yet) and I wouldn't call it a 4 star blend to my tastes (not quite!) but it's deserving of a taste test by anyone who's eyes aren't crossed by a little booze in their 'baccy. Doesn't unseat GLP's Haddo's Delight for me but it's a worthy blend that is quite tasty, if not the last word in complexity.

2 people found this review helpful.

Brandr ODS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brandr ODS (14)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Very Pleasant

My review may be a little influenced by the fact that one month ago I was looking for a mild, smooth blend with whiskey topping in order to put something into my weekly rotation that would have helped my taste buds to rest from the usual Latakia mixtures I use to smoke. I thought about the only one I’ve ever smoked, McClelland Frog Morton’s Cellar, and how I loved it, so why not fishing in the McClelland sea again?

This is how I got to this Stave-Aged Virginia.

The tin-note is very charming, warming and alluring. The bourbon topping reveals its presence at the very first sniff.

I let it dry a little and then packed in a straight pipe : I got a lot of malty sweetness, the taste is overall pleasant, really smooth and rounded but two things I’ve found foreigner to my likings. First, the smoke is flat and without any significant evolution through the bowl; second, even though the bourbon topping fits really nice in the blend, it is still too sweet, almost molasses-y to some extents that causes me no little troubles in finishing a pipeful. Many will enjoy its room note, as I and my friends did.

Unfortunately for me, the only combination of tobaccos that I see working well with whiskey topping is Virginia and Latakia, just like in the aforementioned Frog Morton’s Cellar.

I guess I caught the wrong fish this time…

Cheers Everyone, Brandr ODS

Age When Smoked: Fresh

1 person found this review helpful.

Joeray Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joeray (61)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I can lie to my self if this a nice and great blend. A mature virginia staved is very great smoked in any of my pipes. The taste almost similar with Mac Baren Old Dark Fired, just little bit different at flavor. Is just a pleasant and wonderful smoke with citrus scent and the whiskey flavor just really great.

I just make a 3 layer packing into my pipe, at bent shape or straight shape i had tried both and i dont get any difficult to pack it well into my pipes. needs a good charring light to make it burnt well and keep the light well. Easy to draw and the smokes are quite great with increasing flavor and taste, i found a whiskey, citrus, and a thin soy bean flavor at the middle of the bowl. the smokes is cool and no tendency to get any bite at my tongue.

Pipe Used: Peterson Dracula 221, Savinelli Oscar Aged Briar

Age When Smoked: Fresh and 1 year

1 person found this review helpful.

Reformed Pipe Smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Reformed Pipe Smoker (1)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

This tobacco consists on a straightforward virginia with a whiskey flavour casing. Opening the tin, the MacClelland's distinctive vinegar aroma wasn't there. Instead, I could feel a intense and sweet scent coming from the stave cube inside the tin. Very moist, this tobacco needed some time drying out before I could smoke it - yep, this one will bite your tongue otherwise. I needed to relight a little during the smoke, but nothing out of the expected. Being myself an english blends guy, I didn't care too much for it, but if you like a plain sweet virginia, give it a try. Ideal for the one looking to move from the mild low quality aromatics to the good stuff.

Pipe Used: MM MacArthur 5-Star

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WillBrown Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillBrown (100)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

====Update July 30, 2015==== I feel the need to make an adjustment with this blend. I don't change my mind often about a blend (I've done so only twice before), but I feel obligated to downsize this one.

Several weeks ago I really enjoyed this blend, but, after leaving it in its tin for a few short weeks, its once intriguing taste has largely dissipated. It still remains a good blend, but the tobacco has lost its initial magic (the oak chunk dried out really fast—maybe that's why the taste has withered, though I don't know that for certain). So, 4 stars upon opening, but withering to 3 if you don't smoke it all right away.


A piece of bourbon soaked oak in a tin of tobacco? A gimmick? Maybe. But it's a gimmick that works wonders for me. On the inhale I got a combo of the whiskey, not overpowering, and a wisp of cocoanut and vanilla, on the exhale, the oak came through loud and clear (so this is what oak tastes like? Marvelous! It reminded me of cedar). What a wonderful combo!

It's amazing what this fantastic hobby of ours delivers—the blend before, not so good, this blend, truly restores my confidence in the pipe!

This baccy needs to be sipped, or the virginia will kick back slightly, and, as the bowl got down to the dottle (of which there was very little), it got a wee bit hot. This is typical of many virginias, if you chug you can get scorched, so take it slow. Overall, this a smooth blend and it delivers! Excellent!

This is one of the best smoking experiences I've had in a pipe!

Highly recommended!

Keep on Pipin'!

Pipe Used: Viprati bent egg

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ColinK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ColinK (14)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Tried this because of the Cellar as well (and my love of all things Bourbon)- and I was pretty happy with it. Smooth burning smoke with a pleasing scent, much like the Frog without the perfumey scent. Nice addition to the collection for sure.

Pipe Used: MM Cobbit

Age When Smoked: Fresh From the Tin

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Similar Blends: Frog Morton Cellar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mike10 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike10 (14)
Mild Mild to Medium Full Very Pleasant

I loved this blend from the first bowl. Its tin aroma is wonderful, but only hints at how well it smokes. It is the driest, most even-smoking aromatic I have ever tried, with a rich and balanced feel and utterly satisfying flavor.

If all aromatics were this dry and flavorful, then I would smoke aromatics at least half of the time. I think the manner in which this tobacco is "cased" (by way of the small piece of whisky barrel stave in the tin), is pivotal in its success. The tobacco marries the stave's aroma in a very dry but thorough manner, leaving it so flavorful that I would list it as one of my top-ten favorite tobaccos.

This tobacco, much like their Tastemaster, is one of the many reasons why I love McClelland products. These aromatics are both on the dry side and smoke very cleanly. No ghosting results if one's pipe is properly maintained. Yet, flavor-wise, they are rich extremely enjoyable, and even offer a little complexity to keep your taste buds and mind stimulated.

Pipe Used: meerscaum, Comoy

Age When Smoked: as labelled

Purchased From: online

Nobody has rated this review yet.

LightMyBriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LightMyBriar (5)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

I love this stuff! It burns clean and clear, and the tin note is amazing. Almost like root beer. The flavor is excellent all the way to the bottom of the bowl. I finished my tin quickly and definitely need to get more!

Pipe Used: Paul's Pipes Castle, Mitchell-Thomas churchwarden

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kyrob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kyrob (41)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

with mostly reddish brown finely cut ribbons with some lighter brown shades and flecks of black thrown in for good measure. There was a chunk of bourbon barrel nestled inside like a hen’s egg in a nest. A slightly sour hit me initially, but a deeper smell brought bourbon and a hint of homemade hard cider. The moisture level was perfect for me, a little moist, but on the dryer side. The unlit sip brought a slight bourbon taste, and the charring light brought this same taste along with a sweet Virginia taste.

The overall smoke was of a caramelized sugary sweetness with bourbon overtones, and at times some slightly grassy undertones. It was good in every pipe I put it through, but it was really excellent in my meerschaums. The room note was pleasant and left the place smelling like toasted bourbon goodness. I could absolutely smoke this all day, and have. The finish was short, but the desire for another bowl hit me almost immediately each time. I guess I liked everything about this blend, and would recommend it to anyone. I would particularly recommend it to aromatic smokers looking to try some Virginia blends, and I think Virginia fans should try this blend at least once. I have definitely got a good supply of this in my cellar.

Pipe Used: Various - especially meerschaums

Age When Smoked: 1 Year 4 Months

Nobody has rated this review yet.

codyp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
codyp (65)
Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

The only reason I don't give the blend a four out of four, is because it's not something I reach for every day.

The strength of this seems to be your average Virginia, it's a nice medium that's definitely not lacking. The flavoring was not overpowering and very simple. I'm not sure if the wood block does help, but I would think it does. It gives a great taste you look for in a blend such as this.

The taste besides the casing is very good, McClelland always does a full Virginia. The room note was also very nice. The wife approved and said it was pleasant. Definitely one I would recommend if your looking for a stronger Virginia aromatic.

Pipe Used: Peterson System (Bent), Corn Cob

Purchased From: Smokedale Tobacco WI

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (130)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Straightforward Virginia, bolstered with a mild vanilla/bourbon flavor. Somewhat tasty combination. Lit and burned well, a bit dry on the palate. Overall tobacco flavor stays constant as you work through the bowl. Retrohale brings out more of the pure tobacco flavor. No marked flavor transitions. 2+.

Pipe Used: Grabow Grand Duke, MM

Age When Smoked: B&M shelf placement date of OCT 2013 noted on tin

Purchased From: Corona Smoke Shop, Jackson, MI

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (259)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Like a "Cream Sickle" , orange and vanilla flavor ( ok maybe Bourbon) ,but very well done, not cloying. I'm not an Areo smoker, but I can get by with this. I thought this was very bitey when I first opened a fresh tin, but give this two weeks to breath, and it is a creamy Virginia. I'm sure new pipe smokers would like this and probably good for public smoking. As you get halfway down the bowl, this turns into a nice flavorful McC Virginia and you lose the topping. I never give Aros 3 stars but this is a 3 star, even for me. Will bite if you don't pay attention

Agree with most of what reviewer, "DK 10/08/2012", said

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ketseutha' Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ketseutha' (2)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Great Virginia taste with a touch of bourbon flavor, definitely not an aromatic, just a hint of added flavoring. Rich tobacco taste, never bitter. Moderate nicotene level. A great addition to a Virginia lovers rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lorenzo_Villalobos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lorenzo_Villalobos (2)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I LOVE THIS TOBACCO! Sorry for using all caps but I felt it was necessary. This is a tobacco that goes well with a glass of bourbon and a good book. I paired it with Elijah Craig 20 year bourbon and it was incredible. The use of the stave in this tobacco is such a wonderful touch. It smokes to a nice ash right from the tine and burns wonderfully. McClelland hits another home run in my book with this one and I have two more tins on order!!!! Thumbs up and I hope this tobacco is around for some time to come.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipewhisperer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipewhisperer (6)
Mild Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

High sugar lemon VA, high sugar red VA, plus stoved red VA - very rich taste, yet easy smoking right out of the tin. This blend did not tend to bite the tongue if the enthusiasm got too high; more like gives a warning note of heat and allows one to back off and resume enjoyable puffing. The essence of bourbon from the barrel stave is just enough to detect during a bowl, and leave a hint on the tongue afterwards. Sort of an afterglow :-) My taste buds' reaction is similar to the first bowl of 2000 Red Ribbon I smoked: a classic right here in front of me. Looks like I'm gonna have to cellar a case of this tobak too.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SmokeyBear Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeyBear (3)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a really great blend for the Virginia lover. The smell from the tin is sweet raisin/plum with a hint of oak...the oak cube in the tin is a great idea in my opinion. Burns clean to a white ash fresh from the tin. Has a great sweet woodsy flavor with a hint of bourbon lingering in the background. This is a great morning pipe to start your day or late evening complement to your favorite whiskey or dark beer...even coffee if that is your preference.

I really enjoyed this blend and plan on buying some tins for cellaring as I can only imagine how well the flavors will meld over a couple years.

Nobody has rated this review yet.