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The characteristic, natural sweetness of mellow, Red Virginias mingles inextricably with the richness and inherently spicy aroma of Black Stoved Virginias in this doubly aged red and black all-Virginia cake mixture. An artistic achievement in tobaccos for the pipe, this beautiful mottled flake is incomparable in smoothness, balance and refinement.

Notes: From McClelland: Occasionally we meet someone whose familiarity with a variety of tobaccos, sensitive palate, and desire for "that special tobacco" provide an inspiration for us. In seeking to satisfy a taste other than our own, we pleasantly surprise ourselves with beautiful results. This is what the Personal Reserve Series is all about. We developed this concept early on as a way to enhance our creative spirit. We are proud to offer these fine pipe tobacco blends, and hope you will enjoy them.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland
Manufactured ByMcClelland
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutFlake
Packaging50g Tin, 100g Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy Iwan Ries
4noggins.com
SmokingPipes.com
PipesAndCigars
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 25 Users

3.5
197 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
133
3 star:
39
2 star:
15
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10
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Peter Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peter Piper (41)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I have managed to get my hands on another blend which is taken for granted in North America, but the rest of us treat as exotica. So please understand any over-enthusiasm I bring to this bit of verbiage!

First impressions: we just don't get packaging like this over here. Ring-pull cans, whatever will they think of next??!!

Second impressions: tear open the can and there it is in all its glory, the "ketchup" smell of which we read so much. What IS that all about? I passed the tin to the missus for sniffing purposes, interestingly her first reaction was "cinnamon," so there you go.

Third impressions: is this what you colonialists call a "flake?" Jeez guys, come on! Seriously, it comes as a shock to those of us used to seeing perfectly formed and uniform rectangles of beautifully pressed tobacco to be confronted with what looks like bits of bark stripped by a naughty schoolboy from a tree.

But for all that it does look straight away like quality leaf, predominantly mid-brown with the occasional fleck of bright and then the even sparser smattering of the dark, stoved pieces. Very attractive.

And very moist too. Which despite rubbing out and resting defeated me with the first bowlful. No problems with lighting, just a somewhat disappointing sensation of warm air and not much else.

So let it rest a good while longer. And try again. Now we're getting there. A lovely fruity tang gives way to the classic undercurrent of grassy hay and this is subtly joined by just a touch of cream, the stoved element I guess? Easy smoking, pleasant on the snork and a decent kick of the old nic along the way.

This is one that definitely needs time opened and then individual doses aired and dried to bring out its best. I was impatient at the outset, if you don't fall into the same trap you will find yourself rewarded with a top class smoking experience.

Highly recommended.

10 people found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (83)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Blackwoods Flake is hands down one of the warmest red Virginia based flakes that I have ever smoked. The flavor is soft, spicy & sweet, yet at the same time it somehow manages to satisfy my desire for something more compelling. Most Virginias are shy introverts. They beg pipers to contemplate their nuances and to discover their depth. Blackwoods is one of the rare extroverts of the phylum. This flake wants to take you on a journey, and it will.

I find that this blend is amazingly versatile and it’s one of the very few that I enjoy smoking all year round. The flavors are substantial enough to make it a perfect companion on the coldest winter night, & they are sweet and subtle enough to enjoy in the spring or even the dead heat of the summer as a morning smoke. Frankly enough has been said here and one more rave review hardly matters. However there are good reasons as to why it is so highly regarded. Anytime, anywhere it smokes fantastic. In my book, Blackwoods is a classic and a true stroke of blending genius.

Pipe Used: Various Briars, cobs

Age When Smoked: 7

6 people found this review helpful.

Pipemanuk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipemanuk (76)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I know I've gone on before about my ancient age and the number of years I've been a pipe smoker (42) and I'd like to stress that that doesn't mean I'm claiming some kind of spurious wisdom or anything! I've smoked, for the great majority of my time, the English blends...or the Irish ones. I wish now that I had hoarded some tins of the greats, but like most of us, I always assumed they'd be available for ever. Anyway the point of this rambling narrative is that it's only recently that I discovered this wonderful website and had my eyes opened to the great American tobaccos. McClelland is one of the greatest of these. You are so lucky in the USA to have tobacco companies that still care and put so much effort into producing quality product. In some ways your micro tobacco blenders match our micro beer producers. I just wish I could buy McClellands in the UK. I know we have still some fine producers...Sam Gawith for example...but they are few and far between and the vast majority of tobacco sold in our main outlets is poisonous crap (though B & H Mellow Virginia ain't too bad). Anyway....back to the point of this review...Blackwoods Flake. Can looks great. Marvellous artwork...classic, restrained, sophisticated. Popping the lid and mmmmmmm...I love the HP sauce smell by the way. Not sure whether it would be better as whole flakes rather than broken up..but who am I to quibble. It's superb. Bitey if you don't treat it with respect. Lasts forever if you treat it gently. Wonderful aroma. I can see this getting better and better with keeping. I smoke this in a Group 4 Dunhill shell and a bowlful lasts a couple of hours with care. Flavours deepen as you travel through the bowl and are never bitter even on relights. This is a tobacco I will never allow myself to run short of..indeed one I am already putting into store. And in front of me is the incredible list of other varieties to meet for the first time! God bless Tobaccoreviews.com:-)

4 people found this review helpful.

Chris08 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Chris08 (37)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Full Pleasant

Blackwoods Flake is surely one of the finest Virginia pipe tobaccos available. I am currently smoking a 4 year old tin that I just opened.

Opening the tin, one is confronted with a Ketchup/Vinegar aroma, which is not unpleasent but quite different than many other Virginia tobaccos.

The first pipeful of this that I smoked was a little moist and I found that it seemed to bite a little; detracting from the experience. While I could tell it was sweet and knew that there was a great tobacco underneath, my initial experience was soured.

I gave the tobacco a couple of days to air out. This reduced the tin aroma and dried the tobacco somewhat. I also smoked it in another of my flake pipes-a calabash. I was quite pleasently surprised at the difference this time around.

Very sweet-almost like raisins or figs. The 'zone' begins early and lasts nearly to the end of the bowl with this tobacco. A smoker can enjoy the great taste and sweetness of this while working in the yard, but I reccomend sitting back and tasting each sip as it develops.

My only complaint is that this is a little more expensive than my standby Samuel Gawith Virginias. As I build an index of what I really like and what I don't, I expect I will keep an inventory of this around, however, to satisfy my Full Virginia in addition to Full Virginia Flake.

3 people found this review helpful.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Superlative is too reserved a word to praise Blackwoods Flake. The tin contents are delivered as per the tin description. I have a Bertram Safferling smooth brandy dedicated to it.

Popping my five year old tin was as if I opened a package capturing Christmas and Easter feasts combined. Fully fermented and ported fruit aromas greeted me, sans any ketchup odors, though Worcestershire sauce is arguable. However, the tin aroma is highly refined. If there is a brand of ketchup that smells like Blackwoods, then I want some ketchup! Moisture and texture were perfect. These flakes are much easier to handle than Dark Star or what I call ?chips? with some McClelland flakes. A la Fred Hanna?s air pocket packing method, I ?screw a plug? of BF into the top half of the bowl, light and enjoy.

As much as I like Hal O? the Wynd, this is the finest straight, nigh full-flavored, Virginia flake I have smoked. There are fuller-flavored flakes out there, but they are augmented with condimental leaf, scenting and/or simply stoved all-dark (and I have a fondness for them, such as 1792, FVF). Not only is the flavor fuller than HOW, but more complex as in ripe, dark, earthy, spicy. There is also that ?something? akin to an early morning walk through a meadow.

Blackwoods is some deep, dark taste depth, but it also has those tingly highs covering the flavor spectrum for VA blends for which I search. The natural spiciness makes exhaling through my nose almost like taking snuff. On the tongue, the flavors seem to lilt over and completely wash my mouth.

Amazingly cool for something this sweet and all Virginia. Though, if I get cocky, my tongue will pay for it. After a charring light, this is a one match smoke (Not so with Dark Star). Finishes dry with a white speckled ash. DGT works nicely when I have to walk away from my pipe for a time.

St. James Woods and Blackwoods are close cousins, but despite the perique in SJW, BF is the stronger of the two and perhaps slightly more complex. I smoked a bowl of each back to back in different pipes before writing my review. While some have praised Dark Star as McClelland?s magnum opus, I nominate Blackwoods. It has what I was missing in No. 25. I would place Blackwoods Flake in the fullness of flavor continuum among my favorite straight Virginia Flakes as follows: Brown Clunee, Medium Virginia Flake, Old Gowrie, Best Brown Flake, Blackwoods, Hal O? the Wynd, and Full Virginia Flake.

I do not see any McC bulk equating to BF. This leaves me having to buy the more expensive tins. Thankfully, McC is allegedly releasing tins with three years age. That means that I can smoke BF without having to age the leaf and pay a premium price.

Med-Full bodied, no flavorings, wonderful room note, Med-Full Strength and four bright stars.

3 people found this review helpful.

Nick M. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nick M. (2)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Had great expectations for this tobacco, received from fiance (thank you) at the same time as McClelland Matured Va no. 27. Smoked 27 first and was blown away, really good stuff.

I may have made a mistake in handling this tobacco - I spread the whole tin out on a paper plate and let it dry for about 8 hours, considering that it was quite most when I opened the tin. I came back and checked on it, and the stuff was pretty dry. Not crispy, but certainly drier than I had anticipated, possibly because of a fan that was running.

Anything in this review should be taken with consideration of the moisture content of my smoke.

Tin Aroma - A bit more hearty and savory compared to #27. Less ketchuppy, more like a tomato tobacco chili, with some tang. Powerful to say the least.

Smoking Qualities - I packed using the air pocket method, screwed in a plug about 5/8 of a bowl deep. Despite the dryness, (and possibly because if the dryness) it took me four matches to REALLY get this going. However, once it was going, the smoke was superb, the best I've ever had. NO bite, even when freight training (just to see what would happen). Very cool and medium slow burning.

Flavor - For the first eighth of the bowl, the flavor was undetectable, nothing but a creamy air kind of thing. Then the next 5/8 if the bowl (I know, fractions) was a very mild sweet Va flavor, with hints of spice throughout. The last quarter of the bowl was supreme. A great dark and fruity flavor arose, along with the spice that had been meandering, but focused here. No bright notes really, kind of a dark forest mystical thing going on. I don't want to say musty, but it had a fermented flavor that was reminiscent of the smell of moist undergrowth in the woods in the morning. Very tasty and complex. This one needs to be cherished and given focus. If you don't pay attention, you will miss it completely.

Finish - I don't know how to describe this besides "toasty fruit". Take that his you will. Very pleasant though.

All in all, a great smoke. Definitely less obtrusive as some blends. Very nuanced and rich. Will report on bowls two and three.

Pipe Used: Peterson Aran Straight Billiard

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

2 people found this review helpful.

StanleyEsoterica Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StanleyEsoterica (3)
★☆☆☆
Medium Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

For this McClelland tobacco, I really want to like it. But unfortunately I am on the opposite position. I really can not understand why there are so many 4 stars reviews. Maybe my taste bud is not as same as normal people. OK ,it tastes very very mild, actually that's flat. I can only find it like tomato sauce or ketchup and vinegar, NO SWEET at all.

Sorry, it is not for me. 1 star.

Pipe Used: Tsuge Corn Cob

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: SP.com

2 people found this review helpful.

TattooGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TattooGuy (9)
★☆☆☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

McClelland's offerings seem almost all the same to me. With few variations. Always the ketchup, vinegar and barbecue sauce overwhelming tobacco taste. I taste something peppery in that one too. Not for me. 1.5 star.

2 people found this review helpful.

SmokeDawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeDawg (52)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is a winner from McClelland. You can expect a refined cool, sweet, smoke that is both well balanced and warm, and that needed little to no drying time. One thing that sticks out to me is it's actually a beautiful looking blend. This is a great blend that will only get better with age. You can't go wrong with this one. Well refined and pleasant smoke. Sit back and enjoy this easy going high quality blend.

Pipe Used: luciano

Age When Smoked: 11-2013

2 people found this review helpful.

fmichaelnv Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fmichaelnv (5)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A very nice Virginia that requires proper preparation in order to enjoy its excellent flavor. I've smoked this blend in different pipes and with various way of preparation. The one I found that yields the best flavor is what follows. If you have a 50 gr tin and are planning on smoking it in its entirety, completely rub out the flake and spread it out on plate and let it dry for about 48 hours (more or less depending on humidity). I would recommend smoking this and all Virginia blends in pipes dedicated to Virginia blends. After proper drying, return it to its tin or tobacco jar.

This is a blend that requires attention. It can burn hot if packed too tightly or when puffing too much. It needs to be packed between "somewhat loosely" and "less firm". It should be sipped instead of puffed on as it will bite your tongue. I wouldn't smoke it outdoors. The tobacco has an excellent spicy, complex and woody flavor, especially the last half of the bowl. It's great any time of the day and is enjoyed with a heavy coffee in the morning or a Merlot in the evening. I don't find it having a full flavor. It's light, complex and a contemplative blend.

Each "sip" of the tobacco can be a delightful experience: sweet, spicy, woodsy, then nothing, then creamy and the tastes loops around again and again for a truly enjoyable experience. But once again, be careful as it can produce tongue bite. I found that I can't smoke more than three consecutive bowls of this blend in a row as it does make my tongue rather sensitive. I require to rest my mouth for several hours before dipping into this blend again. It is a 4-star blend, but because of all the preparation and attention in smoking it demands I give it 3 stars.

2 people found this review helpful.

Hermit 78 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hermit 78 (33)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

I like McClelland virginia blends. To me, like the American people themselves, they embody the spirit of the New World: honest, unpretentious, a bit rough around the edges but naturally sweet and complex in a minimally processed way. Sometimes I'm in the mood for this, sometimes I'm not, but I know from the get-go that I can take it or leave it.

This is a rough cut, broken flake virginia. It is very wet right out of the tin, so I let it air out overnight. I like the ketchup aroma, but if it's hanging around, it means the tobak is still too wet and will bite like a rattlesnake.

I stuff the flakes into my pipe pretty much as they are, roughing them up a little bit but not really rubbing them out. BWF is easy to overpack, especially when it's new, and it will bite and burn hot if this is the case. Like Dark Star and others, it can be a hassle to keep lit.

I detect notes of grass, clover, heather, and, at times, something else like autumn leaves. One reviewer described this experience as the "colours" coming out. I agree--it's almost synesthetic, and quite wonderful. Too bad it doesn't always happen.

It can be tricky to get in the zone with BWF, and when it doesn't occur, one can be left with a scorched tongue and a clogged, but not sated, palette. Two things bear repeating: air out the tin, and dry out the "pinch" a little bit (not too much) immediately prior to smoking. I try do this with any virginia flake, but especially with McClelland blends.

I don't know why some reviewers of BWF have indicated the presence a "mild" or "medium" flavouring. While almost all pipe blends are cased with something, BWF is about as natural as it gets. Perhaps they've mistaken the ketchup smell of the fermenting sugars for a topping, or maybe they have yet to get the hang of the rating system. There is a lot of subjective grey area when rating a blend's other attributes, but IMO a strong flavouring is either there or it isn't.

2 people found this review helpful.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (144)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I normally don't care much for straight VA tobaccos. While some smokers get a lot of flavor and complexity, I find that very few VAs blends have enough taste to justify the kind of preparation and luck it takes to "unlock them." I love VAs as part of a mixture, and I've developed a deep appreciation for the much-maligned "Lakeland" species, but overall my experiences with sraight VAs have been disappointing (and that includes SG's Full Virginia Flake). Blackwoods Flake is the exception to the rule, and what a dramatic exception it is!

Although I veered away from this company for a long time because of the vinegar/ketchup flavor that seems to haunt all its Virginias, I think I've finally "got it" thanks to this blend. While I must disagree with those who say the vinegar-like essence can't be tasted in the smoke, I've come to appreciate it on its own terms. Some suspects it's a casing of some sort, while others maintain it's an all-natural aspect of either the leaf or the processing. I've come to believe the latter theory, as I've detected the same smell in some batches of GL Pease and C&D tobaccos. Whatever the case, Blackwoods Flake is absolutely dripping with this odd aroma/flavor. It also burns well, it goes through a kaleidoscope of warm, sweet, smoky flavors as the bowl progresses, and it rarely bites.

On the negative end of things, this is like all VA flakes in one way -- it can be a fussy tobacco, albeit far more user-friendly than many others. In order to get consistently good smokes, I suggest cracking open the tin and then sticking it in the back of a cabinet for a month or two with the lid on. Then, make sure you dry each bowl of tobacco before loading it or, alternatively, pack a bowl and let it sit overnight. Even then it might take a few lights to get it going. The good news is that, once you've established combustion, it burns like a dream.

When it comes to strength, this is a hard one to measure. Like almost all McClellands products, the nicotine level is on the mild side. But Blackwoods has a very full flavor, in its own unique way. I can actually suck on an unlit bowl and taste the tobacco, and very few VAs have that strong a flavor. I've taken to sometimes just keeping an unlit pipe clenched between my teeth, drawing on the unlit tobacco until my desire for nicotine or a more intense taste finally overcomes me.

I feel this is without a doubt the best of the McClellands Virginias, which guarantees a "highly recommended" rating. For the record, it's also the only straight, unflavored VA I smoke regularly (preferring instead strong burly, perique or latakia blends). It's a bloody shame this hasn't retained its four-star rating while FVF seems to have won the popularity contest as Queen of the Virginias.

2 people found this review helpful.

Dietl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dietl (8)
★★★★
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my first post. I know there have been a lot of reviews of this product, but I'm impressed with it enough to add my two cents. I tried Blackwoods Flake largely because of the reviews here.

The first thing I noticed was the smell in the tin. I'd read about the "ketchup" smell, but could not imagine what that was like. I found out. The smell of this tobacco was so bad to me at first that it actually nauseated me. "Ketchup" is right. However, now that I've smoked it for a few weeks, I've noticed that the tin aroma is less offending. Maybe it's because the open can has toned down a bit, but it is also partly because I've enjoyed the quality of the smoke. Perhaps I'm just getting used to it.

This is one wonderful tobacco in my opinion. For the first few bowls, I had to avoid smelling the tobacco in the tin. Just load the bowl and smoke. And what an enjoyable smoke.

To me, the first few draws when lighting are nothing spectacular. Unlike my Latakia blends, it takes a minute for the tastes to mature. However, once the bowl begins to burn into the core of the bowl, it becomes a heavenly mixture of tastes and aromas. It has a sweet, tangy taste to me that lasts about 3/4 of the way through the bowl, then becomes a bit spicy to boot.

I've been a big fan of Latakia mixtures to date, but find myself increasingly drawn to this tobacco when I get home from work to relax. It produces a beautiful mixture of tastes and has enough nicotine kick to settle my nerves after a hard day at work. I'll be ordering a few tins of this stuff to put back and savor.

2 people found this review helpful.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

12-15-2004 McClellands Best IMO!!!

Appearance and Tin Aroma: Beatiful broken flakes (my aged tin was bounced around a lot!). Aroma was of delicious red VA, yumm!

Packing and Lighting: This blend worked well either fully rubbed out or folded and stuffed. Lit after 3-4 lights.

Initial Flavor: Delicious bright red VA, but smooth right off the bat.

Mid-Bowl: This blend is heaven at this point. It is sweet and lightly spicy. It has a good mid-range flavor underneath the bright red, that carries it beautifully.

Bottom of Bowl: It develops into a rich sweet finish, with a slight increase in strength. Before you know it, you are finished and you are immediately thinking of reloading with this sublime blend.

Overall: I can't decide between Ratray's Marlin Flake and this as to which is more tasty, so I won't. I'll enjoy both in my top 5 rotation of VA blends. This is MC'c best blend IMO and is a crowning achievement in the vast world of VA blends. It differs from MF in this manner: It is sweeter and has more of the high end flavors, but is just as rich and complex for a VA. Because of the richness, you don't have to puff too hard to get flavor and can keep the tongue bite demons away.

Rating: 5 out of 5 points. Go buy some now!

2 people found this review helpful.

Montague Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Montague (32)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Blackwoods Flake, a member of McClelland?s Personal Reserve Series, is a popular and seemingly very appreciated blend among Virginia pipe tobacco smokers.

Upon first opening, the tin aroma contains an initial smell of vinegar, which seems to be the case with some of McClelland?s other tobacco blends, but as in the instance of those other blends this smell soon dissipates. Blackwoods Flake has a warm, spicy, cinnamon bread aroma, which is simply wonderful. This is an all Virginia blend that is known to contain both red Virginia and spicy black stoved Virginia. There are no casings or toppings in this blend.

The cut of Blackwoods Flake is of a medium-thick broken flake. The flake itself is quite handsome being mottled in the colors of red, black, and light brown. Rubbing such a nicely cut blend is easy and pleasing. This tobacco does not seem to have the tendency to become over packed easily. The initial moisture is a bit high but an hour or so of drying will remedy this. This drying not only allows for the removal of the excess moisture and tongue bite, but also seems to enhance the pouch aroma and taste.

The initial light is a bit slow but sure. Blackwoods Flake has an incredible, clean, slow, and complete burn. The room note is pleasant enough and the aroma of the ?nose? off of the warm pipe bowl is of the best that I have ever experienced.

The medium strength taste is sweet but equally dark and spicy, very enjoyable. Being a Virginia blend, this tobacco has the ability to bite; so slow steady draws are best for both decreasing this tongue bite and also enhancing the blend?s natural taste.

In closing, Blackwoods Flake is the epitome of a Virginia flake tobacco. Aging this Virginia based blend would undoubtedly produce increasingly wonderful characteristics of the tobacco.

2 people found this review helpful.

Inquisitor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Inquisitor (155)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

The Red Virginia version of the bright-Virginia Dark Star. Amazing stuff!

2 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (610)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The red and stoved Virginias are expertly melded to bring out most of the best qualities one looks for in a straight Virginia blend. Smooth, lightly spicy, tangy sweet with a few sour notes and a touch of citrus and dried fruit, it does have a little of the company vinegary smell that mostly dissipates while you smoke it. There's a woodsy, earthy feel that bolsters the strength with no rough edges, adding a slight complexity. It needs some dry time and some relights, but it lasts a long time on your bowl with consistent flavor. Even if it's not an all day smoke for you, you will likely come back to it later in the day if you have several mixtures in your rotation.

1 person found this review helpful.

Uban Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Uban (34)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This high quality leaf is my everyday Va when I'm not looking for an extraordinary experience (DS). It rubs out & lights very easily, after airing, and develops from a light sweetness to a full bodied, woody, incense-like aroma later. No bite at all (at least for me) and does not require a Zen-like concentration (plagiarized phrase) to be enjoyed. Always ends too soon, leaving a clean pipe & refreshed palate.

Pipe Used: big old meer, cob, clay, briar, ANYTHING

Age When Smoked: 4 years

Purchased From: J&R

Similar Blends: Capstan, also great stuff.

1 person found this review helpful.

O'Confrère Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
O'Confrère (31)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

This 100g tin is from 2005, purchased in 2006, and finally opened in July of 2013. As a longtime fan of Virginias the large number of four star reviews here really got this smoker excited about trying this one. And tried I have, in a variety of pipes, at different moisture levels, partially and fully rubbed out or as it arrived in the tin, packed with varying techniques in greater and lesser densities, lying down, standing up, sitting, with and without beverages, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, while fasting... In short, convinced I was going to love Blackwoods Flake, I have never applied so much effort to exploring a tobacco, in trying to eke out whatever qualities it might have to offer. It has been six months now. The remainder of the tin is fully rubbed out and had a moisture of about 13-14% as I loaded the last pipe, a level I have found to be optimal for so many Va's, including many that I enjoy from McClelland, and, still, I'm stumped. Eight years of age on a highly touted Virginia! How promising! And yet I could not get this one to yield its secrets. It is hard to believe that this is the same tobacco that everyone has been talking about. If there were not so many positive reviews from so many esteemed reviewers I would be tempted to come to the conclusion that there are no extracts to be extracted, but as it stands I will open a tin of more recent production soon to give it another go.

Is it to be recommended? Sure. With so many enjoying BF so much, maybe this is the one for you. Hope so! Perhaps this was just a poor batch. Will update/upgrade if I have better luck next time.

Pipe Used: Several. All reserved for Virginias w/out topping.

Age When Smoked: 8 years

1 person found this review helpful.

Quaffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Quaffer (18)
★☆☆☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

My tin was from 2010 (aged three years), and upon opening I was greeted with none other than the McClelland ketchup aroma. I don't mind it to be honest, but thought I should put it out there. The tobacco was waaaaaaaaaay too moist out of the tin, and even with a few days leaving it open to dry it was still very moist, so the best course of action is to rub some out and let each bowl dry individually. Blackwoods is by far the mildest blend I have tried (surprising right?). It smokes cool though its hard to keep lit, didn't bite even if I tried. Seriously, this was the smoothest smoke I've had (still mild however...). Unfortunately the flavor never came. If I was blind I wouldn't have even known the pipe was lit. Every so often there would be a nice sweetness, and once in a while that ketchup aroma would manifest into the flavor (sounds worse than it really is}. If you're looking for simplicity then you've found McClelland's magnus opus. If you're looking for dynamic and layered, then keep walking.

Age When Smoked: 3 years

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

1 person found this review helpful.

mnadz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mnadz (35)
★☆☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I think this is a case of no one wanting to go against all the positive reviews. Maybe McClelland employees filled out a number of reviews. I smoked the entire tin before I decided to review this. This is an extremely mild smoke that kept me wondering when the flavor was coming. It never came. Maybe I like much more robust tobaccos - Nightcap comes to mind and a full flavor tobacco - not this. I recommend this for those moving from aromatics to english blends. It smokes well when dried a bit. No tongue bite (and I am a strong puffer). My wife enjoyed the room note. Good quality tobacco. For those reading these other reviews, thinking your going to get an explosion of flavor in your mouth, you will be disappointed.

1 person found this review helpful.

briarroot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
briarroot (4)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

A nice flake, presents some dark brown reds along side tawny strands mixed with some really dark flecks. Simple to rub out, nice long strands with some coarse little bits here and there, some finer shag like bits. I personally like to rub out the entire tin and let dry for a day or so as it tends to smoke a bit wet out of the tin.

packs very easy, I find that if it is still too moist one can pack it too tightly. Since I rub this out fully I typically use the frank method. A lot easier than Dark Star to light up and keep going. A bowl starts off bright and sweet for me. I like its zesty top note. Gives the tongue a bit of a zing that can be mistaken for bite. Yes it is a VA and will bite if pushed to hard. Mid bowl the flavor deepens and sweetens, giving a bit of a peppery character, stays very mellow in flavor from mid bowl on. A great mellow sweetness I associate with nearly all the fine McClleland VA blends, something slightly nutty in there as well.

I like to smoke this in a larger rather than smaller bowl for the factor that it seems to open up more on the palate.

I would love to taste this after a long period of aging, would probably mellow it out enough for me to give it one more star, the oldest tin I have smoked is a 2009 in 2011. My theory is that after the five year mark it is probably a four star smoke. Would love to see what ten years does to this.

1 person found this review helpful.

flakey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flakey (43)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I really wanted to like this one. It has so many good reviews on here plus I'm a big virginia fan. But I had problems with this tobacco that kind of detracted from my experience of it.

For one. When I rub out the flakes and spread out the resultant ribbon on a plate to air out, when I come back to it the next day it's still rubbery and moist. No big deal, I'm just used to an hour or so usually doing the trick on desiccation. For two, there was so much vinegar in this tobacco, that at times I wasn't sure whether I was smoking tobacco or fish and chips. For three, this blend tended to sting my mouth... maybe partly my own fault, but I suspect that the excessive vinegar and curiously hygroscopic nature of this blend had something to do with it also.

So I don't know what to think at this point. I have a small amount left. Guess I'll let it breathe some more, cellar it for about 8 months, give 'er another go and report back. Or maybe not.

1 person found this review helpful.

UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (108)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Tolerable

I suppose there's little original insight to add at this point. McClelland has a wealth of VA choices, this is one of the better ones. I just finished a 7 year old tin and I'm not sure it was worth the wait, though. I used to prefer mild, now I prefer a bit more intensity. It's also a fine single note wanting to be a chord.

1 person found this review helpful.

Denevei Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Denevei (58)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Blackwoods Flake is a mix of red Virginia with what McClelland calls stoved black Virginia, which is then pressed into a cake and aged. The flakes sliced from the cake are heavy, with a nice Virginia aroma but a somewhat high moisture content typical of McClelland blends. With a bit of drying they rub out fairly easily. To me, the blend is similar to a mixture of 2035 and 5100. The charring light brings the rich flavor of the constituent Virginias out. Once lit, that taste is quite smooth and easy. There are no real highs or lows to the blend's taste, it is a fairly straightforward blend. The taste remains consistently sweet, with the red Virginia's sweetness dominating while the stoved Virginia contributes a nice, darker tone to the overall taste. There isn't a lot of variability through the bowl, but the taste never sours or gets ashy, even at the very end of the smoke. Blackwoods Flake is, in my opinion, a Virginia to enjoy. I think that smokers can get the same results, however, from creating their own mixture of either Dark Star or 2035 with 5100, and in doing so will get the results at a much lower price point.

1 person found this review helpful.

Dr. Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Scott (82)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Ketchup is the dominant scent in the tin. But not as strong as in St. James Woods. But it is the best ketchup you've ever smelled. Moisture content can vary a bit from tin to tin.

Rub out or fold and pack, it is a cool and slow-burning tobacco.

Nicotine content is moderate.

Strong, unchanging, somewhat monotonous Virginia flavors. I don't think it is cased with ketchup, but the ketchup taste is evident in every puff to the bottom of the bowl.

A month or more after opening, and 10-12 hours with the lid off to dry, and the flavor is more of a pure and sweet Virginia. Stronger, more full, than Full Virginia Flake. The spicy aroma described on the tin is similar to Perique. Not for the mild or aromatic lovers.

For McClelland, it's pretty good stuff, and very sweet. I think it is better than Full Virginia Flake (itself an overrated weed).

Update, 7 July 2010: I have received compliments from the ladies on how great this stuff smells: very pleasant if a little strong, and my wife has declared it a favorite for the room note. So I guess I will be buying more... Three stars mostly for the pleasant room note and appreciative comments from the ladies. Otherwise, it might not be in my rotation.

1 person found this review helpful.

Fellow traveler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fellow traveler (64)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

You may enjoy this for what it is - a smooth sweet medium red combined with a spicy stronger black stoved virginia. And spicy it is, way to much for me. After a few puffs all I taste and feel is pepper, and derive no further pleasure from the smoke. Tried different pipes, drying etc., same problem. Must be a chemistry thing. I personally prefer a hint of latakia for my spice with a mellower softer smoke with more sweetness and less pronounced tobacco aftertaste (SL). Another fine McClelland product, just not on my restock list.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (96)
★★☆☆
Very Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I was looking forward to a strong robust red virginia, instead I get an insipid mouthfull of warm air with only a hint of tobacco.

Having now stored the contents of the tin for just over a year of aging, all I find is that some things never change.

If you are looking for a mild inoffensive smoke with a hint of sweetnes, this coul be it.

Perhaps I was spoiled by the comparative powerhouse of 5100 Red Cake.

1 person found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (569)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

One of the best straight virginia blends I've smoked and ranks up there with Gawith's Full Virginia Flake in that regard, even though they don't taste alike. Both have the wonderful burst of flavor upon initial lighting that settles down into an extremely complex and nuanced journey through that incredible tobacco known as Virginia. But I find this a bit more subdued than FVF, a little more demanding of contemplation. I think this is aged longer than FVF before its tinned (speculation on my part) and the blend seems more mature, giving up some of FVF's youthful vigor for a more relaxed presentation.

This is a "must try" for any fan of virginias and virginia blends. McClellands is highly skilled in making such blends come to life. And for those of you into cellaring, this blend ages incredibly well. My review is from a tin dated 2007 but I compared it head to head with a tin from 1992 and the additional years definitely furthered its maturation and complexity, not to mention its smoothness. Go for it!

1 person found this review helpful.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

There is nothing like the range of unique and overlapping yet completely natural flavors one finds in a good McClelland (or other good) blend of different aged Virginias. Went through this rather fast, after a rare occurance of receiving a spoiled and mildewed can which I had to get a refund on. Didn't send the tobacco back-the guy just took my word for it and I dumped it out next to a rose bush. It's never bloomed since. It might again if I had given it some of the new can I bought subsequently, because I just had to try this one after reading the reviews, but I wanted it all for myself after the first pipeful, and smoked the can in no time at all. Only my desire to try all the new tobaccos I can has prevented me from buying it again, but I'm sure I will eventually. I would like to try an aged can, without the mildew. Actually, it must have mildewed and then dried out years ago, because the old spores or dust flew out in my face when I opened it. I'm glad I recognized this as an unusual spoilage of a sealed can and got a new one. Blackwoods Flake manages to achieve a perfect balance of mellowness and full flavor, or full flavor that does not overwhelm and remains mellow...something like that, I'm not good at describing flavors. I recognize good flavors, especially in this kind of Virginia. Aged or stoved Virginas are like good aged Cabernets, you can taste all kinds of things even though they are just rotten grape juice! I guess I agree with the reviewers who describe the taste as fig-like. Or dates perhaps...

1 person found this review helpful.

Coskun Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Coskun (23)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

One tin is not enough blend...

When open the tin most famous ketchup waiting for you...It needs to be dry and blend by fingers, then its ready...

Easy to pack and lit...No bite, sweet,smooth and tangy...

This is very good stuff and a must try for Va lovers. Keep several tins of this stuff...

1 person found this review helpful.

Pip Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pip (36)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Perfect. Sweet and tangy. Smooth and rich. No bite at all. Best Virginian I've ever had. Got 3 tins cellaring. Yummy!!!!

1 person found this review helpful.

Sailorjack Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sailorjack (57)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I smoked several bowls of this flake after opening the tin and I enjoyed it but didn't see what all the hype was about. Well I just happened to stoke up a bowl this evening and I don't know what magic occurred but OH MY GOD THIS IS DELICIOUS! Must of needed some drying out or something but what a change.It just goes to show that one shouldn't be too hasty in judging a blend until you have spent some time with it and give it a chance to shine and shine it does. This is now the best straight Virginia that I have had!! Goes right to the head of the class!!Well gotta go order some more!!

1 person found this review helpful.

Circus Bear Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Circus Bear (3)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Mmmm, that McClelland smell! Looks good in the tin and tastes great in the bowl. Easy to break down, a little hard to keep it burning, but well worth the trouble. A good straight-forward VA.

1 person found this review helpful.

Meisterlowin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Meisterlowin (16)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Although I have smoked a pipe intermittently over the years, I am certainly no expert in describing tobacco blends...so here goes. Overall, I found this to be a very satisfying smoke. A subtle experience of unadulterated tobacco at its best. I found this to be a very cool smoke as well with virtually no bite...always a plus in my book. I had a few more relights than usual...but otherwise a great smoke!

1 person found this review helpful.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (119)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one I'm going to stock up on. One of my favorite Virginias right out of the tin. I rub it out well, pack it very lightly, and sip to my heart's content. Rich and flavorful, it must be the stoved leaf and the extra aging that puts this one over the edge. Excellent stuff! In a league of its own IMHO.

1 person found this review helpful.

Thunktank Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Thunktank (3)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

With a subtle and mellow sweetness that carries a pleasant complexity, it has become a favorite of mine for those times when a straight virginia is in order.

Moister content is high, but once in bloom it rewards the smoker with a delightful relaxing treat. Blackwoods Flake also works well using the delayed satisfaction technique. So if unsure as to whether or not one can finish a bowl, not to worry, it can be relit later.

It needs to be smoked slowly and deliberately to recieve the whole experience this flake offers.

1 person found this review helpful.

chgo.piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chgo.piper (36)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

nicely stoved virginia. semi-sweet and tangy. the more age the better... Well done McClelland.

1 person found this review helpful.

Stacey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stacey (40)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I opened this tin a couple of weeks ago and first impressions were that the ketchup/vinegar smell was there but not nearly as strong as the 2015 I've been smoking of late. I also thought I could detect another scent so this may have some other casing too. It's moderately easy to light and keep lit, needing only a couple of re-lights to finish. This one has taste and is smoother than 2015, probably due to the "double aging" on the tin. I find the taste to be pretty consistent as I only occasionally find myself unable to taste it, still I find myself wishing the taste was a little stronger. Something about this smoke conjures up images of old codgers lighting up in the 50's, to my mind. Bottom line is that this is a very nice smoke, I'm just not sure I prefer it so much to 2015 that I'd go out of my way to buy it.

1 person found this review helpful.

EtOH Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
EtOH (7)
★☆☆☆
Overwhelming None Detected Medium Strong

I have not been a pipe smoker until recently and have been fortunate enough to find this website. I normally smoke cigars, of which I enjoy the full-flavor full strength variety, usually Hondurans. Of the pipe tobaccos that I have tried over the last few months this is by far my least favorite.

Based on reviews I've read and high ratings I decided to give Blackwoods Flake a go...much to my disappointment. Upon arrival of my tin I opened it and was not surprised to find the ketchup smell that is so described in many of these reviews. I rubbed out the flake and let it dry for about thirty minutes at which point I thought the ketchup smell would dissipate, however, the tangy malodorous spirit remained. I thought that maybe this unpleasantness would not be present once the pipe was loaded and lit...again I was wrong.

After several relights the tobacco finally stayed smouldering-long enough for me to be introduced to and immediately deported from flavor country. If I wanted this sort of taste in my pipe tobacco I could have dipped a Marlboro cigarette into a cup of ketchup, lit up, and saved about ten bucks. After the deportation from flavor country, I was immediately checked into the infirmary where I was administered anti-emetics and oxygen at 7 liters/minute. When the sickness went away, about eight hours later, I was discharged and could not smoke a pipe for about a week following this incident.

While I appreciate the reviews and individual opinions I've read regarding Blackwoods Flake it is NOT the tobacco for me. In fact, my experience was so bad that I may not ever return to McClelland tobaccos. The ketchup smell alone would send me back to the infirmary.

1 person found this review helpful.

tonyg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tonyg (103)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

First, let me say that McClelland's 2035 is one of my favorite tobaccos. I also enjoy a couple of other McClelland blens that use stoved Virginia's. So, I was surprised at my reaction to Blackwoods Flake.

For whatever (other) reasons, I find myself out of step with my fellow reviewers. This is one of the few Virginia's with which I experience a good deal of bite in spite of careful, slow smoking. On that basis alone, I cannot recommend this obviously quality blend.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Smoking Blackwoods Flake is a bit like smoking 1792 Flake: one has to get past the smell first. Those like me who have little problem with tonka should have no problem with vinegar, but while tonka merges with the basic taste of 1792, vinegar competes with and distracts from the splendid taste of Blackwoods.

1 person found this review helpful.

CaptnDan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaptnDan (242)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Nobody does Virginias like McClelland does. It's that simple.

Blackwoods flake is the most complex and varied all-Virginia smoke you can put in a pipe. Any flavor you have ever had in a VA will show up in this one. Outstanding.

Blackwoods Flake smokes cool and is very tatsy. Will it bite? Well, it's a Virginia, isn't it? A hammer can hurt you pretty badly if you don't use it right. Same here. If you're a VA smoker, you don't need to be told this.

If you like Virginias, you simply MUST try this one.

1 person found this review helpful.

NapaWineLover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NapaWineLover (66)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Wonderful VA. After reading some of the reviews, I noticed that I was more confused than when I started particularly when seeing this compared to a latakia rich balkan blend cousin (My thought is perhaps the reviewer meant to refer to Virginia Woods in the comparison.) Although ,I'm always reminded of the subjective nature of reviewing and my intention is not to review reviews.

This is all VA, albeit, a wonderful chorus of lows and highs. The form of the broken flake is most appealing and a moderate rub has suited me best. I also have found that that this blend has a rythmn all it's own and when you find it ... you'll truly enjoy the complexity of this tobacco best and not be biten at all. The sweet reds, and the basso notes of the dark stoved components are very mellow with a slight tang and spice that pokes out a few times through the bowl.

The high quality of the tobacco and the blending is extrordinary. It's nutty, spicy, cool and an interestingly smooth smoke. The tin aroma (although much maligned on these pages) is precisely that smell of the finest tobacoo aging. I detect no topping or anything other than what it says on the can. Very fine stuff indeed.

Cheers, VC

1 person found this review helpful.

bobspipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bobspipe (13)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I tried this in interest of my exploration of virginia tobaccos and the high recommendations. All in all I have to say I was disappointed. While I'm familiar with the "ketchup smell", and while many of my other colleagues have been entriced by the BBQ aroma, I, as a few others have mentioned, was not. The tobacco itself was good and solid, but the aroma was, for me, offputting. Each time I opened the tin (and I did let it dry out some which helped) I was struck by the overwhelming smell of being at a BBQ at the lake -- fine if you enjoy that, but not what I ordinarily associate with a good smoke.

good tobacco, mild va taste, but not for me. great for those who enojoy it.

1 person found this review helpful.

bigblends Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigblends (46)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I shouldn't have expected Blackwoods Flake to live up to the majesty of Dark Star. I hoped for Red Virginia royalty, and this blend fell short as a result.

Presentation is nice, and color is appealing, I don't mind the signature McClelland tin aroma at all; however, in this case it managed to linger on much longer than in other McClelland VAs I've sampled (and way beyond my trusty Dark Star). I sensed the aroma carrying into the flavor of the tobacco, and it came through every so often in a clove-like note. Not my favorite.

Overall, the smoke is very good -- even great at times. No bite. When Blackwoods Flake clicks for me, it's superb. But when it's a little off, it couldn't be less inviting. The quality of the leaf, as well as McClelland's handling and processing of same, is top notch ... no question. This one just doesn't deliver consistently enough to be a regular in my rotation.

1 person found this review helpful.

purpleronald Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
purpleronald (16)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Strong

Well, I notice a lot of folks like it... I've been told to 'try McClelland'... I might eventually finish off the tin... but my first impression has been disapointing. The 'ketchup' aroma of the tin...was rather horrible. I tried to find the 'barbeque' flavor/aroma but all I could find was a tangy ketchup aftertaste... and 'flavorless hot smoke'. I like 'flakes' but this stuff reminded me of distressed beef jerkey. Actually, I was surprised that I didn't like it. Afterall I do like natural tobacco - English/Balkan blends...but this stuff just didn't measure up to what I was expecting. To make matters worse - it had a slight 'bite' that I found annoying... As for 'room notes'...my wife was told by the Department of Human Resources Crisis Line that while they do sympathize with the situation...they have no more beds at the local womens' shelter...and that it is their recommendation that the offending tobacco be removed from the home...as a condition of my not being charged with domestic violence. Oh well, the tin art was nice!

1 person found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (297)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Ok, go read my review for Virginia 27 by the same brand, and then think of something similar but with an even sweeter, fruitier and more intense taste! In comparison to 27, it is more complex (take a look at those flakes and see the color nuances, showing the different kinds of leaf!), more enjoyable, cooler... MORE OF EVERYTHING! Smoke slowly, and you will be rewarded by a magnificent tobacco...

1 person found this review helpful.

Master Merlin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Master Merlin (11)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant

I find Blackwoods Flake needs to be FULLY RUBBED OUT to be enjoyed. Otherwise it can be quite a chore to keep lit, as it comes packed quite moist. I find I need to leave it open to room air for a day or so in order to achieve a proper moisture level. So, I rub some out onto a plate and let it sit, before it goes into the pouch. The only draw back to this is that I must "plan Ahead" when I want to smoke this. My normal habits tend to be quite impulsive, when it comes to what I smoke. As for Flavor, As expected, There is the Tangy Katsup flavoring normally associated with McClelland Blends. So IF you Like Good Virginia Flake with Katsup then this is for you. Happy Puffing

1 person found this review helpful.

lustra Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lustra (170)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Blackwoods Flake is a dark broken flake with some lighter birdseye. It comes fairly wet in the tin and has that unmistakable McClelland "ketchup" aroma on opening. I found this flake fairly hard to light and needing frequent relights, usually throughout the first half of the bowl. At first, this flake tastes very spicy, almost as if it contained perique, and quite sharp. Later in the bowl, some of the spiciness abates and there is a slight natural, somewhat sweet, tobacco flavor. In general, this is a very subtle flake, often with almost no real flavor. After the initial troubles with lighting, this flake is almost always well-behaved and doesn't bite even with heavy puffing. Ultimately, though, I find this flake to be fairly bland, and won't restock it.

1 person found this review helpful.

Colonel Panic Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Colonel Panic (42)
★☆☆☆
Extremely Mild Extra Strong Extremely Mild (Flat) Overwhelming

pooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

1 person found this review helpful.

BigCasino Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigCasino (27)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have been smoking this blend for a couple of weeks now , I have tried rubbing it out, rough and stuff, and cubing it up, so far the most flavor comes from the rubbing it out, very nice sweet hay like and cirtusy flavors, try it different ways to find which way is good for you

Pipe Used: Butz-Choiquin D'accord apple, Piersels Rhodesion

Age When Smoked: unknown

Purchased From: Alegheny Smoke Works

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JohnMA Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnMA (12)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Wonderful complex Virginia flavor. Sweet reds and mellow rich black virginias. I prefer St. James Woods a little more because I love the perique but this flake is awesome. It's a good change of pace for me. It's probably one of the best virginia flakes you can get. It's medium strength so nicotine maybe lacking for some more seasoned pipers. Too me though that means I can enjoy without the room spinning and enjoy another bowl later if I wish. I like to smoke this in a medium to largish lovat. I think the wider deeper bowl lets the flavors really open up.

Age When Smoked: new, less than a year old tin

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (203)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Outstanding flake. Very good Virginias in this one. Really enjoyed it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

musicman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
musicman (81)
★★☆☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I don't think this review is going to make me very many friends. This tobacco seems to be one of the highest rated blends on TR. I just don't get it. Is it a quality product? For sure, but it is not in any way exciting for me. I am a huge Virgina fan and there are many blends I would reach for before I reach for this one.

This tobacco comes in a chunky broken flake type of configuration. It is really wet from the tin, and even dried out gives me troubles. The smell in the tin is definitely McC ketchup.

This is a dark tobacco but just doesn't do it for me. If I am looking for a dark tobacco you can all keep your Blackwoods flake, just leave me to my wessex Brigade campaign.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kerpap Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kerpap (12)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I have become a big fan of Latakia/English blends. I have tried a few full Virginia flakes and I have to say so far this is the best. Great break from the everyday English. perfect sweet and tangy taste all the way to the end of the bowel.

I bought a Peterson Bulldog just for this blend.

happy puffing

Nobody has rated this review yet.

panduji68 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
panduji68 (23)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

How can a tobacco that smells so awful in the tin taste so good? When I ordered this tobacco, I purchased it mainly because I love Virginias (Gawith Full Virginia Flake being one of my favorites), and it had so many good reviews. I read that it smells like ketchup, but figured that to be a slight exaggeration. Well it's no exaggeration people... It does smell exactly like ketchup and vinegar. Putrid!

After rubbing it out, I let it dry a bit and took another whiff... It was glorious, with no more ketchup aroma. Just a really sweet straight forward quality tobacco aroma. None of the ketchup or vinegar translated into the smoke either thank goodness!

Very mellow smoke, pretty straightforward with not too much going on in the way of multiple flavors. I'm not getting all of those different flavors some reviewers have mentioned, but that's not a bad thing for me. The flavor it does have is absolutely spectacular sweet Virginia tobacco. It seems to burn fairly cool, no tongue bite, with moderate nicotine. It pairs up perfectly with a cup of Earl Grey, and is quite the relaxing smoke to be sure. I can definitely see this pairing up nicely with a sweeter, not so peaty single malt scotch such as a Speyside. I believe I shall try that this evening!

It's a really solid example of a high quality blended Virginia that could easily be an all day smoke for yours truly... I think I'll alternate between Blackwoods and Full Virginia Flake in my rotation when I get the hankering for a nice Virginia.

UPDATE: I let this one sit in the tin for a couple of weeks, it dried out nicely, and most of that ketchup smell is gone. The smoke itself has become glorious. I arrived home from work, poured a small glass of Highland Single Malt Scotch (I ran out of any Speysides) and sipped both the pipe and the scotch sparingly. What a truly fantastic, sweet, pure Virginia, smooooooth smoke. I seem to be feeling a bit of a nicotine kick, but not in a bad way at all, and it could be my imbibing increasing the feel of it. I also am smoking it in a small bowl Bjarne Neilsen mini churchwarden which has thus far lasted over 45 minutes in a single bowl. If it isn't heating up this pipe, I can't imagine it heating up any other unless you attach it to a vacuum cleaner. I believe this is on par, if not better than my favorite Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake...Sorry for getting long winded, but this is just a magical truly impressive smoke to me. If you like Viriginias, I have no doubt you will be truly impressed with this offering!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

William H. Hardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
William H. Hardy (31)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

When I first tried this, I was not impressed. But, like with many Virginias I have tried, after smoking it for a long while, I really began to enjoy it. Yep, vinegar smell, but that doesn't bother me and actually quite like it. It beats the socks off of FVF and many others in this genre. I've found, as I have smoked blends, the ones that "knock my socks off" at first light are usually not ones that I like to keep around. The simpler the better. Not to say this isn't complex, but it isn't muddled tasting like many others. Just a good clean smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Adirondack Wayfarer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Adirondack Wayfarer (5)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I understand why this blend is obtaining legendary status. It just feels "right" while smoking it. Very enjoyable indeed. And when compared to my other tobaccos, there is something about it which makes me relax and think clearly. As well, it doesn't give you that cigarette/ash-tray aftertaste some other tobaccos do. It really has a flavor of it's own accord.

It does have a bit of a vinegar smell straight out of the tin, but this is rather misleading. Very cool vintage-looking tin it comes in, you could use it for decoration.

Mine did not seem to need any drying time, I smoked it less than an hour after purchasing it with great results. This flake is slow burning, this stuff lasts a while even when drawing hard.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

430pat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
430pat (39)
★★☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

Rubbed out the whole tin it was very moist checked it daily left it to dry out for about one week smoked it daily and just did not enjoy it seems to me all the Mcclellands are starting to have very similar characteristics and tasting the same with slight variations a little disappointed I was expecting more oh well.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jgwaltney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jgwaltney (4)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Tin: At first whiff, there's as vinegar smell that is off- putting. Please don't be discouraged by this, because in a couple of weeks (yes, I do suggest shelfing it for about a week or two to let it settle down), the smell becomes more and more handsome. A tangy, spicy sweetness is the result.

I also recommend only barely rubbing out the flakes, and packing the pipe as such. Trust me on this one, the flavor is much more pronounced.

Charring light: There's a citrus-y taste that is sort of invasive, but it goes away in the re-light. I typically have to light this tobacco a few times at the start of the bowl in order to get a good even burn.

1st Half: Huge. The tobacco is mellow, but extraordinarily charismatic. The flavor changes periodically, introducing new nuances each time I smoke it. It is never the same smoke twice, in all honesty. There's a consistent tang that is very enjoyable, but it plays only in the background. There's a play-off between a creamy rich sweetness, subtle woodsy smokiness, and piercing spiciness. The star of the show shifts almost instantly between these three.

2nd Half: More mellow, in most cases. It's a mesh of sweetness with very little tang. The smokiness here is deep and rich, and the spiciness settles down. It's subtler than the first half. The dying breath of the tobacco is one last burst of intense sweet smokiness.

Overall: My favorite blend. Reserved, personally, (no pun intended) for when I wanna take a trip through pipe heaven. Another great one from the guys at McClelland.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr.MeerBill Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr.MeerBill (35)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

pop a tin leave it on the self a couple a weeks rub it out let it dry about 30 min and never look back on second thought just fold and stuff

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ThePuffingLibrarian Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ThePuffingLibrarian (5)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I really enjoy this tobacco. It has a wonderful smoky ketchup aroma in the tin. The flavours that develop during the smoking are very complex and they really travel all around your mouth. You will savour the taste a long time after you put your pipe aside. The only slight problem is that for some reason, it doesn't seem to burn as easily as other blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Flyguyid Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Flyguyid (4)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

When I started smoking pipes, I smoked aromatics only. I used to say cigars are like a good steak and pipes are like desert. Then I discovered English blends and Virginia flakes and found pipe smoking to be more satisfying than cigars because of taste and variety. I think of aged Virginia flakes as comfort food. They may not have the complexity of English blends but that one taste note is delicious. Virginia flakes certainly have what I call the "Yum" factor. Blackwoods Flake is my favorite aged Virginia flake and number 1 on my rotation. As with all flakes, smoke it slow for the greatest enjoyment. If you are a heavy puffer you will heat this one up too much, burn your tongue and miss out on a great tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

samcoffeeman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
samcoffeeman (29)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Tin: McLelland is known for a vinegary/ketchup aroma to some of their tobaccos, and this is one of those. I don't find it particularly pleasant or unpleasant. It appears as a broken flake.

Smoking experience:

This is one of the first pipe tobaccos I tried, now being 4 months a pipe smoker. I initially tried this in my Dr Grabow Omega, my first pipe. I wasn't sure what to do with the flake pieces. I packed my pipe to the best of my (at the time) limited ability. I could not keep it lit. Overall it was a bad experience, but I knew that was more me than the tobacco. I then studied about flakes and decided on the rubbing method.

For my second attempt, I rubbed out a bowl's worth and packed my Peterson Killarney 306 after letting it dry out ten minutes. Slightly better experience this time. Still had some trouble with relights. I felt I needed to draw on it harder to keep it lit, and one thing about some McLelland tobaccos like this one, when you pull hard, they bite hard. The Peterson also is a P-lip which is a small draw. My second experience was consumed by tongue bite and thus not very good.

At this point I decided to rub the whole tin out(advice from a review on TR), and I let it settle for a week in the tin. I tried it in the Peterson again. Better. I avoided the tongue bite. It stayed lit almost to the bottom. It was still markedly lower on the totem pole compared to FVF. I felt some spice, but still lacking in character.

I just came back to it again(one month later) and packed it(with better backing ability now) in my 50yr old Larsen Copenhagen, which is a large pipe, the bowl has to be at least 2" deep and it has a large draw. I call this my magic pipe, because it brings out the best in everything I smoke in it. I was not disappointed. I hit it with 4 charring lights to get a good ember going around 5:20. I didn't touch it again with the lighter until 6:45. This was everything a Va flake should be. Smooth, sweet, mellow. I was left in a state of pure satisfaction, dumb grin on my face and all. I guess the old adage is true about tobacco also, if at first you don;t succeed, try try again. Or put it in your best pipe and smoke it.

My recommendation: Rub the whole tin out and give it some air time. Pack it in a pipe with a big draw as this helps ward off tongue bite. And with all tobaccos, take time to light it right, char it 3-4 times before giving it the final light. This one takes some work and time to enjoy, but well worth it if you don't mind the effort. 3 stars overall, but when you get it right, it is a 4 star smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mo (79)
★★☆☆
Very Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

I have posted my review under the other listing for the same blend

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mo (79)
★★☆☆
Very Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

A great friend and fellow Pipesmoker recently sent me a tin as a gift and i am very greatfull to his generosity.

The tin was popped and the smell was typical McC Virginia, Tomato Sauce, Vinegar with some Cloves and maybe All Spice. While not the biggest fan of the Vinegar/Tomato sauce aroma, this did have promise and i was really looking forward to smoking it.

I have dried it for about a week to the moisture level that i prefer by leaving the tin open to air out. I do this successfully with all Virginia blends to get the results i seek.

I loaded up a bowl a few moments ago and lit up. It took pretty well and i started puffing away to get the taste experience. All i got was tongue bite, lots of it and decided to dump the tobacoo.

I know it may seem too soon to review but i have smoked many blends and this is a sign of things to come.

I understand that this blend is very popular and my experience is based on my personal body chemistry, YMMV.

Mo, South Africa

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (218)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This tobacco reminds me of Gawiths FVF with a topping of Mc Vinegar. I've said this before, I love the sweet and sour taste of Mc Vinegar. Very flavorful , no bite, interesting and tangy. The tin gets better with some drying and breathing. I also find this similar to Dark Star but unlike most of the reviewers , I like DS better, as it is more complex, even if it is harder to rubout and ready for smoking.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

R3TRO Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
R3TRO (2)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I love full Virginia's and I was afraid that I won't find another I like as much as SG Full Flake (since this one is impossible to find). Guess what? I did! The tin caught my eye at a local tobacco shop and I remembered the rave reviews... so I bought it.

Popping the tin reveals perfect moisture jerky like flakes and the sweet smell of Virginia that I love so much. I lightly rubbed it out, packed it, lit it, enjoyed it! Great slow smoke. Nice billows. Most importantly a good full bodied Virginia taste.

If you like Virginia Flakes, I can't see how you wouldn't like this one?! I'm going to go back and buy a few more to put away for a rainy day...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mesh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mesh (21)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This VA is sweet, rich in taste and has a disctinct creamy texture in the smoke, somewhat reminiscent of a tobacco blended with black cavendish. My main gripe is that it's all a bit overdone. I'm not a fan of aromatic tobaccos, and I find that too many of their characteristics are present in Blackwoods Flake. I love the rich taste of Samuel Gawith's FVF (in which the sweetness is kept in check by the brighter notes), but I find this one to be a bit on the overwhelming and unbalanced side in terms of the flavour characteristics I mentioned above. It also has a tendency to burn too hot too easily, and so needs to be sipped a little too gently for my liking.

For objectivity's sake, I will not give this blend less than three stars: it will work extremely well for those who like this sort of thing, as evidenced, indeed, by the plethora of rave reviews here and elsewhere. And there is no denying that the base tobaccos used here are of a high quality. If I were asked for a VA recommendation by an avid aromatic smoker, this might well be the first blend to spring to mind as a gateway to that great tobacco genre.

Final note: I know this has been covered to death, but the tin aroma of this tobacco is, in my opinion, truly awful. It's like ketchup gone rancid - it neither smells of tobacco nor anything I'd happily pour over any food. Fortunately the smell in the tin doesn't translate to the flavour of the smoke itself, but that stench is still a detracting factor as far as my overall impressions of this tobacco go.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tom S. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tom S. (5)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

Noting but pure, robust and mellow taste. This one takes a bit of prep work, mist noticeably the need to let it dry out a bit before loading in the briar.

Like any flake Virginia, this one need to be approached slowly and rushing through it will only bite your...um, tongue.

I find this one ideal for the patio with a good book and a snifter of adult beverage.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Pipe Smoking Chemist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Pipe Smoking Chemist (3)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I'm smoking a bowl as I write this review, and this tobacco is truly fantastic. I've now worked my way through about half of a 100g tin and it hasn't gotten old yet. I'm a lover of virginias and this one is right up near the top of my list. The sweet notes that pop in and out as you smoke this blend are a pleasant surprise.

I love the look in the tin and the partially broken up flakes. They are thick cut and break up easily. I think they can use a little drying time before lighting up. I usually let it sit out while I smoke another small bowl beforehand. I typically go with the fold and stuff method opposed to rubbing it out. I think this adds in more of those little sugary hits as you smoke it. It keeps lit well and burns down to a nice gray ash.

As with all tobaccos, never suck this one down! You'll ruin the smooth, sweetness that makes this blend wonderful. Sip it slowly and thoughtfully, you won't be disappointed. This blend is a 100% must for anyone that loves straight virginias. I will always have some on hand.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Arko Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arko (8)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Since smoking the very first bowl of this one it has been among my absolute favorites. It's difficult to add anything new to the long list of praises here, so I'll just keep it short: It behaves exactly like a dark Virginia blend should (in my opinion), and the way it presents those deep and slightly sour notes is simply fantastic. A Virginia masterpiece.

Very highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KahveDelisi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KahveDelisi (45)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

gifted to me by Berhan (thankyouthankyouthankyou!) He was complaining blackwoods give him headaches.. That's unfortunate for him.. that being said, absolutely YAY for me! Yes I'm one of those cruel friends :P

Kokinhenik had mentioned about blackwoods smelling like sweet pickles. Right. But for me it also tastes like pickles. If you ever tried Russian or Bulgarian sweet pickles (cabbage, red pepper etc. with coriander seeds) then you'll know what I'm talking about, cos this is very similar.

Sweet, Sour, Toasty, Sweet, Sour, Toasty, Sweet, Sour, Toasty, Yummy!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

StylesSharpman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StylesSharpman (24)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

If memory serves, this is much like darkstar only sweeter. I love sweet virgins I mean Virginia's

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Zeno_Croatia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Zeno_Croatia (7)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I tried this yesterday and got a nasty bite. Then I cursed myself for being so fast. Today, I rubbed the flakes and let them to air out and dry. Now I can say only nice things about this tobacco. Room note is stronger then some other tobaccos I have, and wife rating is lower then, for example, with Mac Baren Original Choice, but she didn't say it's bad.

Flavor is nice, it burns nice and no tongue bites today... It's not my favorite, but still it's very good tobacco.

Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ehrling Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ehrling (60)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

With over 160 individual reviews already, I really question if one more review is worthwhile or necessary. But I do very much enjoy this flake and I feel obligated to submit my own review.

I've been smoking Blackwoods Flake since soon after it first came on the market and this is what a Virginia flake should be. The flavor is clear and clean, the smoke is pleasantly rich and sweet and there is ample body--and all while maintaining a good balance. I have tried and continue to try other Virginia blends and flakes, but I always come back to this one. What else needs to be said?

Note: I think that it smokes better in a meerschaum.

UPDATE: I am taking this down to 3-stars--it's still good, but perhaps not as good as I thought that it once was. It's amazing how our tastes change with time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fartytowelz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fartytowelz (3)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of the creamiest Virginia blends ever! There is no bite with this tobacco. The flavor is smooth and delightful, like a wooded forest in the Fall. This is perhaps the perfect camping tobacco and a nice way to cosy up to nature.

I recommend not over rubbing this one. There seems to be a richer flavor with larger chunks. Enjoy!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

vaporcrow Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
vaporcrow (7)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

One of the BEST McClelland products. I get almost euphoric smoking this mellow fellow. It is smoky sweet,tends to be slightly moist upon opening but can be smoked right away. Absolutely no bite for me and I will continue to buy this tin over and over! Check out my new video series on youtube called "Adventures in Pipe Smoking" Fun videos for pipe smokers to pass the time while smoking their favorite blends!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

berhan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
berhan (2)
★★☆☆
Strong Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Good tobacco but makes headache to me to the end of smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sangreel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sangreel (5)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my "go to" smoke. I make sure I have at least 6 - 10 tins at all times. Wife rating: She does not like the room note as much as some of my other pipe tobaccos, but it is not off putting to her. The small as one opens the tin is a bit strong, but I must say I enjoy it. I know after a bit the tobacco/ tin small will lessen and I will have a great smoke. let it set out a bit and you will enjoy this a bit more as it will not be so "wet". Great smoke!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Blue Bayou Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blue Bayou (59)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Pleasant woodsy notes of charred pine & smouldering nutshells. Hearty like a bowl of steel cut Scottish oatmeal. Very nice for sitting around a campfire on a cool evening or working in your woodlot.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kokinhenik Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kokinhenik (39)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin, smells just like sweet pickles...hope that doesn't come through in the smoke. Smoke, BAM..this is the toastiest Virginia I've tried..very nice! Just a hint of muskiness. Almost taste like a Burley at times. Very pleasant aroma. To date, my favorite Virginia.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hendu3270 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hendu3270 (4)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the virginia that I do not smoke much of. I mean that in a good way though. I hold it in such high regard that I do not want to waste it. This is my favorite virginia to smoke. Sweet, smooth, perfect burn. Can't really say more than that. If you've not tried this one, you owe it to yourself to give it a go.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Great quality Virginia blend that is the backbone of my rotation. Affordable, plentiful, and always dependable flavor. Can't beat this combination if you are a Va. lover like me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Wellpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wellpipe (48)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Typical McClelland aroma of vinegar / ketchup in the tin, but don't let that put you off. Let the broken flakes dry out a bit, rub them out, and you will be rewarded with beautiful Virginia sweetness and delightful but not overpowering complexity. I set aside a few of the bigger chunks to place in the bottom of the bowl over the draft hole before gravity feeding the rest into a big Wellington. A wonderful blend, and to my taste a slightly broader range of flavors than FVF.

UPDATE January 2013: Rubbed out and inverted pack with an airgap also gives great pleasure from this excellent blend. Long lasting enjoyment in a large bowl.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Ketchup & vinegar smell from the tin. Moist, let it breath for an hour. "Lovely, just lovely". This one's a must for those who enjoy a smooth,sweet Virginia.

Update: Even at 0 degrees (AK)this tobacco was wonderful.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (120)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Opened a tin dated 01/10. Going on the name and tin description alone, I figured this would be a dark flake. Upon opening, it is mostly a light to medium brown, with a bit of the black Va showing up. I rubbed out and dried a few pipefuls for about an hour.

Initial light took about 4 matches, this flake was still a bit wet. Once lit, it produced a great, easy going smoking experience that did not even hint at biting. Notes of tangy Va with some sort of flavor I have never experienced in a McClelland flake, sorta a black pepper type flavor.

McClelland develops some great flakes, and this is no exception. If you have problems with tongue bite like I do, try this one.

Can burn a bit wet if not dried properly. Leaves a very clean taste on the palate that will last for a few hours.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ttimothy.ll Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ttimothy.ll (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

My first Virginia, and I'm hooked. Smooth, Silky & Sweet. NOTE: Perfect for parties or out with friends (I've received many positive comments).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Aviator Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Aviator (3)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I just bought a tin of this wonderful tobacco. I have tried several Virginia Flake tobacco's and wanted to try this one out. The flakes were a little moist so I rubbed out some in a plastic bag and let it dry for about 30 minutes. I loaded my Stanwell 63M and it took about three lights to get it going. The flavor is very pleasant and sort of sweet. I favor Virginias and this one ranks right up there with Christmas Cheer, and SA FVF. I like it better than No. 22, 25 or 27 or 2010. I highly recommend you try this. You can't go wrong.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Katharsis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Katharsis (39)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Full review pending when I've sampled more tobaccos, but I can say this is my current favorite Virginia. And I've found myself picky with Virginias, so that's saying something.

This stuff rivals FVF in my opinion. I had this first, then FVF, and I love them both.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Davie Jones Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Davie Jones (61)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is a beautiful VAs Flake by McClelland.

At first, the famous ketchup aroma - that will dissipate,than disappear after two weeks the tin is open, mixed with something similar to cloves and nutmeg.

Smoking this tobacco is pure joy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

beardedhermit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beardedhermit (30)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

First thing i do when i buy a can of this is pop the top and let it sit open for a week then replace its lid and let sit for a month. Haven't found the sweetness in the blend yet, but i keep trying, i know it's there. Is Ketchup and vinegar a "Flavoring" Hmm just gonna put medium for the grate tanginess.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

HokieGeek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HokieGeek (23)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Well, this was a really difficult tobacco to light. I let it dry for 30 mins but apparently that wasn't enough. As a consequence, it smoked really hot the entire time. Probably the hottest smoke I've had. It tasted well enough, but I reckon this will taste a lot better with some more time and with longer drying. It smelled quite good in the tin, if a bit like ketchup. It certainly had its moments and promised a lot. As my skills increase, I think I will get a lot out of this tobacco.

Edit: This morning (7/20/2012) I smoked this again. This time I let it breathe for a little over an hour and packed it carefully. A much more interesting and satisfying smoke. I really enjoyed it and didn't want it to end!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tom Servo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tom Servo (58)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The tin aroma of this Virginia flake is interesting. The red and black Virginias together give out a sort of melded aroma of the expected vinegar/ketchup McClelland VA scent and a sweet, Fig Newton, oatmeal with raisins scent like a Rattray VA. Sounds odd but they go together well. Once Virginia gets some age on it, it can smell quite different from maker to maker, but it always seems to smell edible - It always make me hungry.

All well matured Virginia's are also complex, if only subtly so. But this one is amazing. As I lit the bowl, I caught cool vegetal flavors, green hay, uncut grain, even a note like melon or cucumber. Charred, tamped, relit. Raw, green grains warm up into cocoa, malt flour, and dusty cellar aromas. Further in I get warm cookies, fresh bread, hot egg rolls, dried hay, feed oats, cake batter. In the second half add into the mix, dried flowers, lingering (almost faded) perfume and polished leather.

This is an freakin' amazing flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipelovingcalvinist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipelovingcalvinist (68)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Though I primarily smoke english blends, I enjoy virginias to break up the monotony. Blackwoods Flake serves this purpose with flying colors. Blackwoods Flake is slightly sweet and tangy and never fails to keep my attention. A good virgina for sure.

And yes, I do have pipes that are soley dedicated to virginias.

soli Deo gloria

Nobody has rated this review yet.

HappyOne Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HappyOne (9)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Wonderful stuff. Rub it out and give it a few minutes to dry before giving it a medium to loose pack then sip slowly. I have dedicated a couple of pipes to mature virginians and the subtle flavours tease out as you slowly sip away.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TheSmokinDragon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TheSmokinDragon (56)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I'm in love with this flake! I will be adding many tins to the tobacco bar...don't miss this one...dry it out a bit from the tin and sip it slow.

I use an air-pocket method which works best for me on this one, med or large pipe both work very nice as well for giving you max flavors on this one...ENJOY

Nobody has rated this review yet.

LV9 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LV9 (59)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is probably one of the most underrated virginias out there this easy to pack it just take a little bit of rubbing out stuffed in a pipe light it and the magic happens the flavor is prettu sweet with a hint of spiciness for some reason the sweetness of this blends reminds me of dulce de leche dessert. The only times I've gotten tongue bite out of this blend is when I Have not rubbed it out, the nicotine level is in the low range for my taste but the flavor makes up for it. I've only wish that this was available in bulk. 3 out of 4 stars because of the lack of nicotine in this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

M.Toney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
M.Toney (53)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This review is based on a two year old 50g tin that was opened & sampled a year ago. The tin & contents were then placed into a freezer bag & sealed until today. It is still plenty moist & fresh and required some drying time. I noticed a tart, fermented vinegar-like aroma upon reopening. Not so much the ketchup smell that some have noted.

This stuff doesn't taste anything like it smells. This is an excellent Virginia blend that produces the sweet VA goodness many of us enjoy. I love a blend that has a natural, sweet flavor...& this one does. It is a bit sharp & tangy initially but when 1/3 of it burns off, a burst of mild, sweet flavor surfaces. It doesn't bite like some VA blends might. Very tasty & thoroughly satisfying in nicotine content as well.

Double aged red VA with a black, stoved VA process facilitate plenty of sweet tobacco flavor. A good combination of quality leaf infused in this mixture. Also leaves a pleasant, sweet, tingly taste on the palate. I'll be "e pluribus unum" on this one and concur with all who gave this blend its well deserved, highest rating. Sampled in a Dunhill, 2S Shell Briar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darwin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darwin (101)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Smoking from a 19 year old tin, dated 1991. Label claims to be made for Levin Pipes International. Comes as a dark broken flake; the red Virginia are now almost as dark as the stoved Virginias, but are still detectable under bright light. The flakes were still wet upon opening and have been drying with the plastic lid on for about 4 months. No vinegar smell is present. Any potential for tongue bite that ever existed has vanished over the years. I can puff just about as hard as I want, but slow smoking is still required to tease the subtle flavors out of this mature, aged blend.

Flavors are sweet, but not cloying. Smokey campfire notes overlay the sweetness. Some citrus flavors still remain, but most the flavor is deeper in the spectrum. The smoke is exceedingly rich, full and smooth.

The smoking is effortless, requiring only the occasional tamp to keep things going. This high quality Virginia is probably capable of improving with age for as long as a patient pipe smoker can wait. I've got a tin of St. James Woods from the same year that I'll let go even longer. Most of this tin is still unsmoked; I'll put it in a Mason jar and smoke it on special occasions. I wish you were here to share it with me. It doesn't feel quite right smoking this all by my lonesome. I'm gonna have to call a meeting of the Sabbath Smokers (explained in my bio). Long live McClelland tobaccos!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NA Morrison Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NA Morrison (32)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

had a bowel of this with my brother and we both thought this was a good blend. a bit hard to keep lit but that was because it was a windy day. had a slight viniger catsup smell like most mcclland blends do but that wasnt a distraction. not a bad smoke for nice hike into the woods or just relaxing on the back porch. will by again if becomes available at my tobacco shop again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TK Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TK Pipe (101)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

MC Blackwoods Flake... Simply the best all Va. Blend I have ever had the pleasure of smoking. These people really know what they are doing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Merven the Great Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Merven the Great (18)
★★☆☆
Medium Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

I can see how people like this blend, but it wasn't for me. Too saucy/sweet and can get quite bitter if not your not concentrating and lace the pipe for future tastes. I am still a fan of McClelland just not this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thefoolish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thefoolish (9)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A beauty. Masterful blending with a fantastic appreciation of the simple perfection of natural tobaccos.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mike4714 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike4714 (1)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a great tobacco! i have smoked this one on many occasions and so far, it is my all time favorite. i highly recommend, at the very least, trying it. it does have a sort of ketchup smell when you first open the tin, but as time goes by, the smell disappears. not that it needs to, the tobacco tastes nothing like ketchup! Quite unpleasant room-note, but not extremely overwhelming. you will most certainly like this tobacco!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

yinyang Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
yinyang (45)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've only had one tin of Blackwoods Flake, and it was dated 2007. I therefore can't say whether it's the blend alone, or the age too, but, hot damn, it's good!

Of all the American VA's I've smoked (admittedly, a meager number) this is the best so far. Sweet yet spicy, mild yet colourful on the palate, BF delivers the goods. Definitely one of those blends that gets even better as you go down the bowl. (Not that it needs to, it's all good.) The flakes aren't the easiest to fire up, but it's not impossible. I didn't catch much of the 'ketchup' nose McClelland gets bashed for, either. I believe the smoke on this one is the most pleasant I've smelled as well. I will eventually pick up more of this one...just as soon as I get my ADD driven 'Gotta try'm all' mentality under wraps.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BigSwede Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigSwede (61)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I've had this tin sitting in the drawer for months. When it first came in I tried it right away, smoked it a little on the moist side and thought it was "OK". Not bad but just "OK".I should know better! Now after resurrecting the tin and setting some flake out to dry for several hours I am finding this to be wonderful.

Once dried the so called "ketchup" smell, while still present in the tin does not seem to pass through to the smoke. It takes a flame nicely and burns evenly. The flavor is that of a sweet/tart top drawer pure VA and I can't find any real "topping". I agree with the reviewer who said this rivals the FVF. I am not one for nuance but I can make out, if you will, several VA tastes, some sweet some more tart and the mixture is superb. Flavor holds all the way down and if anything gets fuller. Now I know what the VA smokers have been raving about. When aged a bit and properly prepared for smoking this stuff is excellent. WOW!

My SO got a whiff of this stuff and offered a unsolicited, "that smells pretty good", something, alas, I don't always hear about my other smokes. If you like VA you have to try this one. Just remember to dry it well and smoke it slow. Definitely 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (134)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I bought a tin of Blackwoods Flake along with Tudor Castle in a Virginia heavy order a few weeks ago. I found both similar, and would even say that Tudor Castle is just Blackwoods Flake with a little extra, not in truth but in semblance. They are both super sweet Virginia smokes that I had no trouble finishing and will certainly reorder.

After experiencing the richness of Tudor Castle, I found myself applying Perique to Blackwoods at about twenty to thirty percent, both because I love a good VAPER and enjoy the added strength, always to delicious consequences. Sometimes I mixed it with equal portions of Latakia and Perique when I happened to be running short on English blends, in one instance swearing that the mighty concoction was the greatest smoke I ever had. Of course, I make that announcement quite often.

I guess you can see where this is going--Blackwoods Flake is simply great, and I can only give it my highest recommendation, along with its cousin Tudor Castle. An entirely different animal than Full Virginia Flake and one that I will certainly enjoy with greater frequency in FVF's absence.

Five of Five.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SakamotoFan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SakamotoFan (12)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Yes, Blackwoods Flake does smell like ketchup but it tastes like vinegar. At first, I thought the smoke was unique but as time went by I started to realize that this "unique" taste was similar to the smell of heated vinegar. Now it's a tolerable smoke, and it's not horrible but once I started to notice this vinegar taste I dumped the bowl. No thanks.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Claudius Stradivarius Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Claudius Stradivarius (171)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

McClelland are the reference amonbg the American manufacturers for their Va flakes.

This is one of the best flakes I have had the pleasure to smoke.

The taste combines pure VA with something close to clove or nutmeg, which makes it delicious.

It just lacks a bit on the nicotine side.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

MAarcher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MAarcher (1)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm an infrequent/novice pipe smoker but I have tried many of the tobaccos recommended on this site over the past couple of years. To date, Blackwoods Flake is my favorite when I'm looking for taste. The tin looks regal, open it up and the aroma is wonderful, rich and sweet. Light it up and it tastes delicious. The only downfall is that it can require frequent relights. I really enjoy this tobacco, rocking on my back porch, siping on a Maker's & Coke and watching the smoke drift off.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bierstadt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bierstadt (8)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

This is a beautiful, sweet, and tangy baccy that all Va. lovers should try. It is deep and dark and very enjoyable. Blackwoods main focus is on natural sweetness with a spicy tang. There are heavy notes of dried fruit as well which are just wonderful. While not as buttery,creamy, or grassy as FVF, it is in some ways comparable although obviously different. This baccy needs to be rubbed out fully and dried to achieve maximum flavor and the most efficient burn. If you get everything right (packing, drying, rubbing out, cadence) Blackwoods will deliver an EPIC smoke.

Blackwoods is a classic and deserves the praise it gets. It is certainly included in my top 10 favorite blends.

Personal rating: 9 out of 10

Tobacco reviews rating: 4 out of 4

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mike__P Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike__P (87)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

UPDATE 3/7/12 I agree with the reviewer DK: This is one of the best straight Virginia blends I've smoked, alongside Gawith's Full Virginia Flake, although both are different, with BF being more tangy-sweet with a bit more treble, although still rich and smooth with plenty of bottom end. It delivers a real mouthful of pure tobacco flavor. Dark, smoky and complex, it is not grassy and vegetal, and remains consistent throughout the smoke. It is very well-behaved for a VA, too, even when I occasionally push it a bit farther than I should.

The tinge of McClelland sauce is evident in the tin and the first several puffs, but dissipates quickly. It's a bitch to keep lit early on, as FVF is, but your patience will be rewarded once it gets going. I typically don't like straight Virginia blends, yet this and FVF to me are the epitome of pipe tobacco, regardless of genre, and provide plenty of depth and interest. The blender's notes for BF are true: It's smooth, balanced and refined. I think it's best suited for the experienced smoker who can compare and contrast what it offers compared to other flakes and blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Coltrane Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Coltrane (26)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Strong Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have smoked this on and off for the past 2-years. It's am interesting tobacco that has a very refined character to it. Unlike Mac Baren HH Mature Virginia this one won't bite like a rabbid dog. It has a very smooth approach to it.

When I first opened the tin I was like "Oh..." but then one of my co-workers told me I could smoke it with it's flake form or rub the flakes out. He showed me how to rub the flakes out without detroying the tobacco and we let it dry for about 30-minutes and bingo, perfection; thanks Jesse.

I find two different flavors with this tobacco...

Often times I will simply smoke the flakes as they are in my pipe. When you smoke it in it's flake form you get a very full bodied, strong smoke that is not undesirable but may be too spicy and peppery for some. I smoked full bodied cigars for 10-years so I don't have a problem with strong spicy tobaccos. The flakes pack well, light well and stay lit without any bite.

Sometimes I will rub out the flakes and enjoy it that way. When you smoke it in it's fully rubbed form you get a smoother, naturally sweeter full bodied smoke that has a very nice, classically spicy aroma. The red and black virginias have a very refined mixture that allows you to have a very relaxing smoke that is full bodied and creamy with sweet spices. The fully rubbed tobacco packs well, lights well, stays lit and again does not bite.

Some complain about the "Casing" being to bland or light for them to enjoy this tobacco...well "Duh!" it's not an aeromatic! The label mentions no hint of a casing what so ever! With that said I higly recommend this tobacco for new and seasoned smokers looking for a Natural, UNCASED tobacco of pure refinement...this will not disappoint.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

stream25 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
stream25 (7)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Don't get me wrong, this is a quality tobacco. I just find it one-dimensional. Good, but not great. I don't like shy aromatics where the scent does not translate completely into flavor. I want for the sweetness and/or spiciness to shine through along with the tobacco. I don't get that with Blackwoods. For me, the casing is just too subtle.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sir Walter Smiley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sir Walter Smiley (24)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Some great virginia are hard to master. Not so with this baby. It is the best and unlike most blend descriptions, the tin description is spot on; no exaggerations. It comes as a broken flake on the moist side. I rub it out and dry for only 15 min., perfection.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

badenglishihave Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
badenglishihave (1)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

My first ever tin. After my initiation into the wonderful world of pipe tobacco with this nearly 3 years ago, I have found myself coming back time and again to enjoy this spicy blend.

Although a bit wet at first, a few weeks of drying in the tin leaves you with a unique flavor that you will not find in many Virginia flakes. Dark and rich, yet not overpowering, this remains my favorite Virginia blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Requiem Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Requiem (36)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A tasty, complex, somewhat smooth and contemplative virginia. One of those which will taste as good during summer as on a cold December night. However, I found it's burning caractheristics to be not ideal, demanding several relights and always being difficult to reduce it to fine ash.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Archangel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Archangel (22)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is a very good broken flake of medium, dark brown colour. The moisture content was excellent.

For the most part, the tin aroma displayed cloves combined with the typical vinagry aroma that McClelland's VAs have. Nevertheless, smoking this flake was a real pleasure, revealing a bold sweet and grassy taste.

A bit on the mild side for me, I will nevertheless rebuy occasionnally when I look for a change of pace.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

MaSuAnime Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MaSuAnime (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Now I may have just started smoking pipe, but there is one thing I know, this is a very high quality smoke. Its like a good stiff double of scotch for your lungs. Its spicy, and quite heady, but man is it enjoyable. This one gets a 8 out of 10 in my books.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Mac Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Mac (8)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I usually like Blackwoods Flake, but my last tin was so green as to be unsmokable: dull, sour, and badly in need of at least 6 more months on the shelf. When I shell out the money for a premium tin of "double aged" tobacco, I don't expect to have to treat it like I just picked it myself.

UPDATE: I suppose I should temper the irritation of this review by stating the real reason I'm so annoyed: Blackwoods flake is so good that I don't want to wait. McClelland blends already take a lot of work to get them ready to smoke: I have to wait a month or two for a freshly opened tin to breathe, they don't rub out easily, they smoke hot if they're too dry or if I rub them out too much, etc. On a good day, BWF and Dark Star especially are well worth the effort--there are no finer stoved virginia blends on the market. But if I get a green tin, or a really wet tin, it tips the scales too far in the direction of "pain in the neck."

I'm upgrading this to four stars because it's a superb blend and I've been in love with it for years. However, preparing it and smoking it is less like a romance and more like a marriage--a battle in the midst of a war.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

wandererfromtx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wandererfromtx (2)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my first review on tobaccoreviews.com and I just stared smoking a pipe about a one year ago.

I tried Blackwoods Flake after perusing though the 4 star tobaccos. I really enjoy Blackwoods Flake, It smells excellent when burning both full and flavorful. I haven't found the ketchup / BBQ smell, but again I just started with the pipe, It just smell a grassy sweetness.

I would recommend Blackwoods Flake to anyone just starting with pipe smoking.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dubinthedam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dubinthedam (133)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A nice blend, still a little too much vinegar for me, but way better than Dark Star, and way more user friendly too.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gildervoigts Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gildervoigts (16)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I like this stuff. I cut it up in to little cubes about 1/4 of an inch and let it sit out for about 1 hour. I put enough in a bag for a couple days of smoking. When I go to smoke this, I put my pipe in the bag and fill it up and just tap the side of the pipe to settle the tobacco in. I do the false light, and then the true light and it stays lit and smokes well. When it goes out, I relight and smoke it until it goes out again. I keep doing this until the pipe just won't stay lit. I then lightly tamp it and repeat the process until the end of the pipe. Using this method I find that it smokes cool, and provides a great flavor that is sweet, spicy, and very tasty all the way around. This is a favorite in my rotation, and I smoke about 3 pipes of it a day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (121)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Ketchup smell is pungent for this one. Nevertheless, quality flake, very pleasant to smoke. Gets better with time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

yugolover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
yugolover (4)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a great smoke! I smoke it all day at work and have yet to receive a complaint. This reminds me I need to go buy more.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

camachoman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
camachoman (6)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I really enjoy the richness of stoved tobaccos and this one is no exception. There is a spicy tang to Blackwwoods Flake that is wonderful! Mixed with the rich stoved tobacco, this blend is terrific!

Sure, straight from the tin it's a bit wet, therefore can be difficult to keep lit, but nothing that rubbing out and some drying time before loading won't fix.

Plenty of Blackwoods Flake in my cellar, a definate staple in my rotation!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NursDad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NursDad (9)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

One of the better Virginias I have experienced. Rich and creamy smoke. Just enough spice to compliment its sweetness. I enjoyed this best rubbed and allowed to dry a bit before smoking.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gnarlly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gnarlly (6)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild Full Tolerable

This blend has some kick to it! Upon first opening the 50 gram tin and taking a whiff, there is a very strong ketchup/vinegar aroma to this tobacco. A darker mix of black/dark red tabac. You can tell that this is not your typical VA blend at just one glance and smell.

Moisture content was high with my fresh can, so it may be best to let it dry for a bit after rubbing out, before packing, or you will most likely get a fair amount of moisture in your pipe. Otherwise, it smokes well down to the bottom of the pipe.

I would describe the taste as very peppery/spicey for the first half of the bowl, and more mellow in the second half without getting dull or bland. Definitely not a simple VA tabac; complex flavors here, and the strong initial taste takes a little getting used to. I really liked the pepper/spicey taste after a few puffs. Good stuff!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Smokey45 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smokey45 (16)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

After trying a few bowls of this, and having some mixed feelings about it at first, I have come to like it. It definitey smokes better if the initial pinch or two are packed loosely, and then the following couple pinches packed tightly. I have also experimented with rubbing it out a bit first before loading, but my expereince has been more positve in just loading it as is. This tended to offer a greater variety of flavors, which were a combination of citrus, ripe plum, and just a bit of sweet smokyness.

The scent right out of the tin is a cross between ketchup and beef jerky. This is a wonderful after dinner tobacco!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mike Toney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike Toney (44)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A very smooth tobacco that smokes long, cool & dry. No need to get into the aroma and configuration aspects since they have already been well documented. If you're into straight/stoved, VA tobaccos with a good tobacco flavor, this will probably be to your liking as well. The tin aroma is unnoticeable during smoking & flavor lasts to the very end and seems to gain a feint sweetness during the last third. I will stay with the majority on this one and rate it four **s!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Slow Draw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Slow Draw (26)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

The tin aroma is of the typical McClelland "bbq sauce" signature. It's rather intense and lovely with this blend. The broken flakes are nearly the proper dryness for smoking, but 30-60 minutes of air time can make a big difference in smokability. Light up can be slightly more challenging due to the well pressed flake, but if you don't pack the bowl tightly, it burns quite well with minimal effort or tamping once lit.

The first half of the bowl is slightly sweet, sour, and spicy. The flavors are more fruity and elusive in the beginning, but the second half of the bowl is when the fun really starts. The tobacco becomes very rich and full ...less sour. The spicyness is softened a bit (never lost), and the sweet burnt caramel flavor and taste of mellow wood smoke become the story. I also get a wonderful and prominent hay like flavor. This blend is exceptionally smooth and interesting in the realm of straight virginias. Nicotine is there, but not the objective.

This is also a blend that smells amazing if you take a careful whiff straight from the bowl. A detail that puts this tobacco in the **star category for me! Smoke it slow.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tobaccy Common Sewer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tobaccy Common Sewer (2)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Very Pleasant

The highest art of the tobacco blender is pure Virginias. No one does this better than McClelland. My cellar is full of their tins. The pure Virginias of other blenders give Virginias a bad name by biting the tongue. I opened my first tin of Blackwoods extra some twenty years ago and my records show that I rated it then as a zero bite. I kept it in a glass canning jar for about twenty years and just started smoking it again. It is as smooth as butter on the tongue yet as flavorful as mustard to the nose. It is everything an artificially flavored tobacco WANTS be but can never be because Blackwoods extra is, of course, all natural and the Virginia blend yields its own natural flavors. I would not break in a new pipe with a pure Virginia blend, but in a well-smoked pipe, there is nothing better. Nothing. btw, I am a "sipper"--I devote all my concentration to the pipe and enjoy every bowl for at least two hours or more until nothing is left but ash and I rarely need to relight.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

solobaricsrock Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
solobaricsrock (3)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is my first review of McClelland tobaccos, so pardon my immaturity to the brand. I tried this on a whim while ordering some of my usual stocks for the cellar. I figured I would try it while waiting for my others to mature a bit. I had read almost every review written here on this blend. I had a fair idea what to expect on that note. Upon opening the tin/can I smelled not the usual "vinegar Hines" smell but matured fruits. The smell was strong of prunes and figs.....pleasing none the less. I used this tin over the course of a month, and as it matured a bit in the opened tin the smell turned to a darker almost licorice smell. My kids always asked to smell the tin as I was packing the pipe bowl. Now the tobacco is a bit too moist from the can and upon rubbing it out some, I will normally allow it to sit for 10-20 min to allow some drying. Mind you I prefer my tobacco a little moist but not that moist! After drying and loading (I use the child/mother/father 3 step method) with a dusting of spare bits to assist in lighting, the bowls lit very nicely after a couple of charring pre-lights. Its a very sweet taste from the start which I really liked! I found out quickly that it can burn if you try to smoke this like a freight train. I had to allow my bowl to cool a few times which resulted in some relights. Not the tobacco's fault though. As I got to the half way point in the bowl I noticed that the sweetness subsided to a more peppery overtone. Not a Perique flavor, but almost like chipotle peppers. Smokey, sweet, and spicey all rolled into one. Overall this is a tobacco that requires some attention, but if the care is taken to prep it properly, and time taken when smoking, it will reward you in spades! I am adding this to my regular rotation, and more is being ordered to cellar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

juanocp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
juanocp (11)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Opened the tin 4 months ago and that McClelland smell is almost gone, i can put mi nose inside the jar and have a deep breath from the stuff it's just amazing, the ambient humidity ranges from 65 to 75 were i live. I rubbed it out when the tin was opened so that it would lose most of the moisture that it comes with which is a lot, i can tell you it's just right on the money at the moment. When loading mi pipe which is a Savinelli Hercules (BIG) that i have reserved ONLY for virginias i tend to load lose and adjust on the fly, but most of the time there's no tampering required. The taste, only on a pipe* one could find these gammas of flavors, sweet, coffee notes, some chocolate at times, i have to sit back, relax and start to analyze how the tobacco develops on mi pipe. I still have like 4-5 bowls left on mi jar and next i'll open another highly rated tobacco Dark Star. Blackwoods Flake is a must have for all pipe smokers out there.

*I'm a cigar smoker also, I've smoked Cubans, Honduras and Nicaraguan cigars. It's a totally different world but i can only get a pleasure like these with Cubans (aged and not all brands) but and it's a BIG "but" those things are expensive. On a Hoyo de monterrey Epicure No. 1 has similar flavors but only after 7 years in the humidor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Northern Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Northern (6)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant

Well it's good - of course. My great reason for liking it revolves around its mild-mannered creaminess, which is what I look for in Virginias. Having tried many in the search for this I have found it here, and it comes in perfect combination - not too hot and not too mild. Not too ashy and not too strong, though it certainly has a solid, quality strength, by which I mean that it is not all fire and nicotine oil. I smoke this as a delightful change from the Latakia blends ? it is a great contrast to them, being very full, but soft and tasty ? and always with that unmistakable VA creaminess; some call this taste sweetness, but I think that misleading ? it is not ?sweet? but full and creamy in the mouth and nose. Very good stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Quick_nick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Quick_nick (27)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Blackwoods flake is one of the better straight virginias that I have had. It is full and robust but it is sweet and not as harsh as some other virginias. The presentation in the tin is very nice and the dark stoved tobacco creates a very visually pleasing tobacco. I belive the tin description fits this blend very well and those stoved virginias sure do make a big difference in the smoke. My only complaints with this blend would be consistent with most other McCl virginias; it's wet and has a vinegar smell which does seem to transfer over to the smoke a bit. Overall it is a very satisfying virginia and one that I will keep around.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

smokinitnatural Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smokinitnatural (7)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

What can I say. I usually only smoke pure VA and its usually Blackwoods Flake. McClelland just understands mature VA. This tobacco rubs out very easily and smoking it is nothing short of pure bliss. This is my all time favorite smoke for many reasons. Great flavor, excellent room note, doesnt smoke wet or hot (I smoke slowly) and DGT is even better. If you can stand to cellar some for a couple years, well lets just say there is nothing better.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Henry Mars Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Henry Mars (20)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I gotta confess a weakness for this concoction. If you are into stoved Virginia this is close to heaven. I wish this was offered as a slice instead of a broken flake. At any rate this tobacco must be packed carefully not too firm. It also benefits greatly by the DGT. It starts out a little spicy with just a hint of sweetness. After a good char I set it down over night ... pour a large cup of black coffee than relight in the morning ... the spiciness receeds to the background a bit and a dark sweet flavor develops. It seems to me that there is no flavoring added but it does remind me a little of anise. The flavor intensifies as the 'baccy burns down to a gray ash leaving the pipe dry ... no goop or other garbage remains.

I keep several tins of this stuff around because it gets better with age. I am not a virginia junkie but I love this stuff. This is not my go to blend, but one that I enjoy a great deal when I am in the mood for this kind of smoke.

5 stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (198)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Very Full Tolerable

This Virginia is a Masterpiece, the finest and the most incredible Virginia of McClelland and certainly one of the best Virginia Flake out there, deep, dark, tasty, full, complex and mysterious, powerful and elegant.

Absolutely wonderful stuff! I have many tins of this in the cellar and keep buying more and more, also this age very well.

Bad blend Good blend = Excellent blend * Exceptional blend

Nobody has rated this review yet.

j4nier38 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
j4nier38 (9)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Full Pleasant

Simply put, this stuff is excellent. One of the best I have smoked so far in my still fairly short time smoking a pipe.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

frankb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
frankb (2)
★★★★
Medium Medium to Strong Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Great tobacco, flavorful and sublime. Crumbles and packs easily, lights evenly, makes my mouth water writing about it....truly one of the best. What a tobacco!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Packer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Packer (56)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

At this time McClelland Blackwood flake is my favorite from this company.It comes in a moist, broken flake. The fermenting aroma used to be a small distraction, but while sampeling the many wonderful Virginia blends, I have found that I love the blends that have this aroma. I find that they have a natural, sweet flavor that I just love. After drying out a bit, I rub BF out fully. For me it loads, lights, and burns better this way. The natural, sweet flavor is consistant through the entire bowl. This blend ranks with the best, RATE

Nobody has rated this review yet.

maboman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
maboman (11)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I started out with 3 tins of this, a 2005 50g and 100g and a 2007 100g.

I have smoked the 05 50g and just recently cracked open the 100g o5 tin.

This stuff is wonderfull! natural virginia sweetness with nothing in the way, I smoke it in a large Bjarne freehand and it burns slowly and cool with no bite ( I puff slowly).

This does need to be dried a bit but boy is it worth it!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Excellent, like most McClelland Virginias. This one has the richness of the Christmas Cheer line, with the added depth provided by the stoved Virginias. Also, the famous ketchup smell/taste is a bit less strong than in similar offering from the company, and it doesn't bother me at all.

Thumbs up.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fly ticky Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fly ticky (26)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Full Tolerable to Strong

Well gentelmen this is my first review. Upon recieving my tin of BWF I opened it to check the flavor. I was not suprised by the ketchup smell after reading many other reviews and was looking for it. There it was just as I thought it would be.I rubbed some out and let it dry for about one hr.or so. What a great smoke.Truely a great smoke.Smooth and mellow with a great flavor.It does have a slight bite but not much.It may need alitle more dry time.I give it seven out of ten.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipers Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipers (19)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Some tobaccos' need lengthy reviews. Not this one, it is simply an excellent tobacco for virginia fans in all respects. i used a flake pipe-rubbed out after airing for 2-3 hrs. Go and get some. Now!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bent-1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bent-1 (32)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Rubbing out this blend yields a creamy, sweet, oats flavor with a warm citrus note. Burns clean down to the bowls bottom. Like a Rattray's VA, open the tin & let it sit for a week (plastic lid in place), this lessen's the vinegar waft. A favorite blend, always reveals a new side while delivering a satisfying smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bighitter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bighitter (37)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I've just finished a tin of this and really enjoyed it. I'm also a great fan of 2035 and 2015 (and 2010, not to as great a degree), so perhaps this influences my judgment, but I think this is a really great tobacco. If you are familiar with them, I could even describe it as somewhat of a blend of the darker 2035 with the lighter McClelland Virginias such as 2015, although it seems to be aged a bit longer than the bulks. I just think it's fantastic, folded and stuffed right out of the tin, rubbed and dried, even aged a while. Immediately rich and deeply flavorful, with a natural tobacco sweetness that lasts throughout the entire bowl. I think I'll try the Extra Flake and see how that is as well. Thanks again, McClelland. P.S. where are the caps or t-shirts, you guys have such a cool label on these tins.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Brutos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brutos (11)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I have a tin dated March of '05 which I first opened in Summer of '06. I noticed the ketchup aroma which did not come through with the very first bowls I smoked. I was moderately impressed so I let it sit until March of '07. In the process, the tobacco dried somewhat and has been transformed into a very flavorfull, satisfying smoke. I have found that a moderate sized bowl, both depth and width do the most justice. This has become a favorite in my rotation of Va's.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

lisztman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lisztman (15)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Sounds like I'm the dissenting vote here. It's the ketchup. One of the previous reviewers makes an apology for the fermentation. What, the tomatoes?

This is my first venture into McClelland country. It may well be my last. Opening the tin I was hit with the ketchup. Not just ketchup, but unpleasant ketchup. The flakes are too thick to use without rubbing them out a tad. And during all this handling? Ketchup. I lit the bowl and the ketchup went away, and it was a moderately satisfying smoke. For that brief period of time it might have garnered three stars. And then it went out. While fumbling for my matches -- there it was again. Ketchup. I've given it a few more tries over the last couple of months. Same result.

In short -- for $1.29 I can buy a bottle of Heinz and let it sit in the sun in my backyard in July for a month for that foul odor. Heckuva lot less expensive that way. But if the odor is a natural byproduct of the tobacco product, why are the Reiner 71, the Orlik Red, the F&T Vintage so satisfying? It may be a satisfying smoke, but, frankly, it ain't worth the trouble trying to get there.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flyrod6057 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flyrod6057 (18)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

What a great tobacco! I put this through a Nording freehand out of a freshly opened tin and...wow! Great smoke.

I opened the tin and was greeted with a sweet aroma, not too far off from 2015 (which I love.) Yes, there's the ketchupy smell, but that really doesn't come across during the smoking. The cut is a loose chunky flake, not too thick; not too thin. I packed the bowl initially with a couple flakes using the "fold and stuff" method, the topped of with a bit that I fully rubbed out. It lit easily and burned steadily.

The flavor is sweet and all tobacco. The initial third of the bowl was pleasantly spicy, and settled down into a smooth, flavorful smoke-not overpowering; not too mild. It burned slowly, finishing with a nice white ash and little/no dottle. Nice. Very nice. The nicotine content was fairly mild, certainly not overpowering.

As I said, a great blend. I'm very impressed with the flavor and room note. A great tobacco all around I'll keep this one around for a long time.

-F

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fatty Bolger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fatty Bolger (8)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is my second sampling of McClellands straight VA's, after having been extremely impressed with the Christmas Cheer 2006. Thanks to the stoved tobaccos, Blackwoods Flake is a much bolder tobacco than CC'06, and much sweeter. Again unlike CC'06 which I find takes some work and concentration to sense all that there is to offer, I find it completely enjoyable if I am working around the yard or in my shop, the experience is just not as complex or three-dimensional as if I take my time to really enjoy it. I also find the spicy dark tobaccos mask the citrusy nature of the red VA's, making this tobacco (at least to my palette) more like a fruitcake in nature rather than a sip of straight lemonade. As with all my flake tobaccos, I rub them out pretty thoroughly. McC's are moist especially when the tin is fresh, I let mine rest spread out on a sheet of paper for half to a full hour and in my predominantly medium sized pipes it packs and lites very well. As someone already mentioned, McClelland seems to have a real handle on Virginia leaf, and I can't wait for my next sampling. Maybe Darkstar is next on my list.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Black Seamus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Black Seamus (56)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm singing with the choir on this one. My tin is a year old and wonderful stuff. An excellent candidate for breath-smoking in a bent pipe.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Buster Bluth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Buster Bluth (51)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

So many folks opine about the trademark McClelland 'kethup' aroma. Those that do their homework will realize that our beloved Va's are in a state of fermentation due to their high sugar content. Biology aside, McClelland provides a myriad of Va's, a vault-like tin, and a date-stamp. On your own, you'll find the right age and moisture to get yourself in the 'zone'.

IMHO, Blackwoods flake is the perfect instant gratification shortcut to the Va universe. Flavor, aroma, and room note are good 'as-is'. I frequently ask, was 'Dark Star' necessary? Certainly not in my rotation!!!

Brebbia 624 Bulldog or Falcon. Like to air a little and break up a little. Sunday mornings... after 2nd cup of coffee...Whose on 'Face the Nation' tobacco. Why get dressed and rake leaves???

Nobody has rated this review yet.

imago Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
imago (63)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

McClelland seems to have quite a talent for working with red and black Virginias, and "Blackwoods Flake" is no exception. The tangy vinegar aroma usually associated with McClelland mixtures was noticeably absent in the tin I received. Packing the pipe (not to mention getting it to stay lit at first) was a bit daunting, but my perseverance was rewarded with one of the best smoking experiences I've had in some time. Unlike some other McClellands I've smoked (including one or two of my favourites), this blend did change a bit throughout the smoke, becoming a bit smoother and more complex as I approached the midpoint. Toward the bottom of the bowl, the flavour had become almost "chewy" whilst the aroma reminded me of standing near a campfire on a chilly autumn evening.

I detected no casing or topping...just sweet, rich Virginia. This is probably the best tobacco I've had the pleasure of putting into a pipe and smoking.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Count Daner Von Gallawitz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Count Daner Von Gallawitz (1)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Ah yes, Blackwoods Flake is the tobacco that made me a VA lover. I used to smoke VA?s for a change of pace from English blends, now I smoke English blends for a change of pace from VA blends.

Yes it smells like ketchup/vinegar, and yes it is very moist fresh out of the tin, so air dry before smoking. I am not going to tell you how amazing it taste since other reviewers have sufficiently done so, but I will say that once properly humidified(dry) it performs very well. Rub out the flakes or don?t, smoke it in a small bowl or smoke it in a large bowl, no matter what it smokes great. I prefer to smoke BF in a very large bowl and puff on it throughout the day, sometimes finishing the bowl the next day. And of course don?t puff on it like it was a cheep drugstore aromatic or it will burn your tongue off! Learn to patiently smoke VA?s and you will be pleasantly rewarded.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Guyrox Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Guyrox (131)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Why do McClelland VA flakes all smell of ketchup??? But, fortunately, they never taste like so...actually, this one has also a background tiny smell which reminds me of nutmeg or clove- I can't really figure out which one- which is a novelty for their flakes. It don't thinks it's an added flavoring, it's not dominant.

Blacwoods Flake is a nice dark brown flake that needs to be broken down some more in order to get properly smoked. It also needs to dry out a bit before it gets ideal for your pipe. Smokes dry all the way, leaves a nice clean bowl if packed properly.

Maybe a bit too mild for my own taste, though. But, as I am so marvelously objective and always seek the greater well-being of my Bros pipe smokers, this is a good VA flake and I definitively recommend it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Briarfire007 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briarfire007 (10)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

This is my first experience with a McClelland blend. I purchased a 50g tin of Blackwoods Flake. The tin is a little over 1 year old. BF is a dark coarse flake. The aroma definitely has the famous McClelland ketchup aroma.

Packing and Lighting: This is a rough broken flake. Moderately rubbing out the flakes is very helpful for lighting up. It takes me a little longer than usual to light BF, but once it gets going, it usually requires few re-lights.

I enjoy BF very much. It smells great when burning. The smoke is full and flavorful. This is spicy stuff. It almost seems a little salty at times. This is an all natural tobacco. The nicotine level is really only a medium strength, but the overall strength of the smoke is high. This is good stuff, but it is definitely not an all day smoke. I get a lot of smoke out of a bowl of BF. It will bite if you get carried away (it?s VA), but when gently puffed, I have no trouble. This flavorful flake burns down to a nice white ash. Recommended. 3 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Good Virginia tobacco.I will update after I finish this tin. So much tobacco, so little time! I need to quit my job and become a full-time pipe smoker!10/04/2004

Update: 12/08/2005 I just smoked some last night and have upgraded my rating to four stars. Really it is about three and one-half stars compared to many other Virginia flakes I enjoy including some by McClelland.

Update: 6/01/2006 Very nice Virginia Flake. Ages very well.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

raadman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
raadman (31)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Just got my 100 gm tins of BF and Xmas Cheer '05 in the mail...oh joy! Lets try the BF first. Tin aroma, nice earthy fig...typical quality Va. Moisture ok and broken flake rubs out well...so far so good. Lights ok, big cloud of blue smoke...uh, oh hot blast of steam, should have let this stuff air out for a while. Mi-bowl starts to settle down but just one dimesional Va. flavor so far with more hot smoke...very little bite. Bottom third really mellows out and the reds take over for a nice sweet cooler smoke...what little bite is gone. Conclusion: probably a four star tobacco once it sits in the can (wich is pretty cool lookin') for a while. Ok, now on to my tin of '05 Christmas Cheer...life is good. PS did NOT smell or taste vinegar at any time...has McC finally got it right or was I just lucky?

Peterson Baskerville

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TikiPirate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TikiPirate (7)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Very nice, sweet taste. Smoke slow and enjoy, subtle flavors develop; one word of caution; it can bite if you get over zealous, but I still highly recommend it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.629 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.629 (133)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

February 2006.

After Pipestuds review,I ordered a tin of Blackwoods Flake.

Pipestud nailed it.It's absolutely delicious,with a vast range of flavours.

Very highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Midnightbog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Midnightbog (1)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable

As a fan of Blackwoods Flake, this tobacco peaked my interest. I had purchased this in bulk from my local B&M and after realizing that I had gone through the two ounces in short order,I had to get more. At first glance, this flake is deep brown,almost black.I did not detect the infamous McCellend Ketchup smell. The Flakes are meatier which require some rubbing out and moisture content lends itself to be dried out a little. I first tried this blend in a cob which burned well with only two re-lights. Initally, the Flavor is somewhat tangy but mellowes quickly. Flavor stays throught the bowl. I had a bowl that I let die out and came back to it some hours later only to find deeper flavor. I highly recomend this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

GeoLogger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GeoLogger (16)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Unnoticeable

A lot of my reviews will be 4-star until I run out of 4-star tobaccos to review. I can't really imagine wasting a lot of time writing reviews of bad tobacco. This one is 4-star. I have some several yrs old, and after I tasted this in '03 I immediately got lots more. I suspect a lot of you will do the same thing. This stuff is so sweet. You can pour milk on it and have it for breakfast. I like the toasty crisp taste with a sharp built-in brassy contrast. I know some reviewers talk about colour and cut and all that, but we aren't that shallow. (are we?) I would like this tobacco just as much as I do now even if it weren't so darned pretty. It is Virginia. Good. If you mistreat it then you will regret it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ranger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ranger (58)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Let me say this is an excellent straight Virginia. Personally, I like the smell of this tobacco. The cut is a rough, dark flake and there was no need for drying because the moisture level was right on. The smoke is thick and rich, the taste slightly sweet and almost full bodied, and the burn was perfect down to the ash. As Virginias go, this is one of the tops. Add to that a price that can't be beat, and you have one of my favorites next to Marlin Flake. (After smoking Tawny Flake previous to this tin, I wonder why anyone would want to settle for the more expensive, lesser of the two tobaccos.)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Collezionista Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Collezionista (59)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Despite the obnoxious ketchupy tin odor, this is one of the few McClelland blends I come back to, and a pretty good VA flake. The dark, thick, broken flakes have and interesting, almost cork-like texture and crumble nicely for packing. BWF is a bit of a pain to light but once you get it going it burns quite nicely to the bottom. The first the third of the bowl tends to be spicey and bitey but this too goes away as the smoke progresses. I enjoy the rich, smooth flavor of this tobacco. Compared to my standbys, Marlin Flake and Gawith Full Va Flake, Blackwoods Flake is more stoved, with less sweetness and earthiness. Nevertheless, it is a very tasty and smokable flake, probably one of the better ones the market.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RochesterPipeWorks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RochesterPipeWorks (3)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Medium Tolerable

My first can of US Baccy , Interesting aroma?/stink? - Nah only kidding just the sight of this stuff tells you someone has taken time to deliberate over its constuction.Like a well aged malt or sour mash the flavour has a depth of natural sweetness that Ive not encountered before, tis a shame the smell is a bit sour ?!! -wotever.Bit of bite too,but then I'm often careless ... I cant think of anything comparable, a good one,but just as well cos a bad 100g can could be a tough economic decision. Thankyou to all the reviewers before me in helping me make the choice.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Nothing bad to say about this tobacco, but I'm getting tired of that ketchup smell; I know traditions are out there to be respected, but doing something different at times could be good. Said that, this is a great Virginia, very complex and suitable for an all-day smoke if you like the kind.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Halfpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Halfpipe (3)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I truly enjoy this blend. A little on the sweet side, but my favorite of the McClelland Virginias. The tin aroma was a little worrying, but all it needed was a little drying out. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

suvit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
suvit (3)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

my wife opened the tin. she smiled. i filled in and start smoking. very good taste. sweet. i puffed quite often, so experienced tonque bites sometimes. one light at start and put down the lighter for good. the aroma is good for me. but excellent for my wife. she will pay the bills if i order more tins (i plan to go for 2 lbs.!) try inhale the smoke like i did sometimes. outstanding. go out and buy a few tins. good enough for more bowls daily. puffing now.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm a pure Burley smoker that enjoys Latakia blends as a change of pace. Straight Va's have never been my thing. However, due to my next door neighbor who is a VA only smoker, I have been introduced to McClelland Va's. I love to smoke 5100 Red Cake, #25, and Blackwoods Flake. They are the only VA's I like.

Blackwoods Flake is smooth, creamy, toasty and nutty. It never bites and the flavors are complex and deepen as the smoke progresses. I can smoke bowl after bowl of this and never tire of it. I always want just "one more" bowl. McClelland does VA right!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Todd Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Todd (9)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I'll hold off on a full review until I get some age on the tins in my cellar, but my first impressions of this are definitely good. Easily this is the best-smoking McClelland VA out of the half dozen or so I've tried. While it has the aroma and flavor characteristic of McC, it has none of the harshness and heat I experience with the others. Flavor-wise, Blackwoods is a strong, red VA base with a large portion of stoved leaf for flavor and sweetness. The best comparison I can make is to Rattray's Marlin Flake, though the two are still easily distinguished from one another. I look forward to trying this again in another year or so. For now, definitely good though not in the same tier as the various Rattray's in my opinion. 3/4

Nobody has rated this review yet.

emmbee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
emmbee (174)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I don?t share the same enthusiasm as the rave reviews posted here; nevertheless, here?s my take on it. For what this is - a flake of the finest red and dark stoved Virginias - it?s smooth when compared to most Virginia flakes, and it does not sear the tongue even if you puff rapidly. It?s typical McClelland ketchup in a can, probably the most pronounced due to its aging and natural sugars. The taste is flat until you get about 1/3 of the way down the bowl. Then it has an almost intoxicating effect and you want to go on smoking this for hours. The room note dissipates soon after the tobacco is out. The bowl stays nice and cool with absolutely no wet dottle. A great outdoor blend; I smoked it while grilling at the barbeque. This is a subtly sweet and piquant flake for the Virginia purist. Along with Dunhill Light Flake, this is probably the most pleasant cake Virginia I?ve ever tried. Blackwoods is for Virginia lovers!

Three and a half of five stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

MikeA Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MikeA (9)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant

As with most of their tinned Va blends 6 months aging while the can is open (but cover on) improves the depth of taste and minimizes bite. There's the classic Mc ketchup smell that I don't mind at all. One of my top 5 Va blends. A little to strong for an all day smoke but nice in the evening while relaxing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lbarraa Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lbarraa (27)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

This is a great blend, the virginias creates a sweet and nice smoke. Blackwoods is very balanced, easy burning, not tonge bites and the rigth portion of nicotine. Sometimes heats the pipe, you may take care of this, like you will probably do with any flake. I don`t care about the vinegar or "Heinz" aroma. Any way this is tobacco, not a "eau de perfum".

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Dottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Dottle (162)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I will agree with those that say Blackwoods Flake is similar to Dark Star. It could be Dark Star?s little brother or at the least, its first cousin. I find the flavors more muted than Dark Star so I call it ?Dark Star Lite.? It is sweet and subtlety tangy. But unlike DS, Blackwoods Flake has much better burning qualities. However, if you try to smoke it in flake form, you may not find this is not true. I would, therefore, suggest it be rubbed out and let air dry for an hour or so. I experienced no bite. Perhaps a bit of aging helps to mitigate the nip.

I rate this tobacco 8.9 out of 10

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Esoxhunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Esoxhunter (60)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

September 2004

I found this to be a pleasant Virginia flake, a little muted and not as aggressive as some of the other flakes I've tried. I need to spend a little bit more time with this blend, after which time I will update.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Happy Puffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Happy Puffer (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Since this blend has had so many positive reviews, I shall be brief and not go into the characteristics of tin aroma and appearance.

I have been smoking Virginia blends and flakes for several years now, and have found McClelland to have the corner on the Virginia market. With only a few exceptions such as Dan Tobacco's "Independence", or Rattray's "Hal 'O the Wynd", McClelland is the only company I look to specifically for their Virginia's. That said, Blackwoods Flake ranks among the top 5, or maybe 3, of McClelland's tinned Virginias. This has it all; the warm low notes with that patented Virginia nuttiness, the crisp highs of fermented leaf, and the well rounded smoothness that stoving provides. This is not a flake for the Aromatophile, especially the ones that think Captain Black is good tobacco. This is a refined taste to be sure, and one that can be immensely enjoyed during a quiet evening with a good scotch or brandy. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jaybee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jaybee (76)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a nice offering from which seems to incorporate the typical McClelland red and stoved virginia tastes. To me, the flavor is a bit more muted than say, Dark Star or 2015 but still an enjoyable smoke of predictable quality.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I don't normally head in this direction when choosing a blend, but a friend recently sent me about 25 grams of this and it was from a 1998 tin. The age may have something to do with the fact that I kind of liked this stuff... Okay, I loved it!

It was not difficult to load and stayed lit well. My sample was quite dry and burned that way. And wow, the smattering of about ten different flavor sensations all at once was delightful. Smooth, refined, spicy, tangy, sweet, sour, mellow and strong rather than weak pretty much sums up the way Blackwoods Flake presented itself to me.

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Butch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Butch (7)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

A leathery flake, a saucy aroma, a peppery taste.

This stuff is great. Someone above remarked upon the can aroma's likeness to barbeque sauce. When lit, this does come out ocasionally in the room note. Several months into this can the barbeque aroma is still very strong, but that's just fine with me.

A large bowl of Blackwoods with a good read and a shot of bourbon is my idea of an evening well spent.

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Willy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Willy (75)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Just tuppence here folks to add to the spot-on reviews already posted by my esteemed colleagues. This is, IMO, one of the better all VA flakes you can buy...anywhere! Wonderfully rich, tasty, & satisfying, the red & black VA's bring their naturally sweet & lightly spicy characteristics together to form a tobac that any lover of VA's would do well to try at least once. Burns clean to a fluffy grey ash. One of McC's best offerings. Works for me.

If you try Blackwoods & like it, give St. James Woods a shot as that's Blackwoods with a goodly portion of Perique added. Another good one from McC.

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chaplikc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chaplikc (135)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of my favorite flake tobaccos from mcclelland. The only one I like as much is the organic flake after it has been aged quite a while. The taste is quite differant than the organic flake in that this is darker, fuller and a little bit sweeter. I guess the reason why I like the organic flake as much or close to as much is because it smokes very clean and leaves a clean taste in the mouth that I have rarely experienced in any blend. As far as depth and flavor are concerned I definately prefer this to the og flake. This is rich, dark, naturally sweet and lightly spicey. Along with the other descriptions above this blend hints overtones of cinnamon and other Christmas like overtones. This is very good and one of the finest examples of a darker virginia flake that i've come across. I prefer to smoke this in a larger pipe with the flake rubbed mostly out. This is very good and a must try for virginia lovers.

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Brother Buford Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brother Buford (8)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I don't know what I can add that hasn't already been said, but chalk another one up to the "loves this stuff" column. The typical McClelland ketchupy smell is there in full force when you open the tin, but it isn't detectable when smoking the tobacco. The smell of the burning tobacco has been described as BBQ-like. The taste changes as it is smoked, from a light sweetness to a much less sweet smokyness as it burns down in the bowl. It's a pretty good smoke, but you do have to watch out for the tongue bite if you try to smoke it too quickly. If you take your time, it's quite tasty. All in all, I find this stuff hard to resist, and it's a good change of pace from my usual latakia blends.

Update: I think I've pinned down what the taste of this reminds me of. Sauer's Barbecue Sauce on pork. Slightly sweet, slightly tangy, and with enough smoked meaty substance to back it up. The tin aroma subsides from ketchupy to a slightly vinegary scent as well after a little drying... which also reminds me of Sauer's BBQ sauce, now that I think about it. No wonder I like it so much!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stormrider Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stormrider (14)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

At first I was completely put off by the strong ketchup smell upon opening the tin, but I left it open for a week to let it dry out and the odor faded and became more of a hint. It was a little hard to light, perhaps because I could have rubbed it out a little more. Once lit, the ketchup transforms into a dark, naturally sweet, smoky flavor, reminiscent of my favorite hickory smoked barbecue pit. Room aroma was even better-- I wanted to bite the air, or at least call said barbecue joint and have them deliver a rack of ribs. Solid nicotine bite, though not as strong as some, and very little tongue bite even though I was chugging on it like a freight train. Nice also when blended with a little burley, but a gutsy Virginia flavor all on its own. Glad I tried it!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Joe Patterson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joe Patterson (48)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I have only recently discovered the "Reserve" tobaks of McC and this is one of their best. Upon opening this can, you'll note the standard smell and pungency associated with McC, though there are undertones that let you in on the secret that this will be one of the finest VA's to which you'll lay fire. Spicy and full, but without heat (provided the ample amount of aging/drying has taken place) are the major attractions to this doubly aged blend, for me. This is simply a high quality flake, that burns slower than most VA's, though will require that you take care to rub it out a good bit and pace yourself through the bowl, lest it's spiciness turn into a fire breathing dragon shooting flames through the tenon!

Also, after reading about St.JW and the two Bombays, I feel obliged to give them a whirl as well. Reviews to come.

Enjoy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Alberich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alberich (2)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Typical to the McClelland line, this comes with a certain ketchup-y smell. Let air a bit, though, and the smell fades, leaving delicious smelling broken flakes.

I like to fold the flakes into a large-bowled pipe, sprinkling a little bit of rubbed-out flake on top to aid in the lighting. Even with this precaution, BWF can be a pain to light, but usually (for me at least) stays lit afterwards.

This is a typically good McClelland's virginia, with one amazing quality--a room aroma that smells spot-on like a barbeque, perhaps with some eastern spices. This was the first room aroma that the roommate liked. He mentioned that somebody was cooking something in the building that smelled amazing, and was taken aback when I told him what it really was. Afterwards, he couldn't very well claim that the smell was offputting, and it would have looked very suspicious if he then started coughing...

On the downside, this is one tobacco that can certainly bite if you're not careful--slow and steady puffing is the way to go. If you take this one outside, smoke it in flake form, not rubbed out!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SFC/E7 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SFC/E7 (93)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm becoming more of a McClelland tobacco enthusiast mainly for the reason I have the time to sit and enjoy the tobacco.

Kats-up for a lack of a better word, aroma upon opening the tin. This is a tobacco that cannot be smoked fast and recommend a small to medium bowl. I did not detect any tongue bite, but if one were to smoke this fast and hot I could imagune the rawness of the tongue along with a very hot bowl.

I did find with the stretch of the imagination the sweetness coming through towards the bottom of the bowl. I found no gurgling, wheezing or very much tamping as this tobacco smoked very easily.

IMHO this tobacco is a very relaxing and enjoyable while reading a good book or on the computer.

I like it and that is what really matters

Smoke it slow, enjoy it longer

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SlowDraw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SlowDraw (23)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Blackwoods - A prime VA , richly fruity & homely tin aroma, similar taste . McC's integrates the deep BBQ-Zest of Dark star with all that is good about red VA's . not much bite, smooth, rich . Probably the most wholesome tasting Virginia I've tasted.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Starving Student Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Starving Student (4)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Not much more needs to be said about this blend..but..what the hell..I'll say more anyway!

Amazing..just flat out amazing. I'm really not too good with flakes so I have a bit of trouble keeping it lit..but it's not as bad as some other flakes for me. The tin smell is fantastic. Not as much of the MC aroma we all know and love..more..well..it kinda reminds me of pancakes in the morning. Not exactly..but more the feeling that the smell of pancakes is the same feeling I get from smelling unlit Blackwoods Flake. Very warm, comforting, and familiar.

Once lit it's a blast. This blend doesn't seem to attack my tongue. All I get is rich tasty goodness and none of the evil anti-tastebud armies that are usually associated with virginia flakes. I'm not really a fan of the DGT (I mean, come on..I'm 19..you're asking me to wait?!?!?!) but this tobacco responds really well to DGT. Really well. Seriously..just buy a tin or seven. You won't be disappointed. And if you are..shoot me an email and I'll unload those for you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dwise Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dwise (25)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Everything you've heard about this blend is true. Blackwoods is a stealth-bomb of a Virginia, starting out as a simple, nothing-special smoke, then blossoming into layer upon layer of flavor and subtle variation.

This is simply my favorite Virginia, flake or otherwise. Dark Star, Gawith Full Virginia, and the Nuns all run a close second, but Blackwoods tops them all as a smoking experience without peer.

Unless smoked carefully it will bite, but aging diminishes this. I've smoked five-year-old tins that were peak experiences and bite-free to boot.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KEF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KEF (13)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Strong ketchup scent on opening the tin, but that fades if it is kept open for a few days to dry a bit; then the red virginia scent comes forward. Mixed dark and light tobaccos cut into thin 1/2 to 3/4 inch strips. Rubbed out or cut into squares, I pack a taller thinner bowl tightly, with some dried "dust" to get it lit. It can be a bit harsh on lighting. I like to light it and then let it sit for an hour or more (I've relit a bowl the next morning, and the flavor becomes deeper and fuller) before going back to it. After the initial light it settles into a great red virginia flavor with a hint of sweetness that remains constant through the bowl. Smoke this tobacco carefully, for it can bite, but if smoked slowly the flavors of the red virginia can really be appreciated. 8.5 of 10. - Kelly

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NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (260)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I normally don't rub out these the large flakes of predominantly red and dark stoved VAs which results in a long, enjoyable smoke with a steady burn. Tin moisture content is perfect and the aroma is rather strong but sweet. True, rich, sweet VA flavors that remain consistent thoughout the smoke and from tin to tin. I like it since it doesn't become strong or bitter and retains it's great flavor even when my smoking is interrupted several times and relights are required. I especially enjoy this one outside in the colder weather since the aroma is quite strong. If you like flakes, give this one a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

When I opened the can, I did not detect the usual degree of "vinegar" expected from McC. Instead, I was greeted by the rich and robust aroma of well stoved Virginia. I nearly spent the evening sniffing the can, it was that delicious. The flakes are slightly thick, (typical McC cut), mottled red and black. It looked and smelled like a flake version of their Virg. #25. A partial rubout led to a fairly easy lighting process, and a good steady burn. The initial flavor is absolutely delightful, a refined but substantial medley of flavors. It seemed to hit all the high and low notes, and everything in between. Smoking slowly, but without needing many relights, the blend continues to deliver flavor and smoothness all the way to the bottom of the bowl without getting significantly harsher. The end arrived too soon, leaving a fluffy white ash, and a desire for another hit in about half an hour. I find this best in a medium bowl, quite good in a large bowl (but not a stack), and less successful in a small pipe (unless it has a fairly wide bowl). Defintely a favorite of mine, I would recommend it to the veteran Va. flake smoker, and even to a newbie as their first experience with va. flakes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

farndog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
farndog (22)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of my favourite tobaccos that I always keep around the house. Blackwood Flake is in McClelland's Black Label or Reserve series. It is a broken flake consisting of what I surmise to be stoved red and, maybe, yellow Virginias. This is an excellent tobacco whether you rub it out, leave it in flakes or cut it into cubes - the flavour changes, but none are better than the other.

The tin has that typical McClelland smell at first - like ketchup or Heinz 57. After you get past that smell you catch the beautiful smell of the red virginias. Lighting this tobacco can be a chore, but all good things are worth working for, and Blackwoods burns well once lit. The room aroma is described as "barbeque smell." Very pleasant.

Blackwoods rewards those who puff with patience, and can bite without much warning to those who rush the burn. Blackwoods burns clean and slow, rewarding you with 2 hours (large pipe) or more pure pleasure.

This tobacco and Dark Star by McClelland are similar and highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.