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This is unique in that it begins as a very light blend of fine Eastern Belt lemon leaf and cutter grade tobaccos which are transformed through pressure, aging and light stoving into beautiful dark pungent cake.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutFlake
PackagingBulk
CountryUS
ProductionNo longer in production
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Mild to Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 5 Users

3.0
84 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
24
3 star:
42
2 star:
16
1 star:
2
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A stoved virginia that hasn't been dried out is going to tend towards being a pain to keep lit. Dark Star, Black Virginia, Dark Fragrant, etc... all those cause issues unless they're fully dried. The more matches you use, the more the inherent subtle flavors become dulled and turn harsh. So the secret is in drying this out prior to loading. I tried and tried with Dark Star but could scarcely seem to get it right... but when it was right, it was excellent. However, my battle with Dark Star kept me from trying this one for a few years.

On a pipe forum, I was told to microwave this for 10 seconds. Good advice. Being me, I experimented with cook times and 10 seconds was perfect. It dried out the blend but didn't sweat out the flavor. From that point, I got nothing but a nice, spicy, mildly sweet and complex blend with highly nuanced flavors, similar to what I get from Royal Cajun Ebony. Not much nicotine here, either. I can't compare this to Dark Star since it's been so long since I smoked it but I have heard that this is DS without the additional aging. But I ordered some more of both of these for further experimentation. At any rate, if you dry this out, rub it out fully and take your time with it, allowing it to smolder but not burn, you'll be rewarded with a mixture of spicy and sweet and sort of a creamed coffee taste. Very nice! Not a world beater but definitely worth a shot if you prepare it properly.

22 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (326)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I am smoking through an ounce of this I was gifted. It requires some dry time, and I have had best luck cubing it. It burns pretty well this way, and i did not find it took many relights once you get it going. The broken flake in my baggie almost had an oily look. I have been smoking it in a GBD pot, and this pipe has worked well for it.

The flavor is a heavy fruit, and I think the stoving intensifies these flavors. There is an unexpected slight spice in the profile and some citrus notes. The flavor became more full and a slightly earthy mellow toward the end of the bowl. It was an easy, smooth smoke once you prep it.

This has been a good blend and very enjoyable. It is easy to recommend.

13 people found this review helpful.

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

DNF is a pressed and lightly stoved VA flake similar to Dark Star. The tobacco is of good grade VA, and the process has rendered a smoking experience that is unique in some aspects to smoking other VA flakes. The pressure and stoving allows the flake to impart a greater level of sweetness that is quite mild in the delivery, with little tongue discomfort. There is a natural and somewhat citrus flavor combined with a vanilla essence that is achieved without additives, and it is quite detectable on the palate as well as in the aroma. The flavor is wonderful.

The drawback may be the need for relights, and additional puffing which can result in slight discomfort to the mouth if such is not checked with patience and good smoking practice. I have smoked this as a folded flake, and completely rubbed out and it still remains a challenge to keep lit. I have aged it for over 3 years, set out overnight to dry, and still the flake remains a challenge to smoke without several relights. However, the patience and extra time it takes to smoke this flake is worth the trouble, in my opinion as there are some unique and very pleasant aspects to the flavor it imparts.

As one post already mentioned, it is not an all day smoke, but one that can be enjoyed while relaxing and while reveling in the handling of your pipe and tobacco. It is not a strong smoke, so those looking for a milder experience should find that it suits them. For those who enjoy sweet flavor but abhor the cloying sweetness that comes from aromatics, this flake will certainly make you smile. It loses one star for the difficulty in keeping an even burn, but the flavor is 4 stars all the way.

Pipe Used: Castello

Age When Smoked: new and also again in 3 years

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Dark Star.

13 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

The Virginias sport a citrusy, tangy dark fruitiness with a fermented sweetness, though I would not say this is overly sweet. There a light grassiness to back up some earth along with some spice. The “vinegar” note is mild and quickly disappears. Needs a bit of dry time as this broken flake seems to hold quite a bit of moisture. I got better results when I cube cut the tobacco and drop the bits in the bowl, loosely packing it. Burns slow, requires lots of relights, but the flavors hold to the finish with no dull or harsh spots. Has a mild to medium nic-hit, and won’t bite. Leaves moisture in the bowl, and you’ll likely have to stir up the last quarter a little to burn it all up. Has a very pleasant after taste and the room note is nice. Can be an all day smoke.

11 people found this review helpful.

ATW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ATW (45)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

The way this tobacco looks and feels to me is almost like beef jerky. I wanted to try this because 5100 and orlik golden sliced was getting a little boring for me. Opening my 1 oz sample, it has a deep but slightly citrus scent. This is one of the coolest burning va's I've smoked yet. Just as it smells in the bag it has a slight citrus taste and feel but has mostly a dark deep flavor with a slight sweetness. Very enjoyable and I would like to get some more to keep on hand. Being a mechanic, it's kinda hard to smoke a pipe while im working but this is usually the blend I bring to the shop if I smoke on the job. Always a satisfying taste and lots of compliments on the smell. And one thing I like is the nicotine keeps me going on a 10 hour graveyard shift.

11 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I don't smoke a lot of straight Virginias, but I try them every once and a while hoping I'll find one that knocks my socks off. This one comes close. I took the advice here and rubbed this out and let it dry for about 9 hours. It was just about crispy. Loaded up and lit it and was hit with a wine-like note. That didn't last though. It quickly became a nice spicy, fruity flavor that I found very pleasant. It pretty much stays that way throughout the bowl. I found this to be a satisfying and tasty smoke. No harshness, no bite, and it burns cool. Been a while since I smoked FVF, but I think this has more flavor. Not quite 4 stars for me, but better than 3. I'll give it 3.5.

Mild to medium in body. Medium in flavor. Burns well when dry. I'm gonna stash some of this.

Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman, MM Mark Twain

Age When Smoked: fresh bulk

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

11 people found this review helpful.

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

At this year's Kansas City Pipe Show, I was told by the lady selling tobacco at the McClelland's table that 2035 Navy Flake is not stoved nearly as long as Dark Star, and that is why most people find it to be fuller in strength and not quite as sweet in taste. I concur.

I like to rub out my flakes and, like Dark Star, this one requires work. Also like Dark Star, this one burns poorly and needs constant relighting, even when dried out a bit.

It is an enjoyable flake when lit and seemed to be at its best when consumed in a smaller pipe.

9 people found this review helpful.

Paul S. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paul S. (6)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I was very excited to finally try this one. The flakes are very dark, oily, moist and smell of liquorice and sour vinegary notes. You get the slightest hint of sweet virginias and some spices, but the aroma is just dominated by the pungent sourness. I absolutely love it. I smoked this rubbed down in my Savinelli Hercules 803 EX Canadian. On the charring light, it was very sweet on the tongue as well as very mild, without much of a lingering after-taste. Though, after a bit of smoking that liquorice taste crept into the finish, and a slight spiciness/fruitiness came into the draw. About half way down the bowl the tobacco became a tad more stout and rounded, leaving the brighter flavour profile behind, but remaining mellow and smooth to the end. The burn was a little temperamental throughout, needing quite a few relights (especially near the end), but as stated earlier, it was very moist. Overall, This is not at all what I was expecting going into this tobacco judging by the aroma and appearance! But a nice, mellow, and mild smoke nonetheless. I would recommend you give this one a try!

Pipe Used: Savinelli Hercules 803 EX

Age When Smoked: Fresh

8 people found this review helpful.

H Gillman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
H Gillman (39)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is somewhat underrated. To the new smoker it might appear off putting due to its hard black flakes and chunks. The nose is smokey with minute sweet notes. After several manners of smoking, I found that hand rubbing, leaving open over night then gravity feeding to be the most effective means. Feed, char, tamp and light gives me a single light smoke. The mellowness and cool smoke are thoroughly enjoyable. The mild smokiness is a delight. No tongue bite. I love this flake. The only shortcoming is the hardness of the flakes. It makes it a chore to hand rub evenly. But I'll put up with hard rubbing when the end product is a delightful mellow smoke.

Pipe Used: Peterson's, MM cobs et al

Age When Smoked: New bulk

Purchased From: Jades smokers corner

6 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (492)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I was lucky enough to get a good size sample of this from a forum friend. Immediately in appearance, this blend screams "compare me to dark star" as it is similar in both appearance and scent. From what reviewer DK has written, it is the same as dark star with just less age. This would make sense to me as I found dark star to be much sweeter than DNF.

The blend is also similar in that it is a bit of a pain to get lit and the flakes are not easily rubbed out. These are problems I also experienced with dark star. I have had a few different blends that are similar to this, dark stoved Virginias. The one thing they all have in common is additional sweetness that tastes like a dried fruit of some sort with perhaps a little molasses tang to them as well. I personally think they make a good change of pace smoke rather than all day type smokes.

So when I smoke one of these I want a lot of that sweetness. Dark star does this, 1776 Old dominion does this, royal Cajun ebony does too. This one does, but the sweetness is just not enough to satisfy my sweet tooth needs for this void. This is why I felt the blend to be between two and three stars, so I decided to see what I gave Dark Star and it was four stars. As this is similar, but not as good to my tastes I will give this three stars.

Similar Blends: Dark Star.

5 people found this review helpful.

scottyspipesebay Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
scottyspipesebay (25)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

Bulk No.2035 Dark Navy Flake: Great raw note: sweet with figs, apricot and fresh cut mahogany, and yes, white vinegar. The room note is...undefined. Bland. No character, just smoky...something. Regardless, I love good Black Cavs, so for now, it is worth experimenting with. It's slightly sweet and even, with a nice woody nose, so I like that. I've read quite a few authors struggling with the prep. Suggestion: Do not microwave this. It is a mistreatment of fine tobacco, and defeat the entire effort that the blender intended for the smoker. You will only serve to change the character of the cake, not to mention the flavor. If for some reason you're in a big rush; use a good pair of sharp scissors and do a cube cutting; lay the cubes onto a paper towel for about a little while, then do a finger rubbing, and if it starts to crumble, it's ready to smoke. Drop the cubes in and light them up as is. Better yet, do the right thing and leave it alone. Let the cake dry for a good while on your tabletop. You'll know when it's ready because it will break up naturally. DON'T RUB THE HELL OUT OF IT. Pull it apart from the sides. As with all Virginias, the sugars will burn too quickly and you'll get tounge bite because the sugar converts to acid. The less you work it, the better the result on the palate. I used to mush, smash and over rub flakes and cakes in an attempt to create and meld. NO. When preparing and blending, let chemistry do the work. Of course this is not always the case, but as a general rule, I have found that prep and blending is a fine art of adjustment, and should never be a forceful thing.

Try it as a blending agent. Play around with it as I have. Light VA's, Turkish, other Cavs, Lats, Orientals. It's best in smaller amounts as a mellowing cutter. Added to strong ropes/twist it works well, too. As a stand alone, it's a bit one dimensional.

5 people found this review helpful.

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

Some say that this is a bulk version of Dark Star. I personally can tell some differences, though there are a LOT of similarities as well. Both are dark, stoved Virginias. Both have a wonderful spiciness to them. The flakes of 2035 are much thicker and heavier than those of Dark Star, and more difficult to rub out. 2035 will drastically benefit from a few months of aging, and a few years will really make it special, while Dark Star, though it ages well, also smokes like a dream from a new can.

2035 is a pretty moist tobacco, and as I mentioned the flakes are thick. I generally allow them a little time to dry a bit, but unlike Dark Star, which I find rubs relatively easily, I like to use sharp scissors to cut the 2035 flakes into little cubes, and THEN rub them a bit. Packing this tobacco is also a little tricky. For me, it seems best to sort of crumble it into a bowl, pack very gently, then crumble a bit more in. You don't want to pack this stuff at all tightly! Not a lot fluffs up on the charring light, and it might take a couple of extra matches to really get a good burn going. But it's worth the trouble.

The flavor of the tobacco is a little thin right at first, but very quickly rounds out, with a strong, rich overtone and a couple of different undertones; one that is nicely spicy and one that reminds me of raisins. As I said with Dark Star, though, the raisin taste works!

2035 burns slowly, and I've yet to experience bite from it. Sold in bulk, it goes for a good price, making it an extraordinary value. At that price, I'd highly recommend buying at least a pound, some Ball jars, and storing most of it for aging.

And, by the way, I really love this tobacco mixed half and half with 5115.

5 people found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (266)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

If you like the bitter flavor of dark pressed VAs, or just want to discover what it's like, this flake could be for you. It's pretty monochromatic, so you had best like what it has to offer. It's a somewhat creamy bitterness, with a lot of flavor and not a large amount of N, and it lights and burns well.

Pipe Used: various briars

Age When Smoked: newly purchased

Purchased From: pipes & cigars

4 people found this review helpful.

steppx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steppx (152)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

this is one of McClellands bulk blends. And its an excellent one, at that. But it IS a bulk blend, not inferior, but just less complex. And thats necessary, to be honest. Tudor House is a masterpiece but not something one can just smoke any old time. Dark Navy Flake is EXACTLY a blend you can smoke any old time. A heavily stoved thick cut virginia flake. Its a lot like Butera's dark stoved (and like Golden Cake, with the clear taste of lemon Va.) only cut thicker. In fact id guess its the same Virginias in fact. If its not, its very close. The Butera does seem a tad sweeter with a bit more of that raisin taste. But its close. This flake is an old school very moist type that needs dry time. Its a must. I give it an hour or more. But it burns as slowly as anything you can find out there and so its perfect for certain situations. Its a 3 and half star blend but im giving it four.

Purchased From: 4noggins

Similar Blends: Butera's dark stoved..

3 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1644)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

McClelland - No. 2035 Dark Navy Flake.

Regarding the appearance, it has to be one of the most unique flakes I've had. It's very dark, and looks as though after slicing the flakes they've been put under a clothes iron; they're very thin and slightly shiny. I note how some folks raise an issue with the flakes having too much water in them but mine are great where that's concerned. They only take a few seconds to prepare and then I'm on my way.

For the first third of the bowl it seems a bit boring, the main taste is a slightly sweet, stewed fruit one. After the first third the smoke becomes stouter; there's a delicate smokiness that joins in at the back and it tastes nowhere near as soft as it did for the initial part. I think this needs patience to allow the flavour to develop. After half the bowl an earthy taste comes through, but for the last quarter I get a bit of an ashy taste. I find no fault with the burn; it's very reliable. For the nicotine I'll go with the majority: medium.

Because of the ashy taste towards the end I'll only give this three stars instead of four.

Recommended.

Recommended.

This is quite

Pipe Used: GBD Oom Paul

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

3 people found this review helpful.

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

Nothing close to my idea of either a navy flake or a dark virginia pressed tobacco. After a lot of work getting the wet and adhesive product to light, I seemed only to taste hot air. No discernible tobacco flavor either good or bad. Strange and disappointing, especially since the name and appearance promise nothing to this flake lover but rich satisfaction. Sadly not. The only real taste came at the last 1/8th and then it was quite bitter and dottle-like. BTW, tried at least ten bowls at different times before this review to see if perhaps my tongue was just having a "bad hair day". Others obviously like it, but few tobaccos meet with unanimous support or denigration.

Pipe Used: peterson pokers; stanwell featherweights

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

3 people found this review helpful.

Caripu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Caripu (11)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Received this week , I smoked two pipes of this stuff , with quite disparate results between them.

The first one, in briar pipe, maybe not the most appropriate of which I have to smoke a flake of Virginias. Result: a flat smoking, tarry and totally bland. A weed to forget, apparently. Second smoking, into a clay pipe jus arrived. What a difference!! A tasty smoke, spicy, creamy and with a clear evolution going down the bowl. A snuff to repeat purchase.

The visual impression when opening the bag that comes the bulk, could not be better. Strips of a flake that looks like it was broken glass, chopped unevenly, with edges that could be said almost sharp, and of a deep black and bright, with a oily texture. The flake prettiest I've seen so far. It worths to stay a while looking, touching and enjoying its presence and texture.

The good feeling that their appearance has left in us comes in handy to tackle the next step before the smoke: the load and lighting. The 2035 is pretty damn hard in that aspect. The sheets are quite reluctant to get into strands, on the contrary tend to break (again we return to the glass) despite a significant degree of humidity and "break" like we would cut in very irregular cubes. So I loaded the first pipe and the ignition was a nightmare and light maintaining a pain. Forced to puff hard, the smoke was a disaster. We know the Virginias have to smoke them "cool " to not lose the nuances and subtleties. The 2035 I think is particularly sensitive to this phenomenon, and as we go a little over the smoked ruins temperature, providing monochrome and tarry taste .

Second run. Double round of grinding. Thed pipe lights better and it takes less work keep it going, although it is not a bed of roses. In any case sufficient to smoked at a rate slower, allowing cold smoked. 2035 In this case the range of developed aromas is far more generous and deep, with hints of roasted malt, nuts, spices, earthy nuances, bread and a nice mild sweetness . In the latter part of the bowl almost have sworn to be smoking a vaper, for certain phase spicy and "hot" going through the mixture, very similar to that provided by the perique .

Taking care with the speed is a very very nice snuff. It's not the most I like from McClelland, but I 'll buy more to age and see how it evolves.

Loads soft n-vitamine, or maybe soft - half as much. Medium bodied, smooth, pulling through at the end. A stuff recommended for all day, though it can get a bit boring if overused. NOT for beginners and "puffers" in any way.

Purchased From: www.4noggins.com

3 people found this review helpful.

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

Appearance: Small flakes, quite thick and leathery. Very dark brown, almost black, with a few lighter specks evident.

Aroma: Rich stoved Virginia aroma, with a trace of the McClelland ?vinegar? present initially.

Packing: Very difficult to rub out as it feels like a cross between leather and beef jerky. Maybe it?s supposed to be chewed? The best compromise for me was to just break it up into small irregular pieces. It was way too thick to attempt a ?sausage? style packing.

Lighting: Even when somewhat dried, it was very slow to light: sometimes requiring three matches to get a good coal on top.

Initial flavor: Oddly enough, the initial flavor was all high notes. There was no initial depth of flavor (middle and low notes), onlythe sharp tingly sensations that I associate with lemon Va. This persists for several minutes

Mid-bowl: It does settle down to a more satisfactory range of flavors, with fairly good interplay of layers. There is finally some of the depth and richness I expect in a Va. The tobacco burns cool and dry (mostly), but there is always a brightness or sharpness noticeable. The ash is a typical gray color.

Finish: I am usually unable to smoke this all the way to the heel, leaving some some dottle to get rid of. Mostly, it just won?t stay lit as moisture and tar accumulate in the heel.

Summary: Similar to Dark Star, but not as refined or well aged. Even at bulk prices, not a good value.

3 people found this review helpful.

Badbrude Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Badbrude (11)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

It took years to find unique products and fill out my pipe tobacco rotation. Mc2035 has been in mine for many years. There's been numerous, previous reviews describing flavor profiles so no need for redundanxy.

I'm adding my thoughts because McClelland is going out of business. They've had my business for 30 years due to their style.

Real artisans who will be missed but hopefully someone will pick up and continue their craft.

Best value in bulk blends. RIP

Pipe Used: Duncan mills aerosphere

Purchased From: Smoking pipes

2 people found this review helpful.

cajomu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cajomu (64)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I think of this tobacco as the bulk version of McClelland Dark Star. Both are excellent, Dark Star being somewhat more flavorful and DNF being a bit less expensive.

DNF will not disappoint if you like sweet, stoved Virginias. The criticism that it is hard to light and keep lit is, IMO, overstated. So what if it takes another match or two or a few more seconds on the lighter to get it going, the taste will more than reward the effort. (Another technique for firing hard-to-light tobaccos is to put a little easy-to-light tobacco at the top of the bowl -- like starting a fire with tinder.)

DNF is essentially a high grade cavendish tobacco. The taste is a mild mix of citrus, coffee and leather, with a mellow, vanilla background note, and is deliciously sweet without being cloying.

I've rated it 3 stars but would give it 3.5 if that were possible.

Pipe Used: Various briars

Age When Smoked: 3 years old

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

Similar Blends: McClelland Dark Star.

2 people found this review helpful.

DavidP Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DavidP (25)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Interesting stuff! Once you get a good smoke going off of this you get a full dose of fermentation flavors and aromas. I'd describe it like fermented hay, with the sour parts resembling sauerkraut or rhubarb.

Mine arrived way too wet smoke, so I let the whole 2oz dry out for a few days until the flakes felt dry but were still pliable. For some reason rubbing it out make it easier to smoke but make it loose the nice sour flavors. I've had more luck compressing a wad of flakes into a cylinder and then shoving that down into a cob as in step 2 of the Frank method.

2 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Very similar to "Dark Star", I like it and I like the price.

I agree with reviewer, "DK 03/22/2012 ", it's got to be dryed , but I also agree with reviewer, "scottyspipesebay 06/23/2012" don't overdue the microwave or prep, when it's right, it's 4 stars

3/30/2015- I've had this cellared for two years , and it just bit me bad. "It just wasn't right" !

2 people found this review helpful.

sirchud68 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sirchud68 (58)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Good Lord! Beef jerky anyone? Talk about a thick, pungent flake. This stuff just mesmerizes me. I love to stare at it in my Mason jar. I've just tried my first bowl of 2035 and must truly reserve judgment till I've smoked the entire jar. I will say that I'm mainly an English smoker but have a hankerin' for change from time to time. This sort of reminds me of Peterson's Irish oak, though it's been awhile since I've smoked that and it might just be my imagination. It sure smells like a McClelland's tobacco. As of right now I'll say I'm liking it.

Update: O.K., I've mainly been smoking Englishes this winter. Hell, that's all I've really been smoking for the last year. So when our shop started carrying other McClelland blends other then the Frogs, I had to try. I wasn't sure about 2035 at first but after going through my jar over the last couple of weeks and letting my mouth adjust, I have to say " oh yeah, I remember how great tobaccos are other then the English ones." This stuff is sweet in that wonderfully natural way. A solid, mild Navy flake that I recommend completely. Enjoy!

2 people found this review helpful.

al1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
al1 (58)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

This is good stuff. I agree that it is very much like dark star. Not quite as sweet or flavorful though. Probablly this aged a few years would equal dark star.

Pouch/tin aroma is dead on exactly that of southern VA sweet homemade pickles my granny taught me to make. With Sauers pickling spice (smell those cloves!). Vinegar, sweet and spicy all at once and damn good. Oooooh this is twangy smelling stuff. If you never smelled that type of pickle maybe you think I am crazy- I would not blame you, but if you are from southeast Va I bet you know what I mean.

I would buy this again when it is gone and age some too. I like dark star too but this is real close to it and the bulk price is good although I noticed the prices just went up a bit recently.

I like to mix some of this in with bright virginias to "round the edges" sometimes. This is not an everyday or all day smoke for me but it is nice to have it on hand for when the mood strikes. Put a small pinch in a bowl of #27 mc va and you have a real treat.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

As many others have said...this isnt quite Dark Star but to my mind it stands very well on its own.

I/ve smoked about 1lb now and have some more on order to store and savour. It certainly improves quite quickly in jars...I've noticed a richer flavour as I progress through my present supply but I am sure theres much better to come.

It's rich, dark fruit laden taste is just wonderful; it smells so good you almost feel like eating it...I could sit and sniff the jar for ages and I've felt no tongue bite either...but then I've learnt to smoke it gently through experience I might add!

Definitely one of my favourites and well recommended. As an aside I can quite see where the previous reviewer was coming from when he said that he was finding a salty taste as well.

Altogether a fine fine tobacco.

2 people found this review helpful.

Jaybee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jaybee (77)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I really like this tobacco and when I hit the "zone" there are none better. It's a bit problematic in that the preparation is laborious and my tastes reacts very differently from smoke to smoke. Still it's a keeper and I try it out at least twice a week when I'm fully relaxed.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is very similiar to Dark Star with less quality. The strips look identical and are just as hard to rub out. With some extensive drying however, this is a passable stoved virginia. A little harsher and less flavor than DS, it is a bargain if you smoke alot of DS. I only smoke DS once in awhile for a treat however, and so will continue to buy the better stuff.

2 people found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (180)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I don't have a favourite type of tobacco as such, but if I were asked to choose one tobacco, a Desert Island blend, it would probably be a dark stoved Va. But it wouldn't be this. That honour would go to Rattray's Black Va.

Not that 2035 is in any way an inferior tobacco. It is great stuff. It has dark, rich, sweet, dried fruit aromas. It burns easier than Dark Star, tho not as well as RBV.

It doesn't bite. It lasts an age in the bowl. It is light on nicotine so can be an all day tobacco without any ill effects. What it does have is a mild casing that does not appeal to me. It isn't intrusive and I could probably over time come to overlook it, but it is there (which is why I believe this is called a Navy Flake) and it is enough to take a 4 star blend (which is what its sibling Dark Star is) down a mark.

Pipe Used: Does best in small cobs imo.

1 person found this review helpful.

Papas Fritas Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Papas Fritas (5)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Added a about a dozen 1oz samples of various McClelland bulk blends to my last tobacco order looking for another good bulk to add to my cellar. Dark Navy Flake immediately caught my eye, heavy duty dark rich flakes! I love these things! The only mistake I made was not reading the other reviews before I started on this one. I rubbed it out and let it dry for a half an hour, we all know what happened. I went to the source and read some reviews and found that some folks were nuking this stuff, wholly crap. I was a little put off by the micro-wave so I rubbed out some more and let it dry for eight hours, it was actually a little crispy. I still had to use a couple of pipe cleaners even after the eight-hour dry. I hate to admit it but the micro wave for ten seconds is the way to go, makes this flake burn perfectly and well worth the prep. time and effort. I will be buying more of this flake, I don’t see it as an everyday smoke but it is a good one, 3.5 stars.

Pipe Used: My prized 1959 Dunhill ODA

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

1 person found this review helpful.

AL Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AL (24)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I smoke a good bit of 2035. As noted in almost all posts, yes this tobacco needs dry time. And, the microwave is almost an essential for this smoking tobacco. Once dried out this tobacco rubs out fairly easy, packs easy, and lights easy. 2035 must be smoked slow, if this stuff gets too hot it loses flavor. Quite similar to Dark Star. Enjoyable smoke.

Pipe Used: Castello Great Line Dublin

Age When Smoked: 11 Years

1 person found this review helpful.

buroak Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
buroak (16)
★★★☆
Very Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

McClelland 2035 takes the deep, tangy dark fruit flavors I associate with stoved Virginias to new heights, well, actually depths. To my taste buds and nose the flavor is what I imagine one would get from making unsweetened preserves out of what is leftover from pressing berries or dark fruit for wine. The deep tang of this blend is simply that strong.

The strength in terms of nicotine content is very mild. The taste is medium. I doubt this could be provoked to bite. Rubbed out/picked apart and packed loosely this tobacco burns well, with no more relights than my typical high number. For me this is too deeply tangy and uni-dimensional to be an all-day smoke, but I do recommend keeping some on hand. It is an excellent tobacco for smoking outside on a breezy day.

1 person found this review helpful.

point9 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
point9 (114)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

It is the younger brother of Dark Star, with more bright and citrus flavors, minus some tangy and depth. Easier to pack and bulk price, it can substitute DS in my rotation.

1 person found this review helpful.

Little Steven Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Little Steven (66)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Unnoticeable

These flakes look like they've been produced by the gentle evaporation of river water. Crystals of mud! They're very dark implying a rich, musty smoke. The name, Dark Navy Flake, also hints at an autumnal type.

But no, this is lemony zest. It's zingy, bouncy. It's a springtime pick me up. I've never come across anything quite like it.

It's mild and inoffensive. It's lovely!

An addition, I note that some reviewers have difficulty keeping the flakes alight. Try putting them through a coffee grinder. But be careful, 2 second bursts. You want to keep some structure.

Pipe Used: Stanwell billard.

Age When Smoked: 2 months old.

Purchased From: Tobacco Online.

1 person found this review helpful.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (191)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Menacing looking dark flakes that are moist even after a few weeks. Works best with some drying time and slightly rubbed. The flavors, while not in your face, are interesting. There's sweetness, dried fruit and a very little spiciness that could be enjoyed all day. This smoke is very nice on contemplative, warmer days when nicotine is not required.

1 person found this review helpful.

The good Rev. Rizzo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The good Rev. Rizzo (36)
★★☆☆
Mild Very Mild Very Mild Unnoticeable

If you like it dark, and I do..... This is an ok choice at best. I managed to go through two ounces of this but it wasn't a race to do so like other tobaccos I like. It's a nice light, pleasant first few puffs, goes through the bowl in a decent manner, leaves nothing after it's gone. Not even a little stand out. I love the prep work involved in cakes and such so that interaction may have been the best part. I'll buy again maybe, maybe not.

1 person found this review helpful.

Smoke_Ring Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smoke_Ring (158)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

McCelland Bulk No. 2035 - Dark Navy Flake [full cake cut]

Star Rating = 3

Pouch Note = 6

Room Note = 7

Flavor = 8

Bite = 8

Burn = 6

After Taste = 7

Raw Score = 42

Rated Percentage = 70%

Comment = Smooth, * Ketchup Pouch Note, Good Flavor, lots of BTU's needed to ignite, a little After Taste

* Foot Note: McClelland famous "Ketchup" aroma and / or taste comes from the natural fermentation of unstoved / non flue curded Virginias that are aged in cakes.

1 person found this review helpful.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I'm pretty sure McCranie's New Bedford is this bulk blend rebranded, and this was my review. I'm going to revisit it in the next couple days, and will add any new thoughts.

Wavered a bit between two and three stars while smoking this, and smoked three bowls on different days before reviewing it. It does look a lot like the picture of McClelland 2035; dark, thin flakes in varying degrees of falling apart. I have been in McCranie's several times, being originally from Charlotte, and though they do a lot of blending, I don't believe they press their own flakes. It is a small shop in the middle of a shopping center parking lot. They have done rebranded McClellands in the past. This is tasty, but my main problem with it is that it gives me some bite when I puff it hard, as I tend to do with these mellow stoved Virginias. It is not as forgiving as Dark Star or Esoterica Stonehaven (though I believe that one is a VABUR). I liked it better at the end of the bowl, when I could get the flavor I needed from smaller sips. This blend left some unsmokeable dottle at the very end, but that is not too much of a problem. Reasonably priced.

Yeah, not bad. Like easier to break up, cleaner burning Dark Star, but I think Dark Star is better. This may be easier to smoke than Dark Star, but it is easier to overdo it. I don't know-I do prefer the lighter Virginias.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

The expert at Ye Old B & M says this is Dark Star without the aging. I've never had the pleasure of Dark Star, so I approach this flake without preconceptions. I tried this several times over the summer, in different pipes with different degrees of rubbing or drying.

Pros: inexpensive, slow burning, and a very pleasant room note.

Cons: Extremely difficult to prepare, requiring extensive rubbing and drying to make it smokeable. Tastes overcooked or burnt, with no depth or complexity. Burns hot and can bite badly. Produces a lot of condensation which is very bitter. Not very sweet for a Virginia flake.

Bottom line: good tobacco, like good wine or beer, is seldom cheap. Spend a little more for McClelland's Blackwoods Flake and don't waste your time or money on this inferior bulk product.

1 person found this review helpful.

Knightsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Knightsmoker (137)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

When I got this the tobacco had no smell in the bag. Placed in a jar for 6 months and opened it was very bland. Left open to air for a couple of hours and then closed the lid on the jar. 1 week later and a bouquet of sweet dark fruit and tobacco greeted me when I opened the jar again. The broken flakes really cannot be rubbed out but rubbing them gives me the same basic size as taking the time to cube it so it works fine. Gravity filled after a long dry time. This needs to be fairly dry so where you think you like it allow additional time to take away the moisture. Some reviews have noted that this is a complex blend but I have to say I missed the complexity this time but that just shows differences in taste. I get a strong dark fruit sweetness from the first puff until the end of the bowl. There is also a faint fermented grain note that comes and goes and gets a little stronger as the bowl develops. There is a very slight sweet spice that comes and goes but never seems to linger long. I get an occasional note of grass but no citrus at all. It never got harsh, ashy, or cigarette like at all. It will not bite but it did leave a little moisture at the bottom of the bowl. Nic is very mild it will not help with a craving. I prefer others but this is still a good straight VA. For me, I don't see a reason to look for a match for this one, however. 2.5 stars

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I've smoked this flake off and on over the years and consistently enjoyed it. It's just a nice smoke that never disappoints. Not terribly complex but it sure goes well with a cup of strong black coffee.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (227)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Like a nice "B movie." A lightly stoved, dark-flaked Virginia. Sweet-smelling in the pouch and I never detected the ketchup smell. My bulk sample was on the drier side which was a good thing as DNF took to the match readily with a minimum of re-lights. A mildly pungent, mildly Virginia-sweet smoke. I didn't detect any casing or top note with this one. Although never a regular in my rotation - nor in my Virginia line-up - whenever the mood did strike, I was never disappointed. It seemed to go best in a smaller-bowled pipe. An "old reliable" 3 star smoke.

UPDATE 5-18-17: I've revisited this after many years and am upgrading to 4 stars. I'm more noticing a nice molasses/brown sugar note to this smoke, especially on lighting. A smooth smoke that didn't take much preparation to enjoy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

If you puff on this just right (modest pipe "sipping"), you get a wonderful sweetness that I haven't experienced with any other tobacco. I let it dry out for about one and half - two hours. For me, smoking this in a larger pipe oddly, 2035 tastes better.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fly ticky Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fly ticky (26)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Extra Full Very Pleasant

This is my every day smoke.It floats my boat.It does take some drying but not more than about four hrs.On a scale of one to ten I give it a nine.Been puffen on it for two yrs.or so.Soon time to order another five lbs.Ok thats my two cents.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

catdaddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
catdaddy (18)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

I was excited to load up after getting a whiff of this tobacco but the payoff wasn't all I expected. It starts off well enough but then flattened out after about 5 minutes. Very mild taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flaminbill' Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flaminbill' (57)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

After just finishing up a disappointing tin of Old Gowrie, I will give 2035 3 stars by default. It is far sweeter tasting and gets better around the middle of the bowl. The only advantage that Old Gowrie has over 2035 is that it burns better.

It is not fair to compare these two blends though as they have nothing in common.

Over time, I could see 2035 becoming a 4 star blend in my rotation. It is sweet, rich and doesn't scorch my tongue.

I am partial to lemon leaf and having it stoved is a pleasant change of pace.

Yes, it is somewhat difficult to work with, but it is worth the effort.

As for being the same as Dark Star only in bulk, I don't know that I totally agree with that notion. But I do like them both and give a slight edge to Dark Star.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Strange tobacco: it looks like the Dark Star, it smells like the Dark Star, it rubs and packs like the Dark Star....and smokes light years from the Dark Star! This one too is a quintessential McClelland Virginia, but it lacks the deepness, class and refinement of the Personal Reserve one (but has the ketchup). Mind you, if the Dark Star is tinned and costs the double there must be a reason! However, this is a good way to pass an hour, though it could be more interesting; a bit monochromatic but a nice companion for an all day smoke if you like those classic Kansas City Virginias. One star more for its beautiful burning characteristics: no need to relight, dry, cool...Absolutely no trouble to the end of the bowl

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hemlock Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hemlock (60)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Strong

how unique a hobby we have, such that we break up what appear to be shards of leather or bark into a bowl of briar. How I love the unique textures and subtleties of pipe tobacco.

This is a true tobacco, with a gentle, bite-less virginia tang. Builds through the bowl, with hints of citrus amongs plumes of smoke. It has the wonderful McClelland acidity correlated to the typical aroma many ascribe to ketchup--a good thing!. Rub the flakes a little, stuff the bowl, then top with a heavily rubbed top layer for a good even light.

It reaches a crescendo at midbowl. Due to the stoving, it's a bassy blend with very few high notes that one expects from bright virginias. Does not fatigue the senses. As with many virginias you must draw on the pipe gently to understand the appeal. Funny how many complain about "hot" blends, never considering that both the smoking method and the blend must be synchronous to judge a tobacco fairly, and understand its merits. Although it doesn't stand out amongst the crowd of legendary blends, this is definitely recommended to non-aromatic smoker.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (145)
★★☆☆
Very Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I've been trying to get through a one ounce sample of 2035 for almost a year now, and thank the Gods, it's finally gone. Do not let the dark thick flakes fool you. This stuff is exceedingly mild. In my opinion, 2035 also lacks any distinguishing flavor. It's like eating steamed vegetables. On the positive side, it burns cool, but you might have problems packing and lighting, due to the nature of the flakes. Looks better than it tastes, that's my final say on 2035.

One and a half of Four.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

If you can get past the probable tongue-bite caused by trying to get this to light, you will find a very nice straight Virginia flake. This smoked nicely in a large Canadian. Probably won't impress the significant other with the somewhat strong odor. A good outdoor smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (286)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend looks and smells much stronger than it smokes and to me, is a true VA. No casing, just a nice flake that has been stoved/pressed so much that it is jet black, almost oily and somewhat difficult to rub out. This makes for a tough initial charring light but once lit, it's pretty easy to keep going. The taste is not as strong as other 'navy' flakes that I've tried but is rich and tasty. Some may judge the taste as flat compared to others but this is what I enjoy and I find it fuller that most straight VAs. Without a hint of bite, it smokes cool and burns to an even ash. In a large bowl, you can relax with this blend for hours. I'll always have some of this one around.

Nobody has rated this review yet.