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This blend is a style of English Virginia that has seldom been seen in the United States. A sweet, exceptionally soft, fully rubbed matured cake.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutReady Rubbed
PackagingBulk
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
PipesAndCigars
Product Image
Strength
Mild to Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 13 Users

3.3
147 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
67
3 star:
59
2 star:
18
1 star:
3
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Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

With McClelland's wide range of superior Virginia ribbon and flake blends, I find my needs for quality and taste satisfied. 5100 is no exception to McClelland's well-earned reputation. It is a nice, middle weight and moderately sweet red Virginia pipe filler. I used 5100 to break in a new pipe as a neutral tobacco with plenty of natural sugar to help build a delicious cake. While I appreciate the subtly of single varietals, I prefer blends of Virginia leaf. I find them more interesting overall.

On another note, I wondered, when reading the reviewers of this tobacco that found some artificial flavoring (which is what you are saying if you indicate anything but 'none detected' on the Flavoring field), if there is not a misunderstanding. The overall rating has the flavoring of 5100 as "extremely mild." This indicates that enough reviewers think this is cased or topped with flavors beyond those fixed naturally in the leaf processing. It would be helpful if those reviewers stated how and with what they perceive this or any blend is so manipulated, for I find nothing but tobacco flavor.

Also, the "Curing Group" is not fire-cured (candela cigar leaf and some Burley tobaccos are cured with open flame; Latakia over smoke) as indicated on this site for this blend. 5100 is flue-cured (meaning controlled, radiated heat providing the temperature to cure/fix the leaf color and prevent decomposition, not open air or flame). If you want to taste fire-cured pipe tobacco, try Orlik's Dark Strong Kentucky, Gawith, Hogarth & Co.'s Brown Flake and Dark Flake, as well as a touch of it in Montgomery by GLPease (which erroneously is categorized on this site in the Air-Cured group!). I am sure there are other examples of blends with fire-cured pipe leaf.

11 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (578)
★★★☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is quite a tasty if monodimensional smoke. As someone who normally smokes flakes and broken flakes, this is a great tobacco to burn in a new pipe. Loads easily and burns very well, if not quite as well as a flake (once you get 'em going!). This also dries out nicely and I found one reviewer's claim of problems there and that this included humectants to be in direct opposition to my own experiences. But I've read enough of his other reviews to believe that he arrives at his conclusions honestly, so I guess it's simply a matter of a difference in opinion. No problem there!

I suspected this might make a good blending tobacco when I first smoked it and I'm tickled to see so many reviewers doing just that. I really like one reviewers idea of this Red Cake, the McClelland Stoved VA and some Perique - sounds like something I oughtta try! By itself this blend is very nice and very smokable, but it's not (for me) one of McClellands best blends. But getting to the top of that mountain would be quite a feat, as McClellands has at least a dozen blends that I find 4 star. Try this if you like straight virginia or if you're an aromatic smoker wondering what all the straight VA hubbub is about. This will start you on your journey.

10 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (661)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Count me in as one of those who avoided the "ketchup" blends for a long time. Well, I must say I'm glad I gave this a chance because the ketchup smell in the bag is not in the actual smoke. Thank heaven! I also discovered I like this blend quite a bit. It has a nice red Virginia taste with a light spice note that is very enjoyable. While there is a little dried fruit taste here and there, I would not classify this as a complex smoke in any real way. It doesn't matter. As a mixer or as a straight smoke, this is very pleasing way to enjoy your smoking day. I couldn't smoke it all day long, but once or twice a day (depending on how many bowls you smoke) won't be the worst idea you'll have that day. Recommended.

5 people found this review helpful.

Cashmere Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cashmere (11)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

5100 Red Cake has been in my daily line up for about three years; I have about a pound of it cellared; I'm working through some that's about two and a half years old now.

So, yeah, I like it.

5100 isn't monochromatic -- there's a compact group of flavors here: nutty, woodsy, summer-barbeque-y -- but it's straightforward in the way you want for an all-day standard. The flavor is very full and satisfying, and there's little to no bite.

All that being said, it's not a four-star blend for me. There's a certain roughness -- even coarseness -- to the flavor, especially in the first few minutes of a bowl, that holds it back from that level. And, perhaps because of this, I find that it's hard to fully enjoy other blends for a while after a bowl of 5100.

Yes, it does have that trademark McClelland Heinz/vinegar/ketchup tin aroma in full (you decide if that's a problem; it's not for me).

And, while it does respond well to aging (most tobaccos do, I think), you shouldn't expect the miraculous transformation that some of these reviews suggest. It gets notably smoother, but it's the same basic animal after two weeks or two years.

I've gone on at some length about the negatives, though, which may give a skewed impression. 5100 Red Cake is a fine tobacco that fills a certain (important) niche very well: it's a straightforward, satisfying, value-priced blend that you'll reach for often... when you're wanting something to smoke while you're out cleaning up the garage, or driving around, or wanting a full, satisfying, but undemanding smoke at the end of the day.

Oh... and 5100 is terrific for breaking in new pipes and rehabilitating musty and/or funky estate pipes.

5 people found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (263)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

I am not a fan of McClelland´s processing and blending techniques. My first experience, Deep Hollow, was rather frustrating. I mean, who ever thought of concocting a Vanilla and Vinegar blend? Subsequent samples (Brindle Flake, Old London Pebble Cut and B. Hartwell?s Reserve Blend), though better in taste and depth, still had that unexplainable acidic-BBQ tang which, unlike some of the above reviewers, I find it erodes the essential flavours and resins of natural pipe tobacco. So it was with some trepidation that I opened the 3 Oz pouch of 5100 Red Cake that I received a couple of months ago. What a surprise! There is a certain vinegary note in the pouch that somehow lingers in the initial taste?But then, after a few puffs, the acerbic taste dissipates and gives way to a very nice and well behaved Virginia! Following the sensible advise from my fellow reviewers, I proceeded with extra caution in order to avoid potential tongue bite. But again to my surprise, I encountered none. The natural flavours and sweetness of matured red Virginias (in a certain way reminiscent of McConnell?s) were all there, very subtle and delicate. Though visually not a very attractive tobacco, the crimp short ribbon cut makes it very simple to pack. It has a wonderfully slow burning rate (great for DGT), it smokes rather cool and the room aroma is acceptable.

Personally, I still prefer other Virginias (most recently Stokkebye's Navy Flake--with Perique-- and Curly Cut--straight Va). But this one undoubtedly is a very nice and, shall we say, invigorating experience, highly recommended to any Virginia lover.

5 people found this review helpful.

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

Appearance: Medium to dark red ribbon. The ribbons are quite uniform in length and width (about average). The tobacco was moister than I like it, but might be perfect for many. I happen to like the dryness of Cornell and Diehl blends.

Aroma: Rich sweet aroma with only the merest trace of the ?vinegar? smell that seems to pervade McClelland reviews. The trace dissipated in a short time.

Packing: No problem in any size or shape bowl. Easy to get a nice, springy surface.

Lighting: Nothing unusual in the lighting, neither oo easy nor too difficult.

Initial flavor: Smooth, refined and rich. Not a subtle virginia at all. Makes me realize why I like blends with Red Va. Has a full range of flavor components, from the high notes to the low (but not very low).

Mid-bowl: Continues to charm the palate with layers of flavor, when smoked slowly. With cellaring, this might rival Rattray?s Hal O? the Wynd for flavor.

Finish: No significant change at the bottom of the bowl. Leaves a dry ash in a clean pipe.

Summary: Might be a little too strong for an all day smoke for many, but YMMV. An excellent choice for fans of deeper Virginias. An amazingly good tobacco for the price. I plan to cellar a few pounds for the future, and might try using it as a blending base.

5 people found this review helpful.

prison chaplain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
prison chaplain (38)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

03-223-2006

A half pound of 5100 has been aging for the past six months. I began smoking it last week. It was a worth while wait. This tobacco, as others have obseved, does benefit from aging.

Also, I am coming to the conclusion that McClelland may have done some fine tuning to the blend. When I first purchased it two years ago, I saw virtually nothing but unstoved red and orange Virginia. This batch contains pieces of dark, stoved, broken flake that simply was not present in my first purchase two years ago. At the very least, it was not there to the degree it now is.

Regardless, whether it be the aging, some find tuning by McClelland, or a combination of both, it is in my opinion a better smoke for me than it was two years ago. It was problem free with regard to filling, lighting, smoking and keeping lit. I had no problem with tongue bite. And I find the taste and scent of the smoke to be very good.

10-15-2004

I purchased a half a pound of 5100 for about three months. Also, I am smoking less frequently now, no longer having several bowls per day and I think my tongue may be less jaded as a result. In any event, I am enjoying 5100 much more than I did when I wrote my original review. As a result, I have raised my ratings in both the strength, taste and recommendation catagories. I like the stuff. The maples and oaks in central Michigan are reaching their peak of color. This Tuesday my wife, daughter-inlaw and I are taking a drive along the north shore of Lake Michigan on Hwy. 2. I hear the fall colors are spectacular. I am going to take my 5100 along with.

=============================================================

I welcomed the new year by attending worship at my local church, observing the naming of Jesus in the Christian calendar and by trying McClelland's 5100. 5100, in my opinion would make an excellent base for blending. Standing alone, I found its mildness and subtle character a hindrance. There simply wasn't enough "there" there. It is a lovely tobacco in every other respect, to the eye, the nose and to the touch. It wasn't there on my palate, however. Perhaps there is some variation from batch to batch.

If you like more there there, 5100 may not be it. If you like a very mild tobacco, or are looking for a good blending base, 5100 will serve you most capably. A good new year to you all!

4 people found this review helpful.

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

I wouldn?t be content if I didn?t have a few Bell jars of McClelland 5100 Red Cake snugly aging down in the dark, cool pipeweed corner of the basement. As an inexpensive bulk, with a little aging on it, 5100 compares favorably to Rattray?s Hal O? the Wynd.

The aroma of 5100 out of the Bell jar and in the room is delightful. Smoked properly, it delivers a hearty mouthful of taste with no bite. The first third or so of the bowl is mild and sweet. Later the smoke becomes heavier, retains sweetness and becomes a tad harsher, but not at all unpleasant. 5100 leaves a sweet taste in the pipe bowl, allowing the piper the option of a taste treat by following with an occasional bowl of a Latakia mixture.

That said, 5100 has a few idiosyncracies of which new and seasoned puffers should be mindful.

As a rubbed out flake, 5100 visually appears as an attractive heap of small bits of high quality leaf, ranging from gold to dark brown. It also has a humectant that retains moisture even after several years of aging. To me, this is fair warning of a tobacco that requires a light hand in packing, several matches to get burning properly and vigilance to keep burning. I can?t recall ever smoking a bowl of 5100 through to the bottom without relight.

For me, getting optimum taste from 5100 requires 15 minute smokes, allowing the smolder to expire, light tamping, putting the pipe aside to cool for 10 minutes, and then repeating. A small price to pay, I?d say, for a great and, in comparison, inexpensive pipeweed.

Using the uneducated thumb method to cram as much 5100 into the bowl as possible, lighting up with one of those awful pipe torches, then stubbornly huffing when the smolder begins to expire, will inevitably lead to gurgles and wrong-headed exclamations about Virginia?s tendency to nip or worse.

But with a skillful touch and a little patience, such unpleasantness is easily avoided and the smoker will count himself fortunate and wise to have put away an ample store of this excellent and affordable Virginia.

4 people found this review helpful.

SeoulSister Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SeoulSister (29)
★★★★
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I only smoke English blends and Lakeland scented flakes so when I decided I wanted to expand my horizons, my husband suggested starting with 5100 Red Cake. The tobacco has the ketchup smell that everyone talks about but it didn’t put me off. I dried it for a while before packing it. After lighting it, I didn’t get any of the ketchup smell in the taste. I just get a sweet, slightly spicy taste with a very, very slight grassy note. As I got further through each bowl, the sweetness from the Virginia grows and leaves a nice sweet, stickiness on my lips! It never burns hot and there is no bite. I was very pleasantly surprised by this mild to medium blend and I found it very pleasant to smoke! Even though this is not a typical smoke for me, it has made me want to try other straight Virginia blends.

Age When Smoked: 5 years old

3 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (513)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The reason why McClelland IMO has created the gold standard with Red Cake is because of its duel usage potential. 5100 Red Cake is a mild, red Virginia that smokes well enough on its own, but really rings the bell as a great component tobacco for other blends. My stash is from 2009 and at five years old, it is quite sweet, very mild in strength and offers a little bit of tang. It is also forgiving for “puffers” as it doesn’t bite. I generally don’t gravitate toward the McClelland Virginias I have tried because I prefer a little more strength than the McClellands I have smoked. Red Cake is no exception to this for me as it is mild and not very complex. But, boy it is a tasty tobacco all the same and it ages wonderfully. Personally, for the reasons mentioned, it’s a three star tobacco for me, but I can easily see this being a favorite for many looking for a mild straight red Virginia.

Age When Smoked: 5 years

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

3 people found this review helpful.

oldcodger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldcodger (32)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I give Bulk No. 5100 a four star rating because it is the bulk tobacco that I smoke most, McClelland is justly famed for their Virginias, and I am fond of a number of their tinned blends, in particular No. 22, No. 24, No. 25, and No. 27 from the Matured Virginia series. I like 5100 even better, and even though I meander through many offerings in the bulk department of McClelland and many other brands, I smoke 5100 more than any other bulk offering.

This is a fully rubbed out small ribbon. Identified as a cake, at some point in its preparation, probably in the fermentation process, it was pressed into a block and then later put into its rubbed out form. It has some of the acetic "ketchup" smell that all McClelland Virginias manifest, although this is lighter than most of its siblings. The "ketchup" odor does not bother me, although it is apparent in the pouch.

As a red Virginia, this tobacco has considerable natural sweetness. I do not detect an additional sweetening element.

The tobacco lights well, not as easily as some which share its smallish cut, but nevertheless without difficulty. I have to trouble in keeping it lit.

The room note is of a pleasant natural tobacco variety. It will not elecit the compliments of non smokers that a sweet aromatic may, but neither will it engender complaints.

The nicotine level is on the low side. Virginias have the reputation for being bite prone, but I find no need for extraordinary care in the puffing technique to protect my tongue when smoking 5100.

I personally do not jar bulk tobaccos for long time storage. Many of those who do laud 5100 as a good candidate for long term aging. McClelland bulks use tobaccos with less maturity than those in the tinned blends, and thus it seems reasonable that aging will improve this offering.

Yes, 5100 is monochromatic. But its taste, on the light side of medium, wears very well. My own habit of varying my tobacco from smoke to smoke may be partially the cause, but when I return to it from whatever is in my current rotation (I normally have five tins, pouches, or baggies open) I find it to be a treasured friend. Likewise, when smoking large bowled pipe, I do not find this a smoke which grows dull before the end. In the case of 5100, the end is a dry light grey powder.

My current pipe collection numbers 51, including two Dunhills. The brace of Dunhills are not what I consider my best two, but they handle Virginias better than any others in my rotation.

2 people found this review helpful.

Ketseutha' Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ketseutha' (2)
★★★★
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

This is one of my all time favorites, ive been smoking it for years.

Packs and lights easily and stays lit. Slightly sweet with a great tobacco taste. Deep, earthy flavors which make for a satisfying smoke. No bite, never bitter. Many smokers say 5100 is pedestrian however most have pounds in their cellar. A classic red Va.

2 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (153)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The smoke was mellow, medium/mild with a good tobacco flavor. It struck me as a Anniversary Kake without the perique, and it was a very good smoke. There was a mild sweetness that transitioned to a slightly more sour/tart taste as the bowl progressed. This blend grew on me, and I found I liked more and more, as I smoked my way through the 4 oz. I suspect the blend benefits from a dedicated pipe, and this may have explained the liking it more and more. I did not get a lot of complexity or top notes, but this is a solid smoke that is not exotic.

This is my first taste of a McC tobacco and so my first review of one. Just for the record, I did not mention the "K" word.

2 people found this review helpful.

Passion Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Passion (28)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Straight red virginia, nice and sweet. After about 5 years of age this becomes sublime. It is a very nice tobacco to smoke straight, or to have on hand if a blend is really bitey. A staple to one's cellar.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

I smoked 3 bowls on 2 successive nights through an MM Washington. Took a bit of drying before I could really enjoy it, say about 20-30 minutes out of the pouch. The first impression that sprang to mind when I began puffing was, "barbecued chicken." Sweet, a bit tangy, with a hint of earthiness but not heavy or in your face. Early on I got the impression of peanuts and raisins, which became more intense and changed as the bowl diminished to hazlenuts and currants, with an added pleasant note of cumin. Nicotine strength slowly and gently increased to a moderate level by the end of the bowl. I really enjoyed this and recommend it.

Pipe Used: MM Washington

Age When Smoked: 1 week from purchase

1 person found this review helpful.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (146)
★★☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable

I've smoked a lot of McClelland tinned products, and this was my first bulk offering. I wasn't exactly overwhelmed.

This stuff looks and smells great, mouht-watering even. But -- as if often the case with McClellands products -- it's way too mild for me. I picked up occasional hints of sweetness and hints of things like plum or apricot. In other words, typical red virginia accents. But I really had to strain to find them.

On the plus side, this stuff smokes very easily and bites less than most straight Vas.

This is two stars to my palate, but YMMV. At the least, I can see how some Va smokers really like it. But when I'm in the mood for this type of mixture, I'll pick Blackwoods Flake every time.

1 person found this review helpful.

Packer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Packer (56)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A nice surprise....after reading the informative reviews here I decided to try 5100 Red Cake. For the lover of all things "Virginia" (which I am) this blend has it all! Flavor...mild/sweet...pack,light, and burn are good. Price is great. I can find a lot to like here. I have some 5100 in the cellar....if it gets any better...WOW, if not its is still up there with any of the tin brotheren. For now I rate it a VERY solid *

1 person found this review helpful.

augiegus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
augiegus (48)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

This is a physically soft strandy red-ish tobacco. Upon opening the pouch you get a little of the McClelland scent ketchup and tobacco but it seemed to my nose more tobacco. It loads up nicely with no rubbing out for there is no broken flake to it as far as I could tell. This is very mellow upon lighting which is a good start and it burned ok for me with lil gurgle and did not burn my tongue which is always a plus for a Virginia. So what is the problem? 5100 for me just never developes beyond this starting point of flavor. It is a fine tobacco but the nuance is unchanging just nice and mild all the way down to the end of the bowl. I've smoked other Virginias that change as you smoke them and I like that experiance better.

It should be noted that I am an ouncer and not a pounder as for as my monthly consumption of tobacco. If you smoked much greater quanities of tobacco than me 5100 would probably be a nice mellowing out tobacco away from the sweetness of aromatics, the nut hut of Burleys, the madness of English blends and complex Lakeland flakes. I can not say anything negative about it but would probably not buy more of it.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Great Virginia, if I had been in McClelland's chiefs shoes I would have tinned it. The ketchup flavour is not so evident as in other productions of this brand, so you can easily detect the great quality of the leaf. The burning is cool and even, the taste keeps mild but present throughout the bowl. A little too mild for me but a fine smoke

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I really enjoy 5100 as a first pipe of the day with a cup of coffee, and since it is not overly strong, it makes a nice all-day Virginia.

5100 isn't overly complex, but sometimes that is a good thing. If you want a pleasant Virginia smoke, give 5100 a try.

Excellent for evenings and reading.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

This is without doubt the bulk tobacco I smoke most often. I used to shy away from the ketchup note as well, but aired a bit and dried properly it's not detectable in the smoke to me. Not one dimensional to me, there's enough sweet and spicy both in this to keep me satisfied bowl after bowl. Like others, I have found this an excellent blending base but also enjoy it on its own. Is this the best stuff I've ever smoked? No. But at the price, given the quality, I just can't see not having a good bit of this put back. Definitely a staple for me.

Pipe Used: Meerschaum, Briar

Age When Smoked: Fresh up to a year

Purchased From: SmokingPipes.com

Similar Blends: McCranie's Red Ribbon, McCranie's Owners Choice.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spirit pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spirit pipe (4)
★★★★
Very Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

( My favorite tobacco daily)5100 red cake Tobacco is all wooded reminds me very thin strip of bark from young cherry, I like to rough oily and wild tobacco he smokes very soft with a fresh smoked no bite easy for the nose. woody taste a little fruity and nutty coffee bean a feast of nature I shall never mix it with anything else is so big only his only fault Tobacco is difficult to dry it is a little oily, dry scaly smokes very well and is easy does not cause discomfort in the mouth its only flaw is that many fat soft tar inside the pipe after smoking I forgive marvel for your natural beauty bad grass.

Pipe Used: Savinelli bing's favorite smooth

Age When Smoked: Trop longtemps

Nobody has rated this review yet.

inthewoodspiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
inthewoodspiper (5)
★★★★
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Highly recommended for blending or stand alone. Very soft in texture and taste, and I will often reach for this when in the mood for something light on the palate and easy smoking. Priced reasonably it is a good value in bulk.

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: fresh from bulk order

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gryffandor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gryffandor (5)
★★★★
Medium Strong Very Full Very Pleasant

If you think this is a good blend try it after aging 9 years. I had to stop pipe smoking from 2005 - 2011. I luckily had a fairly good stock put away & they are all now 8 - 12 years aged. I liked 5100 back then & I love it now. The flavors have intensified as well as loosing any sharpness they once had. The taste is quite fruity now with a great deal of complexity. It burns cool with absolutely no bite no matter how hard you push it. The room note is also getting often complimented. If you have a chance to cellar this for awhile you will be amply rewarded.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

McCelland Bulk No. 5100 - Red Cake [this is not a cake cut]

Star Rating = 4

Rating Scores - 10 is the Best and 0 is the Worst

Pouch Note = 6

Room Note = 8

Flavor = 7

Bite = 8

Burn = 8

After Taste = 8

Raw Score =45

Rated Percentage = 75%

Comment = Smooth, Mid Strength Flavor, * Ketchup Pouch Note, but it's a tad Sweet

* 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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Abadakus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Abadakus (8)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin description says "exceptionally soft". But don't misunderstand it. Yes, this blend isn't robust at all, it has no striking, predominant notes. But the mixture of Virginias in it produces lots of fine and pleasant details. To me it seems really quite deep and sophisticated. So try to concentrate on it, puff it slowly, and it will reward you with a rich and very satisfying smoke.

The only reason why I can't give it all four stars is this. The taste of tobacco itself is so mild, that the ketchup really stands out above it. Sometimes feels like smoking an aromatic.

Pipe Used: L'Anatra

Similar Blends: McClelland - Aurora (Collector Series).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I usually find virginias way to mild for me. I am probably going to stop trying to find a straight virginia that I like. Saying that, this one did offer a little more punch than most I have tried. If I had to smoke a straight virginia, it would be this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jallen49 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jallen49 (22)
★★★★
Mild Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Its true that this is a one dimensional blend, but that one dimension is a delicious one.

The ketchup smell is there, but it doesn't translate in the smoke... The taste to me is a mildly earthy, very musty taste, with just a touch of that Virginia zest.

Smokes cool, mostly dry, and is overall well behaved.

Can't fault it! Classic old reliable Virginia.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

brogreggblues Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
brogreggblues (45)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Rich red VA blend. A little one dimensional, but deep and satisfying. Slight tanginess which is appealing. No tongue bite.

A nice change of pace for this regular smoker of English blends.

I'd smoke it again.

3 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (574)
★★★☆
Very Mild None Detected Mild Very Pleasant

My first English blend. I never knew who made it until i got curious and found it on here. The pipe store i got it from coundn't tell me who it was cause they "didn't know" who made it (there house bulk blend with out a name expect for 5100). Guess they didnt tell me so they can make money off of it instead of someone getting it cheaper online.

one demension smoke definitly, but so worth having around to keep from smoking all of the expensive stuff up.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

OLD RELIABLE!

I tend to think of 5100 as rather pedestrian. There's nothing much exotic about it-- McClelland's is a US producer, it's some slightly flavored VA ribbon cut bulk and every dime store tobacconist has it in a jar. But every time I go back to it, it's a wonderful smoke. Every pipe smoker should try 5100, IMO. I have some cellared and always try to keep some open to smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

The first ten minutes it's lovely. The next ten minutes it's good. The next ten minutes it's average.

Not a favorite, but a nice MOTR red virginia for those who enjoy a spicy red VA ribbon. If this is your type of smoke you'll probably find a nice all-day blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JoeMelon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JoeMelon (1)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is my standby blend. It's unassuming, slightly sweet and easy to smoke. If you're searching for something complex, with layer upon layer of flavors and notes and midbowl changes, then this is probably not going to appeal to you. If you're looking for something that's got a nice, natural sweetness to it, something that you you can kick back and smoke and just think or read or doing some other task, then this may be it.

It's pleasurable to smoke and it's not something that you're going to miss out on if you like to smoke while taking a walk, working in the shop or doing any other task. This and the fantastic price are the reasons I continually stock this tobacco. I've never noticed a ketchup-vinegar taste to this McClelland tobacco, just a nice, earthy sweet taste and the smell in the bag is what comes to mind when I think of tobacco.

As a side note, I know a lot of reviewers are talking of this being a good mixer, and I'm sure it is. I've mixed it with 5105 and it's good. I don't know yet if I like it more than just straight 5100. It's good to know some folks have found ways to improve it to their liking, but my current preference is to just smoke it straight.

I wholeheartedly recommend it. Definitely worth a try, especially at the price. A great smoke for when smoking is background noise and works fine as the main show too.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SopwithCamel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SopwithCamel (255)
★★☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is a very pleasant, simple and natural smoke.

It does indeed have hints of tomato in the smell. While burning it is gently sweet, and at times a little toasty. In short a mild, natural tobacco experience.

There hasn't been an OTC Virginia in a long time... Schermerhorn Flake maybe? But I agree with beaupipe, this gives a similar experience as some of the old reliable OTC Burley blends, but with more natural sweetness.

If you enjoy a simple straightforward and mild smoke you will like this. It is widely available and very affordable here in the U.S.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

beaupipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beaupipe (100)
★★☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of the most popular ready-rubbed bulk Virginias on the market these days. It's also a widely used blending tobacco, both for home chemists and store-brand mixologists. It's easy to understand its popularity, I guess. It's inoffensive, and forms a pleasant base for all manner of add-ons.

On its own, 5100 is a decent, if innocuous, smoke. The tobacco is a pretty reddish brown color, well rubbed out. On the nose it suggests sweetness with dried fruit aromas (figs and sun-dried tomato) mixed in with a vegetal smell reminiscent of tomato leaves. In the pipe, 5100 is moderately sweet, reasonably smoky, and a little dull.

If there were any OTC Virginias remaining in the US market, I bet they'd have a lot in common with 5100. It's not bad, but it is a little bland, pale, light. This stuff is, I suppose, worth keeping on the shelf in case an uncomplicated, mild-mannered Virginia is called for.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This makes a great blending tobacco for VaPer or VaBur lovers. I use it primarily for the latter and find that it always kicks up the flavor component of many of my straight burleys. A 50-50 mix of this and CH makes a great lazy day blend. In fact, that is my Sunday football mixture this year. On its own not very interesting but a decent smoke if you're in a stoved Va. mood.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (157)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

Mild and mellow -- a nice slightly (and naturally) sweet straight Virginia. May be too mild for some, but I enjoy it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dedalto Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dedalto (18)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is my all day tobacco. I think I went through 5 pounds this year. I suppose aging would improve if I ever had any left. Nary a gurgle, a nip, or a relight problem. Just put in pipe, lite same, contentment.

I find it is actually complex smoke. It never tastes the same. Sometimes sweet and grassy. Other times it has a sweet and sour burn. Always tasty and blissful.

Oh, and I use this stuff like salt. I put it everything. Lately, I have been doing 1/2 red cake and 1/2 Briar Fox which makes for a tasty treat.

Red Cake is my good morning kiss and my evening prayer. 4 Stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (120)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Carter Hall is my all day burley, Red cake is my all day VA. This is a great blend for yard work and chores. Doesn't require a lot of attention, and won't bite.

This is a rare blend for McClelland, as it doesn't have a nose full of vinegar like most of their VA's. Although somewhat monotone, it can add depth to blends that lack it. It has a nice nutty flavor that is pleasant outside or in.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I purchased 5 ounces of this tobacco, on the recommendation of a friend. Didn't buy the full pound because I wasn't sure if it would be okay with me. Upon receiving the tobacco, it has a nice moisture level, and a classic Virginia smell to it. LOVE that smell, made my whole study smell like it! I packed my pipe with ease, and had no problem lighting it at all. A very pleasant smoke, no tongue bite, and your palate is hit with a nice sweet nutty flavor. Definitely will be buying more of this in the future, and cellaring it. Seems like a good all day smoke to me, and is sure to become a standard for me. A lovely straight Virginia blend, and for the price it cannot be beat. McClelland never ceases to impress me with their blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Puffingstuff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puffingstuff (81)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Pure Red Virginia, pressed hard, cut and broken up. I have half lbs of this I got in 2004. I stored it in a big mason jar for several years.I recently smoked some to see how it was aging.The tobacco has mellowed, but it is so one dimensional that it needed some spice to take it up a notch. I poured dark Rum into the jar, put cheese cloth on the top and let it sit. After the Rum evaporated and the tobacco came down to smoke-able level of moisture, I had a pipefull. It still tastes like great Virginia, but has that spicey sweetness of the rum. The smoke is mouth watering! I made a good thing better. This is good enough to sell in a tin!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mbmc82 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mbmc82 (7)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a great starter for those who wish to venture into the straight tobacco smoke. Mild and forgiving by itself but in my opinion 5100 true strength is as a blending tobacco. High quality at a great price.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (225)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Medium Pleasant

For myself, this tobacco is too mild, no N hit. I tend to stoke this up trying to get some N and all I do is overheat the tobacco and cause bite. This is all my fault and should not be held against the truly fine Virginia this is. The tobacco is sweet, packs easy, burns well and has a nice flavor (it's almost like it contained a touch of Perique, raisin tingle almost like the base for Escudo). I can see where this would make a very nice blending tobacco, maybe with some Perique or a touch of Prince Albert. I won't buy this again only because it is not for me but I would recommend it for those who don't need the N. For those of you who do a lot of French inhaling, this might be what you are looking for

Update:For something extra special, blend 50% Mac Barens Virginia #1 with 50% 5100 Red Cake. This seems to make the Red Cake more interesting and at the same time eliminate the bite from the V#1. Another blend to try is 2/3 RC and 1/3 C&D's Briar Fox ; this gives a little base to the RC and a little more interest to the BF.

Update: Every time I try this It just gets better. I've had this cellared now for 6 months and it is good. More interesting , the McC VV is now that tangy sweet and sour, I love it. I've got to buy more and cellar. Good just straight. It is very similar to Aurora not quite as flavorful but close and for the price it beats it. Bumped to 4 stars.

Updated 9/15/2014- I've soured on this blend and reduced my rating to 3 stars and removed it from my favorites. I agree with reviewer , " pipeline 2006-01-08 " ( 8years ago!), in that if you find a flavoring you should try to identify it.....Sooooo , I feel there is a significant "Lakeland Floral" scent and taste . I really don't remember this in some of my earlier bulk batches, or has McC processed this batch after a batch of "Old World Classic #5115", without the proper cleaning of their equipment? I'm not a fan of LF.

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: 8 months

Similar Blends: McC Old World Classic Cake #5115, P&C's -Scotty's Old Red.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JohnnyMcPiperson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyMcPiperson (89)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This was a nice sweet VA I had a small sample of it a couple summers ago and I enjoyed it okay. Found it to be nice on a sumer afternoon with a book at the coffee shop. It was mild enough that it melded well with the summer heat, and yet it had enough sweet flavor to keep me going throughout the bowl. Good enjoyable, mild VA, no bite, nice and smooth!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is probably the most popular of McClelland's bulk blends, and must be one of their most popular blends overall. 5100 is Virginia, straight up, and a wonderful tobacco for do-it-yourself blenders. It's also a great smoke on its own, which is how most people I know use it. The tobacco is sold in various amounts, but I like to buy at least a pound. According to McClelland, the blend starts as a cake, but is sold in a fully rubbed form. The pouch aroma is pleasant, but definitely smells like a robust Virginia tobacco.

5100 packs very nicely into a pipe. From the first light the blend delivers a nice, mild but full flavor typical of Virginia tobacco. There is a pleasantly creamy undertone to it, though not as noticeable as, say, McCranie's Red Flake or 5115. But the overtone is slightly fruitier than Red Flake, too. For my way of smoking, the flavor gets a bit stronger as I get through the bowl, but it remains pleasing and satisfying, never acrid. Like all Virginias, the sugar content of 5100 makes it likely to cause tongue bite if smoked hard, but an experienced Virginia smoker can enjoy this blend as an all-day smoke without worry.

5100 is an extremely pleasing and delicious tobacco. I've blended it with others, such as 2035, with some success, and have also added in a dash of perique. Perique, mixed lightly with 5100, gives it more fruitiness and seems to actually make it milder. I would have to say that this ranks as one of my favorite tobaccos. It's a standard by which other, similar blends may be judged. An amazing value for the price.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TK Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TK Pipe (101)
★★★★
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

McC 5100... Originally buying this Virginia tobacco for blending purposes, I soon discovered it also is superb smoke as is. It is sold as a bulk product, and I find the moisture content about right straight from the baggie, but if need be, it can be easily changed. For review purposes, my favorite pipe for this stuff is a medium briar, which I load with a bit more tamp pressure than normal. Getting it lit properly, takes a little more effort. About 3 tamp and lights have become my SOP for this stuff, but once underway, you are in for a real treat. Smooth, bite free and volumes of flavorful smoke. Take your time with this stuff, and it is anything but boring, want a flavor change? Increase or lower your sipping rate, and there it is... Or not, it's up to you, it seems to be well mannered, under a wide range of smoking styles, not that many pure Virginias can make that claim. So what started out as basic blender, has provided me with one of my favorite, any time smokes. Add a dash or two to a plain drugstore burley, and you may be real surprised. McClelland fills yet another space in my rotation. 4 Stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

radioisotope Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
radioisotope (17)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have been smoking this off and on for about a month now. I was fortunate enough to find it at my local tobacconist. To me it is one of the best VA's I've smoked. At first it is nutty with light fruit notes, but in a natural sense. As you move down the bowl it becomes more like baked buttery bread. I was still greeted by a good sweet tobacco flavor. Lately I've learned that Va's are good when mixed with perique so I went to my Tobacconist and got some straight perique, went home and threw about 20% in with the 5100 and it is astonishing! The flavor is hard to describe but it will knock your socks off, maybe like a spicey plumb, mixed with baked bread? Lots of Vitamin N. Good tobacco flavor still pleasent though. If you love perique and Va's this is the way to go. I also would recomend putting some in a mason jar and storing it away. My tobacconist said it can be hard to get in the U.S., and it is great for aging!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Raw Hide Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Raw Hide (5)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

I have read the reviews of smokers that smoked a bowl or two to write a review and those who smoke it occasionally. This has been my primary smoke since 1999 and I have smoked it on and off for years before that, beginning in 1987. I was trying to figure out what my friends at McCranie's Pipe Store saw in it. Prior to that I smoked a lot of aromatics and I was a cigarette smoker.

Herein is a commentary that what the tobacconists told me years ago, that in order to fully appreciate one's pipe and tobacco one must quit smoking cigarettes. They were right, and when I finally did, I discovered a whole new world of pipe smoking. The longer I smoke my pipe the more I appreciate this tobacco right here under review. This is my main smoke. There is not a day that goes by that I smoke the pipe that I do not smoke this excellent tobacco. The advertisement that you might have heard is right this is a very rare find in the tobacco industry.

If you invest a pipe to the cause, preferably several pipes and smoke this tobacco more than once under various conditions you will discover that it is complex in flavors. It is sweet without being syrupy. It is mild but full of flavor. The flavor tones are not one dimensional, it is both sweet and tart and the flavor tones are both round and high. In other words there is a full spectrum of flavor. you will, if you give it a chance, discover that there is a full wall of flavor that comes from a natural, un-flavored straight tobacco. It is neutral, inasmuch as you can smoke this tobacco in a pipe that you smoke an aromatic, that if aromatics are your thing, this is a nice full real tobacco change up, that if given a chance could become your main smoke.

It is not overpowering but it is rich in flavor. I personally love this tobacco more than any other on the market today. It is my constant "go to" tobacco. It burns well from the top to the bottom of the bowl, any bowl. Different pipes, different shapes render different characteristics of the smoke, but this tobacco acquits itself wonderfully in all of them.

I recommend this one to everyone, novice and seasoned alike. But you have to give it a chance and throw away your preconceived notions.

This is one of the best sellers most places and for a reason. If you don't like it, that's great as far as I am concerned. Until they kill tobacco absolutely, they will keep making this and that will mean more for me.

On a scale of one to four, I give it a ten.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

rattdogg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rattdogg (33)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I had not smoked 5100 in a few years and just recently returned to it. I had forgotten how good it is! Excellent natural sweetness with a spice note in the background. I don't detect the ketchup odor that others have noted. The bag aroma struck me more like dried fruit. If you enjoy Va's give 5100 a try. I think you'll like it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Traderbob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Traderbob (24)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've been smoking 5100 off and on for about 6 months based on a recommendation from a fellow pipe smoker I met while shopping in a B&M in Nashville.

5100 is a great English VA. This tobacco is used in a number of high grade blends that are on the market today. It is a rich, full, and sweet red VA that ages well.

When you first light the bowl you immediately taste the tangy sweet flavor of citrus inherent in this blend. You can smell the ketchup scent that is typically of McClelland tobacco, but this does not translate into the taste of smoking. As you move through a bowl of this remarkable leaf you find a smoky flavor enhanced by a bit of grass. Toward the bottom there is a hint of raisin.

Buy this tobacco seems to do better with some aging. I also like the fact that this one seems to taste better if you smoke a little the let it go out and come back to it later.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

grumpyoldprofessor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
grumpyoldprofessor (11)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

5100 has been my favorite Virginia blend for several years now. It's not exciting or bursting with flavor, but it does always have a good smooth flavor, which I can most easily describe as lightly sweet and buttery. It's consistant and consistantly good.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Rikowrites Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rikowrites (11)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Red Cake represents an honest, no gimmicks VA. It starts with a nutty taste that stays for most of the smoke. Red Cake smokes dry and cool and delivers a soft smooth taste throughout. I am smoking it a Grp 3 Sasieni Mayfair Apple and it goes great with my evening coffee. If you looking for an english style VA with a straightforward presence, give 5100 Red Cake a go.

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

This is a hard tobacco to rate on a four star system. I gave it all four, but in reality, I'd rather call it a 4 out of 5.

To my mind, it's the Carter Hall of Virginias: a simple, cheap and available all day smoke. I have watched my tastes change from burley towards Va's as of late, and I find Red Cake fills the same role as CH for me.

I actually call it a favorite of mine; in reality, there are blends I like more. Thing is, I always come back to it, whether to cleanse my palette or just to smoke mindlessly for a while.

The fact it is a blending component means it's useful too. Got a 'baccy missing 'something'? Drop a pinch of 5100 in, and it will no doubt help things along.

The only downside, I suppose, is it's one dimensional character. If you only smoke the occasional bowl, or always smoke looking for complexity, Red Cake will no doubt disappoint. If you're looking for a quick work break smoke, or one to pair with yard work, etc., this may well fit the bill for you. It does me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

It has layers of flavor from hints of spice to a light sweetness. It's a fantastic mix, for example, with a black Cavendish, and a little Perique. I smoke it daily, and it's one of my all time favorites with no bite, and a good, pleasant scent in the room that my wife loves! In the evening, it's a great mix with a good coffee, or a snifter of Armagnac for evening relaxation time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hemlock Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hemlock (57)
★★★★
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

OK, so it smelled like cloves in the 1 lb bulk bag. I was worried it was the wrong blend. This is appears to be topped, but not cased. After taking out a couple oz. into a jar for a few days, the clove aroma dissipated and the more characteristic Mc. VA aroma was apparent. Kind of cool how blenders know how to manage a blend from bulk, mass recipe concoctions to end up as a few grams of a totally different aroma and flavour by the time it become a gram or three in a bowl.

Good smoking, slightly treated with PEG, and a generally good blend for trouble free, readily burning VA. Gives the same satisfaction of a good VA flake without the work. Despite the apparent topping, it turns out to have a VA flavour throughout. Good for regular smoking, albeit, might be considered a bit plain so a good base for adding a dash of perique or some other condiment of your liking.

-- Red Cake is a solid foundation tobacco, worthy of keeping around by the pound in mason jars. With a dash of perique sprinkled in, one creates an archetypal VaPer. Huge volumes of smoke emerge after a proper charring light-- and it can last a full bowl with single match. Inoffensive smoke, with a briny... including a loveley woodsy, stewed fruit depth of flavour when I sprinkle with perique and have it to the right dryness. This is one of the pinnacles of pipe smoking enjoyment and should be in your cellar if you like aromatics, virginias or VaPers

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bike Pipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bike Pipes (10)
★★★☆
Mild Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

At first unpacking this tobacco is slightly moist, but nothing a little airing won't cure. The packing is easy, very few remnants of stems remain which can be easily picked out. The fragrance of the unlit tobacco is nice to smell; however, there is a moderate characteristic McClelland ketchup aroma, nothing too pervasive though it does also come through in the smoke. The lighting is a bit harder if you don't air out the blend but once the bowl gets going, it's a nice sweet smoke that stays consistent throughout. The bowl won't bite unless you really tug at it, but be careful, once the bowl starts to burn hot, the flavour changes for the rest of bowl and it's never quite as sweet as when it stays cool throughout.

I recommend this for when you have time to really sit down and enjoy the blend, it won't bark unless you really tempt it to but absent minded puffing while doing something else may cause it to bite.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KinnScience Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KinnScience (29)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant

I've been smoking 5100 for a year along with other blends, particularly VA's in an attempt to find the best VA. Naturally, there are several that take the top slots including OG, HOTW, FVF, and yes 5100. (note: the above mentioned is not exhaustive as there are others that fell into the "top 10" but that is for another post)

Pipes brands used: Dunhill, Charatan, Ferndown, GBD, Peterson, Stanwell, and one Gourd Calabash. (all pipes were pre-1963 except the Stanwells and the Calabash).

5100 is the epitome of an English VA. It is so special that there is nothing else like it in my opinion. This tobacco, it may surprise some to know, is used in a number of high grade blends that are on the market today. It is a rich, full, and sweet red VA that ages like a dream.

When you first light the bowl you immediately taste the tangy sweet flavor of citrus inherent in this blend. I have read the minimalist comments of "ketchup" which I think carries a negative connotation. Anyone can reduce and/or minimize a complex flavor experience to some common reference. We could all say that wine tastes like Welches Grape juice or that caviar tastes like sea water. However, such reflections by the masses dismiss the subtle and complex flavorings that can only be detected by a patient and attentive palate.

As you move through a bowl of this remarkable leaf you find a smoky flavor enhanced by a bit of grass with an undertone of cashew that reflects continually off the dominant flavor of plum and fig which remain primary through the last few puffs. Toward the bottom there is a hint of raisin.

Buy this tobacco in bulk and age it. You will note an increase in all of these flavors within even a year of proper aging. This tobacco is a real gem and I can only hope that subsequent years are as kind.

I am amazed, not that such a wonderful leaf exists in our world, but that it is available in bulk. It truly is one of the most under-rated tobaccos I have come across, and I hope it continues to be available to everyone at an affordable cost.

Update: 3/31/11 This VA blend is still the best English VA on the market. McClelland warehouses have the best tobacco in the world. They are, IMO, the source for blenders who want to create notable tobacco blends. 5100 is a great tobacco to use as a foundation for some of the best blends in the world, and it is a great smoke by itself. Though I love flake/blends like OG, FVF, etc. I give 5100 4 stars for both its stand alone ability as well as being the best for blending. There is so many things you can do with 5100, that the possibilities are nearly endless.

I cracked open a 2 year old jar and never cease to be amazed at how aging can improve a VA. 5100 is no exception, and it becomes even better with age (if it is possible to improve upon perfection). I bought another 5 lbs of this because I never want to be without this blend and there is no way of knowing what the future holds. I did note that the price had gone up significantly (almost 50% increase over the original price) on this blend since I started purchasing about 3 years ago, not sure why. Sure, there have been increases in all tobacco for a number of reasons, but this one went up before the others ... and in excess of what the fed issues would warrant. Perhaps the importance of this Red VA became more obvious to everyone.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tallman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tallman (35)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Many folks in our club and on the Forums had recommended this. I mooched a bowlful off of a fellow club member, and like it well enough to buy a pound. Sweet, easy to pack and light, easy to keep lit, it's just a good all around smoke. It's a staple for me now. If you like virginias...give it a try. You may just fall in love all over again!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe Lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe Lover (5)
★★★★
Mild Mild Mild Very Pleasant

I am generally not a Virginia smoker, but recently tried this blend. I tend to smoke heavy Latakia blends, but just fell in love with this mixture. I find like rather like the sweet, soft smoke of 5100. It's a nice change from the Latakia and Perique blends I generally smoke.

Appearance: Medium to dark red ribbon. The tobacco is a bit moister than I like.

Aroma: Rich sweet aroma with trace of the vanilla. However, I don't believe it has a top dressing of any flavoring. The tobacco just as this nice sweet aroma that reminds me of vanilla.

Packing: No problem in any size or shape bowl.

Lighting: Initial lighting is slow due to the moisture level, but once it's going it burns well.

Initial flavor: Smooth and rich. No bite!!

Mid-bowl: When smoked slowly, it offers layers of flavor.

Finish: Clean finish and leaves a dry ash. I didn't notice any of the "goop" that you tend to find with aromatics.

Room Note: Very pleasant room aroma....my family likes it, which means I can smoke in the house.

Summary: I will end up using this mix as an all day smoke. I'm told by my local tobacconist that 5100 makes a great blending base. He uses it in several of his shop bulk blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

WOW! What an amazing tobacco. It's become a reliable every day smoke for me. If you are considering making the switch from Aromatics to Big Boy tobacco, start here. It's been a cornerstone in this hobby for me.. it's allowed me not to necessarily judge a tobacco on its smell--- as this smells like Ketchup--- but on how it smokes. Leaves relatively no goop in the pipe, and smokes great every single time. Quick! Stop what you're doing and go buy some!

Now!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

VaPer Lock Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
VaPer Lock (6)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

A solid brick cornerstone in the cellar of a Virginia smoker. Cool smoking and burns very well. The sweetness that develops as the bowl progresses has to be tasted to be believed. Stands up well on its own, and also seems to blend well. I frequently liven up some less-exciting blends with 5100.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (234)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Once in awhile, I am in the mood for an evening VA blend smoke but I am more of a burley smoker. I love the VA taste, but my main complaint is that it usually bites for me as I am a rather fast smoker, just my personality. But this one surprised me. It was smooth, tasty and biteless in my large Stanwell billiard. It did have the vinegar ketchup smell of McClellands in the pouch but not at all in the taste. It lit rather easily after loading and smoked down to the bottom leaving a fine ash in the bottom without any moisture at all. It is kind of a riff rubbed out flake medium brown in appearance, and as I smoke it I was just rewarded with a clean, honest, sweet smoke with a very nice room note. I really enjoyed this blend and was ready to reload and go another round.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

loosewatches Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
loosewatches (108)
★★★☆
Very Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Red Cake is really pretty nice. For once I'll try to say something succinctly.

This tastes like a blender, in a lot of ways. I think it is a constituent of some more pricey blends.

I think it is nice to smoke on it's own when I'm looking for a light virginia with a little twang.

It's kind of flat tasting past a half bowl for me.

I've been told this is the weakest of all virginias Ever.

It has, in fact, little twang.

But, it's really nice.

If you put this in a jar, near the window, in a west-facing south-Austrian appartment for a week or two, (but only by accident) it sings. (and twangs)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

catdaddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
catdaddy (18)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

This is a high grade blend of some of the finest Virginia tobaccos you will find in bulk form. It ages well, keeps it's moisture level well and seems impervious to the elements. When all my other tobacco has gotten too dry or moist due to the weather, Red Cake is always spot on. It has become my go-to tobacco and in my top 5 overall.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PipeDrummer88 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipeDrummer88 (12)
★★★★
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a wonderful VA tobacco. Up to now when I wanted a pretty straight forward virginia I would most likely have Old Gowrie. I'm glad to have this option now. Red Cake has a wonderful, slightly sweet taste too it. It doesn't seem nearly as strong as some other VA blends I have, and I've had no bite from it since I started smoking it. It stays very cool inside the bowl, and it burns evenly and consistently (smokes almost effortlessly). It is truly a joy to smoke this tobacco, and I give it 4 stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bryantm3 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bryantm3 (29)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is my favourite of all the McClellands I've tried. It is mild, sweet, and has no topping. In a briar, the sweetness of the virginias dominate, but in a meerschaum, the flavour transforms into a spicy taste that I can only describe as 'red', sort of like the soda Itzred, but not like that at all. This is not a full Virginia blend by any means, but it has a sweet, red taste that anyone can enjoy. Since it's not one of my all time favourites, I can only give it three stars, but I would recommend this to anyone. Also worth noting is the low amount or lack of the vinegar (ketchup) that McClelland applies to the rest of their tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fly ticky Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fly ticky (26)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Very Full Very Pleasant

This is one of my favorites.A very straight forward virginia.You can smoke it straight or blend it with tobacco that dont suit ya.I like it straight but also patch things with it.Ok gents give it a try if ya like virginias you will like this.Its good enough to be tinned.Also ages well.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Plex Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Plex (39)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Another classic and worth every piper's attention. One of the five or so Virginias I always keep on hand and great one for introducing a new smoker to Virginias.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

IHT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
IHT (15)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If you like McCranies Red Ribbon, you'll like this. While I haven't smoked them back to back, they are pretty darn close to being twins in my memory banks.

at least it's a ribbon, so you don't have to fight with the dreaded McClelland flake, allowing it to pack easily enough. getting it to burn can take about 5 or 6 charring lights before it really wants to take off.

Flavor is vinegar-like at the start, which quickly fades to a slight smokey sweetness. around mid-bowl, the sweetness is just in the background while a more tangy and smokey flavor prevails. i've dried this to as much as i can, it still has a tendency to go out even while overpuffing to keep it going.

if you like red VAs and McClellands VA flavors but not their "broken flakes/chips of solid wood", then this may be up your alley.

for me, i give it an "eh, it's alright if this is what you're wanting."

*update - my large 4 oz sample is now 3 years old, and this blend has grown on me a little bit. i wouldn't scoff at it, and wouldn't mind keeping it around, although it's not a favorite, it's still pretty good.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (96)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This was love at first pipe. I do like a red virginia, so I bought a half pound from 4noggins and now my only regret is that it wasn't five pounds.

I'm not overly fond of the ketchup smell that seems to eminate from McClelland tobacco's, but for a tobacco as rich and tasty as this, I could forgive almost anything, smooth burning and no bite, takes well to the match and low maintenance, burning down to a fine white ash and well behaved throughout the bowl.

This may yet find it's way into rotation, if not, then a special treat (on a regular basis).

IMHO, this would be an excellent tobacco for an Aromatic smoker to try, should they want to come over to straight virginias, but require a little more taste ie sweetness, that are to be found in some flakes, and/or do not feel happy about handling flakes.

A well earned four stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Puff Daddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puff Daddy (43)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Well, 22 months after I posted what's below, I really need to say that I repent of my misdeeds. I'm not so much of a latakia guy these days. I've finally developed my palate for good Virginias, and now rarely switch back to latakia blends. Only in Fall and winter now, will I break out my English and Balkan blends,

Having said that, I might still not enjoy 5100 by itself very much. I've found a recipe for an every day blend that has become my very favorite. The base is 5100, to which I add some ounces of 5105, Stoved VA. Finally, just two ounces of McClelland's Blending Perique, and I have a pound of a mild VaPer. And so far, I've laid several pounds of it aside. 5100, as a blending leaf, is really superb. The Mason jars of this blend that have matured now for a little over a year are already fantastic. I can't wait until it's a few years old.

I'm a latakia blend guy, but have always admired the people who are all gaga over great Virginias. This was recommended to me, and so I got it, hoping that it would finally be a straight VA that I could love. But, not to be. Great aroma, but one dimensional. Lika all VA's to me, it can bite. This should be considered as a component in blending, to me, and not an end-all in itself. It's of obvious good quality, and I'd think that when it was blended with a good Cyprian latakia and either a tasty Turkish or even a cubed burley, this may be part of a real winner.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Benjamin Button Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Benjamin Button (6)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Tried this blend last night as a means to start building cake in a new Boswell. I greatly enjoyed this tobacco. It was a pleasant, smooth tasteful smoke. Subtle hints of nuts throughout, and no bite at all. A little troublesome to keep lit but it could have very well been the way it was packed (it was only a 1/3 of a bowl). Another great McClelland tobacco!

-Adam

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (198)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

One of my McClelland favorite along with 2010 and bwf. This one is very gentle smoke, please the palate, soft, simple, some chocolate background and creamy feeling.

If you like Anniversary kake or w.o.laresen old fashioned you will probably love this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is ok. Not much more. It has some kind of humectant in it that prevents a proper airing out from doing much good.

If you don't mind a wet dottle this might suit you. I demand a tobacco smoke dry to the heel, or I pass on it. I pass on this one. It tastes good from first light, this is deceiving because it always goes sour around half to two thirds of a bowl.

I love mcclellands tobaccos, They are practically all I smoke and this and 5110 are their only non aromatics I have found the humectant characteristics in so far.

I suspect the humectant is to keep the hay grassy nose burning smoke this type of tobacco can produce at bay. Unfortunatley the smoking qualities are disrupted as well. After mid bowl the steam kicks and the good brown sugar flavor goes flat from all the moisture the humectant won't let escape. You can't keep this lit either due to the moisture. Very frustrating blend. If it would dry I believe it would have much better/ richer flavor.

I love Mc 2000, 2010, 2020, 2035, #27, #24, #22 and christmas cheer- these always smoke dry and cool to the heel after a little airing out. I support Mcclelland to the fullest as I smoke their stuff about 99% of the time. I just don't enjoy this 5100.

Try it, you may just enjoy it. If you are the kind of smoker like me take what I said into consideration. I smoked pounds of this aged and fresh over the last year before writing this review.

If you will check my profile you will see this is sadly the lowest I have ever rated a Mcclelland blend. So it goes I guess.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

Just another great Virginia from McClelland, only that this one's got nothing that will keep me coming back to it. This blend provides a sweet, smooth smoke, but it lacks the depth and subtetlies of other great MC like Blackwoods Flake.

Great blend to smoke now and then, and even better for blending your own mixtures.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (574)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Well, though I think this is a cool smoking straight VA, it really is too mild for me. It burns well and hopefully will work as a blender with some of my English mixtures to give them a little more sweetness and tang. Right now I'm trying 8 parts of Squadron leader, to one part of perique to 4 parts of this 5100..I'll let it sit for a bit and see what happens. A big plus for this tobacco is the price, this is one you might want to consider.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is rapidly becoming a favourite, albeit with one ounce of perique to one pound of tobacco. Without it, it's still pleasant enough, but the perique releases so much more flavour and sweetness to the blend that I'd rather not smoke it without it. It's one of the bulk blends that is, as far as I am concerned, perfectly smokeable straight out of the bag....unlike 5120 for instance. Having said that, I've jarred up 4 lbs for the cellar! The smoke is a lot fruitier and fresher than 5120; it's not quite so ready to bite as some other McClellands and at the amount of perique I use, there's no real pepperiness. All in all a good smoke my friends. I keep an old Mc tin full and the smell of the tobacco is delightful. All in all a worthy 4 stars....even without the storage but definitely with the perique. IMHO it does need the perique. Without it, its pleasant but a bit dull.

Update June 2008

I love this stuff...have settled to my 5100 + perique blend as the everyday tobacco in my pouch. Friends love the smell of the unsmoked tobacco as much as the smoke itself. Treated gently there's no bite though if I'm working in the garden or doing any task where I am likely to puff too often (one of my faults) then I fall back on Carter Hall or PA.

Update June 2009

Just gets better and better...5100+perique...sweeter, fruitier and richer in flavour. What I love about it is that I can smoke 2015 and have a creamier, bread dough like VAPER and then 5100/Perique to contrast it. Two utterly outstanding blends from McClelland. God Bless them.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bigjonburley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigjonburley (64)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

update....06/08 I just cracked my first pound of what is now 5100 aged three years. Put simply, of the scale. I don'tknow what happened inside the jar in 36 months but it must be the same thing that leads the blind to see, the deaf to hear and impotent to breed. I meant that in a good Christian way, momma. (lol) and no, I didn't add a dash of sildenafil citrate prior to sealing the jar in wax. all jokes aside. this tobacco really is something special with age. There is a seductive oily satin that fell on all the textural nuances of what I have already written, concerning this blend, prior to aging. Alot of subtley sweet, seductive nuttyness bounds from this mix. In short smoke it, but age it and it will be one of the best you've partaken in. This is a fine VA that is really pleasing to the senses. As others have stated, there is no characteristic vinegar essence associated with many of McClelland's VA's. IMHO, this is an extreme value for the bulk price. It may be one of the better VA's I've had.

Flavor: A mild nutty flavor is consistant throughout the life of the bowl. I also detected a bit of a leather note that complements the nutty essence well.

Smoking characteristics: I had no bite from this blend, even when smoked aggressively. Each bowl does require a couple of relights but the flavor was so good that I decided that I could really care less.

Overall: Super blend that could serve as a confirmed all day smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

vincenzo peruggia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
vincenzo peruggia (13)
★★★★
Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Only been smoking this since the euro soared;didn"t know it was there! Well what is put in my pipe most is virginias ! I love it;was blown away by bulk price ! I will spare you the comparisions to the VA heavys like rattrays etc. Cellared some; if it's the same in two years i'm still loving it'if better WOW! I normally don't buy bulk! When the dollar strengthens and the imported spun virginias are handy again ie OG I Will keep this on hand as well ! If you like Virginias Get some vincenzo

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I came close to editing my previous review of this classic tobacco and then elected instead to submit a totally new one.

I have smoked 5100 regularly for a number of years, both fresh from the bag after ordering and with a couple of years' age on it. It is a fine, medium-bodied Virginia with an underlying sweetness that remains consistent throughout the bowl. The flavour is slightly earthy, yet sweet and tangy all at once. Setting some aside to age improves certain characteristics of the tobacco as the flavour becomes deeper and a bit more complex. However, the tanginess - which I personally enjoy - disappears. Therefore, although I continue to set aside some 5100 for aging, I mostly smoke it without bothering to cellar it in Mason jars.

Now, if this came in a broken flake...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Highstump Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Highstump (6)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the only tobacco I buy in bulk. Enjoyable from start to finish, provided I do my part. Some smokers have objected to the "ketsup" smell of a newly opened bag of this tobacco but personally, it gets my mouth to watering.

This is an all day smoke for me, good indoors or out, and one of a few that smoke to the bottom of the bowl with no nasty surprises and burns to a fine grey ash. The flavors seem to me to be changing constantly through the entire bowl.

This tobacco is good right from the start of a new bag, however a few months of ageing makes this an exceptional smoke.

(1/13/08)Since the original writing of this review I have found that an outstanding tobacco can be made with a 50/50 mix of 5100 and Prince Albert.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Matches Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Matches (19)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I'm glad I waited to review this as I wasn't real happy when it first arrived. This blend has taught me to be patient since this tobacco gets better as it sits, dries, and airs out. I bought a pound a month ago and find it gets better each week. If you buy this and don't find it terrific...put it aside and you'll change your mind later.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Big bad Jon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big bad Jon (232)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is a great blend, the red VA's are exceptionally sweet, I almost thought it was cased. It is very light and easy on the tongue. It does age very well, and I feel that it is an easy choice for when I need a break from Latakia.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bighitter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bighitter (37)
★★☆☆
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As a big McClelland fan, I bought this bulk tobacco thinking it would perhaps be a rubbed out version of their more red Virginia flakes. But it really is something else entirely. Someone mentioned humectants, and I think I believe them. There is something sticky, no doubt a mild topping, and maybe a humectant. You know, even after leaving it out 24 hours, this tobacco is about the same stickiness/humidity level.

+++update+++ just a few days later and I've realized that the Red Cake has dried substantially, leaving behind a sort of residue. It smokes and tastes better now, but given the amount of time it took, I'm leaving my rating at two stars for now.

extra update* Well it's been a while since I've tried it, but I just had a tobacco that was so similar to this one, I had to note it here. Prince Albert, the alleged codger burley of yore, has almost the same flavors and burnability as this. Must have been what they were going for. I actually find Prince Albert to be a little bit tastier, probably due to the burleys rather than mostly Virginias. the color of Prince Albert is much browner as well.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

wosbald Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wosbald (111)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This medium ribbon has a typical funky ferment in the pouch.

The flavor is mellow red virginia and is somewhat subdued, without many highs or significant lows.

The flavor of 5100 is pleasing, the burn is easy, and the price is right.

Chamber Gauge: Narrow to Medium

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ThChrMn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ThChrMn (7)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

It starts out with a slight flavor of nuttiness and mid bowl it turns to a slight wet smoky vinegar flavor.

Packs and burns well. I recommend it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nick O'Teen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nick O'Teen (90)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

Simply a nice, mild, sweet virginia.

Monochromatic for sure but really not much to dislike.

5100 is not my favorite McClelland Bulk but for fans of the red weed, this could be an all day smoker at a bargain price. This should make a nice blender.

*

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zeuxis76 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zeuxis76 (4)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant

I have smoked several bowls of this blend aged for 7 or more years. It is spectacular!

Pure sweet VAs fermented superbly, making for an incredible smoking experience. It took very little concentration to enjoy the characteristics of this blend. It served as a fine accompaniment for pleasant conversation and game playing with friends. I say this simply because there are some tobaccos that are best smoked with no distractions. There was nothing bitter or otherwise unpleasant about this tobacco to rattle my game.

I did not notice any distinct apricot, date or fig notes, which I tend to find in the Rattray's trinity (Hal, Gowrie, and Marlin). While I enjoy those aspects of the above mentioned tobaccos, I find that a change of pace is rewarding. If you are looking for a change from expensive tinned tobaccos, then cellar some of this tobacco and enjoy. I do not think VA lovers out there will be disappointed. I smoked this tobacco in a Rinaldo and Ascorti.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

webber4509 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
webber4509 (2)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

A relatively inexpensive, quality virginia. Tasty, without a hint of bite. Refreshing while being smoked, as well as aftertaste.

We are not smoking a classical music piece here folks, but a satisfying mild to medium Virgina TOBACCO. Gets better and better with age.

Highly Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tin Man Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tin Man (14)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

5100 is a pretty good smoke. Mild, pleasing flavor. I like it. Mine came a little wet, and didn't light the best in that condition. Relighting didn't cause problems though.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (140)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

At first light I got a bit of the tart red Virginia flavor I was expecting, but after the first few puffs, it became rather boring and one dimensional. When I light up a Virginia I expect a certain level of heft that 5100 does not deliver.

Not a bad tobacco, but with so many outstanding Virginias out there, why settle for ok.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

haredawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
haredawg (46)
★☆☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable

I just can?t hang with the whole ketchup thing. I don?t want my tobacco to smell like a corn dog minus the corn dog and leaving just stick and ketchup. The flavor was adequate once it started burning. I used most of the two ounces I had purchased in bulk to mix in with a locally blended heavy latakia blend (cascade Cigar in Portland Oregon, Trafalgar blend)mainly to hide the smell I didn?t find the red cake very interesting by itself all condiments aside, the real benefit is the stuff is cheap and it?s not awful.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is an excellent sweet VA, and one of my favorite McClelland blends. Red Cake is a medium red VA that smokes cool and does not bite like most VA's. It is an excellent all day smoke by itself and is great for blending. Like other reviewers, I like to blend Red Cake with McClelland's Perique to create a classic VA/Perique blend. IMO, this is an excellant tobacco for those whishing to start smoking VA blends.

Highly Recommended

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jazzplayer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jazzplayer (9)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco is a good everyday tobacco. It is sweet with a nutty aftertaste. I would agree that the longer this tobacco is aged the better it gets! I have tried the tobacco fresh and one that came from being stored for 9 months, what a difference! I have one jar still in storage and will let that one sit for another year.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Maimonides Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Maimonides (70)
★★☆☆
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

A good Virginia. Nutty, Sweet. A good bargain for daily use.

BETTER PICK: MCCLELLAND CHRISTMAS CHEER 05' OR 06

Nobody has rated this review yet.

fatherDougal Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fatherDougal (28)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

The true Virginia flavour only emerges half-way down the bowl, and it is a very pleasant flavour, indeed. But I think I'm going to have to tinker abit with it, to see just what I could blend in to flesh out the first half of the bowl, as it is very light. Perhaps some other stoved Virginians, or a bit of Burley to get the overture engaged. But I think addding Latakia would only smother the subtlety and softness of this quality red cake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is a full-bodied Red Virginia that is also naturally sweet. There may also be an added sweetness, but if so it's quite mild. I find this much more interesting that the light Virginias like 2010.

This is one of my favorites.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DjSamwise Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DjSamwise (2)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Mmmmm.. Sweet Virginia. I ama relitively new smoker of Virginias and I have to say that this is one of the blends that won me over. This is the sweetest non-aromatic stuff I've ever smoked. This is what good cavinsish wishes it tasted like..

My first impressions were that it tasted kind of squashy like pumpkin pie-ish but in a natural pulled form the tobacco way, not added like a pile of sugar.. I really enjoyed that flavor all the way through. It burned rather cool as well.

Definately my favorite right now and due to my experience I encourage any one who has not tried this blend to give it a shot.. especially if you'd like to see what a sweet virginia really is.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dualkarnain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dualkarnain (74)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable

Wow! I just had my first bowl of 5100 and I'm impressed with the taste. I haven't aged it yet so can't comment as to the benefits letting it sit may provide.

The sweetness is unique and enjoyable; I'll order more in the future.

Goes perfect with some brandy and cran.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Zone Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Zone Smoke (199)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

To be brief, it smells rather unpleasant upon opening the tin or pouch. It smells like ketchup. It doesn't taste all that great and has a tendency to bite really bad.

But wait! Age this stuff for even a few months (the longer the better) and what you will find is one incredible smoke. The ketchup odor disappears and the taste is nothing less than incredible. An entirely different tobacco when aged. Naturally sweet with a hint of caramel and a delicious room note.

Don't write this tobacco off. Just store it away in a mason jar for a year if you can wait that long. It's well worth it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

memlapse Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
memlapse (10)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This has become a staple to tobacco for me. I enjoy blending this 2:1 with 2010, which is a bit flat by its self. It wasn't love at first light, but rather a slow building relationship. I don't normally blend already blended tobaccos, but I find my self enjoying the 5100/2010 mix more and more often. I will generally have 5100 straight as my second pipe of the day, due to it's mildness. It's not a complex tobacco, by any means, but has enough simple character to earn my approval.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bugenhagen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bugenhagen (6)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've been experimenting off and on with various McClelland Virginias, and this one (5100) has so far turned out to be my favorite. It is cool, sweet, and nutty. The pouch aroma isn't like other McC Va's. No ketchup.

It takes a bit to get it lit, but once lit, it smokes cool and evenly down the bowl. I learned about this from a friend who gave me a few ounces of it that he'd been cellaring for about a year or so. Then my son brought some home with him from Annapolis in the guise of a local house blend. I will be buying more of this very soon.

Bugenhagen

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★☆☆
Extremely Mild None Detected Very Mild Very Pleasant

My review will be very similar to others here who find 5100 to be a lightweight. I found this blend to be a dummied down version of McCranie's Red Ribbon. (Both are tinned by McClelland). This tobacco smelled delightfully Virginia sweet in the pouch. But, at the match, there was very little flavor. It was just too light for me. (It also has a subtle tendancy to bite)

I will add a couple of positives here as well. I can see where this straight Virginia would be a wonderful end of the day smoke if your palate has been overloaded. It could be a good first pipe of the day smoke too due to its lightness. As for me, I need a bit more punch in my pipe. So, adios 5100.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tonyg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tonyg (103)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm in the minority here, but I just don't find 5100 a good tobacco, even with ageing. IMHO, 5100 is just a plain old Virginia.

McClelland makes one of the best Virginia's, namely 2015.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I have been smoking this blend on and off for the last couple of years. My original batch was purchased by a BOB who had it for about 5 years (so he said)before he pawned off to me. Recently, I purchased some fresh for comparison. All I can say is that this is a delicious red VA! Whether fresh or aged, it is delicious. I am ussually a Balkan lover, but sometimes I'll smoke this exclusively for a couple of days, it is that good. It has the flavor of Hal O'the wynd, but without the knock out punch of nicotine and strength build up of that blend. In fact, I find it sweeter and more fragrant too. DGT is to die for. A dedicated pipe is recommended to get the most of this blend. The main difference between fresh and aged is that the fresh can be a little nippy if smoked fast. If sipped, no tongue-bite. Get some, age some, and enjoy. Truly, a blend that should be listed among the classic great VA's. Enjoy...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Flyboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Flyboy (39)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

5100 Red Cake descent but not memorable straight Va tobak. Can be purchased at most B/M at a reasonable price. Very moist and needs to be dried thoroughly or relights will be inevitable. Will bite the first 1/3 of the bowl but settles and the sweetness of the Va`s come thru but, levels off leaving you wanting more. Maybe a Va smoker might enjoy this blend but, for this BIG INTAKE, I need a bit more thrust. A "NoGo" for this piper!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A naturally sweet smelling, pleasantly tasty, all day smoke. Nicely cut and at the perfect moisture level for smoking in any size pipe. Maybe not the "best" leaf on the market, but a decent cost versus quality ratio.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ajaj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ajaj (69)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I have tried various ages of this fine bulk tobacco and am amazed at the differences. I just got done sampling some stuff "fresh of the plant" and it is bland and awful. I have packaged up the remainder for aging. However, give it a few months/years and pow!, you hit the zone!. I love red virginias and appropriately aged 5100 is excellent. There is an underlying earthiness complimenting the red virginia tang and spice. Buy this stuff, ram it into a mason jar, and be patient. You will be rewarded with an excellent smoke! I don't even want to talk too much about DGT...5100 makes my mouth water.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

With its sweetness and astringency, 5100 is pretty straightforward Red Virginia. A little wet and bitey like most of McClelland's VA's, but not bad for the price. I've had better and worse. I'm not a big fan of red VA's, but when I am in the mood for one I far prefer Hal O' The Wynd or one of C&D's offerings.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

McClelland?s 5100 is the quintessential all day smoke. It might not be as complex as other Virginia blends but it burns well, taste great and doesn?t roast your mouth. This has become one of the most consistent tobaccos in my smoking rotation. This tobacco will do you well and I highly recommend that you give it a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Morbid Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Morbid (3)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I got a sample of this blend in a trade I did on a cigar board I frequent that also has a pipe smoking room... The first time I smoked it once I recived it I did not take notice to how good it was... That was about a year ago... Then today I smoked a bowl...

It was pretty good the aroma was excelent, strength was pretty mild... I could not detect the flavors of different things in the tobacco while I was smoking it I have a tendency to not detect those flavorings... But it was pretty good...

I'm gonna have to buy a pound of this stuff because I plan on smoking it more often... I also must mention that as with most Virginia blends there is a bite to those tobaccos, there was a bite to this blend as its a Virginia blend but the bite went away after a while...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

smokey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smokey (120)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable

mcclelland 5100 is my favorite virginia blend and, IMHO, one of the finest blends of any kind on the market today. virginias are very tasteful if done right, and can bite like a pit bull if done wrong(as many are). i love the pouch aroma and the appearance of the tobacco. it lights and burns easily, and has a lovely nutty taste with spicy overtones. it stays that way all the way to the bottom of the bowl, not turning harsh as many tobaccos do. i also like the fact that mcclelland's bulk blends are priced very reasonably, and made right here in my home state of missouri(in KC). i agree with the other posters, this is an "old reliable" tobacco that you can always turn to for a good all-day smoke.

revision, june 2005- i am downgrading 5100 down one star to recommended. this is because i have found other virginia blends that are more complex that i like even better. that doesn't change the fact that this is a good tobacco, however. it will still be a staple and a regular smoke for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This blend has been well reviewed and I don't have much to add. I have had a great deal of success blending perique with 5100. I add between 5 and 10% perique, age in Mason jars (the longer the better), and allow it to dry a bit after opening, and it becomes one of my favorite tobaccos. The perique adds a wonderful dried fruit flavor and seems to bring out the nutty/citrus flavors of the red Virginias.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

5100 is not complex in flavor by any means, however, it's a very user friendly, soft, sweet, smooth, creamy and toasted nutty flavored all day smoke. A perfect auto pilot red virginia. A great bulk smoke and aging only improves it further. Great when smoked straight and also has lots and lots of potential as a mixer. It also comes at a great price in bulk form so what's not to like? 4 Stars in my book and one of my favorite smokes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Briar Snob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briar Snob (10)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

As previously noted, this is a fairly mild, but flavorful tobacco. After finishing a 2oz bag, I found that I missed this tobacco. The flavor is light and could stand a bit of oomph. I expect that with some aging, the flavor will greatly improve.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Dottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Dottle (162)
★★☆☆
Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Based on the reviews here, this tobacco is well liked by the masses but I will be among the few dissenters although I certainly like most McClelland blends to varying degrees. While I liked the looks and pouch aroma of 5100, it proved to be marginally sweet and monochromatic in the bowl. I found its burning qualities lacking as well. Its burn is non uniform, i.e., it burns in the center of the bowl but not the edges. A tobacco that has poor burning qualities is a big negative for me. I think this tobacco is best suited for blending and not to be smoked straight. I much prefer McCrainie?s Red Ribbon, a more upscale, tastier, better burning and pricier version of 5100 and worth the extra price.

A cigarette is to be smoked. A cigar is to be enjoyed. A pipe is to be savored.

I rate this tobacco 5.0 out of 10.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Briarabbit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briarabbit (116)
★★★★
Very Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm another one who read all the good reviews and rushed out and got a half pound of this fine Red Virginia leaf. The tobacco is pressed into cakes and then cut all to pieces in well broken form. I filled a bowl up right in the parking lot of my local Tobaconist. As the rest have said,and I agree, it does have that vinegar tang smell,but it smells good to me. Lighting was fairly easy,even though it was on the moist side.Good mild Virginia taste.This is still young tobacco,and could stand about a year in lock up. I have put this in the cellar to age in mason jars,and look foward to next Christmas Lord willing I make it there.I have high expectations that this is one heck of a good leaf after aging.Exquisite!

Update: This is not the same tobacco I put in the jars last year!It is just amazing what a year can do to this tobacco. The taste is now so relaxed, and the bite factor is hardly present.The mellow tang,the creaminess of this blend is really wonderful. I also had put a small measure of blending perique into the jars with the 5100.I highly recomend this,as it gives it a colorful fruity taste that complements the red virginia so well.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tiger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tiger (53)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I like Red Cake. Being mostly an aficionado of medium strength English and Balkan blends, my use of Va's is only once in a while. But Red Cake is hands-down my favorite Va. tobacco, probably because it is so tasty and yet so "user-friendly". As a couple reviewers have mentioned, it's the perfect "auto-pilot" Va. Beyond that, I could echo much of the praise of the many other reviewers but will simply say it is definitely Four Stars.

Tiger

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (87)
★★★☆
Very Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

5100 is a simple, tasty ribbon virginia. Not complex, very mild in delivery and strength and easy on the palate. I have played with mixing a dollop of perique into it as well and the results are good, but not comparable to 2015. I enjoy this tobacco on occasion, when I have time to indulge it with my undivided attention and a good cup of tea. Delightful in its honesty. Refreshing in its humilty.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (298)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

If you don't mind not having fancy tins or you are on a budget, this is a very tasty, round and non-bitey red virginia. Very highly recommended, and it becomes even better with a pinch of Perique. Not wet, with less of the usual McC ketchup. Fruity, sweet (with notes of cinnamon) and sour at the same time: a marvelous tobacco that you must try at least once! I would even dare to say that it's better than most of McC's tinned tobaccos!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

chperry Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chperry (9)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is my regular smoke. I smoke more of this than all other blends combined. The pouch aroma is sweet and tangy. It packs easy and is also easy to light. If hurried, it can bite some. For a straight red virginia it has plenty of depth of flavor. The flavor is straight forward tobacco with some sweetness and some citris. I often get positive comments from non-smokers on the room aroma. This blend is great as it comes and only gets better with age.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Daniel Morlan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Daniel Morlan (50)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

You have to smoke this very slowly to appreciate its finer points. There's not much else I can say about this blend that others haven't. I was blessed enough to get a small amount that has been aging for 3 years, and it was quite a smoke. I regret giving most of it away, but such is life. :)

I've come to enjoy this blend very much from time to time, and I appreciate it more and more with each lighting. It looks like I just may be buying a pound of this stuff soon.

Sorry to say more of the same, but, in agreement with 90% of the posters here, I give it two thumbs up.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Actually a little mono flavored for my main smoke. But as a Virginnia it is very hard to beat. Probably the best bulk Virginnia available. Makes a great mixer too. Takes a slow draw like most of this type to avoid the feared tongue-bite when smoked straight. I would love to have a few pounds of this after a long term cellaring.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is a wonderfully refined Virginia with a rich, slightly sweet flavor. Although it abrades my tongue a bit after a few bowls, it seems remarkably non-bitey for a Virginia. If this blend has any faults, it's that it can seem a little boring after a few bowls in a row. This is a tobacco that every smoker should try once, though, and seems something of a classic of its kind.

Update 6/28/04: Having smoked nearly a pound of this tobacco, I find, ultimately, it is just too light for me. The quality of the product is without doubt: I just wish it was fuller (both in taste and in strength.) I've downgraded my rating to "smoke on occasion."

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (574)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

I have said many times that McClelland's #5100 is the best tobacco I have ever tried that costs less than $25USD per pound. #5100 is pretty straight-forward red Virginia tobacco. The smell is beautiful and sweet, and can be savoured in itself. #5100 packs into the pipe well and lights well. The flavour is that of Red Virginia but is more complex than it sounds - I note a different flavour each time I light up.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Joe Patterson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joe Patterson (48)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This tobacco is high quality through and through. I will add the same bit of caution that some others have given as well: age this tuff at least 6 months and smoke slowly?it will only improve with age. Also, it needs a bit of drying out before you really begin to dig into it. Otherwise, the moisture and ?greenness? of it will likely burn your tongue and mouth to a crisp.

As far as how often I smoke this, let me say that I reach for it as a morning smoke (when I get to smoke in the morning of course) for its mildness of strength, tang and spice. Don?t get me wrong, I like strength, but this is precisely what I want when I?m not seeking a powerhouse. The smooth, silky clouds this weed produces are some of the best I?ve ever known ? especially for a Va.

I?ve also seen 5100 compared to McCranie?s Red Ribbon. There are similarities and there are differences. The complexity is subdued in 5100 ? but this is not a bad thing! RR is still my favorite, but as my supply is finite, I will enjoy it slowly.

Enjoy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Peaches O'Malley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peaches O'Malley (10)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

#5100 is a good example of quality red virginia tobaccos. The mid range is most notable, with the bright high range somewhat subdued but still present. Just a touch of the low end. A bit mild in strength to me, but overall a great tobacco at bulk price.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

chaplikc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chaplikc (135)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I bought a whole pound of this with the intention of aging for various lengths of time and trying it. So far I have some that has aged for three years and still has not improved very much. Some people love this but I have nothing but bad experience with it. No matter how slow I puff at it, or what size pipe I smoke it in I get the same results - a bite that would rival a pitbull! I am a big fan of some of the mcclelland virginia blends but this one just does not agree with me. Maybe it is just my chemistry or something because many of my friends love this and do not have the problem of this biting the way it does me. Ok, I just popped a mason jar of this open after 10 years of aging - What a difference! Not nearly as bitey and much smoother. If you can age for 10 years than I recommend this. I have to uprade this to 3 stars!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Horse Bodotes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Horse Bodotes (19)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco has been described very thoroughly by the previous reviewers, so I will just add my brief $0.02 worth:

5100 is one of my favorite tobaccos and has become my personal standard of reference for matured Virginias. Although I consider myself to be an English/Balkan guy, I probably smoke more 5100 than any other single blend. The sweet, creamy taste keeps me coming back again and again.

Frankly, I don't know what else one could ask for in a tobacco (assuming that you like Virginias in general): 5100 is a quality product w/ a wonderful deep flavor, it is (relatively) cheap, it is readily available and stores and ages remarkably well. What's not to like?

Many have commented on the "ketchup" smell - I have noticed that aroma w/ some of the McClelland stoved blends but I have never had that experience w/ 5100. I can't recommend this fantastic blend strongly enough.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RobAtHome Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RobAtHome (25)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

5100 is, if there ever was one, an "all-day Virginia".

5100 is straight red VA tobacco, rubbed out completely. It's a middle-ground in flavor, not as sweet and floral as a bright Virginia, nor as deep and tangy as a stoved variety. A hint of sweetness will come through, and then some nuttiness and toasty flavors.

Room aroma is tolerable, but fairly straight tobacco. Leaving the room and re-entering gives the impression of toasting nuts. Some have indicated a cigarette-like odor, but I don't detect it.

This bulk will probably benefit from aging, but I can't keep enough around. Most important is drying. This bulk ships pretty wet, and if smoked right out of a fresh bag will be a sopping bowl o' bite with no flavor. If this has been your experience with Red Cake, leave it to dry and come back to it. At the proper moisture level, it's a dry, sublime smoke with a greatly reduced bite potential.

Update: Wow - age really transforms this tobacco. I packed some of this away for a while in a Mason jar and forgot about it. I discovered it a short time ago, and it's been love ever since. The toasty, slightly grassy flavors of the blend when new have given way to sweetness, toastiness, and a caramel-like goodness that is extremely appealing. The blend has darkened ever so slightly in storage, and has maintained its moisture level. However, it has undergone a dramatic flavor shift in a fairly short period of time. I recommend storing this away for six months before smoking. You'll be glad of it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

birdie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
birdie (2)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I find this to be an excellent straight forward Virginia.

Although I prefer something with a little more umpf, this is a very good everyday smoke that smokes all the way to the bottom of the bowl.

I think that it could be a good candidate for anyone that would like to dabble in their own blends. As a nice mild dry virginia it could blend with most other baccys.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.629 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.629 (133)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

October-2003. 5100 Red Cake. I thoroughly enjoy this tobacco,& don't find it to be overpowering in anyway.I love & enjoy Virginia's,as well as English,& Balkan's. To me,this has a delicious flavour,& doe's not bite.I don't puff-fast! The flavour's are consistant,to the bottom of the bowl."Without being boring" Lights up well,with only one or two relight's,in a fairly large bowl.Provides a good clean smoke. Fresh,or Aged,I love it.And thoroughly recommend it,a definite winner for any Virginia fan.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (125)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I buy this tobacco in 1 lb. bulk and smoke about five bowls of it a week. I agree with all the positive comments above. The negative is that it is very one dimensional in flavor, but that mild, Virginia flavor is something to look forward to. As Inquisitor does above, I mix ten pinches of 5100 with 1 pinch of McClelland Perique to boost the flavor. I put it in an old McClelland tin with the plastic top and give it a few shakes. Both tobaccos are of a similar cut and blend very well. The result is an outstanding smoke. I recommend Red Cake to the Virginia lover, and I highly recommend Red Cake/Perique to one and all. Paddy. __________________________________________________ 9/22/03 To ten parts #5100, add one part McClelland Perique, one part McClelland Latakia and one part McClelland Oriental. It compares favorably to Stratford, Three Friars and Bayou Morning. Absolutely scrumptious.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Black Dog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Black Dog (25)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I like Mc Clelland 5100 Red Cake. In my opinion, it is a good, reliable, all day smoke. It's got a nice controlled VA flavor, and does not seem to have much bite. Smooth, velvety, and sweet. What's not to like? I let a few ounces dry a little bit, and there was no bite at all. The tobacco is easy to pack, takes a few matches to get lit, but once going burns to a nice white ash. Like most VA's it can gurgle a bit, though. This is one of the few "quality" tobacco's my local tobacconist carries, so it's a staple in my rotation. And the price makes it a great value. You're doing yourself a disservice if you don't give 5100 a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SFC/E7 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SFC/E7 (93)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I use McClelland 5100 as part of a blend I put together, it makes for a very interesting taste, and aroma.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarNorth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarNorth (49)
★★★★
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The poor man's Red Ribbon. I seem to have this on hand at all times. Now, Red Ribbon is a work of great genius, so taking a step down to 5100 is like stepping down from Mozart to Haydn...still pretty much not too shabby! A flavoursome smoke, not complex. A great yard weed, something to whap into the old pouch for the trail. I don't seek complexity in an all-day smoke for the most part, so for the price, this one is a sure winner.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

AH!!! the classic bulk Virginia. This stuff is becoming something of a legend. It deserves it. Although there are other Viginias out there that are better- none of them come with this price tag. The blend is indeed very similiar to Red Ribbon, but with less complexity- but whose complaining at a bulk price? This blend has got to be aged to truly experience it. Afterwords however this tobacco is very tasty. It reminds me of a campfire- all warm and toasty, with a richness that only comes from good Virginia tobaccos. You can't go wrong here- go and get some!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Inquisitor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Inquisitor (155)
★★☆☆
Very Mild Very Mild Very Mild Tolerable

NOTE: The two-star rating is based on 5100 with Perique added. By itself, it isn't my cup of tea.

Well, I guess I'm the lone dissenter on this blend. It smells absolutely wonderful in the bag (I bought a 1/2 pound based on prior raves). The interest ends there. I found the flavor to be very weak, almost tasteless. What flavor there was reminded me vaguely of cigarettes. While there was a hint of toastiness, it was purely in the background. It also scorched me.

I don't rule out the possibility that my mouth has a bad chemical reaction to this blend. McClelland Virginias are among my favorites (at least 5 of them), so I was mystified and saddened.

One tip, which raised this to a two-star: The addition of 5 - 10% Perique to this blend vastly improves it. The Perique adds a rich, cool element to it, and seems to reveal flavors hidden within 5100 that otherwise lie dormant.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarBear Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarBear (2)
★★★★
Mild Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I smoke this as a change of taste from my usual English blends so it takes some time to acclimate yourself to its sublties. It has that famous McC aroma to it but there is a sweetness underneath it. It looks to be a mixture of dark and light tobaccos. The first light requires that you work at it before you tamp for the second light. Only occasional re-lights after that. Immediately the sweetness of the Virginias envelops the palate with a pleasant tingle on the tongue and through the nose. The flavor becomes almost like caramel at mid-bowl which lasts until the bottom of the bowl. Like all Va.s one must be careful not to rush the experience to avoid the mild bite that develops from the tingle mentioned above. Overall, a pleasant Va. that is tame and tasty.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (260)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A fully rubbed out blend that results in wide ribbons of reddish VAs intermixed with < 5% golden. The pouch aroma is sweet with just a hint of the typical McClelland vinegar. However, that never bothered me even when stronger in some of their other blends. From packing to the last puff, this is an effortless smoke that needs little attention. Smokes evenly and without bite or a wet heel. The cool, sweet, creamy smoke is consistent from bowl to bowl and within a bowl but lacks much complexity. A good smoke, but I find some of the others in McClelland's 2000 series much more interesting. However, although some may feel it's boring, I can still enjoy it as as all day smoke. VA fans, give it a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SlowDraw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SlowDraw (23)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Well... Red cake , I bought just a 50 gram sample, finished it some time ago but I wasn't sure whether I liked it or not?! 2 out of 5 smokes were pleasant enough ( mainly the first half of the bowl) with a sort of fruity red tang. In regards to bite- the red VA's tend to 'abrade' the tongue & dry the palate, rather than all out bite, Unlike 22 which you can almost hear rattling while you smoke it & will strike out if puffed too hard BUT will not slowly abrade the tongue or dry the mouth out ( I found that anyway). 3 outta 5 smokes a-draggin' away on red cake I found an annoying bitterness & aftertaste especially when delayed relight used & is probably why I haven't rushed back for more, something about it pisses me.

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pmonroeb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pmonroeb (92)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

5100 is a very good red virginia that is quite similar to McCranies Red Ribbon, but to me is not quite as flavorful. My sample had been tinned by McClelland in 1993 for a collector. Normally this blend only comes in bulk.

5100 is fairly sweet as unflavored virginias go and burns pretty cool for a virginia. I often have a bite problem with virginias, but that is not the case with 5100. The cut is a medium ribbon and the quality of the blend is excellent.

I gave this one a 3 star rating, but when I want this sort of smoke, I generally go for the McCranies.

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mailman 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mailman 5000 (60)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Ketchup and vinegar are words usually banded about with McClelland virginias and I can see the point. A strong acetic acid ouses from this tobacco and if you get any gurlgle then boy does it taste bad. Don't let this put you off thou. This is an outstanding tobacco. Complex and rich and about the right body and strength for me in a straight Virginia, veterans reckon this gets a lot better with a couple of years in the jar bringing the Ph into line. This was my first taste of McClelland tobacco and if this is a bargin bulk then the rest of the range promises some real treats. Recommended.

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

Is there anything more fickle than pipe tobacco or a pipe smoker? I purchased some of this a few months ago based on reviews from some people with which I seem to share common tastes. Upon opening my package I was met with an aroma that left me...well queasy. My first pipeful did nothing to remedy this situation. It actually made me a bit ill. The following two pipefuls only served to convince me that I had made a grave error! Only my modest investment in a 1 lb. bag kept me from tossing the whole mess!

A few weeks later(mainly out of boredom) I decided to give it another shot. WHAT?! I had to go back and make sure that I had loaded my pipe with the right stuff. 5100 provided me with one of the best smokes I've ever experienced. It's been a regular for me ever since.

Was it the tobacco? Was it me? Maybe both. If I had given up I would have missed a nice experience indeed. High recommendations, the second time around!

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

Two words define this blend, and others have used them too. OLD RELIABLE. I've smoked a lot of this tobak in years past and will probably smoke a lot more in years to come. I hesitated to review this because many of you have already described #5100 to a T, and I will state only that I couldn't agree w/you more. Sometimes this stuff has a bit of a tingle, sometimes smooth as glass, maybe a little sweet, perhaps a bit sour (but tasty) like maybe a slightly sweetened lemonade. Burns well, packs well, lights well. The point is it's a good red Va. smoke that keeps you interested. It's a no-brainer smoke that works w/whatever you're doing. Sometimes simple is best. I have also used it to blend w/very pleasant results. Many tobacconists have it w/their own name on it, and yes, it's a great value. I've got some that's been stashed for quite a while now. It does get better w/some age. Do ya like smooth, tasty Red Virginias @ a good bulk price? Try this.

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

To some, the red Virginia by which all others are measured. By alternate turns sweet, creamy, and enjoyably tangy (perhaps like fresh wasabi). Smoke exhaled through the nose has a very pleasant astringency. Aromatic smokers looking for a little "more" from their smoking experiences, this one is definately for you. Many have lauded it as a great blending tobacco; I have taken to packing a thin layer of it in the midst of a bowl of another blend for a shot of Virginia in the midst of other flavors. Though it is a common-enough mantra, aging, even 6 months, improves this blend to a ridiculous degree - increasing the sweetness and mellowing out any bite propensity (over-puffing a bowl with no age on it does include this possibility). Buy it by the pound, forget about it for at time, and, upon rediscovery, it'll be a delight.

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Tbombadil Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tbombadil (11)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

5100, Red Cake, straight bulk red Virginia, fastest aging tobacco I've seen... ambosia. This is my regular "auto-pilot" smoke. Whenever I want a good smoke without having to think about things too much this is the blend I reach for. I order another pound or two every time I get close to finishing an eight ounce jar.

I'm continually amazed at the calibre of this blend. I'll try various tinned Va's and it seems that my highest praise for any of them is that they taste like 5100. Then I remember that this stuff is cheaper than Lane bulks and I ask myself why would I bother with the tins? Get some, get some canning jars, fill them and check back in about three to six months. You'll see what I'm talking about.

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