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With this tobacco, we reintroduce the smoker to the traditional Navy Cavendish, pressed in cake and aged naturally with Dark Jamaican Rum to achieve its rich depth of flavor, color and aroma.

Blended ByMcClelland
Manufactured ByMcClelland
Blend TypeVirginia Based
Packaging50g Tin, 100g Tin
ProductionCurrently available
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Mild to Medium
Room Note

Favorite Of 5 Users

66 reviews
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Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I'm gonna be a little long winded here, but if you bear with me it'll all make sense in the end. I'm a tinkerer....there I said it....I like to tinker with things and I've been tinkering with rum flavored tobacco for a while now. In the process I've learned a few things that I'd like to share.

First, let's talk rum. The English speaking islands of the Caribbean make their rum from molasses. It tends to be of the dark variety and has a strong flavor of molasses and sometimes added spices. It is usually sipped straight. The French speaking islands make their rum (rhum) straight from sugar cane juices. It tends to be of the lighter variety and has much less flavor which is why this variety is most often used for mixing. The Spanish speaking islands make both and concentrate on smoothness through aging in old oak barrels. It is the dark rums of the English speaking islands that are most often used for flavoring tobacco due to the more intense flavors.

To flavor tobacco with rum it is soaked in it and allowed to dry which removes the water and alcohol leaving behind the solids that make up the rum's flavor. The flavor will be that of molasses, caramel, and whatever spices were added to the rum. Some tobaccos are soaked and dried as many as three times. Of course, the more times soaked the stronger the flavor. I've been doing it myself with a VaBur I made for this purpose and a blend that is soaked only once has some unique characteristics which show in this Navy Cavendish. I'm certain that this is a once soaked blend. By the way, I like to use Kraken Black Spiced Rum (Trinidad and Tobago) due to it's heavy, sweet molasses flavor and the use of 11 spices. This blend uses a Jamaican and I wish I knew which one.

This blend had me going in circles for a while trying to find the right pipe for it. None of my cobs did the trick. A clay didn't do it either. A meerschaum didn't do it. I started in on my briars and hit the jackpot with a Rossi Author. The wide, somewhat shallow bowl is just what this flake needed.

The smoke starts out a little out of harmony. This is characteristic of a once soaked rum blend. The rum flavor and that of the Virginia co-exist side by side, but neither really taste like themselves. That's the effect they have on each other early in the bowl. As the bowl progresses the two flavors start to define themselves and at around half bowl a perfect harmony is reached and I get the flavor of raisins covered in molasses. This flavor lasts for the duration of the bowl. It is exquisite. This is a wonderful flake.

Thanks for bearing with me on this one. Mild to medium in body. Mild in flavoring. Mild to medium in taste. Takes a few lights to get going, but burns well thereafter without any drying time.

Pipe Used: Everything. The winner is my Rossi Author

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

28 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

The Virginia cavendish offers a little tangy dark fruit and a bit of citrus as well as a little grass, a touch of earth and honey. The Jamaican rum topping is sweet and a little spicy. The rum is not overpowering, but is complimentary to the tobaccos. The nic-hit is mild. It does need some drying time and you will need to break up the flake a bit. It seems to work best when sipped, but that's for savoring the taste and not due to its burning properties as it burns cool and won't bite. This slow burning blend has a very consistent flavor. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl, and needs some relights. Has a pleasant, slightly lingering after taste. Can be an all day smoke.

14 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If you can get through the first half a dozen puffs or so, you're on your way to a great bowl of tobacco!

This stuff, especially if not properly dried out, starts off harsh. I actually have to relight early (unless it's bone dry). Once the tobacco is evenly burning, it's a wonderful smoke that improves in the bowl as it progresses. I don't find any butter notes and I wouldn't call this a smooth tobacco. It's quite flavorful, much like eating a porterhouse steak. Each puff simply tastes like another bite of steak and as you get closer to the rib - oh mercy!

If you enjoy Guiness Stout, you'll have to try the two together, perhaps after a nice porterhouse or NY strip.

Very highly recommended

12 people found this review helpful.

TN Cowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TN Cowboy (5)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I think Geronimo Von Klaus and several other reviewers nailed it. It's a highly underrated, fantastic smoke for the genre that melds into smooth harmony with proper prep and staying with it about 1/3 into the bowl. The tin note wasn't pleasant when I opened it for the first time, but after a day open, it's intoxicating. The rum is definitely in the background, and the typical fermented McClelland aroma is somewhat tamed. I can't offer an opinion of newer tins, as I was lucky enough to pick up a neglected tin with 6 years on the shelf at a local tobacconist. I was discouraged by the mixed reviews and first impression, but have tried it in several pipes and now love it. It's an interesting change of pace from McClelland's other matured VAs and doesn't rival my beloved No. 27, but it's a darn good navy flake. I'm a bit hooked on it at the moment when I want a smooth, flavorful smoke. I'm tempted to stock up on more of these neglected 6 year old tins!

Pipe Used: Lama clay, Paykoc meer, Brigham Algonquin Volcano

Age When Smoked: 6 years

Purchased From: Nashville Smoke & Ale

9 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This one is overflowing with quality matured Virginia leaf that McClelland's is so proud of (and rightfully so). The process involving the pressing and marrying of the leaf with dark Jamaican rum was a home run, too! Spicy sweet in presentation with the Virginia's maturity and the rum's piquant flavoring playing off of each other as perfectly as Fred & Ginger. And I can't even imagine what these beautiful dark golden flakes will taste like now with all the aging. Folks, join the Navy now and thank me later!

7 people found this review helpful.

Geronimo Von Klaus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Geronimo Von Klaus (76)
Strong Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

I think this is the best of its kind, just make sure if you are in a B&M that you look at the bottom of the in and get the oldest one.

This needs some drying out and can be hard to pack as its prone to going out, but when you get it right, when its well-aged, well-packed and well-dried, you are in for a very satisfying and deeply flavorful smoke,.

As always, VA's so rich and tangy that your mouth almost waters on sniffing it the tin, but there is something there that makes this all the better, that Rum casing. It doesn't smell like nasty, hungover alcohol like I find GH Rum Flake does, or even GLP Sextant where it smells like the breath of someone who had a skinful of rum the night before and is now suffering, this smells like nice and classy rum which is being served to you aboard a sailing vessel on a nice day without a care in the world.

The prep is so important. Shortcuts equal bite or blowing through a book of matches and giving up in annoyance, but its worth it.

Cannot think of a Navy Flake as good as this. Maybe a little light on the casing as the VA's hit high guy near the middle and can drown out the rum casing, but otherwise, a real winner.

Pipe Used: Peterson Killarney

Age When Smoked: 4 years

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

7 people found this review helpful.

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

I don't find much similarity between NC and other typical black cavendish blends. In fact, I think that association might prevent some smokers from trying it to begin with. A better category to consider it among is Virginia flakes.

NC is not a powerhouse flake by any means, despite its deep dark appearance. It is mild in strength, but has a nice rich medium flavor profile. I do not detect the rum as such, but there is a consistent underlying sweetness that is very nice. There is no harshness at all, and every bowl for me has always been dry and cool (and I can puff a little fast sometimes). It is always very well behaved. It's flavor is a very smooth medium stoved Virginia, earthy with that sweetness I mentioned. Another reviewer used the word "malty," and I agree with that. It's one note and will not blow you away, but I never found it boring. That said, I never had to go searching for its flavor either. It's pleasant and delicious without being overbearing.

Again, I want to stress how well behaved it is. I never rub it out, so I cannot say how it burns or tastes with that preparation. It does need some drying time, and I've had best results when the flake chunks (which I break up to the equivalent of a large cube cut, with larger chunks in the bottom of the bowl to create an air pocket) are getting a little hard around the edges. Always dry and cool.

Someone who likes the stronger flakes would probably be underwhelmed. If you like things right down the middle in terms of strength and depth of flavor, you should give it a try.

Pipe Used: Brigham billiard, Savinelli prince, Savinelli Zulu

5 people found this review helpful.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (171)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I remember the days back when I was unable to smoke many McClelland Va's due to tongue bite. Come to find out, it was all operator error. When I slowed down, sipped and properly dried and packed their Va's, most if not all, are pure nirvana now. And This blend is no exception! Reviewer DK (below) is the one who turned me onto this blend. As he states, if you can make it past the first few puffs, this is an extraordinary blend. Tangy in the tin, without a lot of rum to speak of, but you should be able to find it mid bowl, as it doesn't come right out. One key tip I can offer, when it comes moist in the tin, a bowlful for 10 seconds, and 10 seconds ONLY, in the microwave dries this to smoking perfection, ready to pack and light.

Paired well with a Founder's Breakfast Stout.

5 people found this review helpful.

steppx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steppx (152)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I'm surprised there are as many not enthusiastic reviews to this. Perhaps its the expectation that comes with the name. This is just one of the best blends in the world, I believe. Its very old school, and while not overly complex, I dont think its meant to be. It is a virginia cavendish flake marinated in rum. The rum note is there but its in the background. Though without it, this would be another very good virginia flake. Or rather, its not quite that. Its a cavendishized (sic) Virginia flake. Whatever you want to call it, the taste is terrific. Its not overpowering at all, but its rich and creamy. In some ways its a milder version of Pease's Navigator. In some ways. But this is the purest version of navigator. One can get very addicted to this blend. I say that from experience. For me its an everyday smoke that I smoke once a day nearly every day. The nic hit is below medium, but barely. Its creamy and rich in taste and consistent start to finish. Dry it out for fifteen minutes though and rub it out a bit. I think more experienced pipesters will be the ones that most appreciate this. A classic.

Purchased From: 4noggins

4 people found this review helpful.

Cumarinophil Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cumarinophil (105)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

McClelland Navy Cavendish is a fine, delicate specimen of it’s kind. It is not Black Cavendish, but rather traditional Navy stile of rich, brown color. The tin doesn’t indicate the Jamaica rum as strong as expected. Mature, high quality VAs dominate presented in a broken flake.

Upon first light, there is a very nice and subtle malty, slightly creamy note together with full but smooth tobacco flavor at medium strength. More constant than complex this is a reliable companion any time of the day.

Pipe Used: Several briars with and without filter

Age When Smoked: fresh to 2yrs

Similar Blends: Cornell & Diehl Afterhours, Davidoff Scottish Mixture.

4 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

This review is based on a tin from 2005 that had been kicking around my cellar for the past year. Each time I returned to it, I found that I liked it more and more. The dark flakes remind me of Dark Star in appearance. I choose to rub out the flakes or smoke them chopped. I find that I like it chopped better. There is a tangy sweetness that I really enjoy. Like some of the other reviewers, I found it difficult to detect any rum in the blend. It has either dissipated with age or it has been added with the lightest of hands. Being a bit of a puffer, I was pleased to find that it can be pushed a bit without any bite. The flavors are pretty straight forward without a lot of complexity. Navy Cav is a little light in the strength department for my taste and that would be its downfall for me in terms of future purchases. However, fans of matured Virginia's should give this blend a try. Recommended

4 people found this review helpful.

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

Wasn't sure whether I believed this was a cavendish; not what I usually think of when I hear that term, but a more experienced pipe smoker has assured me that one could call this cavendish by strict definition (along with a lot of other blends we normally think of as matured or stoved Virginias). I like it. It reminds me of the others in the Matured Virginia series, and that is not at all a bad thing! My tin is from 2006. It is nicely aged at this point, and I can hardly taste the rum. It just adds to the matured mellowness. There may be a certain astringency here (but no bite) beyond what one finds in even the typical McClelland Matured Virginia, but it is not as overwhelming as something like Black Parrot (Ashton). The attractive flakes are more complete than the usual broken flake one finds with this brand, but they are not perfect flakes. Who cares? I break up all my flakes! All in all, any lover of Virginia Flake (especially the American classics produced by McClelland) will be happy to have this fine offering in their cellar. I find this makes a great blend 1:1 with SG FVF.

4 people found this review helpful.

runswithdogs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
runswithdogs (17)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I snagged a 13 year old tin of this tobacco, and boy does it sing! Thirteen years of aging has ripened the Virginias to a mellow sweetness. The rum plays a nice background role, enhancing ing the flavor even more, although I would not classify this as an aromatic. A light smoke, gentle nic hit, and a pleasing room note.

Pipe Used: Becker bent billiard

Age When Smoked: 13 Years

3 people found this review helpful.

MAPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MAPiper (10)
Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant

This is my favorite rum flake. Seems to be just rum added to a wonderful red and orange virginia flake. The rum gives the Vas another dimension of sweetness and depth. People say to smoke on the dry side. I don't like dry tobacco so I smoke fairly moist like normal. This works well for me with a little bite at the beginning if you're not careful. It's a great tobacco though.

Age When Smoked: new

3 people found this review helpful.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (84)
Mild Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Strong

I agree with the previous reviewer, Davetopay: not bad.

It's not a bad smoke at all -- typical McClelland quality. But there's nothing special about it, nothing to make it stand out. I, too, had difficulty discerning much flavor in it.

A quality smoke, yet a bland one. This one's not for me.

2 people found this review helpful.

Dubinthedam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dubinthedam (133)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

I love this stuff, ketchup and all....makes a nice change from other' more sugary and cased Navy's. My favorite McCle so far, the other being C.Cheer which was not so great for me. I think a spray of Rum would do this no tins are from maybe I'm just spoilt....lovely stuff.

2 people found this review helpful.

WmZiggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WmZiggy (76)
Mild Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Pleasant

1 April 2010: I smoked several bowls of this again. The acetic acid (Ketchup smell) has not lessened, but once past that and well rubbed out and settled down in the pipe, it is a very tasty smoke. With several bowls I thought I caught just a hint of Latakia toward the bottom of the bowl. In any event, this is very old tobacco, well aged. I am upping my original assessment.

Well, believe it or not, I have a tin of Navy Cavendish that is 27 years old, almost to the day I am writing this review. I can say this for certain because I still have the receipt - #2216 -dated Feb 19, 1981 from McClelland Tobacco Company. I purchased it direct for $4.50 a 4 ounce tin. I am less certain how the receipt managed to survive, but know how the tobacco did. Shortly after getting this tin I quit smoking my pipes, but kept my tobaccos in a large floor to ceiling humidor that I have in my house. There they've aged away (I also have tins of #1, #14, #24). Last year I picked my pipe up again and started rummaging around in the humidor (mostly filled with cigars). When I found the receipt tucked away in my desk, my eyes nearly fell out. Where does time go besides quickly!

I had opened the tin, but smoked little of it in 1981. It was in great shape. However, the noted "ketchup smell" was still present. It is acidic and sharp and still bites my nose when I smell the tobacco deeply. It was perfect in moisture content; I would say on the slightly dry side. So I loaded up a large bent bulldog.

I am not sure how helpful this review, other than having some interest given the age of the tobacco, can possible be. I have to guess there are not too many 27 year old cans of McClelland Navy Cavendish rolling around out there. Furthermore, I don't have a modern day can to compare it against, nor can I remember what my initial experience was back in 1981. And, I don't want to order another tin unless I like it (call me cheap). So I closely read all the reviews herein to see how my experience compared, and there are some interesting similarities between old and new. In fact there are so many I doubt I will order another can, nor can I recommend to you long term aging. Given the quantity I have left, it will easily hit 35 years of age.

The tobacco, as noted in the reviews, has some sharpness, tongue bite if you will, upon lighting. As it settles down it became a basic Cavendish smoke from top to bottom with the ash varying from white to gray. Some describe this as "one-dimensional", and it was basic, good old tobacco flavor. It was not unpleasant, just basic. However, it would with regularity bite me on the sides and tip of my tongue with that tangy, acidic sweetness that you can smell in the can. Puffed slowly it was rather one-dimensional with its flavor tending toward Virginia "high notes". If I had to guess, there is Turkish and Perique tobacco in this blend. The Perique was slightly present as a "lower" or plumy/nutty note. Now I like Perique and its interplay with Virginia leaf, but in this blend it is too faint, or it has mellowed too much in 27 years.

I'd like to say that after such a lengthy cellering the smoke was sublime. It was good, but not as good as the one year old bowl of University Flake I smoked afterward. Both are similar, but University Flake doesn't bite me and it has more lower notes to balance the Virginia/Turkish highs.

2 people found this review helpful.

Sasquatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sasquatch (81)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I basically agree with The Keeper below... this is what Captain Black and the other Vanilla/Black Cavendish mixes are trying to imitate. That said, this product bears absolutely no resemblance to the drugstore aromatics.

I would have called this a broken flake rather than a ribbon, but maybe I'm out to lunch on that.

This tobacco needs a bit of a rub, but not much. Moisture content wasn't bad, and unlike some McClelland's, this stuff actually will dry out.

Inoffensive in the pipe, there's a nice dose of vanilla, rum, and the carrying Va tobaccos. Not as sweet as a black cavendish by any means, but the balance of flavours is really good. It's not real heavy, and a guy could smoke this all day without trouble, I think.

I wasn't terribly impressed with this tobacco until I tried it in a really good pipe- I don't know if it was the size, or the quality, or whatever, but right at the end of the tin I had one fantastic smoke with this tobacco, and finally understood it.

2 people found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (180)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Medium to dark brown flakes that are fairly tough. It has a brown sugar/molasses nose. From the start there are some strident, sometimes harsh, darker Va notes. The smoke softens considerably by mid bowl and this is when the promise of this baccy is on show. However, towards the end there are some intrusive bitter notes suggestive of an unsophisticated burley.

Burns well once underway and I preferred to stuff and go. Does not smoke well in clay and needs a good briar or cob to take away the rough edges. Lasts an age in the bowl.

I suspect my year old tin is well underdone and it might take a few years for this tobacco to come into its own. Really a two star blend as it is but there is sufficient promise for me to give it 3 stars. I will try to review it again in perhaps 5 years or so.

1 person found this review helpful.

L'Italiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
L'Italiano (170)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the original Cavendish (Golden Cavendish), the first creation of this extraordinary invention. If you want to try the original Cavendish here is it. Pure Virginia leaf pressed in cake and aged with Rum. No other ingredient. Simple with a natural taste. The idea is great because McClelland gives all of us the opportunity to taste the real Navy Cavendish of the origins. The result is not as exciting as the premise. I mean that this is a good cavendish, but not excellent. It has no complexity, probably because of the simple “original recipe”. But it is natural and this is a merit. From the side of the taste two stars, but four stars in regard to the idea. So, for these reasons, in my personal system rating (from 1 to 10) my score is 8 and three full stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

rushm1n3r Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rushm1n3r (18)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Smoked cool and clean. Tasted very natural, I barely tasted the rum casing. Pleasant nutty flavor with no tongue bite. Not a lot of deep flavors, but the simple purity was nice. Room note was lite and pleasant. Moderate nicotine buzz.

Pipe Used: SMS

Age When Smoked: 25+ smokes

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Motoyoshi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Motoyoshi (68)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Take this review with a grain of salt because a friend gave me an 8 year old tin that was pretty dried out. I rehydrated it and this is where my impressions are coming from.

Very dark tobaccos that is easy to rub out.

There are some nice tangy and sweet lemon like flavors here but the rum gets in the way too much for my preferences. They're very different tobaccos, but it kind of reminded me of GL Pease's Barbary Coast and the alcohol used to top that blend. I got a lot of dottle left over in the bowl and it smoked a little wet.

If you want some rum flavor with your VAs this is a good option. I personally would just prefer the matured VA without the rum and maybe a splash of burley for variation. If you're looking for a zesty dark VA with no impinging toppings, I would look into the McClelland 2035, Dark Star or Butera's Dark Stoved.

High quality tobacco that is just not for me here.

Age When Smoked: 8 years

1 person found this review helpful.

bstone Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bstone (3)
Mild Mild Medium Pleasant

This one has grown on me over time. I agree with many of the other reviews in that the first few puffs leave you wanting a bit more than what it delivers, but if you can stick it out it gets better. Much of what I found out was user error on my part. To fully enjoy this blend I find that I have to somewhat kiss my pipe 6-8 times with small gentle draws then after 6-8 kisses one long even draw. This, for me, seems to really help bring the full flavor of the rum out and dramatically changed my impression of it. If you are looking for a knock your socks off rum flavor, this probably isn't your blend. But if you enjoy a good virginia with a smooth sweet rum in the back this will be for you. Be sure you rub it out well, i've noticed it can be a bit tricky to keep lit well if it isn't rubbed out enough.

Pipe Used: P. Jeppesen Briar (Apple Bowl)

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Up In Smoke Clarksville TN

1 person found this review helpful.

JustOneforMe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustOneforMe (28)
Mild Mild Very Mild Pleasant

Objective: Very wet tobacco, but drying was not a problem. Mild to moderate amount of smoke delivered (Not a good thing, desire more). Price within reason. Packed well, lit well and smoked nicely to the bottom of the bowl.

Subjective: This was a nice smelling blend in the tin, but that did not translate into the smoke. I found the aroma to be off-putting and the taste to be somewhat chemical like. Not a mixture I will be revisiting.

1 person found this review helpful.

ELF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ELF (40)
Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

Rub it out very Well/Pack your pipe loosely,in layers/Light entire bowl;drawing quite get tobacco completely involved{tobacco is very dense\not unlike"1792"}I find once I've taken a couple solid draws,I used my tamper + push the center(only) of the tobacco right down...I Relight entire bowl,and don't have to relight Med-Pipe,,just tamp from time to time/// HIGHLY RECOMMENDED---My Favorite MCClelland Tobacco---Hands Down! :+}}

1 person found this review helpful.

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

It has been a while since I last smoked Navy Cavendish. Its tin aroma was fairly sweet-smelling with that ever-present McClelland vinegar smell. I remember having difficulty with packing (I was new to flake tobacco at the time) and with lighting/re-lighting issues. I happened to enjoy the Virginia/Rum topping taste very much. I'm sure I'll try it again in the future as it was a pleasurable smoke once I got the hang of it, and all of the reviews have resulted in a re-kindled interest with this blend. I must have smoked 4 or 5 tins of this over the years, the last being in the early to mid 90's. Taking all of this into account, I can comfortably give Navy Cavendish 3 stars.

UPDATE 2-19-11: I was in JR Cigar today and spotted McClelland Navy Cavendish and decided to revisit as I haven't smoked it since the early to mid 90's. This time, not a broken flake as I remember it, but individual flakes - about the size of Erinmore. This is even better than I remember it. The vinegar smell in the tin did not in any way translate into the smoke. The rum was present in the taste, albeit subtle. It was a very tasty, spicy smoke. Not hot at all. A very good Virginia presence and slightly sweet without being over the top. No hay-like taste at all. I am very happy I purchased a tin. 4 stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

al1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
al1 (58)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

4/10/08 Very good. Not a lot of other tobacco tastes like this. I disagree with previous reviewers that it is a darker tobacco, It is a golden brown rum soaked navy cavendish style flake.

It does require some initial drying, and I would not reccomend this to a newbie at either flakes or the pipe in general. I think the work involved is well worth the rewards of enjoyment. Try it in a medium or smaller sized pipe.

It has a good flavor. I like this a lot. It is rich enough for a continuous smoker to fit into his routine. But easy enough on the tongue to satisfy that anytime need for a good solid smoke.

I was a little surprised at how well the rum enhances the natural cavendish flavor. It kind of creeps in as you go. Has a good va flavor with some added mellow sweetness from the rum which by my taste is dark and well aged. If you are expecting a blast of rum on your tongue you won't find it here and should try a rum aromatic for that.

I'm done with black cavendish for the most after finding this lovely flake. It has some punch for those not faint of heart.

Like all mc va's, rub it, dry it out most of the way, then enjoy- just pace yourself. It takes a while to adjust to va's anyway so I can see where a different type of smoker or the inexperienced could not understand this or any tobacco in this series. With all mc va's patience is key. I feel quick drying is no problem as long as approached correctly. Rub out a palmfull or two, put it on a plate or the like and 4-10 hrs in the house out of sunlight usually gets her right, just keep checking it every couple hrs. Then I put the dried portion (about 5 bowls worth) in a mason jar to lock it in at the right moisture which is around 95% dry leaving the rest of the undried tin for later to keep it fresh. I do this with everything in my rotation to keep some of everythng ready to go. Any airtight container will do and if you smoke up a tin quicker than I do you could prep the whole thing and just use the tin, I use glass because it is easier to see how much is left than having to peek under the lids of tins and as long as the jar is clean and has a good lid there is no way it will ever color the taste of your smokes like plastic can. Of course the Spouse thinks I am too particular- I prefer the term conniseur.

Common sense should tell you when it is super humid or while raining is not the best time to dry. There is no reason to let it sit for a year after opening! Maybe before opening to age some would make sense but every tin I ordered so far is at least two years old anyway.

But then again I am a farmer that raises hay and has raised tobacco, this seems very simple to me. Not for those who want to pop a lid and pack. Or those who can't sip slowly.

I would call this virginia based rum candy myself. Not as sweet a s#27 or #25 though. Very distinctive.

Update 9/15/08 This is bothering my allergies somehow and it took me a while to put my finger on it. It always makes my mouth dry way too much and makes my eyes water and itch. Real shame cause I liked it till then. Seems too hay grassy for me now.

1 person found this review helpful.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (286)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Another nicely prepared flake from McClelland that has a more pleasant tin and room aroma than some of their other 'vinegar' blends. Easy to keep lit and a cool smoker when not rubbed out. However, I didn't taste the rum and found the initial 1/3 of the smoke rather rough. Overall, this rather uninteresting cavendish blend is no match for McClelland's true flakes in either bulk or the Personal Reserve series that I've reviewed and found more complex and enjoyable.

1 person found this review helpful.

TK Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TK Pipe (101)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

McC Navy Cavendish … This one smokes too much like a cigarette tobacco (Camel) for my liking. I found little stand alone taste/flavor in this blend, except when fully inhaled. Many seem to love this tobacco, maybe for that reason, but for me I want a blend not so dependent on being smoked like a cigarette, to find satisfaction. For that reason, this one is off my list of expectable pipe blends, and I can only somewhat recommend it to others.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CenTex Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CenTex (18)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I cannot give this one a wholehearted recommendation. I bought a tin over a year ago and after a couple of bowls, shelved it. Recently took the tin down to give it another try. Still smelled strongly of barbecue sauce. Rubbed out easily, lit easily, but just not much of a flavor. Not worth the price, I would save cash and just go with smoker's pride black cavendish. Perhaps I just don't have the palate to appreciate this blend?

Tried this blend again. Tin has been sitting for over two years. Barbecue sauce smell is gone. Smoked in a meer churchwarden and had terrible tounge bite. Changing my rating to not recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ryepipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ryepipe (19)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Old smoker but relatively new to VA flakes I ventured a tin of NC. Lit direct from the can my tongue cried for spare parts. Essence of roof tiles, I dialed up the Review to see if I had missed something. Reviewer DK hit it on the head. Four days later drying out on a paper it transformed itself to something resembling pipe tobacco. Still the initial light harkens to the urinary tract infection dance, on my toes wincing. It does settle down, I didn't get any rum hit at all. FYI, I do smoke blends with VA, even beefy Stonehaven. I need to live to be very old before I forget this one. (I'm working on it...)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

paulw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
paulw (52)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium Strong

Not a fan of virginia's used to like lane's oriental cavendish,this was strong all around, my wife smelled the first wiff and that was from inside our garage outside of the house!The blend reminded me of a reasonable escudo loved the rum casing!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Davetopay Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Davetopay (43)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Not bad. That's not meant as a knock on the blend, I am actually enjoying smoking it a good deal.It's just that it doesn't stand out and declare it self when matched up against other navy blends. This tin has several years of age on it, and smokes very well. Dry, cool, little bit spicy, but I keep thinking about PS Luxury Navy Flake and how if I had to chose one to buy ofrever and a day, I'd go LNF. That being said, this is good stuff and is worth trying if you are looking at getting into the world of Navy Flake. The presentation is a broken flake, fairly soft when compared against some others, and easy to break up and load. It takes a light with relative ease, and burns cleanly to a nice ash. Only problem is, the flavor is a little weak for me. I like a baccy that will jump up and kick your tastebuds in their collective asses. Not so much the case here. In fact, I found myself getting a bit of bite due to my over puffing to try and pull more taste out of it. Therefore I give it 2 stars......pushing toward 3...but not quite.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JEM Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JEM (21)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I wanted to try a traditional navy flake, with the rum and everything, so I bought this one. What a disappointment. It is dark, so I expected a heavier flavor, but no. It is medium at most, but more on the light side and I could not taste or smell the rum. That is not to say that I don't like it. I'm just disappointed that I didn't get what I thought I would get. It has a different flavor and is a little difficult to keep lit.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

puro66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
puro66 (74)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

I simply do not like this. I have tried and retried over the years in various pipes and levels of aging vs. moisture content etc... It reminds me of many of the Danish Navy Flakes which I hate. Sorry McClelland but no!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I first must say I opened my tin of Navy Cavendish over a year ago. My initial reaction was only mediocre, as I had a touch of trouble lighting it; though once lit, it seemed to burn fine with a nice, even ash residue. The flavor was pleasant, but I was a bit put off by the tobacco's moisture, initial bite (possibly my eagerness to get the leaf lit) and pungent tin aroma. It felt too moist and the tin aroma was so dense (Rum? What rum?) I meant to let it sit for a few days -- MY! How time flies when you forget about a thing!

Well, it was September's end, and I found my long-forgotten tin in a box full of other stuff. I attempted to kick myself, thinking I had just found a dessicated version of a promising tobacco. Lo! it not only wasn't desicated, it was in the moisture region I look for as a matter of course in my tobacco choices! Luck? Good packaging? Who knows? The leaf was now easy to rub out, but just moist enough to stay well-packed in my pipe.

I found my favorite bent Barling that often cradles my virginias, and packed a pipeful of the NC. Being of sound memory, I took my time lighting it to avoid a tongue-grabbing initial bite. It worked, and the reduced moisture made lighting a breeze.

My first puffs were of nice, medium-bodied tobaccos. If there was any of the rum left after such a long period, it came through only as a residual sweet note harmonizing with, but not in any way overpowering, the tobacco's own natural sweet tones.

As I progressed through the bowl, the flavor of the smoke became fuller, but only slightly so. I can see why some pipe folks would feel this one-dimensional with little variation. It's simply that the variation is subtle. They suit me in this particular blend, though.

The final third of the bowl became a little hot, but I attribute that to my drawing a bit harder (I was in the middle of an action sequence in a book) and that some moisture had built up at the bottom. The moisture was probably not entirely the tobacco's fault, as I tend to smoke "wetter" than many other pipesmokers with whom I've spoken.

I've gone through 2/3 of the tin since I found it, and I have to put this in my "Keeper" category. There are more complex Navy Cavendish blends out there, but I'll happily keep this one in my "cellar" as a nice, mellow, medium-bodied diversion. Of course, I'll probably open the tins a year in advance of smoking them!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

romaso Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
romaso (43)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This (along with C&D Blockade Runner which I haven't tried) is one of the only US-available traditional Navy Cavendish. The tobacco is good quality and the dark rum sweetness comes through quite strongly.

While I don't smoke this regularly, I do keep some around and enjoy it particularly in the winter, when, as in beer, I prefer stronger flavors than I do in the summer.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild Tolerable

A broken flake tobacco which is dull, with little taste (though it improves opening the tin and letting it rest with the plastic lid for a month for some drying). The rum used in the cavendish process doesn't leave a noticeable aroma or taste: it's just the usual McClelland stuff, with that sour vinegar smell... only this is vastly inferior to some of the other superb offerings from this brand! Quite bitey, too.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (102)
Medium to Strong Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

A fellow piper recommended I try this McClelland concoction whilst I was perusing my local tobacconist's wares. Anyone having viewed any of my previous reviews would have picked up on my reticience to smoke flakes not containing latakia, as I seem to have a rather tender mouth. However, I have been experimenting with some flake virginias from time to time, so I thought why not a cavendish? The tabak tumbles out of the can in a haphazard broken flake. A slight rum flavor is detectable via olfactory sense; I was not blasted with "atomic ketchup", as others may have been. Flakes are greasy to the touch, so I find it is best not to rub out too fully, lest your mouth become a bbq pit. Flavor is straightforward-smoky, with hints of rum emerging ever so often. I kept my puffing cadence to a bare minimum and was rewarded with a gentle but full smoke. Navy Cavendish is not usual fare for moi, mais c'nest pas terrible, and I will finish my tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flint Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flint (30)
Medium Medium to Strong Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable to Strong

I have never met a flake I didn't like until now. It looks the part in the tin but aroma and tastes are just not there. Very flat and boring not at all like McClellands other fine products. There are just too many flakes that are much more enjoyable and complex than this one. Just my thoughts maybe it will do something for you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.