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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.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland
Manufactured ByMcClelland
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringRum
CutFlake
Packaging50g Tin, 100g Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy 4noggins.com
SmokingPipes.com
Product Image
Strength
Mild to Medium
Flavoring
Mild
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant

Favorite Of 3 Users

2.9
53 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
16
3 star:
21
2 star:
10
1 star:
6
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JohnMA Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnMA (14)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant

I love this flake. I like that it has great virginia flavor with what seems like rum and only rum added. I think many people expect rum with casing in rum blends. This one however seems only to have rum added. This could be why many people say that there isn't enough rum flavor. I really like its simplicity. The rum is a wonderful addition to a top notch virginia flake.

It can burn hot at first and give some bite. I think this is natural with aromatics. I rub out fully and dry a bit. Get a nice char light and then let it slow down. Then sip and savor. I add a pinch of blending perique to spice it up a bit sometimes.

I will have a tin or two on hand of this and will try aging some.

Pipe Used: Poker briar

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Cornell & Diehl - Blockade Runner, Cornell & Diehl - 426: Jamaican Rum.

4 people 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

2 people found this review helpful.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (120)
★★★★
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.

2 people found this review helpful.

rramstad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rramstad (115)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I had the good fortune to enjoy a sample of 1995 McClelland Navy Cavendish recently. I was surprised at how good it was. I don't generally like "cavendish" blends or blends with rum added, but I found this to be a smooth smoking well behaved nicely integrated Virginia with lots of body and good flavor.

(The only reason it's not getting four stars is that I can't vouch for the regular non aged version, and I didn't get that many bowls of the aged, so I can't provide a definitive opinion... except that I enjoyed what I smoked!)

2 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (513)
★★★☆
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

2 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (589)
★★★★
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

2 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.

1 person found this review helpful.

Geronimo Von Klaus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Geronimo Von Klaus (57)
★★★☆
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

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (701)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

It does need some drying time and you will need to break up the flake a bit. I enjoy this more when I sip it and don't puff like a train. I like the tangy Virginia taste and though some previous reviewers question the amount of rum in this blend, I can taste it. It's sweet and a little spicy. I've been smoking a few rum flavored tobaccos lately, and they have a similar taste to this one. The rum is not overpowering, but is complimentary to the tobacco itself, and perhaps that is fooling some reviewers. Really, it doesn't matter because this is a nice change from the heavier mixtures in my rotation, and I think it's worth having from time to time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I have smoked this blend for a few years and seem to crave it after I have not had it for awhile it is indeed sweet and tangy and the rum comes into play often in the taste.NC has always seemed to find a way into my rotation.Flakes require a little more preperation when smoked,this one needs to be dried. I have had it desert like and it smoked and tasted great,smoke it too wet and it will bite bad. A solid 3 Stars,consistent over the years

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

carolina kid Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
carolina kid (17)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I smoked from a 3-year old tin.

Although this is a quality tobacco, there's nothing much to get excited about. Very basic Virginia flavors, more hay and grass than dark sweetness. The dark rum casing doesn't impart much in terms of flavor, but it may account for the subtle sweetness in the tobacco.

Overall this tobacco is pretty bland, even with careful smoking technique. McClelland's Matured Virginias series offer better alternatives. Again, not a bad tobacco, but with so many better ones out there, I don't recommend it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ibitz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ibitz (4)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Something different for me. At first I was not too thrilled, but this one is growing on me. I think anyone who tries this has to give it a chance. A bit hard to light (two matches at once solves that)and it definately needs some finger work to loosten it up really good before packing. But all well worth it. Burns nice and slow. Good flavor. In fact, a very complex flavor. becoming a favorite of mine.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

McAdder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
McAdder (10)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I was having no luck with this tobacco until I read Gordy's review, and you know what? Using a coffee grinder I had around the house did the trick. I shredded it to about the consistency of Prince Albert, which worked wonders for this product. The flavor is ketchupy/grassy. The room note was not that remarkable really yet it wasn't unpleasant. That's really the only way I can describe it! It's good. I won't buy it again, but it is nonetheless an exceptional smoke. And it does the trick when I am in the mood for a Virginia. Although I would rather smoke Escudo or perhaps some Wessex Brigade Classic VA.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I bought a tin of this blend from Grant's in San Francisco to compare to Mac Baren HH Mature Virginia. This blend; in my opinion, stomps the Mac Baren. It is not full bodied but has a pretty descent flavor component to it. I rub it out and let air dry for about 30-min and this blend smokes like a dream. Has some nice buttery notes and even hints of caramel to it that builds up to the rum on the lasting finish.

I recommend this blend for seasoned and even some newer smokers as well. I feel it is a good blend for English blend smokers who dabble in Matured Virginias now and then.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CenTex Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CenTex (16)
★☆☆☆
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 (36)
★★☆☆
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.

Marshall Law Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Marshall Law (50)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Not much flavor or interest here. The rum-like casing/topping detracted from the virginias, rather than enhancing the flavor. This mixture irritates the back of my throat slightly, and is not easy to light. MEH. Not my thing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

joseph Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
joseph (46)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Some of the reviewers find this a bland tasting tobacco, while others praise this one for its full and rich taste. I have had both experiences and think I can tell you why. Normally (with the other McClellands Virginias) I smoke more or less straight out of the tin. When the tobacco seems a bit moist I dry it for max half an hour. Doing so with NC I found it a nice but rather bland tobacco. Then I got on car holiday for a week, and found it uncomfortable to take the 100 gr McClellands tin with me . I put 50 gr in a empty smaller tin of another brand, Rum Flake (Gawith). I didn't finish this thin in the holiday week and forgot about this tin and its leftover content(20 gr approx.). After 2 months I discovered this almost empty tin again and decided to smoke the leftover, which had turned incredible dry (seems that the tobacco dries much faster in traditional tins than in the Mc tins, with plastic lid). I was rewarded by an incredible tasty full-flavored tobacco. So the trick is (and some other reviewers pointed this already also out): this tobacco should be consumed very very dry, just take it to the point that it is as hard as stone. Then sip very slowly, and you will be rewarded......

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (74)
★★☆☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Davetopay Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Davetopay (42)
★★☆☆
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.

Chatsworth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Chatsworth (52)
★★★★
Mild Medium Medium Tolerable

This stuff smells great while you're rubbing it out. It has a spicy flavor, and mildly sweet. Yes the rum is there, but not in a leading spot, and not in a thick casing sort of way either.

It needs some good long drying out. Rub it out, and let it dry to being crispy. Give it a couple of deep draw charing lights.

I think I prefer this to Dark Star, but still prefer #25 to NC. Guess I like just a big more sweetness and tang to my virginia's.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mike__P Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike__P (87)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I tried a four-year-old tin of this, and recently heeded DK's advice by smoking a bowl after a nice steak dinner with a glass of porter. This stuff is delicious (as is Sierra Nevada Porter, by the way.) It is rich, tangy and sweet, with the Jamaican elixir releasing a dash of flavor as pleasant and welcome as a light Ocho Rios breeze. This is a well-behaved Virginia that didn't bite once, even when coaxed, and the aged tobaccos were never overwhelmed by the added flavoring. Do not mistake this for an aromatic.

I consider it medium across the board, because it has depth, gains momentum and maintains my interest to the dottle, compared to other Virginias I've smoked, which tend toward blandness and grassiness. Navy Cav starts slow but will reward your patience; some relights will be necessary, but it won't frustrate you like Dark Star.

Ya mon!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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 hard...to 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! :+}}

Nobody has rated this review yet.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (196)
★★★★
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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 harm.....my tins are from 1994....so maybe I'm just spoilt....lovely stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gordy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gordy (16)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I love this stuff! Its a magnificent blend in big golden flakes! Upon opening the tin its quite pungent! I get the ketchup-sour sweetness with a bit of alcohol in the back. I ground some up and was letting it sit to dry a bit. I however was impatient and lit up a bowl right away. It lit and burned fine! Right to the bottom of the bowl. It is a warm full smoke that got thicker, more aromatic and tasty with every puff! Its a natural sweet tasty puff with the slightest whif of rum (could be my imagination) at the finish.

If you dont already have one get an herb grinder. Any headshop, and some tobacco shops online carry them. Get the LARGE!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WmZiggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WmZiggy (66)
★★★☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

john doe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
john doe (41)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

A sweet virginia with a light vanilla and spice casing. Think Evening Stroll with a much lighter topping.

It's very bitey on opening. Let it sit for a month or so in the tin. The drier the beter. When fresh it's the toughest flake I've ever manged, like jerky. When it crumbles between your fingers it's so dry, then you know it's ready.

Good stuff but I don't know it will be a regular in my rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DRijkers Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DRijkers (14)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

A traditional navy cav that delivers all it promises. Dark golden flakes here rub out easily, but like I've said in my other reviews of tinned tobaccos, a bit of drying goes a long way. I don't have much to add here, as this is my first navy cavendish.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JEM Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JEM (12)
★★★☆
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 (73)
★☆☆☆
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.

speckchaser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
speckchaser (22)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

A fine blend that I let age for @ 2yrs,it got stuck in a drawer that I cleaned out.

The flake needed to be rubbed out some but packed well in a mediuum size bowl.The smoke was dry with hardly any moisture build up.Sweetness wafted in and out of the entire bowl with a subtle spicieness that lingered in the background.The flake mostly consists of browns with a few lighter leaves..

Like most virginias a few relights were needed but this is a minor setback when enjoying such a fine smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sasquatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sasquatch (65)
★★★☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

romaso Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
romaso (36)
★★★★
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.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I thought I reviewed this years ago...

This really did nothing for me despite the honest attempt at authentically reproducing a navy flake produced with rum.

It could not be dried enough to avoid a wet bowl and steamy smoke. The flavor was thin, occasionally pleasant, but more often sooty. I remember fighting a tongue bashing, but some of that was likely due to inexperience then with flake tobacco.

As a big fan overall of McClelland blends, this disappointed me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Keeper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Keeper (112)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I am not normally a fan of either this blender, or this style of tobacco - but a particularly well aged tin came my way so I decided to open it up and give it a try.

The presentation is a nice pressed leaf - almost cake in appearance. Rubbing it out was easy. Gravity feeding the pipe seemed to be the best method.

It took a bit to get lit in the humid air, but once I got a nice char on top - the rest of the pipe took to the flame fairly easily.

I think this is a good example of what "sailor's blends" such as Captain Black, the various drug store cavendish blends, etc... attempt to be. It is flavorful - with the vanilla and rum essence coming through as a compliment to the tobacco.

Initially it starts out a bit bland - mostly cavendish with faint casing. But by midway through the bowl the spice of the rum and the tobacco shines through. The end of the bowl was remarkably tangy - almost perique like in sharpness.

The taste remained fairly constant but did allow for some variation through out. Not something I'd smoke all the time - but I'd likely fill a pipe with it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (300)
★★☆☆
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.

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

I've been having trouble finding the right pipe for this blend. When I first tried it in a new pipe, it was sweet and pleasant at the outset, but got harsh in the main smoke. Other mistakes I made were using a pipe that was too large and smoking too fast. My tongue paid dearly for that!

Recently I made the pleasant discovery that Navy Cavendish is wonderful in an olivewood pipe. It's a marriage made in Heaven! It could be, though, that my tin is just hitting its stride, having turned two years old.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jumbo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jumbo (12)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Strong

A new favorite.

I have tried this in a large Cavicchi billiard, a small Savinelli bulldog, and a medium Parker pot, and it seems as though larger bowls do better.

I have only one comment to make. This delicious tobacco develops a marked nutmeg note after about the one-third point. Delectable and unexpected.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Le'Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Le'Pipe (11)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

This is a cool and flavorful smoke. It is not overly moist and lights and burns well. I didn't detect any rum flavor but as for a creamy vanilla taste ,there was plenty. I'm not talking about a crappy synthetic vanilla.I mean the real bean. This cavendish blend as with most McClelland products has above average tobacco quality. What is not above average here, is the taste complexity. In my opinion it is a "one note johnny" smoke. Thats not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to pipe tobacco,because there are no adverse surprises either. It simply tastes the same from start to finish. If you remotely enjoy vanilla or creamy semi-aromatics with smooth tobacco taste try this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (87)
★★★☆
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.

WxGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WxGuy (95)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is not one of those "to die for" tobaccos, IMO. However, it is a nice change of pace. It does have the distinct McClelland odor on opening the tin, and was a little on the moist side. My first few tastings left me feeling disappointed.

I put some in a plastic film cannister and promptly lost it for a couple of months. Upon recovery yesterday, I found that it had dried considerably (though not died up) and was much less ductile, crumbling on folding into the pipe. This was a considerably different experience. It smoked cooler and very much more tasty. I usually do not like flake tobacco this dry, (I am not all that big on flake tobaccos in general) but for Navy Cavendish this seemed to be just the ticket.

Being a good scientist, I had to go back to the tin, which was still more or less at its initial moisture content to see if my initial impressions held true (replication).

Yup. When moist, this stuff is BLAH. Bottom line, this is smokable (and the rum flavor is BTW more apparent) given a good bit of drying. Now I am wondering how the leathery Dark Star (good right out of the tin) would taste given the same gentle and slow drying treatment...

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.

Neatpipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Neatpipes (1)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I received this tin several months ago from a friend and I promtly opened it: at the moment I didn't like the smell, just a bit acid. I agree with a previous reviews about a smell of ketchup... Havin' kept the tin with its plug for 4 months before I decide to smoke it. Few days ago I took the tin, wondering if it was still wet ok... and it was! The tin is perfect! I crushed a few flakes and filled an unsmoked Castello Sea Rock lovat with a Pot bowl. It was easy to keep lit. A very nice aroma in the room (no wife sorry:-) ).The initial smoke was appreciable, not able to taste the rum very much. Found a light touch of sweetness, and that is good. After 1/2 of the smoke it started to become a little strong for my taste. First I smoke a full bowl, not liking the final taste... then decide to stop at 2/3. A pleasant smoke! It is not an all day tobacco, but I will keep it in my mind for occasion.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

lvnvbiker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lvnvbiker (15)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Upon popping open the tin I was met with the smell of ketchup not a suprise considering the brand.. The flakes are dark and too wet to rub out so I just crushed a few in and let rip... The flavor is a bit on the acrid side at first but does have a sweet undertone to it. Once lit this one does have a full tabacco flavor and the wife says it smells pretty good. Can't really taste the rum, but then my mouth has been off before. Over all not a bad smoke but it is a gurgle fest no matter how slow I smoke it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (263)
★★☆☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mike Castello Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike Castello (49)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

This is a very fine navy cavendish. The mature Virginia, pressed into cakes, and soaked in dark Jamaican rum provides the smoker with pleasant surprises. Upon opening the tin the aroma is very appealing and inviting. The tobacco rubs out easily and packs very nicely. It lights easily. The first puffs bring a bit of a bite. This tobacco needs to be smoked slowly and gently. Role the taste in the mouth, sit back, and relax. Very shortly the bite disappears giving way to a luxurious mellow rum flavoring. The taste is well rounded and complex. The deep richness of the rum is not overly present, but there to smooth out the Virginia's top. The acidic sweetness of the Virginia is rounded out so that the full taste is balanced. Not an all day smoke for my taste, but a tobacco to return to often non the less. This cavendish is strongly recommended to smokers who prefer navy cuts and recommended to those who enjoy Virginias and other non aromatic tobaccos.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

roonwit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
roonwit (4)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This blend has turned into one of my favorites. The tin aroma is delighfully complex. There is a note of sourness, not unlike acetic acid, along with the rich smell of the cavendish itself.

The tobacco is anything but sour though. It comes in broken flake form and requires some rubbing before it is ready to go. Packing was no problem.

Light up went fine. Despite being very moist, it almost never needs a relight---maybe just one for the bottom third of the bowl. The ash was nice and powdery all the way to the end.

"Festina lente" on the smoke ("hasten slowly"). This mixture can turn nasty if you smoke it too quickly. I should know.

It has a yummy flavor. There is some sweetness present, but it doesn't cloy. If you like Virginias but haven't tried a Navy blend lately, you are in for a real treat.

It certainly isn't an all day smoke, but keep some on your shelf. Once a day will offer you some real enjoyment.

Nobody has rated this review yet.