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Rich and full of flavor, especially appealing in the evening, still spiced gently enough with Latakia and Turkish leaf to be a superb occasional tobacco for the individual who normally prefers lighter mixtures and Matured Virginias.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeOriental
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50g Tin, 100g Tin
ProductionCurrently available
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Mild, Mild to Medium
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Favorite Of 1 Users

22 reviews
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

As other reviewers have mentioned, this is a light tasting, bland mixture. The description does state that it's designed for the person that normally prefers light mixtures or matured virginias, so in that respect they are correct. But they also state that it's rich and full of flavor, and in that I'd have to disagree.

I find this blend wimpy. It's along the lines of Rattray's 7 Reserve which I'm not crazy about either, but which seems a more fully realized blend than this one. I think McClellands is a great blender (indeed, they are my overall favorite) but they seem to struggle to produce latakia mixtures that are to my liking. Or maybe I'm just of strange tastes. But so far nothing in their green oriental series does much to distinguish itself. 3 down, 2 more to go - and I'm not looking forward to the rest of the journey.

5 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

#12 has been around for a long time and has an ardent following. The Virginia/Oriental base is, typical of McClelland's; a quality laced offering. The combination is too light for me though. It made me puff a little too fast and my tongue protested.

Many thanks to McClelland's for making something to suit everyone's tastes.

Best, Pipestud

5 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

Wow....I thought #6 and #8 were bad. This is just a touch of sweetness with a mild taste of Oriental. Nothing else. If it has Latakia, I can't find it. A waste of good matches.

Mild in body and flavor. Burns well after a stubborn light.

Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman, Diplomat Apple, Mark Twain

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

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

This is nice. I'm just adding a few comments, not a full description of this obviously fine Oriental mixture, since I'm working with a small sample. The sample is very well aged, being from 1995. As is true with most McClellands, time treats this blend very well! I am mainly a Virginia man, but like Latakia, tending to prefer either a light application or a mainline, rather than "the average English." Oriental #12 goes in the light application category. Smooth and delicate, the blend is best slowly sipped. The Virginias in here are mild, but of the usual McClelland quality, and are perfectly balanced by the light Latakia and exotic Turkish. Attractive tobacco, with a nice cut and mixture of colors tending to black, which must indicate a certain percentage of stoved Virginia, since the Latakia is really very light. I have smoked mixtures this old by well-known blenders that are now crumbling to dust, but this has held up very well. I've been smoking this bowl very slowly, with lots of relights (no, it's not my first bowl, more like my fourth!) and am getting some nice flavors. Delicate flavors, almost flowery, though there are no toppings. This is pleasing me greatly, as I have been overdoing the heavier blends as of late. If I get more of this, and smoke enough to really put it through its paces, and it keeps giving me bowls like this, I could see putting up a fourth star.

2 people found this review helpful.

Fred T Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fred T (67)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

The more I smoke this, the better I like it. While it's not my favorite pipe tobacco (I favor a good English, like Dunhill 965), it offers a very pleasant smoke without a bite. I'm new to Orientals. This is the first Oriental mixture that I've tried. I'm enjoying it. I can understand why other smokers consider this mixture rather blah. I give it a 3.

Pipe Used: Dunhill Billiard

Age When Smoked: 2 to 3 months.

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

JustPlainChris Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustPlainChris (12)
Mild None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

The reviews here are a great tool for finding new tobaccos to try. But take the reviews with a grain of salt! There are just too many factors to take into consideration to get a truly accurate review. The best reviewers have experience in their craft (pipes and tobaccos) and have the fully broken in pipes to prove it. They also tend to have what many newer pipe smokers lack: patience. If I had a dollar for every time someone reviewed a blend after only smoking it once or twice I would have enough cash to buy an S Bang!

In other words, try to read A LOT of reviews, and if you like a review, read that reviewers OTHER reviews to get a feel for their knowledge and experience. Anyway, continuing on:

Since I can't find my beloved Penzance anywhere, I began my search for a "replacement" until more could be aquired. As the Oriental content is one of the key "personalities" of Penzance, I decided to find a comparable blend with good quality Orientals.

Side note- I have read that the reason for the Penzance shortage is due to Esoterica having problems with their Oriental leaf supply. I don't know if it is true, but that's what I heard.=

Being a lover of all the McClelland Tobacco Company blends I have tried (Dark Star, Anniversary, Christmas Cheer), I decided to try a McClelland blend with some of that delicious Oriental leaf.

After reading all the varied reviews here, I went to my local tobacco shop with the intent to purchase a pure Oriental, like Drama. I saw the green labeled Oriental and took a chance with the 12.

Upon popping the tin I got the familiar McClelland virginia aroma I love. Calling it a ketchup smell is wrong. It does have the smell of stewed tomatoes and vinegar, but ketchup just isn't quite right.

Anyway, the tobacco was moist and cut just perfectly for easy packing.

I loaded up an old Dunhill I use for my "English" blends, and did my two requisite charring lights followed by my regular tamp and light.

At first, I thought the blend tasted rather bland. I relaxed, and tried to ease into the experience and take my time. Sure enough, I was rewarded with a wonderful smoke that varied in taste but never left the path of "mellow, tasty, and creamy."

Yes, you can taste the sweetness of the Virginas. Yes, the Latakia is VERY subtle here, and at first I was offended by this. Then I remembered I had bought an ORIENTAL blend and NOT an ENGLISH blend!

For what it is, this is really good tobacco. It was just what I was looking for. After the tin had some time to dry a bit, it became even better.

It was NOT a replacement for my Penzance, but I am glad I found this blend and gave it a try as I really did enjoy the tin. I will be purchasing more and I will be adding this to my favorites.

Don't buy a Jeep and then get upset when its not a Ferrari! In other words, if you want a good blend with a light Latakia finish and mellow Oriental flavor, grab some of this stuff!

1 person found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (180)
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant

Spicy and lemon like, this is a spritzy Oriental and Va, with the barest whisper of Latakia. Burns fast and clean and is light on nicotine and very fresh on the palate.

Not a lot of depth, but this clearly isn't the intention of the makers. It is rich, in the sense of being tasty and bright, but there are few darker notes in this tobacco. It is what it is, and I enjoy it a lot. Somewhat reminiscent to me of Skiff Mixture but with even less Latakia.

For me, suits a summer's day in the garden with a pilsener.

Pipe Used: Cobs

Similar Blends: Skiff, Wingate, Squadron Leader.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tripjoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tripjoker (65)
Very Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

This has all the hallmarks of a McClelland blend. Heavy on Va., and light on everything else. It seems to be the way with this company. I have tried literally dozens of their tobaccos and have found precisely 4 of them that have hit the mark that they advertise.

So light are the amounts, that you are left wondering if they left out the condiment leaf entirely.

This may be pleasing to the more timid smoker, one that does not want a full tobacco flavor. But, if you actually like to taste all of the components in a blend, this is not recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lochinvar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lochinvar (78)
Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

I am reminded of sticking my head over a pot of boiling water and tasting the steam. I have no idea what they do to the tobacco that goes into this blend, but it must be akin to the cellular maceration that turns normal tobacco into cigarette filler. I fail to see how a blend with Virginias (McClelland being known for good, serviceable Va's), Latakia (Most pungent of all varieties) and oriental (the king of flavor) can come together and create a blend 100% less than the sum of it's parts. After a thorough drying out, serves well as tinder for lighting campfires.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Not a bad English mixture but nothing to remember: it packs and burns well, but warms the pipe a little more than usual. I haven't found it very flavourful, but enough tasty to be an all-day blend. There's a lot better tobaccos out there.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BostonPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BostonPipe (83)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

After reading the reviews I can see that I am not the only one that senses the need for aging. I have found this to be true over the years of all the McClelland Oriental Blends I have tried, regardless of their number. They greatly improve with the aging process.

Anyway. This blend packs easily and I have found that I seldom need a relight. I found the "matured" virginias needed a little more aging as they were a little jagged around the edges, (a tin from this year). In other words, I had to slow my smoking down so as to not be bitten.

The latakia is there in a nice proportion, the orientals played in and out of the exerience. It is just the virginia is unpredictable going down the bowl.

If this blend runs the way of the other McClelland Oriental Blends, cellaring will definitely improve it. I have two other tins of this blend earmarked to be opened around 2007, lol.

=Update 01/05/2012 I am sitting here smoking a tin I opened about an hour ago from 1995. Unbelievable, what a difference sixteen or seventeen years in the tin makes! All the flavors have beautifully melded together and the 'jagged-edged' virginia's I wrote about in my first review are totally gone; just smoothness the run of the bowl. Simply, Delicious!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tillmanj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tillmanj (73)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

Tin Aroma: Pleasantly smoky to my Latakia-jaded nose, but with that sweetness that heavy oriental blends always seem to develop.

Physical Characteristics: a variety of shapes and sizes to the individual pieces in this blend, ranging from larger dark broken flake pieces of matured virginias to smaller ribbon cut orientals, spaning the whole spectrum of tans and light browns.

Notes: I smoked a 100g tin that had aged for three years. Packing and lighting were relatively easy, though I did have to let the can air out a bit before it would light easily. I seem to have this problem with a lot of tinned tobacco, so it is probably me, and not any one manufacturer. The sweetness from the aroma never really showed up in the smoke. Almost all of the flavor I got was an interesting interplay between the Virginias bright notes and the musky Orientals. During the tin I smoked, there were a few uteerly enjoyable bowls when everything went right and a few abmoniable bowls in which I ended up dumping half of the tobacco in disgust. Most every bowl however fell midway between the two extremes; a nice enough smoke, but plagued with relights and a constant threat of tongue bite. I am beginning to think that either my technique is horribly flawed or that stoved Virginias just do not agree with my chemistry.

Verdict: This was a little too straightforward for me, and the 'matured virginias' bit the heck out of me, so I probably won't be revisiting this blend soon.

Nobody has rated this review yet.