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A balanced mixture of our smoothest and most refined red and black aged Virginia cake tobaccos in a fully rubbed form. Ideal after dinner when a rich, satisfying flavor is most desired.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin, 100 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
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Room Note

Favorite Of 2 Users

40 reviews
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I'm very much intrigued by this one for a number of reasons. The cut is a very much rubbed out stringy version of dark black virginias with some streaks of dark brown (red). It has that wonderful McClellands virginia tin aroma in spades. As another reviewer mentioned, I had trouble with this clogging my pipe up if I tamped too vigorously. The flavor was of the dark notes variety, and I consistently tasted burnt marshmallow top to bottom. It was quite unique in that sense, and very enjoyable.

I found this to be of medium complexity. It didn't develop much down the bowl but there seemed to be a lot going on at all times. Further, this one writes the book on Delayed Gratification Technique. It always smoked best when I got the second light going and immediately set the pipe down for half an hour. Very toasty flavor. I've not tasted anything quite like this one. It isn't my favorite VA, nor even my favorite McClellands, but it's definitely one I'll revisit from time to time. I recommend it to any virginia smoker who thinks there are no further surprises in a VA blend.

9 people found this review helpful.

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

I've tried this in every type of pipe that I have and I just can't get too excited about it. I like it best in a clay, but even there it falls a little short. By itself it's a little too one dimensional. I wish I could get marshmallows or baked bread like some others, but it just isn't there for me. I get sweet, toasty and fruity.

In order to make it shine I have to add something to it. A little Oriental or Latakia or Perique and these Virginias start to sing. As a blender I'd give it 3.5 or even 4 stars. I feel like I should rate it as it comes though and that gets it 2.

Mild to medium in body and flavor. Burns well.

Pipe Used: Clay, Cob, several Briars, Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

6 people found this review helpful.

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

I really can't add much to Inquisitor's very well written description and impressions of this McClelland Virginia. It is not the best Virginia I've ever smoked, but far from the worst.

I really was all fired up about giving you my impressions when I clicked onto the review page. But, Inquisitor stole my thunder! Oh well, he's a fun read and right on regarding this tobacco -- at least, in my humble opinion.

6 people found this review helpful.

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

This is a blend of roughly equal parts of red and black tobacco in fully rubbed form. The cut is quite fine, and the tin aroma is rich and winey but without the vinegar smell often found in McC blends. Packing is easy in any size bowl because of the fine cut. Predictably, the tobacco lights easily, and burns well. Surprisingly, it also burns cool, unless puffed agressively. It even stays cool when smoked outdoors in moderate breezes. The initial flavor is sweet and rich, and quite smooth to the tongue and palate. It develops more complexity toward the middle of the bowl, and seems to get somewhat stronger toward the end, occasionally getting a bit harsh. I find it benefits from some airing out before smoking, or it will deliver a hot and wet smoke. When smoked carefully, it delivers a great deal of flavor, and I prefer it to Black Shag (which is similar in appearance and cut, although less red).

4 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

The red and stored Virginias offer a bit of tangy dark fruit and brown sugary stewed fruit. Both aspects have the touch of fermentation, and the “vinegar” essence weakens a little by the time you get to the last quarter of the bowl, though it does hold to the finish. There’s a very earthy, woody quality along with a very mild, tart citrus as well as light grass, smoke and spice notes. The strength and taste levels are medium. The nic-hit is in the center of mild to medium. Won’t bite, but the tang and tartness may tingle the tongue of a fast puffer. It has very few rough edges. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with consistent flavor to the end of the line. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste. An all day smoke. Three and a half stars.

3 people found this review helpful.

Tilley4 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tilley4 (10)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I picked up a can of this a couple of years ago and stuck it in the back of the closet. I had actually forgotten about it until I was rummaging around in there and stumbled upon it. I decided to crack it open and give it a go.

Red and black stringy tobacco.... perfect moisture content...

Honestly, nothing new or exciting about this. Not to say that it is a bad tobacco it doesn't break any ground with me. One for working around the house or yard but not one to break open the Ardbeg with....

Fairly straightforward matured Virginia flavors.... it lacks the brightness of number 27 and the depth of number 24...

Pipe Used: Cob

Age When Smoked: 2 years

2 people found this review helpful.

Old Nate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old Nate (17)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is a quality product, no doubt about it. The cut is wonderful. Instead of the chunky ribbon that is usually found in most McClelland offerings, NO. 25 is a nice stringy, shag cut that is easy to work with and great for packing. This reminds me of some of the Rattray rubbed-out tobaccos (in texture only) and I love their ready rubbed tobacco.

Now the flavor: what everyone wants to know... It starts out nice. Tangy, slightly sweet, but mostly tart and sour, tickling your tongue. It's hard not to overpuff on this one, but even when taking your time this guy wants to turn ashy. I'm still trying to find that balance between tangy, sweet Virginia and charred tobacco that is beyond help. 25 has great promise and now into the second tin of it, I'm sticking with smaller bowls. Mostly conical shaped and cobs seem to be 25's best friend.

When this blend is working, I get beautiful fig notes that have a fruit-like character to them, some sweet, mostly tang, somewhat reminiscent of Marlin Flake, however, it is hard to get more than half a pipeful of consistent flavor out of this one.

Pipe Used: many

Age When Smoked: 2 years old

Similar Blends: Rattrays Marlin Flake.

2 people found this review helpful.

oldcodger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldcodger (71)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

McClelland has the reputation for producing very fine Virginia mixtures. No 25 in the Matured Virginia series is no exception, even though I find it a little short of ranking with a "Wow!" factor.

This is a combination of red and black Virginias in a ribbon cut that is partly dark brown and partly black. McClelland's tinned Virginias all contain tobacco that has been fully aged. This is darkened. The ribbon cut is easy to light and to keep lit, but there is one caveat. The cut is so fine that a pipe packed tightly will have a difficult draw.

The taste is typical of a darkened Virginia, slightly sweet and of medium intensity. The nicotine level is just above average. The room note is also typical of a Virginia, and has no "stinky" overtones to alienate non smokers.

Pure Virginias or mixtures heavily weighted with Virginias have the reputation of being bite prone. For many smokers, a carefully controlled sipping cadence will control the bite and keep it from from being a deterrent. I fall into this category. Some other smokers are much more bite prone, and Virginias pose a serious challenge to them for a satisfactory pipe smoke. No. 25 is a little less than average in bite challenge for a Virginia tobacco.

My only issue with No. 25 is that it is somewhat monochromatic and can become a bit boring by the end of a generous sized bowl. But this mild criticism does not mean that I do not enjoy smoking this offering. I do enjoy smoking it. The reason I do not go beyond two stars is simply because there are a number of other Virginias (including several by McClelland) that I enjoy even more.

2 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

The majority of the previous reviewers all hit on the fine points of this tobacco. This is not my favorite McC's Virginia, as I like a little more of the "high notes". I find the initial light to be interesting, however, bottom half becomes "ashy" and flavorless. But a solid 2 1/2 stars

Updated 10/31/14- I've had this cellared for about a year and it has improved. High and low notes are more distinguished and it now has a nice spicy background. The blend now reminds me of a lighter Blackwood's flake with about 25% Dark Star . Still on the mild side or I would rate this a 4 star.

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: 1 month/ revision 1 year

Similar Blends: Lighter Blackwood's flake with 25% Dark Star.

2 people found this review helpful.

TK Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TK Pipe (101)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

McC #25 Virginia … A tasty, fully rubbed out Virginia blend with just a touch of oriental's. The moisture level is about ideal, but I aired my tin out some, maybe just from habit, but the result was a real decent smoke. There was some sweetness and a good measure of that wonderful Virginia tang.

Due to the fine cut, I found bowl packing can be a little tricky, but overall IMO #25 is a real keeper. I found this tobacco bite free, flavorful and well mannered, and for those reasons this tobacco (IMO) could be candidate for as all day smoke, but I save this blend (and others) for my evening recliner smokes, when I have time to get into my sip and taste mode. For those that enjoy a more straight aged Virginia taste, I sure would recommend you try this one.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

I'm reviewing a three years old tin. The McClelland note is more subdued than usual, it smells of sweet, musty hazelnuts.

If smoked without any drying, get ready to use a lot of matches and if smoking it fast to produce a lot of moisture. The best way is to dry it in your pipe for a day and savor it as indicated after dinner or late evening. Gravity fill works best as the cut forces the smoker to be careful with the packing, less and loose is better.

The balanced flavors are tangy, sweet and toasty, mellow yet with enough body. As the bowl progresses, the flavors meld with a smooth earthiness/mustiness. I recommend it for experienced pipe smokers and to be smoked as an after dinner treat or as a last smoke of the day.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Very short ribbons of black and mahogany coloured leaf. This is a flavour rich, but mild in nicotine, blend. Full of dried fruit aromas. Seems to have a fair proportion of stoved Va, and consistent with that, can be a little difficult to get a steady regular burn.

Lasts a long time in the bowl and bursts with Va flavour, making this a sort of dessert tobacco. Something in this coats my mouth: not a deal breaker by any stretch, but I wonder what might have been added to kick the blend along.

It's not quite in the same ball park as an entirely black Va like Rattray's Black Va, but it does hit a lot of the same notes. Not quite enough to displace RBVa in my rotation, but well worth a try.

1 person found this review helpful.

Stefanos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stefanos (150)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Tin note is very enticing, red Virginia tanginess with the deep heady Mclellands vinegary odour. Consist of a fifty-fifty mix of red and black Virginias cut into thin and short ribbons with a few small pieces of broken flakes here and there. The tobacco needs a little drying otherwise it will smoke a moist. It needs a little effort to light and needs some relight if your’re not all the time at it and a drawback I could mention is that I find it does not always burn evenly and this translates to the draw.

Now, the smoke is not as exciting or complex as the tin note suggested to me, but it’s still very good. It has a nice wholesome tangy taste with some smokiness, a good medium strength and a nice balance between the savory and the sweet flavors. Room note is acceptable, smoky and tobaccoey.

Without being overenthusiastic about the flavors or complexity, I find it’s a tobacco I very often turn to. It’s satisfying without being overtly complex, but it has a nice tobacco flavor, burns cool for a Virginia, does not bite unless pushed hard and can be used repeatedly without being boring. For me it’s what I am looking for an everyday tobacco. 3.5 stars.

As I hinted at above, I have some problems with the burning behaviour and the resulting draw. A remarkable solution I have found to remedy this problem is to blend #25 in differing proportions, even half and half, with Samuel Gawith's also excellent Golden Glow Virginia. The result is one the best tobaccos I've smoked!

1 person found this review helpful.

Davetopay2 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Davetopay2 (16)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Straight from the tin, no drying, late in the evening, with a glass of bourbon. I crack the tin(2009 production) and am met with a muted version of the McC steak sauce aroma. I see golden, red, brown, and black ribbons of Virginia tobacco. Soft to the touch, not wet, goopy, or cased. Loading it into a cob, it packs easy, has a nice spring to the touch and sets up for an easy light as it is fully rubbed out and does not present with the usual broken flake cut one would expect from a blend in this style.

Hit it with the flame fro the trust Bic in a MM cob for the charring light, tamp, let it sit for a minute, then relight and we are off to the races.....the slow races.

Sip gently and I am rewarded with light notes of citrus, light buttery caramel, pastry, nougat, and truck loads of Va goodness. It isn't flavored, feels very natural and while it does not make truck loads of smoke to fill the room, packs a nice group of flavors. Room note is very much straight tobacco and is not designed to draw bystanders in with candy and perfume. It is straight up tobacco.

I should probably hunt down a current production tin to do a side by side comparo against my 8 year old example. As a fan of straight Va blends, I find my self not yet finished a bowl and thinking of buying more to continue keeping an aged stock in the cellar.

If you want to delve into McC VA tobacco, but don't know where to begin, this is an excellent starting point. I think much of what is in this tin is a group of different base tobaccos from which other McC products derive.

Get some. the way...smoke responsibly and this is a damn near bite proof Va. Gentle and deep of flavor with a medium weight nic hit which compliments a glass of Ky Bourbon quite well after a nice dinner.

Pipe Used: MM cob....well used.

Age When Smoked: 2009 production

Purchased From: God only knows....

1 person found this review helpful.

ATW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ATW (45)
Mild Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

Got this blend yesterday along with a new pipe. The blend is dated 2012 so it has some decent age on it. Tin note is tangy and sweet. The flavor is like eating a sugar coated grapefruit. Very tangy and slightly sweet. Goes very good with some jack Daniels Tennessee honey. Burn cool depending on the pipe. And will possibly bite if not careful. Overall a very good and different blend.

1 person found this review helpful.

cell biologist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cell biologist (21)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I am sampling from a tin packaged in 2003. This tobacco is cut very finely, which makes it handle very differently from my favorite flakes, especially since I always smoke outdoors. The weather always contributes to my smoking experience; and I think this tobacco, cut finely as it is, might be best smoked indoors. I found it difficult to achieve the optimal flavor, but when I did, the flavor was spectacular: rich, complex, deep, earthy, sweet, a fine tobacco flavor. When I achieved the best flavor it was always in the last third of the bowl. At the top of the bowl the taste is almost always hollow, just not much to it. Based on these experiences, I used this tobacco to add fine virginia depth of flavor to tobaccos that lack it (e.g., PS Luxury Twist). I think this is a top-notch tobacco, but it just doesn?t suit my smoking habits because of the fine cut. I have the sense that for an indoor smoker who likes virginias this might be just the thing.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Dottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Dottle (162)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The very first bowl of this tobacco I smoked was pure nirvana. However, I never was able to duplicate its magnificence. With that first bowl, everything must have been right with body, spirit, soul and the world. Subsequent bowls, however, were NOT totally disappointing. The flavor is sweet, not necessarily complex or robust but it does intensify as you progress down the bowl. This is also one blend that definitely lends itself to an overnight DGT. But as others have touched upon, the nip will creep up on you if you ?turn your back on it? but if smoked slowly with nasal aroma and some thought, it will reward you.

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

I rate this tobacco 9.0 out of 10.

1 person found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

With its very fine shag-like cut, this was a surprise as usually McClelland favors the broken flake approach to its matured Virginias. In spite of this, 25 does not burn too fast: you only have to take care in not pressing it too much otherwise you will clog your pipe! The quality is evident, nice red and darker Virginias with a fruity smell like 27, but slightly less bright. My tin was 4 years old, so it might have helped. The smoke tastes sweet, slightly fruity (as in 27 and Blackwoods Flake, the two "benchmarks") but with less nuances and a bit more spicyness. It's a good tobacco, which for me lacks some body in the first half of the bowl and bites the tongue if you are not used to it. Not the most memorable in the McClelland line-up, but it can be very pleasant.

1 person found this review helpful.

tillmanj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tillmanj (73)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

Tin Aroma: Decidely less of the signature McClelland 'ketchup' aroma than some of the Virginias in this series, though that may have something to do with the ribbon cut, as opposed to the broken flake of most of the rest of them.

Physical Characteristics: a very fine ribbon cut, almost like a cigarette shag cut. Mostly dark, a bit of light brown, probably stoved in some manner. Packs solidly, and with not too much spring to it. Takes a charring light easily, in only a puff or two. Pleasant amount of moisture, not too soft, not too dry.

First Light: Sharp virgina flavor/aroma on the first light. Tickles the nose even when not exhaled that way.

Notes: Burns easily, and stays lit with nary a hassle. The most intriguing thing about this blend is that it seemed to not bite me nearly as easily as many of the McClelland virginias do. As a matter of fact, even with the way I smoke (sometimes a bit fast and furious), you almost have to be trying to get it to bite you before it will.

1 person found this review helpful.

Rothesay Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rothesay (5)
Medium to Strong None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Very Strong

This tin had a bit of the McClelland ketchup aroma, but not overwhelming. The tobacco itself was a beautiful ribbon cut, perfect moisture, and easy to pack and light. I used a variety of briars and cobs, mostly the latter, but did not find a home for the tobacco.

Which is just as well. While not the worst tobacco I've smoked, I cannot say I enjoyed a single bowl of this harsh, flat blend. This is among the tiny number of tobaccos my wife has complained about the room note (counted on one hand with several fingers missing), and I was as glad as she when the tin was empty. I will not be buying this one again.

(1.75oz tin smoked over 19 days November/December.)

Age When Smoked: 18 months

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I've smoked a few bowls of this now, and there really aren't any complexities to it, so I guess I'll review it. I can't think of anything new to say about it that I haven't said already about other tobaccos in the Matured Virginia series, except for one thing: it would be a good place for someone to start who has never tried these blends. It has "McVinegar," but not too strongly. It's a "McVirginia," but, unlike their usual broken flake, which has to be dried and rubbed out, you can pretty much pack this one right out of the tin. You will get more nuances from Blackwoods Flake, for example, or a purer single-malt type Virginia experience from a well-aged tin of Christmas Cheer, but #25 is a nice combo of red and black Virginias of high quality perfectly cut for immediate packing. Instant gratification. Puff this Virginia as lightly or as heavily as you like-you will get no bite, or stinging sinuses. The best way for me to put it, though it is somewhat of a cliche, is that this blend is user friendly. I would be as likely to buy this as any other McClelland Matured Virginia, especially if it had more years on it than my 2006 tin. Sure, I enjoy the more hands on experience, as it were, of their usual broken flakes, but this is a tobacco that, as long as you like this style, would never let you down. Good smoke for the French inhale, or nose blowing. I'm just noticing that, as I reach the bottom of this bowl as I type this review. There are no major taste changes at the bottom of the bowl either. This does not have to be a bad thing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

al1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
al1 (58)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

At last I cracked open a mclelland tin that hit me with a pleasent tobacco smell without the vinegar smell so many complain about. Just a rich pleasing aroma. As far as that issue goes I grew up on an old tobacco farm in Virginia and I can vouch that Mclelland tobacco does really have that good flue cured smell I remember very well from late in the summer. I believe the steak saucy smell in some of the mc va's is a lot from the aging, stoving and maybe some fermentation. I still smell the natural tobacco just fine though. I agree they may possibly add a touch of vinegar to a couple of these blends to keep them from growing mold or further fermenting but airing them all out is highly reccomended and totally kills the vinegar smell, which is not a big issue anyway. This blend smelled nothing like the other Va offerings in this series.

Very rich tasting and on the low end of the twanginess scale. Very full also. Good for anytime you want a sweet, thick va smoke. Leaves a good dry white ash too. Definitley a powerful flavor building smoke. The last third of the bowl gets real full and earthy. Very nice!

I find to dry my mclelland va's out helps a lot. I put about a fourth of the tin on a plate rubbed out if in flake but this particular blend is ready rubbed. Spread it out on the plate for a couple hours to overnight till it gets dry and almost crispy. Then I put it in a small mason jar with a goood lid or a pouch. I find these tobaccos a bit too wet straight out of the tin. These are connisuer grade tobaccos and require a little, but totally reasonable effort to fully enjoy.

The tin moisture is appropriate for good keeping and aging however. Mclelland is a master at getting this right.

Trust me these will not get hot burning like crap tobacco if you let it dry. I was scared to waste it trying at first too, but the other guys were right, These Get very cool smoking and flavorful when about 90-95% dry. Of course pace yourself it is a va blend after all. Smoked too wet or fast it is a bitey steamy ride.

Matches the tin description pretty well I think. This Is wonderful.

Update: This is great for lovers of this sort of tobacco. I have moved on to balkans. I was needing something more satisfying in the nicotine dept. This is great for what it is though.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Latakia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Latakia (70)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Bought it in absense of the Christmas Blend. Was nice if one doesn't need latakia. Had that very distinct McClelland's catchup aroma and taste. Would like to try a Virgnian with less of this taste so that I can make up my mind if it is the Virginian or this particular style of presenting the Virginian that makes the blend strange. I can not say that this is one of my favorites but does offer a change of pace when something out of the latakia line is required.

Nobody has rated this review yet.