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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.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutRibbon
Packaging50g Tin, 100g Tin
CountryUS
ProductionUnknown
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant
3.0
30 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
9
3 star:
14
2 star:
6
1 star:
1
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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.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (557)
★★★☆
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.

2 people found this review helpful.

Invigilator Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Invigilator (14)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Noorm's review says just about all there is to say about this blend, so I will simply add a couple of remarks.

This is a tobacco to relax and be comfortable with, pleasing in an unassuming way. Not a nicotine powerhouse, nor a stunning taste sensation. Smoking it is a little like relaxing before a warm fire on a cold winter's night in the company of a faithful dog.

People who enjoy Rattray's Dark Fragrant may well enjoy this blend.

2 people found this review helpful.

oldcodger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldcodger (25)
★★☆☆
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Actually this blend deserves a four star rating in comparation with the most other VA blends rated with three stars by me. However I compare this fine blend with the other VA blends of McClelland. It is a fine ribbon cut tobacco. The tin content smells just like a McClelland blend and it is well moistened. It dries out fast because of the fine cut. Packs well and burns well. The first puffs are rich in cigarette like taste and well known McClelland sourness. After the 1/3 of the first bowls I've smoked I cought the nice sweetness of the blend with a satisfying matured and stoved VA flavor. The nicotine dosage is less than I've expected. As the most other McClelland blends just char it and leave a while. Then you'll catch the real fun of it. A pleasant, tasty smoke yet less satisfying nicotine dosage.

1 person found this review helpful.

Half-bent Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Half-bent (8)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This has been reviewed excellently already, so I'll only add a few extra thoughts:

I love the roughly even mixture of red (some orange/red?) and black VAs. It gives a nice balance between the high and low "notes" that's just right, and makes for a better smoke than a red or dark, stoved VA by itself.

Having it fully rubbed makes for convenient packing, which is nice on occasions when I'm feeling lazy or pressed for time, but it doesn't have the flexibility of a flake.

I prefer this mixture dryer than most other blends I smoke. Not crunchy, mind you, but close. I seem to get a dryer and sweeter smoke that way, which stays lit easier, and less chance of tongue bite.

If treated with the respect it deserves (i.e., smoked slowly, like all virginias), I find this to be non-fatiguing, for a VA blend - meaning I can smoke several bowls in a row, and not have to worry about whether I'm going to be able to taste my food the next day.

While I won't claim this is my favorite VA blend, it's really quite good and I'd encourage anyone who likes VAs to try a tin.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I have a great deal of experience with this blend, it has been one of my staples for over a year, and I have smoked it in every sized bowl in my spectrum.

Some of my esteemed colleagues here state that they detect none or not as much of the catsup aroma that is markedly McClelland?s. All of the tins of this blend that I smoked were 3 to 5 years old- in fact the one that I am smoking now is 5 years old- and it?s there, Catsup.

I love this blend. It is a strong second to my favorite VA Flake: Marlin Flake, though my palate tells me that VA Number 25 is a bit more complex. The reds and darks show two different faces of the VA profile, each pronouncing its very own distinct flavor as the bowl develops. The last third is my favorite of most of the bowls containing VA?s because it is more ?stoved?- thereby sweeter, richer, with more body? VA Number 25 does not disappoint in this.

For the first half or so I detect a fruity roundness, in VA Number 25 it has none of the sharpness that I find in the Christmas Cheer Series- probably because they have none of the dark stoved element. Indeed this blend has the most body of all of the McClelland VA?s that I have come to know, though it lacks none of the sweetness that I expect the sweetness is outdone in some of their other blends like Darkstar, Blackwood?s Flake, 2035, and Butera?s line?s of Darkstoved and Matured Ribbon.

This blend has shown no tendency to bite for me- though I might mention that I have quite a bit of experience with VA?s and smoke slowly as a rule.

Remarkable. Try it and see if you agree.

1 person 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).

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (217)
★★★☆
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

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: 1 month

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.

pipe row19 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipe row19 (25)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Glad I got this blend, im a big Virginia smoker so this is right up my alley. The tin note is pretty nasty but when its lit it smells pretty nice. Taste is great and sweet just like a good VA should be. The only down side is that it could bite if not smoked slow, it did bite me alittle. Otherwise great blend i loved it. If your a Virginia smoker go for it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Chatsworth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Chatsworth (52)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Full Very Pleasant

This one really activates the taste buds. Very sweet. Tangy. You immediately want to light up a 2nd bowl.

I don't usually smoke stuff cut this short in length. Just gravity drop it in. Don't pack. Try to get a few larger pieces in at the bottom so you don't clog the draft hole.

This stuff smokes better the drier it is. Let it get crunchy. Air it out overnight. Try to smoke it on a low humidity day.

Then enjoy an explosion of flavor.

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.

Cantorman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cantorman (7)
★★★★
Medium Medium to Strong Medium Tolerable

This is a very tasty, if somewhat montonous smoke. Actually, I adore it blended with a few things- one of my favorite concoctions is to blend this with GLP's Falcon and even a little 965. then it's downright delicious and more balanced, like honey roasted-smoked peanuts or something.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Latakia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Latakia (67)
★★☆☆
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.

pipinNfishin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipinNfishin (21)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Virginia No. 25 is ready rubbed; loading the pipe is a simple matter. The blend consists of dark ready rubbed bits of tobacco.

This is flavorful; it is not really bitey. However it can bite if one puffs on the pipe. This reason keeps it from being a 4-star tobacco. If you are an experienced virginia tobacco smoker, there are many aged tins that a available at without inflated prices; you should give No. 25 a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This failed to inspire me the way other straight Virginias do, but if you do not like working with flakes, it could be just right for you.

It was actually the very first straight VA I ever smoked. I knew I was smoking pipe tobacco right when I'd get through a bowl of No. 25 with my tongue intact.

Certainly better to me than Navy Cavendish, but my love affair has been with St. James Woods. My reviews of Blackwoods, Nos. 24 & 27 are pending. Perhaps as a base for some home blending, No. 25 could be useful to me. RV Matured Ribbon, also by Mc Clelland for Butera, is more interesting.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is a tasty smoke of fine ribbon cut black and red VA's. It has a very sweet flavor. This one has a tendency to nip at the tounge due to its high sugar content, no matter how lightly you puff and its just not as smooth or flavorful as 5100 or Blackwoods Flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (296)
★★★☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

howie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
howie (46)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I have been meaning to try this for a while. I generally do not have good luck with the tongue bite from McClelland Virginia blends. However, a number of reviewers had mentioned that this did not have this problem to such a degree.

This is a primarily dark brown to black tobacco cut very fine. Not as fine as Dark Birdseye or Forte, but still very thin. The only relief in terms of light colored material that I see here is tan stems.

As others have mentioned, the pronounced McClelland smell is significanly reduced in this blend. However, it is still there to a limited degree.

Early bowl: Initial light is deep and sweet. A single relight is often not enough. The flavor on these relights is very sweet The sharp, citrus-like tongue bite that I associate with McClelland is still present in this blend, although reduced. This is assuaged significantly by a short (30-60 minute) DGT.

Mid Bowl: Light puffing with a lot of air from around the stem, rather than through the stem, works nicely after the DGT. The sweetness is accompanied by a sourness that alternately moves from the background to the front of the flavor range. Deeper into the bowl, the citrus flavors retreat in favor of a very full and rich flavor without bite

Late Bowl: Like many Virginias, this really shines in the last part of the bowl. If care has been taken during the earlier portions of the bowl to keep the mouth comfortable, this is a truly memorable bowl with lingering aftertastes that are quite tastey.

The room note is pleasant, somewhat like baked cookies. I suspect this is from the high sugar content.

Overall, this is a very tasty smoke, but still requires extensive care and attention to fully enjoy without tongue bite. I find that I cannot smoke it without at least a light to moderate bite, but the flavor is very nice. As a result, I cannot smoke this as much as I would like. Flavor: 85/100 with the latter portion of the bowl being exceptional. Smoking characteristics: 60/100 for bite, but still much better than most from this manufacturer for me. Overall: 75/100 a solid quality smoke with some issues that prevent it from being a regular smoke.

March 2004

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pop-pop's pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pop-pop's pipe (96)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Straight black and red VAs. Fine ribbon cut. This is something that the english settlers smoked when they discoverd it here in the USA. It has a dark sweet flavor. This is a good after dinner smoke. Smokes relatively cool but don't long lip draw , then it will bite. A nice nicotine laden after a meal smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.629 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.629 (133)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

October-2003. Virginia No 25. Almost look's like tea leave's,making it very easy to light.Has a nice mild Virginia sweetness to it without a bite.Very easy to smoke & not troublesome in anyway.Different in many positive way's,compared to the usual run of the mill Virginia's.Suttle,but definitely not to weak to be enjoyed.Smoke's nice & clean all the way. If your looking for a Virginia that's not complicated & won't bite your tongue off,but with a very nice taste.Then this is most likely it!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SFC/E7 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SFC/E7 (93)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

There is not too much to say other than what has been said already, other than I believe this tobacco smokes beeter in a smaller bowl than a larger bowl because of it being a Virginia.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarNorth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarNorth (49)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I'm with lustra....this one did little for me, and it's a three year old tin. It behaves well in all technical respects, but doesn't show up flavour-wise to warrant the price tag. If you want a good non-invasive all-day Va to smoke, try the McC's bulks. If you want an amazing Virginia epiphany, smoke some McC's Va #27...but don't be in a hurry to have high expectations met with this one. Again, while this tobacco is quite tasty (you will not hesitate to finish the tin) it does not attain to the levels of complexity or flavour I seek in premium tobaccos with premium prices.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A cooly-burning Virginia that underwhelms me to the point of boredom. See the previous reviews for the typology.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★★☆
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 oppinion.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Inquisitor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Inquisitor (155)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

When I first tried this tobacco, I hated it. To me, it started off with a cigarette-like flavor, with acrid smoke that hurt the back of my throat. It wouldn't be the first McClelland Red VA that I didn't like. After fighting through 1/3 bowl, I set it aside. I considered dumping it at that point, but DGT (Delayed Gratification Technique)has surprised me in the past. A few hours later, relaxing at home, I grimly put match to tobacco. Hmm... No cigarette flavor, no bite, no throat irritation. Instead, the predominant element had become the matured and stoved Virginias - dark brown sugar sweetness, an earthy smoothness, a lovely musty character that reminds me of chantarelle mushrooms. Like most McClelland Virginias, the flavor deepened and developed as the bowl continued to burn lower. This is not an "obvious" tobacco, it doesn't leap out at you. But it piques your curiosity, inviting closer inspection, then holds you with a flavor palate unlike any other blend. The closest comparison is Esoterica Tilbury, although it lacks Tilbury's oriental component. This doesn't break into my top rotation, but I will keep a tin on hand for those moments when nothing else seems quite right. Well done.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.