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This beautifully aged Red Virginia is brimming with the rich mellow flavor only nature can provide. It is a special allotment of a 1983 crop North Carolina leaf that we have secured for our discriminating pipe smokers. Available in flake or fully rubbed

BrandMcCranie's
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutReady Rubbed
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUS
ProductionUnknown
Product Image
Strength
Mild to Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant

Favorite Of 2 Users

3.6
43 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
28
3 star:
11
2 star:
4
1 star:
0
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (721)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Pure delicious red Virginia goodness, tangy sweet, fruity with a touch of earth. No complexity, but who cares? Burns well, consistent and smooth in taste. As smooth a straight red Virginia as you'll find on the market. No detailed review needed here; you know what you're getting when you're going to smoke it, and this product delivers everything you could expect from it.

2 people found this review helpful.

SirLoirn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirLoirn (126)
★★★☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Tin: Reddish-brown to tan ribbon cut, with a McClelland sweet raisin smell; labelled "1996 crop North Carolina leaf." The bottom of the tin is stamped 2005.

Packing & Burning: Packs easily. There is incomplete combustion in the bottom of the bowl due to moisture. There is no tongue bite, but what I call inner lip scour. Left to dry on a plate for 3 hours, it is fairly dry, which seemed to limit lip scour. Although, moisture still develops in the pipe. 2 stars.

Taste & Aroma: This is one of the best, meaning mildest and smoothest Virginia's. I've smoked some sharp, tangy VA's, and RR is nothing like that. 4 stars.

Around mid-bowl, it does develop a cinnamon apple strudel taste. The taste is mildly sweet and the aroma is that of toasted marshmellows.

Room Note: A pleasant faint caramel aroma. 4 stars.

Overall: An all-day smoke. 4 stars. 3.5 stars for a VA.

2 people found this review helpful.

Taste Buds Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taste Buds (139)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is probably the finest virginia I have ever smoked. It's from the '96 crop and tinned in 2003. I've cellered 20 tins of this beauty and occasionally wonder what I'll do when it's all gone. It is mild to medium in strength and is naturally sweet, burning to a fine white ash. I personally find this blend a little light, so I add 20% of McCranie's Red Flake, which I rub out completely. The flake is medium to full and has a lot of tang which I don't enjoy in full measure. The flake is more multifaceted and has layers of flavor which the ribbon lacks. But blending the flake with the ribbon on an 80-20 basis seems to add that little extra that the ribbon lacks on it's own. I don't know how much of this blend McCranie's has left, but replacing it will be a hard act to follow. Let's hope they're up to the task.

October 16,2007:

A great Red Virginia. But I've discovered that Red Virginias are just too sharp for my palette. Even 4 years of aging can't mellow this mixture to suit my taste.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

I just found out that McClelland?s blenders are Elves that thrive on a steady diet of French Fries and Catsup; which explains a lot. Clearly these critters need to start washing their hands after lunch.

That being said let?s move on.

Red Ribbon is of course ribbon cut, and the color is an unsurprisingly reddish brown. Upon first inspection after popping the can I remember full well the impression that I had was that there was no doubt that this was quality leaf.

Packing and lighting is no chore, RR is easier to manage than most VA?s and certainly the flakes. I have never been one to complain about moisture levels with tobaccos that I smoke and RR is no exception.

The leaf is a delightful example of what my opinion of what a Red VA profile should be- despite the Catsup aroma that McClelland?s blends portray it interferes with nothing in the way of taste.

The first half of the owl I detect no round deep body present in the dark stoved VA flakes blended by McClelland, instead I find this blend to show more of a sharp brightness- a zippy taste not unlike Veermaster or VA Slices.

The last half of the bowl there is a stoved element that develops, adding dimension as the body pronounces itself with more and more volume it complements the flavor- very nice indeed.

I have smoked this blend in large medium and small bowls. There is certainly a more developed stoved element toward the last half to third of the bowl in the larger bowled pipes, increasing the body, which I enjoy. My definition of a fine tobacco is one that has body as well as flavor, though not necessarily equal in presence.

An outstanding blend- easily one of McClelland?s finer straight VA?s in my opinion.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

This is one of the finest pure Virginias I've ever had the pleasure of putting into my pipes.

I first tried this tobacco in 1999, and have since cellared about 20 tins. It should be almost sinful to smoke in five to ten years! The way straight virginia tobacco ages, I imagine this will blow me away due to its quality.

The only bad news is that as of today (4/20/02) the McCranie boys say they'll run out of this special 1983 crop in less than a year. Gotta go now and order some more!

========(4/1/03) UPDATE========

Seeing johnnyflake's recently posted review reminded me to pass on the fact that the McCranie's have decided on a new '96 crop of Virginia to carry on the Red Ribbon and Red Flake tradition. The '83 crop Red Flake has been sold out for some time, and the Red Ribbon is going to suffer the same fate in a few months. If you want to order some of the original (and soon to be lamented) Red Ribbon before its all gone, you better do so ASAP.

========5/6/05========

Well, the original 1983 Crop is all gone. Thankfully, I still have have a dozen tins. I will ration them carefully because I just tried the new Red Ribbon from the 1996 crop, and it is not even close (IMO) to the original. Still, it is quite good and I will cellar some tins for aging. The '96 version is much lighter in flavor than the original and lacks the variance of flavors as the bowl is consumed. It does burn well and is stem free - which I appreciate.

2 people found this review helpful.

birdseye Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
birdseye (15)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Most of the four star reviewers have already noted the wonderful qualities of this fine Red Virginia blend. I can only add that I have been in search of the perfect Virginia as an alternative to my favorite English style blend (Penzance for me) for quite some time. I came across McCranie's Red Ribbon and the master blender at the Conclave of Richmond Pipe Smoker's annual convention in Oct. 2008. He gave me a sample of Red Ribbon (it was from the 1996 crop) and I was immediately hooked. This is it, I told myself. Of course, the search for the perfect tobacco (based on individual tastes) is, fortunately, never ending. But, for the time being at least, I think I may have found the perfect Virginia blend. I don't by the way, think Red Ribbon is as bland as some reviewers think. It has a distinctive, piquant taste but lacks that little bit of tongue bite that I have found in most Virginias.

1 person found this review helpful.

Michigander Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Michigander (19)
★★☆☆
Very Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant

Let me start by stating that my 2 star rating DOES NOT indicate that this tobacco is in any way bad or inferior. It is very different for pipe tobacco so the 2 stars are more of a "it depends on what you are looking for" rating. This is by far the lightest, mildest pipe tobacco I have ever tried. So mild that to my taste it is not pipe like. It is more lik ethe most exquisitely fine cigarette you can imagine. Now, I do not mean that to be as insulting as it sounds. I hate cigarettes... but if they made one that was this good, I might smoke one occassionally. This tobacco is much finer than any cigarette in existance, but it has that kind of quality to it.... very light.

It is clear that the tobacco is of exceptional quality. It has a clean light taste and aroma. The burn is spot on, as several have commented. If you want a really light smoke, this is a good choice.

1 person found this review helpful.

LV9 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LV9 (60)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This one seems to be pure red virginia mostly, my tin was sealed in 0499, it was a little moist for me, but the aromas coming out of the tin was delicious, it easy to pack and easy to light, the flavor is a mixture of sugar and sometimes molasses with a little bit of a spice in a nutmeg kinda way. In the nicotine department is very mild for my taste, this tobacco falls in the single note category but a very good one indeed. If you happen to stumble on a tin at a moderate price treat yourself if you are a virginia smoker.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cut-shot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cut-shot (10)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Upon opening the tin the aroma is wonderful. I really like the smell of this stuff and the appearance of the ribbon is deep, dark and really red.

It does need to be aired out a bit to get the optimum smoking consistancy. It packs easily and I had no problem keeping it lit.

The flavor is well rounded, deep, rich and smooth all the way to the bottom of the bowl. You can really smoke this without it biting. Definately 4 Stars.

Highly recommend!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

frankluke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
frankluke (17)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant

simple and delicious. maybe the perfect blend to have with your morning coffee. i can't stop smoking this blend, i've been thru 4 tins (96 crop) in just the last two months. a perfect satisfying sweet smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

t-rexxx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
t-rexxx (5)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I buy at least 5 tin's of this stuff every time they come out with a new crop.very smooth paks well lites well on first try.smells great.the perfect VA smoke in a sea of wanna be's.the perfect smoke for people who smoke aromatics who want to try a a non aromatic tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mister Moo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mister Moo (11)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

As mentioned by mo: "The packing and burn are spot and I cannot fault it for anything it does wrong, it just lacks in the taste department."

I concur. After hearing so much good about this ribbon I am left with the feeling that the best thing about it was the ease of pack and burn. Maybe I got a flat can - maybe I need try another tin or two. The magic has, so far, evaded me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mo (79)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

Ladies and Gentlemen. This is the day I am gonna get my ass kicked. The reason I am saying this is because I do not think this blend deserves 4 stars.

Please allow me the opportunity to explain before I am turned into Lamb Cake for that wonderful blend from Australasia.

When I read reviews looking for a great tasting blend, I specifically look for Virginia or Virginia Perique blends that can make my toes curl with delight and bring me to tears until my pipe gurgles from the enourmous amount of moisure generated by my emotional state. Think Reiner LGF, Old Gowrie.

I think I was expecting too much or I got a mediocre tin at best but I found this blend lacking in the taste department. It was very flat and almost tasteless. I really smoke lots of a blend and will never review until I smoked at least 3/4 of a tin.

The packing and burn are spot and I cannot fault it for anything it does wrong, it just lacks in the taste department.

Namaste Pipepundit, Howdy Pipestud, Groete Loosewatches and greetings to all the many many reviewers that make this site so great.

Mo, South Africa

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stubshaft Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stubshaft (9)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

An exceptional blend. When I draw it into my mouth it feels like it surrounds my tongue with a soft velvety taste of mellow Virginia tobacco flavor. It is now a must have item in my rotation! I can't imagine not having it any more. I am hooked!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

str8razor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
str8razor (3)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Over the last three years, I?ve been searching for a pipe tobacco. Not just any pipe tobacco, but "my pipe tobacco." I have been searching for that one tobacco that would be my go to tobacco. Well, I?ve found it ? McCranie?s Red Ribbon. Yes, it is that good!

Upon opening the tin, I was greeted by a beautiful medium cut red ribbon tobacco. It smelled like a mellow and tangy fermented Virginia with that distinct tomato and clove smell. However, it was not as abusive as the odor found in the typical McClelland blend. It packed effortlessly, and it lit easily.

At light up, it took me by surprise. Tangy red Virginias made my mouth start watering. Yet, there was no ?tongue bite? from this incredibly naturally sweet Virginia. Rich? Yes! Mellow? Yes! Complex? Yes! ?All that from a straight natural Virginia?? you might ask. Yes, my friend!

This tobacco produced a thick and mellow smoke that is simply delicious! If McCranie?s Red Flake is as good as this tobacco, I won't be able to choose between them. I can?t wait to try Red Flake too.

This isn?t hype. This is simply the best tobacco that I?ve tried. I will diligently begin acquiring this tasty nectar to "cellar." Please don?t buy any because I want it all to myself!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

obxemt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
obxemt (26)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

RR is a specific quantity-limited crop of 5100.

At first, I was really disappointed with RR 1996 after reading all the reviews here and the seeing the clear concensus elsewhere. I thought it was great quality tobacco (as is everything McCranie/McClelland) which at first made this an occasional switch-off smoke for me, but I thought it lacked the character I look for in a bowl; almost as bad as Ultra-Light cigarettes!

Upon revisiting RR and unintentionally slowing down my smoking style, the wonderful flavor of this blindsided me when I wasn't paying attention one afternoon while doing some reading. I've found McCranie's bulk "My Reserve" to be similarly enjoyable but with more depth. MR is 5100 with the addition of stoved VA.

Stock up on RR while you can.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CypressDog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CypressDog (2)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Very Pleasant

I am in complete agreement with those who consider this to be the best straight Virginia on the market today. It is nicely cut, burns evenly, and delivers a smooth, pleasant taste to the bottom of the bowl.

It also provides a very pleasant room aroma; I've gotten more complements from smoking this blend than from any other.

This blend has my highest recommendation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hoo-boy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hoo-boy (17)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

For those who want a tad milder smoke than McCraine's Red flake.this is it, A consistant burn without a bite, If you havent tried McCranies Red Virginias give your self a treat with their 2 versions. It ages well. smokes consistant to the bottom of the bowl. I like to mix red Ribbon and Red Flake one to one this makes it easy to load and stay lit well. Yum, Yum it is a very good mix of red Virginias and Mixed together, I refer to it as McCraines Crack, and NO, I don't smoke the other kind of crack, But It is my opinion the best Va's. out there. bar none, a solid three stars hoo-boy

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Captainmicahp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Captainmicahp (4)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Very Pleasant

This is a smooth cool smoking virginia. The tin I have is from the 1996 crop. It is like drinking a cool glass of water, refreshing without leaving a heavy slavor on your palatte. if you can get some of this you should. Even better head over to McCranies in North Carolina, It is a real pipe shop.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bent-1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bent-1 (32)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

A beautiful cut, no stems or chunks, very consistent throughout. Nice deep red/brown appearance. Everything about this is just right, pouch waft, room note, & taste. From first light to the end, it's consistently good. Even drawing through a cold mid bowl the taste is yummy. Taste reminds me of a cinnamon apple strudel topped with pecans, not overpowering, but just enough to look forward to the next draw.

Reccomendations: -- Let the tobacco out to dry for a couple hours spread out on a paper towel or sheet of paper -- Find the right pipe. It seems VA's are picky, in a pipe that doesn't smoke VA's well you'll miss out on the taste

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mainspring Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mainspring (27)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

A wonderful smoke! Cool smoking and burns well. About a third of the way down the bowl a soft sweetness develops on the tongue. Unusually mild and not what I would call complex. If you would like a cool smoking, soft, and naturally sweet tobacco that is easily an all dayer, this is probably one of the very best out there. Very Highly Recommended! This review is for the '96 crop.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

lawdog135 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lawdog135 (3)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The best on the market for a straight ribbon cut Va. That is an all day smoker.

The McCranie's have a real winner in this blend.

The sweet aged Va tobacco is what Va's are all about. When I smoke this in a "relaxed" fashion, there is no other other way to describe it other than "Outstanding"

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CaptnDan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaptnDan (242)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I got this tin in September of '04 with the intention of keeping it cellared as long as willpower allowed. Well, this is it. I gave in and opened it.

The tin aroma was wonderful. The ketchup-y aroma that I know means good things to come.

The ribbon cut is nice and even, it packed well. I did let it air out for an hour or so before I packed a pipe.

The flavor was as smooth and rich as I had expected from a ten year old crop. Not a hint of tongue bite, which was good, because I planned to have a second bowl and complement it with some nice 12-year-old scotch. The tobacco is easy enough on the tongue that scotch (neat) isn't a problem. In fact, I think this was a great pairing, the two made each other that much more enjoyable.

From the charring light to the end, this was a thoroughly enjoyable smoke. Very highly recommended. Get some before it's all gone.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

FiveRings Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
FiveRings (21)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

I had the chance to receive one tin of the 96 crop as a gift from a friend. This must rank among the top straight VAs. The vinegar aroma present at the opening of the tin dissapears once Red Ribbon starts burning inside the bowl. Rich, mellow - but not sweet, with a variety of flavors coming at you in waves, RR delivers a very satisfying smoke. It coats the pipe , so dedication is mandatory.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (118)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

One of the more dominating spices in Ketchup is cloves.

As with all McClelland/McCranie-blends I have tried, the same ketchup aroma emerges from the tin. At first, when I tried Christmas Cheer from McClelland, I thought they had scented the blend with cloves - since cloves and oranges is very much "Christmas-like"... Hmm, I really do not know if it is real ketchup aroma they use, (of course not) but the tomato/vinegar/clove-smell is present in both Dark Star, Virginia Woods, X-mas Cheer and Red Ribbon.

Another weird thing with these American blends is, (I am not used to american tobacco, since I am a Dane, and primarily smoke English and other European blends. It is only possible for us to buy these blends on the web.) that the leaf seems overly poured with artificial humectants. The tobacco looks as if it has been dipped into a deep fryer.

All that said, this is actually a surprise, because I despised VA woods, frowned at Christmas Cheer, and accepted Dark Star. This one is actually quite okay. The leaf is high quality, with no stems. The Vinegar aroma almost disappears through the bowl, and I think I will finish my tin. It bites like any MacBaren blend, but that is okay; if you smoke this one slow and carefully it will not hurt that much.

What's with that crazy Heinz aroma anyway? The Pease blends does not do that. Will I ever meet a McClelland/McCranie blend without that particular kind of casing/moisture agent??

Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tiger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tiger (53)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

The "Red Ribbon" I got is/was of the 1996 crop and, with all respects to the earlier versions, the stuff I have is positively top-flight! Cannot add anything new to what others have so accurately penned. Will just say if you like Virginias, or Red Virginias, or Technicolor Virginias, or pipes, or smoking or winning lottery tickets, you will be delighted with McCranie's Red Ribbon. It's THAT good. For real.

Tiger

Nobody has rated this review yet.

imago Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
imago (63)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

I am probably the world's biggest fan of McClelland's 5100. It is, in fact, my default mixture of choice. With that being said, this "Red Ribbon" is probably among the best tobacco I've ever tried. True, it is not horribly complex, but, if you want a simple, straightforward, sweet Virginia, try this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

chperry Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chperry (9)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Wow! This is what red virginia should be! This tobacco produces plenty of rich smoke with nice tobacco flavor along with some sweetness common to red virginias. This is one of my favorite tinned blends. One word of caution, it can bite if pushed too hard. This tobacco definitely deserves a slow, even, smoking pace. Such a smoking pace will reveal many layers of flavor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

I was a bit disappointed with the '96 McCranies Red. It is only slightly better than McClellands' 5100 Red Va. I guess plain Virginnias are just a little too one note for me. A very fine quality tobacco however. I suppose if one had the patience the '96 version would be pretty great in another 5 to 10 years of careful storage.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Well, I finally got to this one, thanks to a fellow Pipester who generously donated a sample for reviewing.

Disclaimer: This review is based on a 1 oz. sample and it is a mixture of the early crop with the later 96' crop.

Appearance: Red Ribbon, of course!

Tin Aroma: Nice mellow and tangy VA.

Packing: Easy, used standard packing method.

Lighting: Easy, but begs for DGT and got it!

Initial Flavor: Tangy Red VA, not bitey at all.

Mid-Bowl: Tanginess mellows and a richer VA flavor breaks through.

Bottom of Bowl: A slight build up of strength and it is over with a light grey, powdery ash left over.

Overall: This is a delicious single crop blend that I will smoke on occasion, but is monchromatic and is not very full. The flavor is on the upper registers of the spectrum, but will not bite. I did find it boring if smoked back to back, but wonderful when smoked on special ocassions. It is a blend that does lend itself to aging, and I will cellaring a few tins for future enjoyment.

Rating: 4 out of 5 points...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

18th-Oct-2003. RED RIBBON. Smooth rich and delicious. Lighting is very easy giving a great smoke all the way to the bottom of the bowl. One of the best Virginias I have ever tried,and did not even bite my tongue. Nothing negative about this tobacco at all. Leaves a very clean ash and no goop! Totally enjoyable and a definite winner. Highly recommended. 10 out of 10.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I never had a tin of the 1983 crop. My tin is the current offering from the 1996 (or 1999?) crop and it is one fine tobacco. A sweet and very mellow Virginia that will not disappoint you if ?sipped? gently and the flavor intensifies towards the bottom of the bowl. It was a little too moist out of the tin for my liking; you might wish to air it out a bit.

I rate this tobacco 9.9 out of 10.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Inquisitor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Inquisitor (155)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I had the good fortune to receive two and a half tins of this in a trade, from the special 1983 crop. This is the fragrant, natural and sweet Virginia style that I love. I don't generally love straight Red Virginias, but this is an exception. Lights a bit hot, so puff slowly to get it going. Once engaged, this burns effortlessly. Air-smoking immediately brings the toasted marshmallow and caramel mid-range flavors to center stage, but there is plenty of top-range zestiness (similar to dried apricots). Hints of dried sweetgrass, powdered sugar, and light cedarwood also come and go throughout the smoke. The flavors intensify and shift as the bowl progresses, growing richer and deeper, until there is a flavor that I can best describe as a maple barbecue in the bass and low mid-range. While a decent smoke if puffed distractedly, this begs for your attention. Slow smoking protects the tongue from mild bite, while revealing an ever-evolving complexity that is remarkable due to the fact that this is from a single crop of a single tobacco varietal. For those who want to experience why Virginia tobaccos are the most universal and highly-proclaimed tobaccos anywhere, this is an excellent place to do so.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stycle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stycle (6)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm still kind of a tourist among the pure va. blends and was prompted to try them by the number of experienced pipe smokers on this web site who seem to prefer them. I'm primarily a balkan smoker so I'm not unfamiliar with the virtues of virginias I just prefer them mixed with orientals and latakia. One of the first i tried was Red Ribbon. With this blend the flavor starts with a shot of straight tobacco flavor reminding me of the taste of my first cigarette--a strong and pure flavor unsullied by any competing leaf. The burning characteristics are quite good. I employed DGT with this tobacco for about thirty minutes with really good results and experienced the light sweet flavor of a pure virginia smoke for the first time. I have read of the previous incarnation of this blend made with the now smoked up 1983 tobacco. I got here too late to either taste or horde any. But what I read about the previous RR holds true, this tobacco is a good starting point at which to enter the world of pure virginias. If there is a better virginia out there I look forward to finding it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Le'Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Le'Pipe (11)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is without a doubt the best tasting ribbon-cut red virginan I've ever smoked bar none.The 1999 crop was just as good as the 1984 in my opinion. I have smoked enough of both to say,"I can't see how it gets much better than this." Fortunately,I'm close enough to McCranies that I can pop in for a can or 3 but it would be worth the shipping if you had to order it. When I want straight tobacco flavor thats deliciously tart and sweet I look no further. People often comment on the wonderful aroma as well.This is what real tobacco tastes and smells like folks.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Joe Patterson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joe Patterson (48)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one tobacco that was well worth stocking up on, and now that it's gone and the "new" version is out, the justification is in the can. Yes, there is tounge bite, yes it can fry you, yes it is a bit of a pain in the arse, but patience is the key. I first smoked this gift from heaven in a larger, thick walled, italian pipe and was a bit put off by the pungency and heat. However, after the second bowl, a bit tighter packing and a few days to rest my palate, I knew I needed more of this onhand. If you are a VA lover, more specifically, a "red" VA lover, I think you may have trouble beating this as one of the smoothest, spiciest, rich and clean flavours that will ever grace your pipe.

On a sad note, the "new" RR is a bit bland and only further justifies my current stockpile. While I enjoy a good Latakia and VA/P blend, when I want a straight VA, nothing is finer than this.

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Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

I had to run out and try this after reading all of the reviews. I have to say- this stuff doesn't disappoint! It is one of the best straight virginias I have ever smoked. The tin I tried is from the 1983 crop. After trying it I went and ordered the last few tins they had... Sorry guys! Try and find some however, it's certainly worth it. This is an experience based in pure smoking pleasure. Although I heve tried sweeter virginias, never have any of them had so little tongue bite. The smoke is thick and creamy, and the taste is very sweet and toasty tobacco. The tobacco comes from McClellands however, so it takes the usual drying out that is associated with these blends. The ketchup smell is there, but not in the capacity that is usually associated with McClelland virginias. I have to agree with pipestud however- although this stuff is good, it will be even better after some long aging. I can't wait!

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RebelPipester Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RebelPipester (12)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

What can I say that hasn't already been said. I have been pushing this blend on everyone I meet and I have yet to find one person who dislikes this smoke.

I make a point in grabbing a couple tins every month from McCranie's. This is such a sweet blend that I can't keep a tin around long.

This 1983 crop is exceptional, but I have had a couple bowls reciently that have been a little goopy. Never fear though, this is a taste you don't mind adhearing to your bowl.

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

A delicious tobacco. To state the obvious, it's a matured red virginia, ribbon cut, that smells rich and tasty at the tin and the match. This tobacco is one of the most dramatic "developers" I have smoked: the first third is toasty and citrusy, but as you work down, it's almost as though you are smoking an entirely different tobacco. The flavour deepens tremendously, turning rich, very spicy and sweet. I'm sure this will age beautifully. I can't say this makes an all-day smoke, but as an evening treat, little is finer!

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JohnnyFlake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyFlake (17)
★★★★
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

(4-1-03)I've gone through half a tin in the last three days and this wonderfull tobaccy has made it into my rotation! I understand that this is made by McClelland for McCranie and that's enough said about the wonderfull aroma you are treated to when openning the tin. This is a ribbon cut with a mixture of reddish brown, dark brown and tan tobaccys. This was suggested to me in a reply to a question I had posted, looking for a naturally sweet Viginia Blend. I ordered four tins because this tobaccy is very limited and made from a 1983 crop of prime red virginia. Sorry, got of track for a moment. Anyway, I let the tin dry out for about six hours before using it. It packs easily, lites easily and burns like a dream. I've been smoking this in a large Meershaum Billard. The flavors are very mellow, very rich and plesantly sweet and it stays that way from the top to the bottom of the bowl. I LOVE IT! I don't pick up on any distinct flavors, just a varying range of a delicious sweetness. There is no bite (none) with this tobacco and that kind of surprises me since there is obviously a considerable amount of sugar in the tobacco. Last night I left a half bowl sit over night and to my surprise & delite, the flavor profile was actually sweeter than when freshly packed. This is a great tobacco, I really am impressed with it! In fact, I like it so much I ordered ten more tins today, for cellaring. If you love the natural sweetness of a well aged virginia, then you owe it to yourself to get your hands on some of this before it's all gone and from what I understand that will be very soon!

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pmonroeb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pmonroeb (92)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've always liked the flavor of virginias, but always had a tonguebite problem, probably because I'm so used to smoking cooler burning latakia mixtures. I probably smoke too fast for most virginias. A friend of mine loves McClelland's Virginia #22 and I tried it several times, but the tonguebite was too much for me. Now to the McCranies Red Ribbon- Great naturally sweet virginia taste, cool burning and no tonguebite, none! Full flavored, packs and lights well and the room aroma is pleasant. What's not to love?

The tin I tried was from the 1983 batch of tobacco. I understand the McCranies will soon run out of this batch.

If you have a tonguebite problem, I suggest you give this a try, but please wait until I have cleaned out their 1983 vintage. Available on McCranies website.

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Paul Tatum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paul Tatum (86)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I swear this stuff smells like raisins in the tin . Still , it smokes well if allowed to dry out a bit before lighting . I had a little wetness until I figured that one out . Recommended . A unique smoke .

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kendal Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kendal (3)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

The tin aroma is classic McClelland, that is to say, spicy ketchup, which to me is wonderful. The tobacco lights easily and the flavor kicks in around a third of the way down the bowl. At that point it gets this mellow and mild sweetness that lasts the rest of the trip. Not a hint of bite anywhere in this baby. An all-dayer if ther ever was one!

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