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Handblended, premium pressed Virginia flake pipe tobaccos. A fine vintage, naturally sweet, in limited quantity.

Notes: From tin insert: We are proud to offer our 2015 Christmas Cheer pipe tobacco, an exceptionally fine vintage tobacco, hand blended and aged in pressed cakes to develop natural mellowness. This 2015 blend is made with a special selection of rich, ripe, flue-cured Virginia from an outstanding 2011 Old-Belt crop. Superb leaf picked at peak ripeness, it is naturally sweet, rich in oils. It should age with distinction. Each buying season, we look for tobaccos of exceptionally quality and distinctive character. In various combinations, their flavors, aromas, textures contribute to the overall excellence of all our products.

The leaves of different crops and regions are combined to maintain consistency from year to year.

With Christmas Cheer pipe tobacco, we treat our discriminating customers to the singular pleasure of a tasting of the very finest in tobaccos of a particular vintage, not worrying about maintaining the flavor and appearance of this product into future years but actually striving instead to present the unique character of a single crop and area.

That's what Christmas Cheer pipe tobacco is all about. Happy sampling!

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutBroken Flake
Packaging100g Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Tolerable

Favorite Of 1 Users

3.5
11 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
7
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3
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2040)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Very Pleasant

As always, the red Virginias have the tangy dried and ripe dark fruitiness from start to finish that is the hallmark of this series. It’s earthy with a mild spice note. The "vinegar" seems a touch less noticeable than it does in other years, but it's not distracting, and lessens as you go along, more so than usual. The nic-hit is mild. Burns slow and cool with a clean, smooth, consistent flavor. It will require some relights, and leave a little moisture in the bowl. If you don’t dry it first and if you pack it tight, you may need to stir up the tobacco toward the finish. I prefer not to dry it first so I can experience the fullness of its flavors. I also loosely pack it. An uncomplicated all day sweet smoke with a very pleasant after taste and room note.

I realize this is mostly like last year’s CC (and others, too), but it seems to me to be just a little earthier, and slightly tangier and spicier. I suppose it’s more obvious to me as I recently smoked some of the 2014 version. I give this the full four stars.

13 people found this review helpful.

TN Cowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TN Cowboy (5)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is definitely the Ghost of Christmas Future. It was good fresh, but lacking the magic that age will work on this obviously magnificent selection of McClelland VAs. Sample it now and jar it if you must (I absolutely had to), but you're better off letting it do its thing in the tin for 5-20 years and "unwrapping" it at a future date. If you want something amazing fresh out of the tin, get some Blackwoods Flake. :)

P.S. I fully intend on revisiting this review in 10 years and upgrading it to 4 stars.

Pipe Used: Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

13 people found this review helpful.

Alhaji Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alhaji (33)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

This is a good smoke. I smoked it fresh out of a newly purchased tin. No sign of wetness nor dryness noticed. As a matter of fact, I am smoking it now as I pen this review.

The "Ketchup" aroma is mildly present in the tin note but not in a negative way. It was easy to break up, rub out and load. It keeps going without the need to re-light. It has a mildly sweet flavour though, every now and again as 'Mr Big' observed in his review below, some slight nutty bitterness cropped up in mid-bowl that seemed like a flavour derived from coffee beans. Not sure what it is, but it is subtle enough that it does not ruin the smoke.

Simultaneously, it assumes a spicy dimension and regains its sweetness as the smoke progresses. Then more spicyness and more as if a tinge of Perique was added to the blend. The spicy taste then merges into a certain delightful creaminess that gives way to a pepper-ishness that really catches my attention.

Yet with the complexities ongoing in the bowl, the tobacco stays cool. I like this guy and would easily rate it four stars but for the fact that I need to smoke many more straight Virginias to be able to definitively compare it with other Brands/blends. I will thus settle for three stars for now.

Pipe Used: Stanwell Gilt-edged Smooth Black 15

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

5 people found this review helpful.

Grateful Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Grateful Piper (1)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I know I'm supposed to wait a year or 10 before opening and smoking, but I couldn't wait. I've been away from smoking for a number of years and have to try any of the Christmas blends. I've smoked just about the whole tin as I write this review.

I was able to smoke it right out of the tin. The flakes were able to be rubbed out quite easily. The tin note is pure McClelland ketchup. I like it. After opening the tin, I put it in a mason jar. About 6 weeks have gone by and the tin note has changed to something less pronounced. It seems to keep a bit of the Ketchup scent, but I now also smell a hint of fruit, perhaps plum?

I generally use the gravity method of packing and have found that this is a very forgiving blend. I can pack tight, or more loosely, and it offers a very cool smoke from first puff to the end of the bowl. I have not noticed any bite regardless of my smoking rhythm or whether or not I have large bowl or small bowl pipe.

The first quarter of the bowl starts off very sweet and pleasing to my sensibilities. As I progress down the bowl the sweetness is tempered by a smokiness type flavor that continues to change as you continue to smoke down. I'm not the best at describing the experience, but I definitely find this a complex blend.

I find this a great smoke on day one and have given it 4 stars. I highly recommend it. I can only imagine how this will be in years 2 - 10. I bought 10 tins and will be opening 1 up each year until they are gone. Maybe I should purchase another 10?

Leo

Pipe Used: Assorted

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

5 people found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1165)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I hate to be the skeptic in a room full of True Believers, but I'm fairly sure that nobody short of the McNeils could pick one vintage from the other in a blind taste test. And maybe not them. I set out several bowls each of 2014 and 2015, had a partner number them randomly, packed each over a few days and smoked blindly away. I can report that, other than the initial tin note being less fermented on the 2015, I can't really tell one from the next in the bowl. I do worse than a coin toss. Even worse than that, I was smoking 2014 for its review, from the tin, during the same time. They're visually difficult to distinguish too, which really helps keep the experiment difficult.

Wine experts can't tell the difference between red and white when the white has been dyed red. Sure, you should be able to differentiate between a Bordeaux and a Beaujolais Nouveau, but without the indicators on the bottle people just can't. There's a strong placebo effect at play too ... they've done MRI scans on wine experts drinking $5 wine in a $300 wine bottle, and it lights the same pleasure centers up as drinking $300 wine from a $300 bottle, and the experts can't tell the difference anyway.

I'm sure the same problem applies, with even more difficulty, trying to figure out the difference between a 2009 Middle Belt crop of red VA and a 2011 Old Belt crop.

In the end, Christmas Cheer 2015 is a collectable. So were pogs. It's a good red VA, but I'm over the hype, the comparisons of one year to the next, and the speculation about how well it's going to age. Smoke 'em if you got 'em, but spare me the marketing :)

Pipe Used: basket pipe

Age When Smoked: 2015 can

4 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (810)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Small flakes of basic brown with McClellands signature fermented tobacco tin aroma. Came a bit wet but dried out nicely. I rubbed this out prior to packing.

Once again, McClellands shows their mastery of the Virginia leaf. This is a red with its typically tangy tart-sweet flavor and beautiful spiciness and richness. Smoked at tin moisture predictably muted the flavors but drying it to crispy didn't produce any magic, either. It needed to be dried to avoid the steamy dull flavors that Virginias provide and about an hours worth of drying brought forth the full spectrum, so that it was suitably dry but not crumbly. This one wasn't wildly different from some previous years but it seemed zippier, more spicy and energetic in its approach. Think of the difference between a Lowland and a Speyside single malt. This was not only highly flavorful but the flavors popped more than some earlier years of this series. As always, snorking will bring out subtle differences. This is one of the better crops and I'm happy that I have a few tins put aside for later enjoyment. McClelland Virginias are the standard IMHO and, when properly dried to bring out the full flavor, are without peer. Different than Sam Gawith but uniformly excellent.

3 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (316)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a good smoke. One issue I have is with the fresh tin ( 9 months old), it was dryer than other years. The flakes were hard to rub out, almost as bad as "Dark Star" ! I advise smokers to rub out the entire tin upon opening or this will become a real chore when dryer.

The blend is malty in taste with a little spice, No McVinigar, and not a lot of sweetness. No bite, flavorful, but mostly base notes, there is a backgtound bitterness similar to the "Grapefruit" note of GLP's Laurel Heights., It has just the right "N" for me, which is on the higher side of medium. I didn't care for this year as much as last, as it's not as tangy or sweet.

Pipe Used: cob and maple

Age When Smoked: 9 months old, 1 month open

Similar Blends: GLP's Laurel Heights W/O Latakia.

2 people found this review helpful.

Erman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Erman (9)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

This was a very satisfying Virginia experience for me.

When I opened the tin I smelt a strong vinegar/ketchup smell which i don't like. After jarring for 6 months the tin flavour have turned into a very complex, perfumy and pleasant smell.

The tobacco comes in the form of thick broken flakes. It is too moist to smoke directly out of tin, so i rub and air for 15 minutes then fill into my pipe.

After initial lighting, it burns consistently. With proper tampering, you don't need many relights. In the first third it is more grassy, spicy and earthy. As bowl progresses spiciness diminishes and you taste more dried fruits notes together with grassy and earthy flavour. This continues through the end of the bowl and leaves a very nice aftertaste which urges you to smoke again.

I think this is a very high quality tobacco. Last year i bought a 100 gr. tin to give it a try. But i think this Christmas season i will buy many tins...

Pipe Used: Many Briars

Age When Smoked: 6 Months Jarred

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

1 person found this review helpful.

Alessandro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alessandro (12)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Mild Unnoticeable

This for me is fantastic tobacco. Smoked fresh from the tin, would benefit from some drying time. Few lights to get going. Tobacco is sweet, dry and slightly slightly vinegary. A nice Ketchup subtlety. The nicotine level is medium, but on an empty stomach it had me glued to my chair. It is high quality leaf and it impressed me... this is good. Can smoke it everyday, not overpowering flavour that would tire a smoker. One of the reasons pipe smoking is so pleasureful. Must try if you like Virginias.

Age When Smoked: fresh from the tin

1 person found this review helpful.

Theosprey247 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Theosprey247 (69)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Opened one of my tins to sample this tobacco. good looking flakes easy to rub out if you wish. Lights easily, but is kinda hard to stay lit for the 1st 1/3 of the bowl, but after that stays lit the rest of the way. A slight sweetness to start but mellows out. Will be great with some age.

Pipe Used: Nording

Age When Smoked: Fresh month purchased

Purchased From: Payless Pipes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Liam Tyr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Liam Tyr (17)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I completely agree with TN Cowboy's review. This is definitely a tobacco that will age extraordinary well. The tin aroma is exactly what you find in a quality McClelland Virginia. Pressed cake is a little tough to break up (if thats your thing, i sort of bend and stuff) but it will pack easily if you pay attention to getting it right. not to tight, but you don't want the stuff rolling out the burning end while its on fire either. You will be rewarded with a sweet slow burning tang that envelops yours senses. I LOVE straight Virginias and I think this is one of the best I have ever tasted.

Pipe Used: Peterson Canadian

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Mission Pipe, San Jose, Ca, USA. http://www.missionpipe.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.