Klenderwood was always a favorite of mine in the Levin line-up, but I was only able to obtain a few tins as production was, I think, just a one time run in the early 1990s. Super rich and spicy Oriental leaf combined with a little Latakia (and maybe Virginia), to offer a very cool and satisfying smoke. There was a vast amount of Oriental leaf in this one and it was milder than most of the Levin offerings of this type. Still, I was so in love with the flavor that I overlooked the mildness of the smoke and made myself puff slowly to savor every nuance.
I was gifted a 1993 can of this great mixture .I brought the tin to the 2019 Chicago show for my friends to enjoy .Presented as a dark brown and black ribbon cut offering an exotic tin note of spices and , after 26 years , deep earth. Klenderwood is an oriental forward mixture , really the highest grade but I can only guess at the orientals used . The Virginias are the familiar Mc Clelland type, well selected and cured to a golden turn . The latakia , probably Syrian , has lost it's personality in the virginia but it is still present and very much a part of the experience . The Virginias will take over the latakias after 10 years , much more after 26 years . Once lit , the smoke was truly first class in every way . A deep and dark virginia oriental with Mr. latakia lurking in the wings . Very rich but also sweet and sour at the same time . The tobacco world lost a great deal with the passing of Barry Leven . The Klenderwood was a rare surprise , I doubt I will travel this road again .
Picked up a tin from 1993 for very little coin, as this is one of the LPI/McClelland offerings I missed when they first came out. The color was mostly dark but interspersed with light flecks. Tin nose was light latakia and a huge amount of orientals. I'm not used to orientals smelling strong, so I'm assuming the potency was from the merger with latakia.
Oddly enough, this was touted as a substitute for Dunhill 965. No brown Cavendish here, and the latakia is just too light for that. The Virginias are of the bright variety, but are mostly overshadowed by the latakia (also light) and the orientals. I'd have to go back through the McClellands lat blends I've smoked over the years to determine if this one was reintroduced under another name, but its flavor doesn't scream of another entry. Still it's kind of ordinary. Good tasting, though, with the orientals taking center stage throughout and mixing with just enough latakia to make the orientals come alive. The bright Virginia is a nice base and adds just a hair of sweetness and body. There was none of the signature McClellands fermented sileage here. In fact, if I didn't know this was a McClellands blend, I wouldn't figure it out by accident. I think that may be why this hasn't made a comeback like so many of the other old LPI blends. It's certainly a fine blend, but nothing I feel the need to come back to again.
The mildly buttery sweet and sour, floral, earthy, woody Orientals also have a couple pinches of spice as the lead component. The smoky, woody, musty, sweet and rich Cyprian Latakia plays a support role. The mildly fermented dark fruity, earthy, woody dark Virginia ends up being a condiment. I didn’t notice any McClelland “vinegar” notes. The strength is just shy of the center of mild to medium, and taste level is a hair past that center. The nic-hit is a step past the mild threshold. Won’t bite or get harsh. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with mostly consistent flavor from start to finish. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasant, short lived after taste, and decent room note. An all day smoke.
I just finished up a tin of this that I got at the Chicago show one year for $10. It was a great deal then and an incredible deal now. This was not like the pictured tin above. For starters it was a 50g McClelland tin and Levin Pipes was not mentioned anywhere on the same.
It appears this was a re-release made for the 2005 CPCC show. I have read the reviews below and I would say that what I tasted is very much what the below reviewers have explained.
This is very good and a pretty lightweight balkan with the oriental/turkish tending more to the citrus side of those varietals. It is nice, dry and smooth. The MC stoved Va's give it a good bit of sweetness to ride on. If Latakia is in this blend, it is very lightly applied; either that or 16 years in the tin has mellowed it as much.
There is a very nice sidestream aroma that rises from the bowl on this and it was a pleasure to smoke. I am putting this at a high three star. If it was highly available, it might be a four but at the price this would now fetch I couldn't highly recommend it. But still no complaints whatsoever and I am happy that I had a chance to smoke it.
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