McClelland Christmas Cheer 2017

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 2017 Christmas Cheer pipe tobacco, an exceptionally fine vintage tobacco, hand blended and aged in pressed cakes to develop natural mellowness. This 2017 blend is made with a special selection of rich, deep red, flue-cured Virginia from an excellent 2013 crop grown near New Hope, N.C. 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 exceptional 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 Holidays!


Brand McClelland
Blended By McClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company
Blend Type Straight Virginia
Contents Virginia
Cut Broken Flake
Packaging 100 grams tin
Country United States
Production No longer in production


Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.73 / 4





Please login to post a review.
Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 30, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This is my first experience with Christmas Cheer and obviously to compare with former editions is not possible.First aboard it´s a blend from the future,packed at july 2017,today is august 30 2016,magics in my pipe.Flakes are small and by rubbing we get more crumbs than ribbon.The famous or infamous McC vinegar smell is not very strong.Let´s dry 1 hour for me,crispy point,fill the bowl,fire and...the wonderful Va shinning in all its splendor.Another reviewers will come after me to describe accurately this smoking bliss.If it is so good fresh I can only dream with this stuff after aging.I am very old to wait for that,and it´s only a dream.
Pipe Used: meers
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes
Age When Smoked: fresh from the future
5 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 21, 2016 Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Christmas Cheers 2016/2017 - I've decided to review these together as they were released at the same time. Which one is better? Well, I really have to split hairs, it's hard to tell them apart unless I smoke them back to back. The 2016 has slightly, and I mean slightly, more tang and high notes, while the 2017 is slightly more base. Both are very fine examples of McClelland Virginias. both are good on the relight, the flavor stays and doesn't get ashy. I find the 2016 has slightly more tanginess and stays most of the bowl. I find the 2017 closer to FVF, darker ,less spice. I'll try to buy more. Both are 4 star.

DAMN THE FDA for our loss of this yearly treat ,I thought we already had one Federal agency, the ATF, making tobacco rules. Next the EPA will be putting out rules requiring us to filter our exhaled smoke as we would be adding to pollution and Global warming. Will the government ever stop making useless new regulations ?
Pipe Used: cob
Age When Smoked: 1month open
17 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 26, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
Looks like a typical CC in the tin... medium brown broken flake with the classic McClelland fermented sileage. I alternated bowls of this with the 2016 crop, mostly because that was the only way I could pinpoint the differences between the two. They were very close, and any diffs I detected could very well have been my imagination.

Once properly dried (and again, for those who don't like the signature McClellands smell, dry out the tobacco and it will go away. It'll also smoke a lot better!)... and they both took a pretty fair investment of time to do so... this tasted like it smelled - a fairly typical McClellands CC. That's not to say these vintages weren't very good. They were. They just didn't stand out from the rest of the pack like many of them do. This seemed more along the lines of the 40th Anniversary substitute rather than a full monty CC. The 2005, for example, is a classic Virginia that I'm happy to have found multiple tins of, at no small expense. The '16 and '17 would have been excellent if I had never sampled some of the other vintages. These seemed ordinary by comparison. That said, ordinary for McClellands is better than most blenders can ever aspire to when it comes to straight Virginia. The '16 seemed to have a bit more spice to it and more upper range while the '17 seemed to have a hair more depth. It was consternating to try and distinguish these. I tossed in a bowl of 3 other vintages just to make sure I wasn't going bonkers and those 3 were quite different, both from each other and from these two. I have no doubt these will age magnificently and I have an extra tin of both. But as of now, they aren't the classic, mortgage your house for a tin, perfect example of straight Virginia blends. If you're a red VA fan, you need to try these. I'm saving my other tins for at least 10 years, and we'll see what I have to say then.
10 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 06, 2019 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
This flue cured red Virginia provides a bit of tangy ripe dark fruit and earth, along with some toast and wood, a little citrus, light spice and a bare touch of floral. Not as potent as in some other years, the "vinegar" is rather mild, and weakens as you go along. The strength is closer to medium than it is to mild. The taste level just reaches the medium mark. The nic-hit is at the center of mild to medium. Won’t bite or get harsh, but it does sport a rough edge at times. As with most versions of this blend, it needs some dry time. Burns fairly cool, very clean, and a little slow (depending on how you pack it) with a very consistent sweet and very lightly savory flavor from start to finish. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl, and that, as well as the number of relights, will depend on how you prepare it. Expect relights unless you dry it to a crisp, which I don’t recommend. Has a pleasant, lightly lingering after taste and room note. Not quite an all day smoke, but it is certainly a repeatable one. Three stars because it doesn’t quite have the depth and body of the best years of this series.

9 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 10, 2017 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Well Thank you FDA for implementing one of the dumbest rules ever created. I think every time Betty Crocker adds a new cake mix to their line by adding whole wheat flower or using more sugar and egg whites instead of less with yolks they should have to file a new product with the FDA and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to do so because they altered the proportions of already approved ingredients. Now that I am off my soap box: this is a pronominal tobacco that will age well and bring me pleasure for years to come. Sadly it the last of a line. The tin note is all Virginia. It does have the standard signature McClelland ketchup/steak sauce like smell in the tin, but it is not as pronounced as some other McC VA's. I have said this in other reviews but to really get the most out of a Virginia tobacco it is best enjoyed in a Meerschaum pipe, ( I tried this one in a Morta too and similarly it performs beautifully). The cut of this tobacco does not lend itself to air pocket packing but when smoked carefully in a briar you can avoid the bite. The red flue cured Virginia's when smoked out of the tin already show the age of the 2013 crop they were picked from. The flue curing gives it a spicy character and toasty flavor profile. There are subtle hints of figs and dates along with what I would call toasted bagel. It is really excellent out of the tin and it is tempting to smoke it regularly, but alas I will not as I only got my hands on 2 tins. I will smoke a bowl or two each Christmas season until it is gone. I hope McClelland has figured out a way to provide similar offerings or our regulation hating President will kill this legislation entirely. This will not only be good for the palate but also for the small businesses the bring us such great pipe tobaccos and the online and B&M shops that rely on them to stay in business. If you can get it I would highly recommended it however it is tobacco, and you should only pay so much for it. Enjoy it those of you that got some and thank you and Merry Christmas 2017 to the good folks at McClelland.
Pipe Used: Morta, Meerschaum and cob
PurchasedFrom: 4 noggins
Age When Smoked: 4 years old (fresh tin).
9 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 13, 2016 Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Very nice creamy tobacco. I would call it a mix between carter hall & dunhill nightcap (my two favorite tobaccos). Although, I am a newbie so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

Can't really be smoked without at least 1 hour of drying time. I dried mine for 2-3 hours for my particular taste.
Pipe Used: Brebbia Ninja
PurchasedFrom: Pipes&Cigars
6 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 04, 2017 Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant
A little bit hard to light, need some drying. But I'm careful about this, don't want to lose any flavour. I find both 2016 and 2017 best after a bit of DGT. Wonderful, awesome, excellent tobacco of very high quality. I have 5 tins and I'm going to order some more. What I do find strange is the distinct taste of perique and a healthy dose of that as well. I know it should not be and I might be wrong but.........? It does not effect the taste in a negative way for me, being a perique lover. It's only a case that this is supposed to be a pure Virginia blend. The natural VA sweetness with (for me) perique's spicy notes makes this a 100% satisfying tobacco for me.
Pipe Used: Various briars
PurchasedFrom: 4noggins
Age When Smoked: Fresh
5 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 07, 2019 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Parting is such sweet sorrow. For years I had the pleasurable habit of buying two 100g tins of Christmas Cheer every year when they came out. It is no secret what happened in July 2016 to change all that. It was announced that the 2016 and 2017 CC would be released simultaneously, so I bought two of each. These mark the last of a truly special annual tradition.

A pipe tobacco made of one crop of Red Virginia by the masters of Virginia processing. It is the lack of quality Red Virginia that ultimately led to the demise of McClelland and the lack is surely felt today as I see well seasoned pipers scratching their heads trying to recommend red Virginias to the younger generation.

So with all of that out of the way, I just recently got around to popping one of the 2017 tins. I smoked half and jarred the other half. It was heavenly. I think absence makes the heart grow fonder as every McClelland product tastes one star better than it did before. This is no exception, but unfortunately I can't award five stars.

Four stars is highly recommended and this most certainly is. CC was the flagship blend of McClelland, the single malt of the tobacco world, the best crop of the year, and so on and so on. It is highly coveted and it will be expensive, but yes, it is the most highly recommended of all McClelland blends, and maybe, of all straight Virginias.

I have never been one to really be able to compare the different vintages of CC as I don't ever have more than one vintage open at any given time, but one thing I did notice about this one versus the others that I have had the pleasure of trying is that it seemed to have a little bit more nicotine. It is either this or that I am becoming more of a nicotine wimp. The latter may be true as I have greatly cut down my smoking since my last dance with a tin of CC.
Age When Smoked: 3 years
4 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 27, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium Unnoticeable
This one I was able to sample a few weeks ago at the pipe club I attend. It smoked very well, smooth and balanced but really can’t do a review justice as I only had one to two bowls of it. Just marking this one down since McClelland closed shop. At least I got to try it.
4 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 11, 2017 Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I smoked this tobacco last summer. It Was a friend gift from Swiss. Really good. My first McClelland. I love him. I can't buy it in Italy :-
3 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 05, 2022 Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant
I was lucky enough to receive a small sample of this from a kind fellow pipe smoker. The bag note has a sweet Virginia and slightly sour note and I get just the slightest note of citrus. Rubbed out a few flakes in one of my very small briar tasting pipes. It was already a bit dry so the moisture level was just perfect. Extremely smooth Virginias. A bit tangy and citrus with just a touch of spiciness. I am happy I was able to try this as its gone forever. I understand what all the fuss is about as I have never had a VA this complex on its own. Fortunately there are many great VA blends to still be had that are excellent . I don't know that I would sell the farm for more but its defiantly an extremely good blend. Easily 4 stars and would be an all day smoke if it was available. nic hit is a bit less than medium. Not harsh at all. I am sure if you had a big bowl it would get hot. I recommend sipping Virginia blends the flavors are much better that way. I will enjoy the few small bowls I have and remember it fondly.
Pipe Used: Dr. Grabow duke tasting pipe
PurchasedFrom: friend gift
Age When Smoked: 5 years
1 person found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.