Sutliff Tobacco Company Matured Red Virginia 515 RC-1

Regular red Virginias have a flavor that can best be described as toasty sweet. Processing and maturing red Virginia can bring some surprising results. People used to buy McClelland 5100 Red Cake by the pound because of its zesty flavor. For those who miss that terrific flavor, you should try Sutliff Matured Red Virginia 515 RC-1. This isn't an exact match for 5100, but it has a depth of flavor and a tang that you wouldn't normally find in a regular red Virginia, and it's priced very nice.


Brand Sutliff Tobacco Company
Blended By Carl McAllister
Manufactured By Sutliff Tobacco Company
Blend Type Straight Virginia
Contents Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging Bulk
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.08 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 02, 2021 Extremely Mild Extra Strong Overwhelming Overwhelming
This is a disaster. I bought some Sutliff 515 RC-1 about a year ago, and it was *overwhelmingly* doused in vinegar. Now, some people have said it has a "tang" or a bit of a vinegar scent... this is NOT that. My bag was off the charts. I'm convinced my batch was mistakenly over-drenched in it somehow. When you bring the bag close to your nose, it's an automatic physiological reflex to jump away, almost as bad as smelling salts... really. It's literally that bad. Totally unsmokable. Might as well be mustard gas. So, perhaps naively, I jarred it and set it aside hoping that some time in the cellar might... do something, perhaps smooth it out. Well... it hasn't. I opened it the other day, and it's as deadly as when I first received it. So I tried "airing it out" and then re-hydrating it. I did that several times already. The vinegar scent has decreased dramatically, but it's still too harsh to smoke. I'm hoping by the time I'm finished this process, there will still be some tobacco essence left. I will update if/when I can finally smoke this stuff. I feel like I should just buy another 2 oz of it, since this was almost certainly a fouled batch, but I'm hesitant to have more shipped to my house, lest the United Nations start thinking I'm stockpiling chemical weapons.

-=UPDATE=- After a few more airing out and re-hydrating sessions, I decided to try smoking it. It's still too harsh to smoke on it's own, so I mixed it up with some stoved Virginia, some latakia, and a bit of Turkish. The 515 RC-1 was only about 20% of the mix... and it was actually really good! Huge surprise.

Bottom line: When I got it fresh, it was completely unsmokable, zero stars. But after a year in the cellar, and 6 or 7 airing-out/re-hydrating sessions... I was finally able to use a small amount in a home blend.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 02, 2021 Mild Very Strong Mild to Medium Tolerable
This, to me, is a disaster. I applaud Sutliff for attempting to fill the void left by McClelland halting production, but this is far from 5100 and is a complete failure IMO.

McClelland Virginias had a unique smell that many people characterized differently. I, personally, was in the camp of saying it smelled like ketchup. Several people said that they thought it was vinegar and would refer to the elusive sauce as McVV. I never got any whiff of vinegar in a McClelland blend (and I know that Ketchup has vinegar in it, but it does not stand out). Others speculated that the smell was just pure virginia tobacco properly cured. I don't know and neither does anyone except the McNeils who never divulged their secrets as far as I know.

With that background, it is clear that the person at Sutliff tasked with making this tribute to 5100 was in the Vinegar camp, as this stuff is just drenched in vinegar. The first whiff of this in the bag is a dead ringer for the smell of a freshly opened bag of salt and vinegar potato chips. This is great with chips, in fact those are my favorite chips; but it is downright vile on tobacco.

I remember my first bowl of 515 RC-1. The smell was so off putting that I hoped like hell it would flash off quick when put to light. No, it does not. It takes a while and by the time it does, it is still not worth the effort as that vinegar smell is entrenched upon you. I tried maybe one or two more bowls and then relegated the rest to be serve as a blender. Even in this role, it failed for the first year or so adding an unwanted vinegar presence to everything it was blended with.

After a year, however, the vinegar smell finally disappeared and all that was left was an "OK" red virginia. If the blend started that way, I may have rated it higher, but the pain getting it there really keeps me from recommending this to anyone.

Vinegar does not belong on tobacco. Plain and simple. There is no good substitute for McClelland 5100 that I know of, but I can't let that garner an extra star for this blend. I would rather smoke C&D Blending Red Virginia than this catastrophe.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 30, 2021 Mild Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong
Summary: a serviceable attempt to replicate McClelland Virginias, if you like acidic Virginias.

McClelland produced a type of Virginia with strong flavor that made it easy to appreciate for newer smokers, blending the tangy acidity of young red Virginia with a malted, vinegar-like flavor. In my view, they spray sugar on it and then partially Cavendish -- air roast -- it before pressing, which produces the unique "ketchup" odor of light fermentation along with the softness of Cavendish. Given the wide range of options, it seemed silly to fixate on these, especially when they were obviously young Virginias roasted to conceal defects, not necessarily the high-quality leaf boasted by the marketing materials. Sutliff hit the gold mine when the audience responded to these, and came up with its own version, which tastes like a lightly Cavendished and slightly fermented red Virginia. If you like sweet-sour candies, this will appeal. To my mind, there are better Virginias out there, and the quality blends tend to use a spectrum of red, brown, and bright Virginias to achieve this same effect, using older leaf to avoid the lemon drop acid blast of this leaf.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 15, 2020 Mild to Medium Medium Medium Tolerable
It's insulting to compare this bitter, bitey, pg cased cheap weed to 5100. Mary McNiel would not be amused. You get what you pay for. Many good RV's out there. This isn't one of them. They even added a phony hint of ketchup to humor you.

You want 5100? Go to ebay and pay the man what he wants. Otherwise, move on.

Pipe Used: Mario Grande
Age When Smoked: Fresh
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 22, 2019 Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Mild Pleasant
A straight red virginia that is very heavily cased with propylene glycol, sugar, and vinegar which is unfortunate. In the jar I smell a lot of sweetness and vinegar with a little tobacco in the background. Mild nicotine.

It could be a 3 or 4 star tobacco, but the unjustifiable amount of PG makes it 1 star. I can taste the PG (or some other chemical) all the way through the bowl and it ruins what appears to be a nice red virginia.

If you like the sugar and vinegar thing (think McClelland), I suggest getting some of those fine C&D blending virginias, which have no PG or sweeteners, and add your own casing.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 03, 2022 Mild to Medium Extra Strong Overwhelming Tolerable
REEKS of acetic acid from the pack - not tangy ketchup - so pungent it actually makes me involuntarily recoil when I put my nose in the jar.

Now, mechanically, it lights and burns well. It might indeed be good tobacco... but I can't taste it through the overpowering sour vinegar taste. I honestly cannot imagine how this would be pleasant even if blended.

I never had the opportunity of tasting McClelland 5100 Red Cake but I can't imagine this stuff is remotely what it was like. And in fact, based on the wonderful reviews for this (and the other quality Sutliff blends I have tried), I can only imagine I got a 'bad batch'. But man, what a bad batch it is. Either 515 RC-1 intentionally tastes like this (horrible) or Sutliff's quality control is poor. And viewing the other reviews here by date order, it does seem that something has gone wrong in 2021 - the previous poor reviews are complaints about flavour being too artificial/chemical - the unsmokable/doused in vinegar reviews all date from 2021...

This is honestly a new low for me - it is so bad I feel that I need to increase all my previous reviews by a star to make room for this - as it unfair to the quality of previous 1 star blends.
Pipe Used: Peterson, MM
Age When Smoked: 6 months in jar
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