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Hand-blended, premium pressed Virginia flake tobaccos. A fine vintage, naturally sweet, in limited quantity.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutBroken Flake
Packaging50 grams or 100 grams tin
CountryUS
ProductionNo longer in production
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Strength
Mild to Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Very Pleasant

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4.0
7 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2706)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

The Virginias have a lot of ripe, fermented dark fruit and earth, lightly tart citrus, a few blades of grass, some wood, a hint of floral, and small pinches of sugar, spice and stewed fruit. Moderately tangy and creamy with a very light “vinegar” essence that quickly weakens, and ends up lurking in the background. The strength level is in the center of mild to medium. The amount of nicotine is a hair short of the strength threshold. No chance of bite, but there is a rough edge here and there, but no harsh notes. Not quite as smooth as many later CC productions, but it has quite a bit of character. Burns cool, clean and a little slow with a mostly consistent, deeply rich, sweet and slightly savory flavor. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and needs a fair amount of relights. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste, and can be an all day smoke for veteran smokers.

-JimInks

6 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

I sure wish I could find more of this. I was fortunate enough to make a trade for a pair of 100g tins of the first-ever run of McClelland's Christmas Cheer Series. It is my understanding that the production was extremely limited and that is why the 1992 Christmas Cheer is extremely rare.

Perhaps the aging helped, all I know is that this is about the creamiest, naturally sweet Virginia I have ever smoked. The strength could be stepped up a notch or two, but the taste washed over my palate in a refreshing manner that demanded constant tugs on my pipe.

The tin note was sweet with no typical McClelland's ketchup/vinagar smell. The leaf was very dark and in broken flake form with gobs of sugar crystals throughout. Moisture content was perfect and the initial lighting took me to heaven. A hint of spice with an accompanying natural sweetness that made my toes tingle.

Sadly, I have just one tin left. Hey, there's no guarantee that I'll be around tomorrow so I may pop the lid today.

6 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (29935)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

From what I've read, there were only 130 tins of this ever produced. In 10 years I've come across 4 tins.

With 20 years of age, I was expecting a very mellow and sweet smoke. However, right out of the tin this stuff bit me. Of course it was as moist as the day it was packed. And wet flakes normally bite me.

With some significant dry time this really shines. A nice sweet smoke, but not with the typical mellowing that I've experienced with aged blends. The flavor is still there, and it reminds me of Christmas Cheer 2009, albeit a bit sweeter.

I have only had a handful of bowls, but will update this if things change. It is a great smoke, but since it is probably impossible to find at this point, see if you can get some 2009. It's close, to my tastes anyway.

3 people found this review helpful.

nkulk8r Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nkulk8r (90)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is the saga of two tins of McClelland’s 1992 Christmas Cheer.

I’ve never sampled any of the other editions of Christmas Cheer, only the 1992 original run.

I managed to acquire two, 100-gram tins of McClelland’s 1992 Christmas Cheer: one in 2014 (ebay, $180), the other purchased via ebay in 2018 ($165).

The plan was to keep both until at least 2022 (30-years), but curiosity got the better of me and I just popped a tin (June 25, 2019), and to keep the last remaining tin until 2022.

So, I popped tin #1 (the $165 tin acquired in 2018), and – in spite of what Emeritus Account’s review of 2009-10-27 asserts – the “sandpaper” lining is, in fact, rust. The tobacco was dry, dry, dry as a bone – no moisture content at all. (Consulted with Pipestud about this, and he informed me that McClelland did not coat the inner metal with a vegetable grade rust retardant until 1996. He also informed that a solid 100g tin of Christmas Cheer will weigh approximately 156 grams, whereas any of those tins that weigh less than 147 grams are suspect to compromise – and unfortunately, I did not know this before purchasing and/or opening).

I suspected that something was seriously wrong with this tin of 27-year-old Virginia (tinned on July 1, 1992). There was no sign of sugar crystals at all – only the rust on the inside of the tin (I have Penzance from 2012 that is spectacularly dusted with very fine, tiny white sugar crystals). I sampled 2.5 grams of this very bone dry CC in a clay tavern pipe. Very, very fine Virginia taste; halfway through the bowl, I too picked up on the pumpkin and burnt popcorn taste (exactly the same per Emeritus Account’s review of 2009-10-27).

It was good – very good, actually – but the experience didn’t match that of the other 5 reviews for this tobacco (save for Emeritus Account’s review of 2009-10-27), and so that made me wonder about my remaining tin (the one I was going to hold until 2022, the 30-year-mark). So . . .

I popped tin #2 of McClelland’s 1992 Christmas Cheer. When I popped tin #2, the tobacco was nearly as moist and as pliable as the day it was tinned (again, July 1, 1992). There was no “sandpaper” (rust) on the inside of the tin; the inside of the tin was white and pristine. The tin note was still very much that of dark fermented fruit/stewed fruit. (Curiously, there was no sign of sugar crystals on this moist, well-aged version either). When I popped tin #1 (rusty & dry), the tin note was that of cut grass, but not freshly cut, and it was very faint.

After opening tin #2 – the “fresh” tin – after a 20-minute dry time I loaded another 2.5 grams into another clay tavern. (Since recently discovering clay tavern pipes two months ago, my briars have been very much neglected; clay pipes are absolutely amazing: cool and absolutely dry – no moisture, at all -- and you only get the pure taste of the tobacco, not like a briar, not like a meer, not like a cob – it’s almost like I’ve discovered that I’ve been doing this all wrong for the last 6 years). Sweet, creamy, deep, dark, complex.

So, here’s the thing: I’ve got two very, very different tins of McClelland’s 1992 Christmas Cheer – one moist, one dry – and, amazingly, I think I prefer the dried, mummified, rusty edition to the moist, un-compromised tin (I’ve only had one bowl of each). The pure Virginia taste really jumped out from the dried, mummified, rusty edition. (Maybe it’s like when a red wine goes “Brett” – maybe I just serendipitously hit the tobacco lottery – or maybe I just don’t know anything about pipe tobacco, and we’re all living in a quantum world of alternate reality).

In any event, I’m going to have to sample these two versions of the same blend again, and when I do, I will dry the “moist” tin for an hour, and then two, three and four, to see how it stacks up against the Egyptian Pyramids mummified version of this 1992 blend.

I’m giving the moist version a 4-star review, but I am also giving the desiccated version a most definite 4-star review. It is very disorienting to be giving conflicting (and counterintuitive) reviews for the very same vintage of the very same blend.

UPDATE: July 9, 2019

After several nosings of the "dry" (rusty tin) of this 1992 CC, there was no escaping the fact that, part of what I was smelling in the bouquet, was, in fact, rust. Smoked 3 bowls of this stuff -- it was very Virginia-esque -- and the pumpkin and burnt popcorn was new, unique and intriguing . . . But I'm not sure what rust tastes like when you smoke it (I know there are risks associated with smoking any kind of tobacco; I can only assume that smoking rusty tobacco is more risky than smoking rust-free tobacco). So, into the trash bin it goes. I've still got 90 grams of the "good stuff" remaining (the stuff that came in the pristine tin).

Pipe Used: Various clays

Age When Smoked: 27 years

2 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (29935)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

very, very good. once the vinegar evaporates away. not very sweet but deep and a kind of dark taste. the only CC that has ever made me nauseous from nicotene. the years have indeed been good! sometimes i get an almost pumpkin like taste other times a slightly burnt popcorn taste that somehow melds together to make a great virginia smoking experience. there isnt anything really like this on the market today, of course the age has something to do with this incredible taste. totally different from the 99 throught present CC's. one last note, the inside of this tin is lined with a a material i havent seen before almost like sandpaper, not rust though. interesting.

2 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (29935)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Amazing! '92 Christmas Cheer is sweet and spicy, but with no tongue bite at all. The trick is to open the tin and allow it breathe for a month or two. If you find some and you are a Virginia smoker, buy it! I bought mine at a silent auction to raise money for our pipe club, the Atlanta Pipe Club. I can't imagine there is much of this left, however.

2 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (29935)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

This may very well be the finest tobacco I have ever smoked. I am somewhat predisposed to liking Christmas Cheer, but this one is phenomenal. The years have been good.

So what do I say that Pipestud hasn?t already said?

If you are a fan of Virginias in general, and aged Va?s in particular, you should do whatever you have to do to get a tin of this vintage delight. You will not be disappointed. It is every bit as rich and creamy and delicious as you have read.

1 person found this review helpful.