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

Notes: Produced in 1992, 1994-present in limited quantities. Tinned in July of the respective year.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
CutBroken Flake
Packaging50 grams or 100 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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Mild to Medium
None Detected
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Flyerdog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Flyerdog (9)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

First I have to address the "ketchup smell". I can do that in two words - who cares! I had been smoking CC for years before I heard the term and I just assumed that is what tinned VA smelled like when opened.

I usually buy several tins and open one right away and let the others age at least a couple of years. I'm smoking the '01 now so it's twelve years old and wonderful. But then again the tin I smoked in '01 was wonderful.

I don't smoke too much other than CC. I guess my rotation consists of different years of CC with something else thrown in once in a while. Full tobacco taste and a very pleasant toasty room note (like toast in the toaster). I read a review that compared it to baking bread and I go along with that.

I don't detect much difference from year to year - I like them all. Each year does get better when aged however.

So, unless your enjoyment comes from sniffing the can when you open it, pick up a couple each year. One to smoke and one to age. I'd rate it five stars it they let me.

6 people found this review helpful.

Glorfindel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Glorfindel (86)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

UPDATE: 4-4-08

This stuff keeps getting better and better. I can't say enough about the entire Christmas Cheer series. Another HUGE bonus I want to share with you is that this blend will make your pipe smoke sweet. No, not like artificial sweet, I mean that thing we all call a "sweet smoke". No bitter charcoal or burnt briar taste. No matter the blend you like, smoke this stuff once and a while and your pipe will smoke noticeably better. It is doing wonders for breaking in my new meerschaum and making it taste great.

This series is KING of the unflavored VA flake genre - hands down no questions or excuses.

ORIGINAL: 4-1-08

A soft, round VA with plenty of tang - not weak mind you - and possesing that light sweet creaminess of a premium VA. A broken flake that does burn better when fully rubbed out.

I have tried many a straight VA and VA dominant blend (being a huge VA fan myself).

Again, a perfect VA flake, wouldn't change it if I could. I could smoke this stuff all year - and probably will no matter what year vintage I find to buy.

This entire series through 2007 is modern classic in the pipe tobacco world.

Thank you McClelland, you remind me frequently of why I love pipe smoking.


4 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Extremely Mild None Detected Mild Very Pleasant

I really do not have a review of this blend. I did smoke it, but frankly, cannot remember much about it and I didn't log my impressions into my personal tobacco diary.

Just wanted to say Merry Christmas to all of my fellow reviewers and especially to Jon Tillman for the great job he does in making one of the hottest sites on the web for us pipe & tobacco freaks.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!


4 people found this review helpful.

Pryhosm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pryhosm (248)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Christmas Cheer is always good, so this one is no exception. Most reviews capture the flavor and tin note profile very well so I will keep this short, with one minor addition.

I have noticed this with all McClelland tobacco's, but especially their VA's. No matter how old they get they do not show any bloom. This is a 19/20 year old tobacco, and I believe it is from a 1995 crop. High sugar tobacco with no bloom? Odd and I am sure it has to do with the use of vinegar in the processing which gives McClelland's tobacco's the famed aroma. I wish this was a site that had comments, if anyone else has seen it I'd love to know. The very best leaf and processing goes into this rich, complex, spicy smoke. I also notice a nuttiness after I fully expel the smoke from my mouth, which is a nice add. Great stuff. Merry Christmas!

Pipe Used: Briar's, meerschaum, clay's and cob's

Age When Smoked: 19 + years

3 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Mostly chestnut brown, which is typical of this series once it ages for awhile, and this one is 19 years old. Very deep McClellands fermented Virginia smell in the tin, more than most other years. But fear not, you won't taste this if you dry it out sufficiently, and you'll get the added bonus of having a much better smoke overall.

This seemed to be one of the more complex in the series. Toasted elegance, along with multiple different spice flavors, this is a perfect Christmas blend. No artificial flavors that you normally see with Christmas blends, this is a natural version with more tobacco flavor. This is a very smooth yet punchy blend, something McClellands is very good at producing. Rich flavor but mellow. No overabundance of "grassy hay citrus" and in fact this is deeper and darker without going overboard. It doesn't match the 2005 version nor most of the 1990's blends but it is a cut above the norm to my tastebuds. If you're tasting ketchup or vinegar, you're doing it wrong! ;) It tastes of good, un-fritzed with straight Virginia that only McClellands can (could) do. If you find a tin at a reasonable price, go for it. Or let me know and I'll take it!

3 people found this review helpful.

crapgame1967 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
crapgame1967 (61)
Overwhelming None Detected Overwhelming Strong

This tobacco is not for me and let me till you why. The Virginia tobacco in this blend tastes like catsup and nothing else,well i don't there is anything else because after 15 minutes of smoking this my tongue was on fire and I had to stop smoking my pipe right then and there! I did try taking the tobacco still in the tin and ( here comes the wailing and gnashing of teeth of those who love this blend) broke it into smaller pieces and spread it around in many of my other tobacco blends just so I didn't waste what was an almost completely full tin of tobacco.

I had several more tins of this from a few different years and they were forgotten about after I got married in 2004 and found a box of old Cigar Aficionado and Pipes and Tobaccos magazines I started to re-read in 2015. I know someone did have a nice gift from a secret Santa in 2015!

Pipe Used: no name meer

Age When Smoked: fresh

3 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3022)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Very Pleasant

The vinegar/ketchup smell does appear in the taste of the tobacco, though it's much lesser than it smells. The Virginias offer a big burst of very ripe, fermented, tangy dried dark fruit, light tart and tangy citrus, plenty of earth and wood, light bread, a few blades of grass, some holiday spices (were they added by a human being?), and a small floral note. The actual taste of tobacco is sublimated by the fermented sweetness. The strength is a step short of medium, while the taste is medium. The nic-hit is a hair less potent than the strength level. No chance of bite or harshness, and has few rough, sharp edges. Needs a light dry time. Burns cool, clean, and a little slow with a very consistent sweet and lightly spicy flavor from top to bottom. Kind of seems a tad more fruit-cake like than the 2000 and 2002 versions, or some later ones as well. Requires some relights, and leaves a little moisture in the bowl. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste and room note. Can be an all day smoke. Three and a half stars.


3 people found this review helpful.

MDP Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MDP (39)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

2001 has turned out to be magical and yes, complex. The fermented aromas promise a smoothness and richness I have come to expect from aged McClelland Virginias. Gone are the thin, watery tang, grassiness, or sooty offense associated with young-ish straight Virginia tobacco.

What is left in CC 2001 after a decade of sealed aging are an amalgam of deep spice notes and refined, dark sweetness. The spice is not from chilis or salsa, but those old fashioned "back of the spice cabinet" containers that come out for baking on high holidays, along with subtle confiture flavors of liquored, preserved fruits, unlike bitter maraschino, candy corn or lollipops. There is flavor migration akin to having a dollop of fine confection melt on your tongue.

This rubs out, burns, and turns to dry ash effortlessly, leaving the walls of my pipes cleaner than before smoking CC 2001 and dry. Pipe puffing paradise.

3 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Very Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of the few McClellans that I will give high marks to. The aroma is not as objectionable as most from this company. The baccy is not too moist, but I did air it out for two days before smoking it. It crumbled nicely for packing. Very nice into a large mouthed bowl. Here's the best part. The flavor is wonderful. True Virginia with almost as much taste as the strong ones I prefer. This may be the nicest Virginia I have smoked coming from McClelland. Certainly smokers who like McClelland tobaccos will enjoy this one if they can find it. Cellering would be in order if several tins can be had.

2 people found this review helpful.

runswithdogs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
runswithdogs (41)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Just cracked open a tin of this fine Virginia with 17 years of aging on it. With several bowls under my belt, it was time to add my two cents. A deep fruity aroma wafted up to me after that satisfying whoosh from a well fermented Virginia. The mostly broken flakes were light to medium reddish, with scattered sugar crystals. The frequently present ketchup odor was there, but dissipated rapidly. This blend smokes sweet and smooth, but really needs to be smoked slowly.

I’ve come to the conclusion that many of the varied reviews on Virginias (including this blend) reflect how the tobacco is smoked, as much as anything. Even I will find that if I absentmindedly puff too hard or rapidly, the tobacco loses a lot of flavor, and consequently, is not very enjoyable.

Smoked slowly, as this must, it’s a fine Virginia blend. Consistently mild and sweet, with a pleasing room note. Medium nic hit. Burns to a fine white ash, with little moisture.

I love Virginias, and this was my first experience with the Christmas series. I do recommend this tobacco for lovers of Virginias.

Pipe Used: J. Alan bent egg.

Age When Smoked: 17 years

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Tin: Initially mahogany; then dark brown and blonde mottled in a 7:3 ratio, pressed into a partly broken flake. Strong fruit, something akin to banana bread, sweet hay-oats smell; the typical McClelland ketchup/raisin odor is not present. After all these years sealed, it is still supple; it does not feel overly moist. Under sunlight, it sparkles with minute dots of sugar. The speckles of sugar were mistaken for mold until I read the reviews. Tin date: 072001.

Packing & Lighting: Takes 1 or 2 matches to get it lit, then it stayed all the way to the bottom. It really burns well. The only concern is the accumulation of condensate in the stem--the bowl remains absolutely dry--the stem has to off occasionally and condensate blown out. At one point, the unsealed tin, left in a room at 80 degrees, had light moisture on the inside of the lid.

Taste & Aroma: Light scented roasting fruit. It gets richer and deeper towards the bottom, adding a scented wood quallity. CC 2001 has quite a sweet taste. The aroma changes with the intensity at which it is smoked. Multiple bowls smoked back-to-back, does elicit minor bite or tongue tingle.

Nicotine: Between mild and medium

Room Note: A pleasant, mild, roasting fruit scent.

Overall: Now that's a sweet tobacco. I have to agree with Danno in the CC 1999 review concerning humectant and an unfamiliar flavor. I get get a consistent and disagreeable amount of tongue tingle(bite). Mparker, in their CC 94 review, lists a variety of flavors which I also found to be elicited, depending on the burn temp. of the tobacco. A leaflet inside the tin gives the rationale for the CC series and the method of making this 2001 blend, "...sun dappled Middle Belt orange leaf of the 1995 North Carolina crop..." 3.4 stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

What a delightful smoke !! This VA flake is sweet and soft and holds interest throughout the bowl in any size pipe one would find suitable for a VA flake. I'm also quite surprised at how easy going it was from the first time I opened the tin. Understandably - 6 years of age on the sealed tin was ideal and no surprise that it was good - but this was great. Subtle complexity - wonderful rich flavor without being powerful - and never - repeat never does this get hot - despite the sweetness.

One char light, easy tamp and then a good light and begins the pleasure. This has the longest zone of any VA in my line-up. Damn near almost from second puff to second to last. Exceptional stuff.

Cheers, VC

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Aye, this is the blend of finest tobacco weed to be found! My tin purchased 12/02 just opened 12/06 has aged well with sugar crystals abound within this fine pressed Virgina. Not many finer than this with a California Merlot and watching a favorite movie from the 50's or 60's. A bit of bite if smoked more than one bowl at a sitting, but very pleasureable with very little nicotine hit. Lovely, sweet tang with citrius and spice, if you can find this, stock up. I fully rub this blend out and pack with a slight spring and with 3/4 of a tin to go I'm having a merry new year indeed!

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

Bought and smoked December 17 2005, Consistant, in a supurb way. Rally rather good. I let it dry for about 5 hours before I lit it up. But man what a treat. I can't wait to try its brothers. Really very very nice.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mephisto Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mephisto (32)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A limited tobacco and different every year...this year is quite good and tends to the richer veriginias. A worth while treat and since it is limited you may not be ble to find this year however do give it a try and you will be pleasently rewarded. Smooth and slow with unique sweetness. The tobacco used is of great quality and produces unique taste. Mery Christmas!

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I got this as part of a pass and couldnt pass up on the chance to try some, the tin aroma was wonderful, rich musty-sweet virginia with less than normal McClellend Ketchup smell. the tobacco was mostly dark brown broken flakes which were a tad too moist and had to be dried out a bit, I packed it somewhat loosely into my new dark ringblast billiard, without braking up the flake any further.

It took to flame rather nicely and tamped down evenly and took only 2 relights too keep it going. The initial flavor is what remained throughout, rich sweet deep virginia, the consistancy didnt change much throughout the smoke, which may bore some, but which i found somewhat comeforting. I think this would make a lovely fall/wintertime smoke hence the name. I look forward to when i can grab a cople more tins of this one to smoke and one to age, and also to Christmas cheer 2002.

Overall i would rate this a 4.5 out of 5.

Highly reccomended.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

This is definitely a blend for the holidays - warm and spicy notes, without overpowering the natural sweetness and flavour of the Virginia. A great smoke in cold weather, but a little stifling in the summer. Like many Virginias, this one ages very well too. If you can get some, cellar it for a while.

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