McClelland Yenidje Supreme

Taste these blends (Supreme without Latakia, Highlander with Latakia) and discover why this particular classic Xanthi (the Yenidje of old) with its refreshing sweetness is known as "The Queen of Tobaccos".
Notes: From McClelland: Oriental tobacco cultivation began in the 1600s around the villages of Yenidje and Kirdzhali after Venetian and Genoese traders introduced tobacco smoking to the area in the 1500s. The classic Basma seed introduced there over 300 years ago is believed by some to derive from an ancient Venezuelan variety of Nicotiana Tabacum named Barinas. The very finest Xanthi still comes from the original Yenidje (Genesaia) area of Western Thrace just north of the modern town of Xanthi. It is the Xanthi-Yaka-Basma and the Xanthi-Djebel-Basma that comprise the legendary Yenidje leaf which is thin, full-bodied, flexible, with fine veins. Full of oils, the best leaves are quite small, yellow to brown in color, with a pleasant, delicate aroma and sweet, mild, fresh flavor.


Brand McClelland
Series Grand Orientals
Blended By McClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company
Blend Type Oriental
Contents Maryland, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50 grams tin, 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

3.08 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 62 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 22, 2009 Mild None Detected Mild Very Pleasant
Once I got past my disappointment at the lack of any real immediacy of taste of the oriental leaf, I began to see the truth strengths of this blend. As another reviewer mentioned, when I want a heavier taste of oriental leaf, I'll fire up some Red Rapparee!

That said, this is a very solid virginia blend from the Masters of the virginia blend! It had quite a bit of the McClellands Bulk #5100 Red Cake flavor, with a slight added piquancy from the oriental. I found most of the oriental presence to be in the bouquet, which I found exquisite! I was constantly waving the smoke into my face so I could experience that great aroma. As for taste, this is what I would call a "steady Eddie", that doesn't noticeably develop down the bowl and isn't terribly complex. With so many excellent tobaccos out there, I don't know if a repeat performance is in the works with this one, but I'm very glad I smoked a tin of it. If I ever do try it again, I may add some blending oriental to it, or perhaps some perique.

Note: My tin is over two years old and I got the best results in a meerschaum. For what it's worth.
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 20, 2007 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I have only smoked a few bowls of this, but couldn't resist being the first to review it. If I change my opinion I will update. I have seen it happen before, so I hope you don't mind. Anyway, got this as I bought the entire series of GrandOrientals from McC. Ripped it open to sniff and got a noseful of that vinegary catsup smell for which McC are renowned. It was a heterogeneous mixture of what I can best describe as medium brown to black broken flake mixed with thin yellow shag, no greens. Took out an unsmoked meer to really taste it pure. I put some pinches out on a sheet of paper to dry for ten minutes before packing the bowl two-thirds full. It took some fiddling and a few re-lights to get it to burn, and the first impression was very mild - almost bland. I puffed slowly as taste began to build up, some sweetness but dry. After a while I felt a need to tamp it and as I did so the tastes began to come through - more in the taste department than in the smell, so I French inhaled to get some more of that, and suddenly I recalled - Camel? Only more distilled or concentrated, a sweetness mixed with spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and cumin! At first this seemed quite low in nicotine but that would soon change, though never overwhelming. The smoke is remarkably 'thin' but tasty - delicate! After a while I tamped again and now the tastes got deeper, still fresh but with a real 'tang', more creamy and with the slightest hint of bitterness to it. No bite whatsoever, a delightful tobacco. It has a slew of spicy aromas, sour yet sweet, and quite intriguing. It smokes dry and cool without gurgling and towards the end the nicotine is showing a bit more. I am lost in a meditative, dreamy mood when all of a sudden it is over. A medium grey mottled ash is all that is left and it falls out of the bowl without resistance. This is a great Oriental unadulterated tobacco and I give it a full point!
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 12, 2009 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
A mixed cut of dark chestnut, brown and nearly black broken ribbon mixed with fine, nearly shag cut olive to tan hued ribbon. The tin nose is fragrant with a pleasant combination of sweetness and spice along with a fleeting sharp note which is slightly citric in nature. Due to the fine cut, the mixture packs and burns with relative ease and presents very little in the way of trouble in just about any pipe.

Sitting atop what seems at times to be a rather overdone base of matured Virginias (including a sizable helping of stoved leaf), the Xanthi is noticeable but much to the chagrin of this reviewer never dominant. Dry with hints of blanched almonds and allspice, while at times the blend presents notes which are ever so slightly reminiscent of the indescribably smooth and nutty flavor of the old Balkan Sobranie cigarettes (in the white tin of 10) or that of the equally much missed original G.A. Andron Turkish Specials (unfiltered of course) it is the character of the sweet, aged Virginias which stands out most of the time. In every dozen puffs, eleven are McClelland Virginia and one Xanthi – when it arrives it is good, but it should really not be so shy. On the mild side of medium bodied, the finish is thin and a bit sweet.

As a Virginia-Oriental blend, Yenidje Supreme is a pleasant, mild smoke, but as a showcase for this particular Turkish leaf it falls a bit flat. The sample on which this review is based comes from a tin dated to 2007. Growing increasingly bored, as this tin began to near its end this reviewer found himself adding a pinch of blending Izmir along with a small bit of mixed cigar leaf to each bowl so as to help things along (and what a pleasant combination it was!). To a certain extent this deficiency is understandable, for while upping the level of Xanthi in the blend and reducing the amount of the Virginia mixture would correct this, it would also most certainly up the price of a tin as well. From the manufacturer's perspective, that may well be a major issue. At the same time, however, in light of the theme of the Grand Orientals series and – more significantly the tin label description – one should expect to pay a premium, and this reviewer would be more than happy to shell out a price substantially more than other 50g. tins outside of the line for a chance to indulge in an explicit and unambiguous tasting of the featured leaf.

Overall, a quality preparation which is worth sampling, but one which is really not much in the way of a keeper in terms of delivering what it promises. In this case, it is really too bad that McClelland did not take the risk, financial or otherwise, of producing something which could have been truly special.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 19, 2008 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
I'll second the olefattguy!

I will add that this wonderful blend will perform at a much higher level once dried out to the point where it is just slightly less than crispy. Try that to get the full flavor bursts much sooner than later.

Again, the olefattguy stole my thunder with his report... Nothing left for me to say... That may be a first. (-;
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 04, 2007 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
The reviews by PuffDaddy and PeterD are spot-on IMHO. Yenidje Supreme is wonderful, creamy, cool and smooth. There is something edgy about it, too, but not sharp like the Orientals in something like Balkan Sasieni or Crown Achievement (in its better years). YS makes me all the more anxious to receive my backordered tin of Yenidje Highlander.

Do not fear duplication from Embarcadero, as the yenidje leaf (spicy, creamy) is different from the izmir (soft, subtle spice) in Pease's newest. Embarcadero is also sweeter and more Virginia-tilted than YS. I chose to compare E & YS because they are both very recent releases and of the same genre.

Shoot, there has been a boom for blends with varietal Orientals this year: C&D came out with their Simply Elegant line of blends, McClelland with their Grand Orientals, Mac Baren with HH Virginia and Pease with Embarcadero. The barn doors have been opened once again for purchasing high-quality, Oriental varietals by "boutique" pipe tobacco houses.

What a fine time to be a tobacco pipe smoker!

P.S. I smoked YS in a Radice Silk 1/8 bent Billiard I spent Labor Day altering. Skip the rest if pipe mechanics are of no interest to you.

I filed-out a "Y" at the end of the stem and made the draft exit hole at the stem button into an oval. I funneled the end of the tenon and put a radius on the outside edge of the tenon. The draft hole in the shank was already clear from the factory, with an above average diameter.

This work removed a "whistle" in the stem and tuned an already fine smoker into a mind blower! I used the same packing method (the "Frank Method"), same blend, but enjoyed a cooler, dry smoke with incredible depth of flavor. Subtleties were revealed in YS previously unknown to my palate with the same pipe. No relights needed after ignition, either.

For me, this verified the principles pipe maker Jody Davis puts forth about unobstructed airflow (and going back further to Jim Benjamin, Jim Cooke, Jess Chonowitsch, S. Bang). A Benni Jorgensen ½ bent pipe I own has a slightly smaller draft hole diameter than the Radice (3.2mm vs. 3.3mm), but arrived new with clear airflow from bowl to button. It has a very thin bit and well-cured wood. The Radice was its equal on all points but for a too-severe taper through the stem and narrow exit at the button. Small tools and hour of patient work made a world of difference on a wonderful blend.

Apologies to the board moderator if this is too off-topic, but the pipe work made a big difference on how I tasted a very fine Mc Clelland blend.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 01, 2015 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
The tin note of this tobacco is textbook McClelland, i.e. ketchup! I'm convinced that should McClelland ever tin dog excrement it will somehow end up smelling like ketchup. And the fact that such a pronounced ketchup aroma never seems to translate into the taste of their tobaccos verges on the eighth wonder of the world. There's some really bizarre chemistry/alchemy that's going on at the McClelland factory and I'll never quite understand it.

The good news is that this is a top notch smoke. Since this Yenidje version is the one that lacks Latakia, I was expecting a fairly tame, underwhelming smoke but I wanted to get a better idea of what Yenidje tastes like. To my surprise, this is a very interesting blend with a great deal of interplay and harmony with the component tobaccos.

To start, the Virginia tobaccos are very sweet. All too often the Virginias in many blends disappoint me. Instead of being characteristically sweet, they're often very hay-like and flavorless. Not the case with this blend. I checked the stamp at the bottom of the tin and there were six numbers, ending in 07. Another tin I bought (Yenidje Highlander) ended in 12. Is it possible that the last two numbers indicate the year it was produced? I'm not sure but if the tin is actually new and not from 2007 I can only imagine how much better the Virginias will taste with some age on it.

The Yenidje and whatever other Orientals are present add complexity and take this blend to another level. They provide a good amount of tanginess and nuttiness that balances the Virginias superbly. Most of the non-Latakia blends I've smoked just seem to lack a certain smokiness and depth that I find myself craving. This blend, however, didn't need the Latakia. It delivers perfectly well without it and is never dull or monochromatic. I found myself enjoying the exhaled smoke as much as the taste. It has a wonderful incense-like quality with an underlying sweetness that was extremely appealing.

For me, pipe smoking is about quality over quantity. When I do smoke, I like experiencing a symphony on my palate. This blend isn't a 102 piece orchestra with every bell and whistle, but rather more like a nice chamber orchestra. And that's perfectly fine-it executes well and I'll be enjoying more of this in the future.

PurchasedFrom: cup'o'joes
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 17, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
In one sentence, this is a perfectly good tobacco, but it in no way deserves to be called "Grand Oriental" or "Yenidje Supreme". The Yenidje almost vanishes in smoking, instead of being a strong top-note as one would expect from the name. This is what My Favourite Tobacconist would call a balanced blend.

On opening the tin, the charcteristic McC ketchup aroma was apparent, but doesn't seem to affect the taste of the smoke. I could smell the yenidje in the tin but barely taste it in the smoke. Mac Baren - HH Vintage Syrian has far more yenidje, even my local blender's imitation of Dunhill MM 965 has more. Instead the red-cake Virginia dominates the flavour. Oddly,the Yenidje is more noticeable in the room aroma.

All that being said, this is a fine, satisfying smoke, not too strong but very flavourful, with a fairly complex Makeup. It's just misnamed or badly marketed. I'm tempted to downgrade it to 2 stars for misleading advertising, but that would be unfair. It is not McC's best or most charcterful blend (I nominate St. James Wood for that place), but it deserves 3 stars.

Pipe Used: Carey System
Age When Smoked: Fresh in tin
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 20, 2017 Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant
Its curious to read negative reviews of the grand oriental series. Maybe I should say frustrating. These are superb blends. What they are not is terribly strong. But oriental leaf is not meant to be used in strong blends because they just get submerged and lost. Unless of course you pile on the condimental leaf. And that is not the purpose in this series. What I find with all of them (and smyrna or samsun might be my favorites but i like all of them) is that they are mild but complex, of the highest quality, and meant for reflective times. Now...they also serve as great all day smokes IMHO. I smoke them that way a good deal. The oriental gives the tin smell a magic quality. Its the best tin notes Ive ever experienced in fact. The nic hit on Yenidje is mild...but not super mild. There is for sure some nicotine in there. No bite...never ...and for ribbon cut its a cool slow burn. I wonder if they might eventually provide flake versions...that would be great. But if you smoke Macbaren burley or drugstore blends, then no, this is not for you. The Yenidje Supreme is milder than some of the others, but the flavor is medium. McClelland has the best virginia in the business and all of these demonstrate that. This is naturally sweet (Virginia) with subtle woodsy slightly pungent sour notes. All told a clear 4 star blend.
PurchasedFrom: 4noggins
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 03, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Yenidje Supreme presents as medium brown ribbon wIth a smattering of lighter brown. Tin note is slightly sweet, plummy, dark chocolatey, with hints of stewed fruit and light exotic spice. As with most Orientals, YS arrives at just the right moisture content and is immediately ready to smoke.

The charring light is peppery and spicy, quickly producing volumes of grey plumes with a smokey room note. From the true light onwards, YS is black pepper on the tip of the tongue, spicy, with a somewhat sharper and smokier taste than most blends featuring some generic "Turkish". Like all good Orientals, the burn is fast but never hot, very dry-smoking, with no bite. The flavors of this Basma (more specifically, Xanthi) blend are very consistent throughout the bowl with black pepper and spice predominant.

There is some sweetness from the Virginia, yes, but I'm clearly in the minority here in not picking up sweet flavor as dominant in this blend (though there is a subtle plum backdrop to this otherwise spicy formulation). Despite not being a raving fan of McClelland-style Virginias, the strong Basma masks and blends with the Virginia very well and I really enjoyed this blend. Exceptionally well blended and consistent. A very good Oriental, though not my favorite of this series. What it has going for it is smoothness and, as such, could be an all day smoke for those who enjoy this style of tobacco. While many refer to Oriental tobaccos as lighter in nicotine, I found this blend fully satisfying.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 23, 2016 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
Extraordinary exhibition of the art of blending:best oriental leaf,magical Va both together in the exact proporcion.Nothing more and nothing less.Intensity,strength(What are smoking people who call this mild?),flavour and nicotine,not a little.I´m afraid of typical Va biting but after smoking this fabolous blend I´ll try the famous McClelland´s virginias.To be a little punctilious I´ll say that the peculiar aroma from Yenidje is almost the same of the sawn olive wood more than oil.In every case this doesn´t result after burning in a frying smell but it preserve the crude aroma from olive wood.In short a almost mystical experience,not for every day or hour.
Pipe Used: medium or small briars
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes
Age When Smoked: new
3 people found this review helpful.
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