McClelland Classic Samsun

In the hinterlands just south of the Black Sea in Eastern Turkey, these prized Oriental tobaccos draw their sweet, nutty flavor from the rocky soil as they have done for 350 years. Enjoy the distinctive, mellow, pleasant character of the famed Samsun in this fine blend.
Notes: From McClelland: Samsun grows in the Black Sea region of Eastern Turkey. McClelland has secured the finest Samsun Maden-Canek leaves. They are small, thin, and elastic with a mellow, pleasant, distinctive aroma. Their sweet taste is like the sweetness in a nut meat or sunflower seed. They come from the hinterland of Samsun, mainly to the West of the Yesih Irmak River delta where the climate is very similar to the best Macedonian and Thracian growing areas. Samsun and all Classic Oriental leaves are picked one by one as they ripen, like flue-cured Virginias. If picked too soon so that the sap remains in the leaf during air and sun drying, the sugars will evaporate with the sap. If allowed to ripen too much on the plant, the leaf will be dry and brittle. Tobacco farmers of the classic Samsun growing region have elevated these harvesting and curing processes to high art. Taste what comes from 350 years of experience.


Brand McClelland
Series Grand Orientals
Blended By McClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company
Blend Type Oriental
Contents Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Coarse Cut
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country United States
Production No longer in production


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

Average Rating

3.55 / 4





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Displaying 71 - 76 of 76 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 29, 2010 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
I was a newish pipe smoker who had tried aromatics and always felt they were all about smell and not about taste, so I wandered off trying different VAs, Englishes and the Grand Orientals line. Pretty soon I got to this and it was like a light bulb went off. Oh now I get it.

This is not strong tobacco. It's not a wallop of flavor but more a little journey for my taste buds. There's a little nuttiness, then sweet, then earthy, I just don't get bored with this one.

This holds a special place in my heart for starting my love affair with orientals. I would recommend this to anyone, especially wandering newbies. Smoke this and see what a great natural tobacco can be.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 27, 2010 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
What an excellent tobacco blend! A luxurious and indulgent smoke in every sense, elegant in its simplicity, an oriental rite of passage rife with dense, silken billows. Starts off mild, nutty and slightly sweet, and the orientals are intriguing, flavorful, and interesting, in such harmonious balance with the delicious trademark McClelland's virginias that there are simply no distractions from your enjoyment. No tongue bite, no goop, a cool, slow burn, tasty and mellow from start to finish with increasing intensity and dynamics of flavor as you go through the bowl, and a pleasant, rich Turkish room note, to boot. This is the grand, gentle introduction to fine orientals for the beginner, but can still be the constant, rewarding old friend to the experienced, and shows just what a good mild oriental blend should be. Do try it in a variety of pipes until you bring out the qualities you prefer in the blend. Perfection in my book, and my favorite oriental blend to date. Yum.

UPDATE: TURKISH DELIGHT! Burns so cool and dry! Just goes and goes, no re-lights necessary here if you are even mildly attentive. Ethereal, savory, sublime, euphoric, intoxicating, delicious. The mild spiciness grows and morphs gently but steadily, fringed with rewarding swells of mild but complex flavors, and by the middle of the bowl, opens up a can of tasty, rich oriental whoop-a$$ on your senses. Never gets over the top, however. Just don't smoke it too aggressively, or like any turkish blend, it can get harsh and dry/numb the back of your throat. Try this blend in a larger-diameter bowl, sip slowly, and it stays sublimely mild and smooth. I even tried it in an inexpensive Savinelli 315EX Hercules prince, and it kicked butt and took names, right to the bottom of the bowl. Unstoppable stuff. Both flavor and fragrant turkish room notes are top-notch all the way.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 19, 2010 Extremely Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant
If someone was thinking of starting to smoke a pipe, this is the tobacco I would suggest. Is has a mild taste, low nicotine and a nice room note.

However, I don't want anything thinking that means I don't think a hardened veteran pipster should try some. (Okay, maybe if you smoke XXX Rope, Rum Twist and other huge blends you might not get this tobacco). This tobacco has a perfect sweetness to match the light spice and earthyness of the oriental leaf. Definitely not cloying.

If this tobacco has more nicotine, I think I would smoke it all the time. That to me is it downside: not enough vitamin N. If you don't care if you tobacco has any nicotine, and you like a mild or medium taste, I can't recommend this tobacco enough.

On the more practical side. In typical McClelland style, the tobacco was a bit moist, but the standard McC ketchup smell was largely (though not completely) absent. It packed and lit beautifully. There was no bite, and a lovely room note.

Yeah, this is a great tobacco. 8/10
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 17, 2010 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
What can I say, this is a damn fine tobacco. Sweet, consistent, great taste, no bite and passes the wife's smell o meter. I did note however a slight sourness at the bottom of a small bowl. Upped the size, and presto!
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 27, 2009 Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant
Though this blend is, as one reviewer states, a little pricey for everyday is one that I intend to always have on hand. Sweet, pure tobacco taste...I couldn't make it bite and it was a breeze to pack and light, and burn, burn, burn. As the estimable Pipestud says...a bellringer!
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 24, 2009 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
I AM HOPING the most experienced of you can help me understand what I am liking and why. A comparative list follows this review of my tastes.


This smoke is a humble, yet exotic journey of a smoke. It is 2nd on my favorites list below.

There are no distractions in this experience such as bite, difficulty lighting, or sogginess. It smokes long, cool, and smooth. Just when you think it is going to bring up a nasty edge, it instead says: "Now here is where I was grown. Isn't it a wonderful fresh after the rain rich soil?" Then just when you think this terrain is going to get boring and slushy, it says, "Look over there at that beautiful patch of purple ground cover Keep looking because there is more of that in different shades and textures. Look at those sticks also."

I taste the tiniest bit of vinegar and the mildest bit of tomato paste and salt! I happen to love ketchup! Whatever this is, it is in the best of taste, and subliminal.

This treasure is worth every pricey dollar. As such, I don't think most of us can justify it as more than a 'special event reward' of sorts. If it were on special it would be an all day pleasure for me.

A WORD of caution though: some may find that it contains an allergen. I wouldn't be surprised if small amounts of ragweed are in there. I got a flush and started sneezing a bit. It passed, but comes back at times.

______ OK:

Is there a common denominator(s) to this list? If I knew, then I could explore the class in more detail!

Here are my cased and not so cased comparators (ranked):

--Solani Blend 656

--Balkan Sasieni or Balkan Supreme [in that order: they are not the same no matter what some people have said]

--Full Virginia Flake

--Frog Morton, OT Town

--Frog Morton, AT Pond

--Butternut Barley

--Westwinster (Pease)

--Opening Night (C&D)

--Golden Extra

--Sunday Picnic

--Balkan Flake

--Vanilla Black Cavendish

--Odyssey (Pease)

--Galway Treasures of Ireland

--Mixture 79

--Black Velvet

On a scale of 10 being the bset, and 1 the least, only Black Velvet plunges beneath a 5. This is a shame becaise I still have 15 ounces of the stuff.

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