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 1 - 6 of 6 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 17, 2018 Extremely Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
I like the McClelland's idea of presenting grand classic Orientals to broader public. While most of other producers are very esoteric in regard of exact leaf varieties they use in their blends, McClelland tries to give a pipe smoker a clearer idea on what Samsun or Smyrna or Drahma is and what's the difference between them.

Saying that, I'm not too excited about this particular tobacco. The leaf from Samsun does really have some unique aroma and flavour nuances. But its another noticeable quality is high oiliness, which makes the smoke clammy and suffocating by the end of the bowl. That's just the way some Orientals are. You just like that or not, and me, I don't like that. And what I really disapprove is the lack of nicotine. Nic-free tobaccos should be labeled as that, just like caffeine-free coffees are.

I appreciate the educational effort though. So this blend gets two stars and "Somewhat Recommended" from me.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 13, 2016 Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable
I bought this tin in 2008 because it showcased one of the lesser utilized Turkish components, Samsun, and i was looking to find a good sample that might isolate its profile without Latakia, as the smokiness might mask the flavor. I smoked half a dozen bowls and shelved the tin. It seemed unremarkable.

Well, I pulled this after pouring through about fifty half finished tins that I threw in a box after moving into my new place. I thought, maybe I missed something.

Years later (8 years), it's still moist! Hmm. What do they put in this stuff??

In my reassessment, I find the spice is standard, the Samsun doesn't stand out, the bowl doesn't seem to develop through the smoke, and the blend is mild. Not a favorite.

Here's a couple stars for trying something new.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 15, 2014 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
It is kind of tough to review such a blend as this. Kudos to McClelland for putting together this series to allow people the opportunity to discern the flavors of individual leafs that are often buried within other blends. So often you hear Oriental and Turkish without realizing all the different tastes that those labels encompass.

So with that I do recommend this to someone to garner the taste of Samsun, because it is definitely the star of the blend. So much so, that the McClelland scent haters will rejoice at the lack of signature Va smell issuing forth from the tin. I think that is how it should be with the GO series as the Va should just be along for the ride, offering minor sweetness to the blend.

That said, I am not too crazy about this blend as the taste of the samsun is just a little too sour for my palate and I feel it just needs something else and this, perhaps, is the reason it is more often used in the condimental sense. Not even the fact that the tin was six years old when I popped it could save this one for me.

So I don't recommend this for a tasty smoke unless you are, perchance, a die hard oriental lover which I am definitively not. I do recommend trying out the series for what it is. A chance to taste the different flavors of oriental strains of tobacco. It is for this reason that I will continue to try them all out as well, but I likely won't reorder any of them.
PurchasedFrom: Carmel Pipe Shop, Carmel, CA
Age When Smoked: 6 years
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 19, 2008 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild Tolerable
The word I can better think of for describing this blend is: Neutral. For the good and for the bad. There´s nothing to criticize about it, but nothing to praise either. As I said, this quality can be good or not so good, depending on personal preferences and different moments. In other words, for me it´s great to smoke it early in the morning, when the tasting buds are flowering and need something delicate and elegant, or it can be good as well to "clean" your taste, just in the sense Francis Poulenc used to say that Mozart was to clean your ears after Wagner; but on the other side it´s flatness can make it become very boring.

What happens to me is that every time I smoke it I say: Wow, how nice is this!, but I almost never feel like smoking it again. I have to force myself, to say it somehow. Weird, isn´t it?

It tends to become a little bitter towards the end, as most orientals do.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 11, 2016 Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
Unfortunately, the orientals come off as too subtle and diluted. You would get more oriental "punch" from one of McClellands virgina-oriental flakes. Upon opening the tin there is a slight acetic tang characteristic of McClelland of coarse with elements of brown sugar-like sweetness and lesser chocolate. Smoking wise, it has a round character, very mild with a slight sweetness and more so monochromatic. One of the blending components I think is green river black cavendish which I find as a detraction. That sort of cavendish to me has a marshmallow-like taste that surely doesn't compliment premium leaf. I wish the samsun leaf had a better platform to present itself.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 07, 2013 Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
Was hoping for something more, a pleasant and very mild blend with nothing much standing out as far as flavor goes. This would be a good blend for a new smoker to break into Orientals, just not my cup of tea.
2 people found this review helpful.
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