McClelland Yenice Agonya

Grown near the Sea of Marmara, not far from the ancient Troy or Illium, this wide, fine-textured, reddish yellow Turkish tobacco variety is renowned for being smooth on the palate with a delicate aroma. Yenice is pronounced Yenidje in Turkish, and the Agonya seed from which it is grown is of Xanthi origin (that first Yenidje of legend). This blend is designed to highlight the beautiful Agonya leaf's mellow taste and subtle fragrance.
Notes: From McClelland: Agonya is the famous Turkish tobacco from the Sea of Marmara district of Yenice (pronounced Yenidje in Turkish) which lies to the southeast of Canakhale. This is the anciently famous area of Troy or Illium south of the Hellespont. The Hamdibey or Agonya district plants the Agonya seed, a Kabakulak variety of Xanthi origin (that first Yenidje of legend). Agonya leaves are wide, fine-textured and oval with bare stems. This blend is designed to highlight Agonya's mellow taste and subtle fragrance. When the Greeks followed Helen to Troy, they were after booty but they were a few centuries too early to share this elegant treasure. How might a round of calming, agreeable bowls of Yenice Agonya have changed history?


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, 100 grams tin
Country United States
Production No longer in production


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

Average Rating

3.28 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 25 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 21, 2013 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
I love Oriental tobaccos. I've smoked them straight as well as blended. Once got a "care package" from an old Albanian doorman at an apartment building I lived in in Queens that his wife had smuggled over that was a big bindle of whole air cured leaf from somewhere up in the balkans that smelled like provelone cheese and incense and tasted like heaven when mixed with some bright Virginia or even just a little Skan regular. I think it was an offer of payment for my impromptu english lessions that I gave him almost nightly while smoking on the steps out front. Unfortunately I only shredded and prepared about 3 ounces from the thing (well over a pound by my reckoning)before absentmindedly abandoning it during the disintegration of my cohabitant relationship at the time. I doubt she got as much use out of it as I would have...

This stuff is awesome, winey and somewhat stinky in the tin, it benefits from a while to dry out. Packed into a deep billiard, the development of flavor during the smoke is outstanding and exotic. Notes of freshly cut leather, hyssop, faint caramel and strong tea dance around your palate and nose with fleeting and evocative nuance. Packed correctly, this can be smoked rhythmically and continuously with the feeling that you are building a crescendo of flavors. No tongue bite at all.

I've smoked a few of this Grand Oriental series (Samsun, Black Sea Sokhotun) and find this to be much more flavorful than the ones I've tried (Samsun was also fantastic in a different, mellow sort of way). No, this is not necessarily "knock your socks off" tobacco as far as intensity of flavor like something played by Rachmaninoff, instead, this is like one of those almost maddening Bach harpsichord fugues that make you want to roll your eyes back into your head and think about calculus.

Certainly a wonderful idea had by McClelland to put together this showcase. I'll be opening my can of Smyrna soon enough. Highly recommended.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 15, 2011 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
The Grand Orientals are sort of one-hit wonders. Most will never have a place in the regular rotation, but each is a unique and beautiful example of the art.

Yenice Agonya is a perfect blend of mild Virginias coupled with a mellow fragrant oriental, highlighting this varietal's special flavor.

Ideal for Virginia lovers looking for a little spice in their smoke, YA is one that I will keep on hand, even if I only make it through one tin in a year.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 29, 2009 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
What a treat this blend is!

I've been kind of jaded with many of the new blends that have come out in the last couple of years, but this one was a pleasant surprise.

The Tin aroma is delicious, yes it has the typical McClelland signature note, but the oriental is still noticable. It is a little wet upon opening the tin, but it still burned like a champ.

The flavor is really delicious, with slight cigar notes from time to time. The flavor is complex as well like some of the finest Belgian beers. the varietal is very apparent in this blend and very welcome indeed! I much prefer this blend to Yenedgie Highlander, even though that blend is another excellent one.

All in all, this blend is going to be a new staple for me. Just enough strength with plenty of complexity, great burning characteristics, what more could you want? Another bowl, thank you! Highly recommended.....
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 27, 2017 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Recently I've been running through my notebook trying to find as many McClelland's blends as possible that I have reviewed but not yet placed on TRC. I was somewhat surprised that I had left off Yenice Agonya because I smoked it years ago when it first came out. I really liked it, but felt the Virginia leaf was too much of a forward player for a blend touted to be bursting with Orientals. Maybe the Virginia is why it is a little stronger than the others in the Grand Oriental series. A good smoke for sure, and not heavy, just not what I expected.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 20, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Presentation is medium brown ribbon with the occasional lighter strand. Tin note is slightly pungent with a hint of vinegar, along with some chocolate and herbal notes. The charring light is slightly toasty, nutty and creamy with an assertive touch of balsamic.

The mouthfeel here is very full and creamy, but the blend itself is not heavy. That balsamic note dissipates during the first third of the bowl and the remaining smoke is creamy, with touches of chocolate, wood, parchment, herb and spice. This is a tobacco that helps clarify why master blenders so often describe fine Orientals as "aromatic".

Like any quality Oriental, Yenice Agonya smokes cool and dry and is above average in smoothness even within its extremely smooth-smoking class. Flavor profiles, by the middle of the first third, are consistent to the end. The finish is dry with little residual moisture. As with any quality Oriental/Virginia, there is absolutely no bite to this blend.

The Grand Orientals series, to my palate, is a smashing success. And Yenice Agonya is no exception. A singularly unique and world class blend.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 13, 2014 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Presentation: surprisingly dark in the tin, with long, waxy ribbon-cut leaf, and small chunks of what looks to me like black-stoved Virginia. The leaf is clearly superior quality.

Tin note: mild McClelland signature tang, combining sweetness and spice and a leathery, earthy undertone.

Light: Burns very easily, though this sample has been resting in a tin for about a year and is probably just this side of dry. It can be packed quite hard and still maintain an open draw, which helps concentrate the mildness of the smoke. Two charring lights is more than sufficient for the whole bowl.

Bowl: The fact that this is a mild and subtle tobacco does not mean that this is too mild or too subtle. The delicacy of the Agonya leaf is well framed by the aged virginias, and the overall balance is superb. I highly recommend dedicating at least a few days to this tobacco, to allow the palate to adjust to its soft-spoken delicacy. I also recommend a wider-than-usual bowl. My most satisfying smokes have been in pot-shaped pipes, an old Charatan Belevedere 4, a GDB Speciale, and two Stanewells, a newish 11 and and old 13 billiard.

The best comparison I can make is to subtle, mildly astringent teas, like high-grown Darjeelings, which are by comparison to heavier Assams almost etherial, but in the end infinitely more compelling, herbacious and mildly astringent, fruit-filled without any cloying sweetness.

In short, another triumph in the Grand Oriental's series. Not perhaps quite at the pinnacle where I would place Yenidje Supreme, but up there.
Pipe Used: Pot-shaped. Broader is better here.
PurchasedFrom: Dad's Smoke Shop
Age When Smoked: 7 years
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 08, 2011 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
What a delightful blend this is.

It took me a very long time to appreciate this one -- I stuck with it for almost two years, in fact, because I sensed it would one day come alive for me. And it has. And it was worth the wait and the effort.

First it had to age properly. Without letting it age and dry, it's a very vinegary, overly-spicy blend. But letting it dry and mellow really makes the ingredients meld into a uniquely subtle and complex flavor that requires some focus to appreciate.

I also had to find the right pipe for it. It may be the most subtly temperamental blend I've known, one that required just the right bowl to really make it sing. For me, a dublin -- and only a very certain French dublin -- somehow concentrated the flavors to fully reveal its creamy, dry, smoothly delicate tangy spiciness. There's something mysterious about this blend: the oriental wafts and shimmers in the flavorscape, but only from certain angles.

This beautifully burning blend is a very subtle, complex and unique delicacy, one to savor for meditative times. It's a quiet masterpiece for the discerning palate, very zen. Oriental lovers owe it to themselves to give it a try.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 14, 2019 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
Mixed cut, contains ribbons from brown leaf, pieces broken off from flakes and also some black chunks of heavily pressed stoved tobacco. The tin note is delectable! It smells like a Christmas pudding (with just a trace of the vinegary tell-tale McC aroma) but in a subtle way, not the in-your-face aroma of Danish aromatics.

Now the moisture is all right, but the mixed cut requires some effort to light, I think it calls for rather big-ish bowls as it’s a little unwieldly. Anyway, a little drying won’t do any harm.

Once lit the tobacco gives off a sweet, smooth and mellow taste of medium strength and with a delicate heavenly aroma of sweet spices. I find all of the tobaccos in the McClellands Grand Oriental series delectable. Such a pity they gone…

The words smooth, mellow, delicate and subtle describe perfectly the tobacco but I’d just like to comment on the craftmanship that was contained into its manufacture. I live in Greece and I have access to top quality pure oriental leafs like Basma and Izmir, so I can make my own Oriental blends using Virginias like Golden Glow, 5100, Opening Night and others, sometimes adding Perique other times not. Sometimes I achieve really great blends. Now on the market, there are but a few Oriental blends without Latakia and some of the best are G.L. Pease’s, my favourites being Embarcadero and Temple Bar. My own blends are comparable to these. What I mean is that with the materials I have I can make Oriental blends of similar quality and taste. McClelland’s Oriental series on the other hand have a character of their own. They might not showcase the Oriental leaf as prominently and purely as Pease’s blends – they are not what I would suggest someone wanting to discover how the Orientals taste to try because above the Oriental character it’s the McNeill hand that shines. I would compare Pease’s blends to Italian cuisine – top quality fresh raw materials without much handling so that they show their character. McNeill’s blend on the other hand are comparable to French haut-cuisine: he takes top quality raw materials and transforms them to something different… He had a way to treat tobacco which is unique and yet unrepeatable and for this reason his retirement is all the more lamentable.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 16, 2018 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable
Another pearl of McClelland, another masterpiece. This is a top natural mixture, really gentle and pleasant. No defects and with a clean, soft and harmonious taste. Without any doubt, this could be a four stars, but I give it only three stars because, in a hypothetical preference scale among Grand Orientals, in my opinion Smyrna n°1 and Drama Reserve are superior. Anyway a great natural blend. So, in my personal rating system (from 1 to 10) my score is 9 and three and a half stars.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 25, 2014 Very Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
I have mixed feelings about Yenice Agonya. It smells so lovely in the tin. The McClelland ketchup/vinegar smell that many people object to is definitely present, but there is also a warm, almost perfume-like smell presumably from the Yenice that is very enticing. The moisture level straight from the tin is perfect. The cut, a thick ribbon, packs easily, lights and burns well.

And then this is where the disappointment kicks in. Produces a thin, airy smoke and extremely mild flavor. It's a nice flavor, a tiny bit of sweetness from the Virginia and a subtle aromatic warmth from the Yenice, but you have to look so hard for it.

I find myself instinctively hitting it harder, looking for more flavor and denser smoke. But that doesn't work, it only burns hotter and you lose what subtle nuance of flavor that there is in this blend. At least it doesn't bite.

At 7 years, I suppose it's possible that I aged this one too long. Perhaps whatever picquancy or boldness there once was has mellowed to the point of blandness. Yenice Agonya simply doesn't deliver the warm, deep, exotic flavors that I look for in oriental tobaccos. It hints at it, but doesn't satisfy. I will say though that it leaves a pleasant taste in your mouth after smoking it.

I can't recommend Yenice Agonya to you unless you love extremely mild tobacco. It's quality tobacco, much too nice to throw away, so I sometimes smoke it in the mornings as a first pipe of the day, but honestly it's even too mild for that, to my taste. Once the tin is gone I doubt this is one I'll bother revisiting.
Pipe Used: various briars and cobs
Age When Smoked: 7 years (2007 tin code)
2 people found this review helpful.
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