McClelland Drama Reserve

(3.68)
The famed Drama leaf is sweet and subtle with a natural olive oil fragrance. It is grown on the Southern slopes and foothills of the Rhodope Mountains, the Classic Drama Basma District in Greek Eastern Macedonia, and includes the renowned Mahalla. It is refreshing, delicate, intriguing. This blend is designed to demonstrate just why the classic top grade Drama leaf is so celebrated.

Details

Brand McClelland
Series Grand Orientals
Blended By McClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company
Blend Type Oriental
Contents Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50 grams tin, 100 grams tin
Country United States
Production No longer in production

Profile

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

Average Rating

3.68 / 4
44

16

2

0

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 62 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 30, 2017 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Delicious. No other words. One of the best oriental leaf you can try. This is a top natural mixture, unflavored but aromatic, natural aromatic. Simply wonderful. Try it! Don’t you know the difference between the oriental tobacco and the others? This is one of the best and you can begin to learn the pleasant oriental taste, an exquisite taste. No other words. Excellent work McClelland! In my personal rating system (from 1 to 10) my score is 10 (the maximum) and four stars.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 12, 2011 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I have to admit that the comparisons to olive oil made me slow to try this blend even though I have smoked the majority of the Grand Oriental line and enjoyed most of them. I find that Drama has a richness to it that is lacking in some of the other Grand Orientals. There is an underlying Virginia sweetness but its slight and not as sweet as Samsun or Smyrna. As with the other Grand Oriental blends, Drama is best sipped slowly in order to get all of the subtle flavors that this wonderful blend has to offer. I do like olive oil very much and did find an underlying taste of it, but in a good way. I think its that taste that makes the blend rich. I nice change of pace from the heavier English blends I often smoke. Highly recommended.
24 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 11, 2009 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is the 2nd of the Grand Orientals I've smoked, and is much preferable to the Yenidje Supreme, although I liked it reasonably well. This has more zest than YS. I smoked several bowls of this and my mind latched onto something. I told myself that it reminded me of one of the McClellands brown label virginias that I used to smoke boatloads of 15 years ago. Sure, enough - the #24 also had Drama leaf in it. Sometimes Memory Lane comes to you! I'm going to dig out my one tin of #24 and do a head-to-head, but based on my recollection, the two taste a lot alike.

This tobacco has a great pouch aroma, is easy to keep lit and settles in nicely. The virginias are suitably tangy and somewhat sweet, while the oriental leaf adds just a smidge of excitement and "color" to the flavor. I didn't notice any difference of taste as I progressed down the bowl, but just a nice "Steady Eddie" that rewarded in its own way. Still, I would not call this monodimensional, even if it seems that way. McClellands conservative use of orientals in a high quality virginia leaf is not new, and I think they nailed it with the #24 flake, but if you prefer a gorgeous ribbon cut, this is your manna. Smoke it up; they'll make more.
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 07, 2014 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
The tin contains ribbon cut leaves, most of them dark brownish, some light VA and some almost black. The leaves look quality stuff. A tiny fraction of the blend has some leaves stuck together like pieces of not fully rubbed out flake.

If you let the tin breath a bit, the tin aroma opens up and smells exactly what it is: orientals and some virginia. Its a nice tin aroma of figs and dates and nuts and spices.

On the palate the smoke is complex and nice. It is not a blast of flavours but rather all kind of subtleties to explore. It's a real treat for experienced connoisseurs.

At the first 3-4 of sips I was a bit puzzled but the flavours started to collaborate and it became a very nice and complex smoke. The smoke is not too sweet, I think the Virginia just adds balance and a bit complexity but really not that much sweetness. It is noticeably creamy from the start to almost the finish. In the first half of the bowl the Virginia gives a nice little sweet background but it is the oriental in the main role. Others mention olive oil and this thought got stuck in my mind but there really is a flavour best compared to olive oil. It has some yeast-like and buttery taste as well. Like french toast with some yummy olive oil and mediterranean spices on it. Of course other flavours come and go as well like figs and peanuts, same sea-saltiness, puerh-tee. The second part of the bowl features less virginia and less malt-like notes. The spices become much prominent like allspice, bay leaves, pine and rosemary, maybe even some lemon balm. It's hard to rate taste: it's a very rich and tasty blend but in a mild and subtle way. The best things in life are beautiful in their clean, simple and honest ways and I consider Drama Reserve as being such.

Enjoying this tobacco is not a visit to the candy store but rather having a nice harmonious meal somewhere in a little Greek village restaurant by the sea. Earthy, spicy, salty and some sweet notes play together, the sweet flavours being just added condiment. An ideal company for a nice warm sunny Autumn afternoon.

Thanks to you, my fellow reviewers I choose this tobacco based on your helpful reviews as my first visit to the world of Grand Orientals. I thought that of this series this blend would suit my taste best. So I cannot give you comparison to the other McClelland Grand Orientals at this point. Nevertheless I've already ordered other blends of the series and I'm looking forward to trying out those as well. I'll be back to update my review and compare this fantastic Drama Reserve to Classic Samsun and Yenidje Highlander.

Update: After tasting other Grand Orientals and consuming my first whole tin of Drama Reserve I still praise this delicate blend. I even assigned this blend to my most revered Savinelli Giubileo D'Oro pipe.
Pipe Used: different mersch and briar pipes
PurchasedFrom: 4noggings.com
Age When Smoked: opened a fresh tin a couple of months ago
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 05, 2008 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Another great from this line, perhaps a classic in the vein of Three Nuns Sobranie and Rattray. It lights easily and produces beutifull smoke. The interplay of the Drama and Virginia is like a party on the tongue. This blend is doubly sweet (but not overly sweet) with a honeyed sweetness from the virginias and a nutty, earthy sweetness from the orientals, as well as citrusy, hoppy astringency flirting in and out. But this blend is not for everyone. In fact, no other piper needs to bother with this or Smyrna No1, just leave it to me to get rid of them.
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 08, 2016 Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Drama Reserve presents on the lighter side with bits of dark mixed into what is largely a blend of medium and light brown ribbon. The tin note is exquisite with sweet milk chocolate dominating. As with all blends in this series, moisture content is just right and Drama Reserve is smokable right out of the fresh tin.

As expected with a quality oriental, Drama Reserve takes a match well, smoking very dry and very cool. Unlike the sweet tin note, the smoke is herbaceous with distinct olive flavors, subtle parchment & basswood notes, and mild spice. A very complex blend that becomes absolutely thick and tangy with olive as the bowl progresses. By mid-bowl the McClelland Virginias assert and the blend simply bursts with sweet and sour, tangy, mildly salty flavor. That flavor blast settles down in the second half of the bowl - but only a bit. The patient, contemplative smoker will be rewarded with one of the greatest and most complex flavor experiences out there today. Incredible.

It's difficult to pick a favorite in this series, but Drama Reserve is certainly a contender. If there's a better, more flavorful Basma-based blend out there, I haven't found it yet. An extraordinary pipe tobacco.

Update 2020: I wish I had stocked up on more of this amazing tobacco 🙁 [Edit: just found two more tins in the back of my cellar. Thank god. What a loss to the tobacco enthusiast’s world, this was a truly unique blend.]
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 25, 2010 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
This is another Grand Oriental that just delivers in every way. The Drama Leaf is unique and this blend is a very nice change of pace. I find it to pack well and burn nicely down to the bottom of the bowl. The taste really does remind you of olive oil, to where even my wife can note its presence. I don't really know what else to add other than to suggest you try it yourself. If you like McClelland blends, this one will deliver.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 20, 2010 Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
There is a reason that Camel cigarettes were the "ciggy" of choice among those who like their leaf in that form; they were made with a high percentage of Oriental leaf, which imparts many pleasing qualities. Likewise for pipe smokers in many enjoyable blends. My first introduction to Oriental leaf came with Balkan Sobranie of old. Their liberal use of this tobacco made their blends "pop" with complexity. There are many many varieties of Oriental leaf and like wine grapes their differing qualities are imparted by climate and soil. If you want to dig deeper, I recommend Frederick Wolf's book: "Aromatic or Oriental Tobaccos", Duke University Press, 1962. It is probably out-of-print, but worth the hunt.

Drama Reserve is a wonderful blend. I am guessing it is composed of red and stoved Virginia, Maryland leaf, and of course a high percentage of Drama and Mahalia. It has a nice sweetness typical of Oriental leaf with deeper notes provided by the Virginia leaf. It is smooth and light on the tongue and palate. I let the tin dry for a day, and especially enjoy this with a cup of coffee in the morning. It is high quality tobacco in a ribbon cut which burns easily to a grey ash. A 'go to' tobacco.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 26, 2017 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
A wonderful blend for the piper who enjoys quality oriental tobacco. The tin note has the deeply fermented McClelland Virginia aroma, augmented a touch by the earthy, dry leaf scent of the Drama leaf.

In the right pipe this blend sings and the sweet, tart and spicy flavors contrast beautifully with one another, making for a moderately complex but altogether compelling smoke. After running this blend through several pipes, I really hit my stride with a few of my thick-walled narrow-chambered pieces. At a gentle sip, Drama Reserve is just as satisfying as any of my favorite Virginia perique blends.

The Drama leaf is quite spicy, a bit sharp and adds a substantial amount of flavor depth to the smoke. I find it to be woodsy and somewhat plummy to taste but there's a more subtle flavor at play that's reminiscent of ground coriander. As usual, the Virginias knock it out of the park. They're sweet and zesty and provide an excellent foundation for the Drama which is the highlight of this superlative mixture. I love spicy blends and this one is an ace in the hole.
Pipe Used: Briar
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 26, 2017 Very Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant
Okay, I'm a Drama king! Not about to say "queen." Anyway, love that Oriental as it is as spicy and flavorful as they come and this Oriental forward blend has plenty of it along with some top shelf Virginia. For times when I know that I'm going to smoke a lot and don't want heavy flavor.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 18, 2015 Very Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
This is a wonderful tobacco that I admit to having difficulty appreciating at first. It is as mild and subtle as advertised, but in no way lacking. This tobacco, as well as McClelland Yenidje Supreme, really helped me to understand my own preference for mild-smoking tobaccos. Both provide gentle yet complex and satisfying smoke when enjoyed with control and concentration.

Drama Reserve tends to be at its best on its own. It smokes dry, evenly, and unfolds its flavor profile the way a couple drops of water added to a single-malt does.

When experimenting with an English or Balkan blend or personal recipe, I find the Yenidje or a combination of Yenidje/Tinned Blenders Oriental a wiser choice than the Drama Reserve. This Drama really needs nothing else, although on occasion a sprinkling of Dark Star and/or Yenidje will add a little more strength and richness without altering the extremely gentle and pleasant tastes it offers on its own.
Pipe Used: meerschaum, Comoy, Yves St.Claude
PurchasedFrom: online
Age When Smoked: unknown
5 people found this review helpful.
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