McClelland Smyrna No.1

Back when Istanbul was Constantinople, Izmir tobacco was Smyrna. "A rose by any other name..." These tiny, top-grade tobacco leaves from mountainous Western Turkey across from the Island of Khlos have long been prized as the most aromatic of all Orientals. They grown dense and extremely fragrant in this dry country moistened by Mediterranean Sea breezes. Look for a whole Smyrna leaf on top of the tobacco when you open the tin. Notice the tiny hole where it was string up by hand to air cure in a time-honored , labor-intensive process. There is no Latakia in this blend. Smyrna is the defining ingredient in this sophisticated Oriental tobacco. Our intention here is to spotlight the character of this extraordinary, delicate leaf.


Brand McClelland
Series Grand Orientals
Blended By McClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company
Blend Type Oriental
Contents Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
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
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Mild to Medium
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.32 / 4





Please login to post a review.
Displaying 1 - 10 of 53 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 02, 2010 Very Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
This is the template for sweet, light and spicy Oriental leaf. John Cottons made Smyrna leaf famous many years ago. While often imitated (sometimes somewhat successfully), I've never found anything quite like it... until I tried this McClelland's Grand Oriental Smyrna #1.

It is absolutely delightful. Although lacking in the strength that I normally gravitate toward, the flavor was delicious and slow puffing brought about a palate pleasing smoke.

Easy on the tongue, easy to load, light and keep lit, my puffer meter is pegged!
21 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 14, 2009 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
McClelland made a nice surprise and has placed a uncut leaf at the top of the tin content. I still remember the tobacco fields nearby my grandpa's town, very close to Izmir. Those tobacco plants had the same leaves as the one which I've found in this tin. The tobacco is at a nice grade of humidity but I also aired it a bit. So the well known sour McClelland smell settles well. Packed and lit very easy.

With first puffs a sweet and creamy flavor occupies the mouth and immediatelly the spicy taste adds its presence. Till the half of the bowl the spices are at background and then they take the main appearence, giving a delightfull and gentle strength to smoke. It is hard to smoke this tobacco because it is very tasty. But be patient and smoke it as slowly as possible, otherwise it leads a hot smoking. With a slow burning it will satisfy your flavor and strength needs better. Ends with a clean and soft ash.

This tobacco is one of the best oriental blends I've ever tried. With the other blends of this series it will be in my routine for sure.

While smoking this tobacco I remember my mom's stories. When she was a little kid she and her brothers were helping their neighbours for harvesting these tobacco leaves. They've had very nice childhood days on those fields. Who knows, maybe I am smoking now the leaves harvested by those neighbours' grandchildren!
19 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 23, 2010 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
I've been holding off on this review for a bit because I almost expected myself to get tired of this blend but I haven't and find myself wanting to smoke it more and more. In the past anything that had a large percentage of orientals just did not sit right with my mouth and throat. I particularly remember Red Rapparee and how acrid the orientals were and they just seemed to hit me right in the back of the throat. I had almost given up on oriental leaves and figured they weren't for me. Boy was I wrong.

Enter Smyrna No. 1. To this point in my pipe smoking I have not found a blend that I really liked in a meerschaum. Smyrna No. 1 changed that as well. It is absolute perfection when smoked in meerschaum. The Smyrna leaves are brought to the fore front and the virginia base provides a rock solid altar on which the Izmir (Smyrna) leaves are offered to God in thanksgiving for this blend.

I have a sensitive tongue and I think that is why burley and English blends find their way into most of my pipes. This blend is quite easy on my tongue despite the Virginia and Smyrna. I certainly have to take it slow but even a faster puffing rate didn't hurt me much at all. I liked the Virginias so much that I'm actually looking at McC Virginia blends to find something I like.

In any case the taste notes are as follows: There is a sweetness to the Virginia that is certainly not overpowering but it is evident. The Virginias add body and provide a great back drop for the Smyrna. With the Smyrna I detect hints of cinnamon along with a mild spiciness and other warm spice notes I can only liken to mulled cider. It honestly reminds me of Christmas spices if that makes any sense.

When all is said and done I truly enjoy this blend and it has given me renewed hope in finding some wonderful Virginia/Oriental mixtures. I think the McC Grand Oriental line has hit a home run and I'll continue my quest through their other Grand Oriental offerings.
8 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 24, 2018 Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable
A very mild tobacco blend. I like the marketing, change Izmir to Smyrna and throw a leaf on top. Frank Purdue successfully differentiated chicken and McClelland has done a brilliant job differentiating Smyrna from Izmir (the same). The leaf on top of the tin was a nice touch. Tin note is all VA. I get some grassy and sweet notes but I cannot detect the Orientals in the tin, perhaps because the McKetchup smell masks them (although the ketchup smell is much lighter than others) Flavor is mild and the ketchup smell translates into the smoke for the first 1/3 of the bowl (most McC VA's do not do that with me, I usually smell it but can't taste it). The first third is VA forward with the aforementioned flavor with nice spicy background. It starts our creamy and sweet but as you get further down the bowl the creaminess dissipates and is replaced by toasty, spicy Orientals with some grassy sweet VA's fading to the background. Not much in the way of sour notes from the Smyrna, subtly spicy like white pepper on a toasted bagel. Burns very well with few relights. Not a very strong flavored smoke but a nice subtle and spicy smoke. I found it best in the morning with some coffee.

UPDATE Jan 2020: Man, I am not sure what happened to my taste buds but this went from something I found light on flavor to one of if not the best Oriental blends I have ever smoked. Maybe some age did something but I think it was rather my maturing as a pipe smoker and appreciating subtler tobacco's. I no longer appreciate the heavy Latakia blends as much as I used to and now lean toward VA's and Oriental forward blends. Buttery, creamy, woody, lightly spicy. Just a fantastic first smoke of the day...still with coffee
Pipe Used: briars
PurchasedFrom: Mars Cigars
Age When Smoked: 2 years
4 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 17, 2016 Mild Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
Many reviewers have commented they would have wished McClelland to put out even more oriental forward mixtures instead of Virginia blends condimented- with-orientals in their Grand Oriental series, their title being somewhat a misnomer.

Now, as far as the name of the series goes, ”Grand Orientals” - I assume - refers to the varieties themselves, the “Grand” oriental varieties: Yenidge, Samsun, Smyrna, Drama etc. So, I see nothing inappropriate in the title here.

As far as the inclusion of Virginia in these series is concerned, assuming the Orientals used here are similar to those used in the McC's “Orientals for Blending” - a straight Oriental offering- despite my raving review of the latter, I have to admit that the two “Grand Orientals” I have had are more balanced and more complete smokes than the straight oriental. It could be that economic reasons make it difficult for tobacco companies to put out straight Oriental tobaccos, but still I think their inclusion on a base of Virginia gives them a backbone (body, strength) they lack by themselves alone while the fragrant character still lets them shine in a combination with Virginias.

So far I’ve only tasted “Smyrna No.1” and “Yenidje Supreme” and both blends are very similar in style, being mild in strength but very fragrant with Oriental leaf aromas on the base of a sweet and mellow red Virginia. Both are excellent, my choice tobacco for the first smoke in the morning, but if I had to choose one, that would be Smyrna by a small margin: sweet and perfumed, spicy and nutty with a whiff which reminded me of poached pear: Delectable!

The tin presentation with a whole leaf sitting on top of the tobacco is really cool as well. Tin aroma for me is the most delicate and delectable I have ever encountered -the fact that this aroma does not come solely from the tobacco but has to do with a mild casing as well does not distract my pleasure, it seems natural and it's very congruent to the tobacco aroma - It is so nice it makes me stop and relish it unsmoked every time I open the tin to pick some tobacco and pack a pipe.

It surely is one of my favourite tobaccos so far, excellent burning behaviour, no bite, mild in strength but flavorful. Excellent for the first half of the day. Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Corn cobs
Age When Smoked: fresh tin
4 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 17, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Presentation is medium to light brown ribbon with, as advertised, a pair of delicate leaves, pierced, and sitting on top. Tin note is initially pungent, and a stir with the index finger brings herbal and vegetal notes with a hint of chocolate. The leaves themselves have little in the way of aroma, but add a very nice touch to the tin presentation.

The charring light delivers a hit of sweet chocolate that quickly gives way to a spicier and ashier flavor with an herbal backdrop. Plenty of gray and white smoke with a mouthfeel I associate with old European cigarettes - not sheet tobacco, mind you, but rather a good old fashioned cigarette made of real oriental tobacco: think Gauloises, not Marlboro. There's a sharpness and ashiness here in the true light that is by no means unpleasant, and just a touch of sweet Virginia in the background.

After a bit the sharpness mellows and Smyrna No.1 settles into a balance of herbal notes and sharper spices with that subtle chocolatey sweetness always lingering in the background. Flavors are consistent down to the last puff, leaving a soft and relatively dry ash. Despite the initial ashiness, the aftertaste is crisp and clean.

Smokes incredibly cool and dry, as a good oriental should. Smoke this with a beverage to tame the ashiness and draw out the sweetness. Smyrna No.1 offers an incredible tobacco room note that smokers will cherish, but non-smokers may fail to appreciate.
4 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 10, 2015 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I must admit, I don't find this either sweet or spicy. I can agree to calling it 'earthy' and I can see why those who don't care for the taste 'musty.' It is an interesting change of pace, and in briars the earthiness comes out nicely. In a cob, it smokes more like a straight VA for me, which rather negates the reasons for smoking it. Unless my tastes veer more towards this direction, I probably wouldn't rebuy it.
Pipe Used: briars & a cob
PurchasedFrom: 4 Noggins
Age When Smoked: 33 months
4 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 15, 2011 Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
First let me say that I do like all Orientals and this is no exception. This comes with perfect moisture to smoke. I find the taste so interesting, full Oriental, and a great change from the Latakia/Perque blends. The taste is a sweet & sour with a smooth musky scent. Doesn't bite ( if you take it slow), just the right spice to make it interesting and it lights and burns great ,but maybe on the hot side. I detect a hint of clove , nutmeg and cocoa , but mostly cedar . It is a little light on "N", but that doesn't bother me. This is somewhat complex depending on how fast you smoke this as you can change the flavors .This actually passed MY wife test, which is very hard to do. This gets 4 stars, as I want to keep this around and keep in the rotation.

Updated 7/19/12- I find this tobacco starts off very flavorfull, more sour than sweet and maybe some cedar scent/flavor. Unfortunately I tend to smoke this fast and by about halfway, the smoke turns hot and bitter, my fault. For me, "Drama" holds it's flavor better at a faster paced smoke.
Pipe Used: cob
4 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 23, 2018 Extremely Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
I really appreciate educational value behind the Grand Orientals product line. After smoking a tin of Smyrna N1 I must have acquired a clearer concept of what tobacco was like "back when Istanbul was Constantinople" as the tin label claims. (And although the Tobacco Plant was discovered by Christopher Columbus some fourty years after the unfortunate city of Constantinople had been turned into Istanbul by the mahometan invaders, well, McClellands aren't historians, they are tobacco blenders).

The Smyrna Tobaccos in this blend have a distinct flavour, which I think I could now easily recognize in other mixtures if they contain that variety of Oriental. I can't say however I like that flavour. Perhaps I'm just not into Orientals. And the main drawback for me is almost non-existent level of Nicotine, which I think is against the very purpose of tobacco smoking.

I liked the small cute whole leaf packed in the tin. I shredded it with scissors and added to the mixture. Nice touch.

Somewhat Recommended because of the educational value.
3 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 16, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
This is a Top Natural Mixture. No flavoring, only natural tobacco. But really high quality. In my opinion the best mixture Virginia/Oriental leaf you can find. Extraordinary taste, no defects, no lacks, skillful balance, harmonic composition (relationship between Virginia and Smyrna), perfect smooking. You will never grow tired of smooking this excellent tobacco. In my personal rating (from 1 to 10) my score is 10 an four stars.
3 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.