McClelland Orient 996

Orient 996 uses a very high sugar content bright Virginia (yellow) with aged Red Virginia, a bit of stoved mahogany Red Virginia, add in a good amount of No.1 grade Yenidje, two other village specific rare leaf oriental tobaccos are used in smaller amounts, plus a nice touch, but not over powering amount, of Syrian Latakia. This is a rare and expensive blend because of the No.1 grade Orientals (Yenidje, Katerini, Samsun) the Syrian Latakia and because of the high grade bright very high sugar content Virginias.
Notes: Orient 996 has been aged before its release in December 2007. A very special mixture in very limited numbers as only 318 tins were produced for 2007. Reintroduced in 2009 from a PCCA Blend.


Brand McClelland
Series Collector Series
Blended By McClelland
Manufactured By McClelland
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50g 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
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.30 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 23, 2017 Very Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
Try this tobacco even if you (like me) are not really into Orientals. The Levantine leaves in this blend are truly the Grand Orientals. Some of the rarest tobacco strains of Eastern Mediterranean are married in this product, making it of a significant educational value.

If you're thinking of buying this blend just because of Syrian Latakia in it (as I did), my recommendation is you don't. Cause you won't notice almost any discernible Latakia. That doesn't mean it's absent. It's present far at the background, adding some notes to the complex flavour of this Oriental bouquet. But nothing more than that: no smoky flavours and no campfires. Eastern magic. Oriental trick. It's there but you won't catch it.

Well, it was interesting to experience that complex intermingling of Oriental flavours but I will not buy any more. It's like a travel to the Middle East: an exotic destination worth to visit once in a lifetime. But you'll never want to come back there.
Pipe Used: Peterson Churchwarden, Savinelli Bent Bulldog
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 30, 2015 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
Mechanically a good blend, it burns well and makes no attempt to bite.

Flavour wise, it is a bit thin in my opinion. Elegant and delicate but a bit much so, as it never really grabs hold of the smoker during the first half of the bowl. It transitions in to a somewhat bolder character come the half way mark, and shows off something really interesting - the typical McClelland virginia goes side by side with the perfumeish orientals. That last half is really quite tasty but not to the point where it compensates for the boring start.

I would smoke it again for sure, but I would not buy it.
Pipe Used: Cobs and briars
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 06, 2009 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Tin dated simply "2008"; opened 3/2/2009. I bought 2lbs. of this blend without tasting it, solely on the basis of my love for the constituent tobaccos.

After seven bowls, though, I am convinced that this is the most poorly mixed blend I've ever smoked. Given McClelland's reputation for excellence, I can only assume that there were serious manufacturing or quality-control problems with my tin.

The first five bowls were Virginia-dominant smokes that only occasionally allowed waves of the Yenidje to come through. There were literally only three puffs in which the Syrian was detectable. The latakia was present in such minute quantities, it was as if it had been added with tweezers and a microscope.

However, bowl six was significantly different, with a stronger latakia presence. Bowl seven was even more different: 2/3 of the bowl smoked as if it were straight Yenidje, like a large knot of Yenidje was present in entirely unmixed form. In the bottom 1/3, the Yenidje disappeared entirely and the Syrian and Virginia were the sole flavors.

Despite every variation I tried in loading the pipes, every one of the seven bowls required a *minimum* of five matches.

Because of the extreme variations I experienced in bowl after bowl, I cannot highly recommend this. I can only hope that subsequent tins will be much more consistent; clearly, others here haven't noted similar problems. (I'll update this in the future, if other tins end up faring better.)
2 people found this review helpful.
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