McClelland Legends

A generous portion of rich, top quality Cyprian latakia provides support and structure for dark stoved and red Virginias deftly combined with Orientals, including Mahalla and the finest Drama. Reminiscent of the legendary, complex blends of times gone by, this smooth, deeply smoky ribbon cut blend created by Fred Hanna tastes at once bold and subtle. It is creamy with soft, quiet, background hints of plum and currant.


Brand McClelland
Series Collector Series
Blended By Fred Hanna
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company
Blend Type English
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
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
Medium to Full
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.76 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 46 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 26, 2016 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable
This blend is superb in its balance and quality of ingredients. What makes it unique is its lightness. I'm not an all day smoker, at most I'll enjoy one bowl a day. This blend is not the type to sit quietly and think with, rather it makes for a great smoke on a long commute or at a party where you are not focused on the tobacco. I feel this way because while the flavor is outstanding, it is too light to command your full attention. Complexity is there, with a delicious interplay of the various tobaccos, however the bowl becomes exceedingly sweet. If by "flavoring" we mean topping, then no, this is not that. But there is a heavy casing or preparation of the Virginias presumably that is very sugary. This softens the whole experience greatly, adding to my preference for reserving it as a more casual smoke than a contemplative one. For anyone wondering about aromatic/English crossovers, or someone new to the hobby looking to move into the world of English blends this would be my top recommendation as its flavor and quality are very fine, albeit muted.
PurchasedFrom: 4noggins
Age When Smoked: new, 1 year
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 19, 2011 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
No proud stance against the party line here. This is a wonderfully complex, sweet, mild smoke that has that rare talent of being a blend that can be smoked all day without requiring too much attention, or it can be deeply contemplated with all other life thoughts filtered out.

A quick snort of the tin aroma first yields the unmistakable aroma of latakia. A few more seconds shows off the orientals, that seem seem to shift from sweet to sour to earthy to toasty. This comes through in the smoke. I could see some smokers finding this too mild but the taste makes up for that for me. Sometimes a mild smoke just fits. This is a highly but not overwhelmingly complex mixture, and has one of the most incredible room notes I've experienced. I spent a lot of time waving the smoke into my face and leaving the room and returning so I could smell that wonderful aroma. Overall, this is a winner taste-wise and aroma-wise.

There are other latakia blends that I prefer and this will be an occasional smoke for me, but it's definitely a blend for someone who loves the interplay of great orientals with a moderate amount of latakia. Goes great with a nice pale ale or a Lowland single malt.
23 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 23, 2014 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The smokey sweet Cyprian latakia is the major component, but it allows the Oriental/Turkish to make its presence known with a little smoky woodiness, a sweet note, hint of cocoa, and a dry quality for a little complexity. The earthy, dark fruity sweet stoved and red Virginia has the familiar "vinegar" note, though it disappears rather quickly. Has a very mild nic-hit. No chance of bite or harshness here. Burns clean, fairly slow and leaves only a pinch of moisture at the finish with a very pleasant after taste that may cause you to refill your bowl right away. Needs a few relights and has a pleasant after taste. Can be an all day smoke.

20 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 23, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This combo of Orientals is exactly what I like. The Virginias are also superb, adding a really wonderful sweetness. The two together is just short of orgasmic. During my first bowl of this, in the early stages, I found myself craving a little more Latakia, but by the halfway point that craving passed. The amount was just right for this blend. Enough to satisfy, but not enough to cover any of the great flavors coming from the Orientals and Virginias. All subsequent bowls were free of Lat cravings. Perfect moisture out of the tin. Burns like a champ. Close enough to medium body to rate it as such. Taste is medium to full. Just an outstanding blend.
Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman, MM Freehand
Age When Smoked: fresh
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 25, 2011 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
Another Fred Hanna mix, and I suppose a comparison to Wilderness is inevitable. I began my experiences with Wilderness totally underwhelmed by the mildness of the tobacco, and as I made my way through the tin, that opinion held. By the last few bowls I was able to concentrate further upon the Oriental component, and instantly appreciated the blend for its exotic nature.

But Legends is a little different, in its inclusion of stoved leaf and the exclusion of Yenidje, in favor of both Drama and Mahalla. These newer blends from McClelland and Russ Ouellette are quite amazing in their Oriental presence, including some of the rarer varietals that tend to make Smyrna seem bland by comparison. By extension, they are natural competitors, as Magnum Opus, Wilderness, and Legends share a similar blending philosophy and characteristics such as extraordinary Orientals and strength profiles.

In the tin, the tobaccos range in color from dark brown to jet black, at about a 50/50 ratio, the Oriental leaf largely indiscernable from the mass of browns. The tin note is predominantly smokey, with hints of sweetness, completely absent of that familiar McClelland tang. It's a standard ribbon cut without any bits of flake mixed in, attractive but quite regular. The moisture level is about perfect, neither dry or wet.

Subtle, creamy and soft, that's straight from the tin description (which also, oddly, describes the blend as bold). I'm generally okay making the strength/spiciness tradeoff, and by that I mean that if the Oriental component holds through, I tend to limit my criticism for the lack of strength. McClelland Latakia mixes do tend to be somewhat wimpy in that regard, which is why I favor more robust mixtures like the various Dunhill blends when I want a good kick.

And right away, it's evident that Legends lacks that kind of body, forcing one to explore the variety of flavors. It's clear now that the mass of black leaf in the tin represented the stoved Virginia leaf, as the smokiness of the Latakia really hits a background note. I find it difficult to describe stoved Virginias, for they lack the high notes of the brighter leaf, yet their flavor is often subdued and quite mild, fitting the tin description just right.

The character is very similar to Wilderness, the proportions of leaf as well. The Orientals are more muted here, though certainly better represented than many of the more traditional English mixes you can find, and they build nicely through the progression of the bowl, really inflaming one's nasal cavity as everything winds down, to my delight.

Legends is a fine, spicy smoke with deeper notes than Wilderness, owing to the stoved leaf, and a tamer Oriental presence, although they are clear cousins in many of their common attributes. I hope this is not the end of the McClelland/Hanna connection, and if I can make a request, amp up the Virginias and keep the spiciness!
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 12, 2013 Very Strong Strong Full Tolerable
I purchased tins of Legends at the same time I purchased tins of Wilderness, as I had not smoked either one. For no particular reason, I smoked Wilderness first. I thought it to be an outstanding modern english blend. Then I smoked the Legends blend.

Legends looks a lot like Wilderness in the tin and has an equally pleasant tin aroma. So I loaded up and lit up. Legends has the same solidly oriental-english smoke aroma and taste as Wilderness but, there are differences. First, the oriental components are different and this gives it a different tone than Wilderness. I enjoyed Legends all the way down the first three or four bowls with no bite and no complaints. Compared to its stable mate Wilderness, it smokes with a lower register that is not quite as smooth. As I continued to smoke this blend a realization came out - this blend is denser than Wilderness. I began to go through a mix-down regimen using Early Morning Pipe and my enjoyment of it picked up.

So, my statement is that Legends is as high a quality as Wilderness. It is just denser and slightly more "guttural" in its smokability. None of this takes anything away form this blend, so, four stars.

Thanks again Fred.
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 04, 2010 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
In recent times, I have found myself drifting away from McClelland tobacco's. That is until Fred Hanna put together this terrific blend. There is a lot going on with this tobacco as the term "complex" in the description is on point. Deep, rich, smokey and somewhat sweet, I find this to be one of handful of new blends that may be considered a masterpiece. Although I am not one of them, many folks complain of the well known McClellend vinegar scent. You will find little to none will be found in Legends. If you like a full flavored, complex English that is a bit on the sweet side, this should be on your shopping list! Highly recommended!
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 06, 2010 Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
I could not wait to try Legend as I know Dr. Hanna is an excellent writer and philosopher. But, can he blend tobacco? The answer is YOU BETCHA!

The Latakia is dominant but the extras are expertly put together to make this tobacco truly shine. This Latakia offering has more strength (a good thing!) than most, and is gentle without any harshness. I think the Orientals in this blend provide a subtle sweetness that enhances the overall presentation. Whether this tobacco ages well remains to be seen but a few more tins will go in my "celler," and I plan on finding out.

Fred won the Dr. of Pipe award at this year's Chicago Show. He could well win Dr. of Tobacco with this entry!
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 18, 2015 Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant
OK First review from a pipe smoking novice. I can't (won't) write down 'notes of ...' because I really don't know how people can tell whether or not certain tobaccos have notes of this, that, or the other. Maybe some day my palate for that will develop but until then, I can only write down that which I know; in terms I understand.

To date, I've tried a few good quality tobaccos from tobacconists like Sterling|1776, Uhle, and McClelland so I think I have the start of an idea of what good tobacco tastes like. I've smoked alot of milder tobaccos and this is by far one of the stronger tobaccos I've tried. I opened the can and left the lid off for about 4-5 hours before I packed the first bowl. It was a heavier smoke for me and it burned wonderfully all the way to the bottom of my bowl. It was one of those smokes that was pleasant when I first lit up - and it was even more pleasant the farther down the bowl. So much so that this, for me, was one of those smokes that disappointed me when I was done, not because it was a bad experience, but I was disappointed that it was over. ( I repacked and lit up again!)
Pipe Used: MM Cob
Age When Smoked: Fresh Opened Can
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 15, 2011 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is wonderful stuff.

The tin aroma: who cares? It's as others have described it, pleasant enough, but obviously it's completely different in the pipe.

In the pipe: it's soft, comforting, smoky, deep and rich, with an understated sweetness. There is something lovely about how the notes come together, a nuance that is beautiful but beyond conveying. I'm having to relight several times but it's well worth the effort, the taste remains even throughout the bowl.

Really good stuff, try it!
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 21, 2010 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Legends from McClelland and blended by Fred Hanna was awaited with high hopes and it has not disappointed. It's a ribbon cut blend of Cyprian latakia, Virginias, and orientals. Mahalla and Drama were meticulously used for richness and Fred told me how he labored to get the amounts just right for the blend and he has succeeded admirably. The blend is complex and to use McClelland's description on the tin it is "creamy" and subtle. This blend does not hit you over the head for attention. It needs a slow and relaxed smoking to fully experience what Legends has to offer. It is different than other English or Oriental blends and can not be easily classified as either. The dark stoved red Virginias serve as the base for the blend. The Cyprian latakia gives a smokey flavor without over shadowing the delicate Orientals. The tobacco packs easily and the moisture level was just right although I prefer a little drier tobacco, for practical purposes McClelland did it just right. Once lit the blend stayed lit for an easy and pleasurable smoking from start to finish leaving just a light gray ash in the pipe. Flavor was there from start to finish without any bitterness at the end of the bowl. There isn't much more to say other than smokers who enjoy Oriental or English blends need to audition this fine blend without any delay.
5 people found this review helpful.
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