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For this blend, the Beacon recipe was enhanced by adding more vintage, barrel-aged perique. The result is naturally sweet, incredibly smooth, dark as a Louisiana bayou, studded with bright highlights like beacons along the coast.

Notes: Originally introduced in May, 2010 for the Greater Kansas City Pipe Club, is now part of the Club Blends Series.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
ContentsPerique, Virginia
CutBroken Flake
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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Medium to Strong
None Detected
Medium to Full
Room Note

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Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Beacon was a very good example of a lighter VaPer, while Beacon Extra is an excellent example of a richer one. This reminds me very much of McClellands Bayou Slices, both in cut and flavor. Both are very smooth, produce no bite and are incredibly tasty. As usual, this one will be a bit hard to light if it's not properly dried out, as it comes moist in the tin. I gave this one a few hours to dry.

Tin aroma is the typical McClellands fermented virginia which I love and others view as "ketchupy" or "vinegary". Since I'm not a big fan of either of those condiments, the explanation of why I love the McC's aroma is a mystery. ;) At any rate, the first thing I want to do when I open a tin of McClellands is immediately fire up a bowl, and this one did not disappoint!

I would not call this a heavy or strong tobacco, but it was deep and rich and flavorful. No Nancy-boy here! It was a complex mix of VA's and perique that deepened in nuance as it progressed. Really nice room aroma here, if you enjoy the aroma of perique. I smoked a bowl of this next to a bowl of Bayou Slices and found the latter just a tad more complex and interesting. That one will stay in my rotation, but if you're a VaPer fan, this is one not to miss. Perique isn't the easiest tobacco to blend but McClellands has mastered it.

15 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is an exceptional VaPer that is heavier on the Perique than the original Beacon. In fact, one of the most delightful Virginia/Perique blends I have tasted in quite some time. It is a crowd pleaser with a full measure of taste and decent strength. I can see where experienced pipe smokers would gravitate to this leaf. Not only is the flavor and strength very noticeable, the flake cut gives this one staying power. Beacon Extra, like the original Beacon, has it all!

13 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

May 2013

What an exceptional Virginia Perique blend this is! Rich, sweet, spicy, strong and full, this blend is one of the few that actually tastes as good as it smells. And, it smokes soft with virtually no bite. The smoke volume and resulting flavor rivals that of a fine cigar. This ia an A-Plus blend that deserves a lot more attention than it's received. Kudos to McClelland! DO NOT EVER discontinue this.

13 people found this review helpful.

Perique Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Perique (163)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Fantastic stuff! One of my top-ten favorite VaPers. It has that characteristic McCelland tin note - ketchup, vinegar. Beautiful, dark, broken flakes. A Perique-forward blend that can't be beat for the VaPer enthusiast. As with most McClelland VA blends, this one will benefit from drying in the open tin for awhile. I'm currently smoking from a tin that's been unsealed and left to think about itself for around a year, and it's outstanding. McCelland VAs are the only ones I don't jar. They can use all the drying out they can get. You'll notice the changes after 3/6/9/12+ months and want to lay this stuff down for a few years. (But can you resist the temptation to smoke it?)

Highly, highly recommended. Perique lovers will not go wrong with this blend. Outstanding. I can't believe this blend has only ten reviews.

Similar Blends: McClelland - St. James Woods (Personal Reserve), McClelland - Bayou Slice (Blakeney's Best).

12 people found this review helpful.

Bluenoser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluenoser (34)
Medium None Detected Very Full Very Pleasant

Absolutely wonderful. The experience for me begins upon opening the tin. I was greeted with waves of unrelenting fragrances of the deepest and most complex Virginia tobaccos I have ever experienced. These first moments of olfactory bliss were further enhanced by an amazingly pungent Perique bursting with flavors of raisin, plum and prune. The broken flakes are dark brown with jets of black and tan throughout. They are quite moist but can be smoked without drying. At the match your tongue is greeted with creamy sweet smoke with unmistakable characteristics of the finest Virginia-Perique blended to mastyerful perfection. I call the strength medium but it does creep up into the medium-strong level at times throughout the smoke. For a point of reference I can safely compare Beacon Extra to St. James Flake except it is sweeter in taste. This tobacco has become my favorite and will remain a mainstay in my smoking rotation. With resounding conviction and confidence, Highly Recommanded!!

10 people found this review helpful.

Big Train Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Train (118)
Strong None Detected Extra Full Very Strong

Beacon extra is a perique bomb of the first class . It takes regular Beacon and pumps it up to Olympic status . This blend benefits from rhe use of Mc Clelland's great Virginias and Mike and Mary's superior blending skills . Aside from Tudor castle , it might be the best VaPer ever made . That being said one is not always in the mood for this much perique . I smoke this outdoors when I want a really perique forward after meal smoke . This is a strong tobacco , not for the faint of heart .

8 people found this review helpful.

Swiss-smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Swiss-smoker (87)
Strong None Detected Extra Full Pleasant

This outstanding tobacco comes as a coarsely broken flake, looks a bit messy. The tin nose is wonderful. Vinegary sourness from successful fermentation and the most delicious Perique aroma of fig, plum and fruit. To be honest, there is a hidden tomato-ketchup flavour I can pick-up, which some reviewers write about. But it’s only in the tin, not when smoking.

It needs some preparation effort, breaking or/and rubbing. No drying necessary. Good smoking conditions. It’s a fantastic mixture, strong, deep, heavy, made for Perique aficionados. It’s not a smoke for in between. Do sit in a comfortable armchair and take your time, may be observing a harsh winter day through the window. Smoke it patiently, at the rate of a beacon perhaps, and give it about a quarter of the bowl for all flavours to deploy. I suggest to smoke BEACON EXTRA in a churchwarden or any deep, narrow mid-size bowl.

The Perique is dominant and shows off with its famous and distinctive aroma palette, the most obvious being white pepper. The body of this blend is a robust Virginia. Although the typical Virginia flavours (hay, wood, bread, earth) are there, they are pushed back to some extent by the dominance of the Perique. The welcome low-grade sweetness originates from both, Perique and Virginia, I believe. No doubt, it is a top rank full Perique/Virginia mixture, which I shall enjoy occasionally, without adding it to my rotation.

UPDATE, 14th January 2016:

BEACON EXTRA has become one of my top 5 favourites in no time. I must add it to my rotation. I have to downgrade the strength from very strong to strong, and upgrade the room-note, according to comments of family and visitors, from tolerable to pleasant. I also upgraded taste from very to extra full, due to the fantastic Perique in this blend.

Age When Smoked: New, out of the tin.

Purchased From: Internet,

7 people found this review helpful.

Alhaji Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alhaji (33)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a truly good tobacco that lives up to what many of the reviews below have attested to. Right from the tin, the aroma and the sight of the tobacco are things to behold. It looked like black crystals and smelled real good in a way that I'm unable to fully describe. It is very balanced and smoked well without being relit more than once, ending in a nice grey ash. IMO opinion the perique was present but in such a subtle way that the mature Virginia was not overwhelmed. It had this really palatable creaminess from well before mid-bowl to finish. I enjoyed it so much that I emptied the 50g tin in circa 2-3 days of (continuously) smoking this brand and none other, using three different pipes. I will order some more for aging. And indeed, I will get some Beacon to compare with this as I've never smoked Beacon before.

Pipe Used: Giordano 14661, Aldo Morelli 665, Capitello 3

Age When Smoked: New Purchase. Tin date underneath is 03/15/15

Purchased From:

7 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2080)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

McClelland - Beacon Extra.

Found it! Since running out of a VaPer for the mornings (for me the morning pipe's usually a VaPer or English/Balkan) I've cracked a few tins from my cellar, of which McC' Bayou slice was one. Bayou S': good, but not 'the one'. So, I was either going to open this or order one of my regulars again, but seeing as I order my cigars/tobaccos Friday, and it's only Monday, I opted to pop this open.

The flakes are half and half, meaning they have a dark brown background, but there's yellow Virginia streaks running through them; 50/50. The flakes aren't 'ever so' broken, sure, they're not whole, but neither are they smashed to ribbons: a 'slightly' broken flake.

Lighting my first bowl was a doddle, due to a sublime quantity of moisture, and then I was in heaven! The amount of Perique suits me, it's easily the more fervent of the two leaves, yet, it doesn't feel overwhelming; although it's potent with Perique, it isn't too spicy. Like all good VaPers, the flavour becomes deeper, plumier, and richer as a bowl's smoked. The first half seems more reminiscent of its sibling Beacon, but it develops into a different beast! The burn from B.E. is one of the best, giving a bite-less smoke.

Nicotine: above medium. Room-note: quite strong, but I like it!

I rate this amongst the top five VaPers I've had. Highly recommended:

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: Two months

Purchased From: 4noggins

6 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (633)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I bought this when a friend in Germany asked me to get him a tin. I figured if he would be trying it, I might as well try it so we could compare notes. We were both lucky to secure tins that were more than five years old and I am not sure how much that contributed to how much I loved the blend; but make no mistake, I did love the blend.

McClelland is one of the top blenders when it comes to Virginia leaf, so it only makes sense that they would produce some great vapers as well. Until this time, I had not yet found such a Vaper from McClelland. I did enjoy both Pebblecut and St. James, but this one surpassed both of them IMO. I have yet to try Beacon although I do have a tin in the cellar that anxiously awaits that trial, so I can't yet compare those two.

BE has the distinction of having more Perique than the other McClelland Vapers I have tried which gives it a little more spice and nicotine. It is less about showcasing the Virginias as I find 2015 to be. It is also far from overwhelming on the spice or nicotine. I do prefer my blends strong and I would still not call BE strong from my point of view, but it does stand out amongst McClelland blends.

I love this one and have already started stocking up on it.

6 people found this review helpful.

TXBulldog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TXBulldog (74)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant

I cracked open my tin of Beacon Extra to see if it lived up to some of the reviews I have read. Upon opening the tin you get that tangy ketchup like aroma. Reminds me in many ways of the Mississippi River like note. Took a bit to get her lit and get her going but when I did, I knew I was in for a new experience. There's a lot to this. It put me on my palate heels as I figured it out - and I mean that in a good way. This is very rich, very deep, and very smooth. The perique is nicely forward with a creaminess that develops with some very good virginias. I probably have never smoked and savored a bowl like I did with this one. This is like a fine, fine wine that you savor. It certainly lived up to its billing. I can't say I could knock this back regularly, but it is exceptional - so much so I already ordered a tin to stow away so I know it is always there.

Pipe Used: bjarne, rossi, la strada

Age When Smoked: 3 mos

Purchased From: P&C

6 people found this review helpful.

wmf Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wmf (14)
Medium to Strong Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Smells more like good ol GA BBQ than anything else, but I attempted to smoke on anyway. Yummeh! About the fifth puff I knew I had a winner! Flavors of rich VA just kept on coming with the perique perfectly, almost harmoniously, swirling about. An amazing blend with a bit of the vitamin N. Spicy foods will not overpower this blend and the room/porch note is deep, rich, and quite enjoyable. Almost 4 stars. Dang near perfect!

Pipe Used: Dr Grabow anniversary billy

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: p&c

Similar Blends: Six Pence- BE gets the nod.

5 people found this review helpful.

doc pipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc pipes (110)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This tobacco came tinned and had 139 09 stamped on the bottom , leading me to believe this was from the original club release. I have had this stuff since 2011 when I purchased it from iwan ries in Chicago.

The tin aroma is deep and fermented, like many McVirginias. The typical vinegary ketchup aroma graces these dark chocolate brown broken flakes of various sizes. The heterogeneity of size in flakes helps in either packing or rubbing out the perfect amount. This stuff rubbed out easily in my opinion, and dries out well enough to smoke within several hours. This stuff does get better and better the longer the tin is open. The aroma is light tobacco, and is very faint and inoffensive to others.

This stuff is a bit difficult to light, but rewards the palate with rich mature VA flavor. There are toasty bread like notes that swirl with dry hay. The VA is quite sweet on the tip of the tongue with each puff, and is quite pleasant, leaning toward fruity at times. The perique adds little to the fruitiness IMO but does add to some notable pepperiness in the nose on the retrohale. This definitely is quality tobacco, and I can easily appreciate the high marks this one gets. Much better than many other VAPers on the market, and quite approachable with regards to strength and nicotine.

Pipe Used: numerous

Age When Smoked: 5 years

Purchased From: iwan ries

5 people found this review helpful.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (305)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Opening the tin provides just a hint of the McC ketchup but it fades pretty quickly. The flakes are dark brown to black and rather moist. This and their thickness made the initial light a bit difficult since I don't rub out my flakes. However, minimal relights were needed. Smoked cool and smooth with a rich taste. It's pretty heavy with perique and about @ my limit. Even got a + on the room aroma from my wife and that doesn't happen often. An enjoyable smoke for those that like perique blends.

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: pipes &

5 people found this review helpful.

deepbass9 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
deepbass9 (7)
Medium None Detected Very Full Pleasant

I'm all about variety, I'm all about quality and my palate is wider than many. Tobacco moisture, tongue bite, mood, smoking circumstances and other controllable variables won't be covered. This review is based on multiple bowls over time.

I can't beat the high praise that precedes this. I wanted a full Perique blend that really let me know it was there. This blend does that, but with a soft hand.

Wonderful leaf; this is an excellent tobacco.

5 people found this review helpful.

steppx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steppx (186)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A very potent Perique /Virginia blend. Maybe the most perique heavy of any Va/per on the market. So if you like Perique, this is for you. Now I quite liked Beacon but Beacon Extra is pretty much a superior blend. It reminded me of C&D's Bayou Morning Flake...but without any harshness that the latter can have and with a lot more natural sweetness. This is smooth start to finish. The virginias are not absent in the taste department, though. Stoved...pretty much like several other McClelland flakes (Blackwoods, Dark Star...not quite that much, or Pebblecut). The nic hit is a touch past medium, but always smokes cool. Its a very habituating blend. And maybe of all straight-up Vapers, this has the most natural sweet undertones. I cant think of another Vaper that is this good. Others....say Reiners Long Golden Flake...might be as tasty, but they are lighter in character (and Reiners has a bit of burley I believe). Think St James Flake on steroids.

Purchased From: 4noggins

4 people found this review helpful.

Sybariten Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sybariten (61)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

VaPer heavy on the perique, that is something I tend to enjoy. It is rich and full and offers upp good smoking mechanics (a few relights will suffice), but I can not really get around the tomato flavour. Many have mentioned this "ketchup" taste of McClelland's and now I have experienced it for myself, it is not to my liking. It fades a bit throughout the bowl though, and the last third or so is very good. Medium strength.

Conclusion: Fine leaf, good burn, nice strength but not really to my taste. Would not pass on a bowl, but would not buy myself.

Pipe Used: Cobs and briars

Age When Smoked: 12 months

Similar Blends: Bayou morning flake by Cornell & Diehl with a hint of Bloody Mary..

4 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (321)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I find Beacon Extra (BE) to be one of the top VaPers. It is Medium on the Perique but allows the Virginias to play a major roll. I really like McClelland Virginias as they get a zing from their "Vinegar" processing , I call it McVV, a sweet & sour taste. This has the same McVV taste but with very high quality, mature Virginias used. This has no bite, is smooth, high "N" and is very similar to "St. James Woods", so much so I had to try a side by side taste test. Even side by side, it was almost impossible to distinguish any difference except maybe a touch more Perique in the BE and a touch smoother . I would rate SJW=8 and BE=10, I would buy BE again except that the SJW comes in a 100gram tin that I can get a price break over the 50 gram tin of BE. Price wins !

4 people found this review helpful.

Pipe Wizard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe Wizard (18)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Outstanding VaPer for those who enjoy more than just a condimental pinch of Perique. As with pretty much every McClelland blend I've tried, the Virginias are of excellent quality. Deep, rich and naturally sweet. Notes of rasins/figs with just the right amount of spice from the Perique. Dispite being more Perique-forward, this blend is remarkably well balanced. Fantastic smoke right off the bat but ages beautifully!

3 people found this review helpful.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (106)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

I opened a tin of approximately year-old Beacon Extra a few weeks ago, and have been meandering through it.

The nose at opening is firmly vinegary and ascetic, as per McC signature, with a blast of fermented fruit and pepper. Heady stuff at first, but after a week or so, things recede a bit, and what is left are tangy, vinous notes. Delicious sniffing, if you like that sort of thing.

The flakes are quite moist, and rub out easily, into something resembling chipped beef - another McC trait. These light easily enough in the pipe, and first impressions are very peppery, especially through the nose. There are sweet notes from the virginias, but this is a blend that is primarily intended to show off the virtues (or deficiencies, depending on your tastes) of perique. The pepper mellows as you work your way down a bowl, but is never hesitant.

BE, as others have noted, is pretty bold for a McC blend, and is of decent strength. I actually prefer plain ol' Beacon, as it seems more integrated and less a one-note affair. I'd like to try this again in 5 years, so my remaining tins are going into storage.

Worth a look for those who dig on perique and like the McC virginia flavour profile.

3 stars, I reckon.

Age When Smoked: 16 months

3 people found this review helpful.

OhioTony76 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OhioTony76 (59)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I used to love Beacon Extra. Idk if my tastebuds have changed, but the perique is just overboard for me now with Extra. Half way down the bowl this becomes a perique bomb. It lost all sweetness and the smoke makes my mouth very dry. It's just too "one note". The perique drowns out that great McClelland Virginia.

Pipe Used: Briar

Age When Smoked: 3 months.

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

Similar Blends: McClelland - Beacon (Collector Series).

3 people found this review helpful.

JustinCarcerated Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustinCarcerated (99)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Had to try this if for no other reason then to compare to Beacon, which is a top-flight VaPer by McC that combined Vas with "...a healthy dose of seven-year-old La Perique." This blend was 3 years old when I opened it, with the same familiar dark flue and rich almost figgy scent. Somewhat difficult to keep lit but once fired up it burned very quickly ( I often will puff away for 20 or so minutes on other blends only to realize later I had half a bowl remaining) to bowls' end. Of course no tongue bite, after all this is McC and their Va's are impeccable! I wouldn't have said this even a year back, but IMHO this is where Beacon Extra maybe goes a lil too far...cant believe I am stating this as I truly love VaPers ( visit St. James Parish often as I reside in SE Louisiana), but here I think its a bit over the top with the Perique. I only state this because I have learned to appreciate the harmony that exceptional blends exhibit, especially when done deftly. In the original Beacon its spot on perfect, the relationship between Va and Perique throughout the entirety of said bowl, bowl after bowl. Here its a bit heavy on the perique where the sweetness I keep reading about in reviews for me is replaced with spiciness, to the point where it mutes the Virginias somewhat. Again, still 4 star ( burned through the entire tin to the expense of several other opened blends very quickly)... but for a VaPer I prefer Beacon. Try em both if your into VaPers, can't go wrong either way.

Pipe Used: Meers

Age When Smoked: 3-4 years

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Similar Blends: Supped up version of Beacon.

3 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Strong None Detected Very Full Very Pleasant

Delicious! The tobacco is a little young and a little too moist, but in years to come this will develop wonderfully. It is very good now but i have a feeling this will be 5 stars with age. I taste all sorts of things in this. It is very complex and delicious.Strong perique at first, then once your palate settles down all sorts of tastes come out, lavender, sunflower seed, corn oil, pepper. I think I am in love!! Thank you McClelland!!

3 people found this review helpful.

Magic Paul Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Magic Paul (1)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

A good friend was kind enough to let me a try a bowl of this from his tin. It is wonderful stuff! Rich, dark, fruity, sweet, spicy but well balanced and not harsh. Delicious from the first puff to the last. I regret that I probably won't be able to get any more. If you get the chance to try it, don't pass it up!

Age When Smoked: 8 years

2 people found this review helpful.

HellzBellz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HellzBellz (3)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is a great blend! Delicious, rich, very sweet, deep, complex but not so much as to overwhelm the palate. I wish I had more of it.

Pipe Used: Paterson Churchwarden

Age When Smoked: 8 years

2 people found this review helpful.

rintrah Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rintrah (14)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

What does one say about a tobacco that is so transcendent, so incomparable, so delicious, and so... unavailable now.

I could wax on for paragraphs about the loss of blends like this, but I'll try to stay focused...

Beacon Extra is sublime. I've been smoking it for many a year now, and have never gotten around to posting a review on this site. Mostly, that is due to the fact that when I am smoking it, it demands my complete attention.

Some of the deepest, richest tobacco flavor I have ever experienced is available here. Its hard to describe... very very dark/deep notes lend to a richness and smoothness that is just uncommon. The tin scent is heavenly, and upon lighting the soft, fragrant smoke will embrace you like an old friend. After smoking, the lingering flavor on the tongue reminds you of recently eaten pancakes with rich syrup near a campfire.

I spoke to Mike McNiel at the Chicago Show some years back about the blend and its differences to the standard Beacon (which is good, but nothing like this). He could not tell me in good faith how much perique was added in this version as he hadn't blended it in a while, but said that they added it until the blend seemed right, and different enough to engage the smoker with an entirely new flavor profile (paraphrasing).

Ultimately, as VaPers go, this is/was one of the best. The only detractor I can find is the lack of punch (nicotine), though this blend is comparatively stronger in that category that all but a few McClelland blends I've tried.

4/4 stars. If you happen to come across a tin, grab it. Thankfully I've loaded up quite a few into my cellar, but I suspect that at some point I will have wished I had bought more, as I can't see myself keeping my hands off what I do have for any extended periods of time.

Pipe Used: many

Age When Smoked: from fresh to 5+ years

2 people found this review helpful.

fishfinder21 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fishfinder21 (2)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I've been smoking a pipe now for about 2 years. I've only smoked aromatics and english blends and thought it might be time to venture to the straight virginia and VaPer side. So when I read the reviews about Beacon Extra, I knew this was the one to try first. I also bought Viprati, which is a ribbon cut. Venturing to VaPer's and flakes...I'm a rebel!

So I smoked Viprati first. I enjoyed the peppery taste of the perique, but didn't get anything sweet like I thought I would from the virginia's. It was enjoyable, but I needed something to compare Beacon Extra with (since I knew this was the one I really wanted to like).

So here I go...I pack my first pipe full of broken flake using the fold method that I've watched about 100 times on youtube. I light maybe it's the novice flake packer in me, but I swear it took me 15 minutes to get a char light. But once I did, WOW! I was initially greeted with pepper, but a tangy pepper. Much more pleasant than that of Viprati. I was able to keep the bowl lit for a good 5-10 minutes and just in that short time, the flavors changed to that sweet, bread flavor that I've read virginia's give. Now, let me say this is where it gets interesting...I went to relight my pipe, and when I did, the tobacco got sweeter. At that moment, I didn't know if I wanted keep letting my pipe go out and relighting to get that flavor or if I just wanted to continue to smoke and see what the flavors changed to next!

So as I sit here enjoying the masterpiece that McClelland calls Beacon Extra, I type this review with a pipe that wants to go out again just to relight that sweet flavor, but continues to get puffed on because I'm so intrigued by the changing flavors. I give this 4 full stars and two thumbs up! I say if you have never tried VaPer's, you have to try Beacon Extra!

Pipe Used: savanelli Poker

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

2 people found this review helpful.

Antonius Blok Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Antonius Blok (192)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

In its tin it gives off an intense smell of vinegar, so that it pleasantly stings the nose when inhaling its aroma. It comes slightly damp, it should be dried for about 20 minutes. Once the pipe is lit, it has similarities with St. James Flake, also from McClelland, but there are some different nuances, among which I would say that Beacon Extra is somewhat sweeter. Fruity flavors, fresh, somewhat balsamic, sometimes slightly toasty and with various degrees of sweetness during the smoke, depending on the rate of inhalation. It's all I ask of a va/per. Very high quality.

Age When Smoked: 10 years

Similar Blends: St. James Woods (McClelland).

1 person found this review helpful.

Aurorasofautumn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Aurorasofautumn (38)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

To be honest, I was really wary of the word "extra" in this tobacco blend, as I do like my Perique to be well integrated and can't stand too much perique. Some more backup info. I really came to VaPer blends slowly, not liking them at all at first. Gradually, they grew on me and one of my go to VaPer tobaccos is Samuel Gawith's St. James Flake. Let me tell you folks, there was no reason to be afraid of the "extra" in this particular offering, as I find the perique here to be exceedingly well integrated and just adding layers and layers of richness to the already delicious base of McClelland VA.

I will keep this review short as this blend is unfortunately no longer available. Beacon Extra is nuanced, full, complex, perfect! It leaves a great aftertaste in your mouth that just lingers. There is a fruitlike aspect of tropical fruits rather than plums that I have not come across in another VaPer.

Still, there is one huge "but" here. The but being that I am quite consoled with having found a great alternative in St. James Flake and St. James Plug that leaves me every bit as satisfied and that really is on par with this blend even if it has a completely different flavor profile. Unfortunately I can't say that of McClelland #22/24 and McC Arcadia and Bombay Court, which were one of a kind and will some day leave a blank space in my cellar that other blends will never live up to.

Still, Beacon Extra definitely deserves the 4 out of 4 possible stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

Goose55 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Goose55 (33)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

This is the Holy Grail of Virginia-Perique flakes and I have tried many. It's a 5 Star blend that will not disappoint. I just discovered this blend and have been enjoying it fresh out of tin, without aging. I can only imagine what time might do for this stuff.

I find that as much as I love to puff away on this stuff, I have to just hold the pipe for awhile at times and then the next sips are wonderful. I prefer it fully rubbed out and even dried a little. I also often strain my tobacco and put the smalls on top, like kindling under a stack of firewood, except upsidedown. Pipe lights easily and stays lit.

EDIT: March 17, 2018

As much as I like Beacon Extra, I do love another of McClelland's blends much more, and that is their 50g tinned Aurora. If anyone here has some Aurora they would like to straight across swap for Beacon Extra please contact me at I have more B.E. than I do Aurora.

Pipe Used: Pipa Croci Scoop

Age When Smoked: Fresh out of tin, without aging

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars, 4Noggins

1 person found this review helpful.

crazy owl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
crazy owl (74)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Mayhaps a little heavy on the perique side,but anyway excellent with a outstanding virginia background.Needed as usual in Mc Clelland a fair time of breathing to disipate the famous ketchup smell,not disturbing for me,and drying.Very worth to try,I,m looking forward a comparation with the sibling Beacon.IMHO quite better than VaPers of another brands.

Pipe Used: meers

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: smokingpipes

Similar Blends: St James Woods but stronger.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Exceptional in every way. I bought a small tin of this to try. I should have bought many more. This is very smooth. Very rich virginia and perique flavor. There's a little perique spice up front but its more reserved and refined than I'm used to. It takes a little longer for the flavor to really develop in comparison to Saint James Woods but when it does it's superb. I think Beacon Extra isn't as sweet as SJW. It's so well blended it's hard to pick out the individual ingredients.

With all that said I Beacon Extra is a little too strong for me. This is personal taste. I love perique but I get the cotton mouth and too much nicotine if I over do it with this blend. I think regular old Beacon is just right for me. It's more of a balanced pipe blend than a cigar like Beacon Extra.

Pipe Used: Large lovat

Age When Smoked: New, less than a year old tin

Purchased From: smoking

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

Heinz participates in this mixture too. Especially when you open the tin, finding dark black colored flakes, with some brown and golden shades among them. It is most fortunate that gradually this aroma fades away, and all that remains is the natural taste of Virginia. It is a strong tobacco that tastes real good, and the Perique just adds a spicy note, without bothering me at all, as I am not a big fan of it. A big disadvantage of this mixture though is how it lights up. It is very difficult, and equally hard is to keep it lit for long, especially if you fill the bowl with whole pieces that you haven't rubbed or cut into cubes. I will keep the second tin, that my good friend “Hetfield” brought me, and smoke it after 2-3 years. I'm sure that the results will be more than impressive.

1 person found this review helpful.