McClelland No. 2020 Matured Cake

Matured Cake Mixture combines the characteristic sweetness and zest of a fine matured Virginia with the unique aroma, softness and rich, nutty flavor of a distinctive Oriental Mixture. Aging this blend of lemon and orange Virginias, Xanthi (Macedonian Orientals) and latakia in cakes develops an extra margin of smoothness and an uncommonly rich flavor that is refined, not heavy.


Brand McClelland
Blended By McClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company
Blend Type Oriental
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Broken Flake
Packaging Bulk
Country United States
Production No longer in production


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

Average Rating

3.21 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 53 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 09, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
No one does VA's quite like McClelland. Long time smokers either love or hate their VA products. I'm one of the lovers. There's a lot more going on here than the VA base. 2020 bulk has a complex mixture of tastes. There's of course the sweet, tangy VAs. The orientals add a nutty, earthy component and the Latakia provides just the right amount of fragrant smokiness. Each flavor component dances in and out as you smoke through a bowl. All in all, it's a very well balanced blend.

I also much prefer flakes, broken or not, to other cuts. Packed right, you get a long-lasting smoke. Flakes also retain moisture longer given their density.

2020 is quite moderate in Vitamin N so you can smoke this at night, actually all day long without getting bored.

Lastly, I agree with previous reviewers that those who prefer blends heavy in Latakia might find 2020 lacking. IMHO latakia is a condiment, not the entree, so for me this blend hits the mark. Four stars.

Pipe Used: Various
PurchasedFrom: Smoking Pipes
Age When Smoked: New
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 06, 2019 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The woody, earthy, leathery, rather floral, sweet and sour, mildly spicy, nutty Oriental/Turkish take a little of the lead over the other components without dominating. The smoky, woody, musty sweet Cyprian Latakia takes a secondary lead over the fermented tangy dark fruity, tart and tangy citrusy, earthy, lightly grassy Virginias. They also sport a slight stewed fruitiness. The “vinegar” notes, as small as they are, last to the finish. The strength is just short of being medium while the taste level is medium. The nic-hit is in the center of mild to medium. No chance of bite or harshness. Burns cool, clean and a little slow as flakes tend to do, with a mostly consistent, fairly rich, complex and nuanced sweet and savory flavor from start to finish. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and needs some relights. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste. Can be an all day smoke for the veteran.

12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 08, 2003 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Tobacco blending houses have a saying, "If the blend is good enough to be tinned, it is." This one just had to come close!

I was recently sent a sample of #2020 with a tobacco order. It is smooth on the palate, and does have a good, solid taste presentation. Not much strength here though. With so many quality Virginia/Oriental offerings on the market today, this one just might be in the upper half of your favorites.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 12, 2011 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Update 10/11/2014 This blend, of which I put in sealed jars in 2009, seems to get better year after year. Some say Latakia blends do not age as well as VA VA/Per or VA/oriental. I can tell you that the flavor of the Lat remains true in this blend passing the 5 year mark, and the additional years only improve this remarkable flake.

10/12/2011 Though this flake is not a heavy Balkan blend, mainly due to the mild Latakia, it is certainly one of the most wonderful flakes available in the free world today. For those who have not yet found the taste of Latakia to their liking, this blend offers itself as a gentle mentor to the palette.

I had jarred 5 lbs of this in 2009. In early 2011 I cracked open one of the jars. Initial opening presented the aroma of Latakia and oriental. Lightly rubbing the broken flake but still maintaining some compression in the leaves I filled a bowl and packed it to a medium but gentle draw, and let it sit overnight as I often do when first opening a tin or jar. Upon lighting the next day I found this broken flake to offer a wonderful smoky flavor with a subtle sweetness arriving slowly onto the palette as the smoke progressed. Throughout the entire first 3/4 of the bowl the aroma and flavor danced from a mild buttery nut presence into a sweet and smoky delicacy, and back again. There was little excess moisture, relative to other tobaccos with similar components, though this may have been due to the dryness from being originally a bulk form. Toward the last 1/4 of the bowl, the latakia drifted away leaving a stronger essence of mature VA and oriental. The tobacco burns well, needing few relights, ending in a white ash.

As mentioned, the blend is somewhat mild for a Balkan due to the low content of Latakia, but there is something unique in how the blend imparts the flavors. If you are a heavy Balkan smoker, you will likely not taste the Latakia as a separate entity, however you will note the accented oriental that becomes unique from the marriage to the Latakia, as it gently caresses the VA throughout the smoke.

A superb recipe, and process well done.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 28, 2004 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Appearance: Small mostly broken flakes, quite varied in color. Reddish brown with much black evident. Flakes are of moderate thickness.

Aroma: Definitely an English/Oriental blend. Background of matured Virginia, with spicy notes of Oriental, and the smokey/sweet aroma of Cyprian Latakia.

Packing: Pack easily into medium and large pipes. Haven?t tried it I smaller bowls, but it should be no problem if well rubbed out . Like any bulk flake, the flakes WILL be broken when you get it, so don?t count on a fold and roll method. For a long. Slow smoke, take a clump of pieces and make your own mini- roll. Works fine.

Lighting: Lights with relative ease, depending upon how rubbed out you like it.

Initial flavor: Taste is similar to Penzance at first puff, only not as intense. However, Penzance increases in flavor, while this settles down into a medium value. All the components register on the palate, with the Virginia and Latakia being the key players. Nice balance and layering of tastes.

Mid-bowl: Continues to show good manners, not at all boisterous. The layers of taste keep it from being monochromatic in flavor. Burns well for a flake, and no gurgle.

Finish: A few relights at the end, a bit of harshness at the very end, but nothing unexpected. Leaves a gray ash coating in a dry pipe.

Summary: Quite a surprise, as I usually prefer McC Virginias to their Orientals. A good choice for the middle of the day or for the evening. Also a good choice for outdoor smoking.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 11, 2015 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
These Virginias are very nearly rich in flavor. A nice sweet fruitiness. The Oriental component lightly rides on the flavor of the Virginias complimenting them with slightly sour, slightly nutty notes. The Latakia is lightly applied adding more smokiness than anything else. Not much of a woody note there. Altogether, it's a very pleasant smoke with ample flavor and complexity. A solid 3 star smoke.

Medium in body and flavor. Burns well when dry which can take a while. No bite or harshness, in fact it's quite smooth.
Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman, MM Mark Twain
Age When Smoked: fresh bulk
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 01, 2015 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Broken flake of mostly darker browns interspersed with some light. This is based on a 1 oz sample. Bag aroma was of McClellands incredible fermented Virginia with orientals (Xanthi, in this case). There was a slight smoky spiciness present from the latakia.

Latakia hounds and nicotine junkies may find little to enjoy here. This was Virginia front and center, orientals everpresent but subservient and latakia well to the rear. Reminded me of a richer version of one of the Grand Oriental series. Very tasty but mellow, with a sour tang and light smoke. I detected a topping of some sort but as usual could not place it. It sweetened the proceedings beyond what I associate with the component tobaccos. But this was no crossover blend. Complex enough but not nearly so much that I had to stop what else I was doing and focus on the blend as it developed. I hear that some folks get bit from McClellands Virginias, but I never have. They do require a slow cadence to allow them to shine, and this one was no exception. I didn't get bitten when I puffed faster but the mélange became a sour mess. I'd like to work with this one some more but I don't get the impression this will be a rotation maker. Enjoyable and perhaps holding more secrets, so I think I'll pick up a half-pound with which to experiment further.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 08, 2016 Mild Extremely Mild Mild Very Pleasant
A couple of years ago I decided to try several of the McClelland bulk blends, predominantly Virginia and Virginia-based flake. Of all of the blends I tried, I hands-down liked this one the best. I had some trouble remembering which one it was, but managed finally through a process of exclusion to single it out.

I just recently re-ordered an ounce (just to be sure I had the right blend!) and was happy to be reacquainted with it again. Of all of the McClelland bulks I've had thus far, this one is most definitely one I will be buying a significant amount of to store away.

I began by breaking down the flake lazily, and leaving it on the table in my kitchen so it would dry out. Occassionally I would break it down some more and after a few hours I found it dry and rubbed out enough to pack into a nice medium-sized billiard. Please do give this blend an opportunity to dry appropriately, since a little dryness really brings out some of the excellent qualities. In my opinion a blend like this is best smoked in a larger, longer format pipe that will afford it the opportunity to concentrate and evolve depth of flavors and aroma.

The Virginia component is marvelous. Sweet and nutty. Burns relatively cool without any harsh tannic or herbal notes. The balance with the Oriental and Latakia really excels in this blend and does wonders to the Virginia base. It really makes me wonder - why didn't I like the other McClelland bulk Va flakes as much as this? Could it be just the addition of the Orientals and Latakia?

EDITED 8 August 2017

In my opinion this is the best blend that McClelland make. The matured Virginia is top-quality, lights easily and stays lit, and isn't dry in the least. The Oriental and Latakia add just a suggestion of spice and depth. This blend truly outcompetes several of McClelland's "fancier" blends, and for the price in bulk, it just can't be beat!
Pipe Used: medium/large billiards
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Tobacco
Age When Smoked: fresh
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 26, 2010 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
In general I like McClelland blends a lot. I've only been really disappointed by one of their blends.

I can't say this one disappointed me in that it was bad but it is a, "Why bother?" tobacco because there are so many blends that are so much better.

After going through about 2 oz. I feel like I've given it a fair try. To me this is a mediocre blend that I won't be buying again.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 20, 2016 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Anything in flake form excites me . I don't recall having much experience with English flakes, maybe just Sam Gawith Navy Flake.

This Flake looks similar to MC's other flakes, such as 2015, but cut a bit thicker. Rubbing out when new takes quite a bit of time, this blend is pressed with quite a bit of force. Initial lighting takes quite a bit of time. I guess if you aren't in a hurry like I am all the time, you could dry it first. Virginia's up front and foremost. sipped small and slow, there is a delicate sweetness on the palate, and the Latakia is almost non-existent. Puffed at a faster rate, the Latakia shows more prominently, and the Xanthi shows quite a bit of spiciness. Only high quality leaf seems to be present here. If you are looking for a great flake to venture into Balkan type blends, try this. Leaves a fairly clean tasting palate.

For some, this could be an everyday smoke!
Age When Smoked: New
3 people found this review helpful.
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