McClelland Dark Star

(3.21)
Years before tinning, this tobacco begins as bright yellow, sugary top grade Virginia and Carolina leaf. Through careful triple aging, pressing and stoving, it becomes rich, cool and dark. A seductively spicy aroma develops during the extended maturing process to complement the complex flavor of this concentrated, smooth broken flake, which is easily rubbed out to suit any occasion.
Notes: From McClelland: Occasionally we meet someone whose familiarity with a variety of tobaccos, sensitive palate, and desire for "that special tobacco" provide an inspiration for us. In seeking to satisfy a taste other than our own, we pleasantly surprise ourselves with beautiful results. This is what the Personal Reserve Series is all about. We developed this concept early on as a way to enhance our creative spirit. We are proud to offer these fine pipe tobacco blends, and hope you will enjoy them.

Details

Brand McClelland
Series Personal Reserve
Blended By McClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company
Blend Type Straight Virginia
Contents Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Broken Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin, 100 grams tin
Country United States
Production No longer in production

Profile

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

Average Rating

3.21 / 4
110

71

34

14

Reviews

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Displaying 201 - 210 of 229 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 22, 2022 Mild Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Tiramisu? Lemons? This is tobacco for god sakes. So let's stop talking about food. If this tobacco remind you of any food at all, it's ketchup. And really it's the Virginia sweetness and the vinegary acetic qualities that make it taste and smell a little bit like ketchup. But if you're spending all your time evaluating tobaccos and trying to connect them to different plates of food on a table, you're doing something wrong.

This is a legendary tobacco. And the fact that it was hard to get before and impossible to get now just adds to the legend. I bought quite a bit of it years ago, and I still have it. This is not my favorite Virginia blend but it is rather unique. First off it absolutely tastes like a McClellan product. Pretty sure it's full of glycol. But that's okay. McClellan was always that way. It's one of the few tobacco's out there that has a rubbery texture. Yes this tobacco was taken a little bit too far in some direction, and it fundamentally changed it. It is difficult to get dried out. It is difficult to light and keep lit. But believe it or not. I once had a truly Great smoke working on the roof of a large building in a rainstorm smoking this stuff. It made a bad day into a pretty good day. And I spend enough time with dark star to to really appreciate it. Strong Virginia taste, mild and smooth with a little bit of fermentation flavor. Also seems thick, like it hides a lot of qualities that will come out later. Pretty darn unique. I experienced no tongue bite at all. But trying to smoke a blend that with a very high moisture content can do that to some people. Relight after relight, I don't envy guys that try to smoke this stuff with wooden matches. If you get your hands on a can of this stuff. Smoke it and enjoy it. Don't bother aging it. That will improve nothing. And understand that you will never get your hands on another tobacco that tastes like this one.
Pipe Used: Cob
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and cigars
Age When Smoked: Old
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 06, 2022 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
There have been many reviews on this one and I enjoy it so much I felt the need to add another. This is wonderful, hedonistic, unique, finicky and unfortunately extinct. I tend to pull the flakes apart, dry them a bit and then rub them out. It can be tough to get it burning well, but once you do you can sip it a good long time as it burns slowly.

My tobacco had lost no moisture during the years, and at 8 years there are no discernable crystals. Just thin abundant ebony colored flakes. The flavor is a mix of dark molasses, roasted nuts and fresh grated nutmeg. Add in a good virginia flake essence (if that is a flavor) and it is a terrific smoke. If I smoke this aggressively it loses it's nuance and the roasted nutty flavor takes over. I like to sip it slow and savor it. Superb tobacco that will never be created again, and one to smoke once in a while as a treat. I get no bite from Dark Star, just enjoyment.
Pipe Used: Peterson Dublin
Age When Smoked: 8yrs
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 30, 2021 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
Virginia tasty upfront, and dark. Some licorice and candied, fermented fruits, molasses , deep bourbon vanilla, some dark soil, and a touch of nutmeg spice. Maybe a touch of thick balsamic vinegar on over-ripened strawberries.

Let sit for 10 years in my pipe tobacco humidor.

It stayed lit the entire smoke after folding it over and stuffing it down the chamber fairly whole. Fairly rich and mellow. Nice overall. A little bit of nicotine towards the dottle. Not goopy.
Pipe Used: Pearwood Ukrainian carved
PurchasedFrom: Stag Tobacconist, Colorado
Age When Smoked: 10 years
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 07, 2013 Mild None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
I sometimes love this, sometimes hate it. Been through 3 tins. When it's good, it's full flavored, like Gawith leaf *without* the intense nicotine. And that's pretty great. But it always, I mean always, bites. Even when almost too dry. Controversial.

Could this be the Miley Cyrus twerking of pipe tobacco???
Pipe Used: Brigham Presidential, vintage Chap St. Claude
PurchasedFrom: Diebel's Sportsman's Gallery, Uptown's Smoke Shop, Pipes and Cigars online
Age When Smoked: Unsure. One of the tins was a few years old.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 20, 2013 Mild Extremely Mild Very Full Strong
A1 steak sauce in smell and taste -- raisins and vinegar. A very unique Virginia flake that requires its own protocol for smoking. In substance and style, a one-of- a-kind, incomparable smoke. Blackstrap molasses with hints of sweet and sour sauce. Careful as she goes. If smoked carelessly, you could have a numb tongue the next day. Don't fight it. It will go out often. In this regard it's similar to McClelland's Matured VA #24. I find myself huffing and puffing to keep it lit until the bowl is burning hot, and the tobacco bitey, bitter, and ashy -- not good.

This is a once a month smoke that may require its own devoted pipe given the distinctive taste and smell -- again, A1 steak sauce. I realize you're probably tempted to buy this infamous smoke just to see what all the fuss is about. But, you could save your money and refrain from buying this novelty tobacco. Just eat a spoonful of A1 and lick an ashtray. Then smoke a real VA flake like Dunhill's venerable offering.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 30, 2012 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Unnoticeable
Jeepers! y'all folk's inta somethin else here. oowee this here some sour tobaccer! Now I'll admit though (just fer y'all fancy fellers out there) that theirs an eency weency touch of sweetness that kinda likes ta flick ya in the ear ever now and then, but I'm a tinkerin this gonna be the last tin fer o'l Rusty Fender.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 22, 2012 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Unnoticeable
Great smoke! Dark and creamy. Wonderful sinus flavor with French inhale. I use cube cut gravity packed or vertical flakes. Mainstay in the rotation for me.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 16, 2012 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
On my travels and having run out of Lakeland tins, I'd put down my pipe as there just didn't seem to be anything worth buying (tried Tinderbox blends but didn't feel like carrying on with that). Then one day stuck in Thousand Oaks and, hey ho, a cigar shop with a small selection of tobacco tins, mostly by McClelland. Somehow Dark Star was on my map, can't recall why, so I bought a tin. Lovely tin.

Ketchup. Hmm. Oh my god, this is like that Soap thing isn't it. To my nose this smelt like fruit; plums, raisins. Or actually just really nice tobacco. Very nice smell.

Dark, thin slices that don't break apart too easily.

Difficult to keep lit, yes. Rubbing it out helps. Reasonable strength, little bite.

Quite flavorsome and certainly dark and rich.

If it was readily available would buy some more.

I second briarroot's assessment.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 07, 2012 Medium Strong Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
My first McClelland, and if all of them are like this, my last. I was prepared for the ketchup odor, rubbed out the tin, and aired it out for a week. Still there. Lit it up and no ketchup, but sweet chow chow instead! Each time, over several weeks, the first half of the bowl tasted like green tomato relish. I can tell that there is a good, caramel-rich Virginia in there somewhere, but not enough to overcome the aftertaste of the piccalilly. Threw out half the tin. Kept the tin, though. Nice artwork.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 05, 2010 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The flakes come very moisty and hard to rub out. After trying to dry them in different grades of humidity at last I've catched the best. Almost totally dried and chopped a bit in a food processor like Pipestud's method the tobacco packed very well and burned easily. The very dark virginias offered a mild taste of sweetness and spicy touches of a fine blend. Nicotine dosage seems to be light at the beginning but usually satisfies my needs when smoked in a medium capacity bowl. I strongly do not recommend this tobacco to beginners. It is very hard to pack and light so a beginner would leave his pipes away because of it.
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