McClelland Grey Havens

A harmonious blend of lightly fragrant matured Virginia and premium white burley with just a hint of Louisiana perique. You experience the rich taste of fine natural tobaccos and those around you enjoy a mellow and pleasing fragrance.
Notes: The name Grey Havens is taken from the works of JRR Tolkien. Grey Havens: Mithlond, the harbors of Círdan at the eastern end of the Gulf of Lhûn, from which the Elves of the north of Middle-earth passed into the West during the later Ages.


Brand McClelland
Series Craftsbury Series
Blended By McClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Burley, Perique, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50 grams tin, 100 grams tin
Country United States
Production No longer in production


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

Average Rating

2.62 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 81 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 27, 2013 Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
Frankly I am surprised that I enjoy this blend so much as I have a tough time finding milder burley mixtures that agree with me. Grey Havens is on the sweeter side of the spectrum, sweet enough to expect a whole lot of bite, but for me the bite never came and furthermore, there’s some nice things going on here.

A piper coming from blends comprised of larger portions of perique may not find this blend terribly interesting, I know at first I didn’t. But after a while I discovered that this makes a great anytime pipe mixture, and one with a bit more pizzazz that your standard drug store burley mix. The components are expertly blended (the amount of perique used is perfect) and the tin note which smells somewhat chocolaty agrees nicely with me.

Grey Havens is mild and nutty with a sweet honey like tone and a very subtle spice note. It also burns easily and performs exceptionally well down the bowl. These are all attributes that I enjoy very much in a lighter mixture or any mixture for that matter.
Age When Smoked: 1
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 21, 2003 Mild Mild Mild Unnoticeable
This is a very nice compilation with the famous McClelland's ripe and rich Virginia combining with soft white center cut leaf Burley and a dash of Perique. It is lighter rather than strong and will not overwhelm the palate.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 21, 2006 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Tolerable
This is HADDO'S DELIGHT LIGHT!!! A McClelland version of the same weed. Very Ketchupy aroma in the tin, but not in the bowl. This is how folks should be introduced to McClelland Virginias. They are present ,but not the backbone of the blend. The "Essence" used is very similar to that of Deep Hollow. An extremely pleasant smoke. Very light and enjoyable in the summer. It is a little tingly on the tongue for the first 5 minutes, then settles nicely into a natural aromatic smoke. A great diversion for every pipe afficianado. The room note is not however Aromatic! It is quite smoky. A solid 3 stars, and hats off to McClelland for their successful foray into the world of Burley!
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 03, 2001 Medium Strong Medium to Full Tolerable
Yet another semi-aromatic with a Tolkien name. Unlike Deep Hollow I just couldn't develop much fondness for this one -- it could be a good blend without the fruity topping. Too bad too, Frodo et al deserve better.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 29, 2018 Mild Extremely Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant
While McClelland has always been my favorite pipe tobacco company, I am sad to only have tried this blend in the wake of them exiting the business. While scrambling to grab up any remaining tins after they announced they were indeed closing their doors, I came across this blend I has not heard of, but I took a chance on based on knowing McClelland, their ingredients, and anything they make with a Tolkien reference. I was NOT disappointed, and if you can find yourself a tin, you should send it to me 😉

I hate to admit I like the balance of light, white burley and a pinch of cool smoking Perique so much, I want to use this tasty but mild beauty to break-in new pipes. My only worry, of course, is I only have what I have - they aren't making anymore #cry

I therefore embark on an aging journey - this is one of the select few McClelland Virginia blends with only a faint whiff of the vinegary smell their aged Virginias are famous for. The Perique & burley have clearly been portioned to offset the bold matured Virginias. As the tin suggests, there is some kind of light casing, sugar water perhaps, which makes the blend smell a bit sweeter than a straight Virginia. Similar to Mac Baren's Virginia No. 1 in this regard, and no other, Grey Havens has every quality suitable for aging, but only time will tell. I've shoved a few tins in the back row of my tobacco cabinets, and I can't wait for the day I remember they are there and crack one open - hopefully many years from now and as a nod to the McClelland legacy.

A final note on flavor & flavoring in this blend: it is truly a naturally fragrant mixture with only the slightest hint of (likely natural) topping. I would by no means register this as an Aromatic (even for McClelland), because any sweet notes which may come across as artificial in the tin are nowhere to be found once lit. The smoke is white as can be, and the flavors are tried & true Virginia with natural vanilla notes, hints of light lemony citrus, a slight apple pie spice, etc. It all smokes cool & even, with little need to relight once it gets going. As with all Virginias, I let it dry out just a bit before lighting (maybe 10 minutes), and I am never disappointed with the bouquet I identify. The name Grey Havens elicits pastoral & ocean front views with crashing waves & rustling leaves. Smoking McClelland's Grey Havens is equally tranquilizing as studying any notable artwork of the Gulf of Lhun itself.

I would like to give Grey Havens a 4 Star/Highly Recommended designation, but I feel it would be a bit cruel to entice anyone reading this further given the difficulty one will find trying to procure even one ounce of this mesmerizing mixture.
Pipe Used: Caminettos, Castellos, Dunhills, etc.
PurchasedFrom: Cup O Joes
Age When Smoked: Fresh
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 10, 2009 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
I used to smoke this several years ago, before it became easy to order on the internet. It was hard to find back then so I moved on. I recently took a can of this with me to the Virgin Islands on a pleasure trip and I just really enjoyed it. To like this blend one must like burley because the nutty nature of the burley there early on. I learned to like perique smoking this blend, as a spice not as a dominant taste. Too much perique to me is just a tongue bite. But this blend nails the wonder of perique without it being the main actor. Later in the bowl, the virginias come into place as the sweetness of them comes through but do not scald the palate. To me you can't smoke this too fast unless it is let to get very dry. While on my trip, many people commented on the aroma and I agree, when I would go and come back to the room, it's presence was still in the air and it was wonderful. I like this, it is not going to be my all dayer but it will be in my rotation.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 20, 2017 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Admittedly, I wasn't looking forward to this one. I've not tried many McClelland blends, so I don't really have any expectations about the blender...but a mild VaPer with a little burley sounded rather boring to me. Assuming this was going to be a mostly Virginia mix, I grabbed my large Savinelli Capri, which seems to be the best straight Va pipe in my humble collection.

The tin note took me by surprise - a sharp sort of vinegary scent, heavy perique smell, and something else that I can't place....maybe a topping??? It's a little moist in the tin, and does benefit from a little drying time, but it's not overly wet. After jarring for a week or so, the vinegar smell has subsided substantially, but I still notice it. It's not unpleasant....just a little unusual.

The flavor in the pipe is unexpected. There's not a huge burley component, but more than I thought there would be. A balanced dose of Virginia. The perique is just enough to season a bit, much less prominent than I expected from the tin note. The Virginias are smooth and somewhat creamy and sweet, and the burley gives it structure and substance. That vinegar scent does carry over to the smoke, particularly for the first quarter of the bowl or so, but it's just a little tang, and actually adds an interesting flavor component.

It's very well behaved in the pipe, requiring fewer than normal relights. It's not smoking hot or biting, even though I'm pushing it harder than I should.

Overall, I like it more than I thought I would! I can't say for sure that I'll be buying more, but I won't have any problem finishing the tin.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 06, 2016 Mild to Medium Mild Mild Very Pleasant
I do believe the base Va used in this blend is the same as the base Va used in MC2000, and may even have some 2105 Stoved Va. This smells terrific in the tin, notes of Danish and figs. Packing left a nice spring in the bowl, which I found that I found not fully tamp until I had the char light complete. You can taste the sweetness on the palate, and the Perique in this blend seems very soft. Burley seems muted as well, and to be honest, I never would've thought this blend contained it. This blend was a decent offering, but it didn't grasp my attention as I had hoped. Probably why I don't choose to dissect it any further.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 26, 2015 Very Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant
The aromatic topping of this blend is very mild. It definitely smells sweet, but without overbearing, easily identifiable aromas. Whatever is added to this blend is very harmonious with the tobaccos. I would guess it is a judicious combination of sweet Cavendish, vanilla and chocolate. The fact that the exact top notes are elusive is a very good thing, in my opinion.

Upon light, the sweetness is again obvious. You definitely know you're lighting up an aromatic blend, but that impression fades slightly as the bowl progresses and the underlying tobaccos come out. These tobaccos are also mild and easy-going. The description mentions "just a hint of Louisiana Perique", which I didn't really notice.

Throughout the bowl there are interesting aromas and flavors that appear and disappear. Burnt sugar/toasted marshmallow came to mind more than once. However, there were no big surprises, and unlike a subtle Virginia-forward blend, close examination and patience in the smoker weren't very highly rewarded.

The burning characteristics were quite good, and the easy smoking qualities of this blend alone would make it a worthwhile pursuit of aromatic fans who are tired of fighting with more heavily topped blends.
Pipe Used: Briar dedicated to light aros, meerschaum
Age When Smoked: Two years old
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 17, 2009 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
My tin was 3 years old and, unlike most of the McClelland blends I've smoked, the moisture content on first opening the tin was perfect. I rehydrated some of it and further dried some to see how it performed best, and its best performance was straight out of the tin. Excellent tin aroma! The perique was most noticeable in the tin bouquet, more so than the room note or the flavor.

This blend made me realize why professional tobacco tasters insist on using clay pipes to sample new blends. I found briar pipes completely glossed over the subtleties of this blend. They only seemed to come out when this was smoked in a clay or meerschaum pipe. Interesting. But I could not determine what tobaccos this blend contained smoking it in briar... or I should say that I could not confirm what the tin description said.

I was not overly fond of this tobacco once I got to know it, as I found it too mild and I prefer full flavored blends. But if the concept of perique is exciting to you but you find it too abundant in other blends, this might be one to try. If you enjoy a nice room note but a natural tobacco taste, try this. If you like a polite, refined tobacco that doesn't burn the tongue, this might be one you'll like. I didn't care for it but in a sense it strikes me as an excellent effort by McClellands at creating something different.
4 people found this review helpful.
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