McClelland St. James Woods

A highly sophisticated broken flake of matured red and black stoved Virginias pressed with the finest Louisiana perique. This beautiful, mottled tobacco has an especially deep, rich character with that mysterious and compelling aroma that is perique's alone. A truly satisfying delight for natural Virginia pipe tobacco.
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.


Brand McClelland
Series Personal Reserve
Blended By McClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company
Blend Type Virginia/Perique
Contents Perique, Virginia
Cut Broken Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin, 100 grams tin
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

3.31 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 41 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 10, 2013 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The "ketchup" smell when you open the tin is potent, but not so much in the smoke, and it does weaken as you progress through the experience. The tangy dark fruit, wood, bread, earth, and slight floral notes of the red Virginia melds well with the sugary, fruity fermented, woody, earthy black stoved Virginias, which in turn works well with the perique. The perique is a little peppery, earthy, woody, plumy, raisiny, and fig-like as a supporting player. The strength is almost medium, while the taste is medium. The nic-hit is a couple of steps past the mild level. Won't bite or get harsh, but does sport a few small rough edges. I dried the broken flake out a little, which helped the burn rate, and the flavor stayed intact. It's not very complex, but it does burn a little slow, clean and cool with a very consistent sweet and spicy flavor, and isn't far from being an all day smoke. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl, but no dottle. Requires some relights. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste, and lightly stronger room note.

28 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 21, 2014 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable
Wow! This is a geat blend. My experience with perique thus far has been limited to petersons irish oak. Which I love' its in my rotation but wouldnt be an all time everyday smoke. So with St. James I was looking for more of the pepper pop but was surprised of the cool and mellow of this blend. It is mastefully blended with top quality va and just the right amount of perique that doesnt over take the blend. Its not in your face aggressive like irish oak can sometimes be. In fact the buttery smooth taste of sweet va reminded me of hal of the wynd so much I thought i must have packed the wrong tobacco.

I aired this about 6 hours as its quite moist from the tin. The broken flakes are very moist and dark with a great fruity Va smell. This is slow easy burning with no bite. Smoking flvours lasted throughout the bowl. I recommend this for newbie VaPers like me. But its a tremendous smoking experience no matter what your usual taste are. Im very impressed with McClelland, and this blend will only get better with age. Med level of nicotine.

Pipe Used: Luciano dublin bowl
PurchasedFrom: Jr cigars
Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin. Air dried 6 hours
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 26, 2013 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
The expected McClelland tin note. Presentation is semi-moist, dark, broken flake. This one will benefit from being rubbed out and dried for 30 minutes or more. Ideally, this blend would be jarred and aged for at least a year. The longer the better with McClelland Virginias. Since that's not always practical, I suggest at least 30 minutes drying time, if not an hour.

Very smooth smoking VaPer with a touch of creaminess on the charring light that is vaguely reminiscent of GL Pease's Fillmore, though not as stout or as Perique-forward. This soon gives way to the classic McClelland Virginia tang.

McClelland blends three very similar VaPers: Beacon Extra, St James Woods, and Bayou Sliced. And I would recommend them in that order. But all three are excellent choices and I recommend this one to any VaPer smoker without hesitation.
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 19, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Up until now, I haven't been a Vaper smoker. St. James Woods has changed that for me. It's slightly sweet, bit spicy, peppery, started off on the mild side, then moved to a more of a medium bodied smoke with the spiciness from the Perique building and becoming more prominent through out the bowl until the end. No bite, an overall good smoke. I can easily see this as part of my rotation!
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 07, 2014 Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
The best of 3 MC tins I've had so far, and the best Vaper, but for me that's not saying much. I blend using perique, and the presence of that element is not at all strong for me in St. James. It is however likely part of the spice-along with that ketchupy note everyone smells with MC but somehow don't taste. (Pipe tobacco is such weird stuff, and no one would ever smoke a tomato blend regardless of if whether it tastes like tomatoes or not, but they will smoke a chocolate blend which doesn't really taste like chocolate.)

Virginia is what I get from St. James, with the perique further back. That's as it should be, given that the perique is the condiment.

The flake looks like the barky stuff people like to put around the bottom of trees and shrubs. I can't help but thinking there is something quintessentially North American about this tobacco. Redwood. Bacon. It's rustic. There's nicotine here, but it's nothing severe, and not a bit of tongue bite. It does however need to be dried for several hours.

It's true that it's not the easiest thing to keep lit, but that is also perhaps a selling point. The lady in my life (an ex cig-head) has no problem with smoky aromas; rather she dislikes voluminous clouds of smoke. St. James does have a very smoky flavor, but doesn't blast out clouds.

I rub it out because I like a nice pack. Overall, St. James smokes kind of slow and cool- kinda like a peat moss fire. It goes with whiskey and late night hours. I don't turn to it a lot but I do turn to it, and I'm sure I'll order another tin when the time comes. I'm giving it 3.5 stars, even if it's not my go-to. How about this question- should your go-to be your favorite? My go-tos are not- I tend to save my faves for more special occasions.

Someone else here wrote about the other 2 Vapers MC does; I need to go back to that for future reference.

Really, my other two McClelland blends have impressed me little. I have to say that this one grew on me, even if it took it's sweet time to do so. Another thing- the price is really right on this, and the other more expensive MC offerings simply haven't measured up. This is another prime example for me that "you get what you pay for" is often a lie. The amount of money spent on tobacco is absolutely no indication of quality; I know this well from the cigar world.
Pipe Used: small Ital. poker, cob, small meers.
PurchasedFrom: Cigars Int'l
Age When Smoked: bought half a year ago
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 14, 2018 Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I have a dozen or so McClelland blends hanging around that I’ve been meaning to try. I wish I would have gotten to them sooner, so I could have stocked up before they closed their doors.

I really enjoy Blackwoods Flake, and this is similar in both taste and presentation. It has a slightly spicier mouthfeel due to the Perique, but it has the same McClelland broken flake appearance and vinigary McClelland tin note that I sometimes love, sometimes dislike, and will miss forever.

If you like tangy red virginia Vapers without the citrus sweet bright notes, this is perfect. The black Virginia’s add a caramelized suger and toasted spice note that differentiate this blend from the pack. It’s a shame I didn’t pick up a spare tin or two.
Pipe Used: Various briars
Age When Smoked: 1 year
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 05, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Very good blend here. I just finished a healthy sample of this one, but ordered a few more tins right after the first bowl of the sample. It is another great Virginia product from a brand that excels in treatment of that leaf.

It does have the familiar scent that one would associate with a McClelland Virginia, but it is tempered by a goodly, but not overwhelming, amount of Perique. The perique is what differentiates this from 2015 IMO. Where the perique is subtle and, I think hidden, in 2015, the perique stands out in SJW. It gives the already sweet Virginias a nice spicy note that gives it a unigue taste amongst vapers. It also gives this one a decent amount of nic strength which is something that is often criticized in the McClelland blends.

If there is one knock on this one is that it can tend to get a little one note and, perhaps, a little boring in a large bowl. I am giving this one three stars for now until I get a chance to break into one of the new tins I now have in the cellar.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 28, 2002 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Appearance: Mostly dark, mottled broken flakes, average thickness. Also average moisture. Looks like a virtual twin of Blackwoods Flake.

Aroma: Very sweet, ripe Va. Aroma, with a noticeable tingle of Perique. Very little of the vinegary smell noted in many McC blends.

Packing: Rubs out easily to any desired degree. Can be packed int any reasonable size pipe.

Lighting: Typical flake lighting. Always needed a charring light, someimes needed two.

Initial flavor: Excellent Va/Perique flavor. The Va is definitely on the dark side, and yields mostly low notes, with the Perique adding the higher register with some raisin and fig flavors.

Mid-bowl: Smooth but highly complex assortment of flavors. Some are subtle, others are dramatic. Almost no tendency toward heat unless you puff too rapidly

Finish: Dry at the end, no noticeable difference, except less complex. Nice clean ash.

Summary: An excellent blend of Va/Perique. Could be an alternative to Escudo, or a change of pace.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 01, 2017 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong
Yes the tin note is ketchup but if you let it out to dry for 20 min that aroma is gone. Rubs out almost to a ribbon cut. Even after drying it is a bit hard to keep lit. This is prob the sweetest va/per I’ve smoked. Deep and dark Virginia tobaccos. Perique is mild/med. Very easy smoking and anytime of day blend.
Pipe Used: Briar And Cob
Age When Smoked: A few weeks
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 06, 2013 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
This is based on a full tin of St James Woods purchased a couple of years ago and just opened. SJW greets that nose with the usual McClelland fermented scent and like many McClelland's it arrives far too moist to smoke. After rubbing out the broken flakes it dries fairly quickly. Overall there are things I like about this VaPer and things that I find to be just OK. First off, like all McClelland blends, the quality of the tobacco appears to be great. The flavors really build nicely throughout the bowl. SJF is lightly sweet and the Perique is just right for me. As the bowl progresses, the sweetness is more pronounced. I wouldn't call it a negative, but for me; SJW lacks the body/strength that I prefer in some of my favorite VaPers. It is the one thing that will keep it from my regular rotation. When it comes to the McClelland VaPers that I have smoked, I prefer the Blackney's Bayou Slice a little bit more. Overall, I would recommend SJW to any VaPer lover, especially if you prefer your VaPers with a lower amount of Lady N.
3 people found this review helpful.
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