McClelland Virginia Woods

Formulated for a smooth, rich flavor with an incomparable woodsy aroma. Blended from finest matured red cake, stoved black Virginia, wide-cut bright Virginia and other premium tobaccos. Virginia Woods offers one of the ultimate experiences in fragrant matured Virginia blend smoking.
Notes: Community note: There is some debate about whether this blend is an aromatic or Virginia (straight or otherwise) offering. There is definitely a noticeable top-note, and the blender admits such. Most reviewers find the fragrance and taste obvious, so classification as an aromatic may make sense.


Brand McClelland
Series Craftsbury Series
Blended By McClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company
Blend Type Straight Virginia
Contents Virginia
Flavoring Other / Misc
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50 grams tin, 100 grams tin
Country United States
Production No longer in production


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

Average Rating

3.00 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 82 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 30, 2013 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
The tangy dark fruit sweetness, wood, bread and earth from the red Virginia is well complimented by the mild tart and tangy citrus and hay/grass from the lemon Virginia, along with fermented dark stewed fruit, sugar, wood, bread and earth from the stoved Virginia. The stoved is a little more obvious than the lemon. There's a mild spice from the red Virginia, and I believe a part of that comes from the punchy lemon Virginia as well. There's a light creaminess to the smoke, which I attribute to nougat and possibly caramel toppings. They mildly sublimate the Virginias. It could use a little more deepness of Virginia and complexity, but I don't think that was the intent of this mixture. The familiar "vinegar" present in so many McClelland blends is here, too, but fades quickly. Overall, the taste is mostly consistent. The strength is a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium. The taste just reaches the medium mark. The nic-hit is a slot behind the strength level. Won't bite or get harsh, and has few rough edges. Burns cool and clean to the finish. Leaves a little dampness in the bowl, but not enough to bother you. Requires some relights as it burns slow. Has a lightly lingering, pleasant after taste and room note. Not quite an all day smoke.

19 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 01, 2009 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Virginia Woods, like all the McClelland Virginias, is an extraordinary tobacco. It is as sweet as honey, and has a bold, spicy flavor. By spicy I don't mean peppery, like Perique, but like the brown spices: cloves, allspice and cinnamon. Its sweetness comes from the natural sugars in the leaf, not from any top flavoring or casing. I like its soft, fluffy texture. It also ages wonderfully.

Besides enjoying it on its own, I use it as a blending tobacco. I like English blends, but I prefer those with a bit of sweetness. If I try a new English blend and I like it, but it isn't at all sweet, I can usually make it more to my liking by adding a little Virginia Woods. I also use it whenever I break in a new pipe. The sugars really season the briar quickly.

The only negative for me about this blend is the same drawback I find with all straight Virginias: they don't have the richness or body of a good English blend. They're like eating sorbet instead of ice cream.

I have posted the identical review for Deep Hollow. To me, Virginia Woods and Deep Hollow taste almost exactly the same. Both are great, but virtually indistinguishable from each other.
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 10, 2002 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Wow! McClelland really hit a home run with this terrific blend. It is deep and rich in flavor, and for us long-time puffers the added wallop of nicotine was of particular delight. I can see, however, where the neophytes might swoon and drool if they don't keep down their puffing cadence.

I have tasted many McClelland blends over the years, and this one ranks with the best. Give it a try!
16 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 17, 2009 Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
First of all, this is my first review here on Having only smoked a pipe for a couple months now, I was started to tire of aromatics and wanted to branch out and experiment. My local tobbaconist recommended VA Woods to me and was able to secure a three year old tin for me. Upon opening the tin, I was greeted with a rich, woodsy aroma, and was also able to detect the supposed "ketchup/vinegary" staple smell of McClleland tobacco blends (which I found most pleasant. All I can say regarding the taste of VA Woods is that I was in pure bliss from the first puff! I smoked the first bowl of VW out of a newly bought Savinelli Estella rustic pipe and it was just plain magic. I actually had to shake my tobacconist's hand on his suggestion. The room note was a rich woodsy aroma, reminding me of the camping trip I went on last summer to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The taste was every bit as rich and wonderful as the aroma. Pure bliss I tell you! Since the first smoke of this fine blend, I have made several additional revelations. 1.) I recently purchased a nice big Butz Choquin calabash pipe which seems to be the perfect companion for VA Woods (hence I have designated the BC for VA Woods 2.) For beer drinkers on here, VA Woods goes really well with a Dogfish Head 90 min IPA. The tangy, hoppy bitterness of the 90 min compliment the tangy, woodsy, richness of the VA Woods. I plan on buying a Dogfish 120 this weekend in hopes of finding an even better compliment! All in all, this is the first Virginia blend I ever smoked and thus far it has remained my staple! Highly recommended!
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 27, 2013 Very Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
If you like the sweetness of red virginia and stove Virginias and no nicotine this is the blend for you, easy to light somewhat easy to keep lit, the cut is mostly ribbon, the flavoring mention by others reviewers was undetectable by me, what you got here is sweetness and spicyness from the Virginias if you are a novice and is looking for their first Virginia blend you could do worse this blend is very forgiving when you over puff, would I buy it again most likely no, I like more nicotine from my smoke, but kudos to McClleland for creating a no fuss virginia blend.
Pipe Used: Beraldi
Age When Smoked: 7 years
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 15, 2015 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Starts with a wonderful candy-like flavor and sweetness. As the bowl progresses the Stoved Virginias increase their influence lending deeper, darker flavors and a nice toasty note. Remains this way for the duration. An outstanding smoke in both cob and briar. A bit dull and one dimensional in a clay for some unknown reason. Mostly Stoved and very little else. Highly recommended in cob or briar.

Mild to medium in body. Medium in flavor. Burns well after some drying time.
Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman, Markus Fohr #9, Rossi Pot
Age When Smoked: fresh
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 14, 2016 Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant
Mixed ribbon and choppy cut of tan to black with a beautiful light spice tin aroma. Seems like a variation on a theme, as the lemon/red/stoved seems to be a popular recipe for McClellands. On the other hand, this one has been out longer, so this one would be the theme. I smoked a bowl of this when it first came out in the early-mid 1990's but wasn't sufficiently impressed to pursue further.

As for the aro vs non debate, this one leaned decisively to the non-aro side but with a noticeable top dressing (and as usual, I can't tell what it is). The dominant flavor at the beginning was the deep rich red tang melded with the very light lemon zing. As the bowl progressed, the stoved took center stage and lent a nice spiciness - not like chili powder but more like a mellow herbal spice. Reminded me of a ginger ale-type spice when compared to 7-up. The topping was sparingly evident but drying the tobacco out for smoking quelled it quite nicely. This one preferred to be quite a bit drier than tin moisture but not crispy (typically flakes like crispiness, ribbons not so much). At tin moisture, this one became a bit befuddled in its presentation, as I've found most Virginia-based blends to do. Sufficiently dried out, this one was quite good, if not the last word in jump factor nor complexity. It seemed to shift gradually around mid-bowl but then remained stable to the end. Far from my favorite McClellands VA, but worth a try if you're a Virginia lover.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 18, 2015 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Leaf : A mix of wide cut medium brown and reddish ribbons mainly, with scattered golden and light brown ribbons throughout. Mine was a new tin, recently opened and jarred. It had the ideal moisture content for me.

Tin Aroma: Delicious. The tin note is fairly strong, it definitely smells of a rich ketchup with barbecue sauce mixed in.It almost has a faint hint of Worcestershire sauce about it. There is a certain spiciness there, not peppery like perique but cooking spices, like in the Worcestershire. I am a big sauce fan so it was very appealing to me. You do get a HINT of the sweet tobacco hiding inside but for the most part it is like smelling a jar of nice sauce. I Didn't notice any "woodsy aroma", but maybe it smells like the woods in America? I live in the rain forest area in tropical Australia so it may have been lost on me.

Taste: On first light you get a nice mouthful of the rich sauciness from the tin aroma, although it is slightly subdued, and accompanied by a nice sweet puff of VA smoke. This is how the first 1/3 of my bowls seemed to go. The sauciness seemed to burn off a good deal and remain in the mid-to-background, while the VA's made their way to the forefront. From there the flavour profile stayed similar, with the only change being the sweetness of the VA increasing as you burned towards the bottom of the bowl. It is a very sweet VA blend, but not sickeningly so. There is debate if it is aromatic or not, personally I think there is something on or in the blend that is changing its flavour a bit, although whether it is a flavouring or a tobacco product I'm not sure. All I know is it hasn't affected the smoke in a negative way in my opinion. I enjoyed it for it's flavour and uniqueness. Very rich smoke,sweet, and smooth, with that little touch of spices dancing around in there waiting to be identified.

Smokeability: Mine packed easily without any extra drying out of the tin. I used the Frank Method, and smoked from my VA pipe, a tall bowled Brebbia Boss Canadian that is great for flake and ribbon cut VA. The leaf took to the flame well, lit quickly and easily and stayed alight with minimal tamping and only one relight. The smoke was smooth and cool, and flavourful throughout,even when I gave it a little bit of a tease it didn't bite, although it felt as if it would get hold of your tongue if you were silly with it. Sip it for maximum flavour. Burnt down to a slightly chunky ash, left my bowl smelling saucy.

Room Note: I smoke outside, 100% off the time, so no room note, but my wife and her friend commenting "Holy f!!k you smell like pipe, go away", while I was on the other side of the room may be an indication. I thought it smelled nice....... Bloody Women.

Summary : I really enjoyed this blend, though not as an "Ultimate Virginia experience" as the label implies, nor as an aromatic as some people see it. I enjoyed it as a sweet and flavoursome smoke, with good quality tobacco, that has a unique and interesting flavour profile. It was a nice journey for a VA, and those who normally find VA blends too one dimensional, or Aromatic smokers looking to branch out, may find this an ideal smoke. I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again, but Its not on the top of my list. If it sounds like something you may enjoy, and you are looking for a reason to put money over the counter for a tin, then go for it. Rich flavour, smooth smoke, minimum fuss.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 14, 2013 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant
Just cracked a tin marked 00 & lit up straightaway to break in a new pipe - Hilson Jr Extra, NOS, 14 mm long, 40 mm high, 17 mm bowl, 30 mm outside (thick wall). Great Va flavor, slight grassiness, rich base notes, mildly sweet & cool. Has aged superbly & has absolutely no bite. Delightful. Update: 12/20/13. I had jarred this & lost track of it 'til now. The tin was actually marked '03, so I was off on the age. Upon opening the tin had almost no humectant odor, but now it is absolutely the smoothest, coolest Va I have had. Still moist, it took 2 lights & then cruised like a liner. Top third is creamy, sweet and mild in body. Second part grows in flavor to a near chocolate malted tang. Finish never bites and all those intertwining flavors meld to a cool dry end. Ten stars
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 11, 2008 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
I'll keep it short:

I usually do not do aromatics...but this stuff...I'll make an exception.

It is well done. The small amount of sugar is justified. It really helps to round out and intensify the natural VA sweetness. The flavor is completely unique and, without trying to sound obvious, really does tastes great while walking through the woods.

VA Woods is manageable and behaves well and better yet does not stink up my pipes.

I smoke coming from work and when my pipe is packed with this blend I plan on taking the long way home.

5 people found this review helpful.
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