McClelland Christmas Cheer 2014

Handblended, premium pressed Virginia flake pipe tobaccos. A fine vintage, naturally sweet, in limited quantity.
Notes: From tin insert: We are proud to offer our 2014 Christmas Cheer pipe tobacco, an exceptionally fine vintage tobacco, hand blended and aged in pressed cakes to develop natural mellowness. This 2014 blend is made with a special selection of red flue-cured Virginia from an outstanding 2009 crop near Snow Hill, North Carolina. Superb sun-dappled leaf picked at peak ripeness, it is high in natural sugars, rich in oils. It should age extremely well in the tin. Each buying session, we look for tobaccos of exceptional quality and distinctive character. In various combinations their flavors, aromas, textures contribute to the overall excellence of all our products. The leaves of different crops and regions are combined to maintain consistency from year to year. With Christmas Cheer pipe tobacco, we treat our discriminating customers to the singular pleasure of a tasting of the very finest in tobaccos of a particular vintage, not worrying about maintaining the flavor and appearance of this product into future years but actually striving instead to present the unique character of a single crop and area. That's what Christmas Cheer pipe tobacco is all about. Happy sampling!


Brand McClelland
Blended By McClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company
Blend Type Straight Virginia
Contents Virginia
Cut Broken Flake
Packaging 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
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.47 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 05, 2014 Mild None Detected Mild Very Pleasant
This is simply a fantastic tobacco. I’ve been smoking cigars for over 20 years, but only recently (last two weeks) delved into the world of pipe smoking. This is the first non-aromatic Virginia blend I’ve smoked and I was so pleased with it I had to smoke another bowl nearly right away.

The smell from the tin is fairly intoxicating: rich raisin and spiced fruit notes and a fairly strong sweetness. It absolutely reminds me of a fruitcake aroma. I hate fruitcake (the candied fruit bits seem like something made from pure evil), but I love the aroma of fruitcake – especially while it’s baking in the oven. This 2014 Christmas Cheer reminds me of that a lot. I can clearly see why this is a Christmas blend.

The tobacco comes in a broken flake form, so it’s really easy to rub out whatever amount you need. It didn’t seem overly moist when I opened the tin, but I let it sit about 20 minutes after I rubbed it just to be certain. It was super easy to pack into the pipe, took the charring light without issue, and then remained lit for quite some time before needing to be tamped again. I only had to relight a couple of times; I found that simply tamping the tobacco was enough to keep the light going again. The volume of light blue/white smoke was visually appealing and the aroma was pleasantly sweet – the wifey commented upon it’s agreeable aroma before I had the chance to ask. The taste on the palate is rather light, which I imagine is to be expected from a Virginia blend like this. No tongue bite or any bitterness at all and even after smoking two bowls I didn’t have any sense of dry mouth. I drank an Alaskan Pumpkin Porter during the first bowl and plain water with the second. The Pumpkin Porter actually paired rather well with this tobacco since it’s not the heaviest of beers – an autumn beer and a Christmas tobacco. Seems like a pretty good pairing to me!

I smoked both bowls down as far as they would go. Fellow cigar smokers will understand since we’ve all smoked amazing cigars right down to the digit-scorching nub simply because we didn’t want the experience to end. I also noticed that this blend doesn’t seem to make the pipe smell bad at all. I didn’t do cleaning of the pipe after I was done, other than giving the bowl a gentle once-over with the scraper and dumping out the few bits of dottle. The next morning I picked up the pipe to give it a whiff and there really wasn’t any disagreeable smell. Sure, the aroma from the tobacco itself is far better, but I was surprised a little.

I understand that many pipe smokers snag as much of these McClelland Christmas Cheer offerings as possible for aging. I can see why! If it’s this good now, I can only imagine how good it will be a few years down the road! I’ve already placed another order for 5 more tins to keep on hand. Might just have to make it a Christmas tradition to open one tin each year.

I highly recommend this Christmas Cheer 2014 blend. Get it while you can!
Pipe Used: Peterson Aran (68) P-Lip
Age When Smoked: Freshly opened tin
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 04, 2015 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
I won't go too in to depth on this as I have already done so in my reviews of the 2012 and 2013 versions, but having just finished my tin of 2014 I thought I would just emphasize my enthusiasm for this series.

I think this is just a great annual tradition by McClelland. I have seen CC referred to as the single malt of Virginia tobaccos and I think that is appropriate as it is all leaf from one crop. It is always fantastic and I suppose there are slight nuance differences from year to year, but it is beyond me to detect as it would require having open tins of the different years and doing back to back smokes of each, for me anyway.

I only have one tin of CC open at any given time. I have been buying two tins each year since 2012 as well as collecting tins from years past. I smoke one and cellar one and have been cellaring all the older ones I have been able to obtain. It has become a great tradition and almost another addictive form of TAD.

Anyway, if you like McClelland Virginias and haven't tried CC, you need to get with it. It is the flagship of their Virginias. Highly recommended every year.

3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 08, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
Usually blenders mix different crops of virginia leaf to maintain consistency. Not so with McClellands Christmas Cheer. It's one superior crop. It's like a single malt scotch. Each year has it's own character. Each is different and unique though it's always red virginia leaf. I think this concept is very cool. It makes collecting each year fun and exciting. I got a couple of tins of the 2014 last christmas. I smoked 2 and cellared 4. I'm really looking forward to cracking into another tin or two this christmas. I already bought a few tins of 2015 and I'm sure I'll buy more.

As for the smoke itself it's a spicy smooth red virginia. It's just natural tobacco with no added flavors as far as I can tell. McClelland has aged it 5 years already and it really shows. Some reviewers have complained that it's not sweet enough which may be partly true but I think this is some of the best quality leaf available. It doesn't get more artisan than this. Don't buy any. I want it all! I smoke in a meerschaum churchwarden which has become my christmas pipe. I find the meer a good way to get all of the tobacco flavor. Just sublime stuff.

Pipe Used: meer, briar
Age When Smoked: less than 1 year
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 24, 2014 Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant
Damn it, I only bought one tin. I won't make that mistake in future years. My first taste of red Virginia & this tobacco. Farm fruity, simply elegant and delicious stuff. I generally go for Nicotine and/or Latakia. Moist from the tin, it does require substantial drying. Wow!

The 2015 has been released. I snagged 7 tins. Puffing my first bowl right now. And I've acquired a meer. Lovely stuff.
Pipe Used: Cob and Meer.
PurchasedFrom: P&C & Smokingpipes.
Age When Smoked: Fresh
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 19, 2015 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Chestnut brown broken flakes with the familiar tin aroma of ripe, matured Virginia that only McClellands seems able to produce. Came overly moist in the tin and I let this dry out thoroughly for bowls subsequent to my very first. Easy to rub out and load.

First bowl smoked after about half an hour airing out was very good but still a bit on the steamy side, with somewhat dulled flavors. Properly dried to just this side of brittle, this was the epitome of what a straight red Virginia should be but very seldom is... a crisp, refreshing invigorating smoke without too much of an emphasis on "tang" and not too sweet. And definitely not boring as too many reds can be. This had a nice underlying spice and a bracing flavor, but not overly heavy. Excellent mouthfeel and body as well. Complexity was on the lower end but it had enough going for it to make it more interesting than a one-trick pony. But the point of this one for me is its balanced flavor that gets just a bit spicier and richer as you progress down the bowl until that last 1/4 or so where you just don't want it to end. If it were a heavy tobacco, it would probably tend to wear the smoker out. This one is as perfect a red as I've ever tasted, and for my money one of the finest if not the finest representation of a straight, uncomplicated, un-messed with, unflavored red Virginia tobacco. As always, if you're tasting "ketchup" or "vinegar", you're not properly prepping this. Dried correctly, this smokes very dry and leaves no moisture in the bowl. I usually only buy 2-3 tins of each CC release but somehow ended up with 6 of these. Sometimes being lucky trumps being smart, as I don't know why I bought more than usual. But I'm extremely happy, no matter how it happened. Once again, McClellands seems to be first in line for the best Virginia tobaccos to be had, and presents them to the smoker in an expert fashion. Four stars x 1000!
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 21, 2014 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
Opening the tin has that familiar vinegar ketchup smell but not as strong on this blend. Nice thick flakes . I cut into small chunks and gravity fed the pipe . Charred it a few times but stayed lit for a long time until bowl was finished. Smoke was like a creamy flavor with a zing flavor and some notes of natural animal fertilizer kind of gave it a robust smoke. For a Virginia it doesn't bite unless you smoke a short pipe. I usually smoke vaper but this is good earthy fuller flavor Virginia . I bought two tins and will buy more for aging. I paired it with an IPA beer very nice.
Pipe Used: 2 grawbow billards
Age When Smoked: fresh open tin
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 15, 2015 Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Very Pleasant
A very nice blend with a years age! I received this one year ago and only smoked it occasionally over the year, but, not for the last several months. Now for the Holiday Season I am one again enjoying the wonderful flavors of this blend. With the age it seems sweeter than when first opened. The broken flake has dried some but still has a lot of flexibility to it. Separates easily and rubs out to a nice loose semi-ribbon and crumble. Lights evenly, stays lit, takes a soft tamp and continues to burn well with a sipping draw. Not hot and without any bite at all. I look forward to cellaring some of this for next year but, not before enjoying it through the holidays this year first.
Pipe Used: Several different bents
Age When Smoked: 1 year
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 24, 2015 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
I've smoked half the tin and saving the rest for winter. This is a great straight forward Virginia. Smokes to a nice clean white ash. Saving my 2013 for 2018. Hoping to get 2015 before it's all good. These are great tobacco. Need to get at least 2 tins. One to try and one to cellar.
Pipe Used: Peterson Aran 606 Pot
Age When Smoked: One year
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 21, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
This stuff is excellent. It's tangy and spicy red virginia. Reviewers have been saying that it's not very sweet but I disagree. I don't know what they're used to smoking but I think it tastes sweet. All I smoke are virginias so I'm an easy sell but I think most pipers would absolutely love this tobacco.

I won't go into the tin moisture level. You can figure that out on your own.

It's great that McClelland makes this single leaf, single origin blend. The tin insert says that they usually blend different leaf to maintain consistency. With Christmas Cheer however they use one leaf type from one farm/area. It's like a single malt scotch! Very cool. Each year should be different and unique. '14 is my first and I look forward to buying some each year. Happy Holidays!

Pipe Used: briars, meers
PurchasedFrom: B&M
Age When Smoked: new (five years aged already by mcclelland!)
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 17, 2014 Mild None Detected Mild Very Pleasant
Another excellent blend from McClelland. I've gone through four tins of this blend and I'm working on one right now. I have one cellared for smoking after five years of aging. I'll buy another tin to smoke through the holidays along with a tin of an older year which is my tradition.
Pipe Used: '80's Estate Peterson Donegal Rocky XL264
PurchasedFrom: Briar and Bean, Clarksville, Tn.
Age When Smoked: New
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