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On the back of the 1977-2O17 release is written "Specialists with Virginian and Oriental leaf."

Once you remove the blue wax seal and paper wrapping you find the following product description: "An elegant Matured Virginia ribbon-cut blend, naturally sweet with that clarity of flavour possessed only by the best Virginias. Seasoned lightly with fine, cool smoking Cyprian Latakia. Aged for months to mellow."

Notes: Notes: Originally released in 2002 to commemorate 25 years of quality tobacco manufacturing, a total of 3000 tins were issued wrapped in commemorative ecru paper with a red wax seal. A second issue, bearing a green wax seal and an updated date span on the paper wrapping (1977-2005), was released in 2005. A third issue, bearing a (brownish) natural wax seal and updated date span (1977-2010), was released in 2010. This fourth issue released in 2017 bears a blue wax seal and the dates listed are 1977-2017.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeVirginia/Latakia
ContentsLatakia, Virginia
Packaging100 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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Mild to Medium
None Detected
Mild to Medium, Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 1 Users

6 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2976)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Though this review pertains to the current version, I found no differences between it and the earlier versions, so I am basically repeating the review here. The Cyprian latakia is smoky, woodsy sweet and is mostly a condiment. Sometimes, it's more obvious than it is at other times. The Virginias seem to be red and stoved, offering some sweet fruit (dark and citrus with a mild fermentation), a little earth, slight grassiness and a touch of spice. It has the familiar "vinegar" smell you expect from a McClelland Virginia blend, but that taste doesn't linger throughout the smoke, nor does it mitigate the flavor nuances. The nic-hit is just past the mild level. Won't bite or get harsh and is a cool smoke. Burns slightly less than moderately, and requires some relights, and burns just a little moist. Sometimes, it will leave a little dottle, other times not, so I recommend a light dry time. Has a very pleasing after taste, and I never heard a complaint about the room note. Not quite an all day smoke, unless you're a McClelland aficionado who's addicted to this company's blends.


10 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30116)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The tin note is quite Latakia-forward. Reminds me a lot of Old Dog, which is the only other blend I've tried reminiscent of this nose—which incidentally comes from the same blender, so no surprise there. Presumably these are the same Virginias and Latakia, but more straight-forward though, without the Cavendish and Orientals. No McClelland ketchup scent at all to my nose. Also no surprise: the VA is excellent here; gently sweet, no bite. Nice moisture out of the tin. Can be smoked right away, straight down the bowl with no relights, tamping occasionally.

This blend really filled a niche for me, which is a straight ahead, smooth-smoking VA with enough Latakia to compliment the winter months, but not complex like the Balkans and English Blends I regularly smoke (so, a nice break), not overly mild like the aros I've tried (which I rarely smoke), and not in the least bitey, like some VAs and VaPers I've tried, which I will refrain from naming. I don't have anything else in my cellar with these components, so I have nothing to directly compare it to. More research required, it would seem.

My general impression of this smoke is that it's easy-going, delicious, sweet, present (not overly mild), pleasant and satisfying (it contains a moderate amount of vitamin N.) Happy days.

Bought two tins for cellaring, but I went ahead and opened one because I thought it might be what I was craving, and it was.

Pipe Used: Savinelli 614 (Oom Paul) first bowl in new pipe

Age When Smoked: a couple of months

Purchased From:

7 people found this review helpful.

FreePancakesForAll Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
FreePancakesForAll (10)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

For the record, every time I smoke 5100 I say to myself "I wish this had a pinch of latakia in it." So I was quite excited to find that both the appearance and the tin note are very reminiscent of McClelland 5100 with a hearty pinch of latakia dropped in. The colors run the gamut of deep red and tan virginias with the speckling of jet black latakia. Moisture content is perfect: ready to smoke right out of the tin.

The blend starts out very red virginia dominant for me. Sweet, complex, and sour with the signature McClelland vinegar (which I love). The latakia is condimental. Some puffs it's very forward, some puffs it's just lingering in the undertones. But it perfectly weaves in and out throughout to keep the smoke interesting. Compared to the 2010 Anniversary release, I find this to be slightly more sour and tart. It could be the leaf or it could just be the young age. I'm quite excited to crack another tin in 5 years or so.

Overall, this is an extremely satisfying smoke now. It scratches that itch when I'm not quite sure whether I want a virginia or an english. There's no doubt that with some age on it this will be a 4 star blend for me.

Similar Blends: It has a similar tin note and almost similar taste of SPC Mississippi River. Sort of like a Mississippi River but with a little less noise..

6 people found this review helpful.

crazy owl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
crazy owl (74)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I write about the tin with dark blue wax seal.The date says 9 20 17.That´s the future,today is 2 25 17.Well let´s go,ribbon cut,fine Mc Clelland Va. with little or nothing vinegar smell.Certainly more than a pinch of Latakia.Very good quality but not outstanding comparing with other McC master pieces like Samovar,Wilderness,...and so many.Worth to try but not so good for repeat or cellaring.With a oriental touch would be Samovar.AlwaysIMHO.

Pipe Used: meers &briars

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: smokingpipes

Similar Blends: Samovar without orientals..

5 people found this review helpful.

nkulk8r Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nkulk8r (90)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Alas, another posthumous tobacco review for 2018.

Of all the tobacco I have sampled – of all the tobaccos I have truly enjoyed and chosen to cellar -- this McClelland Virginia/Latakia Anniversary blend is, hands down, THE tobacco I love most of all (which makes the recent passing of McClelland all the more heart-wrenching). This blend is obviously (sadly) no longer in production, which makes this ex post facto assessment more of a eulogy than a review.

I was caught by surprise (as many were) with the news of McClelland’s closing. At the time, I had 500 grams of this blend cellared when I found out about McClelland ceasing operations. I was able to purchase 2 more tins on ebay, but, after that, it was pretty much gone, gone, gone. I would gladly trade all my stores of Penzance and Stonehaven for equal amounts of this blend (at least the Penzance and Stonehaven are replaceable).

This is the time of year (the holidays) when I indulge myself with those special occasion tobaccos – either tobaccos that are difficult to acquire (like Penzance or Stonehaven), or those no longer in production (like Mac Baren’s Vintage Syrian or the current blend in question). It is Christmas Eve – all the grandkids are sound asleep – and I’m up writing this review after having just taken great delight in a bowl of this most remarkable blend. It has been some months since I last sipped some of this, and I'm amazed at how amazing a blend it is. (I was going to comment how dumbfounded I was that only four people had reviewed this tobacco to date, but then Scott P. became the 5th reviewer about an hour before I became the 6th to review).

I appreciated and prized every characteristic and property of this tobacco, from the luscious, creamy smoke, to the sweet, earthy, smokey flavor, to the pleasingly perfect perfume of the retro-hale, but perhaps the product description sums it up best: “An elegant Matured Virginia ribbon-cut blend, naturally sweet with that clarity of flavour possessed only by the best Virginias. Seasoned lightly with fine, cool smoking Cyprian Latakia.”

Regarding the loss of this superbly excellent tobacco, I must remind myself to remain upbeat and cheerful, for I have an adequate amount of this blend to last another 20 or 25 holiday seasons.

“The legends have more to do with us than with the tobacco, because we tend to subconsciously amplify the prestige of the unavailable, at least the better ones. If we could get them easily, the lack and the longing wouldn’t be there.”

-- G.L. Pease

3 people found this review helpful.

Pryhosm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pryhosm (246)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Another blend to lament now that it is no more. I bought 6 100g tins of this a few years ago, jarred one and put them all in the closet and forgot about them for a few years (I did smoke 2 bowls or so back then). I dusted this off a few months ago and have worked it into my regular rotation and am about done with the first 100g tin. This is a masterpiece. This is a VA blend with Latakia. I do not taste any Orientals or other leaves. The tin note is typical for a McC Virginia, that vinegar like smell of fermented VA’s . There is also a sweetness that sits atop the blend, I am not certain if it is a top note or not but the sweetness sublimates the blend and is noticeable in the smoke. I am not sure from the notes on the tin but it appears to be a blend of several Virginia’s to include Red VA, which McClelland is an absolute master of. Alone or in combination they make Red Virginia tobacco act like black truffles: super flavorful and can change the flavor of a dish...only for the better. This blend is sweet, smokey and there is a malty flavor that I attribute to Balkans and to create that with only two types of leaves, i would have thought it was impossible, but it isn’t...and it is awesome. The Latakia is sweet and smokey. The Virginia’s are sweet and earthy. There is a small amount of citrus, but mostly it is bread and honey like. This to me is a Balkan without the Turkish/Orientals which is likely an impossibility. I am sure glad I grabbed a few tins of this. Each day I mourn the loss of McClelland and rediscovering this one on Christmas Eve only makes me thankful for the opportunity to have experienced these blends and to think about what other great tobacco’s and blenders there are still waiting to be born (unless the world demonizes tobacco out of existence). Thank you Mike and Mary McNeil for this additional gem you have given to the pipe world

Pipe Used: Briar's, meerschaum and cobs

Age When Smoked: 2 years

3 people found this review helpful.