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Three Oaks Pipe Tobacco has been called a modern day classic. Generous amounts of the finest Cyprian latakia are balanced with premium Oriental tobaccos and sweet Virginia leaf. Rich, yet cool smoking from the tin, Three Oaks matures gracefully, developing sweetness and additional complexity.

Notes: Repurposed in 2009 from a 1989 Tad Gage's Blend.

Blended ByTad Gage
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50 graams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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Demetri Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Demetri (113)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Another sleeper. This is a regal blend the description above of which is absolutely correct - no hype, just exactly accurate. Yes, "Three Oaks matures gracefully, developing sweetness and additional complexity", but I might add this blend also exhibits a creamy mellowness that I find so rarely since the Dunhills went AWOL. To light a pipe load of Three Oaks Original is to make a commitment to SMOKE because one will get lost in the fine experience. A couple light pulls and then savoring the taste. A couple more, and then, again, just staying engrossed in the fine flavors it lingers in one's mouth. Superb. It reminds me of my first taste of Johnnie Walker Black Label or my first bottle of a Russian River Valley Chardonnay. The creamy, mellow aspect - Drama? Izmir? Who knows? It works. The predominately dark blend promises a Latakia overload, AND the Latakia is evident in every puff, but curiously it does not drown out the Virginia's and Orientals until the last of the bowl. So, why do I give this magnificent blend 3 instead of 4 star rating? Aftertaste. While these fine flavors persist well after the pipe has gone cold, the creamy, Virginia sweetened Oriental flavor disappear and seven hours later the smoky Latakia remains in my mouth, but now as if I had consumed some tanning agent. I can imagine what Socrates tasted in his last drink. Still, I'll smoke this again, maybe once a month or so.

8 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3025)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The smoky, woody, sweet and lightly musty Cyprian latakia is the star component. In an important support role are the woody, dry, slightly sour and spicy, buttery sweet Orientals. The dark fruity, earthy, slightly sugary Virginias also sport light fermentation and “vinegar” notes, though the “vinegar” lessens by the end of the first third of the experience, and weakens a little more after that. The Virginias are a little more than a background player more often that not. There is a little inconsistency in taste as some of the varietals step up and recede at different times. The strength and taste levels are a little closer to medium than the Syrian version of this product, but it still falls just short of that threshold. The nic-hit is in the center of mild to medium. No chance of bite, and has no dull or harsh moments. The tobacco may need a light dry time. Burns cool, clean and a tad slow with a moderately creamy, smoky, rich flavor. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl, and needs some relights. Has a pleasant smoky sweet, musty after taste that translates to the room note. Can be an all day smoke.


6 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is an old recipe blend that Tad Gage came up with almost 30 years ago and its popularity is still going strong. He has two versions (the Cyprian & Syrian Latakia), and the only real difference that I can detect is that the Syrian is more smoky and sweet tasting. The Orientals really sing in 3 Oaks and the Virginia is well aged and sort of tart sweet. I like the fact that Tad included some muscle in these two outstanding blends. You will know you've had a bowl of thickly rich tobacco once done.

6 people found this review helpful.

Young Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Young Piper (304)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

I purchased this tin from my local B&M that had two years of age on it so I knew I was good to go. Got it home, blew off the dust and cracked the tin. I see three types of tobacco in ribbon cut with a whole lot of stems. Aroma is very smoky with barely any McClelland BBQ tang (which I love). Billows and billows of smoke!!! Great to make smoke rings! Taste is a medium English with a whole lot of flavor. I like this blend since one ingredient does not overwhelm the rest, Latakia is used as a condiment and lets the Orientals shine. The Virginias are nice and sweet and augment the Latakia and Orientals nicely! I am surprised at the previous reviews not being (on a whole) all that kind to this blend, 3 Oaks is really very complex, every puff brings a different flavor and by pulling more or letting it go out you can adjust the flavor as well. Quite entertaining when you are not concentrating on other things. So far one of the best English's I have had so far! Really nice with a little pinch of some Virginia Woods to sweeten it up a bit as well!

* footnote: I just cannot believe the willpower of some people! I mean imagine someone buying a tin of Autumn Evening in 1962 and keeping it sealed all this time! I cant even keep a tin for two years without opening it... Christmas Cheer 1944!! Wow, even before the Dodgers left Brooklyn!! Seriously though, down at the bottom below a review where it says age is for the age of the tobacco not your age. :-) No one cares what year you were conceived in the back of grandpas Studebaker... They do make me laugh though seeing age: 62...

Age When Smoked: 2012 - two years

6 people found this review helpful.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (130)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This is my kind of smoke! Tin aroma starts off sweet as can be, with a delicious smokiness that makes you impatient to light up. Moisture is perfect, a little on the dry side compared to most, which is the way I like it. Lights easily and stays lit with very little maintenance.

This is such an interesting tobacco! The first third is what you'd expect with a blend including these ingredients - a smooth, smoky, latakia-driven flavor with sweet virginias adding support and an occasional kick from the orientals. After the first third, there is an interplay between the orientals and the latakia, as the virginias always maintain an even-keeled supporting role. At times it tastes just like Lancer's Slices - just VA and lots of LAT smokiness. At other times, especially when the temperature of the smoke rises a little from some more concerted puffing, the orientals kick up and take the lead. You can control which flavor you experience by just changing your cadence.

This blend never burns hot, barely warming the surface of my Nording Signature freehand. Granted, this is a thick-walled pipe but many other blends have heated it up significantly. Three Oaks Original keeps cool, stays rich, never gets sharp or bitter, and smokes to the bottom with a dry, dark-colored ash. No gurgling, just a wonderful, sweet/smoky, oriental-spiced wonder.

6 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Nice tasting rendition of our old familiar "virginia, latakia and orientals" recipe. Smells sweet and smoky in the tin. Call it ketchup or vinegar or whatever, but McClelland tobaccos have the finest tin aroma! And I hate ketchup and vinegar.

At any rate, I enjoyed the flavor of this one as an all-'rounder, but I especially enjoyed it's layers of complexity. The blend changed from moment to moment. Sometimes it was a sweet virginia with a side of smokiness, sometimes it produced this tart toasted quality, and sometimes it approached a lat bomb. Memories of certain Pease blends constantly came to mind as I smoked this and ultimately I came to the conclusion that it had 90% of the flavor of Odyssey and 90% of the complexity of Abingdon in one blend. It's like someone combined those two but reduced their top strengths somewhat.

This is an excellent blend. I wasn't crazy about all the stems and clumps and that loses one star. I can't call this a modern day classic but it's definitely a blend that someone who is into this traditional recipe should try. It has its own flavor signature that I find quite worthwhile.

5 people found this review helpful.

WillBrown Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillBrown (137)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

This blend reminds me of one of my favorite blends Chipman Hill, or, better still, as I'm sure 3 Oaks was around well before that blend, Chipman Hill reminds me of 3 Oaks. This blend confirms to me that McClelland knows how to handle Latakia—the Frog Morton Series, the Oaks, and the many other Syrian and Cyprian Latakia blends they offer, this has to be their specialty.

All the baccy's in 3 Oaks really work well together, especially the Latakia. The smokey sweetness of that leaf really shines through here, but the other baccy's weave in and out very well. This is a nice blend, in fact, a great blend.

I heartily recommend this one, especially for English/Balkan pipers.

Keep on Piping!

Pipe Used: Jobey Stromboli

Similar Blends: Chipman Hill.

4 people found this review helpful.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (84)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is another delicious, extremely high-quality blend from McClelland. Demetri used the word "regal" to describe this blend, and I think that's a perfect characterization. Indeed I don't think I can improve on Demetri's review. I will however offer a couple of annotations to it.

Before I had read his review I, too, thought of Johnnie Black. Whereas Three Oaks Syrian is an excellent example of tobacco blends being like a "single malt" scotch, this can be likened to a top-notch blended scotch. And, to continue the comparison, like a blended scotch this can be enjoyed with more frequency, unlike a single malt which ought to be savored when the time is right.

You can taste the many similarities between these two siblings, and yet they're different enough to be entirely different smokes. To use another analogy: by taking an image and shifting its color lookup table (eg: moving the hue slider in photoshop) the image can have an entirely different feel. This blend feels like the taste-lookup table of Three Oaks Syrian has been shifted from unique, translucent waves of creosotic amber to more opaque waves of a more familiar sweet-smoky ivory creaminess to create a different, though equally exceptional smoking experience.

I don't experience the aftertaste that Demetri does, which causes him to drop his rating to three stars. However, I was reluctant to give this one four stars because I didn't think it would be fair to its sibling Three Oaks Syrian, which is a truly transcendent blend. But it would be wrong to give this any less than four stars since it legitimately deserves it -- it's an exceptional blend in its own right, one which I find I can smoke more regularly than its brother which, to me, is to be more savored. This and its brother have both become desert island blends for me.

4 people found this review helpful.

Pryhosm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pryhosm (248)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

As I am ever confused of the concrete definitions of Balkan's, I am going to call this a Balkan since it has Latakia, Turk/Oriental and VA's...this also has Perique but not sure where that fits in with a Balkan. This is a solid blend and I would say not a typical McClelland blend. What I mean is that this is top notch like McClelland blends all are but I do not feel it is a Virginia dependent tobacco which is where I categorize McClelland as world class. This is a very well balanced blend and a pleasure to smoke The tin note is the first place that it strays from the normal McC profile. There is no ketchup/vinegar smell in this blend. The tin note is sweet and smokey and has a sour note, but not the typical McC aroma. The blend is sweet Cyprian Latakia expertly balanced with top grade Turk/Orientals. There is a wonderful malty character along with a fizzy woody spice from the Orientals. I cannot say for sure but the Orientals are of the very best. I sense Izmir and Drama for sure and there is a seltzer like fizz that suggests Yendji to me. The wood is exotic (cedar, hickory and a balsa wood taste). The VA's are a mix but there appears to be a nice stoved red in here that provide sweetness and a breadth quality to the smoke. The perique is almost undetectable until the bottom of the bowl where I get a plummy sweetness and a boost to the spice especially on the retrohale.

The malty flavor and well balanced nature of this tobacco is what makes it so good. I had a very hard time calling our the individual nuances and it would have been easier to write the review as a singular malty, sweet smokey flavor. Almost like good TX BBQ Brisket. It is just damn good! Burns to ash and needs a few more relight than normal (due to the rough cut). A slightly damp heel.

Pipe Used: Briar

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Purchased From: Mars Cigars

3 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2076)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

McClelland - 3 Oaks Original (Collector Series).

Strange, the tin lacks the usual McKetchup smell. Where the ingredients are concerned it's quite fair, there's roughly an even amount of each colour. It's quite a coarse ribbon.

The smoke is exceptionally tasty. In the lead is the Cyprian Latakia: smoky-sweet. But even though the Lat' leads, I wouldn't call it a Lat-Bomb. The Orientals put a stop to this becoming one, being relatively creamy. The Virginia's the lightest of the three leaves, it could easily be missed. The burn from 3' is faultless, generating a thick, cool, smoke. I don't think this would bite anyone, no matter how hard a puffer they are!

Nicotine: medium. Room-note: pleasant (to me).

3 Oaks Original? Great!

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Levent Meer'

Age When Smoked: Two months

Purchased From:

3 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (632)
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Full Strong

After loving the Three Oaks Syrian, I felt compelled to try the Cypriot version of the same. This also gave me the opportunity to confirm something that I had long suspected, that I prefer Cyprian Latakia to Syrian Latakia.

In any case, both of these blends are full Latakia blends and do offer a great way to compare the two leafs side by side, although anyone wishing to take on this experimentation, better act quick as it appears McClelland has finally reached the end of their stash of the Syrian leaf and with the state of the civil war in Syria, the leaf's very existence seems close to extinction.

On to the smoking experience. This delivers exactly what one should want from a full latakia blend. Creaminess, smoothness and smokiness all wrapped into a smoking experience that refuses to bite. This one lights up a little better than most other McClelland blends, but otherwise performs similar. Although this has Virginia in it, you will not pick up any ketchup, or whatever you associate McC's signature Virginia tin note with.

The Lat pretty much dominates the scent. The oriental component is apparent once lit up and compliments the latakia perfectly. This is not an all day type blend. At least it isn't to me. Anything this heavy in Latakia is an end of the night thing for me, preferably with a glass of whiskey on the rocks.

In summary, it is good and everything you should want in a full English blend.

3 people found this review helpful.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is another great "staple" English blend that is the brother of the Syrian version. While this blend is very nice and could be smoked everyday, the Syrian version has much more character to my palate. I actually prefer this blend to GL Pease's Westminster though.

As for it smoking characteristic's? Very well behaved, gathers some fullness as you get to the bottom of the bowl. I really enjoy this bend in my Ashton Old Church Poker...

Yes, this is in the "classic English" category and well done...

3 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is my first blend and I am making this review for others who are not experienced smokers. I am very sensitive to cigarettes and was worried about biting off more than I could chew. I also am not a fan of cloves or clove cigarettes, so I was looking for something enjoyable that was not flavored with strong aromatics or sweet things. This tobacco was a perfect choice for me, and it was made based on the reviews from others. I would recommend this to any new smoker who is looking for something that is not too strong but, at the same time, is not designed to taste like something other than tobacco. Experienced smokers should disregard this review in favor of others, as I have an undeveloped palate and am just getting started. I don't know if it is common to need to relight the pipe often when smoking slowly, and so I will say that I do have to do that with this tobacco. Also, most of my pipes take a filter, and I am using Savinelli balsa's. I have one other tobacco that I find very similar called Frog Morton On the Bayou, and it claims to be a Balkan blend.

3 people found this review helpful.

Hunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hunter (54)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild Tolerable

One of my favorite Latakia blends. As with most Latakias, this is probably not something to smoke in a car or other confined space with a loved one. Overall however, the Virginia adds a nice touch to this and I find it a go-to Latakia for me. Maybe not the most memorable smoke in one's collection, but a solid, pleasant pipe.

Pipe Used: Meer, briar, cob

Age When Smoked: New tin

Purchased From: C'Ville pipe shop

2 people found this review helpful.

guitar2mw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
guitar2mw (92)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I've been looking at this tobacco for a long time. For some reason, I was drawn to it; perhaps it was the rustic look of the label or the name. At any rate, I pulled the trigger on a tin of it and I must say that it isn't bad. Upon opening the tin, I was a bit afraid of smoking it. It smelled a bit musty, which is an instant turn-off for me. I left the tin open for a couple of hours and the mustiness subsided.

I packed a bowl in my Sasieni and went to puffing. I had to relight several times, which doesn't bother me, but yet I did notice it. The smoke was rich and full of flavor. The first half of the bowl allows the Latakia and the Orientals to take center stage. There is a definite presence of smokiness, and the Orientals give it a spicy note instead of a floral note. It mellows out around mid-bowl and calms down quite a bit, allowing the darker Virginias more room to sweeten things up a bit.

I like heavy English blends on cold, snowy mornings on my ride to work. This one is something I will consider keeping in my rotation. I think it will age nicely. If you like sticking your head into a camp fire, grab this stuff.

Pipe Used: Brebbia, Sasieni, various other briars

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

tleek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tleek (51)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

This blend is not bad. The majority of the flavor comes from the latakia, but the strong presence of Virginia is always noticeable. The orientals also come through strong. Every ingredient in this blend is very noticeable, and mixes to create an odd, musty, smoky sweet sort of taste. More smokey-sweet than anything.

Burns pretty cool, and has a decent flavor, however it is a little hard for me to keep lit, but all Mcclelland tobaccos are, so must just be me.

I dont know why but it seems like a smoke for foggy/rainy days.

2 people found this review helpful.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

A true classic English mixture, masterly balanced to provide a rich, smoky and sweet smoke. Hard to tell wether I like this one or the Syrian version better. Both are really great!

2 people found this review helpful.

Planet Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Planet Scott (66)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This one has taken awhile for me to warm up to, however I have and I really like it. A big lat hit, but not overwhelming. The Turkish and Orientals provide a nice balance and the Virginias are the glue that holds it all together. Rich, luscious, smoky and overall wonderful.

Age When Smoked: At least three years old.

1 person found this review helpful.

Stinkypipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stinkypipe (155)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend truly gets better with age. Out of the tin it is a nice smoke but give it a few years aging and it is an unbelievable blend. It really gets much sweeter with much more complex flavors. This blend is truly one of a kind. Nothing is exactly like it and the flavor is simply a Latakia lovers dream.

1 person found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (217)
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

When I first opened a tin of this I was not pleased with a strong stench of what I took to be a heavy handed application of the so-called condiment, Liquid Smoke, aka "Barbeque Sauce". I hate any trace of this stuff, and here it is the main thing going on, IMO, a pox on this blend. Is this "Latakia"? I think not! I spread the tobacco on blotter paper and aired it until the "smoke" smell lightened up, a couple of days. As with most McC blends, I had to re-light often when smoking it, but the smell and taste of this stuff isn't so bad, once the BBQ thing was throttled back. Jarring and cellaring have helped it quite a bit. I still smoke it occasionally, and it has become more and more like a decent (if weak) Balkan as it ages. 2 stars it is, due to aging "potential".

Update: 10-08-13: While the Liquid Smoke topping smell has finally about worn off, it appears that any "Latakia" aroma and taste went with it. Basically, any tobacco flavor TOO starts out with seems to diminish over time, once the tin is cracked. Since I only had time for one bowl, I did not even want to smoke it. I dumped it out, and I was left with an unpleasant, oily aftertaste that went on to ghost the next tobacco I put in the pipe. I'm presently stuck with the worm of an idea that part of the problem is propylene glycol; but another problem for me is that there's not much going on here, otherwise, either.

Pipe Used: various briars

Age When Smoked: young-ish to 4 years +

Purchased From: Liberty Tobacco

Similar Blends: Lots of weak, vapid, me-too "English/Balkan" blends.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A nice blending of good-bodied tobaccos with a delicious tin aroma. Not sweet.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Very nice blend here one of my favorites.

I prefer the Syrian version but i make sure to have both on hand

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Yes, it is what the tin description says.


First of all, this is my first McClelland blend so far. I read somewhere that the ketchup/vinegar kind of sour tin aroma is they're signature thing, something about preservatives they are using on the tobacco. Might be, but it's not very pleasant. Yes it's cool-smoking from the tin. But, it still gives me some tongue bite. Drying doesn't help. So, I guess it's the virginias they use. I can't say that I like this stuff too much. However, it's never a boring smoke. You get a different dominating component with each puff. And every time I smoke it seems to be a different experience.

2.7 stars

1 person found this review helpful.

Rustedrailsmokes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rustedrailsmokes (293)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Strong

My notes are from a 2017 which I popped after 5 years in the tin.

I'd been having a hankering for a Latakia forward blend for those times when I'm desiring it.

Even though this has McClellan Virginia the tin notes was smoky not mcketchup. Freshly popped it took a couple of lights to get going but with a little drying it's an easy blend to smoke. The Latakia leads the way with guest appearances by the other condiments. I find each bowl a little different depending on the ribbon mix on it.

I'm not a huge English smoker but this one nicely fits that niche in my rotation and I wish I'd picked up a few more tins before it became unavailable.

Pipe Used: Dunhill 1971

Age When Smoked: 5 years

Purchased From:

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