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The finest ripe, dappled orange and red Virginia leaf is first caked, then gently spun into ribbon for a smoke sure to be in the Virginia lover's regular rotation. The exceptional flavor curve develops from zesty to sweet, rich and deep. You will count each bowl you smoke as time well spent.

Notes: Originally introduced in May, 1994 for the Chicagoland Pipe Collectors' Club, is now part of the Club Blends Series.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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Mild to Medium
None Detected
Room Note

Favorite Of 5 Users

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

Wow, first review of this??

The first thing I thought of while smoking this is that it's a higher octane version of #5100 Red Cake. There is some truth to that, but it doesn't really describe this one as well as it could. I found this one less sweet than 5100 and with a spiciness and depth of flavor that 5100 cannot match.

Tin moisture was perfect for me - no drying out needed. For a virginia, that is rare. And as much as I love flakes, I can definitely appreciate a nice ribbon VA! No problems with bowl loading, this one lights easily and stays lit. I had no issues with anything resembling tongue bite or burn.

The tin description says "zesty" and that is spot on. This isn't a dark tobacco but it has the richness and allure of dark VA's. I didn't get nearly as much sweetness from this that I was expecting but the tobacco was better for it... deeper and more complex. This is also one of those tobaccos that makes DGT so satisfying. Try this if you think straight virginias hold no further mystery for you. You'll be surprised! This tobacco is headed for my cellar!

12 people found this review helpful.

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

I am just finishing another bowl of this fine tobacco in one of my favorite pipes, an old Sasieni Four Dot Canadian, an heirloom pipe from one of my oldest friends.

If you do not like straight Virginia tobacco, you will not like this. This one is excruciatingly high in sugar, but is not syrupy sweet. It is what I would call high on the flavor tones, if you smoke it too fast, it will bite. If you take your time and savor you will be in for a flavor treat. I would put it up against the old 1983 McCranie's Red Ribbon, in some ways, it is identical, given age, it should mellow in the tin and gain some balance.

The taste of Rich Virginia Ribbon is as you would expect from the name. It is very rich. It burns well, and the flavor is consistent to the bottom of the bowl. The novice pipe smoker might not like this and those who disdain Virginias ought to stay away from it, except that many of the Virginias on the market that are not McClelland tobaccos usually have some sort of casing or topping and this one clearly does not.

To those that smoke McClelland 5100 Virgina Cake or McCranie's Red Ribbon, I strongly recommend it. I give it 5 stars but I can only give it four.

9 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3022)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

The "vinegar" McClelland taste isn't strong nor does it last very long. You can tell the tobaccos were aged as a cake as I get a little essence of fermentation. The red Virginia is less sweet than it is in Red Cake, but it is tangy with dark fruit notes, and some earth. The orange Virginia is fruity and a little earthy, and may be what is providing the very minor spice and wood hits. There is a depth of rich flavor more noticeable than Red Cake, and it's just a little more complex, too. Has a mild nic-hit. No chance of bite here. May need a little dry time, but it burns clean, cool and fairly smooth, and leaves little moisture in the bowl. Requires an average number of relights. Has a very pleasant after taste. Can be an all day smoke.


6 people found this review helpful.

Lit a Kia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lit a Kia (69)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Wow...beautiful red Virginias. Fermented fruit tin note. Ribbons can be a bit long, but easy to work with. Like a lot of McClelland blends, a bit of drying time helps. Once underway, stays lit with no difficulty. Beautiful, creamy smoke.

The flavor is incredible; a bit complex, but sublime. This might sound weird, but it brought to mind a gourmet meal: imagine a perfectly cooked filet mignon in a mushroom burgundy sauce, some toast points, hint of cherry compote, and a top-shelf cabernet to wash it all down. I'm finally beginning to appreciate VA-centric blends.

Despite the richness, it doesn't overpower. For all-day smokers and Virginia lovers, this should fit the bill. Think it would cellar well too.

P.S. Agree with Mr. Big's take--no need to sip this stuff, puff away.

Pipe Used: Big Ben

Age When Smoked: < 1 year

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Syrian Star without the Latakia.

5 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (321)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Initially,this tobacco was a major disappointment. Reading the description, this sounded like it could be another version of a McC's " Christmas" blend, which I generally find very good. The initial light was good , but in a few more puffs, it went flat. I was smoking this with very small sips and there was a total lack of sweetness and flavor. I said to myself , " Ok maybe I'm just looking for "high notes" and I should be looking for more " base notes", but they weren't there either, it was totally bland, I was ready to rate this a 1 star. Upon reviewing the other reviews, I thought must have gotten a bad tin?

A few hours later, I decided to try this again. This time I smoked more aggressively , with a long draw and a hotter pipe. The flavor jumped forth , NO bite, no bitterness . Yes zesty, and a nice base note. I do recommend you try a more aggressive technique than with other Virginias . Oh , I also detect a very slight , "Lakeland Floral" taste on the first 1/3 of the bowl, but you really have to look for it.

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: 1 year old tin

5 people found this review helpful.

O'Confrère Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
O'Confrère (40)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

There aren't many tobaccoes, if any, that I enjoy more. From time to time you discover a tobacco that makes you ask, "Why smoke anything else?" This is one of those.

These short, springy, spun ribbons are easy to pack and burn beautifully. Predominantly dark brown in color with some lighter strands, the dappled orange and red leaf has darkened considerably. It has the familiar McClelland smell of acetic acid and clove oil. RVR's moisture level is such that it can be smoked directly after opening, but I prefer it just a tad dryer. Bought a bunch of this when it was re-released in 2010. It is developing beautifully and promises to be phenomenal in 2015+!

Producing a lot of dense, savory smoke, it develops depth and richness which are complemented, at first, by an invigorating tanginess, and later, by a subtle herbal complexity.

If smoked slowly the flavor development seems to take the following course, with depth and richness increasing noticably all the while: At the match it is soft and alluring, developing tanginess relatively quickly. Then a certain sweetness and fruitiness emerge as the tanginess diminishes. As the slow burn stoves the tobaccoes below the danger of tongue bite (which was minimal to begin with) passes and the sweetness subsides into rich earthiness. It becomes more full- bodied, robust and substantial, perhaps a bit 'woodsy,' with a wealth of subtle herbal elements, and, yes, remarkably rich! And yet, in spite of the richness of the finish, it leaves the mouth feeling very clean. This is what smoking Virginias is all about! And it is one relaxing and thoroughly satisfying smoke!

I only have one question: how can this be only the third review of such an exceptional tobacco?!?

Very, very highly recommended!

Pipe Used: Several. All reserved for Virginias w/out topping.

5 people found this review helpful.

cakeanddottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cakeanddottle (105)
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is really a genius blend. Think Blackwoods Flake deconstructed, and better. I don't dry this at all, and I think it smokes better with a little firmer pack. The description says orange and red Va's, or I would have sworn stoved black was a component. Tart and sweet Va and darker sugar sweet Va in perfect harmony. There is a perfect balance of sweet and spice to my palate, and it lands just to the sweet side of the scale. There is no condiment leaf that could have improved this. It's a magical pairing of two tobaccos combined in exactly the right proportions. I find it a little more full flavored as McClelland Va's go. I think it stands proud against the best of the flakes. It really is a super sleeper Va and I think it is one of pipe smoking's best kept secrets, hence 4 stars.

Age When Smoked: 5 years

4 people found this review helpful.

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

A real sleeper, IMO. I appreciate a stronger Virginia and this beautifully put together ribbon contains several grades of the leaf and a natural sweetness and strength combination that I enjoyed. I am currently so enamored with the Red Black that McClelland's has produced that I seldom wander away from it, but this CPCC revival was worth the trip to another tin. I need to buy more!


4 people found this review helpful.

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

After reading the glowing review of fellow pipester DK, I had to try this blend, and I was not disappointed. The orange and red Virginias used are exceptional, and the flavors are extraordinary, especially considering how mild this blend is. For me, this is the perfect all day pleasure. It's only recently that I have discovered the joy of artisanal Virginia blends and McClelland are the very best. They take the art of Virginia blending to a level unmatched by any other. This is a perfect example of their expertise. It's hard to believe that an all virginia mixture this mild, can be so nuanced.

Purchased From:

4 people found this review helpful.

Eric Cioe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eric Cioe (37)
Very Mild Very Mild Mild Very Pleasant

I bought a couple tins of this with high expectations. It seemed right up my alley, but it just didn't click for me.

The ribbon cut is really consistent, which makes packing easy. Sometimes I packed as is, but more often I rubbed it out for better consistency of burn.

It seemed to be full of moisture and it never really went away, so I'm guessing there's some amount of propylene glycol present. I tried drying it out, but it didn't seem to change the taste or burn too much.

There was an overwhelming note of nougat here for me. Overwhelming. I'm not super big on sweet Virginias, preferring more zesty and tangy flavors, so my taste here may be out of the ordinary. It seemed like it had to be lightly topped with something to amplify that flavor, which rode roughshod over the more standard McClelland red and orange Virginia palette.

I smoked through one tin and traded the other away. I can see how others enjoy this blend, but it simply isn't for me. I'll still to my Full Virginia Flake.

Pipe Used: Lots of them

Age When Smoked: One year

2 people found this review helpful.

CTpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTpipe (2)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is a tasty blend. I had the tin in my cellar for less than a year. The tobacco did I not require any drying. It smoked all the way to the bottom with no relights after a few charring lights. I found the tobacco very flavorful and without bite. Smoked slowly or puffed frequently, still no bite...the flavor did change slightly, but still tasted great. If you love Virginias, you will enjoy this blend. This is a good tobacco. A must try. I will get more. Overall, I would say this is 3.5 stars out of 4, but that is not an option that I see available.

Pipe Used: Abe Herbaugh Rhodesian

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

Aurorasofautumn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Aurorasofautumn (38)
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

No longer available - this one for me was the apotheosis of red virginia leaf in ribbon form. Easy to pack, easy to light and possessing great subtlety and depth. What's not to like? 4/4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

McQueen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
McQueen (41)
Mild Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

Can’t improve much on what DK has said. This is an outstanding sleeper blend that is now gone forever. If 5100 is sweet, this is its savory “yang”. It’s just as it says, Rich. I smoked a gifted ounce of this and now I will be on the hunt for more . Burns fantastic, smells great, and comes at the perfect moisture level in the tin. Love it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.