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The traditional medium Balkan mixture in its top form. Zesty lemon and orange Virginias are blended with rich Cyprian latakia and the finest Greek Basma, then aged to develop this naturally fragrant complex and harmonious Oriental mixture. An invigorating tobacco, both satisfying and refreshing.

Notes: Originally introduced in November, 1989 for the Greater Kansas City Pipe Club, is now part of the Club Blends Series.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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Mild to Medium
None Detected
Room Note
Pleasant, Pleasant to Tolerable
7 reviews
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Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As you would imagine the Oriental leads here. It's nutty, leathery, and woody. The Latakia is light and seems to add little more than smoke. Might be a woody note from them, but hard to tell with a similar note from the Oriental. The Virginias add just a touch of sweetness and a very mild grassy note. Not an outstanding smoke, but a consistent and reliable one. It smoked pretty much the same in clay, cob, or briar. Closer to 3 stars than 2 so 3 it is.

Mild to medium in body and flavor. For best burn dry it a little.

Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman, clay Gouda, Stanwell 54

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

4 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This review is based on a smaller sample than I would usually smoke before a review so take that into consideration. This was a 1 oz. gift and it arrived drier than I usually find McClellend tobacco's. That may have been why the typical vinegar smell(not an issue for me) found in McClellend blends was much lighter than usual. This is a very good medium English blend that would make a great afternoon or all day smoke. English Woods has a slight nutty flavor and a slight underlying sweetness. It is less sweet than Old Dog or Legends. The flavors are somewhat complex and well balenced Oriental but with no particular tobacco taking a very dominate role. It packs well and leaves a nice white ash. I would smoke this blend on occasion, but not as a regular part of my rotation. Those that enjoy McClellend English blends should make a point to add a few tins to their cellar and I am surprised that it hasn't been reviewed more often. Recommended.

4 people found this review helpful.

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

With McClelland's co-owner Mike McNiel being a member of the Greater KC Pipe Club, I never worry whether one of their McClelland's Club Blends will be worth the coin spent. He always makes sure the selections are of great quality and this one certainly has it all. Nicely ripened and specially processed Virginia plays softly in the background with the smoky Cyprian Latakia and delicate but firm and spicy Orientals also in attendance. Just a wonderful smoke and worth ever penny spent.


3 people found this review helpful.

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

A sample of this blend was gifted to me by a kind friend in our online tobacco group. This is my first Balkan being more accustomed to straight Vas, Burleys and some Englishes. This was very fragrant in the pouch, sweetish, some latakia and a touch of vinegar. The bowl lit up well and the volume of smoke was wonderful. The smoke was semi-sweet and flowery with the latakia ever present in the background. Burned well and very satisfying...the Orientals were a nice change of pace for me, very nice.

2 people found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (209)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is by my own understanding of the genre, a true Balkan blend. Virginia, Orientals and the barest whisper of Latakia. It is light and lemony with a fresh acidity and some sparse herbal notes. Has the usual McC acetic tin note but this does not reflect in the actual smoking.

Not particularly complex or deep.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Very ribbony brown-to-black with an extremely faint tin aroma for a Balkan. Balkans tend to jump out with strong scents of orientals and latakia but this one is very laid back. Then again, when I bought it, I wasn't expecting a latakia/oriental powerhouse but instead McClellands usual take on the venerable Balkan.

In the pipe, this same latakia and oriental reticence remained. The orientals were just a bit forward for the entire bowl and the latakia and Virginias both stayed well to the rear. Comparing this to Balkans like GLP's Charing Cross for example is a study in deep contrasts. The GLP is feisty, strong and potent while this one is mellow and kind of sleepy. However, the distinctive flavor that says "Balkan!" to me is very much in evidence - just toned down. The Basma was herbaceous and spicy-rich, the Virginias were ever-so-slightly sweet and the latakia merged with the other two seamlessly. This blend is very well balanced. Ultimately that balance was a bit boring for me, as I found myself waiting for the flavor burst of a Sobranie White (which I knew would never come!). The unique Virginia processing done by McClellands doesn't seem to produce my favorite latakia blends as a rule, which is why this blending house is known for its stellar Virginia tobaccos. Then again, the smoker that wants those Balkan flavors but doesn't want to be overwhelmed by them should give this a try. Balance, mellowness, non-fatiguing and silently confident complexity make this one a winner. It's just not quite in my personal wheelhouse.

1 person found this review helpful.

Rustedrailsmokes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rustedrailsmokes (293)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

English Woods for me was one of the unsung heroes of the McClelland line. I was gifted some by someone who expected more of a traditional English by the name I guess and didn't care for it.

It is a Oriental Leading smoke to me for sure and I find it similar to other McC Balkan blends that I've had. Really easy to pack, light, and smoke it doesn't hit me with over the top latakia but is a nice spicy blend which I've really enjoyed in the evening after dinner.

I'd trade Frog Mortons for this any day of the week.

Pipe Used: Morgan Blackjack

Age When Smoked: 2 years+

Purchased From: Gift

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