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Straight red Virginia from the Old Belt. A flake version of Red Ribbon. A single crop allotment that is simply the best. 2008 Crop from North Carolina.

Notes: Fourth version of the Red Flake imprint. Previous versions used crops of 1983, 1996, and the 2000 vintages.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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None Detected
Mild to Medium, Medium
Room Note
5 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2933)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

The red Virginia is richly tangy ripe dark fruity with some earth, wood, sugar, light bread, and a small touch of spice. A hint of vinegar quickly vanishes. Not much complexity, but that's the way red Va.s are. The strength and taste levels are medium. The nic-hit is in the center of mild to medium. No bite or harshness is present here. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace for a flake with a consistently smooth, creamy sweet taste. Has a lightly lingering, pleasant after taste and room note. Leaves just a little moisture at the finish, and needs a few relights. I really couldn't tell much difference between this and the vintage 2000 version. Nor could I really tell much difference between this and the 2008 ribbon version, except for this has a tiny bit more depth of flavor. Can be an all day smoke.


13 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (393)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Mine came as a mostly broken flake and I rubbed it out. My sample was at a good state of hydration - maybe a little on the dry side of perfect. Pouch note was slightly tart fruit.

Smoked, this was a very good red Va. It was sweet and earthy. Exhaling through the nose gave some spicy tickle. For me this is a smoke about like 5100 - a good, solid red Va. There is maybe more of a dark fruit in the flavor than 5100, but they are cousins. Puffing brought out the tart.

This delivers a long smoke, and the pressing seems to have left it fairly dense even when rubbed out. It was easy to keep lit, and the flavor was consistent to the bottom of the bowl.

This is good, and the eight years of age can't have hurt it. If someone offers you a bowl, go for it. For me it is not worth seeking out. if I had a case of it on a desert island, I would smoke a lot of it and be very grateful.

5 people found this review helpful.

Blew_Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blew_Smoke (3)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

This tin had to grow on me. I was going thru a phase where I only wanted to smoke lat bombs, and this one was stowed away and nearly forgotten in my desk. At first puff, I thought it lacked flavor. When I came back to it a couple of months later, tired of living and breathing latakia all the time, I found red flake to be refreshing. It reminds me very much of sweet tea with a lemon wedge in that there is a lot of natural sweetness and a little citrus, and a mild and comforting flavor. Some don't like to rub out a broken flake, but I enjoy it. I think it holds the flavor in and I like having the option to include a variety of sizes of flake pieces in the bowl. I don't believe the ribbon cut would have held the flavor in my desk drawer the way the flake did for a couple of months. Red Flake has become my go to smoke in the mornings with my coffee. They just go together beautifully. There is a little moisture toward the bottom of the bowl, but not at all too much. I had 15 tins of various latakia mixtures and I have set them all to the side to finish the tin of red flake. After running out, I tried to go back to the lat bombs, but couldn't. I made my way back to McCranies today and picked up another tin, along with some other virginias. I believe my taste-tides are turning towards this sweet leaf and McCranies red flake was the turning point. 4 stars all day for the sweet, reliable flavor that doesn't change, and for pulling me back in!

Pipe Used: Cob/Clay/Churchill

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Purchased From: McCranie's Charlotte NC

4 people found this review helpful.

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

Not as much depth as the original or 2000 version, but that may just be the fact that it has not been given the time to age a lot. However, much sweeter than the 83 crop and lighter in nicotine than the 2000 crop. Another truly enjoyable Red Virginia smoke for those who appreciate top shelf single crop Virginia.


4 people found this review helpful.

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

I bought this leading up to the days when all McClelland blends were gone for good. I got 5 tins. I just opened my first tin, and I've smoked this faster than any tobacco, ever.

I thought Butera Golden Cake would be my all time favorite McClelland, but this, this is just amazing. It makes me really happy that I loaded up on Christmas Cheer and a bunch more of their Virginias before they were gone for good.

Red Flake is strawberry pie sweet, with a big, almost but not quite acidic, twang. Slightly earthy tobacco body, and there is nothing about this that feels lightweight to me. It's the same from start to finish. It doesn't develop. There isn't a ton of nuance. What it has to give is so good you don't care about all that. I'm sure once I get into the Christmas Cheers I have cellared this one won't remain on my favorites list, and that makes me very happy indeed. I have some awesome tobacco to look forward to.

I smoke this and I feel like I have the privilege to enjoy tobacco the like of which the world will never see again. Sell your McClelland tins if you like. I am smoking every last gram.

1 person found this review helpful.