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Handblended, premium pressed Virginia flake pipe tobaccos. A fine vintage, naturally sweet, in limited quantity.

Notes: From tin insert: We are proud to offer our 2014 Christmas Cheer pipe tobacco, an exceptionally fine vintage tobacco, hand blended and aged in pressed cakes to develop natural mellowness. This 2014 blend is made with a special selection of red flue-cured Virginia from an outstanding 2009 crop near Snow Hill, North Carolina. Superb sun-dappled leaf picked at peak ripeness, it is high in natural sugars, rich in oils. It should age extremely well in the tin. Each buying session, we look for tobaccos of exceptional quality and distinctive character. In various combinations their flavors, aromas, textures contribute to the overall excellence of all our products.

The leaves of different crops and regions are combined to maintain consistency from year to year.

With Christmas Cheer pipe tobacco, we treat our discriminating customers to the singular pleasure of a tasting of the very finest in tobaccos of a particular vintage, not worrying about maintaining the flavor and appearance of this product into future years but actually striving instead to present the unique character of a single crop and area.

That's what Christmas Cheer pipe tobacco is all about. Happy sampling!

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
CutBroken Flake
Packaging100 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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Mild to Medium
None Detected
Mild, Medium
Room Note
Very Pleasant, Pleasant

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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3050)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

The red Virginias have a tangy dried and ripe dark fruitiness from start to finish. There's some earthiness and a little spice all the way, too. The "vinegar" flavor seems a little more obvious to me than it does in some other years, but it's not distracting, and lessens as you go along. Burns slow with a clean, consistent flavor, requires relights, and will leave some moisture in the bowl. May need a little stirring up in the final quarter, depending upon if you dry it any and how tight you pack it. No bite and has no harsh, dull or weak moments. Has a mild nic-hit. An uncomplicated all day sweet smoke with a very pleasant after taste and room note.


8 people found this review helpful.

ptrthgr8 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ptrthgr8 (9)
Mild None Detected Mild Very Pleasant

This is simply a fantastic tobacco. I’ve been smoking cigars for over 20 years, but only recently (last two weeks) delved into the world of pipe smoking. This is the first non-aromatic Virginia blend I’ve smoked and I was so pleased with it I had to smoke another bowl nearly right away.

The smell from the tin is fairly intoxicating: rich raisin and spiced fruit notes and a fairly strong sweetness. It absolutely reminds me of a fruitcake aroma. I hate fruitcake (the candied fruit bits seem like something made from pure evil), but I love the aroma of fruitcake – especially while it’s baking in the oven. This 2014 Christmas Cheer reminds me of that a lot. I can clearly see why this is a Christmas blend.

The tobacco comes in a broken flake form, so it’s really easy to rub out whatever amount you need. It didn’t seem overly moist when I opened the tin, but I let it sit about 20 minutes after I rubbed it just to be certain. It was super easy to pack into the pipe, took the charring light without issue, and then remained lit for quite some time before needing to be tamped again. I only had to relight a couple of times; I found that simply tamping the tobacco was enough to keep the light going again. The volume of light blue/white smoke was visually appealing and the aroma was pleasantly sweet – the wifey commented upon it’s agreeable aroma before I had the chance to ask. The taste on the palate is rather light, which I imagine is to be expected from a Virginia blend like this. No tongue bite or any bitterness at all and even after smoking two bowls I didn’t have any sense of dry mouth. I drank an Alaskan Pumpkin Porter during the first bowl and plain water with the second. The Pumpkin Porter actually paired rather well with this tobacco since it’s not the heaviest of beers – an autumn beer and a Christmas tobacco. Seems like a pretty good pairing to me!

I smoked both bowls down as far as they would go. Fellow cigar smokers will understand since we’ve all smoked amazing cigars right down to the digit-scorching nub simply because we didn’t want the experience to end. I also noticed that this blend doesn’t seem to make the pipe smell bad at all. I didn’t do cleaning of the pipe after I was done, other than giving the bowl a gentle once-over with the scraper and dumping out the few bits of dottle. The next morning I picked up the pipe to give it a whiff and there really wasn’t any disagreeable smell. Sure, the aroma from the tobacco itself is far better, but I was surprised a little.

I understand that many pipe smokers snag as much of these McClelland Christmas Cheer offerings as possible for aging. I can see why! If it’s this good now, I can only imagine how good it will be a few years down the road! I’ve already placed another order for 5 more tins to keep on hand. Might just have to make it a Christmas tradition to open one tin each year.

I highly recommend this Christmas Cheer 2014 blend. Get it while you can!

Pipe Used: Peterson Aran (68) P-Lip

Age When Smoked: Freshly opened tin

Purchased From:

8 people found this review helpful.

ahmadyuzamir Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ahmadyuzamir (6)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

I received my shipment of this tobacco with high hopes that it would live up to the reputation of it/s predecessors. Being a Va lover, I was extremely delighted upon the ketchup tin note once I cracked open the lid. The presentation of the tobacco inside the tin is astounding and a sight to behold.

On with the fire, this blend lacked the initial sweetness that it's predecessors are well known for. I find that it has a more fuller body. I tried to give the blend several attempts in several different pipes. The sweetness yet remains to be found.

Perhaps I am foolish in hoping that a fresh tin would yield the exquisite smoking experience that I longed yielded for. I shall despair not and stash this blend in the cellar and revisit it at a much later period within my lifetime.

Thankfully within the same order, I have received GL Pease's JackKnife which at this point is turning out to be one of the sweetest Va blends I have tasted. As it is now, sadly I have to see this blend as Christmas Boo 2014..

Pipe Used: Various - briars and cobs

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

5 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (633)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I won't go too in to depth on this as I have already done so in my reviews of the 2012 and 2013 versions, but having just finished my tin of 2014 I thought I would just emphasize my enthusiasm for this series.

I think this is just a great annual tradition by McClelland. I have seen CC referred to as the single malt of Virginia tobaccos and I think that is appropriate as it is all leaf from one crop. It is always fantastic and I suppose there are slight nuance differences from year to year, but it is beyond me to detect as it would require having open tins of the different years and doing back to back smokes of each, for me anyway.

I only have one tin of CC open at any given time. I have been buying two tins each year since 2012 as well as collecting tins from years past. I smoke one and cellar one and have been cellaring all the older ones I have been able to obtain. It has become a great tradition and almost another addictive form of TAD.

Anyway, if you like McClelland Virginias and haven't tried CC, you need to get with it. It is the flagship of their Virginias. Highly recommended every year.

4 people found this review helpful.

schramalam77 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
schramalam77 (2)
Very Mild Mild Very Mild Pleasant

Oh the annual Christmas blends. Love them or hate them, you have to try them.

I purchased this tin through Smoking pipes and couldn't have been happier with the presentation. The tin itself and its contents look amazing. I am one of those people who get a childlike euphoria when preparing to pop open the tin. It reminds me of when I was a child and I tore open my Christmas presents expectantly on Christmas morning. I usually purchase tobacco in bulk so when I do get a tin it's something special for me.

Upon opening the tin, I got just as excited as I had mentioned. The fragrance of the tobacco is mild but sweet. The smell truly does remind me of Christmas. Unfortunately, This is about where my excitement ended.

The tobacco itself is broken cut. Now to be fair, this is in the description of the product, but to me it seems like more of a lazy pain than a good way to prepare and preserve the tobacco. I am one to get frustrated with plug. It usually seems more trouble than it is worth. In this case I did my best to step beyond this and try to enjoy the smoke. I took the entire tin and rubbed the tobacco until it was loose and ready to smoke.

I packed a bowl in my Karl Erik pipe and lit it up as I normally do. Unfortunately again I was disappointed. The flavor was not as I had expected. It did have subtle flavoring and wasn't overpowering but it no longer reminded me of a Christmas blend. A good word to describe it would be "boring." The blend lacks the complexity of a solid smoke. The notes were too subtle for a Christmas blend and as a whole they were underwhelming. Overall, this tobacco is worth a smoke but maybe not worth smoking the entire tin.

Pipe Used: Karl Erik and Nording Freehands

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

4 people found this review helpful.

MAPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MAPiper (10)
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Usually blenders mix different crops of virginia leaf to maintain consistency. Not so with McClellands Christmas Cheer. It's one superior crop. It's like a single malt scotch. Each year has it's own character. Each is different and unique though it's always red virginia leaf. I think this concept is very cool. It makes collecting each year fun and exciting. I got a couple of tins of the 2014 last christmas. I smoked 2 and cellared 4. I'm really looking forward to cracking into another tin or two this christmas. I already bought a few tins of 2015 and I'm sure I'll buy more.

As for the smoke itself it's a spicy smooth red virginia. It's just natural tobacco with no added flavors as far as I can tell. McClelland has aged it 5 years already and it really shows. Some reviewers have complained that it's not sweet enough which may be partly true but I think this is some of the best quality leaf available. It doesn't get more artisan than this. Don't buy any. I want it all! I smoke in a meerschaum churchwarden which has become my christmas pipe. I find the meer a good way to get all of the tobacco flavor. Just sublime stuff.

Pipe Used: meer, briar

Age When Smoked: less than 1 year

2 people found this review helpful.

beercritic Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beercritic (33)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

Damn it, I only bought one tin. I won't make that mistake in future years. My first taste of red Virginia & this tobacco. Farm fruity, simply elegant and delicious stuff. I generally go for Nicotine and/or Latakia. Moist from the tin, it does require substantial drying. Wow!

The 2015 has been released. I snagged 7 tins. Puffing my first bowl right now. And I've acquired a meer. Lovely stuff.

Pipe Used: Cob and Meer.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: P&C & Smokingpipes.

2 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (321)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

An OK vintage, but I expected more from McC. Not alot of McC Vinegar, however, I happen to like McC Vinegar, gives that sweet and sour touch. My main problem is this is all base notes ,without the high notes and not enough sweetness, making this kind of bland for me. It just doesn't have that "twang". The taste is that "malty hay" somewhat similar to GLP's "Union Square" ( I like US better). It's got some "N" , It's smooth and without bite.

Tin says leaf is from a 2009 crop but I don't know when it was processed and tinned. Why do I bring this up, I feel it still needs a year or two of aging to bring out its best. Can you enjoy it now ? Yes, but I hope it will be better in a few years. I guess I'm spoiled by the 2013 Xmas edition that really improved with a year of age. This is 2 1/2 stars now, I'll see if in a year it gets the full 3

Revised 9/16/2015 - I'm willing to give this the full 3 stars. I find this an easy smoke with zero bite. This vintage reminds me of GLP's Union Square, malty and mostly base notes. Tin improves as it breathes.

Pipe Used: egg cob

Age When Smoked: 2months open/ 1 year

Similar Blends: maybe? Union Square or 2012 Christmas Cheer.

2 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30194)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I never really got on the Christmas Cheer bandwagon, since my tobacco smoking and my wallet don't have what it takes for building cellars of distinguished vintages. I was recently able to trade a bag of Esoterica for tins of CC 2014 and 2015 just to see what the fuss was about.

I figured I'd start with the oldest blend, although one year is apparently nothing in terms of how long you're supposed to age Christmas Cheer. What I found was a fairly standard looking McClelland flake accompanied by a strong smell of fermentation. The flakes had some color variation and came at an acceptable moisture, but a couple hours dry time didn't hurt anything either.

It smokes very cool and clean, and for the most part tastes like good red Virginia tobacco and not much else. I was a little surprised at how long it takes the flavor to deepen as the bowl stoves, it doesn't really get that big until the last 15% maybe? But it does get to tasting full at the end. There are never sharp flavor transitions, just a constant and slow deepening until the bottom of the pipe.

This is really high quality red VA tobacco pressed and prepared flawlessly. It's a little boring at this age, and lacking some flavor that a blend made to be smoked immediately might have, but I can't review it based on the future. It's very good, but doesn't have the complexity to be the first straight VA flake I reach for.

This sort of thing is probably best left to the folks who have the time, money, and faith in the future to let it sit for 5 or 10 years.

Pipe Used: basket pipe

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30194)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Chestnut brown broken flakes with the familiar tin aroma of ripe, matured Virginia that only McClellands seems able to produce. Came overly moist in the tin and I let this dry out thoroughly for bowls subsequent to my very first. Easy to rub out and load.

First bowl smoked after about half an hour airing out was very good but still a bit on the steamy side, with somewhat dulled flavors. Properly dried to just this side of brittle, this was the epitome of what a straight red Virginia should be but very seldom is... a crisp, refreshing invigorating smoke without too much of an emphasis on "tang" and not too sweet. And definitely not boring as too many reds can be. This had a nice underlying spice and a bracing flavor, but not overly heavy. Excellent mouthfeel and body as well. Complexity was on the lower end but it had enough going for it to make it more interesting than a one-trick pony. But the point of this one for me is its balanced flavor that gets just a bit spicier and richer as you progress down the bowl until that last 1/4 or so where you just don't want it to end. If it were a heavy tobacco, it would probably tend to wear the smoker out. This one is as perfect a red as I've ever tasted, and for my money one of the finest if not the finest representation of a straight, uncomplicated, un-messed with, unflavored red Virginia tobacco. As always, if you're tasting "ketchup" or "vinegar", you're not properly prepping this. Dried correctly, this smokes very dry and leaves no moisture in the bowl. I usually only buy 2-3 tins of each CC release but somehow ended up with 6 of these. Sometimes being lucky trumps being smart, as I don't know why I bought more than usual. But I'm extremely happy, no matter how it happened. Once again, McClellands seems to be first in line for the best Virginia tobaccos to be had, and presents them to the smoker in an expert fashion. Four stars x 1000!

1 person found this review helpful.

huffnpuff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
huffnpuff (53)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

Opening the tin has that familiar vinegar ketchup smell but not as strong on this blend. Nice thick flakes . I cut into small chunks and gravity fed the pipe . Charred it a few times but stayed lit for a long time until bowl was finished. Smoke was like a creamy flavor with a zing flavor and some notes of natural animal fertilizer kind of gave it a robust smoke. For a Virginia it doesn't bite unless you smoke a short pipe. I usually smoke vaper but this is good earthy fuller flavor Virginia . I bought two tins and will buy more for aging. I paired it with an IPA beer very nice.

Pipe Used: 2 grawbow billards

Age When Smoked: fresh open tin

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

Kunsan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kunsan (76)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I have great regard for McClelland's tobaccos which are usually of high quality. So I had high hopes for this Christmas Cheer. Nice packaging and presentation with a wonderful deep grassy hay aroma in the tin. Smell reminded me of Escudo.

However the smoking experience was a disappointment. No taste. Unlike Escudo which has that same deep grassy hay small in the taste, this Christmas Cheer is tasteless and a rather plain uninteresting smoke. Half way through the pipe some tastes and smells start to appear but they are very subdued.

I didn't enjoy this tobacco which is a surprise given that it's a McClellan edition.

I should add that I don't usually like pure virginia anyway, most of which just remind me of cigarettes. I imagine if I keep searching I'll find one that gives that deep grassy wet hay smell in the taste and smoke smell, but this Christmas Cheer doesn't achieve that. Escudo comes close, but this one doesn't.

Edit: I tried smoking this one again, intrigued by the fact that all these Christmas Cheer issues seem to get high votes and are highly regarded. I loaded my pipe straight with the flakes (no rubbing or anything) then I smoked it slowly. New to virginias, I didn't realise that they have to be smoked very slowly to get the full range of tastes. Smoke too quickly and many of them become just tasteless and hot. So I took this one very slowly. And I mean VERY slowly, just sipping the pipe once the stuff was fully lit. Using this slow technique I got a different result - I could taste and enjoy the subtle flavors of fermented hay and horse manure. I'm looking forward to trying this one again now that I've found the proper technique.

1 person found this review helpful.

GabrielCRT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GabrielCRT (115)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Smoking these 2009 Red Virginias in 2020. When I first tried 2014’s Christmas Cheer the sugar content seemed extremely high and prone to biting the tongue. 11 years of age have treated this tobacco very well. It’s sweet, but balanced with tangy fruit notes and a mild spice. The smoke is very smooth with no bite or rough edges throughout the bowl. The vinegar (ketchup) aroma in the tin that I used to despise is still present but no longer distracting. I’ve always loved the room note of Christmas Cheer. I’ll be sad to finish the tin, but can live with C&D’s Carolina Red Flake as a superior replacement.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PyrateMate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PyrateMate (6)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Very Pleasant

A very nice blend with a years age! I received this one year ago and only smoked it occasionally over the year, but, not for the last several months. Now for the Holiday Season I am one again enjoying the wonderful flavors of this blend. With the age it seems sweeter than when first opened. The broken flake has dried some but still has a lot of flexibility to it. Separates easily and rubs out to a nice loose semi-ribbon and crumble. Lights evenly, stays lit, takes a soft tamp and continues to burn well with a sipping draw. Not hot and without any bite at all. I look forward to cellaring some of this for next year but, not before enjoying it through the holidays this year first.

Pipe Used: Several different bents

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From:

Nobody has rated this review yet.

riobrew Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
riobrew (80)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I've smoked half the tin and saving the rest for winter. This is a great straight forward Virginia. Smokes to a nice clean white ash. Saving my 2013 for 2018. Hoping to get 2015 before it's all good. These are great tobacco. Need to get at least 2 tins. One to try and one to cellar.

Pipe Used: Peterson Aran 606 Pot

Age When Smoked: One year

Purchased From:

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30194)
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

This stuff is excellent. It's tangy and spicy red virginia. Reviewers have been saying that it's not very sweet but I disagree. I don't know what they're used to smoking but I think it tastes sweet. All I smoke are virginias so I'm an easy sell but I think most pipers would absolutely love this tobacco.

I won't go into the tin moisture level. You can figure that out on your own.

It's great that McClelland makes this single leaf, single origin blend. The tin insert says that they usually blend different leaf to maintain consistency. With Christmas Cheer however they use one leaf type from one farm/area. It's like a single malt scotch! Very cool. Each year should be different and unique. '14 is my first and I look forward to buying some each year. Happy Holidays!

Pipe Used: briars, meers

Age When Smoked: new (five years aged already by mcclelland!)

Purchased From: B&M

Similar Blends: blackwoods flake, hall o' the wind.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Old Tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old Tom (1)
Mild None Detected Mild Very Pleasant

Another excellent blend from McClelland. I've gone through four tins of this blend and I'm working on one right now. I have one cellared for smoking after five years of aging. I'll buy another tin to smoke through the holidays along with a tin of an older year which is my tradition.

Pipe Used: '80's Estate Peterson Donegal Rocky XL264

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Briar and Bean, Clarksville, Tn.

Nobody has rated this review yet.