best smelling pipe tobacco

Tobaccos McClelland – Best of Show (Premium Aromatic)

A blue ribbon blend of Americas finest tobaccos. You’ll judge it full flavored, satisfying, mild. We have polished it off with nougat flavoring. Tastefully opulent. A winner.

Brand McClelland
Blended By McClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Black Cavendish, Burley, Cavendish, Virginia
Flavoring Nougat, Sherry, Whisky
Cut Coarse Cut
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country US
Production No longer in production
Where to Buy

Favorite Of 4 Users

I just bought this tobacco today from Grant’s in San Francisco and I must say it is a very high quality tobacco. I loaded the tobacco in my Tonni Nielsen Ebony and Boxwood Calabash pipe. The first bowl had a problem with staying lit but burned with several relights just the same and had a nice flavor and aroma.

I let the pipe cool off for a while and decided to repack it again and then just let it sit for about 30-minutes. I lit up the pipe and bingo, the flavor was very mild, sweet and creamy with a sweet tobacco foundation that burned very smoothly and did not bite one bit. The aroma was absolutely wonderful! As I walked around the city today I had several people walk behind me sniffing the wonderful aroma and whisperring of how good it smelled.

For the immature wankers who knock this blend stating how it is terrible and smells bad, slow down and try to enjoy the smoking experience. Don’t drag like a Hoover or huff and puff like the big bad wolf looking for a strong nicotine hit. It will burn lousy, taste awful and smell terrible. And again for the wankers who state it is full of humectants? Humectants are in cheap drug store tobaccos NOT quality blends such as this. And brsides, pipe smoking is not about the nicotine; it’s about the pleasure derived in the flavor and aroma of the tobacco in times of leisure and relaxation.

For those who have insipid expectations of a nicotine fix and smoke to exasperate all those around them, they should simply stick to cigarettes.

I highly recommend this blend to new smokers looking for a high quality aromatic and for people who know how to smoke and enjoy the pipe experience.

7 people found this review helpful.

One of my favorite aromatics. I usually keep a tin or two in my rotation. Not overpoweringly topped, but the nougat is very noticeable both in taste and in room note. Like most McClelland aromatics, the balance in this blend is outstanding with little or no bite. I find it burns relatively cool and reduces down to fine ash with little goop in the bowl. An all-day aromatic.

6 people found this review helpful.

First off I am a relatively new pipe smoker, but I have done quite a bit of research both hands on, through reading some very good books on the subject, talking to experienced pipe smokers, and a lot of time on the internet. I have tried well over a dozen aros, from cheap drugstore mixes to high end offerings from Boswell and Russ Ouellette, but nothing I have had has ever compared to McClelland Best of Show. It lights easily, burns all the way down with minimal relights, has one of the best room notes of any aro ( according to the wife). And according to reports from my father to whom I gifted some, it is the only tobacco that my mother ( who has drunk deeply from the second hand smoke Kool-aid cup) that she will actually encourage him to smoke in the house. It is my desert island tobacco. That is not to say I don’t enjoy non aros, in fact BoS is pretty much the only aro I regularly smoke. I really enjoy English, Vaper, burleys, and Balkans as well. Any well made quality tobacco I will make room for in my tobacco cabinet. Among my other favorites are Solani 656 aged burley flake, davidoff red mixture, frog Morton cellar, and dunhill flake among others, soon to be reviewed. My point is after reading so many reviews that started “I really don’t like aros but I am reviewing this aromatic anyway. and I never understood that.

Maybe it is because I am new and don’t have any preconceived notions, and after trying several dozen tobaccos of all different types, I like what what I like regardless of what is on the label.

And when I open a can of Best of Show, it’s like a whiff of nirvana, packing a pipe and lighting it up, It is the only aro that I can actually taste! Hints of caramel and brown sugar in my mouth. If I could only have two it would be BoS first and Frog Morton cellar second, I’d be a happy camper.

Pipe Used: Peterson Killarney straight, P-lip

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: 1 year old

5 people found this review helpful.

The unsweetened black cavendish has no vanilla notes, and is a minor player beyond adding a little smoothness as far as I can see, because I don’t really notice it much until the half way point. The cavendish is sweet, but sublimated. The same mostly goes for the burley, though I get a light nuttiness from it. The Virginia is dull with a “vinegar” note that fades soon, and a hint of grass. The stars are not the tobaccos as the toppings dominate. I believe it’s the sherry that adds an alcohol essence that I did not care for. The whiskey is faint. The nougat is the most obvious topping, but it’s just kind of “there”, and not enough “here”. The flavors somewhat fades toward the finish, though it burns well enough. Leaves just a little moisture, and does not bite. Has little nicotine. An all day smoke while you do routine work, but the taste doesn’t match the smell out of the tin in terms of flavor strength.

4 people found this review helpful.

An amazing tobacco! Very smooth, tasteful and well balanced. It has aromas of white chocolate and caramel with a hint of Sherry. It burns pretty well and it has a mellow taste of caramel. With low sweetness at the end. Highly recommend for aromatics fans, a piece of at.

Pipe Used: Peterson PSOI POY 2016 (XL15)

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Paulo Santiago

2 people found this review helpful.

Among aromatics, this is really something. Tin note and room note are hard not to enjoy and actually match the taste in the first half of a bowl. After that it’s like chocolate cream on toasted dark bread combined with sporadically appearing earthy tones.

Buttery smooth and too mild for after lunch/dinner, I like Best Of Show exclusively in the early mornings, when the taste buds are still sensitive. For that, and only that, it’s a winner to me.

Pipe Used: Various with and without filter

Age When Smoked: fresh to 2 yrs

2 people found this review helpful.

This, along with Boswell’s Christmas Cookie, has the most delectable pouch aroma of any standard aromatic pipe tobacco I have ever smoked. I found myself sniffing the opened tin very often. Absolutely wonderful aroma. Smells good enough to eat (but don’t!).

Taste-wise, I found this very ordinary. Unlike Tastemaster, this one did not rise above traditional flavored black cavendish based aromatics. The cut is a chunky ribbon, very black but with some flecks of lighter leaf. It burned very well and was mild to the tongue except when I puffed more vigorously – which is one way I taste test tobaccos in order to see how they behave in multiple situations. When puffed slowly and methodically, this was very mild and crossed well over into bland territory. There was an underlying sweetness (nougat, caramel, butterscotch, or some such) that was pleasant enough but too mild to really savor. When puffed a bit harder, the casing wore off too soon and the blend became harsh after about half a bowl. That’s typical of aromatics. Best to smoke them slowly and not overpuff, so as not to wrongfully expand the blend’s focus.

Room aroma was traditional black cavendish. The nougat scent got lost in the fog. Overall, a very ordinary experience. Not bad, but not repeatable.

2 people found this review helpful.

I wish I had known this was going the way of the dinosaurs, so that I could have bought a few tins. I won’t mis it too much however, as it was impossible to dry out fully.

It was one of the best nougat flavored blends available. The room note was of a strong peanut brittle cooking. As a result, everyone and their dog asked about it.

This tasted almost candy like but on the burnt peanut side.

I have only a half a tin left, and will hurry up and smoke it with a relish.

Pipe Used: No name oom paul.

Purchased From: Tinderbox

Similar Blends: Peter Stokkebye Nougat.

1 person found this review helpful.

This blend. Starting with the good. If your an aromatic smoker, you will find this room note to be amazing. The wife absolutely loved it. It was a cool smoke, and easy to light, which is not the case for all aromatics.

I did not appreciate how it was more overwhelming of the actual tobacco itself that mc does so well. It was a bit too much. The tobacco is not bold whatsoever. If that’s your thing look elsewhere.

If your looking for a good extra cased aromatic, this could be for you.

Pipe Used: H.I.S Egg, Peterson System (Bent), Cob

Purchased From: Various

1 person found this review helpful.

How this blend is called “Best in Show” is beyond me. Its rather flat, bland and just not really enjoyable. If you want to please others noses with no regard to your own enjoyment of what your smoking then this ones for you. It burns cool with no bite but also no flavor. However it smells fantastic so if the in-laws are coming and you’re looking to please them then give this one a go. Otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend it. After all smoking is a personal pleasure meant for personal enjoyment. So what’s the point if all the blend does is smell good to others? However I must admit I am not much of an aromatic smoker and maybe my aromatic palate has been destroyed by latakia, perique and flue cured tobaccos. So I’ll give it a two star rating instead of a one.

1 person found this review helpful.

Had a bowl of this lastnight and it was amazing. The tin didn’t say what leaf was in the blend, only that it had a nougat casing. I also detected a bit of caramel in the tin aroma and smoking flavor. Tasted like a nice pastry of some sorts. The tobacco burned very evenly and to the bottom of the bowl. No tongue bite or anything. One of the other pipe club members said it was “an aromatic for non-aromatic smokers”. Definitely recommend picking a tin of it up, especially if you’re looking for a good aromatic to please the wife and smoke inside.

1 person found this review helpful.

McCelland, in my opinion, is a maker of some of the most mellow aromatics around. This is no execption. Best of Show seems to be missing the vanilla notes common in other aromatics like Captain Black, Blue Note, etc. but makes up for it with the nougat flavoring, and it does taste like nougat. A smooth, cool smoke all around that is not much different than Town Topic (same base tobacco?) when the casing is taken out of consideration. Overall it’s cool, smooth like velvet, and rich – definately not something that is hot, bites, or pierces the tongue.

I like this particular blend much better than Town Topic’s uneventful Maple flavor.

1 person found this review helpful.

Best of Show was the other McClelland blend I got as an early Christmas gift. Similar to Taste Master in composition and structure, Best of the Show has a sweeter taste due to the nougat flavoring, which my daughter compared to Krispy Kreme donoughts. Though initially it?s difficult to set both blends apart, in the long run the after taste of Best of the Show does become actually cloying.

Steam-cased Burley, shiny black in color with some golden strands thrown in, Best of Show is very sweet and tasty. A quality aromatic, it appeals to the almost infantile sweet tooth one still has. It?s yummy and rich in flavor (perhaps too rich), but unlike Taste Master I found this one tiring and eventually bloated. Still, if you are strong aromatic fan, this one is a quality smoke.

1 person found this review helpful.

I haven’t deliberately smoked many “Aromatics” since my first encounters with a pipe in the 1960’s and early 70’s. This was highly recommended by many reviewers I have often agreed with and am very impressed also. However, be aware that the aroma is somewhat overwhelming to one not used to flavored tobaccos. It is kind of like being hungry and coming indoors and smelling fresh-baked sticky buns or pecan rolls. The aroma is really out there. If you are a person with a moustache, you will remember this blend for a good long while!

Updated 6/12/2005: For newer pipers wanting a very nice smelling tobacco with very little strength. Really smells teriffic!

1 person found this review helpful.

This tobacco is light and airy. This tobacco is sweet. This tobacco does not have a tendency to bite. This tobacco burns rather dry, (all things considered.) This tobacco was created by a quality blender.

1 person found this review helpful.

In writing the 1000th review of a McClelland blend here at, it would be wonderful to give praise to Best of Show. As you can gather, I cannot. This is slightly uncharacteristic of many of McClelland’s work in that the “nougat” flavouring overpowers the traditional McClelland tin aroma. This is a charming-looking course cut blend–a range of colours from the Cavendish and Virginia tobacco. This is too mild for my tastes, though, and typical of aromatics artificial-tasting. However, this is not quite as artificial-tasting as some aromatics I have had and the quality of the tobacco is much higher than most aromatics that seem to think it is okay to add low quality tobacco as the casing is so often very strong. I will not keep this around and this is the first McClelland product that I will not try again. With that said, if you like mild high-quality aromatics, you will probably like this.

1 person found this review helpful.

Although I normally smoke VA flakes, this was one of the better aromatics I’ve recently tried. The nougat casing is sweet and strong in the tin and room aromas and slightly less evident in the taste. The predominant black blend has some lighter leaf included and is coarsely cut into rather uniform chunks. As with many other true aromatics, I found that the casing overpowered any natural tobacco taste. It also lacked nicotine strength as compared to my normal fare. However, a cool and very mild smoke resulted until the condensed moisture in the heel started popping like fireworks. On subsequest bowls, I just dumped the last part of the smoke. If you favor rather mild blends that are still strong aromatics, give this one a chance.

1 person found this review helpful.

I smoked my first bowl of McClelland’s Best of Show and fell in love with it from the first puff.

Opening the lid you get the aroma of Nougat from the coarse cut Virginia, the Black Cavendish is most likely toasted and the Cavendish is most likely a Sweet Cavendish. The combination of the three presents an excellent flavoring and aroma that I enjoy as a connoisseur of the aromatic tobaccos.

There was no tongue bite not even a little nip, this is a very mild tasting tobacco with full flavor that is very satisfying.

I love and it will be a great addition to my tobacco collection.

1 person found this review helpful.

I had high expectations for this blend after I got the tin note for the first time. Man, does this stuff smell good! It smells like buttery toffee, with a light hint of coffee. When I lit up my first impression was enjoyable, but I have to say I was a little underwhelmed the further down the bowl I got. It tasted faintly of caramel, with little stabs of coffee and nougat. The Cavendish was nice, but not great. If you smoke this blend dry and cool (and I liked it best smoking outside toward the end of Fall), you can get an easygoing, even buttery palette. More times than not, however, Best of Show is bland, burns too hot, and leaves a pungent goop behind in the bowl. The blend is is not entirely without merit, but with many far better options in my rotation, I rarely smoke this blend at all anymore.

Pipe Used: Dr. Grabow Savoy

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Most caramel/nougat aromatics, unfortunately..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

This is really an excellent tobacco in my view. A wonderful smell when you open the tin. A very smooth smoke with a great flavor. One of my favorite tobaccos by McClelland.

Pipe Used: Grant Batson

Age When Smoked: Several months.

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tin note is similar to stultiff PS Mountain pass. Sweet but not overly so. Attractive coarse cut tobacco with mostly black cavendish evident. Lights very easily and burns cool but on the sweet side. A nice aromatic with a very pleasant room note. McClelland premium aromatics are all made from high quality tobacco and this is no exception. Nougaty goodness permeates the smoke and never becomes cloying or bitter. No chemical taste at all, just good tobacco flavor. Tastes a bit like Dark chocolate Milky Way bars. Recommend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

To me, for the flavoring, I would rather smoke Captain Black. I much rather prefer Topic of Town for its maple flavoring and room note. If you like Captain Black for its flavor and room note, I say stay with it. I would normally recommend this, but since I find it same as Captain Black but a bit less, I have to just “somewhat” it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

This is my first review, so please bear with me. I haven’t been smoking pipes for long. This is my first of McClelland’s Premium Aromatics. It wasn’t quite as aromatic as I expected, but it was tasty. However, it began to burn fairly hot especially in the second half of the bowl. It also had some bite, which I’m not a fan of. I’ll give it a couple of more tries and we’ll see where it takes me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

A great flavor and an awesome blend of tobaccos. A very good hybrid of English Blends and Aromatics.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Someone said it tastes like snickers, and it does. Very weak in regards to nicotine, but a pleasant taste overall. Town topic is better, don’t buy more.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

I bought this blend from a local smokeshop in Franklin, Tennessee. One of the owners of the shop said that it reminded him of Snickers in the bowl; therefore, I knew I had to try it. I purchased a tin, and was set back a few paces by the wave of scent sent out by the tobacco. It was a tad bit moist out of the tin, so i had to dry it out for a bit.

Once I got the tobacco lit, it was easy to see that this was a full on aromatic. I enjoyed the smell of the smoke, and it gave off an interesting taste. Nougat was the first thing to my mind.

It stays lit well when you dry it out.

Not the best tobacco i’ve ever smoked, nor is it the best aromatic, but if you have some left over, give it a go.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The casing for Best of Show is not applied with a deft hand. It’s very sweet (sure, it tastes like nougat, which is kind of nice), very thick, quite chemical, and quite gloopy.

It might be a step up for aro lovers used to drugstore brands, but it was too cloying, chemical, and gurgly for me.

A surprisingly subpar offering from McClelland, recommended only for aro lovers looking for something very sweet.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

This blend is a great aromatic and has nouget flavor as described. This blend lingers on the palate like caramel or brown sugar flavor. All and all a great blend from Mclelland! This blend will be on my shelf and in my bowl always.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Best in Show is no dog. My return to Black Cavendish aromatics started with P&W 191 and it remains my benchmark for this genre. This is tasty and non-challenging. I also enjoy mixing it with non-aromatics to make my own crossover blends.

Long, wide black and red-brown ribbons fairly easy to load

Cool, but not for careless smoking

Tin aroma very close to taste with the latter less sweet than the former might suggest

Delightful room aroma

Moist in the tin, even slightly sticky and does not dry out easily

Great for smoking in places you do not want to smell like you’ve been smoking

Real tobacco taste and does not finish bitter

Smokes dry and completely for a clean pipe that smells like you smoked an aromatic.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

McClelland Best of Show was a tobacco that I ordered with high hopes. In my opinion it didn’t live up to its name. It does have a nougat flavor. To me, Best of Show tastes like a Pecan Log made of white divinity candy covered by pecans that I remember the family purchasing from Stuckey’s stores while on vacation during my childhood. That is where the good part ends for this tobacco. Best of Show was too light and non-existant as a smoke for me. Everything about it is mild and light. It has virtually no nicotine content as far as I can tell. I don’t plan to purchase it again. Although limited to three varieties, McClelland’s Townsman Cavendish series is better than their tinned premium aromatic series of pipe tobaccos at a better price.

One star for Best of Show.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Best of Show is a fine tobacco blend as far as aromatics go. The tin aroma smells to me like butterscotch. The taste is sweet and that of nougat or butterscotch true to the tin aroma. It lights and burns well and smoked down to a fine ash for me with only a little dottle and moisture. It’s a very mild, smooth smoke. The only time it bit me was on relights no matter how gentle I puffed. It did require a lot of attention and care to prevent overheating and moisture build-up. It was pretty unidimensional throughout the bowl with no changes in taste but no bitterness either. All in all a nice tasting and smoking quality aromatic but a bit on the boring side.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Like most pipe smokers, I started many years ago with aromatics. Luckily, I found my English mainstays and moved on, never looking back. I found an open tin of BOS at Cigar King, Skokie, IL, and was immediately overcome with the sweet but reserved tin aroma. I fired some up and was not disappointed. This is a premium aromatic, a bit on the sugary side, with flavors of chocolate and nougat. McClelland does aromatics well. The casing is a bit on the heavy side, but the mild flavor and inviting room note make up for it. This is a blend I can turn to from time to time when I?m not in the mood for a heavy English. Good stuff! Pleasing, fragrant and delicious.

great room note but simply too greasy and mucky for my taste. i’ve attained grown up tastes and i don’t care for twinkies anymore. try fader’s or wilke for more adult aromatics that won’t leave your mouth coated and waxy.

Two and a half of five stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

I just bought a tin of this at Cigar King in Illinois.This is an incredible blend.This is a chunky, and most delicious blend.It says nougat on the can and guess what it tastes like nougat!I normally smoke aromatic English blends and this is a great switch to the sweeter side. Another recommendation would be Dark English which I also picked up at Cigar King.If you like quality aromatics that are rich with no tongue bit give this a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

08-24-04 What is nougat anyway? Appearance: Black and Tan leaf, nice medium ribbon Tin Aroma: Sweet something, I guess this is what Nougat smells like. Packing and Lighting: easy in spite of moisture. Initial Flavor: sweet, something between coffee and chocolate. Mid-Bowl: a little rounder and fuller, nice room aroma. Bottom of Bowl: a little bitterness from the casing, not much more strength. Overall: this is a very nice aromatic, but I didn’t care for the flavor too much. It can bite so be cautious. My quest for the perfect aromatic will not end here.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Points.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

This is an ultra high quality aromatic, just like it’s advertised. However, it still isn’t so much more than other bulk blends, such as those from Lane, as to justify the expense. At least for me that is. Others who fancy aromatics and little else may want to spend the money and use this as a celebration smoke, much the same way I do with Penzance and Red Ribbon. It burns extremely cool and reminded me and the friends that I tried it with of “Snicker’s candy bars”. There’s a marketing Idea for you!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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A blue ribbon blend of Americas finest tobaccos. You'll judge it full flavored, satisfying, mild. We have polished it off with nougat flavoring. Tastefully opulent. A winner.