McClelland Bombay Extra Personal Reserve

Latakia, Perique and Virginia tobaccos! Hmmm …. what an interesting combination that sounds like! And there’s Turkish Orientals in there too! I bought a tin of McClelland’s Bombay Extra Personal Reserve on the recommendation of a friend that just loves Latakia. Interestingly, while I find it to be quite an enjoyable smoke, it is not a full on Latakia to me. Even more interesting, in other reviews I’ve read, some people say it has too much Latakia and recommend it for the people that just can’t get enough Latakia. I am thinking just the opposite. I would recommend Bombay Extra for someone that wants to be eased into Latakia blends, and definitely for a refined palate that enjoys picking up little nuances of a complex mixture.

What I like best about Bombay Extra is the unique mixture of Turkish Orientals, Latakia, Perique and Virginia tobaccos. I really like Blakeney’s Best Acadian Ribbon (which is made by McClelland) for the tanginess of the Perique. You get just a little bit of that tanginess here (although they are two completely different blends) along with a little bit of smokiness from the Latakia. These two flavors are balanced nicely with the darkened Virginias and Turkish Orientals. To me, Bombay Extra is like the offspring of a Va/Per and a Latakia blend. There is a little bit of sweetness, some tanginess and smokiness all rolled into one.

It becomes a little more rich as you get to the halfway point. Try exhaling this one through your nose, with mouth closed to get a nice flavor. (Yes, you will have to remove the pipe from your mouth for a moment.) The more I smoke Bombay Extra, the more I like it. This is a common occurrence with many blends I smoke, and it is a good thing. The opposite sometimes happens with some blends, and that is disappointing when you think you found a new love, and then you just grow apart. So sad. However, McClelland Bombay Extra Personal Reserve is growing on me. I liked it from the start and I like it even more with time. I’m not in love with her, but I think we can be best friends. And once you get past the halfway point, the flavor becomes even better.

I like Bombay Extra, but it took me a little bit to warm up to her because my expectations were set in the wrong direction. Yes, this has Latakia in it, but it is not what I would reach for when I want a full-on Latakia kick. For that, I much prefer McClelland’s Frog Morton or Greg Pease’s Maltese Falcon. They are my top two Latakias. Oh yeah, and there’s SG Commonwealth. (Sam should have named that one "Perfection".) So make that my top 3 Latakia blends.

Bombay Extra’s tin aroma has the familiar smoky, campfire smell that transports you to the countryside, mountains and camping in the woods, but there is a lot more going on here including Virginia sweetness, and Perique and Oriental tanginess layered into the smoky Latakia.

A Look Inside the Tin at the Bombay Extra Tobacco Close-Up of the Bombay Extra Tobacco


Brand: McClelland
Blender: McClelland Tobacco Company
Tin Description: We began with Bombay Court, darkened the Virginias, added a touch of Perique and increased the Latakia, resulting in an enriched version of a unique and popular formula. A rich, full mixture for evening enjoyment.
Country of Origin: US
Curing Group: Air Cured
Cut: Ribbon
Packaging: 50g Tin
Strength: Medium
Flavoring: None Detected
Taste: Medium
Room Note: Tolerable
Recommendation: Recommended

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4 Responses

  • Great review, Kevin. I’ve been eyeing that blend for many’s about time I try it. It’s funny how you mention that sometimes you think you found your “holy grail” and then you find that it doesn’t “float your boat.” The pallette is dynamic, forever changing. So many things influence our taste..what we last ate, burning temperature, even mood. I always try to have an open mind. I hated olives growing up. Throughout my adult life, I kept trying them, in the hopes of one day liking them. Well, one day, it happened…I now love olives (black collossal ones to be exact). Not to digress, but I think you see my point here. I’ve smoked blends that I thought I hated, later to find that they’re quite pleasant..and vice-versa. It’s hard to cast-off a tobacco, in light of the many factors that affect taste. BTW..wanna try a truly remarkable tobacco?–try Engine #99 by C&D…it belongs in a tin, but is bulk..sounds like it would be right up your alley, based on your tastes..all the best, Joe G.

  • Any time. I forgot to mention that it’s a really nice to actually see the tobacco..I like how you always include pics..very nice. I’m very fond of C&D and Pease tobaccos and have ordered a lot of stuff from them. No affiliation with them at all. They are just really nice people with great products. I’m sure craig would have no problem sending you a sample of it…it’s very unique..there’s something unique and special about their latakia..can’t put my finger on it..if I had some, I’d send it myself! This is a must-smoke..I promise you won’t be dissappointed..Joe