Aging orientals And Latakia

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Senior Member
Mar 30, 2014
interesting article
I found this a very interesting article as all three testers described the 15 year old blends as past there best, it was also suggested that most oriental and latakia blends start to go down hill after the 5 year mark. Have any other smokers found the same thing? Has anyone been lucky enough to compare the same blend at various ages and care to offer an opinion?
I'm slowly building a cellar in order to improve the flavour of the tobacco I smoke, I'm not paranoid about smoking legalisation. So smoking blends after a few years in the cellar and replacing them isn't an issue, kind of rotating the rotation.



Preferred Member
Oct 6, 2011
Based on both a lot of research and my own experience, here's my thoughts on aging latakia blends:

Most medium to full latakia blends (including Balkans) age pretty well up to the 10 year mark, with their peak probably being in the 5 to 7 year mark. Light latakia mixtures will lose some of the smokiness at about the 5 year mark.

BUT ….

You might PREFER blends with 10 years, or 15 years on them. The tobacco doesn't spoil or anything, it just changes. It also depends heavily on how its stored, whether there is a topping, etc. Anyhow, what tends to happen is that the latakia gradually loses its punch (although I have yet to encounter a mixture where it disappeared altogether). But -- and this is a big but -- the other orientals and the Virginias gain strength and complexity. The Vas, in particular, will continue to age wonderfully for decades. It's a tradeoff, and you really won't know whether you like an aged blend or not until you've tried it.



Preferred Member
Jul 31, 2010
Bethlehem, Pa.
I have some 25 year old Crown Achievement that is much tamer than I remember buying in the 1970's. I also have about 2 bowls left of my all time favorite, Lane's Highland, from about 1980. It really is nothing like it was fresh. So, yes, they become very quite with age.



New member
Sep 20, 2014
First post to this forum, Hello fellas:
IME, Lat blends will mellow after a few years, and the taste of the Lat changes slightly. As for VA's, orientals, and especially Va/Per they keep getting better even after 10-15 years IMO. I've traded for some old Va/pers ... and some old Sam's flake that was very old ... and it was the sweetest I'd ever had. I only started a cellar about 9 years ago, but have managed to buy and trade for some older stuff. Additionally, I've looked into this quite a bit as I tended to get obsessed with aging. One other comment: the change in the lat flavor is enjoyed by some as they say it mellows into the VA/orientals in a good way .... but other lat lovers who want the full onslaught of a smokey delight tend to agree that after 5 years they tend to be less desirable. That said, I've never heard of anyone saying that a tobacco took on bad characteristics after aging. Even the aged Lat blends were enjoyed ... comments merely lamented a stronger lat flavor.



Preferred Member
May 10, 2009
Akron area of Ohio
I personally enjoy Latakia more when it's well aged. Call it past it's prime if you like but the mellowness and the smoothness of all that slumber is preferable to my tastes than a "Lat Bomb" is.I used to enjoy 759 and Bombay Extra but these days, those blends hold no allure to me. I age my latakia blends as long as my Virginia Flakes and enjoy both.
Mike S.