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A Latakia Blend for Latakia Haters?

(48 posts)
  • Started 7 months ago by orthodoxpiper
  • Latest reply from nukesimi
  1. orthodoxpiper

    orthodoxpiper

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    I've sworn off Latakia blends due to my general disdain of the leaf, but I want to keep an open mind and try some again. I was thinking of easing my way in with Presbyterian, but I don't know where to go after that. I'm looking for recommendations for Light -> Medium -> Heavy. Something you feel really showcases the leaf in all its glory.

    My only caveat is that I haven't really loved any GLP blends I've had, much to my dismay (JKP, Union Square, Haddo's, Navigator) - I think the blending method just doesn't agree with me. I'd prefer to avoid the brand, but I think if I can find a spot in my heart for the occasional Latakia I might just have to try Gas Light for the heck of it. Any other brands are fair game.

    So, what do you recommend?

    Posted 7 months ago #
  2. rdavid

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    Gaslight is definitely not "easing" back into latakia unless you want to blow the top of your head off with a lat bomb. Might scare you away again. Just sayin...

    "May my last breath be drawn through a pipe, and exhaled in a jest." Charles Lamb
    Posted 7 months ago #
  3. ashdigger

    ashdigger

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    Try the John Cotton series. Especially John Cotton #1 and the oddly named Number 1&2.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 7 months ago #
  4. unkleyoda

    unkleyoda

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    You want Latakia in all it's glory? C&D Star of the East.

    If you like Va/Pers and want one with just a bit of Latakia, try Peterson Balkan Delight. It is an amazing sleeper blend. (contrary to the name, it contains no orientals)


    So you say you can drink? Well, I'm from Wisconsin. Try to keep up.
    Posted 7 months ago #
  5. pianopuffer

    pianopuffer

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    If you're into GLP, then I'd suggest Chelsea Morning. Light latakia English to me, became a substitute for EMP when it went off the market.

    For non-English w/latakia, I can suggest Edward Robinson as well as Cult Conspiracy. The latter is definitely in the aromatic vein, but there is a touch of latakia to round out the other leaves in the blend. For someone who isn't into aromatics much, I do like some Conspiracy.

    Good luck.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  6. davet

    davet

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    Gaslight is definitely not "easing" back into latakia

    +1 There's a difference between scratching your ass and tearing it all to hell

    Kramer's Blend for Cary Grant might be a good one to try

    Posted 7 months ago #
  7. rdavid

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    If you're into GLP

    My only caveat is that I haven't really loved any GLP blends I've had, much to my dismay

    I think he wants to omit GLP?

    Posted 7 months ago #
  8. georgebmcclelland

    georgebmcclelland

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    Some Billy Budd by Cornell & Diehl with about 6 months age on it is sublime.

    I like Latakia, but it's not my old stand by. I smoke mainly VAs, VA/Pers, Kentuckys, and everything in that area all day, and in the evening time I'll enjoy the heck out of a heavy Latakia blend, but Billy Budd is right in between for me; the Latakia is much more of a condiment and there are other tobaccos at the forefront. Some people say it's strong, but I say it's just right.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  9. rdavid

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    I can definitely second Billy Budd. Just tried it a few days ago and can't keep away from the stuff. Very easy smoking burley forward with just a hint of latakia. Probably going to become my "go to" all day smoke.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  10. orthodoxpiper

    orthodoxpiper

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    I was looking at getting some Billy Budd Blonde, so maybe I'll chuck the original in with the order, too.

    Good for looking out on the Gaslight, everyone! I won't jump straight into it, but if I find I can appreciate some Latakia, I have always been so curious about this blend. When people frequently describe the tin note as "asphalt and tar", I can't help but be intrigued!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  11. rdavid

    Panhandler

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    I was looking at getting some Billy Budd Blonde

    Please report back if you try that. It appears as if the Blonde doesn't contain any latakia though?

    Posted 7 months ago #
  12. hoosierpipeguy

    hoosierpipeguy

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    I'd recommend several. Hearth & Home Magnum Opus and Black House. F&K Lancer Slices. Ashton Artisan's Blend. C&D Black Frigate and Pirate Kake. GLP Chelsea Morning, Maltese Falcon, Quiet Nights and Charing Cross. There's a wide range of Latakia content within that group. If you can get access to it, HU Tobacco Fayyum Kake and Zulu. Go to Tobaccoreviews.com and research each one. As far as GLP blends go, I think you would be missing out on one of the best, if not the best, blenders on the planet by giving up on the blend. I've found opening GLP tins a few weeks before smoking them makes a significant difference. Chelsea Morning, Maltese Falcon and Quiet Nights would give you an excellent cross section and are all absolutely superb.

    It could be you simply don't or can't like Latakia. When I first started back with pipe smoking, Latakia did not agree with me. That's changed in the past couple of months and I'm really enjoying numerous Latakia blends now.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  13. wolflarsen

    wolflarsen

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    In my opinion there is no lat blend better than Quiet Nights. It's not a heavy lat bomb. Just perfection in a tin. I like it best with about a year of age but aging it isn't necessary. To me the lat flavor it delivers is more in the realm of incense than campfire.

    HH Latakia Flake may be a good dip into lat blends for you. Something about pressing the leaf under hot steam really mellows out the aggressive side of the latakia flavor and transforms it into a very pleasant, smooth, and creamy experience.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  14. mso489

    mso489

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    If you can do a mild, nuanced, refined American-English (with burley), you might try Nat Sherman 536, in a tin or available from Nat Sherman in Manhattan as bulk.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  15. hawky454

    hawky454

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    McConnell’s Latakia Flake
    Germains Special Latakia Flake

    Posted 7 months ago #
  16. georgebmcclelland

    georgebmcclelland

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    I was looking at getting some Billy Budd Blonde

    Please report back if you try that.

    Billy Budd Blonde is an amazing blend, as well. It's like the morning version of Billy Budd. Basically the Latakia is replaced with Perique. Just like the original, it can be rough around the edges when smoked to quickly, but a slow cadence really opens up the flavor. Blonde is one of the most reached-for blends in my rotation.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  17. rdavid

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    Billy Budd Blonde is an amazing blend, as well.

    Thanks General. Consider it added to my ever growing PAD list.

    Sorry to OP for the minor hijack. Carry on.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  18. judcole

    Jud

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    Hmmm. I would suggest things like SG Skiff or the Sutliff Dunhill EMP match.
    You also might want to dig around in some of the classic style American lat bends - the variations on the old "codger burleys" - Hearth & Home Chestnut, Sutliff Matches for things like Barking Dog, Country Doctor, Revelation, Iwan Ries Private Blend. These are all blends that use latakia as a condiment, very light hand.

    Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
    Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close
    Rudyard Kipling
    Posted 7 months ago #
  19. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    S&G Skiff and Presbyterian might be my choice for this genre of light,rather orient forward blends where latakia is applied very moderately.

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 7 months ago #
  20. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    If you're looking to ease your way back into enjoying a bit of Latakia, I recommend John Cotton #1 mild. That's what worked for me, and I had completely burned out on Latakia anything.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 7 months ago #
  21. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Gaslight is definitely not "easing" back into latakia unless you want to blow the top of your head off with a lat bomb. Might scare you away again. Just sayin...

    I don't get Gaslight as a Lat "bomb". It knocks me on my ass due to, I think, the red VA's. YMMV.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 7 months ago #
  22. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Third recommendation for John Cotton's No. 1. Also try the "No's 2 & 3". Then Smyrna. Each with increasing amounts of latakia, though none are "bombs".

    Posted 7 months ago #
  23. dottiewarden

    dottiewarden

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    I've sworn off Latakia blends due to my general disdain of the leaf, but I want to keep an open mind and try some again.

    I recommend a whole new approach: Captain Black, Black Sea! Sweet and Smoky make for a pipelicious smoking experience.

    Something you feel really showcases the leaf in all its glory.

    Easy: Samuel Gawith Balkan Flake!

    Dot
    Posted 7 months ago #
  24. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    For the lightest touch of latakia, I suggest GLP's Laurel Heights. It has so little latakia in it that I actually got into a scuffle with Greg over whether there was any in there at all. I was convinced that he had forgotten to add it to his own blend. It adds a leathery quality to the Virginia without that nasty burning wood taste.

    Bothy Flake is a latakia blend where the latakia is transformed by the Scotch, making it more fruity than smoky.

    Also, Savinelli's English, is a well balanced Latakia/Virginia, where I get the most balance between sweet and savory, without being slapped in the face with latakia.

    Michael
    Posted 7 months ago #
  25. krizzose

    krizzose

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    I am not a a latakia fan, but I’ve the occasional bowl of FM and EMP that I didn’t mind too much, and I can see how condimetal amounts could be alright. I’ll have to try Laurel Heights.

    @Cosmic: what kind of Scotch did they use on the Bothy Flake? If it’s an Islay malt that might be too much smoke for me no matter how little lat is in there.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    briarbuda48

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    Ted’s Pipe Shoppe Blend #1, delicious light English blend. Mark Clymer owns the place and they are located in Tulsa Oklahoma.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  27. weezell

    weezell

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    Lane HGL blend for an aro with a touch of lat...

    "the weez"...
    Posted 7 months ago #
  28. beefeater33

    beefeater33

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    Hawky454, keep quiet about the McConnell's Latakia Flake, OK?.........

    "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dream..."
    Willy Wonka
    Posted 7 months ago #
  29. dethmutt

    dethmutt

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    Honestly, if your looking to get into English. I would say Maltese Falcon. Its a Mild lat , but very good!

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    jzbdano

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    Orthodoxpiper, we seem to have similar tastes. I haven't found a GLP or C&D blend (they come from the same factory I believe) I'd buy twice besides Opening Night. I rarely reach for a blend with Latakia in it. EMP is my favorite but Peretti's Royal Blend is about to dethrone it.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  31. dethmutt

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    You haven't found a GLP or C&D that you would buy again?

    Posted 7 months ago #
  32. dethmutt

    dethmutt

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    sigh.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    jzbdano

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    Yep, there is a topping or casing that runs through many of their blends that I don't care for. Different flavor from each blender. Maybe it's just their style that doesn't fit my style. Dont take it the wrong way, I've enjoyed just about every bowl I've smoked but I have a few dozen jars that will sit for months on end before curiosity get me to try one again. Most of the time it's one and done. 90% of my smokes are McClelland or Euro Va/VaPers which are a much different style than American blends. I am spoiled with a wide cellar.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  34. maduromadness

    maduromadness

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    I will recommend Drucquer & Sons, Inns of Court, for a delicious virginia/oriental forward blend with slight latakia. Red Rapperee a good choice for medium. And Erik Stokkebye 1882 for a full bodied;but honestly I dont know the full bodied realm of latakia.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  35. dethmutt

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    1882 Is ok... not that great .. Ashton , Bengal, F&K slices, oddesy, crap I cant spell. Or check out Arango bulk!

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    foursidedtriangle

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    Aromatic English is silky smooth smoke. Zero chance of harshness and it has little bit of lat.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  37. orthodoxpiper

    orthodoxpiper

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    dethmutt - I was a big fan of McC and I do prefer SG and G&H for manufacturers, so our tastes may align very well. The death of McC and the now frequent shortages of the other two can make purchasing difficult.

    John Cotton #1 seems to be the standout here. I'll definitely get a tin of that, and I see mso recommend the Nat Sherman so much that I feel compelled to give it a go. Will probably chuck the HH Latakia flake on there too, to see what stoving does.

    Thanks for all the recommendations! Just about everything has made it to my list. Now I need to open about 50 tabs of tobaccoreviews to truly settle on the final three!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  38. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Easy-peasy: Get John Cotton's #1 Mild, John Cotton's No's 1& 2, and Smyrna. Then you go up the ladder in latakia strength, AND you're buying American.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    64alex

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    Hmmmm, you don't like Latakia and you are looking for a Latakia blend?. This let me scratch my head. Maybe you should look at a blend with just only a little bit of Latakia. I am thinking at GH Bob's Chocolate Flake which has Virginia, Burley and 8% Latakia with mild cocoa and vanilla flavoring. It's definitely not a Latakia blend but more of a cross over between aromatic, Virginia and English blends where Latakia is not on the front.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  40. disinformatique

    The Pipe Monk

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    Looking at what you smoked from the Dark Master, I would say you chose the wrong blends from Greg.

    I would suggest GL Pease Piccaddily, Maltese Falcon and Kensington.

    McClelland is gone or I would have suggested Frog Morton On The Town.

    C&D - Get Sweet English.

    Dont smoke extremely strong Latakia blends, they will mess with your oral chemistry if you oversmoke.

    Cheers,
    Chris

    Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying, “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs.” One of the reasons behind this statement is that pipe smoking is meant to be a slow leisurely activity. It takes patience to smoke a pipe. Unlike cigarettes and cigars, there is a certain amount of technique to smoking a pipe. Where cigars and cigarettes can just be picked up, lit and puffed on, pipes require the development of a technique in order to get the best smoking experience.
    Posted 7 months ago #
  41. hawky454

    hawky454

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    Hawky454, keep quiet about the McConnell's Latakia Flake, OK?.........

    Right! Thanks for reminding me, I sometimes need a bit of help keeping my mouth shut. Lol.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  42. dino

    dino

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    I agree with pianopiper, Edward G. Robinson Blend is an excellent tobacco to add a bit of Latakia to your rotation. It has a small amount of Latakia, as a condiment, is readily available and is relatively inexpensive.
    By the way, I'm also an Orthodox piper.
    Dino

    Posted 7 months ago #
  43. cajomu

    cajomu

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    The lightest Latakia blend that I know of is Mac Baren Plumcake. The Latakia is in there but is so unobtrusive that, if you weren't looking for it, you would probably miss it. Plumcake is more of an American rather than what most would call an English tobacco. It's also one of my favorites.

    Here's the TobaccoReviews.com description, if you're interested: http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend/709/mac-baren-plumcake.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  44. jeffro

    jeffro

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    When I want A English style tobacco on the lighter side I reach for either Lane Limited: Crown Achievement
    or Peter Stokkebye English Oriental Supreme. Both of these tobaccos are not too heavy in the Latakia.
    And have enough different types of other tobacco leaf
    to keep things interesting.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    jeffya2

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    Original Frog Morton for me

    Posted 6 months ago #
  46. mso489

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    I'm not surprised people get tired of Latakia, though it is a superb condimental tobacco, but it's thrown into everything, along with Perique, and it doesn't work its magic with everything, so of course people get irked with it. And there are so many other fine condimental leaves that get short shrift. So blenders take note.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  47. snowyowl

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    Third recommendation for John Cotton's No. 1. Also try the "No's 2 & 3". Then Smyrna. Each with increasing amounts of latakia, though none are "bombs".

    These are all fine smokes.

    "If you see something... pipe up."
    Posted 6 months ago #
  48. nukesimi

    nukesimi

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    Sillem Black. It's a sugary English mix, pretty good stuff.

    Posted 6 months ago #

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