I recently pulled a tobacco trade "off the market" when I discovered that an aged tin of GLPease Raven's Wing had faded so much in the last four years that it was no longer representative of what it once was -- or worth what I'd paid for it on eBay.
I thought that might be an anomaly. But I just opened a 2004 tin of another GLPease Syrian, Bohemian Scandal, and discovered the same thing. This tobacco now tastes nothing like it originally did.
Greg has commented on how very unique this particular Syrian crop was. And RW, BS, and Renaissance were phenomenal blends when they were younger, showcasing an amazing Syrian full of floral and pine qualities that only that type of latakia can deliver. They were truly once-in-a-lifetime blends. But it seems that that particular Syrian does not age well at all. Of course, your palate may tell a different story. To me, though, they have devolved into one-note blends that deliver nothing but a bland latakia flavor and aroma.
If you've never had any of these blends, I can't adequately describe what they once were: Truly unique blends that highlighted a remarkable latakia crop but were underpinned by equally worthy Virginias and orientals. Now, I know that latakia mellows over time. But I've had blends that were 20 years older than these that tasted very much like their younger selves, only deeper and richer. Not these. I think anyone would be hard-pressed to even identify the latakia as Syrian in origin now. And I would challenge anyone to identify anything but latakia in these blends; Bohemian Scandal is now about as far from tasting like a Balkan as a bowl of straight latakia.
I'd love to hear what others here think, if you've got the tins to sample.