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MacBaren HH Vintage Syrian

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  1. ssjones

    ssjones

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    I'm not much of a tobacco review, but yesterday member FoggyMountain gifted me a tin of MacBaren Vintage Syrian. I had never tried a dark-stoved blend and found it to be a very good English smoke. Very rich but not overpowering that smoked very well as well. I shared the tin with some NYC pipe club members later that evening and they seemed to enjoy it as well. This was my first MacBaren blend. I was impressed and will add this blend to my cellar. Thanks FoggyMountain (and it was great to meet you as well).

    Here are some proper reviews:
    http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend_detail.cfm?ALPHA=H&TID=2680

    Al

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. lordnoble

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    I have to admit that I'm quite fond of Mac Baren HH Vintage Syrian. It's unfortunate that Syrian latakia is so rare to find as it seems to be a slightly smoother smoke than its Cypriot cousin. I've got close to a pound of this blend in my cellar and I'd love to get more, but I seem to be going for tins whenever I can. No pun intended.

    -Jason

    The preceding statement is not to be construed as fact, but merely conjecture.

    Proud member of the BlackBlood Society
    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. judcole

    Jud

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    I consider this to be an extremely fine smoke. I haven't been smoking it much of late, as I have been working my way through my samples from the box pass, but it is a favorite as a first bowl of the day. I've got about 8 oz still from my last pound of bulk.

    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 1 year ago #
  4. jbbaldwin

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    This was recommended to me at my local B&M; otherwise, I wouldn't have picked it up. I'm glad I did - after about a dozen bowls, I've really begun to enjoy it. It's very smooth and a little spicy at the same time.

    I had been afraid of the McBite possibility, but haven't encountered that with this blend.

    - Write if you get work.

    - Hang by your thumbs.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. ssjones

    ssjones

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    I've also avoided MacBaren blends because of the bite, but no issues here.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. rickpal14

    rickpal14

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    I have an unopened tin from 2006 that I was gifted from my secret Santa last year..... Having a hard time pulling the trigger on opening it but this makes me want to pope it open right now!!

    Proud Member of the BlackBlood Society...........
    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. judcole

    Jud

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    Do it, Rick. You won't regret it.

    I have smoked a ton of MacBaren blends,and had very little problems with bite. There's some that aren't my cuppa,but that's to be expected. There's almost always something by MacB in my active rotation.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. topd

    TopD

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    I agree... a very good English. I haven't opened a tin lately but will as soon as I par down
    what is open.

    Steve 'Top' Downey
    Master Sergeant
    USMC - Retired
    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. rickpal14

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    Jud you enabler!!!! LOL

    Gonna have to make it a gift to myself I think....

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. foggymountain

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    Great to meet you too, Al. If you are missing the "McBite" get some Virginia #1. No, don't get it, I have some aged that I will give you. Please email me those 2 pictures that Lisa took of us.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. lordnoble

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    Rick, had I known you'd never had it, I would have brought a sample with me in August. It's good stuff, and I think you'll really enjoy it.

    -Jason

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. judcole

    Jud

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    I think I will be popping a jar open tomorrow morning. I have really pared down the box pass acquisitions .:D

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. rickpal14

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    Looks like I will be trying it this weekend when I have the time to sit down with it!!!!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. aristokles

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    Mac Baren HH Vintage Syrian: my favorite Mac Baren, period.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. mrenglish

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    It's weird, all of the Mac Baren blends bite (save for the Navy Flake for some reason) but none of the HH series do. The Syrian is really good as well as the Acadian Perique, which is freaking yummy.

    Michael
    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. judcole

    Jud

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    I have read, from MacBaren aficionados, that if you are having trouble with bite, pack the tobacco more loosely. I know that I have found that slow smoking helps, as well.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. swhipple

    swhipple

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    Another thumbs up for MacBaren Vintage Syrian. It's one of my favourites

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. thesmokindragon

    thesmokindragon

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    All this talk of MB's HH VS, I remembered I had a tin I opened and
    got tucked away 6-months ago, well I found it, bacci was crunchy/
    not sure if it was the 6-months away from her or what it, the smoke
    I just had this morning was Amazing...I sprinkle a lil homemade SG
    snuff on the top of the bowl for a little extra strength I desire, best
    smoke I have had in a long time... Smoked in a Boswell/Bent Rusticated
    shotshell which is dedicated to my English/Balkan blends

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    easterntraveler

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    I just ordered 16oz. Really excited about this blend.

    Because straight is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life and few be there that find it.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. judcole

    Jud

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    It's a winner,for sure.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. atboth

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    Stockpiled forty tins of it in the year it first came out. But I've been too busy with other blends to smoke any recently.

    -----ATBOTH
    Boring wafflegab about tobacco.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. matchstickman

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    I have a small sample of this somewhere that I tried to smoke a bowl of when I had a pretty bad head cold (stupid mistake on my part). I might have to dig in to this in the next couple of days and see if I can start picking it apart. Sounds like a winner.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. auspipe

    auspipe

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    Lots of good reports for this and the price is right. Just placed an order at 4noggins for a tin of this, orlik golden sliced and 2oz of Catamount.
    Got to love the Macbaren blends for value.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    ram74

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    Has anyone compared the tin version to the bulk? I recently bought a tin and it is great; almost sticky and burns perfect. I was thinking of buying an 8oz bag.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Has anyone compared the tin version to the bulk? I recently bought a tin and it is great; almost sticky and burns perfect. I was thinking of buying an 8oz bag.

    Technically, I'm thinking it isn't bulk, because it's not sold by the ounce (at least not that I know of). Besides the tins, AFAIK, HH Vintage Syrian is sold in one pound mylar bags.

    I haven't purchased the HH Vintage Syrian in the one pound bags, but I have purchased more than a few Mac Baren one pound bags of HH Mature Virginia and the Golden Extra and IMO, the tobacco is identical in tins or bags.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. hfearly

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    I have to admit that I'm quite fond of Mac Baren HH Vintage Syrian. It's unfortunate that Syrian latakia is so rare to find as it seems to be a slightly smoother smoke than its Cypriot cousin.

    Oh it absolutely is. Let me elaborate

    For one, it's a different leaf varietal (Shekk-El-Bint) versus the Cyprian which is a descendant of Turkish (Smyrna).

    Second, Cyprian Latakia is harvested from the top leafs which are low in sugar and high in Nicotine, while Syrian is harvested from a much smaller plant due to the less rich mountain soil, and is not topped.

    Third, Cyprian Latakia is first sun cured for about 14-20 days and then fire cured over a mixture of woods (MASTIC: 90%, MYRTLE: 4 %, STONE PINE: 4 %, CYPRESS: 1%, KONISON : 1%) for about 20-30 days.

    Syrian Latakia is dried in the shade (hung between trees)for 14-20 days and then fire cured over a different, more fragrant mix of woods (PINE Aleppo pine 70%, OAK Turkey oak (Quercus cerris) and Vallones oak 15%, SHRUB/HERBS Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani), Cilician fir (Abies cilicica) and juniper (Juniperus excelsa) 15%) for 60-90 days (much longer than Cyprian!), and thus retains a much more floral, resinous, incense-like taste.

    Fourth, the smoking huts for Cyprian are larger, and had a much larger fire pit than for Syrian, thus most likely also creating more heat, and adding more smoke.

    Suffering from a serious case of "EPARD", also known as the Estate Pipe Acquisition and Restoration Disorder.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. misterlowercase

    misterlowercase

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    Awesome info hfearly!

    Thank you.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. hfearly

    hfearly

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    Video on the HH series:

    [+] Embed the video | Video DownloadGet the Video Player

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. judcole

    Jud

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    Has anyone compared the tin version to the bulk? I recently bought a tin and it is great; almost sticky and burns perfect. I was thinking of buying an 8oz bag.

    I've smoked both. Same stuff. You can't buy an 8 ounce bag, AFAIK, just by the pound.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    easterntraveler

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    I normally buy it in the 8oz bag. I have atleast 4 pounds now. It smokes, burns, and stores great.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    ram74

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    Yeah my bad, I see the bag is one pound. Quite the deal for a pound.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    ram74

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    You know buying a tin of HH Vintage Syrian has gotten me on a Syrian binge! I have ordered 8 other blends that contain Syrian. Currently enjoying a bowl of McClelland Wilderness. Too bad G.L Pease does not have access to Syrian Latakia. They would be able to make great blends with it. Syrian Latakia is really enjoyable. I am going to stock up before it is all gone but I wonder how it will hold up over time since it is aged and has not been produced for years? 5-10 years from now will it lose it oomph?

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    The "experts" say latakia mellows out over time. For some, that's a good thing. For others, not.

    "Latakia blends have a more uneven record when it comes to aging. Some blends that seem to be overpowered by a heavier use of Latakia will benefit, as the black leaf will mellow with time. In blends where the Latakia stands out a bit too much because of contrast, aging may make it more harmonious. But in blends where the Latakia is a more subtle component, aging will cause it to become muted, sometimes to the point of being unnoticeable. Although some classic blends with Latakia age remarkably well, it’s probably due more to the Virginia content of the blend. I’m not saying that they’re not worth laying down for an extended period, but the results will vary widely."

    More on the effect of aging on various tobacco leaves here: http://www.talkingtobacco.com/2012/07/pipe-tobacco-academy-aging-pipe-tobacco/

    Posted 1 year ago #
  34. sparroa

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    My personal experience confirms that latakia mellows - either that or my taste buds are completely shot...

    The latakia blend you cellar today WILL NOT be the same in one year, let alone five.

    Keep that in mind with any aging experiments featuring latakia.

    Tins that are hititng 2-3 years old might be a bit long in the tooth for someone who prefers the fresher, smokier side of latakia tobacco...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  35. lordnoble

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    Thanks, hfearly for the info. I knew they were different plants, but I didn't realize just how different they were based on cultivation, curing, and processing.

    -Jason

    Posted 1 year ago #
  36. hfearly

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    I'm still hoping some US company will eventually take up the "traditional" process of creating Syrian Latakia. It might not be exactly the same (soil conditions/climate/seed mutation), but they might come reasonably close to the original, which would already be a big hit of the jackpot with regards to preserving our pipe smoking enjoyment

    Posted 1 year ago #
  37. auspipe

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    Really like this MacBaren HH VS. It has been a good change after finishing tin of nightcap and it is definately on par if not better.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    cjshelton875

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    Hello, I purchased a tin of HH Vintage Syrian just about 2 wks ago, it just arrived, I took one smoke and couldn't finish it. I thought it awful. Would anyone want to trade for something?

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    cjshelton875

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    Didn't know I wasn't aloud to trade on here, but if you want to PM me that is cool.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    mustanggt

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    This, as with all HH series, are outstanding tobaccos. If I had to smoke only one blend with latakia in it, it would be this no quesiton.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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