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.