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New Latakia Perception

(25 posts)
  1. chasingembers

    Embers

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    I am by no means a fan of English tobaccos anymore. Early on I was, and three decades ago, that was all I would smoke until I got to the point that all I could taste was Latakia making all blends with more than a hint of Latakia tasting exactly the same. I recently picked up ten tins of Presbyterian because the lat was said to be light, and nearing the bottom of the tin, I detect a chocolate note in the smoke. This sparked some interest. I dug into the back of my closet and found long forgotten English jars, and began experimenting. Beginning with a lat bomb, ten year old Pirate Kake....chocolate. Penzance from '05....chocolate. Sobranie from the early '90s....chocolate. Not like candy, but like a sweet dark cocoa. On top of that, I can also perceive the constituent tobaccos in the blend in a different way, but are no longer masked by the latakia. Thinking it may be the aged stuff only, I opened a tin of Straight Up English from last year, and even smelled hints of chocolate from the tin note.

    Does anyone else get hints of chocolate from latakia?

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    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. hoosierpipeguy

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    Read some info on tasting recently. Your mind has a powerful influence on your taste buds. Think chocolate and you may detect chocolate. I personally taste chocolate with many Burley blends but not latakia. Your taste buds may be different though.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. chasingembers

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    I too get chocolate from burley, and for years I suffered from Latakia burnout. But now I can again taste all of an English blend but with a chocolate note from the latakia.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. mso489

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    I mostly don't favor food flavors in tobacco. A light pistachio now and then, a particular blend, but not generally. I like balanced English blends, usually the ones with Lat light enough that I don't "look for it." I don't get any chocolate notes, and I will try not to be suggestible hereafter. People are highly individual in the way they experience taste, the scientists who study taste tell us based on data.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. chasingembers

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    What's strange is that it started in the middle of the smoke, and is now how I taste latakia. Very interesting.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. josephcross

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    I love this topic. Flavour is all about perception, and association. As well as the other senses contributing information to our brains. Its sometimes predictable and sometimes random due to other factors internal and external. Tobacco is like wine, whiskey and coffee. Sometimes you totally taste the description, and then you realize that the label set you up to taste that, and sometimes you taste things that were not described thus enhancing the experience.
    I get cocoa in a lot of tobacco that I smoke. I dont smoke a lot of Latakia but to me Gaslight tends to be more chocolate than Quiet Nights. I find cocoa in Key Largo as well.
    Glad youre finding some new territory to explore CE.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. josephcross

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    What's strange is that it started in the middle of the smoke, and is now how I taste latakia. Very interesting.

    Very interesting indeed.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. npod

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    I am currently where you where recently. In other words, im kinda on a latakia break. But when i tip toe back to english blends I do taste the latakia differently. Ill look out for chocolate next time.

    Neal
    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. kola

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    A lot of GL Pease blends give me a cocoa/Belgium dark chocolate flavor...and always around mid bowl. Same blends as josephcross mentioned above. I find it wonderful. I'm not sure of its the latakia itself, added cocoa of some sort or the specific blending that gives off the cocoa flavor.

    I notice in Penzance too but not as pronounced as GLP's. And if you puff too fast and hard, you'll miss it.

    I don't notice it in Presby. But then again I stopped smoking it some 10 years ago as I thought it was no longer the same blend.

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    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. anthonyrosenthal74

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    I get lovely hints of cocoa when smoking Balkan Blue, and have often wondered the culprit. Perhaps it is simply the way the different condiments working together can create a flavor that isn't necessarily there. Also, perhaps temperature of the smoke (perhaps you smoke cooler than you used to) as well as external air temperature (it's the warmer months now) can play a role in that as well.

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    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. chasingembers

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    Also, perhaps temperature of the smoke (perhaps you smoke cooler than you used to)

    You may be on to something there. In recent years I've been predominately a Virginia smoker, and you have to be careful about overheating those. That may also explain why aromatics became so flavorful a year or so ago.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. slowroll

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    Well, guess I'm boring. Been smoking latakia blends for 50 years and I still get campfires and old leather, fortunately. When I smoke HH ODF however, I get a bit of cocoa flavor mixed with old leather and hay.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    opus777

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    mostly the chocolate I get is from burley, best example is Esoterica Stonehaven.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. chasingembers

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    mostly the chocolate I get is from burley, best example is Esoterica Stonehaven.

    Could never get past the treacle in that one.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. kola

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    Stovehaven, yep, it's there too.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. chasingembers

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    But no latakia in that one.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. kola

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    Hah ! tis' true.
    For years I never liked Stonehaven. Just recently I popped opened an aged jar of it and loved it. I'm not sure if that makes me happy or sad.
    But yeah, it's got a nice cocoa-ness to it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. workman

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    Interesting. At first, latakia had a peculiar tarred leather flavour to me. Then it became sweet and pleasant. ATM it has turned into burnt rubber. Looking forward to the chocolate

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    Posted 1 year ago #
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    paulfg

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    I am smoking a bowl of G&H Bobs Chocolate Flake as I write this.
    It contains Latakia but I also get chocolate notes. Oh wait LOL

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. chasingembers

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    I am smoking a bowl of G&H Bobs Chocolate Flake as I write this.
    It contains Latakia but I also get chocolate notes. Oh wait LOL

    That's amazing, I get the same thing from English Chocolate!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. perdurabo

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    Chasing Embers, I've noticed Latakia has a chocolate note as well as a mocha/coffee green peppercorn note. In Black Frigate, the rum sweetens this sensation, giving me the impression of chocolate covered bran muffins. I get the leather notes and the peaty smoke and some pine and cedar as well. I've often wondered if the chocolate note is from the Latakia or the sum of all parts. Perhaps it's interplay with the virginias.

    Latest Latakia Excursions:

    GLP Charing Cross
    McClellands Balkan Beauty and Balkan Blue
    Capt Earls Nightwatch

    All of these have that chocolate mocha thing going on.

    MacBaren Vintage Syrian, not so much. I get Zinfindel notes with cedar, peat, and pine/leather. Note this is the only Syrian Latakia I've had lately.

    So my assessment would be that the Cypriot Latakia is the culprit; along with whatever tobaccos are in the mix.

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    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

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    Weird -- I'm not currently on any latakia, but yeah, I've always tasted just a little chocolate in it. When I was doing the deed, I usually smoked either full English or preferably just plain straight latakia [OK, so call me a hedonist, I don't care. Tpft. }:P] It's been so long since I had any Presbyterian I doubt I'd even recognize it any more. Need to get some, I think....

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    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. mso489

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    Latakia and Perique, when they're working right in a blend, act a little like certain spices that bring up the flavor of other food rather than being the centerpiece -- often, not always. Some blends feature them and give them the spotlight. I think it's commendable when a blender gets the condiments to support the base leaf. It's a little like a really good jazz percussionist who doesn't need to star but is always there to give the music a solid foundation.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

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    Concur, mso, perique particularly, I think. I don't think I've ever known anyone who would (TRY to) smoke straight perique, but I wouldn't put it past somebody. People who prefer straight Latakia to blended are rare, though there are more of us than one might think. Still, for most smokers, having either of them means having it as a supporting player. And I think that's as it should be.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. chasingembers

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    Straight Perique is surprisingly good.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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