Don’t let the name put you off this blend of tobacco. While Latakia is the major component of this blend it’s less than half of the volume and the Kentucky and Virginia components go a long way to making this a very acceptable smoke and one that I really like.
For some seasoned pipe smokers it’s a little too mild, and that means that if you’ve never been brave enough to try a Latakia blend then this is the one to start with. I’m sure that if it’s your first Latakia you will notice it although after a couple of tins of this tobacco you may want to move on to something a little stronger. Don’t feel you have to move on though … some of my friends have never wanted to move beyond this blend.
The tin suggests that this blend is a cool smoke and even goes so far as to suggest that all you will find in the bowl after smoking a pipe full of Vintage Syrian is a fine grey ash. For my part, I find this to be true.
After enjoying 45 minutes to an hour for a complete bowl, properly packed, I find just a small amount of fine grey ash that pours out when I am done. It’s almost like magic wondering where all that tobacco went. I also must address the infamous "Mac Baren Bite". If you have been following my reviews, you know that I love Mac Baren tobaccos and I never experienced a bite. The HH Vintage Syrian not only proves to be a cool smoke, but it’s also one of my favorites of favorites.
When you open the tin, you certainly get that smoky aroma that reminds me of camping in the woods enjoying the rustic smell of the campfire. As it burns the aroma is quite pleasant as far as I’m concerned but others in the room may not agree.
As I’ve worked my way through this tin I’ve found that I’m reaching for this tobacco earlier rather than later in the day and in the last day or so it’s my tobacco of choice to enjoy with my first cup of coffee. I don’t know what it is with Mac Baren, but they always seem to come up with something interesting with just the right amount of complexity. So far, I’ve reviewed Mac Baren Mixture Scottish Blend and Mac Baren Navy Flake and I love them both, but I think HH Vintage Syrain is my favorite so far.
For this review, I smoked a bowl in my black Dunhill Shell Briar (3103) and it was so good, I am immediately filling another bowl of HH Vintage Syrian in my Dunhill Cumberland (4202).
Mac Baren HH Vintage Syrian is definitely a blend that I’ll come back to often and it’s one that I can definitely recommend.
A look in side the tin with at least 6 different tobaccos that make up the HH Vintage Syrian Blend
Brand: Mac Baren
Tin Description: The base of the blend, a little under half of the volume, is a smooth and yet powerful Latakia from Syria. This tobacco gives the blend the overall smoky taste, a powerful taste and yet without any tongue bite. To add a spicy note to the blend, Turkish Oriental has been added. A mix of different Virginia tobaccos from 3 continents adds a sweet natural taste. To complete the taste with depth and body, we added a little Dark Fired Kentucky from the USA.
Country of Origin: Denmark
Curing Group: Fire Cured
Contents: Kentucky, Virginia, Latakia, Turkish Oriental
Cut: Coarse Cut
Blend Notes: Introduced in 2006
Strength: Mild to Medium
Flavoring: Extremely Mild
Room Note: Pleasant to Tolerable
Compare this review with Bob Tate’s review of HH Vintage Syrian for his description of the taste and a slightly different opinion on this tobacco – Bob Tate’s Review of HH Vintage Syrian