A Latakia Blend for Latakia Haters?

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orthodoxpiper

New member
Jan 11, 2019
40
26
I've sworn off Latakia blends due to my general disdain of the leaf, but I want to keep an open mind and try some again. I was thinking of easing my way in with Presbyterian, but I don't know where to go after that. I'm looking for recommendations for Light -> Medium -> Heavy. Something you feel really showcases the leaf in all its glory.
My only caveat is that I haven't really loved any GLP blends I've had, much to my dismay (JKP, Union Square, Haddo's, Navigator) - I think the blending method just doesn't agree with me. I'd prefer to avoid the brand, but I think if I can find a spot in my heart for the occasional Latakia I might just have to try Gas Light for the heck of it. Any other brands are fair game.
So, what do you recommend?

 

rdavid

Preferred Member
Jun 30, 2018
648
3
Milton, FL
Gaslight is definitely not "easing" back into latakia unless you want to blow the top of your head off with a lat bomb. Might scare you away again. Just sayin...

 

ashdigger

Preferred Member
Jul 30, 2016
5,289
136
Try the John Cotton series. Especially John Cotton #1 and the oddly named Number 1&2.

 

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unkleyoda

Preferred Member
Aug 22, 2016
1,122
50
Your mom\\\'s house
You want Latakia in all it's glory? C&D Star of the East.
If you like Va/Pers and want one with just a bit of Latakia, try Peterson Balkan Delight. It is an amazing sleeper blend. (contrary to the name, it contains no orientals)

 

pianopuffer

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2017
467
68
NYC
If you're into GLP, then I'd suggest Chelsea Morning. Light latakia English to me, became a substitute for EMP when it went off the market.
For non-English w/latakia, I can suggest Edward Robinson as well as Cult Conspiracy. The latter is definitely in the aromatic vein, but there is a touch of latakia to round out the other leaves in the blend. For someone who isn't into aromatics much, I do like some Conspiracy.
Good luck.

 

davet

Preferred Member
May 9, 2015
3,783
12
Gaslight is definitely not "easing" back into latakia
+1 There's a difference between scratching your ass and tearing it all to hell :rofl:
Kramer's Blend for Cary Grant might be a good one to try

 
Nov 27, 2018
270
2
Some Billy Budd by Cornell & Diehl with about 6 months age on it is sublime.
I like Latakia, but it's not my old stand by. I smoke mainly VAs, VA/Pers, Kentuckys, and everything in that area all day, and in the evening time I'll enjoy the heck out of a heavy Latakia blend, but Billy Budd is right in between for me; the Latakia is much more of a condiment and there are other tobaccos at the forefront. Some people say it's strong, but I say it's just right.

 

rdavid

Preferred Member
Jun 30, 2018
648
3
Milton, FL
I can definitely second Billy Budd. Just tried it a few days ago and can't keep away from the stuff. Very easy smoking burley forward with just a hint of latakia. Probably going to become my "go to" all day smoke.

 

orthodoxpiper

New member
Jan 11, 2019
40
26
I was looking at getting some Billy Budd Blonde, so maybe I'll chuck the original in with the order, too.
Good for looking out on the Gaslight, everyone! I won't jump straight into it, but if I find I can appreciate some Latakia, I have always been so curious about this blend. When people frequently describe the tin note as "asphalt and tar", I can't help but be intrigued!

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
2,917
3,106
I'd recommend several. Hearth & Home Magnum Opus and Black House. F&K Lancer Slices. Ashton Artisan's Blend. C&D Black Frigate and Pirate Kake. GLP Chelsea Morning, Maltese Falcon, Quiet Nights and Charing Cross. There's a wide range of Latakia content within that group. If you can get access to it, HU Tobacco Fayyum Kake and Zulu. Go to Tobaccoreviews.com and research each one. As far as GLP blends go, I think you would be missing out on one of the best, if not the best, blenders on the planet by giving up on the blend. I've found opening GLP tins a few weeks before smoking them makes a significant difference. Chelsea Morning, Maltese Falcon and Quiet Nights would give you an excellent cross section and are all absolutely superb.
It could be you simply don't or can't like Latakia. When I first started back with pipe smoking, Latakia did not agree with me. That's changed in the past couple of months and I'm really enjoying numerous Latakia blends now.

 

wolflarsen

Senior Member
Jul 29, 2018
359
425
In my opinion there is no lat blend better than Quiet Nights. It's not a heavy lat bomb. Just perfection in a tin. I like it best with about a year of age but aging it isn't necessary. To me the lat flavor it delivers is more in the realm of incense than campfire.
HH Latakia Flake may be a good dip into lat blends for you. Something about pressing the leaf under hot steam really mellows out the aggressive side of the latakia flavor and transforms it into a very pleasant, smooth, and creamy experience.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
28,550
6,374
If you can do a mild, nuanced, refined American-English (with burley), you might try Nat Sherman 536, in a tin or available from Nat Sherman in Manhattan as bulk.

 
Nov 27, 2018
270
2
I was looking at getting some Billy Budd Blonde
Please report back if you try that.
Billy Budd Blonde is an amazing blend, as well. It's like the morning version of Billy Budd. Basically the Latakia is replaced with Perique. Just like the original, it can be rough around the edges when smoked to quickly, but a slow cadence really opens up the flavor. Blonde is one of the most reached-for blends in my rotation.

 

judcole

Preferred Member
Sep 14, 2011
4,864
1,045
Detroit
Hmmm. I would suggest things like SG Skiff or the Sutliff Dunhill EMP match.

You also might want to dig around in some of the classic style American lat bends - the variations on the old "codger burleys" - Hearth & Home Chestnut, Sutliff Matches for things like Barking Dog, Country Doctor, Revelation, Iwan Ries Private Blend. These are all blends that use latakia as a condiment, very light hand.

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
10,634
3,946
If you're looking to ease your way back into enjoying a bit of Latakia, I recommend John Cotton #1 mild. That's what worked for me, and I had completely burned out on Latakia anything.

 

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