Bite From Latakia and/or Oriental/Turkish Blends?

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hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
2,333
969
I was almost exclusively smoking VA, VA Flake, VaPer, VaPer Flake and some VaBur up to couple months ago. Started liking some latakia and oriental blends. Started with some Chelsea Morning and Maltese Falcon but have moved onto other blends with Oriental/Turkish and heavier Latakia such as Abingdon and Westminster, Artisan Blend and others. I always smoke the VA forward blends earlier in the day.
In the past 3 or 4 weeks, I've been noticing some tongue bite at the end of the day. I thought it could be associated with a sinus infection or smoking too much (6 to 8 bowls per day). As an experiment, the past couple of days, I've gone back to exclusively smoking the VA forward blends. No tongue bite.
Interestingly enough, I don't seem to get any bite from Quiet Nights which is a flake. Made me wonder if I may not be smoking the ribbon cuts a bit too fast. But I've also been smoking through a tin of Dunhill Ye Olde Signe, 2 to 3 bowls per day, and that doesn't seem to cause an issue. I thought VA leaf burned hotter???
So it makes me wonder if the burn is related to a chemical or allergic reaction to the Latakia and/or Oriental/Turkish. But if that is the case, why then does Quiet Nights not seem to bother me? I have heard of numerous people who don't mix well with VA blends, especially Red VA but I haven't heard of anyone having problems with the Latakia and/or Oriental/Turkish blends.
Any ideas or thoughts from the experts? I've really been enjoying the English and Balkan blends, would hate to have to cut them out of the rotation.

 

jeff540

Member
Jan 25, 2016
257
75
For some reason any ribbon cut does that to me unless it's dried to a crisp (left out for hours first), and then they are rather quick burning bowls. Flakes, coins, and broken flakes are much more forgiving to my tongue and mouth.

 

haparnold

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2018
1,170
415
Lexington, KY
Maybe start by smoking a VA/Lat blend in the evenings for a week or two, then a VA/Oriental blend for a similar amount of time? If it's a chemical reaction, that should help you pinpoint the source.
I don't consider Balkan/English blends 'bitey' per se, but I definitely get a little palate fatigue if I smoke more than a couple bowls of them in a day. I don't experience this with burleys or straight VA.
EDIT: you specifically asked for input from the experts. I'm only an expert in walking while chewing gum. Maybe one day I'll work my way up to smoking and walking.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,688
1,626
Yeh, I get the same thing. I hate to say it... but, I think it's the Virginias that Greg uses. I don't get that same bite when I smoke latakia blends from other makers. Maybe try one by another blender, just to compare. Not C&D, as they would probably be using the same varieties of Virginias.

 

haparnold

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2018
1,170
415
Lexington, KY
I think it's the Virginias that Greg uses
While I'm a big fan of C&D/GLP, and while I think they each have some standout straight Virginia blends, I don't think anyone considers them the place to go for super high-quality Virginias.

 

judcole

Preferred Member
Sep 14, 2011
4,721
122
Detroit
Maybe start by smoking a VA/Lat blend in the evenings for a week or two, then a VA/Oriental blend for a similar amount of time? If it's a chemical reaction, that should help you pinpoint the source.
I don't consider Balkan/English blends 'bitey' per se, but I definitely get a little palate fatigue if I smoke more than a couple bowls of them in a day. I don't experience this with burleys or straight VA.
I think Hap has a pretty good suggestion, here. I also agree with him on the palate fatigue issue. I have been smoking lat blends for years, but I rarely smoke more than three a day - one or two is the usual routine. YMMV, of course.