I've been smoking mostly VA's & Vipers for months and just cracked a tin of Old San Francisco. Wow,LATAKIA ! The first bowl was almost overpowering. After a couple of days/bowls the taste seems to be mellowing.
No one ever mentions Biotene any more. I know that this mouthwash has changed its formula a bit, but it still the best way, for me, to cleanse my palate. It's worth a try. I rinse with this just before I brush teeth 2-3 times a day. And, sometimes when I get a bit of a rough tongue or taste overload, I will rinse with this and fir up another pipe. YMMV
One of the benefits of smoking infrequently (only a few times a week, in my case) is that there really isn't any chance for your taste buds to become worn out. I love camp fires and wood smoke, and that translates directly to my love of latakia. My favorite blend of the few that I have tried so far is Star of the East, which claims to have 50% latakia content. Delicious!