I had a tin of premium pipe tobacco with Lat in the blend that I kept unopened for a few years, and when I popped it, there was distinct Lat in the first few bowls, and then it disappeared. I bolstered the rest of the tin with condiments, though I didn't try to replace the Lat, but the blend definitely changed after opening.
Taste buds change over time as do tobacco mixtures over time. As I have aged my tastes have changed from a strong Latakia preference to a Va/Per preference. Yet I still enjoy an aged Latakia blend as much as anything. Good tobacco is still good tobacco.
Never went after older tins. Mainly due to not being into pipe smoking long enough, and not believing in paying arms and legs for already aged tins. Having said that, I wouldn't mind aged Latakia too much. Fresh open current Latakia is sharp and pungent in its characteristics. But even couple of weeks will mellow it down and let it play with others better. I'm hoping, more age down the road will allow better enjoyment of Latakia.
As one who has two tubs-worth of English-style pipe tobacco in tins with 5-7 years, I am happier than a pig in slop. (Being born and raised in San Francisco, I'm not used to using a phrase like that.) The 7-year-old Gaslight in my pipe is saying, "Yum."
Do you prefer the brash fruit of a young wine or the rounded complexity of a 10-15 year old bottle ? It depends entirely on your tastes.
I have only recently returned to smoking pipes in the past 3 years, so have not had the chance to smoke many aged blends, except for ones gifted by a pipe buddy, or the occasional tins bought on the secondary market. So I cannot comment without the experience of tasting a vast variety of aged blends like many of the Forums members can with their huge cellars of tobacco.
But I have been buying wine and cigars for years. Most of the wine I buy will definitely benefit from cellar time, but I also buy bottles for immediate drinking.
Which is a very long winded way of saying that some blends will definitely be better with cellar age, while others are better young and fresh. But it all depends on your taste and preference
I am one of the ones that do not like aged lat blends as much as their relatively “fresh” counterparts. That being said anything under 5 years for me is “fresh” I’ll still smoke em after 10 years but that’s when they start tasting flat to me, like @mso489 , when first opened the Lat was very much full and present but a few days after opening the tin the Lat seems fade. There are always exceptions though. Misterlowercase gifted me a tin of some well aged Krumble Kake and some Balkan Sobranie from the late 70’s both of those blends were stellar! The Sobranie was a trip, the Latakia did not taste as if it had faded at all, it smoked very much like a “fresh” tin of tobacco t’was just divine!
Here soon, I really won’t have a choice, I have very few blends that have less than 5 years age on them so I’ll be smoking a lot of aged lat blends in due time. I’m always open to changing my mind, this has just been my experience so far.
I’m really enjoying Eastfarthing a Frog Morgan imitation and it is excellent. It is mostly aged Lat. It does mellow the smoky note, but it is still there…. I like both aged and young Lat for different reasons.
Good article. I think the key point is Latakia doesn't go flat as much as the other components become more robust which results in the Latakia flavor not being as prevalent. Not being a huge Latakia fan, I certainly enjoy aged Latakia blends well more than fresh ones.