Looking for Oriental Blend Recommendations

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Andrew Womble

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Nov 17, 2020
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I'm a new pipe smoker, 9 months in now and I've explored Virginias and Vapors which I love. I also like Latakia blends during the winter months as well as Burley but not so big on Aromatics. I feel like Orientals is the last category which I haven't tried yet so I'm looking for some recommendations for Oriental forward blends. Thanks is advance.
 

Sweet Home Alabama

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Mar 2, 2021
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Alabama USA
If you have a local tobaconist, ask them to add some lakatia into their English blends. While I did this and like the taste, it is not that much different from his English. I'll probably just get his usual blend next time I need tobacco.
 
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Grangerous

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Dec 8, 2020
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Hello Andrew,
Good post. I’d like to know myself. I believe the only blend I’ve enjoyed that contained orientals is HH Acadian Perique (MacBaren). It has no topping and is quite flavorful. Pure tobacco.

Glad you asked this. I’d like to see some recommendations too.
 
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mparker762

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Apr 1, 2021
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Houston, TX
Balkan Sasieni, which is reasonably close to the famous Balkan Sobranie (better than the current Balkan Sobranie imo and infinitely easier to come by).

McConnell has two outstanding oriental blends, "Original Oriental" which is their original oriental blend (hence the clever name) and "Oriental Square" which is a more recent offering that is aimed at Dunhill Durbar (one of the premier orientals but hasn't been made since Peterson took over the line).

The other three I can wholeheartedly recommend are L. J. Peretti's "Royal" and "Tashkent", and Rattray "Red Rapparee". Royal is based on an older generation of Balkan Sobranie from the 70's, and Tashkent is probably the best oriental on the market today. You'll have to order it from them, they don't sell it through other retailers. Red Rapparee includes unflavored black cavendish in the scottish style, but flavor-wise it's an oriental through and through.

Others to try are Robert Lewis "Orcilla" and James Fox "Campanile".
 

rushx9

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Jul 10, 2019
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Unfortunately, the best Oriental blends with no latakia were made by McClelland and are no longer produced. D&R Ramback Balkan was another good one that is no longer with us. The other Rambacks make good blending components, but I don't like them enough by themselves to recommend. They seem better suited to paper pipes.
Presbyterian is definitely worth a try. It has a little lat, but not enough to make it disagreeable in warm weather.
There are also a few good VAs and Vapers with a bit of condimental Oriental leaf, but it'd be a stretch to call them oriental blends. Not sure if there are still any tins of Dunhill Ready Rubbed or 3YM floating around, but they are both fantastic.
GLP Cairo gets a lot of good reviews, and the perique is said to be condimental, but I haven't tried it yet so I can't personally recommend it.
 
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danimalia

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Sep 2, 2015
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Yeah, the Oriental blends without Latakia are kind of rare birds.

I am extremely partial to GL Pease Embarcadero, a Red VA-based flake with Turkish Izmir. Temple Bar by Pease is also good, if not as good as Embarcadero, IMO. Cairo is still on my to-try list.

If you are open to blends with Latakia, I suggest, from lightest to heaviest Latakia content in my estimation:

Presbyterian
GL Pease Kensington
Rattray's Red Rap
GL Pease Spark Plug
 

Jaylotw

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Mar 13, 2020
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Regents Flake is good, too. Embarcadero and Regents are my go-to orientals. Chelsea Morning is pretty oriental-forward as well, along with Cairo, which I’ve only just discovered . I’m noticing a GLP trend...as far as English blends that are light on the Latakia, Presbyterian and Squadron Leader fit the bill.

I’ve been smoking a pipe for over a decade, and orientals are still kind of a mystery to me. They’re not full-bodied and in your face, and can change depending on the type used (most blenders use a blend of various types) and what else is present in the blend. They’re musty, spicy (not peppery like perique) and woody, complex but not dominating.

I’ve smoked straight oriental, and it’s good on its own, but it needs some backup to really pop out. A pinch of Latakia or Perique can really help define their flavors in a blend if used in a small enough quantity to not overpower them.
 

rushx9

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Jul 10, 2019
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I’ve smoked straight oriental, and it’s good on its own, but it needs some backup to really pop out. A pinch of Latakia or Perique can really help define their flavors in a blend if used in a small enough quantity to not overpower them.
I've also smoked several straight oriental blends and it's interesting how tame and even bland they can be on their own, yet a dash of sweet VA can bring out so many nuances, or how perique or lat can steer them more in a cigar-like direction.
 

kg.legat0

Preferred Member
Sep 6, 2019
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Southwestern PA
I have grown to love Va/Oriental blends lately, I unfortunately also can't stand the taste of Latakia...

I really like GLP Embarcadero, GLP Cairo, GLP Regents Flake, Low Country Natural Virginia and Oriental, and C&D Oriental Silk ...I've been exploring the Va/Or realm this year and it's been a lovely ride.

I think I might have to try Bijou sometime soon, I have a feeling it is probably still pretty good even w/o the suggested 10-15 years age. ...would also love to try the Watch City offerings but feel like they can be hard to come by.
 

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