Mac Baren HH Vintage Latakia. Impressions.

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cachimbero

Member
Apr 9, 2019
146
1
I have finished my first tin of Mac Baren HH Vintage Latakia. As I see it is a seldom reviewed tobacco, I think a review could be useful.

There are very few reviews of this in Tobaccoreviews.com, at least under this name. Some people think this is the same tobacco that is sold in the US under the name HH Balkan. I have not tried the latter and I am not able to give my opinion on this. Maybe someone who has tried both can help.

Many smokers, me among them, miss HH Vintage Syrian. It is not available anymore and some claim this is a substitute. As such, it would be the same tobacco with the Syrian Latakia replaced with Cyprian. I don´t think this is true and believe some more changes have been done; this is a new blend on its own.

The first pipefuls were strange. I liked the tobacco but I thought it was a very different English, since the main flavour I could pick up was dark fired Kentucky (which I like very much, but seems strange to me in an English style blend). As I went through the tin, the orientals became more assertive and I started to enjoy the tobacco very much. The final third of the tin was an example of a great classic medium English to me.

I find that vacuum sealed blends change after opened and develop. I would say it is not strictly due to drying (which has its own influence) but due to an "oxygenation" (may be oxidation is the proper term) process similar to the one which happens with wines. That´s why I think that forming one opinion about a blend after one or two bowls is deceitful.

If you like English blends with a bias towards orientals predominance (as opposed to a Virginia one) and a certain twist towards Kentucky, try this. You might like it.

Strength is similar to other blends of this type (I would say medium) and, as a bonus, my family thinks it smells wonderfully, not just unofenssively.

 

yuda

Member
Feb 28, 2017
134
248
I managed to snag 5 tins which are happily sitting away for special occasions for me to open em up. Won't be for a while, since I got a couple of tins of Frog Morton waiting on me too.

 

danimalia

Preferred Member
Sep 2, 2015
1,258
1,646
Interesting. I have noticed that some blenders seem to like to add Dark-Fired Kentucky to Latakia blends that are a tribute to older Balkan blends. Russ does it in Blackhouse, I believe. HH Vintage Syrian had some. So does Balkan Supreme, I think.
I enjoyed HH Syrian, and have a few bowls left in a jar. I will have to check this one out. I've generally enjoyed the HH blends.

 

cachimbero

Member
Apr 9, 2019
146
1
That´s settled then. I wonder why the name difference, surely a marketing or legal issue. I don´t like the European name, as it relates the tobacco, which has its own specific merits, to HH Vintage Syrian. I think this is a disservice to the new blend.