Syrian Latakia

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kane

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2014
429
0
Hi Folks,

I am curious about Syrian Latakia. Is this the name of a Latakia variety that may be grown in, and available from, different places in the world, or does it refer to a Latakia that is only grown in Syria? If the latter is the case, considering the state of that poor country, is Syrian Latakia an endangered tobacco? If that is the case, how long will this stuff be available, such as MacBarren's HH Vintage Syrian, and if it has not been exported from Syria for a while, approximately how much age is on the Syrian Latakia that is being sold now?
Thank you

 

anthonyrosenthal74

Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2013
7,402
319
Syrian Latakia is quickly going the way of the dodo bird, because yes, it comes from Syria. I understand it hasn't been produced for quite a few years already, so when it's gone, it's gone for good.

 

cobguy

Preferred Member
Oct 18, 2013
3,743
3
is Syrian Latakia an endangered tobacco?
It hasn't been produced in decades and McClelland most likely has the largest supply left in the US.
This has been a concern for quite awhile and I've stocked up pretty heavily on the HH Vintage Syrian.

 

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pipesmokingtom

Preferred Member
May 4, 2015
3,212
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This has been a concern for quite awhile and I've stocked up pretty heavily on the HH Vintage Syrian.
As have I.
The most recent estimate I've heard is ~2 years and it's gone.

 

mikestanley

Preferred Member
May 10, 2009
1,359
108
Akron area of Ohio
Syrian is produced by curing a particular variety of Ofiental leaf with smoke from trees native to Syria. The last shipment of it to U.S blenders was 2003 or 2004. Most who seem to be in the tobacco businesses say we've seen the last Syrian Latakia.

Mike S.

 

clickklick

Preferred Member
May 5, 2014
1,660
6
Although don't be fooled, there are some blenders using a form of flavored Burley that they are labeling as Syrian.
It is my understanding that currently, McClelland and MacBaren are using genuine Syrian from days of yore.
Solani . . . not so much.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
28,030
4,742
I surmise that some sweet day, maybe a decade or more in the future, when what is now Syria has settled into some degree of stability, the tobacco growing areas of what is now Syria, whatever they are called by then, will again produce this cash crop. The tobacco states in the U.S. have certainly retrenched on the tobacco crop, and the tobacco auction of old has all but disappeared, but the crop has hung on and is still a revenue stream for many, though not the economic engine it was even thirty years ago. Likewise with Syria, once the wave of combat and general random murder has diminished, people will look around for salvageable economic sources and their longtime tobacco crop will be one of them. Talk about an unlucky place of birth. Many killed just for being born.

 

prairiedruid

Preferred Member
Jun 30, 2015
1,707
79
Raising the tobacco isn't the issue; it's the special wood used to cure the leaves after harvest that has been decimated. Trees/shrubs take much longer to grow back and the Syrian government has outlawed the production of this type of tobacco.

 

anthonyrosenthal74

Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2013
7,402
319
Raising the tobacco isn't the issue; it's the special wood used to cure the leaves after harvest that has been decimated. Trees/shrubs take much longer to grow back and the Syrian government has outlawed the production of this type of tobacco.
You can bet someone, somewhere, has some hidden, waiting for the day he can get back into business.

 

balkisobrains

Preferred Member
Jun 27, 2016
1,215
45
Listen to Mike McNiels PipesMagazine radio interview, he talks about Syrian & Cyprian Latakias a little bit. Sorry I can't remember which half it is on, I want to say the second half. Sounded like some of the stuff coming out of Syria at some point was based on Sokhoum leaf and it sounded like they were using what was available to smoke it. How that affected what you can buy now, I don't know exactly.

 

tuold

Preferred Member
Oct 15, 2013
2,125
67
Beaverton,Oregon
I was curious about trying Syrian latakia as well, so I ordered some Planta Full English. Unfortunately the cigar leaf in it completely overwhelms the latakia. Looks like my chances of tasting the real thing are fading fast.

 

josephcross

Preferred Member
Dec 30, 2015
944
3
I like the Mac Baren Vintage Syrian, i find it is smooth and has lots of flavor. I can pick up all the components in that blend. I have not cracked into my tin of 3Oaks yet. I should just so I know

If I like it enough to stock up on.

 

dino

Preferred Member
Jul 9, 2011
706
423
^ Tuold, my favorite tobacco is McClelland's Samovar, a Chicagoland Pipe Collectors Club blend.

Of all the tobaccos that contain Syrian Latakia, I've found this to be the finest.

 

rodbuster3

Junior Member
Nov 10, 2016
55
0
I have a tin of 3oaks from 2011 maybe i should keep it and sell it for a couple hundred buck 10 years from now

 

ophiuchus

Preferred Member
Mar 25, 2016
1,249
128
Syrian Latakia, the genuine article as we know it, has been out of production for over a decade. Recently produced Syrian blends, at least to my time-damaged palate, just don't pack the same flavor intensity that they had years ago (which is not to say it's not good, just less "smokey"). Even if production resumes in the future, the seasoning will change due to availability differentials of traditionally used wood/shrubbery in the fire-curing process. Kinda like Cuban cigars after the hurricanes washed the copper out of their growing soil; the product just isn't, and won't be, the same.
I think most of us here have gotten used to flavors coming and going ... not just tobacco, either. (Hell, Jack Daniels just hasn't been the same since they dialed themselves down to wussy 80 proof.)

 
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