Syrian Latakia

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Rastislav

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Oct 27, 2019
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I’m sure this has been discussed at length, but why is it that Syrian Latakia is no longer available? Is it the political situation over there?
 

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chasingembers

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Nov 12, 2014
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sablebrush52

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Jun 15, 2013
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Syrian Latakia hasn't been produced in many years. Syria put a moratorium on its production several times because of the ecological havoc its production caused.
 

logs

Preferred Member
Apr 28, 2019
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The unfortunate part is latikia doesn't maintain it's bold flavor when well aged. I'm currently smoking an 8 year old tin of Westminster and the change in the latikia portion of the blend is very noticeable. Everything is smooth as silk, but at half the flavor and spice. For my taste buds, that is not an acceptable trade off when compared to fresh Westminster.
 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
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The unfortunate part is latikia doesn't maintain it's bold flavor when well aged. I'm currently smoking an 8 year old tin of Westminster and the change in the latikia portion of the blend is very noticeable. Everything is smooth as silk, but at half the flavor and spice. For my taste buds, that is not an acceptable trade off when compared to fresh Westminster.
I noticed the same with 5 year old Maltese Falcon. Dramatic difference from fresh.
 
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mortonbriar

Preferred Member
Oct 25, 2013
1,141
534
I like the idea of toning down the latakia in my favourite blends, I prefer it as a condiment and am happily cellaring them for that reason.
 
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hobie1dog

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Jun 5, 2010
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Somehow I am going to stock up on it, most likely just buy Pirate Kake in the vacuum bagged 16hz bricks when smokingpipes.com has it on sale for $40.00. As It's 75% latakia, and being vacuum sealed it will last longer than me.
 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
29,603
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logs, I had the same problem with Westminster. I opened the tin and the Latakia was smokey for the first two bowls and then it somewhat disappeared. I bolstered the blend with other condiments and finished the tin, but I was surprised the Lat completely faded. I didn't realize there was an environmental problem with Latakia, I just thought the Civil War over there had shut down the production.
 
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logs

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Apr 28, 2019
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GL Pease has often written about latikia and how it mellows out during aging, but I guess I thought it would take longer to be so noticeable... more like 15 or 20 years.

I understand there are lots of people who don't enjoy strong latikia but for those who do, aging can be the enemy.
 

rmpeeps

Preferred Member
Oct 17, 2017
715
449
San Antonio, TX
Just my opinion, but 15 years has been kind to Bohemian Scandal. It has mellowed to the point that I really enjoy it more than fresh.
I like Latakia in its softer state, so stocking up on some medium Lat/Oriental blends now should be perfect a few years down the road.
 

logs

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Apr 28, 2019
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Of course it's alive. Pretty sure it's the only type blenders have available
 

pipestud

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Dec 6, 2012
1,851
617
Robinson, TX.
Update: Cyprian Latakia is currently no longer an entire product of Cyprus. The Smyrna varietal leaf is still fumigated there over the native Mastic tree wood, but the tobacco is now grown in Lebanon, about 165 miles on the other side of the Mediterranean. So, the leaf is now grown in soil that is somewhat different but I have no clue what effect that has on the tobacco now being grown there instead of the southeastern coastline of northern Cyprus.
 

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