That Blend That Changed Everything

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danimalia

Preferred Member
Sep 2, 2015
4,039
23,248
39
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
My first experience with Latakia was my first pipe experience. Sutliff Medium English in a cob. I found the Latakia shocking and didn't really know what to think. Smoked a few bowls, but mostly stuck with cigars which I had enjoyed for years. Fast forward a couple months later and a coworker offered me a bowl of McClelland's Bombay Court. This time, I really enjoyed it and could find the nuances just like a good cigar. A little after that, I bought a tin of Frog's Cellar and liked that quite a bit, and then a week or so later some GLP Maltese Falcon, and I was hooked. So I consider all three of those blends to be critical in changing me to a Lat lover.

On the flip side, I liked my first VA-based tin, Orlik Golden Sliced, right from the start.
 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
5,156
6,224
32
Burlington WI
Orlik golden sliced was the first and only virginia blend I've ever liked to this day.
My first experience with Latakia was my first pipe experience. Sutliff Medium English in a cob. I found the Latakia shocking and didn't really know what to think. Smoked a few bowls, but mostly stuck with cigars which I had enjoyed for years. Fast forward a couple months later and a coworker offered me a bowl of McClelland's Bombay Court. This time, I really enjoyed it and could find the nuances just like a good cigar. A little after that, I bought a tin of Frog's Cellar and liked that quite a bit, and then a week or so later some GLP Maltese Falcon, and I was hooked. So I consider all three of those blends to be critical in changing me to a Lat lover.

On the flip side, I liked my first VA-based tin, Orlik Golden Sliced, right from the start.
 

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peregrinus

Preferred Member
Aug 4, 2019
1,052
3,092
Pacific Northwest
I smoke Virginias and Vapers pretty much exclusively. However, one night last year, while I pondered weak and weary, I inexplicably added a tin of HU’s Jerry Saronno (Cherry Saronno) to an Estervals order.
See @jiminks excellent review: Cherry Saronno
It is not only an aro, it is a cherry aro, and I like it. Not often, but once every month or two a bowl is refreshing. It caused me rethink the idea that all aros are... undesirable abominations and that cherry flavored varieties are the worst of the worst.
 

Toast

Member
Feb 15, 2021
291
540
UK
Not a latakia story, but the belnd that changed everything for me was definitely Bold Kentucky.

If I look back at my notes they were all over the place as was my cadence. I'd think the same tobacco was the best thing ever one smoke & the next it was disgusting & what was I thinking!

But this one smoked beautifully right from the get go & put me in a happier place than tobacco ever had. I still smoke it every evening before bed.

That was the one that made me sure I wanted to smoke a pipe.
 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
34,617
30,980
This happens to me from time to time. My first ounce of C&D Bayou Night, from the Morganton, N.C., days, seemed harsh and heavy to me. But when I ordered it again -- and I must have liked something about it -- it was a whole new day. The second batch had lost all of that edge but had a fulsome rich flavor. Same kind of thing with the codger aromatic Three Star Blue (Iwan Ries), which seemed all edges and bite until left alone for some months, and then it settled into a more mellow tasty mode. Sometimes this is a little aging. Sometimes you figure out a blend more or less subconsciously when you put it aside. Sometimes you just get a better batch. Other blends, like C&D Tuggle Hall, I just like right away.
 

TimeKiller

Junior Member
Feb 2, 2021
85
186
Texas
not only an aro, it is a cherry aro, and I like it
Whaaat? I keep reading this but my brain just isn't processing it... Seriously though I might have to give this a fair shake.

For me it was Peter Stokkebye's Luxury English. It was sold to me as a no-name bulk, and I immediately loved it. I kept trying other English to replicate it, but nothing really matched it (although I did a healthy tour of the English options like this). I don't know what it is about that blend, but it's something special. I think bulks in general get a bad rap.

Another one that really opened my eyes was SPC Plum Pudding, as much as I hate saying that. Seemed like a trendy thing but it's just so different, that it felt like my perception of what was possible in the world of pipe tobacco was expanded exponentially. Like I had been living in my garage and didn't realize there was a 8000sqf house attached. Aside from the question of if I actually liked it or not, it was still very cool experience.
 

OzPiper

Preferred Member
Nov 30, 2020
740
2,321
68
Sydney, Australia
Nice to hear these stories of tobaccos and blends that redeemed themselves.
I love chocolate and rum and bought a chocolate flavoured and a rum flavoured blend. Hated both of them, and trying them again after an interval didn't change my mind.

They were saved from being added to the wife's compost bin by a friend who loved them.

When I first took up a pipe I smoked OTC aromatic blends until I found a tobacconist who actually blended his own. He introduced me to perique and Latakia. It took a little while, but nowadays they form the bulk (>95%) of my smokes.
 

peregrinus

Preferred Member
Aug 4, 2019
1,052
3,092
Pacific Northwest
Whaaat? I keep reading this but my brain just isn't processing it...
And, I smoke it exclusively in a dedicated cob.
I can imagine that when that far off day arrives that @cosmicfolklore sheds his mortal coil and stands before the gates of eternity, he will be handed a MacArthur sized cob of this blend at the guard house as a reward for a life well done.
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
24,522
24,149
Helena, Alabama
And, I smoke it exclusively in a dedicated cob.
I can imagine that when that far off day arrives that @cosmicfolklore sheds his mortal coil and stands before the gates of eternity, he will be handed a MacArthur sized cob of this blend at the guard house as a reward for a life well done.
...at that point, I realized that my choices had all been mislaid before me in deception, and they coax me off to an eternity of shoveling fire with a pitchfork. puffy
 

musicman

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2019
1,013
5,423
Tucson, AZ
I only had bad experiences with Va/VaPer blends when I seriously took up the pipe. Ashy, cigaretty, just plain unpleasant.

Then, I ordered some Match Victoria, and that first bowl was a complete eye-opener for me. It was like “oh, THIS is what the Va lovers have been talking about.” Since that moment, which I remember very clearly (I can tell you exactly what intersection I was at in my car when it happened) I have smoked Va based blends probably 70 percent of the time. About 6 months later, I had a similar epiphany with my first bowl of Oriental Silk. These are, for me, special and exciting moments in my time in this hobby. I’m glad this forum exists for me to share them, because my wife couldn’t care less!
 

chefmike

New member
Feb 2, 2021
46
495
Bandera, Texas
I had smoked mostly OTC pouches off and on, Dad had passed on bags of aros he liked. Then I was in a shop and they had a jar labelled "Pirate Cake" I was intrigued. And hooked. What is this wonder that smells like burning pine and tastes almost minty it is so pungent? I remember getting asked to leave a bar that allowed smoking.

There was another english blend around the same time I loved and have no clue what it was. I remember it being a ribbon cut english with a percentage of almost blond cut tobacco, smoked sweet and smokey. Any guesses what that was? My memory may just be bad, but I would love to smoke it again, although my flavors differ now. I prefer a balkan mostly.
 

Ethan

Senior Member
Feb 15, 2021
362
2,014
Massachusetts, USA
PS Luxury bullseye flake was an eye opener. Having tried several VAper blends before it, that one hit me just right for a while. I ordered it by the lb for several years, and then for some reason it lost something for me. Haven't tried recently, might be time again. Escudo for all it's renowned reputation is 1 I have never gotten, maybe time to revisit that as well to see if I can see what has made it so iconic....I still smoke VAper regularly, just the 1 that is in the pipe most often carries a heavy shot of perique by comparison. Probably in the all day, any day category for me.
 

bullet08

Preferred Member
Nov 26, 2018
3,676
18,542
RTP, NC. USA
When I started smoking pipes, Dunhill Nightcap was already done and over with. So I searched and found a match. That changed everything. The first taste of lat just told me there were things magical about pipe smoke. Still love lat here and there. But also finding different magic in Va.
 

Grangerous

Preferred Member
Dec 8, 2020
1,062
3,770
East Coast USA
My Mixture 965 was my first eye opener. It was “other worldly” and that’s simply the tin note! Fantastic blend.

But I later learned that it’s Burley that agrees with me and I seldom sample Latakia blends. When It’s time to take my pipe, it’s granger I crave.
 

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