I'm honestly not sure why, but this blend pushes all of my buttons. The clarity of the creamy, rich, nutty Virginias combined with just the right amount of condimental Latakia (for my tastes) results in an absolutely perfect smoke. If you love McClel... Read Moreland 2020 and/or the way that Plum Pudding keeps everything in balance with a reserved use of Latakia, I think you'll love this blend. The Syrian Latakia is so floral that I even detect rose and berry notes. Everyone at a recent pipe club meeting was a bit surprised by this one. Really something worth trying. Read Less
The original reason I purchased this blend is because I read in a review somewhere that it was comparable to Penzance. Okay I'll try it. I opened the tin last night and was greeted with an aroma that had me raising my eyebrows. Okay, maybe....The fla... Read Morekes were all tightly compressed together making it tough to pull out a single flake intact. Okay, kinda.........The flake was about the same height but just a little wider. Not as delicate as EP on the crumble but not difficult like SGF's. Moisture content was good and allowed for smoking right out of the tin. I packed my bowl, fired up and was pleasantly surprised with the flavor profile. Not to strong on the Latakia and a nice sweetness provided by the Virginias. It was much closer in comparison than the other "Penzance like" blend that was mentioned to me. Charles Fairmorn's Lancer Slices. A good smoke in itself but not as well rounded, matured and smooth as the mighty Penzance. If your looking for a pacifier until you can get your hands on the real deal then try a tin a see what you think.
Update: 6/29/15 Well, after smoking some Germains Special Latakia Flake and then going back to this, I realized how far off this stuff was from Penzance. A fool I was trying to compare the LatVa blend No9 to the Great One. The GSLF was much closer in flavor profile and tin note. Basically a "Penzance Lite" Read Less
There's not a ton going on with this blend, but it's delicious. The Virginias are at the forefront, very smooth and more on the earthy and nutty side than the bright and grassy. From looking at the flakes themselves you would expect a Lat-bomb, but... Read More being Syrian Latakia it's much more subtle. It doesn't beat you over the head with a campfire, it's more of a spicy and musty incense flavor (almost reminded me of Orientals at times). It's very straightforward and extremely high quality, I highly recommend it. Read Less
I've only smoked a couple bowls so far but I feel it's worth mentioning that there is a nearly imperceptible quantity of Syrian Latakia in this blend so if ur purchasing for the Syrian keep that in mind. To me there is a whisper of the wine like cha... Read Moreracter I'm the first quarter of the bowl but soon after its completely drowned out by the raw power of cyprian latakia, of which there is plenty. Rich, dark brown flakes, the tin note is reminiscent of old ironsides but only slightly. Also if ur looking for a penzance replacement this isn't it either, at least as far as flavor profile goes. I will say, however, that there is big flavor here so in that regard alone they share one similarity. Latakia flake lacks orientals and is very straightforward and blunt, with powerful Latakia Virginia flavor. To me the Virginia sweetness isn't there and therefore I'll be leaving it in the jar for 6 months to let them sweeten some. If u love pure English flavor there this flake is the bomb. Tons of Latakia goodness melded tightly with the Virginia, it satisfies that craving and also satisfies with medium nicotine. More of a fvf Virginia flavor and less of a light VA flavor for me, but married well. Smokes well and completely from top all the way to the very bottom. No bite but very strong in body when fresh. This is a treat not an all day smoke. Read Less
This is the first blend I've had with Syrian latakia in it. I can't believe there is that big of a difference! This blend is fantastic. The flake is not as delicate as Penzance and is lacking the massive flavor profile, but let me tell you. This Blen... Read Mored can stand on its own two feet. Ready to smoke right out of the tin... Read Less
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