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This hardy blend celebrates the oldest battleship in the U.S. Navy, the U.S.S. Constitution. This blend is a Latakia lovers dream. A high percentage of Cyprian Latakia is complimented by Kentucky, Oriental, and Virginia tobaccos. Cake aged for twelve weeks, this flake cut blend is full and cool smoking.

BrandDan Tobacco
Blended ByDan Tobacco
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsKentucky, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutFlake
Packaging50g Tin
CountryDE
ProductionUnknown
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Medium to Strong
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Full
Room Note
Strong

Favorite Of 16 Users

3.2
98 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
47
3 star:
31
2 star:
13
1 star:
7
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Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (557)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I was expecting a Lat bomb here but got much more. At first light I got Latakia and Orientals. Almost balanced. The Lat has a slight edge. A few more puffs in and the Kentucky shows itself with a nice earthiness that is easily discerned. Slowly a very mild sweetness starts to come through from the Virginias. There's just enough sweetness here to make this blend work. If there were just a little more this would reach 4 star status for me. Never quite gets there. It's a bit of a dry smoke. A beverage within reach is a necessity for me. There is a fair amount of spice in the smoke that I found to be very nice. Overall a very good smoke.

Medium in body. Medium to full in taste. Burns well. Ready to smoke right out of the tin. Probably not for everyone, but I enjoyed this tin. I'll stash a couple more.

Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

8 people found this review helpful.

andmer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
andmer (5)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Unnoticeable

A Very very flavorful mixture. Really enjoyed this, comes in a broken flake. I rubbed it out slightly, packed and smoked it immediately no drying time. Smoked wonderfully right out of the tin.

Has a super rich flavor, not your average latakia mixture by any means. I think the kentucky has a strong role in developing this taste, but not overbearing on the other components.

Smoke this last if you plan on sampling other blends in your session as it will seriously leave an impression on your palate that you can't shake off. I consider that a good thing though.

Sweet, cool, smokey, thick, long smoke. Just plain savory and delightful.

Pipe Used: Bent Bertram

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: smoking pipes

5 people found this review helpful.

TEO Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TEO (32)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Wow, this is tobacco time machine! A sort of "dual" blend, It starts as English and evolves in a spicy balkan, a full flavour flake.

Old Ironsides is the only tobacco I fell in love with after the very first bowl. Strong, with a full, nutty, crispy and smoky taste that just push you dreaming of a london night, back into a dark and smokey tavern on the river Thames, in the mid of the 18th century! I packed an entire flake down my small Peterson and had some little trouble keeping it lit, as it was just out of the tin, but after all, what a great flake!

The generous amount of latakia it contains comes from great leaves along with the base. It doesn't stun, obviously it doesn't bite and smokes veeery quiet and slow. As you proceed down the bowl, a certain deeper spicyness, that makes me think of perique or matured red virginias, shows up and stays there, enriching the taste with some more complexity.

5 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1457)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Old Ironsides will ram you, boys! Even lovers of most Latakia infested blends will surely cry "uncle" with this one. Whew! I needed to brush my teeth for a week after smoking Old Ironsides before my wife let me back in bed. Seriously, this is quite strong as well as full of flavor. The Virginia element was a little overwhelmed by the Lat bomb within, but I think I did taste it some. The Orientals never had a chance.

I gotta get more of this stuff!

5 people found this review helpful.

Budman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Budman (25)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

I remember lighting up a bowl of this while driving down the interstate a few years back. Within minutes I was reeling from the punch this packed! Old Ironsides is said to have over 40% latakia and you can believe it. The latakia taste stayed in my taste buds the entire day and also lingered in the pipe for quite some time. If you really love latakia then this is for you. Smoking this at home around any living persons would not be recommended. I have used this for blending and it did compliment some weaker blends that needed more back end. It's just to much for me on it's own.

3 people found this review helpful.

peacepipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
peacepipe (16)
★★☆☆
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Extra Strong

I was puzzled by the one or maybe 2 other Reviewers who mentioned Old Ironsides as a 'late night' blend. In theory, this makes sense; by the end of the day, our tastebuds have been somewhat numbed or taxed from receiving, for most of us, a broad variety of flavors, thereby it takes a little more intensity to make 'em "sing" with pleasure.

In addition, I found that when I did try Old Ironsides late at night, I was greeted each time by, yes, Old Ironsides firmly imprinted on my tongue first thing the following morning. What that eased that effect somewhat the most recent time was a good brushing on the tongue with toothbrush and paste right before bedtime, a good way to cleanse the pallet for the next morning in general (and a typical practice in India as a general means of oral hygene/breath freshening, as I understand it).

Also, my schedule doesn't seem to permit a nice full meal and then an evening of relaxation most nights. It is with no doubt in my mind that I tell you that a hearty meal in the belly is what's required for me to enjoy a blend like this! Whoa Nelly!

I am indeed a fan of Latakia. But I suppose even my fanaticism has its limits. The strongest blends that I've enjoyed in the past include Timm's London Blend 1000 and the currently available Balkan Sobranie (European pouched edition, not available in the USA). I've gotten enjoyment from those fine blends, usually in small bowled pipes with enough shank/stem length to add a bit of coolness. But Old Ironsides...whew...I guess this sailor is just not enough of a 'manly man' to handle this intensely smokey flake. Not sure what to do with the remainder in the tin...who knows, maybe it will grow on me? I'll Zip-Lok the tin and give it a few more tries ...

3 people found this review helpful.

natibo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
natibo (135)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Very Full Strong

Tobacco was a little drier than I prefer. It has lot's of Latakia. However, it has none of the sweetness that a blend like Odyssey has. I just found nothing special about this blend.

2 people found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (235)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong

This is a blend I had planned to try out for a long time; I waited until my next trip to Dan Pipe. Having tried it from their sample jars, I was impressed enough to buy a tin.

Opening which, the aroma is Latakia, of course, with VA and some Orientals noticeable. Dan Tobacco's typical, widely cut, ready-to-smoke flake slices are stacked up inside and shout: "let's get ready to crumbleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee".

Folding and twisting, lighting up, and falling in love are a matter of seconds.The taste is sweet and smoky (yes, there's DFK in there!), refined by the Orientals. The Latakia is the big dog here, but doesn't dominate too much. Concerning the room note, you may want to smoke this outside only. You'll end up doing that anyway when your significant other throws you out of the house. Unless she is a pipe smoker herself; then you should stock up on Viagra.

Beautiful English/Balkan flake, burns slowly down to nothing but ashes, beautiful taste -- I should have bought the bulk package.

2 people found this review helpful.

Sasquatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sasquatch (74)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

Beautiful presentation in the form of roughly broken flake. This stuff is smooth smooth smooth. Hardly any sweetness compared to a lot of other "lighter" English tobaccos (like, say, Squadron Leader or Frog Mo). More like a cup of coffee with no sugar. Can be smoked all day with no fear of bite.

Room note: Old coffee and maybe maybe a touch of spilled beer.

I like this stuff better than Penzance in taste and in leaf style. Not a clone, but in that ballpark. If you expect to require your sense of taste for about 6 hours after, don't smoke this stuff. I can just see a wine-tasting now: Lovely ruby colour, bouquet... Latakia. Taste... Latakia. Finish... mm hmm, more latakia.

2 people found this review helpful.

Professor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Professor (67)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

The U.S.S. Constitution (aka Old Ironsides) is the 'oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world'. The battleship has been celebrated with honours, including being the namesake of Dan Tobacco's blending inspiration (perhaps the ship's greatest achievement besides its age). Blended for C.A.O., Old Ironsides is a Latakia flake-based weed that I rather like. I have been critical of tobacco in the past for being uniform in taste. In this case, oddly, I like the fact that the flavour is basically unchanging from the beginning of the bowl to the bottom. There is a charm about its unvarying flavour. I am not a fan of flake form, but Old Ironsides would lose some of that charm if it were not a flake cut. The fact is that I noticeably like packing this flake in my larger pipes. The raw peat-like smell of the weed is welcoming but second only to the taste. In this case, it is a full and smoky experience without an abundance of nicotine. The latter, however, is just about right--enough for a kick but not too much to cause a headache. This stuff produces bellows of grey smoke and burns to a nice similarly-coloured ash. And I enjoy greatly the lingering aftertaste. What prevents Old Ironsides from getting another star (besides the War of 1812 against Great Britain--even if that was the ship and not the tobacco) is the fact that its flavour can become slightly harsh, but that harshness can be avoided. Significantly, it must be smoked gently and that is difficult to do due to the desire to enjoy abundantly and puff profusely (or at least faster than usual). That aside--and in mind--this is a satisfactory solid smoke that occasionally reminds me of a fine cigar (although I no longer smoke them). Latakia is my favourite component in tobacco, but if it is not yours than admittedly you will not like Old Ironsides. If Latakia is a requirement for your smoking pleasure, find your way to the Navy yard and cruise aboard the U.S.S. Constitution with this dreamy delight--you will certainly not be disappointed.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1457)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Old Ironsides will ram you, boys! Even lovers of most Latakia infested blends will surely cry "uncle" with this one. Whew! I needed to brush my teeth for a week after smoking Old Ironsides before my wife let me back in bed. Seriously, this is quite strong as well as full of flavor. The Virginia element was a little overwhelmed by the Lat bomb within, but I think I did taste it some. The Orientals never had a chance.

I gotta get more of this stuff!

2 people found this review helpful.

howie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
howie (46)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Strong

One dimensional latakia delivery system without a lot of fullness nor much else in the way of character. The quality of the tobacco itself is good and the smoke is cool. This latter point is important because the tendency for me was to smoke it rather fast in search of some flavor as it is surprisingly weak on the tastebuds for such a latakia heavy blend.

There is a flavor in this that almost seems like licorice, although I cannot place it properly.

The blend is somewhat moist in the tin. It does dry upon exposure to air, which really seems necessary in order to smoke it. I rub this out, but despite my best efforts, the resulting texture is overly stick-like for my preference. I try to rub flakes out to long soft strands, and that just isn?t possible with this blend from my experience. The tin design itself is to be commended, as it retains a seal nicely despite having been open for several months.

This blend just does not call to me from the shelf.

October 2002.

2 people found this review helpful.

mparker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mparker (51)
★☆☆☆
Mild None Detected Extra Full Very Strong

I've always considered myself a latakia fan, but this blend is just too one-dimensional for me. Not really sure why, but I suspect that it's because it's basically a straight Cyprian flake, and in my experience Cyprian acquires a dirty, muddy taste beyond 40% or so.

2 people found this review helpful.

dixcreek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dixcreek (71)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

If you are not a Latakia fan please stay clear of this one. If you love Latakia, order you a tin asap! Excellent smoke-- smokey sweet Latakia with a side of Virginia and just enough dark Ky and oriental to make a winning combo. Tin note is excellent and the moisture damn near perfect. Rubbed out easily and packed well. Stays lit throughout with few relights. Goes really well with a pint of Guinness extra stout as well. While this is not an all day everyday smoke for me it will become one that I will smoke several times a week, most likely as my last smoke of the day or night.

Pipe Used: Peterson 303

Age When Smoked: New tin

Purchased From: Smoking pipes

1 person found this review helpful.

Gloucesterman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gloucesterman (5)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I can't say I liked this blend. I found it somewhat monochromatic. That is to say it lacks complexity. From beginning to end the flavor is consistent and overwhelming. I usually like dark English flakes but this one doesn't seem to have much to recommend it. The latakia predominates in a way that is just overpowering and I can't get any other flavors to come through. Even when slow sipped there is but a single taste. Not my cup of tea. If Latakia is something you can't get enough of this might be your blend but for me Latakia is and should be a condiment tobacco and in this blend it's dominant.

Pipe Used: GBD 9438

Age When Smoked: six minths

1 person found this review helpful.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (120)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

As a huge fan of Bengal Slices and Penzance, I was looking forward to this one - though a bit suspicious of the added Kentucky. Upon opening the tin, I thought I was in for a treat, because the Latakia really smelled high-class.

The texture and cut however, is quite different from the crumbly Penzance Krumble Kake etc. This one is quite rubbery like Full Virginia Flake. But when rubbed out, it is as if the charred "dust" from the Latakia separates from the other tobaccos. It is also very hard to light and keep lit.

Unlike Penzance, Bengal Slices and Krumble Kake, the other tobaccos used here does not support the Latakia, and the flavors does not blend at all. Therefore I got this unbalanced and disharmonious smoking experience of smoky Latakia and strong acrid Kentucky. The other tobaccos; VA and orientals were totally absent.

I consider this a rough and crude attempt at a Latakia flake - not good, not good at all...

=== Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark ===

Pipe Used: FRB Bulldog

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: 4noggins.com

Similar Blends: Esoterica Tobacciana - Penzance, Bengal Slices - Bengal Slices.

1 person found this review helpful.

Bucky19 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bucky19 (13)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong

where do i start! i got a tin and was just happy every time i went to smoke it. light it up and you are just puffin fat clouds of latakia. first the tin is just cool its got a ship and then you open it up and the paper has a compass on it. then you get to the tobacco and there is just flakes of black gold. i don't like crumble flakes though i would rather have a dense packed flake u could through at a wall and it would not fall apart. but you cant be to picky. crumble it up and enjoy. i gave it to a a buddy that does not like latakia and he loved it. buy it and love it its that simple

1 person found this review helpful.

Crigs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Crigs (13)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Very Full Strong

I love complex foods and complex tobaccos. But these are usually enjoyed in moderation; a special event, a nice weekend evening, a holiday, etc. I find I tire of these quickly and they become less exciting.

Most of the time I am all about "meat and potatoes". It's the simple stuff that makes the world go around. A good plate of Mexican food or a greasy burger. Old Ironsides is a GOOD greasy burger.

I love this stuff. Wonderful plumes of Latakia smoke. Full, rich, predictable - exactly what the doctor ordered. A true friend indeed. Smokes good in just about every pipe I own.

This new release of it (thank goodness, because my stash of the original stuff was dwendling) is just as good as the original. The look is a bit different - more lighter components - and maybe the tate is slightly more smooth. But overall it is still the same Latakia drip I was used to.

1 person found this review helpful.

Kleophrades Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kleophrades (39)
★★☆☆
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

Old Ironsides is just what the package says: a Latakia lover?s dream. It is all Latakia, all the time, with no messing around. Oh, I suppose they blend it with something or other just to keep it interesting. And sometimes, late at night, in a big bowl, this is just what you need. But it lacks the complexity to hold interest over the long haul. There?s a useful contrast with Penzance: the latter sacrifices just a bit of firepower in the interest of greater diversity of flavor, but the result is that Penzance is a great tobacco while Old Ironsides is simply very good. The cut is nice: like a flake that's been pre-rubbed -- very convenient! If you like Latakia, I?d recommend keeping some on hand for a broadside every now and then. Luckily, it ages particularly well.

1 person found this review helpful.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (143)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

The tobacconist sold this as a Penzance clone with a stronger kick. Since I've never tried Penzance, I can't compare the two, but to me, it's a one dimensional latakia smoke, which isn't to knock it down--I just prefer a blend that is a bit more varied, like Dunhill 965.

As far as knocking me on the floor with its punch, I was somewhat disappointed. I found this to be a cool..and, yes, creamy smoke, but not overwhelming in strength--though it is full. I didn't have a problem packing this like some suggested. It rubbed out very nicely and lit with ease despite its flake form, burning consistently throughout.

Honestly, I need something more in this, so I've been blending in a little perique to diversify the taste, with nice results. I will say that I was a chump to buy this for $13, as I have seen it advertised online for less than $9..and I would buy it again, at the latter price.

UPDATE:

I'm upping this from three to four stars. I've got around ten blends on hand and I keep turning back to this..to the point that I don't bother adding anymore blending Perique but instead throw some of this into my Elizabethan Mixture. It's nice and rich, so it makes its presence known right away. Good stuff. Still wouldn't pay $13 though.

1 person found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (302)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

As a Latakia lover, I wanted to try some blend with the emphasis on this dark and fascinating tobacco, something different from my usual Dunhill London Mixture and Balkan Sobranie Original Mixture. Well, I went for advice to Mr. Bollito (a tobacconist in Turin, one of the best in Italy) and he suggested this. Well, his experience couldn't have been more valuable. Upon opening the small tin, I was rather shocked by the huge and thick black broken flakes: being used to the small cut of my other favorite latakia tobaccos, this was a surprise. The smell was very strong, very smoky and dark: like Balkan Sobranie, but stronger and deeper. I was uncertain on how to pack this stuff, but I decided to stuff the flakes in my Savinelli without crumbling them into little pieces. I just broke the hugest ones, pressed with my finger and then lit. Lighting proved itself a challenging task: this stuff doesn't want to get on fire! Not because of wetness, just because of the size of the flakes! This made me fear for the worst about relightings, but I was wrong. This tobacco is hard to light, but then if you puff regularly it never extinguishes. The large cut of the flakes is very helpful indeed in keeping the smoke very slow and cool: the pipe gets noticeably less hot than with Dunhills or Balkan Sobranie, and this is great. The smoke comes out at the perfect temperature, allowing you to taste the aroma without scorching your tongue or overwhelming you with excessively intense clouds. But what about the taste? In my opinion, it is very good. A bit monochromatic, perhaps, in comparison to the aforementioned Latakia monsters: straight, sincere, but enormously satisfying. The intense smokiness of Latakia is the dominant taste, for an in-your-face dark experience, with all the usual nuances one has to expect. Hints of licorice, of burning wood, of salt... Mmmmm, this tobacco makes my mouth water!!! It can get too salty at the bottom of the bowl, but never harsh. If only it were a bit fuller in body (maybe adding some orientals and red virginia... but then again it would be easier to smoke another blend!)... In spite of this rich taste, this tobacco doesn't seem too strong: the nicotine content is just right for me, and the overall strenght is OK, definitely lighter than London Mixture or Balkan Sobranie. For me it is a great choice when I want something less complex than my usual favorite Latakia blends, but be warned because I found that it can be very nasty and unplesant to non-smokers who should happen in your presence: they often complain that its pungent smell reminds them of burnt horse dung!!!!!! But so they say about Balkan Sobranie, which could be interpreted as a huge compliment to Old Ironsides...

2011 Update (after 6-7 years): Well, I hadn't tried this tobacco since a long time ago, so I got a new tin. Bad surprise... it has changed considerably, even from the looks of it. Much softer and larger flakes, not as dark and leathery as they used to be. And the taste disappoints too: no longer the strong Latakia blast of old, no longer as stout and licoricey. Should have stocked up the old version...

1 person found this review helpful.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (281)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Extra Full Strong

I normally don't smoke Latakia but this was in a nicely prepared, moist flake form that I prefer. Mostly black in color, the tin aroma = high test latakia. The taste and room aroma are similar. I made the error of trying a bowl before dinner and still had the tobacco taste with my desert. However, after dinner, this cool, creamy and rich smoke is really enjoyed. I can't judge the influence of the other tobaccos in this blend due to the latakia dominance but the end result is good. You should probably dedicate a pipe or two just for this blend since the intense flavor impacts the bowl and effects other tobaccos even after several complete cleanings. The room aroma is not accepted by my family members and I therefore smoke this blend only outdoors. Even this can be a problem. On a recent trip to Vegas, I was puffing while walking between casinos and received many stares and several negative comments from others. Naturally, none were pipe smokers. In fact, I was surprised that over the week that I spent there, I only saw one fellow puffer. With this in mind but considering your own needs, if you enjoy Latakia, this one is a must try.

1 person found this review helpful.

trevert Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
trevert (32)
★☆☆☆
Strong None Detected Overwhelming Very Strong

Latakia, Latakia, Latakia... to quote the review of this in P&T magazine, "If you want more Latakia than this you'll need an IV drip of it". It's in flake form, which adds an interesting twist to the blend that isn't present in some other strong Latakia mixes I've tried. This is a potent tobacco, not in nicotine hit but in flavor. It's the "triple-decker chocolate cake with ladled fudge" tobacco, and falls squarely into the land of love-it-or-hate-it. I love it, obviously - there's no subtlety here nor deep nuances nor shifting flavors, but it's a really luscious smoke for those times when you just have to have a rich pipe and a Taddy Porter.

1 person found this review helpful.

Rob73 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rob73 (71)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

I loved C.A.O. American History Mixtures series, unfortunately no longer available here in Italy. My last tins are ten years old, now. Old Ironsides is a very rich, intense, meditative blend, full in Latakia (but not overwhelming), perfect for an evening smoke. Memorable! 4,5/5 in my personal rating system.

Purchased From: Hobby Fumo, Milano (Italy)

Similar Blends: Brebbia Latakia Flake n.9.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Leaf Packer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Leaf Packer (20)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

This tobacco is very heavy with latakia , (my vice) It is creamy and smooth had no bite, and very relaxing. Nicotine will body slam ya' if not use to it. It will probably age well it has some Virginia, so a few in your cellar for at least 6 mos. to year would be delightful. If you never had Latakia give it a try, if you can handle this tobacco , a whole new world awaits with my favorite leaf

Pipe Used: Matt Van

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: Tobacco Pipes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Old German puffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old German puffer (105)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

With a 4am wake up and coffee in hand I pulled a tin of this out for my wakeup smoke. I love a strong blend and this delivers. Packs in a bowl very well. Lit with one match. Tamp and smoked for an hour plus. Very earthy and nutty taste from start to finish. Heavy smoke as well. Goes in and out of my rotation.

Pipe Used: Peterson

Age When Smoked: Tin - 1 year old

Purchased From: JR'S Cigar Outlet

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Rubagalline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rubagalline (6)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Ok, here I have a fan p.o.v. I've left Erinmore Balkan Mixture, Dunhill EM & 965, and only smoking a little Squadron Leader (weekly) for this. Can't live without it, I've got to smoke Old Ironside at least once a day. Latakia set free (thank you, Kentucky!), with ghosts of english history all around. I'm addicted (I told you I'm a fan, right?)

Pipe Used: Butz Choquin dublin

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (168)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

I a word a Latakia bomb but a good one. Full bodied and never monochromatic, the other tobaccos are there in subdued notes.

Tin art is very nice and the mixture produces a huge amount of smoke that I think should be enjoyed outdoors.

The crumbling flakes are not so dark but the smell tells you of potency and that you should proceed with caution. An after meal or evening tobacco for the Latakia addict or the experienced smoker or better yet both.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

juvat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
juvat (36)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Reminiscent of Esoterica's Penzance but with a slightly stronger taste in the latakia department giving it strong notes of leather and campfire without being too overpowering. I thought Dan tobacco had stopped producing it, but I'm now seeing it show up again at the major online retailers. Hooray!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

salopst Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
salopst (15)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

How much can a man love a tobacco? I'd sleep with Dan on a bed of this crumbly flake and have no regrets in the morning.

It is just great. I do not think there is much more that I can say that other reviewers have not mentioned. Except maybe that I do get a touch of anise, and slightly burnt cob nuts. I also found my tin labelling funny. It came with a German health warning, which I peeled off only to find a printed health warning in English underneath. I guess this particular tin was destined for export!

In my rotation? If I did not know of Peterson's Perfect Plug and S. Gawith's FVF there would be no rotation!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JackSparrow Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JackSparrow (14)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a unique EM...nothing similar (yet). When i opened the tin first time i was amazed by its flavour, toasted, smoky, creamy. Moisture is almost perfect when the stuff comes out of the tin, but i preferer letting it dry out for half an hour, after rubbing the flake. Latakia is the main actor but after a few puffs you can taste the sinfony of VAs and orientals, perfectly blended with latakia and a with touch of kentuky, which brings a nice N surprise to the mixture. The more you go through the bowl the more you can taste creamy and toasty notes, always in a cool and dry smoke. My afternoon and after dinner EM (for the morning i use 50% Commolwealth Mixture + 50% Squadron Leader). Highly reccomended!

Update

For a full fantastic after dinner smoke try this:

50% CAO Old Ironsides 50% SG Brown Rope N. 4.

Simply amazing! Full round smoke, with a good N load. If you like strong stuff this is a must try. Absolutely legendary: you'll crave for it more and more....

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thomasanswered Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thomasanswered (11)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

The former incarnation of this was a true 4-star blend, but it's dead now. The current Old Ironsides, though less, is a balanced latakia, a salt and ketchupy leather creature, strong enough to please regularly.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mate (3)
★★☆☆
Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I managed to get 8 ozs of this after much searching as it has been discontinued.

While it is not bad, I was disappointed in that I have heard Lancers Slicers compared to Old Ironsides.

To me Lancer's Slices if far superior in taste and fulfillment.

One thing I will give Old Ironsides, is that it is the easiest Flake Tobacco that I have ever smoked to keep alight.

But for me something is missing in the flavor. Maybe I need more nicotine kick and more Latakia

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kiowapipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kiowapipe (17)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

I'm writing this review from memory; it's been a few years since I last had any of this and I'm not sure if the blend has changed since then. As I recall, though, the other reviews are pretty much spot on. Latakia. Smoky, smoky latakia. This is a blend for the people who like to lick charcoal. Somehow it still smokes smoothly though and I'd recommend it as at least worth a try to most pipe smokers who enjoy the dark leaf. Don't try it within forty-eight hours of needing your taste buds for other things, though, as nothing short of steel wool will abate the aftertaste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dunc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dunc (9)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

I love the description on the tin, it says "A Latakia Lovers Dream" Well, I am a Latakia addict and im in a dream!! I love this blend!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KahveDelisi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KahveDelisi (45)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is it! This is it!!! ah.. and there's also midnight ride... but again, this is it!

actually.. both are :)

edit (30 march 2011): After many many bowlsfull of it, I believe OI is the best tobacco I've smoked to date

Nobody has rated this review yet.

illiteratti Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
illiteratti (1)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Picked up a tin of this hoping to find a suitable substitute for my beloved Commonwealth that is near impossible to find. I was only looking for a heavy latakia blend, not thinking I could ever get the taste of Commonwealth from another tobacco.

Opening the tin, it smelled wonderful, was a little moist, but I don't bother drying out my flakes, I just fold tease and stuff. I lit easily, and then the taste hit me. It was delicious!

I only tasted Latakia and a bit of a sweet Virginia, and no Orientals. The taste went to mostly Latakia about half way through the bowl, and stayed there all the way through. It never got hot hot, never got bitter, and didn't bite my tongue.

The only thing I can say bad is that it has the tendency to really dry out my mouth and throat while I'm smoking it.

Great tobacco, great taste. Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dietl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dietl (8)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

OIS is back. I just received a few tins after a long hiatus of unavailability. This was the first Latakia blend that I tried some years ago and was my favorite for a long time until it went dormant.

I'm not sure if my tastes have changed or if the blend has changed, but I find the new OIS fairly mild to the point of boredom. It may be the former as I've probably smoked a half pound of Penzance and another half-pound of Squadron Leader in its absence, but it seems to lack the underlying rich taste of these two. It is now what seems to be almost a pure Latakia taste which to my palate is almost a 'menthol' taste.

From the start, it appears different in the can. Instead of the finer grain that it used to be, it's now a nicely packed stack of slices like Penzance used to be. In fact, it looks like the old Penzance. Perhaps in the old packaging they crumbled the slices up, but it looks different. Given the cut I think it would be better packaged in a rectangular can rather than a round one. However, the aroma in the can is exactly how I remember it to be; that very smokey smell of Latakia. Cosmetically, the can now has an orange circle around the logo instead of the yellow one. Not sure why, but maybe to indicate that this is a slightly different blend. ??

Again, it may be my changed tastes, but this new OIS seems rather bland. A strong Latakia taste, but almost nothing underlying it to support and compliment the Latakia. A bowl full of OIS leaves me longing for the old Penzance.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

rising2angel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rising2angel (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Strong Full Tolerable

I love this tobacco. It burns very well in my best pipes.

Opening the tin is a real surprise of aromas and tastes, and when you light it, the taste sounds extremely better.

It is a strong tobacco, not for frist-times-smokers, it requires a bit of experience in tobacco tasting.

The room note is tolerable (personally I love it but not alla the people might like it), so that when I smoke it I feel very well, and the smell that pervades the room gently wrap me in an overwhelming sensation.

I love the taste that Old Ironsides leaves in my mouth after smoking, even if, I repeat, it is not an "easy" tobacco to smoke: it requires you'va quite experience with the oriental tastes.

One of the best tobaccos I've ever smoked, and always present in my whishlist!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ELF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ELF (40)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

....10/10....Your significant other Wld-probably"Divorce You"if you smoked this mix Indoors(Good Hunting Shack-Smoke)...BUT I LOVE THIS MIX !!! :+))

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JLong Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JLong (36)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Full Tolerable

I'm giving it 5 stars for if you're a latakia lover.

I went through half a tin in three days. No matter how hard I puff this stuff it is smooooth with no bitterness, bite, or whatever. It's full bodied and has some Balkan creaminess to it. It's tasty in a subtle way. Nothing complex about it.

Edit: This tobacco is best if a load is dried out for 30 minutes and well rubbed out. Stays lit better and smoother smoking.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tabaco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tabaco (109)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Alas, another fantastic blend which has gone the way of the Dodo bird. At first opening this is a full-on, petal to the metal Latakia blast which I really enjoy. It's not as complex or creamy as Esoterica Penzance, nor as contemplative as J. F. Germain & Son's Special Latakia Flake; regardless, it's a great smoke.

I should add that after having the tin open for a few weeks, the Latakia has tempered considerably. Overall, the blend is much more complex and mellow. At first it was a very good smoke, now it's excellent.

I find slices to be one of my favourites, especially the taste and they gently smoulder away for such a long time; just great. It really satisfies on all levels. I find if I have one bowl for the day and I really desire that certain "satisfaction" this is a good one to reach for.

Since, it's no longer made and doubtful to make return, I would suggest Cornell & Diehl's Pirate Kake which is somewhat similar, yet not as complex nor mellow. Of course, I always say the room note is tolerable, others especially your beloved may be pleading with you to move . . . "Just as soon and I'm done this bowl."

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sailorjack Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sailorjack (57)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

If you like a good kick of Latakia in the mouth than this will do nicely. Oh, by the way when it comes to English blends I am a bit of a Latakia junkie. So this is right up my alley. This is not my all time favorite by any stretch but I think CAO makes great quality tobaccos and this is no exception.

My favorite English right now is Larry's blend from pipesandcigars to which I added a large dose of straight Latakia. Told ya' I am a bit of Latakia freak. I've never run into a blend that I thought had too much.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Country Gentleman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Country Gentleman (28)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is why I keep trying the heavy Latakia blends. When I come across one I like it makes me very pleased. The aged flake/cake in my tin is in perfect condition for easy pack and ready smoke.

Ironsides provides the nice leathery smokiness that I expect from a blend like this, but without the flat or bitter taste that I have experienced in other English/Latakias. Smokes very cool.

If it was still readily available, I would add it to my rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Wylie Coyote Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wylie Coyote (7)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Strong

We were in Las Vegas and I found a tobacco store on the strip. The only non aromatic they had was a tin of this. Fool I was to open the tin and smoke the whole thing only to find out I cannot get it anymore. The Latakia was excellent.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Schwetty Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Schwetty (15)
★★★★
Mild Medium to Strong Very Full Tolerable

This may sound strange coming from a cross over blend lover, but this stuff is great! I am sorry that I discoved it too late, in that it is no longer available. I am buying up tins that I can find, and storing them for later enjoyment.

I tried it on a lark, and fell in love with its rich and creamy taste. Low nicotine content also appeals to me since I am not a cigarette smoker. It takes some work to get it lit, but after the initial lighting process it's smooth sailing. Very cool burn, with not bite what so ever. The flavor is sweet with a hint of mint as an aftertaste. The smoke is abundant and heavy which tends to linger. It can leave a residual taste in your pipe, but I dont mind it.

If you can find it, buy it. Hopefully there is some other tobacco company that will pick up this blend for future sale.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hud (3)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Very Full Pleasant

I picked up a tin of this at a B&M I found on my way home from work one day. It was one of the only non-aros in the place so I took a shot.

I am glad I did.

Very, very, smoky flavor from start to finish that developes a little sweetness as the bowl progresses. I did not taste much from the orientals, and didn't really care either.

If you are looking for a man sized portion of latakia you will not find a better blend out there, IMHO of course.

I do save this one for the end of the day, because I find that it kills the taste buds for anything else for a while.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Doc Jake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Doc Jake (23)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

Over the past few years I have been dabbling in English blends with increasing amounts of Latakia in them until I found this blend. I am wowed by this blend with its mildly soapy earthiness, which turns to a deep cool woody taste mid bowl. This tobacco has moderate complexity with straightforward tastes. It is extremely consistent, and an excellent complement China Clipper tea. The room note is strong, yet pleasurable if you love smokey tobacco aroma. I have found no tongue bite even to the bottom of the bowl, and have found larger pipes a better coice for smoking this blend. A light rub of the tobacco will help with packing I have found. If you are new to English blends, and want to try Latakia I suggest this. It is full in flavor, but not the "velvet hammer", or complexity of Dunhill Nightcap. ENJOY.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

If you like Latakia in big doses, but want something beyond straight Latakia, try this. OI is Latakia with a little complexity to keep things somewhat interesting. I also like the broken flake presentation. OI burns nicely, cool and clean. A great, occasional, cold weather companion.

One more thing: popping the four year old tin reminded me of breaking the seal on one of Dunhill's Latakia laden blends from the distant past. That musty, rich sod smell was so powerful and inviting.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

benkoplin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
benkoplin (5)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Here's the only problem with this blend: it calls itself a "Latakia lover's dream." It should say: "if you taste Latakia in this blend, you must be DREAMING!" This blend packs reasonably well, burns to a clean white ash and stays lit, but it really doesn't taste like much at all. In fact, it tastes like the neighbor's barbecuing with a mesquite BBQ sauce next door, and the smell's drifting over to your yard. Not unpleasant, but not knock-your-socks off.

I will say that my buddy was smoking something that smelled like Swiss Miss, and that made me happy that I had the Old Ironsides, but it wasn't happy enough to buy it again. (By the way, I lived in Boston for 10 years, and CAO's "Old Ironsides" really DOES smell like the U.S.S. Constitution. Take it for what it's worth.)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

loosewatches Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
loosewatches (108)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Strong

This would have been a good time to find out what all this talk about the 'soapy' taste of Lakelands is all about, since I've never smoked soap. I did, however, forget about and leave a tin of this in my pants pocket when I washed them! Oh, well, the first half of the tin was quite good.

That all said, this is a Latakia blend. It is very stout tasting, if not too strong in the nicotine department. This is a little bit like Pirate Kake, as far as latakia content is concerned, but it's better balanced. Guess I'll have to order the 8 oz. bag. That won't fit in my ass pocket! Yes, I said ass pocket. (that of my pants, of course).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Big bad Jon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big bad Jon (232)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

This is one of the coolest tobaccos I have ever smoked, it comes out of the pipe like ice water. I love the heavy latakia taste that I get when smoking it, my wife hates it (who the hell cares). It is very easy to pack and burns nice and slow Old Iron Side will be in my rotation for a long time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

elias Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
elias (9)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Whenever you feel that you need Latakia, you know where to find it.

Black semi-rubbed flakes. Can be smoked either fully rubbed or in flake form. I prefer a combination: Create a plug a little smaller in diameter and a little higher than the bowl, tamp it in and then fill the rest of the bowl with the rubbed tobacco.

Burns really dry and cool. The rich and creamy smoke will not let you overdo it with puffing. It is very nicely accompanied by a cup of strong black coffee.

I do not think, though, that more than two bowls per day can be pleasant. This is the exact reason for which I withhold the fourth star. You need some other tobacco for the rest of the day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

constantsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
constantsmoker (65)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Fantastic! Perfect blend of VA/Oriental/Latakia. And the Latakia sings!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

LatakiaLover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LatakiaLover (5)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Extra Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Since the TR text editor doesn't handle cut-and-paste very well, I'll just link to a full review I wrote elsewhere in the on-line tobacco world: http://forums.knoxcigar.net/viewtopic.php?t=6030

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jackal Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jackal (11)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Tolerable to Strong

This blend could be an all day smoke, if you like a full flavored tobacco. I hvae tried this blend in many pipes and have found only two that I found this was't good in. My Falcon and any thing with a filter. Everything from a small Peterson petite to a huge Italian Oom Paul were excellent. If you like English you'll like this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tonyg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tonyg (103)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong

I know Penzance and this is no Penzance. Old Ironsides is however, a superb blend that does have some similarities to what is considered by many to be one of the finest blends produced. OI fails in two areas where Penzance shines. Ir you can live with the extra effort in lighting up, and do not believe you must always smoke complex tobaccos, you will find a real winner in Old Ironsides. The quality of the tobacco is outstanding and the flavor is wonderful. The only reason I don't give this one four stars is that I already have an abundance of blends in my tier one rotation.

Add a star if you purchase in bulk or you are not inclined to pay a premium price for Penzance.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pkloop Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pkloop (50)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

"A Latakia lover's dream." "Full and cool."

Fwiw I agree with the tin description. Upon opening the tin you will discover beautiful dark flakes with a few lighter strands contained within the flakes. The tin aroma, naturally, smells strongly of Latakia. Moisture content seems slightly high, as I prefer it that way its perfect for me.

Packing: I like to use the flake folding method with Old Ironsides and the tobacco complies well with this. A little sprinkle of fully rubbed out OI on the top helps with lighting.

Smoking: An easy charing light followed by a quick tamp/relight and I'm on my way. This one does, imo, seem 1 dimensional. Its Latakia followed by more Latakia. Mid-Bowl I taste more Latakia..and the finish is a nice smoky Latakia taste. :) Burns to a fine grey ash with no wet goop. It does indeed smoke full & cool and doesn't bite at all. Quite nice overall.

Room note: I would think it unlikely that anyone other then our pipe smoking brethren would enjoy/tolerate it..don't expect the wife to be jumping with joy when you break this one out. Outside only for this pipester.

I do like this smoke when in the mood for a nice, heavier evening smoke after a hearty meal. Or pair this one up with some Jack Daniels on the rocks..

And yeah..if your not a fan of the dark leaf..skip this 3 of 4

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

01/14/2005: Even though I don't smoke these big-flavored blends all that often I rated it at the top anyway. The Latakia is not acrid or harsh like many tobaccos of this type. It is rich and tasty. It is too full flavored for an every day smoke. Best to save this for the last pipe of the day. If you smoke it first you won't taste anything else for a good long while!

11/27/2006 Update: Latakia overload.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kleophrades Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kleophrades (39)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Extra Full Very Strong

Old Ironsides is just what the package says: a Latakia lover?s dream. It is all Latakia, all the time, with no messing around. Oh, I suppose they blend it with something or other just to keep it interesting. And sometimes, late at night, in a big bowl, this is just what you need. But it lacks the complexity to hold interest over the long haul. There?s a useful contrast with Penzance: the latter sacrifices just a bit of firepower in the interest of greater diversity of flavor, but the result is that Penzance is a great tobacco while Old Ironsides is simply very good. The cut is nice: like a flake that's been pre-rubbed -- very convenient! If you like Latakia, I?d recommend keeping some on hand for a broadside every now and then. Luckily, it ages particularly well.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

VAman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
VAman (26)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

this is a good and reliable flake, it is and outdoor after BBQ smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

OPCguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OPCguy (46)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

Old Ironsides - Here is a rich Latakia blend that gets totally mixed reviews. If you like Latakia you will really like Old Ironsides. Though this blend has Kentucky, VA, and Orien, in it...well its hardly detected...at least by me. I even puffed really hard to draw out some VA but it stayed in the far far background and the Lata dominated.

This blend requires a minor rubbing out and in fact is so minior you can just fold it and load it. Watch out you will get a little dirty just handling this mix.

Latakia lovers give this one a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PipeNeophyte Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipeNeophyte (10)
★★☆☆
Strong Mild Full Extra Strong

I've had a lot of ups and downs with this blend. It was the first non-aromatic blend I'd ever tried. I hated it. Several months later I decided to dig it out of my tobacco drawer and give it another go and somehow fell in love with it. I really loved the smokey taste of the latakia and this was my absolute favorite blend for about a year. When I ran out I put off buying another tin in favor of trying other blends and didn't go back to it until last week, when I renewed my supply.

I have to say, this new tin is not nearly as impressive as what I remember. I don't know if they changed the formula or if this tin is just a lemon, but I was mighty disappointed. There's still a smokey undertone of latakia but it's cased with some heavy, caustic flavor that produces an surprising amount of tongue-bite for a non-aromatic. I really hope this was just a bad tin, but I'm afraid to lay down another eleven bucks only to be supremely disappointed. For now I'm knocking my review down to 2 stars. It's not terrible, and I'll probably finish the tin off sooner or later, but it's just not as brilliant as I remember it.

I'll keep my old reviews below for posterity.

----------------

This came very highly recommended to me as a fine Latakia. To me it looked, tasted and felt exactly like beef jerky. It was just -too- smokey tasting to me, like a wrack of ribs or something. I enjoy a sweet tobacco so it just wasn't my thing. It burned well and had a nice thick richness to it but I couldn't get over the mesquite barbecue seasoning.

-----------------

I guess it happens to all of us, eventually... It happened for me tonight. After reading some Sherlock Holmes and getting into the mood I decided that I would learn to appreciate non-aromatics whether I liked it or not... So I bought a cheap corn cob, dug out my tin of Old Iron Sides, sat down, and smoked a couple bowls of this stuff.

Now I'm beginning to understand what all the fuss is about. After an initial (extreme) distaste, I began to get comfortable, and now I must say that - though completely different than aromatic - this stuff is quite a wonderful experience.

Everything I hate about aromatics (tongue bite, thin smoke, hot smoke, lack of complexity) is wonderfully inversed in this stuff. Thick, cool, complex, curling smoke. Delicious but in a very serious way.

I don't think I'll be retiring my aromatic pipes any time soon, they shall still be my full-time staples, but now I know that I can comfortably sit down and begin to explore the wonders of non-aromatics.

We got off to a rocky start, Latakia, but now I'm ready to yield to your temptations whole-heartedly!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jackhackett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jackhackett (76)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Strong

After trying many of its analogs, I?ve finally arrived at Old Ironsides, a fistful of Cyprian love sprinkled with VA, OR, and KY for balance.

Tin note is a subdued, slightly sweet leather-and-charcoal complex of scents. Initial moisture level in the tin was not unusually high, and an opened tin will likely balance to perfection after a few days.

The cut is more a flake that crumbles, rather than a true crumble cake or flake that 'rubs out,' and this construction is perfect for no-nonsense loading of the bowl, making it easy to reach the texture and consistency desired.

Though mostly unchanging from start to finish, O.I. has a singular complexity and wood-smokiness that would be complemented well by a peaty Islay malt scotch like Laphroaig, etc.

Yes, O.I. is another full-on latakia rock festival. No, you cannot discern the individual components and savor each flavor, nor I think are you supposed to be able to do this. What you get here is another praise-worthy, latakia-focused, but balanced blend. Penzance and Pirate Kake fans will likely enjoy this very much.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

p.smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
p.smoker (16)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Very Full Tolerable to Strong

i received a 50g tin of old ironsides for christmas.it was one of the tobaccos i had put on my "wish list" to get,and try.i wanted to give it a try after reading the reviews on this site.latley i just cant get enough latakia! so...this was one i had to try.well,i was`nt disapointed! i think this tobacco is great.i had 'no" tounge bite,it burns well,tastes like a latakia tobacco should,great taste,and i like the room note!

i know,alot of people hate the smell of this tobacco being smoked,but hey,i`m not out to please them.i would recommend this tobacco to anyone looking for a good latakia tobacco.this ones going into my rotation! thankyou santa.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Not a Penzance clone. Excellent burn qualities, as it smokes cool and dry with a brilliant white ash. My reason for withholding the fourth star is the quality of the non-oriental component. I am not able to say whether it is the virginia or the kentucky that gives Old Ironsides a sharpish edge which diminishes the overall experience. Nonetheless, a very pleasant smoke.

The best Balkan flake in my experience has been Abu Riha, a flake made in England for G de Graaff and Sons of the Hague. In the mid-nineties I was able to obtain a couple of dozen tins but subsequent efforts to locate some have not been successful.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

workingstiff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
workingstiff (39)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Strong

I really like this tobacco it leaves a rich full flavor in the mouth. It has such a powerful Laktiva room note and there is no mistaking it for anything but good pipe tobacco. This stuff is a nice evening smoke. Now I like Midnight Ride better from CAO since it is a little more demensional. This is not as complex of a smoke. I find that this stuff burns very well once lit but the odd bark like cut takes some crumbling and relights to get going. It is a very cool smoke since it burns slow.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
★★★☆
Extremely Mild None Detected Full Strong

As a Latakia Lover, I just had to smoke this one, and smoke it I did. Upon opening I was pleased by the look of the dark flakes and by the big, leathery smell. Packing and lighting aren't a simple task, and neither leave the flakes on the air nor rub them out won't make that much easier. When you'll have finally managed to light your pipe, Old Ironsides becomes an easy-going tobacco, it burns extremely cool and stays lit without the least problem, making it a perfect outdoor tobacco. It can be smoked with great satisfaction especially during summer for its almost incredible refreshing qualities, leaving your mouth with a slight peppermint aftertaste. A must-have for all latakia heads. The only complaint is that it's really too light in body.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Moe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Moe (46)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Overwhelming Extra Strong

I enjoy a nice Latakia blend ,and had high hopes for Old Ironsides, after all, with the higher price tag that is common to CAO/Dan products, I figured " this cost alot, it must be greeeaat".

Unfortunately, to me it wasnt that great, the cut is to large to just pack , so I had to rub it out, now I dont mind doing that, but this is the first tobacco that actually made my hands dirty, like I just arranged the charcoal in my Weber grill.

The flavor wasnt all that outstanding either,it tastes kinda like hot asphalt smells...And it takes many relights, which I thought odd, being it feels dry when rubbing out.

It took a month to smoke thru the 50 grams and I dont think I will buy it again, instead I'll grab the Nightcap, or Stokkebyes Proper English, or one of the many other Latakia rich blends that I enjoy much more for my Latakia jones.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Commons Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Commons (18)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Extra Full Overwhelming

This was my first experience with an English Latakia blend. All things considered, it was pretty brave of me as my first choice since it is almost entirely Latakia. When I opened the tin I was greeted with a whiff that instantly reminded me of the dark brown cork tiles I had in my bedroom when I was young. (I hoped it wouldn't taste like cork.)

This is a flake tobacco?in long, thick strips (like beef jerky), so it needed to be rubbed between my fingers until I had enough to fill my pipe. It has a very heavy consistency, so I didn't pack it very tight. I then retired to my upstairs balcony where I lit it up. Before long the little enclosure was filled with its aroma. The flavour tasted of a cross between unsweetened chocolate and dry-roasted coffee (latté, anyone?) or a very stout brew. (In fact, I imagine sipping a Murphy's Stout or Scotch with it would be very nice indeed). I had only filled my bowl half-way, and it burned very, very slowly and stayed cool the entire time, despite my rather quick smoking pace.

The smoke and taste is so rich and heavy that after a while of smoking I felt like I could scrape dark brown powder from my tongue. This tobacco was quite a change of pace from my lighter varieties, and I enjoyed the fullness of it. Better yet, I felt no ill-effects from its low nicotine content. The room amoma is, of course, rather heavy, and I'm not sure I would inflict it upon a roomful of people.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.629 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.629 (133)
★★★★
Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong

OLD IRONSIDES. Do you really love latakia? If so,you'll really love this. I'm a lady pipe smoker who really appreciate's,a good strong dose of latakia. I've enjoyed every smoking moment with Old Ironsides,I have smoked so far.

The first bowl took 3 to 5 relight's so,from then on I aired the tobacco out for 10 min's before packing.Only one relight was required after that. In one word "DELICIOUS" all the way to bowl's end. Definitely no sourness detected at all,without goop leaving a nice dark grey ash.

Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

emmbee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
emmbee (174)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

The appearance and taste bring one thing to mind: a latakia cupcake. Ironsides is death by latakia. It is to pipe tobacco as flourless chocolate cake is to dessert and kobe steak is to beef. They are rich, overwhelming, almost over the top, but ohhhhhhhh, how sweet it is! This is the kind of blend you reach for when nothing else will do. An excellent scotch accompaniment, but probably more fitting for after dinner, as the flavor will make your tastebuds go on furlough for awhile. I first compared this one to Penzance turned up several notches, with favor on the side of Penzance. I now find that both of them have their own magnificence, and they both deserve a place in any discriminating smoker's latakia repertory. It's an expensive luxury, and the flakes are packed in huge circular chunks, which means you'll go through this stuff pretty quickly. Ironsides, Penzance and Sasieni form a mighty triumverate of the very best latakia & spicy oriental blends out there that leave the smoker yearning for more.

Four and a half of five stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Joe Patterson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joe Patterson (48)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Very Strong

This is an unusual blend for me and one I only want occasionally. Frankly, I may only finish the tine I have and never get it again. It's nice, it's full, and if you love a little tobacco with your latakia, this is for you. Latakia overload is the perfect thing once in a while. That it comes in flake form is what attracted me to this blend. I can barely sense the Kentucky -- the latakia overwhelms all!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

WOW!!!!! A Latakia flake! This is on par with the wonderful Penzance.It actually burns a little cooler and milder.The flake needs to be rubbed out and takes about 3 lights to get going,but when it does, this is latakia heaven!It lacks the complexity of Penzance but is truly a close second.The flavor is rich and creamy.The burn is cool and leaves no residue,and no gurgle.This is for the Latakia purist.3.9 of 4 stars (only Penzance gets 4!)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

smokey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smokey (120)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Strong

one word of caution here; if you do not like strong latakia blends, don't even consider this one! a notch below pirate kake, this tobacco still hits you right between the eyes, from the time you touch a match to it. personally, i like latakias, so i get along very well with it. it seems to be a little harder to keep lit than it's milder cousin, patriot flake. this is not the one to bring in the house if your spouse has an aversion to the smell of non-aromatic tobaccos or good cigars. the flavor stays consistent from lighting to the bottom of the bowl. i think this is a tobacco that would be good for a cigar conniseur who has decided to try out the delights of bowl and pouch, who would also not be too put off by the premium price. this is not an everyday smoke for me, but i did enjoy it. 3 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
★★★★
Strong Strong Extra Full Very Strong

The tin says it correctly, "A Latakia Lovers Dream". Old Ironsides is a crumble cake similar to Esoterica's Penzance in form and taste, but stronger in the latakia department and produces very thick smoke and lot's of it. I like great billows of smoke and this blend affords that with out any tounge bite. Burns very slow, cool and crumbles out nicely, packs well and burns evenly. The flavor stays consistent from lighting to the bottom of the bowl. This is truly a Latakia lovers dream and definately not for the timid smoker or aromatic fancier.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hauser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hauser (16)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I?ve been opening up some aged tins for the first time and trying them whereas I am used to smoking only newly opened tins. At only 4 years, aging has served this blend very well.

Tin Opening-Musty, Leathery. English ? Latakia definitely present but not as overwhelming as with a new tin.

Packing-I needed to cut it up to pack it well.

Lighting-Required two primer lights and a final light.

First Impression-I remembered when I first tried Old Ironsides; it was like a Latakia punch in the face but this is more subdued and mellowed. The Latakia is present but the aging has merged the other tobaccos bringing them more to the front.

Mid Bowl-By mid bowl, this has settle into a wonderful full smoke that is smooth without being heavy. The Latakia is dancing in the background but Virginias and Orientals make themselves more known. It's more complex than I remember but still smokes with the same coolness and without a hint of tongue bite or wetness.

Finish-Stronger, richer and even more flavorful at the finish, this is a delightful smoke.

Over all-I was surprised at how much time as changed this blend. It has certainly mellowed over time and the tobaccos have married well into a more refined version of the newly tinned version.

Recommendation Buy it and stash it!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bigjonburley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigjonburley (64)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Strong

I love this blend, although I must admit that there are alot of other latakia blends that I prefer to smoke over this beauty. Fortunately, when I got into pipe smoking, I was exposed first to Dunhill's 965 and shortly there after became a huge fan of latakia. Old Ironsides will quench the latakia craving in any smokers heart who has an appreciation for the greatest "black" commodity to come from the middle east since oil. At the opening of the tin you'll get a blast of deep, rich, earthiness that will give you visions of smoked beef and fertile soil. The cake is sliced and is easily rubbed out into a fine composition that appears to be annointed with dark cocoa powder. Don't let this description be misunderstood though, there's nothing sweet and chocolatey about this blend. Old Ironsides burns really clean and cool. I like to puff aggressively, and I haven't been bitten yet. As others have stated, this blend is best appreciated outdoors or in the company of other pipe smoking bretheren. All said, if you love latakia Old Ironsides will sail you away on the seas of extacy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bigblends Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigblends (46)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Very Pleasant

It's fitting that my review comes immediately after the one posted by the gentleman who sent me a generous sample of Old Ironsides.

I love Latakia. I've smoked top-grade Latakia on its own. I know the stuff. When it's used well in a blend, there's nothing like it. When it's either misused in a mixture -- or if the rest of the blend doesn't agree with it for one reason or another -- Latakia is like fanning the flames on a pile of burning tires. Luckily, the latter is not the case with Old Ironsides.

Describing this blend as Latakia-forward is not enough. This blend owns every house on Latakia Lane. It's a one-way ticket to Latakia Land! While the room note is fine to me, you can bet your ass that it'll offend every man's wife in a five-mile radius.

All that being said, I wasn't too impressed with Old Ironsides. Yes, it has a boatload of Latakia. And while that's nice, Old Ironsides just doesn't hold its mud in the company of the classic Krumble Kake from Smokers' Haven (the recipe that spawned Penzance). Krumble Kake and its Penzance offspring also serve up boundless helpings of rich Latakia. But more importantly, they offer the one thing I missed in Old Ironsides: depth of flavor (known to some of you as complexity). Old Ironsides just didn't excite me.

Old Ironsides is full, but not too heavy or nauseating. I've smoked some pretty big bowls of it (for example, in a virtually bottomless Ser Jacopo Maxima and in an astonishingly cavernous Paolo Becker Oliphant) in single sittings with no ill effects.

I gave this the "Might try this again, but will not keep it on hand" rating because I will finish the nice sample I received. However, buying more is out of the question. I would like to once again thank my esteemed cohort for allowing me to experience this tobacco, even though it didn't make the cut.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

LoisKelly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LoisKelly (55)
★★★☆
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Extra Strong

Menacing. Dark. Foreboding. The Dick Cheney of the tobacco world. Empty stomach? Fugeddaboudit. Standing up? I don't think so.

Old Ironsides is a much more manageable flake than Penzance (a natural comparison), and is loaded with more latakia than that already heavy blend. It burns very slowly (thankfully) and is quite cool. It compares well with Nightcap and Red Raparree, but if you think it's just too overbearing, I won't disagree. Still, it may just fit the bill for a late night treat for lovers of powerful, heady smokes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (302)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

As a Latakia lover, I wanted to try some blend with the emphasis on this dark and fascinating tobacco, something different from my usual Dunhill London Mixture and Balkan Sobranie Original Mixture. Well, I went for advice to Mr. Bollito (a tobacconist in Turin, one of the best in Italy) and he suggested this. Well, his experience couldn't have been more valuable. Upon opening the small tin, I was rather shocked by the huge and thick black broken flakes: being used to the small cut of my other favorite latakia tobaccos, this was a surprise. The smell was very strong, very smoky and dark: like Balkan Sobranie, but stronger and deeper. I was uncertain on how to pack this stuff, but I decided to stuff the flakes in my Savinelli without crumbling them into little pieces. I just broke the hugest ones, pressed with my finger and then lit. Lighting proved itself a challenging task: this stuff doesn't want to get on fire! Not because of wetness, just because of the size of the flakes! This made me fear for the worst about relightings, but I was wrong. This tobacco is hard to light, but then if you puff regularly it never extinguishes. The large cut of the flakes is very helpful indeed in keeping the smoke very slow and cool: the pipe gets noticeably less hot than with Dunhills or Balkan Sobranie, and this is great. The smoke comes out at the perfect temperature, allowing you to taste the aroma without scorching your tongue or overwhelming you with excessively intense clouds. But what about the taste? In my opinion, it is very good. A bit monochromatic, perhaps, in comparison to the aforementioned Latakia monsters: straight, sincere, but enormously satisfying. The intense smokiness of Latakia is the dominant taste, for an in-your-face dark experience, with all the usual nuances one has to expect. Hints of licorice, of burning wood, of salt... Mmmmm, this tobacco makes my mouth water!!! It can get too salty at the bottom of the bowl, but never harsh. If only it were a bit fuller in body (maybe adding some orientals and red virginia... but then again it would be easier to smoke another blend!)... In spite of this rich taste, this tobacco doesn't seem too strong: the nicotine content is just right for me, and the overall strenght is OK, definitely lighter than London Mixture or Balkan Sobranie. For me it is a great choice when I want something less complex than my usual favorite Latakia blends, but be warned because I found that it can be very nasty and unplesant to non-smokers who should happen in your presence: they often complain that its pungent smell reminds them of burnt horse dung!!!!!! But so they say about Balkan Sobranie, which could be interpreted as a huge compliment to Old Ironsides...

2011 Update (after 6-7 years): Well, I hadn't tried this tobacco since a long time ago, so I got a new tin. Bad surprise... it has changed considerably, even from the looks of it. Much softer and larger flakes, not as dark and leathery as they used to be. And the taste disappoints too: no longer the strong Latakia blast of old, no longer as stout and licoricey. Should have stocked up the old version...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Chessnut Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Chessnut (13)
★☆☆☆
Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

I love latakia blends, but for some reason I don't rate this blend as highly as many other folks do. It has a wonderful tin aroma, everything a latakia should be but when I try smoking it, I like it but don't love it as much as some other latakia mixtures. It definitely is a quality tobacco, and I will finish the tin I have, but I won't be reaching for it as much as others and don't think I'll be buying this anythime soon,

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Blackie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blackie (16)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Extra Strong

From the company that brought you the restrained and well mannered Gordon Pym, is a dark, tar-like Latakia powerhouse.

I agree with all who feel this is a monochromatic, single bass note of pure Latakia. That's what I like about it. Nothing exceeds like excess! If you are in the mood for Latakia, pure and absolutely, this fits the bill. Sometimes, the pure taste of that particular leaf is just what I'm looking for. A nice cup of coffee with cream and a bit of sweetner can be right- but so can a quad-shot of espresso.

The room note has all the charm of freshly laid asphalt, and is particularly effective at driving children away. If you are inside, get outside. The house will smell like the inside of a work boot if you smoke any amount of this in the home.

With that being said, I just love to push the envelope on occasion. I bought a second tin of this and vacuum sealed about 20 grams, knowing that I would not smoke all of it at once. On the other hand, a little of this can be used to spice-up the afore mentioned "restrained" English blends. So, if you try it and absolutely can't take it's merciless pounding, consider mixing a little Burley or some Virginia in, and being your own tobacco blender.

Either way, this is an adventure that I believe is worth taking.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DeltaSnake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DeltaSnake (31)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

I got this blend one evening at a rare tobacco store that stays open until 10pm, so I could swing by and get on while coming home from my second job. I had run out of latakia tobacco and only had the lighter stuff at home, and for my last smokes of the day, I want it strong. So, I got this, and sure enough, it is a latakia lovers dream. What surprised me was how full and smooth it tasted also, as blends with this much latakia seem heavy in aroma and taste, but often taste a bit thin. Another surprise was seeing it in slice form, which I normally don't like, to me it can make a smoke bite (for me anyway), but it smokes very cool and dry. It's a smoke for one kind of smoker, but if you are that type, this is perfect. It's replaced Dunhill Nitecap as my favorite late night and after dinner smoke, and my only objection is it's higher price. I only smoke it as a late night treat to end the day, so a can goes further than if it was smoked more often. This is one blend I buy on sight.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DeltaSnake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DeltaSnake (31)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Tolerable

I got this blend one evening at a rare tobacco store that stays open until 10pm, so I could swing by and get on while coming home from my second job. I had run out of latakia tobacco and only had the lighter stuff at home, and for my last smokes of the day, I want it strong. So, I got this, and sure enough, it is a latakia lovers dream. What surprised me was how full it tasted also, as blends with this much latakia seem heavy in aroma and taste, but often that taste seems a bit thin, but there's obviously just enough oriental to add fullness. Another surprise was seeing it in slice form, which I normally don't like, to me it can make a smoke bite (for me anyway), but it smokes very cool and dry. It's a smoke for one kind of smoker, but if you are that type, this is perfect. It's replaced Dunhill Nitecap as my favorite late night and after dinner smoke, and my only objection is it's higher price.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Briarabbit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briarabbit (116)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant

I'm mainly these days a Burley fancier. But I still enjoy the smokey Latakia from time to time, and this my friend is LATAKIA!!! The tobacco is pressed in to cakes and cut into flakes,and looks like Tar Baby.(anyone remeber that?) It breakes up easy, but takes a few lights to get it going. Once lit you get some very delightful creamy smokey lucious tastes. My wife says "it smells better than a lot of those camel poop tobaccos you smoke".It does taste good,and is very relaxing. It's definetly not for land lubbers, and those who haven't been with a pipe long. Smokey and salty, like a good Islay Scotch.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

phroney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
phroney (5)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Extra Full Very Strong

The tin says it correctly, "A Latakia Lovers Dream". And that it is! I love Latakia and have yet to find a blend that has to much. If you love Latakia this is a blend for you. I am a hard puffer. I like great billows of smoke and this blend allows me to puff until I am blue in the face with out any tounge bite. My bowl only got slightly warm no matter how hard and how often I puffed. I will be smoking this on a regular basis.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Butch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Butch (7)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Strong

If you love latakia, as I do, this should ever be on your list. I smoke it straight in a small bowl, but will also add it in to other blends from time to time if I want to "kick it up a notch". Although the smell is strong, the smoke is surprisingly mild.

As with hot pepper sauces, proper manners when offering Old Ironsides to a novice would be to give full disclosure, but offer it nevertheless. If he loves it, you know he has the heart and soul of an Englishman. If he hates it, then there is nothing to do but hope for his eventual conversion.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Strong

I love latakia, but not just any latakia. This blend has done a superb job in blending this to a rich, smooth, and sweet smoke. The flakes rub out easy (yes, latakia in flake form), the moisture was perfect on my tin dated from 2002. It smokes very cool with no tongue bite whatsoever. The smoke is very thick, you can almost chew it . It will scare away your significant ones though with its room note, unless they love latakia. The flavor is consistent all the way down the bowl with just a slight increase of richness toward the end and leaves a medium grey ash with no dottle. The only draw back to this blend is that it is so rich, that you will need to rest your tastebuds for a few hours before your next smoke. The tin looks small for the price, but it smoked so slowly that half a bowl in my ashton xxx sovereign billiard lasted an hour. Regardless of the cost , this tobacco is an excellent example of masterfull blending. Highly recommended!!! Update: 9-25-03 I just opened a fresh tin and realized that the previous tins in my possesion were well aged. This fresh tin was definitely a little "raw" and smoked a little harsh. I definitely recommend that you age this blend as it is tastes much better when aged. Rating 5 out of 5 points (when aged) By the way, did I mention that you should age it? Enjoy...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WxGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WxGuy (95)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Extra Full Very Strong

Old Ironsides- love it or hate it, it is undisputably one of the heavy hitters in the Latakia world. I love it. As my teenage daughter would say, "its the BOMB!" (Actually she hates the room note, even when the room is outside.) This is NOT going to win friends, aroma-wise, but that is not why we smoke anyway, right? OI is to tobacco what Laphroig and Ardbeg are to single malt scotches: In-your-face smoky, skanky hardcore stuff with a sharp attack, huge body, and lingering aftertaste that really only appeals to those with an acquired taste for such things. That is me, I guess, but I can see how you could really hate this product...

OI officially comes in flake form, but my tins thus far have contained broken flake at best, really more like shredded flake. No problem though, I just stuff them in the pipe w/o further rubbing, except for a little finer consistency for the top light.

This stuff looks and feels like leather. It even smells like leather- like one might expect a smoke-tanned Indian tipi to smell. Its the real thing. Being that it is somewhat moist (and pliable) it is even harder than many latakia-heavy blends to light. In fact, I sometimes sprinkle a little Commonwealth Mixture on top to facilitate ignition. It will also go out if neglected, but it is such a cool, satisfying smoke that it encourages steady puffing.

Some have commented here that OI is rather one-dimensional, and that is a fair evaluation of this weed that I notice each time I smoke it. Though the constituents listed include Kentuky, Virginia and oriental, they are overshadowed by the looming latakia. The thing is, I LOVE this particular dimension! It is among my all-time favorite tobaccos, though I could not smoke it every day. It would lose its specialness.

The downside of this tobacco is the price. Even at Internet prices, it is pricey, and not available in bulk (that I know of). I also seem to burn through 50 g faster than I do with almost any other tobacco. This is contrary to my experience with other flake tobaccos; my half-tin of Marlin Flake seems to have lasted for ever. Maybe it is because the experience is so enjoyable that I puff harder and the bowl is finished sooner. At any rate, compared to wine, scotch, cognac, and various illegal substances, even expensive pipe tobaccos remain one of life's most cost-effective pleasures. Thats why I always try to have several tins cellared. Who knows when natural disaster may strike?

I would HIGHLY recommend this tobacco to anyone who considers him or herself a latakia fan.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mesacactus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mesacactus (21)
★★★★
Extremely Strong None Detected Very Full Extra Strong

Ok, I admit, I love Latakia, I mean I realy like the stuff. Lets face it, most pipe smokers either love it, or hate it. I am reviewing based upon my love for the stuff. I have smoked many latakia blends. For a while I was searching for the perfect English. It must be cool, rich, easy to light, and flavorful. I found many that had the flavor, but burned hot. Had rich tobacco overtones, but where was the Latakia? Found some to be cool, but again, no taste of the smokey stuff, or very little. I was begining to think no one could blend the perfect English. I was wrong. Old Ironsides was found! It is cool, rich, and has flavor. I mentioned staying lit, well three out of four isn't bad. This is a hard tobacco to keep lit. Nevertheless, It is my all-time favorite tobacco. Leave it to the Germans, to blend an English, using tobacco from all over the world, with Cyprian Latakia at 70% and naming it after an American ship, of the Revolutionary War. Go Free Trade!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mailman 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mailman 5000 (60)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

One of the monster Latakia blends. This is one of the best , seemingly having a touch more virginia than Penzance making for a slightly different experience, but overall latakia rules O.K. which is fine with me. I would guess latakia is getting on for 66% or more. I like to smoke these blends in a big pipe, weekend size. Not an all day smoke but great when the mood dictates. The only rub is its only available in tins which makes regular consumtion questionable as Penzance is virtually the same, but half the price in bulk form.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Daniel Morlan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Daniel Morlan (50)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a SUPERB blend. Nice, dark flakes. FULL of latakia. Latakias are generally nice and SMOKEY tasting. Some don't like it, but THIS piper LOVES it. Very sweet tasting, very smoking, VERY RICH. A perfect winter smoke. This is truly a latakia lover's DREAM. It's one of my favorite latakia tobaccos.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Oliphaunt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Oliphaunt (3)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Strong

This is an outstanding blend and only gets better the more you smoke it.

Upon opening the tin one encounters a pleasently musty aroma with a unique note I can only describe as meaty. In fact, the smell reminds me somewhat of my late grandfather's very smoky deer jerky, and I am occasionally possessed by an irrational desire to forego the elaborate ritual of packing and smoking a pipe to simply eat the stuff instead. ( I have not actually done this... yet)

The tobacco comes in an odd (for latakia mixtures) thin flake cut. I have settled on the strategy of folding the flakes over on themselves several times and packing the whole bloody mess into the bowl. As the flakes are thin and fragile, they crumble into small chunks when subjected to this treatment. Lighting can somewhat of an ordeal, as with most heavy latakia blends, but given three heavy lightings, it tends to hold flame fairly well.

Obviously, latakia flavors predominate throughout, but this is not to say that the blend lacks complexity. There is an intriguing rich nutty flavor just below the surface, which is exposed by faster puffing. You may puff this blend as quickly as you want, by the way, as the smoke is cool and creamy. One could probably smoke this out of a crackpipe using a welding torch without experiencing any adverse oral effects. The latakia starts out smoky-musty, becoming more musty-smoky towards the end of the bowl. Note that when I say "musty" I mean something good, more like chanterelle mushrooms and less like your basement. Smokes especially well in a meerschaum.

This blend has two potential drawbacks: price and room aroma. If you have a wife, and your wife has some olfactory capability, you should definitely smoke this either outside or in the comfort of your local tavern or tobacconist. Its priciness may put a hole in your pocketbook but only a small one, as tobacco remains the undisputed bargain among life's luxuries. If a penurious peasant like myself can afford this stuff, then you certainly can.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pmonroeb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pmonroeb (92)
★★★☆
Very Strong None Detected Full Strong

Like the other reviewers I found Old Ironsides to be a rather strong Latakia crumble cake. It is similar to Penzance or C&D's Black Frigate in form and taste, but somewhat stronger in the latakia department. Of the three, Old Ironsides also has the smokiest latakia. I personally love all three of them. Old Ironsides crumbles out nicely, packs well and burns very evenly. While it is certainly dominated by the latakia, I found that the bottom third of the bowl definitely yielded some change of flavor into other ranges.

One problem with Old Ironsides is that the aroma really tends to linger in the room, developing a musty, sour smell the next morning. Not a tobacco to please the wife.

Overall I found this to be a great blend. If you want something similar, but with less strength of latakia, try Penzance.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Paul Tatum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paul Tatum (86)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Extra Full Pleasant

Latakia power .If you just have to have a latakia fix this is it . It burns great , packs great andsmokes great . One of my top shelf tobaccos .

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Albion1956 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Albion1956 (41)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

The sun begins it's slow assent, rising over the endless parade of shifting sand and blowing wind. This could be the image, in the North African desert, or perhaps in your den as the first match applies fire to the recently packed bowl of Old Ironsides. A Latakia lovers dream, perhaps, but the smokey reminder that long ago the camel dung fires, along with pine and anything else would dry out the now known Syrian Latakia leaves. Yes it is smokey, and creamy, and visions of old leather chairs, and thick air supplant the taste. I ran across this while in pursuit of some Bengal slices, and I did not get dissapointed. The broken flakes are very dark, with tinges of light color, perhaps Virginian, and although moist, it is not cloying. This tobacco is menacing in it's appearance, but don't be thawarted, it is just a visual image. Charring may take two matches, but that should be it, and then you can stretch out and sour above the remnants of lost civilizations and only imagine if they were able to partake. This is a full tobacco, not in the nicotine sense, or a Balkan takoff, but just a full flavor. Chocolate mousse comes to mind, light and airy, but filling. Burns leaving a dull grey ash, and very little dottle, a pleasure, to be sure. The Bengal slices were never found, but I may have stumbled on a replacement.

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pokrsmokr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pokrsmokr (32)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

Camel Dung anyone?

This is one of the most latakia-laden blends I have ever seen. Latakia is NOT a condiment tobacco in this blend, it's the actual meat and potatoes. What first caught my attention with this blend was that it came in flake form, a beautiful flake which (though there are Virginias and orientals present) was , you guessed it, largely dominated by the black gold. The dark flake gave off a wonderful smokey aroma when the tin was opened- though not as overbearing as I would have thought. But I must warn (if you haven't figured it out already)... don't go near this unless you can appreciate latakia.

Upon lighting, a thick whitish cloud whisped from my bowl and I knew I was in for business -thank God I am single. However, despite the strength of the aroma, the tobacco itself is rather mild. It is a very cool, easy burning tobacco which (though not as complex as say a full english blend) is rather enjoyable. For me, the VA and orientals are definitely dominated by the latakia, perhaps if I had a more refined palate I could better describe the nuances of their interplay, but alas when i try I seem to get stuck on the latakia. I mean it is clear when one smokes this that there is something happening, it's not merely smoking straight latakia, but it's clear this is no balkan. One would think the massive amount of latakia would be too harsh but it's actually quite mellow. thee is no btie whatsoever, as the latakia ensures a cool smooth burn. It is an enjoyable smoke, though I can't see myself smoking this everyday. If you like latakia, this is a must try....but if you don't, it's a must avoid.

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