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Aromatic Virginias from Central Africa and North
America treated in a special Cavendish procedure,
gently sliced into fine flakes. Mixed with spicy
Syrian Latakia. A very satisfying tobacco.

BrandKarl Erik
Blend TypeUnknown
ContentsCavendish, Latakia
Packaging50g Tin
Product Image
Mild, Medium
Very Mild, Mild
Mild, Medium, Medium to Full
Room Note
11 reviews
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point9 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
point9 (114)
Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

I bought a tin of this about 2 years ago but only had a few bows of it. It's not exactly drug store tobac but not tasty natural one either. Some latakia flavor mixed with aromatic casing, it was not impressive then and still is after so much time. A mediocre blend is what I will put it. Another negative side is it burns hot and a little bitey.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Mild Mild Mild Very Pleasant

Simply stated; A Danish version of IRC Gourmet English. More added flavoring and less Latakia. English aromatic blends (really good ones), are favorites. This blend was just too over the top in the added flavor department. Not sure what the heavy misting of artificial flavors is, but I know what it is not - it is not pleasant and obliterated the Latakia.

On the plus side, I did think the leaf burned mostly dry all things considered.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hillbillypalate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hillbillypalate (20)
Extremely Mild Strong Medium Pleasant

This is one of those tobacco that you say why did I waste my money on this SOB. How I can describe the smoking experience.It gave me a weird feeling in my throat after smoking it. it smokes very wet. This is better to be smoked in one of your throwaway pipes. I smoked one bowl of this in one of my Formers and The flavor just wont go away no matter what I do. basically ruin a very expensive pipe. I will not buy this tobacco again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mo (79)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

It is somewhat recommended because I cannot see with which blend it can be compared to as my experience with Latakia blends is very limited.

The aroma of the tobacco itself is very interesting. It has a delightful sour smell that I assume is from the Virginias and the smokey note of the Latakia.

Burning was not problematic at all and a single light was all that was needed. The taste is good and the latakia is always present in good measure.

All in all I found the blend OK. I doubt it will make your toes curl nor upset you. Its just OK thats all. OK?


Nobody has rated this review yet.

thedstinguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstinguishdgntlmn (8)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

As far as Latakia blends go, this one has the most flavor and the least aroma(stench).It is mild,flavorful, and cool.There is some sort of top dressing applied but very unobtrusively.A great diversion from heavy Latakia blends and an excellent introduction into th world of English Mixtures. 3 of 3 stars!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

emmbee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
emmbee (174)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Karl Erik comes in a nice big, round tin that looks larger than 50g. It has a nice picture of a KE freehand on it, one that I would like to own. The tin note is, as distinguished gentleman notes, on the germainey side. It has a peaty, briny aroma, but it's sweeter and a bit more honey heathery. In appearance, it's an interesting tobacco. The shag strands (probably rubbed out flake) mixed with square cuts of flake looks a bit like angel hair & ravioli. This is a European English/Aromatic crossover; much different from American varieties. The Syrian Latakia is a mellower, at times more complex version than its Cyprian counterpart. It burns well, smokes cool & leaves a subtly sweet aroma in the room. I heard that this is no longer being produced. Too bad! I will enjoy the last few tins as long as they are available. A fine blend!

Four of five stars ----------------------------- A year later and better than I ever remember. The fact that the tin is about 5 years old and has been aging an additional year might have something to do with it. The only problem is that after you open, the fine, moist contents within dry quickly. Nevertheless, it's one of the great European blends with plenty of exotic elements. Whatever tins are left, I hope to acquire them.

Four and a half of five stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This really is a very nice medium English mixture.It is somewhat in the Germain family. A little like King Charles mixture.It has a very mild and creamy flavor with just the right amount of Latakia to give it a velvety richness.Super mild and a slight topping a-la-Royal Jersey Latakia.This is for someone seeking a comfortable English blend with a very nice room note.The big drawback for me was the fact that I found it very drying on the throat and mouth,somewhat like a Dunhill mixture.All in all I think this is an excellent smoke for the Latakia Lite crowd.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

smoker390 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smoker390 (36)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is probably the first tobacco I smoked from a pipe maker in the maker's own brand of pipe. I smoked this in a regular briar KE freehand half bent. Unlike the Peterson tobaccos in Peterson pipes, I thought it was a fine fit. The tin aroma had a unique Virginia sweetness, with a presence of a Lake District floral undertone to it - a surprise from a Danish blend. My tin was about 75% ready rubbed, 25% still in flake form. It was unopened until I bought it, so I assume maybe it is normal during shipping, as this is not a particulary moist blend - thankfully! I gravity packed the ready rubbed tobacco from the tin, gently tamped, then sprinkled a little loose to aid lighting, then away we went with flame. After the first relight in less than 5 minutes the rest of the bowl smoked down to the bottom on its own with just a couple more tamps and no additional flame. It was just a little wet at the bottom, to be expected but definitely tolerable. The taste was very much like the tin aroma - outdoor with a barnyard, straw-like floral mix, with a bit of kick to it. Though a bit strong, I think it separates itself from other VA/Latakia blends wherein the Latakia content is ample and the "special" cavendish process does not taste artificial. I just may make this the official tobacco I smoke out of that particular Karl Erik pipe, as I don't have a particular fondness with many Danish blends as I do with their pipes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TDE Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TDE (10)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This Danish product comes packed in a round, gold, 50g tobacco tin. The German labeling on the bottom states this blend to be "?for those who like the traditional English taste of select Virginia tobacco and original Syrian Latakia". Other sources add that it contains aromatic Virginias from Central Africa and North America and that they undergo a special Cavendish process.

Sight, Touch and Aroma: Dark brown in colour with bits of black, Private blend is a course shag-cut with some broken flake. The tobacco is humid without being moist to the touch. Upon putting ones nose to it, Private Blends aroma reminds me of leather, and smacks of dusty rawhide and traces of myrrh that I often find in Syrian Latakia.

Preparation & Smoking: After several frustrating attempts to smoke without the need to continually relight Private Blend No. 20, I finally gave it a damn good rubbing between the palms until it formed an oblong wad. This packed and lit very well indeed. Private Blend No. 20. has a durable burn and easy, slowly paced draws will keep the notes and flavors working along well together in a relatively cool smoke. I like it best in a straight pipe with a small diameter bowl.

Flavours: The spicy dryness of Syrian Latakia and the light sweetness of Virginia are the overriding tastes. This blend can bite ones tongue if it is not packed and drawn on with due respect.

Room Note: The Latakia in this blend generates the fragrances of peat and burning pine with the delightful scent of myrrh weaving throughout. Economics: Karl Erik Private blend No. 20 is about $10 CDN. With a slower than average burn rate and full flavour achieved through short and easy draws, this blend is a very economical smoke.

Last Word: One of the great bargain tobaccos of today, this is the perfect way to see if one likes an English blend without spending a fortune on Dunhill or Davidoff. I have stocked-up on this blend before its price inevitably rises to the level of its quality. 3.5 stars out of 5, this is a fine all day tobacco smoke. ©Copyright, Rivendel Books 2001 ®

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tillmanj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tillmanj (73)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin Aroma: The smokiness of the Latakia is somewhat obscured by a sweetish overtone that I associate partially with well-aged cigars, and partially with overly cased tobacco blends. I would have to say that the aroma is, in a word, confusing. I cannot decide if this is an attractive scent, or a warning of a goopy aromatic experience to come.

Appearance: The appearance of this blend does little to clear up the confusion caused by the tin aroma. I can count a minimum of four different cuts of tobacco in this blend; with broken flake and ribbon making up the majority of the blend. I am not a very big fan of blends made up of so many cuts, as, invariably, the shorter cut parts of it end up sifting to the bottom of the tin and being ground into tiny little flakes, making the blend different than was intended, and shortening the number of smokes one can get out of a tin without sucking tiny burning tobacco bits through the mouthpiece of ones pipe. The coloring, like the cuts, is in no way uniform, and runs wildly from almost black to light blonde. The lighter elements are heavier, and make up somewhere around 60% of the blend.

Physical Characteristics: I know that it has become something of a litany in my reviews, but I will say it again: upon opening the tin, I discovered that it was far too moist for smoking, and required some airing out before I could enjoy it. Once it was properly de-humidified, I attempted to pack a pipe of it as-is, and failed abjectly. Only after removing the entire contents of the tin to a chopping board and rendering the whole mess to a uniform cut was I able to get a satisfactory pack. This acheived, the charring light was easy and effortless, and did not, unlike it's undoctored former self, swell up to five times it's original volume, depositing just lit tobacco bits in my lap.

Notes: I am not too sure about the spiciness of this blend. Sometimes it is tongoue bite in a can, and other times, it is as mellow as milk. I initially thought that perhaps the wildly varying characteristics of it were somehow tied to the different cuts present, but even after rendering the cut homogenous, the varying spiciness levels persist from bowl to bowl. However, when it is good, it is good. On those occasions where the spiciness is not overwhelming, this is, as the tin claims, "a very satisfying tobacco". The smokiness of the Latakia is pleasant and full, without becoming tastebud numbing. The Virginias are minor players here, acting mostly as a vechicle for the Latakia, but the Cavendish does mellow out what might otherwise be an overpoweringly smoky blend.

Verdict: If it were not for the cut problem, this would be an ideal blend for the smoker of "danish style" aromatics to try his/her hand at smoking an "english" style blend. As it stands, this is an interesting diversion from my normal rotation of latakia based blends, but not something I am liable to wrestle into submission on a regular basis.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sykes Wilford Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sykes Wilford (35)
Very Mild Very Mild Mild Tolerable

I tried this blend on the recommendation of Tom Fitzpatrick of James Norman. Having listened to him extoll its virtues, I was excited when it arrived a few days later.

I cracked open the tin and was simultaneously surprised and intrigued by the aroma. The tin aroma is very, very mild. The latakia, though the predominant smell in the first sniff, seems almost muted compared to most English blends. It just doesn't seem to have the harsh, but pleasant, smokey nose that many others do. The secondary scent is slightly sweet, but barely perceptible. It isn't a 'Virginia' smell though...I found it, and still find it, difficult to place.

The cut is very unusual. There are large pieces of unbroken flake mixed with both ribbon and broken flake. I'm still trying to decide whether it's better to break up the flakes or leave them intact and layer the tobacco, but I'm tentatively leaning towards the latter. Other than the unusual unbroken flake component, it is a general mix of light and red Virginias and dark, near black Latakia.

The flavor is a touch unusual. The tin says that a 'special Cavendish procedure' is used, but I'm not really sure what to make of the flavor. It doesn't have the hollow sweetness that many cased tobaccos have, nor is the flavoring particularly noticeable. Through the first few puffs, I completely overlooked this odd flavor. I have no idea as to what it is, or is supposed to replicate and feel that it really doesn't add anything of merit to the blend. I find it more of an annoyance than an improvement. It comes out in the smoke almost as an afterthought. Hints of it are barely noticed and it is only distinctive when it is actually being sought out.

The immediate flavors come from the Virginias, which are neither particularly sweet nor full, and the latakia, which is not really in sufficient quantity to overtake the other flavors.

After about six or seven bowls in various pipes, I still don't really know what to make of this blend. It's definitely not unpleasant, but isn't particularly interesting either. The flavors are harmonious, but not symphonic. They fit together and are well-proportioned, but they just don't really play off of each other. I don't think it's sufficiently full and robust to offer the depth that it could have. I taste promise here, but only partially fulfilled promise.

I'll probably finish the tin as an all day smoke, but I seriously doubt I'll be purchasing more tins of this. Despite my minor frustrations with the blend, it would be an excellent introduction into the world of English blends for the smoker of light aromatics. For me, though, it just doesn't offer enough body, depth or complexity to hold my interest.

Nobody has rated this review yet.