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Only the most precious, most flavorful Syrian leaves are called Rose of Latakia. This fine blend is complex, fragrant, incredible.

Notes: Rose of Latakia refers to the leaves harvested higher on the plant which are then fire cured. If you're looking for a blend in which Syrian latakia is in the forefront, this isn't for you, but if you want to see what the Syrian leaf can do as a condiment, Rose of Latakia is terrific. If you approach it the way you might if you're smoking a Virginia blend, you'll get the best results. There's sweetness from the Virginias, a mellow spice from the Orientals, and the delicate, winey, smoky flavor supporting the rest of the blend.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (834)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Mostly deep mahogany brown but with some black mottling and a few specks of blonde. This ribbon takes the signature McClellands tin aroma to a new level, with a highly pungent and rich sweet/sour bouquet. This subsides to a very large degree after drying the blend for smoking and even while the tin remains open as you smoke through it.

This blend reminds me of their Grand Oriental series, but using Syrian latakia as the "focus" instead of one particular oriental. This blend has orientals in it which are easily smelled but the Virginia is the headliner, which is also the case with the GO series. The Virginia is fairly typical McClellands fare, which is a huge positive. The Syrian latakia is barely noticeable much of the time but pops up here and there with its typical smoky campfire essence. The orientals provide the sweet/sour flavor and some exotic body but are very much to the rear. Again, the Virginia provides 90% of the flavor, to my taste.

A blend named Rose of Latakia that contains as little of that condiment as this one does... well, it's no wonder that it gets reviewed very often for what it is not rather than what it is. That's a trap I've fallen into myself. In this case, I find the name dubious at best. If you're looking for a nice batch of smoky Syrian, look elsewhere - in fact, go straight to Syrian Full Balkan. If you want a heavily Virginia-forward blend with just a whisper of this latakia, give this a try. It's a very good tasting blend; it just has a non-descriptive name.

Pipe Used: Meerschaum and morta

Age When Smoked: Two years

13 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The Latakia comes through loud and clear for me. It's equal in flavor to the Virginias with the Orientals in the background. The Lat is smoky, sweet, spicy, and less woody than most. The Virginias are tart and sweet. The Orientals provide a mild note of sour butter. This is delicious. A pure pleasure.

Mild to medium in body. Medium in flavor. Burns nicely, but needs a relight a couple of times per bowl. My tin was 2 years old when received.

Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman, Diplomat Apple, Mark Twain

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Purchased From:

12 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2151)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

The Virginias dominate the mixture and have the tangy, tart sweetness one would expect from McClelland. That includes a brief appearance of the “ketchup” in its mildest form, though it quickly vanishes. They are also lightly grassy with some earth, citrus, and a hint of stewed dark fruit. In a supporting role, the Orientals are sweet and sour with slight floral, smoky, woody notes. Though [Syrian] latakia is in the name of the product, it actually plays a constant back up to the Virginias; smoky, woody, and dry, wine-like. A little moist out of the tin, it burns at a near moderate pace, requiring a few relights. The flavors are consistent to the finish with no bite, and is low on nicotine. Leaves moisture in the bowl, but no dottle. A decent all day smoke, the taste is just past mild, and not quite half way between mild to medium. I rate it at two stars because, while it has some nuance, it’s a little lacking in depth and body when compared to other blends in this genre.

5 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Rose of Latakia, is my favorite of the McC Syrian Treo,( Rose, Full, Super). That's not to say that the other two are not very good also, but Rose is the most Syrian forward of these. This is a smooth, yet a "dry" blend. I wouldn't call this boring, just not complex, and the Syrian does add some interest, it's kind of a "one trick pony". For me, this is more tasty from a briar than a cob, as the Syrian smokes more woodsy or even a little fruity. Unlike its other Syrian siblings, it seems to maintain its interest and flavor throughout the full bowl without getting ashy and is also good on cold relights.

McClelland just doesn't make "LAT Bombs" and although you can really taste the Syrian, the Virginias add some sweetness and soften the Latakia. A very nice blend that is just "different" than other Syrian blends and brands I've tried, thus, I do rate this higher than many of my other respected reviewers. I will buy more.

Pipe Used: cob & briar

Age When Smoked: 1 month open

4 people found this review helpful.

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

I am currently on my third or fourth bowl of McClelland's Rose of Latakia. It is pretty darn good. Spicy and sweet with a "laid back" Latakia flavor. I think the stuff has enough Virginia leaf in it to be a great cellar tobacco, too. It also has a nice nicotine kick.

Upon opening the tin, I was a bit surprised as the name of the blend and the mostly mottled brown color of the coarse ribbon cut tobacco didn't match up. The bouquet had the typical McClelland odor although much more subdued than normal. The moisture content was perfect. It stays lit without protest and produces a fair amount of light blue smoke.

I think those who enjoy milder Oriental/Latakia leaf will belly up to Rose of Latakia with pleasure.

4 people found this review helpful.

gladi8tor96 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gladi8tor96 (133)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This tin did not last long between myself and a few of my pipe smoking buddies. The virginias were sweet, but the main flavor from this tobacco was from the Syrian latakia...which had a distinctive floral with citrus note, along with the typical smokiness. However, this smokiness was so smooth and almost like incense. It was a great smoke and I'll have to get another tin to be more descriptive in my 'updated' review. I would recommend this tobacco for sure.

Pipe Used: Bent Billard, Dublin, Egg, Acorn

Age When Smoked: New from store - 1-3 months

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Mac Baren - HH Vintage Syrian.

3 people found this review helpful.

serif365 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
serif365 (21)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Being more of a VA-PER/VA-BUR smoker I generally shy away from "English" blends. I occasionally like a little Latakia in the mix but I never like it when it is the main player. All of that said, I was curious about a blend touted for it's Syrian Latakia. Knowing about all of the civil conflict going on in Syria at this time I was a little concerned that tobacco sales out of that country might not be forthcoming for some years to come so I bought a couple tins of this tobacco thinking to immerse myself in the best of the best. I have a small Turkish Sultan-head Meer that I bought in Turkey in the early seventies. I break this pipe out whenever I want to try a special new blend. I opened the tin, put the bulk of the tobacco in a jar for cellaring, and loaded the pipe. The blend was comprised of black, brown and reddish-orange pieces, some crimped pieces and other long strands. The aroma was sweet with what I thought to be a hint of cloves. I lit the charring light and the burn ended abruptly. I lit again and settled in to what I would describe as a sweet, slightly spiced, leathery smooth smoke. I never experienced a strong Latakia presence but I was biased enough from the name to "imagine" it was there.

All in all this was a very good smoke but I have many other blends just as good or better for far less cost. If you have some in your cellar or rotation, enjoy it, but I would not recommend anyone buy "Rose of Latakia" simply by its name. You can't judge a book by its cover.

Pipe Used: small Turkish Sultanhead Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: Fresh tin

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

3 people found this review helpful.

Latakia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Latakia (70)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I found this a mild and well-balenced latakia blend. This is a nice morning smoke for someone who wants that latakia taste but not the full monty. I ordered the tin and thought it would be a full on latakia smoke. I found something totally different than I expected but a pleasant surprise. It's much more subtle than I had expected but so well balenced between the orientals, the virginian and the latakia. I want to make a more thorough assessment after I try a few more bowls. Began the breaking in of a beautiful Dunhill One Dot #3 Billard...a real beauty and a new edition to my collection and when the pipe is finally broken in, the perfect size for this delicate blend. It is amazing how every McClelland has that characteristic catsup aroma in the can...this is no exception. As I am beginning to enjoy McClelland more and more, this initial reservation I had has turned into the aroma of quality and satisfaction.

After a few more bowls, really like this blend for a change of pace. Beuatiful ash and the room note is very pleasant. I see the blend as very complex and delicateand especially suited for a smaller bowl to get at the subtle nuances in taste. Can be a regular in my rotation.

3 people found this review helpful.

SiChange Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SiChange (39)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I rescued a 2003 tin that was gathering dust on a local B&M’s shelves and have enjoyed this very distinctive blend. The tin note was powerful: the McClelland vinegary note of deeply aged red Virginias with some mild incense from the Latakia. A very large bowl suited this tobacco best. The flavor profile is mildly sweet matured red Virginia with smoky and sour notes from the orientals; it gains depth as the bowl is smoked down - not a complex smoke, however. Not just one more English blend but hard to capture exactly its distinctiveness. As I think the header note implies, despite the name this is not a Latakia forward smoke, nor is it really one that will familiarize the piper with the original taste of the Syrian leaf, which is very old, no longer resinous, and here only in moderate proportion. But if this were in production I would keep it as interesting English change of pace.

Age When Smoked: 15 years

2 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (485)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Oh man, did I not like this blend. I received it as a sample from a friend who was not fond of it himself. For me, it has nothing to do with quality of leaf or burning performance. It is merely how I perceived the taste.

To me, this tastes similar to when you burp, but actually vomit a little and swallow it back. I am sorry for how gross that may sound, but it is exactly what it tasted like to me. I understand this to be made from the tops of the Syrian leaves and applaud McClelland for once again doing something different and showcasing it, but it just does not work for me.

Realizing it does work for others and the uniqueness of the blend itself, I am giving this one two stars, but it is a one star blend for me as I will never smoke it again.

2 people found this review helpful.

Kyrob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kyrob (41)
Mild None Detected Mild Unnoticeable

I managed to get my hands on a 7 year old tin of this, so this review may not apply to a younger sample. The tobacco inside was a fairly consistent mix of blacks, browns, and burnt orange colors in loose ribbons that were dry to the touch. The campfire smell of the Latakia was present as was a slight sweet undertone that I attributed to the Virginias in the blend. An unlit sip gave me a taste of that sweetness, which was very enjoyable.

This was not a heavy Latakia blend to me, with the sweetness dominating throughout the bowl. Every so often some of the smokiness of the Latakia would come through giving me a pleasant surprise. These flavors held true down to the gray ash at the bottom of the bowl. The finish was short, but sweet and the room note was really too faint for me to detect.

After a week smoking this, I still thoroughly enjoy this blend. I am definitely planning on buying more to cellar, and I want to try it while it is still freshly tinned. If you like a Virginia based blend with just a hint of smoky Latakia goodness, then I highly recommend Rose of Latakia.

2 people found this review helpful.

Kapnismologist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kapnismologist (30)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Is a rose by any other name really just as sweet? In the case of this enigmatic blend from McClelland, the Bard may have well found reason to pause. Described on the tin with the alluring statement: ?Only the most precious, most flavorful Syrian leaves are called Rose of Latakia. This fine blend is complex, fragrant, incredible?, Rose of Latakia is actually an undistinguished Virginia-Oriental blend containing at most a pinch of the much beloved leaf.

Comprised of a mix of mostly dark chocolate and light black short ribbon with flecks of tan and chestnut, the tin nose is classic McClelland: tangy and a bit pungent with a deep and somewhat tickling acetic acid spice. Undertones of fresh turned earth and an ever-so-slight campfire smokiness are present as well.

In the bowl, Rose of Latakia presents a mix of sweet, stoved and matured Virginias perched atop a measured dose of tangy orientals of a rather familiar sort. The Syrian Latakia hides somewhere therein, masked to the point of virtual invisibility save for the fleeting moment or two when it emerges as a minor, and in the end altogether unremarkable, player in a cast costumed more by its promised script than by its actual performance. On the light side of medium bodied, the blend tends towards the sweet and tangy, with occasional notes of toasted sourdough bread, orange zest, and Oolong tea. Smoked blind, it would not be an overstatement to say that only the most cultivated of palates could identify the presence of Syrian Latakia which, if it is indeed an example of the leaf at its ?most precious, most flavorful?, must be either too subtle or too expensive to add any measurable effect to a Virginia-Oriental blend such as this. The short finish is sweet and slightly salty.

As far as Virginia-Oriental mixtures go, Rose of Latakia is not half bad and this reviewer was more than happy to finish off the tin (dated 2005) on which this review is based. At the same time however, it is scarcely deserving of having the word ?Latakia? in its name, for as Juliet famously opined: ?retain that dear perfection which he owes without that title ... doff thy name, and for that name which is no part of thee?. For shame, for shame ? we are certainly more reasonable than that!

2 people found this review helpful.

ivycap Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ivycap (63)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

True Syrian Latakia delicately woven with mild orientals. Sweet and spicy, but not overpowering. Interesting enough so you don't get bored, but mild enough to smoke all day long.

1 person found this review helpful.

Shedexile Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Shedexile (1)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is my first review and I should say up-front that it will be more impressionistic that analytical. I know my Turkish from my Virginia and my Perique from my Latakia - but that's a bit like a wine drinker saying they can recognise Chardonnay!

However, I am as picky as the next pipe-smoker and, since the demise of Dunhills, have been eagerly searching for blends that take me to that indefinable place we all know about. All I can do is use the ones that have and the ones that haven't done so as comparisons and yardsticks.

So, Rose of Latakia. My first impressions were not overwhelming, but as the tin I have has aged a bit I am falling more and more in love with it.

This is a "string quartet" of a blend rather than a full "symphony orchestra", but I find it exquisite as a morning smoke. It's quite hard to place, for me, as it is unlike any other blend I have tried in the last 35 years. However I find it sophisticated and deeply engaging.

It delivers a delicate interplay of oriental fragrances and flavours underpinned by the presence (in no way overwhelming) of the latakia and balanced by a subtle sweetness from the Virginia. It does not have the harshness I sometimes find in oriental blends (especially Orcilla or Punchbowle). It has a natural taste - not what I would describe as "perfumey" in any way. It has a degree of body such as I always used to find lacking in a blend like White Balkan Sobranie.

It repays careful smoking (but what good tobacco does NOT?) and burns slowly and evenly. I have never managed to reduce it to a 100% powdery ash but what is left in the bowl is a fairly fine, dry, grey-white.

My only reservation - hence three rather than four stars - is the beastly "ketchup" smell which so spoils the (for me hugely important) tin aroma and which it is hard to believe does not adversely affect the smoke.

I understand that this is common to all of the McLelland blends and that it derives from the preservative they use. I may be being naive but it was news to me that tobacco required preservatives. No other blenders I know of produce tobaccos with a trademark smell. Are they using preservatives which are in some way inferior? If so, in what way are they inferior?

Given how often this "ketchup" smell is cited as a minus for McLelland blends I wonder why they do not do themselves AND US a favour and stop applying whatever this foul guck might be. It seems to me to be an affront to the quality leaf they are clearly using.

Do you suppose if enough of us emailed them...?

1 person found this review helpful.

jazzyguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jazzyguy (15)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This Blend tastes very similar to Syrian Super Balkan. The aroma is excellent as well as the taste. This could easily be a tobacco I would order and smoke regularly.

1 person found this review helpful.

NapaWineLover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NapaWineLover (66)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

The Name of this Blend can be very misleading. This is by NO means a Latakia dump. This is a soft medium and mysteriously complex blend of VA?s, and incredibly rich and smooth Orientals which includes a delicate and incense-like nice helping of Syrian Latakia.

While I do love a rich bowl full of smoky creamy Latakia ? this is not what I reach for when that itch needs attention. Instead, this is one of those contemplative smokes. I am forever sniffing the side-stream in order to enjoy the many facets of its complexity. It is NOT a powerhouse but it is rich and rewarding.

It smokes cool and completely to a mottled gray ash. The tobaccos are well aged even in a new tin and require no special drying or handling as many other McClelland blends require. I?ve smoked it in small, medium and large bowls. It has never been anything but spectacular. Now I have either been very lucky with consistent supply, or this is everything I think it is. But after a few tins of this, with different degrees of age, I feel somewhat confident that this is a very consistent blend.

One thing though, I wouldn?t recommend this to those that are looking for the big bitey blend or a mouthful of creamy latakia - it is not here. Rather it?s soft and sophisticated with a refined strength. Load this when you can sit and enjoy ? even reading is a distraction to me. It is so subtle yet so complex, one would miss it all if you were looking for something else and got impatient. I really wish they had named it something else and sub-titled it ?with Rose of Latakia.?

It is among my top favorite tobacco blends, and in my opinion one of the greatest blends on the planet. 4 Rock Solid Stars.

Cheers, VC

1 person found this review helpful.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

03-15-2005 The last stop in the MCC Syrian series for me.

Appearance and tin aroma: The Syrian is noticable as small, short (5/8")dark ribbons and can be detected by the nose, but this blend is about VA leaf. The VA leaf tickles your nose as it is of the bright variety.

Packing and Lighting: The leaf is oily as is the norm from MCC, but packed and lit easily. I did have a heck of a time with moisture near the bottom of the bowl though.

Initial Flavor: Bright VA with the Syrian as support only. Slightly sweet flavor from the VA.

Mid-Bowl: This is where this blend does best, but it is still a little too fresh. It tends to burn my tongue and the roof of my mouth. the VA/syrian interplay is nice, but delicate.

Bottom of Bowl:I encountered moisture issues. The moisture build up made this blend go out constantly and left the heel too wet. I tried different packing methods, but to no avail. I believe this blend needs aging to counter the moisture as well as tone down the VA brightness.

Overall: While I preferred this blend over MCC's two Balkan blends, it is still far behind FMATP IMO. There is not enough flavor for this piper to make this a go to blend. The moisture is a big problem too. I suppose age might help, but with the Frog available, why bother? I will let other pipers enjoy this delicate blend...

Rating: 3 out of 5 Points

1 person found this review helpful.

PipeCat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipeCat (13)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend claims to have a rare variety known as 'The Rose of Latakia.' In my opinion the latakia is hardly detectable at all. This blend reminds me of the Oriental Series line McClelland produces. The VAs in this blend began a bit harsh, even for a five year old tin. The settled down giving way to the orientals but no where along the way was I treated to the special latakia promised by the manufacturer. I will not smoke any more of this blend. There's just too many good tobaccos out there that appeal to my taste buds more than this one. I cannot recommend this blend to anyone seeking a rare latakia experience. Perhaps someone looking for an oriental blend would like this, but with the Oriental series, it would seem pointless.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Big bad Jon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big bad Jon (232)
Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

Before I tell you whether I like this tobacco or not it might be noteworthy to bring up the topic of fillet mignon. Some people think that cut of steak is bland and boring while others call it complex and subtle. This tobacco is this exactly, you might call it bland or subtle that is up to you. I will say that the subtleties come out better in a larger pipe. The tobacco burns wonderfully it requires absolutely no attention (kinda like a fillet only requires a fork to cut). The tobacco does not need dried like some McClelland blends do, and also does not exhibit the vinegar smell that some of their blends have. The tin note is rather a nice mixture of sweet Virginias and fragrant Latakia. I purchased the tin in hopes that it would be a Latakia powerhouse like Pirate Kake, what I got instead was a subtle and complex blend that is best enjoyed in the morning. If you like Dunill's Early Morning Pipe, than this blend is a MUST TRY, if you need something more in the lines of Night Cap, be warned this blend will not satisfy your desires for a powerful smoke. The only area that reminds me of a more stout Latakia blend is the room note. If you want the wife to leave you alone in the mornings light this up as soon as you wake up, she will hate it. The Latakia is not as strong as I would have liked to see, but the end result is a fine blend that is of all things the first real competition to Early Morning Pipe I have tried. Give this delicate rose a try, you will be sure to enjoy it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

wosbald Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wosbald (111)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

The tin aroma of this medium-cut, medium ribbon is dominated by the ferment of the matured virginias and the tang of the orientals, with the syrian leaf bringing up the rear.

Rose of Latakia is a light to medium weight blend that centers around the interplay between the sweet matured VA's and the mellow turkish types, with just enough syrian latakia to lend some backbone to the mixture.

Undeniably tasty, this offers a unique and multifaced exposition of fine syrian leaf. This went well in a chamber of any gauge.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kleophrades Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kleophrades (39)
Very Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

I agree with many other reviewers: Rose of Latakia is a big disappointment. You think you're going to get something really interesting -- a rare variety of Latakia, different from anything you've had before. Well, it is rare and it is different, but it isn't good either. A bland smoke without much Latakia or anything else to recommend it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tacoeatingzebra Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tacoeatingzebra (37)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I ordered a can of this blend hoping to see if I could detect a difference between the Syrian & Cyprian varieties of Latakia. The same basic latakia flavor & aroma, though there's something subtle. it tastes less smoky and more spicy and aromatic (not captain black aromatic though). The tobacco looks lovely in the tin. Feels more moist than many latakia blends, but it doesn't smoke any more so. The tin aroma is that of vinegar & ketchup, which kind of scared me, but once i started smoking, I thought to myself, this could be my favorite blend. I will have to smoke some alongside Penzance to see if that holds true. My wife also commented that it smelled much better than most tobaccos I smoke. The room note to me was somewhat spicy, suggesting the sweet, yet spicy scents of Indian or Thai cuisine.

I highly recommend the blend, and I'll update once I smoke it in the same day as a bowl of Penzance to see if it's trumped the ol' crumble cake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Moe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Moe (46)
Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

Dont let the name fool you, theres not much latakia in here.

Kinda sweet more like a oriental. Which is ok, but I was looking for a special latakia bomb and was too disapointed by the lack of.

False advertising

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Update: No changes except that I find the taste less full than I had before.

12/30/04: This is a Latakia blend for Latakia lovers. Flue cured and Oriental leaves are there for balance and complexity, but Latakia rules. This is not to my tastes a Balkan nor an English.

It is very good and quite different from the two other Syrian blends recently marketed by McClellands. I consider it a last pipe of the day because of the strong flavor.

It is gentle on the palate and easy to smoke while working, reading or contemplating how wonderful pipe smoking is.

I have only been able to find 50g tins of the three new Syrian Latakia blends (the two others being Syrian Full Balkan and Syrian Super Balkan).

Of the three news Syrian blends, RL lacks the company insignia with the familiar whale frolicking in the sea (as has been done with the Frogs [except 100g], Grey Havens, Virginia Woods, Deep Hollow and 221b Series to my recollection).

Tin contents are lightest colored of the three Syrian blends. RL is mostly reddish browns, with some light browns and a fair amount of dark leaf. Neither the contents nor smoking RL reveals much Oriental presence.

Tin aroma has the most Virginia aroma of the three and does not smell heavy with Latakia. Smoking the blend reverses these impressions. It is not a sweet blend (none of the three are), but Full Balkan and Super Balkan are sweeter due to Orientals and in one, Perique. Tin moisture is perfect for immediate enjoyment, but I let it dry a little more for a few minutes because of my preferences.

This is the strongest of the three new blends in terms of flavor and nicotine. It is the least sweet and least complex. It is spicy like a cigar at times, mostly woodsy and somewhat sharp. This tingled my nose the most of the three when exhaling.

If you wish to compare Syrian Latakia to Cyprian, this blend will reveal Syrian's distinct properties. This should be compared to Pease's Latakia blends (in distinction from his English and Balkans), as they are of a similar type.

For its quality, RL deserves a 4 star rating. It is type of blend I enjoy occasionally.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Meerschaum Man Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Meerschaum Man (85)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I got a sweeter smoke than what I expected by the name and initial smokey scent from the tin. I'm fond of McClelland's syrian latakia blends and this,the milder of the trilogy, is no exception. The treatment of the virginia leaf is distinguished and artfully intertwoven with the syrian. Complex and engaging, I experienced it to be not found wanting in character and statement, without the darker essences of most balkans. The lack of bite makes me wonder if there is not a small amount of turkish leaf for moderation. Certainly worth the time and coin, it is easily recommendable to those with preference for balkans. Meerschaum Man smoking an old CAO Bacchus

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hemlock Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hemlock (60)
Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

A nice medium english blend, with a softened latakia flavour. As I am unable to characterize the Cyprian vs. Syrian Latakia as some others can, I cannot comment if this is epitomizes good Syrian latakia-- though it certainly is mellow and fragrant. All in all, an unobtrusive and somewhat restrained smoke (perhaps even vapid to some?). Thus, it could be smoked through a weekend consecutively , as it will not flatten your tastebuds nor will it weep condensate in the bowl.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BostonPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BostonPipe (83)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Slightly sweet, with a gentle wisping of latakia throughout the run of the bowl. I found this blend a little bit on the reserved side as far as overall contentment. It did need several false-lights to get off and running, (this changed when it was allowed to air-out for awhile before packing a bowl). Smooth, nice burning to a gray-white ash. This is just not a blend I would turn to for a "smoking experience." Might be a good intro for those curious about blends with latakia that do not want to overdose on say, a balkan blend. Overall a nice smoke, just nothing great to write home about here.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Really a fine tobacco. Sorely nowadays the chance of smoking a true Syrian latakia blend are so low you just have to try this one. When you open the tin the Virginia leaf seem to rule, but the latakia plays its role in an evident way, mostly because the Syrian is so spicy that just a little is enough to give character to the blend. It's not that strong as far as nicotine content, but it's enough to leave you satisfied. A really nice surprise.

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DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Bland, thin and very little flavor best sums up this blend.

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Casper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Casper (22)
Very Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I am in agreeance with many of the reviewers here who feel this mixture is on the light/bland side. I've only found syrian latakia to be pleasant in G.L. Pease mixtures and McLintock's syrian latakia blend specifically. Rose of latakia seems to be trying to duplicate Butera's latakia #2 substituting cyprian with syrian: it just doesn't work for me. It's unfortunate as this is one of those blends I really wanted to like from the tin description. Too bad.

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Professor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Professor (67)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

McClelland's Rose of Latakia is disappointing. In the tin, visually, the tobacco is predominantly a Virginia blend with a meagre amount of Syrian latakia. When I took a whiff of this raw weed, it reminded me of cat food. Dare I admit, I have tried cat food and it tasted better than this. McClelland's 'Diplocarpon rosae' is surprisingly (in the tin) very dry but curiously odd in that it (in smoking) finishes with an abundant amount of vile moisture. Overall, unfortunately, Rose of Latakia is harsh and boring--a bit like this review.

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reedsteve Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
reedsteve (7)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This recipe demonstrates an interesting trend within the prolific output of Mc Clelland. The tastes that some of us older pipe devotees "remember" from before 1970s are in substantial measure given renewed opportunities. Since the leaf composition isn't to be compared to what was available in tins with names such as Smyrna and State Express , it should be noted that the thin delicate leaf available here is prepared in a process that reminds one of the finer attributes of what is not (to my knowledge) currently available. The time when individual leaf with names like Xanthi , Dubec and Smyrna (to sigh out a few) may return some day. Even then, we should thank those whom offer craftsmanship and product on this level, today. The ribbons are approx. 2.5mm to 3mm wide, cleanly cut, no dust or debris, and burns very well.

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Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

The best out of the new Syrian blends by McClelland. I must admit that I prefer Cyprian to Syrian in pretty much every blend. What makes this stand out from the other Mac offerings is the restraint they used with this spice leaf and the wonderful quality of the Va's. Overall however, I feel ultimately that McClelland should stick to Va mixtures and stay away from the Latakia (Cyprian or Syrian) as I have never found one even close to the quality that other houses (i.e. Pease, Dunhill, C&D, etc.) put out on a regular basis.

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Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Go figure... I always complain about the McClelland Latakia blends as being too flat and lacking in taste, not being as full as, for example, the GLPease offerings. I always disagree with those who rave about British Woods, Bombay Court and the like saying that they are full blends, because I find them very mild. Now McC comes out with this new blend which many say is a bit too weak, too delicate, too little spiced with Latakia... and I disagree once more because I find it quite tasty! Probably my tastebuds are wired in the wrong way... Anyway, I do agree that this blend has a light Latakia content, and that the Syrian leaf is used just like a seasoning for the Virginia/Oriental base: what makes this differ from the other bland McClelland latakia blends, is that the Syrian makes its presence felt much more than the Cyprian cousin even at small percentages. Not to mention that this Syrian Latakia is absolutely delicious: I suspect it comes from the same HUGE shipment that Greg Pease had to share with other blenders, as it tastes VERY similar to the leaf in Bohemian Scandal. While Bohemian Scandal is a masterpiece, tasty, complex, spicy and extremely rich, this Rose of Latakia threads a more conservative and less "artistic" path. It's a good old light-medium EM, with no surprises but a taste which is at the same time quite delicate and yet satisfying. In a big bowl, you have a very nice relaxing and balanced taste: a bit tart and spicy, but stimulating. Not a great complexity, and the flavor stays consistent from beginning to end with no variations or hidden nuances, but hey, it's good! Not knock-your-socks-off good, and certainly not the full punch of Bohemian Scandal, but some of the same qualities are here. Personally I like the presence of Syrian in both: Bohemian when I want a stouter, richer tobacco, and Rose when I want some of the same taste but in a much more subdued way. For a McClelland product, it comes quite dry in the tin and absolutely free of their usual ketchup smell (which I usually like, anyway). It burns quite well, and only minimally bites the tongue due to the high Virginia content. Certainly tastier and superior to the previous McClelland made Ashton Celebrated Sovereign, in which the Syrian presence was actually too little for my taste. Good effort, McClelland!

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pmonroeb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pmonroeb (92)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Very floral aroma and flavor that reminds me of cloves. This one really left its scent and flavor in the pipe. I was still noticing the taste and aroma several bowls later after going back to my regular straight English or Balkan blends. Drier than most McClellands. Not for me.

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Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I think this is a high quality Latakia. A little too oriental for me though. Should mix nicely with some Red Virginnia.

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Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (164)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is a true oriental blend with only a small dose of latakia. Being syrian it does not have a pronounced dark smoky flavor as does the cyprian I am use to, but it has more of a woodsy note. However, the strength and spice do build in the latter part of the smoke from the latakia.

Ribbon cut, it packs easy and burns steady after it gets going from the initial lights. It is dry and moderately cool (at least not hot) unless you press with the puffing.

However, with the fair amount of turkish leaf, I do not regard this as an all day blend. Three bowls in a day were too much for me; one or two will suffice. Still not a true balkan.

If you want an oriental blend without heavy latakia and you want to try your hand at syrian, give it a trial tin drive. I'll try the other new McClelland syrian blend as time allows.

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Joe Patterson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joe Patterson (48)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This blend reminds me most of McCranies Old Syrian -- good quantities of Syrian, but not enough to keep me interested bowl after bowl. If you've smoked that, this is basicaly the same. Even the appearance inside the can is the same medium to light brown mix of VA and latakia.

I really think this will improve dramatically with age, so I've cellared a few cans, and plan to get more.

The strength, in terms of nicotine, is a bit more than I expected -- not a bad thing, just not what I expected. I think the Balkan/Super Balkan will boost the power even more with the addition of orientals and perique. The tang of the Virginias don't stand up much and the light sweetness of the latakia remains steady throughout, resulting in a lightly sweet blend that can scorch the tounge if not watched closely.

8.5 out of 10.

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WxGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WxGuy (95)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

One might expect from the name Rose of Latakia that this would be a full-on latakia blend. Not so. Evidently the "most flavorful Syrian leaves" are indeed so precious that only a little bit of said leaf was added to this blend.

The tin aroma is very subdued- more of virginias (w/o the trademark McC vinegar tang) with little hint of latakia. the resulting smoke is likewise underwhelming. It is not as thin and nearly vapid as FrogMorton (which I enjoy despite these shortcomings), but full in a kind of harsh virginia way. I have always found McC latakia blends rather hit or miss, and this one is in the "miss" category for this piper. It is hard to imagine that age will help things out (other than a mellowing of the Va), but my tin will sure get some, since I do not plan on revisiting any time real soon.

BTW, This one can bite you too, if you are not careful.

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