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A distinctive full English mixture in the grand tradition, rich with smoky Cyprian latakia, fragrant with exotic Xanthi Yaka. Toasted for smoothness, then pressed in cakes to age and marry the flavors. Result: Exceptionally smooth, cool-smoking, full flavored little Levantine flakes ready to rub out--the best Oriental mixture.

Notes: McClelland introduced their Blakeney's Best line at the 21st CORPS (Conclave of Richmond Pipe Smokers) Pipe Show in Richmond, Virginia. The 50g tin was released to the public in late 2005.

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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None Detected
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable, Tolerable

Favorite Of 1 Users

24 reviews
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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

A Latakia blend with some kick and no bite - I love it!

I like to fully rub out the leaf before loading and smoking. I consider this an evening smoke as its not sweet enough to flavor up my palate early in the day. The smokey Latakia taste comes through in droves, but I get none of the harshness I do associate with some heavier Latakia offerings. It burns dry and somewhat fast.

A palate pleaser with punch!

5 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

UPDATE 3/7/09

I'm upgrading this from 2 to 3 stars. I'm usually not a fan of almost tinder dry tobacco, especially in latakia blends. But the flakes in this blend work much better when dried to an almost crunchy consistency. Rubbed out and dry, this blend smokes very well. It's still not going to make my steady rotation but it might make yours. If you like good tasting latakia blends that aren't "in your face" with latakia, give this one a run up the flagpole.


My quest for the definitive McClelland latakia blend continues! Because this ain't it.

The good news is that this is an incredibly "clean" smoke. That's the best word I can think of, and it reminds me of McClellands #8 Oriental in that regard. It's kind of a palate-cleansing flavor, as though it were meant as a segue from one more flavorful blend to another over a days time. A very friendly, non-cantankerous blend that is easy on the taste buds.

Unfortunately, it also reminds of me #8 in the sense that there's nothing much going on here. It's a decent smoke, but there are other english-style blends around that trump it in my humble opinion. Even blends that are noticeably lighter in taste tend to have more depth and "color" such as McClellands Frogmorton On The Town (my fave McC latakia so far). But as the reviewer below mentioned, some people prefer a less showy blend. Sometimes I do as well but this won't be what I reach for at those times.

I've said before that I find McClellands virginia tobaccos to be the finest of their type in the world. No one can touch this company for virginias, in my opinion. I just wish that I could say the same for their english style blends. The quest continues!

4 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I really loved the Blakeney's Bayou Slice so I thought I'd give the Latakia Flake a try too. Kudos to McClelland for thinking outside the box with BBLF, but it wasn't what I had hoped for from this blend. My tin was dated a few years ago and the Virginias benefited from the age. It is easily packed after a quick rub out and unlike many of the McClelland English blends, once rubbed out it needed very little dry time. After the charring light, I was greeted with a pleasant flavor. But as each bowl I smoked progressed, there wasn't much else to speak of. There are a lot of complex English blends on the market right now and unfortunately this isn't one of them. Before finishing the tin, I found myself bored with BBLF. The tobacco is of high quality so it is worth a try, but given the fact that my tin had plenty of time to “marry” it isn't one to cellar for me. I do wonder if a new tin can be found (I haven't seen one), where the Latakia hasn't been softened, if I might have enjoyed it more?

3 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1646)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

McClelland - Latakia Flake (Blakeney's Best).

Me smoking this was a result of my mistaking Tobacco Galleria Night Cap for a Dunhill Nightcap clone. After being knocked for six with false flavours I needed what I originally wanted first thing this morning: a Lat' fix. So, B.B. Latakia Flake? Whoa, a Lat-addicts dream!

The tin holds flakes which are approx. half the length of the usual. Think of the flakes in Mac Baren Vanilla Cream Flake and half them. About 20% of the blend could be considered a broken flake. The only thing the tins aroma suggests is lots of Lat', which is exactly what it delivers.

I'll point out the burn and temperature first: a slow, consistent burn, which produces a cool smoke. The flavour? If the tobaccos were like sportsmen in a race the Latakia would be Usain Bolt and the Virginia/Orientals would be Sumo wrestlers: it's a race that's won before it's even started! But, although the flavour from the Lat' is immense, lots of smoke and cedar, the Virginia gives a sweet, fruity touch with the Orientals lending a delicate floral note; these two form a very tasty setting for the Latakia. The cool smoke hasn't got a bite in it.

Nicotine: medium to strong. Room-note: not bad but too full for company.

McClelland Latakia Flake? Love it! Highly recommended:

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Peterson Clontarf XL11

Age When Smoked: Three weeks

Purchased From: Cup O' Joes

2 people found this review helpful.

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

I love the toasty nature of this blend, but at the same time I wonder if toasting it hasn't eliminated some of the finer nuances of flavor. It has the basic flavor of a good English, but is lacking in those nuances I enjoy so much; the sweetness and fruity notes of the Virginia, the sour, woody and sometimes incense-like notes of the Oriental. I miss those things, yet I find that this blend grows on me. I like it in spite of it's faults. Go figure. It's an enjoyable smoke.

Mild to medium in body. Medium in flavor. Needs to be dry for a good burn. The drier the better. On a side note, my tin was 2 years old when it arrived from smokingpipes.

EDIT: I made it sound like there's no trace of Virginias or Orientals in this. I didn't mean it like that. I mean to say that the finer nuances of what I listed are missing. For example, the finer nuances of the Virginia's fruitiness.

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

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (492)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

I found a tin of this from 2005 a few years back and opened it pretty quickly after bringing it home. I was underwhelmed by it on the earlier tastings. The main problem was the Latakia came off as very flat. I believe this is due to the age of the tin. In terms of aging, it is said that this can happen with Latakia and I believe that this is to blame for what I was tasting.

It still was not bad, but I don't think I got to experience it as it was intended to be experienced. One irritation that is also likely present when it is fresh is that it is a bugger to get lit. Once that is accomplished, it smokes pretty well. The vacancy that was left by what was once, likely, a robust Latakia profile left little else to really stand out. There was some Virginia sweetness, but not enough. The Xanthi, may have been detectable, but its presence was light.

Overall, I will leave this at 2 stars for now in hopes that I may try a fresher tin later to see if my mind changes, but I can't recommend the blend on the 10 year old tin I tried. It just wasn't memorable. I would rather be pulling on some fresh three oaks (original or Syrian) or Balkan Blue than this one.

Age When Smoked: 10 years

1 person found this review helpful.

don1688 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
don1688 (27)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I don't think I have ever tried an English/Balkan and said right away that "I love this". This one never seemed to "fit" with me.

This tin is dated "05" so at the time of opening, 2010, has at least 4 years of age. Opening reveald dark brown and black broken flakes with a small amount of light brown in-between. Sugar crystals were all over the Va portions of the flakes, always nice.

The flavor is Va and Latakia for the most part with some spicyness present throughout the smoke, mostly first 2/3rds of bowl.

I would recommend for a try, but I am not going to cellar this. My first try of this is with a good amount of aging and the Va's definately benefitted.

By the way, I'm not sure what the toasting has done to the flavor.

1 person found this review helpful.

beaupipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beaupipe (102)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I think that this tobacco is better than it has been made out to be based on the extant reviews. There is a certain virtue in reliability, modesty, a lack of Dolly Parton-ish showiness. This ain't no Vegas stripper who leaves you breathless after the first experience and broken after the last. This is your wife in sweats.

I lucked into a 2+ year old tin of this a couple of weeks back and I find myself reaching for it more and more. I keep a little tobacco harem on hand--8 to 10 open tins at any given time--and for whatever reason, I find myself bypassing higher rated, more aggressive tobaccos in favor of BB Latakia. I've never been able to settle on an All-Day-Smoke and, frankly, I've always considered such a thing to be a myth perpetrated by the lazy and unadventurous. (Haha). But BB Latakia Flake has me pondering getting down on one knee and popping the question.

The tin notes are authentic McLelland and the flakes are small chunks of black and deep golden tobacco. What impresses me most about this, however, is the elegance with which it carries itself in the pipe. It's easy to find such an attitude boring, or to mistake it for indifference to your palate, especially if you smoke it distractedly. Concentrate a little and you might just find that this smokey Latakia blend has the kind of beauty you want on hand on a regular basis.

I'm slowly falling in love with the girl next door.

1 person found this review helpful.

constantsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
constantsmoker (65)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Upon opening the tin, I was greeted by McClelland's signature BBQ sauce fragrance that, contrary to other reviewers, I really enjoy. The flakes are dark brown in coloration with slight mottling by the Va(s). Very appealing sight. As others have noted, the tobacco rubs out easily, but is difficult to light and/or requires frequent re-lighting without considerable drying before loading in your pipe. Surprisingly, little to no moisture built up while smoking this concoction.

This is a smooth, flavorful tobacco with little or no bite. The room note had a sweet/sour overtone to it that appealed to me, but which might put off one's significant other. Overall, an enjoyable, cool-smoking experience in the medium-English vein.

1 person found this review helpful.

geocritter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
geocritter (20)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Tolerable to Strong

I've only started smoking BB Latakia Flake by McClelland. I'm just getting into the Latakias, and this one is very nice; after it ages a little more I might find it even better, and I'll edit my review.

Extremely rich, with a complexity that shows up after a half bowl or so. I also noted quite a nicotine hit from this one. Was pretty easy to light, burned very well, no dottle in the end. A very rich, dry smoke. Room note was typical for a latakia; spicy, with a smell which doesn't quite leave the room smelling like a cigar, but yet you can tell what it was. I.e., it doesn't smell stale afterwards, but yet leaves a strong presence.

I think as a pure latakia (more or less, anyway) this one is very nice. I think I still prefer Frog Morton's elegance and complexity, but when I want a definite "latakia experience", this should be a fine go-to. I might keep some in my rotation as a nice backup to Frog Morton. Definitely 3 stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (165)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I got a sample tin of this from Mike at RTDA in New Olreans Morial Convention Center, in happier days in early August '05. Smoked half a tin; other half is sitting somewhere in my drenched house.

Very good, true, full English latakia flake. Stronger than Acadian slices, it's brother. The oriental and latakia overcome the tang of the toasted virginias. Plenty of flavor. Fuller than the bulk english flake MC makes.

Very satisfying. It makes me forget.

1 person found this review helpful.

geocritter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
geocritter (20)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Can't really describe much better than to say that I was left feeling like I wasted my money on this one when I could have gotten Frog Morton and gotten a richer, more flavorful experience. It's certainly not a bad smoke; but it's one of those "if you're going to do something, then do it right, or don't do it at all". If I want a latakia, then I want it to be bold, spicy, and with "that smell" that it leaves that is hard to describe. Same goes for a virginia.

This one just kind of drifts around taste-wise between the different types of tobacco, without giving much of an experience of anything in particular. I ended up mixing this one (I know, heresy) with the remainder of some FM that I had and jarring it (about 2:1). Actually, it made a nice mix. Might try stoving it and see what happens! ;-)

Maybe that sums it's a good tobacco on it's own, just not exceptional, and might be better as a mixing blend of some sort.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Mmmmmm... I detect a trend here: there hasn't been a single Latakia flake that I have loved so far, with the exception of the tasty and juicy Old Ironsides. Even the famous Penzance leaves me sort of flat...

SG Balkan Flake, Germain's Special Latakia Flake and similar offerings, all taste dull and flat to me. Perhaps too subtle for my taste, perhaps simply and objectively too little flavour.

This flake by McClelland is no exception (and add on that that I am not a fan of most of McC's Latakia mistures, which are often very mild): smells nice in the tin (smoky, sweet, toasted, with very little of their trademark vinegary notes), but smokes completely flat and boring. It's smooth, no bite at all, but also completely unremarkable. No oriental fragrance, very subdued latakia, and also the virginias aren't very fruity or sweet.

To me this flake is not unsmokeable or bad, simply a big YAWN.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Satc001 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Satc001 (66)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I decided to change my review, after smoking this for a couple months. Originally I found this to be a solid blend, right in line with McClelland's Frogs. But after smoking this for two months, I find I was horribly wrong, this is a FANTASTIC BLEND! This screams complexity. I noticed that it has the oriental depth of Pease's creations, only turned up in volume. The latakia plays a supporting role and there are some great McClelland virginias here. I love the flakes and the toasted process makes this very smooth. If you compare every blend to Nightcap or 965, this isn't for you. If you enjoy good, complex and unique tobacco blends this is worth a try. Give it an honest try and I think you'll understand why I like it so much.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I absolutely love many of the MC blends, but this "toasted" series has just left me flat so far. I was hoping that this one would do smething for me, but alas, I'm just not into toast in my pipe.

Appearance and Tin Aroma: The flakes are beautiful to look at. The cut reminds me of one of my MC favorites(#24). The smell rich in oriental and latakia, but that "toasted" flavor is still there.

Packing and Lighting: I stuffed the flakes in and rubbed out a few on top to get going. 2-3 lights max.

Initial Flavor: Different for a latakia mixture, smooth though. The Va is a bit sharp.

Mid-Bowl: This series tastes burned to me. It is as if someone baked the leaf too much and then put it in the tin. It is mellow and gets in the zone in spite of the flavor.

Bottom of Bowl: A surprising strength kick of both flavor and nicotine. Be sure to eat first! burns to a mottled grey ash with no moisture issues.

Overall: I know that there is quality in this blend, its just the toasted flavor that I can't get over. I know the leaf gets toasted as you smoke it down the bowl, but double toasting (once in prep and once as you smoke it)just seems to make the leaf lose its complexity. The xanthi and latakia used in this smells wonderful in the tin, but in the pipe, it is gone... Finished my tin, but won't buy again. BTW i still think British Woods and Frog Morton across the Pond surpass this blend in both flavor and complexity.

Nobody has rated this review yet.