Reviews: 55472 Tobaccos: 4715What's NewLoginRegister
Product Image

-

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.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland
Manufactured ByMcClelland
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutFlake
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Tolerable

Favorite Of 1 Users

2.8
21 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
4
3 star:
10
2 star:
6
1 star:
1
Sort By
Please login to review this blend.
SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (495)
★★☆☆
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?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hendu3270 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hendu3270 (4)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I've never had a bowl of this I didn't love. Very flavorful and smokey throughout. I love just sitting on the patio in the evening just slowly sipping on this one. Took me a couple more lights to really get it going but after that it was a wonderful smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1004)
★★★★
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!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (528)
★★★☆
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.

ORIGINAL REVIEW 2/8/09

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!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe-arazzo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe-arazzo (71)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I smoked this to compare it to other latakia flakes I'm smoking, some as part of my Lakeland tour. I vascillated between 2 and 3 stars. It's fairly nice, and standing alone, as it were, it deserves 3. But with the universe of latakia mixtures and flakes out there, I cannot really recommend it to anyone. I decided to treat it as it stands by itself.

Perhaps it's a bit misnamed. For me, the latakia is very subdued. I found the oriental component much more prominent. Very incense-like. It was quite dry in the tin, and it did improve marginally upon (re)hydration. But it was often a bit sharp on the tongue.

Nothing could tempt me away from Germain's Latakia Flake to smoke this, as it is far and away the best of the latakia flakes in my experience.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

beaupipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beaupipe (100)
★★★☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SirLoirn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirLoirn (126)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Tin: Smokey fruit ketchup aroma, faintly moist. Dark brown squares striated with blonde, 1x1/2x1/8.

Date code on bottom of tin: 740205. This tin was consumed in early 2007, making it 1+ years old. For interesting info. on dating tinned tobacco, link to:

pipes.org---locate the Forums box--Topics--Tobacco Questions--scroll down , to bottom of page, to Archives Oct. 09, 2005, Oct. 18, 2005, and July 26, 2006.

Packing & Lighting: The flake is easily rubbed out and made ready for packing. This needs to be finely rubbed out, leaving no small chunks, to achieve good taste and aroma. Difficult to get lit. Had to relight occasionally. There is no moisture build-up. The pipe is moisture-free, contrasting with BBAR.

Aroma: Xanthi Yaka seems a fitting name for this mellow, incense-like oriental. This is the same oriental varietal used in McClelland's Grand Oriental Yenidje blend.

Taste: Similar to aroma, with a hint of sweetness, refreshing and smooth. The toasted tobacco is rather evident in taste and aroma, with a hint of fruit; a week later, the fragrant fruit accent is more pronounced. Later bowls did provide for a distinguishing Latakia taste and aroma.

Smoked smooth, not much bite. Laid down a tar in the pipe.

Room Note: Mostly toasted VA, nice though lingering and heavy, somewhat sweet and fragrant.

Overall: Call it a Balkan, where the orientals dominate the Latakia and VA, in the smoke(compare GLPease.com--FAQ). In a meerschaum, rubbed to a fine consistency, providing a lighter room note, this could become a standard, if there wasn't that perplexing tin aroma.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

constantsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
constantsmoker (60)
★★★☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

The tin aroma of these partially broken, hard-pressed flakes is dominated by latakia and orientals with a good wafting of sweet virginia character.

Husky, nutty orientals and toasted VA dominate the taste. Significantly softened by the toasting process, the caramelly and smooth virginias add a pleasant sweetness and gently compliment the condimental leaf. The latakia maintains a full, though not overwhelming, presence.

One of McClelland's best latakia blends, this is excellent. It is mellow, balanced, and only moderately sweet. This seemed best in a narrow to medium gauge chamber.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

The poor reviews of this flake is disappointing, because the TR reviewers who I know like English/Balkan blends with lively Oriental leaf are the ones I'd expect would see its charm. I'd actually classify this blend as a medium Balkan.

I'll make this straightforward. The Oriental leaf is perfectly balanced with the base tobaccos and Latakia, each flavor coming through in nice variations throughout a bowl. There is also a nice nicotine effect.

However processed, the fullness of the Xanthi Yaka comes through without being offensively acrid, bitter or hot. The Virginias deliver rich, caramel overtones without making this a sweet blend. No casing of the Latakia here.

Cool, smooth, fragrant, round, deep and compelling are what come to my mind. This leaves a room unaffected the day after smoking BBLF. I find myself smoking two bowls in succession.

I think the marketing fell down with this series, perhaps coming across as a gimmick. However, Acadian Ribbon and Latakia Flake are truly worthy of an honest try (Bayou Slices ages in my cellar, still). McClelland ought to just put these in bulk and be done with it. BBLF may be McClellands best Balkan yet.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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 up...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.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (294)
★☆☆☆
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 (64)
★★★☆
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.

jackhackett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jackhackett (76)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Gorgeous, dense and blocky little flakes with a sweet and smokey scent. Looks and smells promising. When smoked, however, there's little depth. In fact, for such a hearty flake, the smoked flavor is thin and disappointing no matter what kind of pipe is used.

Perhaps my taste buds have gotten too old to discern the subtle flavors here; this should be a fantastic flake, but for me the smoking experience was very much as if someone forgot to put an engine in a shiny brand new mercedes coupe. Maybe younger or more adept pipers will find what I've somehow missed, but my own senses lead me to believe that this emperor has no (or very little) clothes.

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.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

I think "The Professor" nailed it in his review. I agree with all the points he made regarding this blend.I just need to add my own 2 cents.I am a Cornell&Diehl man through and through and I rarely have much of anything good to say about McClelland products.In this case though,I need to make an exception.I detest that "ketchup" smell of McClelland tobaccos but here I actually think it creates an interesting backdrop for the Latakia.This is a very full blend and you won't win any friends with the room note,but it does have its merits.The tanginess of the Virginias along with that other tanginess of the orientals really makes an interesting blend.I love sour foods and this is the closest thing you can get to a GOOD SOUR tobacco.This genuinely exhibits a "Smoked meat with a vinegar based bbq sauce cooking on the grill" quality. This is a meaty blend.This is like Penzance with the African Virginias being replaced with those good old McClelland ketchupy Virginias.I would smoke it again just for the fact that it is so different. Never burns hot and is easily kept lit.This is for the Latakia "JUNKIE" looking for a different fix.Worth a try. 3 0f 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Considering my general dislike of German-made pipe tobacco and my wide appreciation of McClelland tobaccos, Blakeney's Best Latakia Flake surprises me. This Latakia flake has tastier undertones, but harsher overtones than C.A.O.'s Old Ironsides (see my review of that as well). While I will continue to smoke Old Ironsides on occasion, I will not be purchasing more of Blakeney's Best Latakia Flake. If you are looking for a better Latakia flake, go with the DE version and leave Blakeney's Best on the tobacconist's shelf.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (135)
★★★☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

American Penzance! A wonderful full latakia flake without the McC. Ketchup! Tin aroma is slightly McC.,but the flavor is dominiant latakia with the McC Virginia flavor shining through! Replace the Germain Virginia/Oriental with the McClelland version and you have this wonderful Latakia flake. Slow burning,no bite,and a wonderful spice feast! 4 of 4 stars!

Nobody has rated this review yet.