Reviews: 81451 Tobaccos: 7058What's NewLoginRegister


Rare Syrian latakia, with its renowned mellow smokiness, is balanced with naturally sweet Orientals and aged Virginia leaf to create a satisfying blend reminiscent of classic Syrian latakia blends of old. Formulated by Tad Gage to reflect the character of original Three Oaks Pipe Tobacco, it tantalizes with intriguing differences.

Notes: Introduced in 2009.

Blended ByTad Gage
Manufactured ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
Where to Buy Iwan Ries
Product Image
Mild to Medium
None Detected
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 23 Users

92 reviews
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Sort By
Please login to review this blend.
Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

This one can fool you. Some bowls make you think you're smoking an Oriental blend with a background dose of Latakia. At other times you'll think you're smoking a Latakia blend with a background dose of sweet Oriental leaf. Either way, it's a bell ringer for me.

I really like the smoothness of the rich and smokey Latakia and the sweetness of the Orientals. It wa a killer combination and one I thoroughly enjoyed while consuming the tin in a matter of days.

It was just a wee bit too moist for me right out of the tin but dried quickly when left in the open air for a few hours. I'm gonna get me more of this!

27 people found this review helpful.

Lit a Kia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lit a Kia (69)
Very Mild None Detected Mild Very Pleasant

If you're looking for a heavy nic kick or something that pounds you in the taste buds, this is not your blend. But if you're a fan of high-quality English blends, it's a must try.

Very soft, mellow smokiness. Subtly complex. This is one of the few blends (two?) that has a hefty helping of actual Syrian Latakia in it, which might be why it's so unique (in my experience anyways):

If you're intimidated by Lat bombs, start with this one. To paraphrase another reviewer, it's like having your head gently stroked. But be warned, all the others might disappoint you. I've tried quite a few, and none of them have come close to knocking this one out of the rotation. Will be trying Mac Baren's Vintage Syrian soon, which Arno of Dutch Pipe Smoker fame favors:

Like many McClelland blends, it helps to give it a healthy amount of drying time.

As an aside, I can't understand why good Lat blends seem to get the thumbs down on room note so often, given how similar they are to incense, as well as all the other incredible smells and flavors they produce. But the overwhelming judgment of non-smoking roomates and spouses seems to be thumbs down.

2014.05.15 Update: I've had the pleasure of trying many more English blends since reviewing 3OS. I still give it four stars but like Samovar, Legends, and FMOTT slightly better (all tastier and more complex).

2014.07.26 Tweaking the rating down to a very solid three stars, as this doesn't compare to some of the Latakia blends I've tried since (e.g., White Knight, Samovar, Legends). But it's still among the best and gentlest intros to the genre, imo.

20 people found this review helpful.

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

I have been in the minority when it comes to my thoughts about Three Oaks Syrian in that I have not been in the “wowed crowd.” I opened a tin (my second tin after struggling a bit through the first) about a year ago and put it aside. To my amazement, even after a year in an opened tin with the plastic lid on it, the tobacco was still too wet to smoke. I don't understand why the folks at McClelland feel the need to saturate their blends in humectants far beyond what is needed. As others pointed out, the time aside seemed to help even things out in the blend. The smoke is buttery, a little sweet and very smooth. I don't know if the percentage if Syrian is high, but it is a supporting player in the flavor department. I do think it is important to point out that Syrian will have different notes than Cyprian and that could cause some to think that blend is lacking in the Latakia department. I think the component tobaccos are perfectly balanced and the Orientals are very good. Those that really like English blends made by McClelland will find this to be among their best and likely a four star blend. To me, while very good, it tastes like many of the other McClelland English blends. If not for the Syrian, I wouldn't be able to tell it apart from some of the others.

11 people found this review helpful.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (84)
Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Very Strong

Perhaps this is another instance of having very different tastebuds than every other piper because my experience of this blend differs quite strongly from the previous reviewers. Indeed it almost seems to me like we're reviewing different blends.

For me this blend is very full and very smoky, with the Syrian Latakia coming front and center for a bravura performance. The orientals and virginias are in the shadows, ever present only if you pay attention to them, occassionally joining the star for a brief appearance, providing some distinctive harmony, then receding back to the shadows. And I don't taste anything sweet, in the usual sense (is ouzo sweet?), except for a single little nuance lurking way back there you have to look for.

I would also say this blend is deliberately not balanced in the usual sense, because it's not intended to be: the proportions serve to highlight the star rather than share the stage with her, thus it is balanced just as it ought to be: you don't upstage the coloratura during her big number. It seems to me the blenders found the very line where any more Syrian Latakia and the flavor would have hurtled over the cliff into a single-note sharp, tarry murkiness, any less and it would have dissipated into its surroundings. Given the degree to which the semi-transparent ouzo-lemony-creosote-laden smoky flavor dominates it's quite remarkable how complex and nuanced the blend remains.

If it's valid to compare tobacco with wine or scotch as a nuanced art for the tastebuds -- and I believe it is, since they all are concerned with the artful and subtle combinations of unique flavors arising from vegetative matter infused with the essence of their origins -- then this blend is exemplary of tobacco as a "single malt". Each single-malt scotch has a unique signature, and I can't think of any tobacco blend this analogy applies to better than this one. Instead of peat or iodine as the bed of nuance, we have here a silky smooth creosotic plane of flavor rippling with nuance. I don't know anything else that comes close to the flavor of this one.

I must confess I do not understand the comparison of this with Artisan's Blend at all -- Artisan's Blend is not anywhere near as smoky or creosotic, and the orientals are much more prominent there, as is the presence of the perique. It's surprising to me that a previous reviewer considers this an oriental forward blend for oriental lovers; the only tangy-spiciness of oriental I discern is some background colour through the semi-transparent waves of latakia. (And I'm an oriental lover. Oriental Mixture No. 14 -- now there's an oriental forward blend!)

Otherwise, the moisture out of the tin is perfect. Another reviewer suggested packing it tighter than usual and I agree. It's a very cool, dry, remarkably smooth smoke with a unique cotton mouthfeel you can sink your teeth into. It's not an all-day smoke, much like Cragganmore or Laphraoig would not be all-day drinks. This is a special, delectable smoke to be savored.

About the only thing I agree with the previous reviewers on is that this is one of McClelland's finest offerings -- and that's saying a lot! I am very impressed by this blend. Very impressed. It's perhaps the best "single-malt" tobacco blend I've yet tried.

No, no "perhaps" about it. It is the best "single-malt" tobacco I've smoked.

Highest recommendation.

10 people found this review helpful.

balkan_boy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
balkan_boy (49)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This is very good Balkan blend. The tin note is slightly different than the standard smell of McKetchup. Very pleasant, has some reddish colour, the first thought you get when you open it is to smoke it right away, immediately. And you do, moisture is ok from the tin, and it burns to the white ash smoothly. Syrian Latakia is mellow, everything is mellow, faint, pale, but still there is enough body to be decent smoke, let's say for the mornings or everyday smoke. Syrian Latakia usually has noble aroma that doesn't kick you but just stays there reminding you of it's beautiful presence. There are orientals also, not as aggressive as in other blends, all in all, it's a good smoke, nice, noble, mellow, .... I liked it a lot. Not my go to blend, but I will order some of it in the future. I've smoked other Syrian blends, this one is the mellowest. Highly Recommended.

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From:

6 people found this review helpful.

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

This is a well done Light English. I find the Latakia and Orientals to be well balanced. The Virginias have an adequate, but not strong, presence. The Syrian Lat is smooth and smoky. I find this to be a solid example of an English blend, but I don't find anything special here. Tastes vary though so give it a try. It may be just what you're looking for.

Pipe Used: MM General

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From:

6 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

A thick ribbon cut blend of mottled milk- and dark-chocolate color. Loads and lights easily and settles in nicely at the initial match. Not quite enough of the usual McClelland fermented virginia aroma (what some call ketchup or vinegar) in the tin, but that's the norm for McC latakia blends.

As I stated, this blend takes to the match well and is off to the races with nary a backward glance. The flavor is the light sweet smokiness as mentioned below, along with an odd but nice combo of creaminess and an almost peatiness. This seems like the Lowland single malt of pipe tobaccos... very mild and easy to work with. However, each puff had a bit of dryness to the finish that I find different. I found this blend tasty but very mild. Someone looking to get into syrian latakia blends would do well to start here.

My only complaint, and what keeps it from that 4th star, is the flavor I experienced upon relights. With each one, the flavor turned very sour for about the first 4-5 puffs, which was quite a turn-off. I experienced this same flavor in Frog ATP as well, but it was prevalent in that blend, not just at relights. DGT suffered greatly with 3OS. I don't see anyone else having this problem, so it must be more me than the blend. I'm going to stick my other 2 tins in the cellar for a couple of years, as the tin I smoked was only a few months old. Couldn't wait to try it to see what the fuss was all about! This is what I get for my impatience.

5 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

The smoky, woody, dry, wine-like Syrian latakia is the star component, but allows the woody, buttery sweet Orientals a fair amount of say in an important support role. There’s also a touch of sour and a hint of spice from the Orientals. The dark fruity, earthy, slightly sugary Virginias also sport light fermentative and short lived "vinegar" notes, and has a little less impact than the Orientals do. The nic-hit is just shy of reaching the mild to medium level. No chance of bite, and has no dull or harsh moments. The tobacco may need a light dry time. Burns cool, clean and a tad slow with a mildly creamy, mostly consistent flavor. Some nuances peak and recede here and there. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl, and needs some relights. Has a pleasant smoky sweet, incense after taste that translates to the room note. Can be an all day smoke.

4 people found this review helpful.

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

UPDATE 7/10/2017

I am not touching the rating on this one, but will add to the fact that I have now tasted the Cyprian 3 Oaks and I would say, for my tastes, I prefer the Cyprian version, but just slightly. They are both really fantastic lat blends.


From my first bowl of this, I boldly declared it my favorite Balkan blend. A steep claim as I have had the luxury of tasting the new Balkan Sobranie, Penzance, Smoker's Haven Krumble Kake, HU Fayyum Kake and Blue Mountain amongst many others.

It is a very creamy smoke that burns cool with a fantastic fragrance that seeps through the side stream. I was beginning to think that I preferred the Cypriot variety of the Latakia Leaf as other blends using Syrian had yet to ring my bells. This one has me reevaluating that thought.

I nearly finished the tin, but gave the rest to a friend that was enjoying it yesterday as I plan to buy several more. I also look forward to testing this against the Cyprian Three Oaks to get a better idea of my Latakia preference.

But for now, Four stars to my favorite Balkan.

Pipe Used: Basil Meadows Zulu

Age When Smoked: One Year

Purchased From: B & B tobacconists

4 people found this review helpful.

Knightsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Knightsmoker (137)
Extremely Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Well I have to say that my take is different from most reviews here. Taste is subjective so I guess it will happen from time to time. It is very smooth and rich with smokey Latakia that seems like it was indeed smoked wit oak rather then pine and the bitter slightly floral sweetness of the Orientals. The VA's also add to the sweetness and since the tin has been in my cellar for over 3 yrs it must be a little sweeter then when it was young. There also seems to be a very very small amount of bright leaf that gives only the faintest hint of spice. However, this is really where the high notes end. The tobacco is saturated with PG solution or some other humectant that keeps it way too moist. I can let it sit out for hours and still have several relights. There is to me a topping added too. I do get a faint taste of anise on the retrohale at about the end of the first 1/3 of the bowl and it never goes away from that point on. Finally, it does bite a little even with the age on it. Now, I do have to say that some of McCllland's blends do this to me so I came into it knowing it was a possiblity so if you seem to have this problem with them too be aware that despite the mild smoke it may bite. I would still somewhat recommend this blend espeically if someone was looking to try Syrian Lat. for the first time it is a good representive of what Syrian is compared to its Cyprus counter part. For me There is no need to revist this blend as it does taste similar to many McClelland Lat. blends with the change of lat being taken into consideration but I think there are much better Syrian blends out there.

Age When Smoked: 40 months

Purchased From:

4 people found this review helpful.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (146)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

To my mind, there are only two genuinely great Syrian latakia blends on the market today, both from McClellands. One is Wilderness, a delightful oriental-forward blend. The second is this one, Three Oaks Syrian, a mixture that really showcases the subtle incense-like notes of the latakia. Although it's stronger than most of McClelland's offerings, it is mild enough to use as an all-day smoke (although I only smoke it on special occasions). Personally, I prefer Cyprian latakia to Syrian, but I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to experience the few remaining crumbs of this tobacco varietal.

P.S. -- There is no such thing as McClelland's "ketchup casing," as some other reviewers have alleged. This is clearly an unflavored blend. The "ketchup casing" alluded to at length by some smokers is merely the aroma/taste of fermenting virginias. It's not an added flavor, it's not a humectant, it's not an aromatic casing. McClelland sources and process its own leaf from American growers, which leads to a far different product than is sold by other houses. I have personally aged unflavored red virginias from C&D and H&H and ended up with "ketchupy" leaf, especially when aging red vas.

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: 3 months to 3 years

Purchased From: Several vendors

Similar Blends: Wilderness, Renaissance.

3 people found this review helpful.

Mesh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mesh (50)
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I'm not easily drawn in by mild tobacco, but this is some very good stuff. The silky smoothness is remarkable. The Latakia does indeed feel less brassy than usual, but I can't say for sure if that's due to it being Syrian, its proportion, or McClelland's processing. Whatever the case, this blend stands out.

This is a delicate blend that needs to be smoked particularly gently to receive the array of light flavours it offers.

2 people found this review helpful.

crackonosh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
crackonosh (8)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Full Strong

Very fine, smooth blend, based on virginias and containing huge amount of high quality syrian latakia. McClelland’s ketchup casing is still detectable, but its level is surprisingly low. Very mild at the beginning, getting darker tones at the half of the bowl, sometimes harsh at the end. Another pleasant american tobacco, suitable for everyday smoke.

2 people found this review helpful.

Phonomet Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phonomet (44)
Very Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

It took the better part of a tin for me to get this blend. I had just been smoking a full flavored balkan for a few months (Peretti's Royal Blend) and this one just seemed so mild that I had to search for the flavor. Around the half bowl mark the flavor kicks in and it's a lovely semi-sweet smoke. There is a hint of spice. The latakia is tame but present. Overall an enjoyable blend but I usually want more forward flavors. I recommend letting it dry for a considerable time before loading a bowl.

Age When Smoked: 4 years

Purchased From: B&B tobacconists Asheville, NC

2 people found this review helpful.

samcoffeeman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
samcoffeeman (33)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Fresh off my second bowl of this. The first one I remember was unremarkable. I gave it a pretty tight pack and it burnt ok. A few relights. It doesn't seem overly moist as some people have said, but maybe just my tin. The smoke starts pretty solid and simple, smooth and smoky latakia up front. That seems to fade away and in the middle of the bowl, when i am wanting a body and character to build it seems lacking. I find myself tasting ashiness with a musty background, like an old basement. Especially on the relights, it reminded me of re-lighting a cigarette that had been sitting. Towards the end there was a small reward of flavor, when I distinctly tasted black licorice and some deep red wine. The flavors were too subtle for me, and I found myself pulling hard to extract them, which led to not quite tongue bite but a dryness, which along with the ashiness left my mouth feeling like an ashtray. Rating: less enjoyable. Worth another shot, has some promise, maybe in a different pipe.

2 people found this review helpful.

Peppino Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peppino (74)
Very Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

When reading reviews you get a sense of what to expect. With this blend I was surprised how light it was. The latakia is in the background for sure, I taste the orientals, they take front and center. That's not a bad thing it's just I prefer a heavier smoke. I do like 3O but for a change of pace more than a regular go to blend. It does leave a great gray ash and was easily smoked to the bottom of the bowl.

UPDATE:9/23/11 As someone already said each bowl is different! So much so that I emptied the tin and mixed it up again to try and get a better consistency to the blend. It seems to have worked! The first smoke was in a Castello, the next two bowls in a Radice and Caminetto and I'm got a lot more latakia in those bowls. Not overpowering but much more flavor than the first bowl. Very nice:) Changed my rating to a 4 star based on the interesting flavor you get from this blend. It still burns to a perfect ash, I guess I need to wait on my ratings until I go through 3-4 bowls........I must be patient!

2 people found this review helpful.

Tom Servo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tom Servo (58)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The scent coming out of the newly opened tin is soft and sublime. Latakia is subdued but delicious. Orientals lay heavy on the warm, sweet Virginia aroma. Complex and immensely enjoyable. Scents of creosote, sharp, tangy, sea salt, okra, raw sweet peppers, and aged hard cheeses. All imbedded in a the tasty aroma of a top-notch Oriental blend.

Coarse ribbons pack well. Lights and burns nicely.

In the mouth the smoke is soft but flavorful, creamy and smooth. Sweet Virginia sweetness and subdued smokiness and oily, leathery notes from the tasty Latakia. But the Orientals dominate here - they really shine, fresh and peppery sweet. On the mild side, but delivers an amazing smoke. If this blend had a little more OOMPH to it, it would be perfect. Still, this stuff is subtle, warm, and delicious. Goes in the favorites list.

4 stars.

2 people found this review helpful.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (249)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

What a great smoke! Wow! This is an English latakia blend at it's best! I was really surprised as my first experience with this blend came in a baggie in a trade and in the baggie, it was mostly light in color, a ribbon cut, with a few dark bits of leaf mingled in. I was expecting to be honest it to be a VaPer and thus loaded it into a Pete Bulldog and proceeded to light up. The pouch aroma did not have the traditional English aroma but more of a sweet peaty aroma. But upon first light up, my mouth was filled with the most fragrant, sweet, and smokey flavor of latakia that was surrounded by a great sweet VA and the exotic flavor of orientals! I liked it first off and by the time I finished the bowl, I loved it! I smoked the rest of the small baggie and proceeded to order a tin of this blend. I am going through it like crazy, it is wonderful to smoke with coffee in the morning or with a good wine or bourbon on the rocks before bed. It does take a few relights during the process of smoking the bowl, but some of that is my just slowly sipping the wonderful smoke and relaxing with it. It burns down to a medium grey ash with no dottle left in the pipe and leaves one with a fine aftertaste in the mouth. I never did get the scent of ketchup or vinegar common with McClelland blends. I highly recommend this blend to all pipers as it really is an experience more than just a smoke.

2 people found this review helpful.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Absolutely lovely English mixture, wonderfuly balanced with a slight lean on Latakia. If this is really Syrian Latakia, it's certainly not the one I've tried long ago, and not the same that can be found in Ashton Artisan's Blend or Brebbia Balkan. I don't know, and I don't care. Syrian Latakia or not, this English mixture is definitely one of the bests I've every smoked.

2 people found this review helpful.

Stinkypipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stinkypipe (156)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

This blend falls into the catagory of "DFS" for me. That is damn fine smoke. As most of you know Syrian Latakia is no longer available to blenders so whatever they have stocked is all we can enjoy. To me Cyprian Latakia just can't hold the flavor or taste that Syrian can. So I usually know if the tin says Syrian but the blend taste says Cypress. Let me tell you this is The glorious Syrian Latakia in all its wonderful flavors. This stuff right from the tin lights up so smooth and burns so cool and slow. I smoked this in one of my favorite pipes, a Large bowl Boswell that took well over a hour to finish. It was a very enjoyable hour I can tell you. This stuff has that wonderful sweet wood smoke flavor with just a hint of baked bread. I am not a fan of orientals at all (they make my nose tingle when I exhale) so I was hoping they stayed in the background. I certainly don't find them sweet bit more closely the taste of pepper. They did hide for most of the smoke. Finished with a bowl of beautiful white ash. Room note as you would expect was wood smoke but not overwhelming. If you like me love Syrian Latakia grab some of this before it is gone. Oh....there is some nicotine hit but it is very mild and absolutely no bite whatsoever.

Pipe Used: Boswell Big Sitter

Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin

Purchased From: Smoking pipes

Similar Blends: Perhaps Boswell Northwoods would be somewhat close......but this is pretty unique!.

1 person found this review helpful.

eltice Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
eltice (1)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

First off, I am NOT a pro, more like a newbie! Having said that, my tastes are not developed and this is purely thoughts and opinion!

Wanting to try a Syrian before they were gone, I did a little reading and decided on 3 Oaks (Syrian), boy am I glad I tried it!

When I first opened the tin, I loved the first tin note! Maybe I am in the odd group, but as a newbie, I really like the "traditional" or non aros (Nightcap, London Mixture, VaPers)...but I do like a couple aros too (I like Boswell's Christmas Cookie and Sweet Tea).

First smoke/first thought was this is the best bowl I have smoked! So much so, I smoked a second bowl a few hours later. The next day, being a little skeptical, I smoked another bowl...guess what, still a great smoke in my mind. After another couple bowls, I ordered 10 more tins.

I like, what I think, is the classic or traditional blend. It is smooth smoke, with a slight smokey flavor. In my mind, I REALLY LIKE this blend!

Again, I am not well versed in reviewing a blend, but as a newbie, hope to explain in my layman terms how good this really is!

All I can say is please don't try this, I want to be able to purchase more 3 Oaks Syrian before it's gone! Lol

Pipe Used: Comoy's Zulu

Age When Smoked: Same Year

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Having tasted both MacBaren HH Vintage Syrian and, more recently, 3 Oaks Syrian, they feel like completely different beasts to me.

While Vintage Syrian wowed me for the 1st smoke (then disappointed...), 3 Oaks did the opposite. My first bowl was a very average experience. I was expecting the cedar like, spicy, incensy, sharp tang of Vintage Syrian, which i liked so much. Instead, i got a rather mellow, deep, smoky taste from the Syrian in 3 Oaks. I found it to be very dry, both in taste and mouth feel. Mid bowl, it grabbed my attention again by developping some depth and sweetness. To end with slightly acrid (creosote-ish), spicy notes.

On all subsequent smokes, it delivered exactly the same thing, though it seemed smoother, less dry, and overall much better. I guess my expectations affected my appreciation at first.

Compared to Vintage Syrian, this one feels a bit ''deeper'' since it changes throughout de bowl, while Vintage Syrian, to me, has a great opening, then quickly fades into dry/acrid/unpleasant territory...

Overall, 3 Oaks Syrian didnt wow me, it is tasty, delicate, has good smoking characteristics.

Pipe Used: Various cobs and briars

Purchased From: Blatter & Blatter

1 person found this review helpful.

Corey Mac Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Corey Mac (9)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Syrian Latakia is much more subtle than the Cyprian. I love the playful quality of the Syrian Lat in this blend! It's musty and herbal rather than full out smoky like a forest fire or a stick of salami. Ha! This is not a big Lat bomb, though it's not a lightweight either. I feel that this is blended in the quality tradition that McClelland is known for. This blend has become somewhat unique in the pipe smoking world, as Syrian Latakia is becoming harder to find, though as of now is still readily available on sites like This is a coolish smoking blend but you should take your time with this as it could still steam your tongue if you attack it! I don't know how they're processed for sure, but when I've gotten other McC blends, they tend to be a bit moist out of the tin. I remember trying to dry out some McC Jubilee, which is a wonderful blend, and leaving it out all night and half a day more to dry out, checking on it every few hours, It would not dry out. This blend is somewhat the same, leading me to believe that McClelland is using a fair amount of Propyleneglycol to keep it moist... This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it may force you to smoke this slower due to its moisture.

Though I'm not gonna go around huffing gasoline, I do love the smell of it! The Virginia in this blend by itself has some petroleum notes, which to me brighten the overall blend. I like that. This blend also leaves a wonderful aftertaste post smoke which I like too.

This is not a legendary balkan like Balkan Sasieni or still more, Sobranie, or a classic like Frog Morton on the Bayou, but this is a rewarding smoke and for those who would like to experience a quality balkan blend with authentic classic Syrian Latakia in it, probably wouldn't be disappointed. I wasn't!

Pipe Used: MM Morgan Nosewarmer

Age When Smoked: Fresh, whatever that means.

Purchased From: smokingpipes

1 person found this review helpful.

aksamolsa Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
aksamolsa (20)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I absolutely loved this one. It is so sweet and mellow and rounded yet complex enough. It has different layers of taste, earthy-nutty-oily texture. Burns so smooth and even without any effort. Not too strong but still satisfies a Latakia fan like me.

I can smoke this one anytime, it may be my regular choice.

1 person found this review helpful.

Seasoned Puffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Seasoned Puffer (6)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Flavor, burn, room note, blend preferences----all that is purely subjective; one man's master blend is another man's lawn fertilizer. If you like latakia, this very well-balanced blend is a must! Syrian brings that subtle smoky, leathery background that plays so well with orientals and virginias. Not overpowering but noticeably present, the latakia makes this blend. A very cool smoke with no bite whatsoever and the burn is very nice. I trimmed the ash a couple times, gently tamped and never once had to re-light. It burned very well right down to the end of the bowl. For me, the flavor was a real tongue-dancer---almost chewy albeit low in nicotine buzz. Even my wife, who prefers I smoke outdoors, had no bad words about the room note----that, in itself, is quite an endorsement. Of latakia blends, the only other one to rate higher on MY scale is Mac Baren's HH Vintage Syrian. Both are favorites in my rotation. My tastes are exactly that----mine---BUT---if you like Syrian Latakia, this blend will probably become a favorite in your rotation as well. Enjoy!

Pipe Used: Savinelli

Age When Smoked: Fresh from the tin

Purchased From: online vendor

Similar Blends: Mac Baren HH Vintage Syrian and Frog Morton.

1 person found this review helpful.

Choctaw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Choctaw (7)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Inasmuch as there are many fine reviews already posted, I will be brief. The combination of superb Latakia and Orientals in Three Oaks makes for a mellow, satisfying smoke of the highest order. Truly great toacco. I like it in rotation with Blackhouse, White Knight and Tudor Castle.

Pipe Used: Many - Peterson's, GBD, etc...

Age When Smoked: New-Fresh

Purchased From: 4Noggins

Similar Blends: I suppose Three Oaks has some similarity to many blends, but it's sort of it's own thing - a bit different from anything else..

1 person found this review helpful.

Hooter007 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hooter007 (2)
Very Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This is quite delicious. The local tobacconist was out of Old Gowrie, so I asked for his recommendation on something that had Latakia in it. I am not dissapointed and will now make this part of my rotation. Upon opening the tin, there is a real almost BBQ smoke smell coming from the leaf. It doesn't smell at all like it tastes. It is a sweet...sweet smoke from start to finish.

I am a younger pipe smoker (33) and used to smoke cigars. This was smoked in a root briar Dunhill and burns consistently and tasty to the end.

Pipe Used: Dunhill Briar

Age When Smoked: under 1 year since packaged

Purchased From: Good Karma Tobacco - Lubbock, TX

Similar Blends: Rattrays Old Gowrie.

1 person found this review helpful.

Joeray Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joeray (61)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is how I describe about this blend ; awesome, remarkable, great, and satisfying. I smoke this blend almost at all my pipe, from straight pipe to a full bent pipe and the results are same, satisfy. Honestly, in my personal opinion, this is one of the best English blend that I ever had smoke. I very enjoy my smoking time with this blend.

I don't found any strong kick during I smoke this. It is quite mellow, sweet, smokey, and very-very little bit spiciness but almost not detectable. Just a slow and smooth pleasure but the taste is not make me get bored or flat. The smoke is really great if you pack it correctly and there is almost not juicy at all, just a right moisture that made this blend burnt right, not wet nor hot.

My wife always complains me if I smoke this stuff, not because it's bad aroma, flavor, or the room notes, but because it's great smokes. The room notes is quite tolerable, if I said pleasant my wife sure will not complain about it but also not bad at all. She just hate me because it seems I burn the living room while I smoke with this stuff. Yeah I highly recommend this blend to others who want try a nice and great english blend, lot of my friend (fellow pipesmokers) also love this stuff.

1 person found this review helpful.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (136)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Well-blended combination of very good tobaccos. Can pick pick out the different elements, which complement each other well, without any one overwhelming. Lights easily, burns clean. 4*.

Pipe Used: Alpha Executive 35+ years old

Age When Smoked: Tin stamp 2013

Purchased From: P&C

1 person found this review helpful.

Wellpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wellpipe (59)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Easy to pack, satisfying solid and rich flavor from start to finish. Top Shelf.

Update 2/2014: This blend has become my benchmark for Balkan style blends. I reach for it when I want a rich, full spectrum of flavor. It is like a full-blown symphony, replete with hypnotizing oboe solos (orientals), thunderous and driving tympani drums (latakia), the clear call of trumpets (VAs), and a few crashing cymbals and bass drums (magic?), all beautifully and harmoniously executed.

Pipe Used: Wellington (XL)

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I don't get this? The initial light has an unpleasant side-stream. No big Latakia hit (That Syrian must be so Rare they forgot to put it in), not what I was expecting (not like Pirate Kake), no sweetness and the Orientals don't "sing". Kind of hot and steamy, . Smoked in diffrent size bowls and it's all bad, I will not buy again, very surprised at the good reviews.

Have to agree with reviewer "GSTQ" below

updated 6/29/12 after about 6 months of cellaring and drying this has improved. Orientals play with the Latakia smoky background . moved to 3 stars, I find this similar to GLP's "Quiet Nights", although QN is BIG.

Updated 6/27/ 2014- After two years, I purchased more of this blend, opened the tin and started to smoke some bowls over the past month..... I'm kind of back to my "original review", hot and steamy with a little harshness !!! The flavor is nice but I can't get over the beating my tongue takes. It's almost the same reaction I get with Burley blends. Maybe in a years time this will again mellow out ?

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: new tin

1 person found this review helpful.

cakeanddottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cakeanddottle (68)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is the second Latakia blend I ever smoked, and I took to it immediately. I then spent six months building a modest frame of reference by smoking every Lat blend I could get my hands on, and 3 Oaks still holds up.

This is a delicious, balanced tobacco. The quality of this McClelland vintage Syrian Latakia is amazing and so different from what you're used to from your Latakia. The components of 3 Oaks Syrian are so perfectly married that it is rare to have any one of them rise above the others during a bowl. There is the wonderful Latakia, an obvious creamy tang from the Orientals, and the whole works is bound in superlative McClelland Virginia tobacco.

On the downside, this tobacco isn't terribly full, in strength or flavor. That aside, it's damn near perfect.

I am surprised this isn't gone already. It's that good. Let's keep this our little secret, ok? I am still trying to put enough of this away that I won't miss it too bad when it's finally gone for good.

1 person found this review helpful.

CPT/VSG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CPT/VSG (72)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Three Oaks Syrian is a wonderful offering of Syrian Latakia, generally unavailable in American-blended tobaccos. To my taste, the Latakia dominates with it's smokey richness; it's a little smoother, more plum-like and less spicy than its Cyprian counterpart. 3OS comes a bit wet from the tin, and as I experienced with other McClelland English/Balkan blends, takes some patience in drying out to a proper smoking moisture.

I've always appreciated Tad Gage's astute tobacco reviews in P&T and he has created an interesting, tasty offering.

1 person found this review helpful.

tmoney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tmoney (24)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This tobccos has great smell and taste. Let it sit for a while after you open it though, gets better after about 1 month.

1 person found this review helpful.

dbl-bbl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dbl-bbl (36)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Sadly with the recent announcement that McClelland has shut their doors, I feel it necessary to post some reviews for the blends that I've been fortunate to partake of ... before I forget how much I've enjoyed them (and there have been several).

I have a fondness for this particular blend (I ditto what the Pipestud says) ... at times it tastes more Latakia-forward like an English and at other times more Oriental-forward like a Balkan. The tobacco components are in the right proportions to make for a fine smoke. Nonetheless, I've lamented the disappearance of this blend for some time when McClelland's stock of Syrian Latakia had gone away (for about a year now). It didn't take long for the hoarders to snatch up all remaining tins of 3 Oaks Syrian within the distribution pipeline ... I can't say I blame them either. When this happened I decided to stock up on some other Syrian Latakia blends before they too are all gone. This is (was) simply a good, clean, tasty English-Balkan tobacco blend that could be smoked all day.

Good luck if you can find an available tin somewhere ... if so I think you'll enjoy it. I’m sure some may pop up for sale soon, but as for me I don’t think I’ll pay a premium for it. I actually prefer another Syrian blend more so and will be reviewing that one soon.

Pipe Used: Briars, Meershaums, & Cobs

Age When Smoked: Fresh & Aged

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JuanOrez Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JuanOrez (17)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is truly something special. I love this blender and they do syrian justice. In my opinion, this along with wilderness are the best in the syrian category, regardless of manufacturer. It's so well balanced it makes for an easy and enjoyable all day smoke. This is one of the few blends I consistently crave. Wilderness being another. Must try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ATW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ATW (45)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

My tin is from 2013. Was purchased at Uptowns smoke shop in Nashville in 2015 (great place to visit if you are in Nashville). I smoked a couple of bowls afterwards but honestly it was boring. Im smoking a bowl of it now as im typing this. Back then the flavors where very mild and had no complexity. Also it gave me a little tongue bite but that was from over doing it to get flavor out of it. As of today, it is still very mild and not complex and its not giving me tongue bite because i know what to expect now. Its just a mild english with Syrian Latakia. I have found im not a fan of Syrian as i am of Cyprian. Mostly because of the age Syrian has. It is too light for my tastes. Still good but light. Its not a bad blend but, im not going to miss it.

Age When Smoked: 4 years

Similar Blends: Most of other McClelland english blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

1979 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
1979 (62)
Mild Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

McClelland - Three Oaks Syrian

Several years ago, this was my first experience with syrian latakia, at a time when syrian latakia blends seemed hard to find but yet this one was plentiful.

As I found it, this blend was rich and flavorful, but not as powerful as I wished it were, and also very mildly flavored with something (liquoricey tasting) that, although wasn't totally at odds with the rest of the blend, just wasn't really my taste, and left me feeling irritated that the tin descriptive made no explicit mention of this "surprising ingredient you might not expect", although I now realize the phrase "classic Syrian Latakia blends of old" should've been my hint. To me this blend improved as it dried out some in the tin over the course of several months, and the bottom of the tin made a great mixer with some D&R Rimboche SJ.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

runswithdogs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
runswithdogs (17)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Wow. I lucked out in that my first tin of this I was lucky to smoke was ten years old. And my review should reflect that aging since we all know how well a decade of cellaring improves a blend like this. I am not experienced enough to identify the nuances of blends, but I know what I like, and this is a sublimely delightful tobacco. Very smokey tin note, with dark ribbons (darker due to the decade of aging?), easy to light, and a flavor that shines when "sipped." Cool and flavorful, a touch of sweetness? I also have to agree with other reviewers that I'm not sure why someone would not enjoy the room note of this blend; I thoroughly enjoy it. Buy it. Cellar it.

Pipe Used: Joura Bent Billiard. Cooke Lovat.

Age When Smoked: 10 years old.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JustinCarcerated Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustinCarcerated (99)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

Had trouble identifying this as a true Balkan, perhaps light on the actual Syrian or more of a equalizing of flavors, but that did not deter from this being a 4 star quality blend that was as smooth as it was strong. This tin had near 5 years on it when opened, don't even remember when I bought it but it was dated 2011.. and dusty. What I love about Balkans is the richness of the lats and orientals, but here the Virginia's (doesn't McC get ahold of some great Virginias?!) they assume an up front role. I read where seasoned smokers found the blend moist, but this tin was perfect, burned very well, somewhat cool even. So I'd recommend this to Virginia - first Lat lovers, anyone venturing into new territory, and of course Balkan lovers.

Pipe Used: Meers and Briars

Age When Smoked: 5 years

Purchased From: Don't remember

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mike10 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike10 (16)
Mild Medium Medium Pleasant

Three oaks Syrian was an interesting experiment for me. This is a very nicely blended, fairly mild tobacco with a very unique flavor. Three Oaks Syrian had a nice tin aroma that hinted in a cagey manner at what it would offer when lit. Once lit, its room note is less complex than the flavors experienced on the palate. It is quite dry and very flavorful the palate. The Syrian Latakia is obvious and quite welcome, as is the almost honeydew-like flavor of the Orientals and English tobaccos blended with it. Overall, this is a mild and almost Lakeland-sweet blend that I could find very easy to start buying for regular smoking. Definitely worth trying once.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

guitar2mw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
guitar2mw (92)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Definitely different in flavor than the Cyprian version (I reviewed that one as well). It carries a similar tin note, but a little smokier in a side-by-side comparison. The cut and appearance are very similar, although this version is a bit more moist than the Cyprian. I also detected the dreaded musty scent of Smyrna in this one (for those who don't know, I simply have no taste for it). However, this does not carry through to the smoke thankfully. I get a woodier flavor from this one. It's bold at first, and then mellows down. The smokiness is a little more along the lines of pine than oak, and the Virginias seem to play well with this trait. I taste pine nuts, earthy peat, brown sugar, malt, and a little sage toward the end of the bowl. It's one of my favorites. Not bad in the nicotine department, but it's not a "knock-out" by any means.

Pipe Used: Various briars

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Purchased From: Gifted to me

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

To put it in just a few words: A pleasing complex, soft, smooth blend that is oriental and syrian latakia forward. The virginias take back stage, but are present. A nicely balanced, but soft and mellow english/balkan blend.

I forgot to add... creamy. It's a wonderful smokey, slightly sweet, creamy, flavorful blend. Love this stuff!!

More detail: In the tin it smells earthy, musky, slightly sweet, and of course smokey! Loads and lights easily. I have found this blend doesn't bite even when puffing hard, but to get the intricacies of the smoke, one should only heartily sip (though deep sips). It is delicious with lots of creamy smoke, but the flavor isn't extremely strong, but still a very good tobacco. I think I can tell the difference now between Syrian and Cyprian Latakia. Syrian is more floral, citrus, and still smokey. Where as Cyrprian is more woodsy and smokey. This smoke has the campfire flavor/smell that is always present with latakia, but has nice floral/incense notes that are perfectly balanced with the orientals. It is a contemplative smoke for sure....though not as bold or in your face as say Gaslight or S.o.T.E.

The room note from this blend is quite nice and almost incense like. This is another winner from McClelland! I have to admit I'm excited to see how this will smoke with some age on's the reason I picked up more than one tin.

Pipe Used: Bent Billard, Dublin, Egg, Acorn, Corn Cob

Age When Smoked: Tin says 2014 - 1 Year

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Peter Stokkebye - English Oriental Supreme (No.306), Mac Baren - HH Vintage Syrian.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gwald Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gwald (2)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Very complex flavoru in my opinion. Very particular aroma somewhere between woods and bushes with some slighlty eventual sweetnes. After puffing for a while you can feels flavour changes like layers coming out. Not for very sweet loving smokers or those looking for flat strong tastes.

Pipe Used: Peterson Fairmon

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Cupojoes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Autumn joy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Autumn joy (48)
Mild None Detected Mild Very Pleasant

Three oaks Syrian was a very mild yet enjoyable smoke. The tobacco was easy to pack and keep lit. I smoked this fresh from the tin and it did not disappoint. A good solid English blend. Very mild so that was good for me.

Pipe Used: Calabash

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Pipes and cigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Toasterbottom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Toasterbottom (13)
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

I'll keep this brief in case you're in a hurry. For those of you who, like me, are relatively new to pipe smoking but ready to move beyond aromatics or straight virginias (where I was stuck for awhile), this is a great place to start in my opinion. I'd like to give it 3.5 stars but I'm in a good mood.

It's a light smoke (as these blends go) without too much of the earthy taste normally associated with latakia. Perhaps my taste buds are simply attuning themselves to the more exotic flavours of latakia and orientals, but I find that I could smoke this blend all day long (I just smoked two bowls in a row). It's mellow (even when inhaled through my nose) and creamy, smooth, relaxing, and the latakia is very easy to get along with. If anything, I find myself wishing for a bit more punch from it. I'm going from memory but I think G.L. Pease 'Abingdon' is similar but offers a little more oomph. I don't have much trouble keeping 3 Oaks lit and I don't find I get any tongue bite from it at all (and I smoke like a freakin' locomotive).

I am not a big fan of McClelland's tins, though. It's certainly not a deal breaker for me but I find the opening is too small to easily fill my bowl without spillage and the tin is too tall to put in your coat pocket and carry around without noticing it there. On the other hand, it's possible that this style of tin may slow the drying-out of your tobacco, since there is less tobacco surface area exposed to the air than in wider diameter tins and you can "burp" the flexible plastic lid (squeeze out extra air). I wonder if someone has ever compared rectangular metal tins to circular metal tins to the sort of containers used by McClelland and G.L. Pease for keeping tobacco fresh? This would be very helpful to folks like me who are far too lazy to do that whole mason jar thing and always have a few tins open at once. Get on that someone. :)

That part about me being brief? This is me being brief. Happy smoking!

Pipe Used: a variety of straight and bent billiards

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: G. L. Pease - Abingdon (Classic Collection).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (180)
Mild Very Mild Full Very Pleasant

A short ribbon mixture of mahogany and dark tobacco. The tin note is of wood and leather, a firm Latakia presence, dried fruits, and what I think might be a brandy topping. There is also a distinct gloss to this tobacco, indicating perhaps PG has been used. Not a concern for me, but PG seems to be an issue for some people.

This is a Latakia forward English. For my own use I think of it as a 'not quite' Lat bomb. 'Not quite' because the percentage of Lat falls just short of being a bomb, and because this tobacco is far too multi dimensional for such a restrictive label. But like Lat bombs, this tobacco delivers enormous amounts of creamy, billowing, soft smoke with the most opulent mouth feel.

Alongside this is a sweetness from the Va, enhanced perhaps by a Brandy topping, and some spice from the Orientals. The sidestream aroma to this tobacco is wonderful.

Burns beautifully down to fine white ash.

Pipe Used: Lepeltier

Nobody has rated this review yet.

point9 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
point9 (114)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

smooth oriental forward Balkan blend. sweet,mellow and sour with smoky latakia background. One classic Latakia blend with memorable Syrian latakia flavor.I think it's better, more exciting blend than Blue Mountain/Balkan Blue. I would give it 3 and 1/2 stars if I could.

Age When Smoked: 1 year old tin

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cargohold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cargohold (7)
Mild None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

The four year old tin I purchased was a nice change of pace from the usual McClelland ketchup aroma, this was more similar to my favorite Dunhill blends of Durbar or London Mixture but without the nicotine hit . Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Dunhill Root Briar group 4

Age When Smoked: 4 years

Purchased From: ebay

Similar Blends: Dunhill Durbar, McClelland's Wilderness.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (110)
Mild None Detected Full Tolerable

Every piper sooner or later meets a blend that despite promising ingredients just never finds a suitable pipe or technique. I hope, for blending purposes, the problem lies with the ingredient ratios, my chief complaint with Abingdon. Two tins had the same result: yuck. I just didn't like the taste.

I still recommend trying it, just don't lay in several tins until you do.

Age When Smoked: 1 year in tin, 0-2 years open

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Drumdude06 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Drumdude06 (4)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend is a very nice mixture with the Orientals in the forefront. If you love Orientals and Syrian Latakia, this is the blend for you. This a true masterpiece.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Saint Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Saint (7)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Strong

A great tobacco for the rookie or veteran pipe smoker. Smooth with no bite but satisfying.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Katharsis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Katharsis (39)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Review pending when I've sampled more tobaccos...

...but I can say very tasty, smoky, creamy, though something feels like it's missing. Not a show-stopper, though, and still 4/4.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Haven't posted in a while, but this blend has become one of my new favorites.

Upon opening the tin, you do get that wonderful aroma of that Syrian blend that has become one of my favorites. Moisture seems perfect, the complex aroma of the tobacco definitely is a foretast of what is to come.

Packing: easy, the tobacco is cut perfectly for pipes of any size.

Lighting: After 2 or 3 re-lights, this will smoke down to ash.

First third: Aaaahhh, delicious, complex, not too full.

Middle: Very rich, I like the room note, but most non-smokers won't...LOL!

Bottom third: Builds strength, but never overpowering.

Conclusion: This is a new classic IMO. Heartily recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cochon74 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cochon74 (29)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I have to say... this is my first McC blend AND my first taste of Syrian latakia. My first smoke was pretty disappointing. However, this was in the wake of several months spent smoking the likes of the huge GLP Charing Cross, Gawith's Skiff Mixture and my miraculous find of 4 tins of Penzance at my local shop.

It's a handsome blend, proper moisture and presented no problems packing and lighting... it was just, well, so mild. I knew there must be more to it than that, so I stuck with it, even devoting a new pipe to it, so as not to let the Cyprian latakia blends I was used to ghost my experience. I was intrigued by the vinegar-y smell which I'd expected based on other reviews of McC blends... and I must say, I tasted much less of it in the bowl than I smelled it in the tin.

I think I've finally come to terms with TO Syrian and I must say, it's not bad at all. The first half of the bowl is dominated by the Syrian latakia, which is a much tamer, more eloquent beast than its Cypriot cousin. I've read the term "leathery" to describe it. It seems fairly accurate. Salty, leathery, smoky and aromatic. Not at all the punchy, sharp latakia I was used to. It's only well into the second half of the bowl that the Syrian leaf is tempered (not masked) or harmonized by the Orientals and the Virginian. Along with other reviewers, I've experienced a certain dryness at the end of the puff too. It's not unpleasant... it almost has a cleansing affect to me.

Overall, I believe Three Oaks has a place in the lat-lover's collection. For those less intense sessions, and perhaps as the warmer weather approaches, it will prove a very comforting English blend that doesn't bowl you over.

A solid three stars.

Update 6/2/11 I've been smoking this pretty regularly for over a month. It is such a pleasant smoke! It has been consistent in flavor, lighting/smoking characteristics, everything! The flavors are superb. I didn't think it would become a "regular" for me, but I'm about 75% through my tin and I will DEFINITELY be getting more. Upgrade to four stars, no question.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JohnnyMcPiperson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyMcPiperson (108)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I found this to be an excellent blend, one of my favorite English blends to date. I opened this tin last summer and ended up taking it with me to Spain in September. I finished it relatively quickly and enjoyed every bowl. For me this is one of those big bowl English blends that just shines! The character of the Syrian Latakia is wonderful in this blend although I would really like to test out it's Cyprian counterpart. It is an exquisite blend leaning much more on the Latakia side as opposed to blends like Chelsea Morning or Piccadilly where you can taste more of the VA's that are present. This one reminds me of a fuller version of Frog Morton and to me it nearly surpasses it's distant cousin. A great blend with a sweet leathery taste and hints of Christmas spices, goes well with a cup of coffee in the evening or late at night with a dark spiced rum! An instant classic!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Quaffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Quaffer (18)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable to Strong

Not a bad blend, definitely one of if not the best McClelland blends in my opinion. However that doesn't say too much since I'm not the biggest fan of McClelland's blends. This has some good taste to it and smokes smooth, however the McClelland casing carries over and takes away from the authentic English taste. Still recommend trying it, it is not bad at all. There are many better English blends to choose from however.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (145)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I'm smoking the last bowl from my first tin of Three Oaks Syrian. A few observations--this is a mild mix, similar to McClelland's Frog Morton series. The Syrian element is subdued and far less potent than something like Mac Baren's Vintage Syrian. There is a noticeable sweetness to the blend that is lacking in some of the other English blends out there, particularly Mac Baren's Syrian offering, which is rather dry (in taste, not in moisture). In another half hour I will be saddened by its absence.

I like Three Oaks Syrian very much, but would I buy more? Probably not. I say that because I find the blend a little too light in body and even though it's certainly tasty, that doesn't exceed my desire for more strength. Three Oaks Syrian is the best McClelland English I have tried, and I look forward to trying more.

Four of Five.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Billy777 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Billy777 (17)
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

After you buy this tobacco, open the tin and don't smoke it for about a month - it needs about this amount of time for the air to get to it and develop. I tried it straight after opening the tin and found it to be flat and tasteless.

However a month later I tried it again and it's sublime better than a Montecristo. It burns very slowly too.

Four stars but I want to give it five.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Miyanovich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Miyanovich (13)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Very, very nice blend.

I can't say anything that hasn't been said.

Very even and tasty. Oh smokey Latakia, how do I love thee, let me count the ways...

I am trying out too many Latakia based blends right now to get into subtlety. I will leave that to the others.

It was a cool Summer's night, right after a job well done. The train was rattling as it galloped out of town. I stood outside, and smoked a hearty bowl full of Three Oaks Syrian. I was a man who was satisfied.

3.5 out of four stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

stonedlion Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
stonedlion (6)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If you are a Latakia fan, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try.

I recently finished my first tin of Three Oaks. My regular smoke of choice is Frog Morton On The Bayou and Three Oaks was a real treat.

I agree with Mr. Fallon's assessment, it's a "bell ringer" and has earned a permanent place in rotation next to FMOTB.

The question now, is how much can I cellar without raising the ire of the Mrs?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hawky454 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hawky454 (93)
Mild Very Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I am still somewhat of young, partially seasoned pipe smoker, but it is now officially a passion of mine, especially after smoking this amazing treat! Now, I am a fan of both Cyprian and Syrian latakia(Three Oaks Original is also excellent.) But the Syrian latakia is what makes this blend special. A nice creamy sweet smoke that never burns hot. I think this blend will age very well, I have five tins to cellar and 1 to smoke...It's gonna take some self control but I'm sure it will be well worth the wait. I have tried several other blends that use Syrian latakia and honestly none of them compare to this golden blend. Essential.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pip Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pip (55)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

After reading all the positive reviews about 3 Oaks Syrian I had to give it a try. I enjoy latakia blends very much and this is my first experience with Syrian Latakia. Upon opening the tin the note was not as smoky as I expected. It had more of an oriental aroma to it. It was also not as moist as I expected, but none the less I packed the pipe and lit her up! Nice stuff!!! The latakia is smooth and really develops and complements the Orientals quite nicely while the Virginians keep a nice steady tangy sweetness throughout the bowl. I experienced not bite at all and it smoked down to a nice white ash. Toward the end I had to relight a few times, but the flavor was very consistent from beginning to end. I Highly recommend this tobacco. In my opinion, Cyprian latakia is a bit less refined and rough around the edges that its Syrian counterpart. But, I enjoy them both!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

stephenspring Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
stephenspring (13)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

SWEET SYRIAN LATAKIA! UMM, UMM GOOD!!! I've been dying to try some Syrian latakia and I'm glad I did. I've smoked it with Savinelli, Dunhill, Peterson, meerschaum, outside, inside, you name it: the one outstanding characteristic I really love is having that sweet taste of that Syrian Latakia bursting on my tongue and lips. This is WONDERFUL. Great taste from start to finish with super mild quality. I was really surprised at the subtle interplay of the latakia and I loved it retained its mild quality from start to finish. All I can say is I'm glad I bought two, but it's not enough. Hat's off to McClelland on this one. All I can say, is "WOW!"

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I have to agree with pipestud (mostly because I first tried Royal Yacht because of his review) and others that this is a great blend that seems to change characters.

It does have Latakia present more than a "touch" but, for the most part I find it a tasty oriental blend with Latakia acting as a true condiment supporting the orientals leading role.

I am a VA lover first but do enjoy an English/Balkan sometimes, but have smoked this every night since opening the tin.

I plan to always have it on-hand and since I am enjoying it so much will probably judge other similar blends agains 3 Oaks Syrian.

Thanks again Pipestud for the Royal Yacht review- that's tasty stuff!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (130)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've now tried several bowls of this and the Three Oaks Original, in different pipes, including a simultaneous "parallel tasting." This blend is for Oriental lovers for sure. The Latakia takes last place, consistently overpowered by the Orientals, so if you're looking for a big, smoky, campfire-like LAT blast, this will disappoint.

If, on the other hand, you prefer an Oriental-forward, spicy, mellow blend with mild Latakia lurking in the background providing some warmth and very mild smokiness, then you'll really like it. The Orientals stay very noticeable throughout the smoke, the overall flavor stays relatively consistent, and the aftertaste, like a good wine, provides for a long spicy finish on the tongue that lasts for quite some time.

The moisture from the tin is perfect. After a couple false lights it stayed lit with no maintenance. I found that I had to pack this a bit tighter than many blends in order to keep it burning and to keep the flavor concentrated enough to enjoy. Orientals tend to really "spice up" my sinuses and the back of my throat, similar to the feeling I get from Perique, and this effect is more pronounced in the Syrian than in the Original. This blend burns cool and never even gets close to heating the briar to an uncomfortable level.

Because I am a fan of big, smoky LAT blends, I prefer Three Oaks Original to the Syrian version, but both are excellent. This earns three stars for me only because it seems less well-balanced right now than the Original. I am fairly confident that with age it will mellow out and earn its fourth star, but only time will tell. I'm going to jar it for a few months, hoping that the Orientals will settle down a bit and the Syrian Latakia will become more noticeable.

If you are a fan of oriental-forward blends you must try Three Oaks Syrian.

Nobody has rated this review yet.