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This hardy blend celebrates the oldest battleship in the U.S. Navy, the U.S.S. Constitution. This blend is a Latakia lover s dream. A high percentage of Cyprian Latakia is complimented by Kentucky, Oriental, and Virginia tobaccos. Cake aged for twelve weeks, this flake cut blend is full and cool smoking.

Notes: Previously released as CAO Old Ironsides

BrandDan Tobacco
Blended ByDan Tobacco
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsKentucky, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50g Tin
ProductionCurrently available
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Medium to Strong
None Detected
Room Note

Favorite Of 10 Users

45 reviews
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Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (424)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I was expecting a Lat bomb here but got much more. At first light I got Latakia and Orientals. Almost balanced. The Lat has a slight edge. A few more puffs in and the Kentucky shows itself with a nice earthiness that is easily discerned. Slowly a very mild sweetness starts to come through from the Virginias. There's just enough sweetness here to make this blend work. If there were just a little more this would reach 4 star status for me. Never quite gets there. It's a bit of a dry smoke. A beverage within reach is a necessity for me. There is a fair amount of spice in the smoke that I found to be very nice. Overall a very good smoke.

Medium in body. Medium to full in taste. Burns well. Ready to smoke right out of the tin. Probably not for everyone, but I enjoyed this tin. I'll stash a couple more.

Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

7 people found this review helpful.

andmer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
andmer (5)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Unnoticeable

A Very very flavorful mixture. Really enjoyed this, comes in a broken flake. I rubbed it out slightly, packed and smoked it immediately no drying time. Smoked wonderfully right out of the tin.

Has a super rich flavor, not your average latakia mixture by any means. I think the kentucky has a strong role in developing this taste, but not overbearing on the other components.

Smoke this last if you plan on sampling other blends in your session as it will seriously leave an impression on your palate that you can't shake off. I consider that a good thing though.

Sweet, cool, smokey, thick, long smoke. Just plain savory and delightful.

Pipe Used: Bent Bertram

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: smoking pipes

5 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1274)
Overwhelming None Detected Overwhelming Overwhelming

I sure am glad NEWMAN is such an active reviewer, because I always find his reviews of a blend to be enjoyable reading. More importantly, his descriptions always seem to be "right-on!" His thoughts regarding Old Ironsides hit the mark again. This is a blend that reeks of latakia. In fact, if there is anything else in this stuff, it has been beaten down by the Cyprian brew.

I admit to having smoked just two bowls of this blend. I just couldn't get past the heavy latakia taste. And besides, I had to smoke this in the garage with the dogs because the wife would not let me in the house with Old Ironsides smoldering in my pipe. Worse, the dogs growled and wouldn't let me near them either!

I guess this tobacco does have some good qualities, but it will take someone with more refined taste buds to to explain them. Come to think of it, NEWMAN did!

5 people found this review helpful.

Budman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Budman (25)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

I remember lighting up a bowl of this while driving down the interstate a few years back. Within minutes I was reeling from the punch this packed! Old Ironsides is said to have over 40% latakia and you can believe it. The latakia taste stayed in my taste buds the entire day and also lingered in the pipe for quite some time. If you really love latakia then this is for you. Smoking this at home around any living persons would not be recommended. I have used this for blending and it did compliment some weaker blends that needed more back end. It's just to much for me on it's own.

3 people found this review helpful.

peacepipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
peacepipe (16)
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Extra Strong

I was puzzled by the one or maybe 2 other Reviewers who mentioned Old Ironsides as a 'late night' blend. In theory, this makes sense; by the end of the day, our tastebuds have been somewhat numbed or taxed from receiving, for most of us, a broad variety of flavors, thereby it takes a little more intensity to make 'em "sing" with pleasure.

In addition, I found that when I did try Old Ironsides late at night, I was greeted each time by, yes, Old Ironsides firmly imprinted on my tongue first thing the following morning. What that eased that effect somewhat the most recent time was a good brushing on the tongue with toothbrush and paste right before bedtime, a good way to cleanse the pallet for the next morning in general (and a typical practice in India as a general means of oral hygene/breath freshening, as I understand it).

Also, my schedule doesn't seem to permit a nice full meal and then an evening of relaxation most nights. It is with no doubt in my mind that I tell you that a hearty meal in the belly is what's required for me to enjoy a blend like this! Whoa Nelly!

I am indeed a fan of Latakia. But I suppose even my fanaticism has its limits. The strongest blends that I've enjoyed in the past include Timm's London Blend 1000 and the currently available Balkan Sobranie (European pouched edition, not available in the USA). I've gotten enjoyment from those fine blends, usually in small bowled pipes with enough shank/stem length to add a bit of coolness. But Old Ironsides...whew...I guess this sailor is just not enough of a 'manly man' to handle this intensely smokey flake. Not sure what to do with the remainder in the tin...who knows, maybe it will grow on me? I'll Zip-Lok the tin and give it a few more tries ...

3 people found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (222)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong

This is a blend I had planned to try out for a long time; I waited until my next trip to Dan Pipe. Having tried it from their sample jars, I was impressed enough to buy a tin.

Opening which, the aroma is Latakia, of course, with VA and some Orientals noticeable. Dan Tobacco's typical, widely cut, ready-to-smoke flake slices are stacked up inside and shout: "let's get ready to crumbleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee".

Folding and twisting, lighting up, and falling in love are a matter of seconds.The taste is sweet and smoky (yes, there's DFK in there!), refined by the Orientals. The Latakia is the big dog here, but doesn't dominate too much. Concerning the room note, you may want to smoke this outside only. You'll end up doing that anyway when your significant other throws you out of the house. Unless she is a pipe smoker herself; then you should stock up on Viagra.

Beautiful English/Balkan flake, burns slowly down to nothing but ashes, beautiful taste -- I should have bought the bulk package.

2 people found this review helpful.

howie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
howie (46)
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Strong

One dimensional latakia delivery system without a lot of fullness nor much else in the way of character. The quality of the tobacco itself is good and the smoke is cool. This latter point is important because the tendency for me was to smoke it rather fast in search of some flavor as it is surprisingly weak on the tastebuds for such a latakia heavy blend.

There is a flavor in this that almost seems like licorice, although I cannot place it properly.

The blend is somewhat moist in the tin. It does dry upon exposure to air, which really seems necessary in order to smoke it. I rub this out, but despite my best efforts, the resulting texture is overly stick-like for my preference. I try to rub flakes out to long soft strands, and that just isn?t possible with this blend from my experience. The tin design itself is to be commended, as it retains a seal nicely despite having been open for several months.

This blend just does not call to me from the shelf.

October 2002.

2 people found this review helpful.

mparker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mparker (51)
Mild None Detected Extra Full Very Strong

I've always considered myself a latakia fan, but this blend is just too one-dimensional for me. Not really sure why, but I suspect that it's because it's basically a straight Cyprian flake, and in my experience Cyprian acquires a dirty, muddy taste beyond 40% or so.

2 people found this review helpful.

Gloucesterman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gloucesterman (5)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I can't say I liked this blend. I found it somewhat monochromatic. That is to say it lacks complexity. From beginning to end the flavor is consistent and overwhelming. I usually like dark English flakes but this one doesn't seem to have much to recommend it. The latakia predominates in a way that is just overpowering and I can't get any other flavors to come through. Even when slow sipped there is but a single taste. Not my cup of tea. If Latakia is something you can't get enough of this might be your blend but for me Latakia is and should be a condiment tobacco and in this blend it's dominant.

Pipe Used: GBD 9438

Age When Smoked: six minths

1 person found this review helpful.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (120)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

As a huge fan of Bengal Slices and Penzance, I was looking forward to this one - though a bit suspicious of the added Kentucky. Upon opening the tin, I thought I was in for a treat, because the Latakia really smelled high-class.

The texture and cut however, is quite different from the crumbly Penzance Krumble Kake etc. This one is quite rubbery like Full Virginia Flake. But when rubbed out, it is as if the charred "dust" from the Latakia separates from the other tobaccos. It is also very hard to light and keep lit.

Unlike Penzance, Bengal Slices and Krumble Kake, the other tobaccos used here does not support the Latakia, and the flavors does not blend at all. Therefore I got this unbalanced and disharmonious smoking experience of smoky Latakia and strong acrid Kentucky. The other tobaccos; VA and orientals were totally absent.

I consider this a rough and crude attempt at a Latakia flake - not good, not good at all...

=== Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark ===

Pipe Used: FRB Bulldog

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Esoterica Tobacciana - Penzance, Bengal Slices - Bengal Slices.

1 person found this review helpful.

Bucky19 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bucky19 (13)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong

where do i start! i got a tin and was just happy every time i went to smoke it. light it up and you are just puffin fat clouds of latakia. first the tin is just cool its got a ship and then you open it up and the paper has a compass on it. then you get to the tobacco and there is just flakes of black gold. i don't like crumble flakes though i would rather have a dense packed flake u could through at a wall and it would not fall apart. but you cant be to picky. crumble it up and enjoy. i gave it to a a buddy that does not like latakia and he loved it. buy it and love it its that simple

1 person found this review helpful.

Crigs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Crigs (13)
Medium None Detected Very Full Strong

I love complex foods and complex tobaccos. But these are usually enjoyed in moderation; a special event, a nice weekend evening, a holiday, etc. I find I tire of these quickly and they become less exciting.

Most of the time I am all about "meat and potatoes". It's the simple stuff that makes the world go around. A good plate of Mexican food or a greasy burger. Old Ironsides is a GOOD greasy burger.

I love this stuff. Wonderful plumes of Latakia smoke. Full, rich, predictable - exactly what the doctor ordered. A true friend indeed. Smokes good in just about every pipe I own.

This new release of it (thank goodness, because my stash of the original stuff was dwendling) is just as good as the original. The look is a bit different - more lighter components - and maybe the tate is slightly more smooth. But overall it is still the same Latakia drip I was used to.

1 person found this review helpful.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (273)
Medium to Strong None Detected Extra Full Strong

I normally don't smoke Latakia but this was in a nicely prepared, moist flake form that I prefer. Mostly black in color, the tin aroma = high test latakia. The taste and room aroma are similar. I made the error of trying a bowl before dinner and still had the tobacco taste with my desert. However, after dinner, this cool, creamy and rich smoke is really enjoyed. I can't judge the influence of the other tobaccos in this blend due to the latakia dominance but the end result is good. You should probably dedicate a pipe or two just for this blend since the intense flavor impacts the bowl and effects other tobaccos even after several complete cleanings. The room aroma is not accepted by my family members and I therefore smoke this blend only outdoors. Even this can be a problem. On a recent trip to Vegas, I was puffing while walking between casinos and received many stares and several negative comments from others. Naturally, none were pipe smokers. In fact, I was surprised that over the week that I spent there, I only saw one fellow puffer. With this in mind but considering your own needs, if you enjoy Latakia, this one is a must try.

1 person found this review helpful.

trevert Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
trevert (32)
Strong None Detected Overwhelming Very Strong

Latakia, Latakia, Latakia... to quote the review of this in P&T magazine, "If you want more Latakia than this you'll need an IV drip of it". It's in flake form, which adds an interesting twist to the blend that isn't present in some other strong Latakia mixes I've tried. This is a potent tobacco, not in nicotine hit but in flavor. It's the "triple-decker chocolate cake with ladled fudge" tobacco, and falls squarely into the land of love-it-or-hate-it. I love it, obviously - there's no subtlety here nor deep nuances nor shifting flavors, but it's a really luscious smoke for those times when you just have to have a rich pipe and a Taddy Porter.

1 person found this review helpful.

Leaf Packer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Leaf Packer (8)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

This tobacco is very heavy with latakia , (my vice) It is creamy and smooth had no bite, and very relaxing. Nicotine will body slam ya' if not use to it. It will probably age well it has some Virginia, so a few in your cellar for at least 6 mos. to year would be delightful. If you never had Latakia give it a try, if you can handle this tobacco , a whole new world awaits with my favorite leaf

Pipe Used: Matt Van

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: Tobacco Pipes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Rubagalline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rubagalline (4)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Ok, here I have a fan p.o.v. I've left Erinmore Balkan Mixture, Dunhill EM & 965, and only smoking a little Squadron Leader (weekly) for this. Can't live without it, I've got to smoke Old Ironside at least once a day. Latakia set free (thank you, Kentucky!), with ghosts of english history all around. I'm addicted (I told you I'm a fan, right?)

Pipe Used: Butz Choquin dublin

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (147)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

I a word a Latakia bomb but a good one. Full bodied and never monochromatic, the other tobaccos are there in subdued notes.

Tin art is very nice and the mixture produces a huge amount of smoke that I think should be enjoyed outdoors.

The crumbling flakes are not so dark but the smell tells you of potency and that you should proceed with caution. An after meal or evening tobacco for the Latakia addict or the experienced smoker or better yet both.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

juvat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
juvat (36)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Reminiscent of Esoterica's Penzance but with a slightly stronger taste in the latakia department giving it strong notes of leather and campfire without being too overpowering. I thought Dan tobacco had stopped producing it, but I'm now seeing it show up again at the major online retailers. Hooray!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

salopst Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
salopst (14)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

How much can a man love a tobacco? I'd sleep with Dan on a bed of this crumbly flake and have no regrets in the morning.

It is just great. I do not think there is much more that I can say that other reviewers have not mentioned. Except maybe that I do get a touch of anise, and slightly burnt cob nuts. I also found my tin labelling funny. It came with a German health warning, which I peeled off only to find a printed health warning in English underneath. I guess this particular tin was destined for export!

In my rotation? If I did not know of Peterson's Perfect Plug and S. Gawith's FVF there would be no rotation!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thomasanswered Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thomasanswered (11)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

The former incarnation of this was a true 4-star blend, but it's dead now. The current Old Ironsides, though less, is a balanced latakia, a salt and ketchupy leather creature, strong enough to please regularly.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mate (3)
Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I managed to get 8 ozs of this after much searching as it has been discontinued.

While it is not bad, I was disappointed in that I have heard Lancers Slicers compared to Old Ironsides.

To me Lancer's Slices if far superior in taste and fulfillment.

One thing I will give Old Ironsides, is that it is the easiest Flake Tobacco that I have ever smoked to keep alight.

But for me something is missing in the flavor. Maybe I need more nicotine kick and more Latakia

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kiowapipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kiowapipe (17)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

I'm writing this review from memory; it's been a few years since I last had any of this and I'm not sure if the blend has changed since then. As I recall, though, the other reviews are pretty much spot on. Latakia. Smoky, smoky latakia. This is a blend for the people who like to lick charcoal. Somehow it still smokes smoothly though and I'd recommend it as at least worth a try to most pipe smokers who enjoy the dark leaf. Don't try it within forty-eight hours of needing your taste buds for other things, though, as nothing short of steel wool will abate the aftertaste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dunc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dunc (9)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

I love the description on the tin, it says "A Latakia Lovers Dream" Well, I am a Latakia addict and im in a dream!! I love this blend!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KahveDelisi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KahveDelisi (45)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is it! This is it!!! ah.. and there's also midnight ride... but again, this is it!

actually.. both are :)

edit (30 march 2011): After many many bowlsfull of it, I believe OI is the best tobacco I've smoked to date

Nobody has rated this review yet.

illiteratti Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
illiteratti (1)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Picked up a tin of this hoping to find a suitable substitute for my beloved Commonwealth that is near impossible to find. I was only looking for a heavy latakia blend, not thinking I could ever get the taste of Commonwealth from another tobacco.

Opening the tin, it smelled wonderful, was a little moist, but I don't bother drying out my flakes, I just fold tease and stuff. I lit easily, and then the taste hit me. It was delicious!

I only tasted Latakia and a bit of a sweet Virginia, and no Orientals. The taste went to mostly Latakia about half way through the bowl, and stayed there all the way through. It never got hot hot, never got bitter, and didn't bite my tongue.

The only thing I can say bad is that it has the tendency to really dry out my mouth and throat while I'm smoking it.

Great tobacco, great taste. Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dietl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dietl (8)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

OIS is back. I just received a few tins after a long hiatus of unavailability. This was the first Latakia blend that I tried some years ago and was my favorite for a long time until it went dormant.

I'm not sure if my tastes have changed or if the blend has changed, but I find the new OIS fairly mild to the point of boredom. It may be the former as I've probably smoked a half pound of Penzance and another half-pound of Squadron Leader in its absence, but it seems to lack the underlying rich taste of these two. It is now what seems to be almost a pure Latakia taste which to my palate is almost a 'menthol' taste.

From the start, it appears different in the can. Instead of the finer grain that it used to be, it's now a nicely packed stack of slices like Penzance used to be. In fact, it looks like the old Penzance. Perhaps in the old packaging they crumbled the slices up, but it looks different. Given the cut I think it would be better packaged in a rectangular can rather than a round one. However, the aroma in the can is exactly how I remember it to be; that very smokey smell of Latakia. Cosmetically, the can now has an orange circle around the logo instead of the yellow one. Not sure why, but maybe to indicate that this is a slightly different blend. ??

Again, it may be my changed tastes, but this new OIS seems rather bland. A strong Latakia taste, but almost nothing underlying it to support and compliment the Latakia. A bowl full of OIS leaves me longing for the old Penzance.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I'm giving it 5 stars for if you're a latakia lover.

I went through half a tin in three days. No matter how hard I puff this stuff it is smooooth with no bitterness, bite, or whatever. It's full bodied and has some Balkan creaminess to it. It's tasty in a subtle way. Nothing complex about it.

Edit: This tobacco is best if a load is dried out for 30 minutes and well rubbed out. Stays lit better and smoother smoking.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tabaco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tabaco (99)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Alas, another fantastic blend which has gone the way of the Dodo bird. At first opening this is a full-on, petal to the metal Latakia blast which I really enjoy. It's not as complex or creamy as Esoterica Penzance, nor as contemplative as J. F. Germain & Son's Special Latakia Flake; regardless, it's a great smoke.

I should add that after having the tin open for a few weeks, the Latakia has tempered considerably. Overall, the blend is much more complex and mellow. At first it was a very good smoke, now it's excellent.

I find slices to be one of my favourites, especially the taste and they gently smoulder away for such a long time; just great. It really satisfies on all levels. I find if I have one bowl for the day and I really desire that certain "satisfaction" this is a good one to reach for.

Since, it's no longer made and doubtful to make return, I would suggest Cornell & Diehl's Pirate Kake which is somewhat similar, yet not as complex nor mellow. Of course, I always say the room note is tolerable, others especially your beloved may be pleading with you to move . . . "Just as soon and I'm done this bowl."

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sailorjack Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sailorjack (57)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

If you like a good kick of Latakia in the mouth than this will do nicely. Oh, by the way when it comes to English blends I am a bit of a Latakia junkie. So this is right up my alley. This is not my all time favorite by any stretch but I think CAO makes great quality tobaccos and this is no exception.

My favorite English right now is Larry's blend from pipesandcigars to which I added a large dose of straight Latakia. Told ya' I am a bit of Latakia freak. I've never run into a blend that I thought had too much.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hud (3)
Medium None Detected Very Full Pleasant

I picked up a tin of this at a B&M I found on my way home from work one day. It was one of the only non-aros in the place so I took a shot.

I am glad I did.

Very, very, smoky flavor from start to finish that developes a little sweetness as the bowl progresses. I did not taste much from the orientals, and didn't really care either.

If you are looking for a man sized portion of latakia you will not find a better blend out there, IMHO of course.

I do save this one for the end of the day, because I find that it kills the taste buds for anything else for a while.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jackal Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jackal (11)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Tolerable to Strong

This blend could be an all day smoke, if you like a full flavored tobacco. I hvae tried this blend in many pipes and have found only two that I found this was't good in. My Falcon and any thing with a filter. Everything from a small Peterson petite to a huge Italian Oom Paul were excellent. If you like English you'll like this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tonyg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tonyg (103)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong

I know Penzance and this is no Penzance. Old Ironsides is however, a superb blend that does have some similarities to what is considered by many to be one of the finest blends produced. OI fails in two areas where Penzance shines. Ir you can live with the extra effort in lighting up, and do not believe you must always smoke complex tobaccos, you will find a real winner in Old Ironsides. The quality of the tobacco is outstanding and the flavor is wonderful. The only reason I don't give this one four stars is that I already have an abundance of blends in my tier one rotation.

Add a star if you purchase in bulk or you are not inclined to pay a premium price for Penzance.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kleophrades Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kleophrades (39)
Strong None Detected Extra Full Very Strong

Old Ironsides is just what the package says: a Latakia lover?s dream. It is all Latakia, all the time, with no messing around. Oh, I suppose they blend it with something or other just to keep it interesting. And sometimes, late at night, in a big bowl, this is just what you need. But it lacks the complexity to hold interest over the long haul. There?s a useful contrast with Penzance: the latter sacrifices just a bit of firepower in the interest of greater diversity of flavor, but the result is that Penzance is a great tobacco while Old Ironsides is simply very good. The cut is nice: like a flake that's been pre-rubbed -- very convenient! If you like Latakia, I?d recommend keeping some on hand for a broadside every now and then. Luckily, it ages particularly well.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

OPCguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OPCguy (46)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

Old Ironsides - Here is a rich Latakia blend that gets totally mixed reviews. If you like Latakia you will really like Old Ironsides. Though this blend has Kentucky, VA, and Orien, in it...well its hardly least by me. I even puffed really hard to draw out some VA but it stayed in the far far background and the Lata dominated.

This blend requires a minor rubbing out and in fact is so minior you can just fold it and load it. Watch out you will get a little dirty just handling this mix.

Latakia lovers give this one a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

p.smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
p.smoker (16)
Medium to Strong Mild Very Full Tolerable to Strong

i received a 50g tin of old ironsides for was one of the tobaccos i had put on my "wish list" to get,and try.i wanted to give it a try after reading the reviews on this site.latley i just cant get enough latakia! so...this was one i had to try.well,i was`nt disapointed! i think this tobacco is great.i had 'no" tounge bite,it burns well,tastes like a latakia tobacco should,great taste,and i like the room note!

i know,alot of people hate the smell of this tobacco being smoked,but hey,i`m not out to please them.i would recommend this tobacco to anyone looking for a good latakia tobacco.this ones going into my rotation! thankyou santa.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Moe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Moe (46)
Medium None Detected Overwhelming Extra Strong

I enjoy a nice Latakia blend ,and had high hopes for Old Ironsides, after all, with the higher price tag that is common to CAO/Dan products, I figured " this cost alot, it must be greeeaat".

Unfortunately, to me it wasnt that great, the cut is to large to just pack , so I had to rub it out, now I dont mind doing that, but this is the first tobacco that actually made my hands dirty, like I just arranged the charcoal in my Weber grill.

The flavor wasnt all that outstanding either,it tastes kinda like hot asphalt smells...And it takes many relights, which I thought odd, being it feels dry when rubbing out.

It took a month to smoke thru the 50 grams and I dont think I will buy it again, instead I'll grab the Nightcap, or Stokkebyes Proper English, or one of the many other Latakia rich blends that I enjoy much more for my Latakia jones.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.629 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.629 (133)
Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong

OLD IRONSIDES. Do you really love latakia? If so,you'll really love this. I'm a lady pipe smoker who really appreciate's,a good strong dose of latakia. I've enjoyed every smoking moment with Old Ironsides,I have smoked so far.

The first bowl took 3 to 5 relight's so,from then on I aired the tobacco out for 10 min's before packing.Only one relight was required after that. In one word "DELICIOUS" all the way to bowl's end. Definitely no sourness detected at all,without goop leaving a nice dark grey ash.

Highly recommended.

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bigblends Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigblends (46)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Very Pleasant

It's fitting that my review comes immediately after the one posted by the gentleman who sent me a generous sample of Old Ironsides.

I love Latakia. I've smoked top-grade Latakia on its own. I know the stuff. When it's used well in a blend, there's nothing like it. When it's either misused in a mixture -- or if the rest of the blend doesn't agree with it for one reason or another -- Latakia is like fanning the flames on a pile of burning tires. Luckily, the latter is not the case with Old Ironsides.

Describing this blend as Latakia-forward is not enough. This blend owns every house on Latakia Lane. It's a one-way ticket to Latakia Land! While the room note is fine to me, you can bet your ass that it'll offend every man's wife in a five-mile radius.

All that being said, I wasn't too impressed with Old Ironsides. Yes, it has a boatload of Latakia. And while that's nice, Old Ironsides just doesn't hold its mud in the company of the classic Krumble Kake from Smokers' Haven (the recipe that spawned Penzance). Krumble Kake and its Penzance offspring also serve up boundless helpings of rich Latakia. But more importantly, they offer the one thing I missed in Old Ironsides: depth of flavor (known to some of you as complexity). Old Ironsides just didn't excite me.

Old Ironsides is full, but not too heavy or nauseating. I've smoked some pretty big bowls of it (for example, in a virtually bottomless Ser Jacopo Maxima and in an astonishingly cavernous Paolo Becker Oliphant) in single sittings with no ill effects.

I gave this the "Might try this again, but will not keep it on hand" rating because I will finish the nice sample I received. However, buying more is out of the question. I would like to once again thank my esteemed cohort for allowing me to experience this tobacco, even though it didn't make the cut.

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LoisKelly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LoisKelly (55)
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Extra Strong

Menacing. Dark. Foreboding. The Dick Cheney of the tobacco world. Empty stomach? Fugeddaboudit. Standing up? I don't think so.

Old Ironsides is a much more manageable flake than Penzance (a natural comparison), and is loaded with more latakia than that already heavy blend. It burns very slowly (thankfully) and is quite cool. It compares well with Nightcap and Red Raparree, but if you think it's just too overbearing, I won't disagree. Still, it may just fit the bill for a late night treat for lovers of powerful, heady smokes.

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Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (302)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

As a Latakia lover, I wanted to try some blend with the emphasis on this dark and fascinating tobacco, something different from my usual Dunhill London Mixture and Balkan Sobranie Original Mixture. Well, I went for advice to Mr. Bollito (a tobacconist in Turin, one of the best in Italy) and he suggested this. Well, his experience couldn't have been more valuable. Upon opening the small tin, I was rather shocked by the huge and thick black broken flakes: being used to the small cut of my other favorite latakia tobaccos, this was a surprise. The smell was very strong, very smoky and dark: like Balkan Sobranie, but stronger and deeper. I was uncertain on how to pack this stuff, but I decided to stuff the flakes in my Savinelli without crumbling them into little pieces. I just broke the hugest ones, pressed with my finger and then lit. Lighting proved itself a challenging task: this stuff doesn't want to get on fire! Not because of wetness, just because of the size of the flakes! This made me fear for the worst about relightings, but I was wrong. This tobacco is hard to light, but then if you puff regularly it never extinguishes. The large cut of the flakes is very helpful indeed in keeping the smoke very slow and cool: the pipe gets noticeably less hot than with Dunhills or Balkan Sobranie, and this is great. The smoke comes out at the perfect temperature, allowing you to taste the aroma without scorching your tongue or overwhelming you with excessively intense clouds. But what about the taste? In my opinion, it is very good. A bit monochromatic, perhaps, in comparison to the aforementioned Latakia monsters: straight, sincere, but enormously satisfying. The intense smokiness of Latakia is the dominant taste, for an in-your-face dark experience, with all the usual nuances one has to expect. Hints of licorice, of burning wood, of salt... Mmmmm, this tobacco makes my mouth water!!! It can get too salty at the bottom of the bowl, but never harsh. If only it were a bit fuller in body (maybe adding some orientals and red virginia... but then again it would be easier to smoke another blend!)... In spite of this rich taste, this tobacco doesn't seem too strong: the nicotine content is just right for me, and the overall strenght is OK, definitely lighter than London Mixture or Balkan Sobranie. For me it is a great choice when I want something less complex than my usual favorite Latakia blends, but be warned because I found that it can be very nasty and unplesant to non-smokers who should happen in your presence: they often complain that its pungent smell reminds them of burnt horse dung!!!!!! But so they say about Balkan Sobranie, which could be interpreted as a huge compliment to Old Ironsides...

2011 Update (after 6-7 years): Well, I hadn't tried this tobacco since a long time ago, so I got a new tin. Bad surprise... it has changed considerably, even from the looks of it. Much softer and larger flakes, not as dark and leathery as they used to be. And the taste disappoints too: no longer the strong Latakia blast of old, no longer as stout and licoricey. Should have stocked up the old version...

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Blackie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blackie (16)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Extra Strong

From the company that brought you the restrained and well mannered Gordon Pym, is a dark, tar-like Latakia powerhouse.

I agree with all who feel this is a monochromatic, single bass note of pure Latakia. That's what I like about it. Nothing exceeds like excess! If you are in the mood for Latakia, pure and absolutely, this fits the bill. Sometimes, the pure taste of that particular leaf is just what I'm looking for. A nice cup of coffee with cream and a bit of sweetner can be right- but so can a quad-shot of espresso.

The room note has all the charm of freshly laid asphalt, and is particularly effective at driving children away. If you are inside, get outside. The house will smell like the inside of a work boot if you smoke any amount of this in the home.

With that being said, I just love to push the envelope on occasion. I bought a second tin of this and vacuum sealed about 20 grams, knowing that I would not smoke all of it at once. On the other hand, a little of this can be used to spice-up the afore mentioned "restrained" English blends. So, if you try it and absolutely can't take it's merciless pounding, consider mixing a little Burley or some Virginia in, and being your own tobacco blender.

Either way, this is an adventure that I believe is worth taking.

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DeltaSnake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DeltaSnake (31)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Tolerable

I got this blend one evening at a rare tobacco store that stays open until 10pm, so I could swing by and get on while coming home from my second job. I had run out of latakia tobacco and only had the lighter stuff at home, and for my last smokes of the day, I want it strong. So, I got this, and sure enough, it is a latakia lovers dream. What surprised me was how full it tasted also, as blends with this much latakia seem heavy in aroma and taste, but often that taste seems a bit thin, but there's obviously just enough oriental to add fullness. Another surprise was seeing it in slice form, which I normally don't like, to me it can make a smoke bite (for me anyway), but it smokes very cool and dry. It's a smoke for one kind of smoker, but if you are that type, this is perfect. It's replaced Dunhill Nitecap as my favorite late night and after dinner smoke, and my only objection is it's higher price.

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Daniel Morlan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Daniel Morlan (50)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a SUPERB blend. Nice, dark flakes. FULL of latakia. Latakias are generally nice and SMOKEY tasting. Some don't like it, but THIS piper LOVES it. Very sweet tasting, very smoking, VERY RICH. A perfect winter smoke. This is truly a latakia lover's DREAM. It's one of my favorite latakia tobaccos.

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Paul Tatum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paul Tatum (86)
Very Strong None Detected Extra Full Pleasant

Latakia power .If you just have to have a latakia fix this is it . It burns great , packs great andsmokes great . One of my top shelf tobaccos .

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Albion1956 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Albion1956 (41)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

The sun begins it's slow assent, rising over the endless parade of shifting sand and blowing wind. This could be the image, in the North African desert, or perhaps in your den as the first match applies fire to the recently packed bowl of Old Ironsides. A Latakia lovers dream, perhaps, but the smokey reminder that long ago the camel dung fires, along with pine and anything else would dry out the now known Syrian Latakia leaves. Yes it is smokey, and creamy, and visions of old leather chairs, and thick air supplant the taste. I ran across this while in pursuit of some Bengal slices, and I did not get dissapointed. The broken flakes are very dark, with tinges of light color, perhaps Virginian, and although moist, it is not cloying. This tobacco is menacing in it's appearance, but don't be thawarted, it is just a visual image. Charring may take two matches, but that should be it, and then you can stretch out and sour above the remnants of lost civilizations and only imagine if they were able to partake. This is a full tobacco, not in the nicotine sense, or a Balkan takoff, but just a full flavor. Chocolate mousse comes to mind, light and airy, but filling. Burns leaving a dull grey ash, and very little dottle, a pleasure, to be sure. The Bengal slices were never found, but I may have stumbled on a replacement.

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