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A "roll cake" tobacco, spun from well matured Virginia and cavendish with a special touch of latakia, bringing out a fresh and wonderful aroma. The tin description reports: whole Virginia leaves that are specially selected are used as wrapper for all our spun tobaccos. The inlay for this very special blend is a mix of Virginia, original Mac Baren cavendish and just a touch of Syrian latakia leaves. In combination these tobaccos give Latakia Blend its fresh and satisfying smoke. Like all our spun tobaccos only a little top flavour has been added. These tobaccos are the closest you get to the natural tobacco taste.

Notes: Introduced in 1964. NOTE: This long-time blend is no longer in production because of the relatively low amount of latakia in it. However, the company has plans to re-name it and release the excellent blend again.

Update: Latakia Blend is available again.

BrandMac Baren
Blended ByMacBaren
Manufactured ByMacBaren
Blend TypeVirginia/Latakia
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Latakia, Virginia
FlavoringOther / Misc, Sweet / Sugar
CutCurly Cut
Packaging100 grams tin
Where to Buy
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Extremely Mild
Room Note
Pleasant, Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 4 Users

71 reviews
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Sasquatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sasquatch (81)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Super, super tobacco, like all the Mac B rolls.

This tobacco is badly misnamed. It's a virginia with condimental latakia, and anyone hoping for a latakia-laden blend is going to be vastly disappointed.

It's sweet, woody in the same way that some McClelland blends are (Virginia Woods for example) and just incredibly deep.

Sometimes it's so sweet and so rich it's overpowering.

All this occurs if you smoke slow. I mean Sllooowwwwww. Like most Mac B blends. Master it and you will SEE.

6 people found this review helpful.

Arkie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arkie (129)
Medium to Strong Mild Full Pleasant

This seems to one of those love it or hate it blends. Apparently some smokers hate it because they feel cheated it is not straight latakia.

40 years ago a college classmate let me sample a bowl full. It was one of the first blends I ever tried and I although I liked it, I couldn't afford a tin of MacBarens at the time. After I graduated and was financially able to buy some I couldn't find a tobacco shop that had it in stock. Finally, last week I was able to buy a tin and it was as good as I remembered it. If I had to summarize the taste in one word it would be "rich". This is a very satisfying smoke and I am going to stock my cellar with it in the event I can't find another source for it in 40 years.

6 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The latakia adds a very mild smokey push and a hint of wood to the product, but isn't really noticeable beyond that. I suspect it's Syrian and not Cyprian. The Virginia is grassy, citrus, lightly honey sweet, and competes with the spicy cavendish for attention, though it often takes a back seat to the spice. The nic-hit is mild. Burns clean at an average pace, and has a very consistent flavor, but is dry out of the tin, so you may prefer to hydrate it a little. Requires few relights, but needs to be smoked at a slow or moderate pace or the spice might prove too much for your tongue. Leaves little moisture in the bowl.

5 people found this review helpful.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Old tin, early 70s. Chaplikc below has sampled it! This is probably nothing like a recently produced tin, so just a brief note for the record: MacBaren roll cakes age really well. These were dry but not quite crispy on opening the tin. I rub most flakes and cakes out, and did so with this. The taste is old and musty, yet mild and heavenly! There is not much complexity to it, and this is probably true of the recent production: it's a mild one. I would not choose this for body or for a nicotine fix, but slowly sipped, I will savor the occasional bowl of this tobacco that is as old as I am, that is pretty unique in my cellar. MacBaren roll cakes tend to bite me, but not this one. I don't know whether it's the age or the blend. All I get is a sweet, perfumed smoke that is great to hold in the nasal passages and savor. If there had ever been Latakia here, it would be hard to tell after 40 years, but I don't care! I am officially in the market for 70s MacBaren now.

4 people found this review helpful.

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

This is a typical Danish latakia blend. If you bought the tin thinking you were going to get a real "English" hit of tobacco, then you were disappointed, weren't you?

This latakia blend is in highly unusual (for latakia mixtures) roll cake form. After a good rubbing out and packing, it is ready to get lit up. The only down side is that you won't get lit up over this one. The latakia is faintly present. The smoke is pleasant, but bland. If I am not in the mood for big flavor, this is a good change of pace. But no, I don't leave any unopened tins in my cellar.

4 people found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (264)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

As others have already noted, the name of this blend is totally off. I have absolutely no idea how anybody could have come up with the name "Latakia Blend" for this one. But, having been warned by the previous reviews, I bought a tin without having any undue expectations, except that maybe I'd get another variation of the Mac Baren rolled tobaccos à la Stockton and Roll Cake.

I certainly did. The tin aroma is the least leathery of all the Mac Baren cut plugs, quite a bit more bright and VA-ish than Club Blend or Dark Twist. The presentation in the tin is, of course, similar. I can't make out the topping (well, I just barely can make out that there is one, just can't define what it is).

This one, like all the other coin cuts, needs to be rubbed out a little and needs a lot of space in the bowl. Lighting is actually somewhat easier than with the manufacturer's other cut plugs, and yes, the leaf does try to escape the bowl at first. After that, the smoke starts out sweet and bright, very much VA with a little spice. The toastiness and and even a little pepperiness build up throughout the bowl, while the VA never lets off and develops a sugary taste towards the end - beautiful.

The room note also develops throughout, from fragrant pure VA to something a little more subdued but still quite acceptable. The Latakia is unnoticeable to me in the room note, but the taste gets a gentle kick out of it, especially towards the end.

Overall, this is a very nice (and I think, misunderstood) blend, less old-fashioned in its characteristics than the manufacturer's other rolled offerings and with more variety throughout the smoke. No nicotine hammer, but satisfying; no strong-arm English Latakia cornucopia, but nevertheless very honest tobacco which I find well worth enjoying.

3 people found this review helpful.

ruffinogold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ruffinogold (107)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

This is my favorite blend ! They should have named it something else but oh well . I break the disks up just a little . This blend smokes very well , dry in most of my pipes and will smoke slow . I can taste the components of the blend which are twisted virgina , cavendish , and latakia...probably in that order . So the latakia flavor is small . I dont care ... the blend itself is " off the map ". My wife says it has a little incense aroma [whatever that is] which she likes. The cavendish has a spice like flavor that is superb ! If you want more lat flavor out of this blend .... rub it out all the way and you'll at least notice the latakia . The blend deserves a high rating for sure but you'll notice that many reviewers were takin back that it wasnt a Lat bomb or at least Lat forward , which it is not by any means . Taken it for what it is .... it's a fantastic blend !

Pipe Used: Killer in any pipe

Age When Smoked: Fresh , though It gets even better with age

Purchased From:

3 people found this review helpful.

L'Italiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
L'Italiano (170)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Latakia Blend, the name isn’t correct. This is a Scottish blend in the Danish tradition. Scottish because it has Virginia, Black Cavendish with just a touch of Latakia. In the Danish tradition because Black Cavendish is flavored. In fact in this blend there is Original MB Cavendish and not Modern MB Cavendish. That means that Black Cavendish is produced mainly with Burley to which sugar and flavors are added. Moreover, as declared by the house, “a little top flavor has been added”. In a real Scottish mixture, Black Cavendish is natural, unflavored. Anyway, in my opinion, the defect is another one. In this blend there is really too little Latakia. I think less than 3%. It is almost imperceptible, I would say insignificant. Moreover the mixture is, in my opinion, too light, too weak, with a low nicotine content. Not the taste, the taste is ok. But the strength, the body, the character. For all these reasons, in my personal rating system (from 1 to 10), my score is 7 and only two stars.

2 people found this review helpful.

coldmoon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
coldmoon (24)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of the five curly cut tobaccos producted by Mac Baren, other four being - Roll Cake, Club Blend, Dark Twist and Stockton. The production of this blend is discontinued. It is sold only in Germany. The tin appearance, comparing to other curlies Mac Baren produces, is a bit on the lighter side. I believe that there are more brighter VAs used in this blend. The center of the coin is made from dark fired kentucky. There is a touch of Latakia added to the blend to enhance smokiness of DFK, and it gives it that campfire-like smokey smell. But like I said, the Latakia is barely noticeable. The moisture level of this blend is just right for smoking right out of the tin.

As I usually do with flakes and coins, I do not rub them out. I take 5 - 6 coins, stack them, roll them up and stuff the roll in the bowl. I like smoking it this way, because it gives me more variety in the taste, while progressing throughout the bowl. When I hit that DFK kernel, I'm in heaven of smoky taste. Then it gradually mellows out to pure sweet Virginia.

The lighting is not as easy as with ribbon cut tobaccos, but it is not too hard either. Just takes two charring lights to get things going. The baccy stays lit fairly effortless.

The taste is mainly from the VAs with sweet grassy, sometimes honeyish/citrusy, notes with occasional smoky pepperiness from Latakia. I would not call the taste full and bold, but it has quite the complexity to it with it's varying taste throughout the bowl. I would even go as far as to say that the smoke is interesting and really ejoyable. You have to sip this blend to enjoy it. Puff too hard, and the tongue bite monster will bite you. In the nicotine department, this blend is on the mild side - satisfying but not overwhelming.

The room note is acceptable. The presence is noticeable but not too intense. Certainly I get no complaints when smoking this indoors, when, compared to smoking english blends, I get thrown out of the house.

I would recommend this to novice pipe smoker as introduction to VA/Latakia blends. As for english blend smokers - maybe as a change of pace blend. I also think this blend has the potential to be stored for aging.

Pipe Used: Big Ben Odeon No. 228

Age When Smoked: 2 months

Similar Blends: Mac Baren - Roll Cake, Mac Baren - Dark Twist Roll Cake, Mac Baren - Stockton, Mac Baren - Club Blend.

2 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

- I made this review only as a "Public Service Announcement !", as this was one of the great smoking experiences I've ever had. But let me clarify, this smoke was from a 28 year old sealed tin !!! It's a long story, that I don't want to bore you with, but basically I bought two tins, the first I smoked new, 28 years ago and was unimpressed. I just cellared the second and just got around to trying the second.

What little I can remember of the fresh tin, was that it was very light on Latakia and it reminded me of MacB's Virginia #1with some spicy bitey Cavendish and a touch of Latakia.

This aged tin, is very creamy, smooth , sweet with only a hint of spice and yes, still lacking in Latakia.

I don't think I'll buy more and wait 28 years ! Wow , Just saw "Kilmarnock Piper review from a 40 year old tin and we are in the same camp

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: new & 28 Years

Similar Blends: mixing Dark Twist with Virginia #1 and a touch of Latakia.

2 people found this review helpful.

PC Plod Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PC Plod (63)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Ideal for the late evening. Warm, toasty, mouth filling flavour.

Perfect amount of latakia for me. One tastes it in the background, as a delightful accent to the base of fine Virginias.

Gwladys has never complained of the aroma. So this is true artistry and skill in blending.

Packed loosely the pinched disks yield an excellent burn. Take slow shallow puffs for maximum flavour and aroma.

2 people found this review helpful.

bentontool Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bentontool (6)
Medium Very Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Where's the Latakia? Very minute hint of it... rarely perceptible. Nevertheless an excellent VA blend... slightly metallic but sweet flavour that I very much enjoy. The taste is consistent from top to bottom. Once slightly dried out, it burns well. Very little if any bite. I may try adding a dash of Perique. If you can get past the name, you will find this smoke a treat. Will buy more...

2 people found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

As others have pointed out, the name of this blend is completely misleading. The percentage of Latakia here is almost irrelevant, and we have just another excellent Mac Baren roll cake tobacco.

But... there is a hint of something different, just a minuscule variation on the usual Mac Baren theme. Think of this as something like Club Blend or Stockton, but with a hint of an extra smokiness and fragrance. Yes, there is very little latakia, but its presence adds a subliminal ghost: if it weren't there, it would probably be missed.

Frankly, I usually prefer either having no Latakia at all or having lots of it. I usually find "medium" mixtures rather bland and dull. In this case, though, Latakia is used as a condiment in the strict sense of the word. It simply enhances the smoke without becoming noticeable (almost). So, I am not left with a Latakia craving: I simply consider this one an excellent Virginia/Cavendish blend, and as such it smokes better in my Virginia pipes than in those dedicated to Balkans and English mixtures.

Overall, a very balanced blend. Cool, slow smoking, just a little astringent and mouth drying (but not bitey!) like all the other Mac Baren roll cakes are. If you love the other ones, you will love this one too. I have already reviewed Club Blend, Stockton and Dark Twist, so please go and read my reviews for those blends because the difference in this one is absolutely minimal.

2 people found this review helpful.

kppeterson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kppeterson (19)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Oh dear Latakia Blend, I will come to your rescue and defend you in the midst of all your (reviewers) turmoil. Yes I will protect you from their onslaught of malicious words. Without a doubt someone has done you wrong by bestowing upon you a poor and inappropriate name, however without that name would fate have ever brought us together? I think not. You are a Mac Baren and I had staved off your kith. My ears have heard the rumors about the hot temperedness of your family and I have been burnt on more that one occasion by your family members Vanilla Cream and the good for nothing Black Ambrosia, sweet though at first they seemed. But those were back in the days when I associated with aromatics and I have grown, matured and become more a man of taste and quality, you would not fool me now.

Now let me strengthen you with my words of adoration and ardor. Upon opening the tin your beauty and presentation consumed me, I had never seen a tobacco of your kind with beautiful sweet Virginias wrapping themselves around a wonderful core of Black Cavendish and Syrian......yes I said it Syrian Latakia. Your fragrance allured me, the perfume of a very subtle top dressing was present but it didn't cover up the natural smell of the high quality tobacco of which you are made. Easily packed into my finest pipes by slightly crumbling your wonderful little disc of tobacco and then at the match you are wonderful, fragrant and just slightly sweet....but not to much. You are everything I have ever wanted or thought I would find in a straight Virginia tobacco. Wonderful and cool, pipe after pipe and bowl after bowl even back to back my tongue is never left burnt or fatigued. I could smoke you all day and in fact..... I have, right down to the perfectly dry bottom of the bowl without the hint of bitterness I have come to expect. You are wonderful anytime of day, your flavor is not diminished by a flavorful meal and yet it never overwhelms my palate either. I cannot say that of other mixtures I have enjoyed.

But you have another secret for me, I could just hear you whispering it. Ah yes, I hear it again. You have been teasing me but as I become accustom and loyal to you, finally taking in all your splendor, I can finally taste it...the Syrian. If one was expecting it's cousin, the more brusque Cyprian they would be fooled and they would never see in you what I see. It has taken me bowl after bowl and even I did not think you truly had it in you, though ashamed to say it now and I loved you all the same. The Syrian is sweet and melds with you and you with it effortlessly. Yes it suits you very well and I notice it more and more each day especially when we are spending time outside with one another. My dear Latakia Blend, you suit me very well(very well indeed), may my palate be forever smitten with you.

2 people found this review helpful.

alfredo_buscatti Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
alfredo_buscatti (9)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

The disk cut of this tobacco is one?s first alert that it has more in common with curlies than with other tobacco types. The smoke proves this assertion true, the top-drawer VAs, like those used in other curlies such as GH Curly Cut and Curly Cut DeLuxe and Heinrich Special Selection Curly Cut, are subdued and mellow. When I say "subdued and mellow," I am comparing the VAs in this blend to the richness of the VAs typically found in MC Christmas Cheer.

Medium-bodied, one has to pay attention to the smoke else its subtle complexity imparted by the Latakia and a floral element are lost. The Latakia is used as a subtle flavoring agent and gives the blend a darker hue; beyond that there is a continuous, subtle hint of the taste of Latakia. Also, the blend has a subtle florality, but this taste element also remains in the back round

The Cavendish, I suppose, imparts a sweet note, but then again the sweetness could just as easily be derived from the VAs. But given the inclination of Danish tobacco manufactures to sauce their blends, the sweetness probably derives from the Cavendish.

Back ground subtlety aside, the foreground is dominated by the round, subdued taste of the Virginias/Cavendish with the darkening of the Latakia.

If you want a curly that is a bit different, give this blend a go: you won?t be disappointed.

2 people found this review helpful.

ArmedOctopus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ArmedOctopus (20)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If you're like me, you really enjoy the smokiness of latakia. If you're like me and tried Latakia Blend, you're also wondering "where's the latakia? This is a good tobacco. Not great, but good. But if you are expecting smokey like a solid english, this one will disappoint.

I just got through reviewing Scottish Mixture, so it was fresh on my mind. When opening this blend, my first thought was that it smelled incredibly similar. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it has a very similar characteristic. If you liked Scottish Mixture or found it to be enjoyable but just a tad too harsh, you will definitely like Latakia blend.

It comes cut in roll cake form which look like little disks. They are thin, but have a perfect amount of moisture to smoke right away. It packs and lights easily.

The first couple of puffs were very pleasant. But then the more you think about it, the more you notice something lacking. The Virginia is at the forefront but isnt sweet enough or smooth enough. There's a harshness that as I said, is similar to Scottish blend, but I couldnt put my finger on what it was once again. Perhaps some sort of liquor topping? The harshness doesnt translate to tongue bite which is nice, even though I smoked it in a nosewarmer.

I will say that my wife LIKED the room note, which is enough to move it from a 1 star to a 2 star tobacco in my book. Again, this is a good, smokable tobacco but not a great one.

In short sumary: 1. If you enjoyed Scottish Mixture, you will like this blend. 2. If you see the name on the tin and you think "smokey" you will be wrong.

Similar Blends: Scottish Mixture.

1 person found this review helpful.

Steden Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steden (94)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Last June, I casually met a former colleague, I was surprised to see him with a pipe (an old and nice Gasparini bent billiard shape) because I had always seen smoking cigars. He told me to be back to the pipe after 24 years just smoking Mac Baren LB, I was curious so I decided to try it. Well, I can understand the general disappointment because of the misleading name, forget the usual dark/peaty/campfire vibe, if you crave for it look elsewhere because LB is so restrained and urbanized that room note is inoffensive! On other hand (passing over the name and considering as a whole) LB is a good all day tobacco that smokes cool and dry, the pinch of Syrian (gentler per se if compared to Cyprian) doesn't characterize but just enhance the blend with the usual coolness and a slight smokiness, it also gives a pleasant astringent feel to the mouth without planing your taste buds. Again: smoke it as it is or look elsewhere.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (204)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

My absolut Mac Bren favorit and a regular morning smoke with many pipes dedicated to this wonderful blend.

Great Tobacco with great typical Mac Baren flavor along with the honey/toasty background, I am not fan of Latakia therefore was so happy that it tastes no Latakia at all. the taste is mainly like brown bread with honey, Absolutely delicious!.

If you dont like Latakia but like the Mac Baren blending and casing style, try Latakia Blend.

Not recommended for beginners.

1 person found this review helpful.

Effluvinator Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Effluvinator (51)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Okay, they should have named this something else. Nevertheless, I do like this tobacco. If one thinks of it as a predominately Virginia blend with some Cavendish and a tiny bit of latakia and treat it accordingly it will not disappoint. It must be smoked slowly or it will get hot and the VA will bite. Sometimes I can taste the latakia and sometimes not, depending on my particular sesitivity to it on a given day as well as the particular pipe used. It has a degree of sharpness or sourness to it that I like and I find it to be a satisfying tobacco, latakia or not.

1 person found this review helpful.

Helge Jan Schmodde Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Helge Jan Schmodde (1)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Although I would not hesitate to say this is generally a fine blend, like some other reviewers I too had expected a little more Latakia in this brand.

Pipe Used: peterson halfbent bulldog sandblaste

Age When Smoked: 83

Purchased From: mtz tobacco lounge

Similar Blends: Dunhill Night Cap.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

beercritic Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beercritic (33)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild Tolerable

Bought a partial tin (still in good shape) as well as other pipes & tobaccos at an estate sale. It's certainly smokable, hut doesn't merit purchasing again. Why is Cavendish in a latakia blend? And where is said Latakia? Seems there is a 'house note' in the non HH tobaccos at Mac Baren. Somewhat off-putting & ho hum. Pipe tobacco is like Pokemon, gotta try them all.

Pipe Used: Calabash

Age When Smoked: Unknown

Purchased From: Estate sale

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gam86 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gam86 (49)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Here the cavendish play a major role and it subdue all the other tobacco. There’s a hint of aromatization that I find quite pleasant but still it ruins the play between the tobaccos.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Michael1953 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Michael1953 (3)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Don't try this if you are a serious latakia smoker. However, for burley fans it's a nice option once in a while. You do detect a hint of the strong stuff, which is quiet enough for me.

Pipe Used: Dunhill briar and shell

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: KaDeWe, Berlin

Nobody has rated this review yet.

manno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
manno (43)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

To dispel notions that I'm a MacBaren hater I have given 4 stars to Old Dark Fired and Mature Virginia and 3(1/2) stars to Mixture Flake and Vintage Syrian. But I'm sorry, I've gone through the one tin of LatBlend that I had ordered by mistake while ordering the forementioned and I have questions -- why is the word "Latakia" even in the name (taste no trace of it)?, how can so obviously cared for and beautifully presented spun cut tobacco be so seemingly lacking when it comes to quality/curing of the leaf and overall blending?, where's the cavendish as I taste only harsh virginia?, and how can presumably good quality tobacco be so acrid and rough when there is no casing or flavoring to blame? Oh well, if you enjoy it continue to do so but as an impartial review I think what I've said is fair. Doesn't do it no matter what taste profile excites you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PIE-EYED-PIPER Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Pleasant

I am an avid fan of Virginia and English blends. So, when I saw “Latakia Blend” on the tin, my expectation was an explosion of Latakia comparable to C&D's DaVinci, Pirate Kake, Orient Express, or Dunhill's Nightcap, My Mixture 965, etc. However, Latakia Blend is not how I would describe this blend. It is more of a Va/Cav to me more than anything else. I've always been a firm believer in giving everything a fair chance. Looking past the name, I have committed to give an honest and impartial assessment.

Upon opening the tin, one can see a well packed, quite moist, curly cut tobacco. One is also greeted with an extremely sweet aroma. I'm unsure whether this is part of the casing, or topping (not sure if this is the case as nothing was ever mentioned in any of their ads), or simply what one may perceive as the Virginia and Cavendish present in this blend.

As it is a Virginia based blend, I made it a point to bring the moisture level way down. To me, drying out the tobacco to a certain moisture level prevents gurgling and bites. It did require a bit of time to dry and bring it to a more acceptable smoking state, as moisture level was a bit high. When properly dried, the weed gave out a good amount of smoke. It packed well and smoked well. Very little bite was detected when smoking this blend. The tobacco did have a hint of sweetness to it. Again I'm not sure if this tobacco is cased or topped, or if the sweetness in taste is due to the Virginia and Cavendish. I leave that up to the reviewers to decide. Latakia is almost non-existent. One must have a nose of a blood hound to smell it, and/or a “well tuned” palate to be able to savor it. This observation was well echoed by a few friends and associates as well.

However, this is as far as this blend goes. Other than the fact that it was sweet and had insignificant amount of Latakia, nothing memorable or exciting can be said about this blend. Perhaps adding an ounce (maybe more) of Latakia will improve its taste. That will be reserved for future discussion.

Overall, to me it's just one of those “nothing to write home about” blends. It is neither good nor bad – it's just a plain uneventful blend. Will I smoke it [again]? Maybe, who knows? Will I buy it or include it as part of my regular rotation? Definitely NOT! Sad to say, this is one blend that is going to be "somewhat recommended" in my book. 8-(

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ArchtopBill Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ArchtopBill (16)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Going back a few decades I use to occasionally pick up a tin of Latakia Blend and over time I would smoke it more and more. Rubbing the rolled cuts would really help bring out a richness and as another reviewer noted, it ages well. A few years back however, the blend seemed to have evolved. Previuosly it burned well, but I noticed over a couple tins it seemed to burn wetter and it was rare I could smoke it to the bottom of the bowl. Tasted great, but I really prefer an even burning blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sirchud68 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sirchud68 (58)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

I have to agree with most of the other reviews here, so I'm not saying anything new. This is an o.k. tobacco. I picked up a couple of oz out of a 16 oz container that had been in the shop, opened, for at least a year. Needless to say, it was a little dry. Out of the bag comes a sweet, tea-like smell not at all unpleasant, which carries over in the smoke. You would expect a heavy latakia punch with a name Latakia, no? Not so much. Yet, like all the other Mac Baren's spun tobaccos I've tried, it's quality tobacco for sure. And the chaps at MB's do say "just a touch" of latakia is used in this blend. I'm mixing other tobaccos with this to see what happens. I know I've said this a million times but adding Roll Cake or Crown Achievement's CA-100 to other blends has been a lot of fun for me. I'm not sure how often I'll buy this stuff, depends on what I can get out of it. So, I guess if you are into mixing and matching this might be a pretty tobacco to play with.

Update: This is a fine tobacco. I have mixed this into other latakia blends with wonderful results as well as appreciate it for what it is, a very sweet smoke indeed, and will continue to buy a couple of ounces from time to time. I've also discovered that smoking this blend in my pipes dedicated to my Latakia blends not only adds to the smoke but also seasons the pipe.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dieubussy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dieubussy (7)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

First of all, this isn't a bad tobacco. I've smoked some of it coming from my dealer in England and it is a highly enjoyable curly cut mixture with great looking flakes that burn very well if in the proper humidity level and inside a large bowl. It has great moments no doubt. Had it been sold under a different reference I'd surely be much more generous in my review.

However, it's perfectly clear that the "Latakia" description on the brand is a blatant misnomer. I am not an experienced smoker but my father is and I have great memories from some of the tobaccos he used to smoke - I being too young to even be able to hold one in my jaw - so I usually asked my father to let me smell the tins and feel the tobacco in my hand. I distinctly remember this blend as I still have a stack of old 1980s tins with me and the latakia was so pure and strong on that mixture that I get more scent of latakia from an empty 25-year-old tin than I get from a freshly open one today.

I've discussed this matter with my father upon stating my disappointment over the current blend being sold under this name: indeed there are dozens of reasons why this blend has suffered immensely from the passage of time. Had we known then that this once delicious and outstanding tobacco would become a mere shadow of itself, we would have stocked a thousand tins.


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ELF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ELF (40)
Extremely Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

They should rename this mixture Everyday,or something Generic...along those lines///Latakia???Where is it??? O.K.there are traces of Latakia...BUT...when a mixture is "Called-Latakia"shldn't be the predominant-leaf be Latakia?*I have recommended this to my introduce them to English-Style of Tobacco...lots of good reviews from them.This tobacco too "Quiet+Nice"...When i smoke"English"I prefer 'Loud+Nasty'+a little rough around the Edges///This is Great Tobacco,don't me wrong,,,just not "MY-Style" :+)

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butter_side_down Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
butter_side_down (12)
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend is the victim of a mismarketing. If you call a blend Latakia Blend people are going to expect a healthy portion of the leaf. That's certianly not what you get here. I was gifted the blend by a friend, and when I lit up my first bowl, I have to admit, I was pretty disappointed. Where was the Latakia? I couldn't (and still can't) taste any.

But I persevered with the blend, and now that it's half gone, I'm glad that I did. The blend, in a way, is nothing to write home about. Your typical MB honey-flavored VA. But it does have a little something extra that elevates it above that status... sort of a smokey/toasty flavor that plays against the honey, while simultaneously enhancing it. Could that be the Latakia? Must be.

I'd be lying if I said this is the most complex tobacco I've ever smoked. I'd be lying if I said it didn't bite. But it's still a very pleasant smoking experience. I won't have any problem finishing the tin, and when it's gone, I'll probably pick up another for occasional smoking.

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smallshinythings Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smallshinythings (7)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

I want my money back. I guess it's my fault. I return again and again to Mac Baron thinking that something will change. I read the reviews here and couldn't imagine that something called Latakia Blend would have little discernable Lat. I believed everyone here had to be jaded and leather tongued folk with no appreciation for a subtle Lat blend. I will pay more attention in the future.

Taste was something akin to dried leaves. I think I enjoyed the taste of the match more than the weed, and I sure tasted the match enough times. I sucked so hard on my poor pipe that my tongue has been useless for the better part of a week, now. I am actually afraid of this blend.

I will stick to a "somewhat recommended" because I intend to keep the tin around, open it and look at the fabulous rolls every few months.

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OSR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OSR (78)
Extremely Mild Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

Where's the latakia?

This is mundane tobacco that will put a hurtin' on the tongue.

In a pinch I'd try it again but never will I buy another tin. You've been warned!

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Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This one is a puzzler. My first few bowls were underwhelming. Why bother with this one. My last attempt at this blend was downright awful. I'm putting this away for another, later attempt maybe with a new corncob pipe. Or maybe as trading stock for someone who actually likes this blend. The best I can say is it comes in a good looking tin! Update: Still along ways to go. So far the only dud from Mac Baren.

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Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (302)
Very Mild Very Mild Mild Tolerable

I have smoked this one only once. I was looking for a Latakia blend that could be safely smoked in public. That it can, but at the expense of the true Latakia flavour. It has more of that slightly bitter-sweet Cavendish taste, with a peculiar dryness that makes it spicy and a bit piquant, but also bite-prone. If puffed too hard it can also burn hot. All in all, not a bad blend and it might be considered as an introduction to both Cavendished and Latakia tobaccos. However, it would be misleading to present this as a mild English or Oriental style blend.

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ilDominante Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ilDominante (11)
Medium Very Mild Mild Pleasant

I was looking for a substitute for the St. Louis, MO, based F&K premium blend of Latakia, Turkish and Virginia (the best orental I have found so far), which bites a tad too much for all day smoke. I saw this tin; it was McBarren, it read "Latakia blend" and I was curious about the "spun cut" label. Well, when opening the tin the tobacco has a very sweet aroma, it reminded me of dry prunes or dry sweet fruit. The smell is inviting, don't get me wrong. I like flake tobaccos, thus the disks in which this tobacco is presented, were a pleasant surprise. I needed to rub the disks quite a bit to pack it well and be able to light without problems. The tobacco presents the sweet notes of Virginia and Cavendish, but as far as the Latakia I had a really hard time noticing it. Given its nature, this pipeweed is quite moist, so the deeper in the bowl it burns the harsher it gets. Roomnote is pleasant, but not really noticeble. It reminds me of some Scottish bulk tobacco I bought in Edimburgh; quite a pleasant blend, but nothing particular. Too harsh for the first pipe of the day, but ok for mid-day and afternoon. I don't plan on having it around but I might try it again in the future.

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

This is one of those blends that you really have to read every label on the tin to know what you are getting. On the top of the 50mg. tinn the word "latakia" is in the biggest letters, but on the bottom of the tin, there is a sticker that states " a touch of latakia". That is precisely what you get. This is a typical danish virginia blend. The appearance is that like "escudo" with little coins of tobacco that rub out easily into your pipe. This lights fairly easily and is best smoked slowly to get flavor and to keep from toasting your tongue. The flavor is of a medium virginia with a little sweetness from the cavendish and a slight, slight, smokiness from the latakia. It is a smooth monochromatic smoke but with not much overall flavor. It kept me wanting more flavor but never developed more down the bowl. So, I may try this for a change of pace from time to time, but that is about it. When I finish my tin, I doubt that I'll buy another one.

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Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

Beautifully cut disks, showing a full range of colors. Very litle Latakia evident in the aroma, mostly Danish Cavendish. Needs to be broken up quite a bit before it will light. Smokes like a typical Danish product, sort of sweet and not much else. If you want Latakia, best look elsewhere. Very disappointing, IMHO.

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