Reviews: 80843 Tobaccos: 7061What's NewLoginRegister
Product Image

Where to Buy


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
Product Image
Mild to Medium
Extremely Mild
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 4 Users

71 reviews
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Sort By
Please login to review this blend.
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 (2144)
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.

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.

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 (262)
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.

L'Italiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
L'Italiano (167)
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.

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.

MerleDixon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MerleDixon (4)
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've been waiting to write this review because my first impression of this tobacco was not very good. I was like many of the other reviewers who imagined this would be a strong, smoky flavored latakia blend.

At first I thought my inexperience with "coin" tobacco was to blame for what was missing in this blend. I discovered that was not the case. I figured my inexperience with pipe tobaccos was to blame, and that was partially true. Ater trying numerous other tobaccos, hating some and liking some, I decided to go back to this. All of my expectations were gone. Alas, I discovered why this tobacco was unimpressive to me at first--I had prejudices about what it was. Thanks to MacBaren's leaving out the key word "Virginia" from the name of this blend, I expected something entirely different.

What I have found different from this blend compared to so many others is that it requires being in the moment. Yes, I can smoke some Balkan blends or Syrian blends while doing just about anything and still be left with a strong taste of it during and afterwards. The beauty of this blend is that it is so subtle yet so delicious if I smoke it slowly, then faster, than slowly, savoring the sweet honey Virginia and Cavendish, and finding hints of something else. It is the most relaxing tobacco I have ever smoked. I couldn't think about my problems, my stresses, my hurry and worry of the rat race; I had to chill out and be in the moment. I don't care for pure Virginias (unless it's mature Viginia), can't stand pure cavendish, and I love Latakia. I think that is why this is named as such. It's a bit of a paradox--it's named for the ingredient that can't be sensed too well, but it's what brings out the best of the other tobaccos.I'll keep for the occasional smoke when I need to just slow down and relax.

2 people found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (303)
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.

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.

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:

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.

1 person 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.

jdemdstr5 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jdemdstr5 (2)
Medium Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I recieved this tobacco as an extra from my friend, It is spun cut which is a very well rounded 'chip' type of flake. upon opening the can, which in fact was aged for 5 years, I smelled very light woodsy/bourbon tones.

Easy to pack and it seems it was aged with perfection, the flake was easy to light but kind of hard to keep lit, I tamped and lit about 3 times to get it going, and it needs constant attention to keep smoking.

In my honest opinion it smells like a forest fire, yep. I just remember my days in Arizona and the smell the forest fire gives off, slightly earthy, robust, burning wood chip scent.

Taste is mildly sweet/whiskey/bourbon with damn near no tongue bite. Does tend to cause some extra drippage in my pipes and had a nice light buzz after I was done. Great stuff.

1 person 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.

1 person found this review helpful.

Rivermont Rebel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rivermont Rebel (5)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I tried this weed when my local brick and mortar was out of Peter Stokkebye Luxury Bullseye Flake, which I had previously enjoyed. I wanted to try another coin format, and I was rewarded with a great smoke. Some disappointment at the lack of the namesake latakia, but still a pleasure.

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.

chaplikc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chaplikc (135)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

First, Let me give a very special thanks to Kilmarnock Piper for being very kind and generous in giving me a sample of this. This sample is from the early 1970's. I must say that this is the very best Mac Baren blend I have tried to date. This is called Latakia blend but i believe that the blenders may have called this blend that in a sort of dry humor kind of way. If I detect any latakia in this blend it is only in the after taste. This blend is smooth, sweet and very enjoyable.It is not a complex smoke that builds but rather a consistant smoke that is enjoyable in every puff. It has NO hint of the usual Mac Baren bite. My only problem is that I have a very limited few bowls of this and I just want to smoke it all right away. I will not do this though and will limit myself to times only when Im not in a hurry and can truly enjoy this treat. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if you can find a very vintage tin such as the one I sampled!

1 person found this review helpful.

Legend Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Legend (3)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a pretty good blend if taken for what it is. I DO taste the Latakia, and it is good! This is sort of like Plumcake to me, in coin form. Drying it a bit helps, and I got no bite from it. A pleasant, thoughtless smoke for sure. If you're looking for a lat bomb though, it isn't here as stated in previous reviews. For someone looking to taste lat for the first time, this may be the ticket. Recommended.

1 person 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...

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Despite of the name that might mislead some smokers, this is neither an English nor is it a Balkan Blend. Instead, it is a mild and sweet Danish one, very much like the other MB curlies, but with a small amount of Latakia, which adds a very subtle smoky spicyness to the VA and BC. Recommended!

1 person found this review helpful.

AlbinMattsson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AlbinMattsson (2)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

The best blend i have ever smoked without doubt. The Virginia and Cavendish tobaccos collaborate in a perfect way with a subtle but yet complex taste of Latakia in the background.

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.

Wally Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wally (1)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Allow me to welcome myself to my first review, and let me begin by making a confession. I like strong, powerful, thick-smoke blends (Frog Morton OTB, Presby Mixture, Mississippi Mud, Elliet Nachwalter's Churchill). That's why, when I saw the appellation "Latakia Blend" I reached for a couple of tins in anticipation of what that implies. I soon discovered that Latakia, of any stripe, is not what this tobac is about, IMHO.

I'm lousy at describing taste, but I will say that this blend has a number of little activities going on in it. The key to preparing one's self to enjoy this fellow is to put some electrical tape over the label and accept it for whatever it is on its own.

Having done that (figuratively speaking) and having aged some about 6 months, it soon become my morning blend and remains so.

I like it dried just a bit from the tin (15 to 20 minutes) and shredded and rubbed. That alone produces a delightful aroma and tactile experience, and puts me (at least) in a receptive frame of mind.

Mac Baren did themselves a great disservice in naming this one.

1 person found this review helpful.

Thedarklord Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Thedarklord (9)
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

This is a my definition of a Danish blend. A curly Virginia with a sweet topping. But there is a surprise in the end. There is little Latakia to speak of in the initial smoke, but please be patient.

Like most Viginias, this blend improves with age. It is sweet and smoky and it will put a hurtin' on your tongue if smoked too fast. So be careful, and you'll enjoy a decent smoke.

For you of those patient enough to smoke this blend to the bottom of the bowl, you know where the name "Latakia Blend" comes from. We are the privileged few to enjoy the Latakia in this blend.

1 person 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.

1 person found this review helpful.

BriarLaw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarLaw (85)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

Another fine entry from our Danish friends at MacBaren. Please don't me mislead by the term "Latakia" in the title. This is not an English blend by any stretch. Instead, it is a fresh and zesty tasting blend of VAs and Danish Cavendish (i.e., light honey top dressing)in a wafer-thin rollcake presentation. The Latakia is like adding salt to food. Just enough to bring out the flavor, but not enough to notice.

I enjoy this tobacco very much and suggest you try it if you are a VA smoker looking for a change of pace or an aromatic smoker looking for something more natural. Don't bother if you are an English diehard looking for a traditional English blend.

Yes it will nip if pressed, but virtually all Danish tobaccos do. So I don't consider this a negative, per se, but just another element of the tobacco genre.

UPDATE: I have read some tips from my pipe smoking friends here at Tobacco Reviews about loading a bowl of MacBaren (or other nippy Danish) tobacs via the "plug" method. Well . . . I tried it and I love it. Just take a large pinch from the tin, the amount you want to smoke, and just stick it in the bowl with minimal "meddling" . . . . and then just light and go. I very much think it helps with reducing the nip and increases the flavor. Try it!

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I was first introduced to Mac Baren's Latakia Blend over 35 years ago by Julius Vesz.

Over the years either my taste buds have changed or this blend has changed somewhat - probably a combination of both. I still find the mixture a very pleasant all day smoke. The Latakia certainly is not overpowering as in other mixtures but it is inclined to leave somewhat of an aftertaste for a few hours.

The room note is pleasant to tolerable if one listens to the comments of other non smokers.

After a good rubbing out this blend packs easily and lights with ease. It burns to a grayish ash. Its taste is very pleasant.

Over the years I have smoked this blend in Vesz, Nording and Stanwell pipes - all bents. Never have I had an "unpleasant" smoke.

This blend is getting more and more difficult to find in Canada and because of this, I have recently cellared a half dozen tins.

For many years now, this blend has been one of my favorites and I am seldom without a "supply".

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Had to give the 'other' side review of this blend. I'll admit that the name 'Latakia' is wholly misleading. If you're expecting to taste a FM or other strong latakia blend you'll be sorely disappointed.

I'm strongly biased towards most MacBaren blends. Almost all their blends have a light top coat of 'honey' or other flavoring. I'm not an aromatic fan by any means, but the MB blends just hit-the-spot so-to-speak.

Latakia is mild. I find it a great all day smoke. Never any tongue bite or hot pipe. Nice, smooth and sometimes creamy. Certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but that's O.K as it leaves that much more for me!

1 person found this review helpful.

Willy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Willy (75)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I kinda like this blend. When I bought it I found that it was what I thought it might be. When opening the tin you find nice curly discs of a gold/brown color w/a black center which I would say was the Latakia and Cavendish, as well as an appealing mild English aroma. I chose to rub the discs out and as I filled the bowl I alternated browns and blacks to the top. Moisture level was OK, at least for me. Lights easy enough, tamp and relight and you're going good. Bit tart & sharp @first w/some sweetness too (well, it is Danish), but I didn't feel it was as sharp as some Danish tobaccos can be. Smokes fairly cool and smooth. The VA flavor is there, and the Latakia was on the light side, but I was glad that it was because I was hoping for a milder English kinda blend for different times of the day and different situations. Sometimes you want to really taste the Latakia, sometimes not so much. I found any casing that was there to be subtle and not at all dominant. Did get some gurgle about 1/3 of the way, but it was no real problem, one cleaner. Farther down the bowl some smokiness kicks in w/a more pronounced flavor than before, and near the end it was a tad harsh but not unpleasant. Smoked all the way down to a mottled ash w/maybe a smidgeon of dottle. Rather agreeable room aroma if I may say so. Not a bitey tobacco either if smoked in moderate fashion. Don't think I'll stock up on this one like it's going out of style, but I wouldn't object to keeping a tin of this around. Pretty good offering from McB., and a pleasant enough smoke IMHO. Works for me.

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.

ThChrMn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ThChrMn (7)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

I like the coins and have crumpled them up and rubbed them out for a satisfying smoke. This tobacco suits me and taste nice and smokey with a natural tobacco flavor. It burns cool and dry too.

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.

THB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
THB (6)
Overwhelming Strong Overwhelming Strong

I have been a pipe smoker for about 30 years, and this is undoubtedly the worst tobacco I have ever put in my pipe. Whoever named this "Latakia Blend," must be a moron. I don't detect any latakia. It's just strong, bad tasting tobacco. The first bowl, it was so bad, I couldn't smoke half the bowl. I waited a few days to give it another chance, and this time, about half a dozen puffs, and that was enough for me. I haven't smoked many of Mac Baren's blends, actually two--HH Vintage Syrian and Plumcake. Vintage Syrian is pretty good, although there are many other blends out there that I like better and are less expensive. It's been years since I smoked Plumcake, but used to like it. Bottom line, unless recommended by a fellow smoker with similar tastes, I don't plan on ever buying a Mac Baren blend again. Even then, I might not, because really calling this Latakia Blend is misrepresentation, in my opinion. This is just, plain, foul tobacco and shouldn't be for human consumption! It's a shame, you can't give it negative stars.

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.

Davie Jones Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Davie Jones (61)
Very Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Pleasant

Now, the lack of Latakia is not the issue with this one.

You smell right away once you open the tin.

No, the issue is the same as the other roll cakes: they are too mild in taste.

It will definitively suit beginners' needs, but a salty dog like myself, unfortunately not.

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.

Bulldog Jeff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bulldog Jeff (11)
Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I bought this wanting to try something new in the "English" family, but something went wrong somewhere. I barely noticed any hint of Latakia. I barely noticed the nutty, maple syrup flavor of the Mac Baren cavendish. I almost didn't notice the flavor of the Virginia. In fact, I experienced only a very mild Virginia with a note of cavendish. If there was any Latakia flavor, it bled through the lid from the big word LATAKIA on the outside. I hate to bash, but Mac Baren had that one coming.

A rather mild Virginia with a little nutty cavendish. I like the "roll cake" coins with the dot of cavendish in the middle. Smokes well.

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.


Nobody has rated this review yet.

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" :+)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Shawn_M Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Shawn_M (43)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I bought a tin of this as my tobacconist was out of one of my favourites, (Early Morning Pipe), and he reccomended it to me. I was honestly surprised at its (very) subtle hint of latakia, almost unnoticable at first but more pronounced as I worked my way through the bowlfull. As always when I try a new blend I use a new corncob, my second smoke was in one of my Peterson briars and it made itself at home an proceded to enhance my evening reading.

It's not perfect I admit, it takes a lot of matches to keep it going, and it will bite if not handled gently. I prefer to break the cakes into ribbons and gently fill my pipe, light and then tamp after a few minutes. My wife and children did not comment or complain about the aroma as they have with some of my other aromatics or strong English blends. I can honestly say I do plan on getting another tin when this one is done.

CAUTION: DO NOT smoke this in a clay pipe! The propensity for tongue bite increased when I tried it in one of my clays.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jjacallen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jjacallen (6)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

My first impression of this blend was terrible. The tin aroma was acrid, almost sour, and definitely unpleasant. It was hard to light, hard to keep lit, tasted awful, burnt the nose, bit the tongue, and left the room smelling as though someone had been smoking cigarettes in there.

And yet...

There was a toastiness to the whole experience that was satisfying. So satisfying in fact, that some days later I found myself inclined to have another go. This time, I just dropped a couple of discs into the bowl and lit them without packing. I drew regularly, almost constantly, but ever-so-gently to avoid burning, and the experience was much better. Towards the middle of the bowl it gets a bit sweeter, with the distinct MacBaren Cavendish taste becoming apparent, and towards the end you begin to notice the latakia. Just a hint.

It still tasted like cigarettes though, and I went through half a box of matches just on one bowl.

And yet...

That satisfying toastiness remained on the palette for hours afterwards. Well now I've just finished a bowl of this awful stuff that I thoroughly enjoyed for the first time. I smoked it in a very wide and shallow billiard, with a tapered bowl at the bottom of which I left the remnants of my last bowl of Frog Morton. It's also useful to note that I smoked it immediately after breakfast, with a cup of espresso still in my hand. I can still taste it, and it's only good. I smoked outside, so the room doesn't stink, and overall I think I'm quite happy that I didn't throw it in the garbage.

Folks, the secret here, I think, is: 1) smoke it in a wide, shallow bowl. 2) crumble apart the discs a bit, but don't rub them into ribbons. 3) just drop it in lightly. don't pack it at first. It will twist and turn and almost leap out of the pipe when you put a match to it, just gently coax it back down with your tamper. But don't compress it. 4) draw very VERY gently, or it will hurt you... bad. 5) draw fairly constantly to keep it lit, and occasionally give it some quick, sharp, backwards puffs to stoke it a bit. 6) smoke it outside.

Hmm, turns out a bit of a healthier dose of latakia made it much better, too. Maybe mix a bit of the Frog in? Definitely smoking it in the same pipe you use for aromatics is a mistake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I don?t like it all. It usually seems to smoke hot and wet, and it has nothing to offer in compensation for that terrible fault. I?ve tried drying it and storing it ? but there?s nothing worth having in this tin, pretty as it is. On a good day it?s flat and quite undistinguished with nothing going on. On a bad day it?s like drinking boiling, sugar-flavoured, nicotine oil. Look elsewhere.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PfeifenRaucher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PfeifenRaucher (53)
Very Mild Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

Let me first say that I like a lot of MB's offering, especially Plumcake, which is one of my all-time favorite aromatics.

I went in to Latakia Blend having read the reviews below. I was fully prepared to not actually taste one iota of latakia. However, I was hoping to actually taste something....but all I got was hot air. Even if you really like mild tobaccos (an I do) DO NOT purchase this. You will be left disappointed.

If you stuck in the unlikely scenario of having this be the ONLY pipe tobacco available to you....go buy decent cigarettes and smoke them like small cigars - at least they will have SOME kind of flavor.

The only nice thing I can say about Latakia Blend is that it has a nice, mild room note. But seriously...if all I wanted was a nice room smell with out a taste in my mouth or nicotine I would burn incense.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Zone Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Zone Smoke (199)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

The very worse excuse for a blend with "Latakia" on the label that I have ever encoutered. For all practical purposes, this is Navy Flake, Mixture or any one of the Mac Baren offerings that taste exactly the same.

There is certainly no sigificant amount of Latakia in this blend, if any.

Don't say you weren't warned.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Peterschaume Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peterschaume (4)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Update 04/15/2008:

As kppeterson has said, there is also a difference between Syrian and Cyprian Latakia. After the fire of the main warehouse of the Syrian Latakia and the reduction of its export from Syria, the use of Cyprian Latakia in the blends has increased and most people are more familiar with the taste of Cyprian than the Syrian, now. This may explain why some people don't detect the taste of Latakia, at least one to which they are accustomed (unless their taste buds are simply not sufficiently developed or destroyed by long usage of too hot aromatic tobaccos ...)

Original review 03/11/2008:

It's possible that some people compare to usual Latakia blends, in other words, with a slight percentage of Oriental. Thus, it does not remind them of the taste of Latakia which they are accustomed, the kind with a touch of Oriental, but it ain't the real aroma of the pure Latakia.

In the same way, they must certainly think that Commonwealth (Samuel Gawith), despite the 50% of Latakia, doesn't taste as Latakia, given that it doesn't contain Oriental.

Coming back to Latakia Blend, the most remarkable is the sugary softness of Virginia. It resembles a VA aged in a cellar. The presence of Latakia is low, but just like garlic in a recipe where it must only raise the taste, the taste of garlic should absolutely not dominate. The kind of presence that you only can guess in the recipe if you forgot to add it and that makes you say that something is wrong, the recipe is not as usual.

As said, ordinarily, in a Latakia Blend, it's often the Oriental whom dominate, therefore, it's this Oriental taste which could miss for some people in this tobacco blend, I think.

Mac Baren Latakia Blend is not a bad stuff, due to its sweetness. The taste is rounded by this thin presence of Latakia and change the pace in a straight Virginia smoking.

Maybe not a blend for the real Latakia blends lovers, due to its very slight percentage of Latakia. But absolutely not a blend for the "Latakia with a slight percentage of Oriental" blends lovers.

Honestly, I rather prefer these Latakia blends:

- Commonwealth (Samuel Gawith);

- Squadron Leader (Samuel Gawith), when I need a touch of Oriental;

- Celebrated Sovereign (Ashton).

Mac Baren Latakia Blend is not in my regular rotation, but it was necessary for me to write this note, due to the bad reviews that I read and, IMO, wasn't correct due to the difference between Latakia and Latakia+Oriental.

In fact, Mac Baren "HH Mature Virginia" is more Latakia flavoured than "Latakia Blend". The name (HH Mature Virginia) would more correspond, IMO, to "Latakia Blend", because it reminds me of an aged VA. In the second hand, "HH Mature Virginia" could be named "Latakia Blend", due to the Latakia taste.

Is it possible that the blenders from Mac Baren had made a mistake, when they named those different blends?

At last, please forgive my English level, it's not my usual language, I read it better than I write it. ;)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrY11 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrY11 (39)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

UPDATE: Let me just shed some more light: Given a choice between this and an aromatic I would probably prefer this in most cases. But I would never pick this if Dunhil EMP or 965 was available. So, I think that my two stars are in order - since this blend should be judged against non-aromatics.

ORIGINAL: It is hard to find Latakia blends in my area, so when I came across this I reached for it without reservation.

Latakia is known as a formidable wife repellant, but I was disappointed to find this blend did not work with my wife. I was intending to return my wife for a refund - but after reading here I probably must return the tobacco.

On a more serious note: The smoke is pleasant enough, and the room note is OK and does not linger on for ages. I have reached for this repeatedly - however, it is not what it promises. So, two stars only.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tonyg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tonyg (103)
Mild Mild Medium Tolerable

I'd rather smoke a cigarette than smoke Latakia Blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

StraightBlades Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StraightBlades (2)
Extremely Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

This stuff tasted like hot air. I pinched the dark center out of a dozzen or so coins and smoked the dark stuff straight: More hot air. I gave it to a friend who smokes cigarettes and she says it tastes like a Camel.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This is Virginia and Cavendish blend with natural sweetness and a subtle honey flavor. The latakia is barely noticable in taste and does not provide any added smokiness.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Keeper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Keeper (112)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Very much as already described: a burley/cavendish blend with natural VA sweetness, a light honey like flavor - and barely any noticeable latakia.

Of course if truly used as a "condimental" tobacco - the latakia should remain as a flavor enhancer to the other elements. There is a hint of smokey spice through out the bowl - but not even the latakia predominance of any true English or Balkan blend.

While not the first thing I'll reach for - if I had to choose between this blend and many others - Latakia Blend is far from the worst option. It is a pleasant, lightly flavored and friendly smoke. But as with most Mac Baren - there is a slight tendency to nip...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Briarabbit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briarabbit (116)
Extremely Mild Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

What a cruel joke! A touch of latakia? This tobacco was touched with a piece of latakia, then the latakia was put aside.

Well, this is one of those Danish type blends where most of the tobacco has syrup all over it,and the tobacco used is Burley and some Virginia. Like most of Mac Baren's pipe tobaccos blends,(except for Burley ,and Golden extra),they bite like a snapping turtle.

This tobacco however is mild,very mild,with yes, a tiny tiny amount of Latikia spun into the disks. It has a nautral tobacco-y room note. However,you may like this blend and that's fine,I think this tobacco sucks.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Esoxhunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Esoxhunter (60)
Extremely Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I couldn't really taste the Latakia, nor anything else for that matter. I'll go elsewhere to satisfy my Latakia cravings.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Big Guy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Guy (12)
Mild to Medium Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

The disks of tobacco look beautiful, but latakia, what latakia. Nuff said!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mesacactus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mesacactus (21)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

This tobacco's name has the word Latakia in it. Well, maybe there is, and maybe there's not. I had a hard time noticing any when smoked. This must be the most "light" Latakia blend ever made. When you use the word "Latakia" as the prominent bases for your product's name, then by God, there better be some Latakia in the blend. I mean alot of Latakia. When I bought the tin, I expected to be rewarded with a full Latakia blend. This is an aromatic, Latakia blend. It is a good overall tobacco, and if I had bought it expecting an aromatic, with a little Latakia, I might even have enjoyed it. However, I felt let down, and just could not get into this blend. To be fair, if you are looking for a good cavendish based tobacco, with a little Latakia added for spice, then you might want to give this a go. Just don't expect what the name suggests, Latakia.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mailman 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mailman 5000 (60)
Mild Mild Mild Unnoticeable

Upon opening the tin I found some really great looking tobacco Escudo style coins. Great I thought nice looking tobacco with the magic ingredient LATAKIA .I stuffed the pipe and lit up, after a few puffs I felt something was wrong, Perhaps it takes a while to get going. After 5 Minutes a checked the tin Yeap in said latakia blend in big letters. In practice it seems an insult to call this such because anyone buying this and expecting a latakia blend is in for a surprise , in fact Latakia Surprise would be a better name for this muck if not Latakia Sham. You have been Warned.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nimrod Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nimrod (29)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I bought this one day when my favored tobacconist was closed and I was hoping for something similar to the english blends that I had bought from him in the past. This seemed to be the only thing that the local discount cigarette place had which said "Latakia" on it, so I figured what the hell.

As one German reviewer commented, when you open the tin this tobacco smells like brown bread. Once I lit it up I found it interesting, but a bit too mild for my taste. I tended to smoke this in my cheap corn cobb pipes because I had a hard time keeping it from gurgling in any of my others. Either it's too moist or I just smoke too fast. Anyway, while in some objective way I can see this as being a reasonably good quality example of this particular style of blend, it certainly isn't an English Latakia blend and it didn't do anything special for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.