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A hardy mixture with generous amounts of Mtn. Grade Cyprian Latakia, blended with ample portions of Turkish Basma. Bright North Carolina and rich, red flue-cured Virginias complete this blend.

BrandButera
Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutReady Rubbed
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy 4noggins.com
SmokingPipes.com
Product Image
Strength
Mild to Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Tolerable to Strong
3.0
22 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
4
3 star:
13
2 star:
5
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pipesomkinsquirrel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipesomkinsquirrel (16)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I bought a tin of this after reading many of the reviews on this forum. I really liked what I read, and after reading the tin description I was very intrigued.

When I popped the tin I found the moisture level to be very high. I decided to not even put this in a pipe until it had a chance to settle down. Therefore, on the rack it sat for about six months.

I finally got around to smoking this the other night, and it has now become a very well balanced staple in my rotation for the time being. The interesting thing about this blend is that it is not mind blowing, but not bland and boring either.

The aroma out of the tin is quite interesting. I found a lot of things going on here. Firstly the aroma of earthy and spicy notes along with a tiny bit of mesquite were on the forefront. In the background the sweet Virginias made a pleasant appearance.

This blend packed very well in medium sized apple or billiard pipes, and burned very evenly.

The flavour profile was outstanding. Upon first light I was hit with the beautiful symphony of Latakia and Turkish leafs. They presented a nice musky smoky "classic" flavour to them. Then the Virginias came into play, and danced off the tip of my tongue oh so delicately. This blend finished out very dry and balanced.

Once I let the tin age out for a couple of months, the tobacco packed perfectly, and stayed lit without a problem. It burned evenly, and burned all the way down to a nice pile of ash.

Some reviewers have described this to be a heavy mixture or Balkan, but I must disagree. At least from my personal experience and taste. I find this to be a lighter blend than what I would consider a Balkan. Though I consider Sassini Balkan blend to be a lighter of the Balkans.

I actually find that I smoke this as the first pipe of the day to give me that kick in the shorts along with a nice brewed cup of strong coffee or espresso.

This tobacco also goes well with a Robust Porter or medium bodied Stout.

I would recommend this to anyone wishing to branch out, and might be interested in entering the world of Balkans. For any Latakia lover out there, I would offer you a bowl full of Latakia No. 1.

1 person found this review helpful.

Kapnismologist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kapnismologist (30)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Shiny short black, and occasionally chunky, broken ribbon mixed with beautifully cut strands of chestnut, tan, and light brown. The tin nose is fragrant, offering a mix of earth and spice alongside a prominent sweet smokiness. A clean, well-crafted mixture which is as easy on the eyes as it is delightful to the nose.

Rather damp in the tin, it packs and lights well after drying, producing voluminous clouds of blue smoke. Medium to full bodied, the Cyprian latakia is predominant throughout the bowl, blending nicely with the musty orientals to produce a consistent, subdued spice with a long tart and tangy finish. Notes of wood smoke, earth, bitter orange, and pine make an appearance now and again. As quick to reward patience as it is to punish inattention, when smoked carelessly it can be a bit heavy on the tongue ? a common feature of many such latakia-heavy mixtures. When given its due, however, it shows a certain complexity which lays just beyond its initial assertiveness.

Described on the tin as an ?English-style Oriental mixture? ? in this case clearly a synonym for the more commonly used ?Balkan blend? ? this is an excellent representative of a well-worn, and nowadays overdone, style. Unlike far too many in the genre, however, Latakia No. 1 is never cloying or flat and while it can tend towards a dry and occasionally too tart finish, the mixture possesses just enough New World leaf (in this case bright North Carolina and red flue-cured Virginia) to add interest and depth to what might otherwise be just another run-of-the-mill Balkan. In this reviewer?s opinion Butera?s Royal Vintage Latakia No. 1 is certainly worthy of the attention of confirmed ?lataphiles?, and perhaps might even serve as a pleasant diversion for those who normally shy away from the oft abused leaf. While there are certainly better Balkans to be had, this one stands above many a competitor.

1 person found this review helpful.

cmhpipesmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cmhpipesmoker (21)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I just finished smoking another bowl of this tobacco, nearly completing my first tin, and I can't say how much I really do enjoy smoking this blend. I'm not all that familiar with the Basma (meaning its native aroma or flavor) other than just by the name. However, by the aroma in the tin, it must be one of the heavier or mustier smelling Orientals. If not, this blend's predominat tobacco is the Cyprian Latakia.

Upon first opening, its initial aroma has a sweeter smell to it but with aging it settles to an almost tangy aroma with just a hint of sweetness coming through. In the pipe, it has a musty, pungent aroma that I prefer with the sweetness present in the background. I have never found, though, this tocacco having any bite or bad after taste.

I'm not an all day smoker but would not consider this to be an all day smoke. I can only say to not smoke this on an empty stomach because it can pack a bit of a nicotine punch and leave one a bit light-headed.

Highly recommended and I will add this to my regular rotation.

1 person found this review helpful.

RMBittner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RMBittner (66)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My review is based on a 2004 tin, opened 9/2008.

Flavorwise, I found Latakia #1 to be milder than I really prefer, more an all-day smoke than a special-occasion smoke. And while for me that's a slightly negative assessment, it doesn't have to be. If you're looking for a high-quality, entrancing example of a Latakia/oriental blend (built on a strong foundation of Virginias), this one delivers.

To my palate, it is head-and-shoulders above Latakia #2, which I found virtually taste-free. By contrast, Latakia #1 gives a good dose of latakia, with a moderate Oriental presence and solid Virginias. For me, it comes very close to being a Balkan blend -- at least as I define a Balkan (heavy latakias/Orientals with distant Virginias) -- but the Virginias predominate more than in a typical Balkan, and the latakia is a little more restrained. For me, this never reaches the "creaminess" that you get in a great Balkan when the Orientals and latakia really come together. But it comes darn close.

I think this would be particularly appealing to folks who enjoy the Pease English/Balkans, as well as those wanting a richer experience than they can get from a budget or bulk English mixture. It's certainly earned a spot in my own cellar.

Bob

1 person found this review helpful.

Casper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Casper (22)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

This is definitely one of those tobaccos you open up, reclose and come back to after a week or so of decanting. I was quite put off by the aroma, (odour?), when I first opened the tin and the first smoke tasted in direct relation to that first whiff. On re-examining this selection after a week however the odour turned to aroma. A classier offering than Frog Morton to be sure. Not sticky on the fingers - a true latakia experience that does not denote barbecue sauce as so many put it with Frog Morton. This tobacco really grew on me as I made my way through the tin. The full flavour really requires a pipe devoted it. I whole heartedly recommend this to the latakia crowd. 3 out of 4 stars.

I don't know what I was thinking with the FM comparisons. This has become my favourite over the past year with no comparison. 4 out of 4 for sure and my "desert island" choice.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Lovers of full English and heavy Latakia blends are highly encouraged to try this.

One can compare RVL1 to blends such as King Charles, Margate and Red Rapparee, #1 having more Latakia and easier to pack than KC & M; to Crown Achievement though fuller in body and without Cavendish; to Renaissance with less complexity; to London Mixture with more oomph and less Virginias; to Nightcap without obvious Perique and more Turkish; to Commonwealth Mixture with more complexity and less Virginias; to 3 Noggins Full but far less sweet and deeper in Orientals; and to Wilke?s 524 with a touch more refinement and fuller flavor. I cannot say how this compares to Astley?s English offerings, McClelland?s #14, or Butera?s Pelican. Full like Penzance, but sharper and less creamy.

There is little similarity to the RVL2, the Frogs or British Woods due to the obvious casing of the latter three (I am still undecided if #1 is slightly cased). #1 has more Oriental leaf than BW or #2. BW is also vastly darker in appearance than #1. If the latter three do not thrill, still give #1 a shot. I detected no vinegar or ketchup.

The closest blend comparison I can make for RVL1 is GL Pease Westminster, with W being medium-full and #1 full for an English blend. Robert Lewis 123 also comes to mind. #1 lacks the Turkish leaf to qualify as a Balkan blend.

RVL1 is full of bold and weighty flavors, heavy in spiciness and woodsy notes. This is a stout blend leaning heavily on Latakia and Turkish leaf. It also has fair nicotine fullness.

#1 is perhaps the overall most enjoyable, full English I have smoked in a while. It warrants its own craving. It is clearly differentiated from Americanized Latakia blends absent of Turkish leaf and reminds me to keep pipes for different genres.

As RCUSElder offers, this is straight forward stuff, though I do not recommend distracted enjoyment. #1 must be smoked carefully to avoid the ?tongue pinch? fuller Turkish and Latakia blends can produce. DGT works well with this blend, and the last half of the bowl is rich and wonderful, leaving a dry, salt & pepper ash. Group 3 and 4 bowls provided less intense and rounder overall flavors than larger bowled pipes.

Please, do not recommend this as an introductory English blend unless to someone already smoking full Virginia flakes, ropes, twists, or heavy Perique blends! One needs to build up to heavily flavorful tobacco before delving into RVN1.

The tin I am reviewing is dated 2004, so I do not expect long-term aging adding sweetness from the Virginias. Since this is tinned one year before distribution, it is probably ready OTS.

1 person found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (557)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Small ribbons of very dark black with a few specks of mahogany for good measure. Tin nose of latakia well to the forefront with a sweet/sour oriental to the rear. Very enticing aroma.

After the excellent RV #2 that I smoked a month or so, I was a bit disappointed in this one initially. Even after clearing my mind of biases, it was apparent that this one was not going to live up to the excellence of #2. And it did not. All the same, this one is worthy of a spin. The flavor was latakia in the front, orientals riding shotgun and a lighly sweet virginia to the rear. Some folks have said this reminds them of this Frog Morton or that one but I find this more along the lines of something else... perhaps Bombay Court? Green label #14? I guess it's been too long, but this seems more refined than the Frog series. Also the sidestream aroma of this is one of the best I've experienced. Really mouth watering. Actual room note was less impressive. Strength-wise, this did not strike me as a full mixture... more to the mild side of medium for me. Low nicotine and spiteful of DGT as well. I enjoyed the ride but RV #2 is going to get all the airplay in my house! If you smoke that one and long for more latakia, here you go.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jacko Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jacko (1)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This is an 'all day smoke' blend. Very cool burning which allows for voluminous amounts of smoke. I find this close to FMOTT (Frog Morton on the Town) but a bit more Latakia forward. Tin notes are very mellow, slight smoky notes from the Lat with hints of the very lovely Basma leaf and slight VAs dance in the background.

The blend is not overly complex so you aren't going to have a deep contemplative smoking experience however there is enough there to keep it interesting. If your in the mood for a mild English this is a great option. If you are looking for something strong then look elsewhere.

I'm a bit fan of Basma which I wish was used in more blends so I'll definitely be keeping this in my regular rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Slow Draw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Slow Draw (26)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Smoky, sweet, slightly musty, and woody. Easy to smoke, and a fast favorite. Full of wonderful flavor, but not overwhelming. The interplay of flavors is attention grabbing and will keep you entertained. Nicotine level is low.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A fine all-day smoke, sensibly better than Latakia #2 from the same producer. You can still feel the McClelland hands on this, but it is much more "English" in taste, deeper in the oriental department and with a more evident smokiness. Good blend but, having heard the rumours about it, I expected something fuller.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Let me go against the grain here for a moment and say this is better than #2.This actually tastes like an English blend. The problem I have with McClelland blends is that all of their English mixtures have a very Cavendish quality about them.This one has a tad of that McCleland Ketchup ,yet maintains its integrity as an English mix. The Latakia is smoky and th virginias are slightly sour (in a good Way). I feel it has more flavor than #2 and would advise reaching for this 1st. An excellent all day smoke!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

It does not seem like a good time to try new tobacco. One of my favourites, as some of you know, is Butera's Royal Vintage Latakia No. 2 (see that review). For some reason, I have put off trying Latakia No. 1, but I figured it is about time. No. 1 is a mere shadow of No. 2 and should really be called something else. It is fair to compare since they share a name and, besides the raw quality of the weed itself, No. 2 is everything than No. 1 is not. Bloody shame! I seem to be wasting a lot of money on tobacco lately. The good news is that there is another unopened tin around the corner. The bad news is that I have another opened tin that will sit and waste. Perhaps I will give this another try, but only because of its namesake and certainly not because of its taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

emmbee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
emmbee (174)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is the most McClelland-like of the Butera blends I've tried so far. It's characteristically ketchupy in the tin, but still offers a pleasant note. No. 1 is more like McC meets Frog Morton, which, incidentally, is made by the same company. The Cyprian latakia is not as forward as FM On the Town, though I am almost tempted to call this OTT light. The accent here is on the excellent stoved Virginias with their comforting sweetness and mellow flavor. Butera adds his own masterful touches to making this a great blend. It's not as great as No. 2, and that's probably because the latakia takes a back seat, and for me, the more latakia the merrier. Nevertheless, like all the McCs and Buteras I've tried, this is an all day, reliable smoke. The aroma is particularly nice with it's mixture of toasty burnt ember and woodsiness. It's so close to FM, and yet uniquely different. That's the beauty of pipe tobaccos, especially those created by masters like McC and Butera.

Four of five stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bigjonburley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigjonburley (64)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Strong

This is a full-strength English blend that aims to please the latakia lover. Its been a little while since I burned a tin of this stuff but, another was to me as a gift. The texture of the leaf is very "McClelland." Those of you who are experienced with McClelland's Frog Morton series know exactly what I'm refering to. There is a generous dose of Cyprian latakia present in this blend, as the tin does reflect a mottled sea of black. To be honest, I'm not really fond of McClelland's Cyprian. I prefer Syrian two times fold. This blend does contain a heaping helping of raw English power, yet has very little nicotine kick. This is a solid choice but, I believe that I'll stick with Frog Morton, when it comes down to choosing a latakia blend from McClelland stock.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (296)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

Don't believe too hard in most of the reviews here, because you might be disappointed: this is NOT a strong Latakia/Oriental blend like Balkan Sobranie 759, but a close relative to McClelland's Bombay Court. Sure, there are suggestions of the smell/taste of 759 in the interplay of sweetness-smokiness-spicyness, but the intensity and mouthfeel of this Butera tobacco are vastly inferior. 759 was strong, almost overwhelming, although round and never harsh: big sweetness, and a very satisfying fullness. Latakia No. 1 is like a very watered down (and sometimes watery-tasting) cousin: sure, it has finesse and a nice complex flavour, but it will leave you flat if you're looking for a latakia kick in your nuts. Especially the second half of the bowl can be very weak and lacking in taste, IMHO, while in the first half there is a satisfying sweetnes/smokiness very similar to the one of a good Scotch whisky. Not a bad tobacco, mind, and it burns very slow and cool, but not as full as advertised.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

txpiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
txpiper (1)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Strong

From everything that I've heard of this tobacco, I was expecting a full flavor Latakia blend. The tin aroma was pleasantly strong. The flavor was very mild when smoked in my Meer and only slightly more flavorful when smoked in my briar pipes. The taste did seem to improve after a couple of days after opening the tin. Overall, a good blend, but not as strong as I like. I may try again to make sure it wasn't just this tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JClark Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JClark (26)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Very Full Strong

This blend has all the elements and characteristics that I look for in a good english; it's rich, smokey, and stout. The aroma in the tin is quite pungent in a pleasant latakia sort of way. The taste on initial light is very full and small puffs feel big on the pallate. This is one of my favorite winter smokes for in the evening and is a great way end the day. Latakia No. 1 smokes cool and fairly dry all the way to the bottom. Here we have the richness of Nightcap without the bitter harshness that often accompanies the dunhill line (for me at least). When I want a big english blend I reach for this one quite often. What this one lacks in complexity it makes up for in fullness and richness. I whole heartedly recommend this one to english fanciers as well those curious few.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

While I prefer Latakia#2 over this one, it is still a good blend. To my palate it reminds me of a slightly more mature and fuller tasting brother of "Frog Morton". Upon opening the tin, you are greeted by mostly dark leaf. It is in a medium to broad short cut. It packs easily and takes about three to four vestas to get going. A little airing before packing seems to be the ticket for this one. Upon lighting you taste the latakia and basma right away, but it settles down to a good smooth smoke down to the end of the bowl. There is not much complexity or richness that develops as you smoke this, but sometimes you don't want that. This blend is a straight-ahead "smoke me" blend while you work or do other things. It leaves a nice after-taste and is definitely an all-day blend. No tongue-bite and leaves a medium-grey light, fluffy ash when done. This is a good introductory blend IMO. Rating: 3 out of 5 points. Enjoy....

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pmonroeb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pmonroeb (92)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Extra Full Extra Strong

I smoked Balkan Sobranie #759 almost exclusively for 20 years. I had stocked up so much that I had no knowledge that 759 was no longer available till it was already gone. Balkan Sasieni is good, but it ain't the real thing. This is what caused me to try around 30 different latakia blends in the last couple of years- hence all my reviews I am placing on this website.

OK- Now to the story. Butera's Royal Vintage #1 is as close as it gets. It is my current favorite. It has the same strong flavor, depth of flavor and cool burning qualities as 759. Like 759, it builds up flavor as it goes down the bowl and has that quality that every puff brings out a slightly different taste. This may be too strong for many as I can definitely get lightheaded if I smoke this in one of my big boys.

Being blended by McClelland, it needs to be dried out a little and I find I need to shorten the longer ribbons to get it to pack well, but I always did the same with 759. I have to be careful not to tamp it down too much in the bottom third because it tends to get hard and won't draw, forcing me to loosen it with the pick if I want to finish.

Probably 4 years passed after I ran out of 759 until I tried this blend. To my taste this is every bit as good as the Balkan Sobranie. It is the only blend that even comes close. I have tried the other recommendations of Caravan, Balkan Sasieni, etc, but in my taste, they don't compare.

Now the problem with Butera's Latakia #1- The aroma really tends to linger. It gets in the carpet and the furniture and hangs around for a while. If you have a mate, you will probably get sent to the porch with this. Of course, this was always a problem with Balkan Sobranie too.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★★☆
Very Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

This stuff is strong, and it is really quite good in the Rattray's Red Raparee sort of way. This blend does not contain as much Virginia as Red Rap., so, it is a bit smoother in taste. It does taste very smoky and flavorful, and I can see where Latakia hounds will go nuts over this stuff.

This blend lights easily and packs well. It is too powerful to be considered an all-day smoke for this cowboy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Very Strong

I expected #1 to be the lighter of the two Latakia blends, but it turns out to be he opposite. It's a mostly dark blend, with about 30% medium color leaf. The initial aroma is heavy latakia, and lighting it confirms the impression. It smokes fairly well, but lacks the complexities of Latakia #2 (which is much lighter), or GLP Raven's Wing (which is about equal in richnesws). In summary, a pleasant enough evening smoke, but thee are others I much prefer.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mparker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mparker (51)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This is a stronger version of Latakia #2, with noticeably more latakia and a bit less of the other orientals. While not as complex as #2, it is nonetheless a nice, rich smoke with a spicy aroma.

Nobody has rated this review yet.