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Samarra is a rich and complex mixture, without being heavy. Matured red Virginia provides the basic structure and a delicate sweetness. A generous portion of Cyprian latakia is added for its smoky richness, and exotic, fragrant Oriental leaf provides fullness to the flavor. Finally, just a hint of lemon Virginia adds bit of brightness to the smoke, and a touch of perique adds its own unique piquancy.

Notes: From GL Pease: Samarra, along with Cairo, Mephisto and Renaissance, was one of the first blends to be offered under the G. L. Pease brand. In a sense, it is a refinement of Sublime Porte, a blend I produced years ago for Drucquer & Sons while working there, so it reflects a much longer history than the other blends in the line.

Despite a significant percentage of Cyprus Latakia, Samarra is not a Latakia powerhouse. It is rich and complex, relying as much upon the delicate sweetness and structure of matured red Virginias, and the exotic, fragrant nature of fine oriental leaf as it does on the smoky opulence of the Cyprian “King of Flavor.” The blend is finished with a hint of zesty lemon Virginia, adding a hint of brightness to the smoke, and a touch of perique, providing its own unique spice.

Samarra was introduced March, 2000

BrandG. L. Pease
Blended ByGregory Pease
Manufactured ByCornell & Diehl
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Packaging2 ounce tin, 8 ounce tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy BnB Tobacco
Product Image
None Detected
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 9 Users

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OSR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OSR (78)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This tobacco is highly, HIGHLY underrated; some people crave a latakia fix but this ain't one of them. There is a lot of interplay here. Like a William Faulkner novel, there are a lot of moving pieces to this blend. I put Samarra in the CLASSIC realm and there are few, true classics.

Background: Greg Pease knows how much I love this blend so he decided to give me a full background on the history of Samarra. 

Per Greg:

"Since you enjoy Samarra so much, here's the whole history of the blend. When I was working part time at Druquers, I wanted to create a blend just for me. I worked on it for weeks, finally coming up with something I really liked. I blended up a batch, and put it in a jar on the counter, offering samples to any who was willing. The reception to it was excellent, and I received some great feedback. I spent a little time adjusting it slightly, and created the final blend, Sublime Porte. It was very well received, and became a good seller for the shop.

When I was doing the first blends for F&P, I revived my old recipe. Some of the components weren't available any more, so I had to almost start over with the formulation. But, I really wanted to revive my old blend, so I went to work on it. Given quite a few years of experience behind me, the result, Silk Road, was actually better, in my taste, than Sublime Porte had been.

Eighteen months later, after starting over as GLPease, I was again at ground zero. In order to simplify the process of dissolving the partnership, I agreed not to use the old blend names or recipes. So, I re-created my favourite from the line, again, and introduced it as Samarra. Once again, I actually like the new one better than the old.

So, you can see, the blend actually has quite a long history - over 20 years. It's the only one of the Drucquer blends that I carried forward with me, as it was the only one that was 100% my creation from the outset. It remains one of my faves, and holds a very special place in my collection, and my heart." ~GL Pease

What always amazes me about Samarra is that it has the rich, round and full creamy smoke of a Balkan but it's just not quite that latakia-heavy. This isn't a latakia bomb. Layers of flavor is what you get here.

The Virginias are the first tobaccos that I notice upon lighting the bowl; sweet, rich and a little bit tart - but never hot. As I progress down the bowl the latakia comes into play and every once in a while the perique reminds me that it's there.

Towards the middle of the bowl all of the ingredients meld into one good flavor, none dominating and all contributing...smoking clean and true down to the bottom of the bowl. The different components still dance but it seems that the components have agreed that the sum of the whole are superior.

Wonderful! Greg's blends are very good but this is the most sublime and elegant of all. Rich, full but not heavy - Samarra is a class of it's own. This kind of blending is masterful, all the pieces contributing to the whole.

For those who crave latakia, try Charing Cross. For those who want to experience complexity, Samarra is a classic. Smoke a big bowl of Samarra. And please, don't smoke it in a pipe that you've smoked Cherry Jubilee in. Smoke slowly. SLOWLY. Examine the dottle. Good stuff, eh? Samarra is a classic's classic. 1,000 stars.

24 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (833)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Based on 6 month and 18 month old tins. Long, wide ribbons of a mottled color, mostly on the darker side. Tin notes differ between the two tins, with the younger tin having more of a heavy latakia aroma and the elder tin producing more of an oriental, strong cheese aroma. This translates to the taste as well. Quite frankly, a year of additional aging does quite a lot to this blend. The basic character is the same but the flavors meld tighter as it ages.

There seems to be a high amount of latakia here but it in no way overwhelms. The orientals really steal the show and they fold themselves into the latakia and red VA base rather than layer. Hard to explain but the tobaccos seem to be all of a piece rather than layered, as if there was some new strain of tobacco that was latakia/oriental/red va, all in one. I don't have any idea how this was accomplished but it's rather unique. As if that wasn't enough, there is a hint of perique exuberance and a lightly applied lemon VA for some light at the end of the maze. Complex indeed, but not wearing on the smoker due to this linearity and "one-ness". In the music world, this would be called a symphony.

I smoke a lot of tobaccos and write a lot of "reviews" but I still consider myself an amateur, and I have no greater insight into tobacco blends than any other amateur. Yet, this one strikes me as a stroke of genius. If I wanted to show someone the highest elevation of the blenders art (using nothing beyond my own opinion, of course), I would use GLP's Abingdon, Chelsea Morning and this one. However, taste being the final arbiter for my personal consumption, I'll smoke less of the first two than I will of this one. This is a genius blend that also suits my palate nicely, if not quite as completely as some other GLP blends. So it goes.

16 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2135)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

There’s a moderate amount of smoky, woody sweet Cyprian latakia that you’ll notice throughout the smoke, though it never takes the lead or undercuts the other tobaccos. You will probably notice it more at the start. The Oriental/Turkish is woody, a little herbal, with some dry notes and a hint of the sour. The red Virginia is tangy dark fruit sweet with a little earth, and is a star component while allowing the others to speak to your senses. The perique is raisin and a little pepper in a minor role, and the pepper isn’t evident in every single puff, but you'll know it's there. The lemon Virginia is citrusy in a supporting role. The Orientals seem to gain more prominence after the half day point, and to a small extent, that is also true of the red Va. Has a mild to medium nic-hit. Well balanced, complex, and rich in flavor, it’s fairly smooth and slightly creamy, though you lose just a little of that at the last four or five puffs. Burns at a moderate rate; cool with no harsh spots. Leaves almost no moisture. Has a pleasant after taste. Not an all day smoke, but not a power house either. You’ll be left standing when you’re done.

14 people found this review helpful.

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

This is an outstanding blend. The Latakia and Orientals combine to create a smoky, salty, buttery flavor that is enhanced by a gentle spice from the Perique. The Virginias provide a most welcome sweetness on the finish. The body is on the heavier side of medium and the flavors are very rich. This has replaced Charing Cross as my favorite Pease blend. I just can't get enough of this one. Well done, Mr. Pease.

Pipe Used: MM General

Age When Smoked: 2 months

Purchased From:

8 people found this review helpful.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (130)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Pease Pilgrimage Reviews (a tasting journey through every GLPease blend) Tin date: 20 May 2010

Appearance: This blend appears quite dark in the tin, a testament to the Latakia and Perique. The Virginias and Orientals appear as golden and olive-colored leaf but in much smaller quantities (at least visually) than I would expect from the description. The very occasional bright yellow fragments of lemon are scattered throughout.

Aroma: The olfactory fiends among us will really appreciate Samarra as it has an absolutely delicious tin aroma upon opening. My wife says she smells berries but could not quite identify which berries. It's got a little barbeque smokiness, a bit of sourness from the Perique and Orientals, and an herbal quality that is very nice. Not flowery herbs but the "warmer" herbs like fennel and chives. I guess those would be spices not herbs. Well, you get the point.

Pipe 1: Peterson dublin Pipe 2: Nording Signature freehand Pipe 3: Meer bent billiard (In case you're wondering why most of my English blends are tasted in these same pipes, it's because these are my star English smokers.)

Flavor: Let's get it out of the way right up front: this is an excellent blend. Certainly not a Latakia bomb, so if you're looking for an English/Balkan but don't like huge Lat, this is for you. But it's not really an Oriental "bomb" either, a quality that intrigues me. The blending skill in Samarra is readily evident, as all the ingredients truly display the very definition of symbiosis: "any interdependent or mutually beneficial relationship between two persons, groups, etc" (courtesy of Random House).

At first match the Latakia makes its best albeit short-lived appearance. It never fades completely, but it is never the star of the show and after two minutes all the flavors begin to meld. After the first third has turned to smoke, the bowl settles into a delicious experience that becomes...well, yes, "rich and complex." I like toasty as some of you may know, and I prefer the almost-burnt cookies and well-done toast. Samarra is for like-minded folks. I taste spice cake (if you can, imagine carrot cake but without the sweetness. Or maybe raisin bread, toasted of course!).

I'm trying to decide where to give the credit for that and it must be the Orientals and the blending magic for which Mr. Pease is famous. The sweet richness of the Virginias melded with the touch of Perique and the Orientals provide what is for me a really unique smoke. Although Pease says it has a "significant percentage" of Latakia, the flavor really does not corroborate that. I've not had anything else quite like it even though for me it falls squarely in the "Balkan" category. It is never uninteresting, and by varying the puffing cadence and therefore the temperature, one can experience a variety of flavors and intensity levels, all of which are pleasing. But I always return to sipping.

I sip virtually every tobacco I smoke nowadays, sometimes heating it up, then backing off to experience the whole spectrum of flavors. This is certainly a sipping tobacco as the subtleties and complexities can be lost amid big clouds of hot smoke. Hotter temps bring out that Oriental tang that tends to get me in the back of my throat but it's not at all disagreeable. It's more like "Come on baby make it hurt so good." Not that it hurts. It's just a metaphor for all you literary and metaphorical types out there.

Four stars of course. And a bit of regret that I didn't include a bunch of Samarra in my last TAD.

5 people found this review helpful.

Eulenburg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eulenburg (193)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I tried this blend because it was suggested to me that it resembled Fox' DORISCO, a great favourite of mine.

Although there is a pleasant Oriental background to the taste, and the Virginia is well used (it serves as a cushion to the entire composition, so that this is really a mix for Virginia fanciers) I found the basic taste muted, only very faintly reminiscent of DORISCO, with neither the exciting edge of that blend, nor its enlivening périque briskness.

This tastes like baby NIGHTCAP, if you can conceive of such a thing. It is smoother and sweeter, and smokes remarkably cool.

One can hardly notice the latakia: there is not enough of it to give depth, so it only contributes a wooden oaky mass that somewhat weighs the taste down. I find latakia rather boring these days: this might be the effect of the uninteresting Cyprus product that seems to have taken over for good, lately??especially in America.

The smell of SAMARRA in the tin is indeed delicious, although something suggested a very slight topping.

For those who are looking for the lightest of latakia blends.

5 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

Samarra is typical of most Pease Latakia laced blends. It is of top quality leaf, but the strength just isn't getting the job done for me. The perique was far off in the background which was appreciated.

I believe this will be a 4-star blend for those who enjoy the lighter Latakia fare. Just make sure you cellar it for a year or two before smoking for maximum enjoyment as the Pease Virginia leaf ages beautifully(IMO, of course.)

4 people found this review helpful.

al1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
al1 (58)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is good but I find it a little bland in terms of taste. I'm not really finding the complexity or rich taste others mentioned. Yes I have used a few different pipes.

I am a big Pease fan and this one I can see why some would really enjoy, but it is not intense enough to keep me interested. Don't get me wrong, it is good just not what I consider a stand out from the crowd blend.

I can see why people liking this sort of strength would love this. I just find it to be a midweight in terms of flavor, and I hate to say it but just a touch bland. Each to his own.

Normally this would ask for a lower rating from me, BUT considering the quality of leaf used and the well behaved manner of the tobacco. This earns a very solid 3 stars. There is nothing bad about it- it just does not get up to the level I enjoy.

If it grows on me I'll update.

Update: This has grabbed my attention a little better lately. About 3 weeks after I opened the tin things greatly improved. I never left the lid off but opened it every 4 or 5 days and let it breathe about 30 seconds and replaced the lid. The tin aroma and texture of the tobacco improved. It seemed to fulff up a bit.

It was about the 6th pipe I tried it in- then it hit me, all the different layers of taste sometimes taking turns or blending into nice combos. I had previously only smoked va tobaccos in this pipe and it was very clean. I find the blend like most needs it's own pipe. A straight, punto oro 506 Mr G Savinelli seems to be doing it the most good. Too big of a bowl and it just blurs all the tastes together too much. The perique is elusive but detectable.

Also to be noted, This is a good first or second smoke of the day. It really does go much better on a clean palate. I have found it to be extremely pipe picky, but when you find the right one it can be very rewarding. What most people would call a small deep bowl favors it. Most pipes that smoke red/orange fine cut va's well will work ok.

Still a very solid 3.5 stars though. Not quite a 4. better than a 3. I think one of the key points to all pease blends is they they offer volumous clouds of pleasent tasting smoke. This allows you to smoke at a medium to relaxed pace and get a good satisfying quanity of smoke from the pipe. You should not feel the need to rush these tobacco's. Even though I don't care for every pease blend, They are all well done.

Update: 4 stars, very complex. took longer than usual to appreciate this tobacco for what it is. Must get more.

3 people found this review helpful.

churchwarden398 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
churchwarden398 (19)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Update: 10/27/08 It is nearly a year later. Samarra has become my goto blend. At one point, I strongly considered not looking any further. NAH! This site is very enjoyable - so I must press on. However, Sammarra will remain a constant companion.

At the opening of the tin my olfactory glands noted what seemed to be the scent of a full-on English. To me that signals room note issues. That did not seem to be an issue after lighting up though.Upon lighting up, I tasted a wonderful array. Latakia was there with its wonderful smokiness and there was a stewed plum or currant taste. The lemon Virginia really shines in this one.There was some wetness in the bowl. However, the wetness was most likely due to my smoking it a bit fast during my fist bowl; as I wanted more of this wonderful blend.

I must agree with Pipeline here. Although Blackpoint is a fine blend this is more to my taste. Frankly,had this not been so I would have looked to another brand when I wanted something with Latakia. I would have returned to Mr. Pease for his wonderful Fillmore, though. Not to detract from them, but if you enjoy Mc Clelland's Frog Morton series - especially FMOTB; but were looking for more smoke - you might want to try this blend.

3 people found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (180)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Credit to GLP, firstly for the accuracy of the tobacco's description, and secondly for the quality of this smoke.

In the tin it is a mostly mahogany ribbon, with occasional black and blonde pieces. It comes in an optimal dryness for my tastes. There is a natural Va sweetness to the tin note with the predominant scent of Latakia.

Takes a light beautifully and burns without attention for the duration. It produces a rich and creamy smoke that is complex and lush. Occasional pepper notes, I presume from the perique, assert themselves from time to time, and this becomes moreso as the bowl progresses.

This is a beautiful tobacco that deserves its high praise. For me, I'm not entirely comfortable with this sort of perique presence in what might be called an English blend, altho this sort of thing has a long history and probably deserves its own genre name. The red Virginia so often used by GPS does its usual complex spicy thing. Won't be a regular for me, but certainly earns a place as an occasional change of pace pipe.

This is for me a 'sit and think' tobacco that I enjoy with a pot of tea. In fact I found a soothing drink a requisite when smoking this, to ease back the spice and pepper. For some pipesters I am confident this will be a further plus.

Pipe Used: Lepeltier

2 people found this review helpful.

oldcodger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldcodger (71)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I deem G.L. Pease's Samarra (one of the Original Mixtures) to be a vastly underrated brand. GLP has written that Samarra is a slightly tweaked version of a mixture he developed when he was but a pup working for the now long closed and lamented Drucquer's shop in San Francisco.

Samarra is a latakia, oriental, Virginia and perique mixture that is outstanding for its layered and nuanced complexity. Open the tin and you will smell a fermented tobacco that obviously contains latakia. The cut is a wide medium ribbon of a mottled but mostly dark hue, with a few spots of yellow.

The moisture level is about right. Fire it up and you will discover that the latakia strength is a little short of medium. The herbal oriental makes its presence known. The red Virginia seems to be the dominant note, providing a slightly sweet taste. There is also a bit of lemon Virginia, the yellow specks you note. The percentage of perique is just a dollap, not so noticeable in taste, but enough to give a tingle when exhaled from the nose. The overall taste is medium, but a bit low for a blend containing latakia and oriental.

The complexity of the mixture provides its greatest asset. When smoked contemplatively with full attention to the pipe it provides a pleasing variety in the nuances of the taste. The nicotine level is about medium. The room note is less offensive to non smokers than most blends with significant latakia.

I smoke this in pipes reserved for latakia/oriental blends, mostly low to medium priced offerings such as Peterson, Savenilli, and Sasieni.

I do not give four stars, highly recommended, when I think there is a significant number of pipesters whose personal preferences rule out blends that I personally find outstanding. But I believe that those who normally do not care for latakia will find the complexity of this blend pleasing if they take the time to smoke it carefully and enjoy its unique nuances. Likewise, the majority of those who do not care for perique will probably not find the amount in Samarra enough to nix their ability to enjoy this offering.

2 people found this review helpful.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (146)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I have been smoking from a 2002 batch of Samarra I tracked down, and I must say the difference that 7 years of aging brings is profound.

The latakia is even more subdued now, with the orientals coming to the forefront. The incense note I detected in the first tin has been amplified tenfold, and the sweetness of the VAs has also increased. I am pleased to note the impact of the perique is also more noticeable, as there is a distinct tendency to bite in fresh tins if the tobacco isn't allowed to go out every few minutes (in all fairness, this might be more a matter of my body's chemisty than a property of the tobacco).

As others have pointed out, this stuff is almost the definition of complexity. I like the aged product more than the fresh, but I still wish it had more of a kick. This is a very mild tobacco, but even at its most flavorful it seems like a Balkan light. That's not necessarily a bad thing, however, and even I (someone who craves powerful blends) can appreciate this on occasion. This is a four-star blend for those who like delicate Oriental-based blends; I cautiously recommend it for those who, like me, prefer flavor bombs. If you do buy this, let some age for a few years (at least five). It's worth it.

ORIGINAL REVIEW from 2007: Samarra is intriguing -at times the latakia is dominant, but the orientals and VAs take their turns at the forefront as the bowl progresses. Also, as other folks have pointed out, there is at times a flavor/aroma that's reminiscent of incense. My one complaint with this blend is that the flavor is simply too mild -- it tastes great, but the smoke simply doesn't have enough body to satisfy. In any case, I've got a couple of tins aging right now, as I think some age would do wonders for this mixture (the tin I smoked was only about 3 months old).

2 people found this review helpful.

BriarChef Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarChef (100)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Complex? I've seen fewer moving parts in a Swiss watch.

I first tried this in my little "taster" billiard and was underwhelmed. I now smoke it in the largest bowl I have and, and, and HOLY SMOKE! This blend has more twists and turns than a roller coaster, without the dizziness. If this bores you in the proper bore, you aren't doing it right.

Great layering of flavors, aromas and textures, this one begs to be huffed, but don't indulge your inner shop-vac, and keep the pace slow.

Right Tasty! Get some.

2 people found this review helpful.

Blackhorse Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blackhorse (90)
Mild Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

Original 2003: As one newer to pipe tobacco (having pretty much left cigar smoke trailing behind in pursuit of more refined pleasures) I imagine it is a rare blend that is both somewhat mild as well as providing incredible complexity. Samara is such a blend...with layers of flavor to delight the soul while remaining lighter and to my mind smoother than it's brethren in Pease's inventory. My first tin of this was a delight (2002 batch purchased is much of my stock) but on one of my forays into the local "shop scene" I discovered an entire shelf full of June or July (well, it was a "J" month, I forget which) from 2000! There are some occasions when I will gladly pay shop prices of about $2 more per tin over internet - and when I can get this kind of age in the tin it certainly is one of those times! Well, setting aside the 2002 until later I popped the top on the first 2000 tin (I bought six, gents) and the level of "wow" went up a hundred-fold! So softened and smooth, the borders between flavors were muted so that new dimensions were present in every puff. This is amazing stuff and the ideal weight (if you will) for an all day smoke. As a footnote, I also found quite a number of tins of Frog on the Town of the August 2000 vintage and can hardly wait to pop one of these...yes, I bought all those as well!

Update 2/08: This still continues to satisfy in the extreme. In it's favorite pipes it continues to be a go-to on regular occasions providing what I interpret as a unique delicate sweetness that no other blend has duplicated. Ideal as my morning smoke.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Update: I am giving this four stars. I enjoy this even more than Pease's Renaissance, which for me is saying something. Samarra is more balanced, with each varietal shinning through while playing in concert. It is one of Greg's very best blends. Really nice and will compete with Westminster for my attention during the cooler months.

9/14/2007: I am reviewing a tin of Samarra aged three and a half years, dated 04/2004. I was completely through all of my open tins/jars of medium English blends. It was time for Samarra.

Popping the tin revealed fermented, aged leaf mixed for visual appeal. Colors are multi-hued in near even proportions of light to dark leaf, with 20% medium browns. The leaf cut facilitates an easy load in any sized bowl. Moisture was just right, and it lit and burned without a hitch (one match rim to heel using the Frank Method).

From my experience, I could imagine that freshly tinned, Samarra would be a bit rough around the edges, bitey and perhaps "hyper". Aged, it is very cool, nicely flavorful, obvious without being pedestrian, rich, medium-flavored and round. There is a nice musty-creaminess that only comes from good leaf well-rested. It is a complex mixture, but does not wander much hither and thither. Samarra says "staple, daily blend."

Samarra is perhaps a bit too much for a morning blend (unless you never went to sleep to begin with!) It shows Greg's finesse clearly and does not duplicate Renaissance or Westminster (I am still aging Kensington, so I can't compare it).

Samarra is more about the Virginias and then Latakia, rather than Renaissance, with its deeper, spicier Turkish leaf. Samarra has less Latakia than Westminster and overall less nicotine. At times, the Turkish in Samarra gives a very slight bitter note, but nowhere like Blackpoint does for me. I really like the Perique in Samarra. It is "there", but not dominating and most noticeable the last few minutes of a bowl.

2 people found this review helpful.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I am raising my recommendation level, based upon a further tasting, and the change in the rating system. I may have only smoked it occasionally, because Renaissance was more "operatic" in flavor. However, it is a great blend, one of the best ever.

Appearance: A random cut, with some medium width ribbons. Mostly red leaf, with some darker elements.

Aroma: A typical English blend, with the emphasis on the Virginias. There is obviously some Latakia present, and some Oriental, but the Va. seems to be the key player here.

Packing: Packs well into normal size pipes.

Lighting: Takes flame easily. After charring and tamping, the relight is just a touch of flame.

Initial flavor: As expected from the aroma, the red Va. is the star. The other tobaccos play as condiments only. There may be Perique present, but it is in such a quantity that it whispers only.

Mid-bowl: Remains basically as it began, a rich flavored, medium strength English blend. For me, the taste remained quite uniform, little layering noticed. The taste is quite a treat, being sweet, smokey and spicey all at the same time, so I would not call it monochromatic, just constant. Of course, YMMV.

Finish: Ends with just a bit of Perique tingle (it will always show up at the end).

Summary: Because of the constancy of the taste, this is an English I can smoke while working on other things. The taste just keeps coming, whether I concentrate on it or not.

2 people found this review helpful.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Mr. Pease really gave this blend a really interesting name. Samarra is a city in Iraq, but it also translates as "BIG ROUND BEER BELLY" in Polish! Aside from that, this really is a wonderful blend.It is best described as RICH. It is a flourless double chocolate cake with chocolate sauce drizzled on top.I would say a fair analogy is "Missippi Mud" light.This is very much a full English-almost balkan like in character and taste. The condimental leaf balances very well with the Virginias.The latakia adds depth and the perique a certain richness.It also has a very strong oriental element to it.I smoke this all day long.As I stated it is rich but not spicy.As an after dinner smoke I think you might lose something.I will be trying other Pease blends in the future. I like to make comparisons to blends I have reviewed when witing about a new one,so here goes the comparison. Take NAT SHERMAN #536 (in the tin) and add perique.That should give you a good idea what this is all about. 4 of 4 stars!

2 people found this review helpful.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is without a doubt the most sublime treat from the Dark Lord that I have tried yet. I have enjoyed several Pease blends quite alot, but this takes the cake! It doesn't jump out at you, and the first bowl may very well leave you wondering what all the fuss is. Trust me- stick with it! This blend is one of the most subtle you will try. There is a complexity that just doesn't stop. The back bone here is the Red Va leaf. It is nice and sweet and anything but dull in and of itself. Add just a smoky touch of smooth Cyprian and some citrusy Lemon VA's and you're off to the races. But Greg doesn't stop there! Then he adds just the perfect amount of the Ragin' Cajun' stuff. Not enough too ever get peppery, just enough to get you in the sweet zone now and then. Smoke it nice and slow, and you'll have an experience indeed. The tins I have been smoking out of are from 2001, so a bit of age might help as well. This stuff never bit and had great burning characteristics. I did find that this blend needs to breathe a little before giving its optimum performance. Pop the top and let it sit for a week or two and you will have a masterpiece on your hands. This is very similiar to EMP, but the perique and Lemon Va's add quite a lot more complexity, and take some of the focus off of the Va base. You will never find a more sophisticated and delicious smoke anywhere. Get some now- and pray it never goes out of production!

2 people found this review helpful.

Stogie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stogie (26)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Move over Caravan, I've found a new favorite Pease blend. After multiple disappointing experiences with Pease blends, (namely Cairo and Haddo's), I was thrilled to not only finish a tin of Caravan, but to throroughly enjoy doing so. That said, my expectations for Samarra were still not terribly high. What a pleasant surprise!

Visual: This tobacco has a nice velvety look to it, short ribbon cut, and not as much "dust" as I seem to find in other Pease blends. The Red Virginia dominates the mix, and that's just fine with me!

Texture: Typical Pease blend, (on the dry side, and perfect springiness for packing right out of the tin).

Pack/Pipe: As I am used to smoking VA flakes, I have to remind myself to pack ribbon cut a bit firmer to ensure a consistent burn. Fortunately, the moisture content allows for some inconsistency in packing. I enjoyed this blend most in an Alpha Apple, and Dunhill Redbark Pot and a Svendborg Brandy. All wide shallow bowls.

Lighting/Burn: One match to char, one to light for the long run. Usually needed at least two matches to finish the bowl, which is surprising considering the dryness of the blend.

1st 3rd:WOW! The flavor is just outstanding. There is so much going on in this initial portion, that I don't know where to start. Rather than being a Latakia dump, the Virginias carry the beginning, and add some class and depth to the blend.

2nd 3rd: Blend warms up a bit here, (probably the VA's, and loses a little sweetness. A slight pleasant bitterness shows up here, and reminds me to keep my puffing rythmic.

Final 3rd: Still some tangy VA tones here, and I've fully marinated my mouth in good Latakia smokiness. Always seem to have some unburnt tobacco in the bottom of the bowl, probably due to my aggressive tamping with non-flake blends.

Notes: Well, each Pease English blend I try keeps rating higher in my notes. Considering I've only been through 2 of them so far, I am rather excited to sample the rest! I will mention that it is difficult to taste another non-Latakia blend after smoking this one.

Stogie Rating: 9 Magnificent Montecristos

2 people found this review helpful.

final_id Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
final_id (35)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I really dig this stuff. I am a Latakia phreak, seeking it in all its forms in the universe. I will some day visit the town of Latakia, I am sure -- once hostilities over there have ceased, pro'lly. Anyway, this is my first G.L. Pease tobacco, and I am mightily impressed. It's very easy to pack and light -- a dry but nicely pliant ribbon cut, with deep blacks mixed alongside medium and light browns. The can is too danged small -- scatterings all over the desktop! The light is quick and satisfying, a one-match burn. And the ash is clean, white, without impurities. Very classy.

The attitude behind the flavor is fully tobacco, not some kind of "make it more palatable for people" type of fakery. But it's not overwhelmingly strong. And the Latakia level is less than many of my favorite smokes -- Balkan 15 of Smoke 'n' Snuff being foremost -- but this still seems more tangy, like I like it. I can't add anything to what's already been said in the many reviews that precede me, except that I'm really impressed. Looking forward to Pease's "Renaissance" when I can find it. Until that time, I'm making this one of my number-one smokes. The refinement in production is clearly a high priority of the GLP creations -- no stems in the mixture, consistent flavor tin to tin, and so forth.


Additional notes: This is the greatest tobacco I've ever smoked. It gets better with each application. I have a hard time not squandering it, and instead relishing every pot, since it's such an easy, quick smoke, burning dry and taking a match so readily.

2 people found this review helpful.

howie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
howie (46)
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

Labeled a medium latakia, but the latakia content is relatively light from a flavor perspective. I opened this tin in May, 2002 from the October 2001 batch, so it had a solid 7 months in the tin. This is an extremely flavorful and complex smoke that does especially well in larger bowls later in the day. The blend is very well balanced with no tongue bite.

The tobacco itself has a high proportion of medium colored leaves with 30% or so dark leaves (latakia and perique) and a sprinkling of lighter leaves. The cut is primarily a largish ribbon. There is a small portion of partially rubbed cake (virginia, I assume). The tin aroma is on the sweet, fruity side rather than the smoky sense one gets from heavy latakia blends. While fruity, it does not recall the fig scent that is characteristic of Haddo?s, and to a lesser extent, Cairo.

The smoking characteristics are very good. It is easy to keep lit; I went over 90 minutes from first light on a recent, large bowl.

The smoke itself starts nicely from the start, sweet, but not cloying. A very full flavor ranges through the middle of the palate, without the extreme lows of heavy latakias nor the extreme sharp brightness of some virginias. The characteristics change frequently through the bowl. Occasionally nutty or a slight sourness dominates for short periods of time. Very tastey and highly recommended.

May 2002.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Samarra is notable in that it breaks free of the pack of traditional English blends (including other equally distinctive Pease mixtures) and offers something new. Not a particularly heavy tobacco, Samarra at first seems a little dominated by latakia, but soon opens up to a complex array of flavors accented by a subtle sweetness that carries through the rest of the bowl. The second half reminds me of a sturdy Cabernet wine with "spicy tobacco notes". I've never had another tobacco that tasted like wine that tasted like tobacco (?), so I have to commend Mr. Pease on broadening the spectrum of pipe tobacco flavors and offering something genuinely original.

This blend stays lit, burns cool and is easy on the tongue - very pleasant to exhale through nose. I believe that a little aging will mellow the very slight young, grassy characteristic I noticed towards the beginning of the bowl.

2 people found this review helpful.

Sceny Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sceny (66)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

On the can, this is referred to as a "medium Latakia mixture". This is true; the Latakia is not as strong as in, say, Mephisto or Dunhill 965 or Renaissance. But even knowing this, I found myself enjoying this blend more than my usual favorite full English mixtures. This is damn good stuff! On opening the can, I notice a very complex aroma of Latakia and brighter notes with a hint of sweetness, none of which tend to dominate each other. The tobacco is multicolored and well-mixed, with black, medium brown and light brown in roughly equal amounts. The cut is medium to long, making packing a bit tricky, and the moisture level is on the average to dryish side. It lights easily, puffing up when the flame hits the leaf, and burns very well throughout the bowl, needing a below average number of relights. I selected my brand new 2000 Christmas Tinsky pipe for the first bowl. In the first third, The Latakia is apparent, the smoky, musty flavor very satisfying. The other tobaccos, however, are just as important in the flavor: the Virginias add a bright sweetness, and the others add a depth and complexity that changes with every puff. In fact, if I had to use one word to describe this blend, it would be "complexity". It is amazingly dynamic and multifaceted, even more so than Renaissance; I have never tasted a tobacco with as many different layers as this one. And yet, the various flavors are not strident and competing; the smoke is very smooth and the tastes are complementary. Moving on to the second third of the bowl, and its pretty much the same story. I'm getting flashes of sweetness, strong Latakia, nuttiness, and too many other flavors to list. There is not a hint of bite up to now, and no moisture that I notice. About halfway through, I am noticing a bit of a spicy element that adds nicely to the other flavors, most likely from the Perique. The last third is approaching, and I don't want this bowl to end! The complex mix of flavors is perhaps a bit darker than earlier, but the smoke is just as smooth and bite-free as ever. I find myself puffing too hard, just to get more of the smoke. There is a bit of moisture at the very bottom, but it isn't anything to worry about. The flavor lasts right to the bottom; I was sucking ash before I knew it. Overall, what can I say? This is simply the best tobacco I have ever smoked. I even prefer it to Renaissance and Frog Morton, though I would choose those when I'm in the mood for a darker, richer blend. The level of complexity and the manner in which all of the various flavors combined to support each other was nothing short of amazing. You've done it again, Mr. Pease; highly recommended to anyone with functioning taste buds!

2 people found this review helpful.

LannarkGent Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LannarkGent (106)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Samarra is a very interesting blend. The bright Virginias play nicely with the orientals. The perique and latakia while condimental, provide the perfect foil for the whole blend. The oriental presence is mildly stronger than I like, but this blend grows on one as time goes by. All in all, Samarra is a very delightful smoke.

1 person found this review helpful.

twaksak Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
twaksak (54)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

Difficult review as no specific flavour stood out; but that's just why its so beautiful for me. Well balanced. Not the Latakia, or the VA, or the Perique or the Oriental/Turkish took any dominant position. Therefore....

Tin: Smoky, mouldy and just a hint of spice. Some orange-zest there.

Taste: Here is where no element stood out to the front - just a well-balanced, typical English blend where all 4 elements comes together to give you a buttery, silky smooth English blend. In that sense, probably complex, but in a good way.

I would easily smoke this all day round; being someone who loves anything English / Balkan.

YT review YouTube Video

Pipe Used: Savinelli & Pietenpauw

Age When Smoked: fresh

1 person found this review helpful.

Llewellyn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Llewellyn (9)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Extremely sweet and smooth although the initial room-note by the non-puffers is reported as strong. Wonderful flavour the entire bowl in large or small. Perique often irritates me, but not in this tobacco. Excellent and highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Large

Age When Smoked: 3 years

Purchased From: Cupojoes

1 person found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (202)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is an amazingly smooth blend with great flavor. It's perceptibly sweet, creamy and the Virginia's have a warm tone and taste slightly toasty. The perique adds a bit of tang giving just a touch of complexity, the sweet/sour interplay is quite nice and really helps to elevate the flavor profile.

The amount of perique in Samarra is quite reserved and the Latakia comes across with much less punch when compared to some of GLP's bigger Balkans. Yet somehow this one is just as flavorful, although it's a bit lighter in terms of body. Sweet, airy, nuanced, balanced, complex, flavorful, spicy and fragrant, it's all there in this exceptionally crafted blend.

This is one of GLP's very first offerings and easily one of the best Latakia blends in the Original Mixture series. I consider Samarra a perfect counterpart to Odyssey. It even has the same incredible end-bowl crescendo.

Pipe Used: Meer, and various brairs

Age When Smoked: 6

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Solid, complex rich blend that delivers what is advertised. Great when a medium-strong English is what you crave. Burns to a fine ash. Very well blended.

Pipe Used: Nording Freehand, Peterson

Age When Smoked: Tin dated 14-JAN-2011

Purchased From: Corona Smoke Shop, Jackson, MI

Similar Blends: Other excellent, complex English blends are out there. The age of very good tobacco for pipes and cigars, and great microbrews for us beer guys, is upon us!.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I usually don't like to read other reviews before I make my own, but in this case, I did "cheat ". My problem was I was having trouble lighting and keeping lit this blend; it appeared to be very non-uniform in the cut and I was forced to smoke at a faster pace and with more relights than was pleasant. Consequently, the flavors became very muddled, hot spice and gave a very middle of the road blend. I tried this both from a "cob" and a bulldog briar and the results were better from the briar. I also tried drying the tobacco for 6 seconds in a microwave and then rubbing it out; this also improved the burn.

Most all of the previous reviews were very positive , but hidden within these reviews were indications that all was not "glowing":

DK , 11/25/12 " Quite frankly, a year of additional aging does quite a lot to this blend"

Darth Vader-10/24/12 " Its got good body but this is not an imposing tobacco"

derlict311-8/30/12 " on the heavy side of mild. I didn't find it "big" at all"

SirLoirn 4/19/11 " from stringy to coarse ribbon, including small pieces of flake."

John Offerdahl 1/8/11 " The spiciness of the flavor increases in the second half of the bowl,when both the Orientals and perique assert themselves more."

I don't mean to take reviewer comments out of context , but the above statements I agree with, and find this blend as a middle of the road ,mild Balkan , without bold flavor. I won't buy again, not that it is real bad it's just not for me.

1 person found this review helpful.

Darth Vader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth Vader (110)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

In two words: Smooth and smokey. Its got good body but this is not an imposing tobacco. Other commenters are right about it having complexity. While the latakia is noticable this is IMO still driven by the Va's. Very nice and well worth a try.

1 person found this review helpful.

derlict311 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
derlict311 (70)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I was pleasantly surprised by Samarra. The orientals tone down the intensity that I'm use to with most Pease offerings. Light enough to smoke a few bowls and enjoy equally and with enough taste to require you to focus on what your smoking. This is the one, for me. Reflective, gentle, and on the heavy side of mild. I didn't find it "big" at all. Four stars for sure as it hits on all points of my ideal flavor profile.

Update 2/1/13: I just finished a ten year old tin of Samarra. Age has been kind to it, but I think with less age it is still a masterpiece. I crave a bowl of this often, even with dozens of options in the drawer. This is my go-to, light/medium, Balkan- esque tobacco. Bright and sunny on a cold winter day...Highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

SirLoirn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirLoirn (126)
Medium Extremely Mild Full Strong

Tin: mmddyy date on bottom: 092607. Definite rich herbal smell, mostly the smoky opulence of Latakia. Black to brown, from stringy to coarse ribbon, including small pieces of flake. Feels quite dry.

Taste & Aroma: Definite pungent and smoky Latakia. What contribution Perique makes to this is difficult to sort out.

Nicotine: Moderate

Room Note: Tolerable to strong

Overall: Latakia is the predominate experience. The Virginia and everything else have all married together into one, after almost 4 years of age.

1 person found this review helpful.

Armond Washington Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Armond Washington (2)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is by far the best English blend I've tried. As noted many times previously, this is a complicated blend--so much so that I feel it is very adaptable, lending itself to more occasions than other, simpler blends might.

At first light, and every time it gets hot, the Latakia comes to the front. After cooling to a more appropriate smoking ember, the Virginia and Oriental start to interact in very surprising and compelling ways. They weave in and out, each taking its appropriate place--sometimes the lead, other times the harmony, still others the perfect balance of counterpoint--like players in an orchestra. The Latakia remains softly in the background. At times the smoke is sweet and clean and at other times musty and mysterious; I haven't yet been able to ascertain whether this signals a change in the smoke or merely in my attention.

There is a quality to the interplay in Samarra that I feel is best described as musical. Perhaps only those who have smoked this blend will understand that I intend no pontification when I say that smoking a bowl of Samarra is something like listening to a symphony.

1 person found this review helpful.

Denevei Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Denevei (58)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong

Pease's Samarra is a nicely complex, pleasant mix of Virginias with Cyprian Latakia, Orientals, and Perique. The blend has a mottled appearance, mostly of dark and light browns with occasional flecks of gold. The tin aroma is fairly typical of an English blend, with wafts of latakia predominating, and comes at just about an ideal moisture level. From the start, it is the Cyprian latakia that drives the blend, bringing the leathery, smoky flavor for which latakia is known. Mr. Pease, as always, has selected the finest components available, and that comes through the airway with each puff. The Orientals and perique play nicely as undertones, providing a nice sense of pepper and spice, and a slight hint of figs deeper into the bowl. The Virginia bouys the blending, adding a subtle and pleasant sweetness and character. The deeper into the bowl I smoked, the more complexity and flavor play I noticed. To me, Cyprian latakia has its own sweetness that I enjoy, and which brings me back to a blend time and again. Yet while the latakia is the primary flavor throughout the smoke, the flavors of the other components bring some nice treats. The spiciness of the flavor increases in the second half of the bowl, when both the Orientals and perique assert themselves more. Overall, the flavor becomes richer yet remains smooth and bite-free. I would recommend Samarra to any fan of English blends, but believe it would appeal almost as much to those who prefer Balkans. To me, this is a can't-miss blend.

1 person found this review helpful.

Marshall Law Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Marshall Law (50)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a well-crafted, nicely balanced blend that highlights the Latakia rather than beating you over the head with it. The smoke experience is full, mellow, flavorful, and highly enjoyable, with the sweet, nutty orientals coming into their own mid-bowl. Unlike some McClelland blends, there is no overabundance of sweet virginias, which in this case decidedly take a back seat and more minor supporting role in this mixture. Lights and burns easily. Also, unlike many other Pease blends, Samarra is not hot, or biting. Similar in some ways to McClelland's excellent Three Oaks blends, although I do prefer the Syrian latakia found in Three Oaks Syrian. This is good stuff for the lover of delicately balanced, lightly blended Latakia mixtures, and is a nice medium balkan. The small amount of detectable perique and lemon adds real interest. A fine result! Three stars.

Update 8-3-2010: This is becoming one of my go-to blends when I am in the mood for cyprian latakia, although, to be honest, I find myself cheating, undermining the intents and designs of the blender, by deliberately picking through the tin and enhancing the portion of latakia that finds its way into each bowl...and then I must add some straight latakia back into the tin by the bottom 1/4 of it...Still, in all, a very good blend and very high quality tobacco throughout. Just a caution: Don't push on the cadence or the typical Pease orientals can be a bit harsh on the throat.

(field note 9-27-2010): I opened a nicely aged tin of Samarra today, and as if the tobacco gods had observed my update above, I was greeted by an unexpected prize while sifting around in the contents..two big, dense stow-away chunks of latakia, about 1/8" by 1/4" by 2". Of course, I promptly shredded them and mixed them in. Upon lighting the bastardized result, I was rewarded with a super-samarra, a veritable cyprian lat-bomb of epic proportions! This stuff makes Caravan seem like Frog Morton. After a small feat of engineering to get it burning really well, I railed away at this cyprian sledgehammer for nearly two hours in a large Ser Jacopo. The cowardly virginias and other orientals didn't even peek out from their hiding place until the last 1/4 of the bowl. My imprudence, excessive cadence, and disregard for the intended balance of the original mixture, was also answered with an astonishing, dizzying buzz-bomb from Uncle Nic. This super-samarra is a potent piledriver. It eventually fried down impeccably to a fine white dust. I'm putting this frisky vixen away for special occasions when I want to pummel myself into a sublime stupor of Peasean bliss. A five-star accident of random chance.

1 person found this review helpful.

cut-shot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cut-shot (10)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I have been smoking Samarra on and off for several years and recently have been solely on a Virginia kick over the last couple of years so I haven't gone to this blend for quite some time. I recently decided to fill a bowlful and put a match to it. Oh the complexity of this fine leaf is amazing! What have I been missing? I cannot imagine a finer blend anywhere! Sure it's not the heaviest of the English venue however this is as good as it gets for me. I absolutely love this tobacco! 4 stars for sure

1 person found this review helpful.

BTC Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BTC (3)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This stuff is unstoppable! A couple years ago, I bought two five year old tins off of ebay, and I've never smoked anything as good. I've been stockpiling it ever since. A bit of cellaring mellows it quite nicely.

I generally prefer a Latakia laden blend, and I tend to shy away from a Perique-heavy mix (I can't even get through a bowl of Haddo's, let alone enjoy it). Samarra has a smokey, creamy, rich taste, and it has a velvet like texture. There is definitely a lot of complexity here, but the creamy, butteriness is what gets me. I certainly wouldn't object to more Latakia, but the thing I really like is the hint of Perique which I think adds some noticeable depth to the flavor. There's a very interesting intersection of flavors that I generally don't notice in other Perique & Latakia mixtures (Epiphany for example). Perhaps it's the Orientals or VA's?

If you like english (or at least light english) blends, I would suggest you give this one a try - cellared if at all possible.

1 person found this review helpful.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (84)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

My first few bowls of this were wildly variable. My first bowl was "wow -- this is great!". But my next few were "meh -- nothing special", or worse.

But I finally found a pipe (a large-bowled brandy) that brought out the potential I knew it had, and it is very nice indeed! Creamy -- even buttery -- smoothness, delectably spicy without dominating the blend, soft and well-rounded latakia tones. A beautifully balanced medium english blend with lots of complexity to maintain interest. It seems to straddle the line between english & balkan perfectly. Would make a good, classy all-day blend. Definitely recommended -- if you find the right pipe to bring it to life.

1 person found this review helpful.

Dug Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dug (18)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

It's difficult to add meaningfully to the many reviews below, but the more I smoke Samarra, the more I like it.

It is lighter on the Latakia than most of the English and Balkan fare I prefer, but thoroughly satisfying. It shines as a masterful blend, rather than as a showpiece for any single of its constituent tobaccos. At the risk of appearing deliberately alliterative, the adjectives that come to mind while pondering its allure are complex, clean, and creamy. There is nothing harsh about this blend, yet it has an uncanny depth that rewards patience and attention. If I were to attempt a byline for Samarra, it would be: "Sophisticated incense for the contemplative smoker."

As my affinity for this blend grows, so does my concern that I don't have more of it in my cellar...

1 person found this review helpful.

joseph Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
joseph (46)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

A mild tobacco with many layers of different tastes. This tobacco is a prove of real mastership blending.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Samarra is the most complex of all GLPease English/Balkans, and the only one where Virginias are in the frontline most of the time. Excellent combination of Orientals and Latakia make this masterpiece the perfect choice for those who want a little more Latakia in their English mixtures but feel overwhelmed by heavy Balkans.

Should I had to choose only one GLPease tobacco, this would probably be the one. Luckily, that's not the case, so I have plenty of Charing Cross, Odyssey, Haddo's, Abingdon and many others.

1 person found this review helpful.

Auld Eire Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Auld Eire (12)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Samarra beats Haddo's, and Westminster...and Odyssey. There, I said it. This is the leaf I leave in my stash until I need to experience the perfect blend...the 'why' in why I smoke. Smooth, full, mood-enhancing...Samarra is a four-star blend. But it's much more - it's the magic of Greg Pease. Many tobaccos astound. Samarra transcends. Body without burley. A remarkable, dark sweetness, with no detectable casing or topping. The orientals sing, while the latakia plays bass, and the Virginias and Perique blow trumpet and sax. Genius...pure genius. Fertile Crescent, Mesopotamia, Eden, whatever. Sarr min ra?a is "a joy for all..." : j

1 person found this review helpful.

Ben Rich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ben Rich (34)
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant

I just finished a 2 oz. tin of Samarra that had about three months on it before I opened it. I believe additional aging would improve this blend, not that it is in need of much improvement. I found the description on the tin to be exact, particularly that part about the blend not being heavy. It is an ideal first-morning-smoke for me when I want a bowl during the first quiet peaceful hours of the day. I also occasionally enjoyed it as an evening reading smoke; this is a time when I usually prefer something heavier, such as Odyssey, Abdingdon or even C&D's Byzantium. I would recommend this for those who are interested in trying out a good Balkan or English (I can never tell the difference between Balkans and English blends), especially if they have smoked nothing but aromatics or straight Virginia. Highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

MadMarv Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MadMarv (15)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Before finding GLP tobaccos, I thought I disliked Perique. Somehow, Pease blends get the most of the fruity fullness without too much of the pepper- indeed I would call his results mellow. Add this to a classic English style blend and the result is a beautiful, rich and (yes) mellow smoke that lacks nothing. It has quickly become my everyday blend. I find it wonderfully complex but not ever overwhelming, and good at any time of day.

Similar (but fuller) tobaccos I've tried: GLP Blackpoint, C&D Epiphany.

1 person found this review helpful.

wosbald Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wosbald (111)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

In the tin, the aroma of the long-cut, medium ribbon is dominantly of virginia and orientals. There are lighter whiffs of latakia and perique.

The flavor is complex, light and nuanced. The top-quality virginias are in the foreground. The latakia and orientals are ever present, though not dominant. Perique is a minor, though crucial, element.

It is a very nuanced, elegant, and delicately sweet blend with enough latakia and perique spice to keep it interesting. Aging is highly recommended. This seemed to work best in narrow to medium gauge chambers.

1 person found this review helpful.

zionhead1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zionhead1 (26)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I was given a sample from a friend of mine who is exploring the world of Pease one or two cans at a time. I absolutely love Haddo's and was excited about trying this one. Samarra is Fantastic, Wonderful, Fragrant and sits well on the top shelf where it belongs. At first puff, you know this not your ordinary smoke. No one tobacco stands alone, and the aroma is intoxicating. I swear it smells like Frankincense stones burning!! Kudos to you Mr. Pease!! through out the bowl it stands to say it is a very Exotic, Full and Delightful smoke. I may get some to have around through the Holidays, especially. it has that wonderful magical presence.

1 person found this review helpful.

tonyg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tonyg (103)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A careful reading of the reviews herein will show that most of those who do not give this wonderful blend 4 stars are VERY partial to heavy latakia blends. If that is what you are looking for, you may find Samarra a nice change of pace. Better still, try another of the Pease blends that have a greater portion of latakia. If, however, you enjoy latakia as a condimental tobacco, Samarra is sure to please. It has a natural sweetnes unlike what I have experienced in any other tobacco. Perfect burning all the way down to the bottom of the bowl as well as a well as a great response to DGT.

I was so impressed with Samarra, that I purchased 6 pounds of it three years ago. Every tin gets better and better as it ages. Fortunately, it is only one of the many tobaccos that I have cellared, so I have about 5 pounds left. I can't wait to see what this will be like as time goes by.

1 person found this review helpful.

calavera Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
calavera (26)
Mild None Detected Medium Tolerable

I am currently smoking a tin from 2002. Very subtle smoke. I really have to pay attention to catch every detail. The beautiful part is that I want to devote that kind of attention to it because it is that good.

Has a very nice sweetness from the Virginias with a nice smoky, spicy note from the latakia and orientals. The perique is there, and must add something, but happily it does not announce its presence loudly, but rather acts to support the other tobaccos.

I have one more tin of this from 2003, and I plan on putting a couple of other tins in the cellar soon.

1 person found this review helpful.

bigjonburley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigjonburley (64)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco is a gem. I was immediatly taken by the beauty of the leaf that comprises this mixture. The orientals are especially beatiful, with shades of olive and limestone. I knew when I opened the tin and took a wiff that I was in for a treat. I love English blends that have a balance in the blending that leads to a complex, metamorphasizing experiece. Unlike in many of the English style blends that carry a huge portion of latakia, this blend does not. But the real trick here is that there's just enough latakia to spark the balance, and enhance the roles, the other tobaccos play. This smoke is wonderfully complex. The burn is quite clean. The smoke is quite light on the pallet as well. There's really no aftertaste, to speak of. I have smoked a tin of this stuff in the past week and, everytime I go to pack up something else....well I just load up the Samarra instead. G.L. Pease, bravo!

1 person found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (303)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

Less full than the other GLPease Latakia mixtures. Both slightly smoky and slightly fruity in tin aroma, probably due to the inclusion of Perique, and very smooth when smoked: it is like velvet, especially if (like me) you are used to the stronger Caravan, Odyssey and Raven's Wing. Of all of Greg's latakia offerings, this is among the ones I like less: it's not bad at all (hey, it's very refined, and if you are looking for a lighter blend than Renaissance it's perfect), but it's something lighter and more on the lines of Celebrated Sovereign (as intensity, not as taste: CS is sweeter, as the Syrian latakia has a different flavour, and less tasty - and it bites a bit) than the kind of mixtures I prefer. Nonetheless, a good quality tobacco with the typical style of Greg's mixtures: for notes on burning qualities of all of his fine offerings, cut and general considerations, take a look at my other reviews.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

This would be an ideal introductory English blend for the jaded aromatic smoker. Several months ago, I navigated my pickup truck down to the local cigar/pipe shop cum fishing tackle store with the intention of discovering an ?honest? pipe tobacco among their proprietary, aromatic, palate-cloying tobacco jar blends. They showed me around the store and offered to sell me some assorted items in their tinned aromatic line, but I demurred. ?I want an honest, manly tobacco--no additives or embellishments.? ?But the only other SKUs we have contain awful, smelly, vile and disgustingly old-fashioned Latakia-contaminated tobacco.? ?What the heck,? I thought, ?that doesn?t sound too bad.? I snagged a sample of G.L. Pease?s ?Samarra? and, having paid for my purchase, levered open the tab-topped container . ?Hey,? I proclaimed, ?this stuff smells like good Scotch whiskey.? Aromatic smokers--to a man--they gingerly sniffed with wrinkle-nosed disdain at the proffered can. ?Be sure to only smoke that outdoors in a throw-away pipe. It stinks like burning rope and will ruin your good briars in a hurry.? Having smoked a goodly amount of rope in my misspent youth, with little evident harm to my person or pipes, I began to doubt the well-intentioned advise I was receiving. ?I?ll be sure to observe your every precaution,? I averred as I left their store, whereupon I promptly loaded a generic and geriatric Italian bent apple to the rim and ignited it greedily. Whadda yuh know? This isn?t too bad. In fact, it seems to be pretty good stuff. It tastes smoky and earthy, with some--what is that...cinnamon and cloves?! Holy socks, there?s a carnival of flavor combusticating in my pipe! What irony: I wanted plain ?unembellished? tobacco, but got a rococo pipe-smoking experience instead. I have long since gleefully ruined that Italian bent apple with generous quantities of Latakia-contaminated tobacco. I now wish someone ha

1 person found this review helpful.

The Keeper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Keeper (112)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Update - 6/14/04 -

I've set some of this up to breathe and marry for a few months and have come back to vastly improved mixture. While I enjoyed Samarra initially, age does wonders for the fullness and depth of this tobacco. I believe it maintains the number one slot as my favorite "light balkan".

------------- Though some may say that this tobacco - particularly for a Balkan/oriental blend - is a bit mild, it happened to be exactly what I was looking for.

The much loved Latakia initially blasts the smoker - but soon the orientals and VA kicks in. The overall effect is a tangy, light smoke burns cleanly and consistently. It is robust due to the latakia and orientals, and just slightly spicey towards the end. I don't find this an extremely complex or multi-layered blend like other offerings from Mr. Pease, but all in all a very high quality set of ingredients that are skillfully blended.

It reminds me of Dunhill's Durbar without the powerhouse smell/nicotine/harshness that I find with that tobacco. I feel with Samarra I can enjoy a Balkan blend that isn't a wimp - but at the same time won't leave me feeling abused.

1 person found this review helpful.

CaptnDan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaptnDan (242)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I find Samarra to be a full-bodied Va blend that flirts with the border, almost crossing into Balkan territory. The Oriental is full flavored and round, and exceptionally smooth. The Latakia is Cyprian, not as much as a presence as the Syrian variety. Perique is used in perfect measure, and adds dimension without screaming its presence. The Va and Oriental are the stars of this show, supplemented by Latakia and Perique used as condiments.

The tobacco is very attractive to look at, mostly medium brown with some dark brown and a bit of bright leaf providing contrast. It?s a short cut with only a stem or two. Samarra lights easily, and stays lit with little effort. It produces a gray ash that is so fine it will blanket the underlying tobacco and deprive it of air ? you?re going to have to dump the ash on this one a couple of times if you?re using a deep bowl. And I wholeheartedly recommend that you do use a larger bowl. The complexity is a bit diminished in a small bowl. There is a nice Perique flourish at the end.

Overall, I would say that Samarra is a full-bodied Va mixture that is light on the palate. Plenty of depth from the Latakia, with Perique and Va providing the highs and Oriental competently rounding out the middle. A well rounded mixture, with no other leaf so potent as to fully overshadow the sweetness of the Va leaf. Another fine effort by Mr. Pease.

1 person found this review helpful.

dangpipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dangpipes (22)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Another great one from GL Pease. Right now this is at the top of my list, along with Frog Morton on the Bayou.

My notes: This is wonderful. Nice nutty latakia flovor at lighting that blends into a nice somewhat sweet smoke. Very pleasant throughout as each nuance steps forward to capture your attention. Mild with no bite. This is a great blend of flavors, none of which dominate and all of which are clearly present.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

My tin is dated 12/00, and is now two years old. I have had it open for about one and a half years, and I have kept the moisture content to my liking. I have sampled small bowls over this time, and I now find that the mixture is starting to hit it's mark. In appearance and in tin aroma, this looks like and smells like most of the standard English Latakia-Oriental blends. The taste, however, tells a different story. This is one of only a few blends that is so good that it makes me stop whatever I am doing just to enjoy and concentrate on the smoking experience. It is at the same time, rich, sweet, and smoky with a bit of a tang probably from the Virginias and Perique. Whatever the ingredients, over these two years they have blended and melded into a marvelous mixture. It is another outstanding mixture from Mr. Pease. I have stocked up on tins and the 8 oz. bags of Samarra. With extreme difficulty, I will try to let them age for a year or two before I open them. If you like Latakia, or Orientals, or just outstanding blends, give this a try. It burns dry to the bottom of the bowl leaving a light gray cigar looking ash. Most of the Pease blends are my favorites. Samarra is at the top of the list.

1 person found this review helpful.

Paul Tatum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paul Tatum (86)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is the third most often reached for tobacco in my cellar , next to Ravens Wing and Renaissance . It's a bit lighter to me , and suited for out and about smoking during the day . I prefer to smoke this while on the move for some reason . Highly recommended .

1 person found this review helpful.

Pip Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pip (53)
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

Samarra is a great Balkan. Similar to Balkan Sasieni but, more complex and nuanced. The tin note is balanced with no one tobacco taking the lead. Basically smells like a medium english with a twist. The moisture is fine and it easily takes the flame. The smoke is smooth and creamy with no bite at all.

The Virginias, Latakia, orientals and perique all complement each other to provide a savory thought provoking smoke. Sometimes I get cedarwood, other times I get figs, sugar and lemons, then BBQ. There is lot going on here and keeps me interested and coming back for more.

Samarra is a winner!

Age When Smoked: 8 Yrs

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Samarra took me a little while to get a handle on. My two tins have some age on them and the note is somewhat sweet and a little bit smoky. I often wonder, with the number of English blends in the Pease lineup how well one can distinguish one from another in a way that makes it a worthwhile experience. Samarra does that well. In the pipe, for me, the star of this show is the Oriental component which I find savory, almost buttery. The Virginias add a small amount of sweetness and the ever present Latakia is medium at most. I don’t taste very much Perique so it has either been added lightly or I am simply misjudging it. Samarra reminds me a little bit of Russ Ouelette’s Cherberus (minus the dark fired) and I wonder if the same Oriental is found in each blend? Samarra is cool burning and occupies a unique niche in the crowed world of medium English blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DavidP Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DavidP (25)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a well-balanced oriental blend. Its predominant flavor definitely comes from its latakia, sort of a charred meat thing. Along the edges are sweetness from the Virginias and just a hint of Perique spice. Stuff and puffs just fine, its bigger pieces don't require rubbing out or anything.

My tin needed some hydration upon opening as it was too dry. The date sticker was missing so I don't know how old it was.

Would I buy this again? Likely not as there are a million other English blends to try, and this one doesn't stick out in any particular way, it's just a solid blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

William H. Hardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
William H. Hardy (76)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

This is a really good medium English/Balkan and I order it from time to time. I'm not much of a latakia hound, but when I want latakia, this is one that I reach for a lot of the time. Mr. Pease has a masterpiece on his hands with this one; it's creamy virginias, sweet and sour orientals, smoky latakia, with a little kick from the perique, it will satisfy anyone's craving for a good blend. It's not a latakia powerhouse, but it has the perfect amount when I want it. Nothing in this blend sticks out and each tobacco, while can be seperately detected, work within one another nicely. I do recommend this highly, but it's not one that I would smoke everyday, though it definitely could be, if Balkans are your preference. I give it a solid 3.5 stars.

EDIT 4/7/2016: I have to give this stuff four stars. Why didn't I do so before? I have no excuse, really. I've been smoking more of this stuff and it's been great. It's the bee's knees!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

roscoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
roscoe (11)
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

A remarkable and complex blending of multiple flavors! I have never tasted its equal. Pease's Virginias seem to have a pleasant citrus but unforunately acrid taste though.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dr. Hall Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Hall (15)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Samarra will seem like a sweet Virginia-Perique blend with only a bit of Latakia and oriental spice to those like myself who prefer heavier Balkans, and it will seem like a medium English-Balkan to those who normally smoke VaPers. I prefer Pease's oriental-forward Charing Cross which is heavier on the Latakia and less sweet, so Samarra is a significantly sweeter blend to me with a different oriental character than Charing Cross. There is a bit of sourness in this blend too (the Perique, or the orientals perhaps?) that sometimes seems to divert attention from the sweetness. Samarra is a really fine blend, but only an occasional change-of-pace blend for me at least.

Update: Having gotten around to smoking some of the new Dunhill blends, I must say that Pease's blends, including Samarra, are far superior in every way, better quality and better tasting all around. Samarra is still a sweet change-of-pace blend for me, but it is far better than the new Dunhill blends in my opinion, so four stars on this one too.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I am a former cigar smoker and just started smoking a pipe about 6 months ago. I have tried several tobaccos and different pipes. I lean toward the cavendish tobaccos but I tried this one and liked it very much. I cannot give it a 4 star due to I have not yet smoked a 4 star tobacco but I recommend anyone to give this one a try as a change of pace.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

rramstad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rramstad (115)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As with some of my other reviews recently, I do not feel comfortable giving four stars on limited experience, but this is a very enjoyable blend. In some ways, it reminds me of Squadron Leader, one of my favorites, but with a bit more flavor and more going on. Really lovely. I find the orientals are definitely center stage, but the perique and latakia combine together to give a nice bit of spice without the overwhelming "blast" of a latakia heavy blend... which would eradicate the oriental flavors, too. Masterfully blended.

UPDATE Smoking this in close proximity to Ashbury, it's notable that the addition of perique brings a richness and a more complex spice to Samarra.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

madamadam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
madamadam (7)
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

One of the finest English style mixtures available. This mixture is savory and robust, with a gentle sweet backdrop, and is not likely to offend any novice smokers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tudval Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tudval (18)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I am new to Perique blends and although the taste intrigues me, most of the stuff I have tried was too strong and I had to blend down. This one delivers an amount that I feel can be handled by someone who has some taste buds left. Still, quite spicy though. It contains tobaccos of obvious quality: the flakes are beautiful and the aroma subtle and natural.

Update Mar/10: I tried this 1 year later, still find it too spicy to smoke by itself, but it's quite good to add spice to other tobaccos.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

p4p4 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
p4p4 (59)
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

Mr. Pease : my compliments ! Refined, cool, pleasant, complex. Perfect in the summer. Very good !

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jackgowild Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jackgowild (5)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I tried this blend several years ago and just received a new tin . I think it will do well with some aging. It is very enjoyable at any time of day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flaminbill' Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flaminbill' (57)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I would like to be able to rate this higher, but something just seems to be missing. I find it tasted best in a mid-size Ser Jacopo. It was lacking in my other pipes. it burned a little goopy in my CAO Meerschaum.

In all fairness, the tin was only four months old and the tobacco was fairly moist in the tin. I have a two-year old tin, and I will give it another whirl

Nobody has rated this review yet.

LostInDaJungle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LostInDaJungle (13)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

Samarra was a pleasant light smoke. The character if the orientals was there with just a hint of Latakia as a spice tobacco. The perique adds a hint of pepper at opportune moments to keep the bowl from getting boring. Not thrilled with the pack and light the cut provided, and it was very susceptible to overpuffing, so if you smoke fast it will burn you.

I'm more of an English smoker who tried some VA/Pers, and this was one of the few that might get purchased again. There was enough complexity here to keep me interested, and the Perique was used sparingly enough to keep my mouth from being overwhelmed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Flyboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Flyboy (39)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Samarra is another exceptional light english blend from GLP. From start up to shutdown, this blend is consistent thru out. Though the cut,(chopped ribbon), is one of my least favorites the tobak seems to burn well no matter how you pack it. It tends to become more dust well into the tin and this for me keeps it at 3 stars. Its like flying in wx that is CAVU. No thrills but, a great, safe, journey.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Talonr1701 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Talonr1701 (119)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I'm the one working my way through the Dark Lords Blends.....For my birthday I was given some 4 year old Samarra- I immediatly rushed to share it with my friends... Its that good. Zionhead found an online copy of "My Lady Nicotina" by Barrie- We have both been reading it. While Arcadia and Samarra are not the same recipe, I believe the spirit of the idea holds true. I don't like a lot of Latakia- and this has just enough...The interplay of components weaves a smokey exotic spell that has to be experienced- Bowl ended before I was ready and left only the ghost of ashes. This is my new go to English/Balkan....Try it if Penzance and Old Ironsides are not your fare......

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Update: I recently opened my last aged tin of this blend and unfortunately, I won't be purchasing anymore. The blend is high quality in every respect, the problem is that my taste has moved to a different direction. This blend reminds me of a meeting I recently had with one of my High School buddies. We had great times together in High School, but we are now in totally different worlds. So, too, with this blend. I much prefer Ashbury, Charing Cross, and Blackpointe at this stage of my pipesmoking journey...

While this blend doesn't have the distinct flavor that syrian latakia adds, it is still a delicious tobac. Upon opening, you are greeted with the typical short, broad ribbon-cut typical of the Pease offerrings. Mostly dark with some lighter browns and an occassion golden leaf visible. Moisture is perfect, packing is easy, lighting is a breeze as well.Upon first light, the flavor is light but after about a few solid puffs, the flavor begins to come out nicely. It has a medium complexity and fullness which makes it an all-day smoke. There is a little increase of strength toward the bottom of the bowl and I had no moisture issues or bitterness to complain about. I was not able to detect the perique in this, but that is fine by me. Highly recomended. I rate it 4.5 points out of 5, Richard Baxter would have probably enjoyed this blend...Enjoy...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ranger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ranger (62)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Heh? Why all the comparisons to "heavier" latakias like Ravens Wing, Odyssey, etc? Every tobacco stands on its own, and this is very good. A medium bodied smoke with a generous but not over-generous amount of latakia. Very nuanced with flavors ranging from sweet, sour, spicey, smokey and earthy. I enjoy smoking this with a very, very soft breath. A solid smoke to be enjoyed during all seasons at any time of the day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

butman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
butman (47)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong

For all the complexity I see in the can this looks and smells like gangbusters. It does not come through. It is not as rich as 965 and not as smooth as other Oriental/Latakia blends.

It is a medium tobacco at an exemplary price. Not worth all the trouble. Odyssey is better and has the same price.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Though I have not tried all of them, this has to be one of Pease's best creations. I don't see how he could top this. His own tin description pretty much says it all: exotic, rich & piquant. It's tobacco blending at its finest & offers the smoker a multi-dimensional experience. I'll be opening a tin of Haddo's Delight very shortly. I was impressed with my sampling of that a few weeks ago. Though at first I could not see what all the hype was regarding Pease, I'm beginning to realize that in a world of ersatz and mediocrity, there are still those masters in their fields who attempt perfection. Pease/C & D are fast becoming my blends of choice, as they join the ranks of the McClelland's & Frogs. Since I've experienced these fine blends, I find that my tastes are changing and I no longer like what I thought I did. I suppose that's a good thing.

Four of five stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JClark Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JClark (26)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

While as a general rule I enjoy all of the Pease blends, this one just doesn't do it for me. I have forced myself through 3 tins of this stuff, with varying amounts of age, all to the same final verdict. Complex?...perhaps, but far too mild and light of an english for me. I like my english blends stout, and sadly this one is the complete opposite. I can see where a lot of people would enjoy this one, especially the virginia croud looking for a mild to medium latakia blend. When I smoke an english I like it to be rich, smokey, and stout. Samarra just doesn't offer any of the elements that draw me towards a good english.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Inquisitor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Inquisitor (155)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

First the disclaimers: I'm not the world's biggest latakia fan. But I am partial to most of Greg Pease's blends. I would place this blend squarely in the "Oriental English" category, as the Red Virginia base plays less of a role than the non-Latakia Orientals. But Latakia has a sizeable role here. Of the original four GLP english blends, I find this the least-sweet, most exotic, most mouth-drying. These are not criticisms - I find the aroma and flavor to be heady (although my wife isn't a fan of the room aroma). I will always have a tin of this on hand, but as a Virginia fan, the other three GLP english blends will get more play. If you like this type of english blend, it could be one of the best you have ever had.

Side note: I smoked this once, had a so-so reaction to it. Then my dog got sprayed by a skunk at close range, so I chose Samarra as a smoke-screen against the stink while washing my little darling. Very tasty! Now I even like it without the presence of rodent anal-sac excretions!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mailman 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mailman 5000 (60)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is the least popular blend from Mr. Pease and I can see why. It is not IMHO on a par with the others. It has a sharper edge and although offering some complexity was not really outstanding . Burns well and is a finer cut than Ravens Wing but would perhaps benefit from the magic that Syrian Latakia can add. Alas not currently on the menu.

A good but not outstanding English mixture.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darwin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darwin (101)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

First, I need to disclose that I am not a latakia lover. Several years ago I was a big fan of Silk Road, but I started smoking Virginias when F&P closed shop. I like Samarra very much; it's the closest blend to Silk Road that I've found. The latakia is omnipresent, but it doesn't take over. Midway through the smoke the Virginias reveal themselves. The non-latakia Orientals and the perique provide a wonderful synergy with the Virginias and latakia. Well done!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SlowDraw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SlowDraw (23)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

I don't usually smoke Latakia mixes, being a VA's man myself- But I thought I'd give this one a try. The tobacco is fairly dark stuff with traces of yellow virginia it seems. Is quite a refined mixture. smokes cool & biteless with a somewhat silky appeal. But as with most other latakia blends I've tried (all save 759)- that black & smokey, bitter taste just overshadows the VA's in the mixture ..........just my opinion. Sent me looking in the cellar for something lighter, brighter & sweeter. But.. every man to his own.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (286)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This blend is in complete contrast to the normal VA flakes that I smoke and this should be considered when reading this review. The Lot # was 051702 and the tin was opened and smoked in 9/02. I appreciate Greg's marking system. Comprised of wide ribbons of multiple, high quality tobaccos from golden to jet black, the tobacco is nicely prepared and @ a good moisture content. The tin and room aroma is dominated by the Latakia/Oriental and is unacceptable to my family. But I often smoke alone, especially when outdoors. As might be expected from the multiple components, this is a very complex tobacco with tastes ranging from musty to spicey. For my taste, it lacks sweetness but if you prefer English blends, this might be your treat. It is easy to pack, light and keep lit. However, on several smokes with different pipes, moisture/condensation built up in the last ~ 1/4 of the bowl and a extremely bitter/sour taste developed that forced me to dump the balance. This might have resulted from my techniques but is enough to keep me from stocking this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

lustra Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lustra (170)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Samarra is a beautiful black-and-brown ribbon that packs and lights well. At first, I taste mainly a muted Latakia but as the bowl progresses, I get more Virginia taste (and a little Virginia bite). Halfway through the bowl, the sharpness wears off and the smoke becomes tangier, but still with the Latakia providing a background depth. As with several Pease blends, I get a bit of bitterness as the smoke approaches the bottom of the bowl. There is also a certain rawness that I don't much care for, but I may have simply gotten a can of young tobacco. On the whole, this is a very good blend, but not one I am crazy about.

Nobody has rated this review yet.