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Iwan Ries

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The outstanding feature is the pronounced flavor of robust Latakia. This tobacco has earned proper recognition by those smokers who have a particular liking for this type of leaf.

BrandRattray
Blended ByKohlhase, Kopp und Co. KG
Blend TypeScottish
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutRibbon
Packaging100g Tin
CountryDE
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy Iwan Ries
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Strength
Mild to Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 1 Users

2.8
54 reviews
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13
3 star:
21
2 star:
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StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (256)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Rattray Highland Targe . This one is a great smoke ! The actual mix looks brilliant , all quite even sizes and a wide selection of different shades of Brown with some Black pieces in there too . It is of a fair moistness amount and the smell from the unlit mix is great , a kind of grassy aroma with a good smokiness there as well . It lights up with little effort and tastes lovely , again like the initial aroma there is a Grassy flavour embellished by a great smoky touch of Latakia whilst all along there is a sweet (almost fruity) hint from the Black Cavendish . In all fairness I don't particularly get much from the Oriental/Turkish ,actually I wouldn't know it was included unless I was told . Nicotine is where this scores very highly for me as it is about the perfect amount , and if you do smoke for Vitamin N this will suit you as it can be inhaled with great ease and when it is exhaled through the nose the flavours are magnified even more especially the smoky Latakia . The smoke itself is of a sumptuous build , actually one of the thicker smokes I have had and another plus is that I don't get any bite from it . The room note is divine , it has a very "classic" character and is fairly full , with a great "smoky" quality to it . If you want a blend where the Latakia is allowed to shine with glory then this is one to try !

Pipe Used: Peterson

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke King

2 people found this review helpful.

Taste Buds Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taste Buds (138)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend did not impress me the first few times I smoked it. But lately I've found myself enjoying it and appreciating it's unique qualities. For those of us who enjoy lighter fare, this is a delicious blend that's loaded with taste. The flavors are abundant. There's a lovely sweetness from the cavendish and the orientals make this a wonderful well rounded blend. This is a keeper in my book. It's even better mixed with a little McClelland Blending Oriental.

2 people found this review helpful.

Tom Servo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tom Servo (58)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

The aroma from a fresh tin is muted and complex to no end. This blend really smells delicious. An aroma that's mostly Virginia - sweetness, hay & grain notes, ketchup, spice cake and fig newtons. Orientals add tart freshness and come close to balancing the Virginia. As far as Latakia, the tin aroma of this stuff is merely haunted by the ghost of Latakia. All together, very interesting.

No problems with packing and lighting, pretty low maintenance.

First puffs release a burst of warm hay and grass aromas, settling into fruitcake-like sweetness, and then into a pleasant muted complexity. I detected butter cookies, pancake batter, the ocean, horse feed (oats), vegetal leafy notes, fresh notes like cucumber or melon, lemon custard, very slight Cavendish sweetness. The Latakia is nowhere to be found.

Quite pleasant, the only real problem here is a lack of strength. Nice flavors but ultimately too light. But if you want a cool, tasty Virginia-heavy blend that's extremely light and smooth - you could do a lot worse than Highland Targe.

2 people found this review helpful.

Jevverrett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jevverrett (28)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

I bought this one because I liked the name lol. Also because I liked the tin art on it. A simple rugged highland warrior. I also had just purchased my butchers boy, and figured I would try a blend from the pipe aker to see if it went well together. I was wrong on that account btw. That short wide pipe doesn't like fine cuts of tobacco. Burned my mouth like I was a little kid smoking for the first time. It much prefers dunhill nightcap or 965.

The smell in the tin is very nice and smoky. I liked the way it wafted out some at me when I popped it open the first time. It has some gold and browns, and some black cav in there. Even some faint greenish colors I'm guessing are orientals. It packs and lights well, although the initial tin moisture was a bit much for me.

It is very tasty, in a light sort of way. Nice smoky flavor from the Latakia, just as they said on the tin. And it has a slight sour taste to it that reminds me of green olives. Almost like the way a dirty martini tastes of seawater. It's not over powering on the nic front, so it would be good most of the day. It burns right down to the draft hole if you dry it bit. I left mine out overnight on a piece of newspaper with the a.c on. (You can borrow that trick if you like).

I have bought more of this one, so I can definitely recommend this one to others who like scottish blends, or want to try one. I like others better, but this will be in my rotation for a long time to come. Mostly due to its subued nature and nice easy smoke.

Pipe Used: Rattrays butchers boy, Luciano billiard

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Just For Him.com

1 person found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (513)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Highland Targe is described as a “robust” Latakia blend…..it isn’t. So my first reaction was to dismiss it outright. I had been hoping for something more in the Black Mallory or Black Mallory “lite” camp. During the first several bowls, I felt it was just above the “boring line.” But over time, I grew to appreciate some of the subtle nuances of HT. I have smoked this new and aged about five years and my thoughts of HT have improved somewhat. I do suspect that the original version made by Rattray’s of Perth was bolder and I wish I had had the opportunity to try it. If you are looking for a fuller Scottish blend like Comptons, than take a pass on this one. If you are interested in taking the time to find the subtleties of this blend, you may find this to your liking. I just think that there are too many other blends that are more interesting. As a side note, I tried adding three parts Highland Targe to one part of Dark Fragrant and found that to be more in my wheelhouse.

Age When Smoked: new and up to 5 years

1 person found this review helpful.

WillBrown Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillBrown (48)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

I have somewhat mixed feelings about this one. I wanted to like it more than I did. At first, the taste struck me as a bit flat, bland even, but eventually, after only smoking this exclusively for several weeks, the blend grew on me, but only a bit. Overall, I was expecting more from this tobacco. How can all these different tobaccos fall so flat? Perplexing. I tried this because several pipe smokers I know have crowed about the quality of Rattray's blends. I was less impressed. I'm glad I tried it, but would never purchase it again. Oh, and, I never did smoke the entire tin, I gave up on it. I guess I'll have to use the remainder as a blender. I'll give Rattray's one more shot, Black Mallory's up next, whenever next is.

Cheers!

Pipe Used: Wellington

Age When Smoked: ?

Purchased From: local shop

1 person found this review helpful.

hagen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hagen (91)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A very nice, light weight mixture. In spite of the description above, it doesn't contain much Latakia - it's more of a Va-Orient. blend with Latakia as an added spice. Clean tasting, if somewhat anonymous with its generic Va. and Orientals, it fits in among the morning blends. Inoffensive. There are, of course, a lot of more interesting blends out there, and this is not one I'll stock up on. Still, I enjoy it for what it is.

1 person found this review helpful.

fireball Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fireball (36)
★★☆☆
Mild Very Mild Mild Tolerable

It's really an OK Scottish this, slightly sweet, light on the orientals, dare I say it a touch insipid, vapid, vacuous? Not bad at all, good packing/burning qualities, but doesn't do it for me I'm afraid.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

2008 tin; smoked 2011.

I'm a fan of Rattray's Scottish blends - Jocks, Black Mallory, 7 Reserve, Accountants - but I found this one to be a wee bit harsh for my palate. And while I can appreciate the harshness that comes with, say, Red Rapparee, I just didn't enjoy this one that much. After breezing through tins of 3 Noggins and Jocks, especially, I've found that I have to gear up to tackle this one. And that's not exactly what I prefer in a pipe tobacco.

Others love it, apparently. So I'm not saying it's a bad blend. It's just not quite suited to my tastes.

1 person found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (586)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Smoking this again after so many years reminded me why I smoked almost nothing but Rattrays in the 1980's. This, Red Rap, Jocks and HOTW were my main staples back then and I didn't experiment as much then as I do now.

This is a nice ribbon cut of darker tan tobaccos. The tin nose is decidedly oriental with some latakia in the background. Quite honestly, I think this tobacco has one of the best tin aromas anywhere. Made my mouth water. Upon lightup, I tasted a very subtle marriage of the various leaves. None of them asserted themselves until about midway through the bowl and then they all seemed to want to take center stage at different times. The virginias peaked, and dissipated when the cavendish and orientals reared their heads and the latakia was always there, sometimes in the forefront and sometimes to the rear. This smokes like a lighter-bodied version of Jocks, and after consulting my tasting notes on it, I can recall why both of these were in my steady rotation 3 decades ago. This is a milder version for the morning or when I wanted something complex (and this is one complex blend!) but lighter on taste. I did find myself wishing for more "oomph" but there are other blends to take care of that. In the tinned version, I did not notice any of the humectants that an earlier reviewwer mentioned. This dried out rather quickly but was at its best at tin moisture.

If you're looking for a light latakia blend that is harmonious and fulfilling, and you aren't a fast puffer, this is a good one to try. Just sit back, relax, and let the flavors come to you rather than searching for them. They'll come when they're ready.

1 person found this review helpful.

The Punisher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Punisher (44)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Kohlhase & Kopp's website says virginias, orientals, latakia and black cavendish for Highland Targe.

The latakia is present in the tin aroma but is not a key player in the taste of the mixture. Some nutty notes - almonds-are also present, making me wonder if there is not some Burley added as well. Mostly, you will savor the dominance of the orientals, black cavendish and virginias. But when a pipeful has a fair quantity of latakia into it, it becomes a delicious and robust smoke.

The tobacco is mostly medium and light brown, some green leaf (the oriental) and a good third of black leaf is also present.

Room note is of pure tobacco, with a tendency to some light sour notes. Very sweet in taste with some nutty presence and the back up of the woodsy latakia.

1 person found this review helpful.

Kapnismologist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kapnismologist (30)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Short broken ribbons in black, brown and tan with a few olive strands here and there. The tin nose is toasty and sweet, with hints of caramel, brown sugar, and allspice. The mixture most certainly contains a light aromatic topping, but it is anything if not carefully integrated into the flavor profile of the base tobaccos.

According to its current blender, Kohlhase and Kopp, Highland Targe is: “eine Mischung aus hellen Virginiatabaken, Black Cavendish, Orient und würzigem Latakia” (‘a mixture of bright Virginia tobaccos, black Cavendish, Oriental and spicy Latakia'). Thus a Scottish mixture in the full sense of the term – a genre both perfected and popularized by Charles Rattray in any case – Highland Targe is not shy about its identity. Comprised of tobaccos familiar to other mixtures in the line as to many other blends born in the British Isles now produced by the prolific German blender, it offers a pleasant, middle-of-the-road example of the genre.

Mild to medium body with a soft and rounded mouthfeel, Highland Targe offers a core of unsweetened black Cavendish and sweet Virginias augmented by a measured dose of flavorful Orientals and a hint of smoky Latakia. Possessing a tendency to bite if not treated with care, it offers flavors reminiscent of a sugared café au lait topped with a dash of nutmeg. The topping, while lightly applied, is prevalent throughout the bowl. Neither overly sweet nor particularly rich, it possesses a charming brightness which makes it an ideal morning smoke, just bracing enough to clear the head yet light enough to not overwhelm the palate.

While neither the boldest nor most flavorful among the other Scottish mixtures represented in the current incarnation of the famed Rattray's line, Highland Targe is nevertheless a nice diversion for those who enjoy a bit of Cavendished tobaccos along with their Orientals and Latakia. Be warned, however, that as with everything produced by K&K this one is quite heavy on the humectants and, presumably, the cocktail of preservatives normally found in the offerings of the major continental blending houses.

1 person found this review helpful.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (118)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

English Mixtures with Latakia is not very common and popular in Denmark. Also very hard to get! Well im one of the "few" person in this country who doesn´t care much for "Danish-style-black-cavendish" and artificial humectants. This blend is smooth and delicate, with just the right amount of Latakia and not too much Oriental. It packs easily and lights up just as easy.

The first 1/3 of the bowl is very refreshing with a slight touch of lightly smoked Latakia Later: The bright VA enters, and almost dominates the smell. I detect only a slight hint of Oriental

This is a very fine blend that reminds me of velvet and oats This could be a nice morning blend for me in the future, as it is almost as refreshing as a cup of coffee. I could use a little more nicotine though.

Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark

1 person found this review helpful.

Warwick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Warwick (23)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Very Mild Tolerable

It is difficult to tell what this blend attempts to be. As others have noted, "bland" is an adjective that comes to mind.

The tin aroma is promising, with a variety of fruity tones, slight latakia smokiness, and the hints of virginias and orientals. Visually, there appears to be a good variety of leaf types. My tin has about 4 months of age on it. The blend packs well, has a good moisture level, lights easily and burns well.

In the pipe, though, I find this blend frustratingly mild. The latakia makes itself known sparingly, but there is darn little else. Occasionally, a slight virginia sweetnesss, or perhaps a timid whiff of oriental peeks up, but overall there is exceedingly little in the way of flavor - either good or bad - which leads me to a "why bother?" conclusion. Its not unpleasant...it just lacks any kind of personality.

I will put this back on the shelf, and let it age some more, but I am doubtful that it will improve much. It is only my deep admiration for Rattray's OG and MF which prompts me to be patient with HT.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★☆☆☆
Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend is almost identical to Peterson's Sherlock Holmes. The flavor is flat, the strength is not there, and the tobacco itself is stringy and a bit difficult to pack without first giving it a whirl in the blender.

Latakia lovers will light up, take a few puffs, and then say, "where's the beef?" Where indeed, not in this tin!

1 person found this review helpful.

J.Zhang Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
J.Zhang (2)
★☆☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable to Strong

They were found with surprise, after over five years sitting in storage.

After finished 3 100-gram tins, I have to say it's not my blend, too flat, too plain. It might be a more complex blend with oriental & Latakia, but none of them is obviously detected.

Pipe Used: Small/mid-size pipes

Age When Smoked: Over 5 years

Purchased From: Local tobacco shop

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darth Vader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth Vader (87)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

A good Va spoilt by substandard Latakia and non-existant orientals. This was a weird mis-match and just didn't work for me. I wish i could like it as others here do but each to their own.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

rintrah Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rintrah (6)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

Gorgeous tin aroma and nice presentation. Dull, flat flavor. Absollutely nothing sticks out about this. I found it akin to drawing on an empty pipe.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Claudius Stradivarius Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Claudius Stradivarius (171)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This has more Latakia than Accountant's. It is clearly present in the tin aroma.

But it still remains on the light side for an English mixture.

The Orientals are very sweet and nutty. This compensates for the lack of Latakia at first.

But for an old salty dog as myself, well geared up with rich English mixture, this is a bit bland.

This would be perfect for someone seeking a start for an English mixture.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tortuga Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tortuga (17)
★★☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Unfortunately, what might be one of the best names for any blend on the market is largely unsupported by this somewhat lost for identity blend by K and K. It's in the same genre as 965 by Dunhill, or Old Dublin by Peterson, but falls so far from the mark of either that it lands somewhere in nomansland. Bright Va, latakia and unsweetened black cavendish are the most notable leaves in the blend. The va is a little thin and bite-prone. The latakia really could've saved it all, but turned coward and got left stranded on the high-dive like a shivering tween, not quite ready to take the plunge. In no way is this a blend for lat lovers. There just isn't enough of the stuff.

The cavendish is inoffensive and neither helps nor hinders what is ultimately a rather unimpressive collection of stuff.

The tin aroma is nice -- a little smoky and oriental.

We all have our unexplained favorites. A blend that really isn't that great, but for some reason we just love it. I'm sure that Highland Targe could be that for someone, but if it's on your short list, I'd maybe knock it down a few rungs. Really, old dublin succeeds where the targe breaks, leaving a bloody, kilted Scotsman.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

7formy1911 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
7formy1911 (36)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I am smoking this from a 5 year old tin so that may have some effect on my review. The light up of the blend reveals latakia and almost seems to bode well for a heavy latakia blend but that's fairly deceptive. Only a few puffs into the pipe shows that this is certainly a harmonious blend. The virginia, cavendish, latakia and orientals produce a wonderful English/Scottish experience that shows what true harmony tastes like. There are flashes of latakia and hints of sweetness that really round out the flavor. I even get a quick whiff of chocolate that seems to be all the leaves working together. I don't think it's a topping or casing at all since this seems like very high quality leaf and devoid of any of these scents in the tin. I'm beginning to feel that an unsweetened cavendish addition to English blends really helps the fullness and round off the rough edges to produce a wonderful smoke.

Now, it's time for some caveats. There are some people that are hoping for a latakia heavy blend and they aren't going to get that in this blend. It's also a blend you can smoke all day if you like. If you want a heavy late evening smoke then you will find this disappointing. If you want a change of pace "Scottish" smoke that still has fullness and flavor then you'll enjoy this. If you approach it from that angle it's a good blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Archangel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Archangel (22)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

An excellent light "middle of the road" English mixture. The best part of this mixture is the taste of the orientals which is very noticeable and deliciously sweet.

The content in Latakia is definitively higher than with Accountant's. It is detectable in the tin and when smoked but is not a key player.

The tin aroma was very nutty at first from the orientals but eventually made some room for the Latakia and VAs. Overall, this is a spicy smoke.

A good choice for someone who experienced light English mixtures and wants to venture into a heavier English mixture.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Alguhan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alguhan (140)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

Not a dissapointment but could it be better somehow?

Fruity-spicy, sweet and cool. Altough I am not a big fan, but just a lover of latakia blends, I expected it to be richer in latakia. It left a nice taste after each bowl, which invited for further bowls.

Not a 4 star for me but worths keeping a tin on the shelf.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

calboy8686 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
calboy8686 (11)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Very nice, smooth, mellow, yet tantalizing on the palate. I could smoke this all day, or at night before bed. It's mild enough to be refreshing, yet pleasant enough in aroma that it's not going to offend anyone. It makes me think of what a high end tobacco shop would smell like. Another good turn out for Rattray's!! Keep them coming! I've tried a few of the blends and haven't run into one I didn't like yet.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarChef Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarChef (100)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

Not Rattray's finest offering. Quality weeds that don't seem to play well together. There's Latakia in the tin aroma that doesn't deliver in the smoke. Not a Scottish Blend IMO, more like My Mixture 965's other brother Daryl. I do get hints of black cavendish here and there, some latakia pops up, the Virginia is too bright for the blend and the orientals taste scorched. I'll finish the tin, because I'm too cheap to toss it and don't know anyone that likes it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

latakiahaze Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
latakiahaze (11)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

I confess to being something of a Latakia nut but sometimes look for a blend that is a little less overpowering. This is a terrific mixture and a very subtle blend which explores a variety of flavours throughout the bowl and always delights. As with Accountant's Mixture (its big brother) this mixture begins to take shape halfway through the bowl, where a distinct Oriental tang (not too stringent) gives gentle heat to the sweet Virginias and Cavendish. The latakia is (to my mind) always there but in the background. Towards the end there is an additional sweet piquancy allied with a paradoxical seaweed saltiness (the same tones that creep through with Black Mallory). Despite being a "greedy" smoker this blend does not bite and burns evenly right down to the finish. Always leaves me wanting more.

UPDATE Jan 08. I don't know if it is just this batch (from Germany) or what but the last tin has been a bitter (pun intended) disappointment. The orientals (?) are so overpowering my mouth lit up immediately as if blow-torched. This iniitial stinging heat was so intense the subtler flavours failed to materialise at all. I'll stay with it, as I say it may just be a bad batch.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JazzSmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JazzSmoke (37)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I am rewriting this review based on this most recent tin.

The German version of Rattray's blends are really quite good and I don't compare them much to the UK produced blends that I smoked 20 years ago. We are fortunate that someone is still producing these blends, and I enjoy them.

This most recent seemed far different than the last one I purchased. The tin aroma is indeed intoxicating and declicious smelling. Apparent was that fermented smell that virginia/latakia blends have when the tin is first opened.

I dried this for about an hour and tobacco was still springy when I loaded the pipe.

Sweet virginia, oriental and a noticeable amount of latakia. It reminded me slightly of Dunhill London Mixture but with a different, sweeter virginia base. The Rattray virginias are unique indeed.

It can bite a little, so slow puffing is recommended. I rarely smoke the last 1/4 of a pipe but did so with this and it retained much of it's Scottish blend character, although I did notice the slight sourness that was mentioned in the other reviews.

I will stock up on this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Guyrox Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Guyrox (131)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I bought this one in the bulk version, the only format available in Canada.

A very long cut, mostly golden and brown bakkies, with a minority of black leaves. Still, you could fairly smell the Latakia, and also the oriental, of course. Apparently, some Yakka has been added to give this blend its unique taste and distinctive aroma.

Smoking was interesting - more oriental tasting then the smoky Latakia- but, after a while, I find that the fact that it's a thin, long cut bakkie, sort of takes out some of the substance in it, and eventually, leaves it a bit tasteless. If there was some broken flake into it, it would increase its character. Or maybe it's just the fact that it was bulk.

If I buy the tin form, I will gladly share my impressions and update.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jmartindale Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jmartindale (22)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of my favorite blends. NapaWineLover and Pipeline have pretty much nailed this blend, so see their excellent reviews, below, for more details.

Call me a heretic...but I must say, that if it weren't for the small amount of unflavored black cavendish in this...I'd pretty much call this a medium Balkan. Highland Targe wonderfully balances several flavor components that I love in a good Balkan: a slight sharpness with some sourness (as found in Balkan Sasieni and Smokers Haven - Our Best Blend) all melded with a sensible and moderate amount of smokey, top-grade Latakia.

The Oriental and Virginia elements in Highland Targe are superb and there's just enough Latakia in the background to keep these fascinating flavors swirling throughout the smoke. I try to smoke this blend as slowly as possible to maximize the pleasure - just beyond a smolder seems perfect to extract all the flavor sensations. (The slight sweetness of the cavendish is just that - pretty slight and subtle so it's a very small piece of the Highland Targe puzzel.)

To me, Highland Targe is in the same league as Exotique and Caravan, and at it's price, it's the clear winner on the value side of things.

Highland Targe is a top quality blend and genuine pipe smoking classic that can hold its own against the best out there because, well, it IS one of the best.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.629 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.629 (133)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Highland Targe.02/03/07. This is a pretty good smoke in its own right,though it doe's lack the strenth and finesse of G.L.Pease's,Oddyssey.But to be fair,maybe I have been spoilt in trying some of the other blends on offer first. I let it dry out for approximately five to ten min's first on paper,then loaded my pipe bowl and enjoyed a hassle free smoke to the bottom of the bowl.It left a pretty dry bowl with a darkish medium grey ash. There wasn't anything negative to complain about.Easy to light and definitely no sign of tongue bite. In its class I recommend it and its well worth a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

If one could personify pipe tobacco blends, Highland Targe would be Dunhill 965 after anger management classes and charm school. Pipeworks & Wilke?s Pipemaker?s Choice would be HT on anti-depressants after shock therapy.

This underestimated blend (with highly varied reviews) works in all pipe sizes. Curiously, because it is so flavorful, it is tempting to puff excessively and incur a tongue torching. This need not be so, just pack it into your pipe?s bowl so that there is a little springiness, and keep the moisture middl?n. HT too moist and you might as well load spinach in your Chonowitsch. HT too dry and the glow of your pipe will be spotted by NASA infra-red satellite cameras.

Really a nice tobacco blend with something a little sweet, a lot smokey, a touch acrid all playing together nice, rather like happy, fat frolickers at the shore. There is sweetened Black Cavendish, perhaps subtly flavored from the casing, as a relief to the strident Latakia and main Virginia body. If dull, unchanging blends are your cup of tea, this tobacco will be too thrilling, however well-behaved.

The remaining ash is fine, fluffy and nearly all-white with little dottle. My tin was in my cellar nearly three years, and winter just seemed the right time to try it.

However successful Highland Targe is as a tobacco blend, I would not recommend it as a defense in battle. It is much too effervescent and friendly, and you could end up like the Jacobites at Culloden. None the less, HT is a fitting tribute to any Scottish Highlander (and worthy of comparison to any Scottish-style mixture).

Update: This is really terrific stuff. At all points where 965 and HT are similar, HT is superior, with none of 965's drawbacks. Smoking a tobacco this round, sweet, rich, flavorful and so cool is pure smoking joy. No other changes, except this gets my full four stars.

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NapaWineLover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NapaWineLover (66)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Well, now that I have finished a considerable amount of HT I will now add it to my favorites and declare it is in the daily rotation as well as three other Rattray's offerings, Jocks, Accountants and Professional. I have not bothered to rate the Aromatic Rattrays that I've sampled - which I did not like at all - because I didn't buy them nor would I. To that end, my review of a blend that I would not buy after sampling, doesn't seem adequate or cricket. I also won't review a tobacco that I haven't spent considerable time getting to know.

To my palate, Highland Targe is a Scottish Blend wihtout any topping. The Orientals are very subtle and there seems to be a mild blending of some Red VA and Bright VA. In addition to what I taste and smell as Syrian Latakia in condimental proportions, there appears and tastes to be some unflavored Black Cav.

The tin aroma is intoxicating and a very sweet tea aroma not dominated by any single component. Likewise, the cut is a fine short ribbon that packs easily, and as another reviewer pointed out, tends to knit the ash in such a way that it doesn't easily sputter about, particular when one tends to park the pipe in the corner of one's mouth. (I often do, and have had to involuntarilly attend the lecture series on my dangerous habit and its effects on my wardrobe)

While the overall strength of the blend is reserved, the flavor is right there in the middle of the taste scale. There is a subtle VA sweetness that is accompanied by a piquant presence of the Orientals. I am again amazed at the harmony of components created with such mildness. If I were to compare this to another Rattray's Blend I would suggest that this has more in common with Jocks, with the distinct difference being that this is centered around the orientals, while Jocks is centered around the VA Cavendish, however they are of similar range of strength and intensity of flavor; yet they exhibit a very nice room note. For this reason, Highland Targe is a smoke for earlier in the day and doesn't require a meal to precede it. Additionally I submit that this blend is somewhat like McClelland Bombay Court, although the components of HT seem to be of a higher quality and more maturity.

Cheers, VC

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mel51us Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mel51us (47)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Highland Targe is the type of blend that makes a good stepping stone between English/ Balkan blends and straight VA blends. The Latakia seems more prominent in the room note than in the flavor, but is there, subtle, tasty. Maybe not an everyday smoke for me, but I will keep a tin or two around. The tin aroma was more like the oats and molasses smell of Old Gowrie or Hal O' The Wind. A cool smoke, even burning and leaving a pale gray ash. 8 of 10 stars for this Rattray offering.

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Maimonides Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Maimonides (70)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Whew. unique smokyness without harshness. almost floral notes, latakia is ever present. Not a bad blend, better are availible.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jackhackett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jackhackett (76)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The targe is a unique light english blend, well-crafted and suitable for all-day consumption.

Pleasant, understated, refined, almost delicate, and difficult to categorize. Light, yes, bland, no---it is subtle, but rewarding.

And though it looks a likely latakia feast, there's somehow just more latakia to the eye than to the tongue or nose here. The Targe's nicotine content is mild to medium, cut is somewhat fine, and texture while not sticky still requires careful loading of the bowl to prevent the odd blockage though some drying time prior to smoking partially alleviates this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tony B Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tony B (8)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the first Rattray blend I have tried and I find Highland Targe to be a light English blend of quality leaf. It?s a smooth introduction to blends including Latakia. It?s a great tasting blend without overloading the taste buds. I enjoyed the slight Virginia sweetness with the mild taste of Latakia and I detected only a slight hint of Orientals.

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GeoLogger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GeoLogger (16)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Room note? Latakia. Latakia stinks. That's what you pay for what you get - which is a perfect (ie somewhat light) dose of latakia. I really don't smoke heavy latakia blends much. Too much of a good thing is ,well, too much. So a nice perfectly satisfying portion of latakia in what? Well, in a base of fairly decent Virginia. I have had what I thought was better Virginia, sure .. but this is pretty good. I will smoke this some more, possibly less than Red Rap if I'm inclined towards latakia and probably a bit more than Red Rap because I'm usually not.Either way - it will get some play. If you kind of like latakia you just may well like this too.

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

Rattray's Highland Targe is a paradoxical 'Scottish mixture' blended in _Germany_. In the tin, this stuff smells fantastic. If I did not know better, I would have thought Highland Targe was blended by McClelland. It is a wonderful looking blend as well. Indeed, it looks great and smells great. It is such a shame that it does not taste great. Offensive to a Scotsman, because it should be blended on homeland, this German-made weed is not what it claims to be. Rattray is based in Perth where there happens to be the Perth Armoury Museum. It is there where one can see a real targe--a Scottish shield of real beauty (there are many there actually). The comparable German shield is a stechtarsche. Nevertheless, even if titled correctly, Rattray's Highland Targe would not garner any higher rating. This is a decent tobacco, unquestionably better than a lot of German blends out there, but I certainly will not purchase more and will probably not get through the 100g tin that I have.

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DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a great Latakia soft enough to be an "all day" smoke. Great rich taste without overloading the palatte or taste buds.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

A wonderfully subtle blend. A nice all-day smoke or a smooth introdution to blends that include Latakia. Try this first thing in the morning. Not for the strong coffee drinker but is a fine companion for a large mug of English tea. If you like your flavors big and bold steer clear of this mixture.

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donk93953 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
donk93953 (18)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of my all day...every day.... smokes. Something I can count on to be there consistently....light latakia..mild taste..burns easily in all my pipes (well at least in my Dunhills and thats all I smoke anymore)...I've enjoyed the Rattray's blends for years...35 years to be exact...yeah, they've changed abit but haven't we all ?

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OTRFF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OTRFF (44)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is the first Rattray blend I have tried. I agree with Colonel Panic and Boston Pipe. This blend is a very good quality tobacco for what it is. Dont be mislead by tin descriptions etc. this is a milder blend. As Boston Pipe stated quite accurately, this is a "Hello, how ya doin blend." It seems to be fairly consistent in different pipes and when a lighter blend is in order, this seems to fit the bill quite nicely. The only problem I have had with this one is no matter what I smoke this in, It seems to smoke slightly on the wet side and I cant figure out why. The tin moisture seems to be ok, but maybe it is a little on the wet side. I will try to dry it out for a little while before smoking it and see what happens. I just have to use a pipe cleaner or two to rid the pipe of extra moisture as it is now. This is a fine blend and I would certianly reccomend it and I will probably always try to keep some on hand!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (300)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable

Everyone says this tobacco contains lots of Latakia: I don't doubt it, but I am almost unable to detect its presence. Being a Scottish mixture rather than a traditional English (and if you didn't know, I love strong Latakia stuff like Dunhill London Mixture and 965), it has a stronger emphasis on virginias and cavendish than on Latakia... but I didn't expect it to be THIS bland! The can aroma was puzzling: hints of coconut and vanilla, but it is just a mental association. This is not an aromatic tobacco: it is simply the combination of the sweetness and various aromas of the kind of leaves used for it. Anyway, the Latakia just seems to be present in very small proportions. The extremely fine cut (finer than Dunhill's or Red Rapparee's) and the springy touch (a sign of the correct level of humidity) are very pleasant and make for a trouble-less packing. It almost never requires relighting, and burns even and discretely cool. Room note is light, but not completely pleasant. In the smoke aroma, I found some slight traces of the smell in the can, but also some reminiscences of Red Rapparee (when the slight Latakia presence raises its head). But perhaps its incredible gentleness makes it an ideal lighter cousin of Early Morning Pipe: subtle, never overwhelming, it requires attention and quiet to catch the nuances of flavor. The problem with me is that I find little interest in bland stuff like this... I grow bored with its understated taste (which borders on banality), and immediately feel the urge for a fix of Balkan Sobranie. I have smoked MANY tobaccos with much more body and aroma, and I won't try this again, but I must admit that for some it might be a good, smooth, quality all-day smoke. Anyway, if you belong in this category but want to try something tastier, try Ashton's Celebrated Sovereign. UPDATE 2 Years later (2004): The cut of this new tin is different. More ribbon pieces, and a stronger latakia scent. Still quite a bland boring smoke, but also rather pleasant, delicate and OK for everyday smoking.

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JB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JB (40)
★☆☆☆
Very Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

It is an abomination that THIS version of Rattray's Highland Targe is even remembered in the same context as the original blend. This is NOTHING like the original Highland Targe, and what a shame that is. There is nothing wrong with the new HT, but it has become essentially a blending tobacco. It is bland and has virtually no character. The original HT was a rich, boisterous blend that produced a room smell of a wonderful burning fireplace in a ski lodge. I was warned by some friends not to get my hopes up with the new stuff. Let's just say that the new blenders not only aren't using the old recipe, but they obviously aren't using the same tobacco either. Why not let the old name and label rest in piece and call this something else? Aren't there enough bland rip-off blends already?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Update 1/17/04: I consider this smoke my "old reliable". Just enough VA to satisfy that if I want it. Enough Latakia and Oriental to fulfill that role. I don't smoke it every day, but when I want to enjoy a smoke for sure - I reach for Highland Targe.
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This was my first taste not only of English blends, but of non-drugstore variety tobacco. That was going on several months ago now. I've waited this long to review it so that my experience could be broadened, and therefore, my references to other tobacco a bit more complete. Without being too melodromatic, I wanted to give this blend a proper and respectful review. After just finishing half a bowl, I decided it was time.

At first I found this stuff very strong - I'm talking chills and a bit of sweat. Considering what I had been smoking previously may or may not even contain tobacco, no surprise there. After having some exposure to other full English blends, this is practically ice-cream... though still gives a decent Highland kick.

My initial reactions were: sweet, smokey and pungent all at the same time. In the best possible way. The orientals remain predominant, interacting nicely with the latakia - never becoming overly "zingy". All the while the VA hangs there in the background: solidly holding up the smoke with a nutty-ripe flavor. Speaking of which, the smoke of this stuff is light, white-grey, and very attractive all around. It is not at all aromatic but also not the WMD that is Durbar (see my review). I find that most near the smoker don't seem bothered by it. For the smoker - it is a savory sweet and lightly grilled aroma.

Opening the can even 6 weeks later brings a delightful latakia sweet-sourness into the air. The humidity of the mix is still nearly perfect even in the pop-top can that H.T. comes in.

Even right out of the freshly opened can this burned well, cleanly down to a grey ash. The nicely textured and colored ribbons are great to look at and pack. The initial charring light is a bit bitter and seems to threaten something extremely unpleasant. Have no fear, that settles in quickly with a hanging bitterness almost like baker's chocolate and a tinge of fruit through out the entire bowl. There is increased strength towards the end with the latakia and VA taking over the oriental spice, but not in a way that is at all unpleasant. In fact, it is downright tasty...like the final remants of a fine barbecue. I've got a pipe that is almost exclusively for this and Margate. I haven't found anything else I like quite enough to make it into this antique briar that is so nicely seasoned.

The recent humidity of the past two days (7/10/03) in my region has made all of my smoking a bit wetter and harsher than usual. But even in this climate the Highlander smoked cleanly with only two relights. Like most VA mixes, too little patience will tag your tongue a bit. But this has overall been a very easy to smoke tobacco.

I still find this a bit strong to smoke more than a couple of times a week (trying to avoid too many dealings with old split-hoof Nic), but I can safely say it will likely remain a standby smoke and one of my continued favorites.

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Black Dog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Black Dog (25)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I am one who does not like heavy latakia blends, so I thought I was being rather daring when I decided to try Highland Targe. As the label indicates, when opening the can there is a strong aroma from the latakia.

However, when smoking this blend, there are only hints of latakia, like a well made martini with only a whisper of vermouth. The principle flavor is good, honest, unadulterated VA.

I thoroughly enjoyed Highland Targe, and will buy more.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BostonPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BostonPipe (83)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is one of those blends that I always seem to pick up another can of when I visit my tobacconist in Boston. I find it to be a smooth and comforting tobacco that is light enough to let you know it is there without becoming over- bearing if one picks up their puffing pace. I find it be a delightful, "Hello, how are you?", kind of smoke. The beauty of this blend is in it's simplicity.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (263)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Mild Tolerable to Strong

This is the other Oriental I find very palatable amongst the Rattray?s range. A rather moist and pungent mixture, it is however very mild and watery when smoked. The strong Latakia accent imparts a nutty essence, almost mushy, and very penetrating. Non the less it is a very soft and smooth smoke, quite enjoyable outdoors, for example when walking in the woods just after it rains. If 7 Reserve is dry (to the point of almost being harsh), HT is grassy and steamy, with a bitter sweetness that doesn?t tire out the palate.

I did find it difficult to light and to keep lit (maybe I didn?t aired it enough). It initially smoked cool, but by the second half of the bowl it got just a bit goopy, producing some dottle. Set on the lower register flavours, I find it a nice after lunch/mid afternoon smoke. Nothing really extraordinary, but nice and soft.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Willy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Willy (75)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Sometimes you want a lot of Latakia, sometimes you don't. Sometimes heavy, sometimes not. One of the pleasures to be found in this blend is that it can fill the spot where one wants the English flavor but not necessarily the strength of a more full English mixture. This is one blend I can go to when I feel just that way. The variation of colors from the lighter to darker brown strands to the flecks of black is visually appealing, and the smell is typical...well, English w/that sweet mustiness that translates to the smoke as well. Packs well, lights well, and delivers a flavor that is a little sharp at first yet slightly sweet with a nutty flavor that retains a little zest through most of the bowl. To me, the Latakia is shadowing the VAs, but steps out along the way to remind you that it is most certainly still there. Nice smokey flavors. Most of my pipes are bents and I find that moisture was not much, if any, problem when I smoke HT in the ones I have dedicated to English blends. I would suggest Grp. 4/5 or 4k/G size bowls but, hey, try it in whatever YOU think will work, it's your quarter. Slight bitterness nearing the finish of the smoke but I don't feel that's singular to any one blend. Burns down to a salt/pepper ash. My tin has some aging time on it, and I find that the blend seems to have more bottom to it and not the dominant midranges and high notes as I remember it from before. Maybe not an overly complex blend, but I find it to be a good smoke anytime and for some could be an all-dayer, but YMMV. Works for me.

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fourshephards Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fourshephards (51)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I went out in search of a latakia mixture that wouldn't send me to the Betty Ford Clinic for latakia overdose. I took the risk, at the encouragement of a cigar store owner friend of mine, to try Highland Targe. The description states that the latakia has a robust flavor. With that warning clearly in my mind I closed both eyes and pulled firmly on the opener tab at the top of the tin. I opened one eye as the latakia fragrance rose to my olfactory sensors and was suprised to find the mixture lighter in appearnace than I expected. The cut is in long thin strands. I like this because if you bend over with your pipe in your mouth the strands kind of knit together and keep ash from falling out on your shirt or whatever. The dominant ingredient in this mixture is the VA and not the latakia. Is this a contradiction of the description on the label??? So, I lit my McCranie's bulldog packed with HT and waited for the "pronounced flavor". What I got, instead of the expected latakia laden "holy cow thatsa lotta latakia" was a greatly flavorful and yet gentle caress across my palate. The latakia is obviously robust in nature because the volume is much less than expected but it holds it's own very well. The VA is sweet but not overpowering. I found this to be a great smoke, not at all monochromatic, but not for the latakia addicted. Take this from a guy who loves 3 Noggins and Red Rapparree, both much stronger mixtures. If you are looking for a latakia mixture that will allow you to keep your socks on your feet, this is a good choice.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mailman 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mailman 5000 (60)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

A blend that promised a pronounced flavour of latakia. Someone got the wires crossed on this . Not much to go on but a slight almost floral quailty on a mild backgroud. Again a blend that is different from the usual . But not one I would want to go back to. A bit stringy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

The aroma promises lots of Latakia, but the flavor is softer than I expected. Perhaps Latakia doesn't work for me without Turkish. I know that I enjoy many blends that have Tukish and no Latakia, so maybe I just learned something about my tastes. Too bad though, this is a decent blend, but doesn't make it into he rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JSB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JSB (6)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

When I first opened the tin of this tobacco it smelled very sweet, almost like chocolate. The moisture was just about perfect, not too wet and not too dry, just right for me. It packed and lit very easy with only about a three second burst from my gas lighter. My first impression was so- so, not very strong and not very smoky for a latakia blend. The one thing I like to do while smoking is to sniff the bowl in fact I like to do this constantly. At the start this blends smell was fairly neutral with nothing really grabbing me, then about a third of the way down it started to smell like sweet ammonia, although this smell did not show up in the taste or the smoke coming from my mouth. After awhile the ammonia smell went away and the aroma was quite nice, more of a sweet smoky aroma. There was only a slight bite on my tongue. Near the bottom of the bowl the taste was a little like pepper and not at all pleasant. At this point I decided to let it go out and go write my review.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Colonel Panic Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Colonel Panic (42)
★★★☆
Very Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Pouch Aroma: Sweet and spicy, with grassy undertones. I can smell Latakia, Virginias and a fair amount of Orientals. If there's Perique in here, it's too subtle for me to smell; there is also a substantial sweetness here - perhaps some of that dark tobacco is a cavendish?

Appearance: This appears to be about 60% light- to medium-brown tobacco with some darker leaf (black cavendish?) and a small helping of Latakia. I think it's Syrian Latakia, judging by the light woody scent, but I'm no expert. The cut leans toward ribbon in the lighter tobaccos, then getting more broken as the leaf gets darker.

Packing and Lighting: Being ribbon-cut, this packed quite nicely in a little no-name black sandblast Dublin that is very well-rested. Unlit, this sample tastes lightly sweet with a spicy undertone.

It comes to a full light quite easily, barely needing the second match.

Exposition: This is a nice, smooth and mild English blend. It's a very light smoke that seems perfect for this, my first smoke of the day. The grassiness and sweetness predominates for the first few minutes, after which everything seems to settle in and unify into a smooth melange. I can detect no Burley or Perique.

The Story: This is a very mild and subtle tobacco that requires some thought to identify its components. I would say that this was quite expertly blended to be satisfying for the English-style smoker but acceptable to those who might not care for something like Dunhill's #965. It has a nice room aroma in which the sweet Virginias form a floor upon which the delicate Orientals dance with the lightly spicy Latakia.

The flavor is very mild, and I find that I must blow some of the smoke out of my nose in order to get the level of taste that I prefer. The smoke stays quite unified, undergoing only very slow changes as the fullness of the Virginias becomes apparent; the Latakia is remaining a very subtle influence and the sweetness only slowly gains that density that I find so pleasant in the middle third of a bowl of Dunhill's Early Morning Pipe.

This is quite a dry smoke even though it arrived in the mail slightly moister than I prefer. I'm glad now that I didn't dry it at all.

Denoument: After a short rest and relight the sweetness has thickened up (reminding me of a jar of Mint-Blossom honey I have in my cupboard) and a slightly musty character is coming to the fore when I blow smoke out of my nose. This is finishing quite nicely; all of the flavors from the beginning are still here, just intensified and slightly transmuted. No odd bitterness or ashiness have appeared, nor have any flavors really dropped out. The only major change I found was an intense woodiness for the last 5 minutes or so.

The burn has remained clean and easy - the only relight was after I let it go out intentionally. The ash is light grey and fine, and there were only a few blackened chunks left in the heel of my pipe.

Pros: A good mild tobacco, natural but with a sweet aroma. Very satisfying for those moments when you don't want to burn something with a lot of Latakia (thus scaring the locals) but you still want an English smoke. The flavor remains pretty consistent, and what changes do occur as you smoke happen slowly. A most excellent tobacco which I will probably buy once I know what it is :)

Cons: I have nothing against this tobacco. No bite, no nasty flavors at the finish, and if there's a humectant, it's applied with a very light hand.

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