|While not a fan of latakias to begin with i have been toying with making my own blends and plqying around with latakia
Opening the pouch it smells like you are being transported to a rural village in mid winter with the wood burning fires raging away The aromas have an almost homely feel Very dark smokey leathery and very rich
I havent smoked this neat as i am too much of a wimp but used in ratios of between ten and twenty percent it adds real character to a blend with that unmistakeable taste and aroma
If you are making a blend of your own then this is a highly reccomended addition
|I recently purchased a pound of this stuff, and I could not be happier. To use a cooking metaphor, Latakia is the salt in a blend recipe. Without salt there is no flavor, yet everyone has their own ideal level of saltiness. To deal with this we cooks salt lightly and place a salt shaker on the table.
And so it is in my household now. I enjoy Latakia, but it's drawback is in it's strength. Though rich in flavor, Latakia is a mild tobacco. Thus a strong tobacco mixture with Latakia tends to be an oxymoron. I wanted strength and richness. It seemed I needed to be able to add Latakia to match my own specific taste.
What to do? After 25 years of smoking, I ventured into blending. I got my strongest friends together (the Brown and Black ropes, Dark Birdseye, Dark Flake, etc) and introduced them to Full Virginia Flake to add a wonderfully smooth body, and then seasoned them with Latakia. The result: Rich, full, and strong. Delicious even. Currently I am messing around with about 10% Latakia. My guess would be the upper range of my pallet would be 20%, though I may already have found the sweet spot at 10%.
As far as McClelland's Latakia, I have not tried it. But I have tried tobaccos from the House of McClelland, and I've tried tobaccos from Lakeland (Gawith Hoggarth & Samual Gawith) and to me there is no comparison. No other house can hold a candle to the Lakeland houses. Try them, and you'll be an instant convert to the wonderful tobaccos and methods of yore.
FYI: Finding this stuff isn't easy, but I found mine at marscigars.com
P.S. So far I've had good luck storing bulk tobacco by placing the tobacco in canning jars and placing one of those humidifying gel disks (sold on ebay) under the lid.
|Bulk: Compared to McClelland's Blending Latakia, not as deep black, being tinged with a little brown where slight bits didn't get fire smoked. Thin cut, varing from short to long and stringy ribbon. A less pronounced smoky aroma than McClelland's. Although not sticky, the tobacco can be pressed into a ball.
Burn Qualities: Lights and burns well with one match
Taste & Aroma: Rich, smooth, leathery, woodsy, smoky, more leathery than smoky, somewhat musty. Gives a zest to the tongue. Not at all overpowering when smoked by itself.
Nicotine: mild to medium
Overall: This has a less smoky smell and aroma, more leathery, compared to McClelland's. G.H. Latakia merits three stars, there's nothing wrong it, but I like McClelland's better and I gave that 3 stars. 2.6 Stars, recommended.