|Intrigued by the description in Dan Pipe's online store, I ordered a tin of this blend; it is described as a mellow blend with a goodly amount of Latakia in it.
Opening the tin, I felt a little cheated, because there is simply no Latakia in the tin aroma. The leaf comes in a variety of ribbons, ranging from some bright strands to black; the balance is much more dark than bright. The promised broad VA ribbons are not all that broad, but long.
The tobacco packs easily, lights easily and burns easily, too. The room note does not really hint at Latakia either; the Black Cavendish comes out nicely, as does the VA. The taste starts out gently sweet but full, with some spice. The Latakia does come out after a while, in taste only, gaining a little strength in the last half that won't satisfy the smokers of English blends, but is beautiful for the VA/Oriental- type consumer. The residue is a voluminous, dark grey ash with no dottle.
The entire experience reminds me somewhat of MacBaren Roll Cake, in which the "hidden" Latakia works in much the same way, only this is a ribbon cut and therefore more suited to the beginner in my opinion. This blend works well in small bowls due to its relatively thin ribbon cut.
For me, this tobacco represents a nice time-out from my usual VA/Per and VA/Oriental weeds. Not bad at all, thanks to the full taste.