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Heavy Latakia, Virginia, Orientals, and a touch of madness.

Notes: This is the Halloween sister blend to Zen Pants using a similar base but changing out what makes Zen Pants distinct for something a bit softer.

Almost a “what if?” there had been a ‘Frog Morton at the Mountains of Madness’ where there had been an Frog Morton variant based on a heavy Latakia base like Penzance.

BrandKen Byron Ventures
Blended ByHerbert West
Manufactured ByKen Byron Ventures
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
ProductionCurrently available
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Mild to Medium, Medium, Strong
None Detected
Room Note
7 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3046)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

The smoky, woody, earthy, musty, leathery, floral, sweet Cyprian Latakia is the main component, comprising half of the blend. The mildly buttery sweet, fairly sour, dry, woody, earthy, floral, smoky, very spicy Orientals play a strong supporting role, and here and there competes with the Latakia for attention. The stoved Virginia provides a lot of tangy stewed dark fruit, earth, wood, and sugar, and is the third star in the line up. The earthy, tangy ripe dark fruity, bready, woody, lightly sugary, matured red Virginia also sports a touch of fermentation and vinegar, and is a condiment. The sweetness from the Virginias are a little muted by the potency of the Latakia and Orientals. Won’t bite or get harsh, but there are a few rough edges as one would expect from such a strong English mixture. The strength and nic-hit are strong. The taste level is full. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a full bodied, deeply rich, hearty, moderately sweet and very savory, spicy, campfire flavor from start to finish. Has just a little inconsistency in taste. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. The long lingering after taste will be pleasant to those who like lots of Latakia. The room note is tolerable to strong. Not an all day smoke. Three and a half stars.


10 people found this review helpful.

PKT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PKT (30)
Strong Strong Full Pleasant

A very full English blend that is both creamy and tasty without being overbearing. Very reminiscent of the stronger English blends of the 70s. It did not strike me as either similar to Penzance, of which I have smoked precious little or of Frog Morton. Nonetheless an outstanding smoke which could become a mainstay for me.

Pipe Used: Briar pot and medium sized Don Warren morta

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Ken Byron at West Coast Pipe Show

7 people found this review helpful.

HabaneroHardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HabaneroHardy (401)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

Another pipe club offering dated Apr 2020. This is a good mild to medium all-day English blend that produces a lot of smoky clouds. As stated in previous posts I am not an all-day pipe smoker so as a rule I tend to prefer something with a little more pizazz. Good but not up my alley.

6 people found this review helpful.

OhioTony76 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OhioTony76 (59)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

When I first oped the bag, the aroma was very sweet. I jarred it up and came back to it a few days later and most of the sweet aroma was gone. It was replaced by more of a soft latakia, and a hint of perique on the nose. I’m guessing the touch of “madness” in the description is perique. At first light, I was expecting a blast of sweetness I might not care for because of the initial bag note. I didn't get that at all. The latakia is mild/medium and softened by the virginia tobaccos. There is a slight sweetness that’s complemented by the very fragrant and incense like orientals. The perique (IMO) is detectable and helps boost the body up a notch or two. This is a mild and basic blend. I’ll smoke it, but I wouldn’t reorder.

Similar Blends: Esoterica Tobacciana - Margate.

3 people found this review helpful.

Driftedshank Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Driftedshank (6)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Tolerable

Absolutely delicious. In style, like a lot of rich English blends of yesteryear. Creamy, deep latakia can be immediately tasted and is present throughout the entire smoke; however it is balanced nicely by the Virginia other blend components. Sip it and you get an incense- like nuance here and there. In that respect, and for its overall depth of flavor, it reminds me of BS759.

3 people found this review helpful.

Tim D Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tim D (12)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Wonderful blend! Can taste the sweetness of the Virginia and the essence of perique! Slight vinegar odor, does not in anyway take from the taste! Damn good.. Love the lead flavor of the Latakia..

Pipe Used: Eldritch Dr Silence

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Ken Byron ventures

2 people found this review helpful.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (339)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This one has an interesting aroma! Underneath the smoky Latakia, it has a classic aromatic note to it, and I can't help but believe this has some added flavoring.

Majority dark brown to black leaf, with just a pinch of light added in. Small chopped ribbon makes up this blend. This is probably the driest mixture I've smoked from KBV, which is in my wheelhouse.

Lights well, no issue.

I certainly enjoy this blend as well! Tons of raw sugar sweetness, vibrant floral notes from the Oriental, and deep salty smokiness from the Latakia. The small amount of Virginia offers just a touch of graham cracker. It's almost like a complete s'mores without an obvious chocolate note. Smokes cool, dry and very refreshing on the palate. I can definitely see the Frog Morton ideation behind this. Wasn't Shortcut to Mushrooms in this genre as well? I prefer smaller bowls of this blend. Not because of nicotine level, but it's more like an an English aromatic for me. I also don't understand some reviews saying this is a strong blend. I guess if you only smoke a bowl or two then write a review, it could be skewed.

Another solid 4 star boutique blend from Ken!

Pipe Used: several

Age When Smoked: Fresh

2 people found this review helpful.