John Cotton John Cotton's Double Pressed Latakia

From Pipes and Cigars: Many people who enjoy English and Balkan blends will buy them and age them for months or even years to take the "edge" off the Latakia flavor, and also to let the Virginias become a bit sweeter. With John Cotton's Double Pressed Latakia, a lot of that effort has already been done for you. It starts out as a flake that consists of smoky Cyprian Latakia, select ripe Virginias, fragrant Orientals, and a bit of Burley to add even more body. Then the aged flakes are fully rubbed out and allowed to breathe for weeks. Then the tobacco is put back into a press and formed into a crumble cake. The second pressing helps to mellow the Latakia and deepen the other flavors for a truly harmonious result. This isn't a "lat-bomb" by any means. The balance of John Cotton's Double Pressed Latakia is just about perfect if you don't like getting bowled over with smokiness.


Brand John Cotton
Blended By Russ Ouellette
Manufactured By Sutliff Tobacco Company
Blend Type English
Contents Burley, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Krumble Kake
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country United States
Production Currently available


Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Mild to Medium
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.57 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 11, 2020 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The smoky, woody, earthy, lightly musty, mildly incense sweet Cyprian Latakia is the lead component. The floral, earthy, woody, herbal, vegetative, dry, sour and lightly buttery sweet, spicy, tangy Orientals play a strong support role. The very nutty, earthy, woody, lightly molasses sweet burley is a secondary star. The red and brighter Virginias provide a lot of tart and tangy dark fruit and citrus, earth, wood, light grass, and a little "barbecue". They play just below the level of the burley, the red Virginia being little more prominent of the two. The strength and taste levels are a couple of steps short of medium. The nic-hit is a hair past the center of mild to medium. Won’t bite or get harsh, and due to the double pressing, has a lightly fermented, sugar, rather matured quality to it that moderately mellows out the experience. This blend barely has any rough edges due to that. Burns cool, clean and slow no matter how you break up the cake. You may prefer to give it a light dry time, but I did not. The mildly sweet and more savory, spicy, deeply rich, complex, well balanced flavors are very consistent from start to finish, and translate to the lightly lingering campfire after taste. The room note is a tad more pungent than what you taste. Leaves very little dampness in the bowl, and requires some relights. Can be an all day smoke for any level of smoker. Three and a half stars.

14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 17, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong
Wow! What an interesting tobacco.

I'm a fan of the John Cotton blends, and saw this double-pressed latakia and had to try it. First, the bad news -- this is NOT a budget, bang-for-buck smoke. I paid $15 a tin for it, and got the smallest little nugget of crumble cake that I have ever received in a tin, ever. I will say, it is HIGHLY compressed, when I cut it it expands nicely, but I can't imagine I'll get more than 10 good sized bowls out of the tin.

Lucky for me, then, that I bought three tins. Because WOW. Talk about an evolving bowl. At first, the smokey sweet latakia takes the lead with the orientals coming in second. Frankly, my first thought was that this tasted like a mixture between Stimulus Package and Ten Russians. There's a certain "dry" "tannic" vibe to it (to use wine terms) that I've tasted in Stimulus Package. Lovely, and I would have said this was a great medium+ english with an oriental backbone.

But then, this tobacco really changes into the second half of the bowl. The orientals take a backseat to the burley, and the latakias mellow into a more condimental+ role. By the second half, I really felt like it was a combination of Stimulus Package and Triple Play. Fascinating. I'm not sure if the barbeque flavors came from burley itself or if there is some dark fired in there, but it definitely had that note about it. At that point, it backed off to a more medium strength and intensity.

Really a pleasure to smoke! Very complex, nice evolution through each bowl, a total pleasure. My three tins may not be close to enough.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 31, 2020 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
Bought this on a whim due to an online sale. Was not disappointed! As a huge fan of the Captain Earles line of plugs, this one is in a very similar vein. It is more of a crumble cake, as it just falls apart when you rub it out to a very fine granular mixture. It is extremely smooth, but strong, and no bite. The flavor of the lat is smoky but not harsh. It needs a slight bit of drying, but not much, takes to flame easily and smokes down to a nice dottle. This is a great smoke, flying way low under the radar. I am almost hesitant to sing its praises, as I would hate to see a run on it and not be available! Yes the portion seems a bit small when you pop the tin, but it is quite dense and it packs a nice vitamin N punch, but nothing overwhelming. I am steadily whittling down my library to a concise, curated trove of treasured tobaccos, and this one is definitely in the winner column for me right now. Will definitely be buying more and will be aging some to try later. But for now, it is just wonderful right out of the tin. Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Cobs, big billiards
Age When Smoked: new
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 16, 2021 Very Mild None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
A very good blend for the Latakia smoker. This tobacco is a block pressed tobacco, but rubs out quite easily. A true crumble cake. It lights well and stays lit. The burn is cool and dry. While this blend requires some work before it goes into the pipe, the effort is worth doing because it results in a "fiddle free" enjoyable smoke.
Pipe Used: billiard
Age When Smoked: new
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 08, 2020 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
I normally prefer a light English like EMP, Presbyterian, White Knight or Old Dublin when I smoke a Latakia blend but I will on occasion get a hankering for the smokey leaf and pop open a jar of Pirate Kake. I like when there is enough complexity to keep me going. This blend is in a similar vein as HH Latakia Flake, and I have to say I think that I prefer this over HH lat flake.

When I first opened my tin I saw the typical DP Crumble Cake. When you put your nose in it smells like campfire smoke. The Latakia is very nicely present it is smokey, woody, and earthy. I can smell some of the sour, spicy Orientals, and the Virginias give a little well earned sweetness. In a word: sublime. This is what I want to smell when I smell an English. The cake is just a little more difficult to break apart, but it packs well. I don't know if it's the nature of Latakia but this was just a little dryer than the other DP offerings. By association it will light easier than the others too.

On first light the Latakia is very smokey, earthy, and woody. The Orientals are just behind it making it floral, herbal, and tangy. I like the interplay between the two, it doesn't come across as incense-like like the HH Latakia Flake did. That aroma is still there but downplayed a bit. The floral and earthy components are really fighting for front and center. The Virginias are here with some sweetness and dark fruit rounding the blend out. Like in the others this seems to have some matured red Virginias rather than bright Virginias.

This smokes nice and slow and is a good blend to settle in with. It goes well with the coffee I'm sipping on. A perfect cold weather blend for me. The room note sort of reminds me of being a kid and playing in the piles of leaves of my backyard before my dad would use them to start a bonfire. That nice smokey campfire smell. The taste here is a mild to medium. It will fill your mouth, but it is very mellow. The strength on this is a tame medium. I don't think think anyone will find this blend to be too much to handle. I really like this blend and I'll give it four stars.
Pipe Used: Cob
Age When Smoked: New
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 19, 2023 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Tin note of pungent sweet smoky fruity wine. Tobacco is a black 1/2-inch thick Krumble Kake plug, with a little brown mixed in. Moisture level is good, breaks off and rubs out easily. Burns slow with few relights. The strength is medium and nic is mild to medium. No flavoring detected. Taste is medium to full and very consistent, with notes of smoky, floral, savory, sour, dry wood, tangy citrus, rich earth, toast bread, leather, herbal, incense, acidic, buttery nuts, lemon grass, a sweet stewed fruit background note, and a peppery retro. Latakia is leading with Oriental/Turkish and Virginia supporting. Burley is supporting from afar. Room note is pleasant to tolerable, and aftertaste is great.
Pipe Used: English Captain Black Sandblasted X188
Age When Smoked: 2 years
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 14, 2021 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Disappointed by this version. John Cotton Latakia was one of my favorite pipe tobaccos along with Smyrna. It had enough Latakia to appreciate but not overwhelm. It was smooth, mild and never bit. I really enjoyed it. Then suddenly I couldn't get it any more.

This Double-Pressed version is different. It's stronger, harsher and bites my tongue. It does not seem to be the same blend at all. I had three pipes and just was not looking forward to another. I've sealed it back up and going to leave it in the can for a few months. Hopefully it will mellow out. If it does I'll update this.
Pipe Used: Aldo Velani Dubliner
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Cigars
Age When Smoked: New
1 person found this review helpful.
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