Ken Byron Ventures Plateau of Leng

Heavy Latakia, Virginia, Balkan Orientals, and a touch of Madness.
Notes: This is a replacement for West’s Best Mountains of Madness. The previous version disappeared under mysterious and unsettling circumstances. This Balkanized version has assumed the life of the former blend which used Turkish varietals.


Brand Ken Byron Ventures
Series West's Best
Blended By Ken Byron
Manufactured By Ken Byron Ventures
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging Bulk
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.80 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 15, 2021 Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Strong
Jiminks has described this blend quite well. Not much I can add to it. This is supposed to be a replacement for Mountains of Madness which can no longer be made due to the unavailability of an important component. This will happen occasionally when dealing with a boutique blender. While Plateau is somewhat different from Mountains of Madness it is very much in that style and utterly delicious. It brings me back to the days when I smoked a lot of Sobranie 759, the Sullivan Powell blends, State Express and other full rich English/Balkan blends. Very impressive tobacco. Don't miss it.
Pipe Used: various
PurchasedFrom: Ken Byron Ventures
Age When Smoked: new
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 23, 2020 Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
The smoky, woody, earthy, musty, leathery, floral, sweet Cyprian Latakia is the main component, comprising sixty percent of the blend. The mildly buttery sweet, very sour, dry, woody, earthy, herbal, floral, smoky, spicy, vegetative, incense-like, tangy basma and yenidje play a strong supporting role. The yenidje sports a noticeable “unflavored soda note” that I always associate with that particular Oriental. The stoved Virginia provides a lot of tangy stewed dark fruit, earth, wood, bread, sugar, and a touch of spice. It runs in third place here. The fermented tangy ripe dark fruity, earthy, woody, bready, lightly tart citrusy matured red Virginia also sports a touch of vinegar. It is a condiment. The sweetness from the Virginias are a little muted by the potency of the Latakia and Orientals, though it tones down some of the rough edges that a strong English mixture typically possesses. Won’t bite or get harsh. The strength and nic-hit are strong. The taste level is full. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable rate with a full bodied, deeply rich, hearty, moderately sweet and very savory, spicy, campfire flavor from start to finish. 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 this genre. The room note is rather strong. Not an all day smoke. Four stars.

10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 22, 2020 Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Unnoticeable
As stated in other reviews a friend of mine from the pipe club is a really big fan of KBV and if it was not for him, I would probably not be able to try any as I am a recovering (trying) tobacco hoarder. Yes sir, it is tough, but my war chest if bursting at the seams. This was dated 12/13/20 and man what a blend. A deep smoky, dense tasting smoke that upon first puff I fell in love. This would be one I would buy if not going through my recovery process. It produced a lot of nice smoke and if I could sit outdoors around a camp fire with coffee this would be perfect. While smoking this I just wanted to sink my teeth into it like it was a big juicy steak. You can read JimInks if you what a more detailed critique.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 20, 2021 Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Strong
Ribbon cut out of a mylar bag. Mostly black and dark brown tobaccos with 15-20% light ribbons. A tad moist, but didn't need time to dry. The note out of the bag is classic Balkan; smokey pines, vinegar, and earth. The first quarter of the bowl is owned by the latakia. It's smokey and tangy. It has enough oriental to cut back the brute smoke and add some vinegar, and sour to make it a pleasant experience. Halfway through the latakia cools off and you get less pine smoke and more earthy, herbal, and spice notes. Eventually the Virginia appeared for me, and provided some dark fruit and bread notes. The highlight is the tangy sour smokey start. Not all Balkans can get it right, but this does a good job of it. Required a few relights.

Pipe Used: Moretti Morta Rhodesian
PurchasedFrom: Ken Byron Ventures
Age When Smoked: Fresh
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 07, 2022 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
According to the KBV site this blend is now just called 'Plateau'. This was my first foray into the KBV blends. The industrial grade Mylar pouch it came in was impressively stout and the colorful jar label that came with it is a thoughtful and classy touch.

Aroma from the pouch is malty, figgy, and sweet. Although this is billed as a ribbon cut I consider it more in the 'mixed' category between ribbon and coarse with a variety of textures, widths and thicknesses, barely a stem, and enough longish strands and overall springiness to hold it together nicely for a snug inverted pack in a Peterson house pipe. Moisture level just right for me and burns steady with only a couple of relights needed for the full duration of an extra-large bowl.

This blend hits all the flavor notes I love in a big Latakia blend: Leather, chocolate, salt, cream, brown sugar, with a little floral note from the Orientals popping in here and there. The quality of the leaf and balance of flavors are top-notch and provide abundant billows of rich, tangy smoke with a silky mouth-feel. I appreciate a blend with some strength and Plateau hits that mark too but with remarkable SMOOTHNESS. I get a similar sensation of combined strength and smoothness from Commodore Flake but the flavors in Plateau are more herbal and lively and the nicotine strength is a notch lower. The smoothness and quality of leaf in Plateau are impressive and this blend easily gets four stars. Now if we could just get Ken to make it in a flake version... 😉
Pipe Used: Peterson System House (various), Wellington XL
0 people found this review helpful.
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