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Encased in a wrapper of whole Virginia leaves, Mac Baren's limited-edition Latakia Rolls features a core of spicy Dark-Fired Kentucky and naturally sweet Virginias, alongside a significant percentage of smoky Latakia. The blend is then rolled by hand and stored for five days in wooden crates before being sliced into fine coins. Like nearly all of Mac Baren's spun-cut mixtures, maple sugar is used as an adhesive to bind the rope together, but it is otherwise quite pure in natural flavor, elevating each individual component to the attention of the palate.

Latakia Rolls beautifully showcases the natural character of each varietal, offering a pleasant balance of sweet, spicy, and smoky notes; the incense-like character of the Latakia complements the Dark-Fired's tart, mesquite flavors to produce a smoke that's incredibly complex yet smooth on the draw. No one flavor or component dominates, the cut instead offering a more blended, married profile regardless of how it's prepared in a pipe. Whether folded and stuffed, stacked, or rubbed out into a fine shag, Latakia Rolls is the all-day, spun-cut English blend we've all been waiting for.

Notes: Limited to 7,500 tins

BrandMac Baren
Manufactured ByMac Baren
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsKentucky, Latakia, Virginia
CutCurly Cut
Packaging3.5oz Tin
ProductionCurrently available
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Mild to Medium
Extremely Mild
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
8 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2802)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The smoky, woody, earthy, musty, leathery, floral, mildly sweet and lightly sour Cyprian Latakia competitively trades the lead at times with the Kentucky, but neither one singularly dominates the proceedings. The smoky barbecue sweet and mildly sour dark fired Kentucky provides a lot of earth, wood, spice, some vegetation, herbs, floralness, and light nuttiness. The various matured, fermented Virginias offer a lot of tart and tangy citrus, grass, bread, sugar, some earth, wood, hay, vegetation, and mild amounts of tangy darker fruit and floralness along with a few spice, honey and acidic notes. They are strong supporting players near the same level as the Latakia and Kentucky. The maple binder is just noticeable. The strength level is a step below the medium mark. The nic-hit is a notch below that threshold. The taste is medium. Won’t bite or get harsh, but it does have a few small rough edges. The coins need no dry time, and easily break apart to suit your preference. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable rate. The varying percentages of varietals in the coins create some inconsistency in the spicy sweet and floral, mildly sour, smoky campfire flavor. Has a lightly lingering, pleasant after taste. The room note is a notch stronger. Barely leaves any moisture in the bowl. Requires a couple more than an average number of relights. Can be an all day smoke for the veteran, and easily repeatable for the lesser experienced. Three stars due to the inconsistency.


20 people found this review helpful. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note (220)
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

Summary: dark fired Kentucky Burley tames Latakia into a floral and herbal undertone.

Similar to "Dark Twist," this Mac Baren blend uses maple sugar as a binder, so you want to let the first couple puffs after lighting or relighting during the first half of the bowl burn off because they are bitey like piranhas on meth. After that, a bright Virginia and dark fired Kentucky Burley blend emerges, with the Latakia taking a minor role that colors the smoke and gives a floral and herbal undertone to the rich smoky Burley. The Virginias infuse this as the bowl burns down, changing it from spicy to sweet as caramelized sugars enter the flavor profile. Of all the blends I have smoked, this one tastes the most like luxury, a massively indulgent burst of flavor where sweetness is balanced with spice and warm nutty flavor as in a good American English.

Similar Blends: Newminster - No. 403 Superior Round Slices, Savinelli - Doblone d'Oro, Mac Baren - Dark Twist Roll Cake.

4 people found this review helpful.

Bulldog8483 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bulldog8483 (20)
Mild Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

First off, I'm a little surprised to see the lower reviews for this blend. I think it is masterfully blended and offers excellent balance throughout the smoke as well. After a week opened in a jar smells almost indistinguishable from McClelland's Frog Morton Cellar. Excellent tin note. The Latakia is not overpowering to say the least. In fact, it's quite mild and in the background with the Virginia's taking center stage. It's sweet, burns cool and has a very tolerable room note as well. Starts out with a toasted marshmallow note when initially lit. Honestly delicious.

When you load your bowl, take three to four coins out of the tin and stack them on top of each other. Then pinch them together and stick them in your pipe . Try smoking it this way and it definitely seems to change the flavor profile and bring out all the blend has to offer. I've tried loading my pipe several different ways and , per Jensen the blender, he recommends doing it this way and it is definitely worthwhile. It is a very enjoyable blend to smoke from beginning to end, but the last half of the bowl is my favorite. The sweetness builds to an addicting level in my opinion. It is almost Maple syrup like in taste. Puff it slow when you get to this point and you won't regret it.

In short, this is an excellent blend with top quality tobaccos in it. If you're looking for a Latakia heavy blend, this isn't it. However, if you're looking for a well balanced blend where the Virginias, Latakia and Kentucky tobaccos play off of each other beautifully, then this IS it. The Virginias are so sweet and tasty and the Kentucky gives just the right kick in just the right area. This is a winner. Try it and cellar some more and I think you'll be a happy you did!

Pipe Used: Savinelli

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Online

3 people found this review helpful.

incendio Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
incendio (43)
Very Mild Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

I’m not sure where to place this tobacco. I think it’s an entry-level offering and won’t please a consumer in search of sophistication and nuance. The format and the suggestion of Latakia are features that wade apprehensively at the shore rather than stirring ripples of interest in the neutral-brown morass of Virginia-Kentucky. It’s a fairly impartial contestant in an otherwise crowded market of limited-edition tobaccos, and I get the impression that aging won’t lend significant depth to the blend. The attractive, finely cut coins were a cross-section crescent of mottled sandy Virginia cupped by a darker mélange of predominantly dark-fired Kentucky moderately spiced with Latakia. The tobacco is slightly crispy-sticky and crumbling the coins will lead some of the brittle darker leaf to settle out of the longer, supple Virginia shag. Loading the coins directly into the bowl tended to conserve the favorable qualities of this blend somewhat more during smoking. The presentation of the coins, or rather the distribution of darkly colored leaf, might give the misleading impression of a predominance of Latakia, however these coins have but a whisper of Latakia that irresolutely fails to find a footing beyond the foundational Virginia-Kentucky. Any mercurial trace of Latakia vanishes from the tin note and the bowl, leaving one with questions as to its nature altogether—nor am I certain I could detect the remnants of the Oriental leaf which bore its ephemeral perfume. Before I digress further, I should arrive at my principal observation: this mixture becomes less captivating as it is smoked. The bowl began with an elemental, lackluster creosote and dry cacao. The first several puffs were exciting but until approximately the halfway point the mixture was gradually denuded of its complexity, flavor, and charm. I continued to smoke past this point to determine whether the intrinsic qualities of the leaf would admirably champion the remainder of the experience, but this was not the case. There were hints of basic hay and damp brown paper sack, however the body was weak and thin and lacking in weight and mouthfeel; the blend led almost exclusively by the nose. There was perhaps the slightest touch of sweetness and toast, and a little cereal but the fundamental structural quality of the leaf was frankly pedestrian. On its own it wouldn’t entice, and no component contributed enough for the mixture to achieve substantiveness to any degree. There’s a chance the Virginia will “open up” after several months in a jar but there is no guarantee of this. It’s a good tobacco in an uncomplicated way and might serve as a transition to other more assertive and readily available tobaccos. I may be proven utterly wrong but I’m guessing this won’t be the gem of anybody’s collection in ten years.

Pipe Used: meerschaum and briar

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: internet retailer

Similar Blends: It's fairly unique as an intersection of characteristics, however in each appreciable dimension its quality failed to excel beyond that of several very affordable and readily available (bulk) tobaccos..

3 people found this review helpful.

J-P Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
J-P (10)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Very Pleasant

This is a first Impression - I will edit this in a week or so when I'm half way through a tin:

The presentation is nice (lovely tin) and the crispy rolls are perfectly dry out of the can. It looks very similar to a can of Dark Twist.

This smells notably smokier from the can than it tastes.

I took a walk with a brand new freehand cob and stuffed it with 5 rolls from the newly opened tin (#5977 of 7500). This behaved very well for an hour of lunting.

The main flavour I'm picking up is mild to medium and quite pleasant. You can detect the mild sugar/maple casing which is ubiquitous to Mac Baren roll-cakes.

A smoked, mildy nutty, caramelised crème brulée was the overall impression I got. Definite hints of custard and cream.

That flavour seems to be consistent through to the end of the bowl where it ramped up nicely to a somewhat strong cinnamon/spice finish. The smoke itself is smooth and middling to full in volume.

But yes - I will have to keep smoking it. So far it's a very nice smoke. Quite mild, fairly sweet. Not at all a latakia bomb, but it acts as a pleasant condiment. I only lit it once and it burned all the way to the bottom.

I will be tempted to up this to 4 stars if it keeps it up.

Pipe Used: Freehand Missouri Meershchaum

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

KingDuncan83 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KingDuncan83 (25)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

While this is not an instant classic, it is a very enjoyable coin cut roll cake. Sweet and spicy at varying levels. Not one i go to often but a good sometimes smoke.

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: 9 months

Purchased From: tobacco pipes

1 person found this review helpful.

HabaneroHardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HabaneroHardy (336)
Mild None Detected Mild Unnoticeable

I was able to try some of this back at the end of February. Not that it matters but the coins looked like it had the stems inside also. Maybe extra flavor. From what I remember this was very mild tasting. Really light on the Latakia. My cohort that let me try his tin said he thought it needed some age. I see that it is still in stock, limit 7500 tins. As of this date it is still in stock, not sure what that says about the blend as for its popularity. It comes in a 3.5-ounce tin for around 20 bucks at one site that I looked at. For my personal taste just a little too light tasting as I recall.

Age When Smoked: New

1 person found this review helpful.

LiterarySmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LiterarySmoker (127)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I saw this tin online a few weeks ago when it dropped and was curious as to what it could be like. I like coin cut tobaccos so I bought a tin just to try. Based on my initial tasting I wish this had come out when I was first learning about English blends as it would have lead me there without much fuss.

The tin art is great and looks like a cross between old timey design and new crisp asthetic. Opening the tin is an experience in luxury. Rich creamy Latakia comes to the forefront, followed closely by very sweet a slightly bready Virginias. There is a light smoked barbecue coming from the Dark Fired Kentucky lingering through the tin note. All in all a very enticing smell. The coins are just about where I want them in terms of moisture. It takes a light fairly easily. But what does it taste like?

At first light I taste smooth, creamy Latakia. It doesn't overpower anything in the blend. The Virginias are present and are sweet, bready, and give off a slight hay. As you smoke down, there are pockets of Dark Fired Kentucky that burst into the forefront and then slowly fade into the background again. The flavor likes to slowly evolve and change and makes this an interesting experience. I can taste the binder very slightly, it's a Maple sugar.

The taste is a medium. It is not bursting with flavor, but it's so complex, it doesn't have to. The strength is a medium. Lady N is content with a simple date tonight. The burn is consistently slow. The room note is a touch lighter than your normal English but as always your milage may vary. I give this a solid four stars, but I will say that this isn't an everyday sort of blend for me. This is a blend that I need to set time and relax with for complexity's sake.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Hercules Bulldog

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.