Mac Baren Latakia Rolls Limited Edition

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


Brand Mac Baren
Blended By  
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type English
Contents Kentucky, Latakia, Virginia
Cut Curly Cut
Packaging 3.5oz Tin
Country Denmark
Production No longer in production


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

Average Rating

3.33 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 12 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 25, 2021 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
PurchasedFrom: internet retailer
Age When Smoked: fresh
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 26, 2021 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.

22 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 03, 2021 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.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 28, 2021 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
PurchasedFrom: Online
Age When Smoked: Fresh
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 23, 2021 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
Mac Baren - Latakia Rolls.

Having smoked this solidly since yesterday I think I've got a fairly well-informed opinion of it. It's a lovely blend!

The tin contains a mixture of rolls and long ribbons. There's more of the rolls, but don't anticipate a blend reminiscent of De Luxe Navy Rolls in appearance. The pieces of rope are half dark brown, the other half lighter brown with yellow ''birds eyes''. Taking a whiff from the tin sets a good precedent of the forthcoming smoke. The aroma's full, smoky/musty, and slightly tangy. This tin's moisture is perfect.

The flavour isn't as Lat-strong as I expected from the name. The Latakia's a definite presence, smoky and peaty, but the Kentucky's just as important. This brings a tangy, sour, BBQ flavour to the smoke; the fire curing goes without question. But the curing doesn't give an astringent taste, just a vibrant ''piquancy''. Now, the Virginia. I notice a slight touch of dark fruit, but the other ingredients are in charge. There's a delicate drop of maple, this mellifluous flavour is almost like a ''dessert'' course after the savoury lead of Lat and Kentucky. It burns perfectly, needing hardly any attention. Bite? Nowhere, for me.

Nicotine: medium. Room-note: quite formidable but I like it.

Latakia Rolls? It's a DEFINITE four stars from me:

Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: GQ
Age When Smoked: March 2021
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 07, 2021 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
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 04, 2021 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
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 01, 2021 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
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 30, 2022 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
Appearance: Coins, slightly irregularly rounded with a diameter of about 30 mm. Inside each coin you can clearly see sliced latakia flakes wrapped in other tobaccos, which makes up about a third of the inside of the coin. The latakia is not in the center of the disc, but as one of the lobes. The wrapper layer of the disc consists, judging by the color, of yellow and red Virginia, while inside, along with the latakia, is a mixture of Kentucky and a couple of kinds of Virginia. The moisture content of the tobacco is perfect.

The flavor of the tobacco is quite difficult to separate into its constituent parts. Nevertheless, Kentucky clearly leads the way, leaving the latakia not even in second place, but somewhere on par with Virginia, in the overall chorus of other scents. The tarry and woody note with a nutty touch defines the general bouquet, it is supported by dried apples, fresh wheat bread, some hay, suede, and only then, smelling slightly of incense, "Her Majesty, the Black Queen" lazily and cautiously enters the stage. The flavor of tobacco reveals itself very slowly. If you wait a while, the undertones become somewhat brighter, but the overall bouquet remains calm and unobtrusive.

I didn't have much luck determining the taste of the blend at first. I tried my first pipe of Latakia Rolls in the evening, after two or three samples of other tobaccos and a good dinner with spirits. Of course, as a result, it all came down to one main note, and that note turned out to be a dense aged Kentucky. I dislike Kentucky even more than I dislike dark Burley, because of its characteristic smell, which reminds me of burnt rubber, and its peculiar taste. So I approached the second pipe with some apprehension. Quite dense recognizable notes of Kentucky, of course, again echoed first, but this time the Kentucky was not alone. The overall taste of the blend was quite complex and contained, in addition, halftones of malt, some dark sweet dried fruit, a woody note, smokiness and a bit of meat. The notes were very well blended into a dense bouquet, transitioning one into the other. I closed my eyes, added a little imagination... Drinking a shot of mescal, snacking on a good piece of charcoal roast, and sipping a nice, dense, slightly sweet stout from an old oak mug, with tar showing through in places. That said, the taste of the blend was fairly subdued, not hitting the receptors. I hoped that it would be brighter if I took a longer puff-and immediately realized my mistake: the tobacco tried to bite my tongue. I realized that I would have to be patient. However, the threat to my tongue disappeared only in the middle of the pipe, so I had to smoke it very slowly and carefully. This gave me the opportunity to appreciate the smooth transition of flavor when the Kentucky stopped prevailing. However, it did not cede the lead to the latakia, but took a back seat to the Virginia influence. Latakia, on the other hand, was only in support of these two tobaccos. At the same time, as I smoked, the notes of Virginia continued to grow until the end, displacing not only the latakia but also the Kentucky. By the end of the pipe, the Kentucky had all but disappeared, and that's when the blend tasted much more like a classic English. Subsequently, I smoked another pipe, a different shape, replacing the billiard with a half pipe to gauge the effect of the shape on the taste of the tobacco. Alas, bad news for latakia lovers: the Virginia and Kentucky in the curved pipe appeared slightly more vibrant, while the latakia was even more muted. The tobacco has a medium strength, is able to smoke extremely slow and cool, but, as I have already noted, requires patience. The speed of smoking this tobacco is easy enough to determine by the color of the ash: if it is dark and relatively large - you smoke the mixture too fast. If you smoke it correctly, the mixture burns out almost to a light gray dust. Tobacco leaves a small amount of moisture in the pipe.

The dense smoke has a tannic, woody smell and settles into the room in a rather heavy carpet. I don't think those around me would be thrilled with it. I smoked the mixture in a draught, but after an hour I could still smell traces of it in the room.

What's the bottom line? First of all, the manufacturer's description of the tobacco was very accurate, except for the fact that, for such a high-profile name, the latakia in the mixture, in my opinion, still spared. As a result, the blend could have been called Kentucky Rolls with Latakia. I also didn't like how the tobacco behaved in the first third: omitting even the fact that I don't like Kentucky - it was a bit stiff. But I can't help but celebrate the success of the overall idea - a complex aroma and flavor. I think if I halved the amount of Kentucky and added latakia in its place, the result would have been completely to my taste. Either way, it was a great experience.
Pipe Used: Peterson POTY 2013, 9BC, 69, 106
PurchasedFrom: Sample
Age When Smoked: Fresh
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 20, 2021 Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable
On Friday afternoons after a long week at work, this has become the blend I l dream of smoking when I get home.

I love the leathery, earthy, nutty aroma of the tobacco when opening the tin, and stacking the coins of tobacco into my pipe is a satisfaction in itself. But the real reward comes from the depth of the flavors when smoked. The campfire incense latakia leads the way, but soon afterwards the nutty Lexington barbecue from the Dark-Fired Kentucky wafts in, and finally the sweet breadiness of the Virginias . . . and oh so rarely the touch of the maple sugar binder. It's like a four course meal. Yes, it does sport some rough edges from time to time, but for me this is a small price to pay for the the phenomenal complexity of flavors. Even before the bowl has turned to ash, I find myself yearning to smoke this again. It is like the famous poem by Basho:

"Even in Kyoto, Hearing the cuckoo's cry, I long for Kyoto."

Edit,11-28-2023: Hadn't smoked this in almost a year. The addition of the dark-fired Kentucky really makes this a nice change of pace to a typical English blend. I only have a few bowfuls left, so I need to ration what I have!
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 28, 2021 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
PurchasedFrom: tobacco pipes
Age When Smoked: 9 months
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