G. L. Pease Odyssey

(3.37)
Odyssey is huge - the biggest of the Pease blends. It's loaded with latakia and harmonized by exotic Orientals. Wonderful red and jet-black stoved Virginias provide a perfect counterpoint.
Notes: From GL Pease: Ever since I started smoking a pipe, I've been in love with the rich fragrance of fine Cyprian latakia. There's something warm and comforting about it; the deep blackish brown colour, the fascinating texture of the leaf, the wonderful smells of campfires and leather. It's an assertive leaf that can be, and often is, easily overdone. If the supporting tobaccos are bold enough, though, and have enough character, something BIG can be produced that still has refinement, elegance, and balance. Odyssey is big. There's no doubt it's loaded with latakia, but that's much more to it. Exotic oriental tobaccos abound, and wonderful matured red and jet-black stoved Virginias provide a perfect balance, both in the tin aroma and in the flavour of the dense smoke. I worked on this for months, tuning the proportions carefully until it was exactly the blend I was after The first match yields big puffy clouds of beautiful smoke. The flavour is bold and assertive, but still refined. The latakia's spice is balanced by the sweetness of the Virginias, and they have a marvelous conversation, while the Oriental tobaccos play Baroque quartets in the background. Or, is it belly dancing music? If you're a latakia lover, Odyssey will surely enthrall you. The high percentage of dark tobaccos dictate a delicate hand when packing for best smoking.

Details

Brand G. L. Pease
Series Original Mixtures
Blended By Gregory Pease
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 2 ounce tin, 8 ounce tin
Country United States
Production Currently available

Profile

Strength
Medium to Strong
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
Flavoring
None Detected
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Tolerable to Strong
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Taste
Full
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.37 / 4
129

58

26

10

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 223 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 02, 2002 Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Extra Strong
Let me begin by saying that I do not normally load up with latakia blends, especially ones with the reputation this one has of being BIG in latakia flavor. Well, I admit to being surprised at how smooth and tasty this blend is. It is big, but in a palate pleasing sort of way with no harshness or dreaded latakia aftertaste. It burned quite cool (most latakia laden blends do), and I wanted another bowl immediately--very unusual for me.

This is not a blend I'd want to wake up to in the mornings. Of course, there is no accounting for taste and the next reviewer indicates he likes to wake up to this stuff. Be forwarned though, if you are going to smoke it indoors, pick a night (or morning) when the missus is away. (Be sure to use lots of air freshener and keep the windows open while smoking, or your liable to get caught!)
44 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 29, 2007 Strong None Detected Extra Full Tolerable to Strong
By his own admission, Greg Pease said, "Odyssey is HUGE." Truth in advertising if I have ever seen it! It reminds me of an old "Saturday Night Live" skit after President Jimmy Carter went into the reactor at Three Mile Island.

The "Guest Host" (an oxymoron) was Dick Benjamin...and he called on the late, inimitable Rodney Dangerfield to describe how "HUGE" President Carter had become after going into the contaminated area.

Rodney said, "He's so big, he could have a sleazy affair with the Holland Tunnel...I mean....HE'S BIG!!!" Sweating, as usual, Rodney loosened his tie..."I mean...he's BIG! He's so big...."

Comedy aside...Odyssey is a Balkan, albeit with Scottish touches. It is NOT an English; the effect is too powerful for such a classification. There is little subtlty or nuance here. Those looking for such are advised to pick another of Greg's many delicious blends. Currently, Westminster would be my counsel.

I purchased a can of Odyssey concurrent with Westminster. It was just as fresh...all of 3-weeks-old. At first I thought, "Ugh!" Boy, was I wrong! Either this blend has changed...or the components...or my tastebuds...or the "tincture of time" has worked its wonders...OR the crop of the constituents has varied due to climate...source...processing. I could go on forever about all that plays into a blend, but I won't.

Suffice it to say that Odyssey is a deep, rich, full, satisfying tobacco for those who want a left-to-the-jaw of Latakia, but who want to retain consciousness to enjoy the entire bowlful. The black Virginias mellow the effect...and the Orientals provide a stimulus to maintain consciousness. Even way-too-fresh, this is a damned good smoke!

If you loved the REAL Rattray's Black Mallory...or kindred tobaccos...you will be beguiled by Odyssey.

This is a well-tempered Balkan...A Latakiaphile's Dream-Come-True. I am soon to go in-search of some aged stuff!
41 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 27, 2010 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
Based on the order in which I've smoked various GLP blends rather than the order in which they were made, I have this picture of Greg Pease in my head.

As he is creating his blends, he's dabbling and puffing and testing and laughing an evil laugh, saying "If I put a pinch of this in the blend, it'll taste like this midway through 1/8th of the bowl and a bit of that will alter the 58th puff and then a dash of that, and it'll take the blend in a whole new direction! This is going to be zealously and meticulously complex stuff... mwaa-haa-haaa!".

It usually takes me awhile to figure out Greg's blends. I'm usually happy when I do. But he's finally made one that is based not on complexity but on fantastic taste from top to bottom. This is it. He's finally given me a chance to relax! I'm not spending too much time studying the smoke nor am I obsessing about a lack of flavor.

Odyssey is the finest tasting latakia blend I've ever smoked. It replaces Lancers Slices in that regard, and thankfully Greg left out LS's tendency to make my tongue feel grainy. Odyssey is a bold taste that lasts the entire bowl, changing only to create an ebb and flow of that incredible flavor. I find almost no complexity to this blend, a trait that Greg would undoubtedly disagree with and cause him to wonder about my ability to discern tobacco quality. But there is nothing wrong with creating a blend that simply tastes fantastic and doesn't conjure up images of spice racks, plums and figs, etc. I'm actually relieved that he came up with this one! Latakia heavy, to be sure, but possibly the perfect interplay of all the tobaccos, the combination creating a sublime smoking experience for those times that I just want something that is consistent, top to bottom.

My other two favorite GLP blends are Meridian, which is a moderately complex blend (and that is its strength) and Charing Cross, which is about as much of a flavor burst as I can stand AND it's complex to the extreme. This one is for when I don't want my tobacco to dictate my mood but for when my mood dictates my tobacco, and I want a fantastic, mouth-filling smoke that I don't have to ponder.

Greg, I've read that you prefer complex tobaccos. I wish I could say I'm sorry that I don't find this one to be so, but I think complexity would spoil it for me. More of this heading to my cellar! Well done!
29 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 12, 2009 Mild None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong
Tin: The label says full Balkan, the term ostensibly meaning an English blend with a greater influence of oriental tobaccos predominating. The 2 1/4" circumference of this old-style tin seems specifically designed to be difficult to use, towards the bottom. Bottom of tin is stamped 051701 (May 17,2002).

Smells like McClelland's Blending Latakia, quality stuff, flat black with dark brown mixed in, 60:40, supple but tending towards dry. Short ribbon cut.

Packs, lights, and burns readily. Dries in around 40 minutes, out of the can. It developes into a powdery consistency after the tin has been opened for a couple of days and frequently causes the pipe stem to get clogged.

Taste-Aroma: Full and robust, while having a nice, soft, velvety interplay of smoky Latakia and perfumy oriental, maybe 70:30. Fairly intense incense, herbal, smoky. Soft puffing gives a nutty taste. It is slightly bitey if puffed rapidly.

I'm thinking that I don't get a VA signature due to the age of the tin, the VA having melded into the blend.

Room Note: Definite, smoky Latakia and herbal oriental nuttiness, medium to full, closer to full, the term tolerable being misleading, but rather, pleasing to pipers.

Strength: Surprisingly low, mild

Overall: Odyssey resets my standard for Latakia and Balkan blends. This is a 7-year old tin and I need to try a new tin for comparison. Better than Westminster, Penzance isn't even close, as good or better than Abingdon, Odyssey having a pronounced interlay of Latakia and Orientals. GLPease labels Abingdon as their fullest Balkan. From what I remember of Abingdon, this 7-year old Odyssey, a member of the Original Series, is richer in Latakia, more flavorful. Other GLPease Balkans include Charing Cross, Kensington, Caravan, and Ashbury.

The powdery consistency mentioned is really agrivating and consistently cloggs the draft hole and stem. Odyssey is not a candidate as an all-day smoke due to the potential for tongue bite, remniscent of Blackpoint and Penzance, in that respect only. As rich as the blend is in taste and aroma, it is correspondingly lacking in nicotine.

A strong 4 stars.
22 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 07, 2006 Medium None Detected Full Tolerable
This is the other Balkan on my "to try" list, aside from Larry's Blend. Actually, it's the third. Well, not really. I forgot that I picked up a Tinderbox bulk Balkan not too long ago, which wasn't exactly a genre defining specimen. I settled for it after having scoured the local tobacco shops for a can of Odyssey. With no luck, I finally broke down and ordered online, which I should have done from the very beginning.

But I've been giving Old Larry and Mr. Odyssey here some sparring time, and I should say I love them both. That might not be saying much, considering I'd probably give a bar of soap four stars if I was compelled to smoke the thing. Though all kidding aside, Odyssey has earned its marks. There's a big Latakia flavor here that's nicely balanced by the addition of the varying Oriental and Virginias. Larry's blend is damn near overkill on the Latakia, which even still, I very much enjoy. But Odyssey is far smoother, in my opinion, which makes it more ideal for routine smokes.

My freshly opened tin was pretty damp. Damper than I can remember any other Pease blend I've cracked open. I've come to enjoy a nice, crisp tobacco leaf, by some chance coincidence not too long ago. It would be that I'd spend a great deal of time fretting over the moisture level of my tobacco, going great lengths to rehydrate blends that I felt had gone too dry. As it turns out, I plan on airing this sucker out for a few hours to really get it going.

Compared to Larry's blend, you'll see the brighter leaf jump out at you, which I tend to think makes for a more nuanced and delicate blend. I can see Greg being especially finicky about Odyssey back during the "conceptional" phase...micromanaging every last element to his taste. He really seems to set the bar for the rest of us, and not the other way around. The guy's a master at that sort of thing. As far as the marketing is concerned..oh, I won't go there.

I know some call this overbearing, but I would disagree. I'm not getting a nicotine kill on Odyssey, and I'm not complaining. What's great is the flavor, and the new territory I've been able to cover going the Balkan road. My poor London Mixture has been getting jealous. I'll have to pay closer attention to her...when this is all done.

You'd be a bastard to rate this any lower than a four. Smoke Up.
19 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 06, 2013 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong
Smokey, sour, and just enough sweetness to keep it from leaving a sour aftertaste. Very nicely done. Very highly recommended.
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 15, 2012 Medium None Detected Full Tolerable
Charring light brings forth flavors of wood, rich earth, leather and salty sulfuric accents. To start, the smoke is soft, smooth, silky and altogether not too spicy. The forwardness of the latakia is nicely tempered by the other tobaccos. This creates a wide bold rich flavor that seems to blossom on the palate. There is a sweetness embedded deep within the flavor but it is more of a bottom note amidst the wider spectrum of musty, moldy, smoked peat flavors. It's similar to the role sweetness plays in a dry Islay malt, a subdued phenolic sweetness found in the undercurrent of the softer bottom-end flavors and nothing more.

As the bowl progresses, rye, burnt popcorn & strong Danish style licorice are some of the more prominent flavors I notice. The smoke is firm, complex and pungent, yet somehow still soft and fragrant. Retrohale provides an intriguing blue cheese like flavor and aroma. And like a strong blue, Odyssey remains full, sharp and flavorful and creamy. Any typical latakia edges are softened out nicely by the orientals & Virginia's and even through to the mid- smoke point the mouth-feel still remains gentle. When pushed Odyssey gets spicier & smokier, and pine pitch flavors accompany the earthy overtones.

The thing that I love best about this mixture is that it has an absolutely amazing end smoke which reveals a slight curry like flavor. Layered within this is slight pepperiness that forms on tip of the tongue. There is no bite whatsoever, only complex dark subtleties and nutty, semi-sweet wood smoke flavors. There's even a wee-little- bit of a fresh evergreen aroma I find similar to the scent of standard green Palmolive. Altogether this is an incredible tobacco mixture, and an absolute pleasure to smoke on a cool autumn or winter evening.

Odyssey stays lit out of tin okay, but does require a few relights both at the beginning and along the way. I would be somewhat reluctant to dry this tobacco, only because the flavors are so impressive without any dry time that I would not want to risk losing any complexities to moisture loss. With a bit of practice and with being careful not to tamp too much or pack too firmly, Odyssey is well behaved, user friendly and burns nicely for a big latakia. This is an excellent full flavored blend. Lovely stuff. Highly Recommended.
16 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 23, 2005 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
First off, I should disclose to the reader that my preferences in pipe tobacco lean toward English and Balkan blends made with well aged tobaccos, devoid of additives/toppings/casings of any kind. Nonetheless, as I have gotten older I have found (much to my delight) that the occasional well made "hybrid" or lightly cased aromatic can have a special charm, and I also now appreciate pure Virginias of a certain quality more than I once did. In other words, I hereby report my biases while claiming to have an open palate with respect to other blend categories, which I also enjoy from time to time.

Odyssey is a rare treat indeed, in the sense that I had almost given up on ever finding anything quite like it. From the moment I received my first tin in March 2005 (tin dated 2002), I felt my pulse quicken. The tin aroma on first opening was not particularly distinct among Balkans, yet there was "something afoot" from the start. I poured some Odyssey onto the flap of my trifold tobacco pouch and examined it closely under bright lighting. What I saw looked promising indeed: an abundance of dark brownish-black tobacco (presumably the Cyprian Latakia which forms the heart and soul of this blend) accompanied by variably sized pieces of black, dark red and tan to pale yellow Virginias and Orientals.

This tobacco requires only a light touch when packing, owing to it's rather chunky consistency of un-rubbed out flake and small strands, which form the right packing density almost by filling the pipe bowl incrementally with intermittent tapping of the bowl to settle the tobacco. A minimum of compression is all that's needed.

I found that this tobacco expresses it's fullest flavor potential in larger pipes. The most rewarding experience was accomplished with several larger Dunhill Shells including group 6 and HT XL size bowls along with equivalently sized pipes from other carvers.

Every bowl of Odyssey has been sublime to date, and I'm far from smoking my last! It is a full tobacco with the wonderful attributes of Cyprian Latakia including the typical woodsy flavor underscored by subtle layers of greater complexity, with a collage of sweet and tangy tones resulting from this special Latakia admixed with just the right amount of Virginias and Orientals. Unlike many blends containing large proportions of Latakia, Odyssey can be smoked from start to finish in a large bowl without noticeable nicotine overload. Another pipeful is often warranted following the first (which always seems to end too quickly for me, no matter how long the pipeful actually lasted).

This tobacco yields a nearly pure white ash and smokes very dry. A well lit bowl produces copious amounts of white smoke, adding to the overall enjoyment. I cannot comment on the room note with full accuracy (since I'm biased well in favor of this blend and cannot be impartial), but my wife tells me it has a "presence", which means it probably creates a signature Latakia smell, and might be said, politely, to be pungent. The room odor does dissipate quite rapidly though; I never detect any lingering Latakia ghosts when I enter the smoking room the next morning.

I am enthralled by Odyssey and smoke it regularly; for me it could easily be an all day smoke if I could smoke all day. Others may find it more suitable for an evening or after dinner pipe. After the first 2 oz. tin was more than half gone, I ordered several more tins for smoking and cellaring. I plan on smoking Odyssey as one of my "primary" blends for as long as it's available. I hope it outlasts me!

Congratulations, Mr. Pease; you have made this pipe smoker extremely happy with this fantastic Balkan blend! A true triumph benefitting the Balkan lover!
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 23, 2007 Mild None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
Ok, I think I have this figured out. In the one year's aging, the latakia really suborned itself to the virginias in the sealed tin. When the tin was freshly opened, I was unable to smell the latakia. After the tin had been opened (plastic lid left on, however) for 24 hours it seems that the latakia has once again revealed itself. My latest bowls have been smokes of an entirely, and wonderful, character. As good as Odyssey is when it's fresh, it only gets better with age. What a relief.

//Second review 04/22/07 below://

I don't know what happened. I cellared a few tins of Odyssey specifically for aging purposes and opened today, 22 April 2007, a 2 oz. tin which had been packed and sealed on 21 April 2006. On opening the tin, the first thing I noticed was the complete lack of distinctive latakia scent. None, zilch, nada. I hope I haven't aged a bunch of Odyssey tins in which the blender forgot the latakia. I went ahead and loaded up a large Cavicchi used exclusively for balkan/english blends. On light-up I could faintly taste the virginias but thus far into the smoke it tastes/behaves as if there were perique in this blend rather than latakia. I wonder if I bought a mis-labled tin of Haddos Delight? Dang... and I was really, I mean really looking forward to trying this tobacco with a year's age in the tin. I'll probably go ahead and finish the tin, but I'm mighty disappointed. I love latakia blends, especially those with some age on them. Thus far the smokes from this tin are distinctively mediocre.

//Original review 10/09/06 below://

I've never had the strength of will to allow a tin of Odyssey to age beyond three months and can only imagine how good it would be with a couple of years or more. Odyssey, for me, is like Esoterica's Penzance ramped up about by about 50 percent. I learned it must be packed rather loosely or it will require frequent relights. I have been smoking it exclusively in an Ardor Ninfea smooth bent and, typically, smoke only on those days (weekends) when I have the full leisure to really pay attention to its nuances. For me, it is spicy, creamy, zesty and sweet - these tastes/sensations start with the very first light and pick up intensity in the last half of the bowl. Typically, I'll have to use a pipe cleaner about one third of the way into the smoke - once it's had its gurgle it settles down until the end. Its end always comes too quickly, leaving nothing but dry gray ash in the bottom of pipe. Very highly recommended. Some day, when I have the extra funds, I hope to buy a full 8 oz. tin of this and put it away where I can forget about it for at least five years.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 06, 2018 Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable
G. L. Pease - Odyssey (Original Mixtures).

Not too coarse a ribbon, more dark leaf than light, and the hydration couldn't be any better.

Although this obviously contains a good amount of Latakia I wouldn't call it a Bomb. The smoke isn't harsh, cutting, or severe enough for it to qualify as one. There's lots of depth and character behind the Lat': piquant Orientals and sweet Virginias. It burns very nicely, cool, steady, to a white ash. All without a bite.

Nicotine: quite strong. Room-note: I don't mind it!

Odyssey? As good a Balkan as any! Highly recommended:

Four stars.
Pipe Used: Neerup Gr 2 Bent Chubby Dublin
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 03/02/18
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