G. L. Pease Odyssey

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.


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


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

Average Rating

3.38 / 4





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Displaying 11 - 20 of 224 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 02, 2009 Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Pease Pilgrimage Reviews (a tasting journey through every GLPease blend) Tin date: 09/11/07 (8 oz. tin)

Aroma: More campfire-smoky in the jar than Abingdon, even though we've established that Abingdon has more Latakia. Don't know what it is about this blend, but it's darker, smokier and richer than Abingdon. I expect darker because the Virginias are stoved, but perhaps that adds to the overall “smokiness” of the blend too, a characteristic I normally associate only with Latakia.

Appearance: A finer ribbon than Abingdon. Well, Abingdon really isn't a ribbon at all. And actually Odyssey is more like a cut-up flake. A pseudo-ribbon. A ribbon poser. The shorter, stubbier, not-as-handsome cousin of the classic curly smooth ribbon. It's like little sticks, cut up short and thin, busted up a bit, like it was soaked in liquid nitrogen, dropped, and busted into shards, which makes it easier to load and pack than Abingdon. It looks kinda like Lancer's Slices except with the addition of some red leaf. The Latakia and the black stoved combine to make it at least 80 to 90% black.

Flavor: Smoky. Again, a flavor I normally associate with Latakia, and which seems to make this more smoky than Abingdon. If I blind tested the two, I would surely peg Odyssey as having more Latakia, but that's not the case according to Mr. Pease. The age of my relative samples could have something to do with it, as well as the proportions of the Orientals and Virginias too. For example, even if there was less Latakia than in Abingdon, but there were also less Orientals with a higher percentage of Virginia, then the Latakia could overpower the smaller percentage of Orientals and make the blend seem smokier. But this, as in many other areas of my life, is total speculation. However, it does seem quite clear to my taste buds that this blend has a lower percentage of Orientals than Abingdon. And I like that!

Yes, I am a Latakia Hound. Among my favorites are Commonwealth, SG Balkan Flake and Lancer's Slices which, to my knowledge, are all made from only Virginias and Cyprian Latakia. Odyssey, however, has the smokiness I love in those blends, but with the added interest of Oriental tobaccos “belly dancing” in the background (Greg Pease's words, not mine!). He also states “If you're a Latakia lover, Odyssey will surely enthrall you.” Yup, he's right. I like this better than Abingdon.

I found myself relighting more often than with many tobaccos. It's not at all wet, in fact my 8 oz. tin dated 2007 was quite dry when I opened it (grabbed it off the shelf at Cigar and Tabac in K.C. a couple months ago). Can't figure that one out, but a very recent thread discussed this same problem. It's not to the point of being a nuisance, so it won't affect my opinion about it at all. It also smokes a bit hotter than Abingdon.

The first two-thirds of the bowl are relatively consistent, a big Latakia blend with a noticeable Oriental presence that always stays in the background and even fades as the bowl progresses. There is the sense of some Virginia sweetness present, but the actual Virginia flavors are lost to the Latakia, especially in the second half as the overall flavor gets more and more pungent. Sipping, as usual, really brings out the flavors, but this also allowed mine to go out, therefore the relights. Upon relighting, there was a big Oriental blast, then it settled down once again into its regular form. No gurgling during the entire smoke, and didn't use a single pipe cleaner.

The last 15 to 20% is hardcore (in a good way). This is where it lives up to the adjectives like “full” and “big.” Like the last two inches of a really good cigar, Odyssey gets serious at this point. If you don't like strong, then stay away or dump it out before arriving here - the journey to this point will have been worth it. But if you're the type that likes a double espresso after you've finished your big garlicky Italian dinner at 11:00 p.m., then you'll want to persevere to the very bottom of the bowl, where you're left with only a very dark to black-colored ash.

Pease says he worked for months on the proportions in Odyssey, and I would say it paid off. Any more Latakia, and it would totally overpower the rest of the blend. Any more Orientals, and it would be difficult to distinguish from Abingdon (except for the stoved leaf). Any less Orientals, and they would totally fade into the background. With more Virginias, there wouldn't be enough room for the Latakia and Orientals to play. Yes, I'd say his work in the lab paid off handsomely. Four stars, and one rung higher than Abingdon IMHO. I want to smoke this while sitting around the campfire at Stinson Beach with some dear friends, a bottle of 1994 Dow's Vintage Port and a guitar.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 10, 2017 Mild None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Gregory Pease is not just a tobacco blender, he's an artist of tobacco blending. He's really talented and creative in making, naming and presenting his artisanal blends.

A pipeful of Odyssey sets you out, well, to an odyssey - a lengthy contemplative journey on the waves of tobacco flavours. Rich, full, abundant Latakia goodness accompanies you right from the start. The smoked leaf in this blend is so delicious, it makes Odyssey a jewel among G. L. P.'s Latakia-heavy blends.

However, the eponymous Odyssey by Homer was nothing like a fancy sailing trip. The real Odysseus had to cross realms of monsters and face formidable demons. That's unfortunately what happened to me in my own odyssey with this tobacco.

By the last third of the journey the Latakia goodness had gradually faded away overpowered by acrid, harsh and aggressive fumes. Confused, I reached to the itinerary Gregory had provided in his tin description. That was, he explained, "exotic oriental tobaccos ... dancing delicately like Dervishes in the billowy clouds of fragrant smoke". I don't know. What I encountered at the end of my bowl was not delicate at all. Smoky ghosts coming out of my pipe reminded me not of Dervishes but rather of Jihadists.

So, my odyssey, unlike the original epic poem, didn't have a happy end.

Even though I loved very much the Latakia in this blend, I won't buy another tin of Odyssey exactly because of this harsh and acrid finish.
Pipe Used: Peterson Bent Billard 221
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 18, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I'm not going to add or contradict other good reviews, so my added comments would be..... Like GL Pease says….its Latakia BOLD. But surprisingly, not on the first light. In the tin the Latakia strikes you right in the face (which I don’t care as I like Latakia), but the moment you light, the softest creamiest balanced Latakia / Oriental / Virginia tobacco blend comes through with even a hint of sweetness as an afterthought. A complex yet satisfying smoke. Throughout the bowl the hint of sweetness stayed with you.

Pipe Used: Bari wiking
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 24, 2005 Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
There is indeed no shortage of flavor to be found in this Balkan powerhouse. Yet, strong as it is, Odyssey is smooth rather than harsh. Its smoothness belies the actual strength and a large amount of restraint is indicated to keep one from greedily puffing like a smokestack to the extreme detriment of one's tongue. When smoked slowly and with care, this blend delivers an exceptional richness of flavor. Smoky latakia, creamy orientals, and sweet virginias all intermingle to provide a sublime flavor that is the peer of any Balkan or English blend.

My wife happens to love the room note that Odyssey evokes and never fails to comment, "I really like that one." In this respect I am lucky that she likes the smell of latakia blends; however, Odyssey and Margate are the only two that I have found so far which possess an aroma that she seems to especially enjoy.

I recommended this world-class blend to those who are seeking a full Balkan or strong English experience. It's a bit hard on my palatte though. As much as I love the powerhouse of flavor, try as I might to smoke this slowly, I invariably scorch the dickens out of my tongue and gums when I smoke this. Margate is the same way with me so maybe I just can't quite tolerate so much latakia yet. It's really good and a flavor monster, but I must bow down and cry "Uncle," because this stuff leaves my mouth feeling like I've been chewing on a campfire for hours after I smoke it.

I'd recommend getting the tin first because I ordered an 8oz bag and it took me over six months to finish it. This is ideal for a nightcap latakia bomb but a bowl of this a day is about as much as I can tolerate. Test your tongue against Odyssey and see if you are man enough for this full Balkan overload of intense flavor.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 12, 2022 Strong None Detected Very Full Strong
Smoooooth! Wow!.

Full of Orientals and Cyprian Latakia with just enough Virginias to complete its symphonic proportions, this has to be one of the best Balkans out there.

I am aware of the ongoing debate as to whether there is any difference between English and Balkan mixtures. Well, IMO Pease's blends provide the perfect example: Westminster is perhaps the epitome of an English, whereas Odyssey is the epitome of a Balkan. I guess it's all a question of proportions and accents as to the way the different leaves are combined.

Yes, Odyssey it's strong, but not harsh; it's full, but not overwhelming; it's deep, but not heady; it's complex, but not bloated. Not a beginners tobacco, it however provides one of the most satisfying, smoothest and more rewarding experiences in the Latakia/Oriental universe.

Kudos Mr. Pease! Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Big Ben Mercury
PurchasedFrom: Josh Pipe Tobaccos
Age When Smoked: N/A
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 23, 2019 Mild to Medium Medium Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
I right like this Balkan (much better than I do, say, GLP's Abingdon Balkan).

Good and smokey Latakia, better blended with Turkish and Virginia (IMHO) than Abingdon. I really like the sour in this one. A good morning/evening blend. Well recommended.
Pipe Used: Eltang poker; 999; BW Bullmoose (C111)
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 25, 2015 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Very Strong
Oh my God, it is like smoking pure Latakia. Above all I want to say that I appreciate Pease and I like his mixtures. Always high quality tobacco. Pease blends are a guarantee. But in this case Latakia taste is really strong, overwhelming and for me it’s impossible to detect the different nuances of Virginia and Oriental tobaccos. If you like an English mixture with a very very high Latakia content this is certainly your tobacco. But in my opinion the Latakia content is really excessive. In my personal system rating (from 1 to 10) my score is 7 and two stars.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 23, 2014 Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Wow, this is incredible weed. Pease makes some outstanding blends, but this is my favorite. I would love to be able to give some context with aged Odyssey, but I cant seem to cellar any because I just end up smoking it! This is directly in my wheelhouse, so I cant summon enough superlatives to describe my love of this blend. Its strong, its fulfilling, its packed with all the Lat and vitamin N that I crave at night after dinner. Odyssey is like having a big bloody steak after eating salad for a month. This is in my all time top three. Probably a toss up between this and Nightcap for my favorite blends of all time. To address the one complaint that some have, yes it does have some quirks in the pipe. It takes some time to figure out how to handle Odyssey. Like driving a sports car with a stick, you need to play around with this one a bit. I admittedly tend to want to smoke this like a coal fired locomotive because I love the strength and taste. It takes some restraint. I also have found that I like it best in a large billiard with a nice big open bowl. Not a good fit for a tall narrow bowl, in my opinion. Once you find the pipes in your collection that it likes, and you get your rhythm with this, it will blow your mind. Its the crown of the line from a virtuoso tobacco wizard. Its real man baccy. It will put hair on your chest, make you grow your beard out, and feel the urge to go out and hunt and forage. Or just sit on your porch and philosophize. Sorry, I try to write reviews that are more useful and tangible, but my bias is just too strong with this one. I could go on and on, but I am loading up a big fat Comoy's Grand Slam with Odyssey for an hour of bliss before bed. Enjoy Gents.
Pipe Used: big old billiards
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 10, 2011 Medium to Strong None Detected Extra Full Strong
OK, I like latakia a lot, but I don't like a LOT of latakia. To my mind the "BIG O" from GLP is way over the top. But at least I now know that my lat threshold lies somewhere to the south of Odyssey. Currently, in GLP blends, right around Maltese Falcon. Latkia is supposed to be a "condiment" tobacco, kinda like mustard. But I don't slather a half-bottle of mustard on a bratwurst and pretend I'm eating bratwurst.

My first bowl from a fresh tin was a disaster. Dried out a bowl-full for about an hour and lit up. The only "complexity" here was the number of places in my head experiencing pain and discomfort. Coated tongue, sore throat, runny nose. Made perfectly good whiskey taste like molten licorice. But to be fair, I did put the open tin back on the shelf for a couple of months and tried again. This time the pain was gone, the lat had mellowed somewhat, and the smoke had smoothed out considerably. There are definitely other component tobaccos in this blend but I can't really discern what they are. It's just kind of a muddle... with latakia. Perhaps I should age it for 5 years and see what happens. I don't age tobaccos. If I did I'd have to see something in a "young" blend that would make me wait years to try to achieve some sublimity. Odyssey ain't it. Too much latakia is too much latakia.

I know there are latakia bombardiers that think the world of this stuff and you know who you are. Also some out there who haven't tried this yet. Be my guest. I just want to let the un-latakia initiated out there know that it would be wiser to "sneak up" on Odyssey through a whole host of lighter fare that are out there, including some very nice blends from G.L. Pease, that you might find more compelling.

Update: So it's been several more months "on the shelf" and things are definitely mellowing out. We all learn things as we "age" too. Upgrading my rating to 3 stars. Gotta give GLP credit for blending a pretty good heavy hitter English here. Yep, it's still a lat bomb but a more smooth lat bomb. To my mind it's not a "balkan" but a real heavy-on-the-Latakia English. To me a good balkan has enough latakia to "season" a smoke but the lat needs to sit back from time to time, sort of let the "waters part" and let the orientals, VAs, etc come forward and do their thing. They do try here but the lat never takes a back seat. Always with the smokiness and too much of it. Perhaps more time on the shelf.....I will continue to "age" my 2oz tin, put it up on my shelf next to my tin of C&D Star Of The East Flake (another lat-heavy smoke, both labelled "for occassional use only". Neither of these are bad blends. Just too much Latakia for me, for general consumption. I'll smoke these occassionally. I will smoke a lot more GLP Charing Cross and Maltese Falcon (both of which I find very smokable with a short amount of air and dry time). Might even have a go at some Abingdon. And if the mood should strike me I might even put a tin or two of Odyssey back for a couple of years and forget about 'em. Who knows what might develop.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 30, 2011 Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable
My tin was dated 2006. I almost bought a fresh one for comparison, because age tends to tame Lat blends.

My tobacco was dry to the point of crispy. I rehydrated for 90 minutes prior to jarring.

Odyssey is full. It is the fullest Lat blend I've smoked with the exception of Captain Earle's Ten Russians, Ten Russians being too full for me to enjoy. Odyssey (aged anyway) doesn't quite reach that level. I do enjoy this tobacco, but I can only imagine how full it is fresh. Remember, this tin was 5 years old. A fresh tin certainly must be even more intense than Ten Russians, which means that this is a Lat bomb and a half, and only the most ardent Latakiaphiles need apply.

Aside from the Latakia barrage, I get a very good quality blend here. I get a sour and tangy Oriental presence that is not overwhelmed by the Latakia. I always find this element in a Lat blend compelling, and I seek out and cellar tobaccos that have it. I don't find the Virginia steps forward here, but it has very big Latakia and Oriental components to contend with.

This is a blend for those who like big, full Lat blends. Lots of Latakia, and a great heaping scoop of delicious Orientals. This, to me, is a blend for nights when I question if my palate is up to anything complex yet I want something flavorful. This is not complex. It is overt, big and delicious. However, if at five years it is this full, I am sure I would find this tobacco unsmokable fresh.

I'll also add that I've never smoked a tobacco that I had to work so hard to keep lit.

10January2012 Have to add a star to bring this one up to 4. This blend grows on you in a hurry, and it always provides a great smoke. You don't have to worry about body chemistry of the alignment of the heavens. At first blush it's incredibly full, but it only takes a few bowls before that impression goes away and you simply crave its big, delicious flavors. Another tobacco I buy in 16oz tins in case of apocalypse.
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