McClelland Rose of Latakia

Only the most precious, most flavorful Syrian leaves are called Rose of Latakia. This fine blend is complex, fragrant, incredible.
Notes: Rose of Latakia refers to the leaves harvested higher on the plant which are then fire cured. If you're looking for a blend in which Syrian latakia is in the forefront, this isn't for you, but if you want to see what the Syrian leaf can do as a condiment, Rose of Latakia is terrific. If you approach it the way you might if you're smoking a Virginia blend, you'll get the best results. There's sweetness from the Virginias, a mellow spice from the Orientals, and the delicate, winey, smoky flavor supporting the rest of the blend.


Brand McClelland
Series Syrian Latakia
Blended By McClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company
Blend Type English
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country United States
Production No longer in production


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

Average Rating

2.67 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 24, 2015 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The Latakia comes through loud and clear for me. It's equal in flavor to the Virginias with the Orientals in the background. The Lat is smoky, sweet, spicy, and less woody than most. The Virginias are tart and sweet. The Orientals provide a mild note of sour butter. This is delicious. A pure pleasure.

Mild to medium in body. Medium in flavor. Burns nicely, but needs a relight a couple of times per bowl. My tin was 2 years old when received.
Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman, Diplomat Apple, Mark Twain
Age When Smoked: 2 years
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 13, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Rose of Latakia, is my favorite of the McC Syrian Treo,( Rose, Full, Super). That's not to say that the other two are not very good also, but Rose is the most Syrian forward of these. This is a smooth, yet a "dry" blend. I wouldn't call this boring, just not complex, and the Syrian does add some interest, it's kind of a "one trick pony". For me, this is more tasty from a briar than a cob, as the Syrian smokes more woodsy or even a little fruity. Unlike its other Syrian siblings, it seems to maintain its interest and flavor throughout the full bowl without getting ashy and is also good on cold relights.

McClelland just doesn't make "LAT Bombs" and although you can really taste the Syrian, the Virginias add some sweetness and soften the Latakia. A very nice blend that is just "different" than other Syrian blends and brands I've tried, thus, I do rate this higher than many of my other respected reviewers. I will buy more.
Pipe Used: cob & briar
Age When Smoked: 1 month open
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 19, 2011 Mild None Detected Mild Unnoticeable
I managed to get my hands on a 7 year old tin of this, so this review may not apply to a younger sample. The tobacco inside was a fairly consistent mix of blacks, browns, and burnt orange colors in loose ribbons that were dry to the touch. The campfire smell of the Latakia was present as was a slight sweet undertone that I attributed to the Virginias in the blend. An unlit sip gave me a taste of that sweetness, which was very enjoyable.

This was not a heavy Latakia blend to me, with the sweetness dominating throughout the bowl. Every so often some of the smokiness of the Latakia would come through giving me a pleasant surprise. These flavors held true down to the gray ash at the bottom of the bowl. The finish was short, but sweet and the room note was really too faint for me to detect.

After a week smoking this, I still thoroughly enjoy this blend. I am definitely planning on buying more to cellar, and I want to try it while it is still freshly tinned. If you like a Virginia based blend with just a hint of smoky Latakia goodness, then I highly recommend Rose of Latakia.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 31, 2006 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
The Name of this Blend can be very misleading. This is by NO means a Latakia dump. This is a soft medium and mysteriously complex blend of VA?s, and incredibly rich and smooth Orientals which includes a delicate and incense-like nice helping of Syrian Latakia.

While I do love a rich bowl full of smoky creamy Latakia ? this is not what I reach for when that itch needs attention. Instead, this is one of those contemplative smokes. I am forever sniffing the side-stream in order to enjoy the many facets of its complexity. It is NOT a powerhouse but it is rich and rewarding.

It smokes cool and completely to a mottled gray ash. The tobaccos are well aged even in a new tin and require no special drying or handling as many other McClelland blends require. I?ve smoked it in small, medium and large bowls. It has never been anything but spectacular. Now I have either been very lucky with consistent supply, or this is everything I think it is. But after a few tins of this, with different degrees of age, I feel somewhat confident that this is a very consistent blend.

One thing though, I wouldn?t recommend this to those that are looking for the big bitey blend or a mouthful of creamy latakia - it is not here. Rather it?s soft and sophisticated with a refined strength. Load this when you can sit and enjoy ? even reading is a distraction to me. It is so subtle yet so complex, one would miss it all if you were looking for something else and got impatient. I really wish they had named it something else and sub-titled it ?with Rose of Latakia.?

It is among my top favorite tobacco blends, and in my opinion one of the greatest blends on the planet. 4 Rock Solid Stars.

Cheers, VC
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 01, 2009 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
This Blend tastes very similar to Syrian Super Balkan. The aroma is excellent as well as the taste. This could easily be a tobacco I would order and smoke regularly.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 14, 2006 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
I ordered a can of this blend hoping to see if I could detect a difference between the Syrian & Cyprian varieties of Latakia. The same basic latakia flavor & aroma, though there's something subtle. it tastes less smoky and more spicy and aromatic (not captain black aromatic though). The tobacco looks lovely in the tin. Feels more moist than many latakia blends, but it doesn't smoke any more so. The tin aroma is that of vinegar & ketchup, which kind of scared me, but once i started smoking, I thought to myself, this could be my favorite blend. I will have to smoke some alongside Penzance to see if that holds true. My wife also commented that it smelled much better than most tobaccos I smoke. The room note to me was somewhat spicy, suggesting the sweet, yet spicy scents of Indian or Thai cuisine.

I highly recommend the blend, and I'll update once I smoke it in the same day as a bowl of Penzance to see if it's trumped the ol' crumble cake.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 17, 2005 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
This recipe demonstrates an interesting trend within the prolific output of Mc Clelland. The tastes that some of us older pipe devotees "remember" from before 1970s are in substantial measure given renewed opportunities. Since the leaf composition isn't to be compared to what was available in tins with names such as Smyrna and State Express , it should be noted that the thin delicate leaf available here is prepared in a process that reminds one of the finer attributes of what is not (to my knowledge) currently available. The time when individual leaf with names like Xanthi , Dubec and Smyrna (to sigh out a few) may return some day. Even then, we should thank those whom offer craftsmanship and product on this level, today. The ribbons are approx. 2.5mm to 3mm wide, cleanly cut, no dust or debris, and burns very well.
0 people found this review helpful.
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