G. L. Pease Laurel Heights

(3.21)
Rich, ripe, red leaf forms the base of this wonderful Virginia blend. The flavors are deep and round, with a smooth, natural sweetness, and subtle notes of orange peel, roasted oats, leather and peat. The smoke develops richness as it progresses, delivering a long, clean finish, that is never cloying or syrupy, with hints of malt and grapefruit. For lovers of darker, natural, unstoved Virginias.
Notes: The Gregory Pease website mentions just a trace of latakia - Laurel Heights was released in March, 2006.

Details

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

Profile

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

Average Rating

3.21 / 4
35

24

13

3

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 75 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 21, 2012 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Review based on a one ounce sample. Nice brown ribbon cut with the heady bag aroma of good virginia. A little sweetness, a little spice. Lighting up brought an immediate sense of a well balanced blend. I won't over-analyze this, as Greg's description is perfect. There was a nice mix of light sweetness (orange rather than lemon) with leather and oats. I can't really say that I taste latakia but a virginia blend usually doesn't bring this leathery perception with it.

This reminds me of Telegraph Hill without the perique. It's almost as if Pease created this as a base and then added the perique to create TH. Very close kissing cousins. I prefer TH because of the salty perique but this one is still a 4 star blend. Does not mix with a single malt scotch because this one is too complex. It doesn't tire the smoker out with complexity but it requires too much of one's attention to mix with a complex drink. Goes great with a cola :). If you like virginias that are lightly sweet and perfectly balanced between light and dark, this is definitely one to try. Occasional rotation for me but something I'll enjoy when I do fire it up.
23 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 15, 2015 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
Laurel Heights has a very deep and rich Virginia taste. I found it to be somewhat similar to the old English version of Presbyterian Mixture in that it had that almost smoky, hint of Latakia taste. I don't believe Presbyterian Mixture actually had any Latakia in it, and frankly, your tongue will need to do a lot of searching to find any Latakia flavor in this one. I suspect the blender decided a hint of Latakia was needed to round out this blend and it sure works for me.
21 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 08, 2014 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
The red Virginia is mildly tangy dark fruit sweet with a little earth, wood, bread, sugar, and touches of tart and tangy citrus and floralness. I see a little tangy dark fruity, woody brown Virginia in here, and that must be what gives it the grass and a few earth (peat), floral notes. There is a tinge of orange, but I don't get grapefruit at all. The Cyprian Latakia is barely noticeable, though it adds some smoke, earth, mustiness and wood. The strength and taste are couple of steps past the center of mild to medium. The nic-hit is a slot below that mark. Won't bite or get harsh, but it sports a few small rough edges. Not much complexity present. It burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a lightly inconsistent flavor. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasant, short lived after taste, and stronger room note. Can almost be an all day smoke for the veteran. Two and a half stars.

-JimInks
19 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
al1
Jan 03, 2009 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
If you like red Va then this is for you. I was pleasently surprised by the nice tin aroma. Smells like good Va tobacco and not vinegar.

I used to really enjoy Mclelland #27 but this Pease blend is so much more refined and is ready to go out of the tin. Great for the much anticipated smoke break. If you have one of the peterson mini calabash pipes you need to put this in it. It gets you a quick nicotine fix even in that small dose.

I find Greg's tin descriptions to be dead on. This one is no exception. Some criticize him for being too poetic, I see how one could be inspired from these tobacco's myself. I do detect the grapefruit undertones- or is it orange blossom. Not overly complex but not one dimensional either.

The tobac also lights up easily and burns very well. I would reccomend this out of a 3/4" diameter bowl, or perhaps smaller.

The nicotine is potent and uplifting. Not really an evening smoke for me but a good mid day one.

Anyway I found something much more refined to satisfy my va cravings in this blend. This one is worth a shot for anyone who likes or loves rich red Va without the perique. I don't smoke this all the time but when I want something of the sort nothing else does it like this. I hate stoved Va- that kills the flavor and makes it bite, this is it's purest unstoved form.

Aparently Greg has simillar tastes to my own and maybe thats why I find his blends so intriguing. At any rate the man knows his tobacco's. Another plus is that the tins are ALWAYS sent at the moisture level that is perfect for the smoking, and the tins are so full they could not possibly hold more.

So I guess if you read this far you know I would reccomend this to a fellow brother of the pipe. Why risk a perfect chance to smoke on a less than perfect tobacco?
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 06, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Most tobaccos IMHO improve with age and for me, this is especially true with Pease/ C&D Virginia blends. I have several that I struggled with that I am revisiting and Laurel Heights (tinned 12/09) is the fourth one of the four of them. The others being Fillmore, Cairo, and Cumberland. The tin scent is more sour than sweet, a bit of a surprise considering it is more than six years old. For the most part this is now one of the few blends that I find very close to the description listed on the tin. Count me in the group that has difficulty detecting the Latakia. One would think it would be more likely to be found by sipping LH, but I actually get a hint, (I think) of it when puffing on it rapidly. I am a fan of Red Virginias, but often find C&D/Pease Virginias to be too rough for my liking, but now, after time in the cellar, they are a lovely mixture of sweet and tangy. Even with a rapid cadence, there isn’t a bite to be found. With the exception of the usual raison and fig I associate with an aged VaPer, I seldom make comparisons to other foods; however, the hint of grapefruit really comes through in the later stages of each bowl. Generally a more of a “puffer,” I get the most out of Laurel Heights when slowing my cadence. LH is offers some pretty complex flavors that change throughout each bowl. While initially starting out on the mild side, there is a decent amount of Lady N in the blend too. It has been an amazing journey revisiting these four blends, all of which were one or two star for me early on. My favorites of the four being Laurel Heights and Cumberland. Now, I have found them all to be good to outstanding.
Age When Smoked: 6 years
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 13, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I smoked through a tin of Laurel Heights several years ago, although I never reviewed it. My notes from back then were simply along the lines of “naturally sweet, darker citrus notes, toast and a subtle trace of latakia, quite complex, very enjoyable...” Fast forward to today, where I recently purchased a newly manufactured tin of it. I opened it only to discover that the cut is quite a bit finer than it used to be, and now closely resembles that of a STG manufactured Dunhill mixture.

Needless to say this altered-cut version of Laurel Heights burns faster and is less complex as a result. And while this mixture has retained most of its richness and flavor strength, the sweetness is definitely not as noticeable and the overall taste is much more concentrated. It's one, earthy tobacco note almost devoid of any finer, more delicate flavors. The subtle blips of latakia rarely come through and the finer citrusy nuances are hard for me to detect. The bottom line is that the nuances that this blend once had are now quite lost amidst the muddled-up flavor created by the accelerated burn rate.

Obviously, I am disappointed here. Moreover, this change in processing perfectly highlights how much of an impact the cut of a tobacco can have on the overall smoking experience. I have been told that most, if not all of C&D’s ribbon cut mixtures have moved to this format. It makes me wonder what effect this will have on the smoking quality of mixtures like Telegraph Hill, Samarra, Haddo’s Delight, etc... Complex blends that are meant to smolder slow and deliver layers of flavor. Blends that are designed to challenge the taste buds, even if that means a few more relights and a bit more trial and error along the way.

What used to be a very fine smoke is now just another decent Virginia mixture. 2.5 stars.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 13, 2019 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
G. L. Pease - Laurel Heights.

I opened this a few days ago, without being too sure what kind of blend it was. Opened, filled, lit. As it transpires, it's a decent smoke!

When I opened there was a medium brown, nicely hydrated, sharp smelling (fervid fruit), well rubbed, ribbon. Due to the cut and moistness Laurel' ignites easily.

In the smoke the Latakia takes an emphatic back seat. I won't say the Virginias 'sublimate' the Lat', but the fruity, rich, Virginias DEFINITELY rule the smoke. I get a minor breadiness from them, but mostly the Virginias offer a decadent fruitiness. A bowl of L.H. burns well; steady, medium temperature, not necessitating much maintenance.

Nicotine: for once I'll rate it lower than most: mild to medium. Room-note: pleasant.

Laurel Heights? A nice smoke, just a little boring after a while. Still, it deserves three stars:

Recommended.
Pipe Used: Neerup
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 03/23/18
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 28, 2015 Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I've smoked through two tins of 2007 in the last year. It's been a nice change of pace Virginia blend for me.

To me, the latakia presents itself on light up, then it subsides to round out the blend. The predominant taste is of red Virginia, though not in the McClelland manner. It also lacks the occasional cigarette/cigar notes that C&D and sometimes Pease Virginia-based blends have. What's left are hints of iron and brine to go with a really subtle sweetness, rounded out by a bit of leather.

I like to rub out the inconsistent ribbon quite a bit and find that I get a better burn that way. I'll smoke this on occasion as a change from my usual, more straightforward Virginia blends.
Pipe Used: Lots of them
Age When Smoked: 8 years
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 24, 2014 Medium None Detected Full Tolerable
I have to admit that, when I opened the tin for the first time, I was offended by the aroma of Laurel Heights. TBH, it reminded me of sweaty socks. Fortunately, after a few hours airing out, the offensiveness dissipated leaving an acceptable fragrance that reminded me of Mac Baren's Plum Cake.

Upon lighting up for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised, as LH proved to be a most enjoyable smoke. At the beginning of the bowl, LH is very spicy (black pepper and clove) and I would swear that it contains Perique. The Latakia is subtle, lending an earthiness that intensifies as the tobacco burns down. The taste of LH continued to remind me of Plum Cake, although it is a richer and somewhat more complex experience. Unlike most Virginia blends, LH is not at all sweet. Rather, the taste is more of a classic English blend, with strong rubbery and earthy notes, especially toward the end of the bowl. By the end of the bowl, the taste is subtly fruity and citrusy although, again, without being sweet.

By the time I had finished the tin, I would have to say that LH is one of the best tobaccos I have tried recently. While I generally prefer sweet Virginia tobaccos, the lack of sweetness was more than made up for by the richness of the tobaccos in LH.

LH needs to air out a bit but, after a few hours of drying, it lights evenly and burns to a dark grey ash.

I have never been a big fan of G.L. Pease blends (other than the discontinued Raven's Wing). But LH is tobacco that I will definitely smoke again. If you like the taste of rich, unadulterated tobacco, you should try it.
Pipe Used: Various Canadian briars
PurchasedFrom: Pipes & Cigars
Age When Smoked: 10 months old
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 13, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Much has been said about G. L. Pease's genius with English or Balkan blends, and his masterful hand with Latakia. I agree with all that for sure, but here is an example of that same sensibility and intelligence, to say nothing of adventurousness, expressing itself in the domain of straight virginias, with all their elusive charm.

The leaf is a combination of lovely warm matte browns, with the usual Pease assortment of cut shapes. A couple of stem bits here and there to watch out for. The leaf is clearly top quality, with a strapping, pure-tobacco pungency.

Packs and lights easily, and builds after a tangy initial phase into a surprisingly substantial and multi-dimensional smoke, spicy, at times peppery and cigar-like, but always lithe and supple.

The flavors build in a linear progression toward an intense, vivid mid-bowl, with no bite if taken slowly. After the mid-bowl tamp, a yeasty spiciness attains a heady concentration, and this is the moment I think I love the most about this stirring blend. Whisps of candied orange, cardamom, and something that struck me as a cucumber-yogurt raita like freshness. Amazing.

With Virginias, I try to bail out leaving a little dottle at the bottom, as finish can be dry and ashy, so I don't know whether this smokes down to the bottom of the bowl, or even if that quality is ever a particularly good one in a tobacco or in a smoker. The finish (or what I call the finish) is noble, deep, and deeply satisfying.
PurchasedFrom: Ebay
Age When Smoked: 3 years old
5 people found this review helpful.
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