G. L. Pease Laurel Heights

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.


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


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

Average Rating

3.21 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 24 Reviews
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:

Pipe Used: Neerup
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 03/23/18
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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
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 24, 2010 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Pease Pilgrimage Reviews (a tasting journey through every GLPease blend) Tin date: 01/19/10 – opened and jarred 03-07-10

Aroma: The tin aroma is nice and mild, with a typical Virginia grassiness accompanied by a light sweetness that makes it very pleasant. I have read that there is a hint of Latakia in this blend, and I do notice what looks like a very few dark flakes in there, but I can't detect it in the aroma.

Appearance: Many of Pease's blends have this pseudo-ribbon-flat cut that is somewhat unique. The tobacco is a beautiful golden brown-orange, with the extremely occasional darker fleck of something…maybe the Latakia if it's really in there? It's somewhat dry in the tin which I very much appreciate, and which I am finding is quite typical for Pease blends.

Pipe 1: Meer Bent Billiard Pipe 2: Stanwell Billiard Pipe 3: Chubby Savinelli Author Pipe 4: Small no-name bent Dublin, a good Virginia flake pipe

Flavor: This one certainly has some potential. I'm beginning to believe that most of Pease's primarily VA blends need some aging, and this one is no exception, but like barrel tasting an ancient vines Zin that won't be released for two more years, I can tell Laurel Heights is a winner.

The primary characteristic is earth. This is back to nature tobacco with lots of – you guessed it – tobacco flavor. I can taste the dry grass on a south-facing November hillside, a very mild sweetness inherent in a good VA leaf, and the very earth which nourished the tobacco plants. It seems very temperature dependent, changing its flavors and characteristics with slight changes in puffing cadence. The flavors vary from earthy and musty to toasty and warm. There is a slightly unpleasant harshness in my nose and throat no matter which pipe I'm using, but that's one of those things that will disappear with some age. The bottom 20% offers some very toasty flavors which I have experienced in the Meer and the Author.

If I were to compare this to Union Square, I would call Laurel Heights more austere and less forgiving (technique is crucial and it tends to heat up the briar a bit), but still slightly complex and at least as interesting. The website description states that it delivers a “long, clean finish” with which I concur. There is no particular residue or cloying, lingering aftertaste. But it also states that this is for lovers of “darker, unstoved Virginias.” Perhaps it is darker than some others, but this is not a “dark” tobacco by a long shot.

It's got a good nicotine punch, and I almost never feel vitamin N. Other than a couple relights primarily due to my negligence, the light and burn are flawless, and it reduces to a pure ash. A very nicely done Virginia, and one I will buy more of for aging just to see if my premonitions are correct. Three stars, and the most enjoyable blend so far in this “Virginia – VaPer” chapter of the Pilgrimage. I'm hoping and waiting for Mr. P to come out with a dark, stoved, rich competitor to FVF or Wessex Brigade Campaign.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 27, 2022 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The 8 ounce tin I opened had a release date of January 15, 2016.

Appearance: the base of the blend is red aged Virginia, and over six years of " aging" in the tin, the blend has become almost monochromatic, reddish-brown in color, with very occasional flecks of dark brown latakia. I hasten to reassure those who do not like the "black queen" - neither in smell nor taste you are likely to find the typical tar and smokiness. The tobacco is sliced with quite a typical ribbon, and the time spent in the tin had no effect on the moisture and flavor.

Flavor: The main note is a lovely multi-grass hay, fueled by the sweetness of dried fruit (raisins and dates) and a slight addition of caramel. Initially there was a slight, slightly sour note of yeast dough in the smell, but after transferring some of the tobacco to another jar for sampling, the acid disappeared almost immediately, which gives me reason to believe it was introduced by some kind of preservative (most likely a regular wine vinegar). The bread note, on the other hand, remained, but was relegated to the background. As I mentioned earlier, I could not detect any trace of latakia scent, although I tried sincerely.

Taste of tobacco: not too pronounced, but palpable note of herbs framed by moderately sweet fruit and a drop of orange juice, a little dusty flavor on the tongue and a crumb of wheat bread. As with any Virginia, to taste the blend you need to smoke very slowly and lightly - otherwise the tobacco quickly warms the pipe and starts to be quite harshly bitter. By the second third, a slight woody note appeared in the flavor, replacing the motley grass. The sweetness became less noticeable, although the taste of fruit slightly intensified. The overall bouquet became somewhat richer. By the end of the tube, the sweetness has almost disappeared, the bread and woody notes intensified, there was a hint of malt and a slight bitterness, probably the grapefruit. To repeat, almost to the very end of the pipe I had the feeling that I was smoking a blend consisting of only a few varieties of Virginia, with no trace of latakia. If you smoke this blend correctly, the tobacco smokes very dry and cool, slowly burning into a dark gray ash with small light gray flecks and leaving a small amount of moisture in the mouthpiece. The tobacco strength is below average, the nicotine hit with slow smoking is almost impossible. The aftertaste is a little sweet, not persistent.

The smoke has a hay and woody note and is surprisingly distinctive in the room, however, not causing you discomfort and dispersing quickly enough.

What's the bottom line? This is the first Pease's blend I've tried, consisting of practically only virginia. It probably lacks the brightness and density of similar blends from Cornell & Diehl or Sutliff - not to mention about established leaders in the field like Samuel Gawith and Fribourg & Treyer. But I can't say I didn't like it. I can definitely say that it is not made for beginners, it is a real teacher of patience if you want to try it, the 3 grams in my Peterson 106 smoked for almost 80 minutes without needing to use a lighter once. This blend is made for very leisurely smoking when you have absolutely nowhere to hurry. In that case, you will definitely enjoy the taste.
Pipe Used: Peterson 69, Peterson 106, Peterson B42
PurchasedFrom: Online
Age When Smoked: 2016
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 09, 2023 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
This tobacco blend appears to be a combination of red Virginia and Cyprian Latakia, offering a mild and subtly tangy flavor profile.

The red Virginia component delivers a taste that's mildly tangy with hints of dark fruit sweetness, complemented by subtle earthy, woody, bready, and sugary notes. You can also pick up some tart and tangy citrus and floral undertones.

There's a woody brown Virginia aspect in the blend that adds a touch of earthiness, a bit of woodiness, and a hint of grassiness and peat-like earthy notes.

While there is Cyprian Latakia in the mix, its presence is understated, contributing some smokiness, earthiness, a touch of mustiness, and woody qualities.

In terms of strength and taste, this blend falls just a bit beyond the midpoint between mild and medium. The nicotine hit is on the milder side.

The blend is well-behaved during the smoke – it doesn't cause biting or harshness, though there are a few minor rough edges. It burns at a moderate pace, with a somewhat inconsistent flavor profile. It doesn't leave much moisture in the bowl and requires an average number of relights.

After smoking, you'll experience a pleasant but short-lived aftertaste, and the room note is somewhat stronger.
Pipe Used: Dunhill
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 22, 2022 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
First and foremost, let me just get this out of the way. Mr. Pease is a tobacco blending genius.

As I smoked my way through this tin, it occurred to me that red Virginias don't play a huge role in my rotation. Reflecting on my cellar, I tend to lean more toward high end bright Virginias (OGS and LGF) and the deep dark Virginias, with Wessex Dark Campaign Flake being one of my all time favorite blends.

These red Virginas are so nice though. This is a typical ribbon cut, packed densely into the tin. The smell is of beautiful mature tobacco. Packs easy, lights easy, and smokes easy. Be mindful, that these type of blends can be deceiving. If you are not paying close attention this may feel like a middle of the road Virginia, but if you smoke multiple bowls, and pay very close attention, the complexity and genius starts to poke through. I am intrigued by how this may age, and will stash a few tins out of curiosity.

Now onto the Latakia affair. This blend reminds me of "Two Fat Ladies". No no no, it is not what you think. Being a lover of cooking, and of British television, one of my favorite shows of all time is a show that ran on the BBC in the late 1990s. These wonderful (not politically correct) women, both of whom had lead extraordinary lives, share their recipes and have a ton of fun. What does this have to do with Laurel Heights you may ask? Bear with me. On the show, they are constantly adding anchovies or anchovy paste to all kinds of dishes. Every time they do, they remind the viewer, that in the end, it will not taste of anchovies, but the addition gives the dish a salty rounded umami. This is exactly what is happening here with this blend. The latakia does not present itself as you would traditionally expect, in fact it is barely there, it just adds a fullness, a roundness. It is genius really. If you are not a latakia lover, do not overlook this blend. You will not be disappointed.
Pipe Used: Butz Choquin Calabash 2000
Age When Smoked: 2019 Tin Date
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 30, 2020 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Presentation: All labels in the Fog City Selection look the same. A gold stripe across the bottom, a white background, with a gray sketching of the streets of San Francisco.

Cut: Comes in a ribbon cut, on the dry side but that matters not.

Tin note: A very slight scent. Sweet and smoky earth.

Tasting notes: Woody, toasty, and slightly creamy with a tart earth finish on light up. Draws mainly have a sweet grassy flavor, slightly bready, with a good amount of spice. A very slight fruit on some draws, but only for a brief moment, as if it's trying to hide -- it's less hidden when sipping. The grass and spice are the main players in this blend. The smooth, rich, almost sweet smokiness will come out later in the bowl, very nice. It's better to me than a standard smoky taste.

Mechanics: Remember to slow down with this one. If it starts tasting like a lat bomb or a spice bomb then you are smoking too fast.

Extra Remarks: I am pleasantly surprised. As first I figured it would be just a grassy blend but there is much more going on underneath. What makes this blend most enjoyable to me is not main notes, but the undertones and how they mingle with each other and come and go. This blend, while not wildly complex, is definitely more complex than it might seem at first impression. A very pleasant smoke though just an occasional one for me. Very good, 3 stars.
Pipe Used: IMP Bent Rhodesian Meer
Age When Smoked: 1 year 3 months
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 24, 2012 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Strong
Updated 12 /17/2013- This tobacco has been opened ,sealed and cellared for a year and I just retried it in a tall cob. Results, very interesting changes. The Grapefruit taste is much more subdued and in the background but the "Orange peel" taste is way out front and lasts the whole bowl. Most Orange flavors tend to dissipate after a 1/4 bowl, but this stayed. It wasn't a sickening topped Orange, but rather that bitter Orange "twist" that I like in my drink. I would buy this again.

I later decided to try the blend in a "Bulldog Briar", not as interesting, it lost all of the fruit nuances, became more malty/peaty. If only this experience, I wouldn't buy this again as I found it boring.

Not to stop my "experiments", I pulled out a short "clay". This had little improvement over the Briar but did have some subtle fruit nuances in the side stream, but not in the taste.

Overall , my advice would be to smoke this in a cob or don't bother smoking this at all ! I probably will buy this again As it reminds me of Briar Fox , a nice "base note " Virginia.

Original review 11/2012 The description says "Grapefruit"! and that's what you get on the initial light, very interesting and a refreshing bright flavor. This fades as you get down the bowl with only occasional whiffs of the Grapefruit, I never get the malt? The Virginias are good quality , Mature and closer to a "Brown Flake". The wife left the room with the scent, saying it was horrible . This isn't bad, but I like my Virginias a little sweeter and with a scent that doesn't send people running . I believe the Virginias are the same used in Union Sq. I'll finish the tin, outside in the cold, but I won't buy more.

Oh, I just noticed the Latakia listed in this blend, couldn't taste it? But now I know why the wife ran.
Pipe Used: Cob Briar clay
Age When Smoked: 1 year
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 22, 2012 Medium Medium Medium Tolerable
I really enjoy this family of tobaccos. This one does not lead the pack because it is not as complex or interesting as the Filmore, Telegraph Hill, Lombard or Stratford. I still go through a pound of it a year because it is so darned good with a blended Scotch. Well, I guess most of the Fog City series goes well with Scotch. Cheers, this is a nice simple and flavorful tobacco.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 27, 2024 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I've been smoking this tin for more than a year, the tobacco is mellow. The Virginia tastes of hay and citrus with the Latakia bringing some spiciness and sourness I don't taste a lot of leather and peat but it's there. Smoking it too fast will bring some rough edges but sipping it will get the tobaccos to meld nicely. The aftertaste is pleasant and it leaves some moisture in the pipe. Overall a nice tobacco for pipers who prefer a Latakia that doesn't take over too much.

Virginia lover
Age When Smoked: 11 years old
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