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 35 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
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
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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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 26, 2010 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
I must start off by saying I am a sucker for Mr. Pease's Tobaccos. The quality of the tobacco is always top notch, and the tobacco always seems to arrive in perfect smoking moisture. With that being said, Laurel Heights is a top notch VA smoke. The tin says there is Latakia in this blend, but it's it the distant background. You get small hints of it when one takes a big whiff of the tin aroma. I find that it gives the Red Virginia's just a little bit of a smoky edge. This works well with the Red Virginia's. After a charring light this tobacco burned cleaned all the way to the bottom of the bowl. It's flavor packed, but not a powerhouse. Unlike most Virginia's it doesn't smoke hot and does not produce a ton of moisture, which I find most do for me. Laurel Heights is one of my go-to VA blends due to these reasons.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 02, 2006 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
It is a rare occasion that I review a blend after only a few weeks, or even a few months of smoking it. Notice my past reviews and you will find that it is my habit to smoke a blend for on average six months to a year, or even more before having anything to put to letters about it.

Laurel Heights was an easy exception.

Red VA?s are my favorite among the spectrum, and so LH was very easy for me to enjoy. The leaf quality is as usual for a GLP blend ?bar none.? The ribbon cut is none too dry or too moist direct from a freshly opened tin. The aroma is a combination of fresh VA, and I would be remiss if I did not add that I detect something different. My olfactory senses do not place it as being Cyprian Latakia, and though that is exactly what it is I do believe that the marriage of the tiny amount of Cyprian Latakia has had the affect of the VA?s lovingly imparting their own fine influence upon the fragrant bouquet of the Latakia, not unlike how Latakia- when applied with a heavy hand can influence other components in a blend.

How does the bowl develop one might ask? From first light to tamp and relight it is quite clear that this is a quality blend, there is no hot acrid flavor that I get from some blends during the char light- a testament to the quality leaf.

Once things get going there is of course the sweetness of the VA?s releasing their sugars into the vapor trail and through my nostrils, but by far the most fascinating aspect to me of LH is that the unusual and wonderful aroma (barely detectable as Latakia, indeed I wouldn?t have known were I not told) has transformed by combustion into something else. Like a fleet of French Horns in the distance drawing nearer- louder. The VA?s have not only blossomed, they shout forth ?I am here! I am sweet!?

Remarkably, the character of this blend has done what no other blend that I have sampled has ever done. It has made VA?s taste better. I find this to be a feat of extraordinary skill and talent delivered to us by Mr. Gregory Pease, a blend worthy of the gods, made by a man, to be enjoyed by all.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 06, 2006 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
[Stan once again, lost to us for a while, after bouts with a genie chasing him for one of Pease's Fog City blends, an afterlift experience with another of the Fog City's, and, of course, Katrina (hopefully not a name ever for a blend)]:

Stan: Ahhhh. I'm on my second tin. This new Fog City is pure delight. Mostly red ribbon virginia, with a little brown and bright, and a schrapnel of latakia for background. It rivals the best of the reds. Red Ribbon, red cake, Scottish Ribbon, Wingfield, Scottish Cake, etc., and will probably soon out distance them. It has enough of the natural tartness of a true red ribbon without being real sweet, robustness near Owner's Choice (precursor of red Ribbon), and coolness of Royal Yacht. Best yet is is a very good packer and burner. Dry as the day is long.

Oh, what's that sound? It looks like an orb or saucer. Oh my God!

Klato: Descending from the disc a little green creature emerges. Earthling, "Take me to your...." Hmmmm (antenna twiching). What's that aroma my scensors detect?

Stan: Laurel Heights, Master Pease's newest incantation of pipe weed. Sweet. Cool. Shy of stout but plenty of body. Mesmerizing in delights of scent, taste, and texture!

Klato: "Take me to your blender!"

Stan: Never. Give me Laurel Heights or give me death. (Puffing at the visitors delicate antenna.)

Klato: You earthlings are too aggressive. I will return to my planet. This Laurel heights weapon is too advanced for us. My antenna are twisted. It makes you too strong. One day we must discover its secret.

Stan: Wow! Earth is saved thanks to Laurel Heights. Go get some before the Martians return to steal it all.

Greg and Craig, watch the skies. Watch the skies. Next time it won't be a warehouse fire. It'll be a ray gun from Mars.

Obviously, highly recommended to all virginia lovers but not to aliens. A little aging will bring out the reds more -- our little secret from the Martians.

Printed with blessings from Wells.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 04, 2022 Very Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Virginia/latakia combos aren’t usually my go-to choice. I generally find latakia to be too assertive and Virginias to be too subtle to give me what I’m looking for in a blend. Latakia, to my palate at least, usually shoves its way to the fore when it doesn’t have the complementary, tempering influence of orientals to even it out. I know I’m cutting myself off from a whole new aspect of pipe smoking by foregoing a whole genre, and I pride myself a little on being able to at least appreciate every well-established genre of tobacco. Besides, I don’t have any straight Virginia in the cellar right now (really must remedy that soon) and tonight, a muggy summer night, simply calls for Virginia.

So, crack this tin, dated 5/18/21. Very faint tin note. The tobacco is a little dry too. I smell a little fig, a little brine. Both scents are very muted, and I worry the leaf may have passed its prime. Loading is easy, in an estate Ferndown lovat (marked by Les Wood and a prized possession), unsmoked by me and quite clean— no ghosting here.

Takes a match quite easily, with an aggressive crown. A firm tamp settles it down and the smoke begins. Beautiful Virginia action right away: fig jam sprinkled with brown sugar. Not as complex as some Virginias, but sweet and toothsome. A little breadiness— pastry— but that too is marked by a sweetness, almost dough-like.

And the latakia? Oh, it’s there. Adding a moderate complexity and a briny counterpoint, olives in brine. I’m not getting too much of the campfire and creosote aspects of latakia— this is a tobacco that reminds you that latakia is a kind of oriental tobacco. I don’t think additional oriental tobaccos, Basma or Samsun, would do anything for this blend. The latakia is enough, given free rein to showcase its own unique character. There is also plenty of the drying, almost thirsty, effect of the oriental leaf, almost like orange zest, which for me, sits just this side of unpleasant. It makes the wheat beer I’m drinking just that much more quaffable and welcome. Very nice.

That’s pretty much it for the flavors. The nicotine hit for me is mild; even on an empty stomach, I could smoke two bowls back to back.

The simplicity of the blend translates to a kind of familiarity and comfort. I feel as if I’ve smoked this one for a long time. I certainly will continue to smoke it, and I’ll keep this one in the rotation. I like it very much.
Pipe Used: Ferndown bark lovat by Les Wood
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