Robert McConnell Latakia Flake

Full bodied, flavorful Cyprian latakia and Kentucky tobaccos were combined with black cavendish and then pressed to flake.


Brand Robert McConnell
Blended By Kohlhase, Kopp und Co. KG
Manufactured By  
Blend Type English
Contents Black Cavendish, Kentucky, Latakia
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country Germany
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.00 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 10, 2019 Medium to Strong Very Mild Full Tolerable to Strong
The smoky, woody, earthy, musty, lightly dry wine-like sweet Syrian Latakia takes a very small lead here. The very floral, woody, earthy, moderately spicy and sour, dry, toasty, nutty Kentucky has a very strong presence in the mix. The sugary black cavendish doesn’t do much to tame the rough edges, and is a background player. There’s a floral, almost Lakeland-like topping of some kind that tones down the tobaccos a bit, but not enough to keep the varietals from talking to your taste buds. The strength is in the middle of the medium to strong level. The taste is full. The nic-hit is a step past the medium mark. Won’t bite, but it does sport a few harsh notes. Burns fairly cool and a little slow with a mostly consistent, mildly sweet, rather savory and lightly bitter campfire flavor from top to bottom. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires some relights. I found the lingering after taste to be a little unattractive. Not an all day smoke.

17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 28, 2012 Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Extra Strong
This is a strange one. Dark black flakes that crumble almost from a soft breath and a tin aroma that is not enticing. The crumble makes for an easy load and it burned perfectly.

The taste was odd. I'm guessing the latakia was of the Syrian variety, as it was more sour and wine-like in taste. Too sweet as well, possibly from an overabundance of cavendish (to my palate) or perhaps a casing gone awry. Whatever it was, it managed to beat the Kentucky down more than I could ever imagine. The nicotine was abusive and I had to smoke this in smaller bowls than I prefer. The whole concoction just tasted bizarre - a mixture of too sweet and almost soil-like. I only smoked about half the tin as it was, and mixed the rest with Cyprian latakia, while rubbing out the rest of the tin to make it consistent in cut. Only in this manner did it approach something I enjoyed. Where this one gets high marks is for originality. I've never smoked anything quite like it. If you enjoy a lot of nicotine and a sweetness that is enmeshed with the earthiness of Kentucky leaf, this is definitely one to take for a spin.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 21, 2019 Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium Pleasant
While I may like smoking a mild and balanced English blend, sometimes I desire to smoke a Latakia heavy blend and, from my part, it's pretty difficult to resist the temptation of something called Latakia Flake. But, more than that, I was intrigued by the ingredients in this blend: Latakia, Kentucky and Black Cavendish. No Virginia and no Orientals. Very peculiar. This is actually the first blend I've smoked that doesn't have any Virginia

The tobacco presents itself in thin, nicely and evenly cut flakes that are almost jet black, with some brown strips coming from the Kentucky. The tobacco is more on the dry side, so it's pretty much smokeable right out of the tin. However, because of the moisture level, the flakes are quite frail and they break easily. Personally, that's not a problem for me as I like to rub the flakes out, but keep that in mind if you like the fold and stuff method. The tin note is pretty much expected from a Latakia heavy blend: dark, very smoky with a nice incense-y smell and something like an aromatic, exotic wood, but the overall smell is not overpowering.

Mechanically, this one behaves nicely. The flakes are easy to rub out, it's pretty easy to fill the pipe, may take some doing in lighting it and getting it under control, but it's all straight from there. Burns nicely, dry, cool, doesn't bite and doesn't require many relights.

On the flavor side, this is pretty straightforward and also different. You mostly taste the Latakia and that comes with the classic smokey, incense-y, campfire-like taste, buy pretty tempered and well-behaved. For a blend that contains so much Latakia, it's not overwhelming. The Kentucky works in the background to accentuate the smokey character and also lends a bit of nutty taste to the overall flavor. But there's also quite a bit of sweetness to this blend coming from the BC and it's a pretty welcomed one. It's not an aromatic type of sweetness, but one that balances the taste. I imagine that without the BC, considering there are no Virginias to lend their natural sweetness, this blend would be pretty heavy, especially as you move further down the bowl and it gets a bit stronger. Also, the room note is pretty nice and pleasant for a Latakia forward blend.

Overall, if you like heavy Latakia blends, then Latakia Flake is highly recommended. Robert McConnell makes very good blends, and this one is no exception. There's a nice amount of smokiness and sweetness in this blend to suit all tastes and, for me at least, they are not working one against the other, but in unison. As a Latakia lover, this one will be a welcomed, permanent addition to my collection and an excellent choice when I want to smoke a Latakia heavy blend.

UPDATE (March 2020)

After smoking multiple bowls of this one across an entire year, I have to say that my opinion of it has changed. In the first half of the bowl, the Latakia is indeed the main player and it's pretty pleasant, although a bit too sweet, even for my taste. I like sweet blends, but I believe that Latakia should not be further sweetened, as I kinda find it somewhat sweet in its natural form. Once halfway down, the Latakia becomes quieter and starts to compete with the Kentucky. And to me, that's the problem I have with this blend. Neither the Latakia, nor the Kentucky can decide which one wants to be the main player, and so the smoke becomes somewhat monotonous. Maybe Latakia and Kentucky just don't go well together (for me, at least). Also, after puzzling a bit on the taste, I can definitely say that there's a slight topping applied to this one, reminiscent of rum. It's not strong, but it's definitely there and I'm kinda surprised that I didn't notice it before.

As such, I'll have to downgrade it to 2 stars. At first, I thought it was great. Now, after multiple smokes, not so much. I have to give it credit for being different than other Latakia blends as far as the component tobaccos are concerned but, sadly, that's not enough to impress me anymore. It's kinda sad, as I really liked this one in the beginning, but I guess it's all part of the evolution in each one's pipe smoking journey.
Pipe Used: Savinelli Capitol
PurchasedFrom: Tobacco store
Age When Smoked: Fresh from the tin
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 07, 2009 Strong Mild to Medium Full Tolerable
This tastes to me almost exactly like Peterson's Irish Flake, but with a healthy dose of Latakia added. In theory, I should like this blend. I enjoy Irish Flake. I enjoy Latakia. But, apparently, I don't enjoy them together. I did not find the flavors to be complimentary here. Instead, they seemed to wrestle for dominance with neither ever really getting the upper hand. I can see how this could appeal to someone, but it just isn't for me.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 10, 2012 Strong Medium Medium Tolerable to Strong
McConnell's Latakia Flake is a strange beast: Not what I expected on purchase, and somehow oddly co-mingling detest and love, hate and joy. It is pleasant, but has enough problems to be worth noting. I always keep some around, which i dip into when I want something with a lot of punch, but not too overwhelming on the palate.

Opening the tin reveals a selection of unusual, crumbly flakes,, that are similar in texture to Penzance, although they are long-cut, rather than square-cut. They tend to stick together heavily, making it difficult to separate at first, and need drying time. The main objection here is that they act more like crumble-cake than flake, and I am no fan of the former

The fragments are jet-black in colour, with duller and shinier areas, and seem to be composed primarily of stoved VA (possibly Black Cavendish, but I believe it to be mostly the former), mixed with Syrian leaf and some other dark components that never really come alive. The taste is nearly mono-dimensional, with a bit of sweetness, a but of spice, and a somewhat licorice-like complexion.

To be honest, the only change as you smoke is an ashy dulling, so smaller bowls are best. A clay is useful to a certain extent, but doesn't change much. The initial burn is usually problematic, and relighting seems mandatory, often many times. You may want to try it initially in a pipe that you don't love, in case the flavour doesn't appeal to you. The combination if latakia (English-y) and Stoved VA / Cavendish (aromatic-ish) tobaccos means that you may find any dedicated pipe will take up a bit of the other side in its seasoning.

The flakes are very thick, somewhat dry (although sticky) and crumble into chunks as soon as you try to do anything with them. Once you do have them lit, they do burn cool and slow, with no bite. Eventually you learn that there is no proper way to fill a bowl, and just shove it in any way that you can, and do what you may to keep it burning. Honestly, it almost seems as if it has a mind of its own and struggles to stay alive, shunning the flames.

You will want to keep a few extra packs of marches on hand for this. If you use a clay, at the least, the burn may improve from the radiant heat, and you may find it easier to keep this one going.

All-in-all, this is one blend you will have to judge for yourself, on its own merits and flaws. Honestly, I wish that this was no more than McConnell' Latakia in flake form, but alas, 'tisn't. I usually go for it when i want something different that has enough body to be pleasing and enough Nicotine to keep me awake, or relax me to bed; the only problem is that for a nighttime blend, it is too difficult to keep burning, and I often end up staying awake just relighting it, so a tiny bowl is useful if you want it for this reason.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 17, 2009 Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant
Allow me to start by saying that I love Latakia. However, this tobacco is too one-dimensional for me--it lacks complexity and depths. If you want a nice punch of nicotine, you will find it here.

Warning: Make sure that children can't get hold of this tobacco: It smells and looks like some very dark chocolate when you open the tin.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 20, 2021 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The name of the blend is misleading. I’ve been warned by pipe friends that this has very little latakia and has some casing/topping, but then I’ve read some of the reviews here, where people used to say it’s a latakia forward blend. In my case at least, this is not the case, not in my tin. Maybe it depends on the origin, if it’s a US tin or a EU tin.

I’ll start with the tin note and say that... well, it doesn’t smell like tobacco at all, it has like a soapy, gum-like smell. Notes are sweet with fruit/dried fruit, dried plum.

The tobacco is black (obviously) and quite moist, will take a while to dry.

Taste? The cavendish and the kentucky are the stars, the latakia is only a bit in the background and you can detect it only if you light up the pipe, get some smoke out of it and then leave it for about an hour or two with the tobacco in the bowl. So the order of the tobaccos would be (from my experience) black cavendish, kentucky, latakia, and then there’s a bit of a casing/topping, but still tastes like tobacco.

Sweet and sugary from the black cavendish, peppery and nutty from the kentucky, and only a bit smoky, the latakia being the least felt in this blend. Has a little flavoring of dried plums, but it does taste like tobacco, like I said above.

You can really detect the kentucky in this baby. I’m a smoker of Turner Dark rolling tobacco, which has dark fired kentucky and I can tell from a mile that this tin contains a good amount of kentucky.

Delivers a thick smoke, burns very good, evenly, leaving a white ash with no dottle. Even if it doesn’t deliver hot smoke, it does tend to get the pipe hot so smoke at a slow pace. Bit high on nicotine.

Pleasant room note, sweet mostly
PurchasedFrom: JPB Tobacco Stores
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 12, 2023 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong
I completely agree with Virginia Lover’s review. This is not a Latakia bomb. It is present but this flake feels unrefined.

This blend is dominated by the Kentucky. I get very little spice — if you are a Balkan fan there is no joy here and not that much clearly defined Latakia. It is a pleasant ‘pure tobacco’ smoke but not amazing.
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