G. L. Pease Key Largo

(3.39)
Deep, earthy and creamy. A distinguished broken flake of red Virginia tobaccos, small leaf Orientals, and a measure of Cyprus latakia, spiced with velvety cigar wrapper leaf. Key Largo develops throughout the bowl, offering a satisfying and sturdy smoking experience, with beautifully balanced, richly textured layers of cocoa, dark roasted coffee, leather, and a lively, lingering finish.
Notes: Key Largo was introduced in July, 2008.

Details

Brand G. L. Pease
Series Heirloom Collection
Blended By Gregory Pease
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Cigar Leaf Based
Contents Cigar Leaf, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Broken Flake
Packaging 2 ounce tin
Country United States
Production Currently available

Profile

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

Average Rating

3.39 / 4
56

37

9

3

Reviews

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Displaying 11 - 20 of 105 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 03, 2008 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
This is a beautifully prepared tobacco that burns very well with minimal bite. Flavor-wise, it comes across as basically a medium English blend with an elusive hint of spice that comes from the cigar leaf. The latakia isn't as powerful as the orientals or VA, which oddly enough don't provide the level of sweetness I'd normally expect from them. The cigar leaf is definitely noticeable, but I felt its presence more than I tasted it (if that makes any sense at all). Put another way, the texture of the smoke reminded me of what I normally encounter in a cigar, but the taste was that of a straightforward English mixture.

Key Largo is not complex, which is a big departure from most of the other latakia-based GLP blends I've tried. If you like the flavor (and I do) you'll enjoy it a great deal. If, however, you prefer the intricate layers of flavor that develop in some balkans or Vas, you might want to pass on this one. It does better (IMO) in small to medium sized bowls. It's got a respectable nicotine kick to it, but nothing too extreme for those of us who crave it.

Overall, I was favorably impressed but not blown away by this one. I'll definitely buy more, but I also don't have any plans to cellar more than a couple of tins of it. I think its most attractive characteristics are its smoothness and lack of bite compared to many other English mixtures, which means it could be an all-day blend for those who really like it.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 23, 2008 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
Usually I am underimpressed by blends that attempt to combine several different categories, and label-blurb that tells me what to think.

This new blend by Greg Pease, however, is a pleasant surprise. Flakes with jagged edges in a spectrum of medium brown hues, with a fragrance that is both earthy and spicy. Not too humid, crumbles easily into the bowl.

It smokes very well, and is clearly related to the English style of tobacco. Neither the Turkish nor the Latakia trumpet their arrival, but they are definitely there. The cigar leaf is a somewhat subdued presence that does not dominate but stays at the corner of awareness. This is a good smoke. It is not strong, but not a weakling either. There is a remarkable lack of bite, even at the end of the bowl.

It did not particularly remind me of the old Balkan Sobranie number ten, which also had cigar leaf. For some reason John Cotton came to mind. This type of tobacco has not often been available, having more frequently been lamentably absent. There are smokers who will soon cherish this above all other blends. I have purchased all tins at the tobacco store - it'll be a while before anybody else gets some.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 25, 2011 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong
The tin I smoked was dated sometime in 2009 (the date stamp was somewhat faded).

I have to disagree with some of the reviewers below. The cigar taste was, to me, in the forefront, along with the virginias. Next came the orientals, followed by the latakia. There is no burley mentioned on the tin, but assuming it is present, it melds so well with the cigar leaf that one cannot detect it as a discrete element.

This was a very satisfying blend. Nowhere near too strong, it may have been on the medium side of medium to full. The nicotene content was perfect in my view.

The earthy, sweet and smoky flavor was just bitter enough to be reminiscent of a nice cup of coffee. Sometimes a slight sharpness was present in the beginning of the smoke, but it smothed out by mid-bowl.

I found this to behave better when fully rubbed out, until it dried and mellowed sufficiently, and then I just stuffed it into my pipe. Even the dusty dregs in the bottom smoked wonderfully. Tongue bite was non-existent.

Perhaps my favorite Pease blend yet, and that's saying something. I will definitely revisit this one.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 15, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
I really need to stop trying different Pease blends.. It could become an expensive cellar stocking experience.. Key Largo, in my opinion, deserves all the praise it gets.. it is a blend that doesn't taste much like a cigar at all yet somehow captures the feel of a cigar.. something about the mouthfeel and richness of flavor reminds me of a summer night with a really quality smooth yet full cigar.. it is so well blended in terms of the marriage of its components.. you can pick out the orientals, virginia, latakia, and cigar leaf but through most of the smoke it is just the combination the ensemble.. and it is as smooth and creamy as everyone claims.. I dont care for latakia dominated blends at all but this one has just the right amount.. it plays a condimental role and really adds something to it.. there is a nice but not overpowering sweetness in the Virginia and oriental component.. enough virginia, in fact, to make me want to see what a little age would do to the blend.. the cigar leaf is a very subtle earthy/spicy note but it really seems to contribute body more than anything else.. slight but pleasant musty notes are also present.. burns well.. has some strength but not at all overwhelming.. maybe nightcap level.. a wonderful and unique experience. ... just have to add something.. Most of pipes are relatively small, but key largo really likes my larger bowled pipes.. I have a bbb billiard that is about 2 inches tall and fairly wide that smokes it perfectly.. really picks up the transitions of this gorgeous blend.. this is one of my favorite tobaccos since discovering this..
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 30, 2016 Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
A great mixture for all the cigar/Kentucky lovers. To me, it would be an excellent EM but cigar leaf is overwhelming, adding too much strength and covering the other components. 2,5/5 in my personal rating system.
PurchasedFrom: Dubini, Chiasso (Switzerland)
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 25, 2016 Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong
So sure was I that I would enjoy this blend that I bought an 8 ounce can of it before trying it. This was about three years ago. My earlier smokes were not too impressive. I think it is prudent to point out that I was still pretty green at pipe smoking myself at that time.

Remembering what I have heard several times of Pease blends I put it up to try again a year later. It still did not do much for me. Over the coming few years I would have a bowl here and there and send some samples out occasionally as well. But time and tastes do change; as does smoking cadence and performance. I guess I can't pinpoint the reason, but this did grow on me.

Now lest you get too excited, it is not in the 4 star field for me, but it has definitely climbed from two to three, and I can see where it would get four by several smokers. It is quality leaf and it has a unique taste; which is uncommon for a blend with a good quantity of latakia. If I did not have advanced knowledge that it contained cigar leaf, I think I would have guessed it contained a fair amount of DFK. There is a nuttiness that goes along with this blend and a boatload of nicotine. The Nicotine factor is certainly another thing that sets this apart from other latakia blends.

If you want a latakia blend rich in Nicotine, you are usually forced to find one with a good amount of perique such as nightcap. But it you don't like any of these blends, Key Largo offers a different option.

This blend is otherwise smoky and slightly sweet as one would expect, but it is the nuttiness and the strength that sets it apart for me. The nuttiness could be coming from the Orientals as some of them do have this effect on my taster, but I would suspect it is more likely from the cigar leaf as I don't really taste it otherwise. In other words, this does not taste like a cigar and I think that is a good thing.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 31, 2016 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
The first 1/4 bowl is very flavorful and you can easily distinguish the various tobaccos in the blend, especially the Oriental, which I think is Samson.

However, the base cigar notes soon take over and they make this a very "Muddy" smoke. If you were ever a Cigar smoker, you would fully understand when I say, " this blend begins to taste like a "relit" cigar". The blend looses all sweetness and by the last 1/3 of the bowl , likens the taste of an overheated cigar, not pleasent.. In comparing this blend to McC"s "Dominican Glory Maduro", The DGM is much creamier and sweeter, without cigar bitterness.

With all due respect to all the 4 star reviews, I think I agree most with reviewers : McKNooB (34) 2013-06-09 JustinCarcerated (69) 2013-05-01

Pipe Used: cob
Age When Smoked: open 1 week
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 10, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
There are many loathed ‘cigar’ blends out there- where a bit of cigar leaf is shag-cut and added to the blend but no one pulls it off as successfully as G.L. Pease- the smoke is textured, exotic, with a bit of sweet earthy cocoa nibs.

The Cigar leaf itself does not come through but it laces throughout the smoke adding a background bass and dimension that makes Key Largo a real treat.

I should add-- this isn't a Jessica Rabbit smoke, all t-and-a out in the open from the beginning, this blend begs a little bit of time and patience to truly speak to you.

Also, i have noticed (Curious to see if anyone else has experienced this) it is quite temperamental to humidity, cadence, and pipe. Because of this it is a quiet reflective smoke needing care and attention as no doubt Greg intended.

RECCOMENDED: for the cigar lover purely out of novelty as the cigar leaf is barely noticeable but does add texture and depth. For those looking for something other than another version of an English-Oriental set against a bunch of Virginias.

Ubiquity is not in this blend's name.

(PS- this may benefit from some aging-- anyone has any experience with aging this stuff?)

*** UPDATE***

When i wrote the review above, I was not completely sold on this blend, in-fact, it sat in my cellar for almost a year before i picked up again and now... well, it's a different story...

... I suppose a lot of it has to do with the fact that it's a "cigar-blend" and as a Miami-raised once-intensive Cigar smoker I came into Pease's Key Largo blend with all the wrong expectations.

AS many (many) have noted Cigar-leaf in Pipe Tobacco rarely translates into actual 'cigar' flavor. Having worked on custom cigar blends for a former employee I became very aware and sensitive to how different leaves and grades (in cigar production) added not only depht-of-flavor but a 'texture' as well.

Part of Caribbean leaf's adulation (read: Cuban, Dominican, and even the US Dollar-handicapped Puerto Rican Tobacco leaf) has more to do with the aplomb it gives a mix more so (or in addition to) just 'flavor' or strength... this is the 'creaminess' that many cigar-smokers-turned-pipe-smokers sometimes miss.

I know I did... in the first few years I kept yearning for some texture and naturally found myself cozying up to heavy Englishes and considered Nightcap an "all-day blend" (reaching the texture and girth of Padron Anniversario, the darker Avo's and Gloria Cubana Serie R)-- what I was missing was that certain "creamy" smoke that comes with a great and well-made cigar.

Enter Cigar-Leaf Pipe Tobacco blends which are as old as the modern art of blending itself- Alfred Dunhill having a popular "cuban" blend in his line-up of Pipe-Tobacco (it helped, of course, that he was also importing custom cigars from Cuba) and modernly Stogie and Peretti's Cuban Mixture a throwback to that style.

The mistake, IMHO, is to approach them as though they are a cigar-flavor delivery system (outside of a cigar): it's not. Instead what a Cigar-leaf blend delivers (and where its charm lies) is in it's texture.

Creamy and almost exotically lactic- Cigar leaf brings in a textural experience that even the heaviest Latakia bomb cannot. Peretti's Cuban Mixture is heavy with this 'texture' aspect and Dunhill's Durbar, I would venture may have a bit of sneaked-in Cigar leaf giving the blend it's oft-commented creaminess.

It's a lovely addition-- and especially wonderful this time of year...

This realization was my lightbulb moment with Key Largo.

I loaded a bent apple, lit it (takes more than a few), and sipped it slowly... what a beautiful blend! This is, in my opinion, a true marker of excellence and kudos @glpease for erring on the sublime rather than on strength (for the winos around here I'd liken it to great Burgundy (Grand Cru Chambertin) versus a heady California Zinfandel) - making a powerhouse is relatively easy, making something that requires contemplation, a deft hand in execution, and a contentious "mindlessness" when enjoying it, is the mark of an craftsman with an artists understanding of their craft.

Unfortunately, often times, the point is missed.

Not in Key Largo, not anymore-- at first, yes, I though "meh, what a waste" but after left open, let to breathe for a few weeks in a resealed tin, it's become one of my regular go-tos.
Pipe Used: MM Various + LA Rocca + Var. Savinelli
PurchasedFrom: Pipes & Cigars
Age When Smoked: New tin
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 02, 2011 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Wow! I love this mixture. It sings cigar leaf from the moment the tin is opened. Key Largo leads with the cigar and latakia with the Virginia's serving as base notes. For a flake its easily rubbed out and smokes very well. GL Pease description on this page is spot on!

Smoke is creamy to almost a salty/beefy (latakia) flavor to it. Key Largo has little in the way of nicotine, which is fine by me, either that or I'm so used to smoking full flavored cigars I'm immune to the nicotine emanating from KL.

I use this as my summer time smoke but I can and will smoke KL around the calendar when I want a beefier tasting blend.

I've tried other cigar leaf blends (Billy Budd, 123 Mixture) and nothing comes close to touching KL, truly a cigar blend.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 28, 2009 Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This one is right up my alley. I like medium English mixtures, but enjoy the little extra some blends bring. My everyday smoke is Samarra, where the perique supplies a dash of flavor; now I can add Key Largo. The cigar leaf here provides the same type of extra dimension and rescues what could be a rather so-so English from blandness.

This tin was purchased immediately after the release of Key Largo in July. I've only had two smokes from it so far, but feel confident enough of my impressions to make a review. The cigar leaf is not overwhelming by any means, but is present throughout the smoke. The virginias are in the forefront, especially in the first half of the bowl, with the orientals and latakia very low key. Overall, a slightly sweet, dry, and pleasant smoke.

I don't rub it out, being an outside smoker, and had no trouble keeping it lit. Smoked slowly, it left a gray ash and a clean bowl. Definitely a keeper, and one that I think will reward the patient user after cellaring.
3 people found this review helpful.
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