G. L. Pease Meridian

Meridian - balanced, poised and sophisticated. Cyprus latakia is layered with fine Virginia tobaccos and small leaf Orientals, then pressed, sliced and tumbled into ribbons. More savory than sweet, with classic structure, medium body, and captivating complexity, Meridian is the perfect companion for a mid-day stroll or with the afternoon tea.
Notes: Meridian is the third entry in the Old London Series. A classically styled blend that's wonderful when young, but with a good backbone for longer aging. It's a medium-full mixture, with flavors that evoke memories of some of the great latakia blends from days gone by. Red and orange Virginias are joined by a generous, but not overwhelming measure of Cyprian leaf, for a wonderfully earthy foundation. The spicy/sweet Oriental tobaccos add fullness, and an exquisite aroma. Not as "big" or as full as Westminster, but similar in style. An excellent blend for a relaxing afternoon smoke, or as a delightful "amuse bouche" before dinner - Meridian was introduced in October, 2010.


Brand G. L. Pease
Series Old London Series
Blended By Gregory Pease
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Broken Flake
Packaging 2 ounce tin, 8 ounce tin
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.41 / 4





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Displaying 11 - 20 of 54 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 19, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
G. L. Pease - Meridian (Old London Series).

The blend's a fair mixture of dark brown, medium brown, and yellow pieces. I wouldn't call it a ribbon, the appearance is far more like a coarsely broken flake. The moisture of the blend looked good when I removed the sealed lid.

The smoke has far less Latakia flavour than normally emanates from a Balkan. This is a smoke that has the Orientals running things. The flavour from these is quite inimitable, they have a slight floral note (but I'll mark none detected for flavouring as it doesn't seem cased). The Latakia gives a light, woody, flavour, but a Lat-Bomb this is not. There's just enough Virginia to sweeten things, but I can't identify hay, grass, or any sharper notes. The burn from it's quite slow, and very reliable indeed.

Nicotine: medium. Room-note: tolerable.

Meridian: not a bad smoke, and well made, but not one for me. Somewhat recommended:

Two stars.
Pipe Used: Chacom Maya
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: Four months
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 09, 2021 Mild None Detected Full Tolerable
Prep: The moisture level is near perfect. The cut seems to be a cross of a ribbon and broken flake, requiring a bit of rubbing out occasionally.

Description: This fits my understanding of a "Balkan" blend perfectly, as the Orientals are the stars of the show. Woody, Earthy, Creamy, Floral, all come through throughout the smoke in various strengths depending on bowl level and type. The Latakia is evident though a background player. Same with the Virginias, as they offer just a hint of extra sweetness.

As the description states, this pairs well with an afternoon tea, though it can be enjoyed any time of day.

9.2/10 A rotation worthy blend once again from the blend master!

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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 10, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Man this is an interesting one. Tin note is sour and "tobacco" forward. Beautiful broken flake. I love Oriental forward blends and I for some reason pegged this one as a Latakia forward blend. I smoked it in all kinds of pipes, shapes and sizes, typically in the evening. I like to start my days with Orientals: think McC Oriental series, Bombay Court and Yenidje Highlander for example from McC and Tashkent and #44 from Peretti. In the evening I found this a bit weaker than I liked and I could not measure the complexity. FWD to the first pipe of the day with some Illy coffee and I had a complex grand stand. This tobacco has made me late for many a meeting at 0800. Now we are talking!!! Woody, spicy Orientals/Turkish. Hints of cloves, white pepper, mace and cinnamon take the lead. The Latakia is present but a supporting element, creaminess, a bit of sweetness and some smoke. The VA's are earthy and add a caramelized sugar like flavor. Flavor develops throughout the bowl, VERY complex on a fresh palate. Relights were a bit sharp but settled into their previous rhythm. This is one of those blends that almost tastes like one tobacco makes up this blend. It is blended so well that there is one leaf driving this blend. Not for everyone, Oriental lovers, this is a must
Pipe Used: Briar's, meerschaum and cobs
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 26, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Oddly perhaps, this is my first "review" of any offering by Mr. Pease . I do remember speaking with him way back when he was at Drucquers, about his English and Balkan offerings. When something changes, a leaf is not available of same character, some admit and explain the changes, some simply keep to the rest of a formula hoping for the best from customers. This could be considered as a disclaimer for my feeling is that Greg does not need my or any other individuals reviews any longer. The best people in this business have cult level followings. That murmured, Meridian stands as one of the best of one of the best. As said by others, it is not in your face, but of noble character . With all the renaissance reviving old blends, Pease is one of the very few that hesitates to imitate or replace an unavailable leaf with a patch-work of simulation. From my standpoint, Meridian treats us to the best processing of presently available leaf. Sure, if all the ingredients were available to reproduce say John Cotton's Smyrna, you know one of the two (guess the other) fanatic perfectionists who should be entrusted.
Pipe Used: Charatan
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Tobbaccos
Age When Smoked: 6 months
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 11, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
GLPease already has some fantastic full English blends in the catalogue, including my all-time favorites Caravan, Westminster, Odyssey, Lagonda, Abingdon, Charing Cross.... What could a new one add?

Well, I won't linger on the quality of the leaf or the tin characteristics: this blend follows the same level of its brothers in the GLPease range. What makes it a bit different is that it's VERY dark, and the cut is a little bit less stringy than the blends in the original series, and less chunky than Westminster and Lagonda (which are coarser, and very slow/cool burning).

Tastewise, it's very stout, rather dry. Little Virginia sweetness (Westminster comes to mind as more fragrant, rounder, more refined). Very dark in taste, not only in appearance. It's a very robust Latakia and Orientals-oriented smoke, to me. Not exceedingly strong in nicotine (I find it much more tolerable than Chelsea Morning, while being more tasty), but on the tastebuds it IS intense.

I like this blend a lot, but to me it stands a bit in the middle ground. So far, I keep preferring Caravan's big oriental fragrance, or Westminster's creamy character, or Abingdon's full attack on Latakia. I would say it is on a par with Odyssey, Charing Cross or Lagonda in my preferences. Which, in itself, is quite an achievement!
Pipe Used: Dunhill, Ashton, Castello, Heeschen, Peterson
Age When Smoked: 2 years old
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 10, 2022 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The 100-gram tin that came into my hands had been on the shelves for almost eight years and had a release date of "September 14, 2014." AFAIK, Cornell & Diehl, which makes Gregory Pease blends, no longer uses this packaging, having switched to 2 oz. and 8 oz. tins. The 3.5 ounce tins caused many complaints - the tobacco in them often dried out due to poorly soldered seams, or even went moldy. I have had a few experiences with dry tobacco from these tins - in particular, I now have two of them being restored. Nevertheless, with Meridian I was lucky - the tin I bought almost completely retained its tightness, and the tobacco only slightly dried, I recovered it literally in a couple of days.

Appearance: due to the cake press and fine cut method of preparation, the tobacco, sliced by flake and then broken up into individual strips, has an almost even brown-wood color, with a hue similar to that of chestnut wood. Occasionally there are slightly lighter and slightly darker pieces of ribbon, but overall, the composition is almost uniform - there are no bright dark flecks of latakia or light virginia, in the tobacco. As I said, I had to moisten the tobacco a bit, but I think in fresh tins its moisture content will be perfect.

Flavor: The cake pressing had the best effect on the blend, creating quite a "monolithic" and complex bouquet, which is difficult to separate to its components. Tan leather, some pine bark, a light note of tar and tarry smoke, moss, a little musk, coriander and paprika. Despite the good maturity of Virginia, its typical notes of hay, floral hues and bread are well hidden in the overall bouquet, appearing out barely and noticeable only after a few minutes.

Taste: quite smooth, even and calm. Only a faint hint of smoke flavor and the density of the overall taste bouquet tells the beginner about the presence of latakia in the blend. The basic tune is played by full-bodied woody and earthy notes, a little bit pungent, spicy-sweet and salty taste - to all appearances, a mix of oriental and latakia, similar to the mix of meat juice with spices, but without pepper (coriander, a little muscat and hot paprika) - and simultaneously, a slight astringent bitterness, like from black tea or dark stout. Initially the tiniest bit pungent, Meridian quickly takes on an overall softness of flavor, with that familiar creamy, smoky, enveloping note that I like so much about Chelsea Morning. However, the Meridian is free of perique, and so the tobacco feels even denser on the palate, lacking the inherent bright spice and fruity notes of the perique. The blend requires some attention if you want to experience all its nuances. As you smoke the tobacco continues some transformation of taste: in the middle of the pipe sweetness and spice of paprika almost completely disappear, a slight malt note appears, bringing the association of tobacco taste with English stout. The overall taste becomes more "dry". It is worth noting that the taste of the blend in bents is somewhat brighter, and the spiciness in the flavor is more noticeable and lasts longer, than in staright shapes. The blend has a medium strength, smokes cool, burning into a light gray dusty ash and leaving a minimum of moisture in the bowl and mouthpiece. The aftertaste is subdued, and also resembles the aftertaste of a stout - malt, a slight bitterness.

The smoke from the tobacco is woody and tarry, not bright, quite persistent on the flavor.

What's the bottom line? I approached this tobacco long and cautiously, as the reviews on it are quite contradictory. Now, having gotten to know it better, I think that in its aged form it is quite capable to be spare for my favorite Chelsea Morning (if I'd out of it). Gregory Pease's nostalgia for Syrian latakia and the desire to experiment in search of combinations of Cyprus latakia and orientals that could give a similar taste in total, gave its fruit - the tobacco taste, indeed, reminds the taste of English blends with a small amount of Syrian latakia. This tobacco can be advised to someone who is interested in unsweetened English blends, but is wary of coming across bright latakia flavors. I think I'll buy more big tins while they're still on sale - the tobacco matures beautifully.
Pipe Used: Peterson POTY 2013&2017, 69, 106, 9BC
PurchasedFrom: Online
Age When Smoked: 2014
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 15, 2016 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
My expectation were rather low given the underwhelming appraisal the blend got from the smokingpipes.com Pease reviewer. I was glad I ignored him. Here's why. Meridian is superb as an apéritif and should be tried on its own rather than in conjunction with other sweeter tasting Pease blends. Meridian is "dry" (if I can say that) rather than sweet like (for example) Maltese Falcon (a great mixture in its own right). I am really tempted to say: "just a lovely tobacco!", but that wouldn't be enough, it is subtle, flavorful without being overwhelming and smokes especially well in the late afternoon with drinks, before dinner. One of the best Pease blends in its genre -- and I've tried all his English/Balkan blends with the exception of Quiet nights. Four stars now, will be positively off the charts when aged I predict -- looking forward to trying that!
Pipe Used: Ser Jacopo, Dunhill, Upshall, M&K
Age When Smoked: tinned on 11/27/15
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 03, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Meridian has become a mainstay in my rotation of latakia mixtures. It fits the bill nicely for an anytime type English. It’s perfectly balanced and well suited to my average smoking mood, which usually has me reaching for a medium strength tobacco with good flavor and a bit of character.

The Old London style tumbled-cut provides enough variation in flavor to keep things interesting without any loss of focus. Meridian has the same full flavored, even-keeled temperance of Lagonda, only Merdian's flavors are more poignant and delivered with less latakia. There are plenty of complexities here, some of them are quite subtle and can easily pass by undetected, but when I sit down and give this blend my undivided attention, the nuances can be quite spectacular.

The Virginia’s are more earthy than they are sweet and they lend a delicate toasted cereal note to the flavor. There’s a slight sweetness which blends perfectly with the herbaceous and savory Oriental tobaccos, which by the way are clearly the focal point of this well-crafted mixture. The smoke is smooth yet it feels quite lively on the tongue. Meridian is spicy! Nasal exhales give a bit of that Turkish tobacco zip, along with a semi-sweet woodsy note and a touch of evergreen.

This is a fine blend. It's a perfect choice for a cool fall afternoon or even a summer evening smoke. In my humble opinion, Meridian is Greg Pease doing what I believe he does best, and that's balancing the flavors of fine oriental tobacco with rich Virginia's and latakia.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 21, 2011 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Pease Pilgrimage Reviews (a tasting journey through every GLPease blend)

Appearance: A tumbled flake in which very few flakes survived the assault. I rubbed mine out just a little bit more before stuffing. Quite dry in the tin, perfect for packing, perfect moisture level for a ready light and easy, consistent burn.

Tin Aroma: A delicious, earthy English aroma.

Flavor: “Seeeerian Latakeeee-a? We don't need no steenkin' Seeerian Latakeeee- a!”

With Meridian around, I really don't care so much about Greg's lack of Syrian leaf. By backing off on the Lat (which is just another type of Oriental leaf, right?), and amping up the delicious Orientals (which, BTW, are perfectly chosen and proportioned), we get a similar effect (at least to my taster) as we would from Syrian Latakia.

Less smoky and earthy than Quiet Nights, more complex than Chelsea Morning, more flavorful than Westminster, with an Oriental tang in my nose and soft palate, this blend certainly deserves all its accolades. Although there is much debate regarding the terms “English” vs. “Balkan,” my take has been that a Balkan blend has a predominance of Oriental leaf. According to that definition, I would classify this is a Balkan blend, and not a Latakia Bomb like Quiet Nights, at least in the first half of the bowl. The flavors are actually very complex, and quite delicious.

But one of the things I like about this blend is its chameleon character…

As the bowl progresses, the Cyprus weed does seem to move forward in the flavor. That oily Latakia taste becomes distinct but is still tamed by its blending buddies. The savory Oriental character diminishes and the Virginias end up an afterthought. A little light toastiness makes it through the richness, especially when sipping, but you gotta love Latakia if you're going to enjoy the second act.

I expect this chameleon act to subside with age. I would think the Latakia will smooth out and the Orientals and Virginias will blend and mellow, making this blend more complex and less likely to change so much during the smoke. More than most blends, I am excited to see how this one will age.

One more point…when I say that a particular blend is pipe-dependent, what I mean is it only tastes good in certain pipes. Well, Meridian does change from pipe to pipe, but it's always good. My Danske Club (Stanwell) Vario Billiard emphasizes the Orientals all the way through. It has a largish, cylindrical chamber. The above description of a strong Latakia presence near the end comes from my large-bowled Nording freehand with a tapered bowl. Experiment to see which one treats you best.

Stock up, fellow pipesters! This is another four star blend from GLP.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 21, 2023 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
My impressions as I smoke it. Excellent Flavor, Citrus, touch of smokeyness, touch of sweetness, very well balanced. A touch of spice. The retrohale is very pleasant and brings the flavors to the front.

I really enjoy this as the Latakia and orientals are very well blended, one is not overwheleming the other components. The balance of the Orientals to Latakia allows each to meld in flavor.

The Latakia is just in the right balance with the other tobaccos. It allows the Oriental come through pleasantly. As an English/Balkan it is a daily smoke.
Pipe Used: Various
PurchasedFrom: Smoking Pipes
Age When Smoked: tinned one year ago
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