Esoterica Tobacciana Margate

(3.31)
A classic English mixture done in the "old style" of many of the fine tobaccos that have now disappeared from the market place. Choice Orientals, matured Virginias, and generous quantities of premium Cyprian latakia keynote this rich, full bodied blend. A well balanced, robust and eminently satisfying smoke.

Details

Brand Esoterica Tobacciana
Blended By J.F. Germain & Son
Manufactured By J.F. Germain & Son
Blend Type English
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Shag
Packaging 2 ounce tin, 8 ounce bag
Country United Kingdom
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

3.31 / 4
117

55

22

15

Reviews

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Displaying 11 - 20 of 208 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 04, 2014 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
I don't recall how Margate used to be back then when Esoterica tobaccos were widely available, I smoked mostly Penzance then. What I'm reviewing, is the new batches coming every now and then from Germains workshop. Although there are a lot of orientals, this isn't a classic Balkan, more of an English. Very easy going smoke. Pack it loosely, and a bit on the wet side if possible. Awesome smoke. Not wild, not rural, not kicking, perfectly tamed and balanced smoke as a whole. It doesn't distract you from everything else and doesn't keep all your attention to the smoke like Penzance. Not anywhere near Penzance, but it's Esoterica's second best choice. Cheers!
Pipe Used: various
PurchasedFrom: 4noggins
Age When Smoked: 9 months
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 05, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
There's nothing I can say about this blend that hasn't already been said. English blend perfection! The tin I procured was already aged quite a bit, and it's fantastic. What a great smoke! All the components blend together seamlessly to form an English smoker's dream. I love the shag cut. I like it better than it's cousin, Pembroke. If there will be pipe tobacco in heaven, this would be it.
PurchasedFrom: eBay seller
Age When Smoked: 4 - 7 years(?)
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 18, 2012 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This was the first latakia blend that I ever smoked. I purchased it in bulk from my local tobacco shop who is kind enough to break up the 8oz bags into smaller increments for their customers. My sample was a bit on the dry side but altogether smoked well.

This blend can be fiery and a little heady if I pushed it too hard, but its redeeming qualities are bundled tightly in its intricate illusory flavors. I say this because Margate has an undeniably dry flavor kick with very little sweetness to hang on to. Enjoying Margate is on par to enjoying a really dry & oaky red wine in that its flavors are presented in a much narrower spectrum. That said, most of these flavors are tough to pin down or compare to some of the obvious food related references that are often tied to sweeter mixtures. Perhaps it's best to say that this mixture just tastes like well blended, high quality no-frills tobacco.

If anything, Margate has made more of an impact on me through my sense of smell. Its pungent incense like aroma is a thing of beauty and keeps me coming back for more, where its flavor ebbs and flows between full round and spicy, to subdued and ethereal. The real magic with Margate is this dance it does with my olfactory senses. Perhaps I spent too many nights as a kid in front of the camp fire with my friends and family but if I could rate Margate's rich wood fire like aroma on a nostalgia scale of 1-10, it would easily rate a high 9 for me. There is something that I crave with this one yet flavor is only one component of the craving.

For me this mixture took some time to fully appreciate. Sometimes when something is so simple it's easy to overlook what it does well. And what Margate does is satisfies my desire for a rich dry latakia laced smoke.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 08, 2014 Mild Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable
There's a pungent smell from the 8 oz. bag, a smoky incense aroma that will also be found in the smoke. A cool, dry and smooth smoke that I smoked slowly as I didn't feel the need to puff hard. There's a sweet, cloying casing that's quite present, with some smoky/incense flavoring. This was my first Esoterica Tobacciana mixture.

Update: After trying Penzance, I revisited Margate to make a comparison between them. I get the same cloying sweet/incense casing but lighter in Margate. The mouth and breath are not as heavy after a pipe bowl but still. It's in fact a Penzance light, because of a lighter chemical enhancement. Esoterica Tobacciana, you have tested positive for chemical enhancement in all the tobaccos I have tried and no hype or gimmick will save you. You are dismissed with no regrets.

Virginia lover
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 19, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Margate is another 1st class blend from the Esoterica line from the Germain family. The tin note is very similar to the current version of Balkan Sobranie (also made by Germain). This is an Oriental/Turkish forward blend that is in a bed of wonderful Virginia's and top shelf Cyprian Latakia. The VA sweetness with the woody, spicy and sour orientals supported by smokey and incense like Latakia is heavenly. The flavor of this tobacco is also the stuff of legend (this will be one of those blends that will be whispered about if it ever goes away like the old BS tobacco's). This is blend that will taste different in different pipes, it will vary with smoking cadence and even the shape of the bowl. It is complexity defined. I will say that this blend sings in meerschaum pipes. I have tried to nail this one down prior to reviewing, it is so good and it has such a range I wanted to make sure I had a good relationship with her so that I could review it effectively and maybe help someone with their introduction, it is an elusive blend and our hard earned cash deserves to be spent well.

So if you have a meer, smoke that one first. If you have deep wide bowled briar, I found them to be the best. If you have a bog oak / morta pipe that is also a temple for this blend. This blend smokes best dry (IMHO). The base of Virginia's is what I get first. Sweet, bready, hay loft old hay. Grassy flavors with earth and a hint of citrus (I am not sure if what I get is citrus from the VA or a hint of sour from the Orient). The Orientals are wonderful. I wish I knew what VA's were included but I am fairly sure there is yenidje and smyrna present in meaningful quantities. There is a "fizzy" or seltzer like taste I get on the retrohale and the nuances from the orientals come out even clearer in a morta or meer. They are spicy and woody: cedar, balsa wood and hickory come to mind. The latakia is a support condiment. It is sweet and smokey. The malty flavors get richer and richer as you smoke through the bowl. When dried you can smoke this to a white ash with 2 matches. Light on nicotine but big on flavor. The rarity of this blend makes it an occasional smoke but it could be a "desert island" blend, one to smoke often and forever. For those of you that also have a tin of Pembroke, this is Pembroke sans cognac. I have never had a blend of this caliber and complexity aided by a topping. Pembroke actually takes the flavor of this wonderful blend to another level, it actually makes it better. (a review for another...review). I wouldn't want to replace Margate with Pembroke but it is truly amazing what Germain did with adding a topping to a base blend: I highly recommend trying both.
Pipe Used: briar's, cob's and meerschaum
PurchasedFrom: B&M
Age When Smoked: 1 year +
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 20, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Dark full flavored, balanced and earthy.. Esoterica does wonders with Latakia. Not as robust as Penzance and without the topping/ sweetness of ...And So To Bed.. and without the bite of Pelican which I find similar.. it's a nice happy medium. Margate is a refined possible all day smoking English with some beefiness to it.. if you can find enough of it.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 21, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
Mottled in color, this is almost a shag cut of very thin ribbons. In fact, I'm not sure I know where that line is drawn, but I would still call this a ribbon. Classic English blend tin nose. I've had this in my cellar for almost three years but for some reason never felt like opening it until now.

Classic English blend flavor as well. The latakia is front and center but not overpowering. I distinguish English blends from Balkan blends by the power and flavor of the orientals used, and this one is classic English, as the orientals are very subservient to the latakia and somewhat to the Virginias. The latakia is powerful and sweet, with all the campfire essences noted. The Virginias are very lightly tangy with the barest hint of citrus. However, they aren't just a base for the latakia and orientals - they have quite the personality. The orientals are smooth and mellow with a hint of sour and spice. Two things of personal note on this blend - first, it grew on me. Two or three bowls of this does not tell the story - it requires a full tin to take this one's measure. It's not just a lat bomb. Second, the name "Esoterica" means to a lot of smokers something very special. To me, it means Stonehaven and a host of fairly ordinary blends. Nothing wrong with this one - in fact, if you enjoy a lat blend on the heavier side, you could do a lot worse than this one. My point is you could also do a lot better IMHO.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 11, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I've smoked Margate for years and just tried an aged sample. (You need to stock up on this if you like it, because it's difficult to procure.) Maybe my tastes are changing, but I think this and other Germain offerings are just too finicky.

The shag cut is annoying to pack, and even after you let it dry, it is nearly impossible to keep lit. Then once it gets going, the show's over, because it burns so quickly. Also, some of my tins weren't air sealed when purchased new.

The flavors are good and the tobaccos are pressed and aged to the point that everything melds into one common core of smoky and earthy flavor. The nicotine level is low.

To me, there are many other choices in this crowded category that are far better in temperament, presentation and taste.

I feel the same about Germain's re-release of Balkan Sobranie.
Age When Smoked: Aged and Fresh Tins
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 08, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant
This is amazing stuff! It you are looking for that signature old world English taste, this is it! Leathery, nutty, well balanced, smooth and full flavoured. The tobacco is of very high quality and is a fine ribbon cut which I prefer. I like this one more than penzance. Shame that it isn't very easy to find.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 25, 2013 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
I typically don't like full latakia blends, but didn't mind this one at all. The blender boldly states that the blend is indeed a full english mixture. It smokes very cool and the orientals used are much to my liking. While the lat is strong, I don't find it overpowering at all. I was surprised to discover there was no Va in this blend.

This is definitely a once in a while treat. Successive bowls will not be a joy. My two ounces lasted better than a year. It shines in Cold weather in a contemplative setting. I prefer it in my briar bent acorn Sav DC, but also enjoyed it in my meer.

I will likely buy more because the flavor, to me, is unique enough that I think it will be good to have on hand. The hard part, like all germain blends, is waiting for the stars to align where you can actually find it.

12/6/2021 update

I was puffing on this and reading my reviews and some of the other reviews. One thing I did notice is that someone has changed the contents above to now include Virginia. When I reviewed this 8 years ago, they simply listed the contents as Latakia and Oriental. I was surprised at the time that Virginia was lacking as there is present in this blend a light sweetness that I have never encountered from Latakia or any oriental leaf.

With that said, I highly doubt the contents above either now or before were written by someone in Germain. Germain is very secretive about everything they do, so this information is all speculation anyway as the most you will get from the blender is the description which says nothing about Virginia leaf. In any case, it makes sense that this does include Virginia. Carry on. 🙂
6 people found this review helpful.
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