Mac Baren HH Latakia Flake

This is a hot pressed flake tobacco, meaning that during the pressing steam is added to mature the tobacco further and to ensure a mellow smoking experience. A blend of bright Virginias, spicy Orient, a bit of burley, and a fair amount of Cyprus Latakia is the foundation of HH Latakia Flake. The taste is complex with the smoky note from Latakia in the front seat, the subtle sweetness from the Virginias working in the back, and the mellow spiciness from the Orientals popping up from time to time, creating an intimate interplay where all tobaccos play their role and contribute to this unique smoking experience. HH Latakia Flake has very little casing and no top flavour at all. The only taste you will experience is the natural taste from the tobaccos used. A mellow, yet satisfying tobacco, with a lot of nice, smoky aroma.
Notes: Released at the 2014 Chicago Pipe Show.


Brand Mac Baren
Blended By Per Jensen
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type English
Contents Burley, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Flake
Packaging 3.5 ounce tin weight
Country Denmark
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.39 / 4





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Displaying 11 - 20 of 92 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 10, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
First I will start off by saying that I am not a big fan of Latakia, but Mac Baren's HH ODF is one of my top three tobaccos and I definitely wanted to try their HH Latakia Flake. This is not a Lat bomb by any means, but the Latakia does play the major roll in this flake. I was figuring that the hot press method would meld the flavors in a way that other methods would not, taking away some of what I usually don't like with Latakia...I was right! The tin note upon opening is Latakia (not overwhelmingly so), some spice aroma (I figure from the Orientals) and overall, good tobacco aroma. No hay-like tones whatsoever. The flakes are nearly black and aligned in three rows ala HH ODF, resulting in each flake slightly smaller than a stick of chewing gum - a perfect size. I took two flakes out and let them air dry for 5 minutes and then folded and loaded into a Tom Eltang Stanwell SB. Pre-light sucking on the stem revealed Latakia, and some creamy, minty notes, albeit subtle. Very different and appealing to me. Lighting and keeping lit was very easy. Smoking from beginning to end was effortless and resulted in a very relaxing, enjoyable smoke. Yes, the Latakia was there but what I find different is that its flavor was so well merged with the other tobaccos that this flake smoked as "one flavor" for me. Not airy, moderately full in mouth feel...very appealing indeed. Coming from someone who tolerates but does not love Latakia, my hats off to Mac Baren for making such a fine flake, one that I can smoke each and every day. Now if they would only produce an HH Burley flake like the unfortunately defunct Edgeworth Sliced, this would, for me, be a triple play!
Pipe Used: Tom Eltang Stanwell SB
PurchasedFrom: Smoking Pipes
Age When Smoked: Fresh - tinned 4-14
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 15, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
Mac Baren HH Latakia Flake.

What a flavoursome smoke!

From the tin it's a little moist but nothing too problematic. I take a flake, set it aside for a short while, rub and load.

Although the smoky Lat' leads the flavour isn't totally cartelized by it. The Orientals give a lively touch and the Burley offers a nutty character. I find the Virginia the lightest of the bunch, by a long score. The burn can't be faulted and the temperature's cool.

Nicotine: medium. Room-note: pleasant.

A four star smoke:

Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Rattray's Six Friends
PurchasedFrom: Smoke King
Age When Smoked: New
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 30, 2015 Medium Medium to Strong Medium Tolerable
The beautiful dark flakes are equally cut (in 3 rows) and are neatly arranged in the tin. Upon opening the tin, the very first breath is a heavy sourness as a result of enhanced maturation through hot steam when pressing the tobacco cake. Excellent! The following breaths are rewarded with ample sweetness of honey, molasses, toffee, maple, and of course, Latakia and Virginia.

The flakes break apart very easily. For the first bowl I did not allow any drying time. The tobacco was slightly to damp, though. After lighting with a little more effort than commonly, I had a pleasant smoke that needed no relights. Since the square tins, once opened, never close that tightly any more, as opposed to the round ones, I decided to leave it like this to dry gently and slowly in the original tin for a couple of days, which turned out to be just the right thing to do. Since I smoke with filters, I always have an enjoyable dry smoke anyway. Excess moisture is soaked up by the blotting-paper wrap of the filter.

I was surprised to smoke a round, sweet and mellow blend, no Lat-bomb, as expected. This time the overhead description is quite accurate in my view. I love Latakia, and Latakia is dominant here but leaves room for others. Therefore I would not call this blend one-dimensional. The well chosen Orientals donate spice and character to this mixture, what I highly appreciate. The backbone of this mixture remains Virginia. Actually, I cannot pick up the Burley, except for occasional sparkles of nutty notes in the second half of the bowl, which I assume originate from Burley. Otherwise the flavour of this mixture is pretty much consistent throughout the bowl.

The soft carpet of natural sweetness of Latakia and Virginia, as well as their natural aroma, together with the already mentioned tangy Orientals, is what I like in this blend. What I dislike is this kind of obvious artificial sweetness that has been overlaid with casing. It sticks unpleasantly on my lips. There is no need for an added artificial sweetness in this mixture! The natural sweetness of the tobacco does the job. If there was to add sweetness at all, natural Macedonia Bright (a sweet Oriental) would have been a much better choice. The excessive sweetness remained stuck on my pipe, which I dedicated to this tobacco. I had some trouble cleaning the pipe and getting rid of that cloying stuff, in order to smoke “normal” tobacco in it again.

For my needs this blend is too sweet and lacks complexity. And I miss the peaty “horse-stable ambiance” in this Latakia. It will not be part of my tobacco selection. Having said that, the HH Latakia Blend remains a recommendable smoke, only for all those looking for a well fermented, mellower, lighter and sweeter Lat/Vir with no peaks and tongue bites.
Pipe Used: Meerschaum from Turkey
PurchasedFrom: Tobacconist across the border, in Germany.
Age When Smoked: New, out of the tin.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 09, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The 50 gr. tin had a very nice presentation of 18 Flakes 1"x3" long. They needed some drying prior to smoking and I decided to lightly ball and stuff one flake using the "air pocket" method for packing. The flavor was not an overpowering heavy campfire latakia, but rather, a smooth fruity floral latakia that says," this may have some Syrian ?". This blend has a nice balance between the latakia and the Virginias , however , for me, I like a little more sweetness in a "Medium Light" style of latakia blend.

The overall experience was very smooth , no bite, not bitter or ashy, with a smoky flavor all through the bowl including a few relights. Very "Samual Gawith" or GL Pease like in behavior and style, without any signs of Mac Barens bite . I'm very impressed with this Mac Barens offering,

Will I be buying more , probably not, as I said I like a little more sweetness that I get from some of McClelland "Medium" Latakia blends.

I have to say, that some of the reviewers were spot on , especially, "Steel Cowboy " and "Smokeking David". But those that talked about a topping and sweetness , I just didn't get that ?
Pipe Used: cob and maple
Age When Smoked: 4 months open
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 21, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Delightful. A gift from a friend. Mild, but enough Latakia to provide that smokey campfire that I adore. First tried folded and stuffed, which I've never done before. And, without dry time. Oops. Lots of bite, re-light every few minutes, ugh. Second bowl, rubbed out and dried for 15m. Want a treat. Creamy, smokey, easy to keep lit. There's a sweetness I don't get with other English, and I assume that's the Virginias in it. I'll be picking up more for my cellar.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 04, 2014 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
I need to preface this review with the statement, "I'm not a fan of latakia."

That said, I really really enjoyed smoking this. I chalk this up to two factors:

1) It's a flake and I just like flake tobaccos best. I can control the texture, they burn smooth and cool, and tend to be more flavorful.

2) There's a LOT of virginia in this blend which lends a bright sweetness to the heavy, oily latakia flavor.

Like I said, I'm not a latfan. But sometimes, I just crave it. When I do - this is the tin I reach for.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 09, 2017 Mild to Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
Very pleasantly surprised. One of the best Latakia/Oriental blends I’ve tried. Penzance of course is my favorite. Smokey Latakia tin note, with Virginia bringing up the rear. Fairly easy rub which remains course. First match and the familiar toasty Mac Baren flavor greets you, which I enjoy immensely and sets this blend a bit apart from other English blends. I taste the Virginia’s with Latakia in the foreground, and the orientals and Burley bring a nice earthy spice. This gets a bit darker tasting as the bowl progresses. Sometimes with a slight Cinnamon character from time to time. I rate this an excellent blend. Only drawback is that it burns all too quickly and a tin doesn’t last long. One slice of flake per bowl. Maybe because I enjoy smoking this so much. Ah well...
Age When Smoked: 2015
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 04, 2014 Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I'm lost on this one. Out of the tin I smelled the sourness of the VA first, Latakia secondarily. I didn't note any of the topping smell, however it is there, I'll talk about that soon. I sized up that it oughta be a good blend and a good flake.

First bowl was from my Cavicchi dublin. Flake had been dried around 15 minutes, then folded and packed. First light - ouch! Okay I guess the charring light sometimes bites, second light - ouch!!! What!?! Okay, it's lit now I'll smoke it through. Really, OUCH. This blend bites like microwaved ramen. Throughout the whole bowl, it just kept getting worse. Fine whatever, I'll try again later.

Second bowl in a Klodt dublin. Flake had been dried for an hour, then crumbled and packed. First light - ouch! Second- ouch! I'm about to give up. Finally, after a couple minutes the bite subsided and it wasn't as bad. I don't know if I might have to dry this stuff overnight but it's seriously bitey. Sigh.

Onto flavor. Very good! There is definitely some sweetness stemming not from the VA but definitely from some cavendish or a topping. It's noticeable in the smoke and more so in the room note. Doesn't take away from anything though, actually quite nice paired with the lat/va. You get the pleasant fruit preserve hint from the VA, a nice healthy note of latakia, and the burley I didn't taste, as I almost never do.

So truly, I'm torn as it is. This is a great tasting blend, it really just traumatizes your tongue. I don't remember smoking an aromatic that burned me that badly. Really unpleasant.
Pipe Used: Cavicchi Dublin CCC, Klodt Dublin
Age When Smoked: Fresh
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 09, 2014 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Excellent English/Oriental Flake, very sweet with deep, dark and smokey BBQ flavor, the Turkish flavor is dominant with strong floral/Oriental aroma.

This one (with ODF) is another hit from Mac baren, Superb stuff
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 16, 2017 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong
This is a bit monochromatic in flavour (in spite of all the components, the subduded Latakia becomes the front runner and, ultimately, the only runner) but it is smoooooooth. Very nice, velvety, somewhere in between dark unsweetened chocolate and a bit of tonka bean flavour in the background.

I can barely taste the other tobaccos compriosing this flake. But it is a naturally sweet, slightly bitter ride all the way. Soft, leathery, deep and slow burning. Flakes are very dark brown, almost "dry" (meaning they are not oily or humid), yet easy to break and fill in the pipe. It lights with a single match, and if smoked slowly it will go on without the need to relight.

Really nice stuff, and perhaps a good introduction to latakia. Slightly similar in structure and taste to Gawith's 1792 flake. I know, I know, the latter has no Latakia, but the taste is rather similar, albeit this one is milder, smoother and more tolerable.
Pipe Used: Savinelli Roma
PurchasedFrom: Joshua Ward
Age When Smoked: N/A
7 people found this review helpful.
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