Mac Baren HH Latakia Flake

(3.38)
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.

Details

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

Profile

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

Average Rating

3.38 / 4
50

29

9

3

Reviews

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Displaying 41 - 50 of 91 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 05, 2016 Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Unnoticeable
Latakia is a once in a blue moon treat for me. I find it leaves me a tad wanting. Flake form gives that extra oomph. This one is a smidgeon below the quality of Gawithian Winter Time or Navy Flake But what it does have is that Mac Baren perennial - smokability. This means it's more accessible for a chap like me. Easier to smoke, palatable sweetness. Good flavour. So I'll be buying it again - once in a blue moon.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 19, 2015 Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant
This is one I occasionally like to open and get a deep long whiff. I love that sharp English tobacco smell and this one has a nice sharp "pop" to it.

This tobacco is quite moist and difficult to light if you load straight from the tin, a proper drying out is highly recommended for better lighting as well as maximizing the flavor.

This is actually a mild and easy smoke. It's a bit smoky, a tad sweet and burns really well. I recommend giving it a go.

UPDATE 5:19.15 Well. This must have been better than I projected as I went through the tin faster than a Politician through other peoples money. The tobacco got a bit sweeter as the tobacco aged in the air. I would buy this again.
PurchasedFrom: Smoking Pipes
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 21, 2014 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
...An exceptional tobacco from H. Halberg...These HH series tobaccos are quite exceptional and Latakia Flake is no exception.

I found the flakes to be at the right moisture level and no drying time needed. The "creamy smokiness" is different and very enjoyable and has a "roundness" that I find pleasing. This is not Vintage Syrian in flake form. I like VS too, but this is its own product. Many would say this is a stout tobacco, however, its components are balanced and straight-forward, thus making this flake more a medium strength than strong.

I'm giving this 3 stars because I want to smoke more of it before making a final decision.

Worthy of a try for any English/Latakia lover...

...a pipe is to be savored...

...update: 5-30-14...I have smoked quite a bit of this over the last few weeks and I continue to be impressed...as either my first smoke of the day to my final pipe of the day.

Pipe Used: group 5 and larger...
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: April 2014
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 27, 2018 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
First smoke for me of this one, and proved a very pleasant one. The real treat for me was the absence of that dry flat spice often imparted to otherwise great blends by 'orientals' - whatever that means from case to case. So we're left a medium smoke with enough Latakia to merit the name, and a good balancing dose of VA fullness and creaminess. Was absolutely consistent from first to last, with no tantrums or overheating. I think this would make a good introduction to Latakia / VA for those not familiar, and it makes an interesting change for the likes of me who generally smoke straight VA flakes. I fold and roll the flakes so that I keep long strands upright in the chamber - but I will try rolling the folded flakes a bit more than normal next time to see if that reduces the need for relights. Good stuff.
Pipe Used: New Meerscaum
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes USA
Age When Smoked: less than one year
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 08, 2018 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
Update: Upon my findings below I socked away a tin of HH LF into a Ball jar and let it “rest” for about 1 1/2 years before giving it another whirl. Wow. Time was very kind to this blend as the overwhelming wine-like floral note that I spoke of earlier was much more subdued, yet what remained was an excellent mixture that I would put in the same class as Penzance ... even better ... much more tasty & smooth. Just thought I’d follow up and make this note for those English blend smokers interested in a trial. For me, I think this aged much more beneficially than did a stash of Penzance for which I did the same. The aged Penzance seemed to fizzle out in the taste & aroma department unlike this HH LF which IMHO certainly improved. As such, I’ve elected to upgrade my rating to 4 stars as I didn’t mind the wait!

Original review: Reviewing English Latakia-based blends is becoming a challenge for me as there are so many to choose from in this crowded tobacco genre. Upon opening the tin I'm greeted with a floral/wine-like bouquet; reminiscent of Smokers Haven Cognac, Esoterica’s Pembroke, or MacBaren's own Solent Mixture (yet the LF bouquet is much more pronounced). Perhaps this was so because this baccy had 3 years of fermentation in the tin before I opened it. MacBaren advertizes LF as having minimal casing with no top note applied ... but me thinks the so called minimal casing is some "stout stuff". The flakes are neatly & beautifully wrapped in a fancy golden foil within the small square tin. The flakes were rather moist so I chose to fully rub them out. Even so a bowlful took to the char light quite easily and the burn is nice and slow down to a fine gray-white ash. The taste profile too is quite similar to the aforementioned blends, yet this one is surely more wine-like than I remember those others. I expect that some air & jar time may tone down the LF scent & flavor as it did for my small stashes of SH Cognac, Pembroke, and Solent Mixture. All in all, I like this blend ... but for my personal tastes I prefer the scent & taste of more traditional English Latakia & Balkan offerings (e.g. Brebbia # 9, HH Vintage Syrian, etc). It’s a very good blend and for my tastes it earns a solid 3 star rating.
Pipe Used: Briars
Age When Smoked: Aged 3 yr old tin + 1 1/2 yr again later
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 27, 2018 Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Upon opening the tin, You are greeted with the typical Mac Baren presentation of immaculately stacked flakes, a beautiful dappled dark brown. The aroma is one where the Latakia is evident in its smoky goodness, but not overwhelming, where the nutty burley and fruity and sharp Virginia lead the way, with some sour and smoky Oriental undertones. Moisture level is pretty good, and only a few minutes drying time is needed. I prefer the fold and stuff method with this, as with most MacB flakes. The charring light takes a little patience, but once lit it burns well with few relights. The first quarter of the bowl is dominated by a fruity, tangy explosion of Va goodness, with lots of dried cherries and a little spice from the Orientals. After a crescendo of dried apricots, the bowl settles down into a nutty, slightly sweet burley dominated flavor, with the Latakia providing a thick, chewy smoke with characteristic leather, campfire, and piney twang. The sweetness and tang continue to present themselves less and less after midpoint, where cocoa and toasted almond flavors develop. Burns slowly and cool with a disproportionate amount of smoke. Great blend that although light on the Latakia, is a smooth complex smoke that really fires on all cylinders. Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Various Briars
Age When Smoked: 3 years
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 02, 2018 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I rubbed out the lovely thin flakes and lightly tamped the tobacco. I found that the taste and strength was rather mild, although the orientals and the latakia were in the foreground. Tastes were slightly sour/spicy and smokey, VAs were in the background. I didn't get a N-hit at all, which is pleasant. All in all, definitely recommended if you like tasting Latakia paired with Orientals!
Pipe Used: various without filter
PurchasedFrom: Pfeifen Huber, Munich, Germany
Age When Smoked: approximately a year
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 01, 2018 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable
Dark, near black moist flakes. When I first opened the tin there was a fruity cased virginia smell and taste when initially smoked that was appealing in itself but clashed with the latakia in a similar way to Rattrays English blends that I find detracting. That dissipates after a few weeks into pretty much as described on the tin here the latakia is in the forefront supported by the sweetness of the virginia and casing with all the rest in the background. Being in the form of a stoved flake makes for a more uniform smoking character that doesn't have a lot of varying complexity. Subtler notes of the orientals present themselves along with the burley that provides a bit of a toasty note from time to time. Again, the casing is the big drawback for me and doesn't work with the latakia that I perceive as a slight banana-like creamy sweetness; I hate bananas. My taste buds must be playing tricks on me. Aside from that, this has a lot in common with Frog Morton(which I like) and may be a suitable replacement but is sufficiently not to my liking.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 06, 2018 Medium None Detected Full Tolerable
Imagine eating salty licorice and drinking red wine while smelling tar (the type derived from wood) Gets more tar-like mid bowl, but it's not smokey in quite the same way whisky nor other english blends. It is sweet, but in constant interplay with the sourness and spicyness. The sweetness isn't constant, nor is any attribute off its flavour really. Indeed, this is a blend with constant development off flavour throughout the bowl.

Not a standard english blend at all in my opinion. The spiciness is too... different. But it still satisfies my latakia cravings.

Truly a unique smoking experience that I don't think will suit everyone. Don't immediately jump from mild aromatics or standard VA/Burs to this. But it is a truly unique, complex and delicious smoke achieved in honest ways, reminding us all how beautiful and magical the tobacco plant can be when put in the right hands.
Pipe Used: Cobs & briars
PurchasedFrom: Pipcenter
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 15, 2017 Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
What, simply put, a great tobacco! The hot pressing process enhances the Latakias' smokiness; the Orientals' spiciness and the Virginias' sweetness, making this flake a genuine pleasure to smoke. All three components are clearly distinguishable and none overshadows the others. Even the cocoa topping fits into the equation and does not deter from tasting the tobacco. Mac Baren created a splendid tobacco with the Latakia Flake!
Age When Smoked: 3 years
4 people found this review helpful.
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