Mac Baren HH Latakia Flake

(3.39)
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

3.39 / 4
51

29

9

3

Reviews

Please login to post a review.
Displaying 1 - 10 of 51 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 25, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
The hot pressed flake breaks apart very easily though it needs to dry a few minutes first. It's creamy and smooth, and easy to keep lit. The earthy, dry, woody, floral, herbal, vegetative, buttery sweet, lightly sour Orientals have a mild spiciness, and gets slightly more noticeable when you reach the half way point in the bowl. This product is a little sweeter than your average English, and I believe there's some unsweetened sugary black cavendish in it, though the description doesn't note it. Maple was used as binder, and not a topping. There's an ample amount of smoky, woody, earthy, leathery, musty sweet Cyprian Latakia without being overwhelming. It's the lead component. The bright Virginias have a natural tart and tangy citrus sweetness, and a very mild grass note as the core base for the other components to play off. The burleys are mildly molasses sweet, woody and nutty with a touch of earthiness in the background. The mildly sweet and more savory campfire flavor is very consistent from first light to last puff with a very pleasing, lingering after taste, and it won't bite or get harsh. It has very few rough edges. The strength and taste levels are medium. The nic-hit is a couple of steps short of medium. Burns cool, clean and a little slow, requires some relights, and leaves just a little moisture in the bowl. Has a tolerable room note. The rich complexity of this flake entertains the taste buds, and should appeal those are looking for more than a dry smoke. Can be an all day smoke.

-JimInks
106 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 12, 2014 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I have just finished about 50 grams of the 100 gram tin of the new HH Latakia Flake from MB. I am impressed! The flakes are neatly arranged in the tin in similar fashion to the Old Dark Fired flakes. There is no doubt that LF has been topped as there is a slight fruity scent that I find similar to some of the Schurch Modern English blends. But it is very light and doesn’t overly intrude on the smoke. There are two things I loved about this flake right away. The first thing is that LF offers none of the Mc-bite that many MB blends are known to have. I am not easily bitten but with the exception of Old Dark Fired, I have been bit by almost every Mac Baren blend I have ever smoked. The second thing I love about LF is that unlike other Latakia heavy flakes, this one holds together in the same fashion a good Virginia flake does. It can easily be folded and stuffed, broken into pieces or rubbed out. Regardless of how it is smoked, I find a few minutes of dry time offers the best results. In terms of flavor, the Latakia is a dominate player, but leaves plenty of room to taste the flavor of the Virginias and Orientals. All three play a noticeable role in LB. The Burley seems to just add some backbone, but I can’t quite single it out. The topping offers a slightly sweet taste that is different than the sweetness offered up buy some Latakia blends. Given the fact that the component tobaccos play a large role here, I think it’s safe to say that this will cellar very well. HH Latakia Flake, coming on the heels of the outstanding Old Dark Fired, Mac Baren is really onto something with the introduction of these two excellent, high quality flakes. Highly recommended!
PurchasedFrom: Smoking Pipes
Age When Smoked: New
61 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 12, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
I'm joining the band here. HH Latakia Flake is a champ. Nice presentation of the various components of this blend and the Latakia really stood out with a boldness. The Burley was a team player but did add strength to the overall presentation. A very smooth smoking experience and this flake is a slow burner, which made the experience even nicer. Just a marvelous tobacco for fans of English - or any other - style of tobacco that offers strength and flavor in a way a good tobacco should.

Pipestud
48 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 05, 2014 Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable
Before I get into the meat of this review, I feel the need to come clean and confess my sins. Hi… my name is Monte and I am an Aromatic Tobacco smoker. {Hi Monte!} Since I started smoking a pipe in November of 2012, I have made many attempts to try and become normal by smoking English and Virginia blends. I’ve even purchased several tins knowing eventually I’ll come around, mature, and become a “real” pipe smoker. So far… it hasn’t happened. Truth be told, when the fine folks at Sutliff asked me if I’d be interested in reviewing this tobacco, I jumped at the chance. I kind of wanted to provide a little payback for the dozens of Aromatic Tobacco reviews I’ve read that begin with the phrase “I’m not an aromatic tobacco smoker but …..”. So here goes.

The very first thing you notice when you pop the tin is the amazing aroma. I don’t mean the overly cased foofie fruity notes found in many popular Aromatic Tobaccos which seem to have no resemblance to its taste. I mean a very deep, rich, earthy and even leathery scent. It reminds me of something made in yesteryear that oozed quality. I actually found myself going back again and again for more sniffs. I couldn’t get enough of the smell. My wife asked me if I was going to actually smoke the stuff or sniff it to death.

Inside the tin is a generous amount of “Juicy Fruit Gum” size strips of dark brown pressed Latakia Flake. Wait just a sec while I go back and smell it again…. Ok I’m back.

The tobacco had a bit more moisture than I expected so I rubbed it out and let it dry for about 15 minutes. I packed it into a beautiful Davorin Morta pipe that he made for me in 2013. I’ve been told that Morta pipes are particularly good at enhancing the smoke of English tobacco but I honestly don’t know. I’m lighting with Diamond GreenLight matches.

After lighting this pipe, I have to honestly say that I was in for more pleasant surprises. The rich scent of this tobacco flows easily into its taste. It actually tastes as good as it smells. Very few Aros can claim that. There is a slight hint of sweetness that comes through too though no one note overpowers the rest. Based upon the other non-Aromatics that I’ve tried, his HH Latakia flake seems to have a balance that is pleasant and inviting. I have to say that smoking this tobacco has rocked my perception and understanding of Latakias and Virginias to the core.

Mac Baren H&H has provided me my first ever path to actually enjoying non Aromatic pipe tobacco. I am now left wondering if this very tobacco – HH Latakia Flake – is what pipe tobacco is supposed to taste like.

Monte Montemayor
Pipe Used: Morta
PurchasedFrom: Sutliff
Age When Smoked: 2014
36 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 02, 2014 Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
This is truly delicious. A rather sweet flake with ample smokiness and a nice touch of spice. Can't say that I can pick up the Burley. There is also, which to my taste buds, is a mild floral note. All together this provides a very flavorful, enjoyable smoke.

I'm somewhat susceptible to bite from bright Virginias and I noticed that when this is moist the infamous MacBite was lingering just below the surface. Got some tongue tingle but no actual bite. Drying it before smoking erases all hints of bite and is recommended. Drying has no effect on the flavor and has the added benefit of a better burn.

Medium in body. Medium to full in flavor. A wonderful smoke.
Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: fresh
32 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 09, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
The manufacturer's description is accurate. The latakia is present throughout the smoke, but it gets stronger and also wanes periodically. This allows the Virginias and Orientals to make themselves known at times during the bowl. I don't detect burley per se, but I think it adds a little more body and hints of earthiness.

I dried the flakes for about 10 to 15 minutes. It still seemed a little damp. As a result, the tobacco needed an extra few lights to get going. But once it did, it burned steadily for about 45 minutes to an hour. My pipes were of below average bowl size, and the flakes provided a relatively long smoke.

I also liked the fact that this tobacco produced lots of fragrant clouds of smoke. It's such a tasty and fulfilling blend that I could not help retro-haling the smoke! I didn't get any bite at all, either.

This HH Mac Baren product is less sweet than HH Vintage Syrian (which I also enjoy). I didn't detect any topping in this Flake. It sort of reminds me of some GL Pease latakia blends.

It's nice to see Mac Baren produce an English-style blend, and name it appropriately (unlike the no-longer-produced "Latakia Blend," which, although enjoyable as a Virginia-based smoke, has a misleading name as it has a miniscule amount of Latakia).

I highly recommend Mac Baren's new Latakia Flake.

Govern Yourself Accordingly.
Pipe Used: Bob Hayes bulldog, Northern Briars Prince
PurchasedFrom: Mac Baren sample from Chicago Pipe Show
Age When Smoked: Fresh
26 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 03, 2014 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This fine blend stands in a place all of its own! The blenders have found a perfect combination--and well matched preparation (steam pressed) to achieve what has become a top tobacco in my cellar.

My first impression was not that great though. The tin notes were seductive, smokey, sweet and slightly grassy from the Virginia. I took a flake directly from the can and used a Z fold to pack. For whatever reason, this caused the Latakia to rebel and deliver a turpentine painting rag sort of experience. It did not burn very evenly either. But I never judge a tobacco on one bowl, or one packing method if a flake.

The second round was in a larger chambered pipe, rubbed out and dried for about half an hour. What a difference--it was almost if I had opened some other kind of tin. The charring burn produced a rich, creamy cloud of smoke. Little tamping was necessary. The smoking burn started the real experience.

Sweet, full, and a barely noticeable floral note which I presume is from some light casing came in as part of the Lat. This Cyprian is not 'heavy' and distracting--but smooth and tasty. The oriental and Virginia jump right in and play as equal partners with the Lat--but not a muddle. Honestly, I cannot really find the burley as its own identity. But that is not a bad thing!

The tobacco has a nice burn all the way to the bottom. Responds well to letting it go out and relighting at a later time--which is something I do regularly. No bite or gurgle from drawing moisture or condensing oils. It smokes well in small bowls as well as large chambered pots and stacks.

Smoked straight or as a bit of "flair" to other blends, I cannot say enough about the creamy, flavorful nature of this. And a great aftertaste when the bowl is finished. I now have 5 tins of this in the cellar to age a bit--and more to be added with future orders. If you like a smooth Lat that is well matched to Virginia leaf--be sure to try this masterful tobacco.

Although very different, if you are a smoker that enjoys Vintage Syrian you will quite likely find this a nice contrast and addition to your cellar!
Pipe Used: various
PurchasedFrom: SmokingPipes
Age When Smoked: New Tin
15 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 25, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
I was surprised to see I hadn't yet reviewed this one. I was given a small sample of this that I loved, that was followed by a near full tin from a friend who did not like it. Smoking through that full tin only reaffirmed my love for this flake.

The Latakia is always at the forefront of this blend, so it does stay true to its name, but I would not consider this to be a full English or a latakia smokehouse by any means. I can't really take too much Latakia in a day and have a hard time fingering any to be an all day blend, but this one could be a candidate.

I really enjoy the addition of burley to the blend as it adds a nice nutty sweetness and takes this blend into the realm of the American English/Scottish type mixtures. This is one of the finer examples of either of those genres that I have tasted. While there is an oriental presence in this flake, it is subdued and used sparingly. The Virginia is there to amplify the sweetness of the other leafs, but is otherwise hard to pick out on its own.

As I had said I really enjoyed this flake and will stock up some more in the cellar. Highly recommended and another great blend carrying the HH designation.
13 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
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
13 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
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.
Please login to upvote this review.

target="_blank"