Rattray Highland Targe

The outstanding feature is the pronounced flavor of robust latakia. This tobacco has earned proper recognition by those smokers who have a particular liking for this type of leaf.


Brand Rattray
Blended By Kohlhase, Kopp und Co. KG
Manufactured By  
Blend Type Scottish
Contents Black Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 100 grms tin
Country Germany
Production Currently available


Mild to Medium
Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Mild to Medium
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

2.88 / 4





Please login to post a review.
Displaying 1 - 10 of 65 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 14, 2010 Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
Smoking this again after so many years reminded me why I smoked almost nothing but Rattrays in the 1980's. This, Red Rap, Jocks and HOTW were my main staples back then and I didn't experiment as much then as I do now.

This is a nice ribbon cut of darker tan tobaccos. The tin nose is decidedly oriental with some latakia in the background. Quite honestly, I think this tobacco has one of the best tin aromas anywhere. Made my mouth water. Upon lightup, I tasted a very subtle marriage of the various leaves. None of them asserted themselves until about midway through the bowl and then they all seemed to want to take center stage at different times. The virginias peaked, and dissipated when the cavendish and orientals reared their heads and the latakia was always there, sometimes in the forefront and sometimes to the rear. This smokes like a lighter-bodied version of Jocks, and after consulting my tasting notes on it, I can recall why both of these were in my steady rotation 3 decades ago. This is a milder version for the morning or when I wanted something complex (and this is one complex blend!) but lighter on taste. I did find myself wishing for more "oomph" but there are other blends to take care of that. In the tinned version, I did not notice any of the humectants that an earlier reviewwer mentioned. This dried out rather quickly but was at its best at tin moisture.

If you're looking for a light latakia blend that is harmonious and fulfilling, and you aren't a fast puffer, this is a good one to try. Just sit back, relax, and let the flavors come to you rather than searching for them. They'll come when they're ready.
22 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 21, 2002 Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant
This blend is almost identical to Peterson's Sherlock Holmes. The flavor is rewarding but the strength is on the light side. Heavy Latakia lovers will light up, take a few puffs, and then say, "where's the beef?" If you enjoy a truly soft "Scottish blend" then this will be a real pleasure as it reeks of quality in every way.

19 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 15, 2014 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant
Rattray Highland Targe.

This one is a great smoke! The actual mix looks brilliant, all quite even sizes and a wide selection of different shades of Brown with some Black pieces in there too. It is of a fair moistness amount and the smell from the unlit mix is great, a kind of grassy aroma with a good smokiness there as well.

It lights up with little effort and tastes lovely, again like the initial aroma there is a grassy flavour embellished by a great smoky touch of Latakia whilst all along there is a sweet hint from the Black Cavendish. In all fairness I don't particularly get much from the Oriental/Turkish, actually I wouldn't know it was included unless I was told. Nicotine is where this scores very highly for me as it is about the perfect amount, and if you do smoke for Vitamin N this will suit you as it can be inhaled with great ease and when it is exhaled through the nose the flavours are magnified even more especially the smoky Latakia. The smoke itself is of a sumptuous build, actually one of the thicker smokes I have had and another plus is that I don't get any bite from it. The room note is divine, it has a very "classic" character and is fairly full, with a great "smoky" quality to it.

If you want a blend where the Latakia is allowed to shine with glory then this is one to try!
Pipe Used: Peterson
PurchasedFrom: Smoke King
Age When Smoked: New
12 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 22, 2014 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong
I bought this one because I liked the name lol. Also because I liked the tin art on it. A simple rugged highland warrior. I also had just purchased my butchers boy, and figured I would try a blend from the pipe aker to see if it went well together. I was wrong on that account btw. That short wide pipe doesn't like fine cuts of tobacco. Burned my mouth like I was a little kid smoking for the first time. It much prefers dunhill nightcap or 965.

The smell in the tin is very nice and smoky. I liked the way it wafted out some at me when I popped it open the first time. It has some gold and browns, and some black cav in there. Even some faint greenish colors I'm guessing are orientals. It packs and lights well, although the initial tin moisture was a bit much for me.

It is very tasty, in a light sort of way. Nice smoky flavor from the Latakia, just as they said on the tin. And it has a slight sour taste to it that reminds me of green olives. Almost like the way a dirty martini tastes of seawater. It's not over powering on the nic front, so it would be good most of the day. It burns right down to the draft hole if you dry it bit. I left mine out overnight on a piece of newspaper with the a.c on. (You can borrow that trick if you like).

I have bought more of this one, so I can definitely recommend this one to others who like scottish blends, or want to try one. I like others better, but this will be in my rotation for a long time to come. Mostly due to its subued nature and nice easy smoke.
Pipe Used: Rattrays butchers boy, Luciano billiard
PurchasedFrom: Just For Him.com
Age When Smoked: Fresh
11 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 16, 2015 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
I can't say enough good things about this mixture. It is among a few others a blend that I could smoke every day. A quintessential Scottish. Some complain that it lacks complexity, but I would argue the opposite. Not a smoke to be rushed. The Orientals are quite marked, and the Latakia does not overwhelm but complements the blend very nicely. The subtle intricacies of this blend become obvious once you've spent time smoking it and pondering its nuances. I might in fact compare it to some of the McClelland Oriental blends. Rather perfect, I'd say, without being ostentatious in the least, or relying heavily on overstated seasoning. Quite happy that this comes in a 100g tin. This blend, for me, is something I would take in my pouch when leaving the house without exception.
10 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 02, 2012 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This blend did not impress me the first few times I smoked it. But lately I've found myself enjoying it and appreciating it's unique qualities. For those of us who enjoy lighter fare, this is a delicious blend that's loaded with taste. The flavors are abundant. There's a lovely sweetness from the cavendish and the orientals make this a wonderful well rounded blend. This is a keeper in my book.
9 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 27, 2021 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is a review of the 1990s version, which used Syrian Latakia. The smoky, earthy, woody, musty, floral, wine-like Syrian Latakia takes a small lead. Right on its heels are the earthy, woody, herbal, floral, spicy, vegetative, lightly sweet and rather sour Orientals. The Virginia offers a fair amount of tart and tangy citrus, sour lemon, plenty of grass/hay, bread, mild sugar, light spice and floral, acidic notes. It is a couple of notches above the condimental line. The sugary, toasty black cavendish smooths out a few rough edges, though some still remain. It’s a tad more than a condiment in terms of effect. The strength and nic-hit are in the center of mild to medium. The taste falls a couple of slots short of the medium mark. It won’t bite or get harsh. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a very consistent smoky sweet and sour, floral campfire flavor that extends to the lightly lingering, pleasant after taste. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. The room note is a rung stronger than the after taste. Can be an all day smoke for the veteran, and repeatable for the less experienced. Three and a half stars out of four. If and when I get the chance to smoke the current version, I will review that.

8 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 07, 2011 Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
The aroma from a fresh tin is muted and complex to no end. This blend really smells delicious. An aroma that's mostly Virginia - sweetness, hay & grain notes, ketchup, spice cake and fig newtons. Orientals add tart freshness and come close to balancing the Virginia. As far as Latakia, the tin aroma of this stuff is merely haunted by the ghost of Latakia. All together, very interesting.

No problems with packing and lighting, pretty low maintenance.

First puffs release a burst of warm hay and grass aromas, settling into fruitcake-like sweetness, and then into a pleasant muted complexity. I detected butter cookies, pancake batter, the ocean, horse feed (oats), vegetal leafy notes, fresh notes like cucumber or melon, lemon custard, very slight Cavendish sweetness. The Latakia is nowhere to be found.

Quite pleasant, the only real problem here is a lack of strength. Nice flavors but ultimately too light. But if you want a cool, tasty Virginia-heavy blend that's extremely light and smooth - you could do a lot worse than Highland Targe.
8 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 02, 2007 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
If one could personify pipe tobacco blends, Highland Targe would be Dunhill 965 after anger management classes and charm school. Pipeworks & Wilke?s Pipemaker?s Choice would be HT on anti-depressants after shock therapy.

This underestimated blend (with highly varied reviews) works in all pipe sizes. Curiously, because it is so flavorful, it is tempting to puff excessively and incur a tongue torching. This need not be so, just pack it into your pipe?s bowl so that there is a little springiness, and keep the moisture middl?n. HT too moist and you might as well load spinach in your Chonowitsch. HT too dry and the glow of your pipe will be spotted by NASA infra-red satellite cameras.

Really a nice tobacco blend with something a little sweet, a lot smokey, a touch acrid all playing together nice, rather like happy, fat frolickers at the shore. There is sweetened Black Cavendish, perhaps subtly flavored from the casing, as a relief to the strident Latakia and main Virginia body. If dull, unchanging blends are your cup of tea, this tobacco will be too thrilling, however well-behaved.

The remaining ash is fine, fluffy and nearly all-white with little dottle. My tin was in my cellar nearly three years, and winter just seemed the right time to try it.

However successful Highland Targe is as a tobacco blend, I would not recommend it as a defense in battle. It is much too effervescent and friendly, and you could end up like the Jacobites at Culloden. None the less, HT is a fitting tribute to any Scottish Highlander (and worthy of comparison to any Scottish-style mixture).

Update: This is really terrific stuff. At all points where 965 and HT are similar, HT is superior, with none of 965's drawbacks. Smoking a tobacco this round, sweet, rich, flavorful and so cool is pure smoking joy. No other changes, except this gets my full four stars.
7 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 01, 2004 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable
Everyone says this tobacco contains lots of Latakia: I don't doubt it, but I am almost unable to detect its presence. Being a Scottish mixture rather than a traditional English (and if you didn't know, I love strong Latakia stuff like Dunhill London Mixture and 965), it has a stronger emphasis on virginias and cavendish than on Latakia... but I didn't expect it to be THIS bland! The can aroma was puzzling: hints of coconut and vanilla, but it is just a mental association. This is not an aromatic tobacco: it is simply the combination of the sweetness and various aromas of the kind of leaves used for it. Anyway, the Latakia just seems to be present in very small proportions. The extremely fine cut (finer than Dunhill's or Red Rapparee's) and the springy touch (a sign of the correct level of humidity) are very pleasant and make for a trouble-less packing. It almost never requires relighting, and burns even and discretely cool. Room note is light, but not completely pleasant. In the smoke aroma, I found some slight traces of the smell in the can, but also some reminiscences of Red Rapparee (when the slight Latakia presence raises its head). But perhaps its incredible gentleness makes it an ideal lighter cousin of Early Morning Pipe: subtle, never overwhelming, it requires attention and quiet to catch the nuances of flavor. The problem with me is that I find little interest in bland stuff like this... I grow bored with its understated taste (which borders on banality), and immediately feel the urge for a fix of Balkan Sobranie. I have smoked MANY tobaccos with much more body and aroma, and I won't try this again, but I must admit that for some it might be a good, smooth, quality all-day smoke. Anyway, if you belong in this category but want to try something tastier, try Ashton's Celebrated Sovereign. UPDATE 2 Years later (2004): The cut of this new tin is different. More ribbon pieces, and a stronger latakia scent. Still quite a bland boring smoke, but also rather pleasant, delicate and OK for everyday smoking.
5 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.