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





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 18 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 18, 2010 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Kohlhase & Kopp's website says virginias, orientals, latakia and black cavendish for Highland Targe.

The latakia is present in the tin aroma but is not a key player in the taste of the mixture. Some nutty notes - almonds-are also present, making me wonder if there is not some Burley added as well. Mostly, you will savor the dominance of the orientals, black cavendish and virginias. But when a pipeful has a fair quantity of latakia into it, it becomes a delicious and robust smoke.

The tobacco is mostly medium and light brown, some green leaf (the oriental) and a good third of black leaf is also present.

Room note is of pure tobacco, with a tendency to some light sour notes. Very sweet in taste with some nutty presence and the back up of the woodsy latakia.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 26, 2023 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant
I smoke mainly a range of "English/Latakia" blends, and have favorites ranging over many years. One wants some variety in this range. For no good reason I missed Highland Targe until recently. (The Rattray blend I usually buy is 3 Noggins Full.). I am very happy with it. I would classify it as a fresh, mild Scottish blend whose distinctive virtue is that its flavor is consistently pleasing throughout the bowl. Its been around for quite awhile, and when I looked at reviews I was pleased to see that most reviewers had found what I found. Those who rated it lower complained that it is too bland. My response would be, yes it is mild, but the happy flavor I look for is there and it is so throughout the bowl. I notice most of the reviews are pretty old too. So the point of this review is: it's still good, and it might be what you would like for those times when a mild Scottish is right.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 11, 2023 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
I bought a 100g tin of this, never having tried it before and not knowing anything about it. I have to say I think it's lovely!

The tobacco is a medium ribbon cut, perhaps 50:50 black to brown and tan coloured leaf, with only a few shards of pressed tobacco in the mix. In the tin it smells very nice: yeasty sweet fresh baked bread, sourdough and a touch of spice. Latakia smoke is very much a background note in the newly opened tin, although now I've had it open a while it's become just a little more prominent

It lights up with no trouble and burns evenly without much attention or input needed, providing a soft, complex, gentle smoke. I find it has quite a bready flavour - granary toast with butter. It also offers a delicate sweetness and hay notes from the Virginia and Cavendish, while the soft spice and hint of sour is surely the Orientals which are present in reasonable proportion and to my tastes, most enjoyable. Subtle latakia smoke can be detected throughout, but always in the background.

It's not a big hitter in the nicotine department, so can be enjoyed in a large pipe, in which it satisfies. It can be smoked to a smidgen of ash in some pipes, without much dottle to speak of. It's complex and as such, worth taking some time with. Equally, you can have it on the go when you are on some task, but you'll notice it now and then and it may steal your attention!

In summary, a mild to medium mixture with a bready character, Orientals more prominent than Latakia. I find it mild enough to be a delightful morning pipe, yet full enough to satisfy the taste buds at any time of day: this is a very versatile tobacco.
Age When Smoked: New
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 04, 2009 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Very nice, smooth, mellow, yet tantalizing on the palate. I could smoke this all day, or at night before bed. It's mild enough to be refreshing, yet pleasant enough in aroma that it's not going to offend anyone. It makes me think of what a high end tobacco shop would smell like. Another good turn out for Rattray's!! Keep them coming! I've tried a few of the blends and haven't run into one I didn't like yet.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 28, 2006 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Well, now that I have finished a considerable amount of HT I will now add it to my favorites and declare it is in the daily rotation as well as three other Rattray's offerings, Jocks, Accountants and Professional. I have not bothered to rate the Aromatic Rattrays that I've sampled - which I did not like at all - because I didn't buy them nor would I. To that end, my review of a blend that I would not buy after sampling, doesn't seem adequate or cricket. I also won't review a tobacco that I haven't spent considerable time getting to know.

To my palate, Highland Targe is a Scottish Blend wihtout any topping. The Orientals are very subtle and there seems to be a mild blending of some Red VA and Bright VA. In addition to what I taste and smell as Syrian Latakia in condimental proportions, there appears and tastes to be some unflavored Black Cav.

The tin aroma is intoxicating and a very sweet tea aroma not dominated by any single component. Likewise, the cut is a fine short ribbon that packs easily, and as another reviewer pointed out, tends to knit the ash in such a way that it doesn't easily sputter about, particular when one tends to park the pipe in the corner of one's mouth. (I often do, and have had to involuntarilly attend the lecture series on my dangerous habit and its effects on my wardrobe)

While the overall strength of the blend is reserved, the flavor is right there in the middle of the taste scale. There is a subtle VA sweetness that is accompanied by a piquant presence of the Orientals. I am again amazed at the harmony of components created with such mildness. If I were to compare this to another Rattray's Blend I would suggest that this has more in common with Jocks, with the distinct difference being that this is centered around the orientals, while Jocks is centered around the VA Cavendish, however they are of similar range of strength and intensity of flavor; yet they exhibit a very nice room note. For this reason, Highland Targe is a smoke for earlier in the day and doesn't require a meal to precede it. Additionally I submit that this blend is somewhat like McClelland Bombay Court, although the components of HT seem to be of a higher quality and more maturity.

Cheers, VC
1 person found this review helpful.
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