Question for Latakia lovers

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by Bacek, Apr 14, 2011.

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  1. Bacek

    Bacek Member

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    I'm an inexperienced pipe smoker, trying everything, reading a lot about different tobaccos. Recently I've started my Latakia trial and got really disappointed. All I can feel and smell is tar. Sawdust of old railway tie covered with coal tar would taste the same as Balkan Sasieni, Tree Oaks and Savinelly English Mixture to me. Now, I understand that since a lot of experienced pipe smokers like Latakia, it means I'm missing something here... Do you, Latakia fans, feel any taste covered by this pungent substance? Anything actually coming through? Should I keep trying until I feel different shades of the tar or should I just move on to some other blends? I'm not trying to be smart ass here or start Latakia Holly War, I'm just asking experts opinion from people who know much more about smoking pipes than I do.
     
  2. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    I like latakia in general, but it depends on the blend. Some of my favorites have latakia. Some of my least favorites, also.

    Its not for everybody. It has a very pungent and distinctive, peculiar flavor.

    Just as many people will never appreciate an Islay whisky (my favorite is Ardbeg, which I would liken to the flavor of a rope dipped in tar and then smoke cured) many may not like latakia at all. There are good and bad latakia blends just like there are good and bad Islays, but that doesn't mean that its JUST a matter of getting a good one. Don't push yourself to like something which doesn't appeal to you. Explore, but don't be disappointed if a certain leaf or style of blend doesn't strike your fancy. There's no sense in pushing yourself to like something that just doesnt hit the spot :cheers:

    That said, I'm far from a particularly experienced smoker, so hey what do I know. Either it will grow on you in time or not, but nobody worth bothering with will think less of you because you don't like it
     
  3. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    I think Latakia is a bit like Jack Daniel's. First time you try it you think "Dear God, that is foul."

    But later, somehow.... it all comes together.

    It might not be something you ever enjoy, but don't write it off just yet.
     
  4. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    Hah, I used to like JD....can't stand the stuff now :cheers:
     
  5. Albert

    Albert Active Member

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    I seem to find that the heavier the latakia content, the more gently i must smoke ... a slightly too hard draw tuns the flavor gnarly instantly. but, a slooooowwww, gentle sip mixed with a bit of air in the mouth and an even slower "exhale" = latakia nirvana..... for me :cheers:
     
  6. Ol Brokedik

    Ol Brokedik Active Member

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    If you don't like the smell of burning leaves in the Fall or campfires, you'll probably won't like Latakia.

    OBD.
     
  7. sorringowl

    sorringowl Purveyor of PAAD

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    I can't speak for others but for me, the first time I tried Maltese Falcon, I thought, "Man, that's strong! Blecch!"

    But soon after, I thought to myself, "Boy, even though that was "strong," there was something about it...let me try it again."

    Turns out it was strong for me, and different than anything I had tried/tasted but there was something about it that kept bringing me back and each time I went back it went from "strong" to "kind of interesting," to "hmmm..." to "Man, that's good!" and then to, "I can't wait to smoke some more." which is exactly what I'm doing now. :thumbsu:
     
  8. jayf

    jayf Member

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    Try one of the frog morton's, especially the regular. It isn't bad, not so expensive.
    Peace,

    Jayf
     
  9. Kiowapipe

    Kiowapipe Active Member

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    Yep, it's strange how tastes change over time. Latakia definitely *can* leave a skunky aftertaste sometimes. Have you tried Frog Morton (lots of Frog posts today...)? That's a latakia blend that a lot of people really like. Something to try with latakia blends like the Frog is to really let the smoke sort of waft around the inside of your head and blow out a little bit through your nose. Letting yourself get steeped in the smoke like that can reveal a whole bunch of other flavors besides the latakia smokiness. I find the latakia flavor a lot more enjoyable when it's mixed in and contrasted with sweet virginia flavor or spicy/floral oriental flavors. Just something to think about. Whatever you do, don't try to force yourself to like something that just isn't clicking at the moment. Smoke what you enjoy!
     
  10. Mike Pomery

    Mike Pomery Active Member

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    I'm a Laphroaig man myself, which is like licking a bandaid on a dirty lightpost. :D
     
  11. jeffbee

    jeffbee Member

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    I'm not getting that from my Balkan Sasieni. Wanna trade?
    I would smoke sawdust of old railroad tie covered with coal tar. I'm still looking for "Old Bus Muffler" too.
    Latakia isn't for everyone. Lakelands arent for everyone. Pipe smoking isn't for everyone. Don't get bummed out if the Lat doesn't work for you.
     
  12. Kiowapipe

    Kiowapipe Active Member

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    Heh, I remember describing an old favorite of mine (Durbar) to a friend once. I told him it smelled like a long-untended elephant cage at a zoo. He crinkled his nose and said "that bad, huh?" I looked at him confusedly for a second, then replied "No, that good!"
     
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  13. RichisonB

    RichisonB Member

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    The first time i smelled latakia i jumped back because of the incredible pungent smell. But i figured i might as well try it because well, why not. So I tried Capt. Earls Nightwatch and i actually liked it. It reminded me of being on the water and on the boat. But if you don't like the latakia taste then you don't have to keep smoking it, that's one of the amazing things about pipe smoking there's hundreds of different tobaccos and flavors to taste that if you don't like one might as well try something different.

    Cheers to ya brother :cheers:
     
  14. r0n54

    r0n54 Member

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    +1 here as well. It was pretty much the same for me, and now MF is what I consider just a medium blend smoke. I do like a heavier lat content later in the day mostly. And will go to a bit of a lat bomb, Bill Baileys Balkan to satisfy my cravings. Try one of the Frog Morton blends,FMOTT has basma in it and that helps sweeten the smoke. If you dont like it, move on to other blends without the latakia for a while and let what you do have age. You can always come back and try again later as your tastes may change/evolve. If you dont like it at that point, it may just not really be for you.
     
  15. HCraven

    HCraven Active Member

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    I wouldn't get hung up on it. Many smokers go their whole lives without smoking any appreciable amount of Latakia. There are plenty of quality Virginia Flakes, VA/Pers, Burley blends, Virginia/Oriental blends, and even Aromatics to smoke, if that's your thing.

    Me, I love Latakia, but what I really love is a well crafted tobacco, regardless of it's Lat content. Keep an open mind and try some new things when you have an opportunity. Don't obsess on trying something with Latakia, but don't dismiss it outright either.
     
  16. David L

    David L Member

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    I would try lighter blends or just put it up and try it later. I used to only smoke aros and when I decided to try and English blend I hated it. I tried it again the next day and I was hooked. Don't know why, it just happened. I know if I wouldn't have tried again I would never know. I used to hate beer too but now I love it. Along that line, I think tastes change as you age and that could be a part of it. Don't give up or be discouraged though. Maybe you can get a lighter blend you like and it will work out. There are too many blends out there to try to worry about Latakia. Try em all! Cheers!
     
  17. Bri2k

    Bri2k Active Member

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    Latakia can be a love/hate kind of thing and can also take time and experience to appreciate. I find few things compliment a nice steak or roast beef dinner better than a good lat. blend afterwards.

    You might want to try a "lighter" lat. blend like Spilman, Walnut or Spyglass (all available at 4noggins) and revisit the "heavy hitters" later. One of the best pieces of advice I got here was if you don't like a tobacco now, jar it and put it aside to try later. You'd be surprised how your palate will develop and your tastes change over time.
     
  18. jpberg

    jpberg Moderator Moderator

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    This goes back to Woodys thread a while ago asking if Latakia is an acquired taste. I think it is. It is just so foreign the first time it hits your tastebuds, I think lots of people, myself included, didn't dislike it, but really didn't know how to like it.

    Get some Virginia, burley, hell even some aromatics under your belt, get your taste buds tuned to tobacco in general, then try a nice light English and see what happens.
     
  19. GlassSculptor

    GlassSculptor Active Member

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    I enjoy latakia blends but not the one's you've listed. A lot of guys like those blends but they just didn't do much for me. I found BS and Three Oaks leaning more towards savory than sweet....not that there's anything wrong with that.....

    You might want to try some G.L. Pease blends. I think most of his blends have a nice balance between savory and sweet.

    Piccadilly is very mild and might be a good starting place.
    Samarra and Blackpoint are a little fuller.
    Quiet Nights and Westminster for a bit more.


    Dunhill's Early Morning Pipe is light on Latakia and it's nice and sweet (not too savory).

    McClelland's Jubilee is another very good blend that is light on the latakia and big on taste.
     
  20. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    I don't necessarily hate blends that have latakia in them not do I necessarily like them. Reading reviews and asking for suggestions is ok but, ultimately, you will have to sample blends to find what works best for you. When you do find that blend it will be like ambrosia to the gods.
     
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