English blends question

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David Emond

Active Member
Evening everyone,

I wanted to know what makes a blend a english blend. Is it when you add Latakia that it becomes a english blend?

Also does the Latakia come from a british colonial area and that the british realised that this was some good leaf so they started to add this to their blends back home?


Latakia comes out of the near and middle east, is my understaning - Cyprian being the main variant, Syrian being the other. Tobacco has always been one of those tradeable goods, like pepper, silk, etc, so I think it's gotten around pretty good for a few hundred years.

An "English" tobacco in the old tobacconist's catalogues was simply a tobacco that did not have any adding flavoring - just leaf in other words. So back when, a straight burley would have been under the "English" heading in the books.

This has sort of morphed to where we consider something an English Mixture if it is a tobacco made from Virginia, Latakia, possibly other oriental tobaccos, and possibly burley, although that might make it an "American English" if that's not too confusing.

So things like the Dunhill Nightcap, London Mixture etc, the classics like Squadron Leader.... these are "English Mixtures". They fade by degrees into sub type, I guess, "Oriental", "Balkan" etc depending on various doses of whatever weed, or a lack of latakia presence, etc.
English in today's terms, would be a Virginia forward blend, with a decent amount of latakia and oriental (Burley is ok too). Balkan is Oriental forward with latakia and virginia in the background.


PG- free since '83!
Staff member
Traditionally, an English blend was a blend that used no added flavorings. However, Gawith & Hoggarth has been making their flavored blends in England for over 200 years. In other words, the term "English blend" is a term that really has no quantifiable meaning. It means something different to different people, the same as "balkan" or "scottish" mixtures do.

Probably best to substitute the terms "aromatic" and "non-aromatic". From there, you can include "latakia blends". Because if you ever stumble upon a blend that uses virginia, burley, orientals and a lighter amount of latakia, you might find yourself calling it a "American English/Scottish Oriental blend". And that would be a mouthful... and a waste of breath because you'd probably be the only one that understood it. :D
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