My take on Orientals = meh. What is yours?

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by Mington, Oct 5, 2012.

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  1. Mington

    Mington Well-Known Member

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    Do you guys like Oriental tobaccos? If so, what are some of your favs?
    I have tried dozens and most to me are just so-so.
    I don't hate them, but can't find any that I really love.
    What is your take?
    If you love them....why?
    What am I missing?
     
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  2. dwaugh

    dwaugh Moderator Moderator

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    "batten down the hatches"! :)
     
  3. cakeanddottle

    cakeanddottle Member

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    My opinion is that they're dull on their own and possibly magic combined with the right Va's and/or Latakia. I haven't been too impressed with Oriental-Latakia mixtures, so I'm leaning toward the right Va being crucial.
     
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  4. Glenn

    Glenn Active Member

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    I love 'em. Or rather, I love what they add to latakia and virginias. They do different things to different blends. There are a few Virginia/oriental blends I like but to me where they shine is with virginias and latakia. I have gotten to where the oriental part is as important as the Virginia or the latakia. When balanced well the interplay is interesting and you get some flavor shifts that keep my interest. I am not as interested in lat bombs as I am in well balanced blends where all three parts sing.

    I could give you a list but it would be long and the beer is making typing on my phone tough.
     
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  5. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    Love Oriental blends. I'm sure you likely know this, but it's worth mentioning latakia is an Oriental variety of tobacco.

    Some of my favorites are Dunhill EMP, Presbyterian Mixture, Rattray's Red Rapparee, and Ferndown Yellow & Brown. Butera Pelican and Dunhill's Durbar Mixture are also both very good English blends which are very Oriental forward, with a worthy latakia presence but with more focus on the other Oriental leaves. Durbar is a strong contender for a favorite tobacco, but it's long gone :(
     
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  6. LifeOfRiley

    LifeOfRiley Member

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    Glenn hit it - orientals are all about balance and rounding out a blend. A straight Va/latakia blend can be a little ragged for my taste; I find that a good oriental component smooths everything out and adds interest.

    Sometimes they're good up front as well. I went through a 2007 tin of McC Classic Samsun this summer and I was really surprised at the maple, almost burley notes. Not on my must-have list, but pleasantly different. Other blends, like McC 2025, I can scarcely taste the oriental component at all.

    I have a 2003 tin of McC Orientals #6 that I'll probably open this winter. I'm curious to see what a decade will have done.
     
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  7. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    I thought I liked orientals so I ordered a whole bunch of "special" stuff - Katerini Classic and Samsun and all kinds of stuff. All boring as hell! Bleah!

    But.

    Done right, mixed into a singing mixture of virginias and maybe latakia.... man they're a blast.

    As mentioned, tobaccos like EMP are chock-full, and there's blends like "Legends" that offer the plummy/black tea side of orientals and things like Red Rapparee that show the more spicey/woody side.
     
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  8. conroygc

    conroygc Member

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    I haven't tried them by themselves, but my favorite tobaccos are Va, Lat, Oriental mixtures.

    Sorry to :dh1:, but are Orientals what differentiates an English blend from a Balkan blend?
     
  9. Glenn

    Glenn Active Member

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    No, that is mainly determined by the label.
     
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  10. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    There is no standard definition for either term. An English blend is a blend the blender says is English. A Balkan blend is a blend which the blender says is Balkan. English is a relatively loose term, but "Balkan" borders on virtually meaningless
     
  11. cigarsarge

    cigarsarge Active Member

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    Try some Smyrna...An amazing smoke.
     
  12. FlatbushPaul

    FlatbushPaul Cellar is located in an undisclosed bunker

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    Aged McClelland's #1 can be absolutely sublime. On a different note, House of Calabash uses alot of "Turkish" in his blends and they are fantastic. Recently I have been enamored with Embarcadero which is pretty light with the Orientals. But the right mixture of Va, Burley and Orientals/Turkish can be terrific!
     
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  13. buistd

    buistd Active Member

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    I'm currently smoking some C&D Oriental Silk. Wonderfully sweet and spicy with a thick, rich smoke. Have you tried it?

    When it comes to Latakia blends I definitely lean more towards those with a decent level of Orientals. I feel they add a complexity that blends containing just Va and Lat often lack.
     
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  14. Mington

    Mington Well-Known Member

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    I am actually smoking some now and did not even see your post. (Coincidence).
    It's decent, but again, doesn't "wow" me.
    I like it, would smoke it again.
    That's how I feel on most blends with Orientals.
     
  15. buistd

    buistd Active Member

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    I'm also smoking some now but mixed 50/50ish with GH Balkan Mixture. Getting near the bottom of the bag of both so thought I'd try an experiment. It works pretty well actually.
     
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  16. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    Try some Sam's Flake from Sam Gawith. I prefer Oriental Silk but Sam's is distinctly different.

    Over the years I've discovered that a latakia blend that's heavy on the orientals, mid-level on the VA and light on the latakia are the ones I most prefer. GLP Kensington is a new favorite, Red Rapparee an old favorite.
     
  17. jkstewart1

    jkstewart1 Member

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    I've been on an oriental kick myself so this has been interesting. Timing is everything. Lately the oriental blends in my pipes have been GLP Cairo, McClelland Bombay Court, and McClelland's Orient 996. All tasty with varying degress of spiciness and d kind of an incense quality to the room note.

    Sorry about the typo. My phone seems to have a mind of its own.
     
  18. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    X 2 including the effect of the Nutty Brunette ale I've been drinking...
     
  19. Mington

    Mington Well-Known Member

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    Good point. I forgot that and 1792 have Oriental in them and I have and love both. So I guess there are a couple Orientals I like a lot or love. DUH!
     
  20. Mington

    Mington Well-Known Member

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    I have a tin of Orient 996 that I have not cracked yet. I will have to try it. Maybe tomorrow. Thanks.
     
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