Having smoked many tabacs over the years as they were released upon the masses it is always with a trepidation that every once in awhile one will come along that knocks me for a loop. It isn’t often. Last year there were two. One of them Old Dark Fired lived up to its hype while the other Gaslight did not. While Gaslight is a fine tabac for older smokers to me ODF better met my smoking habit with glee.
When I was asked if I would try a new Mac Baren tobacco to be released in Chicago I was more than enamored with the honor and the potential. Not knowing what to expect, since it was being kept on the hush, I stalked my mailbox anxiously awaiting its arrival. Within 2 days it did. HH Latakia Flake
The 100g tin, gold in colour with the HH elegant logo peeked my interest as did the name, Latakia Flake.. Hot Pressed Pipe Tobacco. Opening the tin for the first time revealed 3 stacks of dark brown flakes with yellow speckles . The scent was sweet and inviting.
Rubbing a few flakes for my tester cob revealed even more joy. Slightly moist I let it dry for 20 minutes before packing the pipe. Packed lightly the bowl filled with 1 flake leaving the remainder for a second bowl.
Once lit the tabac smoked like a dream. Smoky, sweet and the orientals added a very nice touch making the mouth want more. And more did it deliver all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Leaving a fine white ash with easy clean. A worthy tabac this is. Per had done his magic again.
I have smoked several bowls of this in the rubbed method in several different pipes and all with the same result. A very smooth sweet smoke with a lot of nuances and enticements.
On a whim this past Sunday I was on the line with Ped, a very close friend and by chance grabbed my 2001 Caminetto Rhodesian and a flake of Latakia Flake. I rolled it out of the tin direct to the bowl and lit. After a few relights it took hold and for the next hour I enjoyed a wonderful slow smoking bowl filled with the exuberance of the LAtakia, the sweetness of the the Virginia and the exotic taste and aroma of the Orientals. Again an old dog tried a new method for prepping the tabac and packing the bowl adding a new dimension to the art of smoking.