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Choice selections of Virginia, burley, Orient and Latakia from Cyprus are skillfully blended. The Virginia and burley tobaccos support the clearly smoky Latakia note, and the Orient tobaccos add a slight spicy dimension to the overall taste. Like all HH blends it has only an absolute minimum of casing and no top flavour at all - the taste comes from the leaf itself.

Notes: After the stock of Syrian Latakia ran out, Per Jensen wanted to keep this blend around and replaced the Syrian with Cyprian Latakia. The HH Vintage Latakia is a successor of HH Vintage Syrian.

BrandMac Baren
Blended ByPer Jensen
Manufactured ByMac Baren
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsBurley, Kentucky, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin, 50 grams pouch, 100 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
None Detected
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

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raybrown55 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
raybrown55 (46)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I couldn't tell what's the vintage that the name suggests, but who cares? I like this blend very much, more than the previous (syrian) incarnation; while the Syrian Vintage was latakia - forward, this contains less of the black leaf and it is of the Cyprus variety (which by the way I prefer…) and the leader role is played by the nutty Kentucky, which adds body without overwhelming other tobaccos, so that the blend preserves its balance more than the syrian version. Moreover for the Italian smokers like me this is probably the only english/balkan offer at a reasonable price. So four stars and highly recommended

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: New (less than 1 year)

Purchased From: Noli Tabacchi Milano

11 people found this review helpful.

Jared Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jared (7)
Mild Very Mild Mild Tolerable

The Vintage Syrian is gone. Forever. This replacer is flat, lacking the woody and sapid facets of the original. I would have preferred that the mixture was interrupted without "escamotage" on the popular name. Stock up as long as you can with the original Vintage Syrian. It will become a myth, because HH Vintage Syrian it's already a myth.

Pipe Used: Savinelli

Age When Smoked: 1

7 people found this review helpful.

L'Italiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
L'Italiano (233)
Mild None Detected Medium to Full Strong

HH VINTAGE LATAKIA (VL) and HH Vintage Syrian (VS) have a lot of similarities, but actually they are two classic blends with some important differences. When the stock of Syrian latakia ran out (VS is now gone) Mac Baren made the same blend with Cyprian latakia and so many smokers think it is the same blend, but it is not so. Here I want to speak about the differences between these two English-style blends, from the point of view of Vintage Latakia compared to Vintage Syrian. Similarities: first of all they have the same base: Virginia, Orientals and Latakia. Secondly Latakia is the main component and both are classic English blends with Latakia in pole position. Thirdly they are both mild blends (not in the English tradition, but in the Danish one). And here I stop.

Now the differences. Above all the different kind of Latakia: VS is more smoked, with notes of pinewood, trees, moss, wood and incense. Speaking of taste Syrian Latakia gives VS a more aromatic nuance compared to VL. From the other hand Cyprian Latakia (VL) is sweeter and a little less smoked compared to Syrian Latakia (VS). Secondly the Latakia content: VS contains a little more Latakia than VL and the taste is more intense, rich and penetrating. Thirdly VS contains a touch of dark fired Kentucky while VL contains some Burley and this is another reason why VS is more smoked, rougher and harder than VL. And this is also the reason why there are clearly different nuances of taste. Last but not least the complexity of taste: VS has a more articulate taste while VL is more simple.

Altogether, VL is sweeter, gentler and more delicate while VS is more “manly”, rougher. In other words VS is more Balkan, more vintage, certainly with a deeper taste. Anyway I believe these are two very similar blends with a different taste grade. And they both have a very mild strength. So, in my opinion and in my personal rating system (from 1 to 10), about Vintage Latakia my score is 8 and three stars (VS score 9 and three stars – see my review about it).

Similar Blends: Mac Baren - Vintage Syrian.

5 people found this review helpful.

Pipofilo novizio Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipofilo novizio (3)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A nice easy smoking English blend. Packs easily lights easily and smokes fresh. I actually prefer this one to the now discontinued vintage syrian: from what I recon hhvl lacks the dark fired Kentucky that was present in hhvs and imho this makes for a more mellow blend and allows the flavors from the virginias burleys and orientals to better come through. The latakia Is the main character in the blend but it doesn't overshadow the other components: a nice nutty flavor is still detectable from the burleys, the orientals give a nice underlying spiciness and the virginias bring everything together with a nice but not overpowering sweetness . (The description on the bag and on macbaren website doesn't state the presence of Kentucky in the blend and from what I taste none is present). In the end it's a nice EM, with the added bonus of its price: here in italy it is less than half the price of more popular English mixtures, okay, it's not as bold as some of them so if you are looking for a latakia bomb definitely look elsewhere, but if you give this one a try you will find a nice skillfully blended mixture that you can enjoy all day.

Pipe Used: Savinelli 626

Age When Smoked: Fresh form bag

Purchased From: Local tobacconist

3 people found this review helpful.

HeavyTrees Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HeavyTrees (70)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Like many other tobaccos that I reviewed this one was in stock at a local pipe shop and as I haven't tried the Vintage Syrian I won't compare here.

Look in tin is a nice ribbon cut of all varieties from gold to black. Cold smell is of warm, sweet and slightly spicy fruit jam. Comes in good condition dried it for half an hour then it was ready to smoke. Packs well lights well and burns cool and steady until the end.

Sweet warm chocolate like body taste of the Virginia and Burley. Spices are a top note and Latakia is only a background player, sadly. With a name like that I tend to expect a bit more. During the smoke some edges show up here and there which adds a bit of character. All tastes stay through the whole smoke; sweet and creamy over all.

Good one for Latakia novices but lata heads will definitely miss some punch in here.

Pipe Used: Various briars

Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin

Purchased From: Local shop

Similar Blends: Mac Baren - HH Latakia Flake.

3 people found this review helpful.

Harry_Callahan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Harry_Callahan (14)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Didn't get the chance to try the Syrian version, but this is a good tobacco for its price. Were I live we pay double for the more popular EM. HHVL provides a nice smokey(not too much) Latakia from start to finish. Spices not always there, same thing for the Virginia..sometimes you can get the sweetness but not that often. If you know how to recognize Kentucky you'll get it too. For me it is a 3.5 for price\quality. Great EM(Bakan?) to start out with

Pipe Used: Missouri Meerscham Straight 5th Avenue

Age When Smoked: days

Purchased From: just a smoke as a present from a friend

3 people found this review helpful.

Fadi Hawa Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fadi Hawa (1)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

In order to really appreciate this Vintage Latakia, one should choose a long stem pipe with a rather small bowl. Then, the smoking session should be held in a cool but not windy corner. Finally, the smoker should be alone! When you open the tin, the smoker can immediately smell the Latakia particular aroma..and the hidden effect of the Oriental / Turkish tobacco giving to the whole ensemble a magical deep dimension! Virginia and Kentucky are here, ready to be burnt and to sweeten the burning wood sting taste of the Latakia. Burley tobacco is rather at ease.. It is here beside its favorite partners! Quietly, steadily and magically the smoker is lifted... The taste is specially delicious, no tongue bite, no heated smoke...just pure pleasure! But then why the small bowl? Why the smoker shouldn't take a big bowl since it is as exquisite as it is described?! The answer is simple: a pleasure in little dose is much more appreciated!

Pipe Used: Courrieu liseuse

Similar Blends: Davidoff Royalty.

2 people found this review helpful.

Strichetto Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Strichetto (21)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Bought in Italy in 2022, this is the tobacco created by Mac Baren to substitute (with Latakia from Cyprus) the former HH Syrian Latakia, sadly no more available. It's quite cheap (good thing), but quite poor of latakia too...

Scent at opening: not bad, you can find a smokey latakia aroma.

Taste: not remarkable, but decent: smokable, I say... Just a bit stronger than I prefer. A little biting (very little) at beginning, when fresh.

Room note: at beginning a bit harsh but not bad, it strangely leaves a very better pleasant room note some hours after smoked.

Burning: lights quite easy and burns correctly, not very slow.

Briars: I always smoke EMs and BMs in my dedicated classic british and irish briars.

Well, this tobacco maybe is not among the best I've tryed, but decent and smokable enough. I like latakia (but I prefer Syrian) based mixtures, and the main limit of this tobacco is that's quite poor of smokey latakia taste. But it's quite cheap too, and I can recommend it, maybe not my cup of tea, but acceptably pleasant.

Pipe Used: Upshall, Charatan's, Peterson, Dunhill, Loewe L&C

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From: a tobacconist in Via Carducci, Milan, Italy

1 person found this review helpful.

Arvel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arvel (4)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I write this review after smoking over 200 grams of this balkanic mixture. It is a tobacco that in various groups and forums triggers many varied comments, in fact it is a tobacco that you like or do not like right away. Sincerely and personally, speaking in finding a blend with an excellent quality / price ratio, it is a tobacco that in my country is only sold in a 50 gram bag format. It is a balkanic tobacco since its ignition, it has no evolution and the flavor remains the same from the beginning to the end, all in all a satisfying blend for those who need a good dose of latakia. In addition to the latakia that is the master, kentucky is perceived but little else. There are those who say that this blend is full of added flavors, on the Mac Baren website it is specific to the HH series and it is specific without adding other ingredients. Always personally speaking I think there is a seasoning. Right now I just turned it off and I'm almost at the end of the 200 grams originally included. I believe I will do a period without buying it again.

Pipe Used: Vari

Purchased From: Tabaccheria Locale

1 person found this review helpful.

kwstas234 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kwstas234 (7)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

awesome tobacco! ready to fill your pipe without rubbing or waiting to dry and burns great. its flavours seem so balanced to me that nothing gets over-sensed and can't be overwhelming so it can be easily an everyday-all day smoke! damn! i'm filling the pipe again ))

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

nickdrake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nickdrake (3)
Mild to Medium Very Strong Mild to Medium Overwhelming

I gave this tobacco a third chance, no longer thinking about the fact that it might be an EM. So, taken for what it is I've been smoking it for three days. Just opened the aroma is salty and bitter. Can't quite tell what tobacco it's meant to be. It binds the tongue like sucking on an old loden coat. Over time this effect is lost but the aroma is that of a poor quality tobacco. To the point that if I ever had to choose between this and a contemporary Amsterdamer, I would take the Amsterdamer. Here we have a bitter, plush aroma with a strange depositing effect on the tongue that leaves the tongue bad. I don't get it. I regularry smoke not pleasant room note tobaccos but this is very stinky

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Juan José Pascual Lobo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Juan José Pascual Lobo (6)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I´m surprised to see just 12 reviews of this tobacco, mostly from european smokers, at the moment of writing this review. This is an outstanding blend in it's class. Cyprian Latakia is the leading player followed closely by orientals and Virginias which dance harmoniously together in the background. From time to time appear brief but delicious nutty notes from the Burley. Burns cool and uniform with almost no flavor changes to the end of the bowl. This blend has earned a place in my rotation, and it ages wonderfully.

Pipe Used: Savinelly 9121, 9904 and various squat bulldog

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Purchased From: Estanco Calle Juan Bravo, Segovia Spain

Similar Blends: Dunhill Standard Medium, Samuel Gawith Squadron Leader..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stan E. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan E. (1)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Aroma from tin is rich and smoky, Latalkia-forward. Tobacco itself consists of flake-like pieces of Latakia and some light to dark brown Orientals/Virginia rubs. Moist is OK, no need to dry.

Being lighted it starts from grassy and sharp smoky English taste. It is very straightforward, without any nuances. It somewhat develops into bitterness/pepper and woodiness on retrohale to the last third. The Nicotine level is low to medium. Overall good experience.

For its price it is decent classic English blend. A little bit plain but well-balanced. Won't buy more having access to some other better species.

Pipe Used: Savinelli 701

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: Casa Havaneza

Similar Blends: GL Pease Westminster.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Michael1953 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Michael1953 (6)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a surprisingly good blend for those of us who cannot smoke a classic English mixture too often - either due to price or taste. It has enough latakia in it to make it a “serious” tobacco, at least in my view, and reasonable amounts of burley and virginia to make it relatively smooth. To be recommended for somewhat experienced smokers who want something with a twist.

Pipe Used: Dunhill

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Magne Falkum, Germany

Similar Blends: Mac Baren Latakia Blend (which is sweeter).

Nobody has rated this review yet.