A fellow pipe forum member was kind enough to send me a generous sample of this tobacco from a tin dated 1996. Boy is this stuff great
Aroma - smoky, molasses, tomato paste, dried ground ancho chile, and sweet smoked Spanish paprika. Very sweet unsmoked aroma.
I count 3 shades of leaf color - black, walnut brown, and deep mahogany.
Course cut, leaves in chunks, a little rubbing out is needed, as well as a tiny bit of dry time - approx 20 min.
Charring light/true light - sweet smooth charring light, the smoke is amazingly soft, sweet and slightly bitter. Cyprian pine undertones are so subtle, almost more cedar like, and a rich buttery oak aroma is present. Reminiscent of a more aged sample of VA Woods. A faint sour VA flavor providing a bit of contrast in the overall taste, spicy pine pitch Cyprian latakia flavor that you might expect in a youthful Cyprian Latakia blend is completely altered by age and practically undetectable, but is still evident to a certain degree in the aroma. Aroma is rich, with a sweet, sugary, slightly spicy burnt fruit wood scent.
Mid bowl - tart/ sweet contrast intensifies. Reminds me of a pink lady or honey crisp apple and the way those varietals satisfy the sense of taste and smell with a dual layer of flavor. The VA is doing most of the work here. Flavors are very nice and demand your attention. Smoke it still extremely smooth, not a whisper of bite. A testament to how well McClelland's VA's age. Flavor is slightly more rich leaning toward the sweeter side of the spectrum. Breath technique at mid bowl brings forth a bit more spice and a subtle yet enjoyable bitterness. One relight brought forth a rich hot cocoa/mole` like flavor. Damn!
Bowl of my pipe is still very cool to the touch even with me puffing a little more than normal. The tone of the sweetness of this blend reminds me a little of GLP Maltese Falcon.
End bowl - tar flavors amplify some, smoke is still delicate, soft, cool and smooth. A slight pine flavor is at play as well as a forward pepperiness. Aroma is still very sweet, like brown sugar/treacle sweet. Latakia is so delicate, the balance here is done to absolute perfection. As it burns down a bit more the flavors are deeper, almost a stout quality burley like depth. Sweetness is dying down, spiciness has picked up, smoke it still velvety smooth and very delicious.
This stuff smokes effortlessly with minimal tamping required. My bowl stayed very cool. Absolutely no bite or leather tongue at all. I even drank a carbonated beverage afterwards with zero tongue-zap. Excellent tobacco.
My tin simply says Cyrprian Star, and the paperwork was coming off of it. The contents were sealed though, and the aged leaf within was slightly moist and frankly, packed extremely well for a coarse cut blend.
This tobacco is certainly a Latakia mixture, but light on the Latakia and heavier on the Virginia. This tobacco has merit, and worth hunting down and paying a bundle for.
The other positive reviews pretty well sum it up: great Virginia flavor with smoky latakia. No bite no matter how much you puff...but puffing with moderation lets this beauty shine!
If you have smoked Rattray's 7 Reserve and hoped that it was just somehow better, somehow more refined, more memorable, more smooth and tastier...well, then give this a try. I think you will be pleased.
This is a very nice, smooth, and gentle blend that showcases quality Latakia. This was actually my first good experience with Latakia and converted me from a hater to a lover of this special leaf. I really like the PCCA blends, and even though they are packaged by McClelland, they have a flavor of their own. That is not meant to malign McClelland in any way - in fact I like many of their blends as well. The only point is that PCCA blends are, to my taste, different and enjoyable in their own right. There was also a sister blend "Syrian Star," and it has a more subtle and delicate flavor. I prefer Cyprian Star. I may not be the most complex blend, but it sure is satisfying and delivers with a nice Latakia flavor without being a Latakia powerhouse.
Quality all the way. Mild in the sense of NO tongue bite. Flavourful in the sense of a wonderful smokey deliciousness of latakia. Loosely packed in the tin with very black fleks in a mostly light to dark brown mixture. Occasional stem bits are not to attractive but appart from that it is a superb blend. Not the same amount of latakia as say the Full Balkan Reserve, but enough to make it beyond an English style. A gentle smoke is best in a large bowled pipe- I reckon anyway.Particulaly nice when expelled through the nose- almost a delicate nutty/fruity note. Not overpowering as some I've tried. You finish feeling satisfied but not nausiated! This is one of my favourites and I hope that it will be available for years to come if PCCA keeps selling. Buy now and put it in the cellar. As with other Mcclelland stuff the last 2 digits on the bottom of the tin are the year of manufacture.- Great for the cellar plan
Stumbled across a "player" in Internet pipe tobacco sales while in New Orleans on respite, so to my delight I find myself in a room full of tinned baccys! Of the tins i purchased the baccy I smoked that entire weekend was Cyprian Star (as the only pipe I brought with me was devoted to Latakia blends). Very dark coarse -cut blend, reminded me more of a Balkan blend where Vas were not as major of a player. Lacked the strong liquid smoke component typical of some lats- better half said beef jerkyish. Having said that, once sufficiently dried it behaved well, smoked cool to dottle, and was mild enough for snorking and/or inhaling. No tongue bite here. Couldn't give it 4 stars as Legends and Maltese Falcon showed me that latakias can be fuller as well as well-rounded. This was more one-dimensional in its mildness.... Having said that, it was tasty enough and anyone wanting to venture into latakias could do much worse than giving this forgiving blend a shot :)
UPDATE: As I have worked through nearly 2 oz. of this stuff, it's become laborious to keep from chucking the remainder (I just can't waste anything it seems). The flavor becomes soooo monotonous it's a chore to smoke. 2 Stars and I won't buy another tin of this....ever.
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