I am a longtime fan of Gawith Hoggarth’s Balkan Mixture so No. 20 Latakia seemed like a nice transition. The very thin ribbons are almost a shag cut and so it dries very quickly. The pouch scent is quite unique. It doesn’t offer the floral, soapy scent often found in GH blends, but there is something on the tobacco that I honestly can’t quite describe. I find the packing of this blend to be very important. Pack it too loose and it will burn very fast and hot. I am guessing that there is some dark fired in this blend and the Virginias remind me a little bit of those found in Bright CR Flake. I am not put off by the topping, which I believe to be lighter than others have described. Some of the “topping” may be not topping at all, but in the leaf itself or the processing of the leaf, but I don’t doubt that it has some added flavoring. I find the strength to be medium, but it could be medium to strong for those sensitive to Lady N.I love the unique flavor of Balkan Mixture, but unfortunately, I am not as big of a fan of No. 20 Latakia. Having smoked just one ounce (very quickly) I may return to this review again as I smoke more of it, but right now, it falls below my expectations.
For a blend with a name like Latakia Mixture I'd expect something with either a highly smoky taste or a potent woodiness to it. What I got instead, I didn't find too pleasant; there are one or two good points, but also a heap of low points.
Starting with some of the good ones: it's condition on arrival is good, meaning it's not wet and the aroma is quite decent, but it implies immediately there's not a great deal of Latakia smokiness on its way. For me, that's the end of the good, on to the bad:
The cut is too fine, this causes both a rapid burn and hot smoke. There's not much flavour either, there's hardly any Virginia grass, no smokiness, and only a tiny proportion of woodiness which seems to be also sour. The finishing touch to the 'one star' rating is when a bowl's done I'm left with a horrible aftertaste in my mouth.
To be fair, after smoking a bowl for around half an hour it becomes more tolerable; tolerable, not pleasant.
I'm disappointed with this; I can see how some folks would enjoy a 'light' taste of Latakia, but it just doesn't work on my palate.
It's a mysterious blend: somewhere between Really Good and Unpleasant. I can't figure it out. Sometimes I like it -- a lot -- and other times I want to put it away. Perhaps that's the complexity, and the unusual combination of tobaccos blended here.
There really ain't 'that much Latakia. Overall, the blend has a lot of body with heavy duty earth tones
It's cut almost like a shag, and it does burn a little hot and fast for a pipe.
I often think I'm going to finally be won over by this blend if I just smoke a little more, but it never quite seems to happen. At times it can have a rather foul aftertaste, almost a sour taste.
Overall it's on the positive side of medium, but the interaction with the pipe and the smoker is not simple or consistent. Still, it's basically a good smoke.
Very nice smoke, packs and lights easily. Can taste the Virginia. I've also got a confession to make..... when I bought it, I was so desperate to try it out, I actually rolled a cigarette with it. Smoked it, inhaled it and was left satisfied for over four hours!! Put that in your pipe and smoke it...;) Just finished my second bowl of this stuff... I really like it. Smokes pretty quick, and leaves the mouth a little dry, but a very pleasant experience.
Sold by some folks as #20 Mixture, this strikes me as a pretty straightforward blend of Kendal Kentucky with just enough latakia to make the result somewhat spicy. I smell the latakia when unlit, and it's there in the aroma just a tad, but it's not overpowering by any stretch of the imagination. (For more latakia, try the G&H #12, it's also got a much stronger Virginia component.)
I love Kendal Kentucky, and this is a very interesting variation.
I don't get any floral or Lakeland essence from this blend, but KK has a distinct flavor, and this has it, plus latakia.
Bulk: Overall brown with darker to black mixed in. Quite a fragrant floral Kendal perfumey bouquet. Carmel sweet. Medium ribbon cut.
Packs and lights easily.
Taste & Aroma: If ever there was a Gawith blend that displays the signature Kendal scent, this is it.
1st Half: Sweet carmel and Kendal floral arrangement.
Mid bowl: Stoved, darker, richer, so floral and fragrant as to have a disagreable aromatic synthetic taste and smell. Like grainy perfumed flowers. Tongue bite is a concern.
Romm Note: Pleasant but with a synthetic aroma
Overall: GH names this No. 20 Latakia. Oriental is not mentioned in the GH description of No. 20 or No.5. For a definition of a scented Lake District blend, this is it. Shows promise, but in the end, seems to have so much flavor as to be a synthetic aromatic, like synthetic grainy flowers. In that there are other GH blends, No. 20 is negative. If this is No. 5 Mixture's cousin, it's a distant one. An indoor smoke, but not all day due to the swoon brought on by the nicotine.
This was tried all day yesterday. My first reaction was 'Almond' Pleasant enough smoke, it needs a mild kick of something 'herbal' to liven it up. But it lights well and stays alight, for a day spent fishing good enough! I enjoyed it.
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