Latakia / English Tobacco » Mac Baren HH Vintage Syrian Tobacco Reviews Write review

4 unique reviews

RATED Average Rating (by 4 users)
Flavor  rated 5/5   Recommend It?  rated 5/5   Tin Aroma  rated 4/5  
Brand: Mac Baren
Tin Description: The base of the blend, a little under half of the volume, is a smooth and yet powerful Latakia from Syria. This tobacco gives the blend the overall smoky taste, a powerful taste and yet without any tongue bite. To add a spicy note to the blend, Turkish Oriental has been added. A mix of different Virginia tobaccos from 3 continents adds a sweet natural taste. To complete the taste with depth and body, we added a little Dark Fired Kentucky from the USA. The HH-Vintage Syrian Latakia is a loose cut tobacco, which guarantees a smooth and steady burn. It does not get hot which means you will find extremely little bite on your tongue. When you empty your pipe after smoking, you will find only fine grey ashes, the sign of a slow and dry smoke.
Country of Origin: DK
Curing Group: Fire Cured
Contents: Kentucky, Virginia, Latakia, Oriental, Turkish
Cut: Coarse Cut
Packaging: 100g    tin
Blend Notes: Introduced in 2006

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# 4/7/2011 User rated 5/5
Review by Schmitz Bitz

A different kind of Lat bomb.

This review is based on a 100g tin, purchased in 2011, and consumed almost immediately. I have since ordered a pair of carafes...

When I first opened the tin, I have to admit I was somewhat dissapointed - although this blend is reputed to contain somewhere in the vicinity of 50% Latakia, the prevailing aroma was that of Oriental leaf, rather than the rich smokyness I was expecting. Sweet hints of treacle mingle with sage and savory and an almost underlying note of paprika; blending into a rich, almost barbeque like note.
The tobacco itself is presented as a ribbon cut, however tends toward the random and ragged side of the ribbon spectrum. Struck immediately by the amount of black leaf, one also finds dark browns and tans, interspersed with golds and the occasional bright yellow or green Oriental leaf.
Although the tobacco does feel slightly on the damp side straight out of the tin, I find that the humidity is about perfect for my body chemistry, too dry and the flavours seem to dissapear. Loaded using the air-pocket method; very nice tobacco to handle.

With the initial light, I am always somewhat taken aback at just how sweet this blend is. The treacle like notes found on the tin play heavily into the flavour profile, while supporting the herbal flavours of the Oriental leaf. However, this is but the supporting cast; the main role is that of Syrian Latakia. Unlike its bold, brash Cypriot cousin, Syrian offers up a subtle mix of frankensense (insense), sandalwood, and cedar.
Through the mid-point of the bowl, the sweetness begins to dissipate, leaving behind an almost nutty flavour, with hints of unsweetened cocoa. This grows progressively stronger, particularly through the very heel of the bowl.

I have heard MacBaren referred to as "MacBite"; an felt that was quite an apt name; however, I am pleased to report that this blend, even when pushed (within reason, of course), doesn't seem to suffer from the usual MacB bowl of capsaicin issue.

The room-note on this tobacco, while I find it pleasant, seems to send the crowds running. This is one of those tobacco's that my wife demands I wash off of my facial hair before I kiss her. As I've yet to hear one good thing about it from anyone who doesn't currently have a bowl of it burning inches from their nose, so I shall leave it at that.

The nicotine level of this blend is a nice surprise, as MacBaren blends do tend to leave my rushing for a fix. Although this blend won't floor me, it does kill any cravings I may have, making it a suitable choice for all day smoking.

All in all, I recommend this blend very highly; I note that every page in my notebook dedicated to this blend, from day one through the last bowl smoked contain the notation "Stockpile this blend - NOW".

User Rating
Tin Aroma -  rated 4/5
Flavor -  rated 5/5
Recommend It? -  rated 5/5
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# 14/7/2011 User rated 5/5
Review by viscfab

Best Mac Baren blend so far!

Being a Dunhill 965 lover for many years and also being able to enjoy some of other Mac Baren blends overtime I was hoping this blend would come in handy to fill the gap left by Dunhills withdrawal from the Global market. I was not disappointed. This is for me the best Mac Baren blend made so far. Upon opening the tin the delicious melange of campfire smoke provided by the high quality syrian latakia blends nicely with the sweet Virginia contents rounded by the Kentucky added for spiciness. I have not perceived any casing here, if there is flavouring it was vey mildly added and does not contribute to the overall taste. The blend is easy to pack and lights very easily, not being difficult to keep it lit until it reaches the end of the bowl. All the smoky flavours are there, paired with a subtle sweet VA taste, an awesome experience. It grows better throughout the smoke until it ends in fine gray ashes. Half to bottom of the bowl the spiciness add even more depth to the bouquet of this pleasant surprise. Thumbs up to Mac Baren for producing this spectacular English blend. I will keep it in my rotation for sure. I am also a Penzance lover so you get the picture here, although this is not as powerful as Penzance it fuly complies with my English blends cravings. Highly Recommended.

User Rating
Tin Aroma -  rated 4/5
Flavor -  rated 5/5
Recommend It? -  rated 5/5
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# 28/7/2011 User rated 4/5
Review by bobt

A Decent Blend

This tobacco had about 2 years of age on it at time of review.

The tin aroma on this blend has a sweet and tangy Virginia smell accompanied by the smokiness from the Latakia. The moisture content is perfect for smoking right out of the pouch. It is a coarse cut, which means there are some nice chunky pieces of tobacco.

The flavor right from the start is very good. There is some sweetness accompanied by some nice smokiness from the Latakia.

Around the 3/4 point, there is a slight spiciness that comes in. Its not overpowering and it mingles well with the sweet Virginias and the smoky Latakia.

Around the mid-bowl point, I lost the spiciness that I had picked up and the flavor turned a little more towards the sweet side. The flavor switched between sweet and smoky from the middle of the bowl and remained that way throughout the rest of the bowl.

Mac Baren did a good job of blending these tobaccos together to form a nice flavor where all of the flavors compliment and intermingle with one another instead of fighting against each other. This is not a heavy Latakia blend, but more of a middle of the road medium Latakia. The Latakia does not overpower the other tobaccos in the blend and you can actually taste something other than the Latakia.

This is a decent blend. It smoked cool and dry. I did get bit some though. The bite that I was getting wasnt horribly bad, and I have experienced worse bite from other blends. I tend to get bit by quite a few of Mac Baren blends. If you do not get bit by Mac Baren tobaccos, then you will probably enjoy this blend quite a bit.

I Recommend it.

User Rating
Tin Aroma -  rated 4/5
Flavor -  rated 4/5
Recommend It? -  rated 3/5
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# 9/4/2012 User rated 4/5
Review by The German

Bit of a must-try.

I was very intrigued by Henrik Halberg's new series of blends (the "HH" series), as he decided to leave all of the old MacBaren recipes behind and seems to have focused on the properties of the tobaccos as such. This was the first blend I got to try from that series. It was enough to have me at least try all the others.

As had been noted before, this is not about the all-out smoky Cyprian Latakia, but the much more subtle Syrian. There is some VA in there, and some Oriental... and, atypically for MacBaren, no topping, no flavouring, no sugaring. For something with over 40 % Latakia in it, this blend is remarkably smooth and gentle in room note -- as well as in taste.

Stuffs easily, smokes easily, good enough nic hit especially considering this stuff comes from Denmark... and after two tins, I find I like it a lot. Go Henrik; you're on the right track!

Even with its high amount of Latakia, this is one blend I can recommend with a clear conscience to those who just want to try that particular type of tobacco preparation. Not too strong (OK, I personally like my 'baccies stronger), easy to handle, and not overwhelming. Certainly works for me.

User Rating
Tin Aroma -  rated 4/5
Flavor -  rated 4/5
Recommend It? -  rated 5/5
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49% said yes.           


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