The blender’s notebook: Latakia : Pipes and Tobaccos Magazine

The blender’s notebook: Latakia


In the coming issues, Pipes and
tobaccos magazine will be talking to
some of the world’s top pipe tobacco
blenders about how they do their jobs
and create the blends that we all know
and love. For the premiere installment,
Mary McNiel of McClelland Tobacco
Company; Mark Ryan of Daughters &
Ryan; Russ Ouellette of Pipes and
Cigars; and Carl McAllister, the
former blending guru at Sutliff
Tobacco Company, all graciously
agreed to share their insights and
experiences working with one of the
most intriguing and strongest condimental
tobaccos available: Latakia.

An Oriental tobacco originating in
Syria, the story of Latakia’s invention
is shrouded in legend. According to
the tale, a Syrian tobacco grower could
not sell his entire crop of tobacco one
year so he stowed it in the rafters of
his house to keep until the next buying
season when he hoped to unload
it along with the fresh tobacco crop.
Over the course of the intervening
months, that tobacco in the rafters
was exposed to the smoke from the
cooking and heating fires that fed and
warmed the grower’s family. When
the next year’s tobacco crop was ready
for sale, the grower brought down the
tobaccos left over from the previous
year, but something was different—
that earlier tobacco had picked up a
pleasing aromatic quality and a heavy,
smoky taste from the wood smoke.

Read the rest of the story by subscribing to Pipes and tobaccos magazine or the online digital edition.

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Category: Fall 2017, Feature Article, Tobacco Articles

About Cliff Nelson: View author profile.

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