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Aged Bob's Chocolate Flake

Oouder

Well-known member
#22
Wow this bcf looks amazing. I remember the last time I smoked this blend was on my birthday in 09’. I jarred the rest of the tin. I tried to capture how sparkly this flake is after 9.5 yrs in the jar with a pic but it doesnt quite do it justice. The nose upon rubbing out the flake is aged VA with a hint of the chocolate and Lakeland. Can’t smell the lat at all. I’ve got it rubbed out and drying but it’s pretty darn wet. I hope to smoke it later but might have to wait until tomorrow.

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Sir Saartan

The Tan Saarlander
#24
Everything about the blend has mellowed except the latakia.
I've experienced that a while ago with Dunhill EMP and HU Tobacco Fayyum kake.

I've talked to several people about that and got an interesting answer from a guy who does some blending for
B&M shops. maybe @Ernie Q could chime in on this.

basically what he said (and has been said by Kohlhase & Kopp many times) syrian latakia hasn't been sold in great amounts outside
of syria since the late 90's. As a result, pipe tobacco companies relied on what was still in stock, while slowly moving over to cyprian
latakia. As a result, 20 years old syrian was mixed with fresh other tobacco, resulting in the latakia losing its flavor much earlier than
the rest and therefore mellowing down the blend with age.

Now latakia itself is a tobacco that doesn't mellow fast, which I was told is part of the reason why there was such big stock
of syrian: blenders wouldn't blend with fresh latakia. So now that "fresher" cyprian latakia is used, we're back to the normal
aging process, where latakia will mellow at a much lower rate than other tobacco, therefore gaining in strength relative
to the other tobaccos in a blend.

Now that's a great story and it does make sense to me. Is it true: I don't know.

I can confirm that latakia is still produced in syria (though much smaller amounts) and used for local cigarette production.
A friend of mine is from syria, with his dad living close to latakia and working in a small production shop for syrian latakia.

My latest information was that the finished cigarettes and cigars are legal for export, but banned by EU and USA because of
the war against ISIS. Any Russian and or turkish forum members (@said.altinay) might be able to confirm that?
 

Ernie Q

Well-known member
Sales
#25
I've experienced that a while ago with Dunhill EMP and HU Tobacco Fayyum kake.

I've talked to several people about that and got an interesting answer from a guy who does some blending for
B&M shops. maybe @Ernie Q could chime in on this.

basically what he said (and has been said by Kohlhase & Kopp many times) syrian latakia hasn't been sold in great amounts outside
of syria since the late 90's. As a result, pipe tobacco companies relied on what was still in stock, while slowly moving over to cyprian
latakia. As a result, 20 years old syrian was mixed with fresh other tobacco, resulting in the latakia losing its flavor much earlier than
the rest and therefore mellowing down the blend with age.

Now latakia itself is a tobacco that doesn't mellow fast, which I was told is part of the reason why there was such big stock
of syrian: blenders wouldn't blend with fresh latakia. So now that "fresher" cyprian latakia is used, we're back to the normal
aging process, where latakia will mellow at a much lower rate than other tobacco, therefore gaining in strength relative
to the other tobaccos in a blend.

Now that's a great story and it does make sense to me. Is it true: I don't know.

I can confirm that latakia is still produced in syria (though much smaller amounts) and used for local cigarette production.
A friend of mine is from syria, with his dad living close to latakia and working in a small production shop for syrian latakia.My latest information was that the finished cigarettes and cigars are legal for export, but banned by EU and USA because of
the war against ISIS. Any Russian and or turkish forum members (@said.altinay) might be able to confirm that?

Well I can tell you from opening decade+ old cans of both Syrian and Cyprian blends that both varieties indeed do mellow. Latakia does age, just not as quickly as other leaf. I’m sure somebody out there has gone through the trouble of figuring out the science behind it and will swear that Syrian Latakia ages slower than Cyprian but quite honestly the proof is in the pudding and I don’t see a difference
Syrian was brighter in aroma and a bit more complex. Cyprian is a bit more dull...in my opinion. Both will age and that Smokey aroma will mute and add an almost “plum Pudding” flavor with age.
Also, the mellowing effect is much more pronounced when Latakia is ages “in blend” than by itself.
The amount of Latakia in Bob’s is so minute that you need to have “super spider sense” to notice it.
E.
 

Kiowapipe

Needs to think of a clever custom title
Patron
#27
I think I've got some that's probably 8 or 9 years old now, maybe I'll crack it for science. I haven't smoked any in a while, but I remember thinking that it got a little darker and smokier as it got older. Never a really strong latakia flavor, just a little more of that velvety kind of smokiness.
 

Ernie Q

Well-known member
Sales
#29
I definitely do not have super spidey senses.
My Blind Reviews have proven that time and time again.

But I know what Bob's is and what's in it so this is probably all in my head.
As a tobacconist, I usually cringe at descriptions. I, myself, have never tasted hints of "Nuts and Steel" in any blend. That being said, I have smoked enough blending tobacco to float the Queen Mary andmy descriptors of blends are usually "Virginia forward", Burley Forward etc... . My motto has always been 'Know what you like, and you are a genius'.
 

Ernie Q

Well-known member
Sales
#30
I think I've got some that's probably 8 or 9 years old now, maybe I'll crack it for science. I haven't smoked any in a while, but I remember thinking that it got a little darker and smokier as it got older. Never a really strong latakia flavor, just a little more of that velvety kind of smokiness.
Exactly! The smokiness starts to sink into the blend instead of stand out from it.
 

Oouder

Well-known member
#31
I packed this up still slightly damp last evening in a cob I have previously only smoked VA out of. This morning it is perfect. Grabbed a bottle of water and I’m smoking this now.
In my sample I can taste primarily aged Va/Lakeland with that chocolatey note in the back of each puff. There is a slight smokiness/plumyness from the lat but it does taste in line with what I remember this blend tastes like and not stronger. As the bowl burns down the flavor profile increases between the aged VA/Lakeland but it’s losing some of its chocolate note as well as the Latakia.

Bottom of the bowl is tastiest. I almost let it go out and was rewarded with a really nice Lakeland/chocolate flavor out of nowhere when I stoked the ember.

Still had a mild/med nic hit. I would say medium in flavor. This was a wonderful smoked as most first bowls of the day are.

I do not believe the lat is more pronounced than the day I purchased it. It has aged with the blend as I would expect however this is not a blend I smoke often at all so the experts take that with a grain of salt.

Really fun smoking this aged sample and reading this thread with you guys. I wish we had the same batch to smoke out of and compare notes. Mine did come from a tin but then spent almost 10 years in a jar after that as bulk is stored. It was sopping wet as it comes when fresh.

I’ll be reading other reviews posted here and smoking a few more bowls of this today. Thanks guys!

Edit: spelling I typed this on my iPhone and autocorrect got me
 

Spillproof

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Sales
#33
Glad this came up, BCF is favorite of mine and I was thinking about needing to buy up before something stupid happens. Maybe I'll stock up in a little smaller amount and hope for the best. I like it the way it is fresh for sure.
This may be much ado about nothing.
I have a large jar of Bob's from 2016 and it tastes different than the stuff I got from Jake (I just tried some). Bear in mind this is me we are talking about, not you, or any other reasonable person.

Teddy probably nailed it with batch variance.
Or storage.
Or... the wild card (the smoker).