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Lebanese Latakia??

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Brunello

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Maybe somebody here who knows the tobacco wholesale business can give an answer:

I recently visited a B&M cigar shop that also had some basket pipes that looked like they had been there for decades and they had eight jars of bulk tobacco which appeared to be renamed Stokkebye product. One jar was labeled "Black Latakia" and I asked if it was from Cyprus or Syria. The shop keeper answered without hesitation: "Neither - it's from Lebanon."

I found this highly suspect because my experience has been that when cigar guys are asked a pipe question they will make up stuff on the spot rather than admit they don't know. However, when I got home I did some research and found a blog by Pipestud which talks about growers in Lebanon now sending leaf to Cyprus for the smoke-curing process. But whether the leaf is from Turkey or Lebanon, the end result would still taste like Cyprian Latakia because of the type of shrubs they burn.

My question is, if they are not already doing so, why don't Lebanese growers build some smoke sheds and make their own Latakia? Being right next door to Syria they share many of the same indigenous shrubs.
 

MisterE

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Good question!

If you dig around a little online you can find a lot about Syrian vs. Cyprian Latakia. I dont know of Greg Pease's website is still up, but he went into depth about the whole Latakia trade, production and alternatives from a production point of view.

At this point actual Syrian Lat is an impossibility but the same process with the curing woods and plants could very well be taking place in Lebanon.

My semi educated guess would be to get some of the Lebanese stuff and give it a try. It's a lot like the Louisiana Perique production. There's not very much of the actual stuff available, but the Green River Perique is close enough to call Perique and accounts for most Perique tobacco used in blending now.

Yes, the cigar shop guys will sometimes just give you an answer assuming you're the typical consumer, but there could be some truth in it. :lol!:





 
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