Review: This is more aromatic than English. The Cyprian Latakia is a minor component that gives it an extra body and smokiness, but it's not as noticeable as it would be in a more traditional English blend. The topping is medium strength, but does not drown out the grassy, citrusy Virginia and mildly earthy, nutty sweet burleys. I believe Kentucky is one of the burleys used. There is a pleasing light vanilla note, and possibly a little rum has been added. A time or two along the way, I've noticed an extremely minute tangy/sour note along with the sweetness, but it does not detract from the experience in any way. Has a mild nic-hit and won't bite or get harsh. This is not a ribbon cut. It's more of a course cut in small bits. It's easy to load. Burns at a reasonable rate, cool and clean with a consistent flavor. Requires few relights.
... to experiment with Latakia, but I don't seem to "get" them. What's wrong?
Latakia blends can be truly remarkable, but it does take a little time to understand them, and some of the popular "English" blends may not be the best way to get an education.
To start with, stay away from flavored Latakia mixtures, at least at first. The added flavors mask and hid the subtle beauty of some of the more delicate flavors of Latakia and oriental tobaccos. Stick with something that has a lot of natural flavor present, and smoke slowly. Try letting the pipe go out for a while, and then coming back to it. This intensifies the flavors, and gives your palate a chance to zero in on what you are going to be looking for in future smokes. It takes time for new tastes to be incorporated into your taste memory, which is an essential part of really enjoying any tobacco type.
The same thing is true when going from Latakia blends to Virginias. Give your senses time to "get educated," and the rewards will be more thorough enjoyment of your pipe in the future!