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Solent Mixture is part of the ”English Mixture” category, meaning that it is a Virginia dominated tobacco spiced with Latakia tobacco. For further information about Latakia tobacco, click here. The inspiration for this mixture came to Jørgen Halberg as far back as late 1948, but not until two years later was Solent Mixture fully developed.
But exactly what is it that makes Solent Mixture stand out from so many other Latakia mixtures? Back in those early days, most pipe smokers smoked tobacco containing varying quantities of Latakia tobacco. Some mixtures contained up to 60% Latakia tobacco, with the result that these tobaccos were totally dominated by the very strong taste of Latakia and a strong aroma would pervade the room. No doubt many pipe smokers found that their spouses objected to the strong smell of the tobacco and that others in the room found the air to be rather unpleasant. Jørgen Halberg had encountered this problem on numerous occasions, which inspired him to develop Solent Mixture. His idea was to develop a Virginia dominated tobacco with sufficient Latakia content to give the pipe smoker the right taste, but which left a more pleasant air in the room - a compromise between the pipe smoker and his surroundings. In other words, a tobacco where the pipe smoker could enjoy the good taste of Latakia without having to endure jibes about the smell.
Today, just as in 1950 when it was first developed, Solent Mixture consists of 9 different Virginia tobaccos that make up 75% of the mixture. The very special flavour comes from the approximately 15% Syrian Latakia tobacco used in the mixture. Latakia tobacco originates from Syria and through all these years Mac Baren has consistently used the original Latakia tobacco, despite the subsequent appearance on the market of cheaper imitations. To conjoin the sweet Virginia tobaccos and the strong Latakia, Jørgen Halberg developed a unique Cavendish. Using an age-old process, dark-fired Kentucky tobaccos were converted into a flavour-intensive Cavendish.
Indeed, the Cavendish developed by Jørgen Halberg is the tobacco that today we call “Mac Baren Original Cavendish”. Exactly which tobaccos go into the making of Original Cavendish and how they are processed is a secret that we keep to ourselves. The different tobaccos were now ready and as a final flavour enhancer Jørgen Halberg chose a dark Jamaica rum, which is added after the tobaccos have been mixed together. When the pipe smoker fills his pipe with Solent Mixture, its perfect flavour is his to savour and enjoy: the sweetness of the Virginia tobaccos, the strength of the Latakia tobacco, the slightly bitter smoked flavour of the Original Cavendish, all bound together with an excellent Jamaica rum.
It is not without good reason that Solent Mixture is still to be found among Mac Baren tobaccos, despite its doyen status.
Iwan Ries & Co.
- 19 S. Wabash Avenue
- Chicago, IL 60603
or (312) 372-1306