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Shooting Star Has Landed!

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  #1  
Old April 25th, 2009, 06:02 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Shooting Star Has Landed!

Todayís been more then a good day since the DHL man showed up with a large box of Shooting Star Spring Seasonal moassel which you can see in the attached photos. Which were made possible by my mate Tristan who took the shots and uploaded them onto my PC.

Also, my good friend Na'eema not only secured this delightful concoction for me but was also good enough to provide the following note which provides a bit of information about the Spring Seasonal.
__________________________________________________ __________

Greeting to American narghile enthusiasts from Idlib! My friend Hajo ask me to provide you all with a bit of information about the Spring Seasonal blend made by Shooting Star of Tartus. First, the Spring Seasonal is named in honour of Fakhri al-Barudi who was a great Syrian nationalists, patron of the arts. According to the people at Shooting Star he also was tobacco enthusiast that enjoyed the Spring Seasonal blend his entire adult life.

The blend itself has been in continuous production since 1922. The blend consists of 13 different kinds of tobacco and is the eleventh blend offered for sale by the company which is why the box is so labeled. The molasses is made from Carobs grown in Syria and the tobacco is fermented in cedar casks with a combination of 17 different herbal essences made in Al Hamidiyah. The moassel takes a full 18 months to mature which is a third longer then the standard blends made by Shooting Star.

The Spring Seasonal is like all Shooting Star blends in that it is made without glycerin or artificial flavours and the tobacco is always unwashed.

The Spring Seasonal is issued on the 12th of April and remains on sale until the batch is sold out. Depending upon the supply the proper leaf and herbal essences anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 kilos are produced. I understand that this year the batch was 2,500 kilos and itís already sold out. About 20% of all specialty and seasonal blends are sold in cigar style wooden boxes rather then the more traditional wax paper and string style packaging. The boxes typically having the Shooting Star logo of the tiger on top of a pillar, the number of the blend and a photo-copy of a well known portrait of the person the blend of named for or a graphic design.
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MVC-001F.JPG   MVC-002F.JPG   MVC-003F.JPG   MVC-004F.JPG   MVC-006F.JPG  

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  #2  
Old April 25th, 2009, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

another rare find from Hajo! Be sure to tell us what you think when you give it a go!
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  #3  
Old April 25th, 2009, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

nice!!!
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  #4  
Old April 25th, 2009, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

sexy!!!
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  #5  
Old April 25th, 2009, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

Great !! I was lucky to try this brand (thanks to Zensilk) and it is the best traditional tobacco I've ever tried. I still remember the smell of that tobacco.
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  #6  
Old April 25th, 2009, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

Beautiful! I can't wait to (hopefully, very, very, very hopefully) try this blend out. Oh man....

Thanks for the awesome read Hajo!
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  #7  
Old April 25th, 2009, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

Oh man i wanna try this brand... i always wanted to try "traditional" tobacco. eeeeeeeyyyaaaaa
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  #8  
Old April 25th, 2009, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

Nice >.> I wish I had access to such things....new/different/exotic tobacco is such a curiosity.
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  #9  
Old April 25th, 2009, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

Absolutely amazing. I hope it treat you well.
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  #10  
Old April 25th, 2009, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

Amazing indeed! Wow Hajo you are a lucky, lucky man.
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  #11  
Old April 26th, 2009, 12:16 AM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

Nice find Hajo
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  #12  
Old April 26th, 2009, 12:48 AM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

Very nice Hajo.
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  #13  
Old April 26th, 2009, 01:44 AM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

Exactly how tough is it to purchase such a thing? 2,500 kilos is quite a bit... Is it just hard for us simply because we live in an outside country?
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  #14  
Old April 26th, 2009, 02:21 AM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

2,500 Kilos ...

Lets make an assumption that this is the caviar of the sheesha world and your average Joe would afford/consume/buy a single 250g tub

That would leave 10,000 tubs floating in the economy every given year

There are ~4950 subscribers on HookahPro forums alone (just a quick calculation of 50 names on 1 page, and there are 99 pages)

and we can safely say HookahPro forums is very minute compared to the population of Hookah lovers around the world. I would say that is a very very limited supply of that specific brand & flavour.
I'm thinking 'insider vendors' would already have dibs on em before anyone really got a chance to get into that market

Last edited by polishman; April 26th, 2009 at 02:25 AM.
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  #15  
Old April 26th, 2009, 02:37 AM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

How awesome Hajo! I gotta go on a business trip and bring home a boat load of tobacco hookahs etc...
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  #16  
Old April 26th, 2009, 02:43 AM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

Wow, the cut on that stuff is insane. I don't even know how to describe it.
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  #17  
Old April 26th, 2009, 12:59 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

Thanks for the comments guys. It's great to see people taking an interest in the old school style stuff.

The place called Al Hamidiyah mentioned earlier is interesting in that it has had a very large Greek population when the Ottoman empire lost Crete and many Muslims were given refugee status by the Turkish rulers of Syria. A Christian family from there makes a bunch of essences that are used in the various Shooting Star products and I think that they nmake their own jurak as well.

Anyway, someone mentioned the cut and basically the reason that the moassel looks the way it does is that it has been packed so tightly into the box that it has been molded into what you see. Still, it's very moist and breaks apart easily. The string has also cut an pattern into the moassel which you can't see easily in the picture. Since this stuff is made from so many different types of tobacco you'll notice that several different cuts are present in it ranging from very fine to very coarsely chopped although far more of the former is present.

As to the batch size i know that 2,500 Kilos sounds like a lot but since it's a once a year thing what happens is that people go out and stock up on it and since the brand has a very loyal following in touch with the folks that make it a big portion of the various seasonal and specialty products are sold before they are released to the public. As a practical matter, Shooting Star is basically only sold in about 100 KM radius from where it's made which basically means that if you are not in the Tartus Governate you can't get it. Apparently, a good sized chunk of what they make gets exported to a handful of Arabs outside of Syria that are chums with the makers but I don't know how true that is.

As a practical matter, 2,500 kilos is enough to keep a few thousand people smoking for less then a year which explains why the stuff disapears in a couple of weeks.

The amounts produced are are basically a result of limited quantities of the various ingredients need to make the moassel and the fact that a small firm pays lots more for just about everything then a big producer like Salloum would. Also, a firm like Shooting Star doesn't have a factory per say but instead has it's production spread out over a series of homes and barns so it's not a company in the normal sense.

Very often I've come across brands that are a good deal smaller then Shooting Star which are made by a single cafe owner or family and quite literally they sell 100 kilos or less product per month. Often times it's a labour of love which time, money and materials conspire to reduce the output below what could be sold.

Last edited by Hajo Flettner; April 26th, 2009 at 01:03 PM.
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  #18  
Old April 26th, 2009, 01:17 PM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

It really is sad that such wonderful products are not available to those of use that live in the states without a huge investment, very little of which would actually make it's way into the hands of those making the tobacco. But I think it's the small batch production that keeps these types of tobacco special. More care goes into making it properly.
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  #19  
Old April 27th, 2009, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

Basically I look at all craft type products as the same sort of thing. In Belgium a great many lambic brewers only produce stuff a few months out of the year since the spontaneous fermentation they use requires microbial conditions that are very temperature sensitive.

Certainly other companies make smaller, more expensive batches of moassel but Shooting Star can hold it's own against any of them. What surprises me is that such a small form can keep going despite a lack of purchasing power and without an export market to well-heeled consumers in the west.

I wish I had access to more info about the firm like when it was started and by whom. What are the full line up of flavours and why the Syrian government hasn't decided to take it over yet.

Anyway, I do know a bit about the firm and it's products so if anyone has any questions just ask.
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  #20  
Old May 18th, 2009, 03:51 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

I thought I should give a little update on things relating to Shooting Star.

Just today I got my hands on a little bit of another Shooting Star blend called July 14th which was named in honour of the rebellion in Syria that happened on that date against the French Mandate. Basically it's a very complicated blend of nut and spices tones with a strong under current of fire cured Balkan style tobaccos. I think i've finally found the best Shooting Star flavour yet.

I am not sure that I can get more (I have about 200 grams worth) but I am working on it so if I can secure a couple of kilos i'll be open to sharing my good fortune.
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  #21  
Old May 18th, 2009, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

Another Shooting Star Blend!?!?!? I so so wish this was available in the U.S.
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  #22  
Old May 18th, 2009, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

Hajo, can you help us, european members out? Can we buy this stuff in Europe somewhere, or it's just a "private thing"? I mean you can't order it, just pick it up yourself or things like that. Thanks for your reply.
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  #23  
Old May 18th, 2009, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

im based in the UK, is there any way i could hold of this tobacco?
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  #24  
Old May 18th, 2009, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

Being a cigar smoker as well, that's what this stuff makes me think of.
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  #25  
Old May 18th, 2009, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Shooting Star Has Landed!

Being a cigar smoker as well, thats what this stuff makes me think of. Its more about the flavor nuances from the different tobacco leaves combining with the herbal essences. Truly a jewel in this era of mass production.
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