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by Wade Hill
September 10, 2017
Al Fakher - something that's practically a household name in the world of hookah. Whether you're a newbie smoker, or someone that has been smoking for years, almost everyone has experienced Al Fakher at some point or another. It's a brand that transcends all else - a brand that has been around for longer than anything, and will likely be around when there is nothing else. While its popularity knows no bounds, Al Fakher isn't the best brand around by any means. That said, it didn't to get to where it is without a good reason, so today we're going to be taking a look at Al Fakher - what makes it so popular, why some people love it, some people hate it, and why it is the titan of hookah that it is.
While Al Fakher certainly wasn't the first hookah tobacco around (Nakhla takes that crown), it's a brand that really dominated hookah, and it's a lot of why hookah started growing in popularity as much as it did. Around 1999, there wasn't a lot in terms of hookah. Most were just smoking Nakhla double apple, and some of the more traditional brands. These kinds of tobaccos were very strong, and it made it a very hard hobby to get in to when you had no prior experience with tobacco at all - the buzz was stronger than most could handle. That's where Al Fakher came in - they made a brand that wasn't insanely strong. It still packs a little punch, depending on the day, but it wasn't overkill. This made hookah much more accessible to newbies, or people who hadn't tried any kind of tobacco before. On top of that, they introduced flavors aside from Double Apple. While that's not to say Double Apple has its place, it's a flavor that certainly isn't for everyone. Coming out with fruit flavors, like Orange and Peach, only added to the accessibility of Al Fakher. This revolutionized hookah in the U.S., and people loved it. It's because of this that Al Fakher became what it is - a household name. When Americans tried hookah that wasn't insanely strong, and actually had some recognizable flavors - they were hooked. It started the trend for so many, and re-lit the passion for others.
One place that Al Fakher excels at, and a reason that I think that they've maintained their popularity, is their range of flavors. They have, without a doubt, the widest range of flavors around. Their catalog of flavors goes from Apple, to Energy Drink, to Kiwi, and so much more. Having such a wide selection means that smokers will have less chance of being bored, and it helps keep the interest in Al Fakher alive. Oddly enough, in most cases, Al Fakher is usually hit or miss. They'll have some really great flavors, but for every great flavor, you should fully expect a bad flavor as well. However, that doesn't stop Al Fakher from making them, and it certainly doesn't stop people from buying them either.
How to pack Al Fakher
Al Fakher is one of the first brands that started being smoked with foil, and it was essentially created around that concept. While it certainly can be smoked with an HMD, I've found that AF truly excels with a simply Egyptian style bowl, and a fluff pack. Make sure that you've got excellent air flow, and you'll be good to go.
Of all things in hookah, there are a few things that are consistent. Al Fakher is one of them. They put out the same product, with little to no variation from pack to pack. Al Fakher is pretty much exactly the same across the board, and there's nothing wrong with that. That's partially why they've done as well as they have - AF is a safe bet. Time and time again, you can load up a bowl of AF Blueberry and know that you're going to have a great session. There's a sort of comfort in that. Knowing that AF will always be there for me, even if I'm not always there for it, it's nice.
As a true titan of hookah, everyone is always asking, "What is Al Fakher going to do next?" Well, the truth is, maybe not much. Last year we saw a small batch of their "Trippy Edition", something that has yet to make a reappearance. While this is purely speculation, I think that Al Fakher will release the "Trippy Edition," however it might be some time before we see it hit market. Al Fakher is a big company, and that means that they don't have to rush anything. My belief is that the batch that we saw released in mid-2016 was simply to hit the FDA deadline for new products. That said, I could be totally wrong, and it could be something that we never see. However, it will certainly be interesting to see what Al Fakher does next. They are still a titan of hookah, and while they haven't really done anything exceptional in the last eighteen years or so, they have the potential to do anything. Al Fakher could completely change the game if they wanted to. But, Al Fakher will probably do the same thing that they've always done - provide consistent product.
What do you think? Do you love Al Fakher? What's your favorite flavor? Or are you like me, and have you shied away from AF over time? Why did you shy away? What would you like to see Al Fakher do next? Let me know in the comments below, as I'd love to hear your thoughts! As always guys, thank you so much for reading, and happy smokes!
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