Never had the chance to try this one, because It's never in stock, I use to check it here every day for a year, I gave up. With so many good tobaccos on the market today I'm very happy with the selection I have, to be great It has to be in production... Read More once and awhile. Otherwise who cares I will spend my tobacco money on something else!!!!!!! Read Less
Medium bodied smoke, you get enough lat, but it's not really an extraordinary English. Lots of better choices out there, consider some of the more readily available gawith and pease Englishes before you scramble to buy this harder to get blend - whic... Read Moreh after all is not worth it. Read Less
Just like every other pipe smoker on the planet I really wanted to try this. I signed up for email alerts thinking it would never happen. Low and behold a yahoo mail message pops up at the top of my screen saying it’s in stock on Friday the 13th. Log... Read Moreged in and had two in less than 30 seconds. Apparently that’s what it takes to get this stuff. I am going to smoke this tin. Im not one of the people who grabs everything to sell on eBay or put in a cellar for their great grandchildren to smoke. Ok, now to the tobacco. Currently made by Germain in UK. They also make all the Esoterica’s. The label on the tin is cheap looking and not printed well but I don’t care I want what’s inside. Very fine shag (described as ribbon but is much more fine than most) cut in long strands. Lots of moisture. Tin note is mostly Virginia/ Oriental. Lat is definitely there but not forward. After 45 minutes of drying I loaded it into a brand new Peterson 317 that had never been smoked. Super clean taste. No latakia mouth. Once the ember gets going it gets much better. Clean taste of mostly virgina and orientals through the bowl with just enough smokiness from the latakia. Burns to fine white ash. I’m glad I got it and will continue to smoke it until it’s gone. Now I can say I’ve tried it. It only took four years to find but now I know. A great blend, but there are blends available all year long that are just as good by GL Pease, and also his Drucquer and Sons blends. Read Less
I was really interested in buying some, seeing how hard it was to come by. But I have since then tried a very well-kept tin from (I think) the 40s or 50s, which was a little dry (but moistened back up with a small piece of orange peel), inherited by ... Read Morea friend of mine by his late grandfather. So you should keep that in mind reading this review.
Tin note was of... english blend, but unremarkably so. Not much piquant, pretty monochrome. The orientals were there, but didn't liven the mix as much as the only other balkan blend I've smelled (that being Crown Achievement from Lane). There wasn't much virginia citrusy virginia "pep" but you could still smell it's "expensive cigarette" qualities, I think you can blame the age of the tin for that.
It's taste was definitely much better than it's smell, full-bodied and smoky, and the room note was not too aggressive, there's somewhat of a "tang" to it, but you could easily smoke it unnoticed in a group of cigarette smokers. Nic-hit was felt in the mouth and throat but nowhere else. Read Less
Upon opening the tin I am greeted by the usual smokiness of a latakia heavy english blend. The latakia is definitely the meat, while the Virginia and Oriental are the potatoes. The first 1/3ed of the bowl was a latakia bomb, made my nose tingle a lit... Read Moretle uncomfortably. But as I got down to the 2/3ed of the bowl I started noticing the earthiness of the Virginia a bit more. The combination of smokey latakia and earthy taste of the Virginia merged very nicely. It's certainly a robust and enjoyable smoke. But the bottom got a little sour on me. Cant really account for why that is, its almost a hay like taste but certainly a bit more sour.
Overall It was a fine smoke for the most part. I've had better, and this blend seems a little over hyped. But its robust, but also smooth and enjoyable.
Update: I turned the bottom of my bowl with my spade and relit... Another latakia bomb! My eyes are watering and my nose tingles lol. I still have a sour hay aftertaste. Read Less
Without question this was the most anticipated tin I have ever opened. So it was very perplexing when I got tongue bite, tongue bite, tongue bite. Every bowl. I've never had tongue bite from a Balkan before. Not sure what to make of this. Is anyone e... Read Morelse having the same problem? As for flavor...its ok. I find Nightcap, Penzance and Black Mallory to be more complex. Read Less
I think it's both over-hyped and well deserved. The scarcity of Balkan Sobranie has elevated it to mythical status, which is just a bit over-doing it IMO. Some of the prices I've seen just are not warranted. Having said that, I want to be perfectly c... Read Morelear I DO believe it is a solid tobacco blend worthy of some distinction. It is tasty and boasts a super-fine ribbon cut that behaves beautifully when loading and lighting. I've never had a freshly opened tin that was not perfect for smoking. The tobacco feels so soft and silky. It clings to itself almost like a shag. This is not merely “a” Balkan, it can be said this is possibly “the” Balkan that the term “Balkan” refers to about similar blends. As such it is an oriental fronted mixture balanced with a good amount of Latakia, where the Latakia never seems to take over. It is surprisingly mellow and not at all high in nicotine. That's part of the hype I hear also; that it's such a great Latakia bomb it's super strong...all lies. This is a gentle mixture that I'd smoke any time of day were it not for its rarity. Because it is so hard to secure, I tend to only allow myself its indulgence at special times (while on vacation, reunions...new additions to the family, etc.) and not as part of the weekly rotation. I wish I could. Enjoy. Read Less
My buddy brought this over to try. After waiting for over a year, I finally got a chance to try it. It was worth the wait. The tin note was nice. Rarely, is that the case with a balkan. You could taste the latakia and orientals, but they were not ove... Read Morerstated. Synergy was definitely at play here. Things were working together and it my taste buds were loving it. The smell was heavenly. The bowl burned downed slowly to a fine ash. I cannot compare this to the original, but on its own merit, this was one great smoke. Read Less
Having not had the opportunity to smoke the original when it came out I can’t speak to a true comparison but I have smoked the old Balkan Sobranie with a lot of age. I don’t really find the blinds to be similar but this one stands on its own is a goo... Read Mored Balkan. The quality is very high in the Orientals are the star of the show in this blend. I’m not very fond of Latakia heavy blends and was pleasantly surprised that the Latakia doesn’t overpower the Orientals or Virginias. Read Less
Finally I snagged a few tins of this blend. I'll start with the presentation in the tin. When I first opened the tin and looked at the contents I was a little surprised. First the mixture is not homogeneous in any respect. The Latakia is signific... Read Moreantly more dry than the virginias and orientals, and perhaps because of that the mixture is not well blended. Therefore I embarked upon a first in my piping career... I emptied the contents into a mixing bowl and began thoroughly mixing the contents, first by lightly tearing some of the longer shag strands and then pulling the Latakia from the bottom and sprinkling it throughout. Finally, with my Sobranie blended to my satisfaction I jarred it and set out enough to fill my rather large Meerqueen bowl. Again the Latakia had a tendency to separate but with a thorough mixing it is much improved of you stay vigilant! Like most germain produced tobaccos sobranie dries to a certain point in a rather short time, and I find 20-30 minutes brings it to a nice moisture level, being slightly dry but having that oily texture. Presentation, blending, and moisture aside I put flame to tobacco and it took it quite readily, giving nice volumes of fragrant smoke. It's clear to me that smoked fresh this is no lightweight English/balkan. The sweet, smoky, woody germain Latakia is present with every puff and very enjoyable. The virginias provide a solid backdrop for the supporting cast of Turkish tobacco of which, to my tastes at least, Smyrna (not izmir) is the star. To me the (alleged) Smyrna provides a delicious musty, spicy note that I don't have the pleasure of tasting often. The virginias are present and provide their own standard notes for the first half of the bowl, but as the smoke strengthens they fall deeper into the background and the smoky, spicy flavors take over. Another reason I think it's Smyrna, and please correct me if it isnt, is that when smoked fresh it is a little harsh on my tongue and palate. I didn't get tongue bite, but if I smoked multiple bowls per day I would, which reminds me of said Turkish at least until aged some. Despite all of my gripes with the blend I thoroughly enjoy the flavor, and imagine it will become significantly better with age and added complexity. Fresh... it is fairly straightforward, a little harsh, full flavored English tobacco. Read Less
I usually don't enjoy latakia, but i do enjoy a balkan blend from time to time. This one is smooth and bold with good sourness from the orientals and slight smoke from the Latakia. Gregory V if you read this review try Arango Balkan Supreme it is ver... Read Morey close to Sobranie, or so i am told. Read Less
Enjoyed the original many moons ago. Put my name on the list to try the new one out. Finally got some, opened it up looked and smelled fantastic. Waited a few days until I was off work to try it, opened it up, and found mold growing on it. I was very... Read More sad. I don't blame smoking pipes, these things happen sometimes I reckon. I may try it again when I have some extra money. Read Less
I don´t know if this tobacco have the same strength, flavor and intensity that 70's or 80's sobranie, but anyway this sobranie is a spectacular tobacco with a Latakia very present from start to finish. This stuff have cool somoke, something light and... Read More very rich. Smoking in the morning or before going to sleep is a mess...
In another order of things, the scores here should be granted for the tobacco's quality and not because someone failed to buy it. The stars are unrelated to this spectacular tobacco. Read Less
I had the good luck to come across a previously opened but sealed tin, half full, stored in a consistent temperature.
I feel I need more time to deliberate upon the subtley.
Primarily floral notes upon the nose, delicate once humified.
Flavour stran... Read Moregely was strong in what seemed nicotine?, not harsh and upon exhale a taste, I assume of the "mountain blue Laktakia" and "macedonian orientals".
I am no expert, but this stash is an education for the senses. Read Less
I was lucky enough to snag a couple of tins when the past shipment arrived. I am puzzled about availability. Anyway I am basically a English/ Balkan smoker Very few other satisfy. I find this blend to be smooth, gentle on the tongue and glorious whe... Read Moren rolled thru my nose. I always try new tobacco with completely dry pipe 3 or 4 days without being smoked, and then I dedicate that pipe to that tin for the duration of said tobacco. I can find nothing wrong with any aspect of this blend, if in stock constantly it would be my every day/ all day smoke. Do your self a favor and try at least one tin... you won't be sorry. Read Less
Smoked Balkan Sasieni....loved it. Smoked Balkan Supreme....love yet again. Finally got to smoke my fabled white whale, Balkan Sobranie....TRANSCENDENCE!!! It's similar to Sasieni, just the balance of the blend is more harmonious. Are there better bl... Read Moreends? Probably. Is this a masterpiece Absolutely. All Balkan fans should give this one a try.
Happy Smokin'. Read Less
A smooth mellow blend that is simply delicious. If you are even remotely interested in Balkan blends, you owe it to yourself to try this. I will endeavor to keep this easy smoking, great tasting blend stockpiled from now on.
This tobacco is so fine that if it was food you were eating, you'd want to regurgitate it and eat it again. Let the smoke slowly out of your mouth and inhale through your nose and you'll see what I mean, all the hype about this tobacco is true and th... Read Moreats a rare thing, when it's available again, make sure you get some, because out of the hundreds of different tobaccos I've tried over the years this would have to be one of, if not the best I've ever had, just remember, if your not into latakia, don't bother, blue smokes a tanging, enjoy. Read Less
This used to be my favorite English blend before it became so hard to get. My favorite came with a black label and I think it was called Mixture #759.
My 5 star rating is based on the original blend but I have never tried this newer iteration.
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