- May 15, 2014
So half way through my tin of the new BS, I am pleased to say that I feel no need to chase this blend. I was not a smoker of the original so there will be no comparisons made. The tin note is typical of a oriental forward English (not sure is that is the definition of a Balkan or not) but nothing that made me take notice. Honestly if anything it seemed a bit subdued and musty. The ribbon is nice and surprisingly there was some bloom present on the darkest of them (the Latakia?) Moisture content was not excessive and the dry time is minimal, perhaps 30 minutes. This is a thin ribbon so it can be over packed easily. Oriental was usually my first thought as I would lite a bowl and the first fourth seemed to be that same spicy with Lat in the background and no sight of the Virginias. But after that the lat came forward more and I start to taste the sweetness of the VA. It balances out into a fairly creamy smoke and the orientals mellow out almost too much. The last third of the bowl became heavier with the players in a more concerted harmony. Overall a good smoke but not anything outstanding and certainly nothing I would pay a premium for. There was neither anything that grabbed me, nor was the complexity and interplay of flavors impressive enough to warrant being branded as understated. I would much prefer to smoke Pelican which while just as hard to get, seems to live up to its hype a bit more. I am also curious to try White Knight and see if it has something this blend does not. Of course YMMV and I can see the appeal but this one just isn't for me.