Scottish Blends

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pianopuffer

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2017
451
7
NYC
It seems that Scottish blends are also known as Balkans? From what I gather, these two sound like interchangeable terms...perhaps someone can clarify.
I have recently come to adore Dunhill's Aperitif, and promptly order several dozen tins to stash away.

What else should I try?

 

prairiedruid

Preferred Member
Jun 30, 2015
1,676
3
English-Scottish-Balkan
No real set in stone definitions for them....some blends overlap categories and such.
My quick non comprehensive definitions:
Scottish has latakia and cavendish; usually brown cavendish
Balkan has an oriental component with latakia.

 

unkleyoda

Preferred Member
Aug 22, 2016
1,099
6
Your mom\\\'s house
To me:
Scottish: Latakia, Oriental, Virginia, Cavendish.

Typically cavendish is heavy. 965 and especially The Aperitif
Balkan: Latakia, Oriental, Virginia

Oriental forward. Dunhill London Mixture
The wildcard, traditional Balkan definition.

Virginia and Latakia, maybe with something added.

Peterson Balkan Delight, SG Balkan Flake, SG Commonwealth.

 

saltedplug

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2016
1,912
2
I don't smoke much of any of these genres, but from what I know VA is usually a component.

 

unkleyoda

Preferred Member
Aug 22, 2016
1,099
6
Your mom\\\'s house
This is from Pipedia:
Link to article
Q: What is generally meant by "English," "Scottish," and "Balkan" style?
A: The definitions of these terms seem somewhat fluid, apart from the fact that all tobaccos bearing these appellations contain Latakia. To my mind, an English blend has a significant portion of Virginia backing up the Latakia, and orientals serve as a spice. A Scottish blend is similar to an English, with less Latakia, a more dominant Virginia character and, perhaps, little or no oriental leaf. A Balkan, on the other hand, is predominately based on oriental tobaccos and Latakia, and just enough Virginia is used to provide structure and balance.
I don't claim this is right but it's the way I view things.

Now my head is spinning. I think a lot of these terms are relative to the companies that use them.

 

unkleyoda

Preferred Member
Aug 22, 2016
1,099
6
Your mom\\\'s house
Always thought Cavendish was essential to Scottish mixtures....
Me too.
What is weird is there is no consensus. What I mean is, Peterson and Samuel Gawith (maybe others) refer to a balkan as Latakia/Virginia, but the rest refer to it with the addition of orientals, and they are forward.
Weird.

 

pipebuddy

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2015
502
6
Scottish blends need to have some Cavendish. For the rest, there seems to be a common basis of Virginias and Latakia. As for Balkan blends, my understanding id the Orientals (not Latakia, the other ones) mus be forward. So they are not the same, really. But opinions vary significantly.

There are a few very interesting articles on this topic....
http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/out-of-the-ashes/what-is-a-balkan-blend/
http://pipesmagazine.com/python/pipe-tobacco/the-mystery-of-balkan-blends/

 

molach95

Member
Dec 19, 2017
108
0
Does anyone know why those blends are referred to as "Scottish"? It's irritating that, one minute, a Latakia-light English blend with a pronounced Virginia taste is a Scottish blend, then I read something that a Scottish blend is a kind of VaPer with a tiny amount of perique to simulate a more mature Virginia character. Then someone else says it's got Cavendish and a whisky topping on it.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,907
78
Can burley ever figure into any of these categories, or does the blend then become something else? American-English or something else?

 

workman

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
1,701
3
McConnell has a blend called Scottish Blend. The recipe dates back to the 19th century, and they claim that everyone acknowledges this as the original Scottish Blend. It has kentucky, cavendish, latakia, oriental, virginia.

So if this is true, they invented a blend, called it scottish and thus started a genre.

 

anthonyrosenthal74

Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2013
7,306
3
My understanding is that an English blend has virginias, orientals, and latakia, with both the latakia and orientals being added as a condiment, but somewhat heavy on the latakia. A Balkan is much the same, however heavier on the orientals with a lighter touch of latakia. The main component of both genres being virginias, but the amount of latakia and orientals being used can have a stronger presence than the virginias regardless that more virginias are used. Scottish blends aren't mentioned often, but it seems to me that they're basically a balkan (lighter on the latakia) but with black cavendish or another aromatic element added. Basically what we often refer to here on the forums as a "crossover blend." So does this basically mean that, for example, Kramer's Blend for Cary Grant is indeed what should be called a scottish?

 

judcole

Preferred Member
Sep 14, 2011
4,660
8
Detroit
Remember that all of these are marketing terms, and are used primarily on this side of the pond.

I once asked what a "Scottish" blend was on the old Yahoo Pipesmokers2 list. The late Joe Harb - blender and tobacco reviewer at Pipes & Tobacco magazine for a number of years - replied with this story.

He had been in Scotland one time, went into a variety of tobacconists, and asked for an ounce of what they would consider their most "Scottish" blend. The blends he got were generally closer to MacBaren Mixture: Scottish Blend than to Dunhill 965.

YMMV, of course.

 

virginialover

Senior Member
Mar 29, 2016
444
0
Charles Rattray's Scottish mixtures were made, from what I understood, of Red Virginias, Orientals and a small amount of Latakia. Black Mallory and Red Rapparee had a bit more Latakia but generally it was used sparingly. Also my understanding is that the Cavendish replaced the Red Virginias as a cheaper and easier tobacco to obtain, it's also less fussy when compared to Red Virginia as it's a process.