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Scottish Blends

(22 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by pianopuffer
  • Latest reply from molach95
  1. pianopuffer

    pianopuffer

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    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?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. prairiedruid

    prairiedruid

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. prairiedruid

    prairiedruid

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    Scottish blends to try: MM 965

    Balkan blends to try: PS English Oriental Supreme

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. unkleyoda

    unkleyoda

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    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.


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    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. saltedplug

    saltedplug

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    I don't smoke much of any of these genres, but from what I know VA is usually a component.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. admiral

    admiral

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    Scottish usually should be light on Latakia

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. unkleyoda

    unkleyoda

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. admiral

    admiral

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    Actually I have quite similar understanding as the one above

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Always thought Cavendish was essential to Scottish mixtures....

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. unkleyoda

    unkleyoda

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. pipebuddy

    pipebuddy

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    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/

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    derekflint

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    A Scottish blend that I like besides 965 is C+D Midnight Drive.........

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    I'd say that Bengal Slices could qualify as a Scottish blend. Perhaps Dan or Russ or Simon will chime in.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    molach95

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. mso489

    mso489

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    Can burley ever figure into any of these categories, or does the blend then become something else? American-English or something else?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. workman

    workman

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    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.

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    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. pianopuffer

    pianopuffer

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    As I suspected, there is no hard and fast rule. I suppose I will buy more tins and begin the tastings!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

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    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?

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    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. judcole

    Jud

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    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.

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    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. virginialover

    virginialover

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. rajangan

    rajangan

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    I know the ambiguity of classifying blends is annoying, but if the USDA or the like had decided to standardize and regulate pipe tobacco classifications, it might be equally annoying. So I celebrate the fact that I as a Scottish Canadian have the right to throw whatever I want into my pipe (within reason of course), and call it a Scottish blend. (Although I do think McConnell and Rattray have dibs on being more authentic)

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    molach95

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    Rajangan, if you did want a more authentically "Scottish" smoke then anything by Rattray's would fit the bill, including their Virginia blends. As a Scottish person I'd say the only blends I know people actually smoked are all standard UK OTCs or Kendal twists, but Player's Whisky (flake or RR) is probably the more Scottish of that lot.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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