SG Balkan Flake equivalent
Time for a quick question. I love SG Balkan Flake. I hate the price and the availability issues. Is there another tobacco that is cheaper and more reliably found that is close tastewise? Doesn't have to be a flake. My flake jones is covered, but that sweet and smokey taste is missing from my rotation.
An interesting question. I also enjoy BF, and your post sent me wandering around various vendors, looking for bulk sales. 4Noggins doesn't carry it bulk, P&C is out, and SP has it in stock. Prices have gone up on SG blends from a lot of vendors - supply and demand - and it looks like BF is the latest SG blend to be discovered.
As to an equivalent - well, it's about 30% lat, with the rest Virginias, according to the description - no orientals. There's a lot of lat forward blends out there. Have you explored the Altadis bulk line? These are not great tobaccos, but they are enjoyable additions to the rotation, IMO. Maybe their Heavy English, 503.
Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close
Yeah, $60+ a lb is out of my price range. $30 ish PS tobacco is more my speed. I haven't tried many Altadis brands, but all the ones I've had access to are aros and those aren't my style. I've found one aro I like enough to buy a second time. PS Golden Dansk.
This is somewhat beside the point, but I can't help myself:
30% lat, with the rest Virginias, according to the description - no orientals.
I've enjoyed a number of SG blends, but how they can call such a blend a "Balkan" is beyond me. I think the very definition of a Balkan is an oriental/latakia-forward blend, where the Virginias are in the background and the orientals and latakia are balanced and pronounced. To me, the best Balkans hit a very rich and creamy note with the orientals and latakia. Take the orientals (other than the latakia) out of the equation, and I don't know what you've got.
Unfortunately, all of the great Balkans I can recommend would not have much in common with BF, since they do feature a large percentage of orientals and latakia.
Check at Pipes and Cigars; they have a large selection of Altadis bulks. I bought an ounce each of about 6 of 'em last year, and added two (Byzantium and Balkan II) to my rotation.
how they can call such a blend a "Balkan" is beyond me. I think the very definition of a Balkan is an oriental/latakia-forward blend
Funny, I read "Samuel Gawith Balkan Flake" has no orientals and went "HUH?" If this is true, it's no Balkan. Dunhill EMP is more Balkan than SG BF.
In all fairness, I've no idea how good SG BF is, though, or what it tastes like.
I like SG Bakan Flake...CD Sunset Harbor Flake is somewhat similar.
You could try Fairmorn/F&K Lancer's Slices, very similar to SG BF. I taste a bit more Lat in it than BF. Easier to keep lit too, although not as creamy as BF. Cheaper too, about $40/500g.
Balkan Flake is sort of a misnomer for the blend since it contains no Orientals/Turkish. Think SG Commonwealth with not as much Lat and in dark scraggly flake format a la 1792.
It just goes to show you how differently folks can define terms like "Balkan"!
One thing I've learned tobacco names can be misleading. SG calls it Balkan Flake. MacBaren calls one Latakia Blend. Great tobacco, no Lat that I, or many others going by reviews, can find.
Plus didn't I read, on here somewhere, that Latakia is a Oriental ?
MacBaren's Latakia has just a whiff of Syrian Latakia. It is the lightest in lat of MacBaren's lat blends. Think Walnut with better tobacco and Syrian, not Cyprian,latakia.
Latakia is from Syria or Cyprus, which certainly makes it an oriental tobacco, although it's not usually what blenders mean when they talk about an oriental mixture. When I think of an oriental mixture,I think light or no latakia, but other oriental tobaccos - izmir, basma, etc, etc - used for condiment.
Yes, Latakia is an oriental that has been treated to give it its smoky, rich qualities. Some older companies don't distinguish between "orientals" and "Latakia" in their tin descriptions, I think because there used to be a time when no varietals were specifically mentioned and they're just carrying on that tradition.
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