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What are the good Balkan Blends?

(50 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by pappymac
  • Latest reply from thomasmartin
  1. pappymac

    pappymac

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    I am sad to admit that after 42 years, I am just now discovering Balkan Blends.
    I am also sad that the 1st Balkan Blend I tried was a tin of Seattle Pipe Club's Pike Place which I bought last year and just opened a week ago, only to find out it can no longer be produced and sold. I dug through my cellar and found a tin of Lane's Crown Achievement but it is a Balkan of a different family - it's good but it doesn't taste the same as Pike Place.

    So. Here's my question: "What is/are the best Balkan Blends that are available."

    I am glad we have a good admin and responsible moderators.

    Heave to you dark colored ship under sail! Prepare to be boarded!
    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. fitzy

    fitzy

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    I am sad to admit that after 42 years, I am just now discovering Balkan Blends.

    WHAT???? Blasphemy. They are some of my absolute favorite blends.

    Hearth & Home Blackhouse, Magnum Opus, Fusiliers Ration and White Knight
    McClellands Yenidje Highlander
    McClellands 3 Oaks Syrian (Sadly hard to get now as there is no more syrian)
    Seattle pipe clubs Plum Pudding

    All of those are outstanding to me with Plum Pudding being the bottom of the list but still great.

    "These are ghosts that are more at home in a girdle-filled drawer than one of my pipes." Quote by Neil Archer Roan on lakeland ghosts
    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. rhoadsie

    R

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    Don't want to steal N8's thunder but...

    Somkers' Haven Exotique

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. fitzy

    fitzy

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    Can't wait to get my first tins of Exotique.

    Also take a look at McClellands Balkan Beauty.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. iamn8

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    I'm not sure what this Exotique talk is about... sounds like a porn star name. Don't waste your time with garbage tobacco

    Nate @ Moody AL
    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. iflipturtles

    iflipturtles

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    Hearth and Home's BlackHouse is a great Balkan blend. It was blended to replace the legendary Balkan Sobranie 759.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. pappymac

    pappymac

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    Fitzy - I know so little about Balkans that I didn't know Seattle Plum Pudding was a Balkan and somewhere deep in my cellar I have a tin of it.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. toobfreak

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    I honestly don't think you can go too wrong with any balkan blend out there. Every one I've tried has been good to great. To be balkan implies a depth of personality and complexity.

    Pappy I think you will love the Plum Pudding!

    To Master Po: Is it not being able to see that makes you tire of life?
    Master Po: No! It is being able to hear!
    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. mso489

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    I like C&D Super Balkan, full strength but nicely balanced, and I believe on sale from smokingpipes.com through March 2017, 15% off.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. bentbob

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    GH Balkan Flake is sublime - though there is no Balkan in it!

    If you can get it, JF Germains 1820 is fantastic too, with a healthy does of Oriental, it's more complex than GH Balkan Flake.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. fitzy

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    Yes Pappy it sure is.

    I still need to try C&D Super Balkan.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. jackswilling

    jackswilling

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    Pike Place is my favorite Balkan. You can never ever go wrong with Wilderness.

    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson
    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. pappymac

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    @jackswilling - How are they making Wilderness without Syrian Latakia?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. iamn8

    Nate

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    After spending some time with Google, I've decided she's my favorite Balkan

     photo CC931180-A8E9-4C78-854B-A44475E88F85_zpszclawuq5.jpg

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    I think Wilderness and Legends are going away.

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    kanse

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    H&H Blackhouse and Peretti-Tashkent, although it's certainly arguable how Balkan the latter is.

    Also, why is Pike Place absent from tobaccoreviews.

    philobeddoe
    Legends has no Syrian in it.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    That's great to know, I thought it had some in it, I prefer Wilderness, but Legends is very tasty as well and will be available!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. beefeater33

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    GLP's Odyssey is a good one. I'll second the Wilderness too.

    "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dream..."
    Willy Wonka
    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. jackswilling

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    For now Wilderness is available. Legends is classified as an English, but, you can never ever go wrong with Legends

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. judcole

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    White Knight is my fave; it's close to the old BSOM I smoked in the early 1970s. Balkan Sasieni is also worth your while.

    Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
    Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close
    Rudyard Kipling
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    jeff540

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    Frog Morton "On the Bayou" was decent.

    I still have some SG Balkan Flake I bought in bulk about 7 or 8 years ago, back when they still sliced flakes really thin. It's the richest, creamiest Latakia pipe weed I've ever experienced.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. ophiuchus

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    Lots of great suggestions already.

    I also really like Peter Stokkebye Balkan Supreme. Well balanced, though Oriental-forward in a way that's refreshing. Frog Morton On the Town ... mmmmm. The Orientals and Virginias play really nice together in this one.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. snowhill

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    Arango Balkan Supreme

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. coffinmaker

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    Balkan Supreme from P&C, right now it is on backorder. Nice stuff.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. pappymac

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    Thanks for all the good suggestions. I will add a tin or two to my next tobacco shopping list.

    One thing I did learn is to read the label before ordering. I looked up Peterson's Balkan Delight and it doesn't contain Orientals.

    I have Balkan Balkan Sasieni and Stokkebye's Balkan Supreme at the top of the list.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. fitzy

    fitzy

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    Pappy I honestly think that any of those Hearth & Home offerings are far better than Balkan Sasieni.

    I haven't tried Balkan Supreme yet. Someday I'll get around to it.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. woodsroad

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    Define "Balkan"!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. toobfreak

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    I honestly think that any of those Hearth & Home offerings are far better than Balkan Sasieni.

    Interesting. I checked their ratings and Sasieni gets a 3.0 rating (out of 4) whereas Marque blends tend to average ratings a little higher, maybe 3.5 or 3.6. I'm not sure I'd agree that /any/ H&H blend rates far better. But then I've read many people say that Sasieni is much better to them than the current Sobranie, yet people often freely pay $25 - $35 a tin (almost $20 / ounce) for the Sobranie.

    Define "Balkan"

    That is an easy one. A generally Latakia forward blend but it does not necessarily need to have Latakia in it. Originally Syrian, since Syrian is no longer in production, you will have to settle for Cyprian. After that, Balkan tobaccos weigh heavily from the Adriatic region of the eastern Mediterranean or it might have no balkan tobaccos and just Turkish and orientals or both, though none of the tobaccos actually come anywhere from the Orient. All laid to rest on a bed of virginias of which there are how many kinds? I get it now.

    So a Balkan blend can be balkan if it has Latakia or balkan or turkish or orientals in it, or just the name Balkan on the tin. But we are agreed that it will at least have virginia in there somewhere and the Marque Blends are far better than Sasieni which many consider much better than Sobranie which is the most sought after industry standard for a Balkan? Now I know I am confused.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  29. fitzy

    fitzy

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    3.7 for both Blackhouse and Magnum Opus. 3.4 for White Knight.

    Toob I'm going just by my personal experience though in saying that they are better. YMMV!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  30. dread

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    I'm a huge fan of Whiteknight, it is just fantastic.

    ". . . I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul."
    - INVICTUS
    Posted 2 years ago #
  31. jpmcwjr

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    Eh. I just call 'em English.

    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 2 years ago #
  32. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    Other than WhiteKnight, which is my favorite Balkan. Especially after Russ played us so well on his release of it. He sent out samples to all of us, unexplained and we all gave feedback. I fell in love with it, and at the time I was very anti-latakia. If I will love a blend that has latakia, even when I don't like latakia, it changed the game for me.

    Also, Dan's Midnight Ride and McC's Yenidje Highlander. Excellent Balkans.

    Michael
    Posted 2 years ago #
  33. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    Then all of the John Cotton's blends are Balkan, except that they aren't. Or are they?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  34. toobfreak

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    I'm a huge fan of Whiteknight, it is just fantastic.

    Many feel that White Knight is a much closer match to original Sobranie than the new Sobranie. I have tins of Wilderness which I like too and will be sorry to see that go.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  35. andrew

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    PS Balkan Supreme, Arango Balkan Supreme, and the Balkan Supreme from p&c is supposed to be the exact same tobacco blend, it is very good though. Balkan Sasieni is very good too and we'll priced

    Posted 2 years ago #
  36. thomasmartin

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    Does Dunhill London Mixture qualify? If yes, then this.

    Thomas
    Posted 2 years ago #
  37. kirkland

    kirkland

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    GL Pease Abington is great. His old Bohemian Scandel was even better. I'm lucky to still have some BS stashed away.

    I may be wrong but appears there are not lot of GLP fans here. I think his blends are by far the best and he covers all the bases in the tobacco genre. Plus they are easily available. Unless of course you want to hunt down his discontinued blends on ebay (which I do). I will glady fork over 100 bucks for a 2 ounce tin of his Rennaissance....or some of his other rare or aged blends.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  38. thomasmartin

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    I second Abington. Also, I'd put Balkan Blue on the list.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  39. jvnshr

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    Since nobody has mentioned, Brebbia Balkan and C&D Byzantium.

    Javan
    Posted 2 years ago #
  40. shikano53

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    What a great thread! Thanks Pappy for starting it. I thought I had a lot of Balkan blends tucked away in the cellar but after reading this thread I see there are a lot of blends I am going to have to try now.
    I am glad I have two tins of Legend and Wilderness still.
    Well done Pappy!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  41. pappymac

    pappymac

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    Shikano53 I am about finished with my tin of Pike's Place and no longer worry about not finding another good Balkan Blend to move onto. I am no collating the data received and organizing it into a list of Balkans to buy.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  42. cosmicfolklore

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    I may be wrong but appears there are not lot of GLP fans here.

    He used to be a lot more active on the forum, so his blends were first-most on our minds when latakia was mentioned. but, now that he avoids us on the forums, I rarely even think about his blends. It's like when a brand stops advertising, I just forget about it. But yes, GLP's Ashbury is another delicious Balkan.

    To me, it's not about what is in the blend, but about the contents all working together for an incense-like aroma. I don't get that from regular Englishes. Regular Englishes just smell like... eh, nevermind. I am trying to be more positive.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  43. kirkland

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    Any specfic reason why Greg left here ?

    I've never tried his Ashbury..have to give it a whirl. Abington, Renaissance and Mephisto are my daily smokes.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  44. clickklick

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    Balkan Beauty puts all others to shame.
    Although others are great. Balkan Beauty from McClelland is on a completely different level of greatness!

    Hobbyist Pipemaker - Carmette Pipes
    Posted 2 years ago #
  45. mcitinner1

    mcitinner1

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    One ya'll missed is McClelland's No. 1 Grade Balkan. It's very goooood.

    Stan
    Godfrey Daniels!!
    The Plenipotent Key to Cope's Correct Card of the Peerless Pilgrimage to Saint Nicotine of the Holy Herb:
    Posted 2 years ago #
  46. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    Any specfic reason why Greg left here ?

    I have no idea, as far as I know he may be lingering in the background.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  47. unkleyoda

    unkleyoda

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    GH Balkan Flake is sublime - though there is no Balkan in it!

    It depends on your definition of 'Balkan'. GL Pease did a nice article about tobacco style names, and how they have changed. By definition, anything with 'orientals' or Cyprian latakia is a 'Balkan', because they are both from the 'Balkan region'. But in the last 30-40 years, 'Balkan' has come to mean 'oriental forward'.


    So you say you can drink? Well, I'm from Wisconsin. Try to keep up.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  48. kirkland

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    I loved White Knight when it first came out. So I bought 10 tins. Then my taste of it changed. I now have 10 tins cellared away. I'll have to give it another try.

    SG's Balkan Flake I find to be a great blend. Years back I was a SG-aholic. For about 4 years all I smoked was FVF, ST James Flake, Blakan Flake and Best Brown Flake (IMO the best VA on the planet)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  49. unkleyoda

    unkleyoda

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    http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/out-of-the-ashes/what-is-a-balkan-blend/
    Here's the Balkan definition article I was looking for.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  50. thomasmartin

    thomasmartin

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    I like the White knight but the white knight doesn't like me. No other tobacco gives me that much of a tongue bite.

    Posted 2 years ago #

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