Throwdown? Which Out of Production Blend Would You Most Like to See Return?

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craiginthecorn

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May 8, 2017
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Sugar Grove, IL, USA
I just finished listening to the most recent Oom Paul Podcast which featured Russ Oullette. There was a discussion about the 2011 Chicago Pipe Show's Balkan Sobranie 759 Throwdown, which was won by Russ' White Knight blend. I wasn't smoking at that time, so I missed that event, but it sounds like fun. It's probably too late for this year's show to do another of these in 2018, but it's never too early to start dreaming of 2019. If we come up with a good candidate, I can take the idea of a new throwdown and run it up the flagpole at the CPCC meeting.
Which old, out of production blend would you like to see as the target of a blending throwdown?
I'd be interested to hear from blenders that participate in this forum if this should be restricted to solely ribbon or shag cuts. Is it unreasonably time-consuming to target a plug, flake, or rope style? I would imagine so.
Edited by jvnshr: Title capitalization (please check Rule #9)

 

mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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I almost said Walnut, but Russ has that one covered with Midtown Chestnut, which I enjoy in my rotation.

 

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anthonyrosenthal74

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Jan 8, 2013
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2011 Chicago Pipe Show's Balkan Sobranie 759 Throwdown, which was won by Russ' White Knight blend.
Actually it was won by Russ's Black House, which is a fantastic blend as well. The other entries were Sutliff's Balkan Luxury Blend 957, and McClelland Blue Mountain (Now renamed Balkan Blue). All three of these blends are fantastic in their own right. However, unfortunately, Sutliff's Balkan Luxury Blend 957 is now discontinued. White Knight was modeled after Balkan Sobaranie Original. I can't comment on White Knight as I've still yet to try it.
Copy and Paste from Tobaccoreviews.com on White Knight.
Notes: When we won the 2011 Balkan Sobranie 759 Throwdown at the Chicagoland Pipe and Tobacciana Show, with our entry, BlackHouse, it caused quite a stir, and the blend has become one of our best sellers. We followed that up with Fusilier's Ration, which was modeled after Bengal Slices, and it too has become incredibly popular. There was one other blend that I loved, that I thought about making a tribute to, because I enjoyed it so much. But I resisted, due to the iconic stature of the tobacco. After a couple of years of work, though, I finally put together a blend that I feel so confident in, that we're ready to bring you BlackHouse's cousin - WhiteKnight.
Balkan Sobranie Original Smoking Mixture is legendary among those of us who were privileged enough to have smoked it. It had gone through some changes, but my memories are from the blend as it was in the late seventies. Using Cyprian Latakia, remarkable yellow Virginias, and amazing Macedonian Orientals, including the Queen of Tobaccos - Yenidje, WhiteKnight has received rave reviews from people who sampled it prior to release.
 

sablebrush52

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Jun 15, 2013
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Motzek Strang - Yeah, I know, the shop's still there, the new owner was trained in how to make it, blah, blah, blah. But there's been none made since the change in ownership and the new owner is busily introducing his own formulations. Maybe he lacks the balls to try making it or he figures that even if he nailed it, customers would insist it was different and worse. It's tough going up against a legend. So, Motzek Strang.

 

mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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Yes, Sutliff's Balkan 957 was excellent. It's disappearance mystified me. I guess not enough people discovered it.

 

menuhin

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Oct 21, 2014
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Motzek Strang briefly reappeared near to the end of the year in 2016. I don't know if that was some old stock or some new patch. It is understandable that the new blender does not want to live under the shadow of Herbert Motzek.
The story goes like this: the blender is actually Herbert Motzek's wife. While Herbert Motzek is a pipe maker, his wife went through extensive trainings and seminars about tobacco and produced the house blends in a factory nearby the shop. Motzek was also the quality control in the final stage. The discontinuation of Motzek Strang was due to a similar reason of the discontinuation of 5100 when the source of a specific tobacco ran out and the resulting strang with alternative leaves could not live up (or match) the original Strang adequately, they had to give up.
Reintroduction can be better and more than a match though, that was the story of people rating Erinmore's Balkan Mixture better than the STG Dunhill EMP.

 

georged

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Mar 7, 2013
2,713
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There is gone gone, and then is only-sort-of gone.
Here's the sort of thing I'm talking about:
http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/glpease-westmenster

 

lazar

Senior Member
May 5, 2015
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3 Oaks Syrian. I know it hasn't been long, but I neglected to stock up and will miss that blend when my supply runs out.

 

philobeddoe

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Oct 31, 2011
5,127
1,758
East Indiana
Smokers Havens’ Our Best Blend, simply a masterpiece of the blenders art. Margate is very, very close, but it has tad more Latakia, which changes the overall flavor of the blend.

 

ravkesef

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Aug 10, 2010
2,550
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Cheshire, CT
There’s no quarrel about the quality of the many blends that are on the market today, but I still miss the old Balkan Sobranie White label, a blend I smoked for over twenty years. Back in the day, Smoker’s Haven produced Our Best Blend, and many’s the time I opened the tin and found the Balkan Sobranie parchment on top. I still have an 8 ounce tin sitting unopened on my shelf (1975 vintage,) and when the right time comes, I’ll open it and share it. About three years ago I-opened a 2-ounce tin of Our Best Blend and split it with Premal. The interior of the tin was shiny bright, and the tobacco was heavenly!

 

georged

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Mar 7, 2013
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Smokers Havens’ Our Best Blend, simply a masterpiece of the blenders art.
Premal says it actually is Balkan-Sobranie White. Just re-labeled.

 

ravkesef

Preferred Member
Aug 10, 2010
2,550
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Cheshire, CT
Georged, Premal is absolutely right! Read my post just above yours. As I said, finding the Balkan Sobranie parchment in the tin confirmed it, time after time.

 

blendtobac

Preferred Member
Oct 16, 2009
1,234
167
While a great thought, this probably can't happen today unless the participants used existing blends. If it were to be justified by saying that the samples are free, then that violates the rule that prohibits free samples, and if they were to charge a small fee, the new tobaccos would violate the rule about not producing new blends for retail sale. This really sucks because I'd love to see the throwdowns come back, but in either case it would run afoul of the deeming regulations.
Russ

 

winton

Preferred Member
Oct 20, 2010
2,152
171
I also would like to see the Throwdown return. That contest happened during my first pipe show. I believe that the contest blends are still available.
I have not read the rules. If I buy a tin, or if someone gives me a tin, can I then share the contents with others? This assumes I am not giving tobacco to someone underage, or otherwise forbidden to use tobacco.

 

molach95

Member
Dec 19, 2017
108
0
I'd like to try the original Three Nuns when it was a kind of VaPer, like a lighter Cabbie's Mixture.

 

mikestanley

Preferred Member
May 10, 2009
1,463
366
Akron area of Ohio
So many! I guess if I had to pick just one it would be Craven Mixture, made the way it was made by Sinclair. It had a flavor that was simply unique. I had the pleasure of sharing some with a dear departed pips smoker named Charles Franks several years at the old OPC/ NASPC swaps. We generally worked the table during the same time. He had a bunch of it. He was quite a pipe maker in his own right. Anyway, that is the one. Craven.
MIke S.

 
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