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Thread: New Balkan Sobranie

  1. #1
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    Default New Balkan Sobranie

    Gentlemen,

    I gave up the pipe for over a year, year and a half, only to return to my online tobacco vendor and see that there has been a recreation of the coveted Balkan Sobranie blend.

    Now, I've read a bit about it on tobaccoreviews.com but I am eager to know if any of you folks have tried it?

    Since I have never had the original, direct comparisons are not necessary (though they are welcomed) but I am more interested in knowing how it stands up to those blends that are still on the market. Just where does its flavour and smoking properties stand?

    By the way, is this stuff still in production? I'm sure it's probably sold out across the board. I'd be interested in trying it but I'm sure there are legions of smokers like me. Is this now an elusive product like Penzance/Stonehaven et cetera?

    Anyway, I'd be happy to hear your two cents worth on the subject...

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by delamain View Post
    Gentlemen,

    I gave up the pipe for over a year, year and a half, only to return to my online tobacco vendor and see that there has been a recreation of the coveted Balkan Sobranie blend.

    Now, I've read a bit about it on tobaccoreviews.com but I am eager to know if any of you folks have tried it?

    Since I have never had the original, direct comparisons are not necessary (though they are welcomed) but I am more interested in knowing how it stands up to those blends that are still on the market. Just where does its flavour and smoking properties stand?

    By the way, is this stuff still in production? I'm sure it's probably sold out across the board. I'd be interested in trying it but I'm sure there are legions of smokers like me. Is this now an elusive product like Penzance/Stonehaven et cetera?

    Anyway, I'd be happy to hear your two cents worth on the subject...

    Thanks.

    alas, nothing to offer on the subject....I can't say as I've not tried many new tobaccos (new or returned)

    but i'm stoked to see that Pipes & Tobaco has taken over tobaccoreviews.com from Jon Tillman - I remember when it was created back in the day. ahhh the ole alt.smokers.pipes days, great times! in many ways B&B has become to me now what ASP was to me then.

    if you are curious, my reviews are under POKRSMOKR - didn't do a whole lot, but gives ya an idea where my tastes lay at the time :) if you are interested, my reviews are among the early ones circa 2000/2001 - going to have to take a look and see how my palate and ability to describe a tobacco has changed in a decade LOL


    here is a link to the P's hehe I was #1 too bad I stopped reviewing at 3o odd baccys
    http://tobaccoreviews.com/reviewer_index.cfm?ALPHA=P

    (haven't looked at that site in about 10 years - WOW has it grown!!)
    Last edited by joshua1970; 07-29-2012 at 01:20 PM.
    If you aren't grateful for what you've got, nothing that may be coming down the pike will likely do the trick for you.

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  3. #3
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    That site is an amazing resource for pipe smokers. I'm happy that they haven't changed it too much; it doesn't seem to be any worse for the wear.

    I would have been clueless about tobacco blends if not for that site, because you can only get bottom of the barrel pipe tobacco at extortionate prices around here.
    (Captain Black, Sail, Borkum Riff, Amphora et cetera)

    Thanks for giving me a link to your reviews, I will have a look at them; it is interesting to look back on your old perspectives, isn't it? I see you've tried some nice tobaccos back in your reviewing days - Stonehaven and Three Nuns would probably be standouts that I'd like to try. (I've got a few of the others you've listed such as Penzance, Margate, and FVF)

    I'm just disappointed to have missed out on the new Balkan Sobranie because the original seemed to be the "white whale" that most pipe smokers were after; I'd be satisfied with being able to try a copy! Tins of the original are selling for a fortune these days. (It was actually mentioned in my Escudo thread, thus reminding me of the brand relaunch)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by delamain View Post
    That site is an amazing resource for pipe smokers. I'm happy that they haven't changed it too much; it doesn't seem to be any worse for the wear.

    I would have been clueless about tobacco blends if not for that site, because you can only get bottom of the barrel pipe tobacco at extortionate prices around here.
    (Captain Black, Sail, Borkum Riff, Amphora et cetera)

    Thanks for giving me a link to your reviews, I will have a look at them; it is interesting to look back on your old perspectives, isn't it? I see you've tried some nice tobaccos back in your reviewing days - Stonehaven and Three Nuns would probably be standouts that I'd like to try. (I've got a few of the others you've listed such as Penzance, Margate, and FVF)

    I'm just disappointed to have missed out on the new Balkan Sobranie because the original seemed to be the "white whale" that most pipe smokers were after; I'd be satisfied with being able to try a copy! Tins of the original are selling for a fortune these days. (It was actually mentioned in my Escudo thread, thus reminding me of the brand relaunch)

    it really is blowing my mind to see how large the tobaccoreviews has come, and very interesting to read some of my reviews from 10+ years ago- which is not that long, but at the same time is eons ago) sheesh that was back when there were 50 members, then 100, I remember Jon was so excited when we hit 100 reviewers. alas to find my reviews you have to go to the first reviews of some of the blends (or there abouts)

    now it's probably the premiere site online (and owned by Chuck and the boys at P&T) such a beautiful siight/site (double entendre intended) to see


    I don't lament the rareity of some of the tobaccos, there are so many excellent choices out there - but it is nice nce in a while to bring out an old tine of some long lost blend.

    for me, aside form a few special pieces (the Doby's set, some old 3 Nuns and Cope's Escudo, etc etc) I treasure the dozen or so tins of Friedman & Pease tobacco's I have left. the incarnation in the mid 90s before GLP and irwin parted ways.

    but when it comes right down to it, there are tons of quality tobacco available today - so long as one isn't stuck on 1 particular blend or type :)

    ah mammories...
    If you aren't grateful for what you've got, nothing that may be coming down the pike will likely do the trick for you.

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  5. #5
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    I would be interested to see the difference, but am really not expecting much.

    For those who remember Dunhill changes between Dunhill, Murray, Orlik (I think), and whoever it is now, there has been a HUGE change every time. Not really that one is any worse than another, they are however quite different.
    You are what you is, and that's all it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshua1970 View Post
    ahhh the ole alt.smokers.pipes days, great times! in many ways B&B has become to me now what ASP was to me then.
    Fun times. I had tons of posts there, and plenty of reviews on tobaccoreviews.com

    Lots of those old members are here, including Greg "why-the-hell-doesn't-he-ever-post-here-anymore" Pease.
    Director of the B&B Stjynnkii Membörd Dummpsjterd.

    Bager & Blade- the most reasonable place on Earth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ouch View Post
    Fun times. I had tons of posts there, and plenty of reviews on tobaccoreviews.com

    Lots of those old members are here, including Greg "why-the-hell-doesn't-he-ever-post-here-anymore" Pease.
    Pease is here?!?!?!?!?!?!

    I miss chattig with himj, one fo the brightest folks I know!

    How about Bear Graves? that enabling mofo got me wet shaving w straights many moons ago!!!! (not to mention coffee roasting, loose leaf teas ad infinitum)

    LMAO

    and yes alt.smokers.pipes was wonderful!!!
    If you aren't grateful for what you've got, nothing that may be coming down the pike will likely do the trick for you.

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  8. #8
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    Iwan Ries & Co. in Chicago has a house bulk blend called Balkan Supreme, which is supposedly their attempt to recreate Balkan Sobranie, apparently right down to the original recipe. See Tom's (NWPipeSmoker on YouTube) excellent comparison review of a 12-year-old bag of Sobranie and IWC's Balkan Supreme. Check out his other videos, as well. He is an incredibly charismatic YouTube pipe ambassador who resembles and sounds like Tom Selleck. He's quite knowledgeable on English and in particular Balkan blends, as well as about old vintage Custombilt and BP Jum pipes. I personally can't get enough of his videos out there in the rainforests of the the Pacific Northwest where he lives, works, and smokes. Great guy!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlMaldensNose View Post
    Iwan Ries & Co. in Chicago has a house bulk blend called Balkan Supreme, which is supposedly their attempt to recreate Balkan Sobranie, apparently right down to the original recipe. See Tom's (NWPipeSmoker on YouTube) excellent comparison review of a 12-year-old bag of Sobranie and IWC's Balkan Supreme. Check out his other videos, as well. He is an incredibly charismatic YouTube pipe ambassador who resembles and sounds like Tom Selleck. He's quite knowledgeable on English and in particular Balkan blends, as well as about old vintage Custombilt and BP Jum pipes. I personally can't get enough of his videos out there in the rainforests of the the Pacific Northwest where he lives, works, and smokes. Great guy!
    I like his videos as well. Bought some pipes and tobaccos based on he review. He also reviewed Blue Mountain, which was a Balkan Sobranie recreation by McClellend that won the judges selection at a past pipe show competition. Black house was the people's choice.

  10. #10
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    I have tried both the original and new versions of The Balkan Sobranie, they are quite different (could be due to the fact that original BS I have has 40+ years of age on it) but both are very good IMO, the original sells as if it were made of gold, you see it on ebay now and then selling for insane prices, the Balkan Supreme mentioned in previous posts is a Peter Stokkebye blend, good but not comparable to Balkan Sobranie, MC Blue Mountain is great but not comparable to BS, if you want try something similar that is more available Balkan Sasieni is a good choice, there is a myth going around that PS Balkan Supreme is the bulk version of Balkan Sasieni, this is not the case, they are two different blends, The Balkan Sobranie is very difficult to obtain but not impossible, I got two tins about a week ago.
    Last edited by Blade Boy; 07-31-2012 at 05:41 PM.
    "Life's too short for pipes that gurgle"

  11. #11
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    I have Balkan Sasieni in my cellar and I have had a couple ounces of PS Balkan Supreme in the past.

    I loved the PS at first, considering it is an inexpensive bulk tobacco, but I felt it was not hugely complex. It became one dimensional yet decent and then somewhat coarse and ashy to me in a matter of months. Maybe my tongue was getting too leathery at that time, who knows...

    Blade Boy, is the new Balkan Sobranie the best of those four blends or is it simply easy to live without? If it does not trump PS Balkan Supreme or Sasieni, which I have on hand, then I will let this "white whale" sink back to the depths!

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    I would say Balkan Sasieni is close maybe a tad sweeter, but you should try The Balkan Sobranie if you run across it, I saw it in stock somewhere the other day for around $13 a tin (kinda high IMO) some of these suppliers like to take advantage.
    "Life's too short for pipes that gurgle"

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    I'd consider paying $20 or $30 for one, just to have it, but I only buy tobacco from 4noggins. They are all out of stock.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by delamain View Post
    I'd consider paying $20 or $30 for one, just to have it, but I only buy tobacco from 4noggins. They are all out of stock.
    Nothing against 4noggins, but why only them? You may be hard-pressed to get your hands on some of these hard-to-find tobaccos by limiting yourself to only one vendor. Not really my business, but I was just curious since you made the comment.
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    Probably because Rich is a favorite for our brothers up in the Great White North
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    shipping tobacco costs to Canada: taxes/duties etc
    If you aren't grateful for what you've got, nothing that may be coming down the pike will likely do the trick for you.

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    Let's just say they are the only viable option...

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Commander Quan View Post
    Probably because Rich is a favorite for our brothers up in the Great White North
    Quote Originally Posted by joshua1970 View Post
    shipping tobacco costs to Canada: taxes/duties etc
    Quote Originally Posted by delamain View Post
    Let's just say they are the only viable option...
    Sorry, just a little slow on the uptake...
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