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Now, here's a revelation: No modern mixture comes closer to the old Balkan Sobranie Mixtures, precisely "759". Fans of the old Sobranie have been very happy to find such a perfect substitute. What more can be said! (Only the looks of the mixture are not those of Sobranie.)

Blended ByHans Schürch
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
CutCoarse Cut
PackagingBulk, 50g Tin
ProductionNo longer in production
Product Image
None Detected
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 1 Users

18 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2114)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

A little complex with a little cream and a tasty unflavored "soda" note from the woody, dry yenidje that does remind me of Balkan Sobraine, which this is an attempt to match. The smoky, woody dry, wine-like Syrian latakia is a lead player. The spicy perique is hardly noticeable. The Orientals are smoky, woody, dry with a very mild sweet and sourness in a support role. The Virginias are citrusy with a touch of dark fruit, and a little grass and earth as it forms the base of the blend. The nic-hit is mild. No chance of bite, and has no harsh or dull spots. Burns cool, clean and even at a moderate pace with a very consistent flavor. Needs an average number of relights, and leaves little moisture in the bowl. Has a pleasant after taste. Can be an all day smoke with ease.

4 people found this review helpful.

Hellbent Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hellbent (1)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I smoked the tinned version marked "Sob." which I understand is the same stuff as the bulk called Torina. This is truly a fantastic tobacco. I never had the pleasure of enjoying the original Balkan Sobrani, so I obviously can not compare the two. But this stands on its' own two legs. It burns very well. I usually do not have to relight more than once while smoking this tobacco. It has a smoky, earthy and creamy taste. It is full without being overbearing. Some similar blends leave me full, like I just had a hefty dinner. Not so with this one. I finish the bowl wanting to explore more. I don't think I will ever get tired of this blend. Something for the cellar for sure.

Pipe Used: Dunhill billiard army mount 92

Purchased From: Tabak Boutique, Luzern, Switzerland

2 people found this review helpful.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I smoked both the bulk and the tinned versions and I agree with Beer, the tinned is better. This one can be considered a Balkan blend, for the generous amount and deepness of the pungent orientals, despite a moderate latakia content. It packs easily and smokes cool and even. The goal of the blender was to recreate the original Balkan Sobranie 759 formula: he failed, if it had ever been possible to succeed...I don't think so. This is a very good tobacco indeed, but presenting it as a 759 clone can just create expectations that are doomed to be disappointed; just think about it as a fine English Mixture and you'll very satisfied with it.

1 person found this review helpful.

Rob73 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rob73 (77)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

It is the perfect balance of all the components - which denotes the great knowledge of Hans Schürch - to make SOB a great blend, fulfilling, sweet but not too much, spicy but not too much. In medio stat virtus. An excellent all-day tobacco. 4,5/5 in my personal rating system.

Purchased From: Dubini, Chiasso (Switzerland)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CoolPilot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CoolPilot (69)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Good tobacco, confirming previous reviews, I only want to add that compared side by side with Erinmore Balkan Mixture, erinmore is far better. The second tin tobacco was too wet to be smoked, quite disappointing, but I didnt change the rate. Now at the third tin, this tobacco has some problems for sure, and I downgrade it. Not buying it anymore.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

So many of the Schurch English blends remind me of the old Dunhill blends, not as copies, but just of similar ilk and style. Torina is another medium/full body English with a pouch scent that lets one know that Syrian Latakia and Orientals will be stars of the show. There is no doubt in my mind that if the blend description didn't bring up the 759 reference, there would be more four star reviews. Just after several minutes of dry time, the rough cut Torina is easily packed. Previous reviews describing it as earthy and creamy are dead on. I don't get any sweetness from the Virginias. The flavors are on the full side and the Latakia is in perfect proportion. There is enough complexity to keep things interesting. Torina is yet another outstanding English blend from Schurch. Highly Recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lombard65 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lombard65 (48)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Really good, but not comparable to BS759. I would say slightly Oriental tasty, creamy, smooth. However, even this to try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipesrevisited Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipesrevisited (45)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant


Rereading 'The Hobbit' again, waiting for the film to come out, I find this an excellent companion to that classic.

Forget the Sobranie discussion and try this on it's own merits; a very pleasing and tastefull blend!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SMOKETSES Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

The first tobacco I tried whith perique. Not only it didn't bother me, but I liked it. Includes Virginia, Orientals, Syrian Latakia and a pinch of Louisiana Perique. It is a bit damp (not wet), very finely chopped, which means you must be careful filling the bowl in order to avoid blocking the air hole. Easy going, does not need any special technique in smoking in order to give out all that's in it. He has very good aftertaste. Doesn't make you feel full at any point. I read that the producers say it's like the Balkan Sobranie. I would say it is much better! If thinair would help me I would gladly re-order it. Because of its reasonable price it can easily become an all day tobacco, but unfortunately this time my all day is the BRITT'S BALKAN 4noggins. Its only flaw.... leaves too much dirt on the air hole of the pipe.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Peter Zorg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peter Zorg (34)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

A really great subtle balkan. To be smoked slowly. Last week-end, I smoked a medium-sized bowl during 2 hours while driving: what a pleasure ! I will reorder some more, definitely. I simply love and recommend it.

It is a subtle balkan in the sense that you can feel a lot of earthy, creamy aromas. The latakia is smoky and pleasant, but not overwhelming. Virginias are in the background, with the oriental. The perique is probably just a spicy note, hardly noticeable (but probably mandatory for the taste sake !). Solid 4 stars .

Nobody has rated this review yet.

p4p4 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
p4p4 (59)
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable to Strong

A good blend, very pleasant. Like Balkan Sobranie ? SURE NOT ! Who tell that this one is like Balkan Sobranie is a criminal !

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (302)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

When I first tried this blend in bulk, I found it not as tasty or complex as Onyx. It was delicate, not pungent but not completely round and smooth either. I appreciated the rough cut and the smoking qualities, but it lacked some personality... and it sure wasn't Balkan Sobranie by a long shot!

Later, I tried the tinned version which is called SOB (like in SOBranie...): the tin can only be found in Switzerland, and Synjeco doesn't sell it, as they only have the bulk version. Too bad, because in the tin it is better! It's a very good full EM! The tobacco in the tin is identical: rough cut, low moisture, clearly handblended. But probably the better seal of the tin compared to a plastic pouch really helps.

It packs well, burns well, and has a very nice aroma: similar to a cross between Timm London 1000 and a spicier Balkan. Lots of flavour, never aggressive, and with an underlying pleasant sweetness. I only had three bowls (offered by a friend who had bought a tin), but I look forward to smoking more as soon as I will make a trip to Switzerland!

So I strongly recommend you SOB, while I think you should sample the theoretically identical Torina before buying a large quantity...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Eulenburg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eulenburg (193)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

759 had no Périque and neither, for what I can taste, has Torina.

Beautiful Tarek Manadily sells beautiful Italian pipes, but I am not sure what he was smoking when he decided that this mildish, cavendish-buffered German excuse for an "oriental" mix tasted anything like 759!

G.L. Pease's CARAVAN, bland Cypriot "latakia" notwithstanding, tastes a hell of a lot more like 759 than this joke!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (127)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I am not too sure about the 759 comparison. This 50g bag of Torina I have left thoroughly dry out. It is a sort of wild cut mixture consisting of latakia, what appears to be and tastes like red Virginia, and orientals. At the risk of being repetitive, I think the description, "creamy," is the operative word. This is a Balkan blend and you can taste the orientals. The latakia is judiciously applied and so all the components are available to taste in the smoke. I would probably smoke this with some frequency if it were readily available in the States. This blend is extraordinarily smooth in the mouth and a bit tingly in the nose, similar in effect, but not in taste, to a fine cigar. The quality of the tobacco and the straight tobacco flavors could very well make this an all day smoke for the latakia/oriental lover. I think you could enjoy the pleasure of living with this tobacco in your pipe from dawn 'til dusk. Highly recommended. Paddy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gae Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gae (46)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is nothing like Balkan Sobranie to me. It's a much lighter colour to begin with & has more of a creamy soda taste to it,with a spicy flavour.Having said that 'Don't get me wrong'It's still a very smooth & tasteful tobacco indeed. I like Torina straight out of the bag or dried out a little.It doe's contain a little moisture.At first I wasn't sure what to make of it,so I dedicated a pipe & with every bowlfull it kept on improving & I did not smoke any other brand for that time.It offer's a variety of superb suttle creamy flavour's mixed with the peppery taste of the most succulent Perique I have ever tasted.The more I smoke it,the more I love it.'To me' I think it's great in it's own right.And I'm sure it would age well also. I'm definitely going to be keep it on hand. I give this 4 Star's

Nobody has rated this review yet.

FrJacob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
FrJacob (3)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Synjeco?s name for this is Torina but Schurch calls it ?Sobranie.? I tried it based on the Synjeco review and was dissapointed. It didn?t taste like what I expected from a ?Sobranie substitute.? My expectations, though, were based on a false assumption, which was itself based on my own inaccurate identification of a mystery ounce of black & sticky latakia I smoked 35 years ago. That black ounce was made by Balkan Sobranie, I?d swear, but it definitely was not 759! Maybe they used to sell latakia for blending? That stuff yielded a smoke you could carve in the air! Reviews I?ve read of 759 (most of which emphacise it?s latakia), butressed my association of it with some current, more straightforwardly latakia dominated, blends (Old Ironsides, and Synjeco?s own redoutable Elephant Dung). Result: I tried the Torina/Sobranie looking for that power hit of old , probably smoked it way to fast, and was dissapointed. I gave it to a friend. Then I got a 2oz tin of Sobranie 759 for Christmass. My tastebuds were opened! 759, unlike many Latakia blends, is NOT at all dominated by Latakia! ? nor had the Sobranie/Tornia been! Now suspecting I?d been a hasty Philistine, I got it back and retried it. And, like many others (whose reviews aren?t here), definitely DO taste (and enjoy) its similarity to 759. For me, it is, no question, the tobacco most-like 759 I?ve smoked so far ? and this includes: Odyssey, Raven?s Wing, Samarra, Caravan, the 3 Frog?s Mortons, Solani English Luxury ? even Renaisance (high, high praise, this). All the aforementioned blends are wonderful, each in their own uniqueness ? I like them all (except for FMOTBayou ? too much Perique for me). But the ?bottom line? is: in the humble opinion of someone recently returned to the pipe-smoking fold after many years, Schurch?s Sobranie is definitely the tobacco closest 759 available. Both are distinctive, not for their latakia, but for their balance. Alas, Schurch?s Torina is not as smooth or complex as 759, but it is her only living brother ? it has that comforting creamy Englishness to it. Slow down your smoking and it?s probably as good as 759 would be were it still being blended today.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pmonroeb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pmonroeb (92)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

The blender openly says this is an attempt to recreate Balkan Sobranie 759. It certainly does not look or smell like 759 in the pouch and frankly I don't taste that much similarity either. That being said, this is an outstanding tobacco. I troubled over how to describe a particular flavor in this tobacco until I read a review of one of the other Schurch tobaccos that used the word creamy. Yes! That's it! It has a hint of Dr.Brown's Creme Soda. As I smoke down the bowl every puff has a slightly different nuance of flavor. I always prefer a tobacco that has that "every puff is a little different" quality and this blend certainly has that. The room aroma is far less offensive to others than 759 and I don't get that light headed buzz from this either.

The tobacco comes vacuum sealed in a plastic pouch. It comes just a little more humid than is my taste and some of the ribbons must be broken down somewhat to get it to pack right, but this is easily done. Once dried a little and the ribbons shortened it lights and burns very well.

While this will never be my regular tobacco, it is nonetheless excellent and has a unique flavor that sets it apart from the average latakia blend.

This tobacco is available at from Switzerland. Like several other reviewers, my order arrived remarkably quickly. Their website has an extensive list of tobaccos many appearing to be quite unique. Check it out.


My initial review above was based on smoking Torina about 10 times. I subsequently set this aside for several months, in which time the tobacco dried out somewhat. This blend has a different character when it is on the dry side. It is almost like a different tobacco when it is dry. In a drier state, the tobacco is more Balkan tasting and burns particularly well. This truly is an excellent Balkan.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Elcid Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Elcid (16)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Being a new reviewer here, I was glad to see that Paul Booker beat me to the punch in being the first to review Torina. Whew, pressure's off! Anyway, this is the 3rd blend from Schurch I have tried, the others being Mogano and Onyx. (Love them both.)

In the pouch, Torina has a pleasant latakia aroma, not overpowering, with a little -- what? -- stewed fruit smell. It was a bit of a chore to pack, as there were plenty of big pieces of tan leaf to break up. While I usually like my tobacco a bit drier, Torina seems to smoke better right out of the pouch. Go figure.

The char light just explodes with tangy and creamy flavors -- very promising. The room note is terrific and my lovely wife voiced no displeasure. The creaminess stays fairly constant throughout the bowl. Sadly, that's about where it ends. Not much in the complexity department and it's maybe a bit tiresome toward the end. Recommended for a change of pace, but I'll stick with GL Pease's Odyssey as my stand-by Balkan mix.

Nobody has rated this review yet.