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A selection of choice Virginia, burley, Oriental, and latakia from Cyprus is carefully blended. The Virginia and burley tobacco supports the smokey note from the latakia, and the Oriental tobaccos add a slightly spicy dimension to the overall taste. A true English blend.

BrandMac Baren
Blended ByPer Jensen
Manufactured ByMac Baren
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsBurley, Kentucky, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
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3 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2218)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The very smoky, woody, earth, mildly sweet Cyprian latakia is the lead component, but not by a lot. The moderately spicy, woody, floral, earthy, dry and buttery sweet Orientals play an important support role with the sweetness and wood being just a little more prominent than the other aforementioned attributes. The nutty, earthy, woody, lightly cocoa-ish, lightly molasses sweet burley plays a step below the level of the Orientals. There seems to be more of the grassy, citrusy bright Virginia than the burley, but it is in a secondary position below the other tobaccos. The woody, earthy, lightly sweet and floral dark fired Kentucky is a condiment at best. The strength and taste thresholds sit squarely on the medium mark. The nicotine is a little closer to medium than it is to mild. Won’t bite or get harsh. Expertly blended, you’ll notice all very consistent flavor nuances from start to finish in virtually every puff. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a very pleasant, lightly lingering after taste. Can be an all day smoke.


21 people found this review helpful.

Dave da Dragon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dave da Dragon (3)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

One of the better Balkan mixtures I have had. Well balanced between the smokiness of the Latakia with the Oriental right behind it making for a well rounded smoke flavor with a richness not usually found. There is a citrus note and sweetness from the Virginia, but also a sweetness like brown sugar or molasses from the Burley, neither being forward but rounding out the back ground with a nuttiness and maybe a touch of cocoa. Smokes cool and not at all harsh or bitter like some Balken's are to me. Consistent through out the bowl but not monotonous with little variations here and there. All premium tobacco and it burns clean to the bottom of the bowl after a little drying. I can definitely see this going into my rotation and being an all day smoke, a really nice English that should improve a bit with some age, the tin I tasted was only a month old!!!

Pipe Used: Ashton 210

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: gift

Similar Blends: McClelland - Frog Morton on the Bayou (Craftsbury Series).

9 people found this review helpful.

oldermanpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldermanpipe (17)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

The most surprising thing about this blend is the fact that I am only the third person to review it here. That is truly strange, given that this is the latest addition to Mac Baren's estimable HH Series, and was assumed to be the successor to the highly and oft' reviewed Vintage Syrian. goes.

Like Vintage Syrian, Balkan Blend is lovely to look at in the tin, and even lovelier to smell. There is firm reason for that: the two look and smell exactly the same, presenting a melange of different-colored leaf, and an olfactory feast that will bring back the good old days for smokers of a certain age. But then you light it up.

I wish I could give Balkan Blend a glowing review, but America is all too plagued by "alternate facts" right now. So, here are the facts as I see them. This is at best a mediocre blend. Something seems to vanish between the tin and the pipe. That something is character. The blend has a flavor, but it is non-descript. The Oriental is there, and the Virginia, and, one supposes, some Dark Fired Kentucky. The Latakia seems to be MIA. In fact, Presbyterian Mixture, which many argue has no Latakia at all, has more Latakia presence than Balkan Blend.

The scuttlebutt on this is that Balkan Blend is Vintage Syrian, but with Cyprian weed. There seems to be some merit to that rumor. Even late in the game Vintage Syrian had an intrigue and body that are totally lacking here. Balkan Blend is better described as Balkan Bland.

Pipe Used: Baracchini Pot

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

4 people found this review helpful.