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A mixture of Virginias, Oriental tobaccos and Syrian latakia. A hearty blend which is easy on the tongue.

Notes: Sometimes referred to simply as "Gold Label."

Blended ByR.L. Will
Manufactured ByKohlhase & Kopp
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
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Favorite Of 1 Users

49 reviews
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RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Many have compared this to Sobranie (which I have never smoked) and if this is a replica of it, I am glad this is available. This is a sleeper of an "English" blend. Visually, this blend is a beauty. There is partially-rubbed Virginia flake, Syrian Latakia and Turkish ribbons in abundance. The tin aroma is delicious, forget the pipe! Let's start chewing! Just kidding, of course. Moisture is perfect, packing is easy, let's go! Upon lighting you taste the mature virginia with the Syrian Latakia coming in about the second or third puff. About mid-bowl, you get a delicious flavor that has it all: sweet, smoky, bottom, highs, etc.. This is right there with Margate IMO with the difference being this has Syrian vs. Margate's Cyprian Latakia. Bottom of the bowl builds strength that is just right and ends with a fine, dry, grey ash. While this blend is not as full as my beloved "Balkan" blends, when in the mood for an English, this will be in my top 5. Rating 5 out of 5 points, a true Reformer Blend, Enjoy...

8 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Motoyoshi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Motoyoshi (68)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I was very excited to try this for many reasons: Solani makes high quality products, the usage of Syrian Latakia and it was considered to be a "tribute" to Sobranie.

Moisture level of the tin is very good. With just a little drying I think you could pack it with just 5 minutes of patience. The ribbon cut is very uniform and there weren't many stems or stalks in it. Every Solani tobacco has been up to this par (I guess that's why they cost a bit more, huh). I don't know if it's the Syrian Latakia or what, but this just smells like a Balkan Blend to my nose when taking a whiff of the tin.

I would go ahead and say that if you're looking for a heavier fuller flavored English, this is probably not going to be enough for you. If you want a Latakia bomb, check out Star of the East Flake or even a G.L. Pease blend like Odyssey.

This blend has a very mild yet consistent variety of flavors. The VAs are there but they just kind of support the Orientals and the Latakia. The interplay between the former two is what makes this blend interesting. Some puffs and you're getting the fragrant Turkish and behind it comes the Syrian Lat. What's nice about this blend is that it's just like they advertise it, easy on the tongue. This tobacco can be an all day smoke because it doesn't leave your mouth raw like some Lat bombs do. It's a nice smooth smoke that some may find boring, but I would call it refreshingly consistent and smooth.

I know the components are different and this is considered an "English" blend, but Peter Stokebbye's Balkan Supreme and this are very similar. Both of them, in some circles, are compared to the infamous Balkan Sobranie.

My one complain with Solani is that they don't sell in bulk and you're always paying for their quality tobacco, plus the price of the tin : (

Age When Smoked: 3

Similar Blends: Peter Stokkebye - Balkan Supreme.

6 people found this review helpful.

Matsutake Slayer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Matsutake Slayer (8)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

After a decade away from piping, I returned on a pilgrimage to find my own, personal Holy Grail blend. Within a few months I've accumulated 25 tins of various English, Oriental and Balkan blends, mostly aged 5-20 years. Upon lighting my first bowl of this tin (2002 vintage) I knew instantly that I had found what I was searching for. The skies opened, the veil parted, and I was instantly transported to a hallowed space where I found myself communing with my ancestors, all of us gathered around a smoldering hearth in quiet fellowship. Successive bowls have been equally transcendant.

If this magical tobacco has not been similarly spectacular for you, then I heartily encourage you to set it aside for me, and I will happily trade you a tin of Margate, Charing Cross, Balkan Sasieni or others from my collection as you continue your quest for the key that unlocks the Hall of your ancestors.

Pipe Used: Large bowled ugly briars

Age When Smoked: 15 yrs

Purchased From: A gift from Valhalla

Similar Blends: There is nothing else quite like this, though New Balkan Sobranie is faintly similar (minus the transcedant trip to the Hall of my forbears.).

2 people found this review helpful.

fireball Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fireball (36)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Delicious. Leaves a coating of cloves on my lips, I could smoke this at any time of day, including first thing. A mild-ish but flavoursome English, not as punchy as MM965, but far more flavour than any Rattray's I've tried, for example.

Was a little moist in the tin at first, but smokes very smooth and easily, it has intriguing, complex, subtle flavours that make me crave it.

Contains Vitamin N and is well behaved when tamping out and relighting an hour later - never bitter. I can imagine stocking up on this.

2 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is absolutely the smoothest latakia blend I have ever smoked. That may be an overbaked statement for this tobacco, but it's true. In fact, I found that I could puff a little more vigorously than I usually do and not make this stuff bite or go bitter. Doing so actually brought out some additional flavors, although it did rough up the smoothness a little.

I like the term "English Luxury Mixture" because that's a good description of how I felt while smoking this. It's very luxurious and relaxing. Sometimes I found myself craving a little more flavor and robustness but then I have other blends to satisfy those needs. This one I think I'll keep around as a blend to kick back with and relax. It doesn't call much attention to itself - just a nice, smooth light latakia and oriental blend. Recommended for those who wear smoking jackets - it just seems to fit the profile. :)

2 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1643)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Solani - 779: English Luxury Mixture.

Although there's plenty of glowing reviews it doesn't particularly suit me.

The moisture of my tin raises no issue. Happily, for my evening bowl last night, I could smoke it without waiting.

The Virginia and Latakia only 'season' the smoke. The Orientals take responsibility for the majority of the flavour. It's these which cause the problem: too caustic, acerbic and sharp. I want a lot more Latakia smokiness in an English, but this only has a very soft touch of Lat'. The Virginia gives the usual sweetness, but because of the Orientals causing pandemonium, get little recognition. It burns well, with no bite from the smoke.

Nicotine: medium. Room-note: tolerable to strong.

Unfortunately I'll only award 779 one star:

Not recommended.

Pipe Used: A few

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (492)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Solani is expensive and there is a reason for that. They make great tobaccos! While all of their blends may not be four star ringers, all those I have tried have at least merited 3. This one is a 4 star blend all the way and is one of the finest lat (English) blends I have tried.

Fantastically balanced proportions on the standard English lineup of ingredients. None of those ingredients hog the limelight. You will not get overwhelmed with Latakia, but you will know it is there. Unlike many lat blends, this could be smoked all day. The same can be said about the orientals. The Virginias are sweet and smooth and taste like they may have a decent amount age to them.

There is not really a whole lot more I can say about it, but I loved every bowl of it I had.

1 person found this review helpful.

Knightsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Knightsmoker (137)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This is one of the best med. bodied lat. blends that I have tried. The orientals are a little sweet and slightly bitter. The VA's are sweet a little nutty (I think this is from the VA's). The Lat. is there, not a bomb but a nice quantity that allows the smoky, mustiness to come through and not over power the VA's or the orientals. Yet, the sum is greater than its parts. At 1 yr. it is very balanced and each of the varieties of tobacco come together in harmony that many lat. blends reach after a few years in the cellar. For this reason I think it would reach its peak in about 3-5 yrs, just my opinion; however, I will be picking up several tins to test this theory. A great blend well worth the price.

Age When Smoked: 1 yr.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Another english blend, another blend that someone find similar to the myth (Balkan Sobranie). Another brand which is lacking enough orientals to make it any special. Another blend with excellent latakia and blended carefully, perfectly lighting up. Not so strong, not so mild. But not memorable. Simply, too many other blends around are all very similar each other. This is not any special.

Pipe Used: savinelli champagne

Age When Smoked: 2 y

Purchased From: Dubini, CH

Similar Blends: many, many other english blends..

1 person found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Let me first say that my experience with #779 is based on a full tin from 2005 so it will have had some changes over the years. Solani makes some high quality blends IMO so I jumped on the chance to sample an aged tin of #779. At first light, #779 was off to a great start, offering smoky, musty and slightly sweet flavors. Unfortunately as each bowl progressed, the flavor for me went downhill. As result, I messed around with this tin for nearly a year before getting through it. The Syrian does add a nice component, but not enough to overcome the overall flavor. I think there is a casing added that while not dominate, made for a poor smoking experience and for me that was the difference. I can see why it seems to be a love or hate blend for folks, I find myself in the latter group so there won’t be a second tin in my future.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

After opening my tin of Solani 779 and loading up and lighting my pipe, it didn't take so long to figure out why most of our esteemed reviewers here enjoyed it. This is good stuff!

The smell in the tin is deep, dark and musty (in fact, the odor was much darker and compelling than the visual of the blend itself which was rather light.) The moisture content was perfect and the leaf needed just a very short whirl in my one speed food processor to be perfect for packing.

The latakia won't hit you like a sledgehammer but it won't feather slap your palate either. This is just a nice, bitter sweet and musty Latakia blend that stays lit well and burns evenly down to nothing but a fine gray ash. Highly recommended!

1 person found this review helpful.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

Just the fact that the tin resembles the Balkan 759 one can be considered quite offensive. The blend itself is an abuse to the word "English mixture". Syrian latakia? Sure, but after a bleach treatment. It burns too hot and the taste lasts for a few puffs, then disappears making place to a sour taste. Not for me.

1 person found this review helpful.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

I won't downgrade this blend because I don't smoke it every day. I am going easy on the English-type blends these days so I can better appreciate all the teriffic Virginnia Flake types. I find that if you smoke any English (Latakia, Perique, or Oriental) before the lighter, sweeter types you can't savor the milder tobaccos as well. When I get back into the English types, this will most likely be right up there with 965, Presbyterian, Squadron Leader, Pelican, Blackpoint, and many others. Among all the fine English blends the 779 does stand out as somewhat unique. I also agree that moisture content has a good deal to do with the enjoyment of this and many other tobacco mixtures. I smoked some Dunhill Med. English that had become quite dry a while back and it became quite acrid due to faster burning. Since it burns faster, the percieved strength is much greater. I will go along with a 9 out of 10 rating. The only real downside is many good competitors and a bit hard to find compared to Dunhill, C&D, G.L. Pease, and McClelland.

1 person found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

No way this can be considered an homage to Balkan Sobranie 759... The name would suggest so, and the colors on the tin too: Solani should be tortured for such a shameless trick!

This is an OK medium-light English blend, plesant but not memorable. I have never bought I tin but I was offered a bowl in several occasion: it never struck me as flavorful or complex enough to make me wish for a whole 50g...

1 person found this review helpful.

archéologue Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
archéologue (5)
Mild None Detected Medium Strong

This is a fine English blend. But, the Orientals seem to take over and at times, since they tend to be crisp and spicy, a slight tongue bite may happen. Nicotine level is low and the tobacco burns well but it might require a couple of lightings. The tobacco out of the tin is on the dry side. Don't leave it too much exposed to the air.

Pipe Used: Peterson churchwarden

Age When Smoked: new

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Rob73 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rob73 (77)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Maybebecause of two unfortunate tins, but 779 is more a Cavendish-based tobacco: almost no Latakia and poor Orientals and Virginia. The same "cardboard taste" i felt in some recent tins of Early Morning and 965. I don't know if I'll try these mixtures again. 2,5/5 in my personal rating system.

Purchased From: Dubini, Chiasso (Switzerland)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Swiss-smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Swiss-smoker (62)
Mild Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

A light and faint English mixture. Moisture in tin is ok for me, some may prefer to allow a short drying time. Very good stuffing, lighting and smoking conditions. My palate detects some moderate casing (sweetness, among others) what I generally dislike. All developing tobacco flavours are quite pleasant and harmonious, but far too weak and faint for my personal taste. No aftertaste at all.

This mixture does not dig deep in any way. It’s a superficial everyday/anytime smoke. I would only recommend this mixture to beginners, to smokers in transition from other blend types into the world of English mixtures, and to a heavy smoker that has a pipe in his mouth all day long.

Age When Smoked: New, out of the tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

The Latakia is a bit weak but adequate. The Virginias are a bit weak but adequate. The Orientals are exceedingly sharp. If you can make it to the 3/4 point the sharpness rounds off and it becomes a decent smoke. The problem I have with that is I paid for the whole bowl, not just the last one quarter. Not recommended.

Pipe Used: MM General

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Vladlon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Vladlon (6)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Very Pleasant

One of the best tobaccos I've ever sampled. All components are fused in incredible sense of perfection. You not feel it one by one , you not smoke this,you drink the the taste.It's very well balanced mixture. Just don't be a rush - a taste is gone as you speeding up....

Nobody has rated this review yet.

don1688 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
don1688 (27)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

This has to be scented. Can't put my finger on what it is, but I've smelled it in another tobacco before. When first opening the tin, I wasn't sure I liked the smell. But now that it's been opened a week or so, it's actually very nice. Maybe just sugar, but I can't describe. But, definatly not just Syrian Latakia, Va and oriental weeds.

Onto the smoking. This is a moderate English in my opinion and the leaf is of high quality. If you are wanting a full, smoky Cyprian type blend you are going to find this flat. If you would like a blend that allows the Va and orientals to let themselves be known, and like Syrians lighter and spicy quality I think you'll like this one. But, don't get me wrong, you can taste Syrian in all its beauty just not a sledgehammer. I find the Latakia more prevalent in the mid-bowl phase to be more precise. But this is fine, very flavorful weed that will be in my cellar always.

Why three instead of four stars? I think McClelland's "Three Oaks Syrian" has this one beat and what I will judge all Syrian blends against. I'll keep this around because the taste/scent is different enough to make this Syrian blend unique. Recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (187)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

Again an old tin to clear off the cabinet.

It came about '98/'99. The friend who brought me from Switzerland said: "this is the continuation of Balkan Sobranie no 759 which is no longer produced". Oh yes, the tin shows the famous picture (not the wording Balkan which is nowadays so abused...) but the contents is visually something of the like of Standard Mixture Mild and the tin aroma also reflects a mild english mixture.

I don't know how long it will take to smoke the remainder, approximately 2/3 of the tin, not if I even will finish or throw it into the garbage (or may I bake it?)

It smokes hot and wet, bites the tongue, and poorly delivers anything worth to smoke.

I will have still a couple of bowls more, but I'm just feeling this is not for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stacey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stacey (40)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Updated on 4/21/08

I recently opened a new tin of this and immediately smoked a bowl and at first was dismayed - I couldn't taste the Syrian. I thought the quality was down hill. It tasted like an orange that had no sugar content. I was so dismayed that I wrote Steve Monjure and asked if the blend had changed. He said it hadn't. Then, out of curiosity, I tried it again and it was better. I noticed it had dried a bit, hmmm, Thag's got an idea forming in his head. I dried it for almost a day and this stuff was back to sublime! It was just amazing, the stuff was too wet. That is a first for me, because usually I find that a dry tobacco loses it's flavor. Not so with this one. This stuff is now my hands down favorite and I prefer it a bit over Balkan Sobranie. It's that good!

Original Review Follows

Picked this up at the pipe shop and was pleasantly suprised by this one. Smoked three bowls in a row and each one tasted great and competed well with the other guys smoking cigars. This packs, lights and smokes easily. No re-lighting necessary at all and it gives up big puffs of fairly dense smoke most of the way. Burns fairly quickly and tastes great. Most tobaccos I taste one day and not the next. It's hard to imagine that I would ever not taste this one. I'm not sure if the extra kick is from the orientals or not but this one seems loaded with Syrian to me, a good thing indeed. At least it seems to have more than the HH Vintage Syrian that I have on hand now. I like that one too but this is definitely the stronger of the two and that earns it an extra star in my book. In short, this smoke is mesmerizing and just flat awesome!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dubinthedam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dubinthedam (133)
Medium Mild Very Full Pleasant

I am a novice to english blends, but I have to say this a top quality baccy, period, english, mild or not, the fruity (apple/apicote sauce) and edible qualities just goes so well with the latakia in this blend. I find it almost amazing that it works so well. The fruitiness begins to fade at the end leaving a lovely slightly bitter sweet latakia. Top marks, this will be a favorite for a long, long time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

stoic066 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
stoic066 (7)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

It is a fantastic tobacco!

I love virginia tobaccos but cannot smoke them regularly because they rough up my tongue. This one has great virginia and just enough other tobaccos to smooth it out.

779 is my number one blend at the moment although the quest for a holly grail of pipe tobaccos is not over yet.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kbosi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kbosi (15)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a great blend that will only get better with age. Very smooth English blend.

01/25/206- Opened a tin that I had celled since January 2004. Well I was right . 2 Yrs. age on it and it tasted great.

Nobody has rated this review yet.