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The pipesmokers' "Nectar of the Gods." An excellent blending of the finest quality string cut Virginia with prime leaves of Syrian Latakia and mild full flavored Turkish tobacco. The mixture of these bland tobaccos in Our Best Blend gives the pip-smoker a delightfully cool and tasteful smoke which burns down to a completely dry ash. For the working hours or those relaxing moments at home, you will like Our Best Blend by Smokers' Haven.

BrandSmoker's Haven
Blended ByJ. F. Germain & Son
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutBroken Flake
Packaging8oz Tin
CountryUS
ProductionUnknown
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant

Favorite Of 5 Users

4.0
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Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (125)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I really hesitate to submit a recommendation on this tobacco for fear of having the same scarcity develop that Smokers Haven has with Exotique. It is always difficult for me to capture an English/Balkan blend without drifting into the usual use of smokey, woodsy, etc. I would describe this tobacco as similar in style to Margate, another of my favorites, which is not surprising since it is manufactured by Germain and Sons. In fact, it is very similar to Margate in all respects. But I like it better. I like my English/Balkan tobaccos to be smooth and spicy. OBB is exceptionally smooth, buttery smooth and, yet, spicy. The latakia is there to taste, but it does not overwhelm the other tobacco flavors. If you smoke OBB after smoking a heavy latakia blend, you will not pick up the oriental nuances in the blend. I would not smoke a bowl of Exotique and then a bowl of OBB. I would do it the other way around. This is heavier than Campanile, but the orientals shine through, and as I have said, it is smooth. I will not give up Margate or a few other English/Balkans I enjoy, but I will keep OBB handy at all times in the future. Most highly recommended. Paddy.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Appearance and tin Aroma: Yes, it looks and smells like a Balkan. Mostly dark leaf and a strong pungent odor from the plastic bag that is in the 8 oz. tin that it comes in. Surely, a good sign!

Packing and Lighting: The fine ribbon cut gave very little fuss. The moisture was perfect. 2-3 lights max. I did find that packing a little more tightly gave better results.

Initial Flavor: Delicious Balkan flavor. A wonderful interplay between the sweet and bitter elements from the get go.

Mid-Bowl: Delicious roundness of flavor. The leaves are constantly interplaying with each other. Sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter (in a good way), sometimes smoky.

Bottom of Bowl: This blend does not build up much strength, even in big pipes. That is OK with me. It Burns down to a dry mottled ash and you almost can smoke this all day without occluding your palate.

Overall: This is an outstanding Balkan. Is it my personal Arcadia? No, that title still belongs to Bohemian Scandal and Raven's Wing for me. In spite of that, this is a blend that I highly recommend to go along with the other great Balkans that are available today. Germain has done a great job paying tribute to Sobranie. Go get some now!

1 person found this review helpful.

AL Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AL (22)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Very Full Very Pleasant

This tobacco comes in what is termed an air tight can and has a pleasing appearance and aroma when the can is opened. The appearance is that of a well blended tobacco mix and the aroma is that of a mature tobacco somewhat musty from the Latakia.

When I purchased my first can I also bought a new Ashton 3x bent bulldog. The Ashton was to become a second pipe dedicated to Margate. But as I sampled Our Best Blend while at Smoker's Haven I knew at the end of a pipe full that this was a blend that I would enjoy a great deal even though my first sample had some cigar leaf added. So I bought one of the eight ounce cans. For the rest of the day I smoked this blend and found Our Best Blend to be a very rich Balkan mix unlike others that I frequently smoke.

As noted, this blend is a Balkan Sobranie style mixture. While at Smokers Haven Sailorman Jack had discussed this and while I can't recall smoking Sobranie, but probably have, this tobacco blend has successfully become my benchmark for a Balkan blend in my mind.

Balanced is a word I'd use to describe this blend. The Latakia and Turkish are in perfect quantity. There is no sharpness or bite from this blend from the Orientals and it can be smoked all day long. This is frequently my first and last smoke of the day. You will see what I'd call a medium cut of light brown to some full black tobacco when opening the can. There has been few stalks and the mix has been consistently blended and is at proper moisture at least to my way of thinking. East to pack, easy to light. My can is undated but my guess is that the blend I got has some age on it.

This is a complex smoke. Throughout the smoke there are tastes that I like in a blend. To me its a predominately butter and creme taste, a good thing to me, with an occasional hint of the Virginia tobacco which I hesitate to pin a word on. The Orientals are the surprise for me, I enjoy Oriental blends but there is a tartness to the Oriental blends that I smoke and I don't find this with Our Best Blend. I frequently lay down a pipe during a smoke, a lot of blends turn during a cool off, the taste shifts, not always for the better, not this one. The nicotine strength to me is about right, to me its a medium strength. Burns to a fine salt and peper ash. I find this to be a well balanced Balkan that is very rich in flavor and is quite satisfying. Others seem to enjoy the room note. The new Ashton became dedicated to Our Best Blend and the pipe has done well acquiring the flavor of this blend.

1 person found this review helpful.

stupergenius Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
stupergenius (2)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I got a chance to taste this at the Columbus, Ohio Smokers Haven, and wow what good stuff. Very highly reccomended. I've heard, from the people at the store, that the original blenders recipe, bought by Germain, is very close to Balkan Sobraine, and uses the same processing and blending techniques.

On to the tobacco, it is a fairly fine cut, with some longish strands. Smells very wonderful and has a very appetizing appearance, with the almost golden Virginias and the black Latakia.

Burn characteristics were very good, smoked cool, dry and down to a fine white powder, just as any good tobacco should.

A very tasty blend with plenty of complexity with the solid VAs in the background, the Turkish popping in and out between the VAs and latakias, and the excellently smooth and smokey latakias taking the center stage.

Overall, a very, very good Balkan that you really must try.

Also, if you prefer cakes, the Krumble Kake is supposedly the same mixture just pressed and cut.

1 person found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (513)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I somehow missed reviewing this blend as I have been fortunate to have a fair amount remaining in my cellar. Is it Smoker's Haven best blend? It is a tough call with Exotique in the lineup but it still is an excellent blend just the same. The long strands should be packed with care in order to be treated with the excellent smoke OBB delivers. It offers the usual smokey, leathery notes found in many English/Balkan blends, but it is a cut above some many others as it is very (for lack of a better adjective) “rich”. One reviewer called it “buttery” and I think that is the word along with creamy. The richness lasts throughout the bowl as the flavors continue to build. There are no rough edges with this one. I think I may be in the minority in that I enjoy this more than the pressed version of it, Krumble Kake. With the return of some of the Smoker's Haven Blends it appears that OBB and Krumble Kake will not likely be among them anytime soon so finding a stray ebay may be the only option. Highly Recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cmhpipesmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cmhpipesmoker (21)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

It's sure tough to write something else spectacular about this blend when everything has already been said in the previous reviews. The only trouble I have is in trying to classify this as a true English or a Balkan style blend. Its cousin, Exotique Mixture (in my opinion it is), is definitely a Balkan style. This is just a heavier version, concentrating more on the Latakia content.

Regardless of its classification, I love smoking this tobacco particularly in the afternoon where Exotique is more of an early moring smoke for me. The best components are there, the sweetness of Virginia, the musty latakia and the Turkish leaf, all in a perfect combination.

You can't go wrong with this one. However, I will say that it does go quickly, meaning the supply, and my only complaint is that it has become a bit pricey. However, with the supplies selling out so quickly, smokers are not shying away because of the price.

A definite recommend to any lover of English or Balkan blends. An easy four star rating.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CPT/VSG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CPT/VSG (70)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

First, a disclaimer: as a long-time Smoker's Haven customer, I am extremely loyal to all of their Germain-blended tobaccos, and Best Blend is my all-time favorite. I've been smoking it off and on since the 1970s. The current version (reinroduced in 2003) is essentially the same as the 1970s version (once Germain took over the blending from Sobranie).

Best Blend leans in the direction of an Oriental as the Syrian Latakia does not dominate. It is well-balanced, and smokes cool in a thin ribbon cut. I can smoke it all day and do.

The only drawback is in the marketing as, currently, only 8 ounce tins are available. That's no problem for me but I imagine some are dissuaded from committing to 8 ounces in order to try it. I understand that 2 ounce tins will happen in 2009.

In all, a rich, balanced English with a good room note. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Old Puffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old Puffer (42)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

10/10/08 - Got talked into this by all the reviewers here before me. A hearty thanks, again, guys!

This is, to me, a very elegant blend. Somewhat subdued as a Balkan but very tasty and easy to smoke. I can't fault it in any way. It has top grade tobaccos, perfectly cut and most expertly blended. I have only tried one 8oz. tin and can't seem to get another because the supplier seems to always be out. Am putting in a reserve order in hopes that the next tin is as good as the first. If it is, I will certainly be ordering more.

I see from one reviewer that this is a close sister to Margate. Am putting in an order for a bag of that in hopes that it is at least as good as OBB. If so, maybe I'll switch based upon the fact that OBB keeps going up in price and Margate is still quite affordable and available.

I recommend this baccy to anyone that likes English/Balkan and can't imagine how one could go wrong with it. One of my new favorites.

10/21/08 - Update Since there were prior reviews here mentioning a similarity of OBB to Margate, I have tried Margate and offer this:

My tastes are apparently not as sophisticated or fine tuned as others here because I could not find enough difference between this and Margate to hardly mention. Put side by side, the cuts were identical and the Margate was slightly blacker than OBB. In smoking, Margate tasted slightly mustier than OBB but they both present themselves with equal distinction in packing and smoking characteristics including after smoking leavings to the bowl. Both are equally satisfying but I think that OBB has a slight edge. At least, when OBB is so hard to get, which it frequently is, I now have an acceptable alternative.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe-arazzo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe-arazzo (71)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This one took me a while to learn how to work it. I got a tin of this at the Chicago show last year. I was a bit apprehensive about buying 8 oz. at a time, but the sales guy said I should just keep it in an airtight plastic bag and "it will be fine." That was true for up to 5 months, but this took me six months to finish and by the end the flavor was missing, though the aroma and burning qualities were still very good. Also, I would recommend you do NOT dry this out as much as you might think. It smokes very well even when seemingly too wet. Drying it out too much actually ruins the flavor as well.

This is very rich and satisfying english blend. I can swear there was some fruity topping on it, though I know some will burn me in effigy for saying so. I didn't mind it, as it was only an occasional presence and actually added interest. The star of this show was the Syrian latakia, which in my tin showed up in broken flakes. Putting a chunk of that flake on the top of the bowl resulted in an almost ecstatic experience.

I wish this came in smaller packages, but the amount of smoking enjoyment I got out of it was definitely proportional to the price. Well done again, Germain.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Big bad Jon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big bad Jon (232)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Where do you start with a tobacco called "our best blend", from a great tobacco manufacturer. Well to start it is one fine blend. The cut is very fine ribbon but also abnormally long. This makes for a very cool dry smoke that takes little or no maintenance. The pouch smells of leather and sweetness from the VA tobacco. Upon light you get a mellow taste of the Turkish tobacco and a hint of latakia. I think it is a great teaser for what is in store. As the bowl progressed the richness of the tobacco continued with the Orientals coming in and out of the picture every now and again. The smoke was silky smooth and extra rich in nuance. I think the first 5 or so bowls of this I noticed something new every time. The key to this one is balance nothing over powers the next, but nothing ever really seems to be lacking either. This is one of my best blends I stock.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (140)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I got a pouch sample of this on a recent visit to Smoker's Haven and could not be more pleased. Our Best Blend is a fine English blend which smells richly of Latakia and Virginia in the pouch. Once loaded it lit with ease and tasted wonderful.

The Latakia comes to the front and then the Virginia presents itself as a nice base. It was tasty throughout the entire bowl and I was soon craving a second bowlful. The closest match to this would be 965 by Dunhill, they do not taste exactly the same but they fill the same niche in the English lineup.

Highly Recommended

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dopealope Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dopealope (2)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

Well, this is my first review after hanging about for over a year. And the only reason I decided to actually join was to sing the praises of this wonderful blend.

I honestly didn't know what to expect when I ordered my first tin, given that many descriptions of tobacco blends seem so similar, always promising to transport me back to the glory days of pipe smoking. I was, unforturnately, not smoking a pipe, or probably even born, during that halcyon time, but if this blend is an example of it, it must have been a glorious age.

On opening the tin I smelt old leather, earth, and smoke: deep, rich, and aged. The cut is finely shredded, predominately black flecked with light brown strands. It's moist, but not too much so. It's easy to see that one could easily pack a pipe too densely with this mixture, so I went easy, lightly filling and gently packing. The pipe I used for this inaugural smoke was a Castello chubby billiard (#10).

After lighting it, all I could think was: WOW! The smoke was luxurious and the taste both complex and rich. But most of all, it was integrated. I smoked this first bowl, not really caring about the individual elements of the blend, but savoring the "wholeness" that the blend presents. Some blends, and many that I like, are beautiful because each element is present and discernable as a contributor to the smoking experience. But in this blend, the individual elements give themselves up to the greater good, and create a wonderfully harmonius smoke. True Gestalt. Or to put this in a less pedantic and flowery way: WOW!

I have been smoking this now for the past 5 days, and keep waiting to be disappointed. But each time, my excitement and pleasure are as intense as that first smoke. I find myself waiting for my evening bowl of this blend with keen anticipation, and it has yet to let me down. Who knows whether my enthusiasm will wane over time, but for now, smoking "Our Best Blend", I feel I am living in that golden, forgotten age.

WOW! Just WOW!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JGS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JGS (1)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I looked forward to receiving this blend. (In fact I called several times to check on my order). Based upon conversations with other ASP members, I thought that this might be something special.

Recently I have delved into the Latakia arena and sampled many blends. I would not call this a Balkan, but it is a rich, RICH English blend. Perhaps I am not used to what I understand is Syrian Latakia in this blend and so I would have expected a Balkan to be much more tart.

Three draws on the bowl and a sigh...I fired up the computer and ordered two more tins. This one hit my palate just right. Highly recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

All three blends that I have tried from Smoker`s Haven - Krumble Kake, Exotique and now Our Best Blend - have been richly satisfying. This ranks along with Margate and Odyssey in English/Balkan satisfaction. I wish it was more widely available.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mongo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mongo (10)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Smoker's Haven Our Best Blend is a well balanced blend of Virginias, Latakia, and Turkish. The cut on some (perhaps all) of the Virgina tobacco is very long and thin, with the Latakia and Turkish being cut as medium-length ribbons.

The tin aroma is what you'd expect from a Balkan blend...smokey, pungent, with odors redolent of smoky campfires, hay, plums, raisins, and a hint of chocolate. (These are just my impressions of the aroma...there are no toppings in this blend.)

The tobacco packs easily. I estimate the capacity of my pipe and get that much tobacco out of the tin. I then load it using the three layer technique (pressing each layer more strongly than the previous). I don't know if it would pack easily using the "shovel it in" method due to the long cut of the Virginias, but I expect it would not be too difficult.

Once packed, this blend takes two matches to light and rarely requires a relight. The charring light does cause the tobacco to rise up a bit more than some blends, but not so much as to endanger the rim of the bowl.

The initial flavor of the smoke is a wonderful mixture of all of the tobaccos. The Latakia smokiness is well balanced by the Virginia sweetness, with the Turkish adds a wonderful spicy note. For the first few minutes the tobaccos share the stage, but as the bowl progresses they move forward and back, into and out of the limelight. No tobacco ever truly overpowers the others, but at times the taste is somewhat smokier, sweeter or spicier. The complex dance that they perform continues throughout most of the bowl. The tobacco smokes drier than most, and requires only an occasional pipe cleaner. At the bottom, the initial mixed flavor makes a final return. There is no overpowering surge here, just the melding of the flavors first tasted when the bowl was started. The tobacco smokes to the bottom of the bowl, leaving behind a fine ash that contains both light and dark gray coloring.

I don't know if this is high praise or feint praise, but I always wish there was more tobacco in the bowl as I finish a pipeful of Our Best Blend. The experience is enthralling enough that I want it to continue no matter how much I've smoked.

Whether engaged in other pursuits or smoking a pipe as the primary activity, I find that Our Best Blend never disappoints me. If you've smoked a lot of Germain blends you'll recognize some of the flavors, but the balance of the tobaccos here is more perfect than any I've tried.

Our Best Blend is a wonderful all-day smoke, or a bowlful to look forward to as your day progresses. I have yet to find a pipe in which it disappoints, having smoked it in everything from a small (about group 2 size) Boswell freehand/prince up to a Castello 93 that easily swallows my entire thumb. Our Best Blend has done wonderfully in every pipe I've tried.

Whether puffing away mindlessly while attending to other pursuits, or savoring a bowl using the breath-smoking technique, the tobacco never bites, the Orientals never become overly spicy, and the Latakia never overwhelms the other flavors.

Our Best Blend is my favorite Balkan-style blend. It's a tobacco that I can recommend to anyone who enjoys well balanced English blends. There are many blends with a stronger Latakia flavor, there are blends in which the Orientals steal the show from the base tobaccos, but for me there is no more perfectly balanced tobacco. Our Best Blend reaches it's balance through the skillful blending of high quality tobaccos, which allows the various flavors to come forth or fade back as the bowl progresses.

Saying that a tobacco is "balanced" is sometimes interpreted as meaning the tobacco is boring. Our Best Blend never bores. With the ongoing interplay of the high quality tobaccos, the blend remains interesting and delicious throughout the bowl.

Four out of four stars, this is at the top of my "deserted island tobaccos" list.

(9 October 2009) As has been noted in at least one other review, the moisture level of this tobacco is critical. A while back, I lost my taste for this blend, or so I thought. It seemed to be bland and lifeless, quite the opposite of what I'd experienced previously. I put it on the shelf for a while, thinking that my tastes had changed. Thankfully I left it long enough that it became too dry to consider smoking. I rehydrated it, and after a few days I tried it again. Everything that I loved about this blend was back. It was the blend that I'd waxed rhapsodic about in my original review, lovely in every way. Suspecting that the moisture level had something to do with this, I dried a bit out and tried it. Bland, boring, and lifeless.

If you want to get the best from this blend, smoke it at or near the moisture level at which it's delivered. I recommend transferring the tobacco into glass jars when you open the tin, unless you plan to smoke all 8 oz. quickly.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (574)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've enjoyed this blend for 30 years and along with Exotique mixture Smokers' Haven has produced two of my favorite blends. The tin aroma is nice and smoky (not as heavy in Oriental as Exotique - a Balkan) but a very nice English; it smells of sweet VAs and Orientals with quite a lot of Syrian Latakia mixed in. The tobacco is string-cut, reddish in color with about 1/3 of dark leaf added in. The string cut easily packs in any of my pipes, though I especially like it in my larger briars. No bite to speak of with an excellent, sweet and smoky taste. The Orientals are more in the background while the Syrian Latakia and VAs seem to be slightly more dominate. The flavor develops nicely down through the bottom of the bowl and provides me with plenty of interest from start to finish; at the end of the bowl I don't find myself tired of it but look forward to my next. 10 Stars out of 10.

Nobody has rated this review yet.