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Syrian Latakia is prized for its unique, exotic frangrance. It
adds a magnificent, rich aromatic character to this mild, cool-smoking, elegant
Balkan Blend.

BrandMcClelland
Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeVirginia/Latakia
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutRibbon
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Strength
Mild
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Mild
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 1 Users

2.4
30 reviews
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4
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8
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (563)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Ribbon cut of mostly black with some mahogany thrown in. Delicate tin aroma of a bit of the typical McClellands aroma, some aromatic orientals and the herbaceous, kind of "incense-y" aroma of Syrian latakia, a condiment with which I'm really just now exploring. Easy to load but I did find that I had to relight fairly often, as I preferred the flavor of this one when it contained some decent moisture content.

It's unfortunate name aside - perhaps the reference to "full" in this case really means that it isn't a "partial" Balkan, whatever that may mean - this is a mild and mellow blend but with a rich depth of flavor. McClellands is masterful at creating such mixtures that are easy on the palate, yet have a burst of flavor that keeps the taste buds hopping. Royal Cajun Ebony is another case in point. The latakia here is not of the smoky, woodsy variety of its Cyprian cousin, but rather a lightly spicy flavor with a very mild peppery quality. It melds beautifully with the orientals. And this one shows that not all tobaccos should be sipped slowly, as various internet pundits dubiously insist. Plop this one in a thimble-sized Group 3 while pushing for a 2 hour smoke and you'll miss the point. I found this needs to cook at a somewhat higher temp in a large bowl for best effect.

Surprisingly excellent blend, and is in the running for Best Tobacco Discovery of 2014 for me. Obviously, more is headed to my cellar. I need to try more Syrian blends! Is this really a Balkan? Well, if you're the type to argue for days over whether a particular pipe shape is a Rhodesian or a Bulldog, feel free to concern yourself. I just think this is a great blend, misleading name or not.

Pipe Used: meerschaum and morta

Age When Smoked: 1 year

4 people found this review helpful.

tleek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tleek (51)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is an okay blend that i smoke on occasion. I have only gone through about a half a tin. I was expecting a very full flavor, based on the name, but it is in fact pretty mild. Does not really taste like a balkan blend very much to me, but more like a light english. It is decent, but like all McClelland tobaccos i find it hard to pack and keep lit. My first taste of Syrian latakia, and I have to admit i like that. It seems a little sweeter and less harsh than cyprian.

Overall, while it is not true to its name, it is still a decent tobacco but not a favorite by any means.

1 person found this review helpful.

Saluki Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Saluki (11)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

This is not a bad tobacco; however, there are many house blends that are at least as good and much cheaper. If it's Syrian Latakia you're looking for, try HH Vintage Syrian.

1 person found this review helpful.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (134)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I got bit with the Syrian bug after hearing so many rave reviews and near cries over some supposed fire, so this was the blend I chose, of the few available.

Either Syrian Latakia entirely lacks the basic smokey essence of its Cyprian cousin, or McClelland just doesn't use much of it here. The characteristics that I traditionally associate with Latakia are entirely absent, to the point of near frustration. I even failed to get that nicotine hit I hear is so common to the Syrian leaf. So take note--this is an extremely mild blend with an almost flat flavor.

The tin exhibited the classic McClelland smell of ketchup or vinegar, depending on your opinion, but was a bit subdued from one of their typical Virginias. There was also a pronounced bite, though nothing overwhelming to the point of dissatisfaction. Apart from that, my tin was surprisingly dry, with very little moisture.

Nothing remarkable here. I hope it was the blend and not the Syrian stuff that caught my dislike.

I'll stick to Nightcap, thanks.

1 person found this review helpful.

WillBrown Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillBrown (27)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

I had an up and down experience with this one—literally. The first half of the bowl was interesting, smokey, BBQ-y, the latakia played well with whatever else is in this. Then, something very odd happened. About half way through the bowl the flavor dropped out! The damnedest thing. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before. So, the best I can say for this 'baccy is that it was good up front, then, zippo! nada! One last observation, and pardon me if someone has stated this before, there is nothing particularly "Full" about this blend. I don't know where this comes from. I don't regret trying this one out—I'm aging the rest of the tin now, we'll see if that makes any difference down the line.

Cheers!

Pipe Used: Savinelli

Age When Smoked: ?

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Oldguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Oldguy (6)
★★★☆
Very Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant

I'm a big fan of English and Balkan-style blends. I bought this without having read the reviews. I read them before trying the blend, so I approached it with some trepidation. Here are my thoughts:

Tin aroma: McClelland

Is it a full Balkan? No way; it's far too light.

Is it even a Balkan? That depends on how far you want to stretch the definition.

Did I like it? Once I got past the conclusion that it is not a typical Balkan, I found myself enjoying a pleasant, rounded, intriguing flavor. Like the label says, it's a rich, mild, cool tobacco.

Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Just don't approach it expecting a Balkan experience or you will be disappointed, as many of the other reviewers were.

Would I buy it again? I think so. For sure, there are plenty of other good Balkans, and many blends with stronger taste, but this is a blend that I can enjoy year-round. It will warm you pleasantly on a cold winter night, but it is not too overbearing to smoke on a hot summer day. I agree with Scorpio2billion; for the best results choose a large bowl; pack it carefully and closely, but not too tight. Keep an open mind, savor it for what it is, and you just might agree that it's a nice occasional change of pace.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

whitebriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
whitebriar (29)
★★★☆
Extremely Mild Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

7-15-11 UPDATE

i am thinking a little more highly of this blend now--taking it for what it is, a very mild balkan, it isn't all that bad--i can now find the latakia--it's a blend i now enjoy as a last pipe before retiring--raise the rating from 2 to 2 1/2 stars--

8-8-11 UPDATE SFB grows on me as i continue smoking several tins--going to upgrade to 3 stars ______________________________ i always hesitate to rate something 'not recommended' -- this one comes close--for me there was no flavor and it smoked a bit warm, although no bite has been noted---what flavor i did get was faintly reminiscent of burning electrical circuitry--

the weed burner was my dependable old bent briar which is dedicated to all latakia blends--(i could detect no latakia in this blend)- - said pipe is a large capacity bent billiard which delivers a pretty honest survey of all latakia tobaccos--

it must be noted that i am basically a burley smoker, so one must keep that in mind while considering this review-- having said that, i keep an English/Balkan "leavings" jar (or dump jar depending upon your choice of phrase) that produces a much more enjoyable smoke--

Nobody has rated this review yet.

scorpio2billion Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
scorpio2billion (9)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I think that if everyone would just try Full Balkan in a larger bowl, and pack a little tighter, a whole new tobacco would emerge for them! I first tried it in a little Savinelli billiard, and had much the same experience as most on here- unimpressed and in disbelief that McClelland would make such a flavorless blend. Then I got out my big (for me) Peterson 01, packed it snug, and voila! There was the richness and smokiness I was looking for. Keep in mind that the Syrian Latakia is more subtle than the Cyprian we're all used to, and I wish the Orientals were more abundant. This isn't Penzance. This is a little more contemplative, a little less knock-your-socks-off. I'd be interested in knowing if this works for anyone else! If it doesn't, I'll eat my own foot. And part of someone elses.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Baggins Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Baggins (7)
★★☆☆
Very Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

There's something interesting and beguiling about the tin aroma; you would expect a stronger flavor, but alas the smoke is too cool. I like cool smokes, don't get me wrong, but this was too cool. Fortunately, I had an old tin of Esoterica's Margate on hand, I blended them together...Presto! Amazing smoke! I highly recommend blending the two.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (120)
★☆☆☆
Extremely Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

The only thing strong about this tobacco is the ketchup smell. Light and bland. Disappointing tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bent-1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bent-1 (32)
★★☆☆
Extremely Mild Very Mild Mild Tolerable

There's some fine tobacco's in this blend, but in it's current mixture, it's just plain boring. A sweet VA taste dominates the blend, and the Syrian is nice, but it's missing something. I almost wish there was some burley mixed into the blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

82piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
82piper (7)
★☆☆☆
Extremely Mild Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco has no flavor at all. I've never smoked a sheet of typing paper, but I think the two would have a lot in common.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Demetri Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Demetri (100)
★★☆☆
Very Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I must echo what most of these earlier reviews state. This blend seems misnamed. It's not bad...it's not extraordinarily good either. Still, I have consumed over half a tin in three days, which must mean something. Mostly I've smoked this as a first bowl of day thing...a sort of "wake up the palate". Additional comments: I would not hesitate to recommend this light blend to new pipe smokers who come to pipeworld from cigarettes. It's so light that an accidental or intentional inhalation will not bring on a choking fit. And, my wife says it reminds her of incense in church. I thought she was mistaken until I left room and returned twenty minutes later and then detected the aroma she did.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Big bad Jon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big bad Jon (232)
★★☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend is in the my favorite category of tobaccos, Balkan, well sort of. While the name Full Balkan is on the tin, the blend is just barely a notch up from Rose of Latakia. The taste of this blend is slightly above average and given the predominate sweet Virginia taste this blend Balkan would not be the name I would give to this tobacco. There is also a subtle Oriental taste and barely a Latakia note. What Latakia is present is absolutely top shelf, but underwhelming to my taste buds. Tin note is slightly sweet, not smokey, and the typical McClelland vinegar. The burn is good, no tongue bite. The white ash at the bottom of the bowl is what you would expect out of a high quality blend. The big issue here is the lack of Latakia and Oriental assertiveness for a blend named Full Balkan.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

wosbald Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wosbald (111)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Strong

The tin aroma medium-cut, medium ribbon is dominated by the tang of syrian latakia and the spice of orientals. The unique McC VA tang is barely noticable.

This is loaded with mild and subdued orientals, fragrant and sophisticated, along with copious amounts of fine syrian leaf. The matured VAs, red and dark stoved, quietly provide backup.

This is a very agreeable and satisfying balkan, albeit a bit gentle on that scale. This went well in a chamber of any gauge.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Muddy River Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Muddy River (7)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

As a balkan fan, I must say I was a little disappointed in this one. It was okay. There is no need to buy this when there are several other great balkans out there.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

oldmanpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldmanpipe (62)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Though it would be unfair to say that McClelland's with a Latakia blend is like a whore with a baby (they just don't know what to do with it), it would not be wholly unjustified. Their specialties are Virginias, though not Virginias I care to smoke.

The Syrian Latakia is first-rate, but it will require a better nose than mine to sniff it when the tin is opened. That vile ketchup odor that is McClelland's dubious charm is all I can detect. My only advice is to ignore the smell as best you can, load a pipe, and fire it up.

For those unaccustomed to Syrian Latakia, do not expect the smoky, dry burst of its Cyprian cousin. Take your time to enjoy Syrian's subtle, wine-like taste, its delicate, ever-deepening flavor and aroma. Smoke this slowly, and you will get a hint of Syrian Latakia's now-gone magic. Though very old Balkan recepies call for far-less Latakia than we are used to today (because of Syrian's high nicotine content) the application here is too light to be called a Balkan in any sense of the word. This is more like Christmas Cheer (pick a year) with a smidge of Syrian thrown in, along with a dollop of McClelland's blending Turkish wafted over it.

If one is so fortunate to find a can of GL Pease's Bohemian Scandal...GRAB IT! You will have a far pleasanter experience. If you have to make the choice between McClelland's Syrian Full Balkan and their Super Balkan...Full Balkan is the one to pick.

Recommended simply because it is just about the only TRUE Syrian Latakia blend still reasonably available.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
★★☆☆
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

My second try into the McClelland Syrian blends has been a lower success than the first (Rose of Latakia). This one is a less classic English Mixture, with a definite sour taste that could suggest the presence of Perique, though not declared by the brand. As other testers already said, the leaf is top quality, it's just a pity it is so light: the "Full Balkan" label suggested a stronger experience.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JazzSmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JazzSmoke (37)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Another blend that I wanted to like because of it's Syrian tobacco. However, after nearly finishing a 50g tin of this I could no longer deal with the bizarre sweet/sour additives. The last few bowls went into the trash. It's a shame because the syrian tobacco is very nice and incense like. The cut and quality of the tobacco is good. I smoke mostly blends by LJ Peretti's, Hearth and Home, Rattray's, and do because they are natural and clean tasting. The difference between those blends and this one is remarkable. I taste that McClelland's sourness the next morning and it is awful.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★☆☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

Flat as a pancake. McClelland's Syrian Full Balkan is all fizzle and no sizzle. I don't think it's a Balkan either.

My tin of broad cut leaf was more dry than moist, and it is a mellow and rather cool burning smoke. It is not unique though and tastes similar to numerous other blends of this ilk.

If there is a McClelland's Syrian Light Balkan, I'll take a pass.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jackhackett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jackhackett (76)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

My review for SFB will not deviate too far from previous entries; it is quality leaf and a smart blend, but, for my personal taste, either the quality of the latakia makes it somewhat weak in flavor or the quantity of latakia is too low, or possibly both.

In other words, the radio is on the right station, but the volume is too low to be able to dance to it.

Other than that, what is here is a nice blend that provides a unique VA/Lat flavor. The leaf is quality, the components are well-married, and though I won't smoke it too often, I will purchase more of this blend to keep on hand.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Meerschaum Man Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Meerschaum Man (85)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This has quickly become one of my go-to blends for flavor and enjoyment. I don't have to stay attentive for subtle nuances anymore than I would have to strain to become engrossed in low down jazz in a gin joint on New Year's eve. The multicolored flecks of tobac glisten in a display of tan, orange, yellow and muted dark leaf while the tangy bouquet makes promises of shameless indulgence. Sometimes, it gets my pipe talking with a soft gurgle and I like it. This is passion evoked from it's primal slumber with no pretense for proper conventions. Nothing is held back. Yes, I've been with others whose charms held me captive but not quite so willingly. From start to finish, a real memory maker. If you miss this... pity. In the symphony of tobacco blends, this is the horn section gone native.

Meerschaum Man Smoking a CAO Dunhill Man Pasha Meer

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Akin to Rose of Latakia. This one has a nice subtle complexity that got me through a whole tin. Of the three advertised "Syrian" blends, this one afforded the most flavor and smokiness.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (297)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

The tobacco has a wild cut and burns very well, with no excess moisture. It is a delicate English mixture, definitely not full and absolutely not a Balkan (that name is heresy for such a tobacco, as is the "full"). The taste of Syrian latakia is quite evident, though applied in a very subtle way. It's a better blend than most of McClelland's Cyprian latakia offerings, but frankly I find it quite flat. Good, mind you, but it doesn't have that extra layer of complexity and flavor of the equally delicate but more interesting Rose of Latakia. Yes, this is very similar to Rose of Latakia, but not as fruity and sweet. I am happy to have tried a tin, but I doubt I will buy another, as there are several more interesting tobaccos out there. The Syrian leaf is top quality, though.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Professor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Professor (67)
★★★☆
Very Mild Medium to Strong Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

McClelland's Syrian Full Balkan is a charming and relaxing treat. The look of this weed is a pleasant spectrum of colours from black to tan (without one colour standing out from the other) and the tin's aroma is sweet like holiday pudding. This stuff packed and lit quite well. I noted sweet overtones and woody undertones in puffing. I have never been much for woody characteristics in tobacco and this is the only downfall here. If fact, Syrian Full Balkan burned very dry and made me reach for a glass of water (I would have preferred scotch and water but I was driving on the M5 and, with only one hand free, could not open the bottle). In my last review, discussing Butera's Royal Vintage Latakia No. 1, I neglected to note the orange-flavour that occasionally entered my buds. With this, I found that a taste of tinned sardines was an odd nuance. Citrus? Fish? Perhaps I am going a bit daft. I tell you, nevertheless, that flavour of tinned sardines is hidden in Syrian Full Balkan and occasionally jumps out like the whale from the waters of McClelland's logo. Syrian Full Balkan is extremely mild but not without flavour--worth a try and perhaps it is also something to keep in the cellar when fish and chips calls from the pub. Just stay away from the mushy peas. And be certain that you have something to drink for the cottonmouth that will undoubtedly occur.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Feb. 2005 update: This has really "just medium" taste, as it just reaches the medium flavor threshold. There is plenty of flavor, just not a symphony or wild-Balkan rhapsody

The Orientals and Virginia leaf are really more prominent here, but the Latakia is certainly no shirker. I think the name leads Latakia lunatics to expect Latakia apparitions to float from the bowls of their pipes.

It is simply not full and rich like Caravan, Odyssey, Balkan Sasieni, or even as deep tasting as McClelland's own bulk Balkan (which can be a little oily or sooty, though nice for the price).

It is not Pirate Kake or Old Ironsides in terms of Latakia. It is an all-day Balkan with lively Virginia and Oriental leaf. Where this will land in the elusive Balkan Hall of Fame competition, time will tell. It is worth your attention.

_______

SFB burns to pure white ash and can be smoked throughout the day without penalty. SFB delivers clouds of smoke and demands exhaling through the nose. It is so satisfying that one bowl is enough, even hours after it has been consumed. Smokes very cool and dry.

The first third of a bowl is a lively interplay between the Virginia, Oriental and Latakia. There is lots of flavor from the beginning.

The mid-way point has the Latakia and Oriental taking turns charming you. The Virginia leaf moves to the rear seat. The Syrian leaf is herbaceous, smoky, and nutty. The Oriental contribution is manageably tangy and for moments a plastic-type odor comes and goes.

The last third to the end is more spicy, tangy and rich than at any point in the smoke. Never mercilessly sharp or sooty, this nonetheless gets close to edgy. I like it.

While lacking the familiar "ketchup" smell associated with McClelland Virginias, it has an unmistakable McClelland tang when whiffing the contents of the tin. McClelland flue-cured leaf is just amazingly special and delicious.

The lack of a heavy, Latakia smokiness in the tin aroma betrays the smoking properties SFB exhibits. There is more Latakia here than is found in most medium English blends.

This is easy to load, keep lit and enjoy outdoors as well as indoors. SFB is in the upper echelon of pipe tobacco blends in terms of quality, enjoyment and blending expertise.

Go for Penzance, Da Vinci, Mississippi Mud or Bow-Legged Bear if you desire Latakia dominance. Get King Charles, Margate, Red Rapparee, Durbar, Aperitif, and Crown Achievement if you want Orientals up front and controlling. My Mixture 965, Early Morning Pipe, Squadron Leader, Renaissance (though it is pretty nicely balanced), and Dorisco keep the Virginia varietals in charge.

Hello, McClelland: How about 8 oz. tins?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

More Syrian than Rose of Latakia, which in this case is not a good thing. It came too moist and burned hot even after letting it dry out. Not good stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Thatcher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Thatcher (58)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

When Frog Morton Across the Pond came out, it joined British Woods as my favorite McClelland blend. Now there is a new member at the top of the hierarchy. Syrian Full Balkan is a very nice, smooth, blend; unusually complex for a McClelland mixture. In some ways it seems to combine my two previous favorites. One could describe it as British Woods made with the Syrian latakia of the new Frog, or as Frog Across the Pond made with the orientals of British Woods and sans the black cav sweetness. Either way, it is a nice concoction. Not too moist, and the Worcestershire smell is minimal. A wonderful blend that can be smoked any time of day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

01-11-2005 An OK Syrian Blend.

Appearance and Tin Aroma: Medium Dark to Black ribbon some lighter leaf, but not much. This one was a surprise to me in that it did not smell as rich as the other syrian blends by the same belding house.

Packing and Lighting: Very easy with moisture perfect out of the tin (uncommon for MCC) 2-3 lights max.

Initial Flavor: Too light, the Syrian is to muted IMO

Mid-Bowl: Not much increase in flavor or complexity. Is my pipe lit?

Bottom of Bowl: Yes, my pipe was lit, but the flavor was not enough for this piper.

Overall: This blend may be a good intro to a classic style light Balkan, but that is about it. My favorite from MCC in the Syrian series is still Frog Morton across the pond. That blend IMO captures the sublime Syrian Latakia best. This blend just was too bland for my palate.

Rating: 3 out of 5 points.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

AL Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AL (22)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Being a fan of Latakia, Orientals, and the Balkan blends I thought I?d have to give this stuff a try.

I am by no means an expert on tobacco but here goes with the impressions of this Balkan. On opening the tin I found the tobacco to be at a good moisture content. The freshly opened tin had a vegetal smell to me that remained as the tobacco was used up. The tobacco is mostly brown, going from light brown to a very dark brown not quite full black. This tin only had a few strands that were close to a full black. The quality of the tobacco was excellent, there were no stiff pieces of veins or those teeny little sticks that you sometimes find, no dust, no oils, nothing gooey. The tobacco is somewhat springy but easy enough to pack. To me a fine ribbon cut tobacco is easy to pack but you need to be a careful, it should also be easy to draw when packed properly. While this tobacco does have an easy enough draw for the ribbon cut, its not quite as easy as others I have smoked. With every bowl that was smoked, I used two lights which is not unusual for me. Once the second light was made the tobacco stayed lit long enough for me to enjoy. The tobacco was smoked in both briar and in meers. As usual, the couple of pipes I have that always smoke better than the others played right along and made the tobacco the best it could be. I did find that a tall bowled Peterson System pipe did this tobacco some good, making for a longer smoke where the taste would build a little better at about the three quarter mark.

With most of a tin of the Syrian Full Balkan gone I have to ask where is the full part. This is to me a very mild form of a Balkan. But then they say mild on the tin so it is, as advertised. The ads also say rich aromatic character, but no one who was around me found this tobacco to be aromatic at all. Not topping aromatic or tobacco aromatic. My wife said that the tobacco aroma was noticeably lighter than other tobaccos I smoke. I enjoy the whiffs of smoke from the top of the bowl and get my greatest smoking sensation from them. It was hard to catch a really good whiff from this stuff to make you think what a great tobacco.

So far as taste goes I did not find this blend to have much taste for a Balkan, maybe the next tin needs to have some age on it prior to smoking. I found this tobacco to be about the same from top of the bowl all the way to the bottom with most pipes, very mild, enjoyable enough, but not my idea of a Full Balkan. Absolutly no bite, and the bowl temperature especially in the meers was noticably less than other tobacco. This tobacco burned surprisingly cool.

Balkans should have some zing, my perception is there isn?t much. To me, everything is muted. I found that there was little nicotine hit from this tobacco blend. This would in my humble opinion be a good tobacco for someone looking to try a non-aromatic. I?ll buy a few more tins and celler them for a while for the change of pace every now and then some time in the future. Maybe a year or two in the dark will bring this stuff to life for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.