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This full strength blend consists of the best Virginia grades with various Oriental tobaccos, 10% dark fired Kentucky leaf and over 40% latakia with a pinch of perique.

BrandDan Tobacco
Blended ByDan Tobacco
Manufactured ByDan Tobacco
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsKentucky, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin, 100 grams tin, 250 grams bulk
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
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Medium to Strong
None Detected
Room Note
Tolerable to Strong

Favorite Of 11 Users

77 reviews
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kilted1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kilted1 (43)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

A Friend of mine turned me on to Bill Bailey's Balkan several years ago. I would disagree with those who say it's NOT a Balkan, what I would say is it's not your typical Balkan. I'd describe this as an Americanized Balkan (if there is such a thing). It is full on the palate, yet surprisingly mild.

Appearance: Upon very close inspection I can detect at least 5 different hues of leaf in this mixture Red Virginias are in abundance, tan Kentucky darker browns of Oriental and Perique with nearly jet black Latakia. The cut is a somewhat varied rough ribbon cut.

Tin aroma: This is a complex mixture, the Virginias are evident, with rich earthy tones and under-currents of fig/raisin and cocoa. The smoky Cyprian Latakia makes the main statement, complex and enticing, plenty of smokiness with underlying astringent tones of bergamot and sandalwood. Just under the surface I detect the Orientals giving the mixture?dryness? and lending even greater depth to the mélange of flavors. Kentucky gives this a nutty quality not very common in Balkans, but a welcome departure from the ?norm.? Finally, we have a touch of Perique lending it's Louisiana ?pepper? to the range of flavor. Mostly the Perique plays an enhancing role here, it does not become a distinct part of the mixture.

This tobacco is nearly perfect in moisture and I employed the ?once like a baby, once like a lady, finally like a gentleman? method of layered packing. I have chosen a Molina Apple which is dedicated to Balkan mixtures and pre-smoked with several bowls of BBB to rid the pipe of other mixtures.

Lighting usually is a single match affair, and with a friendly ?lighting tamp? I am well on my way to a rich satisfying smoking experience. As expected, the initial flavor is very smoky with an astringent (very gently so) quality I?ve come to expect from Orientals. Latakia and Orientals tend to live ?nasally? for me, so I often employ the ?French curve? method of inhaling the slipstream smoke. The Virginias and Perique set a firm background and foundation on which the Latakia and Orientals build, the Kentucky chiming in steadily with a soft nutty quality. This blend slowly builds in flavors and complexity with each puff.

Mid Bowl: Approaching mid-bowl, the fullness tends to build and the flavors gaining intensity in unison. The initial strength of the Latakia is slowly giving way to other components, the Orientals slowly numbing (not at all in a bad way) my soft pallet and nasal regions. The Virginia comes through a bit more assertively from time to time with rich fruity and sweet tones, the Perique seemingly is there to lend character and fill in the few gaps. At times I'm reminded of C&D's Easy Times while smoking this. Finally, the Kentucky drones on with a richness, keeping the mixture cool and soft. Toward the middle of the bowl this blend levels off, the complexity fades slightly and the flavors become muted. This is not a bad thing really, it's actually a nice change, allowing one to relax and not concentrate as much. It slowly evolves into what I call ?auto-pilot? smoking.

Home Stretch: As end of the bowl approaches, I?m fully relaxed, a satisfied silly smile on my face. The fullness and character of this blend really come into their own during this final stretch. The Virginias have deepened to a wine like goodness and the Latakia and Oriental has widened yielding leather and forest tones. Bill Bailey's Balkan starts out with bold and complex statements, builds in complexity and richness, fading slightly in the final half of the bowl, with a rich somewhat muted finish. There are disctinct cigar-like qualities especially late in the bowl. While some might feel Kentucky is out of place in a Balkan, to me it feels right at home, a nice change of pace smoke indeed. As for any hint of tongue bite, forget it, this is almost like smoking refrigerant, a very cool and well behaved mixture.

While not up to the standard of GLP, C&D and a few others, Bill Bailey's Balkan is still an excellent and satisfying blend in all regards. When purchased in bulk, it is a fine value as well.

Supplemental Notes: This mixture fits nicely within my top ten favorite Balkan mixtures. Rating for those interested in numbers *

17 people found this review helpful.

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

I really like the Orientals used in this blend. Very nice. They're fairly well balanced with the Latakia making for some very tasty lead elements. The Kentucky may be slightly overdone, in my opinion. It seems to mask the Virginias and the Perique to a small extent. That's my only complaint though. This is a solid blend that I find enjoyable to smoke. The quality of the Orientals ensures this blend a place in my cellar. 3+ stars.

Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman

Age When Smoked: 2 months

Purchased From:

15 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2152)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Lots of smokey, woody sweet Cyprian latakia makes it the star component of this blend. The Virginia is citrusy and lightly hay-like, and is mildly supported by the tangy, nutty, woody Kentucky. The spice from the dark fired Kentucky is light. The perique is more raisins and figs than it is spicy, and mainly lurks in the background. There are some sour notes and a slight floralness from the woody, smoky dry Orientals that contrast well with the other flavors in a light support role. The nic-hit is mild to medium. Burns clean and cool at a moderate pace with a smooth and consistent rich flavor; no dull or harsh spots. Won't bite. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste and stronger, pungent room note. Not an all day smoke. Three and a half stars.

13 people found this review helpful.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (145)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Picking through a tin of Bill Bailey's Balkan Blend, you'll find long, thin strands of tobacco, densely packed and taken together with a conservative level of moisture. Water will not weigh this one down, and upon light, the smoke pushes volumes into the air as a consequence.

The Oriental component that defines Bill Bailey's Balkan is amazing. I'm guessing it's not simply Smyrna, in my experience a brownish leaf with a relatively tame kick. Instead, this stuff bites the nose with a fierce tickle, immediately registering a hard shot of spice. Whatever it is, the suspect leaf is a bright green color, and its distinct taste puts the blend in very different territory than some of the other options on the market.

Balkans are usually light, nicotine wise, due to the mild nature of the Turkish and Latakia components. But Bill Bailey's Balkan compensates with the addition of Kentucky, and a bit of Perique, adding a backbone that is seriously lacking in other Balkans. To purists, these components are heresy, but by such narrow measures there could be no advance in creating novel mixtures. Rather, this blend demonstrates how genres can modulate into unknown domains and foster new expectations.

I say everything here is very well done, and I give Bill Bailey's Balkan my highest regards.

10 people found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (263)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

After my last visit to Dan Tobacco's facilities, I took along a large tin of this blend. I have no idea what the previous few reviewers have smoked, but it can't be this blend.

Opening the tin, both the Latakia and the Orientals are well noticeable. Moisture content is perfect out of the tin, so stuff, light and puff.

The taste is sweet and smoky, with a hint of Turkish Delight in it, and a peppery note from the Perique in the background; creamy taste from the Latakia. Not much to say, really; this is what I would call a great blend. I had the chance to directly compare with Erinmore Balkan Mixture, and BBBB won hands down. Burns coolly down to a voluminous, light grey ash, no dottle.

My next order will be a bulk package.

Similar Blends: Dan Tobacco - London Blend No. 1000, Dunhill - Standard Mixture Full, Dan Tobacco - Old Ironsides (American History Mixtures).

9 people found this review helpful.

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

This tobacco has all of the components of a classic "Balkan" blend (and some extra goodies.) So, I reckon I'll break the tie and call it an enhanced Balkan Blend, and a pretty good one at that.

Typical of many Balkans, this one starts out with heavier waves of Latakia and then settles down into a subtle spicy smoke as the Orientals kick in. I think there is additional spice here as Perique can be detected, although deep in the background of every puff until the bottom of the bowl is reached.

If you enjoy Balkan tobaccos, I do think you'll enjoy this offering from Bill Bailey (whoever the heck that is.)

8 people found this review helpful.

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

In the tin, Bill Baily’s Balkan smells mainly smoky, and campfire-like scent of Latakia with little else. I was pleased to see that the moisture content is pipe ready. The tobacco is ribbon and the Turkish is easily distinguished. In the pipe, the hefty dose of Latakia is in the lead role, but slightly less than I expected. The Virginia’s add a little sweetness and I detect some extremely mild topping that adds a slight fruitiness. The Turkish/Oriental is a little musty in a good way. BBB offer’s up a moderate amount of spice too. It’s full in flavor and about medium in strength. It burns dry and offers no bite, although the spiciness will increase if pushed (almost sharp). For me, the Perique shows itself more in the way of pepper than fruit. The Kentucky adds the backbone and strength to the blend. Considering the amount of Latakia in BBB, there is still a bit of complexity. This wouldn’t be a rotation maker for me, but should be quite pleasing to Latakia lovers that enjoy a little strength and spice to their blends.

Age When Smoked: 4 years

7 people found this review helpful.

beaupipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beaupipe (102)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Strong

Bill Bailey's Balkan Blend was the first I ever smoked with the word “Balkan” in the title. I remember being quite proud of myself for having smoked something that invoked one of the world's most notorious teeter-totter regions. Since those heady days I've smoked plenty of other tobaccos with the word “Balkan” proudly displayed, including stars like Balkan Sobranie No. 759, Balkan Sasieni, Balkan Flake, GLP's sublime Charing Cross, and numerous others.

And since those days, I've given up entirely on trying to figure out what constitutes a Balkan blend as opposed to an English, Scottish, or Oriental. Are there differences in kind? Degree? I find I genuinely don't care about nomenclature anymore. I just want a good smoke. And BBBB is just that.

In the tin, BBBB is a ribbon cut mix of beige, brown and black with a nose dominated by the sappy, plumy, wood-fire scents of Latakia. The cut allows for an easy pack and consistent burn with impressive volumes of rich smoke. I'm not certain if it's true, but I'm inclined to believe that at least some of the components of the blend have been sweetened up a little. I'm not complaining about that, because this smoky-sweet style of Continental Latakia-mixture is perfect for a late evening smoke on a cool night.

BBBB isn't the most complex “Balkan” on the market, despite the reputed presence of Dark Fired Kentucky and Perique. But with a little age (the batch I'm smoking now was jarred a little over 2 years ago) it's a very enjoyable, robust, and generous treat.

7 people found this review helpful.

panduji68 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
panduji68 (28)
Medium None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I had to purchase a pound of this blend in bulk after a good friend gave me an ounce to try out. Not an every day smoke for me, but one that beckons my pipe several times a week. Musty and sour like a ripe cheese, balanced with a slight sweetness, spiciness, and very faint floral note. It tastes like it smells in my mason jar. I suspect this one will age in spectacular fashion. Medium on the nicotine content, very full flavored and complex. Probably not for the beginner pipe smoker. This is one of those blends that REALLY makes you want to smoke it on occasion. It has actually made my mouth water when thinking about packing a bowl of it. It's that good. My wife likes the room note, but she is pretty tolerant. I'd say it's not going to make people run away, but definitely not an aromatic aroma. An absolutely solid 4 stars on this one. Nicely done DAN Tobacco!

Pipe Used: Too many to mention

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

6 people found this review helpful.

soteria Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
soteria (6)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Syrian Latakia is by far the best component tobacco I've tasted in my four years of smoking a pipe. The bad news for all of us who appreciate this fine leaf is that it's out of production. It will not be back anytime soon and in reality, probably never again in our lifetimes. The good news is that a lot of it was stockpiled by a handful of blenders so there's still some excellent blends out there that showcase it. I've been on a mission to try as many blends that contain it, and stockpile my favorites for the future.

Bill Bailey Balkan Blends (BBBB) is remarkably similar to Mac Baren HH Vintage Syrian, right down to the Dark FIred Kentucky the both contain. I would say what sets this blend apart is the Perique that HHVS lacks. Perique heavy blends don't normally sit well with me, and that was the trepidation I had when I pondered trying BBBB. Luckily, this blend contains the perfect amount for me. It gives it a unique spiciness and piquancy I don't get with HHVS.

The other difference I noticed is that this blend is less sweet than HHVS. I don't know if Mac Baren chose sweeter Virginias or if they contain a topping but in general, I detect very little sweetness in BBBB.

The Syrian Latakia tastes very similar to the Syrian I've smoked in HHVS and the McClelland Syrian blends. BBBB is very fragrant and tasty, and has a good deal of body. It's medium-light on the nicotine scale. In the tin I've smoked, I have not experienced any tongue bite.

This is very good tobacco and I plan on buying a one pound bag of it now that I've enjoyed a 50 gm tin.

Pipe Used: T Cristiano rhodesian briar

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

Similar Blends: HH Vintage Syrian.

5 people found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (203)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a rich, full and satisfying mixture. In terms of the components, Bill Bailey’s Balkan is one of those everything but the kitchen sink kind of blends. One look and it’s plain to see that there’s a wide variety of leaf in this. It pretty much runs the entire tobacco color spectrum.

While not as nuanced or balanced as other blends in its class, whatever modish elegancy Bill Bailey’s Balkan is missing it more than makes up for it in good old fashioned, deep, rich, bold, woodsy flavor girth. Frankly the most complicated thing about this blend is trying to dissect all the small flavors that make up the big huge one. That said, every so often I’ll run into a blend that has what I like to call a tight or unified flavor profile. For instance, Penzance and Beck’s Ol’ Limey Bastard are two such blends. Well Bill Bailey’s is another blend that I would put in this category even though it’s not as exquisite.

Altogether, this is still a superb smoke and one that I find to be immensely enjoyable. Sure, it’s a bit rugged and somewhat ruff around the edges but it’s also chewy, piquant and loaded with flavor. Furthermore, it makes for a perfect fireside winter's night, after dinner smoke.

Pipe Used: Briar

Age When Smoked: 2

5 people found this review helpful.

DenizBeck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DenizBeck (259)
Medium None Detected Full Very Strong

An outstandingly good blend to me! Albeit I'm not a big fan of Dan Pipes (DTM) house blends (always too heavy casings, lotsof flavourings on supposedly natural tobaccos and too many generic blends) this one rang the right bells for me instantly!

Lovely Orientals in it, from beige to green-ish, which dominate the look of the coarse cut ribbons with the black tobaccos (Latakia, dark fired Kentucky and Perique) in the 2nd lead.

Tin-note is lovely. Smoky, woodsy, earthy and somewhat ethereal. In the pipe the Orientals play the lead as well with a broad variety of flavours. From woodsy to nutty, from sour to sweet, always ethereal and dry. The combination Latakia and dark fired Kentucky creates an unique, characterful smokiness and spice, with lots of earth and wood. The Perique seasons in the background and isn't too much noticeable,so are the Virginias which I supposeonly balanceout the blend with minor(!) sweetness.

Orientals and the dark fireds (Latakia & Kentucky) harmonize excellently and create a most pleasant aroma with depth, complexity and charme and are slightly seasoned by some peppery Perique.

Strenght is upper half of Medium, you mayconsider this an All-Day-Smoke if you like some bolder tobaccos. Room Note? I quote my girl "why does it smell of old socks in here?!" - and she very rarely comments on a room note so it must be aweful! But...oh my.. it's about the taste not the scent, right?;-)

4/4 stars for me, this is an Oriental-forward blend with all of the components in just the right proportions.

Pipe Used: Clays, Cobs, Briars

Age When Smoked: tin from 11/2017

4 people found this review helpful.

JinxJar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JinxJar (6)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

It's funny how people taste things differently. As a matter of fact, depending on my mood and what I've had to eat or drink, things taste differently to me on occasion. With that said, this is one of my favorite tobaccos. It's an everyday smoke for me. It is not overpowering, not too strong at all, to tell the truth. It is not a "Lat Bomb" to me, and quite complex. I love the room note, unlike most people. It smokes slow, cool, and dry for me. I would highly recommend this to Balkan and English fans. I let it age a few weeks before smoking, but it can be smoked fresh (to me it's a little strong straight from the jar so I let it air out for 10-15 minutes).

Pipe Used: Peterson XL23

Age When Smoked: 30-60 days

Purchased From:

4 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1627)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

Dan Tobacco - Bill Bailey's Balkan Blend.

The Latakia dominates the tin-note, smoky and lovely! A high proportion of the ribbons are very long in build, and the blend includes an even quantity of each colour. The tin has a lot of depth to it and I'd assumed this is to allow some breathing room for BBBB, but when I de-capped the tin it was brimmed with tobacco. Tobacco that had a great hydration.

The smoke is mostly Latakia, Orientals, and Kentucky, the Virginia and Perique may as well be absent from the description, I wouldn't notice the difference! The Latakia's the stronger of the three headline tobaccos but is given a brilliantly flavoursome support by the Orientals and Kentucky. The Kentucky doesn't taste 'over-cured', I can easily recognise a Burley nuttiness, as well as some fired notes. The burn from it's efficient, maybe too efficient, it can go quite fast! But the smoke's cool and free from tongue bite.

Nicotine: above medium. Room-note: I quite like it, albeit, other folks in the room may want to exit asap!

Bill Bailey's Balkan? Four stars:

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Atinok Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: Five months

Purchased From:

4 people found this review helpful.

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

I can't recommend this tobacco highly enough. Truly excellent. I had smoked Balkan Sobranie from 1964 until it was discontinued (remember that little opener in the lid), and this is my replacement. There are notes in it that are the same as Sobranie that I haven't found in any other Balkan blend. They include a resin note from the lat and a toasted pecan hint. I've been told that the 2 oz. can is better than the 4 oz. If so perhaps there is it something in the processing as well as the blend. Some of the other reviews puzzle me but as they say, concerning tastes it cannot be argued.

4 people found this review helpful.

KahveDelisi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KahveDelisi (52)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Perique, Kentucky, Latakia, Turkish, Virginia combo sounds like tobacco soup, tastes like tobacco delight. Unexpectedly sweet and savory, though you still get hit by various spices every now and then, it is full of surprises throughout the bowl. Definitely adventurous and one of my long time favorites. Sadly I don't have access to this particular tobacco and majority of DTM offerings anymore.

Pipe Used: Various

Similar Blends: Dunhill Nightcap.

3 people found this review helpful.

Old German puffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old German puffer (106)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

When I am in Germany I always pick up a large order of this tobacco. I love that right out of the tin it is ready it smoke. Nice cut let's it ever so easy fall into my pipe. I smoke this three to four times a week. It is not harsh or external strong at all. Lights very well and stays lit with little effort. In all at $6.00 a tin you can not go wrong.

Pipe Used: Dunhill, Peterson, Savinelli, Comoy

Age When Smoked: fresh tin

Purchased From: Mannheim Germany

Similar Blends: STAR OF THE EAST.

3 people found this review helpful.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

This is a very different Balkan. It has the most unusual flavor I have ever had the privilege of tasting.This is actually a bready, yeasty,tangy,and slightly sour blend. There is so much going on all at once it is hard to keep track of what you are experiencing at the moment.The Latakia used is Syrian without question. They say 40% Latakia. Fear not!If this were Cyprian Latakia it would be nothing more than a smoky Latakia dump. This however is Syrian and has a rich deep taste to it without overpowering the entire blend.There is an interesting balance and flavor interaction between the Latakia, Orientals, and Burley. The Perique only pokes its head out occasionally for a little tang and zap of spice. This smoking experience was similar to taking a very expensive and delicious "Pulled Pork Sandwich" and smoking it in your pipe! I know that sounds odd, but it is true.It is kind of a cross in flavor between McClelland's Oriental # 14 and Cornell and Diehl's Pirate Kake. The treatment is definitely European implying there is a slightly higher nicotine level. It however, is not overpowering at all. I think this is one of the better European tobaccos I've had in a very long time. I'd purchase it again. 3.5 of 4 Balkan Stars!

3 people found this review helpful.

pmonroeb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pmonroeb (92)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

Latakia overkill. Not much subtlety here. The latakia used is a very smoky variety. The tobacco packed and burned well. I recommend this only to those that love their latakia stong and smoky. Curiously, I found this to be a good mixing tobacco because of its smoky quality. I put a pinch of this into several different blends that needed a little oomph and found it worked well for that. I had a tin of Old Ironsides on hand as I was smoking this tin and found it to be more satisfying as strong latakia slices go.

3 people found this review helpful.

RoundTwo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RoundTwo (38)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Full of flavor this is a beauty to look at and to smoke. Ribbon cut with Kentucky so it smokes nice. Anyone who likes Balkan and Kentucky should just absolutely love this. You would be hard-pressed to find anything exactly like this. it is straightforward and honest with quality tobaccos.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Iwan Ries

2 people found this review helpful.

Geronimo Von Klaus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Geronimo Von Klaus (76)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Bit of a concoction, but one that works.

Got a huge bag of it for what must have been an admin error on a site (less than $10 for 16oz) and have had it chilling out in a mason jar at the back of my cupboard for a long while completely forgotten about.

Smoked a big bowl of it in a nosewarmer with a deep bowl.

Open up to some sweet latakia with instantly a very nice taste to the palate. Nothing bitter about it. It was a very dry bowl and crackled a little during packing, but lit and charred easy.

Nothing much going on for a long while but decent latakia, and then the orientals came through with a hint of spicy perique in the background. Stayed like this most of the way through needing some occasional tamps to keep it going which was surprising as it was so dry, and then into the final 3rd the latakia really took a back seat to the orientals and perique.

Didnt detect much of anything else.

Good stock balkan with a fairly heavy nic hit. I just finished and needed a sweetened iced tea to stop my head spinning a little.

Could do a lot worse, and depending on the price you get it for could be a real steal.

Pipe Used: XXL Nosewarmer Custom Poker

Age When Smoked: 2 years

2 people found this review helpful.

Thorre Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Thorre (27)
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

I bought an 8 ounce bag of BBBB. I put it in mason jars, and aged it for a year. Last week I cracked the seal. Man, is this some flavorful tobacco. I don't know why, but one jar was drier than the other. The drier one smoked better. I bought BBBB because I love Balkans, but this one is different than the others. It has a deep, rich, nuttie, buttery goodness, with a small nip. The deeper into the bowl the more the flavors release. Also you get billows of smooth white smoke. The other Balkans I have smoked have more of a leathery, peat taste, which I also like. BBBB is in a category of its own. A slow, very cool burning blend.If smoked in a large pipe prepare yourself for about 2 hours of pleasure. With a pretty good kick of N. As far as being rich, full, and heavy on the Latakia, BBBB is for me a good replacement for Nightcap, which was my favorite tobacco.

2 people found this review helpful.

oldmanpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldmanpipe (62)
Very Strong None Detected Extra Full Strong

Bill Bailey's is for the Latakia junkie, not the Balkan connoisseur. As a cautinon: DO NOT SMOKE THIS ON AN EMPTY STOMACH OR AFTER TOO MANY AFTER-DINNER SINGLE MALT SCOTCHES!

There is nothing bad about this blend; it is full and tasty, and for a Cyprian Latakia fix it will do fine. Dan has done a commendable job of replicating John Cotton's Smyrna Blend. Unfortunately--for me--that is a "bridge too far."

For a far-more-refined Balkan blend, I would recommend GLPease's Abingdon or Odyesey...or, if one is so fortunate, the REAL...I mean 35-year+-old...Balkan Sobranie. After the 2-oz. size went to the flat tins, the tobacco went thin and watery. The real McCoy was thick, rich, and oily.

For a full Balkan blend, one could do far worse than Bill Bailey's...but one could (at a reasonable price) do better.

Update 12/2/2006

Like the REAL Rattray's Red Rapparee and Dunhill's Nightcap, Bill Bailey's Balkan reveals a more companionable presence in a Meerschaum pipe. A Calabash would probably do more to trim the rough edges off this over-the-top mixture. Make no mistake, this is a blend to be addressed with caution and respect, unless your constitution is far stronger than mine.

Anyone fortunate to have smoked the authentic (pre-1976) Balkan Sobranie or John Cotton's Smyrna will reccognize that Bill Bailey's is NOT a British-style Balkan blend, but a Teutonic interpretation. The Dark-fired Kentucky is there to add body and nicotine, not flavor. This was once common practice in American/English blends...Iwan Ries's Canadian Plug comes to mind...and where the Kentucky was missing, cigar leaf was added.

As to the Virginias...they're present, as required, though undistinquished. For that finesse, you still need Greg Pease. Bill Bailey's is a great Latakia and nicotine fix; not subtle, but satisfying.

2 people found this review helpful.

Paul Tatum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paul Tatum (86)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

A good full english blend , though much like a lot of other english latakia blends on the market . Good , but not memorable .

2 people found this review helpful.

SmokingHawk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokingHawk (24)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A very good tobacco from Dan tin note is Latakia dominant cut is coarse ribbon cut with dark and reddish color. Fills bowl easily latakia plays center stage role with smokey and incense like orientals and Kentucky bodied it and that pinch of perique really pinches occasionally when you retrohale. Highly recommended English forward blend.

Pipe Used: Good Briar pipe

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: Germany

Similar Blends: Dunhill Nightcap.

1 person found this review helpful.

L'Italiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
L'Italiano (167)
Mild None Detected Full Very Strong

Too much Latakia in this mixture (40% declared) and too little Virginia (30 – 35% maximum). It is practically impossible to taste the Perique and the Orientals. Difficult to taste the Kentucky. Really I do not appreciate this blend. There is no equilibrium. Latakia is too strong (in taste I mean) and the others tobaccos too weak. Not a great taste. Monothematic, with too little nuances. Again, in my opinion, too weak is also the nicotine content. So, for all these reasons, in my personal rating system (from 1 to 10) my score is 4 and only one star.

1 person found this review helpful.

gjMichelob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gjMichelob (6)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

As I write this review, I am enjoying yet another bowl of this wonderful blend. This tin has aged 10 years. However, unlike Virginia tobacco, in my experience Latakia blends are not susceptible to any significant improvement over time. I find it quite dry, but redolent of pungent orientals and latakia. Taste and aftertaste are quite faithful to such distinctive scent.

Those who like me incline English and Balkan blends, will find this savory, fragrant, pleasant and remarkably easy to smoke. It is as rich as Balkan Sasieni but definitely more complex, harmoniously weaving together the distinctive flavors of Latakia, Orientals and Virginia, each enhancing the characteristics of the others, as a proper blend should.

The obvious need to sip slowly applies to every pipe-bowl, and this tobacco is no exception. Nic is mild to medium. A hint of moisture and white to gray ash sign off a very satisfying smoke.

I would propose it would work well to break-in a new pipe, and wholeheartedly recommend it to both the consummate expert and the novice.

Pipe Used: Peterson Craftsman Febr. 2016 (n.106) Sandblast

Age When Smoked: 10 yr old tin

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Balkan Sasieni.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Excellent Orientals and Latakia, predominant as it should be in a balkan mixture. There is also Kentucky which to me is always a little bit risky - for example I don't like it in G. L. Pease Key Largo - but in this case it add more body, intensity and strentgh. 4,5/5 in my personal rating system.

Purchased From: Noli, Milano (Italy)

1 person found this review helpful.

Cumarinophil Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cumarinophil (105)
Mild None Detected Full Overwhelming

Bill Bailey’s Balkan Blend is a very tasty and full, smoky-sweet Balkan experience. I am rather sensitive when it comes to strength, but this one is creamy and smooth.

The taste starts out smoky with the Latakia dominating, then Orientals and Perique start to come through more and more. I wasn’t able to taste Kentucky directly, but it sure plays a role in developing more body as you go along.

Overall it feels more like an American than European interpretation of a Balkan Blend to me. Downsides are in fact aftertaste and room note, therefore only somewhat recommended.

Pipe Used: Various with and without filter

Age When Smoked: fresh

1 person found this review helpful.

bigterr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigterr (21)
Strong Strong Overwhelming Extra Strong

A friend of mine will rarely even try a sample of any other tobacco he is so enamored by BBBB. He generously gifted me a tin and continously inquired as to how did I like it. Normally I never open a tin until it has been cellared at least a year, but I gave in to opening this after only a month (he can be very persistent). It was POWERFUL!!! Actually a little overwhelming and not what I had expected. Some reviews here have stated the Latakia is Syrian and perhaps it is, but it was nowhere as smooth as other blends which clearly indicate their Latakia to be Syrian (e.g., Balkan by Brebbia, Syrian Latakia Blend by Mclintock). I cannot say this will make my regular rotation, but perhaps I simply need to smoke this in a smaller pipe like a Dunhill Group 2S or my similar sized Castello (I'll update following a couple of bowls in those) instead of in my Brigham pot. All in all it came a bit damp in the tin but 20-30 min of dry time for a bowls worth solves that. It burned slow for its cut leaving no wet dottle at the bottom of the bowl but the flavour profile remained consistent so if you want a true Latakia bomb this would be it as the orientals and the virginia played a very backseat role throughout the smoke. This leads me to wonder if another factor may be the lack of aging so I'm going to wait at least three months before my next sampling. Given the 1.76 oz tin price at $25 here in Canada (mostly damn taxes which they then tax a further 13% HST at the till!!!) I think I will be smoking the Balkan by Brebbia (the best price here at $22). Another blend which has a similar strength profile but a more balanced taste profile would be OLB by B&B in Ashville NC.

Pipe Used: Brigham pot, MM Legend,Castello Old Antaquari pot

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From: Was a gift but you can order it from P&C online

Similar Blends: Balkan by Brebbia, Syrian Latakia Blend by McLintock, Old Limey Bastard by B&B in Ashville or at 4 Noggins online.

1 person found this review helpful.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (136)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

A bit of a muddled combination at first, that delivers a medium to full body and strength. Floral notes move in and out as you work through the bowl, with a hint of Ennerdale-type bergamot now and again. Very complex, even when sipped. Goes surprisingly well with Bigelow Constant Comment Green Tea. Fullness and complexity intensify upon retrohale. A woody, resinous flavor pokes it head out at mid-bowl. Intriguing combinations of flavors, including a chocolate note at times. Amazing what can be delivered from a plant leaf! Burns clean and easy. Enjoyable when moderately packed in a small-bowled Willmer Lightweight. 4* uniqueness.

Pipe Used: Willmer Lightweight 35+ years old.

Age When Smoked: Undated tin recently purchased.

Purchased From: Smokes on Burdick, Kalamazoo, MI

1 person found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1281)
Very Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

So I popped a tin of Bill Baily's Balkan Blend, very dry in the tin. Not so dry it cant be smoked, actually probably the perfect level for a Balkan, just never had a tin come so dry that it was at the perfect level for this type of mixture. Tin aroma was not as strongly of latakia as I expected, a little musty from the Orientals. This tobacco packed well and lit readily. My first sensation was a little mouth bite, not so much from heat, but more from the agents in the tobacco...perhaps the Kentucky? Perique? The bowl settled down some and though I could not detect as much latakia in the tin aroma, I certainly could in the smoke....WOW...LAT BOMB! The description of this blend is 40% latakia and now I believe it. I had to control myself from smoking too quickly, but no worries, I was forced to slow down since this is some strong stuff and my stomach was getting a little upset. I slowed down for the second half of the bowl, after the first part of the bowl tasting mostly of latakia and perique. I detect little in the way of Orientals, save some mild floral and musty flavor toward the end of the bowl. When inspecting the aroma, my nose stings and sinuses produce a little fluid, I blow my nose and continue. The last part of this bowl seems to be more of the same, Lat and Per, the Virginias are supporting the smoke, I'm sure, but not in any salient manner.

I finish the bowl and though I am a little nauseated, I feel very "full" from this strong smoke. I think this blend is too Latakia loaded for me and the "pinch" of perique (yeah right)made it less than enjoyable. All in all I'm glad I tried this, but this will be finding a home with a friend of mine who has a greater constitution for tobacco like this.

1 person found this review helpful.

Peppino Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peppino (74)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a great tobacco! It has a Latakia note right from the start, with a burnt coffe flavor, The Perique is in in the background but you know it's there. A nice full blend that I'll be ordering more of when I'm finished here. Some might find it a bit heavy but I think it's just right. Get yourself some and enjoy, it's a one of the better Balkan's I've smoked. It does seem to burn fast(not hot) so smoke it in a large pipe to really enjoy before it ends in a powdery gray ash.

1 person found this review helpful.

japanpipeman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
japanpipeman (8)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

This tobacco confirmed me as a pipe smoker. Although I have found another Dan tobacco I prefer (Holly's Discovery), I still heartily recommend BBBB! There are so many flavors going on in this smoke. It is smoky, of course, but also nutty, spicy, creamy, and other sensations at different times throughout the bowl, and it smokes cool and dry. 3.5 stars!

1 person found this review helpful.

cmhpipesmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cmhpipesmoker (21)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Again, another blend I really like. And if this blend is a definition of a latakia fest, then I must really like a latakia fest. Interestingly, this blend doesn't really remind me of a Balkan blend, not that I'm a true connoisseur of either English or Balkan blends. I can only say that it slightly reminds me of an old favorite called Xtra Rich (no longer available) from the former Smokers' Haven on Bethel Road. That tobacco was a very robust English blend of latakia, Virginia and Perique (no Oriental tobacco). Even though not reviewed here, Xtra Rich was referenced in oldmanpipe's review of Peretti's Blend 500, hinting at its strength. And that's what BBBB is, robust but in a distinguished way. I don't ever recall getting overwhelmed by the latakia, smokiness or the nicotine effect that some blends can give (Butera's Vintage Latakia No. 1 comes to mind). A few reviews have commented on this blend's creaminess and, as strong as it can be, it does have that subtleness. This creaminess creates the unique characteristic I look for in any blend. And it intermingles very well with the peppery perique and smoky latakia. Three pluses for me is BBBB smokes well right out of the tin, smokes constistently throughout the entire bowl and it didn't appear to "age" or change after opening as time went on. Basically, the same tabac aroma and taste from the first to the last bowl. I typically limit my purchases to tins or small 2 oz. pouches. However, BBBB is sold in bulk and at a very reasonable prices. I like this blend so much I just may break down and buy an 8 or 16 oz. bag. Highly unusual for me. Highly recommended.

Update. As promised, early this year I purchased a 16 oz. package of this and just opened this afternoon (9/25/2010). Wow! The same great aroma upon opening the foil package as I received upon opening my first tin. That's important since I've heard complaints of bulk blends not being the same as their tin counterparts. Also earlier in the year, I took a chance and purchased 16 oz. of Peter Stokkebye's Balkan Supreme. Really, it was not too much of a gamble with all the great reviews. Another great blend. What I found interesting is take PSBS, add a little zest, add a tad more spice and a bit more latakia for heaviness and you have BBBB, in my opinion.

1 person found this review helpful.

Rodrigo de Xerez Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rodrigo de Xerez (16)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Well, perhaps I am sole voice here. I can only say I really do not like this one; or, to be more precise, do not like it enough to taste again.

It burns well and is consistent all the way. End of the pros.

Here come the cons:

It has more clumps than I have ever found in tinned tobaccos. A clear sign of bad quality or bad mixing control. Too bad for this veteran puffer.

The presence of Cyprian Latakia is overwhelming? and not in a creamy, rich way (as you can find, for instance, in Commonwealth Mixture)

From beginning to end in every pipe tasted, Virginias and Orientals tried to jump to first or supporting role, but, my dear friends, it never happened to me. The harshness of the average Latakia plus Kentucky imposes once and again. Regarding the Perique, I never noticed it.

I only could recommend it if you look for not expensive ones? and do not experience this harshness and lack of subtlety I found.

RdX score: 76.5 (Pipe after pipe the scores went down, and I never repeat with tobaccos under 80)

1 person found this review helpful.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (182)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Just after the bad experience of the Dunhill (Orlik...) MM965 re-visit, which I really need to forget... The term "Balkan" is something a bit abused in most cases, including BBBB, and I have collected several tins which contains it. The common feature I notice is that "Balkans" are tipically mixtures (or flakes) with heavy load of Latakia, while they should had an Oriental over-load (particularly Macedonians). That being said, and the yet noticeable amount of reviews TR has registered, I would simply add that BBBB is something reminding me an old article (mid 80's) appearing on an italian review named "Amici della Pipa" (means Pipe Friends) on Balkan Sobranie's. The reviewers (Mr. Zonta and Mr. Stevanato, I will never end to thank their skill and endless love to pipe) described that Balkan 759 was the only english able to get addition of Kentucky (the one coming from the crushing of Toscano cigars). I experimented that... and re-thinking of it now smoking BBBB. Uh: Balkan 759 + K was much, much stronger, but BBBB is something like that, in a milder way. Let me add that it is much better in a large bent. Cannot give four star, but I will.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

The first thing to say is that this is NOT a Balkan blend, despite its name. The second thing is that this is an heavy mixture: not full or strong, just heavy, probably due to the amount of out-of-place kentucky (what the hell does kentucky do into a balkan blend?). It's a nice smoke anyway, but to me it becomes boring after half a tin.

1 person found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

At the price this tobacco is sold in Italy (it costs as much as Balkan Sobranie!) it had better be good... Dan Tobacco usually makes good stuff, so my expectations were high: well, this won't become one of my favorites, but it is fine nevertheless. It is not a typical balkan blend, as it contains some unusual ingredients for the genre: kentucky and perique!!! It must be said that these two are present in little quantities (when I first smoked it I was unaware of their presence, until I read the composition on this page), so the effect is very subdued and lets the latakia prevail. As many other balkans, this is a very heavy and bitter latakia-laden mixture: it definitely has a lot of taste, but lacks in roundedness and variation. While it is a good smoke, it has some subtle notes that are not in the right place: probably the earthiness of the kentucky, and most particularly the high metallic touches of perique. A heavier dose of Virginia would have made a deeper, subtler blend. As it is, I find it a bit too "dry" (not as opposed to "wet", but as opposed to "sweet") and with some harsh edges. Not the mouth-watering and complex Sobranie, by far, though it is an interesting (and well burning) alternative approach to the world of balkans. I might have given this blend three stars, but the fierce competition makes the comparison inevitable... Worth a try, but it will hardly become a favorite.

EDIT June 2005: I tried another tin, and I enjoyed it much better! This tin seems rounder, with less heavy notes and more sweetness. Less kentucky earthiness, still some Perique metallic tickling, but overall a very tasty and enjoyable blend. It has some weak moments in the second half of the bowl, but this time it was much more complex, rich and interesting. Not simply a full latakia sledgehammer. Hey, it is almost as good as some legendary GLPease Balkans! Definitely worth smoking!

EDIT April 2013: Returning to this blend once in a while. Still not bad, still one of the few strong Latakia blends remaining in Europe. Still too much Kentucky (which should NEVER belong in a blend called "Balkan"), still a bit unsubtle and not very elegant. But certainly tasty and much better than many other fake Balkans...

1 person found this review helpful.

pocket Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pocket (27)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Went to Germany yesterday. There I buy my Nightcap. From the man in the store I got a little of this stuff to try out. Well I must say that it is not bad. tastes like a Balkan. It is a very tasty, spice tobacco. But not as fine as my Sir William (English latakia) or Nightcap. But when I lived in Germany (what I do'nt) I would smoke the stuff now and then. Not bad at all.

1 person found this review helpful.

Eulenburg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eulenburg (193)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

I like my Latakia strong and smokey?I like Syrian Latakia, in other words, and plenty of it. So if I lived in Germany and this were at my corner tobacconist, I would be very glad for it. [40% of the Syrian] But I don't see why we would pay Dan's prices for a type of blend that Dunhill does better. [Think: NIGHTCAP] Not that this is bad: it is, in fact, a good pseudo-Sobranie offering, with a modicum of Périque, to keep one awake. Try it, in spite of the stupid tin art.

1 person found this review helpful.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (130)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This is good English blend, but just a bit too austere for me. What's that mean? I prefer blends with a toasty and slightly sweet (naturally sweet, not artificial) flavor. This one is a bit too "dry" in wine terms. This is pure tobacco flavor and I don't detect any flavoring. Some of you may love that, but I have to settle for three stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bluesmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluesmoke (75)
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Pleasant

Well, where to start? First of all this is one of the strongest Balkans I have ever smoked. The tin aroma is very nice, moisture level perfect, packs well and lights just fine...stays lit as well. Plumes! Yes plumes of smoke. This had my car filled with smoke like a Cheech and Chong movie. :) The problem that I have with this fine mixture is it's just too damn strong for me. Its not harsh though like some strong blends are, this, I think, has a nicotine throttle shifted to high gear. Too much for me unfortunately. I had to laugh as I started sweating and feeling a little nauseated, laughter then tears because I really liked the flavor and the pungent aroma of this one. Nutty, some feathery leathery notes along with a winter's chimney outpour and some salty sourness. If you can handle this...have an iron constitution then by all means wo/man up and get this, you will not be disappointed, a fine powerhouse indeed. THLOGSSUTW

Nobody has rated this review yet.

franz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
franz (1)
Very Strong Medium Very Full Tolerable

I've been smoking a pipe for a little over a year. The variety of tobacco is amazing, and a little overwhelming. In my limited range of experience ,Bill Bailey's Baklan Blend is hands down my favorite tobacco. It's powerful, strong latakia, a note of raisin or fig. The moisture content is perfect for me, and smokes wonderfully in my favorite pipe.

Pipe Used: R.C Sands

Purchased From: Smoker's Haven

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipeofbriaropenfire Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipeofbriaropenfire (9)
Medium Medium to Strong Very Full Tolerable to Strong

I liked the cut which packed well in the pipe. Lit after two lights and it stayed lit throughout the smoke. The taste confused me as there seemed to be a lot going on. Half way through the bowl I had to put it down because of so many flavors trying to compete made the taste very bad in my opinion.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

First impression at first bowl: 40 percent of latakia? uhmm. Maybe it is chinese latakia. Too dry leafs, too dry tobacco. But burns quite well. Perique: more than a pinch for sure, but good. Or maybe it is the orientals, impossible to know because the kentucky is killing anything else. We are worlds away from Erinmore Balkan Blend.

Second impression after three bowls: this tobacco is one of the worst I have tried so far. It burns out too quickly, very hot, no matter I changed the pipe to a bigger or smaller bowl, doesnt make any difference. Taste is unknown, everything is mixed up and covered by the kentucky.

I will not go any further with this tin, and back to the usual Sobranie and Balkan clones (Schurch, SG Balkan, Erinmore balkan mixture etc.). For me, never more.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

alpyesilay Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
alpyesilay (9)
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

Very similar to Vintage Syrian, even better. :) One of the best blends I ve ever smoked.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Afraz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Afraz (14)
Medium Medium Full Pleasant

I like this blend. I save a jar in my celler, i ll buy it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

I don't get it, why all the horrid reviews, this blend isn't all bad, is it? The stuff smokes like a champ, real easy to light and smokes at a smolder . Besides that, the taste and complexity are muted. It starts with a blast of Latakia from the light, then after 10 puffs the Latakia is gone and the Orientals hit you , then nothing , the Kentucky mutes everything, yes, some creaminess. Better than a drug store brand but only by a little, well maybe not , most of the DSB's leave a nice room note! Too much better stuff out there to buy again, I guess it really isn't that good!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipelovingcalvinist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipelovingcalvinist (68)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

I am puzzled at some of the previous comments labeling this a one star tobacco. Perhaps these reviewers have had very little experience with a full bodied latakia tobacco. I found Bill Bailey's to be rich and creamy. Strong-yes, but quite satisfying after a good meal. Having said this I also found Bill Bailey's not the most complex blend or most interesting blend and thus not suitable for an every day smoke.

soli Deo gloria

Nobody has rated this review yet.

piedpiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
piedpiper (26)
Overwhelming None Detected Overwhelming Strong

Richard Hacker reviews this blend in his book Pipesmoking-A 21st Century Guide & there advises not to smoke this on an empty stomach. I did exactly that & was sent realing by this disgustingly vile blend! Was left wondering whether this blend was 40% horseshit & shavings rather than containing Latakia in that proportion! It surely didn't taste like Latakia. I suffered through the whole tin. My pipes required multiple cleanings to get de-ranked from this stuff. Since taking up pipesmoking again a couple of years ago, I've probably experimented with 30-40 blends & there are only 2 that were bad enough to earn only 1 star-this is one of them.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lombard65 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lombard65 (48)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I completely agree with JOELSON, completely failed very badly, with a horrible taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

joelson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
joelson (3)
Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Overwhelming

this is an example of how to esagerate with the latakia in a blend, without looking out for it's quality. there's a lot of poor quality latakia in this blend, and i can't feel the other components, that are overwhelmed by this disgusting quality latakia. to be honest i dont know if its real latakia.... i was not able to smoke this tobacco, and makes me sick to smell or to smoke it. i like latakia so much, even in high proportions, like it's on the old ironside pipe tobacco, that i love, but the BBBB is a very disgusting blend with no harmony between the components.


Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bear80 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bear80 (2)
Medium Extremely Mild Very Full Tolerable

It is very good latakia blend, but It is not "medium to strong". It is medium in the best case. My favorit strength is "Irish Oak". The Oak's strength is "medium to strong" and I believed the BBBB is same. No, I think the strength rating should be downgraded.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

MDP Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MDP (39)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Cracking the tin brought back aromatic memories of Dunhill blends, like Aperitif, many years ago, very nice indeed. There are some long ribbons in Bailey's Balkan, with short pieces of Latakia and brown. All are of a medium width.

Taking this blend on its own merits, it is of good quality, burns well and throws one a "change up" with the fire-cured Kentucky leaf. I do not sense the Perique, and that is probably a good thing or else the spiciness of BBBB would be just too overwhelming. As it is, I could wish for something sweet, even darkly, to off-set the acrid, pungent spice.

If I were a fan of blends with a very strong emphasis on pungent Oriental tobaccos and Latakia with little sweetness, then Bx4 would be a worth keeping around. This has enough flavor and burns well-enough to smoke slow and easy to avoid mouth pain. It also avoids the excessive bitterness that is akin to eating a mature dandelion salad.

Rating it in its own class, B4 is B, B+. It has more going for it than I found in Caravan, Kensington, Black Point or McClelland's original three Syrian Latakia blends (Rose of, Full Balkan and Super Balkan). Abingdon would be in the same tier, but I like Abingdon better.

MClelland's recent releases of blends with Syrian Latakia and varietal Oriental blends are changing the landscape for me, putting McC well into its own category of delight among its contemporaries. This is relativizing my perceptions on Latakia and Oriental mixtures these days.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Leslie Blane Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Leslie Blane (6)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

I arrived at BBBB after I had smoked a lot of C&D Pirate Kake trying to satisfy an escalating craving for Latakia. PK finally delivered the all-you-can-eat lat dose I'd been looking for and for a while I didn't care to try any other tobaccos. So I'm not sure how I ended up with an 8 oz bag of BBBB, but I did, and I have to say the first few pipes were a revelation. Given my rather coarse palate this is not saying much, but still the relative complexity that this tobacco delivers while still retaining a sizable Latakia load is noteworthy. The smoke from the charring light is sour but it quickly settles into a a robust and well-rounded satisfyingly nutty smoke that allows the orientals to come into play and the virginias to contribute a hint of sweetness. A cigar-smoking reviewer below noted that this blend reminds him of maduro. I've had very limited experience with cigars, but on many an occasion I've found myself thinking of that same association myself. This is a big part of what is satisfying or repellent about BBBB, depending on what your idea of big flavor is. I'm a nicotine wimp, so I've never been able to smoke a bowl of this at one sitting. I like to let it go out, set it aside, and come back to it later. The room note is decidedly nonsmoker unfriendly and quite different from the aroma you get when you're smoking it, which somehow feels warmer and nuttier. If you leave the room where you've been smoking it and come back to it after some time has elapsed, you're likely to detect a rather stale (Turkish cigarette?)scent. No cigar comparison there. This blend definitely leaves a strong taste in your mouth that even vigorous tooth brushing will only mask temporarily. It is one reason I smoke it less and less. Oddly there's just enough of a hint of virginia sweetness in this blend that it has prompted me to seek out more of that flavor and less of the latakia smokiness.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BowHunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BowHunter (12)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

Strong blend, not really a pure Balkan, but a blend "made to seem" a Balkan. I like it, it's not that bad, but Kentucky is quite boring in a Balkan after a while. Won't be in my rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tee-dub Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tee-dub (48)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I think I like this. I think.

Nothing remarkable, but fairly pleasant Ltakia and oriental flavor, with respectable strength. Nice after dinner smoke.

I can't give it a ringing endorsement. But I will, most assuredly, return to this and smoke it again and again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nurse_Maduro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nurse_Maduro (27)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Smoking Bill Bailey's Balkan Blend is like taking a bath. I'm not quite sure I really want it, but then when I'm actually in it, I don't want to get out.

The first time I filled my bowl with this, I expected a classic, but deeper VaPer: I could actually smell the Virginias pre-light. When it was lit however, they disappeared. There was no brightness in the flavor, and I immediately decided I wasn't going to enjoy this particular smoke.

At first, only the Latakia was present, but it had a bit of richness beneath that became more developed as the bowl burned. By the end of the first third, I knew this was a blend to which I would be returning. It burns unbelievably cool and slow, producing tons of creamy, white smoke that, unfortunately, doesn't pass the girlfriend test (I'd been testing a few cheap aromatics lately that smelled better to her, but tasted worse to me).

Ultimately, you're not going to get too much out of this if you're looking for a traditional VaPer. If you like Orientals however, BBBB is a bowl full of thickly layered, toasty, spicy goodness that never once turned bitter or sour , even when smoking in a wind.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JLong Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JLong (36)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

To me, this is a Balkan blend. Thick, creamy, and tastey with an after taste that lingers for hours. It comes off with a little bitterness at first but becomes spicer at about 2/3 bowl. This blend is very much like Seattle Pipe Club Plum Pudding. A blend I love. Just not as sweet maybe and spicier. At least I know what bowl to dedicate this blend to.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

wintermute Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wintermute (58)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

First of all, let me say that I am not an English or Balkan expert. I know only what I do and don't like. When you open the tin there is a smell of leather and a bit of smokiness. The moisture was perfect and the stuff is ready to be smoked. Upon first light, the spiciness of the Perique comes through and lets you know that you are in for a good smoke. I tend to pack a little tighter than most and tamp often. However, I never needed a second light. As the bowl progresses, the Perique stands down and the Virginia shows itself as a mellow but full player. Towards the bottom, the Perique and Burley run the show. The nicotine level is pretty high and that is a definite positive for me. Now, don't confuse all of this spice with tongue bite. It seems that some cannot tell the difference. If you are smoking correctly, spice will hit you on the upper palate and back of the throat, while bite will simply sting the tongue. I only mention this because there is a good deal of spice at the beginning and end of the smoke. The ash is fine and white. The pipe is left clean and ready for more. I am not old enough to have smoked all of those "true" Balkan tobaccos back in the day. But I know what I like and I love this somewhat Americanized take on the genre. Great tobacco is as great tobacco does. This is true whether it is pure or an amalgamation.

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loosewatches Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
loosewatches (108)
Mild Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I wish there were a 2.5 rating for this one. It is really pretty extremely okay.

The first bowl had me quivering with an average latakia delight. I was in an almost stupor. Mmmm. Enough to inhale, half way.

When I finished with the beginning part of my sample (a good few ounces) I was half way to thinking I had found a smoke to hold me over. Soon after I picked myself up and noticed that I had smoked this many times before, yet, strangely, never remembering it.

O.k. So. What's it taste like. Lots of latakia that's just not harsh. An Oriental portion of interest. An added sweetness. American states here are pretty much as to be expected these days, there is but murmur from the southern coalition, and they seem to be unneeded.

(double joke, but true)

pause, I still kind like it. maybe

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Henry Mars Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Henry Mars (21)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

The debate as to whether this is a true Balkan mixture is mostly an academic exercise. The days of the true to die for Balkan mixtures are mostly over ... although I must give kudos to Greg Pease. He manages to work magic in a world where the distinction between fine Oriental and Macedonian varieties is almost history.

BBB is a very fine mixture, although not a Balkan strictly speaking. It provides you with a serious Latakia blast with some Virgina sweetness and some Oriental spice. It is not terribly complex but it is very reliable and burns well ... I like this a little on the dry side. There is some burly type tobacco in the mix which adds some body to the smoke. This tobacco must be smoked slowly for the flavor to develop ... mostly Latikia and Virginia with the Orientals peeking in and out here and there. While this is a fairly strong smoke there are some delicate nuances that the experienced smoker will appreciate. I like to smoke this while drinking a bottle of Shiraz .... if the smoke doesn't set your head spinning the wine will.

This is a solid 5 star offering. If however you expect true Balkan with all the trimmings you may be let down a bit. Approach this stuff as you would a friendly mutt and have some fun.

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Ben Rich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ben Rich (34)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

I believe oldmanpipe summed this tobacco up perfectly, particularly his remark that Bill Bailey's Balkan Blend is a Teutonic interpretation of a Balkan. I happen to love this interpretation; I opened an 8 oz. mylar bag of this several days ago, transferred the contents to a canning jar, and have been smoking nothing but BBBB since. The blend has the perfect moisture level right out of the jar; I will rub it out a bit and break down some of the longer strands to make packing a little easier. In smoking, the blend is smooth, creamy, non-biting, DGT's wonderfully, has a flavor that continues to develop as the bowl burns down and finishes with a fine gray ash... no wet dottle, no sourness. The flavor is semi-sweet with a certain amount of tang and spice. It has, for me, adequate nicotine and four to five pipe bowls a day satisfies my craving for nicotine. My wife has not remarked on the room note, as she sometimes does (negatively) when I'm smoking Penzance or GLP's Haddo's Delight. I intend to purchase more of this; while aging might improve it, it might also diminish the effect of the latakia. On my next purchase I'll include a 2 oz. tin for the purpose of aging... the 8 oz. bag I'll go ahead and smoke. Highly recommended.

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Doc Jake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Doc Jake (23)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

I grabbed this along with a tin of Gordon Pym, and between the two I think I would choose this blend over Pym. Pym is good in its own right, but this blen really sings to the english lover. Plenty of latakia with a good punt of perique and oriental with the Va's provide a little sweetness. Of a particular note, no bite at all, even when puffing like mad on it.

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

This is a nice Balkan blend that really grows on you over time. I like this blend in the evenings when I want time to my self. The room note is strong for non smokers. I feel the blend is a bit strong in Latakia taste at the beginning of the bowl. That is not to say that I do not like the flavor, but rather that I wish that the latakia would build as the bowl progresses. I do enjoy at mid bowl how the Kentucky and Oriental tobaccos start to take their places, it adds a nice balance that I wish was present at the start of the bowl. I also like how subtle the taste is when you get down to the bottom, that totally surprised me the first time I tried this tobacco. I was sure that with the heavy latakia taste I was in for an old ironsides or Pirate Kake experience (which is not a bad thing). Over all a good tobacco that while having a decent amount of latakia, but stills allows the subtlety of the other fine tobaccos to be enjoyed.

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elias Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
elias (9)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Overwhelming

There are two things I like very much in BB. It burns really cool and slow and the taste develops gradually throughout the bowl. A medium size bowl can easily last for over an hour, and it never becomes boring.

The only problem is the room note. I hear complaints even from people tolerable to other latakia blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

emmbee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
emmbee (174)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Probably the best Balkan blend I?ve ever tried and surely one of the only good Europeans currently in production. BBBB possesses a deep, profound aroma without being rank, along with plenty of taste that doesn?t cause the mouth to water and the pipe to overflow with acrid tasting juice. There?s no bite like Balkan Sasieni and absolutely no astringency ala Dan. Though not sweet by any means, it never gets close to being bitter, which is the problem with most Balkans. What?s more, it packs incredible flavor without underwhelming or overpowering. Pease could learn a lesson or two from the smooth balance of this tobacco. Though I?m not a great lover of Balkan blends, BBBB is a tobacco that any veteran aficionado cannot help but appreciate. Best in small to medium-sized pipes, not because of boredom, but because there is almost too much going on here. Bill Bailey won't you please come home -- to my briar!

Three and a half of five stars

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

On lite up there you?ll notice the Latakia right off. Latter into the smoke the burley comes into play. In the tin it smells very smoky, and spicy, very pleasant.

Stays lite very well, does not have a great deal of heavy moister content. Pure white ash, bluish smoke.

No bite here, very smooth, full body and flavor. From lite up to bottom very pleasing taste, mid bowl all the blends come together, varying smooth taste . Some nuty qualities, and the presence of Latakia always in the air.

This is a full bodied and flavored as the double Maduro Nicaraguan cigars I smoke, good companion. This can be purchased in bags that is much better priced than the tins. A milder and yet flavorful companion pipe smoke is the Dunhill 965 SAVOR THE FLAVOR guys!

If you enjoy a full bodied cigar maduro like myself, you'll really like the Bill Bailey's Balkan Blend guys.

It is true this is not a British type blend and can become after to bowls a bit much. Dunhill 965 is really the best for all round enjoyment.


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PeterD Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PeterD (91)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

This is a full strength blend and mighty enjoyable! Predominantely, I am a Virginia Plug pipe smoker but do enjoy a medium/strong Balkan as part of my rotation.

I am impressed with this tobacco and the fine flavor I get every time I smoke. Early in the smoke I get a very fragrant flavor and aroma that stays with the bowl all the way through the smoke. I don't see this as overpowering at all...and in many ways its complex nature builds throughout the smoke...yet it has a subtle quality throughout as well.

I have smoked this in the early morning, afternoon, and evening and don't have a real preference time-wise. However, this blend when accompanied with a fine brandy around 10PM is wonderful!

I smoked the majority of this Balkan in a 1972 dunhill group 5 straight billiard.

Highly recommended for the experienced smoker!

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Moe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Moe (46)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

I think this is a very nice blend, If you like latakia, this is a goody.

If my tobacconist was out of Nightcap and I was in the mood for some, I would ask if he had a tin of this.

I think it has a touch more nicotine than Night Cap and a little less Perique.

More Perique would make it superb I bet.


Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Revised 04-14-2005

Appearance and aroma: ahh... dark, musty, medium cut ribbons of latakia, turkish, and an ocassional speck of gold.

Packing and lighting: a little moist upon opening of tin, but packs and lights rather easily.

Initial flavor: This is a balkan! delicious!

Mid-bowl: flavor intensifies, a slight tingle from the perique, but not enough to trigger my allergy. The flavor is similar to "Nightcap" but not as much perique.

Bottom of bowl: more fullness, yumm.. Perique tingles a little more but does not overpower. Finishes dry with a fine medium grey ash and you are satiated.

Overall: This is a delicious Balkan, not quite as rich and complex as Pease's blends, but still in my top 10 of Balkan blends. It does pack a nicotine punch, but not as intense as Dunhill's Nightcap. Lastly, this will not bite and there is no need to puff stongly to get rich flavor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bigjonburley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigjonburley (64)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I like this well made blend, due to the fact that I have a passion for latakia. Like most full strength balkan's, flavor abounds from this tobacco. Dan tobacco puts a high price on their tobacco but, some times you just have to treat yourself to the finer things in life. This blend is a true balkan in the purest of sense. I get all the flavors of twangy smoked venison that are so prevalent in the fuller latakia blends. Allthough this blend is exquisite, I do prefer a bit more oriental content than this blend provides. This blend is no "965" but will still satisfy the deepest latakia cravings out there amongst smokers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

1ManCircus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
1ManCircus (2)
Strong Strong Full Tolerable to Strong

The tin smell is reminiscent of lebanon bologna. I find that's pretty common for latakia blends, though.

On a warm day, the latakia tastes like barbeque and the perique lends a bit of metallic tang to it. A good taste compared to other tobaccos, in the sense that a beer and a coke could both taste good.

My suggestion is to keep this stuff for a cold day. Get out a long stemmed pipe and just stand outside when it's so cold you have to grip the bowl to keep your fingers from freezing up. It's then that the latakia and perique REALLY shine. The blend becomes nutty and herby, with a complexity somehow enhanced by the chill.

The room note is not as pleasant for the unwashed masses as it could be for a brother (or sister!) smoker. But then again, talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand. Just don't plan on having a big fan club if you're smoking this.

The nicotine kicks a little harder in this blend than in others I've tried, especially if you inhale a mouthful or two. Overall, I wouldn't make this my daily bread, but it'd serve well as an occasional treat. I can't wait to try it when it's really cold and snowy out.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

OTRFF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OTRFF (44)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Upon opening the lid this stuff smells great. Lots of latakia, real smokey, kinda musty smell. It has a good cut, packed well in anything I tried it in. Lights great and burns all the way down with no problems. This has a great taste to it. Not overpowering there is a slightly sweet smell that I cant put my finger on, it doesn't taste sweet at all when smoked but there is a very delicious smell when this is burning. If I could figure out what this is I would be doing great because There are other blends that have this same "smell" and I love every one of them too. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys true tobacco taste and a relatively stout blend. Good stuff!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Chessnut Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Chessnut (13)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a wonderful complex blend. A must try of latakia and englis blend smokers. It smokes very cool and very full bodied but never harsh. no one type of tobacco in the blend overpowers the other, they all work extremely well complementing each other. Delicious!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fazby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fazby (66)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I like this one. It is a good balkan blend. Good latakia and all the tobaccos work together.

Best on a winter's night. Not the same in the summer.

Nobody has rated this review yet.