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Eleven fully matured tobaccos combine with three generations of blending skill to produce this perfection in smoking. Rich in aroma, cool and long lasting. Here is smoking satisfaction in full measure.

Notes: The legendary smoking mixture, starting perhaps as early as the 1920s, but certainly no later than the 1940s. In later days, it was manufactured by Gallagher. They stopped releasing the product in the US market in 1996, and production overall ceased around 2005. Note that as with all mixtures of such heritage, significant changes in composition and production will have transpired over the decades. Reviewers should take care to bracket the vintage of their samples.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is the Sobranie of London version of Balkan Sobranie. If you are reviewing the re-release version, please see the entry under "JF Germain & Son", here:

BrandSobranie of London
Blended ByHouse of Sobranie
Manufactured ByGallaher
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50gr tin / pouch
ProductionNo longer in production
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Medium, Medium to Strong, Very Strong
None Detected
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 2 Users

7 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (444)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I smoked a lot of this from the 1980s until the mid 2000s, and it was my main "go-to" English blend. The Orientals and Turkish gave a tasty spice flavor that I craved for in perfect balance with the smoky, woodsy latakia. The Virginia had a grass and hay taste with just a hint of sweet creaminess to provide a camp fire aroma. There was light soda note or two, and I never did figure what was producing it, but it worked well with the dry notes of the blend. The later version seemed to be drier in taste than it was in the 1980s, but that never bothered me. This was one of the very few English blends I could smoke several times a day, and I sure wish it was back in production. It deserves Hall of Fame status.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (496)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

When I first reviewed BS, I did it with the old TR website and compared several era’s to the new blend by Germain. Since TR has now carved out the new BS under Germain, (a good thing), here are my thoughts on the “old” Balkan Sobranie. As I said in my first review, it is difficult to make comparisons with this blend because even in the days prior to the current Germain production, there were many changes to BS. IMO, the 70’s version, which is the oldest I have smoked, was outstanding. It was a creamy, well rounded smoke with the perfect balance of Latakia, Virginias and Oriental tobacco. It was the perfect blend IMHO. This was true for me into the 80’s too, but by the time the 90’s came about, the blend had changed and not for the better. Once it was in the 90’s plastic fold up, the Latakia was more dominate and not due to the blend being less aged. I do find the 90’s version to still be good and similar to the current Germain version, but overall it was a shadow of its former self. To be a very good blend in the “downfall” years speaks to how excellent it was in years past. It’s hard not to look at the whole ball of wax and not say that this was one of best blends ever made.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

VellumWhite Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
VellumWhite (3)
Very Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

It is IPSD 2013 and I finally broke into my one and only tin of Balkan Sobranie! I never thought the day would come and I would open it, but finally given to temptation here I am...So,the tobacco has indeed had quite a bit of age on it, but it was still quite moist and the surrounding paper stained. The tin note is unmistakably dominated by the Latakia, but the Orientals and Virginias in the right proportion also add a lively distinction of their own.

There has been so much praise written already about this blend and on this day I can say that it is all true! I am smoking this in my wide chambered Savinelli Baronet Bruyere 315 EX Prince...The smoke is exotic, well rounded and brightly mouth filling, running the entire length of the palate.There is so much going on, but still the flavours seamlessly intertwine tip to tail and even marry.

Bright spices highlight carefully layered creamy notes of full creosote and there is an unidentifiable charming "classic" room note surrounding it all.The gravity and power are there too, so it must be respected.Let it brood and let it come in its own time. Most importantly,unlike many other "Balkan" blends this one has "real" depth. Here this rare feature stretches and completes the finish.For everything else polished and majestic that Balkan Sobranie displays; this is the one virtue that crystallises the experience and it and sets it apart.

There is truth in this legend!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

R.M. Schultz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
R.M. Schultz (7)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

Packs a punch! Very nice once-a-day smoke. Strong blend that, while very pleasing, rubs you raw after too many bowls. Luscious but actually capable of giving you a hangover if you smoke it all day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

azguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
azguy (18)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

I first tried this in college. I was young and callous and therefore felt that this blend was very harsh. As time went on and I matured, this blend slowly grew on me . The subtle interplay between the Orientals and the Latakia along with the suspected aged virginias became well as whatever word denotes that which is greater than sublime. In short..the blend against which all others must be compaired (save Red Raparee).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SMOKETSES Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I opened this tin given to me as a gift by dm14 and I thank him for it. On one hand I was glad I did, on the other I was sad because it was one of the few sachets circulating all over the world. It was a little dry so I had to add a little humidor to revive it. Not so heavy, incredibly smooth tobacco, giving a gentle sweetness and a dry, salty smoking that reminds me of Syrian Latakia. It was smoked easily until the end of the bowl. Very neutral aroma that does not disturbs the room. Under no circumstances did it live up to everything I have heard and read all this time, unless it is not the same blend any more. I believe that now there are better blends of this kind. It contains Virginia, Syrian Latakia and eastern Tobaccos. Four stars, because of its good quality and its history.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kokinhenik Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kokinhenik (39)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Without question this was the most anticipated tin I have ever opened. So it was very perplexing when I got tongue bite, tongue bite, tongue bite. Every bowl. I've never had tongue bite from a Balkan before. Not sure what to make of this. Is anyone else having the same problem? As for flavor...its ok. I find Nightcap, Penzance and Black Mallory to be more complex.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.