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Rich with the finest Mountain Latakia, a classic full Balkan pipe tobacco mixture, smooth and deeply fragrant. The inspiration for this elegant mixture was a 21-year-old tin of the legendary #759.

Notes: This blend was one of three in the Balkan Sobranie Throwdown at the 2011 Chicago pipe show and walked away with the People's Choice Award! McClelland has changed the name of this blend to Balkan Blue.

Blended ByMcClelland
Manufactured ByMcClelland
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50g Tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
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Mild to Medium
None Detected
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

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Marshall Law Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Marshall Law (50)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Theodore Moore's review below nails this one. Blue Mountain is a smooth, rich, tasty balkan that is a bit lat-heavy, is not at all harsh or bitter, and is expertly crafted. It contains the trademark tangy, tasty McClelland McVinegar virginias and oily orientals that easily distinguish it as such. It is not overly complex or nuanced, which for me, costs it one star. It is not so similar to Sobraine, either, for these and other reasons, yet stands on its own merit as a great smoke, nonetheless. It IS exceedingly smooth, and the orientals do not dry the throat. Though it arrives too wet in the tin, once dried out properly it is easy to smoke to a fine white ash.

Not meaning to take away from this excellent blend, but for my personal tastes I'd rather smoke McClelland's more unique creations such as Three Oaks Syrian, Wilderness and Legends, which are all distinct and fantastic in their own right, using those tangy, vinegary McVirginias to generate savory new flavors and complexities, rather than trying to mask them to match aged unobtainium weed from one's cellar.

If you like your balkan smoother, slightly less oriental-forward, and with more latakia than Fred Hanna's blends, without any bitterness, sourness or harshness, and you don't seem to get along with the chemistry of Pease's blends, then this and the even tastier Black House may very well be your go-to balkans. Recommended!! Three stars.

8 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (721)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

It may not be a substitute for Balkan Sobraine 759, but it is a good English blend on its own merits. The latakia is rich and smokey sweet with the Turkish and Orientals providing a necessary flavor punch and mild spice notes. The Virginias have the typical McClelland vinegar notes along with some sweetness. It's not very complex, but it's not monochromatic either. It has a consistent taste from start to finish, though the latakia doesn't stand out quite as much as it could because of the sweetness. That is not a criticism, merely an observation. If you're looking for more than smoke and wood, this will do you quite nicely.

7 people found this review helpful.

Theodore Moore Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Theodore Moore (12)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

It is always interesting to see how different blenders interpret a legendary classic like Balkan Sabronie 759 and I think it is good for their craft and our pleasure to have these throwdown contests. However, the end results ultimately beg to be compared with one another more so than the blend that inspired them, (though I have smoked many a tin of 759 back in the day.)

Having said that, I am now comparing BLUE Mountain with Hearth & Home's BLACK House.

Blue Mt. is without a doubt a "McClelland blend," having most of the same overriding characteristics that define their English Balkins. (ie, the darkness of their components due to moisture preservatives, etc.) I have smoked many of their offerings in this genre including all the Foggy Froggy blends and most of their oriental/balkin blends; their best by far being Bulk 5110 Full English Dark & 3-Oaks Syrian.

IMHO, Blue Mt. will appeal more to those who tend toward Virginia as the starting point and who prefer more strength in the Latakia department. In this regard, the VA/Lat components of BM overshadow the orientals, resulting in a less dimensional offering. There is also more Nic-kick with BM. As mentioned by many other reviewers, BM is hard to keep lit and I think less satisfying in the flavor/smoke arena as well.

With regard to aroma, Black House (see my review) imparts a luxurious cloud, leaving the room seeping with a nolstagic afterglow. For these reasons, I must give a heady nod to Russ-O as the overwhelming winner of the throwdown. In this contest, the Black Knight easily triumphs over the Blue Squire.

7 people found this review helpful.

Bengalsfan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bengalsfan (2)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my first experience with this tobacco, I am very fond of McClelland 's Frog Morton tobaccos and in particular Cellar. I decided to try and find something similar to Cellar and came across Blue Mountain. It has more of the "smokey" Latakia flavor that I enjoy. Upon opening the tin the smell is earthy and kinda reminded me of leather. It had perfect moisture out of the tin and required no additional drying. The initial taste is a smooth smokey flavor, slightly nutty and just a bit of a flowery aftertaste. This had no bite and smoked smoothly throughout requiring only one relight. The room note is pleasant and not overpowering. Overall a nice Latakia blend that will stay in my rotation

Pipe Used: American Pipe Co. Bulldog

Age When Smoked: 6 mos

Purchased From: Carousel tobacco Cincinnati Ohio

5 people found this review helpful.

Smoking Sam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smoking Sam (20)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

UPDATE: June 30th, 2013. Sunday evening, 7:23 PM.

I filled my Ser Jacopo, red dot, half bend, jet black, Dublin pipe with two layers of Blue Mountain. I retired to my garage, the man cave, with a double 25 year old Scotch, and a large mug of strong, boiling hot, coffee.

The Blue Mountain smells good right out of the tin, and this aroma translates to the taste as well. Delicious, from the very first puff. The tobacco maintains this flavor profile as the bowl progresses. The slightly salty character and Oriental notes compliment the Scotch rocks. The coffee brings out the creaminess of the leaf. Blue Mountain stands up and holds its own with both beverages. I have a hard time fighting the urge to inhale this wonderful smoke.

The burn is effortless. The flavor is extremely pleasant. No bite. No hot bowl. No negatives whatsoever. Just a pleasant, totally relaxing, extremely flavorful, smoking experience. I will definitely be purchasing more of this blend when my tin is empty. Easily on a par with Frog Morton's Cellar and Black House. Increasing my rating from 3 stars to 4 stars. Highly recommended!


I just received a new pipe today. I christened it was Frog Morton Cellar, which was so good that I had to have a second bowl of something. That something was MeClelland's Blue Mountain.

My initial impression upon opening the tin was great aroma, slightly moist, and totally black ribbons. I only packed two layers into my large bent freehand pipe.

It took three char lights to get it going. Impressions? Mild. No VA presence. Background Latakia. Lots of Oriental taste noted. Zero bite. Burns well, but does need relights occasionally. Pipe stayed cool. No noticeable nicotene buzz. No sting nose exhale. Pleasant aftertaste.

Much less Latakia presence that Frog Morton Cellar, but that's OK with me. All in all, an enjoyable, mild, relaxing, any time, effortless smoke. A well-blended pipe tobacco. 3 stars.

5 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (595)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The other winner in the 759 showdown. Again, I am seldom encouraged by the hype associated by these types of blends and had little intention of smoking any, but since I lucked into some 759 and the hype surrounding this blend demands that, if possible, it be compared to the blend it's based on, I decided to try it. I'm very glad I did.

In the tin, this looked a lot more like 759 than Black House did. Smelled more like it as well. In the pipe, it had that same smoothness but seemed more smoky than sweet, unlike the other two blends. And somehow, that is what elevated this one above those two for me. This one was richer and more flavorful while also being less strong. McClellands has a way of making mild tobaccos with rich flavor profiles (think the Royal Cajun series) and they nailed it with this one. Top to bottom smooth but with a nice flavor edging towards the sharpness I like but well rounded. I think it missed the mark if the intent was to make this a match of 759 but this blend is the better for it. Perhaps the attempt alone was enough, as I'm not usually a big fan of McClellands latakia blends. I consider FMOTT more of an oriental blend, so this will be the first McClellands "english/balkan" style blend to make my rotation. And it hits that rotation hard! Excellent flavor and depth without being obnoxious about either. Highly recommended, if not the possible replacement for 759 that Black House seems to be.

4 people found this review helpful.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (120)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I never did get to smoke the original #759, so I have no idea if this blend is close or not.

I ordered this as soon as I had seen Pipes and Cigars stock it. I have resisted opening this tin for only a month. Opening the tin you will find a majority of pitch black leaf, with a bit of medium brown mixed in. Appears to be perfect moisture content, so I loaded up a full bowl in a Kirk Bosi 2008 IPC POY. Initial lighting takes a few matches.

WOW. If this is close to what the original mixture was, I can understand why everyone is upset at the disappearance. Rich, leathery with a hint of something I cannot put my finger on. Could be the Oriental. Burns complete leaving only a powdery dark gray ash. Not as complex as some Balkans, but not even close to being monotone. Leaves a terrific clean feeling on the palate.

Stock up, this may disappear someday too!!!!!!

4 people found this review helpful.

beaupipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beaupipe (100)
Mild Very Mild Mild Strong

I smoked a few bowls of this at a pipe club meeting soon after it came out and liked it well enough to order a few tins. But I'm not sure I still like it quite so much, especially when compared with the legion of fine Latakia blends that have arrived on the market over the past few years.

The Sobranie 759 connection probably doesn't do Blue Mountain any favors. I haven't smoked a lot of vintage 759 (just a few bowls) but like most, I don't think Blue Mountain tastes very much like it. But Blue Mountain does taste like a whole lot of other McClelland Latakia blends. That connection to the McClelland house style is both the weakness and the strength of this tobacco.

McClelland's tendency—exemplified by the various Frogs—is to present a sweet (and perhaps sweetened) style of Latakia blend. There are exceptions to this, of course, such as Legends and Wilderness (both superior blends to Blue Mountain, I think) but generally speaking the McClelland style is on the sweet side. There is nothing wrong with that but, speaking personally, I don't favor the style. I find it tiring to smoke. I also think that all this sweetness tends to mask some of the issues with Blue Mountain that other people have described—particularly the monochromatic and monotonous quality of the blend.

All of this sounds negative, but I don't mean it to be. Blue Mountain is good stuff. It's ribbon cut and mostly black in the tin with a little brown and golden ribbon in the mix. The tin aroma is smoky with a hint of the “plum pudding” scents that the British often ascribe to such mixtures. It doesn't light very easily, and I agree with all those who complain that Blue Mountain is surprisingly difficult to keep lit. It smokes quite nicely—lots of bluish smoke, and a pretty straightforward sweetened Latakia and Virginia quality. I would love to find more depth and complexity in Blue Mountain, but I don't. I would also love to find more strength. Blue Mountain is very light in the nicotine department.

Blue Mountain is worth smoking. I won't do that very often, but when I'm in the mood for a sweet, smoky Latakia mixture without a whole lot of complexity, I'll reach for it. It certainly works well on this cold night alongside the Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout I'm drinking as I write this.

3 people found this review helpful.

UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (109)
Mild None Detected Full Pleasant

I have to agree with the mob so far on this one.

I don't care about some "legendary" mixture now likely long past its prime. I do appreciate that its memory inspired the authoring of this delightful blend. We are indeed living in wonderful times for pipe smoking: the choices and availability and quality of tobaccos have never been better.

Oddly, Blue Mountain manages to have a unique character despite the dozens of similar-seeming blends I've smoked over the years. It has the richness of Penzance but with a sweetness not normally found in a balkan. The room note, despite the latakia content, is wonderful (no distaff present for confirmation). Blue Mountain is rather more of an "oriental bomb". The flavor evolves, changes, returns, and changes again, depending on the puffing rate and time since lightup. I find I can pretty much adjust it to my preference. As another reviewer observed, one can burn it completely to ash, an ability shared by very few blends.

My favorite vessel is an old, full-sized Wilke bent billiard, though I have yet to find an unsuitable pipe for it; I favored a small clay for the first tin. I pack it moderately for best burning; the moisture in the tin is perfect for my tastes and habits.

Nicotine lovers may downgrade this mixture for its relatively low levels. My chemistry is sensitive to nicotine and I particularly enjoy being able to enjoy a full bowl at a time.

I'd like to think this will age well, though my experience with latakia bends (particularly Penzance) has shown that fresher is better. Nevertheless, I'm stocking up on this and smoking the hell out of it while it is available and hope some remains for aging.

Kudos to Mike McNeil at McClelland, he has made his claim to fame. Four star stuff!

Update 6/2014 I retrieved a forgotten tin of this that had been opened for two years. As with Penzance, age did damage: the spectrum went muddy and more monochromatic. Some tobaccos improve, not this.

I didn't stock up on this, so I cannot comment on aged sealed tins. I shall endeavor to find out.

Oh, it's still four stars for fresh. I'll just have to finish what I start.

3 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (517)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Yes it's the throwdown blend to 759 and Blue Mountain tastes IMHO nothing like it. A bad thing? No, not at all as it should be viewed on it's own merits. BM shares that common taste of McClelland English blends dare I say it tastes "McClellandy" and I and not speaking of the vinegar taste. It also shares the same wet on arrival and forever to dry quality of McClelland. With that all said, there is a nice smokiness with some sweetness to the blend. It appears quite rich in the tin and in flavor. BM lacks the strength I prefer and for that reason I prefer the other winner in the throwdown. I think fans of McClelland English blends will find this to be a full four star blend and should stock up on some tins. For me, it's recommended.

3 people found this review helpful.

King T Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
King T (3)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

McClelland doesn't disappoint with this latakia blend again. It's a hit right on the bulls eye!

Starting off by cracking the unique golden brown and chromed blue labeled tin was something I had been looking forward to my whole drive. It was the first day of my camping vacation. And Blue Mountain was a blend I decided I was going to really disect and see what makes it such a good blend in my opinion. The tin smelled great to me, a latakia lover. My better half was present and she wanted a smell. She did not like the fragrance one bit. This let me know it was gonna be a winner. And I was childlike impatient to get it into my pipe to smoke.

I opted on a Ben Wade Chesham. And I was not let down by the pipe or the blend. Packing was easy and customary as the blend is a ribbon cut. Although the tobacco was more rigid, not dry at all and not wet, than I usually know a ribbon cut to be. This may have been due to the altitude of around 7,000ft. Lighting the tobacco was easy as packing, lighting a char light and one tamp. Billows of the smell of latakia filled the air. It was phenomenal and I knew I was going to love this trip and blend.

As I kept puffing I realized a consistency, a consistency that I really liked. Normally as one smokes a pipe different flavors come out as the time goes on. Sometimes strength changes as well. Not so here. This Blue Mountain was the same all the way through. I also noticed a smoothness when exhaling through the nose. Absolutely nothing harsh or irritating. Only smooth, calm enjoyment.

Upon ending with the sensational Blue Mountain I had to ash my pipe. There were a few ribbons that forgone the burning that stuck to the side of my bowl. I noted that this did happen several times while smoking this blend but nothing that takes away from the experience. Sometimes it happens.

All in all this blend has made my regular weekly rotation. And if you're a lat lover, as I am, then this is a must try! Just writing about it makes me want to fire up a bowl right now.

Pipe Used: Ben Wade and Barontini

Age When Smoked: out of can

2 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (203)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

A very nice Latakia forward English with a wonderful sweet note. The Orientals sit between the two and hold it all together. My tin was a bit dry, but that's how I would have smoked it anyway. Lights easily and burns well. There was only a faint trace of McBBQ smell in the tin note and in the flavor. Just below medium in body. Medium to full in flavor. A nice relaxing and enjoyable smoke. 3+

Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman, MM Freehand

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

puro66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
puro66 (73)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

As I stated in my musings about BlackHouse I support the idea of blenders using old blends for newly inspired blends, with the emphasis on inspired. I approach them as a "new" blend and decide simply do I like them or not. I like them both but for different reasons.

Blue Mountain is the sweeter of the two but not as sweet as say Frog Morton. It's rich and flavorful without being overbearing and the nicotine level is indeed very low, which pleases me, but if you like a nic bomb this isn't it.

To recap, I'm happy they had the contest and that these two new tobaccos were released as both are on my shelf.

Pipe Used: varies

Age When Smoked: varied

2 people found this review helpful.

BigCasino Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigCasino (27)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Since I never had the opportunity to try the original I can't tell you how close of a match this is, but I can say that it does hold true to a Balkan style blend, nice smokey latakia, and some oriental sweetness, but that is about it, I would suspect a bit of aging might be best for this blend , so buy to tins one for now and one for the cellar

Pipe Used: La Rocca, Fantasia

Purchased From: Alegheny Smoke Works

2 people found this review helpful.

GSTQ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GSTQ (31)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Appearance is a dark brown rough ribbon with lighter strands. Tin smells of light sweet smoke. Tastes lightly sweet and smoky with mineral notes.

I have never smoked 759, and so I am reviewing Blue Mountain on its own merits. This is very nice indeed. Sweet, smoky, and mineral like, especially iodine as found in in Penzance or Skiff.

[Note: yes, iodine, most certainly not ammonia.]

It is definitely toward the milder side of mild to medium in strength, but nicely "middle" in flavour. I find Blue Mountain very pleasant, and recommend this far above something like Three Oaks.

2 people found this review helpful.

Bluesmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluesmoke (57)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

After smoking some of the blends in the Frog Morton line, this was much appreciated. Not that those blends are bad at all, but this is more robust, fuller bodied, and tasted wonderful in a nicely assertive manner. All the required characteristics were present (perfect moisture level, loaded easily, lit well, remained lit well and created a good amount of smoke) I never smoked the famed blend this is modeled after and I feel there is no need to, this stands so well on its own merits. The balance in this blend is close enough to perfect to be quite thrilling yet totally relaxing at the same time. The flavors and aroma were excellent, yielding hints a leather, campfire, some deep sugar, a slight mustiness and sourness...wonderful. I can't wait to try a 5 year old tin which resides in the cellar. Highest recommendation! LAMYAK

1 person found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (301)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Let's get it straight: if this is meant as a replica of 759, it failed big time. It doesn't taste like the rich and voluptuous 759 from the cylindrical tins from the '70s, it doesn't taste like the ultra intense from the flat tins in the '80s, and it doesn't taste like the mellow and less Oriental/Latakia driven pouches of the '90s. Not only that: it also has that very peculiar touch to the Virginias, that sweetish base taste, that it's typically McClelland and nothing else.

That said.... it's an excellent blend! Latakia heavy, not as Oriental-laden and fragrantly subtle as a true Balkan should be, but so far it's my favourite "English" from McClelland, beating even the "crossover" (or heresy, but what a nice heresy) called Frog Morton.

It packs well, in its largish and coarse cut, and burns cool and slow to the end. The first thing you get (also in tin aroma) is that funky sweet note, not much unlike that of some of McClelland's nice aromatics like Pal O'Mine, Captain Cool, etc (which are excellent aromatics, by the way). You know it? That note of coconut, toffee, nuts... Here it's of course subtle, but definitely present. Something in the casing?

Anyway, the sweet note, while something innatural and unexpected in such a blend, is not bad... and it soon goes in the background letting the Latakia sing. And I must say that it's excellent Latakia: smoky, fragrant, leathery. Much more impressive than in many other (disappointing) McC latakia blends, especially the ones boasting the Syrian leaf or the classic "green label" series.

What else to say? It's not exaclty a Balkan, it's not exactly an English, it's not a masterpiece of complexity and nuance like the GLPease tobaccos (Westminster and Lagonda in particular come to mind). It's a simply a very enjoyable, low maintenance and flavorful Latakia blend. And as such, I'll gladly buy it again.

Pipe Used: Dunhill, Peterson, Le Nuvole, Ashton, Heeschen

Age When Smoked: 1 year

1 person found this review helpful.

Joeray Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joeray (61)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

For some peoples who doesn't like latakia perhaps don't like this blend very much. Almost full taste of latakia with a little bit sweetness that can detect from virginia and also spicy taste.

1 person found this review helpful.

gladi8tor96 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gladi8tor96 (50)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Decent blend. Didn't blow my socks off, and it wasn't horrible. Good English.

1 person found this review helpful.

tabaco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tabaco (70)
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable

Going to keep this short and sweet.

Very Latakia forward, a weighty blend.

The obvious comparison will arise, in my books Russ Ouellette's Black House is better, more layers, complex, full and deep; however, Blue Mountain is heavier.

Really you can't go wrong with either one.

1 person found this review helpful.

MDP Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MDP (37)
Mild Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I purchased Blue Mountain as a portal blend. Having never smoked Balkan Sobranie 759, yet hearing that it was Mike McNeil's intention to approximate a 20 year aged tin of 759, I could not resist trying it.

If a blender could approximate an aged blend with a fresh blend, and the target blend was widely smoked somewhat recently (hence, a large pool of smokers available to judge the effort), then the implications for future blending experiments are tantalizing. Hence, why I think Blue Mt. is a portal blend (along with Black House).

The result? I probably will not bust the bank buying up BS 759 to smoke BY THE MEASURE OF BLUE MT. Will I smoke Blue Mt. regularly? Most likely, I will smoke it occasionally. It does not sing with Oriental leaf like Legends, Wilderness and Samovar from the same blender- and personal favorites. The Latakia is too dominate for me even in pipes where the non-Latakia Oriental leaf is more pronounced (i.e., wide chambers and stacks). In more typical billiard, Dublin, bulldog pipes, Blue Mt. is more monodimensional, tasting mainly of Latakia and an occasional, pleasant sweetness.

This is a smooth blend, low in nicotine, with a pleasingly pungent room note. Contrast with the similarly Latakia-heavy Bombay Extra. The latter is brash and packs a much heavier nicotine hit. Both are cased, but the added flavoring is nondescript in each.

1 person found this review helpful.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (140)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Smoky and sweet at the same time, I got a new car smell kind of taste. This is not a bad thing, very smoky but not at all overwhelming. I liked and I will cellar several tins for aging, but I do not plan to purchase any more for immediate consumption. This was just too sweet for my Latakia fix and too one dimensional for my English fix. I haven't smoked 759 but I cannot imagine that it was this sweet, I expected much more oriental flavor. Even with all these faults I still kind of like it, hopefully it gets more interesting with time.

1 person found this review helpful.

Darth 69 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth 69 (76)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Well, highly overrated in my opinion. I know I smoked a 50gm pack of 759 at least once around twenty years ago and can't quite remember it's character in relation to the original smoking mixture which I settled on between the two. But, The 759 version at the time was billed as "For those who were captured by the charm of the original smoking mixture but desired a greater proportion of oriental tobaccos..." IIRC. I couldn't detect much oriental in Blue Mountain. It's predominately a broken blackish cake with a few lighter strands. It seems McClelland has almost took a cavedish process to this blend with a round, creamy sweetness to the heavier latakia character. Sounds like Frog Morton as someone mentioned in a previous review. I found this too monochromatic in character and overly processed as an english blend for my taste.

1 person found this review helpful.

JohnnyMcPiperson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyMcPiperson (89)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This was a fantastic balkan, the sweet sultry orientals and smokey spicy yet savory latakia did dances on my palette, satisfying me to the very last bowl. This is one of those Balkans that you can't help but toke and puff huge plumes of smoke into the air! What a wonderful blend, although I do understand why it didn't win with the judges for the Sobrani contest, since to me it is not all that similar to the balkan sobrani that I've smoked, granted it is probably a ghost of what it was since my Sobrani has some serious age on it. It reminded me of something between Frog Morton on the Bayou and Blackpoint, a little smoother than BP and a bit heftier than FMOTB.

1 person found this review helpful.

Trippwire Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Trippwire (58)
Very Mild None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The taste was nice, similar to frog morton. Very smokey flavour with a bit of sweetness, burns well, I get 1hr+ in my bulldog. This would be a 4 star blend if there was more nicotine. It seems to smoke better dried out a bit. I won't be buying more, but all in all, it was pretty good.

1 person found this review helpful.

ContemplativePipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ContemplativePipe (4)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Blue Mountain is fantastic. In the tin it's fairly dry, mostly dark ribbons with a few lighter strands mixed in. The tin aroma is very subdued, hardly any vinegar note.

It smokes wonderfully. The latakia gives the rich, leathery, dark, smokey notes folks have mentioned, but there's also a pleasant mild sweetness. It is very smooth and full, yet for all it's richness the nicotine content is mild and there's little to no bite. It makes copious amounts of thick white smoke, and burns down to ash.

This is a terrific blend.

1 person found this review helpful.

Peppino Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peppino (74)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

759 was king of tobacco's during it's time. The blend MC used was aged for many years, as we know things will change. 759 was lighter in color, more yenidje and latakia as I remember. It failed the huff test, this may not be exactly like what I remember but it is great in it's own way. It's not far from the original but is not the same. That said, BM is a fine smoke that does remind me of 759 at the 3/4 bowl. A good re-light with a full flavor I will be getting more of this as I think it will age well. I just wish I had the foresight to age 759. But I took it for granted that it would always be avaliable. I won't do that again. I do wish the ash was lighter like Three Oak's.

1 person found this review helpful.

Katharsis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Katharsis (39)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Reminiscent of the Frog Morton blends, but much better -- more balanced, more flavor, and about the same strength/gentleness. Slight floral aroma upon light and a few minutes into it, but eventually fades.

1 person found this review helpful.

Abragos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Abragos (3)
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

I am not a big Balkan blend fan, but I do like some once in a while. In fact I don't even like English blends that much either, can't smoke them every pipe full. Sometimes the Latakia just doesn't do it for me. I prefer straight Brightleaf. A few friends highly recommended this to me, so I knew I had to try it. Upon receiving the tin and opening your hit with the Latakia, but also a very subtle sweetness to it as well. I loaded up my pipe and puffed away and from the first drag I knew I was in for a treat. Very smooth and pleasant, and just heaven in a pipe. I can definitely taste subtle hints of that Virginia. I have quickly finished the tin, and I am now ordering 4 more. Quickly becoming a favorite, which says a lot because I normally don't care much for blends heavy on the Latakia. I have never had the pleasure of smoking Sobriane but this blend is GOOD.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (230)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Back in 1966 ( the last time I tried Balkan Sobriane) it was no big deal to crack open a tin of BS. You just didn't study its nuisances, because it was just something to smoke. Now that we can't get BS anymore, we continue to look for that holy grail. Well, was it that good, I don't remember!. What I can tell you is Blue Mountain is a fine tobacco, smokes cool, no bite, not bitter, nice balance of Latakia and Orientals with a hint of sweetness. Dam nice!

Updated 8/19/11- Maybe I was just overcome with initial enthusiasm , but upon further review , this is "Frog Morton" in a different package. I think it might have a touch more "N" and may burn slightly better but it still has that background touch of artificial sweet vanilla that I find in Frog Morton and Balkan Sasieni ( Dear Tongue ???). I need to remove one star

1 person found this review helpful.

SpeedyPete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SpeedyPete (20)
Mild Mild to Medium Full Very Pleasant

I love latakia. I also love sweet tobacco like red virginias. In Blue Mountain I find the best of two worlds. While smoking about the first half of the bowl, I'm aware of the latakia but it's not overwhelming. From there on, the latakia takes a step backwards and the sweet, sweet taste steps forward. This sweetness is almost sugarlike and I enjoy it even more than the taste of virginias. The tobacco burns slowly, should be sipped very gently and can be smoked right down to the last crumb. No dottle remains, only white ash which can actually just be shaken out. If you do not have this one in your collection, you are really missing out on a great experience.

1 person found this review helpful.

BriarBurner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarBurner (29)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Fifty years ago I smoked BS 759 in the tall tin. It devolved to a short tin and then to a pouch. The original was an very good smoke but it seems as time goes by , and it now being unavailable, it keeps getting better & better till one reviewer called it the Holy Grail of pipe tobac. Go Figure...

This blend is as good as it gets IMHO. A wonderful smoke that is somewhat mild-med. in strength, but very very flavorful. No spicey,chocolatey or fruity. Just a smooth almost creamy tobac from start to finish with absolutely no bite not matter how hard you puff.5 stars from me but what the hell do I know. You be the judge!!

1 person found this review helpful.

bayro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bayro (18)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Full Very Pleasant

This mixture is originated as an attempt to try to 'reconstruct' the Holy Grail of many pipe smokers - the legendary Balkan Sobranie. That tobacco is reminiscent of the BS but not entirely successful. But regardless of this tobacco is a premium, full, rounded taste, which I will certainly buy the first opportunity. Once again - excellent tobacco, despite failing to achieve the 'Holy Grail'! Recommendation for all fans of English blends: purchase!

1 person found this review helpful.

cavendishes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cavendishes (6)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I bought this blend and Blackhouse together to try side by side and compare. As you probably already know, both of these blends were winners in the 2011Balkan Sobraine throwdown at the Chicagoland pipe show. Blackhouse won the judges decision for best match and Blue Mountain (Balkan Blue) won the People's Choice award.

Having never experienced the fabled majesty of the original Sobraine, I have no way of comparing these blends to the original. That being said, both blends are very good in their own right, but if I had to choose between the two for a winner, Balkan Blue would win for me hands down.

This blend is a bit moist from the tin and requires a little drying time to really open up. It is cube cut I believe, which isn't my favorite because it can easily be over packed, but with careful packing, it burns and smokes excellently! I have tried it in a variety of pipes, but it really shines in a traditional calabash. I could definitely taste the orientals distinctly in the Calabash as compared to briars or even a regular Meerschaum. It has a very incense like spice quality that I haven't found in many other blends that I can only attribute to the orientals. The Latakia is present, but in good balance with the other tobaccos. It does build throughout a bowl though and shows up most noticeably in the last third of the pipe. Though it is easily over packed, it still performs relatively well and burns on the cooler side if this happens. No tongue bite, but it can dry out the mouth a bit. The room note is excellent as well, so the little lady is okay with it in the house which is always a plus.

Blackhouse on the other hand is quite dry from the tin, and must be packed just right or it bites like crazy and tastes like ashtray. I actually had to rehydrate my tin of Blackhouse because it was so harsh. Don't get me wrong, it is a great blend, but is more fussy than Balkan Blue, so my vote goes to McClelland's.

Pipe Used: calabash, meerschaum billiard, various briars

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: pipes and cigars

Similar Blends: Wilderness.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Flatticus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Flatticus (11)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Can't say if it's similar to 20 year old 759, I'm not that lucky. But this blend is the perfect mix of leathery, smoky, oily, just a bit sweet and a very slight bit of sour at the end. Take this review with a grain of salt, because this tastes so fantastic to me that I can't believe everyone else will love it as much, or you wouldn't be able to find it. Rich, but mild, multifaceted but consistent, this may be my favorite tobacco.

Pipe Used: Meerschaum, Briar

Age When Smoked: 2 months

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Black House, Balkan Luxury 759, but not really. It's a blend unto itself..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Iron Word Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Iron Word (4)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant

The smell in the can/jar is somewhat chocolaty. out in the open you can smell more of the latakia, lots of dark leaf mixed with some yellow, i can see casing on the leaf when i look at it through a magnifying glass. The taste is sweet with the oriental up front pretty much through the whole bowl. I wish there was a little more complexity to this experience, the one sided role the orientals play had me longing for a little more something else. It wasn't all oriental like a pure oriental blend there was some balance to back off the pure strength of the oriental leaf to make it smooth and sweet but that's all you get through the entire bowl. i might mix this with some 3 oaks syrian i have to see what happens. The sweetness nice at first but i would say this is not an all day smoke. i might also try mixing it with some black house. on a scale from 1 - 10 i would rate this as a good solid 7

Pipe Used: armalleni

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Similar Blends: McClelland - Frog Morton (Craftsbury Series), J. F. Germain & Son - Balkan Sobranie, Hearth & Home - Black House (Marquee Series), Hearth & Home - Magnum O! (Marquee Series).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (165)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

A friend gave me almost a full tin. I have perhaps a bowl and half left from it. This was a latakia forward blend with a heavy, sweet Virginia foundation. You can easily identify the orientals in the flavor profile.

I have had #759, but but has been a really long time. My recollection was a slightly sharper taste, and I suspect this is due to the Virginia used. The blend had a somewhat creamy rich feel in the mouth, and that was a characteristic of #759 too. I think the original may have had a little more oriental in the signature, but my memory could be failing.

This blend was enjoyable and worth an occasional tin, but I am unlikely to keep any of this in the cellar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (127)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Smooth operator! Latakia forward, but burns cool and smooth. Virginias and Orientals in more of a supporting role. They come out more on exhale and retrohale. Lit well, burned easy. Let it intentionally go out, mid-way. Re-light brought out the spiciness, which soon thereafter faded to the background. 3 stars.

Pipe Used: Karl Erik, Nording Freehand

Age When Smoked: Tin stamped 750713(?); bought OCT 2013

Purchased From: Corona Smoke Shop, Battle Creek, MI

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CoreyR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CoreyR (21)
Mild to Medium Mild Very Mild Pleasant

I have gone through three tins of Blue Mountain, obtained from three different sources, only one of wich I actually intentionally purchased. I still have yet another tin sitting on my shelf, unopened, which I won, with several tins of Frog Morton, at the Richmond Pipe Expo this year in the silent auction.

I had high hopes for this blend as I am a fan of the Maclelland "sweet latakia" style, their FM line being a favorite of mine. Sadly, I now know what "monochromatic" means in regards to pipe tobacco.

It is not that it is a bad blend, far from it, there is just no depth to it, nothing to grab your attention. It does light well and burn through easily. There is a bit of that smoky/latakia flavor but I found it rather flat and un appealing.

Since I already have it, I believe the tin I currently have shall sit in my cellar for awhile. Perhaps it shall benefit from a few years worth of aging. Otherwise, I shall put my money toward better, for me, tobaccos.

I will say that, if you are looking for something very bland, this may be for you.

Pipe Used: Several

Age When Smoked: 1-2 years

Purchased From: several sources

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr.MeerBill Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr.MeerBill (35)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

light English blend not a huge amount of flavor if you like McClelland English blends (I don't) check it out does have a nice vanilla flavor that comes and goes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

King Weed Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
King Weed (46)
Strong Very Strong Very Full Strong

Although I first smoked a pipe in 1958 when I was a sophomore in highschool, I didn't discover english blends until some time around 1964-1965. At that time Balkan Sobranie 759 was on the shelf in razor-cut tins. It was expensive compared to peoples' bulk english blends and, being a poor student, I favored the bulks. Be that as it may, between 1965 and 1970 I was lucky enough to smoke this most venerated of pipeweeds. To many, it is the holy grail of pipe tobaccos - selling today on e-bay at an unbeievable $450/two ounce tin!

I have a very good memory, in general, and remember very well the smoking qualities of every iteration of this blend - from the old razor cuts to the latest iteration in plastic roll-up bags. But, this is a review of McClelland Blue Mountain. I want to state up front and emphatically that NO iteration of 759 ever had as rough and coarse a cut as Blue Mountain. This was my immediate reaction to the tin I opened, purchased at a somewhat exorbitant price I might add, on e-bay. The aroma was wonderfully reminiscent of older 759, but - the long, broad and krinkled accordian-like strands of this blend are totally foreign to ANY 759 I can recall. I own old tins of 759 and opened one somewhere in the last seven or eight years. It does NOT look like this blend. That is my first complaint about Blue Mountain, but it is not my only one.

This tin was very wet. I have come to expect this with McClelland tins. I followed my normal process and put an ample amount on a sheet of paper to dry out overnight. Hah! The next morning it was just as wet as the day before - too wet to smoke. So, I left it to dry out for a second day and - what? - it was practically as damp as the first morning! I wanted to sample this blend , soooo - I put it in the microwave and gave it 10 seconds. Would you believe it was still slightly too damp to light? So, I gave it ten more seconds and watched white fumes wafting off of it! I posit to every reader that all of this is ALL WRONG! There is no good reason for using propylene glycol as a humectant on pipe tobacco and, although I like their product line in general, I hold this strongly against McClelland and have come to limit my use of their products because of this.

Otherwise, I enjoyed smoking this blend. It does have both a tin aroma and a smoking aroma that is reminiscent of older 759 - but, its aroma is actually too strong. The aroma dominates the smoke and, after awhile, I began to realize that older 759 also had a stronger english "nose" underneath all of this aroma that Blue Mountain simply does not have.

So, passing on both the coarse cut and overly fragerant complaints of this blend; I give it three stars and reccommend it. However, any blend that I have to struggle with just to dry it to a smoking consistency can't have four stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BurgundyRed Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BurgundyRed (2)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I heard a few people talk about this blend. Read some reviews and thought I would like to try it. When the tin came by the mail I opened it up and took a nice whiff. It was very nice, very pleasant. The colors of the tobacco were warm and inviting. My first light was a bit light, just had a couple of puffs. No special impression at first. I tamped it down and did the second lighting and sat back to a very pleasant flavorful bowl. It stayed friendly and warm and rich throughout the bowl. I would set it down from time to time to do something and then relight. Again, each relight was good and delicious. Different notes came and went throughout the conversation. Each was interesting and inspiring. After an hour and half or so I found that the pleasant visit was done. No gurgling to interrupt the journey. After the pipe cooled I found only ash at the bottom. No tongue bite at all. Pleasant and rich aftertaste. This was a very enjoyable experience and I'm looking forward to the next conversation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Passion Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Passion (28)
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable

You can not get a better balkan blend than this. This is my favorite tobacco. The flavors may be a bit more subtle than other balkan blends, but the combination of flavors really shine. The taste of this is superb. It is less sweet than it's competition in Black House, and although I have smoked BS759, I don't think it fair to directly compare it.

To my taste, the quality of leaf used in this blend surpasses none other. I love it! One of my favorite tin arts as well.

If you enjoy balkan blends, be sure to give this a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Upon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Upon (15)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

I've had the opportunity to sample the original BS a few times and found the tobacco excellent. Yet it wouldn't make my cellar even if it was available today at $10 a tin. Many more interesting blends out there without an overwhelming portion of latakia.

Back to Blue Mountain, which, FWIW, is a coffee brand, not tobacco. Mountain latakia, eh, aren't we all? Based on my limited experience in BS I wouldn't be able to tell how close it is to the original. However the first third of the bowl is nice with good virginia presence, after that the taste of engine oil takes over and nothing is left of interest.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Wellpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wellpipe (48)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This is a superb blend from McClelland. There are several different Latakia blends that I regularly enjoy but two characteristics that stand out to me for this blend are SMOOTHNESS and APPROACHABILITY. Blue Mountain does not provide the powerful knockout punch that I get from Omega, and it is not as subtle and refined as Penzance, but it is a very tasty, tangy blend that stands very well on its own.

When I first read about the 2011 Throwdown I could not wait to get my hands on a tin each of Black House and Blue Mountain in order to compare them (and to maybe get a glimpse of the legendary blend they are trying to emulate which I have never had the pleasure of smoking myself). They are both excellent but I think I can guess why Black House won the competition - it is a little spicier and more complex than Blue Mountain and I am told truer to the target blend - and why Blue Mountain won people's choice - it is tangy, zesty, Latakia forward, yet very smooth. I find Blue Mountain has no bite whatsoever.

I enjoy the flavors in Black House but it irritates my sinuses just a bit. Blue Mountain is similarly flavorful but causes no such irritation. I highly recommend you try some.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Keac241 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Keac241 (8)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a great blend, period. However, depending on your taste-buds, I could imagine some english blend lover staying away from this. I would highly recommend this 'especially' if your new to lataka blends or is an aromatic lover.

It's only drawback, perhaps only happens to me, is that it makes my lips feel relatively oily and also it is 'very' hard to keep lit. I let it dry out for a long time and it still doesn't burn as smoothly as I would like it.

Lastly, the last 3/4 of the bowl, the taste becomes extremely bland and unpleasant. So, although I love the beginning and middle, in the end it doesn't give me that satisfaction as some other blend do.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tumbaki Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tumbaki (9)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

Never tried the original as I was a poor university student. BUT this is delicious. One of the finest tobaccos in 50 years of pipe smoking. I can now die and go the Heaven, satisfied and content.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hottgunn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hottgunn (19)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Just obtained some. A Very smooth and rich flavor. To me it gets better deeper into the bowl. Like mince meat pie - lots to enjoy here. I'm sure I will be plumbing it's depths for some time. Recommended highly.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (577)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is by far the smoothest Balkan blend that I have ever smoked. The sweetness of the Virginia combined with the tangy orientals and smokey latakia combine to provide a very enjoyable smoke. None of the tobaccos contained in this blend overshadow the other. Truly a remarkable experience from start to finish and no bite. It is very similar in flavor to Dunhill Aperitif. In my opinion, this is McClelland's finest blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WellingtonIdolizer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WellingtonIdolizer (3)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I packed this into one of my Wellington churchwardens with my dad last night...and after taking a little longer than normal to get lit...The taste was awesome. I was thinking probably what most people think when a tobacco tastes so great to start...halfway down it will taste bad. Not this tobacco, never once did I taste ash the entire bowl. Has a nice general "English flavor" to it, and about halfway through you get a slight buzz, a very mild yet perfect amount of nicotine for a Sunday afternoon smoke. This instantly hopped into my list of top 10 tobaccos.

-Came out of the tin with perfect dryness and ready to smoke. -No bitter taste in mouth afterwards -Smoked especially cool.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Elkhunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Elkhunter (8)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Strong

Balkan Sobranie was a go to for me when it was for sale, I have not tried the recent version .Blue Mountain is a very good blend but does not have the complexity of 759, which was tasty, somewhat oily, you could almost chew the smoke.Very good blend but 1 dimensional,will cellar fo a while and try again later

Nobody has rated this review yet.

samcoffeeman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
samcoffeeman (30)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I'm a new pipe smoker. I don;t have the flavor profile yet to tell you if something tastes like fruit or nuts, and perhaps never will. I know when i like something and when I don't. I purchased this after reading the reviews and because of its rep from the contest. I am not disappointed. Using Margate as a reference, it is quite milder than that. Upon opening the tin, greeted by a nice mix of brown and black ribbon and a sweet smoky aroma. This is my favorite tobacco so far, if I'm even experienced enough to choose one. I found this to be so intriguing, the flavor changed with almost every puff. The smoke is smooth and smoky, and quite different when you exhale through the nostrils. This is a fun one to play with, smoke it slow, smoke it fast, tastes different every time. Super enjoyable.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

izzy2020 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
izzy2020 (1)
Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Strong

Personal Notes:

Blue Mountain – 4.5

First smoke in Mr. Brog Churchwarden. One of my best tasting tobaccos. Was difficult to keep lit though. This continued on subsequent smokes, including in different pipes, where I kept having to light and relight. Did not burn hot! I even tried to get a bite, with vigorous puffing, and it stayed cool.

So if you're willing to put up with relighting (or are better at this than me... I don't usually have this problem though), it's a great smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CGHurlburt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CGHurlburt (24)
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

Based on reviews I've read of this tobacco I bought two tins of it. I felt fairly sure I would enjoy it. And enjoy it, I have. This tobacco is, in my opinion, what is called a "Latakia Bomb". I enjoy latakia based blends very much.

Taste: Very rich. In fact, it is so rich it almost burns. I find that with this blend it is critical that you sip it slowly. Smoke too fast and it becomes overbearing and starts to bite a little. The bite isn't quite like a cheap OTC bites. It is different. I suspect it is a change in ph that comes with smoking too fast. I'm fairly good at taking my time. With this one I needed to remind myself to slow down a few times. Smoked at a slow pace the flavor is full, rich, robust, and it won't bite you.

Room Note: I crashed and burned on this one. Nobody likes the room note in this house. I'm imagining me setting on the porch in quiet reflection in the evenings this fall slowly puffing away on this stuff. I certainly cannot allow it to go to waist. It is very tasty.

UPDATE: After some aging in my mason jar, this blend has grown remarkably better. Any hint of bite is gone. It is now a very forgiving tobacco regardless of how you smoke it. The flavor is more complex and the smoke is much mellower while still being very full in flavor and body. I attribute this change in how the latakia has mellowed. I've changed my rating for "strength" to read "Mild to Medium". After experiencing and enjoying a few other stronger blends, I realize that this blend cannot be referred to as a "Strong blend". I still highly recommend this blend and will suggest cellaring for the best possible experience.

Final Thoughts: Whenever I'm craving a LataBomb, this will be the stuff. I also suspect it will blend very well with a few other smokes I have that need a little latakia kick to liven them up. I still have that extra tin as well. I'm going to put it up for a couple of years to see how it matures. More on that in a couple of years.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kevincardiff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kevincardiff (1)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

As a smoker who has been trying new blends since 1971 when I first took up the pipe, I have to say this is one of the nicest English style tobaccos I have ever tasted.

I DO remember the original Balkan Sobranie 759, and I find it regrettable that the model for McClelland Blue Mountain was a tin from the 80s. In my opinion, the Sobranie 759 really went down in quality in the early 80s, and I stopped smoking it. At its peak in the early to late 70s, the 759 blend had a lemony sweetness along with lots of Latakia. When I stopped smoking it in 1980, to me it tasted like charcoal. I attribute this to the absence of really great Virginia tobacco in the mixture's late incarnation.

Blue Mountain by McClelland is just a really good blend that can stand on its own, and I think anyone who likes this style of pipe tobacco should try it.

Kevin Cardiff

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

Being a masterfuly balanced classic English mixture, I enjoyed this tobacco very much. The problem comes with the name. Those lucky enough to have tried the Blue Mountain Latakia leaf will find that the one in McClelland's homonym comes very short. Still, a great English mixture with Latakia in the lead.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zwolanek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zwolanek (18)
Medium Medium Very Full Overwhelming

Blue Mountain is excellent stuff.

I am not old enough to have smoked 759, so my review is based solely on this blend. Count me among those bored to tears with reviewers going on and on about "the old balkan sobranie." It's like people saying, "Sure, Domingo is good, but you should have seen Caruso back in 1919." I can't, so just let me enjoy Domingo.

I was fortunate to attend the 2011 Chicago Pipe Show and held with the majority that this was the best. (Sorry, Russ!) The blend is thick, smooth, and consistent. I've just finished my first tin and used small, large, briars, and meers and found it respond perfectly in all of them. I suggest rubbing out the top third of the bowl for easier lighting, and you should expect multiple relights on this one. It burns down to about 10% dottle without going harsh or getting hot. I am prone to bite (see my review of Carter Hall), and this has none. It can cake things up, so watch that. The aftertaste is marvelous.

All that being said, this proves to be one dimensional. I tasted no real development through the bowl. Hence, I doubt this will change with aging. But, heck, it doesn't need to. The room note, which I almost never can tell, is obvious on this. This would make Pepe Le Pew blush. I hope to smoke it around my ex- wife one day.

All-in-all, highly recommended. Blue Mountain is a must-have for my cellar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dr. Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Scott (82)
Medium None Detected Very Full Extra Strong

If I was a lover of Latakia, this would be a favorite. The smokey Cyprian weed dominates every part of this experience. The Virginia is almost completely obscured, and the fine Orientals are reduced to a supporting role for the Latakia.

The tin note is heavenly. Even if I choose another blend for my pipe, I will open the can of Blue Mountain just to get a little glimpse, a whiff, of the eternal. If only it smoked just like it smells!

Slow puffing and a churchwarden stem help to cool the smoke and soften the bite. And it does bite!

If you are in the mood for Latakia, you can't beat this blend.

Regarding room note: My lovely and articulate wife has requested that I never smoke this again. "It smells like burning shit," she says. Fortunately for me, she adores the smells of Blackwoods Flake and Presbyterian Mixture. I will save Blue Mountain for when she is out of town.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipeshomer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipeshomer (4)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

What a pleasant find! Ditto everything Pipe Pirate noted. This has become my first choice for my first bowl of the day and it goes well with a cup of strong coffee. I'm a big latakia fan but I really appreciate the way it melds gently in this blend. It's there; you taste it but it doesn't dominate. I usually smoke this in a straight billiard with an average bowl size and it has always burned well and without much heat. Never experienced any bite at all. Highly recommended; give it a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ThePipePirate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ThePipePirate (9)
Mild Mild to Medium Full Tolerable

Blue mountain. What can i say, this stuff is brilliant! Smoking it gives you a mild smoky flavor, with a hint of creamy flavor as well. No tongue bite has been expierienced either which is always great. I love latakia, and this offers a very mild amount that works wonderful. I'm definitley stocking up on this!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

piperookie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
piperookie (21)
Mild Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have tried this blend last Autumn and immediately ordered more tins for my cellar. This is a wonderful balkan blend! Mild yet tasty,full yet smooth. Nice stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

akathedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
akathedstnguishdgntlmn (5)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Heaven Be Praised! This is the dstnguishdgntlmn back finally! I was permanently locked out due to a computer glitch. I am now akathedstnguishdgntlmn. Anyway, this is good stuff. A sweet Taskent by peretti. 3 stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kokinhenik Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kokinhenik (39)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The tin opens with a nice smokey latakia scent and a very, very, vague trace of a sweet vinegary/tomato scent. I was immediately reminded of the Frog Morton blends.

I loaded up a small Bjarne pipe(5 1/2 in). Lit up and puffed away. I was very pleased with the taste. It has a stronger latakia flavor than Frog Morton but was not as unique and mystical as Frog Morton on the Town. A very nice Balkan.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Puffingstuff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puffingstuff (81)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Imported from Europe this is Balkan Sobranie 759. It's not a "match" or a "sounds like" Balkan Sobranie 759.It's the real thing. McClelland bought it out and put their label on it. That's my opinion, not stated fact. That's how close they've come!

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