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A Balkan blend is often comprised of Virginia, Orientals and Latakia, with the Oriental being the main component in the flavour profile. Our Izmir Classic is just that, a complex and honest Balkan blend using Turkish Izmir tobacco. The tobacco’s origin began with our Breakfast Blend by means of the addition of a few differing Virginias and of course, Latakia. This tobacco was first blended in 2010 after a request from a member of the Nottingham Pipe Club and it now has a few “to die for” fans. The addition of sweet, grassy, lemony Virginias from the New World gives a light and refreshing edge to the blend. Fire-cured Virginias and Burley (Kentucky), even in the amounts used on this blend keep the smoke leathery and earthy. While the combination of Latakia and Izmir adds a wonderful creamy smoky core that runs all the way through the tobacco.

Even with this wide selection of tobaccos, we have carefully blended them to create a symphony of flavours that will appeal to most Oriental smokers. The relatively light body (compared to our other Latakia blends) makes this a great introduction to Oriental blends with Latakia.

BrandGQ Tobaccos
Blended ByGlynn Quelch
Manufactured ByGlynn Quelch
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsKentucky, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
ProductionCurrently available
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None Detected
Medium to Full
Room Note

Favorite Of 2 Users

9 reviews
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Coltrain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Coltrain (8)
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

The man responsible for this blend is Glynn Quelch, for those who are familiar with Gauntley's of Nottingham this is the same man but he has now set up his own mail order pipes & tobacco website.

Now, onto the tobacco itself. This blend is truly outstanding and is everything I have ever wanted from a tobacco. The latakia giving it such a creamy core but the variety of tobaccos blended with it give it such a complex flavor profile. This tobacco is smokey, leathery and earthy but still manages to keep a refreshing edge. Wonderful and a must smoke if you are into Balkan blends.

This man is one to watch and I will be trying all his blends in time.

Purchased From:

7 people found this review helpful.

brian stephen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
brian stephen (7)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I was fortunate enough to try this remarkable blend thanks to a friend who lives in Scotland, which I can't thank enough. This is a true Balkan, not the typical Latakia laden English mixtures that abound today. The colour is mostly golden brown due to the high amount of Turkish Izmir, speckled with thin ribbons of dark leaf. A beautiful mixture, in the pouch as well as the pipe. I'm in total agreement with Coltrain's remarks. Leathery, smoky, and smooth as glass, one would expect a mixture with this much Oriental leaf to burn hot in the bowl and on the palate. Not so with this wonderful blend. With a small bit of drying, Classic Balkan smokes easily down to the bottom of the bowl leaving a salt and pepper ash and the pipe walls clean. Glynn Quelch's blends are the genuine article. British blending at its finest, and I can give it nothing less than the highest recommendation.

6 people found this review helpful.

Dai Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dai (3)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Being new to pipe smoking (about 3 months) I'm still experimenting with different tobaccos. I have found that I like a good english/oriental type baccy. Thought I'd give Mr Quelch'es Classic Balkan a whirl and WOW, has he done a great job of creating this baccy, it holds it's own with any of the well known names like Presbyterian or Squadron Leader, it gives both of those a good run for there money. Goto say I really enjoyed the Classic Balkan I shall be ordering some more of it. If you are looking to try or an alternative balkan then give this one a go it's not a strong baccy but it is tasty.

Pipe Used: Country Gentleman, Diplomat, Legend

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Squadron Leader, Presbyterian.

1 person found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (130)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

Visually an interesting mix of short ribbon of varying size cut. Overall quite a bright mix. The tin, well bag, note is sweet and smoky.

Once lit the predominant aroma is of burning pine needles and cedar. This wanes over the course of the bowl and the last half sweet and sour, somewhat cigar like, aromas emerge.

This tobacco burns a little on the hot and fast side and produced a fair amount of moisture in the shank and stem. I don't know what the Kentucky adds here except to ramp up the strength of the smoke. I didn't find this blend to be creamy at all, but rather on the harsh side.

I can't help but think there is a loss of subtlety and complexity in this blend despite its various individual components.

1 person found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (587)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

GQ Tobaccos-Classic Balkan. What a refreshing blend. Refreshing because unlike most other Balkans that are a whack in the face of smoky Latakia the Latakia doesn't hog the stage with this! All the individual flavours are equal to one another in weight. I get a delicate smokiness that's at a perfect quantity to allow the scintillating freshness of the Virginia to shine through. I also get an amazing nutty flavour from the Kentucky which is complimented by a dry, almost saltiness in the back. Whether I suck or sip this it gives me no bite and despite the generous quantity of Virginia the temperature remains quite cool. It burns evenly all the way along, I only need my tamper to maintain it unless it's left to sit on its own too long. I find the nicotine to be the perfect amount for me. It doesn't blow my socks off nor does it leave me yearning for more. I find the room note a pleasant one as it isn't too heavy or smog like yet the tobaccos can still be appreciated. A few bowls of this only serve to agree with my initial thought about this.... four stars!

Pipe Used: Peterson Dracula 03

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: G.Q Tobaccos

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (751)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

A nice classic balkan.Turkish Izmir is at the front of this blend,which suits me perfectly.While not as Lat heavy as Glynn's full Balkan mixture,this is a nicely blended mixture. Smoke,wood,and spice,with a little more sweetness than the full blend,a lighter option,but not a lightweight.As good as anything I have tried up to now.

Pipe Used: Stanwell Calabash

Purchased From: GQ Tobaccos

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tcvarlh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tcvarlh (15)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

three words : Yes. yes. yes. A wonderful real Balkan, I tried it with Retsina and oh wow. A glass of Yeni Raki went along later just to complete the most tasty evening. Again and again yes!!!!

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: GQT

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (1243)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

The Turkish Izmir is the star flavor with a woodsy, smokey tangy sour quality, but the other components still have their say in the proceedings. The Virginias are citrusy, grassy, and the clean burning lemon Va. in particular is easy to spot. The fired-cured Virginias and Kentucky offer a little spicy, earthy depth. The latakia is a moderate ingredient, adding its own smokey, woody, lightly sweet flavor push. The minor players work well to create some complexity with full flavor and strength, getting stronger during the last third of the smoke. Burns perfectly cool with a consistent taste, and few relights, though there’s a slight bit of moisture at the very bottom. Recommended to those who like a strong mixture.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SteveH Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteveH (30)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

What Coltrain and Brian said. A mixture of browns and black, medium cut. Strong, dark and rich, with spiciness from the Izmir, this is indeed a classic Balkan.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: GQ's website

Nobody has rated this review yet.