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A classic style medium Balkan mixture prepared from a rich stoved, Eastern and Middle Belt strip; Cyprian Latakia, Lemon Carolina and the finest Greek Oriental tobaccos.

Blended ByMcClelland Tobacco Company
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
CutBroken Flake
ProductionCurrently available
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Mild to Medium
None Detected
Room Note
23 reviews
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Puffingstuff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puffingstuff (81)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

My tobacco is from a mason jar dated 2003. I remember well when I smoked this the first time and was not too impressed. The aging has made this blend very close to the original Balkan Sobraine...ahh those memories. Get some and store in mason/ball jars and forget it for some years. Bilowy clouds of new leather and spice. Sweet smoky and chewy. It has a long finish and the room aroma is pungent and earthy. Outstanding blend when the aged.

3 people found this review helpful.

afiddlersmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
afiddlersmoke (1)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

The first bowl I packed with this tobacco left a very good first impression . At the first try I thought that I had found a new tobacco to enter my regular rotation, but every time I have tried it since then it hasn't been the same. What I noticed from going back to it from time to time is that it burns fast, and the subtle but sweet maple syrup like back round is like a dog begging at the table that wont stop while your trying to enjoy your meal. The pipe being your meal and the dog being the sweetness. To me this tobacco doesn't have anything to offer that really stands out from the crowd flavor wise. I would recommend this tobacco for someone who wants to transition from aromatics to something else.

3 people found this review helpful.

tabaco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tabaco (94)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

A very nice and well balanced meat and potatoes Balkan. Not overly complex nor deep. The nice part is when air dried for awhile you can pick out the different tobaccos, whereas others tend to become a vat of chilli.

I prefer to add 3 oz. of McClelland's Blending Latakia to 16 oz. of this blend. Thus making it fuller and a tad smoother. I quite enjoy this a bit more when compared to some of McClelland's tinned blends.

2 people found this review helpful.

jmartindale Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jmartindale (22)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I am a surprised that this blend hasn't received better reviews - it makes me think that there may be batch variations with it...(My latest purchase came from in February of 2005.)

This is a fine bulk blend and I have smoked it on and off over the years. I prefer to smoke this dry and it burns bone dry to a very nice white ash. It's certainly not very complex (like Squadron Leader, Caravan, etc.), but the underlying Latakia element is simply outstanding. If you enjoy English blends with tastey, smokey I do...(the kind that makes your mouth water)...then you will enjoy this straightforward blend.

This is an under-appreciated classic that, when purchased by the pound, is a real bargain - try it.

2 people found this review helpful.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Definitely Deja Vu. I have encountered this in nearly every independent B&M ever visited. It is a medium English/Oriental tobacco using several varieties of Oriental leaf, Cyprian Latakia and a base of undistinguished Virginias. The flavor is very generic, not particularly complex, and does not develop throughout the bowl. A ggod value for the price, but not beguiling enough to repeat soon.

2 people found this review helpful.

gladi8tor96 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gladi8tor96 (82)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Excellent blend! Sweet, pungent, a bit of tang, and a wonderful over-all aroma. Good all day Balkan blend. Nothing too complex...but it's good! Just doesn't excite me or keep me interested. I would recommend it, but won't remain as one of my regulars.

Pipe Used: Bent Billard, Dublin, Egg, Acorn

Age When Smoked: New from store - 1-3 months

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Peter Stokkebye - English Oriental Supreme (No.306).

1 person found this review helpful.

Denevei Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Denevei (58)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

2030 has a wonderful, rich and dark appearance, with a lot of black mixed with golden brown in rough-cut ribbon. Though the aroma is of latakia, it's not an overwhelming aroma, so is quite alluring. The moisture level, like that of many McClelland blends, is very high – sometimes I think McClelland must have some sort of deal worked out with their local water company (go camping and take McClelland tobaccos so that if you run out of water you can just squeeze some from the tobacco). I'd advise drying the blend a good bit before smoking. The charring light tasted strongly of the latakia, but once the bowl was lit the orientals took control. The initial flavor is nicely complex, with the musty and spicy nature of the orientals dominating, while nicely complimented by the sweet overtones of Virginia and the richer, stronger undertones of latakia. I felt a slight bite from the tobacco at first, but I think it is more due to the high moisture content than to the tobacco itself. That said, I didn't have to use up my supply of pipe cleaners to smoke the tobacco. By mid-bowl the taste is still good, with the orientals still driving. The Virginia overtones eased off a bit, though, making the smoke a little harsher to my taste. By mid-bowl I found myself having to relight on occasion. The end of the bowl is where the blend really lost me. I found the taste to be somewhat acrid, and almost ashy. The tobacco burned down to a good, gray ash, and to the bottom of the bowl with a bit of help from my lighter. Perhaps this tobacco has a good appeal to some Balkan smokers, but for me there are better blends.

1 person found this review helpful.

Big bad Jon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big bad Jon (232)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

The sample (3 oz.) that I tried was 4 years old. I have since tried some unaged, and find it does get better with time. I will say that it is not a full flavor tobacco, but has a lot of subtleties that I really enjoy. Unlike many McClelland blends, there are not a lot of miscellaneous yard sweepings to sort out. I think this is a big plus when buying a bulk tobacco. The texture of the smoke is very smooth, and there is absolutely no bite. There are some overtones of caramel and just a bit of smokiness from the very little latakia. The spice from the Oriental tobacco is very nice but smooth. This is not a powerful blend but one that can be a anytime goto blend. Overall it will improve with age, and smooths out any edges that are already almost nonexistent. Whether this is the balkin blend you love or not is up to you, one thing is for sure there are plenty to choose from.

1 person found this review helpful.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

10/28/2004 I am glad I waited to write this review. I was "underwhelmed" when I initially tried this about a year ago. This has been stored in my tobacco "cellar" for that length of time and it may be that it has aged wonderfully or my palate is more educated now. I really like this mixture. The spiciness of the Oriental component really makes it unique compared to a more mainstream English like E.M.P. In fact that is a good comparative tobac. as I think E.M.P. is a benchmark for light-medium English type tobacs. I will be ordering a half-pound or so to put away for a while. I think this is the best Balkan that I have tasted without having the original Balkan Sobranie to measure it against. Highly recommended. Edit-11/05/2006: No longer a four star in my cellar. Would go two and a half straight or three as a blender.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I've mostly smoked McC's blends that are found in tins before trying this. My sample had the usual trash to be groomed, which I've found not to be uncommon with this brand. My portion of the bulk it came from was a little dry. Nice multi-hue color presentation with a pleasant fragrance that announces the begining of a fine smoking experience. Burning this blend of leaves to the bottom of the bowl is refreshingly understated without the heavy presence of others that are more robust. The yeild of flavors is subtle and refined in nature, requiring more participation of the smoker. Even tho it's not stellar, it is of an enduring character, not to be missed by anyone who enjoys Balkan blends or those desiring diversion from some of the English heavy weights.

Meerschaum Man Smoking a Gezer Flying Dragon

1 person found this review helpful.

Rusty Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rusty (38)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

The term "balkan" seems to be very generic, and I would echo the overall sentiment that this blend is somewhat underrated considering what it is. I find it delightful, having smoked it off and on for a number of years. It's a balkan for everyday, one that can be smoked anytime, anywhere, and be thoroughly enjoyed. It burns cool and even, it's never harsh or biting, it's modestly priced, with a high level of quality and an abundance of flavor. Like some of the other McC bulk blends, it contains some annoying stems and twigs, but you didn't have to shell out $5 plus for a small tin of it either.

2030 is a proletarian blend that scores high in my book. Nothing fancy, just consistently good.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

This is tilted toward the black and browns, with little highlights. Nice, inviting unlit aroma.

No technical complaints. Cool, kind of soft flavors of an exotic sort, particularly Oriental and easy going Latakia (Cyprian). Clouds of smoke come easily with little effort.

Easy to smoke all day without mouth fatigue or pain.

At times, an oily or sooty coating hits my tongue towards the last third of a bowl.

Nice for the price. Ready to smoke when you receive your bulk bag, but softens with age. Many tobacconists stock McClelland bulks, so you can sample this before committing to large quantities.

Accept it for what it is and spare the comparisons to boutique blends or brands lost to antiquity. Decent, unchallenging, and a very good dollar to pleasure ratio- typicaly with most McC bulks.

1 person found this review helpful.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

The problem with this blend is that there are too many excellent Balkan blends out there. This blend is actually good though. My 2 oz. came from Uptowns and was at the perfect moisture. In the bag, the aroma is reminiscent of the McClelland tang that you either love or hate (I happen to love it)with the latakia and oriental quite fragrant as well. Leaf appearance is of a mostly dark medium ribbon cut. Packing and lighting are easy. At the top of the bowl you have to set your pace slowly due to the brightness of the virginia in this. If you don't, your tongue will suffer. Flavor is of a good middle-weight balkan. Flavor-wise, this reminds me a lot of "British Woods", but not quite as complex. Mid to bottom of the bowl you get a mild increase in fullness but when your done, you really are not wowed in any way. I suppose due to its low cost that this is a great buy, but as for me, I prefer to smoke less and get higher quality leaf. I will recommend this though, especially to those curious to expand into the world of "Balkans". Rating: 3 out of 5 points. Enjoy....

1 person found this review helpful.

WxGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WxGuy (95)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

#1 Grade Balkan is a not-so-special bulk from the McClelland shop. My sample appeared in fine shape, not the sticks, etc.that others have noticed, and at a good moisture level- a rarity from McC. It was purchased at a local tobacconist's shop and was prepackaged in a cheap ziplock, so a good deal of drying might well have already taken place as it collected dust on the shelf. (This was a few years ago, and I now refuse to buy prepackaged bulks unless I know the store turns over a lot of that tobacco).

Nothing offends about this mixture, and as it was one of the first bulk english/balkans I had tried, I thought quite highly of it. Since then I have found many better blends in bulk (like 695) and soon I left #1 Grade behind.

Seeing a review in this venue recently I decided to revisit my aged-in-glass-jar sample. The nose was really good, w/o that trademark McClelland's tang. The tobacco was still at a good moisture level, so I packed up one of my better english/balkan briars and lit 'er up. I must admit that I had smoked a bowl of Durbar about an hour before (in a different pipe) so my tastebuds were still somewhat calibrated to that blend.

Well #1GB is not Durbar or, for that matter, of the quality of other McC blends like British Woods or Oriental #14 or even the Frogs. While I enjoyed the bowl, it seemed to be missing that special something to make it stand out, the taste falling well short of the tin aroma, ending in a slight bitterness, but w/o the smokiness. There are so many good English/Balkans out there that, to be interesting, the product needs to have something unique to offer. #1GB falls short.

I may pick up another couple of ounces at some point, 'cause the price is right and my original sample may have been stale. But then again, I may not...

1 person found this review helpful.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (89)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Some years ago, when cost dictated, I began to smoke bulk 2030 in large quantities. As time passed, I became somewhat more monetarily advanced and began to play with expensive imports and the like. Recently, a fellow piper pulled out a bag of 2030 for us to enjoy during an evening's visit. I rather enjoyed it, all over again. Not terribly complex or strong, but very woodsy with smoke you can chew on, resulting in smoke rings of copious size... Between the two of us, we now have about 7 pounds put away, perfect for those Calgary winters when nought but tea, tobacco and tales will suffice.

1 person found this review helpful.

Spuds Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spuds (14)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

2030 comes in bulk packaging. Mine was vacuum packed.

It came so moist, that the vacuum packing mashed it to the point where I do not know what style the cut was intended to be. The pouch aroma is that of a freshly opened box of dried prunes. I?m no stranger to prunes, so I can vouch for the accuracy of this statement. I didn?t know whether to eat it, chew it, or smoke it. I still don?t know if this is really 2030, or if I received something else in error. I broke off a few chunks. Half filling a pipe of little consequence - I feared the prune smell would attached itself, ruining a better pipe ? I readied to take this for a tentative run. It was hard to light, but I can say it wasn?t bad. I did note a mineral taste toward the end of the bowl. It did speak of better things to come.

After two days of drying, I tried a full bowl. It was too hard to keep lit long enough to discern anything meaningful. I decided to wait 2 more days, hoping it would dry out so I could rub it out to a proper size.

On the next try, although far too moist, I was able to get it going. I realized the previous mineral taste was merely an emanation of the prune smell coming through in the smoke.

In short, after more then a week of drying, I got something smokable, but I don't enjoy it.

1 person found this review helpful.

pmonroeb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pmonroeb (92)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

A rather ordinary Balkan without much to separate it from the field. Like most of the McClelland bulks it is not as refined in terms of the cut of the tobacco or the number of stems and hard pieces compared to McClelland's tinned mixtures.

This is a medium Balkan that could only be recommended if cost was a factor.

1 person found this review helpful.

pittacus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pittacus (6)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

For the cost-conscious Balkan smoker, this would be a fine 'turn to' blend. Nothing really exciting here.

The latakia takes a backseat to the orientals, which, for me (belonging to the Sykes school of Latakia being a condiment tobacco), is a good thing.

For my unrefined palate the virginias are MIA.

Criticisms aside, a good dependable smoke.

1 person found this review helpful.

lustra Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lustra (170)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

2030 is a well-made mostly dark coarsely cut ribbon. My sample doesn't have any stems or loose tobacco dust as I have occasionally seen with other McClelland bulks. This blend arrived properly humidified, not as wet as some of the McClelland blends I have tried. It packs, lights, and burns well. It reminds me very much of a slightly milder Balkan Sasieni--the Balkan fullness of taste is there, in somewhat diluted form, as is the underlying bitterness/pungency and bitiness that's part of the Sasieni experience. Smoked slowly, it's pretty good stuff, but in this category I much prefer Greg Pease's Caravan, which is the benchmark Balkan for me.

1 person found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (424)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This one is dull and uninspiring. Lacking flavor which makes me want to push it. You don't want to do that though, as the flavor then goes off the rails and down roads best untraveled. I'll just leave this one alone.

Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman, MM Mark Twain

Age When Smoked: fresh bulk

Purchased From:

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (1183)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

The Virginias have the typical McClelland characteristics of tangy “vinegar” notes, and though I pick up a little citrus and some grassiness, they aren’t doing that much for the product. The Orientals are smoky and woody with a sour note and some spice, and at times, is the star. The Cyprian latakia is smokey, woodsy sweet. I notice some inconsistency of taste at times, and the Orientals seem to show up more in the latter half of the smoke. Burns well and fairly cool, but the sourness seems more obvious near the finish than I prefer. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SmokeDawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeDawg (73)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I'm a Va/ Burley or Va/Perique lover. However, never been guilty of being called Tobacco prejudice.. (Tobacco whore on occassion) (love you Aro bacca call me). I love to mix it up with some English and Aromatics at times. Some days I get a hanker'n (yeah I wrote hanker'n I'm in N.C.) Don't judge.. For some of that soury-sweet - and tangy Balkan.

This quality bulk from McClelland hits that spot just right. Soury-Sweet-Tangy with a bit of Smokey Latakia.

I'm not a hard core Balkan man but I know good quality smoke when I get it. I don't smoke cheap pipe weed and life is too short to do so. This is a med profile Balkan. I do recommend this for smokers wanting to try a decent Balkan blend to mix it up for a change. You won't be disappointed.

Pipe Used: Savinelli pettite, GBD Channel

Age When Smoked: Bulk

Purchased From: Ansteads

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.629 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.629 (133)
Mild Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

October-2003. Bulk No.2030 # Grade Balkan. Nothing outstanding for me here.As far as a Balkan's go give me Pease's Odyssey,Balkan Sobranie or Balkan Sasieni.Nothing memorable about this one.

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