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WhiteKnight is a medium-bodied, very complex and well balanced Balkan-Style blend created to evoke memories of one of the most iconic pipe tobaccos ever made.

Notes: When we won the 2011 Balkan Sobranie 759 Throwdown at the Chicagoland Pipe and Tobacciana Show, with our entry, BlackHouse, it caused quite a stir, and the blend has become one of our best sellers. We followed that up with Fusilier's Ration, which was modeled after Bengal Slices, and it too has become incredibly popular. There was one other blend that I loved, that I thought about making a tribute to, because I enjoyed it so much. But I resisted, due to the iconic stature of the tobacco. After a couple of years of work, though, I finally put together a blend that I feel so confident in, that we're ready to bring you BlackHouse's cousin - WhiteKnight.

Balkan Sobranie Original Smoking Mixture is legendary among those of us who were privileged enough to have smoked it. It had gone through some changes, but my memories are from the blend as it was in the late seventies. Using Cyprian Latakia, remarkable yellow Virginias, and amazing Macedonian Orientals, including the Queen of Tobaccos - Yenidje, WhiteKnight has received rave reviews from people who sampled it prior to release.

If you love smooth, fragrant Latakia blends with a bright, sparkly character, I think that WhiteKnight will find its way into your regular rotation.

BrandHearth & Home
Blended ByRuss Ouellette
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutCoarse Cut
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy PipesAndCigars
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 5 Users

3.6
20 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
15
3 star:
2
2 star:
2
1 star:
1
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SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (524)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have a pipe in my mouth most of the day and as a result, I tend to switch off from blend to blend. But when I received Russ Ouellette’s newest incarnation, I have gone through almost the entire tin in three days! Does it taste like the 70’s version of Balkan Sobranie? No, but the intent was to pay tribute to this iconic blend and I think Russ has done that here. Personally, I find this to be more complex although not quite as smooth as Balkan Sobranie, but that could easily be due to the lack of age. I would not take that as a criticism, it isn’t. This blend comes ready to smoke out of the tin as it is fairly dry (not too dry). The mixture of ribbons and rough cut leaf smells a little bit sour, a bit leathery and smoky in the tin. I find the smell of the Orientals to dominate. In the pipe it smokes slightly sweet and creamy with a wide range of flavor. WK is one of those blends that a new nuance can be found with each new bowl. It’s a little tamer than Black House and the combination of Macedonian leaf is sublime. WK is billed as medium in body and I find that to be pretty much the case, although the flavor is medium to full. I have smoked this in a half dozen different pipes, but I have had the best results in a reverse Calabash. The only question that I have about this blend, and it is a minor one, surrounds how much benefit it will WK receive from long term aging. I only question this because it is on the dry side and I have had better results aging blends with a tad more moisture. But I intend to add enough tins to the cellar to find out. All in all, this is one outstanding tobacco and may even be Russ’ best effort to date! Highly recommended!

Pipe Used: Eltang Tubos and others

Age When Smoked: one month

17 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (1082)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I started smoking Balkan Sobranie in 1982, so I missed the 1970s version on which this is based, and was slightly different than what I was used to. However, a few years ago, I was fortunate enough to have sampled the 1960s BS, and this is fairly similar to it. The main differences are the Orientals are a little spicier, there's a little less latakia, and a little more sweetness here than the 1960s version. The mild soda note from the Yenidje is milder here than in the Sobranie I regularly smoked, though the Macedonia plays the same background notes. The yellow Virginia is lightly grassy with a natural sweetness in both and the red Virginia is lightly tangy. The Cyprian latakia has the usual smokey sweet woodsy flavor, and is balanced nicely by the other components. Like DK, I found it a little tamer than Russ' Black House, and more of an all day smoke for my personal taste, which Balkan Sobranie often was for me back in earlier times. This is a little dry out of the tin, and I find it a little more flavorful with a slight bit of moisture. Burns perfectly well with few relights, and a smooth creaminess that leaves you wanting to smoke another bowl right away.

14 people found this review helpful.

Drayve85@gmail.com Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Drayve85@gmail.com (1)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Although I've never smoked the famed Balkan Sobranie Original Mixture, I feel this is what it could have tasted like. I thoroughly enjoy, and recommend this blend, and will definately stock up! My only complaint is the burning characteristics, it doesn't like to hold an ember for me. It could be technique, and/or lack of experience with this blend, but everything I try has the same outcome, I end up relighting many times a bowl. Which, isn't enough to stop smoking it, but can be a little irritating at times. I will record tastes, and final opinions when I finish a tin or two, seeing as I am only halfway through my first tin, I do not think 25 grams constitutes a viable, or complete review.

Pipe Used: Peterson 106 Aran, cob, meer.

Age When Smoked: Brand new

Purchased From: Www.pipesandcigars.com

Similar Blends: Balkan Sobranie Original Mixture, Balkan Sasieni..

6 people found this review helpful.

Lit a Kia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lit a Kia (62)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I never smoked the blend that inspired this, but White Knight is an excellent English. Beautiful complexity from the Orientals, Latakia and Virginias; they play well together through the entire smoke. I dry it before packing and have not had a problem keeping it lit. If I had to choose a single blend, this one would be a front runner.

P.S. Jim and DK's "lighter than Black House" characterization is spot on.

1/15/2015 Was a front runner for "desert island" tobacco until I met Russ's Magnum Opus. Still, a wonderful smoke.

1/25/2014 This will need less (if any) drying time as it ages in the tin, as are no humectants in the Marquee blends. I'm finding that I'm not a huge fan of Yenidje (in this and Tudor Castle). It adds an interesting element but is sometimes a bit too sharp/spicy. It seems to play a lesser role in Magnum Opus, which I prefer to WK. But this is still a great smoke, and if you are a fan of Yenidje, something you should try.

Similar Blends: Sillem's London, Gawith Squadron Leader.

5 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (411)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A very nice tasting Balkan mix. Very smooth and creamy. The Orientals dominate the Latakia by a small margin. The Virginias add their usual sweetness. The second half of the bowl is where it really shines though. The Lat and Orientals mellow and marry and a very nice spiciness comes to the fore. So creamy and spicey, it makes me drool thinking about it. If I didn't know better I'd think there was a pinch of Perique in it. I have one complaint and this prevents me from giving this four stars. It has some burn issues as one other reviewer noted. Just doesn't seem to want to burn readily. Even when bone dry. Otherwise, a great smoke. 3+

Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

5 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (668)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Looooong ribbons of blonde-to-black, it certainly looks like the old Sobranie. Tin nose of succulent orientals with latakia - no surprise there. The blend greeted me as fairly dry, dryer than I'm used to seeing. I'm not sure that was intentional, as Sobranie was one I usually had to dry out before smoking.

Russ strikes me as always getting to the essence of his "clone" blends, or "memory evoking" blends or whatever one cares to call them. I thought BlackHouse and Fusiliers portrayed their influences very well. This one is no exception, although it doesn't have that burst of flavor that Sobranie had. Jiminks calls it a "soda note" and after quizzing him on that, we agreed that it was what we were both experiencing... he just found a better way to describe it than I did. He absolutely nailed it. Anyway, not much of that "soda note" here, at least not like the original had. On the other hand, this strikes me as closer to the Sobranie I'm familiar with than the new Sobranie blend does. Now I haven't smoked a lot of the '70's Sobranie and one of the batches I smoked didn't fare so well 40 years later. Further, I can't really remember the ins and outs of the good batch but it was sublime. WhiteKnight doesn't ascend to that height. But it's still an excellent tobacco and evokes memories of old Sobranie for me. Russ seems to be able to do that very often. While I may not smoke this blend a lot, the talent required in creating it is obvious. Put simply, if you liked the old Balkan Sobranie, pick up a tin of this, and I'll bet you can put more of your sadness about the old stuff going away than you might think!

4 people found this review helpful.

Geronimo Von Klaus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Geronimo Von Klaus (64)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Am I missing something? I did not see this as Black House Mild at all, or as anything other than a middle of the road, bog-standard English blend. Decent Lat, nice spicy Orientals, decent VA and the rest of it, but it didn't light up and shine at all, it just smoked well and was nice, but nothing like the near religious experience I had smoking Black House.

I may need to revisit, maybe my expectations were too high. I have never smoked the old Sobranies, my pipe mentor has and he was trying this at the same time. Same sentiment as me, just a decent quality English, but nothing to get excited about.

Will stick a pin in this one and maybe revisit and see what is going on, but for now, 2 stars and nothing special. I would take almost any of Russ' other English blends over this.

4 people found this review helpful.

Theodore Moore Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Theodore Moore (14)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

One of the best ways to judge a pipe tobacco is the disappointment one feels when reaching the end of the bowl. This tobacco leaves me wanting another pipefull every time. Another way I judge a tobacco is to leave the room and clear the nostrils and then return... a heavenly experience with White Knight! This is MUCH smoother and more courteous to the tongue than Black House, with an occasional taunting, tantalizing, pure-tobacco floral note which I simply adore, and find myself waiting for with great expectation. To me at least, this is what is missing in most Sobranie wanna-be's. Having smoked many a tin of both Sobranies in the 70's, this blend exceeds my memories. This is a sipping tobacco to be sure as it will not yield her tasty complexity if not handled gently. But given a slow meditative draw, the slipstream will surprise and reward. Here is a mild tobacco that doesn't sacrifice body, aroma or complexity; nor will it fry the tongue; a rare fourfold feat. Russ is always raising the bar, and The White Knight is his Lancelot! Seven stars out of five for perfection! Bravo Russ!!! I Thank you!

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Similar Blends: Balkan Sobranie Original.

3 people found this review helpful.

Lochinvar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lochinvar (77)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is my favorite new tobacco. Russ is the Heavyweight Champ with this one. From the first light to the bottom of the bowl, the Orientals dominate the flavor, sour and spicy, very dry, with floral, curry and citrus notes. The latakia is warm and earthy, sweet and leathery, but are a definite distant 2nd, with the Virginias giving a sweet base, lemony and haylike.

White Knight not only replicates the original Balkan Sobranie, but surpasses it. This is just a little fuller, a little brighter, the Orientals more Orientally. Between this and Peretti Royal, we are in Oriental mixture heaven.

Pipe Used: Dunhill Dublin

Purchased From: P&C

Similar Blends: The Balkan Sobranie, Peretti Royal.

3 people found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (143)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I found this to be at best a medium English with a stable but not heavy latakia note. But that's all I tasted; a rather sotty blend. I smoked some and let it sit for a month and smoked more. No refinements but there is nothing wrong with the blend itself. It just should not be compared to anything that great, but it is marketed for greatness. Made me salivate.

As an introduction to an English with a bit more latakia than a light English, it's fine. But not great. Sorry.

Pipe Used: dunhill

Age When Smoked: new tin

Purchased From: pipesandcigars

Similar Blends: Any medium English with a solid Latakia note..

3 people found this review helpful.

Mike Castello Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike Castello (1)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Right from the first bowl I liked this blend. Balkans and English are my preferred types of tobacco so this blend is right in my comfort zone. It reminds me of the blends I smoked back in the 60's and 70's. White Knight is definitely the creation of a master. The flavor is beautiful and the cut and moisture level make lighting and continued smoking very easy. From beginning of the bowl right to the end it is smooth and never sour. I have smoked only two tins, but it is the blend I want to smoke bowl after bowl. I can't get enough of it, and it is consistently fine regardless of which pipe I choose to smoke.

Pipe Used: castello

Purchased From: pipes and cigars

Similar Blends: balkan sobranie, westminster, balkan sasinie.

2 people found this review helpful.

Backwoods Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Backwoods Piper (60)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I was lucky enough to be one of the pipe smokers who enjoyed many decades of Balkan Sobranie. Alas now our old faithful balkan blend is gone. But I say to you, it's okay fellow lovers of aromatic spicy blends that leave your taste buds asking for more. Hearth and Home has come up with a worthy runner up to an old friend.

White Knight is a truly flavorful blend masterfully blended to appease those of us who desire a more complex english blend. This tobacco smells great from the tin and smokes well without any additional drying or preparation. I would recommend this offering to a seasoned smoker. As most Balkans this should be lingered over along with coffee and the Sunday paper. Sweet smokes my friends!

Pipe Used: Cobs and Briars

Age When Smoked: New tin

Purchased From: pipesandncigars.com

Similar Blends: Balkan Sobranie.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (249)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A nice Balkan, and similar to Sobraine in taste on the initial light. I seem to remember the original Balkan Sobraine as having a finer ribbon cut ( more Dunhill like) and this is wider ( am I wrong, I really can't remember?). Now how that effects the flavor, I don't know, but White Night just doesn't jump forward with a burst of flavor, kind of "Ho Hum". Kind of like eating a steak at Outback as compared to Ruth Chris, both good, but one is better.

I think this would benefit from some aging to smooth this out. It's little harsh on the initial light, but on the relight, it actually smoothes right out. I find I have to really slow down my smoking cadence to get the most out of this blend. When I do this , it delivers wonderful Oriental flavor and a scent that is totally intriguing as it drifts up the nose. If I don't, it seems harsh, however, as I slow this down I run into a relight issue.

I agree with bits and pieces from each of the reviews prior to mine, each has some good points:

Steel Cowboy-"although not quite as smooth as Balkan Sobranie, but that could easily be due to the lack of age.

" Drayve85@gmail.com & Gentleman Zombie (203)-"My only complaint is the burning characteristics, it doesn't like to hold an ember for me. It could be technique", "I have one complaint and this prevents me from giving this four stars. It has some burn issues as one other reviewer noted. Just doesn't seem to want to burn readily. Even when bone dry

" Stan (138)-" As an introduction to an English with a bit more latakia than a light English, it's fine. But not great"

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: 1 month

1 person found this review helpful.

Choctaw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Choctaw (5)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Billed as a "cousin" to Black House, White Knight is a superb, complex, tobacco that I believe is destined to become a classic in its own right. It need not bow to Black House or any other blend.

The nose is relatively strong with the aroma of lovely Cyprian Latakia giving rise to a sweet, smoky, earthy note. The highest quality Orientals strike a delicious conterpoint from which emanate slightly sour yet smooth and sophisticated aromas.

Out of the tin, the tobacco is almost too dry. Oddly, I find that it does not take a match well and multiple re-lights are par for the course.

WK is a medium blend in strength and when lit itroduces a fair amount of smoke.

WK smokes even better than it smells.

A first-class tobbacco in every particular. 4 Stars without hesitation!

Pipe Used: Old Petersen Bent Fishtail

Age When Smoked: New-Fresh

Purchased From: SmokingPipes.com

Similar Blends: Many blends, esp. Blackhouse.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tank Man Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tank Man (10)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant

Tin note, Smokey, and spices. Average moisture content. Packs nicely. I needed to relight a few times. Nice puffs of smoke. Needs a little aging time. I smoked this new. Wonderful complex flavors. Slightly sweet. Little bit of spices. Don't rush this one. Fun to pull out flavors as it changes during smoke. This is a top contender and it brings you back wanting more. I see this a top ten in my rotation. Very fun and enjoyable blend.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1270)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Yes, this one did ring a bell while smoking. If you enjoyed the Oriental presence of the original Balkan Sobranie, then you will certainly like WhiteKnight. The Latakia could not be duplicated, but due to the fact it is much fresher than what I remember of the old BS White, it is more pronounced here. A very nice compilation!

Pipestud

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BamaPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BamaPiper (1)
★☆☆☆
Extremely Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

I might be the only person who feels this way... But... I am not sure what all the hype is about. I could not even finish the bowl. It was almost tasteless but with a minor hint of burnt rubber. Very unpleasant. I enjoy english tobaccos very much, 5110 Full English, Frog Morton, Northwoods, etc. but White Knight is not good... In my opinion.

Pipe Used: Custombilt

Purchased From: Gift Sample

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Budman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Budman (25)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

White Knight took me buy surprise. Normally a Balkan has a sharp edge to me and I can only tolerate so much before I move on. However,this blend has kept my pipes smoking! I have smoked it in small, medium and large bowls and have found really no difference what size bowl I chose. This blend has no sharp edges and is quite smooth and great any time of the day. It came quite dry and ready to smoke but I went the other way and threw it in my Humidor to add moisture. It seemed to respond better with a little more moisture as most other blends in tins seem to be to wet. I am not sure what aging would do to this but it is a winner right out of the tin. This is definitely on my list of top tobaccos. If you are looking to try your shot at Balkans this would be a good place to start! Good Stuff!

Pipe Used: Peterson 01, 999, Stanwell 208 Sixtus

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Cigars International

Similar Blends: Bill Baileys Balkan Blend, G&H Balkan.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bob323 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bob323 (46)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Russ Oulette's 2nd homage to the famed Balkan Sobranie...This one as he states was modeled on the '70's version which he holds fond memories...I couldn't say since in the '70's I was still pursuing the perfect Aro...A futile venture which I have abandoned to pursuing the perfect anything that I can stick in my pipeand smoke...So much and so little time...White Knight is a delightful Balkan which I will return to time and again...Highly recommended...I want to thank Russ and G. L. Pease and Steve Books and the blenders at Cornell & Diehl and those at McClelland along with all those unnamed home blenders who do this for the love of the leaf alone for launching us into a new Golden Age of pipe smoking...Gentlemen (and perhaps Ladies) you have made this codger's waning years a complete delight...Thank you!...Bob323.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: fresh from dealer

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Thbg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Thbg (29)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

All the positive comments are right on.

This is a very complex blend; I notice new nuances every time I smoke it.

Worth a try if you appreciate good Balkan blends.

Pipe Used: Boswell freehands

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: pipes and cigars dot com

Similar Blends: I didn't smoke tobacco in the 70's so I can't tell you if it is like Balkan Sobraine, but it is excellent…..

Nobody has rated this review yet.