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From P&C's website: A legendary blend consisting of fragrant Macedonian Orientals including Yenidje, sweet Virginias and latakia had been a favorite among American pipe connoisseurs. Using similar components, this match blend delivers a memorable and familiar experience.

Notes: Also known as MATCH B.S.O.S.M.

BrandHearth & Home
Blended ByRuss Ouellette
Manufactured BySutliff Tobacco Company
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
None Detected
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 4 Users

8 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2251)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This Match is based on the 1970s version, and not any later or current Sobranie productions. This is very similar to the ’70s Sobranie. The main differences are the Orientals are a shade spicier, there's a little less latakia, and a little more creamy sweetness in the Match. It’s also missing the mild unflavored “soda” note from the Yenidje that the original had, though the Macedonia plays the very same background notes. The original was a slightly drier smoke. The yellow Virginia is lightly grassy with a natural sweetness in both and the red Virginia offers lightly tangy fruit, and a touch of earth. The Cyprian latakia has the usual smokey sweet woodsy flavor, and is balanced nicely by the other components. The original used Syrian latakia. While it appears that there are numerous differences between the original and the Match, they are minor and more of an indicator of nuance variations rather than big discrepancies. I was actively looking for contrast and comparison, so the description of divergences makes them seem greater than they are. The nic-hit is a shade past mild. Like the original, it is well balanced and burns clean at a moderate pace with few relights, a cool, consistent, fairly smooth flavor, and leaves virtually no dampness in the bowl. Won't bite or get harsh. Has a pleasant after taste. Can be an all day smoke.

I rated the original Balkan Sobranie at four stars in every version except for the latest production, which got two stars due to Germain's formula change, which has a lower quality than previous productions.


21 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1826)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

The blend used for Russ and several other blenders to try to approximate the Original Balkan Sobranie was a tin of the pre-Gallaher era (historians argue between 1976 and 1980) Original. And because it was the Original and not the 759, that is why the Latakia does not overwhelm the Oriental components and those really shine with Balkan Sobranie Match. It is particularly remarkable to me how Russ found such quality Yenidje for this one. The flavor really did come through and reminded me of the Gallaher's era BS Original which also seemed to have more Yenidje present than did the original House of Sobranie. Some o the experts tell me that the House of Sobranie tins have had their Oriental and Latakia components mellow out considerably after such long stints in the tin, and that is why the flavor of the two components are not as noticeable as when first tinned.

A superior smoking experience, for sure. And be sure to get some Mason Jars and sock some away for future years when the aging will really make the blend curl your toes!


12 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Got this about a month ago and didn't much care for it. Orientals were sharp and the Latakia was nearly invisible making it top heavy with very little bottom note. Determined to give it a fair shot, I jarred it and placed it in my cabinet. Yesterday I broke it back out and tried it again. That nearly one month rest made a world of difference. The Orientals are buttery smooth with floral notes and a touch of sourness. The Latakia is smoky, woody, a little spicy and give firm support to the Orientals. The Virginias are tangy and sweet. This stuff is superb. I've had the current version of the original, but not the version that this is based on. Wish I could try that one.

Body is medium. Flavor is medium. Burns very well. Moisture content allows for immediate smoking. You gotta try this one.

Edit: Just looked at the label on the jar. It was jarred on 1-7-15, so it was nearly 2 months of rest, not one.

Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman, MM Mark Twain

Age When Smoked: 2 months

Purchased From:

8 people found this review helpful.

Wellpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wellpipe (60)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have never smoked the original so I cannot attest to how close this comes to it. On its own merits this is another great achievement by Russ. Wow, talk about a flavor burst - rich leather, bright and sweet, tangy and sour, a tiny bit of butter, and all holding steady for the duration of the bowl. The flavors reminded me of Three Oaks Syrian but with the spice dialed back just a bit. Tin note and feel between the fingers a lot like Peretti Royal Blend. Moisture level just a shade dry but perfect for smoking right out of the package. Stayed lit nicely but watch it doesn't overheat. I did pick out a couple of stems.

In addition to being tasty this blend has a great price point especially considering the high quality. Stock up.

Similar Blends: Three Oaks Syrian, Peretti Royal Blend.

5 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My main BSO experience goes back to the mid 60's, so I'm having a bit of trouble remembering what I had for lunch let alone how this blend compares. My faded memory does agree with reviewer, " Jiminks 2015-01-21", in that this match is "slightly spicier and tangy" but missing the "Soda" note. Personally I would say it another way, "It's not quite as smooth while still having a Zest".

Still, a very nice blend that brings some "Flashbacks" of the original and at bulk prices. I feel that 6 months in a Mason jar will take care of any smoothness issues I have and I will be stocking more ( agree with "Gentleman Zombie" on aging this a little).

Updated 7/21/2016- From the same batch of bulk with a little over a year of aging : this has really smoothed out. Worth stocking up for some cellar time.

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: 1 month/revised 16 months

Similar Blends: whiteknight.

5 people found this review helpful.

es ca. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
es ca. (3)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Wow!!! Russ really nailed this. A true Balkan blend. Delicate interplay of smoke, spice, and sweet. I've been looking for this for 5 years. Everything is harmonious all the way down to ashes. Exotic oriental, sweet virgina's, and just the right amount of latakia to be smoky but not overwhelming. This is my number 1 smoke. Not a lot of nic kick but very satisfying. I've have found my holy grail. Forget the tinned version that's $25.00 for 50 grams, that dosent come close. I waited forever to get that one and couldn't smoke 2 bowls of it. My other favs are White Knight, Great Hiatus, and Margate. Don't ever stop making this one!

Pipe Used: cassano calabash

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: pipes and cigars

Similar Blends: White knight, Great Hiatus..

3 people found this review helpful.

Young Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Young Piper (302)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

From what i understand this bulk blend is the same as WhiteKnight but using lower quality leaf to keep the price down but using the same recipe. I have smoked through a half pound and have since fell in love with the Oriental Yenidje and what it adds to a blend. I enjoyed everything that this Balkan presented, the sweetness of the yellow and red Virginia, the smoky Latakia and the sour / musty Oriental, all working in concert to provide the smoker with ever changing complexity. I will order another pound to cellar and if it's true what i read about it's being the bulk equivalent of WhiteKnight, then several tins of that blend to keep on hand for winter. My favorite of the Balkan blends i have tried so far..

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

2 people found this review helpful.

easterngray Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
easterngray (11)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is such a great blend I can't imagine paying premium prices for the storied blend that it emulates. Smoky Latakia, sweet Virginias and orientals, smooth and perfectly blended. Available in bulk, this is a real winner. As always, thanks Russ!!

Pipe Used: Moonshine Cutty

Age When Smoked: 11 months

Purchased From: P&C

1 person found this review helpful.