|From the first bowl I knew this tobacco was for me. Medium bodied Lat blend with nic to match, and it produced the elusive sour note that I desire. Very dark tobacco, very dry, not an incredible jar note, but magic in the bowl. Dry, incense- like, sour, smoky. I'm thinking this is one spectacular bulk tobacco.
Then it dawns on you that despite the traditional impressions, this tobacco is anything but. There is no Va here. You read that right. Burley, Latakia, Perique and Turkish. I am guessing 4 out of 5 Lat blend smokers wouldn't guess that in a blind test. Amazing.
Once you know the Va is not Va, you kind of notice a Burley sweetness in the background. But I stress, this smokes like an excellent Balkan and is nothing like an American blend.
I love C&D's Red Odessa, a unique, genre busting tobacco. It's not a conventional Lat blend, but more like Three Friars with Latakia. I like Super Balkan even more. This is my bulk Lat blend, and I just ordered a pound. This is by far the best bulk Lat blend I've smoked, and it shames most tinned blends. In fact, this is the best Lat blend I've smoked from C&D that isn't wearing a GL Pease label. At $36/lb, about the same tinned if you look around, it's simply astonishing. I'll tell you right now I like this better than Larry's Blend.
###update 4/31/2012 Long term, this blend hasn't consistently reproduced the magic that had me so excited about it, and I have to lower my opinion of it. Occasionally I get spectacular smokes from this one, with luscious sour notes. More often than not, it's an undistinguished generic Lat blend. Still recommended but not one of my favorites.
|Super Balkan (C&D)
Allow me to begin by saying I am getting reacquainted with pipe smoking. I quit a three pack a day cigarette habit about 28 years ago. I recently decided that, at age 74, taking up a pipe would not appreciably reduce my life expectancy and may even improve it. One of the blends suggested by my local tobacconist is C&D’s Super Balkan blend. I keep my tobacco’s separated in cracker jars and I love opening this jar and inhaling the smoky aroma. It gave flashbacks of campfires past and hunting coats that I failed to have cleaned after the season ended. First, I tried it in a Kaywoodie. I did not like it. Then I tried it in a Peterson large pot with a P-lip stem and it was better, but not good enough. Finally I tried it in a Savinelli billiard dry (#128) and found it very nice indeed. The two early pipes gave me some bite I did not like, but the Savinelli is smooth and enjoyable from beginning to end. No bite. I recommend this tobacco and will make it part of my inventory.