|01/06/09 - This is a "blue-collar" review from a long-time pipe smoker who is neither a connoisseur nor a gourmet. I like subtleties up to a point, beyond which I cannot detect them. There are very few aromatics that I like anymore. I love orientals, latakias, and Virginias, but burley gives me some trouble. Most of the time, I like stronger blends over weaker ones and in larger pipes than smaller ones. I have exceptions to all of the above. With that said . . .
This blend comes as an untinned bulk.
Showing brown and black ribbons with some tan, this blend smells like a light Balkan in the pouch. A solid Balkan at the match, the orientals are at the fore. But don't kid youself: despite the description, without Yenidje, this is NOT close to Balkan Sobranie. However in it's own right, this is a good medium Balkan that is lighter than SG's Balkan Flake. Gets stronger toward the bottom of the bowl. A spicy full flavor, but monochromatic. It burns easily and is well behaved. This blend is for Oriental lovers, and probably not for the beginner. I will buy more of this!
Compares well with Samuel Gawith's Balkan Flake: has more orientals, not as strong.
I will keep some on hand because it's simply a good, solid, loose-cut Balkan.
I rate it 7 out of 9 leaves.