|One of the few mixtures that Fader's still blends in-house from base tobaccos, Istanbul is well worth a try. Blended specifically as a throwback to Oriental mixtures such as Balkan Sobranie and Sasieni, it is an overall success.
Istanbul is a blend of Cyprian Latakia, Orientals, Turkish, and mature Viriginia. The predominant flavors are those of the Turkish and Latakia, providing a smoky, resiny, pleasantly musty characteristic expected from a Balkan blend. The Virigina tobacco simply provides a solid base on which to hang these components.
For a store blend, this is actually stunningly good (at least in my opinion). I actually prefer this to Balkan Sasieni as it has more of the musty, leathery flavor I desire in a blend of this type, while Sasieni concentrates more on the heavy smokiness of Latakia. As it's a store bulk, it's also a very economical smoke.
All in all, Istanbul is an excellent value for the price, and a good solid tobacco no matter the cost.