Sobranie of London The Balkan Sobranie 759

This traditional mixture of rich Virginia, latakia and rare yenidje tobaccos is Sobranie's oldest blend and offers a mild yet rich taste. A cool and long-lasting smoke.
Notes: Produced by Gallaher until 2005.


Brand Sobranie of London
Blended By  
Manufactured By Gallaher
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50g Pouch, 100g Tin, 200g Tin
Country United Kingdom
Production No longer in production


Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.63 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 24, 2012 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I lucked into about 1.25 oz of this. Actually, I schmoozed and begged for it. The gifter decided that since he couldn't ever afford anymore, he may as well share, and hence get over the loss faster. 🙂 As a longterm smoker of this blend, he told me that this is 1990 vintage and had aged very nicely.

Mostly dark with a bit of chestnut brown, this smells like a fairly typical latakia/oriental blend. In the pipe, this is a moderately sweet tasting blend, with the latakia gently nudging the virginias. It has the traditional smoky flavor just a frog hair beneath the natural sweetness. This doesn't taste like GLP Picadilly but it has the same essence of smoke lying in a bed of sweet & smooth. Rather compelling. It didn't, however develop much down the bowl. Pease has a way of building latakia blends in layers, something this one lacked. This one leaned toward the monodimensional, which is a fine thing when the blend tastes this good. One thing I noticed, though, is that this willfully and harshly smote any attempt at DGT.

I didn't smoke a lot of this "back in the day" and I think I recall why. Where the white label blend had this razor sharp burst of flavor from the first puff throughout the bowl, this one remained smooth. And I guess I've always preferred the more robust tobaccos. This may be a classic tobacco but I've found many current blends that I prefer. However, if one can afford a tin of this, it's definitely a good smoke. Whether it's worth the high cost of today is for each individual to gauge. For me, absolutely not.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 07, 2016 Extremely Strong None Detected Very Full Strong
Somehow through luck, circumstance and knowing a lot of old pipe guys, I got a couple of bowls with this in an exchange.

From a tin from the 1980's, perfect moisture level, immense aroma. It had been in a mason jar which was opened occasionally.

I have wanted to try some of this for years and could never bring myself to purchase one of the $450+ tins on ebay, so glad I got some without the cost.

Here goes.

Packed easy. Looked like a lot of other blends and smelled similar but very woody and musky too.

Light was easy, immediate whack of strong Lat from the off; big bluish plume of it up in the air. Smelled not dissimilar to other lat blends in this regard, but very sturdy stuff.

Immediate impressions indifferent, it has to be said. The lat was the big component, and the other flavours were in the background but not doing much. Just tasted like a normal lat at this point but the big difference was the thickness and density of the smoke. Every slight puff was producing the thickest cloud of blue smoke I have ever seen, and it was very strong.

This continued for a while, and then it started to happen. Not earth shattering, but the other ingredients came in. The orientals are big and heavy, and unlike anything else I have sampled. I cannot describe them other than they are just different. kinda like incense, but also woody, and even a hint of an old dusty basement came through.

The middle of the bowl was the most enjoyable. The lat calmed down and the orientals and VA came in strong, and it was really good then. It was still powerhouse, but the sheer size of it all was unlike anything else I have tried, 4 solid flavour profiles making their presence known.

Towards the end, my tolerance for Nic started to give way, and this stuff really kicked up into high gear. The smoke was almost intoxicating in its strength, and the flavours were all do deep and earthy that it was a real pounding of overload. The last 3rd packed huge flavours and each of the components turned into a mass of depth that I havent experienced before. It wasn't all that enjoyable at this point to my pallet. There was a richness but also something quite sour and even like a soda element to it. It came on stronger and stronger and the smoke was so deep, but it was really a lot to take on and I was getting overwhelmed with a cold sweat coming on.

I know I am using a lot of superlative words that lack description, but to break it down imagine a standard English blends, and just imagine now that every flavour in the blend is amplified x3 with some extra stuff you've never tasted before. That is what its like.

Overall, I am glad I did it, but once was enough. I imagine anything aged this long will pack a similar wallop, and for me it was an experience but not something I would seek out again. It is certainly not worth the incredible sums of money it would usually take to get some.

To my tastes, there are several which are currently available which give you a very similar taste profile and won't overload. Samovar, British Woods, Black House are 3.
Pipe Used: XXL Custom Poker
Age When Smoked: 30 years-ish
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 06, 2004 Medium None Detected Full Very Pleasant
Very much like the Original, with a smidgeon of extra red Virginia sweetness. The benchmark of oriental mixtures, now regretfully unobtainable anywhere.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 13, 2022 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
A lovely blend. The latakia is soft, cold and smokey. The experience is well mixed, but this might also due to the long aging. An all day smoke and although the taste is strong, it is not overwhelming.
Pipe Used: Churchwarden
Age When Smoked: A couple of years
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 01, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I have been saving two tins of 759 for some time. This is based on a seven ounce tin that I believe to be from the 1970’s. Surprisingly, the Latakia has maintained a lot of flavor and to the nose, it smells very smoky like burned wood and a little bit of leather. I find it much fuller than a recent tin of old Balkan Sobranie from a similar era. What really separates this blend for me is the Yenidje Oriental component. The Virginias, much to my surprise after all of these years of aging, doesn’t offer a lot of sweetness. They may have offered more flavor when this was originally produced, but are fairly crowded out at this point. There is a unique taste to this blend in that the Latakia has an incense quality to it that I have to assume is Syrian. 759 is a great tobacco and you can debate whether or not it’s worth the obscene price for an eBay tin. I enjoy this blend a lot; however given the choice I would prefer Balkan Sobranie to 759. I know it puts me in the minority, but it’s just a shade under four stars for me. It will be interesting to see how my 1980’s tin compares. Now, having spent some time with 759, I do find Russ Ouellette’s Black House to be a remarkable tribute to this blend for those that want to spend “a little” less.
Age When Smoked: 35+ years
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