The aged Orientals provide plenty of sour floralness, earth, wood, herbs, vegetation, some spice, and mild buttery sweetness. They are the lead components. The smoky, woody, earthy, musty sweet Cyprian Latakia is a strong supporting player that occasionally manages to share the lead. The Virginia offers some tart and tangy citrus, grass, sugar, bread, light floralness and touches of spice and acidity in the background. The aspects of the dark fired Kentucky are smoke, earth, wood, floralness, mild spice, some sourness along with a light nutty, barbecue sweetness. It’s a tad more obvious than the Virginia. The spicy, raisiny, plumy perique has a minimal effect at best. The sugary black cavendish is barely noticeable. It won't bite or get harsh. Has a few minute rough edges. The strength and nic-hit are a step past the medium mark. The taste level is a slot ahead of that threshold which is due to its spice and floral qualities. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable rate with a mildly sweet and rather savory, spicy, floral, campfire flavor that extends to the pleasant, moderately lingering after taste. Requires an average number of relights, and leaves very little dampness in the bowl. The room note is tolerable. Not quite an all day smoke, but it is repeatable.
The effect of the aged Orientals are greater than those used in the regular Black House as this tends to be a little Oriental-forward. The Cyprian Latakia is mostly a supporting player rather than being the lead component it is in the regular BH. The other varietals have a little less say in the flavor profile, and this is a stronger mixture. This one is a tad less sweet, less balanced with fewer nuances, and a little more floral, smoky, spiciness. Even with all of that, there still remains some semblance of the original that is mainly attributable to the similar sweetness. This gets three and a half stars. I gave four stars to the original.
I smoke mostly Balkans and Oriental blends, so I thought I would give this one a try. The tin note is mostly latakia, with a little sweet and sour underneath it. Good moisture out of the freshly opened tin, and it smokes well, moderately cool, no gurgle or moisture left in the bottom of the pipe. However, it's a little on the bland side for any kind of Balkan, and this most recent variation bears basically no resemblance to 759, which was my daily smoke for the longest time. To be fair, I don't think any modern tobacco blender can be blamed for not being able to match a tobacco from 40 to 50 years ago; the Syrian latakia is long gone, and the Cyprian variety, while good in it's own way, is a completely different variety of leaf. I'm not sure the currently available orientals are even remotely like the ones from back in the '70s, either. Frankly, all these marketing strategies recalling the old Balkan Sobranie are more than a little disingenuous. There is very little complexity to this smoke at all. Despite the smoky, burning rubber note in the tin, with the vague sweet and sour aroma underneath, this is a mild to medium tobacco of no particular distinction. I purchased a few tins, and I will leave the remaining unopened tins in the cellar to see if age improves this. I smoked a tin of the regular Black House variety a few years back and I thought it was a decent smoke. This is certainly no improvement over that.
Pipe Used: Peterson 406 Spigot, Nording Bent Bulldog
Age When Smoked: freshly opened tin
Purchased From: I believe the retailer that produces it.
Similar Blends: Hearth and Home Marquee Black House.
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