Ken Byron Ventures Samsun and Delilah 2023



Brand Ken Byron Ventures
Blended By Ken Byron
Manufactured By Ken Byron Ventures
Blend Type Oriental
Contents Black Cavendish, Burley, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Flavoring Cocoa / Chocolate, Vanilla
Cut Ribbon
Packaging Bulk
Country United States


Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Medium to Full
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

4.00 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 22, 2024 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Ken Byron Ventures
Samsun & Delilah

Blend notes: “This Virginia/Oriental/Cavendish mixture has earthy Samsun/Izmir and tempting fragrance.”

This is a delightful blend IF you are a lover of Oriental tobacco. The initial and continuing taste is of spice with some nutty earthiness. The structure comes from the Burley and the Virginia.

Samsun is a Turkish-type tobacco that has been historically used as a cigarette and pipe blending tobacco and is prized for its rich aroma and flavor. Their sweet taste is like the sweetness in a nut meat or sunflower seed. Samsun is typically grown on slightly sloped, moderately strong soils on land far away from the shore.

Izmir is grown in the Aegean. This tobacco’s taste signature is resinous, sweet, sour, and earthy. Mild in Strength - low impact and irritation. Aroma is a desirable blend of sweet & sour.

Historically a type of cut for tobacco, the term “Cavendish" has through the years come to refer to a style of tobacco. Because of the relative blandness of Burleys, Cavendish is usually made from Burley tobacco. Black Cavendish is made by subjecting Burley to a combination of heat, steam and pressure; the process blackens the otherwise brown leaf. Black Cavendish is notable for its ability to readily absorb added flavors for aromatic blends. Unflavored, it also makes a wonderful blender when mixed with stronger tobaccos. Smoked straight and without added flavor, it is likely the mildest, bite-free pipe tobacco.

Not all Cavendish is burley but … most is burley. This ‘can’ be confusing because almost all of the time one is to assume that the base tobacco for the Cavendish process is burley, though it can be Virginia. Additionally, one cannot really know if the Cavendish has been sweetened or not, unless it is mentioned.

Samsun & Delilah is a really tasty Oriental-forward blend. Spice is front and center. Although labeled as an Oriental, this blend does have some minimal topping — chocolate or cocoa along with some vanilla. I can’t taste these flavors so, I assume, they were added to bring some balance to the flavor-binding characteristics of the burley which adds structure.

Overall, this is an excellent Oriental forward blend. It has more spice than the otherwise excellent Miskatonic Mixture (C&D), Izmir Turkish (C&D) or Oriental Silk (C&D). ESF’s Walais is also delicious; it has less spice more sweetness. Sansun & Delilah is way better than GLP’s Cairo or Peretti’s Oriental No. 40.

Samsun & Delilah is a 4 star out of 4 star blend.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 19, 2023 Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
The fragrantly floral Izmir provides plenty of earth, wood, vegetation, herbs, some sharp sourness, spice, incense, and a hint of sweetness as it takes a small lead. The aromatic Samsun is very earthy, woody, floral, herbal, vegetative, mildly sour, and spicy. It is close to being a co-lead. The matured red Virginia offers a lot of tangy ripe dark fruit, earth, wood, bread, mild sugar, light tart and tangy citrus, grass, floralness, and a pinch of spice as a supporting player. The blackened burley cavendish offers a little earth, wood, nuts, and sugar. It is a slot below the effect of the red Va. The rich cocoa topping along with a few drops of vanilla very mildly tone the tobaccos, and many of the rough edges. The blend gathers a little more potency by the half way mark. The strength and nic-hit are a couple of steps past the medium threshold. The taste is a notch short of medium to full. No chance of bite or harshness exists here. Well balanced with some nuance, it burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a very consistent sweet and ruggedly sour, floral, spicy, savory flavor that extends to the pleasantly lingering after taste. The room note is pleasant to tolerable. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Can be an all day smoke for the veteran piper, and repeatable under any circumstance. It’s stronger than the previous version. Four stars.

6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 22, 2024 Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Just discovered Ken Byron Ventures on recommendation from friends. Picked up 9 blends that looked interesting. Very pleasantly surprised! Of the three I've tried so far, each one is a boundary busting blend that defied classical categorization. How fun and refreshing to find an Oriental [Va/Samsun/Izmir] crossed with a Chocolate/Vanilla Aromatic [Dark Burley Cavendish]. I've made such experiments a bowl at a time playing around at home, but, this is the first I've seen a boutique micro-batch blender do it on purpose. And, I must say, I am becoming a huge fan and hope Ken keeps it up!

Pairing hint: This goes great with dark chocolate covered coffee beans. Yum! And, like them, a little bit goes a long way if you're coming at this from the "I mainly enjoy Aromatics" camp. If you're already a heavy English/Baltic/Oriental smoker, this will add interesting and fun variety to your regular rotation without needing to add any "Vitamin-N" supplements.

Very highly recommended. I wish I could give 5 stars, but, that would skew the stats from over-enthusiastic fans like me. Go, Ken! Go!
Pipe Used: 1959 Group 3 Root Briar DUNHILL Bent Billiard
PurchasedFrom: Ken Byron Ventures
Age When Smoked: fresh 12/2023 batch
5 people found this review helpful.
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