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Babylonia is dark brown to black in color, composed of rubbed flake, ribbon and fine cut leaf. This blend is a mix of stoved XXX Latakia, blended Turkish ribbon, matured red Virginias, black stoved VAs, black cavendish and St. James perique.

Blended ByMarty Graybill
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
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Medium to Strong
None Detected
Medium to Full
Room Note
Tolerable to Strong
5 reviews
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Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30116)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

Babylonia reminds me of Schurch's Onyx in its dark, earthy, latakia-laden, but with a hint of sweetness quality. The "dark stoved" and cavendish in the blend description would normally make me wary of this tobacco because these blends usually seem over-processed to my pallate. But Freddy sent me a sample a few years back and I immediately took to it and ordered a few pounds for aging. Now tasting some that is two years properly aged, my impressions of the tobacco have not appreciably changed--it's still a good latakia-heavy tobacco with a touch of sweetness. If compared to 965, Babylonia is similar in the way it highlights the latakia but the cavendish body is more pronounced than in Dunhill's blend. For me, this scores 91/100 and I recommend it for all who like latakia and especially for those who are looking for an introduction to the darker sides of the leaf--beyond McClelland's Frogs--while maintaining a supporting sweetness to the smoke.

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Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30116)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

there are six different tobaccos in this blend, but the dominant flavor for me comes from the turkish and latakia, with a lot of support from the virginias. the perique is barely noticeable, but to me that is a point in this blend's favor. perique tobacco is intended to be a compliment to other types in a blend, and i think marty got the proportions right in babylonia. any more and it would have been a completely different(and probably less pleasing) blend. actually, the only time i really notice the perique is when i blow the smoke out my nose, something that is very pleasant to do with babylonia. lighting and burn are both very good, right down to the fine gray ashes and very little dottle in the bottom of the bowl. strength of tobacco is a relative thing, depending on the smoker. to me, this is a great all-day medium strong smoke. but then, i have also spent a lot of time puffing on pirate kake and old ironsides. i think this one would be very good for burley smokers wanting to stick their toe in the latakia waters. i also think it is a tasty and much welcomed blend for everyone else. four stars for marty graybill, freddy vegas, and babylonia.

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Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30116)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Well now I am really confused. After a dedicated two year effort to replace Balkan Sobranie 759, I had settled on Balkan Sasieni as the best alternative. In the last several weeks I have tried both Greg Pease's Charing Cross and VegasSmokes Babylonia. Both are excellent Balkans that will find a place in my rotation.

Babylonia is the least "Balkan" of the three, but is the smoothest. It comes as a black and brown ribbon that is well cut, but a little too moist for me. To date I have found no drawback in Babylonia except that it is not as strong as I like in the late evening.

I love to fiddle with tobaccos, always feeling I can create something better than the original. Usually I end up with something awful, however I have found that mixing anywhere from a 1 to 2 or a 2 to 1 mixture of Babylonia and Charing Cross produces some really good Balkans that are to me better than either alone. The Babylonia tends to smooth out Charing Cross' harshness and the Charing Cross adds more Balkan oomph.

Babylonia stands well on its own and it would take months of switching between Sasieni, Babylonia and Charing Cross to really determine the best. It's a tough job, but I'm up to it.

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Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (321)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

This was a wonderful surprise. I got a sample from Vegas Smoke but was not particularly keen on trying it, because I had just had a rather disappointing experience with Crown Achievement. Eventually I had a go and I must say this is one of the best Balkan smokes I have had in years! This tobacco belongs in the same range of Balkan Sobranie and some of Pease?s offerings. It is rich and dark, musky and incense-like, and by the end of the bowl you get that salty-mineral taste so peculiar with this type of blends. All in all I had a most wonderful experience smoking Babyblonia through a rainy afternoon, in the company of Samuel Barber.

I don?t recall having smoked ever before a blend with stoved Latakia, but if this is what it tastes like, I should recommend other blenders to include some in their English-Balkan blends!. The Turkish and the Pèrique seem to complement each other, forming a peculiar sweet-sour undertone that enlivens the smoke, and the presence of the Black Cavendish was innocuous. In fact, in spite of that ingredient this blend tastes nothing like 965 or Astley?s 99. I really must congratulate the blender of Babylonia, for he has achieved a unique and exciting mixture, a true tobacco symphony, full of varied flavors and melodies. Excellent medium to full smoke, not at all overwhelming, yet a true Balkan.

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tillmanj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tillmanj (73)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Tin Aroma: A heavy overtone of Latakia, with a spicy, sweet underpinning. Reminds me of the woods in fall, with slightly decomposed leaves, campfires, etc...

Physical Characteristics: A medium to long ribbon cut blend, nicely balanced between dark brown, light brown and blondish pieces. A stem or two in there, but nothing to worry about. Packs easily, though I do dry it out a tiny bit before smoking. Takes the charring light easily, and burns cleanly to a very fine white ash, almost dust. Builds cake well as a result of that.

Notes: Ahh, a wonderful heavy blend. I have been smoking a good bit of this recently, and like it late at night, mostly outdoors, with a steaming mug of strong coffee. It is high in Latakia, but not as overpowering as, say, Bill Bailey's Balkan Blend. The perique is negligable, actually, I had a hard time picking it out, but there is no doubt that it lends to the overall spicy/sweet character. It is simply the perfect percentage of perique for me. The two cavendish's keep the blend cool and smokeable all day long. I was initially worried about them, as I detest the taste of too mcuh cavendish, but they are also minor actors on this stage, taking their proper places next to the perique, in supporting roles. The virginias provide a nice base, and the Turksih used in this blend is absolutely of the highest quality.

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