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The pipe smokers' "Nectar of the Gods." An excellent blending of the finest quality string cut Virginia with prime leaves of Syrian latakia and mild full flavored Turkish tobacco. The mixture of these bland tobaccos in Our Best Blend gives the pipe smoker a delightfully cool and tasteful smoke which burns down to a completely dry ash. For the working hours or those relaxing moments at home, you will like Our Best Blend by Smokers' Haven.

BrandSmokers' Haven
Blended ByJ. F. Germain & Son
Manufactured ByJ.F. Germain & Son
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging2 ounce tin, 8 ounce tin
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
None Detected
Medium, Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3046)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

The mildly fragrant Syrian Latakia is very smoky, earthy and woody, along with a sweet wine-like tone, some leather, and a touch of salt. It is the lead component. The Virginias are mildly grassy with some tart and tangy citrus, bread, a light tangy dark fruit, and slight floral and spice notes. They are supporting players. The Orientals and Turkish are smoky, woody, earthy, vegetative, floral, herbal, and spicy, with some buttery, creamy sweetness and a hint of sour. They sit squarely in the third position. Very well balanced and complex, you’ll detect every nuance in virtually every puff. The Latakia does take a little of the lead, but the Virginia and Orientals/Turkish are right at its heels in the flavor department. The spice note seems to mildly elevate here and there, but never interferes with the overall balance of the blend when that happens. I am wondering if there’s a little Cyprian Latakia present, because I get a little sweetness that I generally identify with that varietal. The strength and taste levels are medium. The nic-hit is a couple of steps behind it. There's no chance of bite or harshness. Being a shag cut, it burns cool and clean at a moderate pace, though it is a little moist out of the tin. I saw no reason to dry it. Has no dull or harsh spots no matter how fast you puff, and never loses that creamy smooth sweetness, which is not always the case for this type of Balkan. The deeply rich flavor is consistent from top to bottom. Doesn’t require many relights, and hardly leaves any dampness in the bowl. Has a nice, mildly sweet spicy, camp fire after taste, and stronger room note. Not quite an all day smoke, but one that is easily repeatable. Four stars out of four.

Update: 10-17-2020: This blend has been changed. The Syrian Latakia has been replaced Cyprian, which changes the flavor profile a little. It’s also become a shag cut, which means a faster burn rate, and affects the taste a mite. It was previously ribbon cut. I also find it a notch more sour, and I suspect a different source of Orientals may be the cause. This aspect makes it a competing lead with the Cyprian Latakia, which doesn’t quite seem to have depth that I find in other blends with the Cyprian varietal. While I still rate the taste level as medium, it’s just barely there because this production isn’t quite as deep in flavor as the other. Most of the other aspects in my original review still stand, but the differences require that I deduct a star for the current version.


25 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

My 25 year old tin of Our Best Blend was recently cracked open and for the life of me, I don't know what took so long. I've smoked this one a lot fresher, but the depth of the straight forward English/Balkan leaf is choppy, flake form, was as good as it gets. Not at all sweet though, and made for those who truly enjoy the old time Balkan blends that catered to men who were not afraid to taste leather and salt. Delicious!

17 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Based on a 1 oz sample, this narrow ribbon (almost a shag) cut blend has a rich "tin" aroma of latakia and orientals, the latakia being Syrian which is a less potent but not less enticing aroma than its Cyprian cousin. It came to me fairly dry but I was told it's much more moist when fresh, assuming anyone can find it in that state these days.

Smooth, balanced and complex describe this for me. It's flavor was rich but mellow and not heavy. The latakia was in the lead but didn't rule with an iron fist. The Virginias and orientals were nearly its equals, and the balance was exquisite. I was told that this is the ribbon version of Krumble Kake but I didn't get the bitterness from this that I did from KK towards the bottom of the bowl. This was as smooth and creamy as could be, top to bottom. And perhaps I'm wrong, but I recall KK as having Cyprian latakia... guess I'm wrong about that. There was almost a buttery quality here. The latakia's briny spiciness worked with the buttery sweet orientals and Virginia is an almost perfect interplay of balance. If I found any faults, it was that I prefer a stronger oriental presence in my lat blends. For that reason, I still award SH's Exotique as their "best" blend. But this one was excellent as well and highly recommended. Makes me want to crack my tin of Margate to see if they are as close as I hear. If you can find some of this and it doesn't break the bank, give it a try.

8 people found this review helpful.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (106)
Very Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

I'm about to ruin the 4-star rating here, but not maliciously.

I picked up a number of tins of OBB after chatting with Premal at the most recent Chicago pipe show. I only got 'round to popping a tin about a week ago. The stringy, ribbon cut is pure Germains, and the orientals hit the nose first: metallic, tangy, and sour. The latakia is there, but seems soft, and subdued. OBB smells damn good in the tin.

Lightup is oriental-forward, and slightly perfumey, with the latakia lurking deep in the background. It's easy to overcook OBB, and it will turn bitey and bitter quickly. The delicate taste doesn't change much as a bowl progresses. Nicotine is absent. Burns nice and dry, and what flavour there is can best be coaxed into appearing through gentle sipping.

Unfortunately, I'm left wanting more. After a bowl of OBB, I tend to follow up with something like London Mix or Durbar, and then think 'Why didn't I just have this, instead?' OBB does nothing wrong, but is too timid for my tastes. I can't envision it as an all-day affair, as I'd quickly tire of it. For me, it is best as a once-in-a-while thing, early in the day. A shame, as it behaves well and smells great. Could be suitable for those new(er) to English/Balkan blends, but availibility has been variable.

Age When Smoked: Newish

Purchased From: Smoker's Haven

4 people found this review helpful.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (127)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I really hesitate to submit a recommendation on this tobacco for fear of having the same scarcity develop that Smokers Haven has with Exotique. It is always difficult for me to capture an English/Balkan blend without drifting into the usual use of smokey, woodsy, etc. I would describe this tobacco as similar in style to Margate, another of my favorites, which is not surprising since it is manufactured by Germain and Sons. In fact, it is very similar to Margate in all respects. But I like it better. I like my English/Balkan tobaccos to be smooth and spicy. OBB is exceptionally smooth, buttery smooth and, yet, spicy. The latakia is there to taste, but it does not overwhelm the other tobacco flavors. If you smoke OBB after smoking a heavy latakia blend, you will not pick up the oriental nuances in the blend. I would not smoke a bowl of Exotique and then a bowl of OBB. I would do it the other way around. This is heavier than Campanile, but the orientals shine through, and as I have said, it is smooth. I will not give up Margate or a few other English/Balkans I enjoy, but I will keep OBB handy at all times in the future. Most highly recommended. Paddy.

4 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I somehow missed reviewing this blend as I have been fortunate to have a fair amount remaining in my cellar. Is it Smoker's Haven best blend? It is a tough call with Exotique in the lineup but it still is an excellent blend just the same. The long strands should be packed with care in order to be treated with the excellent smoke OBB delivers. It offers the usual smokey, leathery notes found in many English/Balkan blends, but it is a cut above some many others as it is very (for lack of a better adjective) “rich”. One reviewer called it “buttery” and I think that is the word along with creamy. The richness lasts throughout the bowl as the flavors continue to build. There are no rough edges with this one. I think I may be in the minority in that I enjoy this more than the pressed version of it, Krumble Kake. With the return of some of the Smoker's Haven Blends it appears that OBB and Krumble Kake will not likely be among them anytime soon so finding a stray ebay may be the only option. Highly Recommended!

3 people found this review helpful.

hawky454 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hawky454 (107)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm not sure if the newer version of this blend has Syrian Latakia cause it really tastes like Cyprian to me but I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and take their word for it. This one is yet another amazing English blend in the Smokers Haven line up and is only second to my personal favorite of their line; Exotique. There are a lot of similarities between the two and I would say the biggest differences are the Orientals. In this blend they are much more subdued and intertwine very nicely with the beautiful, smoky Latakia. This blend is indeed very similar to Margate but I have not smoked them back to back as of yet so I don't want to say they are identical but they do remind me of one another. I open the two ounce tin and dump out the contents on to a paper plate, spread the the tobacco thin and let it air out for 2 hours and then it is good to go. One light should get ya through all the way to the bottom of the bowl.


Pipe Used: Neerup, St. Regis, Savinelli

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Smoker's Haven - Exotique Mixture, Esoterica Tobacciana - Margate.

2 people found this review helpful.

CPT/VSG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CPT/VSG (72)
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

First, a disclaimer: as a long-time Smoker's Haven customer, I am extremely loyal to all of their Germain-blended tobaccos, and Best Blend is my all-time favorite. I've been smoking it off and on since the 1970s. The current version (reinroduced in 2003) is essentially the same as the 1970s version (once Germain took over the blending from Sobranie).

Best Blend leans in the direction of an Oriental as the Syrian Latakia does not dominate. It is well-balanced, and smokes cool in a thin ribbon cut. I can smoke it all day and do.

The only drawback is in the marketing as, currently, only 8 ounce tins are available. That's no problem for me but I imagine some are dissuaded from committing to 8 ounces in order to try it. I understand that 2 ounce tins will happen in 2009.

In all, a rich, balanced English with a good room note. Highly recommended.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pryhosm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pryhosm (248)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I need to say up front that I love 2 types of tobacco...Virgina's (straight and VAPer) and Balkan Blends...operative word love. This is a first class Balkan. The tin note is Latakia forward and is sweet, smoky and a bit woody. Before I get into the review proper, I have an observation to make. I have found that Germain English/Balkan blends all seem very similar. I am hard pressed to be able to tell Balkan Sobranie from Margate from Our Best Blend, Exotique and even Special Latakia Flake if I were in a blind taste test. In some cases I wonder if the same blend isn't sold under a different name in the US market than in the EU, but at the end of the day I suppose it doesn't really matter. They are all unbelievably good in my opinion. Now I will say that not all of the above listed taste the same per se, but they are all very closely related, in 1 or 2 cases I do think it is the same blend under a different name...but once again, who cares? This blend starts out with the Latakia slightly in the lead, this pretty much persists throughout the bowl, but I would say that at about the 1/4 mark there is such harmony in this blend that it is hard to call out any one leaf, it really is just one rich flavor. The smokey quality of the Latakia ( I am pretty certain this is Cyprian) leads you to a sweet malty experience with hints of wood and nuts from the Orientals. There is also a nougat like flavor that is constantly present. The Virginia's provide a base of sweetness and maybe a hint of earth and even some citrus. As the bowl progresses the flavor seems to deepen as opposed to change, which I like very much. I found that in a meerschaum the flavor remained more consistent but this was just a slight variation from cobs and briar's. I really enjoyed this blend and recommend it to anyone who likes English and Balkan blends.

Pipe Used: Briar's, meerschaum and cobs

Similar Blends: J.F. Germain's Balkan Sobranie, Germain Special Latakia Flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (633)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I was excited to try this blend and happy that a friend sent me a sample of the same. I have been trying to buy this blend every since I began smoking, but to no avail. Two years ago, I stopped opening new containers to motivate me to finish all my old containers. That is exactly when the floodgates opened.

I scored an 8 oz. can from 2005 for a not too obscene amount of money, and then SH ended up obtaining more, so I added a few more tins. I had thought of opening one of these, but steadfastly adhered to my self directed edict. Fortunately, a buddy took sympathy on me and sent about a two to three bowl sample.

To start with, I have been curious whether the older stuff and the newer released stuff is the same. It is something I should be able to answer one day as both are in the cellar. It is just whenever you see the term Syrian, you have to wonder if it really is as it used to be. The world's supply appears to be dwindling and I have heard that much of it has been mixed to stretch that supply. I am not casting stones, but wonder if there is a difference between the older and the newer.

On to the tobacco itself. It is a well balanced and easy smoking blend. I enjoyed it, but wasn't doing backflips over it. It is pretty creamy, but won't overwhelm you with smokiness. The orientals don't necessarily lead and I really can't say that any particular leaf in it leads.

I was able to enjoy a tin of Krumble Kake from many years back and I preferred KK to this sample of OBB that I tried. This is one of the reasons for my earlier pondering. As I understand it, KK is just OBB in a krumble Kake form. Of course, age can also do much to change blends and the Lat in the KK was more subdued, but I found it to be a deeper, fuller and creamier blend than the OBB I just sampled.

In any case, I did enjoy this blend and it deserves the three stars I am putting on it and may deserve four, but I will wait until I have had a chance to finish a full container before making that call.

1 person found this review helpful.

cmhpipesmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cmhpipesmoker (21)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

It's sure tough to write something else spectacular about this blend when everything has already been said in the previous reviews. The only trouble I have is in trying to classify this as a true English or a Balkan style blend. Its cousin, Exotique Mixture (in my opinion it is), is definitely a Balkan style. This is just a heavier version, concentrating more on the Latakia content.

Regardless of its classification, I love smoking this tobacco particularly in the afternoon where Exotique is more of an early moring smoke for me. The best components are there, the sweetness of Virginia, the musty latakia and the Turkish leaf, all in a perfect combination.

You can't go wrong with this one. However, I will say that it does go quickly, meaning the supply, and my only complaint is that it has become a bit pricey. However, with the supplies selling out so quickly, smokers are not shying away because of the price.

A definite recommend to any lover of English or Balkan blends. An easy four star rating.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

Well, this is my first review after hanging about for over a year. And the only reason I decided to actually join was to sing the praises of this wonderful blend.

I honestly didn't know what to expect when I ordered my first tin, given that many descriptions of tobacco blends seem so similar, always promising to transport me back to the glory days of pipe smoking. I was, unforturnately, not smoking a pipe, or probably even born, during that halcyon time, but if this blend is an example of it, it must have been a glorious age.

On opening the tin I smelt old leather, earth, and smoke: deep, rich, and aged. The cut is finely shredded, predominately black flecked with light brown strands. It's moist, but not too much so. It's easy to see that one could easily pack a pipe too densely with this mixture, so I went easy, lightly filling and gently packing. The pipe I used for this inaugural smoke was a Castello chubby billiard (#10).

After lighting it, all I could think was: WOW! The smoke was luxurious and the taste both complex and rich. But most of all, it was integrated. I smoked this first bowl, not really caring about the individual elements of the blend, but savoring the "wholeness" that the blend presents. Some blends, and many that I like, are beautiful because each element is present and discernable as a contributor to the smoking experience. But in this blend, the individual elements give themselves up to the greater good, and create a wonderfully harmonius smoke. True Gestalt. Or to put this in a less pedantic and flowery way: WOW!

I have been smoking this now for the past 5 days, and keep waiting to be disappointed. But each time, my excitement and pleasure are as intense as that first smoke. I find myself waiting for my evening bowl of this blend with keen anticipation, and it has yet to let me down. Who knows whether my enthusiasm will wane over time, but for now, smoking "Our Best Blend", I feel I am living in that golden, forgotten age.

WOW! Just WOW!

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

All three blends that I have tried from Smoker`s Haven - Krumble Kake, Exotique and now Our Best Blend - have been richly satisfying. This ranks along with Margate and Odyssey in English/Balkan satisfaction. I wish it was more widely available.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mongo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mongo (10)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Smoker's Haven Our Best Blend is a well balanced blend of Virginias, Latakia, and Turkish. The cut on some (perhaps all) of the Virgina tobacco is very long and thin, with the Latakia and Turkish being cut as medium-length ribbons.

The tin aroma is what you'd expect from a Balkan blend...smokey, pungent, with odors redolent of smoky campfires, hay, plums, raisins, and a hint of chocolate. (These are just my impressions of the aroma...there are no toppings in this blend.)

The tobacco packs easily. I estimate the capacity of my pipe and get that much tobacco out of the tin. I then load it using the three layer technique (pressing each layer more strongly than the previous). I don't know if it would pack easily using the "shovel it in" method due to the long cut of the Virginias, but I expect it would not be too difficult.

Once packed, this blend takes two matches to light and rarely requires a relight. The charring light does cause the tobacco to rise up a bit more than some blends, but not so much as to endanger the rim of the bowl.

The initial flavor of the smoke is a wonderful mixture of all of the tobaccos. The Latakia smokiness is well balanced by the Virginia sweetness, with the Turkish adds a wonderful spicy note. For the first few minutes the tobaccos share the stage, but as the bowl progresses they move forward and back, into and out of the limelight. No tobacco ever truly overpowers the others, but at times the taste is somewhat smokier, sweeter or spicier. The complex dance that they perform continues throughout most of the bowl. The tobacco smokes drier than most, and requires only an occasional pipe cleaner. At the bottom, the initial mixed flavor makes a final return. There is no overpowering surge here, just the melding of the flavors first tasted when the bowl was started. The tobacco smokes to the bottom of the bowl, leaving behind a fine ash that contains both light and dark gray coloring.

I don't know if this is high praise or feint praise, but I always wish there was more tobacco in the bowl as I finish a pipeful of Our Best Blend. The experience is enthralling enough that I want it to continue no matter how much I've smoked.

Whether engaged in other pursuits or smoking a pipe as the primary activity, I find that Our Best Blend never disappoints me. If you've smoked a lot of Germain blends you'll recognize some of the flavors, but the balance of the tobaccos here is more perfect than any I've tried.

Our Best Blend is a wonderful all-day smoke, or a bowlful to look forward to as your day progresses. I have yet to find a pipe in which it disappoints, having smoked it in everything from a small (about group 2 size) Boswell freehand/prince up to a Castello 93 that easily swallows my entire thumb. Our Best Blend has done wonderfully in every pipe I've tried.

Whether puffing away mindlessly while attending to other pursuits, or savoring a bowl using the breath-smoking technique, the tobacco never bites, the Orientals never become overly spicy, and the Latakia never overwhelms the other flavors.

Our Best Blend is my favorite Balkan-style blend. It's a tobacco that I can recommend to anyone who enjoys well balanced English blends. There are many blends with a stronger Latakia flavor, there are blends in which the Orientals steal the show from the base tobaccos, but for me there is no more perfectly balanced tobacco. Our Best Blend reaches it's balance through the skillful blending of high quality tobaccos, which allows the various flavors to come forth or fade back as the bowl progresses.

Saying that a tobacco is "balanced" is sometimes interpreted as meaning the tobacco is boring. Our Best Blend never bores. With the ongoing interplay of the high quality tobaccos, the blend remains interesting and delicious throughout the bowl.

Four out of four stars, this is at the top of my "deserted island tobaccos" list.

(9 October 2009) As has been noted in at least one other review, the moisture level of this tobacco is critical. A while back, I lost my taste for this blend, or so I thought. It seemed to be bland and lifeless, quite the opposite of what I'd experienced previously. I put it on the shelf for a while, thinking that my tastes had changed. Thankfully I left it long enough that it became too dry to consider smoking. I rehydrated it, and after a few days I tried it again. Everything that I loved about this blend was back. It was the blend that I'd waxed rhapsodic about in my original review, lovely in every way. Suspecting that the moisture level had something to do with this, I dried a bit out and tried it. Bland, boring, and lifeless.

If you want to get the best from this blend, smoke it at or near the moisture level at which it's delivered. I recommend transferring the tobacco into glass jars when you open the tin, unless you plan to smoke all 8 oz. quickly.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've enjoyed this blend for 30 years and along with Exotique mixture Smokers' Haven has produced two of my favorite blends. The tin aroma is nice and smoky (not as heavy in Oriental as Exotique - a Balkan) but a very nice English; it smells of sweet VAs and Orientals with quite a lot of Syrian Latakia mixed in. The tobacco is string-cut, reddish in color with about 1/3 of dark leaf added in. The string cut easily packs in any of my pipes, though I especially like it in my larger briars. No bite to speak of with an excellent, sweet and smoky taste. The Orientals are more in the background while the Syrian Latakia and VAs seem to be slightly more dominate. The flavor develops nicely down through the bottom of the bowl and provides me with plenty of interest from start to finish; at the end of the bowl I don't find myself tired of it but look forward to my next. 10 Stars out of 10.

1 person found this review helpful.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Appearance and tin Aroma: Yes, it looks and smells like a Balkan. Mostly dark leaf and a strong pungent odor from the plastic bag that is in the 8 oz. tin that it comes in. Surely, a good sign!

Packing and Lighting: The fine ribbon cut gave very little fuss. The moisture was perfect. 2-3 lights max. I did find that packing a little more tightly gave better results.

Initial Flavor: Delicious Balkan flavor. A wonderful interplay between the sweet and bitter elements from the get go.

Mid-Bowl: Delicious roundness of flavor. The leaves are constantly interplaying with each other. Sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter (in a good way), sometimes smoky.

Bottom of Bowl: This blend does not build up much strength, even in big pipes. That is OK with me. It Burns down to a dry mottled ash and you almost can smoke this all day without occluding your palate.

Overall: This is an outstanding Balkan. Is it my personal Arcadia? No, that title still belongs to Bohemian Scandal and Raven's Wing for me. In spite of that, this is a blend that I highly recommend to go along with the other great Balkans that are available today. Germain has done a great job paying tribute to Sobranie. Go get some now!

1 person found this review helpful.

AL Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AL (26)
Medium None Detected Very Full Very Pleasant

This tobacco comes in what is termed an air tight can and has a pleasing appearance and aroma when the can is opened. The appearance is that of a well blended tobacco mix and the aroma is that of a mature tobacco somewhat musty from the Latakia.

When I purchased my first can I also bought a new Ashton 3x bent bulldog. The Ashton was to become a second pipe dedicated to Margate. But as I sampled Our Best Blend while at Smoker's Haven I knew at the end of a pipe full that this was a blend that I would enjoy a great deal even though my first sample had some cigar leaf added. So I bought one of the eight ounce cans. For the rest of the day I smoked this blend and found Our Best Blend to be a very rich Balkan mix unlike others that I frequently smoke.

As noted, this blend is a Balkan Sobranie style mixture. While at Smokers Haven Sailorman Jack had discussed this and while I can't recall smoking Sobranie, but probably have, this tobacco blend has successfully become my benchmark for a Balkan blend in my mind.

Balanced is a word I'd use to describe this blend. The Latakia and Turkish are in perfect quantity. There is no sharpness or bite from this blend from the Orientals and it can be smoked all day long. This is frequently my first and last smoke of the day. You will see what I'd call a medium cut of light brown to some full black tobacco when opening the can. There has been few stalks and the mix has been consistently blended and is at proper moisture at least to my way of thinking. East to pack, easy to light. My can is undated but my guess is that the blend I got has some age on it.

This is a complex smoke. Throughout the smoke there are tastes that I like in a blend. To me its a predominately butter and creme taste, a good thing to me, with an occasional hint of the Virginia tobacco which I hesitate to pin a word on. The Orientals are the surprise for me, I enjoy Oriental blends but there is a tartness to the Oriental blends that I smoke and I don't find this with Our Best Blend. I frequently lay down a pipe during a smoke, a lot of blends turn during a cool off, the taste shifts, not always for the better, not this one. The nicotine strength to me is about right, to me its a medium strength. Burns to a fine salt and peper ash. I find this to be a well balanced Balkan that is very rich in flavor and is quite satisfying. Others seem to enjoy the room note. The new Ashton became dedicated to Our Best Blend and the pipe has done well acquiring the flavor of this blend.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I got a chance to taste this at the Columbus, Ohio Smokers Haven, and wow what good stuff. Very highly reccomended. I've heard, from the people at the store, that the original blenders recipe, bought by Germain, is very close to Balkan Sobraine, and uses the same processing and blending techniques.

On to the tobacco, it is a fairly fine cut, with some longish strands. Smells very wonderful and has a very appetizing appearance, with the almost golden Virginias and the black Latakia.

Burn characteristics were very good, smoked cool, dry and down to a fine white powder, just as any good tobacco should.

A very tasty blend with plenty of complexity with the solid VAs in the background, the Turkish popping in and out between the VAs and latakias, and the excellently smooth and smokey latakias taking the center stage.

Overall, a very, very good Balkan that you really must try.

Also, if you prefer cakes, the Krumble Kake is supposedly the same mixture just pressed and cut.

1 person found this review helpful.

Old Puffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old Puffer (42)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

10/10/08 - Got talked into this by all the reviewers here before me. A hearty thanks, again, guys!

This is, to me, a very elegant blend. Somewhat subdued as a Balkan but very tasty and easy to smoke. I can't fault it in any way. It has top grade tobaccos, perfectly cut and most expertly blended. I have only tried one 8oz. tin and can't seem to get another because the supplier seems to always be out. Am putting in a reserve order in hopes that the next tin is as good as the first. If it is, I will certainly be ordering more.

I see from one reviewer that this is a close sister to Margate. Am putting in an order for a bag of that in hopes that it is at least as good as OBB. If so, maybe I'll switch based upon the fact that OBB keeps going up in price and Margate is still quite affordable and available.

I recommend this baccy to anyone that likes English/Balkan and can't imagine how one could go wrong with it. One of my new favorites.

10/21/08 - Update Since there were prior reviews here mentioning a similarity of OBB to Margate, I have tried Margate and offer this:

My tastes are apparently not as sophisticated or fine tuned as others here because I could not find enough difference between this and Margate to hardly mention. Put side by side, the cuts were identical and the Margate was slightly blacker than OBB. In smoking, Margate tasted slightly mustier than OBB but they both present themselves with equal distinction in packing and smoking characteristics including after smoking leavings to the bowl. Both are equally satisfying but I think that OBB has a slight edge. At least, when OBB is so hard to get, which it frequently is, I now have an acceptable alternative.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This one took me a while to learn how to work it. I got a tin of this at the Chicago show last year. I was a bit apprehensive about buying 8 oz. at a time, but the sales guy said I should just keep it in an airtight plastic bag and "it will be fine." That was true for up to 5 months, but this took me six months to finish and by the end the flavor was missing, though the aroma and burning qualities were still very good. Also, I would recommend you do NOT dry this out as much as you might think. It smokes very well even when seemingly too wet. Drying it out too much actually ruins the flavor as well.

This is very rich and satisfying english blend. I can swear there was some fruity topping on it, though I know some will burn me in effigy for saying so. I didn't mind it, as it was only an occasional presence and actually added interest. The star of this show was the Syrian latakia, which in my tin showed up in broken flakes. Putting a chunk of that flake on the top of the bowl resulted in an almost ecstatic experience.

I wish this came in smaller packages, but the amount of smoking enjoyment I got out of it was definitely proportional to the price. Well done again, Germain.

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Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Where do you start with a tobacco called "our best blend", from a great tobacco manufacturer. Well to start it is one fine blend. The cut is very fine ribbon but also abnormally long. This makes for a very cool dry smoke that takes little or no maintenance. The pouch smells of leather and sweetness from the VA tobacco. Upon light you get a mellow taste of the Turkish tobacco and a hint of latakia. I think it is a great teaser for what is in store. As the bowl progressed the richness of the tobacco continued with the Orientals coming in and out of the picture every now and again. The smoke was silky smooth and extra rich in nuance. I think the first 5 or so bowls of this I noticed something new every time. The key to this one is balance nothing over powers the next, but nothing ever really seems to be lacking either. This is one of my best blends I stock.

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Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (221)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Our Best Blend is a superlative English blend which smells richly of Latakia, Orientals and sweet Virginia in the tin. Once loaded it lights with ease and tasted wonderfully. Smoker's Haven pretty much nailed it with this one, this is about as good as tobacco gets.

Highly Recommended

Purchased From: Smoker's Haven

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Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I looked forward to receiving this blend. (In fact I called several times to check on my order). Based upon conversations with other ASP members, I thought that this might be something special.

Recently I have delved into the Latakia arena and sampled many blends. I would not call this a Balkan, but it is a rich, RICH English blend. Perhaps I am not used to what I understand is Syrian Latakia in this blend and so I would have expected a Balkan to be much more tart.

Three draws on the bowl and a sigh...I fired up the computer and ordered two more tins. This one hit my palate just right. Highly recommended!

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