Smokers' Haven Exotique Mixture

Rich, flavorful, delicious, tasty, mellow. This tells the complete story on our all new Exotique Mixture. Only the finest grade of choice ribbon cut Virginia leaf, the most flavorful latakia, the most mellow of Turkish tobaccos carefully blended together to achieve this rich tasting Exotique Mixture.


Brand Smokers' Haven
Blended By J. F. Germain & Son
Manufactured By J.F. Germain & Son
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 2 ounce tin, 8 ounce tin
Country United Kingdom
Production Re-release


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

Average Rating

3.52 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 27 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 20, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Turkish and Orientals dominate this blend with an obvious spicy, woody, earthy dry, floral, herbal, incense-like, buttery sweet and sourness that gets a little stronger in the last third of the bowl. There's some tart and tangy citrus sweetness from the Virginia along with a light earthiness, wood and grass, though it is a little subdued. The Cyprian Latakia is smoky, woodsy, earthy, musty with a light sweetness, and though not a major player, it adds necessary strength, complimenting the other components very nicely in an important support role. The nic-hit is a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium. The strength and taste levels are medium. No chance of bite, and has no dull or harsh spots. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace for a thin ribbon cut with a rich, deep consistent, very mildly sweet and rather savory, floral, spicy campfire flavor that translates to the lightly lingering, pleasant after taste. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. The room note isn't quite as pungent, and doesn't chase women out of the room. Not quite an all day smoke, but it is repeatable.

33 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 16, 2011 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Another sample from a friend, but this one was probably only an ounce. That makes sense, based on how rare this stuff is at the moment. I'm going to have to jump hard on the bandwagon so that I have a shot at some when this comes back!

My memory of Sobranie 759 is so hazy that I can't compare the two. But this one seems about perfect as a Balkan blend (based on whatever criteria people use for that designation). The taste was sweet, but not cavendish-sweet. The sweetness came from the latakia and the oriental. The oriental presence was immediately recognizable, and the latakia was a more minor player, but still in the game. The virginia lent its own brand of sweetness, which differed from the orientals. Nothing was out of place here and the blend was greater than the sum of its parts. Germain has done an excellent blending job here and Smokers Haven chose their blender well. Whereas Krumble Kake turned bitter on me, this one got a little sweeter and just a tad stronger as the bowl progressed. This was a sweet, smoky, leathery batch of goodness and the difference is like between a nice restaurants food and Grandma's. The restaurant does everything very well but something is missing, and that something makes all the difference. Complexity in a latakia blends? Look no further.

This is most certainly among the 5 best latakia blends I've ever smoked. Many latakia blends have incredible strengths but few have no faults that I could discern. This is one of those few. It's not that much different than a lot of latakia blends in its constituent tobaccos but the differences are significant. If you can get your hands on some, do so! My new reference blend in the Balkan category.
28 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 18, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Germain's answer to the Balkan Sobranie 759, Exotique is one of the finest English mixtures that I've ever smoked. I am currently taking a trip down memory lane of Smoker's Haven tobaccos that I have had stashed in my cellar for many years. The Exotique that I am smoking is more than 20-years old and I can't put it down. That concerns me because I only have two old tins left. A nice, rich English tobacco with an Oriental presence dominated only by the smoky and smoothly crisp Latakia.
24 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 19, 2012 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I have been fortunate enough to smoke almost all of the Smoker's Haven tinned blends by Germain. As a group, IMHO they are some of the best “house” blends to reach the market. Exotique is my favorite of the bunch. The tin scent of Exotique Mixture is of deep, rich, Orientals and a proportionate amount of Latakia and Virginias in supporting roles. The thin ribbons require a bit of dry time, but then are easily packed. Due to the cut (which I love), it can be a little hot if you are not used to smoking very thin ribbons. The smoke is also rich, full and very smooth. There is a very slight sweetness to the blend too. Sadly, after many hopeful moments, it appears that these blends may be gone forever. If you enjoy Turkish/Oriental forward English blends, this one's worth the few extra shekels' to find a remaining tin. Highly Recommended.
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 02, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong
Yes boys and girls Exotique Mixture is back, for how long though is the question. Blended by Germain for SH this may just be the closest you will get to Penzance or Margate etc. Not because the blends are the same but the quality of tobacco's are the same. Exotique is briny, Smokey and slightly sweet. I find it interesting that I can smoke some aromatics when they are sopping wet but try to smoke the thin ribbons from SH and it simply will not burn. Shows you what they left out... the chemicals that assist in combustion. Seriously the best in blending, delightful Turkish, sweet Virginia's and Latakia. Its a giant sweet and sour Balkan that just begs to be smoked in an easy chair by the fire with a vintage tube radio playing FDR's fireside chats... Seriously tho guys this blend is getting very hard to obtain and Germain in general is exceedingly rare, try it out before its gone...
Pipe Used: Stanwell Brandy
PurchasedFrom: Smokers Haven
Age When Smoked: Fresh from SH
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 27, 2017 Mild to Medium None Detected Full Pleasant
There are other blends that may come close to this one but close is not good enough! This one is hands down the best English style pipe tobacco I have ever smoked, it's absolutely stunning! I don't know how to even describe the taste I get from this one, sure you have the Orientals and the Latakias marrying and dancing on your taste buds, but anyone who has had Germain's blends knows that they have their own signature taste and nobody can reproduce them. The taste is sweet, sour and smoky and there is something else in there that I can only describe as magical. The great thing about it is that, as of right now, this blend is readily available but seems to be a sleeper to other big names like Penzance or Balkan Sobranie. I'm not complaining as I really don't like having to deal with all those hard to find tobaccos, ya'll can keep hunting those blends down while I'm over here happily smoking my brilliantly blended Exotique. This is the king of kings and when this becomes unavailable it will reach a mythical status.

Pipe Used: Neerup, Savinelli, Nording
Age When Smoked: 1 year, 2 year, 5 years...
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 08, 2016 Mild None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This is the good stuff.

There seem to be a blue million pipe mixtures these days, and some companies keep churning out more and more. This is distracting. The few English blenders who exist today have been making a relatively modest offering of products for in most cases centuries, and they are very good at what they do. Any desert island or bucket list of pipe blends needs to include Exotique. It is perfect.

It is done in that classic long thin ribbon cut for which Germain is famous. It smells wonderfully musty, leathery, and delicious in the tin. I like to spread mine out in a bowl for a few minutes to take off a little moisture, but there is no rubbing out or other significant preparation that needs to take place. It packs readily into any size bowl, and lights with ease. Once lit the magic begins.

If Exotique can be summed up in one word, that word is balance. Each constituent tobacco exists in the perfect proportion to create a harmonious rich smoking experience. The sweetness of the virginia's is there, but not in an overbearing way. The latakia works as a glue that binds the spice and tang from the orientals to the sweet but smooth virginias. The smoke is creamy and smooth and cohesive in a way that very few blends achieve. The flavor is full but not overbearing, and it is very soft on the mouth, with absolutely no hint of sharpness or bite. The smoking experience is singular.

Exotique is a masterclass in tobacco blending and preparation from Germain. It will become the stuff of legend if it ever stops being made. This is a blend that you can give even the newest pipe smoker and they will only have good experiences. It burns effortlessly and requires no work to move down the bowl. The flavor is consistent, but never monotone or boring, and it produces volumes of smoke while remaining cool and delicious. It is so, so good that you will never regret reaching for this instead of the flavor of the month. Germain is within 5 years of their 200th anniversary, and they have clearly learned a thing or two. A true privilege to enjoy.
Pipe Used: Il Ceppo 4 Bulldog
Age When Smoked: 1 year
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 04, 2020 Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant
Rich, flavorful, delicious, tasty.

Pulled a 5-year-old jar of this mix from the closet, and consulted the tasting notes on TR while giving it some dry time. I was totally nonplussed to find I had not reviewed this blend before. I cannot really add to what has already been said about this blend (see all other reviews below).

I only picked up the pipe in 2013, so I (obviously) never experienced the 759, but, if this Exotique is even a faint shadow of the 759, well -- L'Chaim!

The Santa Clara, California house we live in was built in 1955. As I sat on our early-January porch with a bowl of this in hand (in a "Back to the Future" thought experiment) I imagined myself smoking this stuff back in 1955 Santa Clara, when Santa Clara was rural, the economy agrarian -- when it was called the "Valley of the Heart's Delights" and known as "The Fruit Cocktail Capital of the World" -- before it was Silicon Valley; before National Semiconductor, Signetics, Rolm, Dell, Cisco, before Levi's Stadium, Nvidia and micro-dosing. In my musings, I marveled at the fact that, once upon a time, such humble, un-assuming, salt-of-the-earth common folk would have had access to such an amazingly sophisticated, vivacious and effervescent tobacco such as this from the long-gone tobacco shops of Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos (and maybe even Santa Clara) some 70-years-ago . . .

I am partial to more robust tobacco blends -- Irish Flake, HH Burley Flake, Bold Kentucky, Old Dark Fired, Stonehaven -- but it is a really refreshing experience to enjoy something like Exotique (or John Cotton's Smyrna, as another reviewer had mentioned) because both are phenomenal reincarnations of legendary tobaccos of yesteryear.

Germaine's Smoker's Haven Exotique: If you can find it, buy it.

4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 09, 2017 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Brown complexion overall with some latakia ribbons. Shag cut and fluffy. Moisture seems quite right though the tin lid was not compressed and made no sound upon opening indicating that it was not vacuum sealed. As for tin odor, there does not seem to be any topping at all and it has the classic English mixture smoky woodiness with a nice Oriental tang. Easy to pack and light, needs only a few relights.

The smoke is mellow and smooth. Orientals and Latakia are nicely integrated and are the main players. Both are mellow rather than pungent or tangy. Orientals are both salty and creamy and only mildly sour and Latakia is more woodsy than smoky. Virginias are also soft and sweet and form the base upon which Latakia and Orientals perform. Now, while smooth and of medium strength it is a full bodied and fully flavored mixture with enough nicotine content to make me feel content for a while after finishing a bowl.

This is a quintessential English blend and has that old-timey, deeply aged tobacco feel of, say Skiff Mixture and Squadron Leader. If you like these you will also love Exotique.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 27, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant
Only want to add another "4", even though I opened a brand-new tin, having finally scored two little ones. I guess I must like orientals as much as latakia, because this O-forward Balkan puts me near to Pipe Nirvana, whether smoked in clay, meer, ANY briar, or cob. The rich sweet leathUpdate¤€○0£°=er/campfire aroma will surely satisfy any Balkan smoker. One of the very best. UPDATE. 8 2 2019 I TOO.Apprecite consistency and this just keeps on keeping on. Still almost a freestanding blend. I just cannot compare it to anything else right now....If I could I would give 5 stars. This has remained my top pick Oriental.
Pipe Used: All
PurchasedFrom: SH
Age When Smoked: Brand new
4 people found this review helpful.
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