G. L. Pease Abingdon

Abingdon is the fullest Balkan style blend in the range. It is rich and robust, powerful and forthright, yet still possessing subtlety and finesse. Dark flavors of wood and leather mingle with delicate undercurrents of sweetness, and deep earthy notes, while the Oriental tobaccos provide hints of their verdant, sometimes herbaceous character. A big Balkan blend, reminding us once more of what these blends used to be. Because of the high percentage of dark and oriental tobaccos, it's recommended to pack Abingdon a little less firmly than you might a lighter blend.
Notes: Abingdon was released in July, 2003.


Brand G. L. Pease
Series Classic Collection
Blended By Gregory Pease
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 2 ounce tin, 8 ounce tin
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.40 / 4





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Displaying 11 - 20 of 142 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 24, 2009 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
UPDATE 10/29/10

In my original review, I gave this blend plenty of respect. A year later, I'm ready to give it some more love.

Abingdon has not grown on me. Rather, I've forced my own will upon it! After perceiving it as a bold statement in the English/latakia market, I was determined to try and marry my heart and head. I'm getting there, by sheer force of will! 🙂 Once again, the layering of various flavors is sheer genius. I find this to be one of the most complex tobacco blends anywhere, something I find extraordinary in a "dark" and full tobacco. Most simply powerhouse their way through but this one shows a sense of quiet strength. Perhaps age has been properly kind to this, but I now find the orientals and the virginias a lot more evident, as well as playful. This isn't just a latakia powerhouse, and I've smoked enough of those to taste the difference. One more year with this and it may become a 4 star blend. Mr Pease does suggest that aging does nice things to his work, and this one would seem to lend credence to such a statement. As I said a year ago, this is something that all latakia lovers should try, as well as those who want a hard lesson in what it takes to become a master blender.


First of all, I rated this on how well I liked it, in order to maintain consistency with my other reviews. Is it something I'll smoke regularly? No. Is it something everyone that loves latakia blends should try? Absolutely. Could this be one of those "genius blends" as I like to refer to the ones that seem above the crowd? I think so!

The second line of the tin description above, while perhaps seemingly poetic in the extreme, precisely mirrors my thoughts on this blend. This is a powerful, brute of a blend that can also put on a tux and act civilized and refined. The room aroma made me swoon! I think the layering on this one is expertly done, as the overall darkness is interspersed with whisps of teasing high notes. I love "dark" flavored tobaccos such as McClellands Navy Cavendish and this reminded me of that one, even though they are worlds different. This is a blend I wanted to love. It's one of those things that seems a masterpiece and that I know is going to be an important blend, yet my heart can't seem to catch up to my head on this one. I'm going to buy more and cellar it for a few years and see what that does.

All this said, I raise my star rating to a solid 4 if you are a lover of heavy balkan blends and you appreciate blending genius.
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 26, 2008 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Update 07/26/2008

I had moved on to other tobaccos for quite some time, but recently got out a Mason jar of this that had aged for at least 2 years. That extra aging really smooths out this tobacco. So if you found the orientals to be a little too overwhelming, try aging it and go for it again.

Original Review:

Well I'm still in a quandary about which is the best Balkan out there. Greg's two latest offerings in the Balkan field of Charing Cross and Abingdon are both outstanding, though Balkan Sasieni and VegasSmokes' Babylonia are also near the top. Charing Cross and Abingdon are spicier in the Oriental elements than Balkan Sasieni, much in the same way that Lane's old Crown Achievement was (NOT the new bulk version of CA).

Charing Cross is probably the most overtly Balkan of the group, sometimes tasting a little too spicy. Abingdon seems to me to be a little more refined. Like all of Greg's blends they are perfectly cut and packed, have few hard pieces or stems and is at just the right moisture level right out of the can.

Of my four favorite Balkans Charing Cross and Abingdon are less laden with latakia. Balkan Sasieni is less spicy and has stronger latakia and leaves a musty room odor. Babylonia is less overtly Balkan and has a hint of some naturally sweet Virginias.

I have had very good success mixing all of these in varying proportions as a change of pace and have found that the two Pease's complement Sasieni and Babylonia nicely in almost any proportions I have tried.

Greg- I hate your narrow cans!
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 25, 2009 Very Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Let me try to divide my review in a few different categories in the hopes that I can be more objective, which is devilishly hard to do when it comes to pipe tobacco.

Flavor: The flavor is full but not at all harsh. Like a good Balkan Latakia is the main player, closely followed by the Oriental and with the Virginias very present but still in the background. I'd say the amount of Latakia is perfect for a blend with a healthy portion of it since it makes it "kick" but does not overpower the other delicate flavors.

Complexity: Very complex blend, the flavors change as you smoke it and yeet it remains very consistent. At first light all you get is Latakia and a hint of the Oriental, but as you progress through the bowl the Orientals start building up and stand up to the Latakia beautifully.

Aroma: Very full and leathery, with the Orientals and Virginia giving a somewhat strong (or at least very noticeable) natural sweetness.

Tin aroma: Latakia with the sweet/spicy pungent Orientals being clearly present.

Room note: What you'd expect from a Balkan. I like the roomnote but my wife says it stings her nosetrills. It is a somewhat heavier note than other Balkan blends. Probably not something you'd want to smoke in teh company of non-smokers.

Burning characteristics: Burns very cool and dry to the bottom, there is absolutely no gunk at the bottom of the bowl. I have sometimes tempted it and puffed too fast and my pipe was still cool. Absolutely no tongue bite to speak of. It lights easlily depending on how you prepare it. If you layer it it lights up easily, if you use the air pocket method if will take some effort to light. I think the air pocket method makes blends taste a little fuller and while I favor it for some blends I prefer to layer this blend.

Cut/looks/moisture content: The cut is somewhat coarse and broad, which I find it to compliment the blend since it makes it burn at the perfect pace. Moisture content is perfect too, not to wet or sticky and actually somewhat on the dry side. I have to confess I was a little concerned about how dry it was but after a couple of bowls my concerns were gone.

Overall: One of my favorite blends, much closer to my tastes than any of the Dunhills. I actually think this stuff is of much better quality and, after smoking it, I don't think I'd want to go back to Dunhill blends. A little more expensive than most offerings out there but I don't think there's a better Balkan available today. Worth every penny.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 24, 2015 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I don't think that there's much of a point to review all of Gregory Pease's blends, if you like one of them, you'll love them all. At least that's valid in my case. So far, if I give any of his blends less than four stars, it would be a blasphemy.

So, about the Abingdon. That's one hell of a good blend. Loaded with Latakia and orientals, and yet full and heavy on the "body" side, as if most of it is stoved fermented Virginia. It's strong as pure VA, and smoky and full of fresh oriental aroma as if it's Balkan Sasieni or Skiff Mixture by Sam Gawith. Both of those are aromatic and tasty as heaven, but lack complexity, depth and body. Well, Abingdon is just how the ideal Balkan is supposed to be like. Like Skiff mixture, only stronger, deeper, and round and balanced. I have no Idea how Gregory managed to achieve that, but it's a fact. We have one of the best Balkan blends out there. As awesome as it gets. And the room note doesn't do perpetual damage to the female part of the house too. Almost no complaints, unlike Odissey or Skiff that provoke mass hysteria and spontaneous anti Latakia waves from the "significant other". It goes almost undetected. She even enters the man cave while I'm at the middle of the bowl, still nothing. That's somehow amazing.

It's complex smoke, and the pattern goes somewhat like this: Immediately after you give it a fire, you get greeted by nice incense like Latakia, followed by superb orientals. Light, floral ones with a hint of spiciness. All that creamy and satisfying. As it advances down the bowl, somewhere in the middle, it gets heavier, stronger, darker, but not harsh. Still smooth, you start to feel the VA's mighty presence, accompanied by spicy wonderful orientals. As it gets down, it gets spicier and heavier, somewhat darker but still mellow and smooth. Upon every French inhale, you get smashed by that awesome oriental-latakia goodness that never goes sour (unlike other Balkan blends loaded with oriental) I don't think that there' much orientals in this one, probably the right choice of them. At the bottom, it gets a little sour, but Latakia comes upfront again, leaving the superb aftertaste. It stays present in your mustaches for about an hour of two, reminding you of the great smoke you just had. To sum things up: Abingdon is rounded, strong, balanced and satisfying smoke. A textbook example of the ideal Balkan blend.
Pipe Used: various
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 2 years
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 20, 2018 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong
Tin note is woody and spicy Orientals. There is a nice dose of Latakia in this but not over powering. Smokey and inviting First taste for me was Latakia but taken over by the Orientals by the end of the first quarter of the bowl. The Orientals are spicy and woody, think cedar and black and white pepper. There is a leathery cigar like quality to this smoke the sweetness from the Latakia and Virginias play very nicely with the starring Orientals. The smoke takes on a creamy buttery quality at the mid point through the end. The Latakia is smokey and nuanced, always in the background but you always can taste it. This doesn't meet the Balkan flavor profile for me. I don't get a malty character at all, however Mr. Pease is spot on reccomending the lighter packing, the flavors really differentiate if the bowl is loosely packed. When tighter you get a more earthy, even smoke but you lose some of the Oriental character and the creamy qualities never come out. Moisture content was perfect out of the tin and need no dry time in either tin I have smoked. A great Oriental forward English with moor oomph than say a Skiff or Squadron Leader.
Pipe Used: Cobs and Briars
PurchasedFrom: B&M
Age When Smoked: <1 year
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 14, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I'm easily becoming a GL Pease fan. This is my 5th (I think) blend and again - well balanced, high quality tobacco blend.

The aroma in the tin: Sweet, earthy, oriental with a hint of lemon.

First lit: Clearly Oriental. On the first pull, the oriental/Latakia was kind off "in your face", only to find at the next pull that its gone! On the second pull, all the components and flavours already balanced out - leaving you with just this soft creamy/buttery, yet distinct Oriental aroma and taste! How GL Pease does this, I don't know. Well-balanced.

Mid-way through the bowl, it becomes even more smooth, soft, creamy/buttery (I think, more buttery than creamy, but silky smooth). I decided to try it with a dram Lagavullin - what a pleasure! The two, both soft and silky, just melted in your mouth, complimenting each other to a wonderful experience.

Rough cut; moist tobacco. A light pack is recommended.

If you like Balkan / English / Latakia / Orientals, you won't be disappointed with Abingdon.
Pipe Used: Savinelli
PurchasedFrom: 4Noggins
Age When Smoked: New
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 18, 2014 Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable
My first G.L. Pease review. This middle of the road "Balkan" is flawless. A natural smelling tobacco off the tin with the perfect moisture to light up and enjoy.

A creamy and dry smoke, for me a sign of balance between the ingredients. The Latakia is leathery, I even get some incense married to perfection with Virginia bread and fruit sweetness. Very earthy I also discern herbal notes that gives it a very oriental disposition. All this in a symphony of flavors that could be smoked all day as the nicotine content is extremely manageable.

Virginia lover
Age When Smoked: 2 months
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 06, 2020 Mild None Detected Medium Tolerable
This is a solid Balkan blend and a good one to boot. As a true Balkan, the orientals are the lead and the focus. The Virginia is adequate adding sweetness as it is supposed to do. This mingles well with the orientals which would come off as far too sour if the Virginia content was not where it is. IMO The Latakia, to my tastes, is very much a minor player and adds just a breath of campfire notes.

This blend, like all blends that I have tried from Pease, comes at a perfect (dry) moisture content and burns well. It does not bite at all; so it is a solid blend, but it does not rise to a four star blend to my tastes. YMMV

Although the virginia does help quell the sour of the orientals it is still a little more sour than I prefer a blend to be, but I still enjoyed it and have some more that I will try in the future, so I will have to opportunity to see how this ages and suits my ever changing tastes. I will report back if my opinion does happen to change.
Age When Smoked: 5 years
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 26, 2017 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
G. L. Pease - Abingdon (Classic Collection).

Sadly my blend was too dry from the fresh tin. This caused a few smoking issues, and also makes it a redundant choice for cellaring, unless this is just a one off! The ribbons are delicate in build and the mix includes no twigs or chunky pieces. The slight build assists well with loading, and makes for easy lighting too; as does the dryness.

I can't fault the flavour from Abingdon, at all. It has lots of strong cedar notes from the Latakia, a subtle herby quality, hay, and some sweeter Virginia flavours; I'd say it's a fairly full taste. It would be a GREAT smoke if it weren't for the heat and speed; these I expected from the dryness. Although it isn't that enjoyable where the temperature's concerned it doesn't bite me any.

The room-note's not the best, and the nicotine's on the stronger side of medium.

Although the hydration was a bit of a let down I'm still recommending It. I'll put it down to a 'dud' tin, and recon if you score a decent tin you'll have a sublime smoke!

Pipe Used: Erik Nording
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: Tin stamped 09.07.16
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 16, 2016 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
One of the bests Balkan blends!. I think Gregory Pease really "tame" this latakia bomb with the proper amount and kind of orientals. Virginias really balance the mixture, with a flavor like the "pickle and mustard in a beefy burger". Great flavor: good amount of virginias and orientals, big in latakia not overwhelming and very balanced - nutty flavor, more intense during first 2/3 of the bowl. Smoke: smooth and easy to light and white ash. More balanced than Odyssey, maybe with less nicotine. Better in a large briar bowl after a meal and match with a bock beer or a coffe, even a Bourbon. I recomend this blend a great tribute to the yesterday's tobaccos.
Pipe Used: Large briar, medium briar and Meerschaum
PurchasedFrom: eBay
Age When Smoked: 5 years
5 people found this review helpful.
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