Compton's of Galashiels Macedonian Mixture

A full blend with dark Virginias and a very high proportion of Orientals including rare Yenidje and latakia.


Brand Compton's of Galashiels
Blended By Maxim Engel
Manufactured By  
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 100 grams bag
Country Canada
Production No longer in production


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

Average Rating

3.83 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 23 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 05, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
As fine a blend of this genre as I have ever smoked. I love the way the Orientals spicy sweetness dominate the blend although the other components certainly make their voice heard. It is not at all an English blend in the common classification, but certainly has a bit of an English presentation, too. Not a light blend but not overly heavy on the palate or in the strength department. Just sensational!

8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 23, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong
This is another review I'm writing by memory, and I might spoil the average grade by giving it less than four stars, but I just have to write down my impressions from 5 years ago when I smoked a 100 g pouch, and all the disappointment that came with it. I was born in Republic of Macedonia, and lived there the first 27 years of my life, before moving to Bulgaria. So there is certain patriotic pride in people from small and insignificant countries that nobody has heard of, whenever their country gets famous with something like that. Of course, some of the finest orientals are grown there, and we are the only country that actually have a tobacco leaves on the coat of arms. (along with opium poppy and wheat) So, to get to the point, when I heard about Macedonian Mixture for the first time, and also other Comptons blends, it was on youtube, people were boasting and glorifying this mixture as "creme de la creme", the finest masterpiece that has ever been smoked, the closest to the legendary Balkan Sobranie only better, and so on, and so on. Then I ordered some from Max, back at that time he wasn't famous enough and although boutique stuff, his tobaccos were pretty much available to everybody that orders them and pays online. Being a fan of Balkan and English blends, I loved tobaccos where orientals are in abundance, (I still do) I imagined this to be something like Balkan Sasieni, or Frog Morton on the Town, or Charring Cross only better. It just have to be like that, all the praise and glory on the internet, It just has to be that way. I had even imagined what the taste would be like. I had no idea what would Macedonia have to do with it, but anyway, it's cool to be associated to the best tobacco out there. Kinda like you feel more significant. Then I opened the pouch, and filed my Peterson in ecstatic anticipation of the best smoke on the planet, which is also a Macedonian smoke by the way. Then I lit the pipe, and with first puffs of it, all the imaginary picture about it, ... well, it just collapsed. I was furious and mad that this isn't what I imagined it would be like. That was indeed a "Macedonian" flavor, but in the worst possible way. And I'll explain why. I come from a rural part of the country where poor people smoke local cigarettes made almost entirely from local low end orientals, that smell disgusting. The lower grade tobacco that can't be exported goes to the lowest possible grade cigarettes. And their smell is so strong, it's just disgusting. My father used to smoke those, and entering a room where he had smoked few cigarettes was the worst possible experience in the world. Shepherds, homeless persons, poor people and shiptars (albanians) used to smoke that tobacco rolled or in cheapest local cigarettes. That is the smell that i associate with the lowest and the worst possible smoke there is. Prilep is the type of oriental that was most abundant, and the city being only 60 kilometers away from Yannitsa (former Yenidje) I guess it's the same thing, or a variety of it. At least I learned how yenidje smells (or should I say stink) like. Very familiar and disgusting smell. It just stinks. Then I smoked a few more bowls of it, trying to find the beauty and start to like it just to avoid the disappointment, and I really did find the top quality in the ingredients, it was composed of finest ingredients, no doubt about it. Later I tried Comptons Balkan, and there I found all that superb taste I imagined previously in Macedonian Mixture, and even better than I expected, and was blown away, but here, I just couldn't get rid of this cheap, poor, homeless, shiptar impression no matter how hard I tried. It's a pity, since latakia, VA, and other orientals were awesome and superb. If there was just a bit less of that damn Yenidje, it would be an awesome smoke. If you don't associate it's aroma with anything bad, and smoke it without prejudices, you may like it. Comptons stuff is the best there is, ever! I don't think this review would be of any help, since not all pipe smokers can relate this to the cheapest macedonian cigarettes, but I just had to write this down, I hope fellow pipe smokers don't mind. I don't think that I will ever smoke Max's blends again, since you have to be masochist to get some, he may had blend the best tobaccos in the world, but screw him, they aren't worth years of waiting in line, and becoming his regular customer just to get hold of 100 grams of tobacco. I'm not that enthusiastic. There are plenty of other good tobaccos out there, that are just one click away. Even Penzance is more easy to get than his tobaccos. If by any chance they get more widely available like they were, 5 years ago, I might buy another pouch of this one just to refresh the memory, and check if I'd still find that yenidje note repulsive like in the old times, just out of pure curiosity.

Age When Smoked: fresh
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 05, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The Virginia is lightly grassy with some earth and citrus, and basically acts as a base for the tartly tangy, spicy Orientals/Turkish. The Cyprian latakia is smoky, lightly sweet, and woodsy, and though obvious in every puff, it doesn't dominate. The dry, woody, lightly sweet Yenidje is the star, and also has an "unflavored soda note". There have been comparisons to this and Balkan Sobranie White, but there are too many differences to equate them: the higher spice and lower latakia contents being the most noticeable. It's rather smooth for such a spicy smoke. Burns at a moderate pace, cool and clean, and has a very consistent flavor and pleasant finish, never losing the minor hits of creaminess. Needs few relights, and leaves a touch of dampness in the bowl. Has a lingering after taste and room note. Not an all day smoke.

5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 28, 2011 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong
Yenidje, yenidje, yenidje ... a spicy oriental leaf that was once the key ingredient of the legendary Balkan Sobranie, long believed to have passed beyond the reach of pipe smokers, the stuff of myth and flowery explosions of purple prose and poetry on countless message boards ...yenidje.

That's pretty much what this tobacco blend is all about. Sure, there's latakia here as well as a good dollop of more familiar orientals. There's also some virginia here, although I suspect only in condimental amounts. But make no mistake -- you will taste yenidje in every draw, and oftentimes it's by far the most prevalent flavor.

Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. Many smokers will love this with a passion normally reserved for mistresses and antique cars. Many of us still remember the Balkan Sobranie of yore and will leap at the chance to once again sample the trademark incense/savory flavor that had become, until the last couple of years, almost as rare as a gold nugget found in the backyard vegetable garden (and nearly as valuable). Others will wish to sample at least once in their liftime this legendary tobacco in a presentation that, in all probability, is a reasonable enough facsimile of the old Sobranie.

To my tastes, however, this blend isn't appropriately balanced. I love good orientals, but to me they should be used as condiments and in this mixture the amount of yenidje seems to go beyond that. I could have used less of that leaf and more of ... well, everything else in the pouch!

Nonetheless, the quality of all the base tobaccos appears to be absolutely top-shelf and others might well find this to be expertly blended to their tastes. The burning qualities, presentation, etc. are all fine if not spectacular. I enjoyed my sample of this, but I don't expect to be cellaring this in quantity (although I am tempted to perhaps mix it in with another Balkan such as Odyssey as an experiment). Russ Ouelette's new blend, Magnum Opus, does far more with far less of this fabled spice leaf and is a far better value for the money, IMHO.

To my purely subjective tastes, this is about 2 stars. I'm going to bump it up to three stars, however, because the quality is obviously there and I do recommend that other Balkan lovers give it a shot.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 16, 2009 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
UPDATED 3/12/12:

Compton's Compendium, a tasting journey through all of Maxim Engel's Compton's Blends.

This is a very full-flavored blend that actually seems fuller to me than York Full. I think this could be a result of the profound smoothness of York as compared to Macedonian which perhaps has some sharp edges to wear down. But this is by no means a bad thing. While York is the quintessential smooth old powerhouse, this is the brash younger upstart. However, based on my sampling from a couple years ago, it improves with age, which I am very much looking forward to.

On first light it's fantastic, with a richness from the well-balanced proportion of Virginia and Orientals. As the bowl burns, a contrasty sharpness appears which tingles the nose and the soft palate, even the tongue at times. I wouldn't call it bite, it's more like "spicy."

The Orientals are far in the lead in this one, lending flavors ranging from tangy to smoky to herbal/toasty in various proportions, influenced strongly, I believe, by the Yenidje. Even the room note is nice! For those of you who like an Oriental Bomb (that's the first time I've ever used that term!) this one will certainly satisfy.

I have a tendency with this blend to puff pretty hard, which intensifies the flavors and provides lots of beautiful smoke (and can heat up the briar). But when I slow down and concentrate, the rewards are manifold, including a wonderful complexity, verious flavors wafting in and out, and a richness that rivals or surpasses many of the full Balkans out there.

Four stars, consistent with my TR review from more than two years ago.

OLD REVIEW: This is one delicious blend! It was great when I opened it months ago, but I put it in a jar and just re-opened it after about six months of aging. Not a huge improvement, but a little better than it was which is to say fantastic.

Jar aroma is smoky sweet like 965. It's based on dark Virginias, which I love, but the flavor is so well balanced that nothing really takes center stage. There is a wonderful creaminess and richness during the first half-bowl that gives way to a more straightforward almost-Balkan strength that just keeps giving and giving.

When I have the means I'll be ordering lots of this stuff to lay away for a while...
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 05, 2017 Medium None Detected Full Pleasant
BB is right in a way - this stuff tastes like Yenidje with some condiments on the side. I opened the pouch after about three years in the cellar. First impression was that it tasted like a really light version of the ol' white tin. Next couple of b owls pretty much the same. A week later, it BLEW UP INTO THE BEST ORIENTAL I HAVE EVER TASTED. A very simple choice, really. And it's not light either, the flavor/spice of the O's is way up there. Get some if you can.
Pipe Used: OD cob, meers, Dunhills all sizes
PurchasedFrom: Max
Age When Smoked: 3 yrs
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 25, 2013 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Macedonian Mixture is a full, rich, flavorful smoke. It, like all Compton blends that I've enjoyed, lends itself best to soft leisurely sipping of the pipe. In my experience, appreciation of its complexity is lost with puffing. Comparison of it to some romanticized blend from the past - now extinct - is pointless to me. Similarly, I'm not at all interested to know it's percentage of this strain of tobacco or that. Honestly stated....who cares and so what? I'm not a tobacco blender. We can enjoy paintings by Monet without ever being able to name the specific hues that make for its beauty. Macedonian Mixture is simply a very, very good pipe tobacco, thoughtfully blended. Compared to the Balkan Mixture and York Full Mixture, Macedonian Mixture is a bit less smooth in the throat and sinuses , but equally rich. Time in the jar will round it out, and its complexity will leap forward. Compton's of Galashiels blends are the pipe tobacco equivalent of historic Cuban cigars, in my opinion. With age, their unique excellence will become classically exquisite. They are a mature pleasure to be enjoyed with a good book, cool drink, alone in contemplation or with the company of comfortable friends or a loyal dog. Macedonian Mixture is very well done and wholly satisfying for those who enjoy fine tobacco. It has no flaws in being what it is intended to be.
Pipe Used: Davorin Morta Churchwarden
Age When Smoked: Freshly blended
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 24, 2008 Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong
Excellent Balkan mixture, the closest I've found to Balkan Sobranie Original Mixture so far. I will compare both since most people does and many try Macedonian Mixture looking for a replacement to the legendary English product.

The Yenidje leaf is present in Compton's product and in similar proportions, but I guess this variety is a bit sharper. The roundness and mellowness one used to find in BSOM is less evident in MM and makes its taste (not its strength) kind of overwhelming at times. The Latakias used in both are quite similar, and if someone told me they are the same, I'd trust him.

Overall, a wonderful experience.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 11, 2007 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Very Pleasant
Macedonian Mixture is sold by Max Engel at Pipes2Smoke under the Compton's of Galashiel label. There is a detailed and interesting discussion of how Max obtained the rights to this brand on his website. This is the first currently available tobacco that provides a Balkan Sobranie White experience. That unique tart-sweet odor that lasts throughout the bowl is present. I carefully compared a bowl of one week old MM with a bowl of 25 year old BSW. The BSW was smoked in an old Dunhill shell, the MM is a newer Larson Pearl. IF the BSW can be compared to a string quartet, the MM is best compared to a string Octet. The MM is a bit stronger and a bit harsher than the BSW. However, these differences are minimal. If the BSW is a 10, then the MM is a 9.7. The harshness I found may be related to residual ammonia due to the newness of the tobacco. Also, the Virginias and the Latakia may not be the same. The important point is that if you loved BSW, then this is a comparable and worthy successor. I plan to buy several pounds for my cellar.

ADDENDUM 04/11/2007- Having smoked several more bowls of both BSW and MM I think the difference lies in the type of Latakia. BSW probably used Syrian Latakia. Max isn't currently able to obtain Syrian Latakia and probably uses Cyprian. Boy, how this mixture would resemble BSW with the use of Syrian Latakia.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 29, 2011 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
This is a high quality blend which as others have pointed out, Yenidje is clearly the star of the show. If find it a step above 3 Oaks in the taste department . The high quality leaf behaves well in the pipe and I find it smokes best on the dry side. This blend loses a star for me in that it is nearly impossible to get and is somewhat overpriced. 524, a very similar offering from Pipeworks & Wilke has taken it's place in my rotation. Recommended.
1 person found this review helpful.
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