Dan Tobacco Bill Bailey's Balkan Blend

This full strength blend consists of the best Virginia grades with various Oriental tobaccos, 10% dark fired Kentucky leaf and over 40% latakia with a pinch of perique.


Brand Dan Tobacco
Blended By Dan Tobacco
Manufactured By Dan Tobacco
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Kentucky, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50 grams tin, 100 grams tin, 250 grams bulk
Country Germany
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.11 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 92 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 30, 2015 Strong Strong Overwhelming Extra Strong
A friend of mine will rarely even try a sample of any other tobacco he is so enamored by BBBB. He generously gifted me a tin and continously inquired as to how did I like it. Normally I never open a tin until it has been cellared at least a year, but I gave in to opening this after only a month (he can be very persistent). It was POWERFUL!!! Actually a little overwhelming and not what I had expected. Some reviews here have stated the Latakia is Syrian and perhaps it is, but it was nowhere as smooth as other blends which clearly indicate their Latakia to be Syrian (e.g., Balkan by Brebbia, Syrian Latakia Blend by Mclintock). I cannot say this will make my regular rotation, but perhaps I simply need to smoke this in a smaller pipe like a Dunhill Group 2S or my similar sized Castello (I'll update following a couple of bowls in those) instead of in my Brigham pot. All in all it came a bit damp in the tin but 20-30 min of dry time for a bowls worth solves that. It burned slow for its cut leaving no wet dottle at the bottom of the bowl but the flavour profile remained consistent so if you want a true Latakia bomb this would be it as the orientals and the virginia played a very backseat role throughout the smoke. This leads me to wonder if another factor may be the lack of aging so I'm going to wait at least three months before my next sampling. Given the 1.76 oz tin price at $25 here in Canada (mostly damn taxes which they then tax a further 13% HST at the till!!!) I think I will be smoking the Balkan by Brebbia (the best price here at $22). Another blend which has a similar strength profile but a more balanced taste profile would be OLB by B&B in Ashville NC.
Pipe Used: Brigham pot, MM Legend,Castello Old Antaquari pot
PurchasedFrom: Was a gift but you can order it from P&C online
Age When Smoked: 1 month
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 25, 2013 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Lots of smokey, woody, earthy, musty sweet Cyprian Latakia makes it the star component of this blend. There are some sour notes and a light floralness from the woody, smoky, earthy, herbal, dry, mildly spicy, leathery Orientals that contrast well with the other flavors in a small support role. The Virginia offers tart and tangy citrusy with light grass/hay and small earth and wood notes as a secondary player. The tangy, nutty, woody, earthy, woody, lightly spicy, floral, herbal, sour dark fired Kentucky is a condiment. The perique has more raisins, plums and figs than it does spice, and mainly lurks in the background. The strength is medium, while the taste is a couple of steps past that mark. The nic-hit misses the medium mark by a sliver. Won't bite or get harsh, but it does sport a few rough edges. Burns clean and cool at a moderate pace with a fairly smooth and mostly consistent rich, mildly sweet and more savory, campfire flavor that translates to the pleasantly lingering after taste and stronger, pungent room note. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Not an all day smoke. Three and a half stars.

34 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 22, 2006 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
A Friend of mine turned me on to Bill Bailey's Balkan several years ago. I would disagree with those who say it's NOT a Balkan, what I would say is it's not your typical Balkan. I'd describe this as an Americanized Balkan (if there is such a thing). It is full on the palate, yet surprisingly mild.

Appearance: Upon very close inspection I can detect at least 5 different hues of leaf in this mixture Red Virginias are in abundance, tan Kentucky darker browns of Oriental and Perique with nearly jet black Latakia. The cut is a somewhat varied rough ribbon cut.

Tin aroma: This is a complex mixture, the Virginias are evident, with rich earthy tones and under-currents of fig/raisin and cocoa. The smoky Cyprian Latakia makes the main statement, complex and enticing, plenty of smokiness with underlying astringent tones of bergamot and sandalwood. Just under the surface I detect the Orientals giving the mixture?dryness? and lending even greater depth to the mélange of flavors. Kentucky gives this a nutty quality not very common in Balkans, but a welcome departure from the ?norm.? Finally, we have a touch of Perique lending it's Louisiana ?pepper? to the range of flavor. Mostly the Perique plays an enhancing role here, it does not become a distinct part of the mixture.

This tobacco is nearly perfect in moisture and I employed the ?once like a baby, once like a lady, finally like a gentleman? method of layered packing. I have chosen a Molina Apple which is dedicated to Balkan mixtures and pre-smoked with several bowls of BBB to rid the pipe of other mixtures.

Lighting usually is a single match affair, and with a friendly ?lighting tamp? I am well on my way to a rich satisfying smoking experience. As expected, the initial flavor is very smoky with an astringent (very gently so) quality I?ve come to expect from Orientals. Latakia and Orientals tend to live ?nasally? for me, so I often employ the ?French curve? method of inhaling the slipstream smoke. The Virginias and Perique set a firm background and foundation on which the Latakia and Orientals build, the Kentucky chiming in steadily with a soft nutty quality. This blend slowly builds in flavors and complexity with each puff.

Mid Bowl: Approaching mid-bowl, the fullness tends to build and the flavors gaining intensity in unison. The initial strength of the Latakia is slowly giving way to other components, the Orientals slowly numbing (not at all in a bad way) my soft pallet and nasal regions. The Virginia comes through a bit more assertively from time to time with rich fruity and sweet tones, the Perique seemingly is there to lend character and fill in the few gaps. At times I'm reminded of C&D's Easy Times while smoking this. Finally, the Kentucky drones on with a richness, keeping the mixture cool and soft. Toward the middle of the bowl this blend levels off, the complexity fades slightly and the flavors become muted. This is not a bad thing really, it's actually a nice change, allowing one to relax and not concentrate as much. It slowly evolves into what I call ?auto-pilot? smoking.

Home Stretch: As end of the bowl approaches, I?m fully relaxed, a satisfied silly smile on my face. The fullness and character of this blend really come into their own during this final stretch. The Virginias have deepened to a wine like goodness and the Latakia and Oriental has widened yielding leather and forest tones. Bill Bailey's Balkan starts out with bold and complex statements, builds in complexity and richness, fading slightly in the final half of the bowl, with a rich somewhat muted finish. There are disctinct cigar-like qualities especially late in the bowl. While some might feel Kentucky is out of place in a Balkan, to me it feels right at home, a nice change of pace smoke indeed. As for any hint of tongue bite, forget it, this is almost like smoking refrigerant, a very cool and well behaved mixture.

While not up to the standard of GLP, C&D and a few others, Bill Bailey's Balkan is still an excellent and satisfying blend in all regards. When purchased in bulk, it is a fine value as well.

Supplemental Notes: This mixture fits nicely within my top ten favorite Balkan mixtures. Rating for those interested in numbers ***
28 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 27, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I really like the Orientals used in this blend. Very nice. They're fairly well balanced with the Latakia making for some very tasty lead elements. The Kentucky may be slightly overdone, in my opinion. It seems to mask the Virginias and the Perique to a small extent. That's my only complaint though. This is a solid blend that I find enjoyable to smoke. The quality of the Orientals ensures this blend a place in my cellar. 3+ stars.
Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman
PurchasedFrom: pipesandcigars.com
Age When Smoked: 2 months
24 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 28, 2006 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
This tobacco has all of the components of a classic "Balkan" blend (and some extra goodies.) So, I reckon I'll break the tie and call it an enhanced Balkan Blend, and a pretty good one at that.

Typical of many Balkans, this one starts out with heavier waves of Latakia and then settles down into a subtle spicy smoke as the Orientals kick in. I think there is additional spice here as Perique can be detected, although deep in the background of every puff until the bottom of the bowl is reached.

If you enjoy Balkan tobaccos, I do think you'll enjoy this offering from Bill Bailey (whoever the heck that is.)
23 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 23, 2010 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
Picking through a tin of Bill Bailey's Balkan Blend, you'll find long, thin strands of tobacco, densely packed and taken together with a conservative level of moisture. Water will not weigh this one down, and upon light, the smoke pushes volumes into the air as a consequence.

The Oriental component that defines Bill Bailey's Balkan is amazing. I'm guessing it's not simply Smyrna, in my experience a brownish leaf with a relatively tame kick. Instead, this stuff bites the nose with a fierce tickle, immediately registering a hard shot of spice. Whatever it is, the suspect leaf is a bright green color, and its distinct taste puts the blend in very different territory than some of the other options on the market.

Balkans are usually light, nicotine wise, due to the mild nature of the Turkish and Latakia components. But Bill Bailey's Balkan compensates with the addition of Kentucky, and a bit of Perique, adding a backbone that is seriously lacking in other Balkans. To purists, these components are heresy, but by such narrow measures there could be no advance in creating novel mixtures. Rather, this blend demonstrates how genres can modulate into unknown domains and foster new expectations.

I say everything here is very well done, and I give Bill Bailey's Balkan my highest regards.
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 08, 2016 Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable
In the tin, Bill Baily’s Balkan smells mainly smoky, and campfire-like scent of Latakia with little else. I was pleased to see that the moisture content is pipe ready. The tobacco is ribbon and the Turkish is easily distinguished. In the pipe, the hefty dose of Latakia is in the lead role, but slightly less than I expected. The Virginia’s add a little sweetness and I detect some extremely mild topping that adds a slight fruitiness. The Turkish/Oriental is a little musty in a good way. BBB offer’s up a moderate amount of spice too. It’s full in flavor and about medium in strength. It burns dry and offers no bite, although the spiciness will increase if pushed (almost sharp). For me, the Perique shows itself more in the way of pepper than fruit. The Kentucky adds the backbone and strength to the blend. Considering the amount of Latakia in BBB, there is still a bit of complexity. This wouldn’t be a rotation maker for me, but should be quite pleasing to Latakia lovers that enjoy a little strength and spice to their blends.
Age When Smoked: 4 years
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 04, 2017 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant
Dan Tobacco - Bill Bailey's Balkan Blend.

The Latakia dominates the tin-note, smoky and lovely! A high proportion of the ribbons are very long in build, and the blend includes an even quantity of each colour. The tin has a lot of depth to it and I'd assumed this is to allow some breathing room for BBBB, but when I de-capped the tin it was brimmed with tobacco. Tobacco that had a great hydration.

The smoke is mostly Latakia, Orientals, and Kentucky, the Virginia and Perique may as well be absent from the description, I wouldn't notice the difference! The Latakia's the stronger of the three headline tobaccos but is given a brilliantly flavoursome support by the Orientals and Kentucky. The Kentucky doesn't taste 'over-cured', I can easily recognise a Burley nuttiness, as well as some fired notes. The burn from it's efficient, maybe too efficient, it can go quite fast! But the smoke's cool and free from tongue bite.

Nicotine: above medium. Room-note: I quite like it, albeit, other folks in the room may want to exit asap!

Bill Bailey's Balkan? Four stars:

Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Atinok Meerschaum
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: Five months
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 07, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
This is a rich, full and satisfying mixture. In terms of the components, Bill Bailey’s Balkan is one of those everything but the kitchen sink kind of blends. One look and it’s plain to see that there’s a wide variety of leaf in this. It pretty much runs the entire tobacco color spectrum.

While not as nuanced or balanced as other blends in its class, whatever modish elegancy Bill Bailey’s Balkan is missing it more than makes up for it in good old fashioned, deep, rich, bold, woodsy flavor girth. Frankly the most complicated thing about this blend is trying to dissect all the small flavors that make up the big huge one. That said, every so often I’ll run into a blend that has what I like to call a tight or unified flavor profile. For instance, Penzance and Beck’s Ol’ Limey Bastard are two such blends. Well Bill Bailey’s is another blend that I would put in this category even though it’s not as exquisite.

Altogether, this is still a superb smoke and one that I find to be immensely enjoyable. Sure, it’s a bit rugged and somewhat ruff around the edges but it’s also chewy, piquant and loaded with flavor. Furthermore, it makes for a perfect fireside winter's night, after dinner smoke.
Pipe Used: Briar
Age When Smoked: 2
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 08, 2011 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Strong
Bill Bailey's Balkan Blend was the first I ever smoked with the word “Balkan” in the title. I remember being quite proud of myself for having smoked something that invoked one of the world's most notorious teeter-totter regions. Since those heady days I've smoked plenty of other tobaccos with the word “Balkan” proudly displayed, including stars like Balkan Sobranie No. 759, Balkan Sasieni, Balkan Flake, GLP's sublime Charing Cross, and numerous others.

And since those days, I've given up entirely on trying to figure out what constitutes a Balkan blend as opposed to an English, Scottish, or Oriental. Are there differences in kind? Degree? I find I genuinely don't care about nomenclature anymore. I just want a good smoke. And BBBB is just that.

In the tin, BBBB is a ribbon cut mix of beige, brown and black with a nose dominated by the sappy, plumy, wood-fire scents of Latakia. The cut allows for an easy pack and consistent burn with impressive volumes of rich smoke. I'm not certain if it's true, but I'm inclined to believe that at least some of the components of the blend have been sweetened up a little. I'm not complaining about that, because this smoky-sweet style of Continental Latakia-mixture is perfect for a late evening smoke on a cool night.

BBBB isn't the most complex “Balkan” on the market, despite the reputed presence of Dark Fired Kentucky and Perique. But with a little age (the batch I'm smoking now was jarred a little over 2 years ago) it's a very enjoyable, robust, and generous treat.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 31, 2018 Medium None Detected Full Very Strong
An outstandingly good blend to me! Albeit I'm not a big fan of Dan Pipes (DTM) house blends (always too heavy casings, lotsof flavourings on supposedly natural tobaccos and too many generic blends) this one rang the right bells for me instantly!

Lovely Orientals in it, from beige to green-ish, which dominate the look of the coarse cut ribbons with the black tobaccos (Latakia, dark fired Kentucky and Perique) in the 2nd lead.

Tin-note is lovely. Smoky, woodsy, earthy and somewhat ethereal. In the pipe the Orientals play the lead as well with a broad variety of flavours. From woodsy to nutty, from sour to sweet, always ethereal and dry. The combination Latakia and dark fired Kentucky creates an unique, characterful smokiness and spice, with lots of earth and wood. The Perique seasons in the background and isn't too much noticeable,so are the Virginias which I supposeonly balanceout the blend with minor(!) sweetness.

Orientals and the dark fireds (Latakia & Kentucky) harmonize excellently and create a most pleasant aroma with depth, complexity and charme and are slightly seasoned by some peppery Perique.

Strenght is upper half of Medium, you mayconsider this an All-Day-Smoke if you like some bolder tobaccos. Room Note? I quote my girl "why does it smell of old socks in here?!" - and she very rarely comments on a room note so it must be aweful! But...oh my.. it's about the taste not the scent, right?;-)

To me this is an Oriental-forward blend with all of the components in just the right proportions. Very solid! 3-stars!
7 people found this review helpful.
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