A classic style Medium Balkan Mixture prepared from rich stoved Virginia strip, Cyprian Latakia, lemon Carolina and the finest Greek Oriental tobaccos. This is very similar to the old Balkan Sobraine white. We believe you will find it to be exceptional in quality.
First of all, this blend is nothing like the old Balkan Sobranie White. With that out of the way, what you get a mild to medium English with a smoky, woody, earthy, musty sweet Cyprian Latakia that is well complimented by the smoky, woody, floral, vegetative, Greek Orientals, which has a little dryness and spice to them. The lemon Virginia offers a little tart and tangy citrus with minor spice and grass notes. It's just above being a condiment. The strength is just past the center of mild to medium. The taste is medium. Has a moderate nic-hit. Won't bite or get harsh, but has a few small rough edges. A well balanced all day smoke that burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with with a very consistent flavor. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasant after taste, and pungent room note. Not quite an all day smoke.
Bought an ounce of this tobacco on the advice of the salesperson. I went in to purchase some 412 due to the favorable reviews on this site. He recommended this as a more robust version. Let me state that I am in no way an expert on English blends nor have I had the pleasure to smoke the original blend this was modeled after, but I do know what I enjoy when smoking my pipe and and I think I have found my first have to keep some blend.
Pouch aroma was nothing special. Pretty typical of other English type blends I have encountered. It is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, just nothing that says remarkable to me. Packed and lit typical to the style.
Smokiness and spice are at the front but do not overpower. A kiss of sweetness ties it all together. It offers no bite to me even when pushed, but a calm steady cadence is highly rewarded with more taste and a better marriage of the flavors. Nothing ever seems out of place. Everything is in order and no surprises. Pure tobacco taste and pleasure. Was consistent throughout the entire smoke and the pouch. I can not wait to get back to the shop and buy a much larger pouch!
I have mixed feelings about this blend. I like the flavor of it, but it refuses to behave for me. The larger chunky pieces, that are darker in color, don't burn with the rest of the ribbon cut parts. The Lat content in this good, the harmony of the blend is outstanding. I can see why this is one of the more preferred blends from Strauss. I smoked this all day yesterday while driving my garbage route, and all day I'm dumping out chunky ashes. Can't get it to burn nicely for me.
It's good enough for some I guess. And I see other reviews here where people had no problems like mine. I'm going to finish it up and move on though. It's too high maintenance.
Wow I love this blend. It is extremely well balanced, smokey, slightly spicey, and a subtle sweetness that binds the flavours together. Nothing is overpowering or too dominant. I enjoy my English slightly sweet so this is up my ally. I really impressed with Straus Tobacconist's house blends - they really do a fine job. Their customer service is very good and shipping is fast. This can be an all day smoke if you like English blends.
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