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From the word go you are greeted with a very rich and pungent smoking experience, packed full of the oaky smoky flavours you would expect from that much latakia. The Virignias are not in the forefront of this blend at all, they carry the more savory along beautifully and creates a sweet current which all the other flavours float. Thanks to the quantity of latakia and the Izmir, the blend has a spicy nature which grows throughout the smoke, ending in a very peppery finish.

Notes: Erin from the Okanagan Pipe club contacted us and asked if we could make couple of “Club Blends” for them. A Balkan and an aromatic was the brief and over several weeks we experimented with various ideas. The first blend we focused on was the Balkan (#1), the brief was reasonably simple, a latakia heavy Balkan blend with an oaky/woody side to it, some spice and underlying sweetness.

Usually we use a single latakia across all of our tobaccos, it carries a wonderful char grilled flavour to it, whereas this needed to be a little more "oaky". So after various alternative latakias, we found a combination of the two which worked perfectly. Normally we would call the Virginia component of this style blend the base, but with over 50% latakia, it just didn’t sound right. The same delightful steamed Virginia we use in the Askwith Kake, this blended with a divine sweet and citrusy flue cured Virginia. To give this tobacco its other oriental content (ALL UK blenders class latakia as an Oriental; well it is really) a wonderful spicy and woody Izmir is added.

Getting the balance took a fair amount of tweaking and juggling to hit the nail on the head, but we got there.

If you like your latakias punchy and pungent then this has to be one for you, it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but Glynn certainly had fun making it.

BrandGQ Tobaccos
Blended ByGlynn Quelch
Manufactured ByGlynn Quelch
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
ProductionNo longer in production
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Medium to Strong
None Detected
Room Note
7 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3005)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

It’s called Balkan Full, but that seems to be more of an indicator of flavor than strength, as it’s more of a medium to full smoke. The smokey, woodsy, earthy, leathery, musty Latakias also have a little sweetness I associate with the Cyprian variety, which is one that is used. The tangy Turkish Izmir is spicy, earthy, herbal, floral, vegetative, woody, and sour as a supporting player. The Virginias offer grass, tart citrus, hints of earth and wood along with a few drops of honey as the base of the blend. While smoking it, you’d never guess that this blend is half Latakia because it’s not a lat-bomb, nor does it have any sharpness. There is a hint of a rough edge once in a while. The strength is a couple of steps past the medium mark, while the taste is full. The nic-hit is medium. Won't bite or get harsh. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a very consistent, mildly creamy sweet and more savory, campfire flavor that translates to the pleasantly linger after taste and stronger room note. Barely leaves any moisture at the finish. Requires an average number of relights. One could smoke this more than once a day even if it isn’t an all day smoke.


4 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2071)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

GQ Tobaccos - Balkan Full-No.1 Okanagan Pipe Club.

This is a very rich tasting blend! It's tricky to describe the un-lit aroma as is smells like your archetypal Balkan, very intense albeit quite standard. Balkan O.P.C lights with ease and gives a decent burn right the way through.

The smoke? If you don't like Latakia then you will hate this, it's the quintessential 'Lat-bomb'! I struggle to detect much of the other tobaccos at first as the Latakia is that heady, all I really get from time to time for the first half of the bowl is a slight grassy note from the Virginia but after half way the Virginia becomes more prevalent. The temperature of the smoke is a middle ground one, even when stressed it only becomes moderately warm as opposed to hot. I get no bite unless I really 'give it some' and then it really is more of a minor nip rather than a proper bite. I find that this gives a good hit of nicotine, it isn't too strong but would definitely suit to get your motor running!

I can't argue with the description for this one bit. It is perfection in the world of Balkans! Four stars.

Pipe Used: Barling Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: G.Q Tobaccos

3 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30126)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I find myself on a quest for my perfect Balkan or Oriental blend. This comes pretty close to my perfect tobacco. Smokey,spicy,not harsh at all,smooth and creamy.A little sweetness in the background. I could smoke this all day,and not much else. A superb blend. Any Balkan fan,has to try this.

Pipe Used: Stanwell Calabash

Purchased From: GQ Tobaccos

3 people found this review helpful.

tcvarlh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tcvarlh (17)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

What can I say? This is another GlynnQ masterpiece. I prefer it to Balkan Sobranie, whether that is merely memory failing me or tastes changing I couldn't nor wouldn't know and I don't care, this is excellent. Obviously taste is subjective, however this blend 'fills my pipe'

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: GQT

2 people found this review helpful.

pencils Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pencils (57)
Medium None Detected Full Very Pleasant

I loved this. Perhaps more than any other latakia blend. Incense, wood, leather, sourness... everything I want from a fine quality tobacco that aids contemplation.

I mourn it's passing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Daniel W. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Daniel W. (23)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Another amazing blend from GQ Tobaccos. Very smooth and very pleasant to smoke. Medium body, woody flavour. Very well balanced, subtle sweet and low to none bitterness. The room note is great. For sure I will buy more times this blend.

Pipe Used: Peterson POY 2016 w/ Filter

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: GQ Tobaccos website

Nobody has rated this review yet.

brian stephen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
brian stephen (8)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Smokey, spicy and full, Glynn has added another masterpiece to his already excellent repertoire. Supposedly 50% Latakia (two types, if I read it correctly), the Latakia leads the charge but doesn't drown out the other players. The description states there's Steamed Virginia along with a sweet flue cured Virginia with Turkish Izmir to balance the blend out perfectly. And balanced perfectly it is, albeit full of body, plenty of Nicotene and downright good for those who crave this type of mixture. Some may say it doesn't change much as the bowl progresses, but I find with a slow rhythmic puff OPC Balkan reveals layers of complexity. Pepper, oak and wood smoke with a slightly sweet thing popping in and out at times, there's nothing not to like here. Very well done.

Nobody has rated this review yet.