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.