Hearth & Home WhiteKnight

WhiteKnight is a medium bodied, very complex and well balanced Balkan style blend created to evoke memories of one of the most iconic pipe tobaccos ever made.
Notes: When we won the 2011 Balkan Sobranie 759 Throwdown at the Chicagoland Pipe and Tobacciana Show, with our entry, BlackHouse, it caused quite a stir, and the blend has become one of our best sellers. We followed that up with Fusilier's Ration, which was modeled after Bengal Slices, and it too has become incredibly popular. There was one other blend that I loved, that I thought about making a tribute to, because I enjoyed it so much. But I resisted, due to the iconic stature of the tobacco. After a couple of years of work, though, I finally put together a blend that I feel so confident in, that we're ready to bring you BlackHouse's cousin - WhiteKnight. Balkan Sobranie Original Smoking Mixture is legendary among those of us who were privileged enough to have smoked it. It had gone through some changes, but my memories are from the blend as it was in the late seventies. Using Cyprian Latakia, remarkable yellow Virginias, and amazing Macedonian Orientals, including the Queen of Tobaccos - Yenidje, WhiteKnight has received rave reviews from people who sampled it prior to release. If you love smooth, fragrant Latakia blends with a bright, sparkly character, I think that WhiteKnight will find its way into your regular rotation.


Brand Hearth & Home
Series Marquee Series
Blended By Russ Ouellette
Manufactured By Scandanavian Tobacco Company
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Coarse Cut
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.46 / 4





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Displaying 21 - 30 of 90 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 30, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
I found this to be at best a medium English with a stable but not heavy latakia note. But that's all I tasted; a rather sotty blend. I smoked some and let it sit for a month and smoked more. No refinements but there is nothing wrong with the blend itself. It just should not be compared to anything that great, but it is marketed for greatness. Made me salivate.

As an introduction to an English with a bit more latakia than a light English, it's fine. But not great. Sorry.
Pipe Used: dunhill
PurchasedFrom: pipesandcigars
Age When Smoked: new tin
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 13, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
This seems the be a more focused, refined version of black house to me. More of a “pure” Balkan, without the noise that BH can have.

This isn’t as well rounded as BH, not as smooth or, for lack of a better word, balanced. You can tell that the components are high quality, but they are more jagged, in your face than BH, without the other components to round out the flavor and mouth feel.

Honestly, I think I prefer this over BH, just because it isn’t quite as complicated. Yet another home run from Russ.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 09, 2019 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
This is my first experience with a Russ Ouellette blend, after almost 20 years of pipe smoking. Yes, I have often smoked Balkan Sobranie Original Mixture (the "white" one): in round tins, and in pouches. So I think I can make a fair comparison...

The cut of White Knight is much coarser than that of BS: thick, large strands of tobacco, while BS was much finer and stringier (especially the pouch version). BS was also slightly darker on average (especially the pouch version, again). BS Original in the pouch sure was more stingy and darker in flavour than this, too: so I can say that flavour wise, this is probably a better approximation of '80s tinned BS Original.

Apart from these difference, and in general for a slightly inferior intensity and complexity (BS Original could be a tad overwhelming, while this - as intense as it is - is slightly more polire), this is a WONDERFUL homage. That such a tobacco can be made nowadays with different growing techniques and crop quality/variety, is a miracle.

I still prefer some of GLPease's offerings by a margin, but apart from this the only reason that I judge this blend with less than four stars is that in large bowls it starts to fall apart a bit from midway onwards: some relights, a loss of fullness and balance. Other than this, a great achievement.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 05, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
A ribbon cut Latakia mixture that smells like a classic English. On the dry side, it takes time to light it but once done, you're in for a savory experience. The Virginia is a bit sharp and tangy, the Orientals are sweet and sour and have a light ''soda'' flavor. The Latakia, i would say around 30 percent, is leathery and smoky.

Is it The Balkan Sobranie? The answer is no. Balkan Sobranie is more fragrant, fuller in taste, has more ''soda'' and is smoother around the edges. Now, one cannot compare a six month old mixture with the mother of all mixtures. Nevertheless, with some aging, this tobacco could easily reach the 85% mark. What could we expect, no Syrian Latakia, the Yenidje is surely of a different kind also.

This rendition is the best clone I have tried and it puts the Germain's version to shame. Hopefully, this mixture will survive the new U.S. regulations and pipe smokers will be able to enjoy it for a long time.

Virginia lover
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 31, 2016 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
I'll start off by saying this is just not in my realm of favorites, because I'm simply not a balkan guy (like a good cigar, I only enjoy occasionally). But I have to give credit where credit is due...this is a solid 4 star mixture based on leaf quality, blending skill, and ingredient ratios alone. I rarely give a tobacco over 3 stars that I don't plan to smoke regularly, and many in my rotation only earn 3. But dang it, this stuff is pretty legendary in its own right.

Others have said it and I'll echo the same, this is an oriental forward blend. Tasting them up front is nice for a change, as too often(IMHO) they're pushed to the back and almost covered up by too much latakia. Having recently experimented with some other blends containing Yenidje, it's quite noticeable in WK, and I'm pretty certain it's key in that peppery sort of essence one reviewer mentioned. Orientals are spicy, sweet and somewhat floral...quality leaf. There's a pretty noticeable sour note, making for a rich-bodied, complex smoke. It seems to crescendo into the 2nd third of the bowl where it peaks and becomes magnificent through the finish line.

WK seems to burn cool, and I had no problems with bite, but I did have issues with lighting and burn, especially at beginning and on the final third. The leaf itself is quite dry, so burn issues probably are due to the native oils in the orientals. It's a small price to pay for the wealth of flavor involved. Great balkan for anyone to try!
PurchasedFrom: Pipesandcigars.com
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 07, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Strong
This stuff is just great! Does it really taste like the old Balkan Sobranie Original Mixture? How the hell would I know? I was in grade school when they discontinued it. However, Russ Ouellette has outdone himself on this one. Not too heavy in the lat department and definitely not too light. It's just right in the middle, and very nearly perfect.

In my opinion, the Orientals are the highlight of this blend. Sure, the latakia is definitely present, but most of what I get are the smooth, buttery orientals and the Virginias playing off of each other. If Balkan Sasieni is what I look for to get a smack to the head of latakia, then WhiteKnight is what I go to for a pleasant, enjoyable latakia mixture experience.

There's not a lot of change from first light to the end of the bowl for me. It has been well-behaved and relatively consistent throughout the burn. Why haven't I bought this very often? I certainly have enjoyed it. I dunno. I think I'd better place an order for some more pretty soon, though!
Pipe Used: Savinelli Antique Shell Bent bulldog (623)
PurchasedFrom: Pipes & Cigars
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 08, 2015 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Strong
Not my favourite from Russ maybe there's some serious batch variations going on. It's a bit insipid and frankly boring, a bit of a bugger to light and stay lit too. I suspect the base tobaccos needed another cycle or two of fermentation, it should not be this difficult to light especially being quite dry in the tin. I adore Sobranie White and in fact still have a few precious tins hoarded away, another jarred for the utmost of special occasions.

White Knight may be a 'tribute blend', it does not remind me very much of Sobranie White if at all. Compton's Macedonian is the closest by far and dare I say I enjoy Compton's more than the original with the Yenidje being more apparent.

Batch variation or not I'll spend my dosh on Black House, the White Knight has taken his last ride with me.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 31, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Edit 5/13/17- As I initially stated , I had to smoke this slow and was running into relight issues. When tried in a larger bowl all those problems went away, try it.

Original review: A nice Balkan, and similar to Sobraine in taste on the initial light. I seem to remember the original Balkan Sobraine as having a finer ribbon cut ( more Dunhill like) and this is wider ( am I wrong, I really can't remember?). Now how that effects the flavor, I don't know, but White Night just doesn't jump forward with a burst of flavor, kind of "Ho Hum". Kind of like eating a steak at Outback as compared to Ruth Chris, both good, but one is better.

I think this would benefit from some aging to smooth this out. It's little harsh on the initial light, but on the relight, it actually smoothes right out. I find I have to really slow down my smoking cadence to get the most out of this blend. When I do this , it delivers wonderful Oriental flavor and a scent that is totally intriguing as it drifts up the nose. If I don't, it seems harsh, however, as I slow this down I run into a relight issue.

I agree with bits and pieces from each of the reviews prior to mine, each has some good points:

Steel Cowboy-"although not quite as smooth as Balkan Sobranie, but that could easily be due to the lack of age.

" [email protected] & Gentleman Zombie (203)-"My only complaint is the burning characteristics, it doesn't like to hold an ember for me. It could be technique", "I have one complaint and this prevents me from giving this four stars. It has some burn issues as one other reviewer noted. Just doesn't seem to want to burn readily. Even when bone dry

Pipe Used: cob
Age When Smoked: 1 month
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 26, 2020 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Upon first opening the tin, you're greeted with a very nice aroma of smoky and woody Latakia, with hints of Virginia sweetness. The tobacco is mostly dark, with what seems to be around a third of bright Virginia.

Already in the first few puffs, some of the Balkan leafs come out, as you notice slight perfume and soapiness. This is smoothed by the sweet Virginia.

Comes in perfect moisture, easily packed and smoked. No relights. No particularly strong. Not particularly complex either, and that's a good thing. This blend shouldn't be analyzed like a philosophical problem. This one is purely for enjoyment. Consistent, medium-bodied.

Very easy to just sit back and enjoy. I can see how this would be someone's absolute favorite for a quite weekend afternoon, just like its brother, Blackhouse.

A classic Latakia blend that I'll be sure to enjoy more from in the future. 4 stars.
Pipe Used: "Ena" Brezo red bent apple shape
PurchasedFrom: pipesandcigars.com
Age When Smoked: New to 1 year
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 02, 2020 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Unnoticeable
I love an Oriental forward balkan with bright yellow Virginia. The latakia in this blend is delicious and not overdone . Very spicy in a good way , a little sour note and just sweet enough. Magnum Opus would be it’s cousin . MO is a little sweeter to me . The Orientals are buttery and creamy and floral . I love it and want another bowl ! Yendije is great stuff . 4 stars for Russ again .
3 people found this review helpful.
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