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 31 - 40 of 90 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 31, 2019 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
WhiteKnight: Showcasing Yenidje.

As a whole, I would consider this a medium English/Balkan. The Virginias are sweet and grassy with a little Latakia. However, it is the Oriental leaf that makes this blend special and is the main flavor component. The Yenidje is unlike any Turkish/Eastern European leaf that I have ever tried. It is hard to describe. It adds a distinctive dry characteristic to the smoke, but it is mild and less floral or sour than Izmir. It is its own thing.

WhiteKnight is a good blend, but I prefer my English/Balkans to be a bit more dynamic. So while I enjoy this blend, it is not quite perfection.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 08, 2019 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
A perfect and balanced medium Balkan blend. Orientals really shine in this blend, a little Latakia rounds it out with some smokiness and just the right amount of Virginia. A blend you should keep on hand at all times, I know I do!
Pipe Used: Peterson System 314
PurchasedFrom: Pipesandcigars.com
Age When Smoked: 5 months in Mason jar
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 04, 2019 Mild Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable
We all know there are lots of reasons why pipe tobaccos change over time, including weather, politics, economics, logistics, time itself spent in a tin or jar, and changing tastes. Also, memory is certainly a factor where comparisons like this are concerned. Nevertheless, Hearth and Home’s White Knight is heralded as a match for a very distinctive, older version of Balkan Sobranie. As it happens, I smoked Balkan Sobranie from 1969, and I well remember that when my wife became pregnant in 1970 I was forbidden to smoke BS upwind from our house. Despite I thought it was “sophisticated” and “exotic”, it was stinky stuff back then, rather gamy, like a goat pen with meadow flowers, dense kabab and Middle Eastern baking spices, and a peat burning stove, with an emphasis on the goat! I loved it! So, naturally, I had to try White Knight.

The tobacco in my rested tin of WK actually looks and smells more like a “smokier” version of a current tin of BS than the older stuff, with golden tan, brown and black ribbons and small chunks, with its “enhanced” (with Liquid Smoke) Latakia slightly over very savory, blunt, brooding cereal grains and silage. WK handles, loads and lights rather like current BS, as well. Lit, WK’s aromas and tastes quickly establish themselves. There’s plenty of “smoky” smoke, and the prominent Orientals kick right in with savory, sour, woody kabob spices and some faint floral notes, along with fast burning, loamy meadow grass and grain from the VA. Any sugar is quickly met with at least an equal dose of sour, and by 1/3 the BS signature quinine/tonic appears, though it’s not nearly as prominent as the original. The lot burns well and it holds its profile, top to bottom. Strength is mild. Tastes are medium. Room note is tolerable. Aftertaste is a trailing off of the best of the smoke that lasts longer than most Oriental tobaccos.

As for rating White Knight vs. old time Balkan Sobranie, the Hearth and Home blend is certainly “reminiscent” of older BS. The contemporary Latakia is not bad by today’s standards, but IMO it’s not as good or as distinctive as the fabled Latakia used in olden days Balkan Sobranie. Likewise, the VAs and the Orientals; they were simply more “distinctive” back in The Day. As for contemporary BS, I prefer smoking White Knight, because its Latakia actually winds up more restrained (less “sandalwood”) when it’s smoked. Bottom line: Overall, by comparison or on its own, I think White Knight is a 4 star blend in this day and time, and I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in trying it for any reason. Never mind the competition, WK holds its own, no problem.
Pipe Used: various briars
PurchasedFrom: 4noggins
Age When Smoked: from a current tin
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 21, 2019 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
"In some ways, maybe the newcomer to the pipe is more fortunate than we old guys are, since they have fewer lost loves to shackle them."

-- G.L. Pease

How fortunate I am indeed to have never experienced the 759, for I can appreciate WhiteKnight for what it is: a stellar Balkan tobacco blend. Starting with a clean slate -- a tabula rasa -- with none of those hazy-fazy recollections from the mid-1970s that still cloud the memories of my youth (and perhaps yet impair my judgement to this day). WhiteKnight is indeed a smooth, fragrant Latakia blend with a bright, sparkly character, and there really is no need to expand on that characterization, for it pretty well sums things up. Nor is there any need to sample multiple tins of this blend in order to appreciate that 1) it is unquestionably worth stocking up on, and 2) it will, in time, become legendary in its own right. To Russ Oullette: Bravo! 4-stars.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 26, 2019 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This one is comparable to wood for two reasons. The amount of sticks and twigs inside would make great kindling, and the flavor is akin to licking a smoldering log from a fireplace.

Beyond the annoying twigs, the cut is a dense mix of tan leaves and dark brown clusters, which have an odd waxy feel (though not sticky) that may add to the duration of smoking time. White Knight gives off plenty of Oriental tangy electricity, while maintaining a medium power level while smoked that leaves a lasting residue on the palate (and fingers). If one digs a bit deeper, there is some detectable earthiness lurking below the omnipresent charcoal log.

I'm not a 100% sure what makes a blend a Balkan, but for my money, it falls into the English category. Aside from the annoying roughness of the cut, it performs relatively the same as others in this category, but would easily prefer some Frog Morton or Dunhill if they were available.
PurchasedFrom: pipesandcigars.com
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 06, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
This is great. I admit that my pipe smoking has grown erratic, but I still order tobacco most every month in ridiculous quantities that I am assured will one day turn to gold. I have read Jim and DK talk about this mysterious soda note, and having secured damn near everything with Yenidje that I could find, I am sadly unable to appreciate this intriguing association.

I am not, however, unable to appreciate this wonderful blend. Yes, I have had the new BS. It's great, I admit, and unobtanium. But with WhiteKnight, I don't feel the need to even bother with the quest. The spice is strong with this one! Don't bother with a cough drop if you are feeling ill, simply puff this baby and your sinuses are bound to clear.

Great Job!
Pipe Used: Generic Bulldog
PurchasedFrom: smoking pipes
Age When Smoked: Fresh
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 09, 2018 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Am I alone in sensing the latest iteration of WK is different than that of even a few months ago? Just finished my fifth bowl of a fresh tin frim Pipes and Cigars, which had WK on back order for several months. Much less flavor and aroma. Spice and kick dialed down considerably. Frightening, actually. To gauge whether there has been a change in formulation--or if my palate betrays me--I have written the blender, Pipes and Cigars to get their take.
Pipe Used: Peterson
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Cigars
Age When Smoked: fresh from tin, purchased four days ago
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 15, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
I've never smoked original Sobranie so this won't be any kind of comparison to that, but I have been experiencing a plethora of english and balkan's in the vein of this.

Of all the balkan or oriental forward English's I've tried I've kind of settled into some sub-categories where there's a few I'd consider day blends, or a bit less deep, dark, and spicy as others.

I suppose it has something to do with latakia content vs. maybe Virginia and just the tastier orientals. It's just not as heavy as many of them.

The two Oriental forwards in this category I smoke regularly are Durbar and Whiteknight. Blackhouse, Magnum Opus, Balkan Sasieni, are all a bit more spicy and keyed up on the low end by comparison. In this one, the Lat's are lighter and there's more of a virginia complement to the oriental vs. Lat. I'd say there's even less lat than Early Morning pipe, but to me, in the same vein, but a bit stronger in the oriental/Turkish flavor dept.

It's a bit more of a casual smoke to me and fits nicely into the times I'd want to smoke Early Morning Pipe, and it tastes better than Durbar. I still like both of those though. I tell you, Magnum Opus, Blackhouse, and Whiteknight are each the best of their class by a bit. After a few bowls of each its hard not to just think I wasted a bunch of money on other blends in my cupboard.

I will say that these Hearth and Homes do come a bit on the dry side, Magnum Opus being the most so. I did end up applying a few spritzes of distilled water which did improve the texture to more of what I'm used to. Not a bit deal, but these are the first tobaccos I've smoked where I found it helpful to do so.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 13, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Another great Marquee Series Blend! I never smoked the original BS so have no way to compare. This is a great Balkan, well balanced and full flavored. Tin note is Latakia smokey and with woody and slightly sour notes from the orientals. Taste is very complex and there are nuanced changes throughout the bowl. If I were to compare it to anything I would agree with some other reviewers that this is a milder, tamer BlackHouse. The Latakia is sweet and smokey and is the dominant flavor throughout the smoke. For what it is worth, I find this blend to be superior in a morta pipe. It is great in any pipe but the flavors from the tobacco seem to really come through more in a morta. There is the classic malty flavor in this Balkan (what I love most about Balkan's). It is the marriage of the sweetness and smokiness of the Latakia, toasty sweet Virginia's and the woody and slightly sour orientals. The closest taste comparison is Ovaltene which I loved as a kid. There is a nice tangy, fizzy note on the retrohale from the orientals which I really like. This is a great all day smoke and often is a back to back smoker for me. UPDATE 11/18 Now that the cold weather is back upon us in Chicagoland, I have come back to this blend. This may be one of the best pipe tobacco's I have ever smoked. After a few months off of Latakia blends (for the most part), I settled back in with this blend and it is even better than I remembered. The balance of the Orientals, VA's and Latakia are without peer. The smokey, malty character that I cherish most about Balkans is present from the charring light until the heel of the bowl is reached. This is an amazing tobacco: I put WK, Magnum Opus and BlackHouse in the same category and they are all similar in their excellence (BH being my least favorite of the 3 but that is still high praise). These are in a class by themselves and every Balkan lover owes it to themselves to try these.
Pipe Used: Briar, meerschaum, Morta and Cobs
PurchasedFrom: Mars Cigars
Age When Smoked: 1 year
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 28, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The Orientals are more forward in this than in Blackhouse or Magnum Opus, so it has a spicy sourness from the Yenidge which is there in every puff. It's also sweet and smoky, but not too sweet. It's just right for me and is probably my number 1 Balkan blend. I think it's less popular than Blackhouse due to the slight sourness which some people seem to find off-putting. It's a little less "balanced" than something like Blackhouse or say, 965, which to me offer unified flavours resulting from the complete sum of their parts. White Knight is a little less "unified" because of the obvious presence of the Yenidge. I personally love it. The jar aroma makes me salivate. Smokes perfectly right out of the tin with perfect moisture content in any type of bowl. This was the first blend I cellared deeply. So far it's ageing gracefully a couple of years in.

(P.S. I'd sure like to know what "unflavored soda" tastes like. [cf. JimInks' review])
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