Dunhill Durbar

A high portion of mature dark as well as yellow Virginias combined with latakia and Oriental leaf. Wonderful balance, mild in flavour with floral and subtly smoky notes.


Brand Dunhill
Blended By Dunhill
Manufactured By Scandinavian Tobacco Group
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Mixture
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country Denmark
Production No longer in production


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

Average Rating

3.12 / 4





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Displaying 51 - 59 of 59 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 21, 2017 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Dunhill Durbar. I have never really been a fan of the Dunhills in recent years - as a younger man, I enjoyed 965 a great deal but never got on with any of the re-releases. Thought I would take a punt on the Durbar, and a couple of bowls didn't change my mind much. It was only with some perseverance that I have been able to appreciate it more. Described as a fine Balkan, it can be a little flat and carries too much of an ashy quality at times. At others, it is a dry and flavoursome smoke.

It takes its place with BB, 965, London, Standard Mixture and Aperitif, EMP and Nightcap, and many will miss it if if it is discontinued.
Pipe Used: Several
PurchasedFrom: GQ Tobaccos
Age When Smoked: New
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 01, 2017 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
I'm surprised by the many 4 star-reviews, I tend to agree more with what I read in the 1 star reviews. The tobacco lights and burns fine, keeps dry, leaving a white ash. But IMHO, the taste of this blend is unbalanced and does not develop as it should. The first half of the bowl might be ok, but the second half tends to be too harsh with a bad aftertaste that irritates the throat. Ideally, this tobacco offers some enjoyable floral flavours of orientals in the foreground and latakia in the background. But for my taste, the virginia in this blend is too robust. And the more the bowl progresses the more it develops into a foul and acrid taste that overpowers all the flavours, leaving a bad aftertaste (like ashes in the mouth) which has a nauseating effect. Impossible to smoke without a glass of water or two by the side to clear the throut. For me, Durbar gives the promise of a full balkan that can be appetizing at first. But it does not deliver, which makes it overall a dissapointing smoking experience. If you like a strong and full balkan, this one would seem just right, but on the other hand, what value is there to a tobacco that start ok only to develop into an overwhelmingly harsch an nausiating smoking experience. Only reason I give this Janus-faced tobacco a week 2 star is because there is an alluring quality in the taste that I like, but unfortunately overpowered by its less sympathetic darker side.

Update: After experimenting with packing I learned that it smokes better if packed tight using the air-pocket method.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 15, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong
I had this recommended from a few friends. And in both of their recommendations they claimed two things, smoothness and tastefulness. One of them I can attest to, this tobacco is quite smooth in all the right ways. But on tastefulness I tend to disagree. As all Dunhill blends, this has a perfect ribbon cut and moisture content. Virtually packs itself up, lights easily and stays lit. The tin note is quite pleasant and has notes of plums and raisins. Sadly the taste or the room note do not share the same quality. This tobacco tastes like a mixture of sharp, high grassy bright virginias and perique. Though it doesn't contain any, but I presume this is due to the orientals. However, There are rare hints of the orientals or the latakia. I presume both are there to produce smoke and that smoothness. But both are not evident in the taste/aroma profile except for that spiceness. I found its taste and nic-hit to be medium but your mileage may vary on those. And the room note was pungent. However, the tobacco burns evenly, cool and well and leaves just pure white ash. If you enjoy citrusy, grassy Virginia mixed with spicy tobacco this will be your tobacco of choice, but it isn't my favourite ride.

Update: Changing the pipe and letting the tobacco dry a bit changes that grassy taste to a darker profile and allows the Latakia to shine quite a bit
Pipe Used: Erik Nording Group 2 Freehand
PurchasedFrom: Berlin B&M
Age When Smoked: Fresh tin
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 21, 2016 Medium None Detected Full Tolerable
Durbar in its latest incarnation is a definite Turkish-forward English blend, with a little bit of Latakia to round out the condiments and a Virginia base. There is a lot of yellow leaf in the mix, not much black, and plenty of lemon and red VA. It’s got the Orlik ketchup smell on opening, but it fades quickly. Durbar doesn’t have the same week-long “sick” period that current production 965 does, just air it out a bit and smoke it. It does improve the longer the tin has been open.

Construction is typical Dunhill quality - maybe I’ve had too many C&D-made tins lately, it’s super nice to get a good, clean cut at proper moisture, ready to burn.

Strength and flavor are light to midrange. It’s a step up from EMP in how punchy the Turkish leaf is, but the richness and body are lacking. Generally it needs better Virginias. The Latakia is fine, I’d take a little more personally but it’s been thoughtfully blended in. I suspect I’ll end up mixing 10% Full Virginia Flake in here at some point to see if it adds enough richness.
Age When Smoked: fresh
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 11, 2015 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Because I never have the older version of Durbar, I don't know what to expect before popping up a tin. Orient forward English blend; not as full and tasteful as Standard Blend. Worth trying, good smoke.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 26, 2023 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable
Well, it wasn’t a favorite, but it had an appealing distinctiveness, and I liked it better than the current MM 965. What I liked was the leathery aroma and the flavors of sesame paste and poppy seed from the Orientals. Orientals do take the lead here. On the negative side I occasionally got a taste of burnt chocolate which can only have been the Latakia interacting with some subtle ingredient in the pH tempering sauce, possible sweetened coffee (a common process for Latakia). My tin had two years on it, and then sampled over the next 18 months from the jar. Even at its best, without the distracting burnt chocolate note, there are plenty of other Balkans or Oriental-forward blends that I prefer, so I’m not losing any sleep crying about this no longer being available.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 29, 2022 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
I used to smoke Durbar released in the 90's, and I remember very well the density and brightness that the taste and smell of the old release of this blend had. Perhaps for me it was even a little bit too much and I smoked it in smaller pipes. Durbar of the latest release has lost a little in density and brightness.

Appearance: The 50-gram tin had a release date of "February 2015." During that time, even the light Virginia has darkened to a milk chocolate color, and the rest of the tobacco has taken on the color of light roasted coffee. The tobacco was cut in a perfect ribbon, without any of the slivers from the latakia stems that are sometimes found in American-made blends. It turned out to be a little dry, but quite suitable for smoking out of a tin.

Flavor: a complex, almost monolithic, aroma consisting of notes of oak, sandalwood, tanned leather, a few spices (I recognized sweetish paprika, badjan, allspice and some cinnamon, but there are more), walnut, and a very slight hint of tar. If you let the tobacco sit in the air for a while, you can catch a note of sweet wildflowers, which, however, wears off quickly.

Taste: Oriental, with its complex spice bouquet, woody note, a light walnut flavor, and the same light acidity, definitely leads the taste. A nice blend of different Virginia varieties adds a slight fruity sweetness and an even lighter herbal note, staying in the shadow of the orientals. The latakia in the flavor bouquet is subdued to the point where it only brings in a bit of leather and wood smoke. The overall bouquet quickly merges into one complex flavor, quite dense and bright, dominated by spicy and woody notes. Nevertheless, this flavor is very mild, the blend has no sharp edges, doesn't bind or bite your tongue. The flavor of the blend has absolutely no rush, it smokes cool and dry, burning out into a light gray dust and leaving no moisture in the pipe. The strength of the tobacco is medium, in a very large pipe a slight nicotine hit is possible. The aftertaste is soft, woody, persistent.

The smoke from the tobacco has a woody-spicy aroma with a slight hint of sandalwood. It is not too thick, but fairly persistent.

What's the bottom line? Dunhill once again sets an almost unattainable height of standards, reminding all pipe-smokers what great blend recipes we've lost in the battle with globalization. So if you get a chance to buy a tin or two of this no doubt legendary blend, by all means try it. But knowing its current price,
Pipe Used: Peterson 69, 106, POTY 2007
PurchasedFrom: Secondary market
Age When Smoked: 2015
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 28, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
This is a wonderful oriental forward English Blend (I hesitate to call it Balkan, because I don't know if it actually contains Yenidze and Macedonian leaf).

The main character for me is "oily" in a good sense, like a good olive oil. The latakia plays it's role quite well and is the counterpart to the oily taste, which gives overall not only a smoky campfire but also a nice incence like aroma. In the background there is a Virginia orchestra from sweet to earthy, grassy to musky, which keeps the smoke always interesting.

The smoke is round and mellow, medium in strength, and more on the full side borderline medium in the aroma / taste profile.

This is just wonderful, and I am so sad, that I discovered it so late, It would have pushed the 965 from it's throne. Sadly, it is no longer produced.
Pipe Used: Briars, Meerschaum, Falcon
PurchasedFrom: Paul Bugge
Age When Smoked: a few years under the belt
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 31, 2020 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I am a Dunhill fan, but this one just didn’t do it for me. It’s a good blend, an all day smoke, but for me, certainly not one of my favorites and not one I would hunt for again.

So, my tin is from June 2017. Opened it this month, August 2020.

Tin note is decent, has some leathery smell but also some stingy notes, similar to those I found in Nightcap’s US version.

Presents itself in an interesting balance of colors with dark yellow, brown and black leaves.

The cut isn’t the perfect “Dunhill” cut we’re all used to. I guess it was not intended to be the case at this blend. This one seems to be irregular, and has smaller cuts. Of course, that’s not a problem at all.

Very good moisture.


Sweet and soft at times, spicy and harsh other times. Buttery sweetness like I found in Margate, but it doesn’t have the complexity of Margate, nor the taste strength of London Mixture (I will try Standard Mixture and Standard Mixture Mellow soon, though). At times, it has a nutty taste (hazelnut?) and a bit of a dark chocolate taste, but they are mild. I found that this blend goes great with the morning coffee, at least for me, but it goes well with just about anything, including beer, cognac, whisky.

The oriental is in front for sure, but there’s also room for some sweet latakia with little smoky notes. However, it is mild in taste, not very complex in flavors. Definitely an oriental blend, since I can mostly feel a leathery taste which I always associate with the oriental leaf, and it’s the first thing that comes to my mind when smoking a balkan/oriental blend.

To get the best out of it, requires small, short puffs, with patience. But there’s a downside to that, as it requires too many relights. Not a great burner, even if it’s dried more.

The room note is great, though! That elegant, classic pipe tobacco smell. I don’t know if this smell could “offend” anyone. Definitely better than a cigarette or cigar smoke, and better than other oriental or english blends.

Age When Smoked: 3 years
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