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From P&C's website: A legendary blend consisting of fragrant Macedonian Orientals including Yenidje, sweet Virginias and latakia had been a favorite among American pipe connoisseurs. Using similar components, this match blend delivers a memorable and familiar experience.

Notes: Also known as MATCH B.S.O.S.M.

BrandSutliff Tobacco Company
Blended ByRuss Ouellette
Manufactured BySutliff Tobacco Company
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
ProductionCurrently available
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Mild to Medium, Medium
None Detected
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2919)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This Match is based on the 1970s version, and not any later or current Sobranie productions. This is very similar to the ’70s Sobranie. The main differences are the Orientals are a shade spicier, there's a little less Latakia, and a little more creamy sweetness in the Match. It’s also missing the mild unflavored “soda” note from the Yenidje that the original had, though the woody, earthy, lightly buttery sweet and sour, floral Macedonia plays the very same background notes. The original was a slightly drier smoke. The yellow Virginia is lightly grassy and citrusy in both. The red Virginia offers lightly tangy dark fruit, and a touch of earth and wood. The Cyprian Latakia has the usual smokey sweet, earthy, musty, woodsy flavor, and is balanced nicely by the other components. The original used Syrian Latakia. While it appears that there are numerous differences between the original and the Match, they are minor and more of an indicator of nuance variations rather than big discrepancies. I was actively looking for contrast and comparison, so the description of divergences makes them seem greater than they are. The strength and taste levels just hit the medium mark. The nic-hit is in the center of mild to medium. Like the original, it is well balanced and burns clean at a moderate pace with few relights, a cool, consistent, fairly smooth flavor, and leaves virtually no dampness in the bowl. Won't bite or get harsh. Has a pleasant after taste. Can be an all day smoke.

I rated the original Balkan Sobranie at four stars in every version except for the latest production, which got two stars due to Germain's formula change, which has a lower quality than previous productions.


44 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

The blend used for Russ and several other blenders to try to approximate the Original Balkan Sobranie was a tin of the pre-Gallaher era (historians argue between 1976 and 1980) Original. And because it was the Original and not the 759, that is why the Latakia does not overwhelm the Oriental components and those really shine with Balkan Sobranie Match. It is particularly remarkable to me how Russ found such quality Yenidje for this one. The flavor really did come through and reminded me of the Gallaher's era BS Original which also seemed to have more Yenidje present than did the original House of Sobranie. Some o the experts tell me that the House of Sobranie tins have had their Oriental and Latakia components mellow out considerably after such long stints in the tin, and that is why the flavor of the two components are not as noticeable as when first tinned.

A superior smoking experience, for sure. And be sure to get some Mason Jars and sock some away for future years when the aging will really make the blend curl your toes!


26 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Got this about a month ago and didn't much care for it. Orientals were sharp and the Latakia was nearly invisible making it top heavy with very little bottom note. Determined to give it a fair shot, I jarred it and placed it in my cabinet. Yesterday I broke it back out and tried it again. That nearly one month rest made a world of difference. The Orientals are buttery smooth with floral notes and a touch of sourness. The Latakia is smoky, woody, a little spicy and give firm support to the Orientals. The Virginias are tangy and sweet. This stuff is superb. I've had the current version of the original, but not the version that this is based on. Wish I could try that one.

Body is medium. Flavor is medium. Burns very well. Moisture content allows for immediate smoking. You gotta try this one.

Edit: Just looked at the label on the jar. It was jarred on 1-7-15, so it was nearly 2 months of rest, not one.

Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman, MM Mark Twain

Age When Smoked: 2 months

Purchased From:

19 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (321)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My main BSO experience goes back to the mid 60's, so I'm having a bit of trouble remembering what I had for lunch let alone how this blend compares. My faded memory does agree with reviewer, " Jiminks 2015-01-21", in that this match is "slightly spicier and tangy" but missing the "Soda" note. Personally I would say it another way, "It's not quite as smooth while still having a Zest".

Still, a very nice blend that brings some "Flashbacks" of the original and at bulk prices. I feel that 6 months in a Mason jar will take care of any smoothness issues I have and I will be stocking more ( agree with "Gentleman Zombie" on aging this a little).

Updated 7/21/2016- From the same batch of bulk with a little over a year of aging : this has really smoothed out. Worth stocking up for some cellar time.

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: 1 month/revised 16 months

Similar Blends: whiteknight.

13 people found this review helpful.

Young Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Young Piper (303)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

From what i understand this bulk blend is the same as WhiteKnight but using lower quality leaf to keep the price down but using the same recipe. I have smoked through a half pound and have since fell in love with the Oriental Yenidje and what it adds to a blend. I enjoyed everything that this Balkan presented, the sweetness of the yellow and red Virginia, the smoky Latakia and the sour / musty Oriental, all working in concert to provide the smoker with ever changing complexity. I will order another pound to cellar and if it's true what i read about it's being the bulk equivalent of WhiteKnight, then several tins of that blend to keep on hand for winter. My favorite of the Balkan blends i have tried so far..

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

11 people found this review helpful.

Wellpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wellpipe (62)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have never smoked the original so I cannot attest to how close this comes to it. On its own merits this is another great achievement by Russ. Wow, talk about a flavor burst - rich leather, bright and sweet, tangy and sour, a tiny bit of butter, and all holding steady for the duration of the bowl. The flavors reminded me of Three Oaks Syrian but with the spice dialed back just a bit. Tin note and feel between the fingers a lot like Peretti Royal Blend. Moisture level just a shade dry but perfect for smoking right out of the package. Stayed lit nicely but watch it doesn't overheat. I did pick out a couple of stems.

In addition to being tasty this blend has a great price point especially considering the high quality. Stock up.

Similar Blends: Three Oaks Syrian, Peretti Royal Blend.

11 people found this review helpful.

es ca. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
es ca. (4)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Wow!!! Russ really nailed this. A true Balkan blend. Delicate interplay of smoke, spice, and sweet. I've been looking for this for 5 years. Everything is harmonious all the way down to ashes. Exotic oriental, sweet virgina's, and just the right amount of latakia to be smoky but not overwhelming. This is my number 1 smoke. Not a lot of nic kick but very satisfying. I've have found my holy grail. Forget the tinned version that's $25.00 for 50 grams, that dosent come close. I waited forever to get that one and couldn't smoke 2 bowls of it. My other favs are White Knight, Great Hiatus, and Margate. Don't ever stop making this one!

Pipe Used: cassano calabash

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: pipes and cigars

Similar Blends: White knight, Great Hiatus..

10 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2051)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Sutliff Tobacco Co. - Match Balkan Sobranie.

I haven't yet smoked the original, I'm saving the tin I have in my cellar! So, this is my view based on this one's exclusive factors, regardless of the original. But, if that's as good as this I won't complain!

The ribbons are chunky and it isn't too dark a Balkan. About 75-25% brown to black. Being from bulk it's aired in the pouch, diminishing excess moisture. So, it's a case of fill, light, smoke; no drying needed!

I discern the flavour as a lighter, more sprightly, Balkan. The tobaccos are well balanced. The Oriental leaf forms the leading flavour. At first the Oriental seems one dimensional, just a bit buttery, but after a quarter bowl a delicately floral nuance becomes apparent. The Latakia feels a lot lighter; giving a smokiness, but nothing too pungent. To me the Virginia sits right at the back; definitely in last place! As the ribbons are on the coarser side it burns quite slow and cool.

Nicotine: I've had stronger Balkans. Room-note: I like it!

Match Balkan Sobranie? I love the stuff. Highly recommended:

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Ben Wade Einstein

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

9 people found this review helpful.

Jorge Soler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jorge Soler (199)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Not an exact match of the Balkan Sobranie I know, but quite good in its own right anyway. The cut is quite rough and uneven, which is something that evokes the original mixture. The tin note is not even close, and it lacks the robustness of the latter, which I remember quite well to be full-bodied. I detect dry fruit and sour notes on the positive side. Also, it does not seem to develop rough edges as you progress with your smoke, but it comes quite moist in the bag, which is not necessarily a bad thing. At this price range, it is a steal for the 8oz bag and I can see the cellaring potential, so I am considering the possibility.

8 people found this review helpful.

easterngray Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
easterngray (11)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is such a great blend I can't imagine paying premium prices for the storied blend that it emulates. Smoky Latakia, sweet Virginias and orientals, smooth and perfectly blended. Available in bulk, this is a real winner. As always, thanks Russ!!

Pipe Used: Moonshine Cutty

Age When Smoked: 11 months

Purchased From: P&C

8 people found this review helpful.

Tomcat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tomcat (198)
Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant

BSOSM - came in bulk bag with perfect moisture . I like to pack this fairly tight in burns better that way . Lights up and stays lit very easily. The Virginias are sweet and tangy and are balanced nicely with the buttery creamy , spicy and very lightly sour orientals . I really like the yenidges taste and they really seem to smooth the blend out with the bright Virginia. The latakia smokiness balances out the sweet and sour spice . 4 stars for Russ the man ! I like it a lot !

5 people found this review helpful.

Lager Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lager (48)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I never had the original and the new release seems impossible to buy as it's always out of stock. Do I care? No. We are in a fortunate time when so many blends are available. This is a wonderful blend with the Orientals taking the main stage. The latakia and Virginias interplay nicely. I bought 4 ounces and jarred 2 as was recommended by some reviewers that I follow regularly. Came with the right moisture level, lights easy and smokes to a dark gray ash with no dottle. Can easily be an all day smoke and the wife loves the room note. What can I say, I got me a good women! If your a Balkan fan I highly recommend this as a lighter fair, but a wonderful smoke.


Age When Smoked: New to one month

Purchased From: Smoking.pipes

Similar Blends: Balkan Sasieni.

5 people found this review helpful.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (338)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I purchased half pound of this and the 759 match just on the reviews alone.

Pouch aroma/appearance:

Long crinkly ribbons of bright leaf make up this blend, along with short, choppy latakia leaf. Moisture is a bit high the day it arrived, but leveled out after a few days in the bag. The aroma is sublime, notes of Wood and earth, with the smoky latakia layered perfectly.


Packs and lights easily if dried a bit I smoked a few bowls the day it arrived and struggled a bit to keep it lit.

Now to the goods. The sweetness from the Va really stands out, but combined, forms a perfect harmony of all three tobacco strains. Cedar-like wood, leather and sweetness stay consistent through the smoke. A silky, creamy mouth feel that doesn't bite. A fairly complex blend, I prefer this at night relaxing in my chair with a bird dog at my feet. Nicotine isn't over the top for me, in fact, it's at a desired lower level. Leaves a fresh, pleasant, clean sensation on the palate.

And at $15.28 for a half pound, how can you go wrong????

Pipe Used: several

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

5 people found this review helpful.

ScienceSmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ScienceSmoker (59)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I love trying new blends, and generally smoke a pretty diverse bunch of tobaccos. But there are a few blends that make up the bulk of my everyday smoking. Blends like Presbyterian, Essenza Cipriota, Early Morning Pipe, and Sutliff's Match Balkan Sobranie, are in my pipe nearly everyday.

First few puffs... a good amount sweetness and lots of the sour, musty incense of the Orientals. I've never met a Macedonian leaf I didn't like... they always seem to add a nice floral/musty complexity. And they're the main player here. There's a perfect amount of Latakia in this blend, too. It's strong enough to be a satisfying Balkan, but not overpowering or bitter. The Virginias are back there providing a lot of sweetness, some light grassy notes, and some zing. This is a very flavorful, satisfying smoke. No bite, and it burns smoothly from start to finish.

Bottom line: A smooth, really tasty (and really cheap!) Balkan blend. One of the best bangs for your buck in all of pipe tobaccoland. But even if Sutliff's Match Balkan Sobranie were an expensive tinned blend instead of an inexpensive bulk blend, it'd still be one of my favorites.

3 people found this review helpful.

Big Tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Tom (19)
Mild None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is a great light latakia blend. Period. I'll let the other reviewers speak to the nuances of the blend. If you want a Balkan blend, then this is sure to please. While Balkan blends differ from each other in their nuances and constituent tobaccos, this one is just as satisfying as others, but completely different from something like Tastykake or Plum Pudding.

You can smoke this all day if you are an English/Balkan fan. I bought a pound based solely on reviews and I'm not disappointed. I stuffed it into two large wide mouth mason jars.

Mine came somewhat dry, which I guess isn't a bad thing. It shouldn't get any drier in the jars, so it's basically ready to smoke with no drying time needed. Some reviewers said that theirs was moist, so I guess this varies. I actually rehydrated a bit by adding a folded up damp paper towel to one of the large mason jars that I am using to keep these in, and this brought back some moisture nicely. That's a great thing about pipe tobacco that you can do this easily.

If you are a fan of the genre, then at these prices you can't go wrong to buy a whole lot and jar it up. You never know when our crazy Uncle Sam or your state or locale goes ape crap and decides to regulate so that you can't get it anymore.

Think of this as a Balkan "bread & butter" blend that you always want on hand.

I plan to buy more in the future (obviously have to fit it in with other planned cellar bound purchases) but for now I have my two large mason jars to smoke from.

Pipe Used: Meer, briars

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: P&C

2 people found this review helpful.

TotoPipeDreams Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TotoPipeDreams (44)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Oh buddy. I love this stuff.

For the price point alone, get this. If you’re a Balkan fan or even think you might be this is worth a shot. You have nothing to lose (well less than $3 an ounce) so what are you waiting for!

Pencil shavings, smoke, and herbs is what this tastes like. Sounds so bizarre but it’s true and it’s absolutely delicious. Easy burning, due to the fact that it comes somewhat dry but can be rehydrated to your tastes and apparently betters with just a few months age. I’m ready to order pounds of this stuff. Just complex enough that you can sit back and get lost in the reverie but not so deep and thought provoking to have to sit back and think about if you don’t want to. Cheap enough and readily available to be a reliable all day smoke that won’t break the bank. What more could I say? I’m a huge fan. It’s great.

2 people found this review helpful.