Revised: Balkan Showdown

Saint_klaus

Well-known member
Allright…thank you guys for all the suggestions on the earlier iteration of this. It is becoming clear that to do this right and in a way that is somewhat quantifiable there will need to be multiple “divisions”.

therefore: Division I—Sobraniest Balkan

contenders:


Blackhouse
Match BS 759
White Knight
Match BSOSM
Balkan Sobranie (Germains)
Balkan Sasanei
Rich’s Balkan Superior
Arango Balkan Supreme
Balkan II
LJ Peretti Royal

any Balkans of similar Character (Yenidje etc) that you would like to see on here and are available please let me know.


As time goes we can maybe start thinking about what Division II will look like?

mods: sorry for pretty well two posts on the same subject—other one went far enough off the rails I figured it was just better to start another thread.
 

Chico

Well-known member
Have you been fortunate enough to try actual BS from the olden days? Just curious if this will be a comparison to the original or just to each other.

Also a good way to find other possible contenders is to do a keyword search for "sobranie" on the whole TR site. Some match attempts won't actually have the term in the name, but might be mentioned in descriptions or reviews.
 

Glomtenin

Active member
Peretti’s Royal is the best, IMO. Peretti’s orientals taste the best to me, I think they must have a quite old stock with lots of variety.

Balkan Supreme is also really good, adds a bit of cavendish creaminess. Balkan Sasieni is ok, but there are many I’d smoke instead.

I’m sad to see the list is missing all of Pease’s venerable Balkans. He is a master of Latakia after all. In order from lightest to heaviest:

Ashbury: a very light Balkan, basically different kinds of Virginia and orientals with very light latakia

Kensington: somewhat heavier than ashbury, on the mild end of medium

charring cross: I think this was Pease’s attempt at a medium Balkan a la BSOM

odyssey: pease actually says it’s one of his favorite blends he’s made.

Abingdon: delicious delicious full Balkan.

I count all of these as some of my favorite smokes, some of them are top 5.
 

Saint_klaus

Well-known member
Have you been fortunate enough to try actual BS from the olden days? Just curious if this will be a comparison to the original or just to each other.

Also a good way to find other possible contenders is to do a keyword search for "sobranie" on the whole TR site. Some match attempts won't actually have the term in the name, but might be mentioned in descriptions or reviews.
I have not had the original Sobranie. Sadly I came to pipe smoking long after they were off the market.

the silver lining on that is that I can be 100% subjective in my little “trial” and who’s going to say anything?
Also, thanks for the tip about TR…I should have thought about that one.
 

Saint_klaus

Well-known member
Peretti’s Royal is the best, IMO. Peretti’s orientals taste the best to me, I think they must have a quite old stock with lots of variety.

Balkan Supreme is also really good, adds a bit of cavendish creaminess. Balkan Sasieni is ok, but there are many I’d smoke instead.

I’m sad to see the list is missing all of Pease’s venerable Balkans. He is a master of Latakia after all. In order from lightest to heaviest:

Ashbury: a very light Balkan, basically different kinds of Virginia and orientals with very light latakia

Kensington: somewhat heavier than ashbury, on the mild end of medium

charring cross: I think this was Pease’s attempt at a medium Balkan a la BSOM

odyssey: pease actually says it’s one of his favorite blends he’s made.

Abingdon: delicious delicious full Balkan.

I count all of these as some of my favorite smokes, some of them are top 5.
Have yet to have anything from Peretti but have heard good things about Royal.

GLP stuff is/was missing more out of ignorance than taste. Odyssey has been on my to try list for a while and from the sound of it I may need to add charring cross to that.
 

Chico

Well-known member
I have not had the original Sobranie. Sadly I came to pipe smoking long after they were off the market.

the silver lining on that is that I can be 100% subjective in my little “trial” and who’s going to say anything?
Also, thanks for the tip about TR…I should have thought about that one.
Caution: rabbit hole ahead.

Very curious if there's any truth to this: "Bengal Slices was, originally, the flake version of Balkan Sobranie." -- or if it's the same deluded guy on Facebook who keep saying this.
 

Saint_klaus

Well-known member
Caution: rabbit hole ahead.

Very curious if there's any truth to this: "Bengal Slices was, originally, the flake version of Balkan Sobranie." -- or if it's the same deluded guy on Facebook who keep saying this.
I have heard similar things to this. But hey, the beauty of it is that I have no frame of reference so “sure, I suppose it could be”. The tin note IS reminiscent of blends that I have heard referred to as Sobraniesh.
 

Glomtenin

Active member
Caution: rabbit hole ahead.

Very curious if there's any truth to this: "Bengal Slices was, originally, the flake version of Balkan Sobranie." -- or if it's the same deluded guy on Facebook who keep saying this.

that’s similar to what I have read, except the way I read it the first version of my mother's panties’s Penzance was a simply a cake made out BSOM. I think this is late 80s/early 90s. There’s a thread on one of the forums discussing this history.

(Incidentally, Bengal Slices White — the tin without the topping — tastes almost exactly like Penzance without the special Germain processing, to my taste.)
 

Glomtenin

Active member
I wasn’t sure abingdon was a Balkan, but I opened a 4yo tin and I’m aching to buy a ton. It is delicious and really shows off what Latakia can bring to a blend. Really, I’ve not yet me a pease blend I didn’t like. Quiet nights is a desert island blend and I think I’d add abingdon.
Pease himself describes Abingdon as “Abingdon is the fullest Balkan style blend in the range” — so I think it should be accepted as such.

it is probably one of my top 3 favorite blends ever.
 
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Sosakan

Member
Pease himself describes Abingdon as “Abingdon is the fullest Balkan style blend in the range” — so I think it should be accepted as such.

it is probably one of my top 3 favorite blends ever.
Good to know, I usually don’t pay attention to labels, just ingredients and how much orientals are in it. Glad to know despite not knowing, I have blindly confirmed my decided love for Balkans.
 

Saint_klaus

Well-known member
I have settled on 12 blends for Division 1:

(these are somewhat arbitrary based on my interests plus some of the suggestions I have received and are geared towards potentially “Sobranie like” blends)

Charring Cross
Bengal Slices
Blackhouse
Match BS 759
White Knight
Match BSOSM
Balkan Sobranie (Germains)
Balkan Sasanei
Rich’s Balkan Superior
Arango Balkan Supreme
Balkan II
LJ Peretti Royal

Need to order a few of these but am waiting for tomorrow so I can grab them along with the latest Birds of a Feather release and then need to put in an order with with Peretti for the Royal. Should have everything in hand about the same time I finish up the current row of cellar backlog. Will celebrate by running a couple of the brackets before continuing on the ‘ol backlog. Will post my match-ups once I draw it up.
 

Glomtenin

Active member
Had a minute so I drew it up. Had planned to go in order but I’m starting to get excited so I may do these rounds out of order just because I already have the blends for a couple of them. We will see.

View attachment 179610
Amazing! Please keep us informed. I wish I had thought to do this when I first trying all the Balkans.

if you haven’t bought the bengals slices already — I’d recommend getting the white tin, without the topping. It’ll make it more directly comparable, as none of the other blends have any topping.
 
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