I've been taking a trip down memory lane of late with the old Smoker's Haven blends that I stashed in my "cellar" many moons ago. I had forgotten American Best Blend (not sure I had ever smoked any. But, all the years of aging helped promote a beautiful smoke when I dove into my stash. Not strong, not weak, but I can't classify this one as a middle of the road English because it had more Virginia than anything else. Boy, was it good. If you find any, give it a try.
As stated in my review of Squadron Leader, I believe that Smokers' Haven's American Best Blend is my idea of what a medium robust, standard English blend should be. And, yes, everyone's opinion is different.
I've smoked this blend off and on for at least ten years from the Smokers' Haven store on Bethel Road (now closed). They listed this blend as "Patterned after Our Best Blend", however from what I recall, they did not carry OBB. I believe OBB is only carried by the Smokers' Haven store on High Street, and whether the High Street store ever carried ABB before the Bethel Road store closed, they do now.
Unless I'm too much of a tobacco novice, I find no comparison between the two other than I like both. They don't look alike nor do they have similar aromas, in the package or the bowl. Where I feel ABB is a standard English blend, I find OBB more of a meduim robust Balkan, concentrating more on the Turkish and Oriental tobaccos.
With all that said, this tobacco is just a great combination of sweet Virginian tobacco and pungent Latakia mixed with just enough Oriental tobacco to give some unique highlights without moving it away from its standard English category. It's never been too wet or difficult to light, smokes consistently throughout the entire bowl, leaves no aftertaste and does not overwhelm, i.e., no nicotine affects. If your a lover of English blends and their aromas, this tobacco leaves that wonderful smell in the room that spouses just love to hate. It's also sold in bulk at a very reasonable price. If you like Squadron Leader, you should love this blend. Highly recommended.
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