A very smooth Balkan style blend with exceptional depth. It is rich with cool smoking, aromatic and lightly sweet Cyprian latakia, spiced with the finest fragrant Macendonian Oriental leaf. One of the most popular Balkans we have ever made.
Notes: Originally introduced in April, 1995 for the Conclave of Richmond Pipe Smokers, is now part of the Club Blends Series.
I've had the pleasure of smoking a couple of the original year 1995 tins produced for the CORPS folks and found it to be really good, especially since my tins were more than a decade old. When McClelland's came out with the revival, I was all over it. Really well done and as good as I remember the original being. Lots of depth of flavor and the Orientals, unlike some other Balkan or English style blends, were not drowned out by the Latakia.
The Cyprian latakia is smoky, woody sweet and is the star component. The Oriental/Turkish is smoky, woody, a little dry with a sour note or two, and a little floral. The Virginia is grassy, tangy citrus sweet with a slight “vinegar” hit that soon disappears, mainly acting as a base for the other tobaccos to shine. The sweetness and nicotine levels are just above mild. Needs a little dry time, but burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a consistent flavor, and leaves just a little moisture at the finish. Needs an average number of relights. Won't bite. No harsh or dull spots, and if you like this kind of blend, you’ll like the after taste. Not an all day smoke.
McC CORPS Full Balkan Res- Very smooth and on the milder side of medium, I wouldn't call this "Full". Somewhat one dimensional. I tried this against C&D's "Super Balkan" and SB has slightly more Latakia but is also slightly less sweet than FBR.
Probably a good all day smoke that doesn't bite and is low in spice. Another typical smooth, but uneventful, McClelland Balkan , they sure make alot of these. Seems to me that if you remove the slight "Bubble Gum Vanilla" flavor from Frog Morton OTT, you would end up with FBR. Sometimes I think Tobacco Companies are just changing tin labels on the same tobaccos !
It's the kind of blend that I don't dislike, but the tin just keeps "hanging around" while I smoke blends I like better. Probably won't buy again, it's just not that interesting.
Pipe Used: cob
Age When Smoked: 2 months open
Similar Blends: Frog Morton/ ott/ with less topping, CPCC Samovar, McC's PipesandCigars Starlit Night.
I had great expectations but I was a bit disappointed by the first puffs, immediately after the opening of the tin. It is, however, one of the cases where a tobacco improves if it matures in a jar for a few weeks. And so FBR offers his best, with its Orientals (Latakia is not predominant), truly satisfying. Meditative. 4,5/5 in my personal rating system.
Mostly black ribbons with some mahogany thrown in. Tin note was of latakia for the most part but the aroma was far from strong. Interesting, because...
...and, this is probably the most interesting tobacco I've ever smoked. Interesting because this is purported to contain Cyprian latakia but the lat was most assuredly and without any doubt whatsoever, Syrian. Apparently McClellands mixed up a batch using the wrong Macedonian leaf. Which I think is rather cool! It just makes it hard to rate it against the original, which I also just finished. At any rate, this is a very good but typical McClellands Balkan but with Syrian leaf instead of Cyprian. In fact, if it weren't for the larger ribbons and the fact that this was lighter in flavor, I might have mistaken this for Syrian Full Balkan, another dubiously named McC tobacco. This is a lighter bodied blend with the latakia front and center (but still reserved... hey, maybe that's why the "Reserve" in the name!) providing its very Syrian-y dark and less sweet flavor. The orientals are a bit sour and very tangy and provide a slight punch to the blend. The Virginias are there but seemingly just to hold the thing together and provide a bit of sweetness and zest. Overall another good but not great McClelland lat blend. Syrian Balkans Full and Super are superior blends IMHO. Unfortunately I can't rate this against their Balkans containing Cyprian for the reason noted. It certainly does no harm to the hugely respected McClellands name but neither does it distinguish itself as a blend that is filling much of a niche.
Has the full taste of some of the richer VA/lat blends but with a full oriental complement to boot. I find it to be very enjoyable and full of flavor.
The fragrant, aromatic notes of the Cyprian lat and the orientals together are heady and wonderful. This smoke is a must try for those who appreciate the characteristics of these tobaccos. A very pure tobacco flavor without anything getting in the way.
Equals the flavor and quality of the best of the Grand Orientals series but with a nice strong dose of latakia. Most definitely recommended.
This is the second Balkan I have tried being more used to straight Vas, VA/Burley blends and some Englishes. This smelled of latakia in the pouch and a touch of that McC vinegar. This blend lit well, produced a good volume of smoke and burned well throughout the smoke. This blend seemed to be more dominantly of latakia and the VAs were less noticeable as were the Orientals. This reminded me of a English with moderate strength but very smooth. I love the aroma of latakia but the taste becomes cloying to me. This was a nice change of pace smoke for me but I think I will go towards something with less latakia in the future. This blend was gifted to me by a kind friend in my online tobacco group...thanks for the experience my friend!
Another excellent blend in the Club series, FBR is smooth and rich with a slightly sweet, smoky taste. This just gets better as the bowl progresses. Best dried a bit, this is a pleasant all day smoke and I highly recommend it.
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