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An exquisite combination of premium Balkan Oriental and Balkan Virginia sun-cured tobaccos, exceptional Yenice (Yenidje) and Basma tobaccos, and the finest Virginia flue-cured tobaccos. A smooth tasting pipe blend with a flavorful and characteristic Oriental finish. Enjoy a perfect balance of exotic and familiar smoking sensations. Exceptional Quality, Out of the Ordinary Tobaccos.

BrandD & R Tobacco
Blended ByMark Ryan
Manufactured ByDaughters & Ryan
Blend TypeOriental
ContentsOriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging40 grams tin, 3.5 ounce tub, 16 ounce bag
ProductionNo longer in production
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TurkishLover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TurkishLover (2)
Very Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

After my initial disappointment with Ramback Regular being unable to stay lit no matter how dry I got it, I decided to give D&R another chance. Got this blend in a 2oz bulk sampler bag from Pipes and Cigars. First thing I noticed was it was bone dry. I put a water pillow in the bag with it so that it will rehydrate the blend to a proper humidity. I loaded this into a paper pipe (lol) straight up, mixed with no other blends. The Oriental Virginia's are the most upfront in both the bag smell as well as the initial taste of the blend. They are bright and lemony but not strong at all. There are a wonderful amalgam of flavors when retrohaling / exhaling from the nose. The lemony brightness fades to the background but is still apparent and the exotic spice flavors of all the different Orientals come into play. I can for certain pick out both Izmir and Basma varieties of leaf as well as the Balkan region Virginia. The smoke that it produces gives almost no lung hit should you wish to inhale, it is the lightest of the light. The room note is very pleasant to my nose. It is a very nice and mellow smell with an exotic spice that even my anti tobacco friends say is pleasant and noticeably different. Overall I enjoy Ramback Balkan immensely but it needs to be blended with something stronger for maximum smoking enjoyment.

Pipe Used: Vera Cruz Elegante Paper Pipe

Age When Smoked: 25

Purchased From: Pipes&Cigars

Similar Blends: D & R Tobacco - Ramback Gold (Ramback), D & R Tobacco - Ramback Regular (Ramback), Cornell & Diehl - Izmir Turkish, Peter Stokkebye - Turkish Export (No.84), Robert McConnell - Turkish Izmir.

11 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2970)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This Oriental dominated blend includes sun cured Balkan Oriental and Balkan Virginia, along with yenidje, basma and flue cured Virginias. The various Orientals provide a lot of earth and wood, vegetation, some sour floralness, herbal dryness, a light buttery sweetness, and a pinch of salt, spice and mustiness. I also observe a slight “unflavored soda”note from the yenidje. The tart and tangy citrusy, grassy, bready, floral, sugary, slightly acidic, flue cured Virginias are mostly present to add some smoothness to the experience as they aren’t very noticeable in any other capacity besides being in the background. The strength, taste and nicotine levels are mild. No chance of bite or harshness. As with most D&R products, the tobacco is dry, so it burns a little quickly, though cool and clean. Has a very consistent flavor from start to finish with a pleasant, light after taste, though it does suffer from lack of depth. The room note is a tad stronger. Leaves almost no dampness in the bowl, and requires few relights. An all day smoke that would make a decent mixer.


9 people found this review helpful.

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

I never knew that tobacco could get this dry. This is just downright funky. Tastes pretty good though. Some really nice Oriental flavors with a bit of sweetness. Not much else. This may have been a solid 3 star blend at one time, but not in the condition it's in. Maybe that's why it's offered to us dirt cheap.

Mild to medium in body and flavor. Burns cooler than I would have thought.

Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman, MM Mark Twain

Age When Smoked: fresh??? bulk

Purchased From:

8 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30116)
Very Mild Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable

4th and final gifted sample of about an ounce. Light brown in color and I suppose I'd call it a ribbon cut but with all the stems and weird shaped chunks in there, it was hard to tell. I'd call it a cut so ugly, it makes C&D look good. Came dry as a bone, but no problem there! Nice, rich oriental bag aroma.

Musky incense flavor that was very light but very noticeable. I did not catch any actual Virginia sweetness or tang in the flavor - this seemed all oriental to me. That was not an issue except this showed me that an all-oriental blend is not really my thing. The flavor was wispy and nicotine addicts should definitely look elsewhere. It struck me as a condimental blend being asked to do too much on its own. No complexity whatsoever. I did some small experiments with blending but didn't have enough of this on hand to really do much. But this strikes me as something I might like to play with further - just wish it didn't have all those stems and odd chunks. Worth a shot to get a good feel for what orientals taste like and what they bring to a blend.

7 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2064)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

D & R Tobacco - Ramback Balkan.

LOL, I find the same old issue I do with many/most blends from D & R; it burns hot and fast! But I concur with my pal Gentleman Zombie, the taste isn't too bad.

Back to the start: a slightly coarse ribbon, light and medium brown, BONE DRY. Even beforehand this gave me the inclination of a poor smoke, mechanically.

Without giving a huge list of descriptions I'll start by saying this is an Oriental-forward blend. Sour, sharp, and a touch herbaceous. The Virginias are riding shotgun. They offer a subtle backing, but I can't identify much of the archetypal grass, hay, etc. So, the flavour's quite nice, but the heat, speed and bite reduce this to, IMO, an abysmal smoke.

Nicotine: maybe medium. Room-note: not good.

Ramback Balkan? As you may extrapolate, I'm not a fan. One star:

Not recommended.

Pipe Used: Ismail Baglan meerschaum

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

5 people found this review helpful.

Yellowfan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Yellowfan (6)
Extremely Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Oriental tobaccos are a weird breed of blends. Usually they are introduced into a blend to add complexity and balance out various blend components. Ramback Balkan is a blend where almost the entire blend is orientals from the Balkan region.

I highly recommend this blend for 3 reasons:

1. If you are learning about how various oriental tobaccos taste, this blend is fantastic. All the orientals are present and discernible, so the Yenice, Basma, and Balkan Virginias are great.

2. The flavor is very light, in fact so light you might miss it. You need a pipe designated to orientals. Spend some time with this blend. Particularly notice how the flavor and the smell interact beautifully. The "room note" is bright and citrusy, almost crispy with a note of damp woods. The flavor changes as you smoke it but it's complex flavor is best described as what the woods smell like early in the morning, in the fall, after a light dew or rain.

3. Because this blend comes more dry than most tobaccos, I've found that if you moisten it before smoking it you will enjoy the extra moisture. I've actually discovered that the extra moisture brings out more of the flavor and leaves behind less of the bite.

If you can still find this I tobacco, please buy some and try it out!

Pipe Used: Sasieni Mayfair Bulldog

Age When Smoked: 32

Purchased From: Indian River Tobacco Traders

5 people found this review helpful.

UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (110)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

Hmmm... a synonym for pipe is “tube”. Tubes made of thin paper could be considered pipes, I suppose. OK then, this is pipe tobacco, likely to be sold near bags of other pipe tobacco, on racks above boxes of empty paper pipes. That style of pipe frequently is scented with menthol and is intended for one use only. As long as they are referred to as pipes when filled with pipe tobacco such as this, with special pipe filling machines, the foaming-mouth regulations and taxes for c**ettes don't apply, at least until politicians get fed up with this silly name game and do away with exemptions intended (fairly or unfairly) for bowl pipe tobacco once and for all. Then it's cellar time.

Yes, Ramback is a roll your own (actually stuff your own if a pipe filling machine is used) product. In all fairness, D&R refers to it as “dual purpose” tobacco, and I believe they are being honest in doing so. One can and should try this in a pipe.

Appearance: as far as I can tell, the only readily discernible difference between this and conventional bowl tobacco is the cut. It is wider and shorter than shag, what some call bugler cut, likely named after another dual purpose tobacco of considerable history. In the standard cello rack-hung bag, it is bunny soft, moderately moist (potting soil), raisin scented (no, not bunny raisins) and fun to bury your fingers in. It is an unremarkable mix of light to medium browns. Many people believe Balkan tobacco should contain latakia (I'll refer the gentle reader to other sources for that tempest-in-a-bowl), but there is none in this mixture. Some think turkish tobacco smells, well, farm-like. This doesn't. It smells like products sold in paper pipes that shall not be named. I like it.

Taste: my first impression was paper pipes. Specifically Ramses brand, possibly Camel. Once 25% in, it becomes more briar pipe-like. Unfortunately, it tends to be monochromatic and never quite achieves notability. There is little to no sweetness, nor any ashy taste. I had hoped for fragrant, cedary, aromatic notes, but the few that are there don't provide what I sought. I am a fan of McClelland Blending Oriental, q.v., but this isn't it. If you're looking for a cheap version of what most of us call a balkan blend, this isn't it either. At mid-bowl to the bottom, it is at its (limited) best, and most enjoyed inhaled through the nose when it leaves the mouth. Room note is at its best at this point. I mention this because this blend seems unique in that room note improves as the bowl progresses.

Pros: it remains mild and bite free. Unlike many finely cut tobaccos, it is forgiving of loading density and does not burn hot. I've smoked it in large and tiny bowls with similar results. There are no humectants, no flavorings, just simple tobacco taste. It is economical in 14 oz. bags.

Cons: too simple. Many would consider its low nicotine a con.

For a RYO bulk, it's probably far better than most, though admittedly, I've not tried many others. It deserves to be called a dual purpose product. I recommend this as a blender. I like it mixed with Mac Baren Virginia No. 1 and with Skandanavik Regular.

Update: I'm adding a star. This improves in a deep bowl and is becoming my go to summer smoke. Really nice mild blend.

Pipe Used: clay, small and large bowl briar, cob

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

5 people found this review helpful.

A. Dyer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A. Dyer (18)
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant

My favourite base component for blending. Ramback Balkan is a pure, unadulterated blend of high quality tobaccos and also a truly gorgeous MYO tobacco that in my opinion is probably the best in the world, if not at least the best oriental blend in a tube by a country mile. It also works brilliantly as a blending component for pipes. Smooth, very light on the throat but rich in flavour. Woody, earthy, rooty, creamy, a touch of sweetness and citrus and just a faint peppery tingle. The sun-grown Balkan Virginia and Yenidje really add a lot to this blend compared with other orientals.

The only trouble is that the cutting of this fine ribbon is a complete mess. They are saving money, given the expensive nature of these high quality tobaccos, but it's still a real shame. It is mostly a fine ribbon but is absolutely full of huge sticks, clumps, uncut large chunks of leaves and a lot of the stuff that's even cut properly is still folded up and condensed making little hard lumps and twigs that need to be very carefully unfurled into individual strands. This is less of an issue in the pipe, but for tubes it's a nightmare. It truly shows just how much I adore this tobacco that I put myself through hours of preparing a tub of this for blending and tubing. They quite clearly do not unfurl and de-stem all the leaves for this blend prior to cutting and mixing. Honestly, I would volunteer to do that job myself if it meant getting a proper cut of Ramback Balkan with no stems in it. I mean, honestly, stick an extra dollar on the price if necessary, I'd gladly pay a little extra for a proper cut. An ever so slightly finer cut on this as well would really enhance the richness of flavour and not in any way detract from the pipe experience.

I blend this for tubes with a little Ramback Turkish and Penhooker. Adding a little extra Yenidje and some Katerini (from the Blender's Bench range - now unfortunately discontinued) has made for the finest cigarettes I think I'll ever be able to make.

Pipe Used: Peterson Ashford and also tubes

Purchased From: Daughters & Ryan

3 people found this review helpful.

Pastor Fuzz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pastor Fuzz (3)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I bought a few bags for the cellar. I mix this with some "Old Dark Fired" and other tobaccos to get tastes from yesterday. '70s. Good memories.

Pipe Used: Savinelli "Punto Oro" -Stanwell bulldog

Age When Smoked: About two years.

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

Similar Blends: Varies by my mix. Keep it up "Tukish Lover"..

3 people found this review helpful.

Knightsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Knightsmoker (213)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

What can I say? I wanted to like this tobacco blend. Wanted it to show case the orientals but alas, it fails on all levels. I cannot recommend it. It should be marketed as an oriental not a Balkan, although there is no law that states a Balkan must have lat. I think lat. would help this one here but it is not in this blend. So for what it is worth. As an oriental it also falls well short. I can pick out the Basam and Samsun? I did not find the Yenidge in it at all. I also doubt that unless one had experience with these varieties that they could be found. If one were looking for a showcase blend I would point you to McClelland's orientals. Nothing here is worth returning for a second sample. One review below noted that it would be a good RYO, and I would agree with that but I have not traveled that road in more than 2 decades now and have no desire to return to it.

Age When Smoked: 2 months

3 people found this review helpful.

Darth 69 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth 69 (117)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

What was noticeable about this blend, especially in contrast to regular Ramback is how well balanced this blend is. I have to credit it to the addition of those balkan virginias that round out the turkish/oriental tobaccos. I also found there is somewhat of an appreciable nicotine level beyond but closer to mild than medium so, there is some satisfaction in that department which straight turkish usually lacks. The flavor and aroma is mild with a woody-sweet character punctuated by stronger turkish character from time to time. It doesn't quite bite but there can be a little warmth to the smoke aside from the basic blend components may be do to it's total lack of moisture/casing. Very pleased with this and probably will buy it in larger quantities. Connoisseurs of turkish leaf sans latakia need to try this excellent straight blend.

Pipe Used: Corncob

Age When Smoked: New

3 people found this review helpful.

Jorge Soler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jorge Soler (202)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

The problem with this tobacco is down to its complexity. This is to say I would not recommend it to smokers who lack the necessary expertise to approach it. This presentation from D & R needs to be smoked as moist to get the most out of it. That means you won't be able to produce massive amounts of smoke, and the key point is you need to keep you amber running low and to a minimum. Because of the Virginia leaf it tends to heat up and produce condensation, but you can control this by keeping an eye on your smoking cadence and a pipe cleaner. In my personal opinion this is a rather pleasing mixture with a nice zesty and sour profile coming from the oriental leaf. Basically, it is dominated by the sweet Virginia notes, whereas the sour or spicy aspects seem to play more of a hide and seek role. As it does not contain any latakia and comprises virginia and oriental leaf, the Balkan designation is sort of a misnomer. I think they call it "Balkan" because of the yenidje leaf, which I believe was originally produced in the Balkans back in the time, so the name should not be taken as a description of its properties. On another note, I can see the cellaring potential here because of the virginia leaf, which I dare to say comprises 80% of the whole blend. To sum everything up, this is for the most part a virginia tobacco with a little bit of something added to it to leave you wondering.

2 people found this review helpful.

Effluvinator Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Effluvinator (60)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

As others have noted this is quite flavorful, but mild. I much prefer it with the addition of about 5-10% Picayune. Any more than that addition can overwhelm the subtle character of the Balkan. The Picayune in that small quantity adds a richness of flavor and some needed nicotine that improves the experience. Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: "The Pipe"; various briars.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Pipesandcigars

2 people found this review helpful.

Bassrep Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bassrep (25)
Extremely Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

"Exquisite"? I don't think so. I'm not even gonna fill a pipe with this. It was "crunchy" right out of bag in the newly delivered box from P&C. I mean crunchy like Wheaties crunchy. Hardly any tin note at all. I'm going to see if I can return it. Maybe it's RYO Cigarette tobacco? Pay no attention to my other comments, I just filled in the blanks with anything just to complete the review.

Pipe Used: None

Age When Smoked: New in bag

Purchased From: P&C

Similar Blends: Ramback Gold.

1 person found this review helpful.