Strange fact: the tobacco is not available here in Czech Republic, despite the fact both Germany and Czechia are European Union members. Producer just doesn’t send the goods to our country. However, I was lucky enough to get one aged tin from one of the fellow pipe smokers.
Huber English Balkan offers amazing tin aroma. Huge portion of deep Latakia is accompanied with sweet Virginias and Black Cavendish and they make together a perfect Balkan mixture. Nice colorful cut, easy to light and keep lit. Very full in taste, but also very refined—definitely not boring. Keeps its beautiful taste to the very end. That five years old tin is probably my most favourite latakia these days.
Last week I got three more tins from the new production and compared fresh tobacco to the aged one. Of course the aging improves the quality in every aspect, but still—even the fresh material is great. In my opinion, this blend is among the best Balkans on the market.
Pipe Used: Stanwell briars
Age When Smoked: one five years old tin + one fresh one
This is Huber's version of the classic Balkan Sobranie Smoking Mixture or rather Balkan Sobranie No. 759 Mixture, i.e. a Balkan blend with the Latakia in the forefront (90%!) and the Virginias, and in this case Kentucky and some Black Cavendish in the background.
The tin note is therefore rich and intensely smoky reminiscent of incense. The loose ribbon cut makes it easy to fill your bowl. I usually use the Frank method. Lighting the pipe is just as simple.
The English Balkan is a full bodied, spicy, opulent, and creamy smoke with a distinct smoky taste and an underlying sweetness. In order to be a true Balkan blend, I somewhat miss some Oriental leafs. When enjoyed gently, this taste stays with you till the bottom of the bowl, all this time being mild on your tongue. It burns down coolly and dryly, leaving some light grey ash.
The room note is quite strong, but still tolerable, also reminiscent of incense.
I just started pipe smoking again after almost 30 years. I was dismayed to discover my favorite tobacco Balkan Sobranie* had disappeared in the interim, so I after a bit of research I tracked down a tin of this German blend. It is not very easy to buy because you can only get it direct from Huber and they have a high minimum order - I think 70 euro, but I scored a single tin on ebay. Divine smell out of the tin, dark rich, opulent leaf, perfectly moist. It smells and tastes pretty much exactly as I remember Balkan Sobrane all those years ago. Burns smoothly enough, very full flavour with a slight soapiness - for want of better word to describe the Latakia taste - as it gets down the bowl which I remember very well. Let's be honest there is a bit of farmyard aroma in the room note. If you smoked the old Sobranie I am sure you know what I mean. So if you are missing the old Balkan blend this is definitely worth a try. It might surprise you how close Huber got. After such a long break I don't regard myself as an expert but for me it is a perfectly satisfying replacement.
*edit: I should add I am referring to Balkan Sobranie 759
I love this tobacco. The moisture is perfect to be smoked right away. The tin note is smoky, woody and a bit sweet. The smell just tells me that there is a lot of Latakia in the tin.
The Latakia in this blend tastes smokey and spicy. It adds a bit of wood as well. The Black Cavendish makes the tobacco creamy and smooth as well as sweet. The Virginia is sweet too and it’s a bit earthy. While smoking these flavors mix in different variations. One puff it’s strong, spicy and smoky. The next puff it’s sweet and creamy. That’s what I like the most about this tobacco.
I can’t tell enough good things about this tobacco. For me this is an all day smoke. If you get the chance, try it!
I am always wondering to read here there ar so much smokers, who smoked in the backtime regular Balkan sobraine.
I am not. I smoked only one tin of one of the lastest variations. It couldnt stand beside Dunhill 965 to my licking.
as to Huber Balkan.
To much Cyprian Latakia and BC = way to sweet for me.
Its just too simple.
Over 50 % Cyprian + BC = should look like black and strong.
But its only a sweet smoky.
Maybe right for GLP fans
the simularities, hope that helps - dont get be fooled by namedropping LOL
Similar Blends: Kohlhase tobaccos:, all are more or less the same - no difference:, Kohlhase - Ashton Artisan´s Blend, Kohlhase - Rattray Black Mallory, Kohlhase - Huber Balkan Blend, Kohlhase - Astley's No.99 Royal Tudor Full Latakia Mixture, Kohlhase HU - Tobacco- Original Warehouseblend - Balkan Passion.
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