Blending my own English / Balkan Tobacco

By now you've probably noticed that I like English / Balkan tobacco and, you've probably also noticed by now my dissatisfaction with the quality and availability of quality tobacco in South Africa, let alone a variety of English blends. I'll have to start considering blending my own English / Balkan Tobacco.

Maybe I'm just being difficult; maybe I don't know what "quality" is? So let me then state it differently:

  • I don't like the heavy aromatic tobaccos (mostly house blends) which I tried from the six or so tobacco shops in my vicinity
  • I don't like the total lack of English / Balkan tobaccos. I've only found 2 blends which comes close to something palatable, but not "good"
  • I don't like the fact that we do not have access to Dunhill, GL Pease, and other brands
  • I don't like the ridiculous range of Peterson tobaccos which are indeed available - ONE English and the rest all aro's.

I had a few tins of GL Pease / Dunhill / Hearth & Home, but my stock is quickly getting low and re-ordering looks like blending my own english balkan tobacconot an option (that's another story). So, I had to start looking at trying to blend something as close as possible to an English / Balkan blend. Now, some might say that is easy. Yes, if you do have access to red, yellow, black Virginia, Burley etc. But also on these tobaccos, we have a shockingly lack of access to anything other than local house blends, perique and Latakia. Even asking a tobacconist for something to blend Latakia with, you will get something like a "base blend" or "the perfect blender" without knowing exactly what are those? All kinds of Virginias? Cured? Virginia with toppings? Nevertheless, I managed to get hold of something which I believe is mostly Virginia, Latakia and Cool Cavendish. I've also ordered some Turkish which I'm still waiting for. With this stack of tobacco, I tried my hand for a second time at blending my own English / Balkan tobacco. Different this time around, I have much more experience in quality tobacco an quality English blends. I blended 6 possible mixtures:

  1. The "blender" and Latakia
  2. The "blender", Latakia & Cool Cavendish
  3. Same as no 2 with different quantities

After these (noted, I should actually leave them for a month or two to get married, but first I though of getting the amounts right, will then blend and leave to "marry"); I've reviewed the three (video review one and two here). Overall, to little Latakia / smokiness / English and too much tongue bite (which I found out in my biological make-up, is caused by aros and too much Virginia). I went back to the drawing board, and ...

  1. Modified no 1 with more Latakia (no 4)
  2. Modified no 2 with more Latakia (no 5)
  3. Modified no 3 with more Latakia, less "blender" and more Cool Cavendish to bring out the touch of sweetness (no 6).

I'm satisfied to the point where I will now blend a 100gr of both no 6 (english blend with a hint of sweetness) and 4 (just that, a possible english blend). And as soon as I get my Turkish, I will then modify no 4 & 6 by adding some Turkish. I will keep you posted on the developments of blending my own English / Balkan Tobacco. :-)


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