One of the most sought after pipe tobaccos still produced today, Balkan Sobranie is a Latakia-based blend that even the most dedicated enthusiast often has not been able to try.
The origins of the Balkan Sobranie blend is somewhat shrouded in mystery. Some cigarettes with the blend's name were around in 1897, but it gets slightly murkier when it comes to the pipe tobacco variant. Many will say that it has been around since the 1920s, though advertising and hard documentation really only date back to 1949. It is possible that older documents could be lost to history, especially with the devastation of the Blitz during World War Two.
Regardless of when it started, once Balkan Sobranie hit the market, it quickly became an incredibly popular blend. It would stay at the highest of popularities for a long time, despite two changes to its mixture.
In 1960, the Syrian government placed a moratorium on the growth of Latakia. This was the first challenge to the original, as Syrian Latakia was one of the main tobaccos involved in the Balkan Sobranie blend. The tobacconists involved in the manufacture of the tobacco were forced to make adjustments, but the original brand survived for another 45 years.
While the original blend stopped being produced in 2005, production was picked up by J.F. Germain & Son in order to recapture the imagination and excitement that the initial run created.
J.F. Germain & Son has been a British tobacconist company since 1820, and their expertise has been a valuable addition to the world of pipe tobacco ever since. Still operating in the same shop in Jersey, this business produces limited runs of every blend they make, meaning each tobacco they produce is in high demand. If you see it in stock, we recommend picking up a tin while you can. Due to its limited production and the enthusiasm of collectors, we limit the quantity on these.