Balkan Sobranie in USA? (Nothing to do with Jorge!)

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archive Thru March 2002: Balkan Sobranie in USA? (Nothing to do with Jorge!)
By _Blackjack on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 03:22 pm: Edit

I have a couple of clay tavern pipes, which are fired at very high temps so explosions aren't much of an issue. They can be cleaned by putting them in the campfire and letting the resins burn off, or just sticking them in the oven for a while.

Thay are fragile, but they only cost about $10-20. They also smoke very cool, by virtue of being 16" long...

By Chevalier on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 11:34 am: Edit

And meerschaums have the best carvings. You can sculpt anything with meerschaum. 19th century cheroot holders made of meerschaum are intricate works of art. Some of them are VERY erotic. Think smokeable netsukes.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 10:56 am: Edit

And calabashes, but calabashes are a special instance of meerschaums as they have a meerschaum bowl. Think of one as an air-cooling-assisted meerschaum.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 10:54 am: Edit

Clay pipes can explode (from releasing water vapor within the clay) in your hand and anyway always smoke very HOT. I do not recommend them.

Maintenance on briars amounts to a very occasional reaming.

Meerschaums can be had inexpensively and are not THAT fragile. I used to buy meerschaums from a pipe carving school in Istanbul (through the post) and they were quite reasonable. No longer in business I'm afraid. Meerschaums give the coolest smoke of all. Well, except for water pipes.

By Timk on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 10:31 am: Edit

They have a wide selection of pipe tobacco.

Has anyone tried clay pipes? - I never liked the idea of having to keep up regular maintenance on a briar, and meerschaum always seems a bit fragile and expensive.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 08:47 am: Edit

I guess I'll have to either learn to like one of the US copies or else source the stuff from UK.

Cult status? Oh, no! I already 'do' absinthe and Cuban cigars, now my favorite tobacco too??



I used to have a nice Danish freehand back in the 70s, but gradually moved almost all my pipe smoking into Meerschaums.

By Chevalier on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 07:54 am: Edit

Don, that's precisely why tins of Balkan Sobranie appear on eBay and fetch so much money. I thought that you knew it wasn't available commercially in the U.S. Since then, it's been moving toward a cult status on a par with -- dare I say it? -- absinthe. On eBay, even the EMPTY tins get bids. Then again, so do empty Mari Mayans bottles.

Blackjack, try a Danish freehand pipe. Most freehands look like they were recovered from Middle Earth.

By _Blackjack on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 07:46 am: Edit

I picked up a really tasty Balkan blend at , called "Rocky Road". I'm not an expereinced pipe man (in fact, I only started after "Fellowship of the Rings" inspired me to buy a churchwarden, because I'm a geek) but this stuff really tastes like TOBACCO, as opposed to a stawberry milkshake like most of the pipe tobacco I've encountered.

By Arj on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 07:22 am: Edit

I think it was Ramses? Not sure, I'm a dipper, not a smoker. Give me a Rooster or Copenhagen any day over that stuff.

By Baz on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 07:05 am: Edit

You mean somebody likes cleopatras?

By Arj on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 06:59 am: Edit

Don, due to the tobacco litigation in the U.S., many foreign companies are refusing to sell here anymore, fearing that they'll get pulled into a lawsuit. I don't know if that's why your brand is not available, but a friend of mine who used to like an Egyptian cigarette can't find it anymore for that reason.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 05:39 am: Edit

But I have been smoking Sobranie religously since I was about 14-15 except for about the last 6-7 years, since that is when I broke my last pipe from USA, and from then till now I have made do with Cuban cigars -- but I miss my Sobranie and I hate to have to shift brands now. A 35 year relationship with a pipe tobacco is hard to sever.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 05:36 am: Edit

I will try the Balkan Saseini.

Thai tobacco taxes are too high to contemplate anything but a tax free hand carry; so ordering online is really out. (The Thais produce lousy cigarette tobacco, and protect it with a 100+% duty and excises taxes. At the same time their Public Health Ministry has a vigorous antismoking campaign going. The usual schizophrenic government approach.

By Mvario on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 03:59 am: Edit

One more. Some place in Germany...

By Mvario on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 03:57 am: Edit

and this place in Massachusetts ( doesn't have it, but they have Balkan Saseini.

The also list "Harkness Tower Made as an alternative to the original Balkan Sobranie"

By Mvario on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 03:48 am: Edit

This place in the UK seems to be selling it online and shipping internationally:

By Absinthedrinker on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 03:08 am: Edit

I'll take a look around London

By Marccampbell on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 02:54 am: Edit


"unpolescent shock"

is that a reaction to bad smelling Polish people?

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 02:35 am: Edit

Question for fellow tobacco smokers:

I've got a friend flying here from the DC area next week and I asked him to bring me a dozen of the little 50g soft packs of Balkan Sobranie pipe tobacco, as I am given to understand that the tins have been discontinued.

Now he reports that Blkan Sobranie is no longer available in USA, and the tobacconist he talked to tried to point him at an alleged "successor brand" called Balkan Sansanie or something similar in spelling.

This comes as an unpoleasant shock, and I am loathe to believe it.

Is Balkan Sobranie no longer being imported?

Is it still available in UK?

Whatthefuck, over?

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