We have all been there, tried a certain tobacco and it just didn’t quite do it for you. No matter how hard we tried, no matter how much we wanted it, we could not quite convince ourselves that it was a blend worthy of regular rotation. I had this experience with Peter Stokkebye Balkan Supreme. It has been touted as a very good comparison to the old Balkan Sobraine, and one of the better Balkan blends out there. I of course was sucked into the clever marketing and bought a 2 oz. sample of it from Mars Cigars. This blend had everything going for it, it was cheap at $20.25 a pound, it was a good cut, good moisture, burned great and just an all around use friendly blend. The problem was, it didn’t have the taste that I wanted, it was flat, boring and unremarkable. Yes, yes, I wrote about that part already, I suppose I should give the link. I digress…
So, I was rifling through my tobacco drawer and came upon the leftover I had from my Balkan Supreme sample. I figured, what the hell, Ill give it a go. I loaded it up, in a smaller sized pipe, my favorite Kalnitz Dublin and fired up. “Well, what to my wondering buds should appear, but a halfway decent blend, that might go good with a beer.” Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I have commented before how a little time (even not in an aging situation) can change a blend, and it has happened again. This is not the flat boring blend that I remember. Mind you, it is not overly complex, but the flavor is more evident, and it actually is very enjoyable. Now, as far as the moisture content goes, I can’t really say it has dried out much, so I don’t know that the improvement can be attributed to lower moisture content. Maybe it was as simple as I was wearing out my taste buds at the time. With the endless supply of blends that seem to cross my desk, sometimes I get carried away. Usually I jar even small samples if I don’t have space for them in my 5 or 6 tobacco rotation, but every once in awhile, I get giddy, and can’t help but dip into another. Regardless, something good happened to this stuff, and I must admit, I am reconsidering buying a pound.
This is one of the great parts about this hobby, and an even better reason to not always throw away tobacco. I have had many conversations with my pipe mentor about this, and in most cases agree that life is too short to deal with crappy baccy, but I guess once in awhile, we have our “Pleasant surprise” and all is right with the world.