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Bali Shag

While Bali Shag is still made by Peter Stokkebye, Commonwealth now owns the brand name. These are clean fine-cut shags that typically have to be dried a bit to stuff adequately. Though not real SYO friendly, they are all high quality tobaccos.

   (Light) Halfzware - Kentucky and Virginia (dutch style)
   Golden - Virginia and oriental

The Turkish and Smooth/Rich Virgina have been discontinued. Low ~$29lb.

Comments [ new ]

Re: Bali Shag
Posted by ashley on Friday, 19-Sep-2014

Tried Bali shag over a decade ago. Still awesome. (The blue pouch) I would describe the flavor in three words: Barkchips and molasses. :)

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Re: Bali Shag
Posted by rolling smoker on Thursday, 12-Jan-2012

Have been smoking Balishag for years and a little bummed when I thought they were going to stop producing it. Then started up selling it again which was a good thing. Usually smoke the blue pouch (not sure which one this is) find it better tasting then red or white. Noticed that they don't come with papers anymore which sucks because out of ALL rolling papers like them the best. The quality did seem to go down a bit but so much better tasting then a pack of smokes (bought a pack of Marlboros...these things taste like crap in comparison)

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Re: Bali Shag
Posted by Tony on Wednesday, 11-Dec-2013

If you purchase Bali Shag in the 5.29 oz. Blue can, you get four (4) packs of rolling papers each containing 50 papers. I've noticed that the amount of "unrollable tobacco parts" has increased over the years. The trouble with Drum in the US is that it's put out by the Republic Tobacco Co. while the original is from the Imperial Tobacco Co. The original is still available if you don't mind the high price of the Euro exchange rate and the air fair from Spain. Check out e-tobaccos.com.

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Bali Blue (Halfzware)
Posted by adamatari on Thursday, 22-Feb-2007

I tried this today, but I stuffed it with very little drying so keep that in mind. As usual for Bali it's quite moist right out of the pouch. My first impression was that it was the prototypical halfzware - the taste is exactly hitting the notes expected. It was very, very smooth (no doubt partly due to the moisture) and straightforward. The smokyness was there, but in contrast to Drum it was not 'nutty' and in contrast to Mac Baren's halfzware it didn't have any 'pipey' taste. Not to say that it lacks in flavor by any means, more to say that it's seems to be the halfzware of halfzwares. I feel it has less body than some other tobaccos.

If you want to experience what a halfzware is all about, this is a classic example. However, I think there are more interesting blends - Bali Light or Mac Baren suit my tastes better.

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Re: Bali Blue (Halfzware)
Posted by Smokin n Jokin on Thursday, 22-Feb-2007

Bali blue is a little strong for me and I found it to be a somewhat harsh but as you say if someone wants an introduction to halfzwares it's a pretty good place to start. Someone on here said you either like halfzwares or you don't. I thought that was pretty astute. I don't think you can develop a taste for them. I like Bali light better and Bali golden ever better. But if I want to enjoy a Dutch recipe I go straight for the Lookout Milde or Samson milde.

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Re: Bali Blue (Halfzware) (actually the Golden)
Posted by mike c over and again aimed at infinitiy on Wednesday, 28-Feb-2007

Picked up a pouch of the Bali-red/golden today.....a few *snip snip snip's* with the trusty scissors and that moist stuff was easy as pie in my Ultimatic.(Zen FF tubes, OF COURSE)...I LIKE IT!!!
Thank you Smokin' and Jokin.....

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Re: Bali Blue (Halfzware)
Posted by extremely important note on Saturday, 23-Oct-2010

this tobacco is fluffy but not as fluffy as the
golden shag which is superior in many ways
i just started to realize the MOST IMPORTANT
thing when rolling this tobacco by hand
is that you really have to be careful
but not pressing to hard when rolling
or the tobacco gets to compact to
have a proper burn and nice clean hit to the lungs
it is a great full bodies cigarette when rolled
medium tightness .
enjoy

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Bali Shag Blue
Posted by Robert on Monday, 01-May-2006

Just got a pouch of this and oh my gosh that's a good smoke! Wow this stuff will really stand up and say hello to you. BIG nicotine fix ... lol ... are there any halfzwares any better than this. I think I might be hooked!

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Re: Bali Shag Blue
Posted by james on Monday, 04-Sep-2006

i think mac baren's halfzware is better (not to say that bali shag isn't good), but that's just me.

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Re: Bali Shag Blue
Posted by scott johnson on Thursday, 21-Dec-2006

I picked up a can of this yesterday. only had it hand rolled so far and it tastes good to me. Like Robert says "Big nicotine fix". love the smell and taste of this stuff. can't place what it is. hickory fire cured maybe???

question for everyone: I need tips on injecting this stuff. having trouble getting it to inject properly. didn't seem to have as much trouble before. don't know what i'm doing wrong with it. maybe it's the fine cut? too damp? I dunno...

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Re: Bali Shag Blue
Posted by bebop on Friday, 22-Dec-2006

With the Bali Shag blue and some of the other shags, I usually pull the tobacco apart and let it sit about 10 to 15 minutes before stuffing. Thats what usually works best for me. I've also found that if i press too much into the chamber, It will jam up.

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Re: Bali Shag Blue
Posted by Turtle on Sunday, 24-Dec-2006

Very good tobacco, but also very strong. I was looking for a strong tobacco and I found it. It has a very plesant flavor, with a real strong nicotine fix. A very good smoke to start the day with.

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Re: Stokkebye Amsterdam
Posted by Dan the littledog on Saturday, 17-Dec-2005

A medium to strong tobacco in aroma,flavor and nicotine. Now that the Zwares are no longer sold this is my replacement. It has that strong smokiness,more than any other halfzware I have tried. The Virginia half is medium in flavor and full in body. It could be too strong for some though.

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Re: Bali Shag Turkish
Posted by Dan the littledog on Saturday, 17-Dec-2005

This has a very tantalizing aroma in the can. A little moist as usual for Peter Stokkebye. On smoking this it is sweet like a turkish blend and tastes of Virginia weed. But where is the Turkish? My son says it smells like Bugler,another Turkish blend. Low in nicotine. If you like mild flavored and smooth smoking blends with low nicotine this should be a treat.

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Re: Bali Shag Turkish
Posted by Jderringer on Tuesday, 02-May-2006

Just tried a pouch of Bali Shag Turkish today. Reminds me of the Camel Wides I smoked 5 or 6 years ago, but with a richer, cleaner taste. It had the right moisture to stuff right out of the pouch. Just really good stuff, and a great diversion from my usual menthol blends.

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Re: Bali Shag Turkish
Posted by Turtle on Sunday, 24-Dec-2006

Great tasteing turkish tobacco. I'm not a real big on turkish, but from time to time i get a craving for it. This will replace camels whenever i crave some. It has a cleaner, higher quality, and over all better taste than camels to me anyway.

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Bali Light Shag and Golden Shag
Posted by V.B. on Thursday, 06-Oct-2005

Gave a try to Bali Light Shag over the last couple of days. A most interesting tobacco. Spicy pre-burn aroma, with a resin-like overtones, very pleasant in the slightly 'exotic' way in which I find the aroma of pine needles or perhaps eucalyptus to be pleasant on early foggy mornings in No. California. The flavor and ambient smoke are more dominated by the Virginia flavor, with the spicy element present in a lesser degree. The inhale sensation is smooth and gradual but with satisfying weight, while the aftertaste is mostly what I get from Virginia tobacco, with just a tiny trace of spiciness remaining in the background. Slow burn and not very hot. While rather moist from the can, it stuffed beautifully after drying a bit. A treat on its own, but especially interesting in combination with my strong and chocolaty morning coffee (Pilon esspresso but used in a drip). Pure Virginia gets overwhelmed by this coffee flavor/aroma, but Bali Light contrasts with it sharply and in a way which makes both somewhat more intense and pleasurable to me. I probably wouldn't smoke it all the time, but will surely keep some as an occasional 'desert'.
   
Bali Golden Shag, on the other hand, was sort of disapointing. It is an extremely smooth tobacco and the throat/lung sensations are very pleasant and satisfying, testifying to the intrinsic quality of this blend. But the burn aroma/flavor are neutral to the point of blandness. It has neither the pronounced characteristics of its Virginia (unlike Danish Export) nor does its 'oriental' component comes through in any noticeable way (as it does in Turkish Export). This is the kind of aroma/flavor neutrality I found in McClintock Full Flavor. Perhaps the virtues of Bali Golden are too subtle for me - some authorities swear by its supreme status among SYO blends. I think this would make an ideal cigarette to accompany some drink with whose flavor/aroma you don't want to interfere with in any way whatsoever.

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Re: Bali Shag
Posted by Ralph on Saturday, 23-Jul-2005

It stuffs great out of the pouch. A great smoke. I'd go exclusively with this stuff but it costs an arm and a leg, relatively speaking. I really don't understand all the problems you guys are having with moist tobacco. Grease the chamber with some dry powder from your cheap tobacco and you shouldn't have any problems stuffing this good stuff.

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Re: Bali Shag
Posted by Captain U-96 AKA Mike on Thursday, 10-Aug-2006

I'm just finishing up my first can of Scali Whag, and am going to try to keep a can around for diversion now and then. It's a clean, mild smoke which is somewhat reminiscent of Bugler Gold minus the scent of the toping. I didn't have any problems with the moisture content in my Top O Matic and El Rey FF tubes. I paid $10 for a 5.29 oz can at Cheap Tobacco. I enjoyed smoking this fine cut tobacco, but I wouldn't want to smoke it exclusively!

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Re: New Bali blends
Posted by Barb on Friday, 11-Mar-2005


I bought ten pouches of the Bali Shag, Smooth Virginia yellow, (falsely called) that was swooned over on a review in RYO mag, and found the stuff unbearably harsh. Nasty stuff. The Bali Shag red, and the Turkish Shag weren't much better. For the price, at Lil Brown,.......not worth it. All of these definately left a lot to be desired, unless you're desiring a bad case of brochitis.

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Re: New Bali blends
Posted by Dave L on Saturday, 12-Mar-2005

What kind of tubes are you using? What brands do you like?

Those tobaccos range from full flavor (Smooth Virginia) to quite mild (Bali Turkish). If you're already using light tubes, and the Turkish is too strong, I'd suggest giving the David Ross filters a try.

If I could buy tobacco from only one company, it would be Peter Stokebye.

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Re: New Bali blends
Posted by Brian Livingston on Friday, 02-Sep-2005

I smoke Bali and Bali only it is the best tobacco on the market. The blue I prefer oner all but as of now has become hard to get in Wichita,Ks. I don't know why but look forward to more Bali.

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Re: Windsail
Posted by Barb on Friday, 11-Mar-2005


The Bali Shag Smooth Virginia should be renamed to Bali Shag harsh Virginia. Definately not worth the money or smoking as far as I'm concerned, even tho it was raved about in RYO mag, if that tells you anything. I frankly don't see how these can be "unbiased" reviews.

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Re: Windsail
Posted by slap maxwell on Wednesday, 05-Oct-2005

What sort of tobacco are you used to smoking? The Bali Shag Mild Virgina is excellent tobacco...I couldn't begin to fathom anyone calling it "harsh" at all....

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Re: Windsail
Posted by Tom on Thursday, 06-Oct-2005

most tobacco that is too dry will burn hot and provide the smoker with a harsh taste. also if the injected tube is not firm the dry tobacco will burn hotter. for injectors the tobacco should feel dry to the touch but should not crumble if you roll it between your fingers. Also your smokes can dry out in your pocket during the day. I have found that cases like the "Smoky" brand can help prevent your smokes from drying out during the day.

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Aged Bali Golden Shag
Posted by E.S.O. on Saturday, 26-Feb-2005

Just picked up a pouch of Bali Golden Shag, and noticed something strange: instead of the line "Classic European Handrolling Tobacco" under the 'Bali Shag' logo, it reads: "Supreme Handrolling Tobacco" - new packaging? Not by a long shot, the production date on the tape seal reads 02.06.14! Thus, I am now in possession of a pouch of Bali Golden Shag which is three years old (or at least possessed of three years of pouch aging). The color of the tobacco is noticeably darker than the 'fresh' can of the same I already have on the shelf (packing date of 4/04), and I am eager to try it. Since the contents were ridiculously dry, however, I am currently re-hydrating it and will have to wait a week or so before I can tube it.

Now, my question is: does anyone else have any experience with aged Bali Golden Shag (or coming across similar aged cigarette tobaccos)? The golden rule with cigars is that they will normally mellow and improve with age (depending on the cigar of course, no amount of aging will make a bad cigar better), and with pipe tobacco, many of the heavier blends are often laid up for years for similar reasons (a good tin of Dunhill Standard aged over five years can go for at least 4-5x its original retail price).

Has anyone else encountered or done any experimenting with aging cigarette tobaccos? If so, what were your impressions? Would anyone be interested in reading a brief review of this 3-year old Bali Golden Shag when I have a chance to smoke it? Perhaps if it turns out to be something special (or at least interesting) I will make a trip back to the cigarette shop where I bought it (obviously not too concerned about fresh inventory) and buy the remainder.

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Re: Aged Bali Golden Shag
Posted by Dave L on Saturday, 26-Feb-2005

The only thing I've seen talks about how aging Virginia leaf for up to two years (depends on thickness) can enhance its mellow/smooth qualities. Properly stored leaf will keep for at least 10 years with only minimal change (darkening and becoming less hygroscopic).

Peter Stokkebye says they age their leaf for up to three years and that their tobacco has a shelf life of two years.

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Re: Aged Bali Golden Shag
Posted by ESO on Wednesday, 16-Mar-2005

Well, I finally got around to tubing and smoking the three year old 'pouch-aged' Bali Golden Shag. As I mentioned in my previous post, the tobacco itself was considerably darker than its more recent (4/2004) counterpart, and after rehydrating it, the darker color remained and the familiar Bali red aroma sprang back to life. The result – a fine smoke possessing that unmistakable Bali red flavor profile, just a tad mellower with a bit more depth and earthy taste than its 'un-aged' brother (I smoked both simultaneously in an attempt to draw a comparison). Not even a hint of staleness or other unpleasantness, truly a testament to the quality of the Bali line and, I would think, an interesting adventure which is certainly going to lead me to experiment with resting and aging RYO tobaccos just as many do with certain cigars and pipe tobaccos.

I would be interested to hear from any others who have engaged in similar experiments with aging RYO tobaccos (intentionally or by accident), of whatever type or blend.

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Re: Bali Shag
Posted by MKlüg on Thursday, 27-Jan-2005

One thing I haven't seen much mention of: how about renaming this line Bali Shake - 20% of every bag I tried ends up that way. I expect more for the money, particularly when they do PS does shag so well in their Premium Blend line.

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Re: Bali Shag
Posted by Kathy on Friday, 12-Nov-2004

The Bali Shag smooth virginia is a great tobacco, by far the best I have tried. I have been sampling several and still have a supply of Bali Shag I have not tried. But, wow it's pricey.

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Re: Bali Shag Turkish
Posted by Scott on Wednesday, 03-Nov-2004

Tried Bali Turkish today. Lighter color than the Smooth Virginia and a surprisingly mild smoke in my Rizla cigarette size tubes. A little dryer than I like. Might try one of the moistening technics. Would probably be better in a can

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Re: Bali Shag turkish
Posted by Jennifer on Friday, 22-Oct-2004

I picked up a pouch of the bali turkish to give it a try. This is the first time I have tried a turkish asside from the camel turkish gold cigarettes which I didn't care for. The bali turkish has a nice flavor to it. I will probobly stick with H&R as my regular smoke, but its nice to have something differant for a change. I am thinking of blending the turkish with butterfly and injecting that into a vera cruz tube.

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Rich Virginia
Posted by Dave L on Tuesday, 10-Aug-2004

The taste is a bit more halfzware-like than the Smooth. Its rich with a hint of dryness and has the same unique/pungent quality as the Smooth. Its not heavily flavored or particularly strong but it packs a punch. Too much for me.

Most air-cured tobacco is Burley.

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Re: Rich Virginia
Posted by Dan on Wednesday, 22-Dec-2004

This is the smoothest and best tasting RYO that I have ever smoked. There is something about a well aged and quality Virginia that cannot be equaled by any blend. Even at the price it is a winner. Just can't afford it as a day long smoke. But for pure smoking pleasure it can't be beat.

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Re: Smooth Virginia
Posted by D. on Sunday, 12-Dec-2004

I believe Bali Smooth Virginia is sold only in 25 gram pouches. $40/LB translates to $2.20/pouch. The retailers I've checked have prices closer to $3.00/pouch --- around $54/LB!

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Re: Smooth Virginia
Posted by Dave L on Monday, 13-Dec-2004

$2.20 @ Lil' Brown

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Re: Bali Shag
Posted by Hotrodder on Tuesday, 10-Aug-2004

I like the Turkish the best, but the Red, and Blue are also frequent purchases. I just wish I could get the Turkish in a can.

(I haven't tried the 2 new Virginias yet)

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Re: Bali Shag
Posted by Dave L on Tuesday, 10-Aug-2004

Bali Turkish and Smooth Virginia in cans would be real nice.

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Bali Shag
Posted by Turkish on Sunday, 25-Jul-2004

Turkish is the Shit!

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Bali Shag Turkish
Posted by Dave L on Saturday, 27-Dec-2003

Quite mild, milder than Bali Light Halfzware, with a nice smooth subtle flavor. A world apart from Ramback Turkish.

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Re: Bali Shag Turkish
Posted by Kurt Wall on Thursday, 03-Jun-2004

Bali Shag Turkish is indeed mild, but still has a lot of flavor. It is *nothing* like Ramback, though, which surprised me. I really like Ramback and was anticipating a comparable flavor from Bali Shag. I'm not disappointed, it just wasn't what I was expecting.

I sure like the way shags stuff and burn, though.

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Bali Shag Turkish
Posted by Tim Aydt on Friday, 26-Sep-2003

This halfzware shag is another tobacco I like to use in my blends. Although I haven't tried, I feel sure that it would be to strong to smoke alone, but blended it compliments other tobaccos and does not over power with it's own flavor. Blended 1 part Bali Turkish, 1 part Drum, to 6 parts Stokers #2 light, it gives a flavor similar to Camel Turkish Gold, only smoother with more flavor.

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Re: Bali Shag Turkish
Posted by Smok-Daddy on Sunday, 01-May-2005

Now this is some good Turkish smoke going on here.This beats a lot of the other turkish tobaccos i have tried.It beats the pants off of Ramback from D&R...A real good all around smoke!Never tried turkish? Then this is the one to begin your turkish tobacco journey with...This is turkish blended with virginias...Good Smoke... SD

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