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Sobranie Cigarettes: History, Facts and FAQ

The history of the brand
Year 1879. Two Weinberg brothers, immigrants from Romania, register a new brand of cigarettes, Balkan Sobranie. It would become a popular product in the European, American and Japanese markets. However, only people of high rank or the very rich would be able to buy it in the 19th century.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, cigarettes were not a sought-after commodity. They were made by hand from expensive varieties of tobacco. Their price depended on the difficulty of delivery and the lack of factory production. They were known in clubs or living rooms of diplomats, oligarchs and high state officials.

Great Britain was the birthplace of the brand. Despite this, it got its name from Russian noblemen. They founded the Russian Noble Assembly in central London. Respected representatives of English and Russian diplomatic society met there. Cigarettes became popular in St. Gems, a respectable area of England at the time. Private private private clubs were located there. New offices were being opened. Already at that time production was up to 40 thousand pieces a week.

Balkan Sobranie were the domain of high society. Tobacco products were sold by the piece, cost very much and were made by hand. Their composition was from different parts of the world. American, Brazilian tobaccos were mixed with Greek and Turkish Oriental. One cigarette contained the smells and tastes of five countries.

At the end of the 19th century, Sobranie became popular in diplomatic circles in England, Russia, the United States and Europe. The brand was the definition of luxury. It was produced for the Russian Imperial Court, the royal family of Great Britain and the aristocrats of Spain, Greece and Romania. The Romanovs appreciated the quality and gave the company the right to image the national emblem of the Empire. The empire is long gone, but the two-headed eagle is still found on packs of Sobrania.

After the death of the Weinberg brothers, the company was owned and run by their sons. They continued to use the family recipe for production without switching to a factory format. It wasn’t until the 1940s that production became machine-made. In the early 1980s, the Sobranie brand was sold to the Gallaher Group. The company changed the formula for making cigarettes, making them more affordable. Gone was the Weinberg family recipe. The Gallaher Group made cigarettes popular in the European and American market and moved production from England to Europe. It was a mid-range product. The company added new flavors and diversified tobacco varieties.

Gallaher was bought out by Japan Tobacco in 2007. “Sobranie” was involved in sponsoring the Jordan Grand Prix team. This was in 2004 and 2005, when there was no ban on tobacco advertising. The logos (white letters on a black background and a calligraphic coat of arms) were placed on the rear and front fenders of the cars.

Interesting facts about the brand:

  • The first customer was Robert Lewis Stevenson, the Scottish writer and author of the novel Treasure Island.
  • The Irish writer Oscar Wilde was known to prefer Sobranie to other brands.
  • Before ceramic cases and tin cigarette cases, the product was stacked in straw baskets.
  • One type of tobacco product was named after a regular customer of the Russian opera singer Fyodor Chaliapin.
  • Maxim Gorky, while living in Italy, had them shipped to him directly from London.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Which Sobranie is the strongest?
    Black Russian
  2. Which Sobranie is the lightest and best for a girl?
    Superslims White
  3. Which Sobranie has the longest cigarettes?
    All Element, and also Cocktail (the same “colors”)
  4. Where did the name Sobranie cigarettes come from?
    Named after the place where diplomats met
  5. Which Sobranie has the thinner cigarettes?
    Superslims White,Surerslims Pink, Superslims Black.