Brand: Hearth & Home Blender: Russ Ouellette Tin Description: A dark, full Balkan-style tobacco containing bright and matured Carolina and Virginias, a healthy mixture of Turkish, and plenty of flavorful, fragrant Latakias. A superb late-evening smoke that can stand up to a sturdy single-malt scotch, small-batch bourbon or hearty port. Country of Origin: USA Curing Group: Air Cured Contents: Virginia, Latakia, Turkish Cut: Crumble Cake Packaging: Bulk
This tobacco had a little over 1 year of age when the review was done.
The pouch aroma (bulk) is a smoky and semi-sweet smell with a hint of tang to it. The moisture level was perfect for smoking right away. I broke off a chunk and rubbed it out leaving the pieces in a chunky state, kind of like a cube cut.
On the charring light, I picked up on strong woody and earthy tones with a light hint of citrus. Once the tobacco was fully lit, the woody and earthy tones faded far into the background, but they were still detectable. There was a nice smoky and sweet flavor and the citrus notes became more pronounced.
Around the mid-bowl point, the woody flavor is no longer detectable, but the rest of the flavors are still there. This flavor profile lasted through to the end.
This is a really tasty blend and I like it a lot. It smoked cool, dry, and didn't bite. Although the flavor profile didn't really change a lot, i would still call this a complex blend because of all the different flavors that were intermingling with each other. I Highly Recommend it!
This tobacco comes in cut cake form, which is rather difficult to rub out. The results are worth it, though, as it has a great English flavor with quite a bit of Latakia. It lights and burns fairly well, considering its' form. It's room note is not as objectionable as many Latakia blends, though no one will mistake it for 1Q. I like it mainly as a late night smoke and keep some here on hand at all times. Try it if you like full English smokes. The price is pretty reasonable, too.
I first tried this at the Las Vegas pipe show in 2010. I grabbed a bunch of samples from Russ, including this one. I bought more. I am a big fan of heavy English blends like Dan's Old Ironsides, Esoterica's Penzance, etc. If you are a fan of heavy english blends, I am sure you will like it. It is similar to the other ones, but slightly different. Russ did a good job making all of the ingredients work together. Latakia is the strong frontman, while the other ingredients make it interesting. It is not an overly complex blend, but rich and creamy latakia goodness.