About Russ

Russ Ouellette is the blender/creator of the Hearth & Home series of tobaccos for www.pipesandcigars.com in Bethlehem, PA. He has been a pipe smoker and blender for over 30 years, and enjoys feedback from the pipe smoking public. You can reach Russ at russo@pipesandcigars.com or by calling 1-800-494-9144.

Pipe & Tobacco Trivia

As with just about any subject, there’s a lot of minutiae about pipes and pipe tobaccos. I’m a trivia nut, so I love collecting little details about the items I work with every day. I thought I’d share some with you. Did you know… …that meerschaum pipes pre-date briars by about 100 years? The first […]

Here We Go Again!

I can’t believe how quickly time passes. The year is zipping by, and when you have specific goals and deadlines, things seem to go even faster. I’m just looking at the calendar and I realized that we’re only about two weeks away from our next catalog landing in your mailboxes. That means that you’ve got […]

Fine Tuning

The last year and a half has been full of changes here at Pipes and Cigars.com. First, we had to physically move all our inventory and equipment to our new location, which was quite a task. Shortly thereafter, we realized that we wouldn’t be able to expand things the way we needed to with the […]

The Only Constant is Change

In a little over a week I’ll mark 10 years with Pipes and Cigars, and around 38 since I first worked as a tobacconist. In the span of nearly 40 years, I’ve seen great pipe brands wither and become shadows of their former selves, or disappear entirely. I would venture a guess and say that […]

There Are No Absolutes

Pipe smoking as a pastime is much more of an art than anything else. What I mean is that with something like mathematics, there are certainties, at least in practical everyday use.  Two plus two is four, and always will be. But in pipe smoking, very little, if anything, is universal. Why is this? The […]

Info and Review – What the Heck is Semois?

semois

If you’re a pipe enthusiast, you may have heard of Semois. An article was written about it in the New York Times, and it has only recently been imported into the US. We now have access to it on www.pipesandcigars.com, so I thought that I’d give you a little info about this intriguing tobacco. Semois […]

How Do You Cut?

There are so many ways to cut a cigar, and each one has its advantages. Let’s take a look at the different types of cutters and what they do best. Guillotines- This category includes single guillotines (uncommon today), double guillotines and “butterfly” style cutters. The biggest advantage to these types of cutter is that they […]

It’s a Matter of Taste

We frequently get calls from our customers inquiring as to whether a particular blend has been changed because, to that person, it doesn’t taste right anymore. This may have happened to you, so let’s look at that phenomenon. First of all, sometimes blends do change. The manufacturer may not be able to get the same […]

The Perfect Pipe

If I were to describe the perfect pipe, it would be light as a feather, have a super-comfortable stem, would stay lit for 5 minutes without puffing on it, would always smoke cool and dry, would be visually stunning and would cost about $15. Of course, this animal doesn’t exist. And frankly, the perfect pipe […]

About Vulcanite Stems

Very few things in life are perfect. Bacon is wonderful, but if you go just a little past the ideal level of crisp, you wind up with burnt bacon. Life is full of these “close, but not perfect” things. Some things that fall into this category are vulcanite (ebonite, hard rubber) stems. They offer a […]