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.

Like Fingernails on a Blackboard

Actually, someone scraping their nails across a blackboard doesn’t really bother me, but there are plenty of things that do. so I thought that I’d present some to you to see if you agree. One thing that drives me nuts is when I buy a cigar that hasn’t been properly stored. Our entire humidor (which […]

Packaging Quandaries

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One of the toughest things in making new pipe tobacco blends is packaging, and I’m not just referring to artwork. Making decisions on how we’re going to present a product hinges on a number of factors. For Hearth & Home Marquee and my RO Series, we’ve gone with vacuum-sealed 50 gram tins. The reason is that […]

Cigar Review – Diesel Uncut

uncut

Since I prefer full-bodied cigars, it was a no-brainer for me to grab some of the new Diesel Uncut Toros when they hit our shelves. Pretty much anything that comes out of A.J. Fernandez’ factory in Esteli, Nicaragua trips my trigger, so I looked forward to opening the paper-wrapped mazo of ten 6.5 x52 cigars. […]

New Item – Argo Pipes

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During one of our brainstorming sessions, we batted around the idea of creating a new brand of pipes with some very specific characteristics. First off, these pipes had to be great smokers. Now I know that seems obvious, but we wanted the pipes made in a way to deliver a smoke like that of a […]

Cigar Review – East India Trading Company Hudson Bay

hudsonbay

People who know me and are familiar with my tastes in cigars know that I lean toward full-bodied sticks, but that’s not always the case. I can enjoy a broad spectrum of flavor profiles, but the one area that usually falls flat for me are the dead medium-bodied smokes. I don’t know why that is, […]

Thoughts About Pipe Cleaners

pipe cleaner sampler

The most overlooked accessory for pipe smokers is the humble pipe cleaner. Some of us are so good at overlooking them that they rarely use one and then wonder why their pipe tastes nasty. Pipe cleaners are not only useful, but they’re surprisingly versatile as well. There are quite a few different types of pipe […]

Some Quick Fixes for Pipe Smokers

Pipes can be fickle. Stems will often be too loose or too tight. Burnouts are another big issue, and because people bite down on the stem, dents and holes can occur. Luckily, some of these things can be dealt with at home, so I’ll give you some ideas that you can try. Loose stems are […]

A Long Time Coming

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It’s hard to believe that I’ve been making Hearth & Home tobaccos for ten years now. It doesn’t seem possible, but more than 80 blends later, 2015 has arrived. About five years ago, I started investigating the possibility of adding a line of pipes to the Hearth & Home brand. Some pipes I found were […]

Cigar Review – Man O’ War Immortal

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I love the fact that I get to try all the new cigars when they come in. Now, granted, I don’t always enjoy each one, but I need to try them if I’m going to write copy for the website, so I savor the ones that are in my wheelhouse, and the ones that aren’t […]

Introducing Argo

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We’re releasing an exclusive new line of pipes, and our Thursday email will tell you all about them. These great smoking briars are called Argo. There are 5 classic shapes with tapered or saddle stems in comfortable black acrylic. They all feature free-breathing 4mm airways and are made in America of well-aged Italian briar. Starting at less […]