A Daunting Proposition

JC Smyrna

I’ve put together a number of “tribute” blends. One of the first Hearth & Home Signature Series tobaccos, Old Tartan, was an homage to what my father used to smoke. I did a number of these kinds of blends, including BlackHouse, WhiteKnight and Fusilier’s Ration. I may have opened myself up to criticism as people […]

An In-Depth Look at Perique

periquetour19

As some of you may know, I’ve been involved in blending tobacco for nearly 40 years, and I can remember to this day the first time I opened a package of Perique and smelled it. The deep, dark, fruity aroma hit me like a ton of bricks, and I salivated from the intensity of it. […]

A Different Kind of Blending

In all, I’ve been a tobacco blender for just shy of forty years now. I’ve done enough different blends over that time that, frankly, it’s becoming harder and harder to figure out how not to repeat myself. Luckily, I have people who let me know about unique components so I can keep things fresh. But […]

Perique – A Lot of Work, But Worth It

I’ve been a big fan of Perique since I started smoking a pipe 40 years ago. I was fascinated by the dark, sweet aroma of it in a jar, and enjoyed what it did to a blend even more. I’ve made well over 100 blends in those 40 years, and probably 30 or more have […]

Once Again, You Asked, We Listened

We recently looked at our Russ’ Monthly Blends, and noticed that sales had slowed down, so we ran an email to let folks know that we would be phasing them out. Not only did we sell a lot of those blends after the email hit, we also began receiving a lot of phone calls and […]

Cigar Review – New Release – La Perla Habana 1515

1515

At PipesandCigars.com, we’ve proudly carried La Perla Habana for a long time. Even though my tastes run to big, bold cigars, I’ve really enjoyed La Perla Habana Morado, with a Cameroon wrapper, and Black Pearl, a satisfying maduro. One thing that Doug Wood, the creator of LPH, has is a sense of history, and last […]

The Benefits of Friendship

perique

I’ve been blessed to have a number of good friends in the business of premium tobacco, pipes and accessories. I get to see many of them regularly at pipe shows, while others are normally contacted by phone, but our relationships are good enough to consider them friends. Of course, it’s easier to become friendly with […]

A Tale of Two Shows

As Kevin wrote about yesterday, we flew back home from Chicago late Sunday night after attending the Chicagoland Pipe and Tobacciana Show. You might think by the title of this little tome that I’m going to compare that show to another one, but that’s not where I’m going. In fact, it would be impossible to […]

The Growing Fascination with Dark-Fired Kentucky

dark-fired

When I introduced BlackHouse in 2011, it included a small amount of dark-fired Kentucky. It was only the second blend that I had made with it, and I always treated it (and still do) as a condimental tobacco. I knew of Orlik Dark Strong Kentucky and Peter Heinrich’s Dark Strong Flake as being fairly stout […]

Packaging Quandaries

pt-ro10050

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 […]