Sherlock Holmes as a Pipe Smoker – Book Review

shaaps2

I was recently sent a copy of a new book, Sherlock Holmes as a Pipe Smoker, by its author Dr. Thomas Gwinner. Since Sherlockiana is one of my hobbies, I was intrigued by the subject as much has been made about the references to pipes, tobaccos, cigars and cigarettes in the Canon. What made this […]

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

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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. […]

Pipe Academy – A Thorough Cleaning

no-buff

A customer wrote and asked me to write about pipe cleaning basics. I’ve written recently about what you shouldn’t attempt, now let’s look at an everyday cleaning. For the sake of covering all our bases, we’re going to approach this as if you found one of your grandfather’s old pipes which had been heavily smoked […]

They’re Some Jolly Good Fellows, Alright!

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In fourteen hundred ninety two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Like many, I remember that rhyme from my early school days. A time when history came out of a book, and no “Wiki” appeared in its title or text. While it’s nice to have the hyper-linked world at our finger tips, one must wonder just […]

Some Random Thoughts About Cigars

Liga Privada Undercrown Cigar

Since I’m around them all the time, I don’t really think about all the minutiae when it comes to cigars, so last might when I was looking through our catalog, I was struck by some of the things that the public doesn’t know, but might find interesting. Here are my observations: There were two cigars […]

Missed Conceptions Entangled in Questions

egr

A mind is a terrible thing to waste Virginia’s a wonderful thing to taste   A diamond, it’s said, is akin to forever To seek out the perfect tobacco? I never   They told me to run in their shoes and Just Do It I tripped on the wrong combination and blew it   At […]

The State of the Union Jack

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I was fortunate enough to have vacationed this summer in the United Kingdom. Split between Scotland and England, I managed to commandeer enough time away from the missus to seek out some tobacco shops and observe the general public presence (or lack thereof) of our pipe and cigar smoking counterparts across The Pond. In the […]

It’s Like Comparing Fast Food to Fine Dining

Like it or not, all smokers are lumped together into a group, usually for the purpose of casting disdain upon us. This is especially true for the antis who site skewed “junk science” to prove that we’re just behind a monkey with a machine gun in terms of our ability to harm. But there are […]

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 […]