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 […]

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 […]

Episode VII: Silverware, You Are

yoda

    Pipe smokers tend to be easy going, but like anyone else, tend to be stubborn at times about asking for directions. When they decide to stop following the force and seek some guidance, the role of little green Jedi is one I find myself eager to perform. One particular fork in the road […]

No Matter Which Way You Slice it

pipe tobacco review Ten to Midnight

We’re getting ready to head out to Chicago for the show, but a customer made an observation earlier today which made me think that this topic would be a good one for Talking Tobacco, so I’m going to address the different cuts used in pipe tobaccos. The main reason there are different cuts is because […]

The Great American Dream Experiment

barn

 As a “VaPer Lover”, I usually classify my purposeful excursions into Aromatic and English blends under “Market Research”. I do get an urge for Latakia now and then, especially when I’m digging in the dirt, or find myself walking along a trail, or otherwise in a Sherwood Forest sort of mood. After the typical youthful […]

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 […]

Pipe Tobacco Review – Hearth & Home Marquee El Nino

el nino

A few weeks ago, when I started working with the P&C team, Russ knew my fondness of strong bold flavors and leaf, so he handed me a tin of Hearth & Home’s El Nino. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I  selected an Argo Rhodesian to test this blend in. The tin aroma was sweet with […]