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Scotty’s Bulk Blends English Stout - Pipe Tobacco Reviews

    July 7th, 2011

 

By Bob Tate

Scotty's Bulk Blends English Stout Pipe Tobacco 001

The pouch aroma of this blend is very smoky with quite a bit of a woody aroma as well. The Latakia in this blend is heavy. This blend is predominately black with a few specks of brown here and there. The moisture level feels like it is one the moist side, but it lights up and stays lit very well. I loaded up my pipe and proceeded to the charring light.

On the charring light:
Flavor: There is some sweetness and a light black coffee type of bitterness.
Aroma: Sweet and smoky Latakia aroma that some, like me, may love; but others will probably hate it.

I finished lighting the bowl and settled in for the smoke.
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Hearth & Home Namaste’ - Pipe Tobacco Reviews

    August 30th, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

hh-tin

The tin aroma of this blend is a nice sweet and smoky smell. You can tell that there is Latakia in the blend from the smoky aroma, but it is not an overpowering aroma of Latakia. The moisture content is perfect for smoking right away with no drying time needed. I loaded up my pipe and proceeded to the charring light.
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Hearth & Home Ten to Midnight - Pipe Tobacco Reviews

    July 9th, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

hh-tin

The pouch aroma of this blend is a smoky and semi-sweet smell with a hint of a tang to it. It smells quite nice. The moisture content is perfect for smoking right away without any drying time needed. This tobacco comes in a crumble cake form and you can break off pieces and rub them out fairly easily with your hands. I broke off a chunk and rubbed it out. This tobacco, when rubbed out, stays kind of chunky. It is almost like a cubed cut form. I loaded up my pipe and proceeded to the charring light.
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2010 Doctor of Pipes Award Dinner

    May 17th, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

2010 Doctor of Pipes Award - Cigar and Pipe Dinner

2010 Doctor of Pipes Award - Cigar and Pipe Dinner

On Saturday night of May 1, after the first official day of the 2010 Chicago Pipe Show, we attended the Cigar and Pipe Cocktail Party, Dinner and Doctor of Pipes Award Ceremony that was held in the New Orleans Ballroom on Bourbon Street at the Pheasant Run Resort. The Cocktail Party was 6:30-7:00pm and the dinner was 7:00-9:00pm. The tickets for the dinner were $65.00 each and were well worth the price of admission.

For the Cocktail Party, they served bacon wrapped scallop hors d’oeuvres while we all stood around chatting on Bourbon Street. At 7:00, they opened the doors to the ballroom to admit the attendees of the dinner. Upon entrance to the dinner, they were handing out ‘goodie’ bags. The bags contained a selection of about 10 various premium cigars, pipe cleaners, a tin of E. Hoffman Spilman Mixture, and a one ounce sample of Hearth & Home Larry’s Blend. Everyone was standing and sitting around socializing and having a few drinks waiting for dinner to be served.
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Hearth & Home Sunjammer - Pipe Tobacco Reviews

    April 21st, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

 

hh-tin

The pouch aroma of this blend is very nice. In the aroma, I am picking up on the smoky Latakia along with some sweet and spice from the Virginias and the Orientals. The moisture content was perfect for smoking right away. I loaded up my pipe and proceeded to the charring light.

On the charring light, I am picking up on some light smokiness and a little sweetness on the base of a nice tobacco taste. There are some nice, thick billows of smoke coming from this blend. I finished lighting the pipe and settled in for the smoke.
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Scotty’s Old Red - Pipe Tobacco Reviews

    April 7th, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

old-red

The pouch aroma of this blend is a nice, sweet and tangy tobacco smell. The tanginess from the Virginias makes my mouth water when I smell it. It smells great! The moisture content is perfect for smoking right away with no drying time needed. I loaded up my pipe and proceeded to the charring light.
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Hearth & Home Louisiana Red - Pipe Tobacco Reviews

    March 3rd, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

hh-tin

The pouch aroma of this blend is a nice tobacco scent with a sweet, tangy, spicy aroma with a hint of plums. The tanginess is a little more predominate than the others and causes my mouth to water. I love it! The moisture content is perfect for smoking right away. I loaded up my pipe and proceeded to the charring light.

On the charring light, I was greeted by a nice tobacco aroma and taste. There was a nice amount of natural sweetness with a slight tang to it from the Virginias. It tasted very nice. I finished lighting the pipe and settled in for a nice relaxing smoke. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Master Blender Russ Ouellette - Part 3

    February 14th, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

russ-ouellette-01

This is the conclusion to our Russ Ouellette (Blendtobac) interview. So far in our interview with Russ Ouellette, we have talked about how he got started blending pipe tobacco blends, Perique tobacco, some of the challenges that he faces obtaining certain tobacco components, how he created Larry’s Blend, and many other things. Here, we are picking up the interview where we left off in Part 2:

PipesMagazine (PM): We have heard from quite a few people in the industry and have seen for ourselves that a lot of younger people are starting to get into pipes. Have you noticed this as well and have you seen a resurgence in pipes and pipe smoking?

Russ: Yeah, we’ve had a number of guys under 30 [years of age] who have stopped in to visit or join our pipe club and we’re seeing more and more of it. Some of it is kind of a trendy thing; a group of local college students, or whatever, will decide that they want to get together and smoke pipes. And because, I think, we do a very good job at our retail store of helping the new pipe smoker get started and give them the information that they need to stay with it, they tend to gravitate towards our store and they start hanging out on a regular basis because we have a lounge.

They like to get together and they’ll sit there around the card table and smoke their pipes. Our customers are such a great bunch of people that the older lawyers, doctors, and business people don’t look down their nose at these 24 year old kids sitting there smoking pipes. It’s a very comfortable environment and we’re doing what we can for the people who’ve made the decision that they want to smoke a pipe and we’re going to make it as enjoyable as possible for them.  Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Master Blender Russ Ouellette - Part 2

    February 12th, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

russ-ouellette-01In part 1 of our interview with Russ Ouellette (Blendtobac), we talked about some of the things he has done before he got heavily involved in the tobacco industry. We also talked about how he got started blending pipe tobacco blends, how he maintains the consistency of his blends, some of the problems that he has acquiring certain tobacco components, and a few other things. Here, we pick up the interview where we left off in Part 1:

PipesMagazine (PM): What are some of the major changes that you have seen in the pipe industry over the years that you have been involved?

Russ: Certainly from the pipe end of things, some of the old brands are not quite what they used to be, but there are still a lot of wonderful pipes out there. I think one of the best things to happen is that we’re seeing more individual carvers around the world. There weren’t that many individual artisans in the US in the 70’s even though the market was pretty strong. It was mostly mass manufactured, even though a lot of those brands produced wonderful quality pipes. But now we’re seeing a lot more one-of-a-kind freehand pipes by very, very talented carvers.

In terms of tobaccos though, it’s radically in the other direction where the European cigarette companies have snapped up a lot of the Oriental tobaccos that used to be available for pipe blends and some of those tobaccos that I mentioned to you before just aren’t available. Mike McNeil [McClelland Tobacco] was able to acquire a number of different Orientals because he has a friend in the cigarette business. Unfortunately, I don’t have a contact like that; that would allow me that kind of access. And a lot of the old blends have disappeared; the current versions aren’t the same as what they used to be. The one thing that I think a lot of people don’t understand is the subtle complexities of the tobacco leaf, and they shouldn’t have to. Unless you’re dealing with it, you won’t recognize it unless you’re doing it all the time. One of the problems that I have seen in recent years is that a blend will become unavailable and I’ll get phone call after phone call, you know “Can you reproduce it?” Some people say that they can and they make an attempt, and sometimes they do a great job of it. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Master Blender Russ Ouellette - Part 1

    February 10th, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

russ-ouellette-01Russ Ouellette (Blendtobac) is the Retail Sales Manager and Master blender for Habana Premium Cigar Shoppe (HPCS), also known as Pipesandcigars.com, in Albany, New York. Russ has been involved in the tobacco industry for over 30 years. He is regarded as one of the best blenders in the country and has created over 100 different pipe tobacco blends over the years, many of which are still being sold today. Russ is probably best known for the Hearth & Home Series of pipe tobacco blends that he has created for HPCS (pipesandcigars.com). I had the opportunity to talk with Russ at length about pipe tobacco and a few other things. Here is Part 1 of our interview with Russ Ouellette:

PipesMagazine (PM): Russ, you have been involved in the tobacco business on and off for over 30 years, what else have you done besides blending pipe tobacco?

Russ Ouellette: I’ve traveled a winding path. Besides that, I spent a number of years in the automotive business, I’ve done sign painting, I supervised 15 bowling pro shops and trained ball drillers, and was in the computer sales area for awhile. Also piano and organ sales, so I’ve done quite a few different things.

PM: That’s a pretty extensive background.

Russ: Yeah, it’s rather eclectic.

PM: How long have you been actually blending pipe tobacco blends?

Russ: Well, I’ve done it for about 30 years. I started doing it when I first worked, during college and after graduation, at a chain store. Then when I left the business, I still did it because I had old customers and friends who used to like some of the things that I made and they would ask me to make them for them. So I continued to do it right on through, but the heavy lifting has been in the last 5 years.

PM: What got you started in blending? Was it just your love for the tobacco leaf?
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