Do you want to try something unique, extremely tasty, and previously hard-to-get? The new Hearth & Home Lakeland Brickle is one of my favorite new tobaccos. Blender Russ Ouellette realized a market opportunity with the scarcity of “Lakeland-style” blends from British makers Samuel Gawith and Gawith Hoggarth & Co. Both of these boutique pipe tobacco manufacturers have some extremely popular blends, and to the frustration of pipe smokers worldwide, they cannot keep up with the demand. When stock does arrive, the hoarding mentality takes over, leaving still many discouraged pipesters. Now we have Hearth & Home Lakeland Brickle to the rescue!
Russ tells PipesMagazine.com; “Our customers have become frustrated with the scarcity of some of the Lakeland-style blends that have become quite popular, and asked us if we could make a good one that is readily available, so we did. What differentiates these blends from everything else are their strength and the old-fashioned “scents” they use. They also make quite a few of their tobaccos in the form of flakes, cakes and ropes … when you can get them.”
Lakeland Brickle is a combination of Virginias (mostly red), along with dark, tangy Burleys (which add depth, spice and strength) and infused with traditional Lakeland-style flavors such as rose and a tonquin-type (among others), but with a light hand to avoid the “soapiness” that some people dislike.
It is then heat-treated and put under pressure to further develop the flavor and body, and finished by vacuum-sealing in 8 oz. bags. No humectants are used in the making of the blend, so the tobacco should be transferred to an airtight resealable container (ziplock, mason jar, etc.) upon opening the vacuum bag.
Lakeland Brickle comes in a unique form. It is a large compressed rectangle, almost the size and shape of an 8.5×11 piece of paper, and about a quarter of an inch thick.
I was so excited when I received mine that I immediately tore into it and started smoking before even thinking to take a photo of it. The above photo is from Bob’s unopened package. The tobacco is tightly compressed with a medium hardness to it. You can easily bend the large, thin rectangle of compacted tobacco, but it won’t break if you knock on it with your knuckle. I was able to rip off a piece by hand, but it is easier to use scissors, especially as you progress away from the outer edges. After breaking off a piece, I cut it into strips and then fully rubbed it out.
Even though there are no humectants used, the tobacco is a little bit moist. I assume this is from the flavorings and natural tobacco moisture from the extreme pressing. I didn’t give it any drying time and it burned just fine anyway. Technically, this is an aromatic, but it is so good and so unique that it is in a class all by itself. When it is sealed in a bag, and three feet away, you can still smell the aroma tempting you, calling to you to light it up. You might want to store this one away from other tobaccos, which is what I do. I actually leave Lakeland Brickle in my kitchen, and the rest of my tobaccos are upstairs in my office. I do this also because I like to use the kitchen scissors to cut it up and the kitchen counter to rub it out.
There is a trio of colors including tan, light brown, and dark browns with the dark browns dominating. The pouch aroma is extremely sweet, making me think if I continued to sniff it for a while that I might get dizzy. It has a hint of a fermented fragrance, and is a little bit flowery. When I tell you what it tastes like, it may seem strange, but it is actually quite enjoyable, and rather different. Lakeland Brickle tastes like a candy I used to eat as a kid in the ’70’s called Smarties.
They come in different pastel colors in a clear cellophane wrapper and have kind of a soapy, floral taste. When I asked some friends to help me remember which candy I was thinking of, some other answers were Necco Wafers, Candy Buttons, and Pez. All of these have a similar flavor to Lakeland Brickle, and I like it. When I first received it, I smoked Lakeland Brickle all day, bowl after bowl and enjoyed it every time. Even though some Lakeland-style blends have been described as “strong”, I would say in the case of Lakeland Brickle that the strength is in the flavor, and not in the nicotine department. I smoked 6 bowls in one day and I am a nicotine lightweight. I would have been passed out if this was heavy in nicotine.
Although I have smoked blends from Samuel Gawith and Gawith Hoggarth, I have not had the opportunity to smoke any of their Lakeland-style blends, so I have nothing to compare to. However, based on my enjoyment of Lakeland Brickle, I now want to try some other blends in this genre … if I can ever get them. Until then, we can rest assured that Lakeland Brickle is available right now, and you should get some right now. Who knows what the future will bring. If this really takes off, and I think it will, maybe they won’t be able to keep up with demand on this one too. I highly recommend Lakeland Brickle.
Brand: Hearth & Home
Blender: Russ Ouellette
Tin Description: Over the past decade, the popularity of the Lakeland tobaccos, with their stout body and unusual flavors, has exploded. In fact, they’ve grown to such a point that availability is now a big issue. We start with a combination of Virginias (mostly red), along with dark, tangy Burleys (which add depth, spice and strength) and infuse them with traditional Lakeland-style flavors such as rose and a tonquin-type (among others), but with a light hand to avoid the “soapiness” that some people dislike. We then heat-treat it and put it under pressure to further develop the flavor and body, and finish by vacuum-sealing it in 8 oz. bags. The mildly sweet but robust flavor is intriguing, and seems to get better with each successive bowl.
Country of Origin: USA
Curing Group: Air Cured
Contents: Burley, Virginia
Flavoring: Tonquin Bean, Rose flavor oil
Cut: Crumble Cake
Packaging: Vacuum-sealed 8oz bag