Have you ever encountered a tobacco that was so good you simply could not figure out what to say about it? It’s like each bowl gets better than the last? Well, that’s what Hearth & Home Black House was for me.
When it a little online research led me to discover that Hearth & Home Black House by Russ Ouellette was designed to match Balkan Sobranie 759 I became intrigued, and then when I found out that Black House was judged to be the closest match in the 2011 Chicagoland pipe show that it was blended for to the original Balkan Sobranie 759, I simply had to try it.
Well, that’s about where my nonpartisan approach to this review ended.
From the moment I broke the seal on the tin I knew I was in for something special. The rich, earthy, slightly sour, thick aroma of the tobacco wafted free of the tin from the moment that broke the seal on it. It was heady and wonderful, and made me immediately want to light up a smoke.
Well, here I am at the bottom of the can, some two days later, struggling to find words to describe this tobacco.
Let me start by saying, that I never had a chance to try the old Balkan Sobranie 759, but if this tobacco is anything like it, I’d easily give a finger to try some. As far as Balkan mixes go, Russ’ Black House is the smoothest I have ever tried. Every draw on the pipe was as smooth as cream, or silk, or perhaps a baby’s bottom, pick your metaphor, they’re all accurate.
For two days now, I’ve been writing this review in my head, and the word that keeps coming back to my mind is not some profound, deep, complicated unheard of word, that would require you to open up the dictionaries, it is simply just “SMOOTH ”.
The draught is so relaxing that I find it hard to write anything while enjoying my pipe with this tobacco. I find myself drawn to the scene in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, where Radagast the brown, in a panic, approaches Gandalf and the company of Thorin Oakenshield, and begins sputtering. Gandalf offers him a draw on his pipe, which crosses his eyes, and immediately relaxes him. That is sort of how I feel about Black House, one draw and I feel the troubles of the world slip away, if only for a moment.
I know, it sounds stupid, and childish, to talk about a tobacco in this fashion, but Hearth & Home Black House, is really that relaxing to me.
Online, the room note is described as being “Intensive” by the people at pipesandcigars.com, who I would generally trust, as Russ works for them. And, it must be, because I can actually smell the room note this tobacco, and though I do not find it unpleasant, and my wife and my husband both find it very pleasant, it is not a scent that is going to please the in-laws, that is of course unless they like Balkans, in which case they will be very pleased, because this is certainly a Balkan.
In the end, as far as my recommendations go, I say, get your hands on this as soon as possible. If you like Balkan blends, you’re going to love this, quite possibly more than anything you’ve ever tried, unless you’ve tried Balkan Sobranie 759.
If you do want to get it, then you get it at pipesandcigars.com (Russ’ stomping ground) for $9.99 USD for a 1.76 oz (50 gm) can. That means you can get five of them for $49.95 USD, which is probably what I’m going to do, this stuff is fantastic!
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!