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An all-black mixture of exacting proportions to balance the flavors well enough that the individual components become indistinguishable. Obsidian is sweet, smoky and spicy without being overpowering. Stoved Virginia, Latakia, toasted Black Cavendish and Perique combine for a unique and cool smoking experience.

BrandHearth & Home
Blended ByRuss Ouellette
Manufactured ByPipes & Cigars
Blend TypeVirginia Based
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Latakia, Perique, Virginia
CutCoarse Cut
Packaging1.5oz Tin, 8oz Tin, Bulk
ProductionCurrently available
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Mild to Medium
None Detected
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 1 Users

18 reviews
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TheBriarBurl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TheBriarBurl (3)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Foreboding tobacco out of the bag - deep, black, pre-charred. The tobacco is stoved which really marries the flavors into one. I experienced a singular, but exceedingly pleasant and rich flavor. Everything comes through just enough to make an almost teriyaki taste - a bit of spice, a bit of sweetness, a bit of smokiness.

Pipe Used: Vauen Classic Brown, Pot (9mm Filter)

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

It's very rare that I find a blend by Russ Ouellette to be less than three stars, but this one misses the mark a little bit for me. The pouch scent is really nice and the moisture is just right. It reminds me a little bit of Midnight by Peretti, but less sweet. Obsidian burns cleanly and pack well. I find myself seaching for more complex flavor given the number of tobaccos. It's just a little too monotone for my taste. I think a lot of folks will like this tobacco, but I'll stick to the other fine blends from Mr. Ouellette.

2 people found this review helpful.

thehaggis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thehaggis (18)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Not your usual Latakia blend. The black cavendish and the Perique give it enough of a tang to make it a nice change of pace for those of us who love English/Latakia forward blends.

1 person found this review helpful.

PhillyB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PhillyB (65)
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I like strong English blends, and upon opening my tin I was met with that distinct smoky smell associated with Latakia with some Perique savory, and just hints of the other tobacco types in this bend. What also struck me was how dry the tobacco seemed. It clicked when it hit the wood surface of the table and was very light in my hand. But as it turns out that has little to do with how good the smoke was! The flavors were excellent and the smoke smelled "foody" according to those around me. It did have some trouble staying lit which could be due to the fact that the tobacco was not very flexible and didn't pack easy. But a little bit of rehydration later and it smokes fine!

1 person found this review helpful.

Clive Moses Apikouris Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Clive Moses Apikouris (38)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

In my quest to challenge any preconceived notions and prejudices concerning the various styles of pipe tobacco I've next taken on this intriguing mixture. I like Black Cavendish and Latakia (when not in overdose proportions). Perique is not something I'm enamored with, however as a condiment it has it's place and I'm ambivalent about Virginia tobaccos which can at times have a thin, sweetish,tongue stinging quality about them. The name Obsidian conjured up images of a powerhouse and combined with my awareness of the Perique prepared me for an aggressive assault on my tongue and taste buds. The stuff is black in a variety of degrees and shades of blackness. The tin aroma is surprisingly quite mild surprisingly, a nice sweet and slightly smokey scent is all that greets the olfactory investigation. Obsidian is a bit dry, another surprise, but also a bit sticky, indicative of the Black Cavendish content. The taste is the best and most precious surprise as it is far from the suspected powerhouse. Instead it is nicely mild but full flavored, sweet but not at all cloying, has a bit of delightful spiciness and no bite but only the mildest tongue tingle from the balanced Virginias. The Latakia is very restrained adding a perfect degree of smokiness to the pleasant sweetness. As for the nicotine content it is certainly there, but not overwhelming, which for me is a big plus. If you are searching for a head swooning affair with the Lady N, look elsewhere. The only drawback is the very poor burning characteristics. Obsidian goes out quite often and needs additional sparking up to continue the enjoyable smoking. I've tried this in a number of pipes, from an old Israeli made Tinder Box "Exotica" to a new Stanwell "X-Mas" pipe and the smoking experience is very consistent. This is a new favorite and even with the burn issues it still very much warrants four stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

Uban Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Uban (53)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

A fine job by Russ yet again. Bought a tin at the 'brick & mortar' show two months ago, and will undoubtedly get more (along with Mt Marcy). This all "black blend" is just that,and the smoke is just as smooth as the color. Reminiscent of no other English I know, it tastes at first light pretty strongly of perique, but smells like latakia! The virginias chime right in, and the taste becomes fairly consistent & balanced. To my taste, the cavendish smooths the whole bowl all the way but never is monotonous. Three stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

rushm1n3r Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rushm1n3r (18)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A great tobacco if you are an aromatic lover and want something a little bit meatier in your rotation. Leather, spice and mild sweetness at the start, pleasantly dry and still spicy at the end of the bowl.

Pipe Used: Briar

Age When Smoked: Fresh tin

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hakchuma Achukma Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hakchuma Achukma (2)
Mild Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

I don't give this one star but I have to. Biggest problem is moisture while smoking and it not staying lit. I even resorted to grinding it up in a coffee grinder. I tranfered a few ounces to an old tin for drying. Which seemed odd that I would need to dry it as it came nearly crunchy. This is too mild of some smoke and it burns too hot just to keep it lit even after leaving a small tin of it out for nearly a week.

Disappointed that I bought a pound of this. Will definitely be more careful in the future.

Pipe Used: Cob, falcon, Savinelli 320, Savinelli 316 KS

Age When Smoked: One week

Purchased From:

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Motoyoshi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Motoyoshi (68)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

They couldn't have chosen a better name for this blend. Black as volcanic glass is the color you're greeted with out of the tin. Smells like latakia with a subtle sweetness I'm assuming comes from the stoved VAs and Cavendish. Slight traces of perique as well.

The tobacco is pretty dry and can be packed right away. Most of the pieces are rather small but there are some chunks in the mix. I essentially load this likea cube cut and give a slight tamp when the bowl is full. Have heard some say this is difficult to keep lit but I have not shared that experience. Burns to a nice ash with rarely any dottle ever.

I will say that this blend is a little too mild on all fronts for me. Could it be too balanced? I found the Stoved VAs and the Cavendish to be the mainstays in this blend with a slight smokiness and bit of spice from the perique. None of the components really stand out but seem too timid (can tobacco have a personality?). I like a little bit more punch with my blends and this just seems to be too tame for my liking.

Not bad, just not for me.

Pipe Used: Mortas, Meers, Briars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

manno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
manno (43)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Curious stuff. Looks black, mystical, foreboding, treated and wet. Smells of little but a bit of .... road tar? Is actually dry, unflavored, approachable and simple. Very tame at the outset. I wondered how much of nothing I was going to smoke when, after about 25 sips/puffs/pulls a true tobacco emerged. Pleasantly sweet, very little latakia or perique flavor (but there nonetheless) and a bunch of unflavored cavendish. After a half a bowl, all the kids jumped into the pool and swam chaotically but civilly until closing time. Even great tobaccos present themselves, to me at least, as a sort of bell curve. This was more of a hockey stick. Ordered another 8-oz. tin. Good dog-walking stuff (not quite a ringing endorsement to most but, hey, i love my dog).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SSG P Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SSG P (6)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

I tried Obsidian based off what I read in some of the previous reviews, & I must say, I am not dissapointed.

Upon opening the bag, I was met by smells I am more accustomed to finding in my favorite scotch: peat, leather, woodsmoke, (asphalt?). The rich blackness of the blend intrigued me, & since it was already of just about perfect moisture content, I loaded up a bowl & tried it out immediately.

It lit up quickly & evenly, despite the irregular cut of the various tobacco. From the beginning it smoked VERY cool, & had the most pleasant taste, almost like charcoal on a barbeque very soon after being lit, along with the tiniest hint of vanilla on the very back of my tongue. It was smooth, & the more slowly I smoked, the more flavorful it became. I found myself letting it get to the point of needing to be relit so that I could experience every last drop of flavor. It burned cleanly, with no mess in the bottom of the bowl afterwards.

I highly recommend this, even for those (like me) that typically shy away from blends with latakia. This is a real treat. Not an every day smoke, but perfect for cool fall nights on the deck with your dog, favorite sweater, & some glenfiddich 18.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Brown Pipeman 1940 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brown Pipeman 1940 (40)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I received a tin of this and was intrigued as soon as I opened it up. All the tobaccos are black, but not all of the same sable shade. The aromas that burst forth from the tin reminded me of a campfire, but with a little hint of sweetness to it.

I immediately packed this into a Missouri meerschaum corn cob and lit up. If you like smoky blends with plenty of good quality Latakia, this is a blend for you! The Latakia and stoved Virginias hit my taste buds right away. The Perique and Black Cavendish were present, but not dominant. I know the description says that no one tobacco dominates this blend, but I'd disagree. There was a hint of sweetness from the Cavendish and a little spiciness from the Perique, but the smokiness of the Latakia and Virginias stand out and become more pronounced the further down the bowl you smoke. That was my experience with my first bowl, but proved true in whatever pipe I smoked this blend.

This was my first sampling of the Hearth and Home blends by Russ Ouelette and I have not stopped sampling them since. This is not an everyday blend for me; but if I'm wanting a good smoky blend, this is definitely one to fill a pipe with.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nurse_Maduro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nurse_Maduro (27)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I was recently gifted a few bowls' worth, so I can't be certain if this is from a new tin, or one several years old. Regardless, I'll be purchasing a tin of my own very soon.

Visually, it's stunning. Different dark shades of shiny, oily goodness that promise undiscovered pleasures.

Packing is a bit tricky, as this is a very rough cut. I swear there were twigs in my sample. Nevertheless, I stuffed them in there and commenced with the lighting ceremony. Lovely, grey smoke poured forth, along with an incredible earthy aroma.

As for the taste: If a standard English blend is a steak, then this is that steak blackened with cajun spices. If the standard is country music, then this is heavy metal. If the standard is Romero's "Dawn of the Dead," then this is the remake. You get the idea. I have not yet tasted anything like it. It's an English turned to 11. It's woodsy and earthy with at least a half-day's supply of Vitiman N, yet you can suck on it like a McDonald's Triple Thick Shake and it remains cool, with nary a thought of biting you back.

This, my friends, is a wonderful tobacco. To close with a more appropriate analogy: If the standard English blend were a cigar, Obsidian would be the Camacho Triple Maduro. 'Nuff said.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Psyktek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Psyktek (20)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable to Strong

The aroma in the baggie was interesting, the smoking much less so. Given how the reviews have changed from '07, I have to wonder if the blend has changed as well. I'll likely finish this 2 oz., but there'll be no more in my future.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zierro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zierro (11)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Not much of a Black Cavendish fan, so it's not surprising I wasn't very impressed. Nice blend in it's own right, clean burning, well balanced. As with C&D's Mississippi Mud, the black cav just seems to mute out the lat and per, leaving me with a rather monotone experience. Not recommended for most English smokers, Cav fans might give it a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cbd2 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cbd2 (10)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is a very, very mild blend, very cool on the tongue. But I simply did not care for it at all. Maybe it was during the processing that any subtlety was lost on me. This was recommended to me by one of the staff who knew my love for "Larry's Blend" but, to me, they are miles and miles apart in just about every category. I really cannot recommend this blend. It may be for some, but it's not for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

al1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
al1 (58)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant

I find this blend enjoyable sometimes. I think it has a distinctive flavor. I notice the latakia immediatley and everything else seems to blend in as you go.

I get a really sweet almost floral like taste out of this smoke. I like larry's blend much more and it is no mclelland 5110 but next to those two it is nice for a change once here and there. I like my smoke a little more on the natural side.

I wish the cut was a little finer and it packed and burned a little better. But compared to what else is available this is pretty good.

Update: 3/15/08 This smoke has found a way into my routine. If they would cut this a little finer I would be happier and we would have a solid four star blend here. I have a sweet tooth and at the same time like bold flavors. Somehow strangely this stuff satisfies my urge for sweet and spicy at the same time.

You can really puff on it too. It is so smooth, but smokes cool and dry. A rare treat. I might just even order some more. Nothing else tastes like this to me. Could stay lit a little better but back to what I said about the cut needing to be a little finer. A tighter than average packing helps it out, and a good repack or two helps it smoke really good.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

clifswin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
clifswin (8)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Mild, smooth and well-balanced, Obsidian reminds me of a Yamaha motorcycle I used to own. That bike was a blast to ride, running so smoothly and handling so lightly that on the road it almost disappeared and left me flying on my own over the pavement. On the other hand, a little roughness has its place; like that bike, there's nothing about Obsidian that really calls attention to itself. This is a tobacco that, if your mind wanders, you can smoke an entire bowl and not realize it until you find yourself sucking ash.

Until Obsidian I wasn't really aware that my favorite tobaccos are the ones that require a little attention. Russ's Larry's Blend is one of my all-time favorites, and if you smoke it wrong you end up with a mouth like the inside of a leather pouch. Any number of great Virginias will satisfy and entertain and, if drawn on too hard, burn the living daylights out of your tongue. Obsidian is a tobacco with almost no risk of such misbehavior, and a gives a very pleasant experience if attended to, but the danger here is not of damage to your mouth but of simply having the tobacco disappear without noticing it at all.

This is a tobacco that I'll keep around, and one that I'll give to a friend who wants to try a "real" tobacco, but I somehow doubt that it'll ever become a tobacco I truly love for itself. A real Japanese inline four of a blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.