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Another creation from mastermind Russ Ouellette, this blend was named because after you smoke it, there is a chance that you'll feel like you were run over by a train. The mixture consists of a blend of Red Virginia, dark Burley, dark-fired Kentucky, a bit of unflavored Black Cavendish and Perique. The result is a nutty and earthy blend with a slightly spicy backbone that burns cool and produces thick clouds of smoke. It has a very stout body and isn't for the timid, but it's a satisfying blend meant to kick up your day.

BrandHearth & Home
Blended ByRuss Ouellette
Manufactured ByPipes & Cigars
Blend TypeAmerican
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Burley, Kentucky, Perique, Virginia
CutCoarse Cut
ProductionCurrently available
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Medium to Strong
None Detected
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable, Tolerable

Favorite Of 2 Users

7 reviews
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Introibo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Introibo (45)
Strong Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

Could this be the grail of pipe tobaccos? Freight Train is, at least to this piper, long awaited. It strikes me as what OJK and Haunted Bookshop are supposed to be.

Outstanding burleys provide a nutty flavour, the cavendish gives richness, and there is a good note or two of Kentucky. The perique is there, but not up one's nose, as it is in too many blends. For a change, no Latakia. I can't taste the virginia, though it must be there.

From start to finish, this is what burley blends should all aspire to. Imagine the best codger blend you have ever had, in the best pipe that you own; multiply that by several orders of magnitude for flavour, strength and sheer puffing joy, and you may just approximate what Freight Train is.

If I didn't know that it came from the talented hand of Russ Ouellette, I would say this had to be a Tarler-Runowski creation. I would go a step further and say that this is the best blend that Bob Runowski never created. If Russ was looking for a tribue to Tarler and Runowski, he could not have done better. It has that deep harshness that the CD blends have, but is not rough or bitter.

Overall, I would mark this as the finest pipe tobacco I have ever smoked. Looking forward to a couple of serious Freight Train decades. I just hope that over indulgence doesn't spoil the fun.

6 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (1231)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

The burley is earthy and smooth, and kind of dominates the other ingredients without being harsh or ashy. The red Virginia is pleasantly noticeable. The dark Kentucky is less obvious, but adds a base note of strength. I can taste just a bare essence of the black cavendish if at all, because I think the sweetness mainly comes from the red Virginia. The perique is plum and peppery, and adds a nice spice taste to perk it up. It has a slight nuttiness and is lightly tangy. It's savored best in a pipe with a big bowl to experience the various flavor components. They say this is a very strong tobacco, but I find it medium strong with a deep, full flavor that really pleases. It burns well, evenly and dry. I recommend it.

4 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (702)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Blind test blend #4 and deemed by myself as the best of the test. Gnarly looking ribbon with some choppy chunks and a bag aroma of mostly nothing but with an underlying spicy scent. Almost mildly cinnamon-y, but not exactly. I noticed some black in there with the earth tones but couldn't smell any latakia.

Taste-wise, this also seemed like a C&D blend, but more to the Tarler side than Runowski (I never guessed this was an H&H blend). It was hugely spicy and nutty with a bare hint of sweetness that, as I puffed, I decided was a perfect amount. Any more and it may have ruined the blend. The flavor was stellar, with this almost juicy, stew-like quality where everything just meshes perfectly. I noted just a hint of a tongue sizzle, however. It wasn't enough to detract too much but it did force me to slow down, as I was puffing like a dehydrated person drinks water. The blend tasted that good. When I slowed down, it of course improved. I smoked all 5 bowls back to back and I need to put in an order for a few pounds. This one is strong but not obnoxious, not terribly complex but hugely flavorful and satisfying. If you like a ton of flavor with no harshness and you're not shy about nicotine, give this one a whirl. Rounder than a straight burley, spicier than most straight virginias and less rough than a predominantly Kentucky tobacco, this one just works on every level. A masterpiece!

Pipe Used: Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: New

3 people found this review helpful.

ddmholst Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ddmholst (23)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Bought this mainly for the perique, realizing I have a big affinity for it. I must admit that my palate isn't as refined as some but I'm learning. I have to also be upfront and state that I haven't found many burly dominate blends to my liking.

I bought this in bulk, not really sure if it comes in tins? I immediately packed a bowl and thought it was alright. Put the rest in a mason jar and let it sit for a couple months. Now smoking it I seem to like it more than before. Not sure if my tastes have changed or it mellowed a bit. I get the spicy/fig flavour from the perique and the burly provides a nice body. The Virginias seem to be hiding. I get some cavendish now and then. Can't really detect too much Kentucky.

It is described as being really strong. I don't see it. I actually enjoy inhaling this a fair amount. I wouldn't probably buy this again but I will enjoy what I have.

Pipe Used: Savinelli dry canadian

Age When Smoked: 3 months

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

SecretAgentMan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SecretAgentMan (27)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

For strength, if we take Hearth & Home's Steamroller as a 10, then this is a 7. (That's a relative scale, because G&H and SG make much stronger tobaccos than Steamroller). Take the maker's description with a griain of salt. If you regularly smoke strong tobacco (SG's Brown No. 4 or G&H's Dark Flake come to mind) or cigarettes, you will not feel as though you've been run over by a freight train. You might hear the "jingle, rumble and the roar," but you're well away from the tracks. On the other hand, if you're here after smoking, say, a MacBaren tobacco (I enjoy them), you'll more likely agree with the makers about the strength of Freight Train.

For taste, I caught the sweet-sour flavor Perique noticed below. I found the flavor to be mostly butter and walnuts (walnuts have a good amount of tannins, which make for dry red wine as well). The perique is a nice touch, because the unrelieved rich and smooth flavor of the tobacco would be bland. (I usually don't enjoy perique, but it's been added with a light hand and is just right for the purpose). The perique really is a touch of genius. The "peppery" part of perique tints the sweet flavors, and the "plum" part smoothes and highlights the sour. Maybe I put too much hope in the maker's description, but I was nonplussed. Freight Train is full-flavored and a bit on the strong side. That's all there is to say about it.

Pipe Used: MM Washington

2 people found this review helpful.

Perique Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Perique (109)
Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

My initial impression is that this is the tangiest tobacco I have ever tasted, particularly at the charring light. It just smacks you in the face. Big dose of red VA here, so will bite back if rushed. Tang mellows a little bit as it gets going. Still tasting those red Virginias on the tip of my tongue. I think I detect some burley in the background, which is good. Not picking up much cavendish, but I may just be overwhelmed: a lot going on here. Moisture level was just right. Burns well. This reminds me a bit of Acadian Perique meets Hal o the Wynd.

Smoke slow, or this one can be an a$$ kicker. Robust, with a lot going on in the background and around the margins. Overall this is definitely an excellent tobacco for lovers of strong blends. Strong like in my book. Too early to tell if it's a strong rotational like, let alone a love. Lots going on here. Will have to smoke some more over the next week and check back.

An aptly named blend. Smoke this one SLOW to get at the complexity of flavors and transition that tang into savory/sweet. Sweet and sour comes to mind - yes! It's the sweet and sour sauce of tobacco (with a kick).

Update, 08/2013: I let this age for just over 6 months and came back to it. As usual, age has been kind. All of the noted flavors are still there: that glorious interplay of sweet red Virginia and tangy Kentucky, with the burley as a foundational back-drop and Perique adding a hint of spice. I find that i can taste the burley a bit more as the Virginia and Kenyucky has mellowed. It all just seems smoother with a little time under its belt. I can't wait to see what another year or two do to this tobacco.

2 people found this review helpful.

jb.Samworth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jb.Samworth (1)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

A good full, satisfying tobacco. gives a pure flavor feel of the tobacco in it, a nice perique note to it bound together well by the cavendish. lights easy,burns well.

1 person found this review helpful.