Hearth & Home Marble Kake

A firmly-pressed crumble cake blend of bright and red Virginias, it comes as a solid cake which can be broken or sliced and rubbed-out, and the flavor changes depending upon how you prepare it. Knowledgeable Virginia fans often compare it to Hamborger Veermaster as a smooth, but tasty Virginia blend.


Brand Hearth & Home
Series Signature Series
Blended By Russ Ouellette
Manufactured By Sutliff Tobacco Company
Blend Type Straight Virginia
Contents Virginia
Cut Krumble Kake
Packaging 1.5 ounce tin, bulk
Country United States
Production Currently available


Mild to Medium
Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.14 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 59 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 14, 2013 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Another sample given to me but this one was an ounce. If an ounce is not enough to "get" a tobacco, Russ Ouelette should be thankful, because before I "get" this one, I'm going to order several pounds.

To start with, I guess I'm not a "knowledgable" virginia fan, because I don't get the comparison to Hamborger Veermaster. While this one has a smidge of the sweet citrus of HV, it goes beyond that. Marble Kake is much deeper, broader and more complex. Rubbing it out was fairly simple. I'm going to experiment more with this one when I get more to experiment with, but fully rubbed out worked very well. The flavor was deep. Rather than HV, this did remind me of another blend I'd smoked in the past but I couldn't recall which. So I cheated and read some of the other reviews. Mr Big nailed it with C&D "Briar Fox". But that one didn't hit me as hard as this one. Marble Kake is a mellow-spirited, faintly sweet and rich tasting VA that improves down the bowl. It can tolerate a bit heavier puffing cadence and never loses its cool. No heavy nicotine here, this is something that could be smoked all day long and never become tiresome or monochrome.

I've smoked a lot of Russ' blends. Some I didn't care for, some I liked and even a couple that I thought were 4 star blends. But this is the first one that so distinguished itself that I thought "Man, if I had to, I could give up every other blend in this genre". This is that good. If you're a virginia lover, this is a must try. Just let me get my order in first! 🙂
28 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 01, 2014 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
An extremely light dark fruit tanginess, wood and earth from the red Virginia works well with the others, which offer a mellow citrusy sweetness and a tame light citrus note. They also provide a slight grass essence or two that contrasts well with the inherent earthiness, wood, dark fruit and slight floral note of the brown Virginia. The Kake in the tin is more like thick strips of a pure mild to medium Virginia blend with no topping. The strips break apart with ease, allowing for a very smooth and even moderately paced burn with virtually no moisture at the finish. Needs an average number of relights. Has a pleasant after taste. It's not a complex blend, and the nic-hit is mild. Won't bite, and has few rough edges. Can be a starter blend for those trying out straight Virginias. The experienced smoker might feel it lacks some depth compared to stronger Va. offerings, but may also welcome a lighter change of pace. I imagine this blend will age exceptionally well when cellared.

26 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 03, 2014 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I enjoy cereal and buy numerous and different types and blends every time I'm shopping and the ubiquitous "cereal" is on the list. I've had countless boxes and bags in my cupboard over the years (you see, I'm sure, where this is going) containing clusters, different fruits, honey, nuts, seeds, presentations of oats, bran, wheat, multi-grains and the like. With all that, sometimes I just want a big bowl of Corn Flakes. To me, Marble Kake = the Corn Flakes of my tobacco array. Pease tonight? Nah. Dunhills are a good idea? Not in the mood. Sam's flakes of one great sort or another? Too much work. Escudo, Presbyterian, a Peterson, Black House, Davidoff Flake Medallions, other medallions, MacBaren Old Dark Fired? Just had some, too much, too little, who knows? Hard to decide. But I really want to smoke. Maybe I'll think it over with some Marble Kake. I forgot how easy it is to break this stuff. Tin note is so simple and pleasing -- pure VA hay/citrus/baked bread. Hell, almost smells like Corn Flakes. Wow, it lights as nicely as the last (100) bowls I've had of this uncomplicated bit of VA "try it you'll like it" tobacco. No thanks, I don't feel like pepper or fruit or BBQ sauce or smoke on my cereal. These Corn Flakes are really hitting the spot. Maybe when I'm done, if I'm still peckish, I'll have something with a few more flavor profiles. Coffee coated muesli? Or, hey -- I'm the maker of my own destiny -- maybe I'll just have some more of those Corn Flakes. They're leaving such a rich and rewarding taste (not too sweet, not too lemony and not too spicy) I'll probably have room for another bowl. Why not? Recommended to all those who like Corn Flakes and don't believe that simplicity well executed cannot peacefully co-exist with complex sophistication and satisfaction.
Pipe Used: billiars and bent dublins
PurchasedFrom: pipesandcigars
Age When Smoked: 18 months
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 11, 2011 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
Russ Ouellette is continually proving himself to be remarkably talented as a master blender of fine tobaccos. Marble Kake is another fine example of his work. One of very few true Krumble Kake Virginias on the market today, Marble Cake will satisfy those who like a deeper flavor from their Virginia leaf without the added nicotine strength. A little on the airy side in that department, but the flavor of sweet taste with true depth really comes through with this one.
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 27, 2015 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
The Marble Kake I have been smoking was jarred for two years. That has to have some impact on the taste and smoking experience, so it seems appropriate to mention. It came a little drier than I like Virginias and I humidified it a little. I have been smoking it rubbed out.

This is a very good Virginia blend with no topping that I can discern. It is slightly sweet and sometimes has tart or citrus notes. It was an easy smoke and the sweet became more prominent as I smoked through a bowl. I like this a lot, and recommend it.

It is not a bomb, and it is not especially complex. It is good though, and if you like Virginias, I predict this one will suit you.
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 04, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
I received a good sample of this from a friend of mine. It was good and reminded me a lot of Best brown Flake by Sam Gawith in the way it tastes, but not in form, cut or performance.

I love BBF and I did love the taste of this, but the cut of this one has me holding this one at three stars. It is too tasty to get two stars. Here was my problems with it. Normally, I love a kake. A simple squeeze at a portion of the cake, usually leads to a crumbling of easy packing pieces. This one is different. The pieces are in more of a fish food flake cut and come off as shards that need to be pulled apart.

This also makes packing the bowl somewhat odd and it usually takes about a third of the bowl before it is burning good. At least this is my experience, YMMV.

As for taste. It is wonderful. It is grassy sweet with a good bit of earthy body to it. It is sweet, but doesn't leave you wanting a bowl of something else. A really tasty Virginia, but it is so close in taste to SG BBF, that I will likely stick with the latter for my own rotation.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 13, 2019 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Hearth & Home - Marble Kake (Signature Series).

Every pipe smoker knows that 'wow' feeling that pops up every now and then. When a blend makes you practically cataleptic with it's brilliance! Well, that is the situation, for me, with this. I haven't smoked 'Veermaster for years so can't draw a juxtaposition, or compare the two.

Mine was supplied in a bulk pouch from Tobaccopipes.com. I suspect this may have adjusted the presentation of the blend compared to the tinned version! I see many different sizes and cuts of kake, from small broken ribbons right up to some large flat slithers. The bigger pieces are an even split between dark and bright Virginias. The level of hydration's perfect, but again, the loose pouch may have 'interfered' and it might be different in the tin!

The smoke has lots of Virginia complexity. The brighter, fresher, grassy flavours come through more at the start of a bowl. The smoke takes on more of a tart, fruity, tang after the first quarter; from here on the red Va's are the driving force for Mable Kake. The burn and mechanics are faultless: even, steady, slow, cool and free from 'bite.

Nicotine: just below medium. Room-note: quite potent for a Virginia, but nice.

Marble Kake? This is what pipe smoking's about! Highly recommended:

Four stars.
Pipe Used: Neerup
PurchasedFrom: Tobaccopipes.com
Age When Smoked: New
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 30, 2005 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
This interesting bulk offering from Pipes & Cigars' Hearth and Home Series is certainly noteworthy if for nothing else than the nifty form factor. My 4oz sample arrived as two large flat square slabs of tobacco resembling aspenite particle board more than anything else.

The pouch aroma is slightly sweet with a clove-like spicy note and some grassy tones.

It is easy to tear chunks from a slab and they break up into spongy pieces of leaf. The texture is more akin to pressed leaf rather hard flakes. The description of bright and red virginias seems appropriate and there seems to be about an equal proportion of each present. Once broken up its consistency is very much similar to a ribbon cut, although it breaks up into approximately 13mm diameter flakes with many smaller constituents of varying sizes. It is a simple matter to carve slices from the soft cake with a razor blade in any case, and the bowl I am currently smoking was prepared in this manner and is exhibiting excellent flavor characteristics.

Moisture content was close to optimal for this sample, unlike some other pressed tobaccos, this one is not so tightly compacted that it traps excessive moisture. No doubt this tobacco would be a good candidate for some aging experiments and considering the plug format's inherent resistance to oxidation this blend could likely easily withstand many years of aging.

The broken up cake packs easily and lights well. According to my wife, "Its smells like burning wood or something. Its smells ok." She hates cigarette smoke, tolerates cigars, and loves the smell of pipes and especially latakia, so thats where she stands.

I find the taste to be good but somewhat mild; however, I am used to smoking those unsmokable virginias which tend to leave one's tongue sizzling for hours, so mild to me might be pretty strong for you. The flavor in this blend seems to stick in the middle range of virginia flavor without much for high notes but some bass notes. A citrusy aspect is missing, there is a subtle sweetness initially but it gradually fades into a deeper flavor. The blend does not impart an overly zingy glow to your mouth like many virginias, although the effect is present. Instead the flavor develops into somewhat of a tangy and possibly leathery or woody flavor, and delicious slightly bitter hints occasionally peek through. I guess that nutty describes the overall combination of flavors somewhat in a natural tobacco kind of way.

I would say that this reminds me something of Montgomery in its flavor profile, although its definately completely different from any other straight virginia that I have ever smoked this far. I like the flavors, and they present a tobacco taste that I have long sought but not found prior to this.

For a virginia, this is not a very bitey tobacco. Some of my favorite virginias are flavor and nicotine bombs which can leave one's mouth a chemical wasteland unless smoked with extreme caution. With virginias you often trade flavor against bite, but this particular blend still provides significant flavor while keeping bite to a minimum. In this respect, this is a virginia that can be a go-to smoke or possibly an all day smoke, which is an excellent quality for a bulk tobacco blend.

This is definately a solid bulk virginia bordering on greatness. I have upgraded it to four stars after smoking it for a week and getting used to it. I plan on getting more of this... lots more.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 17, 2016 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
I have been trying a few Virginia tobaccos & flakes lately. I got a tin of H&H Marble Kake in a Virginia Step Ladder Sampler. I was confused when I opened the tin, it looked like a 1/4" thick crosscut flake. After enjoying a few bowls, I decided to buy some bulk on my next order & received a chunk of kake. I tried a bowl before jarring it & decided either way you slice it, this tobacco is an awesome smoke!

The tobacco is a little dry compared to other flakes I've tried. This to me is a good thing, you can rub it out straight from the tin without dry time. It breaks up into small flakes & chunks which burn quite nicely. I packed it a little too full 1st couple times & had it expand making an interesting start to the smoke.

The tin note is grassy/hay-like with a slight tang to it from the red virginia. The taste is a nice mild sweetness with that deeper bit of flavor that you smell in the tin note. It's not real tangy, but just enough to add a little something more in the taste department. It's a good smooth all day smoke that's not real heavy on the nicotine & no lingering aftertaste.
Pipe Used: Rossi 8320 & MM cobs
PurchasedFrom: pipesandcigars.com
Age When Smoked: fresh to couple months
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 25, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
So my taste has so far been notorious for finding straight Virginias mild and not worth my time. Due to hearing many others swear by them, I continue to try some here and there with little satisfaction. Once in a blue moon, I find one...and this was one. What a pleasure to smoke this tobacco. The flavor was great and it smoke straight through with no issues apor tongue bite (and I puff like a train). Good job Hearth and Home! Will order more and mark as favorite.
3 people found this review helpful.
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