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

3.13 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 21 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
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
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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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 29, 2012 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Stopped by P&C the other day to find something different from the usual ARO that I smoke. Really wanted to try a Va, and this is what they recommended. Brought home a sample. After reading the reviews, I wasn't quite sure what I had gotten myself into. What a great surprise!! This is wonderful! For a VA, this has some very nice sweetness, and good aroma. It's a bit of a challenge to rub out, but your rewarded with a tobacco, that lights well, and stays lit. If others experience bite, I never found it. It was gentle on the tongue, and easy on the nose. First part of the bowl is light and grassy, but as you smoke down the bowl, the flavors get sweeter and more complex, but always mild. As you get to the bottom of the bowl, it keeps you wanting more.

Being an ARO smoker, this is a really nice change of pace. This could be a very nice everyday smoke, for VA lovers or new pipe smokers.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 15, 2011 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I wasn't too sure if this tobacco would be my thing as straight Virginia's are not always at the top of my list so I just received a sample. This review would be based on that rather than the normal full tin I try to smoke before any review. With that in mind all I can say is WOW this is a good Virginia tobacco! My Kake was a broken into smaller pieces. When rubbed out the moisture leval is perfect. This tobacco appears in the pouch as mostly light pieces and the scent was a bit winey. I put "none detected" in the flavor box, but there was a slight stickiness that could be simply from the pressing of the tobacco. I'm not sure. I tend to be a bit of a "puffer" so I need a Virginia that is forgiving and Marble Kake is such a blend as it did not bite me, even when pushed a little. Marble Kake is sweet and when sipped, really sweet! (Not in a cased way). The sweetness remains throughout the bowl even though it grows more complex throughout. Many Virginia's are nuanced and subtle, Marble Kake is much more bold IMHO. I can only imagine what a couple of years in the cellar will bring to the blend. I'll be picking up a pound to find out! Highly Recommended!
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 06, 2019 Very Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable
The presentation is one soft plug and rubbed out it looks like cereal flakes of raw leaves of tobacco. My 4 oz bag came a little on the dry side but the humidity in my neck of the woods is rehydrating it in the jar . This is a very natural tobacco with barely any casing and needs to be sipped slowly or it could bite . I like to light this type , tamp down and come back to it a couple hours later as the flavor simmers . It gets better down the bowl . It runs the gamut of Virginia flavors . Grassy and hay then citrus and some baked bread and a wee bit of brown sugar . I get a little honey , maybe from the casing ? Another taste I cannot put my finger on . I like it a lot for a straight natural Virginia! I am going to light a bowl tonight, tamp down and then smoke this in the morning. Gets better with every bowl ! A little apricot also . I really think it tastes like maybe maple syrup ? 4 stars
Edit 11/8/19 - After smoking about 4 oz of this i am finding that my ph or whatever doesn’t agree with it (tongue bite ) . I read a lot of other reviews and it seems most smokers say the opposite. I love the damn taste of this though . I starting mixing this now and it goes nicely with some latakia and no bite now . I will experiment as i have some left . May buy more as a Virginia base tobacco for mixing ? Still deserves 4 stars
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 15, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
My 1 oz sample is at the perfect moisture. The bag smells mildly sweet with a little raisin and a slight bread note. It crumbles and packs well. Thru the 1st and 2nd third I get a deep and creamy semi sweet flavor. Very similar to McClellands 5100. The last third is what is different for me. The flavor changes to something very similar to a C&D blend. Almost like Oak Alley but sharp and it gets rough. Not necessarily a bad thing but I believe some aging will improve this blend very well. Burns surprisingly cool and dry down to a gray ash.

Next I loaded a bowl but left it in a solid chunk. Sprinkled some loose bits on top to help fire it off. This is much better in my opinion. It has a nice creamy sweetness but starts getting a very pronounced Virginia spiciness. Burns cool and down to a gray ash.

It does hold true. Depending on how you prep it will determine the flavors. Very nice blend.

Update 6/11/19 I purchased half a pound and aged it for 8 months before running out of my second 2 oz sample. The jar aroma is like levi garret or red man chew now. I didn't realize before of how chunky the tobacco cut is. It's an almost ideal blend to repress, age and cut into flakes. Also didn't realize how moist it was too. But despite the moisture, I doesn't require any drying time. It burn pretty evenly all the way down. Flavor wise I haven't noticed a change between being aged or fresh. Still has that spicy sweet creaminess. Nothing like any other Virginia I've had from Hearth and Home. All the rest seem to crap out half way through the bowl. Still a highly recommended blend in my book.

6-22-23 Cracked open a jar from 2021 and I'm disappointed. Outside of the tart and tangy side, this batch is very bland. No spice, very little sweetness and just a cheap overall flavor. My 2018 batch is far more superior.
1 person found this review helpful.
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