Hearth & Home AJ's VaPer

A Virginia/perique consisting of red Virginias combined with a generous portion of perique and some Green River black Cavendish.


Brand Hearth & Home
Series Signature Series
Blended By Russ Ouellette, Andrew AJ Smith
Manufactured By Sutliff Tobacco Company
Blend Type Virginia/Perique
Contents Black Cavendish, Perique, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 2 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

3.24 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 19 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 24, 2006 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
Having a hand in the creation of this blend, I am obviously partial in judging the qualities of this smoke. I therefore will not over sing it's praises, but just present my impressions and let you be the judge.

This is an unadutered blend with pure tobacco flavor. The dry tang of red virginias weave in and out with the spicy fruit of perique and the mild brown sugar/cocoa of the unflavored Green River Cavendish. This is not an aromatic; it's a virginia/perique (VaPer) in the strongest sense. In a wide bowled pot or apple, the treble notes seem more pronounced and the red virginias sing, whereas in a narrow bowled billiard or dublin, the deeper bass notes of fruit and earth seem to dominate. This blend was made for aging, and a few months or more in a mason jar makes me wonder why I smoke anything else.

As with any dry VaPer, do not overpuff and get the tobacco roasting. That technique can produce a bit of a flat ashy taste. Sip, don't chug, and the ever changing flavors and natural sweetness will produce an exciting smoke. This blend dominates my smoking time. As a comparision, my other favorite blends include Haddo's Delight, Bayou Morning, Bayou Morning Flake, Three Friars, Cumberland, Stratford, Virginia Spice, Louisiana Red, Best Brown Flake, and Full Virginia Flake. Enjoy.

25 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 28, 2009 Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
I'm really beginning to respect Russ' talents as a blender. I've smoked several of his blends over the last month and I'm very impressed. Where another well-known (and highly hyped) blender's offerings leave me decidedly cold, the Ouellette blends are using a similar recipe and staking a claim to ownership of the Vaper market, in my humble opinion. That's talent. Who the heck IS this guy???

This one is a heavily spicy rendition of Vaper and hits the mark squarely dead center. A tasty concoction that is nearly the equal of any Vaper out there - and that is saying a lot! This is the second of Russ' blends to make my regular rotation (Classic Burley Kake being the other) and if you love Vaper's, you MUST try this. Ages wonderfully.
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 08, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Since first being introduced to this blend through a pipes&cigars sampler years ago I have been through pounds of this stuff. Opening a fresh bag of bulk or popping the top on a sealed mason jar has become one of my greatest pleasure. The aroma is slightly sweet and a bit tangy with undertones of peppery fruitiness--hard to describe but pleasant just the same.

Aj's VaPer packs right whether loading pinches or by just dragging the bowl through the pouch. I prefer this a bit drier than it comes in the bag so I'll air it for a few minutes before loading, giving me a while longer to enjoy the aroma. However, the moisture level is certainly fine as it comes in the bulk bag. The tinned version tends to be too moist for me and requires more of a drying time. I much prefer the bulk version.

This is my preferred morning smoke although I do enjoy it all day. The spicy, tangy sweetness present at the first light is quite satisfying. The tobacco lights and burns easily and smokes cooly all the way to the bottom of the bowl. As the bowl progresses the blend becomes richer and mellower, perhaps (as has been suggested in other reviews) due to a stoving effect. Although I enjoy this in all types of pipes I find it is most rewarding in narrower, deeper bowls than in something more open like a pot or saucer.

The characteristics of this blend are different from other VaPers I have smoked. It has far more perique (and nicotine) than Luxury Navy Flake. The virginias are far sweeter than those in McClelland's 2015. The smoke is much smoother than C & D's Bayou Morning. The unsweetened cavendish planes off the rough edges present in H & H's Louisiana Red (another of my favorites).

Whenever I order Aj's VaPer in bulk I immediately transfer it to mason jars and seal them. I always try to save a few jars for aging (sometimes unsuccessfully--I tend to get into them far too soon). From a three year old jar this stuff is really amazing. I just wish I could keep my hands off of it. Maybe I just need to order more at a time.

Sounds like a good idea!

Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Various briars and cobs
PurchasedFrom: pipes&cigars.com
Age When Smoked: from bulk; some jarred for three years
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 02, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Hearth & Home - AJ's VaPer (Signature Series).

I've found most of the H&H blends I've had have arrived too dry, not this one though, it's perfect. It's a medium size ribbon, and also medium in colour: a medium brown, with a very small amount of black specks.

The smoke is right up my street: lots of Perique! The Cavendish gives a nice honey-sweetness which really accomplishes the flavour, and rounds it off. After the first half the smoke develops a fruitiness: not like a casing, just like a riper Virginia. I do find myself having to puff with ease otherwise A.J. can bite me a bit. The burn's very reliable and the temperature of the smoke's not particularly warm.

The nicotine's medium, and the room-note's peasant.

An easy rating..... four stars.

Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Mastro Cascia
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: Five months
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 18, 2014 Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I usually smoke aromatics, but wanted to try a VaPer and this one got good reviews. Smoked a number of bowls over several weeks. The description that springs to mind is Fresh Ground Black Pepper. The taste is strong start to finish with few, if any, relights. No bite at all. Might try some other VaPers at some point, but frankly, this one is so good, I may just stick with it.
Pipe Used: Savinelli 413KS, Savinelli Lolita, Jirsa Poker
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 28, 2013 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
Please sip this one s-l-o-w-l-y. If you puff this one without care, it will be dry and ashy and you will not enjoy it. That is what I did at first and was initially turned off by the blend. Then I read AJ’s (the creator of the blend) recommended method of smoking it (see oldest review of this blend). You really need to smoke this like a temperamental Virginia. When you tug on it almost imperceptively, you unlock the secret door to another world. Now you enter the rich world of beefsteak red Virginia carefully blended with a delicious perique and Cavendish compliment. The mild Cavendish really plays an important balancing role and is what helps to make this VaPer blend so enjoyable. A blend with body, it has thick smoke and good mouth feel. Stays lit, burns quickly to a small amount of dark grey ash. No dottle and leaves the bowl dry, what a delight. Another good point about this dryish tobacco is that you can smoke the same pipe for 2 to 3 sessions without needing to rest it. I would guess it has about 15% perique.
Pipe Used: straight billiard, Rhodesian
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 09, 2021 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
There are some tobacco tins that seem to take me forever to finish. Obviously, I'm not so attracted to reach out and smoke them. Rather than putting them in the back of a cabinet, I leave them around, just to give them another chance.

AJ's VaPer is the exact opposite of that. It's a blend that I wish I had more set aside because I'm finishing it before I even started. I keep reaching out to it and I enjoy every smoke with no reservations. Why can't they all be AJ's?

I love Russ Ouellette's Virginia blends, alongside Sutliff's, which are very similar in my opinion. They have this rich mature Virginia taste with a bit of wine/vinegar feel. And AJ's showcase the same base. Immediately, the leading flavor is this beautiful lemon zest and orange sweetness. Despite the description, the amount of Perique is not "generous" but spot on. Maybe even room for a tiny bit more. It adds great spiciness to the blend without overwhelming it. Just a perfect balanced blend. This sweet/sour fruity spice might explain my recent obsession with Chinese food for breakfast.

It comes pretty dry, perfect for packing. Smokes easy and cool, although a bit fast. No relights necessary and no tongue bite. The flavor is constant. It has just the right level of complexity to not overwhelm while at the same time can be a great all-day smoke.

Medium-full body, mild-medium in strength.

I'm finishing the 2oz that I ordered. Next time it's going to be a pound of this one. In this pace, AJ might not have enough of his own blend left.
Pipe Used: Medium-size Billiards
PurchasedFrom: pipesandcigars.com
Age When Smoked: New
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 03, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Russ has been recognized as one of the greatest latakia/balkan blenders in our time, but he does even better in Vaper category IMHO. The tin note of AJ's reminds me of McC's vinegar smell with deep sweet cavendish breeze. Very easy packing and lighting, it stays lit to the end. The sweetness in AJ's comes from various departments with high, medium and bass notes. Compare with similar blends such as Marlin Flake and PS bulleyes, this is more complex and interesting. I thought Viprati is the best Vaper blend I've had, but Russ surprised me again. They are both Vaper but show very different flavors, and they are both the greatest in my book.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 02, 2017 Medium Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant
I always try save some of all tobaccos purchased to enjoy later, try is the goal, doesn't always happen. This time it did. The blender from P& C in my opinion is on the verge of greatness . This blend will atest to this as I find this to be a sleeper . It is good straight from the tin, a citrus aroma greets you instantly,comes through while smoking along with some very mild spice . This my first Vaper blend ever , I was foolish to wait .

Age turns this into a most enjoyable smoke, I like best while driving , calms me down keeps me focused

Has a mild to medium nic hit, burns dry with no moisture in bowl little dottle if any and same taste thru out the bowl. If you like the combo of Vaper try this if you haven't.

Not my go I enjoy more has a treat, but that's me you very well may like for a daily smoke. Enjoy and sip away.
Pipe Used: Clay and briars
PurchasedFrom: Smoking pipes, who else?
Age When Smoked: Fresh and two years
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 15, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Of all the VaPers that I've tried thus far, AJ's VaPer is one of my absolute favorites. This delicious blend is unbelievably smooth and balanced. The virginias impart a slight tang and sweetness that plays perfectly with the plum and delicate spice of the perique, while the cavendish adds depth and smoothness. Apart from the aforementioned, one can clearly discern diminutive notes of cocoa from the cavendish, as mentioned by AJ. Do yourself a favor and opt to buy the 8 oz tin. This is a great blend to enjoy with your morning coffee or all day if you choose. Four stars.
Pipe Used: MM Cob and briars
PurchasedFrom: pipesandcigars.com
Age When Smoked: 1 year
1 person found this review helpful.
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