Hearth & Home Fusilier's Ration

Russ Ouellette's interpretation of the classic Bengal Slices contains Cyprian latakia, Oriental leaf, bright Virginias and a hint of unflavored black cavendish. Lightly scented and hot pressed.


Brand Hearth & Home
Series Marquee Series
Blended By Russ Ouelette
Manufactured By Sutliff Tobacco Company
Blend Type English
Contents Black Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Flavoring Other / Misc
Cut Krumble Kake
Packaging 1.76 ounce tin weight
Country Unknown
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.21 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 23 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 16, 2015 Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
The Cyprian Latakia is smoky, earthy, musty, woody sweet as the lead component. The Oriental/Turkish are very smoky, woody, earthy, herbal, vegetative, leathery, and a little floral and spicy, all of which are noticeable in every puff as a supporting player. The Virginias are grassy with a little tart and tangy citrus, earth and wood, and a touch of tangy dark fruit, and is just above being a condiment. I get just a little cocoa, which may come from a pinch of Kentucky, though that ingredient isn't noted in the description. Sometimes, it can come from a Turkish varietal. The unflavored black cavendish helps smooth out the rough edges with some sugary creaminess. I'm not sure about the topping, but I sort of got anise and bourbon notes from it. The fermentation this blend undergoes in the processing causes a little of that (and/or rum) type of sweet flavor, which makes it hard to identify the topping. While the vanilla and other sweet flavors keep this from being a Lat-bomb, this blend has enough strength for most experienced English smokers while being light enough on the nicotine to be a repeatable smoke during the day. It's not an all day smoke though. The strength and nic-hit are medium. The taste is a couple of steps past that mark. Burns clean, cool and slow as a krumble cake will do with no dull or harsh spots. Won't bite, but sports a few small rough edges. The blend is complex and well balanced so that you taste all the nuances in every puff to the finish. Leaves very little moisture in the bowl, though I find stirring up the tobacco in the last quarter of the bowl helps to burn it to a satisfactory finish. Requires some relights. Has a very pleasant, lingering after taste and stronger room note. Not an all day smoke.

68 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 16, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
A favorite blend of mine; Fusilier's Ration is a really flavorful smoke with deep, rich flavor from top to bottom. In fact, the further down the bowl I go the more intense the flavor. I switched from a U to V shaped bowl for all of my FR smokes for this very reason. I've smoked a ton of the Danish made Bengal Slices and some of the English. Fusilier's Ration is fuller in flavor and flavor varience than both and I suspect that with more aging, would compete favorably with the old English version of Bengal.
46 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 23, 2012 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
Russ came on a pipe forum I belong to and posted about this as a tobacco reminiscent of Bengal Slices. I used to love fresh Bengal, so I jumped on it. I can't really compare the two, since it's been so long, and aged tins of the original haven't fared so well for me.

This comes as multiple pressed bars of tobacco (rather than flakes), probably a 5 on a scale of 1-10 for breakability. Once you get it rubbed out, it burns easily. Excellent tin aroma, heavy on the oriental and latakia and a nice underlying sweetness. This sweet taste doesn't take center stage but it's evident in every puff, and elevates this blend beyond the ordinary. I loved the previous reviewer's "smoky fruits and nutty sweets" comment, and he is spot on. This tobacco runs the gamut of flavors and nails each one. Nothing overwhelms, it all just melds together in this wonderful opus of chewy, mouthfilling goodness. Even so, the complexity level doesn't demand the smokers attention, but sits back and rewards the thoughtful puffer. I get sweet coffee notes and some dark chocolate as well as some plums and hazelnut, and even a hint of mulled cider. Didn't notice any overabundance of nicotine. Highly recommended for anyone that enjoys latakia and orientals AND has a bit of a sweet tooth.
33 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 24, 2013 Medium to Strong Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Fusilier's Ration is a piece of work! Here is a blend that separates the master blender from the amateur, the artist from the painter. I was instantly intrigued when I first heard of this blend as it was inspired by, and sought to emulate the long departed Bengal Slices, of which I had smoked many a little black tin back in the eighties. The result is simply amazing and unlike anything else I've found available at this present date. Upon lighting up, while certainly not "The Original Celebrated Bengal Slices" of yore, nor yet as greasy, it was indeed fondly familiar to the olfactory memory of my mind.

This is a most pleasant and tasty smoke with a tantalizing seductiveness imparted by way of some floral topping. At the first answer of my nose, I could almost think cherry blossoms atop licorice, but oh no, this is English, right? Yes it is! Gone however is the heavy room note of the original which, while floral, could gag a camel in a latakia smokehouse. (Which was what set Bengal Slices apart back in the day.)

This is a crumble cake of course, and not sliced like the original; and if you want to complain about having to break it up, don't buy it because that's what you do with crumble cake. To me this only adds dimension to the experience... a time to anticipate the coming pleasure.

However, the smoking experience aside, what surprised me most was that the morning-after smell was almost non-existent. No, I was not surprised, I was shocked. And better yet, the nicotine was light and it had no bite, even after three back-to-back pipefuls. If you like exotic oriental, latakia blends, I think you will be delightfully pleased with this one. I am definitely buying more before the word gets out!
28 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 13, 2017 Mild None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Hearth & Home - Fusilier's Ration.

Krumble Kake can often as not be a vague description. At one end of the scale are the likes of Cornell & Diehl's Black Frigate: one solid block, yet the spectrum also covers things like Bengal Slices: slithers of kake. This is the same construction as the latter. When I took off the lid and looked at the blend I had a little trepidation at first, the pieces had all stuck together, but when I pulled one away to be crumbled I realized it wasn't actually that damp, it had just stuck to the others in transit.

With a smoke like this, similarly to Bengal Slices, I get all of the English nuances (smoky, grassy, a slight tartness, with some hay), only they're toned down and kept in line by the black Cavendish. This makes it seem almost like a crossover between a beginners blend and one for experienced pipers. On a whole, the smoke is quite deep, really tasty, and fairly thick; remaining cool and bite-free for the entire duration.

To me the nicotine seems mild, and the room-note's fairly heavy; I quite like it, but I fear a few folks would find it too much.

The rating of Fusilier's Ration couldn't be any easier:

Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Levent Meerschaum
PurchasedFrom: 4noggins.com
Age When Smoked: One nmonth
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 30, 2013 Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
I don't know what the topping is on this stuff, but it adds a dimension to the many English Blends (I've had the pleasure to smoke thus far), that at least for me, after some time, can get a bit repetitive. I found this blend to be a wonderful treat and deviation from my traditional English Blends rounds. This may sound strange, but it falls into line with another recent blend I have come to love. Froggy in the Cellar (McClelland's Frog Morton In The Cellar). I find both of these blends similar, at least to my tongue, which I haven't been able to say that about any other blends in this category. I love them both and they will be in my regular rotation. Great job again Russ!

I have picked up several more tins after this review.
Pipe Used: Bent Billard, Dublin, Egg, Acorn
PurchasedFrom: Pipesandcigars.come
Age When Smoked: New from store - 1-2 years
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 11, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Opened up the tin, and wondered what I had gotten myself into. I have other crumble cakes, but this one arrives in a squat 1 and a half ounce tin with the cakes strangely stacked. Broke it apart poorly, but the scent is mesmerizing for sure. Latakia just calls out to you from within. Following a little work to pack it (I am a neophyte of a few months to the pipe world) I put it to the lighter. FANTASTIC- right out of the gate. Smooth and sweet with that smoky goodness I love so much. I have read quite a bit about the Bengal Slices, but I dont expect I will ever get a taste- so I am ecstatic that this option is out there. Gonna head on over and get a few more tins in stock right now, because I dont want to lose the chance to keep this one in the rotation. So pleased with this.
Pipe Used: Tinsky Author
PurchasedFrom: P&C
Age When Smoked: Probably too fresh from the tin
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 05, 2016 Medium Mild Full Pleasant
This is a 4 out of 4. No brainer... earthy, musty, chocolate mocha, vanilla, mushrooms, briny peat, and sweet.. like a nice silky oyster stout. I'll leave it to JimInks for descriptions of the components as he did it better than I could. Smooth and smoky from the Latakia and spicy enough in the background to stay interesting. This will be in the rotation for years to come.
Age When Smoked: 1 year
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 24, 2015 Very Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
Well...another outstanding blend from Russ O. My gosh is this good...almost better than golf!! LOL. I am sorry to say I have never had the opportunity to try the original blend that this blend was created to emulate...but I sure wish I was able to. The initial opening is just a wonderful smell of deep, rich Latakia. Just a wonderful aroma. I have several tobacco grinders of different diameter. I used a 2.5" wide teakwood on this. It came just a tad dry in the tin for my liking...no harm no foul. It did break apart easily though so I laid 2 strips side by side in the grinder and gave it a spin. If you prepare it this way you can pack it slightly tighter than you normally would. Puff slow though...it won't burn the tongue but the bowl will get hot. It burns nice and slow. I can't believe how smooth this blend is. I normally don't inhale...but I inhaled this and not a bit...I say again...not a bit of harshness at all... even at the end of the bowl. You get more of a kick if you just exhale thru the nose. And what a flavorful kick it is!! I tend to be a puffer and I still got no bite whatsoever!! This is a masterpiece. I love latakia...and this contains the perfect amount for my taste. The Oriental and Turkish gives it just the right amount of tang and balance. And it becomes sweeter and sweeter as you approach the end of the bowl. I think this is due to the Virginia. And the Cavendish is the perfect binder that holds all of this blend together. I don't taste the Virginia. But I believe that is where the sweetness comes in. I am not a Virginia fan...so I think it was perfectly blended into this blend. That says a lot! I have smoked many English/Balkan blends and so far....this is the BEST. Just a masterpiece of blending skill!! Thanks Russ!!! I think I just found my favorite blend!! I would give this blend 50 stars. But the box will only accept 4. Update: The next day I packed Peterson Dunmore 73 and had the same wonderful experience.
Pipe Used: Peterson Killarney B5, Dunmore 73
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Cigars
Age When Smoked: Freshly ordered
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 24, 2015 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
This is another class act from Russ Ouelette. I never smoked the original Bengal Slices, but this is a tasty smoke indeed.

I break it apart / rub out gently and drop two or three of the bigger chunks into the bottom of the bowl to cover the draft hole, then gravity feed the rest and pour the smallest crumbles on top. Packed GENTLY and with a gentle tamp during smoking I get a nice even burn and no need to relight. Don't puff too fast or it can heat up. The blend is slightly sweet, just a touch of spice but not too much, rich with leathery and dusky flavor and nice, dense smoke. To me the topping is only barely discernible and nicely done - just a tinge of fruitiness that adds some dimension and reminds me of the plum ("Pflaume") topping on Peterson University Flake (but without the UF nicotine blast).

The fullness of flavor yet concurrent mellowness of this blend makes it stand out to me as a keeper - will definitely keep some on hand.

My tin came in the traditional 1.76 'pancake' format a la Dunhill. The vacuum seal was impressive. My only complaint is that the paper disk laying directly on the top of tobacco was some kind of glossy black painted or printed material, and the paint (or ink) stuck to the flakes on top. Not wanting to smoke black paint (or varnish or whatever it is) I scraped away and discarded the tobacco that the paint stuck to. Plain paper / parchment would be a better choice for packing here.

All in all an awesome blend and worth keeping stocked. Four stars for sure.
3 people found this review helpful.
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