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 11 - 20 of 23 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 31, 2014 Medium Medium Full Strong
This blend is definitely in my top 5. Which is odd, because I'm a huge fan of black cavendish. However, if you can't sit around a camp fire, then a bowl of this will be a great substitute. It inescapably reminds me of camping, and burns to a fine ash. It comes out of the tin smelling like a legit latakia, but it becomes so much more. I'd recommend it to to anyone even curious about it.
Pipe Used: Baraccini Tulip
PurchasedFrom: pipesandcigars.com
Age When Smoked: 1 month
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 26, 2012 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I just smoked my first bowl of Fusiliers Ration. I can see this blend garnering a cult following. This was probably the most interesting new blend I have smoked in years.

The sample I had was shaped into little bars and rubbed out very easily. I was weary of the Lakeland tag Lord Noble spoke of but it only had the faintest aroma every so often. What I tasted was balls to the wall Orientals. Back in my young days I smoked Turkish nails blended with the same type of tobaccos used in pipe blends. I imagined myself hip smoking cigs out of a tin. I got this taste along with the Virginia sweetness. Sometimes a taste can take you back many years, this evening this happened. It burned down to a tiny dottle and my only complaint it was a bit hot owing to the VAs.

Russ Ouellette IMHO is on to something with this blend. I have no idea if there is any tinkering being done, but I like it the way I received it. I will be purchasing this when it is available for sale. KUDOS to you Russ!!

This was written by me after a few fellas from pipesmagazine.com received samples not knowing what he was trying to recreate. After I was smoking this blend for a few minutes the tastes and smells took me back years ago to when I smoked Bengal Slices. It was after I smoked it I was told, but as I said I had a good idea.

This blend has that subtle smell and a wonderful taste. Myself and a good friend after both smoking the sample and the tin version where banging are heads trying to figure out the topping. I don't think we will find out as I don't believe Russ is telling.

My only complaint is it's not available in 8oz tins or bulk. I am sure that will be coming in the near future.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 22, 2012 Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Very Strong
I jumped on the band wagon right off the bat and ordered two tins of Fusilier's Ration with great expectations. The cans came in accompanied by a small sample. I loaded up a clean meerschaum for the full effect and I was a little let down. The smoke was good but not great. I was thinking "there are so many different flavors my taste buds are confused!" This seemed to be an overly-complex smoke.

Well, you should never judge a new blend based on the first smoke. I let the sample sit for a few days and went back to it the second time. Wow! What a difference a few days make. Yes, the blend is complex, but now it isn't overly-so. I think this may be the strongest Latakia blend I've tasted to date but it is a wonderful flavor. There is a sweetness to the smoke that is both pleasant during and afterwards. My palate is not near as refined as some of my fellow pipers but each sip seemed to bring a different flavor to bare. There were smokey fruits and nutty sweets. I almost sensed chocolate and maybe a little mocha but they flitted away with the next puff only to peek in again later.

I could go on an on about this work of art and I'm sure as time passes others will make a much better description. For myself, I highly recommend Fusilier's Ration and I look forward to popping a tin for a full investigation. 🙂

(By the way, don't leave FR sitting open in your study. The smoked aroma is very permeating!)
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 04, 2017 Mild Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
Way to go Russ! I never smoked the original Bengal Slices so I cannot comment on how well this blend emulates the original however I can say unreservedly this is the BEST Cyprian Latakia blend I have ever smoked. Upon opening the tin there is a definite Latakia presence but also a subtle sweetness perhaps from the Cavendish and the Virginian leaf. The preparation requires some effort but this is just useful to increase your anticipation of how good a smoke you are about to have. Once lit the smokey Latakia is dominant but after several minutes of relaxed puffing (it is important not to push this tobacco into a big hot coal in your pipe) the orientals become noticeable and I believe contribute quite a bit to the very enjoyable room aroma. This IMHO is one of the finest room aromas of all the Latakia blends I have experienced. The description indicates some top dressing has been pressed into the blend but I could not discern any particular flavor but perhaps it helps in the sweetness component which is present to a degree I have not found in other English blends (Bill Baileys comes to mind) and although the latakia remains the most dominant of the components throughout the bowl it is not a Lat Bomb. I would like to stress again that gentle puffing is the order as the slower I puffed on this the better it tasted. That said really slow puffing can require 3 or 4 relights to get through a large bowl. Also, it seems best in a larger bowl than in a smaller bowl but perhaps that is simply the result of a smaller bowl not holding enough of the tobacco such that the smoke is over just as you are really settling into the flavor changes that one experiences with this blend. The blend burns to a clean ash with very little moisture to be found at bowls bottom and does not ghost the pipe. I initially purchased one tin as I was both captured by the name and the tobacco description. Since I can determine my own "ration" for this tobacco by the time I was 2/3 of the way through that tin I ordered four more and stashed three to see how it ages, I'm smoking tin # 2 right now. If you have been put off by some Latakia blends because of room note or some degree of mustiness beyond your tolerance you really should give this a try it might just be the right mix of sweet and smokey that will light your fire.
Pipe Used: Musico bulldog, Brigham 5 dot, Castello billiard
PurchasedFrom: Pipes & Cigars
Age When Smoked: new
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 09, 2015 Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This is easily the best tobacco to come from Russ. I'm told it resembles Bengal Slices, but I've never had that. It's tough to get lit, but burns like a tire fire once properly ignited. The only fault is that it's only available in 50gm tins. 8oz tins or bulk would be great.
Pipe Used: Cob & briar
PurchasedFrom: P&C
Age When Smoked: Fresh
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 05, 2023 Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
Tin note : chocolatey, incense, fragrant, get some spices, cinnamon, cardamon. I also get a lot of soil, garden and muddy notes. Also some brewed coffee notes. The tin note really pulls you in. So, from the start you know you are into something good.

Room note : tolerable. Since it’s Latakia blend, it can definitely ick some people off. From my experience, no one has complained while I smoked through this tin.

Strength : a lil low past the medium, repeatable throughout the day.

Tongue bites : no tongue bite, smokes relatively cool. Will get hot if you push it.

Mechanics : it’s a crumble kake, though it’s easy to rub out and easy to light and keeps lit relatively well.

Flavour profile : I get smoky, fragrant and incense like notes probably from the Latakia. But it does not completely take over the other components as there seems to be some floral notes which may be coming from the oriental. The Virginia comes through with its sweet, citrusy notes having hints of lime and orange, however I get a lot of grape and blackcurrant notes which may be from the Virginia.

Personal notes : this blend really reminds me of my time in the national service in the army while I was 18. Reminds me of simpler times where I mostly smoked Latakia blends such as 965, nightcap, frog Morton, erinmore latakia supreme and Ashton artisan blend.

This is generally what I would love to have in an English blend.

Will I buy this again : yes! This tin has been a 4 star smoke! Ideally I would love to have atleast 2 of these at any given moment. Though I did not mean to age it for 5 years. Aging this blend for five years has been completely worth it!
Pipe Used: Peterson Billard, Ardor urano fantasy
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 5 years
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 05, 2023 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Purchased about 5 years ago. Smoked several bowls and set aside and forgotten. Now this tin has been resurrected. It's a terrific smoke even when very dry.

I get the smoky latakia forward with orientals and VA not far behind. The use of unflavored black Cav makes these flavors a bit more subtle and gives the blend some creamy smoothness. Now heres the big deal in my mind: what sets this off from being "just another English"-there is some flavoring here and many of the other reviewers, whose opinion I've learned to respect, have trouble defining. My own impression, FWIW, is something like anise, a hint of alcohol and vanilla. This is applied so precisely that, instead of covering the underlying tobacco flavor, it augments it perfectly. The result is a very gently flavored English that offers some a creamy sweetness.
Pipe Used: Misc briars
Age When Smoked: Several years
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 30, 2022 Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
Besides that Russ did it (As Usual !!), top notch and one of the finest blends ever accomplished. In my top 10 of this type of blend. Leave me some please?
Pipe Used: Private Collection/C's Selected/others
PurchasedFrom: S.pipes/other
Age When Smoked: 77
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 15, 2022 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I've never had Bengals slices. I wanted to try this for a long time and I finally got around to it. It is superb. For the money this cannot be. The Latakia and orientals are done perfectly. Not springy and bright, but front and center nonetheless. But it's richness and fullness is what makes it almost perfect. This is a totally tasty smoke. There is nothing here that will burn your tongue. It stays mellow and good right down to the bottom of the bowl. This is a blend to buy more of. A blend to smoke for the rest of your life. Even if I hit the lottery and could afford the best of everything. I would still smoke this all the time. Bravo!
Pipe Used: Cob
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and cigars
Age When Smoked: New
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 13, 2021 Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable
Fusilier's Ration seems to be a tobacco sui generis. I've never had anything quite like it before.

Out of the tin, it smells like an intense English blend, with its characteristic acrid and nose-curling strength. I could immediately tell this would put hair on my chest. As the name implies, it put me back into the early 18th or 19th century on the battlefields of Europe. I imagined myself as an Austrian rifleman taking a break, loading my pipe before a pitched line battle. The smell supports the imagery, almost like a whiff of gunpowder and artillery smoke.

The Krumble Kake is rather dense and difficult to rub -- it's easy to make a mess with it. I found that grabbing two sheets of paper towel, still attached at the seam, and placing it below while I ground some broken up pieces between my hands as if I were trying to warm them up on a cold winter's day worked best. The small pieces would fall onto the paper, whereupon I could fold the towels at the seam to funnel them into a gutter and dump them into my pipe, as if I were loading a musket, funnily enough. The Czech-tool ramrod completes the analogy.

Once in the pipe, it's a little bit hard to light. It's not uncommon for me to spend a few times sparking the flint so to speak before it gets going. It requires some pretty vigorous draws and doesn't bite too hard, so don't be ginger with it. This is a robust blend.

On the tasting, it primarily presents with white and black pepper. Behind that is the subtle taste of fruity and astringent red wine, new and spicy leather, and then a dull sweetness at its foundation. The flavor, in a word, is rustic. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Fusilier's ration is not only fun to prepare and smoke, but also good enough to inspire my overactive imagination. Definitely worth giving a try if you enjoy stout English blends.
Pipe Used: Missouri Meerschaum Country Gentleman
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Cigars
Age When Smoked: 1 Day
1 person found this review helpful.
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