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 31 - 40 of 52 Reviews
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
Oct 30, 2019 Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Caveat: review is also based on a new Pipe break-in. Excellent smoke. Nice floral notes. Smokey but not off-putting. Well balanced. Atmospheric notes as opposed to room note is pleasant. A relatively cool smoke that improved with each bowl. I did not find it spicy in the least. I would purchase again and will probably cellar a few tins.
Pipe Used: "New" Molina Olive Wood Bent Apple
PurchasedFrom: Pipesandcigars.com
Age When Smoked: recent purchase
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 22, 2019 Medium Medium to Strong Medium Strong
Fusilier’s Ration

I purchased a sample of this as a part of a special offered by an online retailer in conjunction with a YouTube piping channel. A lot of the blends that I see reviewed are not sold in brick and mortar stores in Ontario so I am forced to run the USPS/Canada Post gauntlet and get dinged with duty about 1/3 of the time. The ability to purchase these samples made it more economical to try a blend like this that I’ve been mildly curious about. I’ve found that I’m partial to English/Balkan blends thus far, with Dunhill’s London Mixture being my favourite of those I’ve tried.

Opening the tin (ziplock bag) I get a familiar seeming scent. I can definitely smell latakia and what I’m convinced is Oriental tobacco (my nose and palate are not experienced enough to say that’s what it is for sure) and a bit of incense.

The tobacco is cut into slices in a “crumble cake” which is fairly dry and breaks apart easily enough. I find this type of cut to be difficult to pack. Once lit I get a very powerful floral scent especially on the retrohale. The tobaccos are there and do taste good – it tastes a lot like London Mixture to me but the incense note that I get from that blend is replaced by something I’d liken to potpourri. The latakia is there but not overpowering and the Oriental seems to take centre stage.

I think I get what they were going for with this one and it is enjoyable, but I am not a fan of the potpourri scent as I find it distracting even though it does not drown out the tobacco flavour. I also have come to despise the crumble cake cut. Decent enough but I would not purchase again nor would I likely recommend this to others.
Pipe Used: Brigham Bent Dublin, Brigham Sportsman
PurchasedFrom: Tobaccopipes.com
Age When Smoked: Unknown
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 11, 2017 Mild Mild to Medium Mild Tolerable
Fusilier's Ration does not deliver. Compared to the original, it has not much to do with it. And, taken on its own, it has no originality; as my impressions are that FR combines the appearance and characteristics of Plum Pudding (which is an uninteresting and very bland tobacco) with a mild but still noticeable and unpleasant aftertaste that is similar to that foul War Horse Bar casing. In summary, a very bland tobacco that lacks everything from good burning qualities to great taste. I have no doubt that Russ Ouellette is a very good blender. But I believe that whomever takes over production of his recipes lets him, and the customers, down.
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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
Dec 12, 2015 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is a quality tobacco with a great flavor profile. Smooth and mellow smoke that is both earthy and slightly sweet. Overall, I really enjoyed this one and would recommend it to anyone that enjoys Latakia blends that are on the sweeter side. This one reminded me of Frog Morton's Cellar, but not quite as aromatic as the casing isn't as pronounced. My only complaint with this one was the presentation inside the tin, it looked as though someone had just wadded the tobacco up inside of a paper ball and tossed it in the tin. I know that it doesn't affect the tobacco in any way, but the presentation is part of what makes smoking a pipe so fun.
Pipe Used: various briars
PurchasedFrom: PipesandCigars.com
Age When Smoked: New from tin
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
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 26, 2023 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Tin note of smoky, vanilla, and anise. Tobacco is dark brown and black Krumble Kake with flecks of light brown. Moisture content is good, some may want to dry it a bit. Breaks and rubs out with little effort. Burns slow with a few relights. The strength is mild to medium and nic is mild. Flavoring is mild to medium, with notes of vanilla and anise, but both quickly relegate to the background. Taste is medium to full and mostly consistent, with complex notes of floral, smoky, herbal incense, wood, earth, leather, spicy, tangy citrus, dry, sour, orange peel/zest, bread, acidic, spices, musty vegetation, bitter, a sugar and lemon grass background note, and a peppery retro. Latakia is leading with Oriental/Turkish, Virginia and Black Cavendish supporting. Flavoring shows strong support in the beginning but then falls by the wayside in the first 1/4. Room note is pleasant to tolerable, and aftertaste is great.
Pipe Used: English Captain Black Sandblasted X188
PurchasedFrom: pipesandcigars.com
Age When Smoked: 5 years
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