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.


BrandHearth & Home
Blended ByRuss Ouelette
Manufactured BySutliff Tobacco
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringOther / Misc
CutKrumble Kake
Packaging1.76 ounce tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy TobaccoPipes.com
Product Image
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3046)
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.


62 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
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.

43 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
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.

32 people found this review helpful.

Theodore Moore Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Theodore Moore (14)
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!

27 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (393)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have never had Bengal Slices, so there is no basis for comparison. This review is Fusilier's Ration on its own merits.

This is just a great blend. Mine came sightly dry and was easy to rub out by hand. The tin note is sweet and latakia.

The smoking experience is very flavorful. The oriental presence makes itself known, and there is a tickle when exhaling through the nose. There is a mild sweet topping I can't identify that enhances the natural dark Virginia taste. The latakia provides a smoky foundation that is always there but does not dominate. I claim the black cavendish is there to manage strength and is not evident to me as I smoke it.

The flavor profile was a little edgy for me. It has been a great smoke but has not had the creamy thick mouth feel that some latakia blends do. It was not finicky and burned well.

If the description sounds like something you would like, get some now. I think I will have another bowl myself.

19 people found this review helpful.

Lochinvar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lochinvar (78)
Mild Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Another recreated winner from Russ. The long lamented Bengal Slices had a few blends that were rumored to be replacements, but I never found either Penzance or Krumble Kake to be close. FR is much closer, not the same house but a few doors down.

The tin note is heavy with latakia and topping, which seems to me plummy with something else. At first light, the latakia comes through warm, buttery and earthy, with a light hint of the topping. As the smoke progresses, the latakia smoky gains a sweet edge, and the Orientals come through a little more, not very spicy but aromatic. I never rub the slices out so this is a long, slow burning tobacco and stayed very cool for me.

Pipe Used: GBD Meerschaum Rhodesian

Purchased From: P&C

15 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Fusilier's Ration is an ambitious new blend from Russ Ouellette and Pipes and Cigars that pays homage to the original English version of Bengal Slices. My tin arrived with a mixture of cakes (bars actually) and shake. The tin aroma lends itself to the natural toppings and a very deep, rich tobacco flavor. As one other reviewer pointed out, I too find it difficult to compare to Bengal Slices as my remaining two tins didn't age well either. It does make me wonder how well FR will age?

The tobacco itself requires a fair amount of attention in the preparation phase. The cakes break apart with ease, but I find it really needs to be well dried prior to smoking, and it is important to not pack it as tightly as you may do with your other blends. Even when prepared as described, I cannot remember smoking a blend that burns as slowly as Fusilier's. Even though FR falls into the English realm (aromatic English for some), I find that in addition to careful preparation, a slow cadence is key in the same way one would smoke a straight Virginia. If not careful the blend will burn hot. I did rub out every bowl so the experience could be different with leaving the cakes intact. In keeping with English tobacco laws, the toppings are natural but I cannot place my finger on what they are, but I would guess it to be more than one. There is a nice, but not overpowering, sweetness to Fusiliers. If patient, FR delivers a rich, complex flavor profile. I did decide to knock it down a star due to the amount of care needed to get the most out of the blend and FR's ability to burn a little hot. I think that Fusilier's Ration is really well done and will likely have a dedicated following of which I will be a member. Russ Ouellette is really doing some exciting things at P&C!

15 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2080)
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

Age When Smoked: One nmonth

Purchased From: 4noggins.com

11 people found this review helpful.

gladi8tor96 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gladi8tor96 (143)
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

Age When Smoked: New from store - 1-2 years

Purchased From: Pipesandcigars.come

Similar Blends: McClelland - Frog Morton's Cellar (Craftsbury Series).

9 people found this review helpful.

puro66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
puro66 (73)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

I'm a little surprised by how few reviews have been done when considering the enthusiasm which accompanied the release of this tobacco and the fact that it sure seems to be sold out alot. I believe I bought mine in early to mid 2012 and did something I rarely do which is to buy three tins with no idea if I would like it. My tins were 2oz. and now I see it noted here on TR and pipesandcigars,com as being a 1 1/2oz. tin, so has it's manufacturer been switched to Sutliff?

Anyway I did like it. A couple of chunky cake bars with a wonderful latakia and oriental aroma merged with a sweet scent wafted from the can and begged to be smoked. Once broken up the pipe was filled and the journey began. It would be a good latakia smoke even without the oldworld flavoring. As it stands it is a fine smoke with a twist that some may say is like the old Bengal and some say not, I shall stay out of that skirmish because I smoked only a couple of tins of the 1980's version and well...I don't care. If you want an occassional diversion from your usual latakias you might give it a try. Russ has certainly proved his desire to create a wide variety of tobaccos to suit just about everyone's needs. Keep it up!

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: varied

8 people found this review helpful.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (146)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I began my experiences with this blend by witnessing a picture on a forum of the prototype. It looked to be a lightly pressed, oily beast, and it made my mouth water just looking at it.

But Fusilier's ration has a soft side, and that is certainly the topping, which to me, is Vanilla. I don't smoke many cased blends, but became enamored with the idea of a cased English having had a few too many failures with the likes of Sam Gawith's Perfection.

It is a little light on the nicotine, but the balance is maintained without making the blend overly harsh with the inclusion of Kentucky. I love the leaf myself, but this is a soft smoke, and I appreciate the thought that went into it.

Pease and Russ definitely have different blending styles, and I thank them dearly for the time and effort they put into their craft. How would a Pease offering along the same lines compare? I think he ought to try this out!

Similar Blends: Perfection, Plum Pudding.

8 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (633)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I just finished up a huge sample of this given me by Russ at the last Chicago show. I liked it. I know that this is a blend inspired by Bengal slices. As to the recent (and apparently short lived) incarnation of Bengal Slices, I enjoyed this blend a little more.

As to the old Bengal slices, I have only tried it once, ironically enough, at the same show where I got this sample. The latakia in that tin had definitely lost some of its spunk over the years and, while I can say that I enjoyed FR more than that, I don't feel it is comparing apples to apples.

regardless, this blend does stand out on its own. It is heavy in latakia and offers a contemplative smoke with shifting flavors as you work your way through the bowl. It is a little edgier than the typical creamy lat smoke, which makes it nice on occasion. I smoked this at a golf outing last Friday and actually got compliments on its aroma.

I don't think this could be an all day blend, at least not to me, and it certainly would not be one I would recommend to a beginner. But to the seasoned lat smoker it could be a real treat. This one just misses four stars to me as there are too many other full latakia blends that I would reach for before this one.

I have reviewed two lat blends today giving both three stars seems to be unfair as the first one I would put at 2.5 and this at 3.5. In any case, give it a try. If you like latakia, I am sure you will not feel as though you have wasted any money.

7 people found this review helpful.

ColinK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ColinK (15)
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

Age When Smoked: Probably too fresh from the tin

Purchased From: P&C

6 people found this review helpful.

canvas Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
canvas (337)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I gave these "Rations" a whirl as it had been advertised as an alternative to my beloved and often out-of-stock Bengal Slices. So how do they stack up against one of the best smokes on the market?

Upon opening the tin, the similarities were obvious. A nice smelling granola bar was staring back at me with a familiar nose tingling Oriental spice and deep English musk (though both were less intense the ol' Bengal). Breaking apart the cake was like playing Asteroids with your fingers, grinding big chunks into multiple smaller pieces.

In all honesty Fusilier's Rations tasted much the same. It takes you deep into its tangy flavor and really ignites your buds, numbing your mouth a bit once finished (It had a weird gasoline-y aftertaste).

Tip: Make sure to pack the bowl loosely, or you will have a dense wad that won't pull air through, also be very gentle if you knock-out any ash during the smoke as the lit contents will also spill out.

I would consider Fusilier's Rations a great 5 year aged sharp cheddar, with a taste far superior to the run-of-the-mill sharp cheddar, but I gotta say Bengal Slices are still a hint better at 10 years!

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

Similar Blends: Bengal Slices.

5 people found this review helpful.

Pryhosm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pryhosm (248)
Medium Very Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I will say that I love the cake, plug and Krumble Kake presentation it adds something to the experience...they can be a pain to load and smoke but I love the way the look in the jar. Fusilier's ration is no exception: beautiful dark crumble cake with streaks of Virginia's and orientals among the jet black Latakia and Cavendish. The tin note is a light vanilla/licorice and Latakia. A real strong pleasant smell. Russ did an amazing job with this considering he did it from taste and olfactory memory (he did up his game when handed better blending notes with STC's Bengal Slices). This tobacco is definitely for Latakia lovers.

Packing this is considerably easier than the Bengal Slices version, the cake crumbles nicely and loads with a light tamp and burns pretty consistently with few re-lights. The 2 tins I had were on the wet side, which I expected with a cake but didn't need more than 10 minutes drying once broken up.

The flavor of this tobacco is addictive. I had saved my review until I tried the Bengal Slices which are terribly hard to come by. I am not sure that was a good move as now I feel the need to compare these to each other. In general I do not like to read the reviews that seem hell bent on proving the "good old days" were better than today and all of the tributes and revivals pale in comparison to the golden age of piping. I personally think that is BS. It seems that we have some real nice options these days and blenders have brought us new blends of super high quality and provide variety and availability like no other time in history. The only loss is Syrian Latakia for the new age blenders and that is the folly of war, not some lost trade craft. Tangent aside, This is a solid smoke, Lot's of Latakia, mild/med nicotine. The Orientals are supporting players but memorable ones. I love the interplay of the Latakia and the orientals in this blend the sweet Latakia, Virginia's, Cavendish and the topping provide a fantastic sweet intermezzo like quality to the experienc. The smoky nature of the Latakia takes center stage and is the centerpiece of the flavor. The Cavendish provides a round sweet mouth feel and a brown sugar like flavor that supports the Latakia and Virginia's beautifully. The topping in this one is much lighter/weaker than in Bengal Slices (there I go) which I would normally think was a good thing but I really like the flavoring in the Bengal Slices, is just boosts everything a bit more...at least I think that is what it is. The Orientals in FR support the sweet flavors with a woody, vegetal flavor. I think it is the Orientals but maybe the Virginia's that add a creamy quality to the smoke as well. All around great. Very nice blend...my only complaint is that you can fit more in the tin and momma hates a half full tin.

Pipe Used: briar's & Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: smoking pipes

5 people found this review helpful.

Cochon74 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cochon74 (29)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is an incredibly interesting English blend! The latakia is there in spades... from start to finish, there is no doubt that you're smoking a full-on English mixture. In terms of blending, this is a well-done, lat-forward mix with excellent contributions from the Orientals and the Virginia leaf. The aromatic element is what sets this blend apart. As someone who doesn't smoke aromatics (although I found Haddo's Delight to be, well, delightful), I have to say that the topping is so deftly applied that it is completely harmonious with the natural qualities of the tobacco. Chemically speaking, I'm not sure how the flavoring is added (what kind of solution/essence it is compositionally)... but there's nothing chemical, "fake" or otherwise displeasing about the slightly floral, perfumey and altogether refreshing aroma. I can't pick out the exact recipe of traditional components, but I do know that it provides a stunning and welcome counterpoint to the rich, dark and pungent flavors of what would be an extremely well-done, but altogether familiar, blend.

Logistically, I'll agree that it burns very slowly and doesn't seem to like to be pushed too hard... but then again, I generally like to relax when I light up and don't ever smoke in a hurry. My tin was made up of several large, irregular chunks of cake as well as a couple of pinches of looser bits. It rubbed out very easily and packed well... It took to the match very well too.

I always smoke outside, so guaging the room note is difficult. I will say that it smells very pleasing to me in the fresh air weather hanging around on a still evening, or drifting of with the breeze.

Most pleasing is the fact that there is no gumming-up of the pipe or ghosting by the aromatic topping. I've smoked it in several of my lat-dedicated briars and not had any adverse carry-over of dressing. The latakia hangs around, for sure, but not the aromatic element.

So... all in all, a great departure for me without leaving my smokey realm of English blends. Also, I should add that this is my first tobacco blended by Mr. Ouellette... I also got a tin of Ambassador when I got FR. Given the first impression, I'm looking forward to trying more of his handy-work!

If you like English blends and want something just a little different, give this a try! Solid 3 stars!

5 people found this review helpful.

1979 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
1979 (62)
Mild Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Hearth & Home - Fusilier's Ration.

Ten Russians vs War Horse Bar. Crumble cake slices at perfect moisture, tin note of leather with dulce de leche in the background. Smyrna, latakia, virginia...ie leathery - smoky, slightly sweet...also amaretto, anise, maybe some clove...subtle but noticeable.  I don't get vanilla per se but see how some do.  Some spiciness of taste and mouthfeel especially on the first half of the bowl. Will burn hot if pushed, no bite.  Mild nicotine hit.  Stinky (but still an improvement over most lat blends) room note that fortunately seems short-lived.  These flavorings are some (but not all) used in War Horse Bar.  While I liked them in that one, they kind of kill it for me here.  Obviously a high quality and well thought out blend but leaves me feeling conflicted. Perhaps an acquired taste.

4 people found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (321)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Strong

A very nice Krumble Kake, heavy in the Turkish/Oriental flavour, but with enough Latakia and Virginia to balance things out. As in Black House some unsweetened Black Cavendish is used, but mainly to smooth things out. It has quite a pungent smell in the tin that translates into a very intriguing flavour when smoked.

Esasy to break apart and to fill in the pipe, it has just the right moisture level to make it fragrant and easy to smoke. It burns beautifully but at times in tends to be a bit sour and abrassive, yet woodsy and tangy.

In my view a very nice outdoor smoke.

Pipe Used: Peretti

Age When Smoked: N/A

Purchased From: Joshua Ward.

Similar Blends: Rattray's Black Mallory.

4 people found this review helpful.

King Weed Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
King Weed (228)
Medium to Strong Mild Very Full Pleasant

Fusilier's Ration is an interesting blend and one I wanted to try from the time I heard about it. I received a goodly sample from Russ Oulette at the 2013 NASPC show. Now, I have read and been told that this blend is a re-creation of Bengal Slices. Well, I've smoked it and, although enjoyed it, I can't quite grok that it is Bengal Slices. Here's why.

The sample I received and the tin I received it from were in ready-to-use loose form. This is contrary to both the H&H description and to my clear memory of Bengal Slices. I have fond memories of popping open those little black rectangular tins to reveal the neatly positioned perfectly sliced krumble kake-style morsels. Also, the H&H tobacco I was given was dry - not dehydrated but not at all oily and wax-like, as were the BS slices. And, I remember rubbing-out the slices and always having to wash my fingers afterwards. Although I couldn't identify the bulk aroma of FR as Bengal Slices, a smoking buddy of mine who has been smoking as long as I have and has smoked many tins of BS, did identify it as the aroma of the old product straight away.

OK - let's smoke this blend. I filled a magnum-sized, John Eells-designed, Ardor-fabricated half bent billiard and had at it. The mild casing really didn't enter into the smoke that much but the solidly english undercurrents were wonderful. My smoking buddy and I puffed away happily and, in what seemed like too short an amount of time, I was in the bottom third of the bowl - a really big bowl. I had read that this blend smokes rather quickly and that seemed to be the case. Who cares - it was wonderful!

The only negative I experienced with this blend was a noticeable spiceyness on the tongue that persisted down to about the midpoint of the bowl. Then it smoothed-out. I next mixed-down a portion of the remainder with Dunhill Early Morning Pipe (my current mix-down blend) and - bam! What a wonderful and perfect smoke. All-in-all I'm happy with this blend and would/will buy more. However, the mix-down equals three stars - but I still recommend it to all english smokers.

4 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (321)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I recently recieved a small sample of this blend and I have to agree with what has been said about how hard it was to rub out. I almost put it through a coffee grinder. That said , the taste is interesting, I mainly get Latakia with a hint of vanilla. I've never been a fan of the vanilla and Latakia combination, just me, I find this taste similar to 4 Noggins " Bald Headed Teacher". As I smoked this ,it also started to get bitter about half way down the bowl ,even at a sip and it also seemed to burn hot.

OK ,so let's recap: Hard to rub out, Vanilla topping, Turns bitter, Burns hot . I'll be generous and give this 2 stars!

4 people found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (345)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

A very nice crumble cake with plenty of Latakia, that produces a thick creamy smoke and burns slow and cool until the end. A medium bowl of this can last VERY long, without rarely becoming tiresome. I have never smoked Bengal Slices so I can't make a comparison, but this is a good blend on its own.

My only minor complaint, is that its taste strongly varies according to bowl shape and size: in some of my pipes it was quite flat and with a thin body, and I can't explain why since in others it really shone. In some pipes it's mellow and sweet, in others it shows a bitterish edge. If it weren't for this variability and if it had just a tiny bit more orientals and complexity, it would be 4 stars for me.

3 people found this review helpful.

MangoLegs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MangoLegs (72)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I dislike krumble kake. No taste. Go for Bengal Slices instead, although it also has the kake presentation. If you like light crossover blends, you might like this.

Purchased From: SmokingPipes

Similar Blends: Bengal Slices.

3 people found this review helpful.

Ocelot79 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ocelot79 (32)
Medium Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Bordering on an 'Aromatic' - which I usually dislike intensely. This is a rare beast in that the predominant sweetness ('topping'?) does not, for once, ruin the smoke overall. It IS sweet, and sweeter than I normally smoke, but it just remains within the bounds, and so can be used as a full and very creamy smoke now and then when you fancy a change. There is a good deal going on in this one apart from sweetness, and you may have fun trying to pick out all the ingredients, which I find work quite well together to give a full and reasonably satisfying smoke. This one is a four-note chord in which you can hear all the notes; something dark, something spicy, something creamy (very) and something Turkish-like - and they are in harmony with each other, for once! For me, it's too sweet for everyday use, but nice once in a while.

Pipe Used: High-end English briars

Age When Smoked: Unknown - but not old.

Purchased From: Smokingpipes USA

3 people found this review helpful.

the_dalai_lama_himself Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_dalai_lama_himself (43)
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.

leaftime Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
leaftime (9)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant

My bias is towards English/Oriental blends; my prejudice is against toppings. But variety is good, and the reviews of Fusilier's Ration were intriguing. I liked the first tin well enough to order more: good flavor and aroma, but most important the topping did not dominate. My experience with subsequent tins has been uneven. Perhaps the amount of topping varied with batches or I smoked it too much, but I found it beginning to cloy and hide the taste of the tobacco. At these times it helps to put the pipe down and let it (or the taste buds) rest a bit. Certainly it is difficult to isolate the flavors of the component tobaccos as some reviewers are able to do. And whether the topping tastes of plum or vanilla or brandy or... (as different reviewers guess), do you want to taste tobacco or a plum? For me, it is still a "three-star" blend, but one that might best be smoked about once a week.

Purchased From: pipes and cigars.com

3 people found this review helpful.

Skibbereen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skibbereen (19)
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

Age When Smoked: Freshly ordered

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Similar Blends: Esoterica Tobacciana - Penzance.

3 people found this review helpful.

Wellpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wellpipe (66)
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.

Similar Blends: Esoterica Penzance (crumbly format, mellowness), Peterson University Flake (topping).

3 people found this review helpful.

Holy Smokes! Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Holy Smokes! (6)
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

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

3 people found this review helpful.

Lit a Kia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lit a Kia (69)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This one is really enjoyable. Arrived via pipesandcigars.com's current 3-for-2 sale on Hearth & Home blends. (They have one on Dunhill blends too!)

Only things I can add to the review by DK, who nailed it imo, are that: (1) I agree with Fr. Tom re the thinner smoke/mouth feel of this compared to other English blends; and (2) if I had to guess, the topping has a generous proportion of anise or licorice, but it's done well, with a gentle hand. Also, I found the nicotine level noticeable but far from overpowering.

Similar Blends: Seattle Pipe Club Plum Pudding.

3 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
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.

serif365 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
serif365 (21)
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.

PaulMiami Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PaulMiami (6)
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

Age When Smoked: recent purchase

Purchased From: Pipesandcigars.com

Similar Blends: I cannot compare this to any other blend since I am returning to pipe smoking after almost 30-years..

2 people found this review helpful.

Spinkle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spinkle (16)
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

Age When Smoked: Unknown

Purchased From: Tobaccopipes.com

2 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
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.

2 people found this review helpful.

bigterr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigterr (21)
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

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

Similar Blends: Nothing else in the Latakia zone I have ever had.

2 people found this review helpful.

Mhulsey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mhulsey (36)
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

Age When Smoked: New from tin

Purchased From: PipesandCigars.com

Similar Blends: Frog Morton's cellar but much milder.

2 people found this review helpful.

beercritic Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beercritic (33)
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

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: P&C

2 people found this review helpful.

Dave, A Smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dave, A Smoker (4)
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

Age When Smoked: 77

Purchased From: S.pipes/other

Similar Blends: Black House?.

1 person found this review helpful.

Deckard Cain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deckard Cain (39)
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

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Pipes and cigars

1 person found this review helpful.

Smokolier Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smokolier (21)
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

Age When Smoked: 1 Day

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

1 person found this review helpful.

Tomcat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tomcat (221)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Unnoticeable

Fusilier’s Ration ~ Wow ! Opening the tin about 6 hard slices stuck together in one brick . Takes some work to rub this out but worth it . Sweet and creamy and nutty ! I definitely taste whisky about half way through a large bowl . Some floral notes but welcomed. Nice change of pace from the usual Englsh blends . I love this and will be getting more !!..................................................Update 10/12/19 I just got an ounce of the Fusilier’s ration special reserve in bulk . Must say this is outstanding! I don’t know if this is my favorite or Magnum Opus ? The orientals are outstanding and in every puff . I get a little more of red Virginia fruity spice in the reserve and it is a little smoother and more club soda like . Nice and spicy Oriental forward . I will be stocking up with more soon ! Magnum Opus has more bright Virginia sweetness ! Bookend tobacco blends for me . 4 stars

Pipe Used: Ascorti pot

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Pipes and cigars

1 person found this review helpful.

Mikefu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mikefu (20)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Nice, thick sliced Krumble Kake that is dark and chocolaty looking. Came a tad moist, but a brief drying time fixed that easily. Very oriental-forward initially, with smoky, salty, leathery Latakia and the sweet-and-sour Orientals blending seamlessly. I get a lot of cocoa notes, dark fruits, a touch of coffee, and some good VA sweetness, augmented by the creamy, sweet cavendish. I believe there is a bit of a topping that tastes a bit sweet and vanilla or bourbon like. Smolders along very well after the initial light, and burns clean. A very good oriental forward sweet English.

Pipe Used: Various briars

Age When Smoked: 6 months

1 person found this review helpful.

Pi'd Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pi'd Piper (11)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

This krumble kake came a little dry, but smoked beautifully. Mechanically a very easy smoke after preparation. No chance of tongue bite, and stays lit well.

First impression was that this blend was very distinctive and the flavor fluctuates quite a bit. The topping is hard to pin down, but doesn't overpower any of the tobaccos. The oriental is just slightly stronger than the latakia, but not so much as a balkan blend. The latakia comes off almost more like smoldering polished wood, perhaps an interaction with the topping? That sounds bad, but it works well. The virginia is there adding some grainy sweetness, as does the cavendish, but far in the background typically. Again, the tendency was as new components would catch, each component tobacco would solo a bit more. The retrohale brought out more of the latakia and provided some buttery richness from the orientals that was very pleasant.

Overall, this is on the milder side of H&H English blends, but it's a pleasant experience.

Pipe Used: Falcon Int'l with briar Algiers bowl

Age When Smoked: 3 months

Purchased From: Tobaccopipes.com

1 person found this review helpful.

HeavyMetalPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HeavyMetalPiper (64)
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

Smells meaty, sweet, smoky. The taste is bitter overall, while sweet, much like the aroma. It is like a manly tobacco flavor. Much better when smoked sparingly as it felt less enjoyable as I was familiar with it.

Addendum: After continuing to smoke this, I noticed a floral note present throughout the smoke. I believe this serves more to prevent the strong flavors of this blend from being overpowering and helps them marry rather than as it's own flavor element, so I blew right past it in detecting the flavors present. This remains a great smoke whether you notice it or not, however.

You can see my video review of this blend here:

YouTube Video

Pipe Used: Missouri Meerschaum Bent Diplomat Apple

Age When Smoked: 5 Months

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

1 person found this review helpful.

SiriusAmory Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SiriusAmory (25)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

Fusilier’s Ration has a nice tin note of a typical English blend. I detect brine, earth and spice. The crumble cake is very easy to rub out and didn’t require any drying before smoking. A note of caution though is to not rub the tobacco out too much otherwise it becomes very difficult to keep lit.

The briney, bbq smokiness from the Latakia as well as an earthy pepper are the dominant flavors. The flavor and burn remain consistent throughout most of the bowl and the earth note comes through a little more toward the final third.

Overall, Fusilier’s Ration is a well balanced English blend that requires a bit more technique to pack and smoke a bowl. However, when well packed, it required only a moderate number of relights and is a great smoke to end the day with.

1 person found this review helpful.

Rustedrailsmokes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rustedrailsmokes (293)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Strong

I received a sample in my latest TinSociety box. The crumble cake in the bag seemed the perfect moisture. it was easy to break up and load into a smaller Belge pipe I use with stronger Englishes and Orientals.

The smell was smoky and spicy to my senses. Once lit it burned smoothly only requiring one relight. The flavor was good with a nice combination of smokiness from the latakia and spice from the orientals. I didn't get my taste of any flavoring nor too much sweetness.

It provided nice creamy clouds of smoke which my wife objected to the smell of, much like she did with my sample of Bengal Slices that I had a few months ago.

I found it to be similar to Plum Pudding Reserve in my book. A good smoke which I'd recommend and definitely smoke again in the future given the chance.

Pipe Used: Morgan Bones Belge

Age When Smoked: fresh from bag

Purchased From: tinsociety.com

Similar Blends: Seattle Pipe Club - Plum Pudding Special Reserve.

1 person found this review helpful.

Kingjames488 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kingjames488 (3)
Mild Medium to Strong Medium Tolerable

It's like it's trying to be an old fashioned english balkan cake but it totally misses the mark. It crumbles up too fine to be easy to pack and when you do manage to get a decent pack it just gets gloopy by the end. sutliff should stick to aromatics.

1 person found this review helpful.

BigSwede Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigSwede (93)
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

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JaWiBr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JaWiBr (557)
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

Age When Smoked: 5 years

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PatrickBarkman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PatrickBarkman (9)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

A top blend to me. Similar in ways to SPC Mississippi River, but with a tamer bright Virginia presence and a bit more latakia and orientals. Rich, sweet, and multidimensional.

Pipe Used: Chacom Montmartre Billiard

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: 4Noggins

Similar Blends: Mississippi River, Plum Pudding, Bengal Slices.

Nobody has rated this review yet.