Hill & Hill Tobacconists Haymarket

Notes: This is the marquee blend put out by this small blender who runs an old time B & M located in one of the more affluent areas of metropolitan Detroit. It is essentially a vanilla aromatic with some other flavorings as well.


Brand Hill & Hill Tobacconists
Blended By Jim Simon
Manufactured By  
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Burley, Cavendish, Virginia
Flavoring Vanilla, Whisky
Cut Ribbon
Packaging Bulk
Country United States


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

Average Rating

2.50 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 05, 2015 Extremely Mild Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant
I must share this experience as part of my review: Hill and Hill Tobacconists Ltd is truly a East Detroit area Icon and has been in business for many a decade. In the 8o's when I took up pipe smoking I was introduced to "Haymarket" and truly enjoyed it's unique blend of tobacco's and toppings that seemed all the rage of this time. I recently had the opportunity to stop into the Shop on Mack Avenue in Grosse Pointe Woods Michigan to have a look at their offerings.

I was greeted by a man who was rather surely and unrefined in welcoming a potential buyer into his store. He asked me "what can I do for you" and when I replied "I am in the area working and had a little time to kill and wanted to explore your shop" he began to follow me closely and watch my every move as if my intent was to pilfer his coffers at any moment. I was unimpressed with his pipe selection which appeared to be all estate pipes that looked semi reconditioned and were priced at very near full retail. None were rare or collectible. After another moment or two the proprietors next comment was "If you looking for a cheap pipe or a Dr. Grabow we don't sell them here". I was one of three people in his store on a Friday at 11 am. and I could now fully understand why this was so. I was so put off by this fellows demeanor that I did not bother to explore the walk in humidor. This unrefined man was way too altruistic and rude in his manner of service and advice. Nevertheless I accomplished my intended mission and walked out of his establishment with a 2 oz. pouch of "Haymarket" that I paid $12.00 for convincing myself it was a treat, only to be thoroughly disappointed with my decision.

I found this obviously reformulated blend to be very bland and uneventful. It lacks the ability to satisfy due to its flat and flavorless smoke. I did detect a faint hint of vanilla like nougat half way through the bowl but then it yielded to a very off almost sour taste. This is very mild tobacco in the strength category which is not undesirable it lacks flavor to balance out the lack of punch from nicotine. I will say the room note is very pleasant and desirable for tobacco's of this category but is still hardly enough allure to purchase this overpriced offering again.
Pipe Used: Mid-range brier pipes dedicated to mild aromatics
PurchasedFrom: Hill and Hill Tobacconists Ltd. Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 09, 2015 Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
This review will not only be about the Haymarket tobacco, but also on the store in which it is blended at as well.

I am a fairly new pipe smoker who lives around the area of the store. Before this store came about I was shopping at less than respectable stores for my tins of tobacco (mostly Wild Bills Tobacco). On my way home from the Barnes and Noble I was driving on Mack when the sign of "Hill and Hill Tobacconist" caught my eye. Needless to say, I was invigorated at the prospect of finding an actual tobacconist in my area whom could not only offer me a wide selection of pipes and tobaccos, but advice from an expert as well. Unfortunately, both are, at most, sub par.

Hill and Hill only sells estate pipes that he refinishes himself and tobaccos that he blends himself. Not only that but he includes a condescending tone to almost every bit of advice he gives you. Which is mostly something along the lines of: you should only buy his product because it is better than anything else you will find. If I were to rate his store on this website (even though that is not the websites purpose) I would give it a very generous two stars. I have attempted to shop there multiple times and every time it ends the same; I walk out hotheaded and feeling like an idiot.

Now, with that being said I will give an unbiased review on my experience with this tobacco. From the initial smell of this tobacco it leaves the impression of a very sweet vanilla, incredibly pleasant, with possibly a hint whiskey. If you're looking for a tobacco that let's you know that you are smoking tobacco I would not recommend this blend. It is heavily coated with aromatic flavors and caked in humectants.

From the start of the bowl the different creamy textures of sweetness roll across your tongue. There is very little bite, if any at all (This is one of the selling points the owner uses when coaxing you into the blend).

By the end of the bowl you are given what you expect from an aromatic blend. There are clearly high quality tobaccos used in blending Haymarket. However, it is a shame that you are not able to fully experience the tastes that are masked by the casing. If you really want a vanilla aromatic I would recommend Captain Black over this because at least from CB you don't have to receive a lecture to pick up a pouch of it.

I have learned my lesson about this place as I now do all of my tobacco purchases through online retailers. He definitely does have a cool shop, however, and if you aren't allowed to smoke at home his doors are open everyday except Christmas for anyone who wants to enjoy a pipe or cigar on a couch.
Pipe Used: Dr. Grabow Lark
PurchasedFrom: Hill and Hill Tobacconist
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 24, 2014 Mild Strong Mild Pleasant
Edit 9/9/2016

So it was shortly after I finished the quantity that led to the review below when my neighbor, bless his heart, thought he would surprise me to thank me for letting his family use my lake house. He works close to Grosse Pointe and strayed in to buy some pipe tobacco for me. He talked to the owner who unsurprisingly recommended Haymarket. So I was gifted another few ounces of this to smoke as well as a few more of his Hill and Hill's aromatics that I will be adding after I finish them.

There is not much more I can add to what I stated below about the blend itself. The aroma that this blend releases is great. If this is your aim with an aromatic, it could easily garner 4 stars, but still a 2 star blend to my tastes.

I will add, however, to what I stated about the store and, in particular, its tobacco offerings. One thing about Hill & Hill is that it is a great place to have a pipe on a cold day as it has some cozy couches and a TV to watch. A forum friend was in town from VIrginia and staying close to the shop. SO I visited him and was surprised to see that Jim had added two blends to his bulk offerings and both were non aromatics. One is a latakia blend simply called Balkan blend and the other is a Virginia called Danish slices that is technically an aromatic, but more in the European variety like PS Aromatic dutch slices. Hell, that might even be what it is.

He also has started selling tins. He had Dunhill and Peterson tins. Overpriced, even by B&M standards in Michigan, but he had a good variety.

Original Review 4/24/2014

I added this one and am curious to see if anyone else adds a review to it. This is an aromatic that is primarily Vanilla, but with something else. To my tastes there is some whiskey in there as well. I would say the base is primarily a Virginia, but there is some Cavendish in there as well.

I guess it is only appropriate to give some background with this review. I live in Metropolitan Detroit and this tobacconist is located in Grosse Pointe, which is one of the most affluent areas in Metropolitan Detroit. Hill and Hill has been around forever and the store is evidence of that fact. The furnishings, pipes and history will make any pipe smoker giddy. The tobacco selection, not so much.

I visited there about a year ago, where I was entertained by the owner, Jim Simon, who can amaze you with his knowledge as easily as he can annoy you with his condescension. Regardless, of how much you know about pipes, Jim will be sure to make you feel like you are an amateur. If you are quick tempered or easily angered, he may not be your cup of tea, but if you hang in there, he will start pulling out his pipes and you will be drooling all over his counter.

Back to his tobacco, with all of the pipes, pipestands, the smoking lounge, and the collection of aged claypipes on a board bearing the names of local Detroit celebs dating back from the 60s and 70s, his tobacco collection will impress you less than your local B & M. He only carries bulks that he blends and of that, there are only about 6 blends. Since I took some of his time, I felt obliged to buy something.

He suggested the Haymarket, as his most popular blend and stated that he shipped it all over the world to clients. He told me the key to enjoying this was to dedicate a pipe to it and not smoke anything else and eventually I would love it. Hmmmm? I did not follow his advice and rather treated this like any other tobacco I would smoke. As an aromatic it found a lot of time in my Altinok Canadian.

I will say the smell or aroma of the tobacco was heavenly. I suppose this is the point of an aromatic. So if you are only after the aroma, this rates high. As for taste, I did not really like it. It has a lot of humectants in it. So much, that I never transferred it to a jar from the Ziploc and it never lost a hint of moisture.

I tasted it heavily on the leaf, but I did catch some hints of Virginia leaf as well. I would say that if you are into Captain Black or that variety of aromatic you will likely enjoy this blend. I would probably put this above CBW, but I would rather smoke CB royal to this one. That is just my tastes.

So I am two star recommending this, but would highly recommend a trip to the store if you are in the area and like looking at expensive and rare pipes.
Pipe Used: Mostly Meerschaum
PurchasedFrom: Hill & Hill Tobacconists
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 31, 2014 Mild Very Strong Medium Very Strong
Hill & Hill Tobacconists is a brick-and-mortar tobacco shop located in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan (Detroit area). Hill & Hill in known for its remarkable array of fine pipe tobaccos, exquisite cigars and rare and high-end pipes. Haymarket is Hill & Hill Tobacconists hallmark blend. Haymarket was the first tobacco blend I smoked and it is this blend that lured me into pipe smoking. It's a wonderful aromatic - primarily procuring a vanilla essence. Of all the aromatics I smoked in my early years, Haymarket superseded them all. In those early years of mine, I would have undoubtedly given Haymarket 4 stars.

As my pipe smoking career progressed, I moved away from aromatics and began to explore tobacco blends without added flavorings. When I realized that added essences masked the true taste of the tobaccos within a blend, I gave up aromatics completely.

Recently, I revisited Haymarket on a whim, and, much to my dismay, my 4 star rating of Haymarket no longer held. There was an incredible amount of humectant that I could not stomach. It was very bitter tasting. Moreover, the tongue bite was fierce regardless of my puffing cadence. Towards the second half of the bowl, a slurpy mess evolved (from the humectant and flavoring additives) which caused bubbling noises upon drawing. By the time I was two-thirds into the bowl, the harshness, bitterness, and the tongue bite of the gloppy mess forced me to empty my pipe. Although I found the room note to be very pleasant, smoking the tobacco was an unpalatable experience.

With many years of pipe smoking under my belt, my opinion of Haymarket has changed drastically. I can no longer rate it 4 stars. From my latest experience of Haymarket, I would give it only 1 star. It does have a fantastic room note for an aromatic blend. So on behalf of all the aromatic pipe smokers out there, I will be a little more objective and rate it 2 stars.

It's too bad because this blend has much potential. Removing the humectant and lowering the tongue bite would raise my rating to 3 stars.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Billiard
PurchasedFrom: Hill & Hill Tobacconist
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 26, 2020 Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
Great store, very kind and informative owner who knew his stuff. I can see how some people would find his manner overbearing, but I felt that he did so out of service rather than concern that I would take anything.

He started by asking me if I smoked a pipe or cigars(I smoke a pipe), and then asked how many I owned, and what kind of tobacco I smoked. With this information he proceeded to guide my buying experience, which could be intrusive to some but I found interesting and a little fun.

I ended up buying some Haymarket, and he told me to choose one of my pipes and ONLY smoke Haymarket in it, and after 6 bowls the flavor would begin to present itself.

I'm on my third bowl and each one is getting more flavorful than the last. I'm sure I will be buying more.
Pipe Used: Danish Sovereign
PurchasedFrom: Hill and Hill
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 28, 2018 Very Mild Mild to Medium Mild Very Pleasant
As my pallet has expanded to a variety of different tobaccos, I have moved away from most aromatics. But I find myself continuing to enjoy this wonderful one from the only brick & mortar store in the Detroit metropolitan area. Granted, if I am sitting down for a good long smoke in front of the fire, I probably would not choose this tobacco. (Unless, of course, the room is populated with pipe tobacco virgins. They tend to love the roomnote of this tobacco).

I like this tobacco walking the dog, working in the garden, or just putzing around the house. It is light and easy to smoke. Never bites. easy to keep lit and does not leave any doodle in the bowl at the end.

So this is my 1st review and I think this is a worthwhile tobacco for anyone just starting out. But even the more experienced piper who would like 1 or two aero's in their rotation. Nothing complex about it. Just a simple light vanilla flavoring. There is some Virginia and maybe some burley. Hard to hate this one.
Pipe Used: Birebird Billiard
PurchasedFrom: Hill & Hill Tobacconist
Age When Smoked: 0-3 months
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 28, 2022 Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
This was the first non-OTC blend I tried. I recently moved to the area an saw this brick-n-mortar store (Hill & Hill). Being a cigar smoker, I decided to check it out. Upon entering I was greeted by a friendly bloke named Jim. After talking for a minute, started asking about pipe smoking. That question turned into a 30 min convo about the hobby. Jim, the owner suggested I start with a corn-cob and then told me is Haymarket blend was the best he sold. Not knowing anything about anything pipe tobacco related, I bought some. I should note he also spent time with me showing me how to pack, light, and smoke a pipe properly.

A few years into my pipe journey I still find myself gravitating to Haymarket. For me, its a great aromatic blend, not goopy at all, a subtle cavendish flavor with a good base flavor of Virginia and burly. I am somewhat biased as I have just begun venturing to other blends, but this is still one of my favorites. I think it's worth a try.
Pipe Used: Briar Full bent
PurchasedFrom: Hill & Hill
Age When Smoked: 1 Week
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 14, 2018 Mild Medium Medium Pleasant
I've never been to the shop but had some mail ordered. I've been smoking for close to 20 years and have found this to be a unique blend with great flavor. Like most tobaccos, cadence is key in getting the most flavor. When smoked slowly I get flavors of vanilla, baked bread, brown sugar, and cookies.
PurchasedFrom: Hill and Hill Tobacconist
Age When Smoked: 1 Month
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