Product Image


Notes: In 2011, the Seattle and New York Pipe Clubs acquired a large tin of Balkan Sobranie 759 that was around 23 years-old and tried to figure out what to do with it. They decided to send samples to three blenders - Carl McAllister of Sutliff, Mike McNiel of McClelland, and Russ Ouellette of Hearth & Home - and asked them to try to replicate the blend for a contest at the 2011 Chicagoland Pipe and Tobacciana Show. The challenge was modifying the blend to accommodate 23 years of aging. When the contest, called the Balkan Sobranie 759 Throwdown, was completed, Russ' entry, now known as Hearth & Home Marquee BlackHouse, was the winner.

To celebrate a decade of this now classic blend, Russ wanted to do something special. When he learned about a small cache of well-aged Orientals the answer was simple - substitute the Orientals from the original with this vintage leaf. Because the amount of the aged Orientals is very limited, he had to do this as a limited edition blend called Hearth & Home BlackHouse 10th Anniversary.

BrandHearth & Home
Blended ByRuss Ouellette
Manufactured BySutliff Tobacco Company
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Kentucky, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
Product Image
Mild to Medium, Medium to Strong
None Detected
Mild to Medium, Medium to Full
Room Note
2 reviews
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Sort By
Please login to review this blend.
JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2917)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

The aged Orientals provide plenty of sour floralness, earth, wood, herbs, vegetation, some spice, and mild buttery sweetness. They are the lead components. The smoky, woody, earthy, musty sweet Cyprian Latakia is a strong supporting player that occasionally manages to share the lead. The Virginia offers some tart and tangy citrus, grass, sugar, bread, light floralness and touches of spice and acidity in the background. The aspects of the dark fired Kentucky are smoke, earth, wood, floralness, mild spice, some sourness along with a light nutty, barbecue sweetness. It’s a tad more obvious than the Virginia. The spicy, raisiny, plumy perique has a minimal effect at best. The sugary black cavendish is barely noticeable. It won't bite or get harsh. Has a few minute rough edges. The strength and nic-hit are a step past the medium mark. The taste level is a slot ahead of that threshold which is due to its spice and floral qualities. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable rate with a mildly sweet and rather savory, spicy, floral, campfire flavor that extends to the pleasant, moderately lingering after taste. Requires an average number of relights, and leaves very little dampness in the bowl. The room note is tolerable. Not quite an all day smoke, but it is repeatable.

The effect of the aged Orientals are greater than those used in the regular Black House as this tends to be a little Oriental-forward. The Cyprian Latakia is mostly a supporting player rather than being the lead component it is in the regular BH. The other varietals have a little less say in the flavor profile, and this is a stronger mixture. This one is a tad less sweet, less balanced with fewer nuances, and a little more floral, smoky, spiciness. Even with all of that, there still remains some semblance of the original that is mainly attributable to the similar sweetness. This gets three and a half stars. I gave four stars to the original.

5 people found this review helpful.

O. D. Jones Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
O. D. Jones (25)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I smoke mostly Balkans and Oriental blends, so I thought I would give this one a try. The tin note is mostly latakia, with a little sweet and sour underneath it. Good moisture out of the freshly opened tin, and it smokes well, moderately cool, no gurgle or moisture left in the bottom of the pipe. However, it's a little on the bland side for any kind of Balkan, and this most recent variation bears basically no resemblance to 759, which was my daily smoke for the longest time. To be fair, I don't think any modern tobacco blender can be blamed for not being able to match a tobacco from 40 to 50 years ago; the Syrian latakia is long gone, and the Cyprian variety, while good in it's own way, is a completely different variety of leaf. I'm not sure the currently available orientals are even remotely like the ones from back in the '70s, either. Frankly, all these marketing strategies recalling the old Balkan Sobranie are more than a little disingenuous. There is very little complexity to this smoke at all. Despite the smoky, burning rubber note in the tin, with the vague sweet and sour aroma underneath, this is a mild to medium tobacco of no particular distinction. I purchased a few tins, and I will leave the remaining unopened tins in the cellar to see if age improves this. I smoked a tin of the regular Black House variety a few years back and I thought it was a decent smoke. This is certainly no improvement over that.

Pipe Used: Peterson 406 Spigot, Nording Bent Bulldog

Age When Smoked: freshly opened tin

Purchased From: I believe the retailer that produces it.

Similar Blends: Hearth and Home Marquee Black House.

Nobody has rated this review yet.