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This elegant blend gets its name from the highest peak in New York. This is medium-bodied Balkan blend has a complex, delicate flavor and aroma, due in part to the use of fragrant Dubec in combination with other Orientals, Latakia and choice Virginias. A great choice when you want the richness of Latakia and the bouquet of Turkish tobaccos, but don't want anything too heavy.

BrandHearth & Home
Blended ByRuss Ouellette
Manufactured ByPipes & Cigars
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging1.5oz Tin, 8oz Tin, Bulk
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
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Mild to Medium, Medium
None Detected
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3050)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

A rich tasting Balkan with plenty of dry, woody, sweet and sour Oriental spice that's complemented by a goodly amount of very smoky, woody sweet Cyprian latakia, which is more obvious. The Virginias are minor players, but they do add light citrus and hay/grass notes. Has a mild to medium nic-hit. Won't bite or get harsh. Fairly creamy and smooth, it burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a consistent flavor. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasant after taste and stronger room note, both of which linger a little. Not an all day smoke.


5 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Mt. Marcy arrives, like many of Russ' blends, a little bit on the dry side and pipe ready. The smell in the pouch is mainly of pungent Orientals and Latakia. The pouch scent translates to the flavors in the bowl. Mt. Marcy is a creamy Oriental blend that burns coolly and is very tasty. While the Latakia is in more of a supporting role, it isn't a minor role. I don't find the Latakia as far in the background as some of my fellow pipers do. Lovers of both Orientals and Latakia will find Mt. Marcy to their liking. The range of Orientals keeps Mt. Marcy interesting. Russ Ouellette has more than a few English/Balkan blends, but Mt. Marcy certainly stands out as a very good medium to full blend and since it's sold in bulk, it's a great value too. I am anxious to see what a couple of years in the cellar to do to smooth this out even further.

5 people found this review helpful.

zwolanek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zwolanek (21)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

I purchased a sample of this, then a pound, and plan to buy several pounds to cellar. This is a truly elegant Balkan which has become my go-to blend for any time of the day. It is grossly underpriced.

I agree with AKSmoke completely. I do not understand how anyone could give this less than a four star rating. Russ' description is spot on. Over and over again, I think "elegant."

I disagree with joe tauro completely. That review compares this smooth and sophisticated Balkan to a Virginia/Perique, which I do not find fair or appropriate. This is far from a Latakia bomb. Frankly, I don't taste or smell Latakia at all. I would like Mr. Tauro to try Larry's Blend or Russ' other Latakia tobaccos, then return to Mt. Marcy to revise his review.

I've smoked about a half pound at this point. The Orientals are by far the predominant component. Mt. Marcy has a sweetness that is not attributable to the Virginias, in my opinion. It does not bite. The aftertaste is very sweet. It burns completely in my meers, but leaves some dottle in my briars. The flavors shift a bit through the bowl, but definitely not as much as Magnum Opus. Everything about this blend screams subtlety. (If one can scream subtlety.)

Reviewers have not commented on the toasting. This is a toasted tobacco, so it loads very easily and cannot be over-tamped initially. Toasting also leaves a lot of leeway with pouch storage because it is already far drier than most tobaccos. It may contribute to the sweetness, but may inhibit aging. I'll let you know.

In the meantime, I highly recommend this blend for people who like Balkans. For me, this has become "Old Reliable."

4 people found this review helpful.

Houndstooth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Houndstooth (34)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

The Tobacco Road to Damascus

I got here via a long road. Quite a few years ago I worked in a barrio smoke shop that was full-spectrum, selling many different unsavory smoking devices and sundry items. Also there was a small humidor; it was at the height of the late great cigar craze. An avenue towards tobaccos non-cigarette yawned open for me. I never looked back.

After the store's one cigar expert left, I had to teach myself. Pipes made of wood weren't at all where most of this clientele was at. But we did have some briars, and I plunged in nevertheless. We carried P Stokkebye in bulk. The few tins and drugstore blends never did it for me.

For many years hence, I carried the Stokkebye gospel; thrift, quality and reliability being major selling points. I'd taken to Latakia blends like a duck to water, even though a former co-worker compared them to cat urine. Fortunately, I like cats. With the smoke shop long gone from my life, I kept on with "Proper this" and "Luxury that" and I never did care for that Balkan of theirs.

Then, a couple years or so ago via a JR cigar catalog, I read about Syrian Latakia. It was something I seriously had to try. A good deal on a pound of Mac Baren H&H Vintage Syrian changed my smoking perceptions almost as much as my first hand-rolled cigar.

Awake and no longer content, I smoked my Syrian judiciously, as an agitated proxy war infested that nation. Selfishly, I worried about the source of my favorite winter tobacco and where it would be in the future.

Epiphanies however awaited. The first was that Mac Baren's went up in price. The second was that not very much Syrian Latakia is in Mac Baren's Vintage Syrian. A great deal of the flavor had to be coming in from somewhere else in this decidedly lighter Latakia blend- think Turkish, Orientals; stuff I knew nothing about. That was the good news.

My tobacco was out there somewhere. Last fall I absent-mindedly perused my bathroom reading material, and after having glanced at the Pipes And Cigars catalog long enough, by the advent of winter the name Hearth & Home had lodged in my brain pan. I realized that the ubiquitous Russ O had created many L blends. That was a sign. It was time that I consider his prominence and the wealth of his goods.

I surveyed the spread carefully and Mt. Marcy beckoned immediately. I bought a half pound can of it along with one of Daybreak, and while both have been great investments, Marcy's is a bit more special. She's NOT Mac B's VS, but she should be close enough to satisfy those who enjoy the VS. Both do not hit one over the head (or tongue) with Latakia, but both provide subtle complexities that are always the sine qua non of the cigar world, though rarely fulfilled. To get this so abundantly in a pipe tobacco is a rare thing as well.

I'd not call Marcy a substitute for VS; rather it stands on its own merits. VS is earthier, but Marcy has more sparkle- along with more sweetness and higher notes, not that I'm detecting topping, but it's possible that one ingredient or other might have it. Not a crime in my books- the idea of purity is for bozos. Kids like candy, but it's not just for kids. Marcy is however not anything like candy. It burns very well and finishes nicely, with little dottle left; pipers frequently laud this when I've usually found little proof in the pudding they're raving about.

I'd point out the elements that give the sparkle- a bit of pine, perhaps, camphor, maybe. Pine nuts? As a gin lover perhaps this is why I gravitate towards Latakias, and now that element is reaching a further expression, as in juniper. I frequently enjoy a Latakia blend along with gin, so I don't think that's a coincidence- maybe it's my Euro genes firing.

Mt. Marcy is as fabulous as Vintage Syrian, at first tastes. What remains to be seen is how gracefully it ages- VS has done so nicely. Also worth considering is something I've no way to judge- how consistent will the blend be on a year-by-year basis?

I only go this far to say that Marcy is a keeper I hope to be enjoying for years. Russ O's blends are new to me, but I would be forward enough so far to state that he likely knows the whole Latakia/Oriental/English/Balkan oeuvre very well. An unequivocal 4 Stars for Mt. Marcy

caveat as per early 2015: As much as I love this blend, a year or so later without it having gone dry, I have found that the remainder of the can is not nearly the flavor powerhouse it used to be. It's a shelf-life problem, but I can't say that this situation would be the same if I'd never opened the can to begin with. Similarly, the fresh can of Daybreak I opened tasted better than I ever remembered. If you tend to plow through a good blend like this because you can't put it down, you probably won't have to worry. But if you use your favorites sparingly so as to not wear them out, this could be a problem if you still have part of a can left a year after you've opened it.

Pipe Used: Petersons and others

Age When Smoked: purchased last December

Purchased From: guess

Similar Blends: Mac Baren's HH vintage Syrian.

2 people found this review helpful.

manno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
manno (50)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Not up for typing at the moment but wanted to give this unsung gem its due. When descriptions fail I revert to comparisons, although this tobacco stands strongly on its own merits. Take Dunhill's EMP, Standard Mixture, MM 965 and a bit of London Mixture, blend, and I think you've got something like Mt. Marcy. Of the H&H offerings it's more English/Latakia than Daybreak and Sunjammer (both personal favorites) and lighter than Blackhouse and Magnum Opus (also favorites). Right at the mid-way point on Oriental to Latakia ratio. Take Early Morning and make it Late Morning. Anyway, a great all-day smoke if you, like I, enjoy lighter English offerings with both Orientals and Latakia present and a modicum of pop from the quality Virginia base.

2 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30194)
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant

I contribute this four star review in hopes of pulling the average for this well deserved blend in the right direction. I recieved 2oz in a sample from, and I have a pound in the cellar for future enjoyment now. Mt. Marcy is very high in my rotation, and finds its way into my pipe twice or more each week. Mt. Marcy has the perfect light English/Oriental balance. There is no bite, perfect moisture and burning characteristics, and a wonderfull delicate assortment of flavors to explore. It is a bargain to boot. Another bullseye from my favorite tobacconist.

2 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30194)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

A couple of things stand out in this mixture, the fragrance of the Dubec and the texture of the blend.

The delightful aroma of the Tobacco greeted me even before I opened the bag. This has a musty, spicy and mysterious, delightful aroma which, to my way of thinking, is what a Balkan blend should smell like. Visions of Sherlock Holmes, 19th century political conspiracies and intrigue fill my mind.

The texture is a coarse cut of light and darker strands along with some larger chunks of dark weed. Toasted and dry to the touch this Tobac packs well in a larger bowl, lights easily and burns cleanly. The flavor is a wonderful mixture of tastes. The Orientals predominate but not to the exclusion of the other components which work their way into the prodigious smoke; there is a delicate sweetness provided by both the Turkish and VA leaves. This is a mild to medium blend which I can and do enjoy all day. 9 out of 10 stars.

2 people found this review helpful.

ddmholst Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ddmholst (23)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

First off let me say that this is not my typical choice of a blend. I do enjoy orientals from time to time and I also really enjoy latakia. I just don't usually prefer a oriental forward lat blend like this. Having said that. I found this blend really enjoyable. This blend has a smooth buttery texture that never even remotely tried to bite. Like I stated before it is a oriental forward blend. The orientals really stay at the forefront through the entire bowl. It burns to a decent ash and leaves a bit more moisture/dottle than other blends in this genre. I would recommend this blend although I will probably not purchase anymore. There are just too many tobaccos similar to this that are better.

Pipe Used: Latakia/oriental dedicated briars

Age When Smoked: 2 months

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

Uban Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Uban (60)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I've been tagged a Venerator, as most of my reviews are 4 star. I don't bother usually unless they are either four or one. I leave the other more complex ratings to those who have more sensitivity than I.
That said, I agree that MtM is a true 4 star. Over the last ten years, I've had several iterations of it, and the new stuff is GREAT. Lights easily, even in a big bowl, and just punches through a whiff of all major components straight away.
First third is Va-Lat heavy, slightly pungent, wood-fire smoky.
Second third is more Va-Or forward, getting sweeter as it burns down
Bloom of flavor at end includes all of these both together & in sequence, never a hint of bite, smooth to the grey ash finish. Lovely stuff.

Pipe Used: Pioneer calabash

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: P&C

1 person found this review helpful.

point9 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
point9 (114)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

If you are searching a creamy, sweet, oriental forward Balkan blend, Mt. Marcy might be the answer. The latakia plays a major role here, but not in the lead. The mixed oriental leafs contribute the flavor mainly and dance in good balance with virginia and latakia.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Mild None Detected Mild Very Pleasant

A rather light Oriental blend with some Latakia to provide more flavor. I liked this one okay, but it was not strong enough to keep me interested. The Oriental component did give a nice, sweet and mellow flavor to the blend.


Nobody has rated this review yet.

puddlepirate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
puddlepirate (11)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

bought 4oz. in bulk to try . Really liked it in my briar pipes, not too heavy, just right when you want a taste of a balkan. if you want more, try blackhouse. it is excellent as well.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

earl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
earl (12)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I would disagree with previous reviewers that it is a Balkan, though marketed as such, Rather, it seems to be an Oriental. But, as such it is a fine one. The Oriental component is very much prominent. Hard to detect any Latakia. As Oriental blends go, it certainly is in my rotation. For those looking for an Oriental blend, would recommend it highly. Earl

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30194)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Hoo-wee, latakia...!

So far I have bought a couple tins of Louisiana Red, having eventually found it to be quite to my liking, in fact it's what I usually smoke during the day at work. Unfortunately, although I don't consider Louisiana Red to be excessively spicy, evidently my body does, as lately it seems to be giving me an occasional touch of heartburn. So off I went in search of something a bit more mild but still plenty flavorful and I wanted to stick with Russ since I liked his LR so much. Mt. Marcy is what I picked, based on the tin description.

From the fresh tin I found Mt. Marcy to be a latakia powerhouse. To be fair I'm going to rate this blend as I found it, rather than what I expected of it. And three stars even is what I'm going to give it at this point...I think "medium bodied" is a bit of an understatement, but it IS a pretty good blend. I'm reminded quite a bit of Ten Russians.

Bonus -- I mixed Mt. Marcy in about a 30:70 ratio to Louisiana Red and came out with something rich, tasty and satisfying. Right on.

The remainder of this tin, about an ounce or so, got cellared so I will continue to check back over the next several months and update later if needed.

UPDATE 4 SEPT: To each their own. My comparison of Mt. Marcy to Captain Earle's Ten Russians seemed fair and appropriate to me. The mention of Louisiana Red was intended as purely anecdotal. After being sealed in a jar for just shy of two months, I can report that the latakiitis has subsided (to it's typical condimental regimen) allowing the dubec to really come to the front...this created a minty-tingly mouthfeel that I enjoyed. Occasionally I found the virginia, way in back -- I would've liked it to have been more available. Still a good blend, but still not quite an orgasmic experience for me. Such is life.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dualkarnain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dualkarnain (75)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I found this amongst the mason jars and it had been neglected/hibernating towards the back of the shelf the other day. It's been sitting for about half a year and hot damn- I'm impressed.

An excellent balkan blend without the tongue-rape! The dubec climbs aboard the latakia for a swinging good time on the VA train.

Highly recommended.

Images invoked include a sworn enemy, parched and weaponless, crawling through the desert and being suddenly stomped by the heel of my boot. The sweet anguish!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30194)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

It is indeed an elegant blend, especially when you consider the value. In the flavor category, though labeled medium bodied, it goes about as far as I would want to push the envelope, according to my own tastes. For me it comes across as quite hearty, too much so for an all day smoke (that would call for the much milder McClelland 2030), but an excellent choice for relaxing in the evening hours. A premium smoke for balkan lovers. I would agree with others that have found it works best in larger bowls.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30194)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

Mount Marcy may be the highest peak in New York State, but when I am looking metaphorically for a tobacco I am seeking a Mount Everest. Over the past several months, I have given 'Mt. Marcy' every chance to reach a summit. I have only found mole hills in this offering from Habana Premium Cigar Shoppe ( Aside from the stinging harshness, 'Mt. Marcy' in smoking is anything but interesting. With that said, it is obviously made from quality leaf. It packs and burns well. The stuff is also cut well, smells wonderful in unsmoked form, and is a nice multi-coloured blend. It is a very light Balkan with a soft kick of nicotine. Unfortunately, it only gives me AMS (acute mountain sickness) not due to its rising summit but its veritable depth of ditch. Still, I am giving this two stars rather than one as some, admittedly, would rather dig trenches than ascend pinnacles. Moreover, I certainly can understand the appeal that this tobacco might have. And, frankly, I have smoked worse.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30194)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Mt. Marcy is a true medium bodied balkan that is super smooth with loads of flavor. The use of Dubec (Basma), gives this the aroma of balkans from days long gone. Packs and lights easy, burns even and clean. To be completely honest that's all that really needs to be said. Load your pipe up and enjoy!

Nobody has rated this review yet.