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Another creation from mastermind Russ Ouellette, this blend was named because after you smoke it, there is a chance that you'll feel like you were run over by a train. The mixture consists of a blend of Red Virginia, dark Burley, dark-fired Kentucky, a bit of unflavored Black Cavendish and Perique. The result is a nutty and earthy blend with a slightly spicy backbone that burns cool and produces thick clouds of smoke. It has a very stout body and isn't for the timid, but it's a satisfying blend meant to kick up your day.

BrandHearth & Home
Blended ByRuss Ouellette
Manufactured ByPipes & Cigars
Blend TypeAmerican
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Burley, Kentucky, Perique, Virginia
CutCoarse Cut
ProductionNo longer in production
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Medium to Strong
None Detected
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable, Tolerable

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Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30194)
Strong Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

Could this be the grail of pipe tobaccos? Freight Train is, at least to this piper, long awaited. It strikes me as what OJK and Haunted Bookshop are supposed to be.

Outstanding burleys provide a nutty flavour, the cavendish gives richness, and there is a good note or two of Kentucky. The perique is there, but not up one's nose, as it is in too many blends. For a change, no Latakia. I can't taste the virginia, though it must be there.

From start to finish, this is what burley blends should all aspire to. Imagine the best codger blend you have ever had, in the best pipe that you own; multiply that by several orders of magnitude for flavour, strength and sheer puffing joy, and you may just approximate what Freight Train is.

If I didn't know that it came from the talented hand of Russ Ouellette, I would say this had to be a Tarler-Runowski creation. I would go a step further and say that this is the best blend that Bob Runowski never created. If Russ was looking for a tribue to Tarler and Runowski, he could not have done better. It has that deep harshness that the CD blends have, but is not rough or bitter.

Overall, I would mark this as the finest pipe tobacco I have ever smoked. Looking forward to a couple of serious Freight Train decades. I just hope that over indulgence doesn't spoil the fun.

10 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3050)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

The burley is very earthy, nutty and kind of smooth, and dominates the other ingredients without being harsh or ashy or relegating them far in the background. It does offer a mild rough, sour edge that doesn't distract or turn bitter. The lightly tangy dark fruit sweet red Virginia underscores the flavor without rising to compete with the burley, as this blend isn't very sweet. The woody, spicy dark fired Kentucky is less obvious, but adds a base note of strength. I can taste just a bare essence of the black cavendish if at all, because I think the sweetness mainly comes from the red Virginia, and perhaps a very mild topping. The perique is plum and raisins, and adds a nice spice taste to perk it up. It's savored best in a pipe with a big bowl to experience the various flavor components. They say this is a very strong tobacco, but I find it medium strong with a deep, full flavor. It burns at a reasonable pace, evenly, cool, clean and dry, leaving little moisture in the bowl. Requires few relights. Has a medium level nic-hit. No chance of bite, though there is a rough edge or two. Has a strong, lingering after taste and room note. Not an all day smoke, but it is a filling one.


9 people found this review helpful.

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

Blind test blend #4 and deemed by myself as the best of the test. Gnarly looking ribbon with some choppy chunks and a bag aroma of mostly nothing but with an underlying spicy scent. Almost mildly cinnamon-y, but not exactly. I noticed some black in there with the earth tones but couldn't smell any latakia.

Taste-wise, this also seemed like a C&D blend, but more to the Tarler side than Runowski (I never guessed this was an H&H blend). It was hugely spicy and nutty with a bare hint of sweetness that, as I puffed, I decided was a perfect amount. Any more and it may have ruined the blend. The flavor was stellar, with this almost juicy, stew-like quality where everything just meshes perfectly. I noted just a hint of a tongue sizzle, however. It wasn't enough to detract too much but it did force me to slow down, as I was puffing like a dehydrated person drinks water. The blend tasted that good. When I slowed down, it of course improved. I smoked all 5 bowls back to back and I need to put in an order for a few pounds. This one is strong but not obnoxious, not terribly complex but hugely flavorful and satisfying. If you like a ton of flavor with no harshness and you're not shy about nicotine, give this one a whirl. Rounder than a straight burley, spicier than most straight virginias and less rough than a predominantly Kentucky tobacco, this one just works on every level. A masterpiece!

Pipe Used: Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: New

8 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Blender Russ Ouellette told me about Freight Train a few years ago at the Las Vegas Pipe Show. He knows of my love of strong tobacco with a lot of Burley and said he'd created a blend that I might like. Russ was right! Freight Train even has more than the typical Burley flavor and the Perique, thought far off in the background, was masterfully created to enhance the sledgehammer like effect one gets from smoking it. I took an opened tin to a recent pipe club meeting to let everyone sample. We started the meeting with 15 members and left with 3. I think all the others are still on the floor.

3 people found this review helpful.

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

I was given a sample of this about three years ago and I jarred it after just a few bowls and just recently got back to it to finish it off. It is very good and another fantastic VaBurPer coming out of Hearth & Home. There are so many they are making now, it is getting difficult to keep track of all of them, but Russ has sure shown a talent with these ingredients.

My favorite of these is Russ' Firestorm. While Freight train is very good, I don't think it will supplant Firestorm as my favorite of this brand and genre. FT is very nutty sweet and the spiciness from the perique is there just not as prevalent as it is in FS. Of course, both have enough Va to add or accentuate on the underlying sweetness.

This one is good and no doubt, deserves a three star rating. This very well may be a four star smoke, but I will decide that after I have had a chance to smoke a full tin. I do plan on putting a few tins in the cellar.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Bought this mainly for the perique, realizing I have a big affinity for it. I must admit that my palate isn't as refined as some but I'm learning. I have to also be upfront and state that I haven't found many burly dominate blends to my liking.

I bought this in bulk, not really sure if it comes in tins? I immediately packed a bowl and thought it was alright. Put the rest in a mason jar and let it sit for a couple months. Now smoking it I seem to like it more than before. Not sure if my tastes have changed or it mellowed a bit. I get the spicy/fig flavour from the perique and the burly provides a nice body. The Virginias seem to be hiding. I get some cavendish now and then. Can't really detect too much Kentucky.

It is described as being really strong. I don't see it. I actually enjoy inhaling this a fair amount. I wouldn't probably buy this again but I will enjoy what I have.

Pipe Used: Savinelli dry canadian

Age When Smoked: 3 months

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

SecretAgentMan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SecretAgentMan (27)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

For strength, if we take Hearth & Home's Steamroller as a 10, then this is a 7. (That's a relative scale, because G&H and SG make much stronger tobaccos than Steamroller). Take the maker's description with a griain of salt. If you regularly smoke strong tobacco (SG's Brown No. 4 or G&H's Dark Flake come to mind) or cigarettes, you will not feel as though you've been run over by a freight train. You might hear the "jingle, rumble and the roar," but you're well away from the tracks. On the other hand, if you're here after smoking, say, a MacBaren tobacco (I enjoy them), you'll more likely agree with the makers about the strength of Freight Train.

For taste, I caught the sweet-sour flavor Perique noticed below. I found the flavor to be mostly butter and walnuts (walnuts have a good amount of tannins, which make for dry red wine as well). The perique is a nice touch, because the unrelieved rich and smooth flavor of the tobacco would be bland. (I usually don't enjoy perique, but it's been added with a light hand and is just right for the purpose). The perique really is a touch of genius. The "peppery" part of perique tints the sweet flavors, and the "plum" part smoothes and highlights the sour. Maybe I put too much hope in the maker's description, but I was nonplussed. Freight Train is full-flavored and a bit on the strong side. That's all there is to say about it.

Pipe Used: MM Washington

2 people found this review helpful. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note (231)
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

Summary: an American version of the English flake formula, this complements Virginia with Black Cavendish for an intense, lasting flavor.

The British formula is to mix Dark Fired Burley and Virginias in a plug. "Freight Train" compares very well: it moderates the Virginias with Black Cavendish, raises the intensity of the Kentucky with Burley, and spikes the result with Perique to create a sublime, powerful smoke. A gentle sweetness melts like summer fog and reveals the strong tryptych of Burley, Kentucky and Virginia creating a flavor like barbecue with rich dark bread, calling to mind the amazing Dark Fired Kentucky Burley that C&D uses sometimes. Perique bubbles up with a sweet and sour flavor that adds some spice but mostly depth. The flavor lingers, as does the high-intensity dose of Nicotine, making this a perfect smoke for adventures deep in the forest or mind.

Thanks to Death Metal Underground member "Paul Warkin" for this sample.

Similar Blends: Cornell & Diehl - Old Joe Krantz.

1 person found this review helpful.

Perique Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Perique (163)
Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

My initial impression is that this is the tangiest tobacco I have ever tasted, particularly at the charring light. It just smacks you in the face. Big dose of red VA here, so will bite back if rushed. Tang mellows a little bit as it gets going. Still tasting those red Virginias on the tip of my tongue. I think I detect some burley in the background, which is good. Not picking up much cavendish, but I may just be overwhelmed: a lot going on here. Moisture level was just right. Burns well. This reminds me a bit of Acadian Perique meets Hal o the Wynd.

Smoke slow, or this one can be an a$$ kicker. Robust, with a lot going on in the background and around the margins. Overall this is definitely an excellent tobacco for lovers of strong blends. Strong like in my book. Too early to tell if it's a strong rotational like, let alone a love. Lots going on here. Will have to smoke some more over the next week and check back.

An aptly named blend. Smoke this one SLOW to get at the complexity of flavors and transition that tang into savory/sweet. Sweet and sour comes to mind - yes! It's the sweet and sour sauce of tobacco (with a kick).

Update, 08/2013: I let this age for just over 6 months and came back to it. As usual, age has been kind. All of the noted flavors are still there: that glorious interplay of sweet red Virginia and tangy Kentucky, with the burley as a foundational back-drop and Perique adding a hint of spice. I find that i can taste the burley a bit more as the Virginia and Kenyucky has mellowed. It all just seems smoother with a little time under its belt. I can't wait to see what another year or two do to this tobacco.

1 person found this review helpful.

jb.Samworth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jb.Samworth (1)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

A good full, satisfying tobacco. gives a pure flavor feel of the tobacco in it, a nice perique note to it bound together well by the cavendish. lights easy,burns well.

1 person found this review helpful.

Haroldt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Haroldt (26)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I've read several reviews on this blend stating that it was an ass kicker. Can not say that I had that type experience. In fact I find it rather mild and to be an all day smoke. It lights and stays lit. I like that! The aroma is wonderful.

Pipe Used: Corn Cob - Yellow Bowl

Purchased From: Cigar and Pipe

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