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A dark, full Balkan-style tobacco containing bright and matured Carolina and Virginias, a healthy mixture of Turkish, and plenty of flavorful, fragrant Latakias. A superb late-evening smoke that can stand up to a sturdy single-malt scotch, small-batch bourbon or hearty port.

BrandHearth & Home
Blended ByRuss Ouellette
Manufactured ByPipes & Cigars
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutKrumble Kake
Packaging1.5oz Tin, 8oz Tin, Bulk
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
PipesAndCigars
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Tolerable

Favorite Of 5 Users

2.8
38 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
9
3 star:
16
2 star:
9
1 star:
4
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Joeray Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joeray (61)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I have trouble to pack well this tobacco at first, when i pack it without rubbed is hard to draw or make air pockets so i got a poor smokes and if i rub it first it burnt so hot on my pipes. The taste is quite dull, sour and i dont get anything until it reach the middle of the bowl. No special things and just flat, and no lasting after taste. I dont found an oriental spiciness that usually i got from usual english blends accept sour smokey taste and get more sweeter after it reach the middle of bowl. But this blend is not bad at all, from the name i think this blend is fit for evening smoke but according to my taste this blend is just fit at breakfast smoke, as first smoke of the day.

Age When Smoked: fresh and 1 year

3 people found this review helpful.

manno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
manno (37)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

One of the weaker links in the H & H arsenal. Unlike their other kakes, this disintegrates into dry powder. Bad start. No charring light necessary. Smokey? Decidedly so. Warm, sumptuous, comforting smoke? Anything but. The only flavor profile I come away with is one of the smoke that was used to cure the tobaccos, not the finished products themselves. Stick with Engine 99 or Nightcap for a substitute, or any number of other H & H Latakia-forward blends (Ambassador, Strikeforce, Armada, Black House and Magnum Opus to name a few).

Pipe Used: Various Large-width billiards and bulldogs

Age When Smoked: One year

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

Similar Blends: Engine 99.

3 people found this review helpful.

piedpipester Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
piedpipester (19)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I didn't have any trouble rubbing out this blend at all, and it lit and burned just fine for me. I can taste more than latakia easily when smoking at a liesurely pace. Reminds me more of 965 than Penzance. I like the taste, very good sipping tobacco, it is sort of light on nicotine, but that might not be a bad thing if you smoke it at night before bed. Recommended...3 stars

UPDATE: I have let this age for a while, and the oriental is far more pronounced than the other components. I actually think of it as an oriental blend now, and it's still very good, smooth and slow burninng.

3 people found this review helpful.

Big Nick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Nick (72)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I really like the appearance of this krumble kake, hard as a rock, but contrary to other reviews I find it simple to break up and load. This is a very fragrant kake that takes me back to the old country (Croatia) remanisant of the winter fires and smokehouses curing hams and sausages.

Nice and dry it lights up easily and burns well straight to the bottom of the bowl. The pungant flavors reveal all of its componants, smokey, slightly sweet and somewhat floral, but the latakia is always at the forfront. As is so often the case with me, when the rich flavors really begin to develope I tend to puff harder and faster wanting more, thus ruining what I had. When puffed to hard those smokey sweet flavors quickly turn into an acrid insence type of wretch.

Bottom line, sit back, smoke slowly and enjoy !

3 people found this review helpful.

Oldguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Oldguy (8)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

I have seen this compared to both Penzance and Abingdon. These are two of my favorite tobaccos and I see absolutely NO similarity to either of them. The first time I tried this blend it was in the small tin, and was a lump in a plastic bag. I am not one of those who likes dealing with kakes; all I got was dust and smaller lumps, and it did not burn smoothly. I did like the taste though. Others here have covered that quite well. HOWEVER -- In the 8-oz size it is presented in flake form and is FAR easier to deal with. It burns quite well if packed loosely and is far more enjoyable when smoked slowly. I think this would be a better cool weather smoke; it is a bit harsh when smoked outside on 90-degree humid days.

Pipe Used: large bowls

Age When Smoked: ?

Purchased From: P&C

2 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (513)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

For the most part, I have been a fan of Russ’ blends, but my first contact with 10 to Midnight wasn’t all that great. I didn’t mind the dryness of kake, but it seemed a bit rough, similar to some of the way some C&D blends hit me. (I have wondered if C&D sourced the components of this blend). But with some time put away, it really mellows out. The kake breaks pretty easily, although if allowed to dry anymore, the Latakia can get “dusty.” I have only smoked TTM in bulk form so it may be a little moister in the tinned version. It burns clean and as another reviewer mentioned, the Oriental shows itself quite a bit, although I found that when TTM isn’t aged, the Latakia can dominate more than I would prefer and drowns out the Orientals a bit. I like this on our cold New England winter evenings more so than as a daytime or hot weather smoke so it’s not an everyday smoke for me, but a nice change of pace.

Age When Smoked: New & 2 years old.

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

2 people found this review helpful.

Suttonwood Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Suttonwood (12)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Great complexity of flavor. This tobacco deserves to be smoked slowly. The tin I received was a little dry for my taste, but it burned well right to the bottom of the bowl. I originally bought this to supplement my Penzance supply and have found this to be fuller flavored, but not as rounded. Will buy this again.

2 people found this review helpful.

thomasanswered Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thomasanswered (11)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Though marketed as a heavy-hitting latakia blend, with the deep salty leatherness, one actually finds here the piercing high notes, slightly soured, of who knows what, all melded together for a monotony like a flute sonata when one had sought a cello one.

2 people found this review helpful.

Brown Pipeman 1940 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brown Pipeman 1940 (40)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I've never smoked Penzance so I cannot compare this blend to it. I CAN say that this is a very good choice for those who want a good strong English style blend with lots of Latakia. The description makes it sound real stout, but I actually found it pretty mild as far as nicotine content, and the flavors seem to mellow the further down the bowl you smoke. It reminded me of House of Lords by Hearth and Home, but without the Turkish tobacco. It packs easily, burns nicely, and creates lots of tasty smoke (smoked steak anyone?). It does go well with scotch, but I found it went best with a good cup of tea, especially after a nice meal.

Just be warned about the room note: While I enjoy the woodsy, smokey smell, my friends all did not find it very pleasant. I should have brought an aromatic, but was enjoying this blend so much that I wanted to share it. Smoke this in solitude, or in the company of other smokers who enjoy English blends; but bring your cherry, chocolate, and vanilla blends when it's social time!

2 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (227)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a good tobacco at a great price in bulk. This is heavy on latakia.I enjoy the krumple kake , however, you must fully rub it out or else it tends to need frequent relights. I find myself puffing fast with this one, just because I'm greedy for more of its great latakia flavor, more of a bitter aftertaste than sweet. This tobacco has a little tingle that I can't fully identify, almost when you have a sprits of seltzer with your drink. Smoke it fast and it will bite, 6 months of aging should mellow this out. One dimensional with Latakia out front.

Update 9/6/11 Well It's been 9 months, and this still has a bite and is hard to keep lit. This tobacco smokes salty , reminds me of "Engine 99". I'm removing one star

Update 1/5/12 There it is, almost one year of aging to the day and the bite is gone and the Turkish begins to play. Latakia is out front , like an oil refinery having an outdoor Bar-B-Que. The Turkish has nice support but rather than a sweetness from the Virginias , I get a saltiness. Upon lighting you get an explosion of flavor, Latakia & Orientals ,but this fades fast at about a 1/4 bowl and it becomes ashey. Actually, if you tamp this out and relite, you get another explosion of flavor for another 1/4 bowl ( great northern winter feature for running out of the house when it's 20 degrees outside and smoking 1/4 bowls !!) Oh, and it I still have trouble rubbing this out, you get little nuggets ( like Grape Nuts Cereal) that don't burn real well.

Updated 3/20/12 Hope you can live with my updates but as this tobacco aged and breathed it has improved. Orientals play well and the latakia is more in the background, you need to sip this to get the most. I tried this against "Larry's blend" and LB is smoother but less lat. and I like it better than 10TM. However, 10TM is worth 3 stars.

Updated 10/26/12 One more update I promise, I like my Balkans with more Orientals and sweeter. This is hard to sip, it goes out, that simple.I'll stick with Larry's blend and won't buy this again.

2 people found this review helpful.

BrSpiritus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BrSpiritus (18)
★★☆☆
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

I agree with Chris below, comparing this to Penzance means you either 1) Never have smelled Penzance, 2) It's been forever since you smelled Penzance. If I had to compare, I'd say this was a dead ringer to GLP Abingdon which is not a good thing in my case.

Before trying Abingdon I enjoyed English blends with latakia but Abigdon was like having a little tobacco with your latakia... Ten to Midnight is no different. The pouch aroma is Latakia, the taste is Latakia, and the aftertaste is (suprise) Latakia. I got heartburn just smoking this stuff.

Suffice it to say this is not my cup of tea and probably has reinforced putting me off of latakia for a good long while again.

YMMV

2 people found this review helpful.

JustPlainChris Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustPlainChris (11)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Well, we all know Penzance is hard to come by these days. After perusal of the web and this site, I found a possible replacement to my beloved Penzance: Ten to Midnight.

Now I don't know if the name of the blend is in reference to the Bronson film of the same name, but I do know that Penzance this aint'!

But that isn't such a bad thing, after all...

It comes in big ole' sticks, with lots of fine tobacco dust in the bottom of the bag (I got this in bulk at Uptown's in Nashville). It smells almost IDENTICAL to Penzance, but looks like it has slightly less oriental leaf in the blocks of tobacco that I bought. The blocks will most likely make the novice (or the impatient) have a fit.

(How can you be an impatient person if you are in the Brotherhood of the Briar???? Strange, but they ARE among us!)

So, I looked at the tobacco a bit closer. Imagine a Twix candy bar. That's how this tobacco comes: in a little Twix shaped rectangle. I saw trouble rubbing this out...

Undaunted, I took my time preparing the tobacco, and loaded up my pipe.

The initial flavor rush made me think that I had FINALLY found my beloved, long lost Penzance. The intensity fades, sadly, as you progress through the bowl. It comes back and forth, in and out, and I have found I appreciate this after a few bowls.

All in all, though, I WILL be stocking up on this fine Balkan/English blend by Hearth and Home.

If you LIKE latakia and sweet, pungent orientals, then you owe it to yourself to try this blend.

I recommend this for the price and the quality.

2 people found this review helpful.

pipeslayer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipeslayer (16)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I love latakia, and this blend expresses it beautifully for the most part. This kake burns beautifully, and yields a smooth, cool smoke throughout. There is no bite whatsoever, and this stuff smoulders gently away as you smoke. The latakia is full, bold and creamy. This is a rich smoke. However, I would prefer more of an edge in the latakia, and more of the smoky flavor that I adore. To my taste, this blend is lacking on the finish as well. The opening is strong, but the flavors dissipate through the middle and all but vanish at the end.

I found myself comparing this tobacco to wine: a beautiful nose, a powerful start, but no statement on the tongue once it is swallowed. It is sort of the equivalent of a "flabby" wine, where the structure doesn't quite match the body.

All of that said, this is a delicious balkan. As seems to be the case with all of the Hearth & Home blends, it is the product of a master blender, and is highly enjoyable. I just found it a bit shy of totally satisfying. I think it might be just right for someone who enjoys latakia but without the "dark side" of hambone and campfire that emerges in many other blends. It is worth noting that Mr. Ouellette has once again demonstrated his mastery of the leaf by developing certain flavors in the latakia while subduing and taming others with the Turkish and Virginia. This is a refined and civilized balkan blend... I think I would like it better with a little more barbarian in it.

2 people found this review helpful.

DrBoB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrBoB (7)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

This blend was just a bit too much for me at this stage in my pipe smoking career On the whole I am not a huge Latakia fan and it seems that is the dominant flavor. I won't fault the tobacco... it is that I haven't graduated to the level where I appreciate blends of this ilk. Like strong spirits and black coffee ... it is best appreciated by a fully educated palate.

2 people found this review helpful.

Boomer-Z Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Boomer-Z (22)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I been smoking my way through the Hearth and Home sampler. I can't say that this is a bad tabacco. It is just not as good as some of the others I have tried. The flavor is average, it packs ok, and smokes easily. I think I was expecting more.

I have found I need to smoke it gently or it bites. I will enjoy smoking what I have, but I won't be buying anymore.

2 people found this review helpful.

Saluki Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Saluki (11)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Although the dominant taste of Ten to Midnight is latakia, something elusive in the background (perhaps the Turkish) keeps me coming back for more. As to preparing this tobacco for smoking, I break it into small pieces and give it a brief whirl in the coffee grinder. Wonderful stuff.

2 people found this review helpful.

RMBittner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RMBittner (66)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

It's fun to encounter tobacco in an unusual form, and I'm glad to see that the crumble cake is still alive and kicking. As for what really counts -- taste and aroma -- this one can be recommended.

Despite its aroma in the tin and in the smoke, the flavors are actually quite mild. You can smoke this for 90 minutes and not taste it when you set down your pipe. (For some, that's a benefit. For me? Not so much.)

This constantly gets compared to Penzance. The comparison is apt; this is as close to Penzance-without-being-Penzance that I've encountered. But for me, a lover of that Esoterica blend, it lacks the spice and effervescence that you'll find in a fresh tin of Penzance. With some time in the tin, Penzance's spice and effervescence fades away. (It's one of the few blends I've tried that is much better fresh than aged.) But it's the "aged Penzance" profile that you get here. In Ten to Midnight, the latakia dominates against what tastes like a soft cavendish foundation, only occasionally allowing waves of orientals to poke through. This seems to have more latakia, less orientals, and significantly more cavendish in it than Penzance. It's a softer smoke as a result, without the distinctive qualities that keep me returning to Penzance.

But let's set direct comparisons aside.

As a Balkan, Ten to Midnight succeeds somewhat, although the cavendish mutes things for me. (I don't believe cavendish belongs in a true Balkan, and I'm convinced it's here in good portion.) In addition, too many puffs seemed to consist of nothing but latakia. I believe a good Balkan blends the latakia and orientals in sufficient proportions to create layers of richness that neither tobacco could manage on its own. This never reached that level for me.

I don't think the Virginias surfaced at all during the smoke, making this much less successful if smoked as a straight English. It's perhaps more successful as a Scottish blend (because of my belief that there's unsweetened cavendish present), with an emphasis on the latakia.

Ten to Midnight is certainly enjoyable no matter what you call it or how you categorize it. But it's certainly not a Penzance replacement for me, and it won't make any of Pease's Balkans quake in their boots. (Except for Kensington, the only Pease Balkan that fails, in my opinion.) I'm glad I tried this, but I won't be buying any more.

One Note: Although this can require an extraordinary amount of finger strength to break up, I found that the long bars of tobacco actually have a kind of "grain" to them; try breaking this up from every angle, and you'll find that one direction works better than all the others. (And breaking this up as much as possible is essential if you want the mixture to remain lit in the bowl.)

Bob

2 people found this review helpful.

haredawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
haredawg (46)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I wanted to be angry about comparisons to penzance, believing penzance to be a unique and superior blend unparalleled and alone in its greatness. I purchased a sampler pack along with a pipe recently, including ten to midnight and Larry?s blend, based mainly on the reviews here. The two ounces of ten to midnight came in a single brick, moist enough to crumble easily, dry enough to smoke immediately. Except that Penzance comes in moist rectangle flakes, ten to midnight could fool me in a blind taste test, very similar, and after experimenting with a few bowls it might even be a bit more versatile and interesting than Penzance (e.g. crumble some to dust some in small chunks and it burns differently, the flavors change). I continue to be impressed by the folks at pipesandcigars, with their customer service and with Russ O?s blending genius. Next time I visit my folks in Mid Michigan I?m taking a day trip to their brick and mortar store.

2 people found this review helpful.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (146)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

This is a pressed cake in the Balkan style. The flavor profile is pretty typical for this type of blend, only I find it to be a bit sweeter and less one-dimensional than some have found. Despite the high proportion of latakia, the latakia in no way overwhelms the virginias or orientals (it's not Pirake Kake, in other words) although it lacks the evolving complexity of a GLP Balkan. There were points where it made me think of a kicked-up version of Frog Morton on the Town, which is a good thing. The only drawbacks to this tobacco are that it seems to have a little trouble burning at points and is rougher on my mouth than I'd like. I think some aging might help the latter characteristic, so I'm giving this 3 stars right now but may revise upward if a year in a jar improves it.

2 people found this review helpful.

student Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
student (21)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

A member of one of the pipe boards was kind enough to recommend this blend to me as I was berating P. Stokkebye's co. for discontinuing Balkan Supreme. I got a four oz. sample of Ten to Midnight and upon opening ran to get my sharpest machete. This tobacco is HARD. However,it repays you when you get it cut/stomped or however you get a bowlful of it. I finally broke off small pieces, stuffed them into the pipe with some crumbs sprinkled on top and lit up. I like Latakia and I love a good Balkan. This tobacco is very good right out of the pouch. very tasty, full and gentle. I like it! If you like latakia blending well with other orientals backed up with some really good VA's, try this. The only reason I don't give it four stars as a Balkan is that place is reserved for my beloved Balkan Supreme. Three stars and I'll bet after a year of age gets on it, it will easily be a four star tobacco.

2 people found this review helpful.

cajomu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cajomu (20)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

I'm a big fan of both Virgina tobaccos and Latakia, so Ten to Midnight is right up my alley. The taste of this tobacco is complex, with both the sweet Virginias and smoky orientals coming through with every puff.

There is one big drawback to TtM, however: it's really hard to light. As others have noted, it comes in rather hard cakes that take a good bit of effort to break up and crumble. I've found that adding some moisture and letting it sit for a day or two in a sealed bag softens it up enough to work more easily. Once it is lit, however, it's a really cool, long smoke. And, as with all PipesandCigars tobaccos, the price is right.

I plan to keep some TtM on hand from now on for when I get that Latakia craving.

2 people found this review helpful.

behindbars1544 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
behindbars1544 (6)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

I received this blend as part of a 6 blend H&H series sampler. Upon receiving & opening my package I was overwhelmed by the wonderful aroma of the blends and was excited to start trying them out. I have reviewed most of the blends individually but all had one thing in common, they all had a very pleasant pouch smell and wonderful room note but lacked taste and most were harsh on the palate. 10 to Midnight fell right into this category but to a degree. Wonderful smell both fresh and while burning and had a somewhat interesting taste but like the others burned a little on the hot side. Upon first light the mild amount of Latakia shines through but as the smoke progresses it tends to fade away some, not totally but enough to start making the smoke dull. I must say that out of the 6 blends I tried I liked this one the most HOWEVER not enough to reorder or keep on hand. I ended up keeping about 1 ounce and trading off the other ounce. I don?t know why but something inside is telling me that this blend has potential. I?m going to let what I kept age a little and see what happens. Understanding that everyone has a different palate and different others might find this blend more exciting than I did however this is one of few H&H blends that I would actually suggest people try an ounce of just to see what they think. Sorry Russ but something your using in your blends seem to be making them smoke hot & bite. Please take this review as constructive criticism and not personal.

2 people found this review helpful.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I really liked this a lot. It is an extremely "pressed cake". Much harder than Pirate Cake by C&D yet amazingly dry after dismantled. Please do not compare this to Pirate Cake. The only thing in common is the fact they are both Crumble Cakes. This is a very heavy Latakia mixture. It is Deliciously one dimensional.It contains burley and orientals,but in very small amounts.It must be broken down into small cubes before being smoked.Allow the dust to be the top layer as to facilitate easier lighting. This is very similar in flavor to C&D's DaVinci- only better.1st light - LATAKIA. Mid bowl- LATAKIA. Bottom 3rd- Latakia. I think you get the picture. This is not complex at all but it is very tasty for the LATAKIAPHILE.I really enjoy this before or after a meal. It will not coat your mouth like Old ironsides or Pirate Cake. Those blends have a bit more flavor,but truth be told this really is very good. NO BITE! A bowl will last you at least 90 minutes. Worth trying. 3.0 of 4 Latakia stars.

2 people found this review helpful.

Elcid Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Elcid (16)
★☆☆☆
Medium Strong Full Strong

Oh boy, a full krumble kake. Loved the way it smells, both in the pouch and aflame. Tastes fine, although sorta one-dimensional. But it was so fussy to pack, light, and ESPECIALLY keep lit, that I gave up. (I tried rubbed out, not rubbed out, moist, dried out, all the permutations.) It kinda turns into a block of concrete in the pipe and each re-light is less and less productive. To me, Penzance and Pirate Kake are more interesting and easier to maintain.

2 people found this review helpful.

jackhackett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jackhackett (76)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

A solid little English/Balkan cake, rather mild but consistent, very sturdy construction. Nice nose before and after lighting. Tasty but never overwhelming.

And yes, the alternate version of this, Larry's Blend, is more potent and flavorful but lacks the brick/cake form of Ten to Midnight and is instead offered as loose ribbon.

2 people found this review helpful.

Professor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Professor (67)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Ten to Midnight is an average light to medium English blend. There is nothing terribly striking about this weed. It is well-blended and has some nice flavour. Russ Ouellette at Habana Premium Cigar Shoppe (PipesandCigars.com) uses high quality tobacco and those that prefer lighter English blends will like this. Certainly, I recognise this blend as the forerunner for Larry's Blend. With that said, I completely understand why Larry Loerzel, after smoking this, asked for 'something a little fuller and different.' Ten to Midnight is not full, is more English than Balkan, and is certainly nothing different from the many quality choices out there at present (including blends from Russ). I will not be purchasing this again, but note that it is fine for what it is--a light to medium English blend (as stated).

2 people found this review helpful.

dualkarnain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dualkarnain (74)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I really enjoy the latakia and combinant flavors in this blend.

Although a bit of a chore to tear it apart, it smokes long and cool and leaves me with a splendid platter of endorphin and nicotine relaxation.

I'd give this 4 stars but I recently tasted Larry's Blend (also from Russ) and it's so outstanding that I shifted my ratings to reflect my relative enjoyment.

2 people found this review helpful.

alchemyhunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
alchemyhunter (9)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

First let me start with the fact that I am an aromatic smoker, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt. When people first drink wine they start with sweet whites and switch to dry reds. When the drink beer, they start with lagers and progress to stouts. Thats is how I feel about this. I know this a great blend even if I may not fully appreciate it....yet. The pouch aroma is strong and distinctly reminicent of smoldering campfire. It is as hard as granola bar, with about the same consistancy. Took some work to get it broken down. It packs well and lights well. Burn the entire pipe without relighting and it buns cool, all the way down to ash. Definately something I have never expirenced. The taste is the hardest to describe, remember I smoke primarily aromatics, but I will try my best. Definate smokey taste that last the whole bowl, almost incesnse in character but no chemical ting to it or anything negative....very pleasant and very enjoyable. About mid-bowl I for some reason kept thinking of dark bitter chocolate. There is NO chocolate flavoring at all present, but for some reason that kept comming to mind. The end more a true tobacco taste...reminds me of the taste left in my mouth by a fine Ashton. No way my wife will let me smoke this in the house. This is however something that I will smoke when I walk the dogs at Ten to Midnight.

2 people found this review helpful.

emmbee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
emmbee (174)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I love the name of this one. This is a milder pressed Latakia that lacks the complex depth of C & D's Pirate Kake or the mouthwatering, brinyness of Germain's Penzance. The bars are beautifully pressed and are a delight to the eye, though a little hard to break up considering it's a krumble kake. The taste, though, leaves me a bit flat. It starts out very mild, but progresses into a huge mouthful of monochromatic smoke. Smoke this in a small bowl. A large one is too overwhelming and because it burns incredibly slow, you might wish for the ending to come sooner rather than later. A good effort, though I feel it lacks the profundity to make it truly special.

Two and a half of five stars

2 people found this review helpful.

minervasowl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
minervasowl (2)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

After trying a small quantity of Ten to Midnight, I immediately ordered a pound to place in my cellar. Not the strongest Balkan, but a delightfully complex and rewarding smoke. Like most good Balkan's, it goes beautifully with Scotch or a fine Port. After trying this blend and reading the reviews on this site, I'm anxious to try Larry's Blend by the same blender. If you enjoy Latikia blends this is definitely one to try.

2 people found this review helpful.

Meerschaum Man Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Meerschaum Man (85)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

I chose to add my voice to the chorus of favorable reviews that have gone before me. I like pressed blends and this one is no exception. Initially, the 2 oz brick I obtained seemed unduely hard, almost plastic like. I went to work on it with knife and cutting board following up with a few days of hydration. My efforts were richly rewarded even as the initial flame was put to the first bowlfull. This is a rich, flavorful yet exceedingly smooth creation of sublime understatement. It has quickly become a worthwhile addition to my library of blends. Like other blends from Russ, the initial fragrance from the bag quickly diminishes over time, but the character of the smoke remains a justified pursuit. If you enjoy balkans of character and silky presentation, get some of this and smoke it.

Meerschaum Man Smoking a Fischer Meerschaum

2 people found this review helpful.

smokey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smokey (120)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The other reviewers have done a good job of describing the different flavors in this blend. The way all the tobaccos work together to produce a mild, yet very flavorful smoke make this blend outstanding. I particularly like the way the Turkish is dominant at the start of the smoke, it is a wonderful way to begin a memorable experience. When the Latakias make their way to center stage, they do it in a gradual way, gently nudging the Turkish to one side while the Virginias are in the background, adding body to the blend. This tobacco always reminds me of Cornell and Diehl's #416 Plantation Evening. While they don't have exactly the same ingredients, they are both outstanding medium English blends. As much as I like P/E, I must say that I like this one even better.

Packing, lighting, and number of relights are all better than average. I'm not sure how he has done it, but Russ has produced a wife-friendly Latakia blend. My wife remarked that it smelled good to her, which is pretty high praise. Pricing on TTM is also good, even though Pipes and Cigars had a price increase last summer. You get what you pay for, great tobacco.

Ratings for Ten to Midnight: Taste- 18 out of 20; Packing and Lighting- 8 out of 10; Value- 9 out of 10. 35 out of a possible 40 points equals a big ** rating for Ten to Midnight.

2 people found this review helpful.

rkzenrage Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rkzenrage (17)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

When I smoked this it was what I always thought of as ?Balkan? in my head. Though I prefer Larry?s blend for my every day smoke, this is something I come to from time to time for a wonderful smoke that is much brighter and when I want to have a smoke with the varitiels more ?present? early in the smoke, not just in the high note. I love this in a larger pipe after dinner with a Guinness or a big glass of ice water. It is very dark and beautiful, flavorful(full), smoky and (to me) comforting. If Balkans are among what you like you cannot go wrong here, the price is right, their service is wonderful, they ship overseas, no reason not to. Namaste?

2 people found this review helpful.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Very Pleasant

Russ Ouellette at pipesandcigars did a great job with this one! You can see direcly from the bulk that it's loaded with a fair amount of latakia (very positive indeed...) but when you open it all your potential doubts are thrown away by that wonderful smell! Tons of latakia! The packing is easy and the smoke proceeds cool and even till the end, no need to relight. The taste is full, wonderfully full; to me, a little more strenght would have been the perfection, but it's a marvelous smoke the same! Try that!

2 people found this review helpful.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend consists of broad cut golden and red Virginias, with a touch of rubbed out flake, Orientals (mostly Xanthia) and three kinds of Latakia. My eyes, nose and palate detect the Latakia content to be heavy, probably 50% or more. Because of that, it's not likely suitable for the inexperienced or beggining pipe smoker

This blend is easy to pack and light. It burns slow, cool and dry all the way to the bottom of the bowl. A pleasent amount of smoke is produced from puffing slowly and the flavor is splendid. Full bodied and yet layers of subtle complexity with no astringency or harshness.

At first light I detected buttery notes from the orientals that quickly developed into a fragrant bouquet of flavors. Truly complex this. The aftertaste is very pleasent and stays with the palatte for a while in a very pleasent way.

The room note was surprisingly light and not as "offensive" as heavy Latakia blends tend to be. Overall, a very complex and tasty blend that affords a rewarding experience. Ten to Midnight only comes in bulk form and is part of the "Hearth and Home Series" blended by Russ Ouellette for pipesandcigars.com

4 Very solid stars!

2 people found this review helpful.

AKSmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AKSmoke (18)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I struggle to understand the negative reviews here. Pretty, this cake ain't, but fragrant, flavorful, smooth, and satisfying are appropriate adjectives. There's really nothing to preparation: break off a chunk, rub it up, drop it in , pack lightly, sit down and enjoy. The folks complaining about prep and burning characteristics must have gotten a different batch, but given Mr. Ouellette's consistency and skill, I doubt this is possible. For me, this is a quite nearly perfect, medium English/Balkan cake. There is no bite or harshness, and the flavors are nicely melded. Ten to Midnight is smooth, sweet,and smokey with adequate Latakia and the delicious Virginia base common in pipesandcigars.com blends. Give this a chance, in a small bowl, enjoyed slowly and quietly. 3.5 stars-deduction for looks.

1 person found this review helpful.

Stubshaft Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stubshaft (9)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I ordered this as part of a "sampler" pack. When it arrived I thought that someone had put a few chunks of coal in the bag. It was hard as a rock. I broke out the knife and chopping board and sliced/rubbed out enough to load the bowl of my Peterson. Wasn't worth the effort...

1 person found this review helpful.

Taste Buds Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taste Buds (138)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is the first krumble kake I have ever smoked. There is a lot of effort involved in preparing this mixture to load and light. Unfortunately, the rewards do not merit the effort. The taste is very flat and unsatisfying. I won't be buying more of this.

1 person found this review helpful.