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Capt. Earle's Ten Russians is a true delight for lovers of latakia. Rich and full bodied, Ten Russians is pressed to deliver a perfectly balanced blend to the true aficionado of full English tobaccos.

BrandHermit Tobacco Works Co.
Blended ByCornell & Diehl
Manufactured ByCornell & Diehl
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsCavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
CutKrumble Kake
Packaging2 ounce and 8 ounce tins
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
Cup O' Joes
Product Image
Medium to Strong
None Detected
Room Note
Tolerable to Strong, Strong

Favorite Of 10 Users

71 reviews
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Miyanovich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Miyanovich (13)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

I'm 6'4" tall, and 220 pounds in weight. I am very strong, and can withstand smoking a lot of Latakia. The telling of my Ten Russians Tale is not an exaggeration.Skip this if you have no patience, or sense of humor.

The Tale of Ten Russians: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

I absolutely love my extra large, bent poker that was made for me by Tom Johnson. The chamber is almost 3.5 inches high, and 7/8 of an inch in diameter. Nothing pleases me more than stuffing that pipe with an excellent tasting tobacco, and draining it to the bottom.

Yesterday, I was feeling my oats. I bought a tin of Nightwatch and a tin of Ten Russians. I went to my favorite place in the world, hiked the woods and fields a bit, and smoked a full chamber of Nightwatch. As I was about to head for the car, I got a notion to call a friend. As the conversation was sure to go long, I decided to, against the advice of some reviews here, pack that huge chamber with Ten Russians, after a full dose of Nightwatch. I love latakia, and smoking that bowl of Ten Russians was amazing. I kept saying to myself, "what are these bozos talking about? The Vitamin N isn't that strong. Hell, I could probably finish this bowl, and then another."

I continued under that delusion until I hit the last 10% of the bowl. This is when the truth was revealed to me about Ten Russians. Have you ever been so out-of-wack, that you felt as if your pants had fallen off, even though you still had them on? Because, if you know that feeling, then you know what it felt like to me.

My body temp went from 98.6 F to about 100,000 degrees Kelvin. I could barely finish my phone conversation. Every muscle in my body got weak. I began to yawn incessantly. As I drove home, I had to keep my head perfectly still and my torso at a perfect 90 degrees. You see, I was gripped by the fear that I was going to projectile vomit so hard that my windshield was going to get shot out, like in a Starsky and Hutch episode...except from the inside of the vehicle. The drive home is still a complete mystery to my memory banks.

When I got home,I couldn't even gather all of my goods from the truck. I just left my sh*t in the cab. I walked in the house, grabbed a cold rag, laid on the couch, put the rag on my head, and passed out.

I woke up an hour later, refreshed and okay because the Vitamin N overdose had processed. I had to eat a large bowl of organic noodles, and a bagel to reach true homeostasis.

I give Ten Russians 9.8 out of 10 stars. It's powerful, unassuming, great Latakia taste, and if you step out of line with it, it will pummel your a$s with the power of ten extremely burley Russian men. I'm better for it. Can't wait to smoke a bowl of it when I don't act like an a-hole with the amount. I'm not giving it a 10 star rating because my nuts still hurt, and I am sure that I will never sire another child while I am on this planet.


Update 07/04/10: Now that I know how to approach Ten Russians, I can say that it is by far my favorite blend.

Yes it is almost singular in taste, but that's what I love about it. It is earth, and smoke, and strength.

Bravo to Cornell and Diehl, and Hermit Tobaccos.

This is Big Boy stuff.

It's Darth F-ing Vader.

34 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

A deeply smoky, woody sweet Cyprian lat-bomb that’ll leave no doubt about what you are smoking. Sitting in the back ground is an earthy, fruity Virginia, and a sweet cavendish that serves to tames potential harshness from the large amount of latakia. The smoky, woody Turkish adds minor support as a welcome addition you’ll usually notice. The krumble kake is easy to break apart, and burns slow, requiring a number of relights. It won’t leave much moisture in the bowl, and can burn to ash. Won’t bite, and doesn’t have any harsh or dull spots. Has a little creaminess, is fairly smooth from start to finish, burning cool and clean. Not very complex in terms of complexity by design, you’ll be in for a strong, very rich latakia experience with plenty of nicotine that will teach you respect for Madame Latakia. Strong after taste and room note, you won’t make any friends when you smoke it, unless they are fellow latakia fiends.

16 people found this review helpful.

NoirPipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NoirPipes (5)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Yes it's one note (Latakia!!) but I have smoked straight Latakia before, once, you know just curious, and it didn't taste any thing like this. For this reason it seems to me a cleaver blend in that it has such a smooth flavor while giving you the impression that you're mainlining Latakia. There is the smoothness - (black cavendish) sweetness (Virginia) and fullness (Turkish?), it just that they are playing the part of structure but not even hinting at their own flavor. Usually I would say this means a lack of balance, but strangely I want to give this blend a pass because I find it has its own excessive kind of charm. You Know like an actor who always chews scenery, seems to like himself too much, and you want to hate him but you just can't. He gets away with it because of CHARM. Also, of all the high NIC hitters (Irish Flake, Nightcap, 1792, Brown and Black ropes) this seem to be the smoothest on the tongue, no bite. I do recommend not drying it out as much as others, smoke it moist and don't pack it as much either. And do yourself a favor, use a small pipe and go slowly. It seems like a pussycat at first and then you'll get the shakes. Just keep repeating, it's only the's only the's only the nicotine....

Pipe Used: Peterson Kinsale, small Mark Tinsky

Age When Smoked: new to 8 months

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Plum Pudding but way, way stronger and way better..

12 people found this review helpful.

AlexL Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AlexL (26)
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

Best stuff for Latakia maniacs. I wanted to try it because I speak Russian and love Latakia.

It looks like a black brick which slivers easily. I've tried it in small filtered Savinelli. Very sweet and rich taste, mostly Latakia but some Orientals and Virginia inside. Is it strong? You bet it is! But not like Irish Flake or 1792, which is going straight on you like a drunk Irishman, and you know what to anticipate. This one crawls to you slowly from behind like Russian partisan in snow-covered forest, and in the end his axe will reach your head.

Seriously, this tobacco is good. Top-quality tasty mixture with high but manageable nicotine content. Treat it with respect, and it will be your friend for life.

12 people found this review helpful.

ATW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ATW (45)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

If tobacco reviews was used to determine popularity on its own to determine if a company should blend a particular blend then the Captain Earle's brand would be screwed. This brand needs to be more recognized on tobacco reviews.

I've began to really start getting into C&D blends and this has to be the best one yet. To me it is just like Nightcap but is deeper and smoother and just a tad bit sweeter. If you like Nightcap then try this. Who says that Top notch English Blends only have to be made in the EU.

11 people found this review helpful.

beercritic Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beercritic (33)
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

This. Is. The. Best. Tobacco. I've. Ever. Smoked. It's a bit more balanced than Captain Earl's Stimulus Package. If you hate Latakia, stay away, because this is very strong in that department. It's so good I have to ration it, buying at least 5 tins for each one I turn to ash. I wish it came in larger tins, or bulk.

Pipe Used: A variety - best in the meer

Age When Smoked: 2 months

Purchased From: P&C

10 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Medium None Detected Very Full Pleasant

This is one of the most powerful Latakia blends that I've ever smoked. The stuff comes out of the pipe in waves and my tongue got a little overwhelmed, frankly. I do like to smoke Latakia from time to time, but also enjoy the other elements in the blend. With Ten Russians, I get a Latakia Intravenous drip.


9 people found this review helpful.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (171)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Thick. Rich. Bold. Satisfying. Think charbroiled Steakhouse ribeyes. Peaty, malty, well aged scotch. Leathery, earthy. This blend portrays power. Authority.

Thick chunky cake of mostly dark brown and black leaf. Specs of lighter Va can be seen from the top view of the cake. Rubs out very uniform, packs with the perfect amount of spring. Light, tamp, light, rest. Light again, and you are on your way. The Orientals really stand out and l enjoy the clean refreshing taste that lingers on the palate. This blend is not very complex, but it is perfectly balanced.

I enjoy it during an autumn stroll in the woods taking in the fall colors, or sitting in front of a roaring fire with my bird dogs at my feet and a Macallan neat. 10 Russians is an undiscovered Latakia Masterpiece!

Age When Smoked: 5 years

9 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

The taste is mostly latakia as the Virginia and cavendish play minor supporting roles, though you will notice the Turkish some. The Virginia is earthy and the cavendish is sweet. Strong and forceful in taste, it'll give you the nic-hit you're looking for if you are into lat-bombs. If you're looking for a complex English, this isn't the place to be, but if you're a latakia fiend, you'll enjoy the journey if you smoke this. The flavor is consistent with no harsh or weak moments. Burns well, slow and leaves no dottle.

7 people found this review helpful.

CLRV Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CLRV (14)
Very Strong None Detected Full Very Pleasant

Now THIS is what I was looking for in the tobacco world.

Easily the best tobacco I have smoked. Insanely cool in the bowl, slow burning, easy to pack and light. No bite. At all. And I smoke like a chimney puffing away when I am reading/writing for work etc.

As others have mentioned, the cake form is really well done and adds a bit of fun to the usual packing process. I can't detect the cavendish, but then again, this is such a well blended tobacco it's hard to pick any one flavor out of the general taste profile.

Yes, the N content is... well, nuclear. But not too much, at least not for me. To be very honest, this is the first tobacco I have smoked where I could really notice a Vit N factor. Maybe I have a massive tolerance from years and years of cigarettes or my inherent size mellows the hit out. But it's tremendously calming.

An absolutely brilliant tobacco which I will be buying a great deal more of over the course of my smoking life.

Yes, it would be awesome to have it come in bulk. Or at least like the GLP stuff where you can get the 8oz.

6 people found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (203)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

There are a lot of really nice full Latakia mixtures on the market and there's no doubt that this is one of them. It comes in a nicely pressed tobacco cake and gives off a rich deep smoky aroma from the tin. Once I have broken off a chunk from the cake and roughed it up a bit, I do find that it needs a bit of dry time, perhaps 30 minutes on average. Overall the presentation is a bit more moist than a lot of the other latakia mixtures I smoke. I would imagine that the pressed cake form has a bit to do with that.

The first half of a bowl of Ten Russians provides a densely layered smoke quite reminiscent of mixtures like Pease's Odyssey and Dunhill's Nightcap. However as far as nicotine goes, Ten Russians sits a bit more firmly on the Nightcap side of the spectrum. My only knock on Ten Russians is that unlike Odyssey and Nightcap, the back half of the bowl gains a somewhat aggressive acridity. Too much information for my feeble minded tongue to unravel? Perhaps. Nonetheless, I prefer the end game of the other two aforementioned blends over this one.

Altogether this blend is still quite satisfying. It's spicy, rich, and nicely balanced. However I doubt I will stock up on it as I have plenty of blends on hand in the same realm that I enjoy more, but I am very happy to have tried it.

5 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Medium None Detected Full Very Pleasant

Good Lord have mercy - what a shot of Latakia!

I know this tobacco has other components, but the various flavors were snuffed out due to all the Latakia. I think CAO's Old Ironsides wuld take a back seat to this one. If there is a fuller Latakia on the market I'd frankly be afraid to try it. I like Latakia every now and then, but this is just too much for this old cowboy. Taste presentation; leather & salt.

5 people found this review helpful.

RonR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RonR (5)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is some good stuff! Did not notice the nic hit at all. The retrohale on this for me is Nightcap taste minus the nic hit. Crumbled easily for me and burns great. Puts out some fairly serious room note & smoke so the War Department doesn't like it when I smoke it in the house. I control this home so I smoke it whenever I long as she is gone :) I air it out before she gets home. OK....she is the 10 Russians but you get the idea.

Pipe Used: Mostly cobs but also briar.

Age When Smoked: > 1 year

Purchased From: P&C

Similar Blends: Nightcap.

3 people found this review helpful.

TSchiraldi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TSchiraldi (5)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Ten Russians is top 5 in my rotation. This is a full, strong, Latakia forward blend. It is a complex and tasty crumble cake. Pungent, yet soothing. The Latakia plays well with the Orientals - a perfect balance! The smoke is sweetened by the Virginias and mellowed by the Cavendish. The magic happens during the last third of the bowl. The tobacco tightens and a sweet pungency hits you full on, and you have to force yourself not to start puffing like a freight train! Treat it gently at this point and you will be rewarded! This is my favorite evening smoke. Think Gas Light with a touch of Cavendish.

Pipe Used: Ascorti bent Dublin, Caminetto Business

Age When Smoked: Fresh - New

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

Similar Blends: G.L. Pease - Gas Light.

3 people found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (180)
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

Tin note is mostly Latakia with some sweet caramel notes. The kake is dark and variegated and easily crumbles between thumb and forefinger to produce tobacco of a perfect consistency and moisture for burning. Leaves a fair amount of oil on the hands so something to clean up with is recommended.

I like Lat so I liked this baccy because it has a fair chunk of it. However, I found I preferred it less than Pirate Kake and other bombs because it feels a little rough and monotonous. It is also a bit lightweight in the nic department, as any baccy with a majority of Lat is likely to be unless it is supported with some robust Burleys, so it doesn't work as a kick starter for me either. Somewhere between 2 and 3 stars for me, but since I am unlikely to repurchase, I'm marking it as a 2.

3 people found this review helpful.

1979 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
1979 (62)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Hermit Tobacco Works - Captain Earle's Ten Russians

Cut you off a sliver of railroad tie soaked in creosote and motor oil!  Okay, not quite.

Powerful and industrial.  You're in lat bomb country now. But, I'd like to say it's not complete lat bomb, the orientals are an important player also, adding some leathery musty spice to the campfire equation. It seems like the oriental component becomes more notable as time advances on an open tin. I almost want to give this one four stars, indeed within the heavy latakia field this is a definite four star contender.  This would make a mighty fine cool weather, outdoorsy smoke. 

Dry and smokeable straight from the tin.  I recommend a slightly looser pack here also.  There's surely some vitamin n here, although personally I didnt find this one to be the utter nicotine powerhouse some of my fellow reviewers did.

2 people found this review helpful.

sleightinmind Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sleightinmind (2)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

A latakia lovers choice. I really like this blend and don't notice the nicotine as others have stated. Superb flavors blend nicely and at at times can be single dimensional, but not the norm. I think that depends on how the puffer rubbed it out. Recommended if you enjoy a good lat bomb.

Pipe Used: All kinds

Age When Smoked: 10 months

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: C&D da Vinci and oddly Lancer's Slices.

2 people found this review helpful.

Matsutake Slayer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Matsutake Slayer (8)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Upon lighting the bowl it isn't ten Russians that greet you, but rather three Ukranians, an Odessan and a brooding, disquietous highwayman from Samarkand. The Ukrainians cajole you, the Odessan offers tea, and the latter host seems to be plotting a coup.

Later, just past midway through your bowl, those ten Russians appear abruptly, as though from nowhere, and shuffle you bumpily away to a dimly-lit room heavy with a salty, even slightly peaty smoke, the faint music of a prima balalaika in the background. You can't quite make out any faces in the room, but there's no mistaking that you're in the company of serious men, most of them with disfiguring scars and tales of high adventure.

When it's all done and the smoke clears, you find your companions have departed without a trace, except for the fine gray ash in your bowl to remind you that you didn't dream the whole thing. Quite a journey!

Pipe Used: The ugliest sandblast root briar available

Age When Smoked: 6 yrs

Purchased From: Such things are not purchased, they are "acquired."

2 people found this review helpful.

GabrielCRT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GabrielCRT (94)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a strong candidate for my all time favorite pipe tobacco. Definitely at the top of the English blend category including Penzance, Old Ironsides, Nightcap, etc.

Ten Russians offers an injection of Latakia straight into the veins. It is smoky, woodsy, and sweet. It is always the first thing you taste throughout the entire bowl. However, the Orientals, Virginia, and Cavendish all play important supporting roles. The Orientals add some depth and complexity, the Virginia adds some sweetness, and the cavendish smooths everything out.

This is a strong, full-bodied tobacco but I don't think it is the monster everybody makes it out to be. I regularly enjoy it in the morning after a big breakfast. It has a nicotine kick to it but it is no 1792 Flake, Gawith Rope, or Royal Yacht.

The room note is rather pleasant for an English blend. Never bitey or harsh and the DGT is the best I've encountered. Several hours after putting the bowl down the blend still shines.

2 people found this review helpful.

gjoiner91 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gjoiner91 (1)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

This tobacco is truly a masterpiece. I am a huge fan of English blends and this one is by far one of the best I've had so far. As soon as you open the tin the latakia hits you right in the nose, but ironically you really don't taste the latakia till later. When first lit the blend has a very light almost sweet yet savory taste .The turkish is more prominent in the beginning however towards the middle and end of the bowl the latakia takes over and transforms the entire flavor profile of the blend. In my opinion that is the best part though. The smell is incredible as well, like a campfire fueled by the trees your grandfather cut down himself. I can't speak highly enough of this blend...if your a fan of latakia and English blends and like tobaccos a little stronger anyway. Try this you won't regret it.

Pipe Used: Roma Canadian, la rocca poker, mauro #314

Age When Smoked: Fresh out da mailbox

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Ten Russians comes as a single briquette of two ounces, comprising largely dark leaf with specks of lighter tobaccos. The tin aroma is rich, inviting and full of promise. Cutting a slice and crumbling it to produce a pipeful takes no time at all. As with any crumble cake it is best to pack it lightly.

The tobacco takes a couple of lights to get going, but thereafter burns steadily enough. After a slightly bitter start it settles down to delivering a latakia heavy but still complex smoke in which the orientals and virginias do not get lost. The mouth feel is weighty - a heavy Algerian red wine comes to mind. The taste is consistent right down to the last shred.

I did not find it to be particularly strong. Alternating between FVF and Ten Russians, I found the former to be noticeably stronger.

On the whole, Ten Russians is a dour, heavy evening smoke. It is highly satisfying, even though it does not sparkle like Nightcap or Penzance.

Pipe Used: various briars

Age When Smoked: two years

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

DD Stolz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DD Stolz (2)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Very Pleasant

Okay folks here we go. This will be my third or fourth review. I usually smoke the blend I'm reviewing while I type. This is the first time that I will not do that. I have smoked this earlier this day. It was such a pleasant and notable smoke that it has compelled me to come to my computer. As you may, or may not know, I have been puffing for years and my early favorites were Sullivan's Gentlemen's Mixture and Bengal Slices. Having said that, I must say I may have found a tobacco that is at least, in the same league! You may be thinking, what did he just say, okay I'll say it again. Same league! Ten Russians has really impressed me. The earthy body, heavy thick smoke and very rich pleasant taste of yesteryears spender! To me it was not just like going back to the house you grew up in, but getting to go in and walk through the house and feel the warm feeling you got when you go back to a time and place when everything was easy and effortless. A safe place where things were comfortable and worry free. Well by now you must know that it was quit and experience for me! That's why I'm sharing it with you. The proverbial holy grail, for me, maybe. It put me in a good frame of mind, that's for sure. I feel a good tobacco, like a good song can do that. If you have had the good pleasure of smoking one or more of the greats I've mentioned and have not tried Ten Russians, then please try it. You may want to have a handkerchief handy.

2 people found this review helpful.

LSU Tiger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LSU Tiger (13)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is a wonderful tobacco! Heavy on the latakia, a bit sharp at times, but full of flavor.

The cake breaks easily, loads well and lights easily. I had my first bowl in the Dunhill group 5 Shell Dublin, which I feel is the perfect bowl for this blend. There was a tiny bit of dottle at the end, expected with a tapered chamber.

I'll certainly stock my cellar with more of this. After all, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!

2 people found this review helpful.

Legionnaire Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Legionnaire (26)
Strong None Detected Full Strong

I had always been told by a long time pipe smoker that Ten Russians has the highest Latakia content of any blend. I don’t know if that’s true, but it is in fact a Latakia bomb. This is not a tobacco to be feared. It is expertly blended to produce one of the finest smoking experiences ever for those who enjoy Latakia. It’s smooth, doesn’t bite and is very flavorful without being harsh. It leaves a taste in the mouth that is quite enjoyable and reminds me of a fine steak.

Pipe Used: Briar, meerschaum

Age When Smoked: 3 months

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

JinxJar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JinxJar (6)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Very smooth smoke, no harshness or tongue bite, but a little one dimensional. I get some brief tastes of Virginia but mostly just Latakia. The Latakia used tastes a little different than Private Stock, but are tasty. It smokes dry, with few relights, and leaves very little dottle. It is a fantastic evening smoke and pairs well with black tea. I prefer Private Stock just because of the tingle I get from the Perique, I guess; however, this is a top notch tobacco and stays in my rotation.

Pipe Used: Peterson Kinsale XL23

Age When Smoked: 1-60 days

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: G. L. Pease - Gaslight (Old London Series).

1 person found this review helpful.

gahdzila Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gahdzila (60)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Very Strong

Mostly black with a few brown flecks. I'd call it a plug, I think. It is softer and easier to cut than plugs I've had by Peterson and GL Pease, but I found it too dense and firm to easily crumble with my fingers, so I can't in good conscience call it a cake. Suffice it to say, I found it quite easy to prep as far as plugs go, but it does require a knife or some other sharp tool. It's just a hair on the moist side...surprising considering that it is manufactured by Cornell & Diehl, as their stuff always seems to me to be a tad on the dry side. I'll blame it on the plug, which always seems to hold more moisture than ready rubbed. Anyway - it smokes fine as is, but it wouldn't hurt to leave it out and let it dry a bit.

A bold latakia presence makes itself known right out of the gate. I don't believe this has quite the lat percentage as Pirate Kake, but it might be close. Ten Russians no doubt fits my definition of "lat bomb." There's a significant Oriental percentage, methinks, as I notice a sour tang next. Personally, I don't like an overwhelming Oriental presence...this is up front, but it isn't over-the-top. Mouthfeel is thick and spicy. A bit of pepper in the flavor, just enough. On retrohale, I get a nice peppery burn in the nose, but also a creamy sweetness comes into play that I previously didn't notice in the mouth. The latakia sledgehammer mellows a bit as I pass the halfway mark, and the overall flavor quiets down somewhat into a nice peppery smoothness for the remainder of the bowl.

Burn is good, requiring an average number of relights. Room note is somewhere between "foul" and "wretched." LOL Nicotine is perhaps a bit stronger than medium.

Rich, bold, spicy, and very complex in flavor. I've had four bowls so far, but I still feel like I haven't quite wrapped my brain around all of its intricacies; unfortunately, I've only got a small sample to review, so I had to go ahead and get my thoughts down. Ten Russians is by no means an all day smoke, but is wonderful in the evening on a full stomach paired with an after dinner black coffee. Highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

dixcreek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dixcreek (103)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

In a word, Excellent! A lat bomb, it has plenty but the Lady Latakia is tamed by the sweet Cavendish and well cured hay like Virginia. While it is noticeable I feel the Turkish is the least noticeable of all. While some have said it is not an all day smoke, I say, not so fast my friend! Smooth enough to go the distance, and enough nicotine to keep you on your toes. The crumble cake breaks up well and packs and takes fire well. Consistent taste throughout the bowl with little to no moisture. An all around satisfying smoke for this ole sod buster! If you like Latakia you will like The Russians.

Pipe Used: Petersom303

Age When Smoked: New to 1 month

Purchased From: Smoking pipes

1 person found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (302)
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

A very nice surpise. This is, by all means, a very good Latakia laden smoke: strong, manly, perhaps a tad overwhelming. But it is very good: meaty, hearty, full of flavour. The Virginias are quite dry, with all their natural sweetness gone. The orientals (Turkish) and Latakia predominate. The strength is obvious. One draw and the palate is immediately greeted by a blast of a heavy English taste that lasts long after you've put the pipe down. I would not recommend this as an all-day smoke, but every once in a while, specially when it's cold and windy, it's an exhilarating smoking experience.

Pipe Used: Peterson's System

Age When Smoked: N/A

Purchased From: N/A

Similar Blends: Maltese Falcon; Black Mallory; Nightcap..

1 person found this review helpful.

MJG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MJG (16)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

Leaf: This tobacco was my first Krumble Kake, it's no wonder it got caught up at customs, it must have looked like a brick of Hashish on the X-Ray. It is a little rectangle of very compressed tobacco, maybe 2x2x1 inches, dark brown and black, a little oily and a bit wet. It breaks up very nicely into a fine mix of what I guess you would call chopped leaf. It dries quickly once broken up.

Tin Aroma: Latakia. Glorious, thick, smokey Latakia. There is also an underlying sweetness here, and a spiciness from the orientals, but it all takes a back seat to the Lat, which is fine by me.A very rich aroma you can smell a mile off, Earthy, Smokey, and at the risk of sounding silly, I thought I got a hint of smoked bacon from time to time...

Taste: Things get even better here. My first mouthful was dominated by the Latakia, it is really packed in there, big, heavy, smokey, dry, earthy, a wonderful dose of what has to be my favourite component in many blends. But it doesn't end there, you could be forgiven for assuming this will be a one dimensional smoke, but I found it far from it, the orientals and Virginia don't disappear into the background, their sweetness and spiciness weave in and out of the heavy latakia all the way, it feels very well balanced, it is incredibly smooth, with thick velvety smoke. I found it to be a satisfyingly complex blend of elements that never seemed to leave any single component in the dark. By the end of the bowl I found the Latakia to be slightly less dominant, maybe due to becoming use to it, and the orientals and Virginia become a little more pronounced. At the end of the bowl I was left with a sweet, smokey after-taste in my mouth and on my lips. This is top quality leaf, a top quality blend, and a top quality experience.

Smokeability: I had no troubles with this, I never dried it, just crumbled it, packed it a bit lighter than I usually would with ribbon cut, lit it up with two matches, and smoked away. It stayed cool and dry throughout, it never even looked like biting even when I was taking big deep puffs to make the most of the thick smoke, and the big Nic hit. I found it very manageable and it burnt down to a fairly fine white ash. No fuss to clean up.

Summary: This is a GREAT smoke, I really, really, REALLY enjoy it, it has great depth of flavour, it is BIG, it is rich,it is smokey and sweet, and it has a big Nic-kick to boot, make sure you respect it or it will sit you down and teach you a lesson. It is like walking into one of those restaurants from Man Vs Food, and ordering their challenge, the "Super Dense English Supreme with Extra Latakia and legendary Secret Nicotine Sauce", except sitting through this isn't a challenge, it's a privilege.

1 person found this review helpful.

Wellpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wellpipe (59)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I don't think I've used the word 'comforting' before in a tobacco review but it fits here. This is a nicely balanced blend, definitely 'Latakia forward', that comes in a nice big brownie-sized cake that cuts and crumbles easily. Medium but definitely present nicotine strength, with a sweet and gentle flavor that has a familiar, warm, and 'comforting' feel to it - silky mouthfeel, light on the orientals (no bite or afterburn). I did not at all get the oily or creosote sensation that some have reported. This reminds a little bit of Penzance in flavor profile - dusty but round and smooth - although not quite as refined / subdued as Penzance, and the cake is not as dense. This is a quality smoke, perfect for a mellow, contemplative evening on the patio accompanied by a snifter of brandy.

Pipe Used: Wellington

Age When Smoked: New - tin date <30 days old

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Penzance (remotely).

1 person found this review helpful.

Susanna Hoffs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Susanna Hoffs (74)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Smoked this back in 2011 whilst staying in Florida and thought I'd reviewed it back then, but apparently I forgot!

I lapped up the opportunity to try blends unavailable in the UK whilst staying in the sunshine state. One of these was Hermits 'Ten Russians'

I tried this blend in principal based on suggestions that this was a lat bomb, and I wanted to see just exactly what one of those was. Upon opening the little can via its neat little ring pull, I discovered a dark brown/black soft'ish block of tobacco.

The aroma of the contents upon opening, utterly stank of used oil and creosote. Urrgh... Was this 'real ' Latakia I wondered?!

Any way I took out the little lump and found it slightly greasy in texture which reaffirmed the initial oily/creosote sensory experience.

I cut off a thick flake and rubbed out what to me looked like shredded dirty Autumn leaves. My fingers betraying a dusty darkness afterwards as if Id been handling a barbecue brickette.

I smoked it in a cheap cob which was fine for the job. There was no bite at all and the tobacco burned well, with a very thick, dusty, smoky aroma. The nicotine was medium to low for me and the smoke ultimately one dimensional.

I guess this is a real Latakia lovers blend, or one for those that miss the smell of a freshly creosoted wooden fence, surrounding a mechanics garage, the staff of which are having an oily bonfire.

So, a bit one dimensional in that what you smell is what you get from start to finish, but a nice change from lighter English blends/Virginia's or for when you want to blow the cobwebs away from an earlier aromatic adventure.

Similar to Nightcap and Artisans Blend, but for me with a smidgen less nicotine ...

Pipe Used: Cob

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Night cap & Artisans blend.

1 person found this review helpful.

Phonomet Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phonomet (44)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is usually considered a lat bomb, but I'd say other cake/flakes like pirate kake and penzance are more lat heavy. The tin note is definitely aged cheese. Another reviewer described the taste as "cheesy bacon flavor" in reference to orientals, which is spot on, but I'd also posit the presence of perique (though unlisted) as a player in the blend. This would account for some of the heft of the smoke too. Ten Russians does need to be treated with respect with slow puffing and not too much retrohaling, etc. It is a rewarding smoke especially when you want something rich and savory.

1 person found this review helpful.

bteddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bteddy (23)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

You've got to love latakia for this to work for you. Strong from the first to the last. Think burning charcoal with a room note to match. If you can handle the in-your-face strength and the wife wondering "what's burning", then go for it, your reward is pure latakia. I occasionally need a wake up call and this is the one to do it. Can't do this all day, but when I need a bomb I turn to this tasty tin.

1 person found this review helpful.

Tom Servo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tom Servo (58)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The tin aroma of Ten Russians is definitely heavy on Latakia as every one of the previous reviews have pointed out. But I was surprised by the balance of the aroma coming off this little cake. The smokiness and creosote of the Latakia are softened by the VA and held up by the cool Oriental leaf. Leather, smoke (charred wood), bacon, dusty basements, sweetness from the VA - subdued and fruity, faintest spices and an odd scent like dry Portland cement. Complex and warm, the aroma is more than intriguing.

Crumble Cake crumbles nicely. My tin was a little dry. Packs easy. Once it is lit it tends to stay lit pretty well.

In the bowl “Ten Russians” is much less complex. The Latakia in my opinion is over done, but it still keeps a smooth-ish balance. The Orientals have a sizable presence as well, the Oriental leaf seems to be trying the hardest to balance the Latakia landslide. Somehow it balances, but the flavors themselves are muddled. It gets more one-note as the bowl progresses. Still, it is a pleasant note. The second half of the bowl settles into very smoky, dusty notes from the Latakia. Sweet & tart notes and sea salt are all the Orientals tobaccos are contributing now, or at least that's all that I can get through the Latakia.

A surprising tobacco, enjoyed it quite a bit. Bites if neglected. High Priced in my opinion, for this particular blend. But well made and absolutely worth a try.

I personally think C&D should leave out a little of the Latakia. Maybe throw in a couple more Russians - make it an even dozen. (Ha, Ha! Hails of derisive laughter, Bruce!)

1 person found this review helpful.

UTOPIAN PIPER Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I had the pleasure of savoring this wonderful tobacco at our pipe club meeting this month. As an avid cigar smoker, I've always loved a full-bodied smoke. This holds true as well with my pipe tobacco. I've always searched for a tobacco that was strong, cool to smoke, and did not have any bite to it.

I was handed a small batch of tobacco in crumble cake form. I've heard of Hermit as a brand. I know they're made by C&D. I've heard a lot of good things about it; however I've never tried any of their tobaccos. From the beginning one can deduce that this would be one powerful smoke. It was dark and there is no mistaking the good amount of latakia in this blend. I have to admit I do love latakia and lots of it. As a matter of fact, one of my favorite tobaccos is C&D's daVinci. Unlike other krumble kakes, this tobacco broke apart easily, packed and smoked very well.

I used a Cavicchi Bent Brandy with a chamber depth of 1.89” and a chamber diameter of 0.90”. I will concur with everyone who reviewed this product. This is a POWERHOUSE of a smoke. I mean this in a good way, though. What is so surprising is that unlike other strong tobacco, it had such a cool smoke that I could hardly detect any bite to it. Again, be forewarned this is NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED SMOKER! C&D for the most part, have always put out a good product. Captain Earle's Ten Russians is an example of such product. Out of a possible 4 stars, I would give this 3 ¼. Although I love the strength and the coolness when smoked, it could do with a little more complexity in flavor. However, I still HIGHLY RECOMMEND it.

I am glad I was given the opportunity to smoke this fine tobacco. I wish this came in 1 lb. tins. I will definitely try other products from Hermit.

1 person found this review helpful.

smallshinythings Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smallshinythings (7)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

My favorite thing I've tried in I can't say how long. I Love Lat and this comes through. I continually set the pipe down and walk away just to enjoy every last bit of flavor on the back of my teeth and roof of my mouth.

Strong, but not overwhelming, full and complex. Seems to be pretty even all the way throught the bowl, I describe the room note as pleasant against the sig. oth.'s vote, I think she was leaning toward unbearable as she does whenever I smoke anything not from the drug store or the tinder box.

Note to self buy more

Update 9/26/15

Still a blend I return to regularly. Married now, not to the previous sig oth. Wife loves the room note. Strong, interesting (she says).

I've come to find that I like Latakia blends with orientals present, which this has plenty of. The smoke tastes busier with some oriental present. This has the smoky Lat, but plenty of the spicy and complexity I like in this type of blend. I don't think it's the one note Latakia mix it's been accused of.

In a large bowl it smokes cool. The flavor is consistent throughout the bowl. I prefer it to nightcap because I prefer the nicotine and the robust, full mouth feel. Perhaps the cavendish gives it body.

Still living this.

Pipe Used: Large bents

Age When Smoked: New to five years

Similar Blends: G. L. Pease - Westminster (Heirloom Collection), Dunhill - Nightcap.

1 person found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1643)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

Hermit Tobacco Works Co. - Captain Earle's - Ten Russians.

I love a nice English as the first smoke of the day and as I've finished my jar of Germain's Special Latakia Flake and my order to replenish it's been delayed by the bank holiday I went to my cellar and grabbed this.

The smell of Ten Russians gives a perfect impression of what kind of smoke's on its way: strong Latakia. It's a loosely compressed kake so a pipes worth can be gently rubbed from the block. Once rubbed it's a good idea to give it a short airing.

'You say you like Latakia? Well, try this!' It may say it contains Oriental, Virginia and Cavendish, but the only flavour I get is Latakia......STRONG Latakia. I like English/Balkans but this is too much. The Latakia tastes harsh, acrid, bitter, astringent, caustic, acetic and severe! That's me out of descriptive words, lol! I can't smoke anymore than a quarter bowl before I get Lat-Overload.

Nicotine: very strong. Room-note: strong.

A decent enough Latakia but better as a blender than a straight smoke. Somewhat recommended:

Two stars.

Pipe Used: Peterson Around the World China

Age When Smoked: Stamped 09/22/17

Purchased From: 4noggins

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cherry picker 1779 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cherry picker 1779 (18)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

Crumbles and packs easily. Crumbs that we're in the fresh tin were good moisture content for packing straight from tin. Burns very very well and cool and is rare for a cake. The flavor is full and taste is phenomenal. Very enjoyable Latakia bomb , strong nicotine ooh does it hit the spot! makes for one nice fulfilling pipe ! This is definateley my new go to Latakia forward blend. It Smokes so cool and smooth . I am telling you this is quality stuff. I give this the highest reccomendation. I vill be "Putin" zis stooph in me pype for long time. !! Your winning if your pipeload is smoldering with ten Russians ! What a great name for this tobacco, just perfect! Update 5/30/18.... The honeymoon is over! Sorry but this last bomb is a good flavor and all but gets boring and every time I try a bowl at the end of the jar I take a few puffs and say to myself, "I've been here before". I also find myself wanting to just finish it so I can pack something more complex/ interesting. Good to buy, good to try , but doesn't stand the test of time for me. 3 stars for a one tin adventure lay bomb with satisfying nic hit but a 2 stars for me blend now....

Similar Blends: 10 to midnight.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stinkypipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stinkypipe (156)
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

So a friend of mine turned me onto this blend. His comment about this blend...."started smoking this and the next thing you know I am on the ground in nothing but my tidey whiteys and these ten big ass Russian guys are standing over me laughing."

Well how can you pass up a review like that! Opening note was outstanding....smelled like a campfire. The light up was easy and the first puff or two.....Wow this bad boy is potent. My friend suggested I smoke a small bowl. Good advice for me. This has a fantastic taste so sweet and smoky and perfect for a true lat lover. No it is not Syrian Latakia but Cyprian Latakia. Still it is damn good. You just have to respect the power of the nicotine level. Had to relight a few times but nothing really a problem as it gave me time to come down from the nicotine high. Room note is tolerable at best for the fairer sex. This is a big boy blend but outstanding to all us latakia lovers. A true five star smoke just mind those big burley Russians guys.

Pipe Used: Boswell pot

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Similar Blends: Nothing............

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Presbyterian Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Presbyterian Piper (4)
Strong Medium to Strong Full Tolerable

This is a great blend for the Latakia lovers. It comes in a plug that you can either tear apart or cut chuncks off with a knife. A very smokey blend that I like to have on cool winter nights. Has a good amount of nicotine i smoke cigarettes on occasion so may be overpowering to some. This really is one of the best English blends I've tried.

Pipe Used: Vintage Custom Bilt

Age When Smoked: 5 months

Purchased From: Bodas in Greenville SC

Nobody has rated this review yet.

crazy owl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
crazy owl (72)
Medium None Detected Medium Strong

Well a lot of cyprian stuff and nothing more,perhaps a touch,only a touch,of cavendish.The last tins from C&D like this or Pease´s ones on the Va side are really rubbish.Luckily in this case the high proportion of Lat doesn´t lease the feeling so obvious.They can say that it was a bad batch but the bucks are of good batch.Anyway I counsel to smoke this blend if it comes from old stock or to wait they´ll finish with the present Va stock.Beside all this I perceive an undertone of cigar leaf,burley?.Sorry,but to be honest and not misleading other people I must give a lonely star,texans forgive me.

Pipe Used: peterson systems

Age When Smoked: current production

Purchased From: smoking pipes

Similar Blends: many others.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (302)
Strong None Detected Full Strong

A tobacco that is both strong in vitamin N and rich in flavour. Not very complex, but tasty and feisty. It comes in crumble cake so do not expect much moisture in this one. I personally don’t mind its brick-like structure—very much like Briar Fox—because it’s supple, simple to break up and easy to load. It burns perfectly well throughout the bowl. It is a rather cool smoke but one should be wary not to draw in too frequently.

Flavour wise this is basically Cyprian Latakia (on the dry end of the spectrum), with some Virginias and a few but tantalizing Orientals here and there. Tin description says it has Cavendish. It may be, but it’s in very small proportions and of the unsweetened kind. So what you get is an immediate blast of deep dark Latakia, and gradually, as the initial fireball subsides and things settle down, the other flavours emerge to reveal a nice and potent English mixture.

In my opinion this is a once in a week smoke. Flavours and strength are so overpowering that unless you are a diehard Latakia fan (meaning that’s all you smoke daily and throughout the day), it may ruin the taste and subtleties of other tobaccos in your daily rotation. A much lighter version of this may be found in Larsen’s Selected Blend N° 20, and a more similar version in G.L. Pease's Maltese Falcon.

Pipe Used: Charatan Mayfair

Age When Smoked: N/A

Purchased From: Gift

Similar Blends: Larsen's Selected Blend N° 20, G.L Pease Maltese Falcon.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tabaco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tabaco (111)
Very Strong None Detected Extra Full Strong

A massive blast of Latakia which is great and that's all it does all the way down the bowl, with minimal complexity.

The first third of Stimulus Package when packed does the same thing, a blast of Latakia then the Orientals begin to shine with far greater complexity and nuances throughout combing/supporting the Latakia which is still very much apparent all the way down.

While I adore Latakia which Ten Russians has in spades, the preferred blend of economists everywhere is Stimulus Package; myself included.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I just finished the second +2 year old tin. I must say that this blend improves with age.

C&D typical good plug format- crumbles easy enough.

When the tin was new I had a few bowls and the smoke was good but a little
unremarkable. So I came back to it again at 6 months, with similar result.

At about a year ( stored in mason jar) this smoke became wonderful and extremely complex. I would say its not a Lat bomb but very Lat forward.
Virginias adding strength and depth.

Super smoky and almost dusty on the pallet . Bite factor is very low.
Smokes well fully dried out as well and it does not loose flavor (to me) when fully dried out.

Have just smoked the sister tin to the first one and having the same age gave the same result. I would consider to recommend this blend to anyone liking strong English blends (like Nightcap) but please consider to age for a while before smoking as the tobaccos seem a little "young" with new tins.

Pipe Used: bent / straight reserved for Lat blends

Age When Smoked: 2+ yrs

Similar Blends: like pumped up version of Nightcap -.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I've tried and tried, but all I can taste is latakia. I can't get anything else out of this. The one plus here is that it's good for use in tweaking other blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

MacNutz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MacNutz (12)
Medium None Detected Full Strong

I'm half way trough my second kake. The first block I got from a friend. It had some age on it. Now I'm smoking a fresh tin. There is a difference. More flavour nuances when aged.

I certainly see why this is so popular among the serious Latakia lovers. Probably hell on earth to someone who doesn't like or is just so-so about the Lat.

For me it was love at first light. This fresh tin has not disappointed. Very Latakia forward. I think it is medium strong regarding the Vitamin N hit, though not to be played with carelessly if you are nic sensitive.

I'm giving this four stars with the proviso that I'm a Lat lover.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

The question of “Strength” and “Taste” to me is often confused. I find Ten Russians to be medium in a strength department as in the level of Lady N. In the taste department, TR is definitely full. For lovers of Latakia, it will be on most pipers top five list. I enjoy it both aged and newly tinned. The other tobaccos merely show up as there is no doubt who the star of the show is in a fresh tin. Ten Russians with three years of age presents at least to me, a more balanced smoke. The Latakia softens a bit while the Virginias gain a bit of sweetness that I don't find in a newly minted tin. I find very little complexity in a newer tin and a greater degree of it in one with some age on it. I prefer to rub it out, being careful to not overdo it and being careful to not let it get too dry as it will turn to dust. Either way, if you are not a fan of Latakia forward tobaccos, than this is one to take a pass on. If you love well made, Latakia forward krumble cakes, it's hard not to recommend Ten Russians.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

This is good stuff. This review was from a fresh tin and smoked from a large cob ; you get an initial hit of nice smoky Latakia that quickly develops into a cheesy bacon Oriental flavor, very flavorful through the first half of the bowl with nice balance. I wouldn't say there was much sweetness and the Cavendish doesn't do much either. Unfortunately, half way through the pipe the flavors become mottled, Latakia totally taking over the Orientals and a spice bringing some heat, (Smoked at a sip). It seemed to stay lit very nicely and smoked for a long time. I really think this will be super blend with a little bit of cellar time, I don't like the harsh spice on the tongue. I'm doing my own comparison test against Engine 99 and Odyssey, I'll update with my conclusions , 3 stars now.

Update: Best **- Odyssey ( 9 months cellaring),

Good *- Ten Russians ( new tin),

OK **-Engine 99 ( new bulk)

I just noticed reviewer," Tom Servo 03/29/2011", I have to agree

Updated 7/29 2015- I just retried this blend after about 3 years in the in the cellar, very smooth and flavorful. This has definitely improved to a 4 star blend . If it only came this way as a fresh tin.

Pipe Used: cob

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sorringowl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sorringowl (8)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

Holy Smokes, Batman! This is one strong sucker. If you really like Latakia, (like, you wouldn't mind having it administered in an I.V.), this is for you. I'm still fairly new to Lat blends but I can tell there is some very good quality Latakia, Virginia and Orientals in here. However, I think I need to work my way up to this, learn to really "sip" tobaccos and eat a hearty meal before lighting a bowl of this up (I suggest you do the same).

I wish the presence of Cavendish in the blend was, well, absent (I can take them in small doses) as I think the other three blends make for a complex enough mix; but you Lat lovers out there probably won't even notice it. I will probably come back to this, because it's an interesting smoke, but Ten Russians is like one of the heavyweights of the tobacco world and you have to treat it with respect and train for it. Otherwise, it will feel like Ten Russians did a number on you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (84)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

If you are a confirmed latakiaphile, welcome; others need not apply.

This is for the hardcore latakia lover who believes too much of a good thing is never enough. It's the latakia equivalent of a Triple-Decadent Chocolate cake. This is as strongly balanced a latakia blend as you're likely find that doesn't go over the cliff into pure latakia. The orientals are distinctive and complement the latakia very nicely, and the virginias add just a hint of sweetness to take the edge off the tsunami of latakia that crashes over you.

I don't know that I'd call this an english or a balkan blend. If this is an English blend, then it's pre-Norman because there's something elemental and primeval about this blend. (Maybe taking the name as a suggestion, perhaps this should be called a Russian blend...? Somehow seems fitting.) Ten Russians is really in a class all its own -- it's like nothing else I've tried. It's not what one would call a subtle blend -- though very high quality, there's nothing remotely elegant or subdued about this in-your-face blend -- but it's got a complexity all its own. If you read through the previous reviews you'll see descriptors like leather, salt, clove, smoky sweetness, sourness, oily finish, and they're all correct. I would add words like earth and dirt.

The crumble cakes are the best I've seen. They break apart beautifully.

Ten Russians is uniquely satisfying when you're hungry for a full-bore latakia blast. Be forewarned, though -- this is one of those tastebud blockers that can have an effect on your appreciation for the more subtle, pure and "cleaner" flavors of virginia or VaPer flakes. You might need to cleanse your palate after this orgy of latakia.

I plan on always having a tin of this stuff around.

Nobody has rated this review yet.