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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
Blended ByCornell & Diehl
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsCavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutKrumble Kake
Packaging2oz Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Strong
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Full
Room Note
Tolerable to Strong

Favorite Of 3 Users

3.4
45 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
23
3 star:
19
2 star:
3
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Miyanovich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Miyanovich (12)
★★★★
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.

4 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.

3 people found this review helpful.

NoirPipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NoirPipes (2)
★★★★
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 nicotine....it's only the nicotine....it's only the nicotine....

Pipe Used: Peterson Kinsale, small Mark Tinsky

Age When Smoked: new to 8 months

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

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

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (167)
★★★★
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: smokingpipes.com

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.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (70)
★★★☆
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.

2 people found this review helpful.

Wellpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wellpipe (48)
★★★★
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: Smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Penzance (remotely).

1 person found this review helpful.

bteddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bteddy (20)
★★★☆
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.

Ben Rich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ben Rich (34)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Perhaps my palate is jaded. I've almost finished a two ounce tin of Ten Russians and have enjoyed it thoroughly. My tin was dated 27 Jan. 2011; I opened it in mid- September of 2011 so perhaps the almost nine months of "aging" toned the latakia down somewhat.

I did not find it to be a latakia bomb nor even a nicotine bomb (though I do have a very high tolerance for nicotine).

What I did find it to be was an exceptional smoke. Not a whole lot of nuances but a very pleasant, somewhat sweet and somewhat heavy on rich smoky flavor. It crumbled very easily, loaded very easily (a light loading and a very light settling/tamping in the bowl) and "held fire" very well. Overall, a very very pleasant, easily-smoked mixture with enough flavor to hold my interest and enjoyment until almost the end.

I say "almost the end" because in some pipes, particularly those with a dublin shape, the mixture would get a little sour and a little harsh at the very end.

I tend to smoke my pipes down until there is nothing whatsoever left but ash; on this mixture I found myself sometimes dumping out the dottle... the leftover shreds of unsmoked tobacco at the very bottom of the bowl, mainly because I just didn't want to taste that bit of souring and harshness at the end.

Room note was not objectionable to anyone; my wife never once commented on it, as she might with some latakia blends (GLP Odyssey or Penzance for instance).

I also thoroughly enjoyed Ten Russians after somewhat lengthy DGT; many times I would load a pipe in the evening, smoke a third or half of it, and then relight in the morning with a cup of coffee... it always, after the first couple of puffs, blossomed into a good, rich morning accompaniment to a strong cup of coffee or a strong cup of Earl Gray tea stirred with brown sugar and just a hint of Half & Half.

I very much intend to purchase more of Ten Russians... I've enjoyed it in the morning, midday and in the evening. For me, at least, a very very pleasant and enjoyable mixture.

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.

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.

1 person found this review helpful.

SMOKETSES Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SMOKETSES (208)
★★★★
Extremely Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Tolerable

It's fun to open the box and see this "brick" of tobacco – it is called Kramble Cake – which will later give you a very strong and delicious dose of Latakia. It feels like a punch in the stomach, especially if you smoke in the morning before breakfast along with your coffee. So, just be careful. On the other hand it is a good tobacco cut in such a way that it helps you smoke it really slow. It does not cause any tonque bite ofcourse, no matter how nervously you might smoke it. It leaves a very nice (to me) bittersweet aftertaste in the mouth. What else is there apart from latakia?? Virginia, Oriental and there must also be some Perique in it. One of the most powerful (if not the strongest) tobaccos I've tried. I strongly suggest sparse filling.

1 person found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (563)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

Not for the faint of heart. The taste is mostly latakia as the Virginia and cavendish play minor supporting roles, though you will notice the Turkish some. 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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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: smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Night cap & Artisans blend.

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.

Phonomet Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phonomet (41)
★★★☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (203)
★★☆☆
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.

thejavaman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thejavaman (3)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

One of my favorite "Lat Bombs" so far in my relatively young pipe smoking career. Being a longtime cigar smoker, I find this blend strong, but not even close to overwhelmingly so. I really like the Krumble Kake presentation that's easy to break apart, rub out, pack & light. Needs a few minutes on a Chinet plate to reach optimal moisture level in my book. Smoky campfire notes, with some pepper on the retrohale. If you love Latakia, you should have some of this in your rotation.

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 (513)
★★★☆
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.

longlost00 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
longlost00 (22)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

As expected, it tastes like latakia and has little to no development as the bowl progresses. I would prefer Odyssey over this, but this over DaVinci and Pirate Kake, although they are all in the same genre...that is, heavy latakia blends tempered only minimally by Orientals.

You can get the same smell by jamming your head into a fire pit the day after a campout, but it isn't as relaxing or socially acceptable.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (217)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium 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 12/7/12- I just retried this blend after about a year in the cellar, it's still spicy and burns hot, I've taken this down one stars, I won't buy again , too many other similar better blends out there. ( Engine 99 is smoother and creamier)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

viscfab Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
viscfab (81)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Gents, I had been waiting for my tin of Ten Russians with great anticipation. It did not disappoint at all... Opening the tin I am pleased with a 20z brick of heavily compressed pipe tobacco. Dark colors predominate... Serious latakia here...Moisture is just right and the krumble kake is easy to handle and brake for a filling portion. Lots of campfire smell, bacon, typical latakia delight. It burns easily and steadily, No bite, no extreme heat... taste is full- latakia - hmmm awesome...I can compare this with Penzance with less sweetness and more punch on the nicotine contents. Smoke relaxedly calm - read a book, or your Ipad and contemplate the delicious tatse and aroma of the velvety dense latakia fumes. No gurgle, no mess on the bowl...burns to a fine gray ash. High quality stuff here - By Hermit and produced by Cornell and Diehl specialists. Highly recommended for anyone in love with Latakia and fuller English or Balkan blends. Grab your tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipelovingcalvinist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipelovingcalvinist (68)
★★★☆
Extremely Strong None Detected Full Strong

Wow! Now that's a tobacco, my head is still swimming from the bowl I had yesterday! This tobacco is somewhat deceptive, for the taste isn't overpowering hence the nicotine kick creeps up on you unawares. Not quick to learn a lesson, I spent several consecutive evenings with my head swimming, my nerves jittery, my stomach woosey, before I figured out to smoke this blend slowly and moderately. I cannot give this blend four stars as it does lack complexity and it is just too strong to smoke in my normative nonchalant manner. However, this blend deserves a solid three star rating.

Soli Deo gloria!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flakey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flakey (43)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Hey... who put this barbequed brownie in my can of bean dip ?

It failed the wife test...I don't really care.

It's not a terribly complex smoke but doggone it's good, with the latakia blast and all. Every once in a while, I think I taste and smell a bit of sweetness behind the latakia, almost a very mild chocolaty taste. The brownie flakes apart well, it packs well and once I get it going I have no problem keeping it lit, unless I neglect it. No tongue bite here either.

At this point I'd say it's possibly the best tobacco I've ever smoked. I bought a can based on the reviews here and I ain't disappointed. *The Russians go great with a cold bottle of Guinness Extra Stout.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

GSTQ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GSTQ (31)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Appearance is a mottled dark brown crumble cake. Tin smells of wood smoke, creosote, and barbeque. Tastes oily and smoky, with very little sweetness.

Interesting, this Ten Russians. In the tin it smells a bit like an old factory; creosote, wood, and oil. The Crumble Cake format is very interesting, and it rubs with ease.

Smoking is nice, but boring over time, as the flavour has no nuances. It is simply smoky, not as an Islay whisky but actually like a campfire. It is indeed strong, and requires a full stomach before partaking. Although I will not likely buy again, it deserves three stars.

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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.

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

When I pulled out this fine black brownie of a tobacco brick from the tin, I was surprised at how easily it separated and loaded into my pipe (large bowl). After wiping all the charcoal-esque residue (which wonderfully smelled akin to peat or diesel fuel) all over my pants, I lit up and sat back. To my surprise, this tobacco did not kick my arse in the latakia department, but rather kept me guessing with other dimensions that rounded out the blend. Here and there I would get good latakia strength, but when my mind would start to wander, the Russians would reassure my palate that they were not done showing off. While it is true my personal tastes wanted Ten Russians to be more of a "lat bomb" given the name and such, but it is much more than that, it is what the masters at Captain Earle's wanted: "to deliver a perfectly balanced blend to the true aficionado of full English tobaccos." If you like such englishes as Odyssey and so forth, definitely puff on this in a generous bowl.

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Faustgleich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Faustgleich (3)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

The Ten Russian's krumble kake (pressed 1 oz. block) interested me immediately, as does anything that causes one to participate a bit more than usual in the process of packing. The pre-light aroma does promise a heavy Latakia smoke. Upon waking this morning, I forewent breakfast in favor of my first bowl. I "krumbled" off the desired amount and set it aside to dry for ten minutes. Sitting in warm shade, I noted the thick, salty smoke possible, though a relight, here and again, was necessary. The Cavendish, Oriental, and Virginia did not interfere with the punch of the Latakia, neither did their effects go unnoticed. Were it not for the subtle combination, perhaps they would interfere, or perhaps the Latakia would be vulgar (as it was in the old days of my own blending). In this blend, I'm satisfied that complexity is sacrificed for unadulterated strength of the Latakia. Unquestionably, this is the Latakia lovers' blend.

See my profile to get to my blog's more verbose review of Ten Russians.

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UTOPIAN PIPER Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UTOPIAN PIPER (1)
★★★★
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.

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Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (74)
★★★☆
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.

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peakbagger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
peakbagger (41)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Produced by Cornell & Diehl for Hermit Tobacco, I find two rectangular Crumble Cakes in my 2oz tin. The cakes are dark and fibrous but they are lighter in color than Nightwatch. The tin aroma is Oriental with Latakia. I cross-cut the cake with my pocket knife and rub out enough to fill my Peterson. This blend is easy to light and produces voluminous clouds of smoke. A very nice Oriental flavor with quite a bit of Latakia mixed in. I find this is a very easy smoke to enjoy. 9 out of 10 stars

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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★★☆
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.

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Big bad Jon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big bad Jon (232)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

I confess that I made a mistake of having my first try of this blend first thing in the morning in a rather LARGE pipe. I was wide awake after that!!! It is a fairly strong blend (think London Blend 1000). The latakia is predominant taste here. Not in a C&D Da Vincci way but more of a Nightcap with 25% more latakia way. I am not complaining at all. This blend smokes very cool and also requires very little in the way of relights. It would make for a great break in tobacco. It has some VA and Turkish taste which makes the balance of strong latakia and sweetness almost irresistible.

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ithomka Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ithomka (8)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I am a Ten Russian lover. This is one of the best latakia blend ever! Better than Nightwatch or much european "english blend". Heavy in latakia, rich and full taste. Cut: Crumble Cake.

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Counselor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Counselor (10)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Strong

I love latakia, and I love this blend. The crumble cake is fun and has married the different components so that Ten Russians tastes a bit aged even from the get-go. You can taste the orientals and virginias from time to time; the latter are likely responsible for the good dose of vitamin N the blend provides--definitely not a morning blend. However, the delicious latakia is in the driver's seat throughout the smoke. Another reviewer noted a clove-like taste to this blend, and I concur. This is a spicy, full-bore Cyprian latakia blast. While I grant Ten Russians is a bit pricey, the high-quality tobaccos, great full English taste and long-lasting smoke make it well worth the ducats. Room note is only a guess, as I've only smoked this out of doors. It does not heat up too badly even in a breeze, which is nice. Three and a half stars for English smokers, four stars for latakia maniacs.

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rocker311 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rocker311 (9)
★★★☆
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Extra Strong

This actually deserves 3 1/2 stars.

There's just something about this blend. Sure, it's Latakia. And oh Lord is it strong. Like coffee from Africa strong. And the room note scares away all but the masochists. But whether it's the pressing or some other magic hoodoo, J and Louise give up a really great one here.

This blend is made for sitting on the porch or walking through the woods. This is not an all-day blend. This is not an every day blend. This is a blend for pot roast and Yorkshire pudding evenings, for stiff ales and lagers. This is a blend to bring out when some n00b annoys you by lighting up some sticky pouch of dessert like Cap'n Black or Cherry Cordial. This is the real deal.

Complex? Please. About as complex as a Nascar race. It's loud, it's strong, you get dizzy just being there and it keeps going around the track until it's over. But there's no question in your mind that you've had a pipeful of some high-octane Latakia. And you'll be back for more. Right around the time your wife speaks to you again, you'll think to yourself... "Yeah, that was some powerful stuff. I wouldn't mind another bowl."

Not for the faint-hearted, experimental or dessert topping crowd. Consider yourselves warned. But for you Latakia fiends, you have no excuse for not posessing at least one tin of this. Break half of it up and jar it up. Leave the other half in bricks and jar that up too.

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smallshinythings Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smallshinythings (3)
★★★★
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 al;l 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

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DUPE.629 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.629 (133)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Ten Russians. Very easy to light and didn't require a second light. The taste of latakia is noticed straight away,and it's first class quality is enjoyed immediately.As I smoke my way on I find I'm enjoying this superb blend,more and more. It contain's a full robust flavour that remind's of a really good cigar at time's. Beyond the half way mark of the bowl the rich spiciness begin's to kick in,and I find myself loving this tobacco more and more. To me it's thoroughly delicious and the more I have smoked it,the more I love it. If you ever loved Balkan Sobranie,and enjoy Dunhill's Night Cap,or,balkan's and latakia,then you should definitely try this. Give it time to really get to know it,I did,and I certainly don't regret it. At the bottom of the bowl you are left with a very clean white grey ash,and a dry bowl. It's a really great companion! 10 out of 10.

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The Keeper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Keeper (112)
★★☆☆
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

The name sure is colorful - moreso than the black (and only slightly lightly flecked) cake tobacco I found in my sample bag. Break off a cake, drop it in the pipe, top it with some "starter" broken flake, and it produces HUGE amounts of lovely dirty white smoke.

Captain Earle's 10 Russians is a quality latakia centric blend. To the point it is a bit deadening to the palate. I love latakia and don't mind this excessive smokey sweetness. But I'd probably normally reserve this for a last smoke of the day. There isn't a huge amount of variation but the orientals do kick up to a spicey/tangy pitch later in the burn. Certainly all top quality and IMO a bit more flavorful than even some famous tinned premium blends. Not existential, but a hearty latakia smoke. I agree that this tastes a lot like some of the C+D latakia mixes.

Overall high quality but did not blow me away in any particular sense that would urge me to order a ton of this stuff. But I certainly will finish off my sample!

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chaplikc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chaplikc (135)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

This is all about the latakia. I believe hermit tobacco uses Cornell and Diehl tobaccos in their blends, if you like Cornell and Diehls latakia you will love this. This is perhaps the "smokiest" blend i've ever smoked. It reminds me much of a campfire. I enjoy this on occasion but I believe it would bore me on a regular basis. If you love latakia try this!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

preppypipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
preppypipe (57)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

An absolute HOME RUN of an english blend! A Full and rich latakia infused rush of flavor.I would warn those faint of heart and used to aromatics and virginia's away from this!If you love lat. however,you may have hit "pay dirt"..HIGHLY RECOMMENDED preppypipe

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Big Guy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Guy (12)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Open the tin and you get a wonderfull bacony (is that a word?) smokeness, two nice sticks of pressed tobacco. I take one stick and break it up in my pouch. This takes a couple of relights to get going properly, but one going burns forever. The taste: fantastic!! This doesn't burn my tongue, but imparts a rich smokey clove taste. This was my first tin, but I will be back soon for more. Interesting note where so many Latakia's leave an oder in your pipe, this didn't. A winner and if Hermis sold pound slabs, I would be buying it that way.

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Paul Tatum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paul Tatum (86)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

Of al the Mystic blends this was my favorite . But still , it's not unique . A very good latakia blend .

Nobody has rated this review yet.