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

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.


Brand Hermit Tobacco Works Co.
Blended By Cornell & Diehl
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type English
Contents Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Krumble Kake
Packaging 2 ounce and 8 ounce tins
Country United States
Production Currently available


Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.45 / 4





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Displaying 41 - 50 of 94 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 21, 2007 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.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 13, 2007 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
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 20, 2004 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
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 13, 2022 Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Very Strong
You have to love Latakia and a big Nic-kick. Nothing subtle or complex here. Latakia, Latakia, and more Latakia. A very singular full throttle Latakia bomb with high nicotine content.
Pipe Used: Briar, Meer, Cob
PurchasedFrom: Smoking Pipes
Age When Smoked: 3 Months
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 03, 2021 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
This is the definition of a lat bomb, and this is pretty good tobacco. I generally keep a tin around, and I'm thinking of maybe stocking up and putting a few away to age, because I usually buy a can and just smoke it straight through. I don't usually jar this one up, I just wrap the cake with good old fashioned wax paper and keep it in the can. Seems like it keeps well that way and I go through it fairly quickly so I've never had it really dry out.

Right out of the tin it's a lovely deep dark, brownie-like cake. Easy to pinch off a bowlful, Ten Russians is at a smokable moisture level in the can. Definitely a "big" smoke, with a moderate level of nicotine, maybe even a few notches less than moderate, as I tend to smoke pretty potent tobaccos, so my judgement maybe a little off. I wish we could do a half star rating here because I think this is a three and a half star tobacco. Only thing that keeps this from being a full four stars is the fact that it's a little one-note; it's a good note, and it stays consistent throughout the bowl, the drawback, as such, is there isn't an enormous amount of complexity here. I don't think it's supposed to be particularly complex, it's supposed to be the proverbial lat bomb. Burns very well, maybe needing a relight or two as you get to the bottom of the bowl. I do not find it gurgles, or leaves much moisture in the bowl. Personally, I prefer this to Plum Pudding; Plum Pudding is fine, so I think it's more of a matter of 'do you prefer Coke or Pepsi?" A very full tasting, satisfying tobacco.

Would like to make one complaint here that has nothing to do with the brand or the company that makes it... I hate the warning labels on these ( and pretty much all ) tobaccos! Strictly from an aesthetic point of view... I have a much older can here that doesn't have the warning label on it I use to hold metal push pins in the studio, and I think it's got a great look! Same thing with Warhorse Red Bar, such a nice looking design ruined by the absurd warning labels. Handguns don't come with a great big warning label on each gun, and neither does a bottle of whiskey, both of which can be potentially as hazardous to your health as a pipe full of tobacco! Thought I'd just like to vent about it here... of course, a buddy of mine in the UK has to put up with grotesque full color photographs of supposed health issues caused by smoking on each package of Condor he buys. I'd pay an extra 50 cents a can or tin for them to put on one of those static cling stickers containing the big warning labels, so I can peel it off and go "yeah, there's that cool graphic design"... I'm sitting here in the living room and I can see on the mantle piece old enamel tins of Balkan Sobranie and Dunhill Royal Yacht, right next to my little magnetic Abe Herbaugh pipe stand... I suppose this is a silly and pointless complaint, but, I imagine I'm not the only one that feels this way.
Pipe Used: Peterson 406 Spigot and Rocky
PurchasedFrom: pipes and cigars, smokingpipes
Age When Smoked: freshly opened tin
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 06, 2021 Strong None Detected Full Strong
I don't have a lot of experience smoking such strong Latakia blends. I typically think of Kentucky or Perique blends as the strongest I can buy. The reviews on tobacco reviews are very investing so naturally I had to give this a try. This is the only blend of the Captain Earle's series that I didn't have to order for a review since I had a tin sitting in my cellar since last year so admittedly this one has more age on it than the other blends I reviewed before.

Opening the tin I see a nice piece of crumble cake that is easily rubbed out. The tin note smells of rich, leathery Latakia, sour Orientals and Virginia sweetness. It comes at a smokable dryness, but I let mine sit out for a half hour before smoking as a habit. It packs well and lights well. As with all the others it holds a light throughout the smoke even with a slow cadence.

Immediately this is a rich blend. This is a Lat bomb and let no one tell you any different. The Latakia is deep, earthy, woody, leathery, and salty. The Orientals are in the background but they are sour, herbal and flowery. The Virginias add depth and sweetness and help marry everything together. The room note is strong and in the presence of non-smokers you will, in all probability, find yourself on the porch.

The taste is a full. It coats your mouth but is simultaneously smooth and creamy. It's an excellent winter smoke. The strength is strong. Lady N has spent some extra time to give you a wow factor. I just ate lunch so I don't necessarily feel too much nicotine but I can tell its there. This is masterfully blended and I can easily see this as a solution when I need a Latakia fix. It's not an all day smoke. I give this 4 stars.
Pipe Used: Peterson Standard System XL315
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 1 year
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 07, 2019 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
This tobacco came incredibly wet. Every time I pick up the jar it actually has moisture built up along the glass that you can wipe off with your finger. Kinda ridiculous. It tastes very strong. Not good, not bad, just strong. Armpit cumin creosote flavor. Which I normally love. But this blend seems to really irritate me. It just seems unrefined. And I'm no snob. Prince Albert is my daily smoke. There is a little hint of Virginia sweetness. I have trouble separating the oriental from the latakia. Not a bad smoke but certainly not recommended in today's market with all the fantastic English blends available. Just a run of the mill latakia bomb.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 10, 2019 Strong None Detected Full Pleasant
This is the second of the pint jars I've opened that I bought at our 2019 NASPC show this year from a recent and former pipe smoker. Here we have a blend that I have smoked in the past - just once. I tried a test bowl in my local shop in whatever year and whatever decade it came onto the market. I've never smoked it since untl this jar came along. Apparently my tastes have changed over the last thirty-odd years, as I actually got some enjoyment out of it; contrary to my memory. I want to state right up front that I agree with the opinion of reviewer Emeritus Account 2011-12-05 that it has plenty of Lat taste but little development down the bowl. In general, I didn't find it to be the Latakia "creature" that some seem to be talking about. Hard to light and keep lit, it didn't do much to distinguish itself in the top third. Starting with the middle third things got more tasty and interesting and the best smoke came, consistently from pipe to pipe, in the bottom third. Here the Latakia became somewhat subdued and the other components, finally, stepped up to the plate. I found Ten Russians to be more smokeable and enjoyable than most of the other big boys in this field and very similar to C&D's Pirate Kake. I give it three stars.
Pipe Used: Northern Briars Regal Roxcut Lovat
PurchasedFrom: a former pipe smoker
Age When Smoked: unknown but not recent
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 23, 2019 Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Strong
Strong in Latakia & overall strength. It might feel like it's biting but that's just the strength from the smoke settling in on your membranes. It also may seem a little harsh due to the heavy Cyprian Latakia infusion & Perique. Ten Russians was blended & intended to be a stout tobacco, especially designed for Latakia lovers. However, it doesn't bite or you'd be left with a sense of it after a bowl is finished. After rinsing my mouth, everything was back to normal.

Next to Nightcap, this is the strongest Lat bomb I've ever sampled & I believe that all the varietals in this blend were probably the strongest that could be acquired & there must have been plenty of Perique. Since it is predominantly a Latakia laden blend, I could not, or really wasn't able to taste hardly any other varietals in the mix. Still, I liked it fairly well as it totally satisfied in the Vitamin N department. What amazes me is how in the world Captain Earle ever found those ten Russians marooned at sea... maybe by accident?

I've only smoked two bowls thus far & plan on using this as a "Nightcap." It is definitely not an early morning or all day smoke unless you've nothing to do but sit back in your rocking chair all day. However, I would suggest a good breakfast before getting started. If not for the Cavendish & Orientals, this could possibly go "nuclear" and as a secondary use, a small amount shaken with water in a spray bottle would most certainly create a decent pesticide or insecticide.

It sort of reminded me a of a stronger SPC Plum Pudding. The square plug within is quite moist & breaks apart easily & contains hardly any trash/stems to be removed. I'm sure that whoever almost feinted while smoking this mixture was probably inhaling it. This is strictly an absorption type tobacco… one should take heed to avoid inhaling as it's such a strong mixture. Your lungs would be paved with asphalt in no time. Ten Russians has my respect & since I like strong mixtures before beddy-bye it gets midway between three & four stars. A decent alternative for Nightcap. So...

Good-bye, Nightcap! I don't miss you all that much & Nightcap seems outrageously overpriced these days considering Ten Russians &/or other strong Latakia bombs will give you the same effect. Sure, I liked Nightcap really well but refuse to allow myself the excessive expenditure for obtaining it... time goes on and Nightcap will become even more expensive as supplies dwindle. If you find yourself unable to do without, best to grab all you can while you can. I'll settle for a good replacement. Drucquer & Sons Levant Mixture blended by G. L. Pease works very well also. If nothing else works well for you in the strength department, throw in a little Picayune. Enough of that should make your eyelids slam shut in short order.
Pipe Used: Country Gent Cob, Danmore Dublin,
PurchasedFrom: Smoking Pipes
Age When Smoked: Fresh Tin
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 10, 2019 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Unnoticeable
I have heard about this from a few friends of mine and decided to try it. The tin note has a nice leathery smell to it, nice soft crumble cake, easy to light. Not a whole lot more I can say about this one other than it is a full rich Latakia blend that tastes very good and is consistent to the end of the bowl. My tin was dated 121118. Definitely worth a try and a solid four stars for me.
Pipe Used: Briar
Age When Smoked: New
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