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

3.46 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 92 Reviews
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
Jun 19, 2010 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.
81 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 25, 2016 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.

51 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 24, 2013 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.
28 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 25, 2016 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.

24 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 16, 2014 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 clever 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’s 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
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: new to 8 months
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 13, 2016 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
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 02, 2015 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.

Update 6/30/19 I just now got around to finishing this blend up. Unfortunately I find it to be much better fresh then aged. My tin was dated 12/31/14 so it had about 4 months on it before I purchased it. With a fresh tin the orientals shine well with the Latakia which makes this blend deep and earthy. With almost almost 5 years the Latakia is very subtle and all I pick up on is the unflavored black cavendish. Fresh I give this a 4. Aged it gets a 3
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 27, 2014 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
PurchasedFrom: P&C
Age When Smoked: 2 months
16 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 30, 2009 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.
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 19, 2014 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.

13 people found this review helpful.
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