I stumbled across Ten Russians while reading some pipe forums. I was doing some research looking for a good crumble cake English blend and kept seeing people talk about Ten Russians. I figured I shouldn’t fight fate and purchased a can from P&C’.
Ten Russians pipe tobacco made by Hermit Tobacco Works Co. and is distributed by Laudisi.
Fun Fact: The brand of Ten Russians is inspired from the true story of Captain Earle rescuing ten Russian sailors marooned at sea.
Captain Earle’s Ten Russians
Company: Hermit Tobacco Works Co.
How Packaged: 2 OZ Can
Tobacco Used: Virginia, Cavendish, Latakia, and Oriental
Cut: Crumble Cake
Bowls Smoked: Several Bowls
Date Purchased/Obtained: 4/1/2015
Storage Method: Can
Pipe(s) Used: DE Tsuge & Stanwell Danish Star 63
Price Point: $9.85 per can
Purchased: Purchased from P&C’s
Quick Note: To view the Pipe Tobacco rating system used, click here.
Tin/Jar Note: Vinegar with a hint of sweet & sour. The Latakia really screams in the tin note.
Visual: I really enjoy the look of the Ten Russians tin. The red and white artwork really does it for me. The crumble cake is solid and isn’t broken into smaller pieces. Overall, the cake is pretty dark with a few flecks of lighter tan. Inside the tin, the cake is wrapped in a white paper and you have to fold two flaps back to get to the tobacco. I would actually call Ten Russians more of a “brick” than a broken crumble cake like Plum Pudding.
Flavors: There are notes of leather, salt, and a very nice sweet/sour interchange. There is an almost meaty like quality to the Ten Russians, which I would compare to bacon.
Smoking Experience: Ten Russians smokes well. Right out of the tin the moisture level was perfect. I left the Ten Russians in the tin for about a week and smoked several bowls. During this time the tobacco really dried out. Preparing the cake was simple and it lit easily and stayed lit without much work.
Tobacco Strength: Full. Frankly, it caught me by surprise.
Body: Full. Ten Russians is heavy and will leave a funk on your taste buds, if you smoke a large bowl of it.
Room Note: Tolerable.
Conclusion: Ten Russians is a tasty English tobacco, but not a blend which will make you see Jesus. Ten Russians smoked extremely cool in the bowl and had little to no bite. I was a little put off by the dirty finish when smoked. When I smoked out of my Stanwell the experience was much better, due to the smaller bowl size. The first bowl I smoked I really dug but the more bowls I smoked, the less and less I was wowed.
I could see myself smoking some Ten Russians on occasion, but would defiantly reach for my Plum Pudding first.
Rating: 3.5/5 AKA somewhere between “Keep in the Rotation” and “When it is on Sale”