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Iwan Ries

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A firm favourite for the pipe smoker looking for a medium strength, gentle and slow burning tobacco. Manufactured using hand-stripped flue cured Virginias with no flavours added, Best Brown will reward with a cool, sweet smoke with a delectable aroma and good sidestream. Mild to medium.

BrandSamuel Gawith
Blended BySamuel Gawith
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutFlake
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy PipesAndCigars
Iwan Ries
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 32 Users

3.4
222 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
114
3 star:
81
2 star:
22
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5
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (569)
★★★★
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

Smoked from a tin dated 12/06, this blend is typical SG flake of uneven length that look a lot like beef jerky. The color is the only dark thing about this exceptional tobacco. I'm a big fan of FVF but where that one is dark and sort of "chewy" in its mouthfeel and has quite a punch to it flavor-wise, this one sort of sat back and forced me to come to it. The rewards were plentiful. The burn was slow and it didn't take too kindly to the first match but with ample drying time, it overcame its reticence. I dried it out for a couple of hours to great effect.

Over the years, I've found that virginia sweetness is somewhat overrated to my tastebuds. I prefer the tanginess of darker VA's. They are generally stronger but I find them more complex, with a depth of flavor that their lighter cousins can't match. This was no exception. The milder smoke made it more possible for me to discern the complex nature of virginia tobacco, and it's lack of citrus sweetness was gratifying. It was a lightly sweet tobacco, with plenty of tang and body, but mild to the tongue. This is without a doubt one of the 5 finest straight virginias I've ever smoked. Naturally there's a current shortage!

If FVF is too heavy for you, or Blackwoods Flake too earthy or Opening Night too sweet, try this if you can find it. This one is just right for me... not that I'm giving up the others I just mentioned! But this one seems to go with anything and in any situation. Very highly recommended!

15 people found this review helpful.

SirLoirn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirLoirn (126)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

Tin: A light colored blend, hues from blonde to light brown with some dark interspersed. A natural sweet hay and oats smell, not fragrant or floral. Comes folded in gold paper remniscent of Orlik GS , and in a form that reminds me of Wessex RVF and GVF. The pressed flake is a sheet 1x3x1/16". It is a little moist. The moisture level actually made it cool the touch in a warm room.

Packing & Burning: The flake feels rather moist. Just twist one strip into shreds for a medium size bowl, two strips for a large bowl. A medium size bowl is easy to keep lit; a large bowl is dfficult to keep lit and has moisture when the bowl is finished. Smokes moderately slowly.

Taste & Aroma: A very mild honeydew on oats taste; BBF is one of the most natural and easy on the palate blends. It is refreshing and vaguely sweet. Absolutely none of the signature Kendal floral scent.

About the last 1/3, after the tobacco has stoved a little, only then does it approximate the flavor of FVF.

The particular large bowl that I used produced a burnt taste throughout the bowl.

Nicotine: Mild to medium, closer to mild

Overall: Those square tins don't seal well. On par with the blends mentioned above and Wessex BCDF.

BBF seems different from other Gawith blends I have tried, in a category of its own.

This has very little similarity to FVF.

The only thing this could be is an all day indoor smoke, it is so refreshing and easy on the palate.

9 people found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (525)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I don't know that there's much point to me adding my $.02 about a tobacco that's already been reviewed 200+ times, but I want to go on record that BBF is one of my all-time favorites.

It took a while for me to come around to straight virginia tobacco, and BBF is the one that opened my eyes. Pure, unadulterated tobacco flavor with no gimmicks or games. That's what BBF is all about.

If your tastes have come to expect a strong jolt of distinctive flavor, the zing of perique, or the rich smokiness of latakia, then I can see where BBF might seem dull, boring, one-dimensional. I used to think that about all straight virginia in general. But give BBF a try as your first bowl of the day, or do what I do and smoke straight virginia exclusively for several days. Let your palate become attenuated to the subleties.

BBF can be a bit of a chameleon, though it's not nearly as finicky as some others. It tastes a little different depending on how you prepare it, which pipe it's smoked in, your puffing cadence, etc. I have a couple of briars that it smokes best in, and I like it partially rubbed out into smaller pieces and somewhat dried out. Smoked patiently BBF will get into the zone easily and stay there for the entire bowl, with a nutty sweetness.

People talk about a tobacco burning all the way down the bowl to a dry, clean ash. I rarely achieve this lofty goal except with BBF. And it doesn't bite me, even with aggressive lighting.

Guess you could say I like the stuff.

Pipe Used: various briars and the occasional cob

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Samuel Gawith - Full Virginia Flake.

5 people found this review helpful.

Old Puffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old Puffer (42)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Although this blend is reminiscent of Full Virginia Flake in taste, I think it has it beat, hands down. FVF is darn hard to rub out and requires additional grinding to get it to a manageable grain size for packing. Not so with this blend.

BBF is a finely shredded baccy that rubs out extremely easily and the thin string cut (with no sticks) makes it a snap for easy packing. The only drawback I found in it's delivered condition was too much moisture. Had to dry it out 2 full days on a cookie sheet to get it right. Packs extremely easily; lights easily with one false light; stays lit with no effort; smokes all the way down with no bad changes in flavor or smoking characteristics and leaves a nice, clean dark ash. Leaves the mouth and pipe with no bad after odors (the wife hasn't complained) or tastes.

The flavor is IMHO pure, high quality, unadorned Virginia, and lots of it. Does not smoke hot and never a trace of a bite. This has become one of my favorite baccys and I will certainly keep a good stock on hand. A good everyday smoke that I don't think I could ever get tired of.

Thank you, Sam!

5 people found this review helpful.

KinnScience Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KinnScience (28)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

A very good VA flake by one of the better houses in the UK. BBF starts off slightly stringent in comparison to FVF, but quickly mellows into a sweet grassy essence. The flake is not as strong as FVF, but it does have a bit more "sting" if puffed fervently. BBF is stronger than MVF/Golden Glow and also, again, can nip a bit more around the edges of the tongue, particularly if the sample is too dry, which was the case with one of my 16 oz orders which I had not jarred quickly enough. I prefer my tobacco slightly on the dry side, so did not attempt to re-humidify, though in this case, I should have done so.

BBF has some components similar to FVF, but carries a differnce in most aspects. Passing the first 1/4 of the bowl, the sweetness becomes more pronounced, but is slightly inconsistent. Though there are no orientals in this flake, it is pure VA, BBF conveys a touch of sandalwood which can be detected occasionally during the course of the smoke. This is likely due to the presence of African VA's which may occasionally lean toward the exotic more so than American VA's. Such differences in the notes are slight however, and if I were using "hay" as an analogy I might say that BBF carries an alfalfa note, in contrast to the "clover" element in an American VA. Whichever point the smoker may contend however, what can be said is that BBF is a very good VA though does not quite encompass the full melody of FFV; though clearly BBF does impart some unique qualities that would allow it to stand on its own merit.

I would give this 4 out of 5 stars if I could, but since we are constrained by a maximum of 4, I will need to give it 3 stars. I recommend the flake just as I would recommend most good VA flakes, and add that there are some special qualities that make the blend worth trying. Keeping in mind that, for the budget minded consumer, it may behoove them to try other "brown" VA flakes that are less costly per oz, while saving their premium dollars for FVF as there are fewer comparisons to the latter.

Pipe Used: Ferndown

Age When Smoked: 2 yrs

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

4 people found this review helpful.

mo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mo (79)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable

I recently purchased one tin of BBF and 3 Golden Glow from Sturks Toabcconists in Cape Town. I took it on the recommendation of the owner of the store.

The tin aroma, although impressive, is not AS good as say GG. It is very subdued in comparison.

I did not expect much from this flake in all honestly.

It was when flame met tobacco in a Design Berlin Prelude 5 that really surprised me. I have NEVER smoked a flake that gave up so much taste. Creamy, musty, bitter, sweet all at once, puff after puff, clouds of thick, delicious smoke.

I have since smoked it in a variety of pipes and the results are all the same. This is an OUTSTANDING Flake and my favourite at the moment.

IMHO, this is the Best Brown Flake i know of ;), I gotta get more...lots more.

Mo, South Africa

4 people found this review helpful.

Judge Adams Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Judge Adams (16)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

After 45 years of pipe smoking, I just might have settled on THE one. Yeah, I still love a big, bold English. And sometimes I am romanced by an aromatic until I get that yucky stuff in my bowl and my mouth. A simple, high quality burley flake (Wessex or Solani ABF) is always pleasant. But this Best Brown really is the best brown! Soft and simple, a blend of the very highest quality Virginias. Nothing else. Nothing. And it just purrs along for hours, leaving not a trace of gunk in the bottom of the bowl. Yes, it can get monotonous. What wouldn't after something like 10 bowls a day in all seasons? But its purity and simplicity is second to none. Of course, I've read the dozens of reviews praying at the alter of Full Virginia Flake. I respect them. That's why I tried it. Yet, for whatever reason,it seemed sour and the nicotine blast almost knocked me off my feet. Sorry. My wife likes the light "pipe" scent of BBF. Noone at work or elsewhere has complained. And my every day is blessed with this constant companion. You can't do better than that.

4 people found this review helpful.

PeterD Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PeterD (77)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This flake is a mighty fine example of pure Virginia tobacco. No flavorings, toppings, and no casing. It is not as one-dimensional as some say, rather a straight forward Virginia flake tobacco that I smoke any time of day or night.

I do not dry this out too much as I prefer higher moisture content in flakes/plugs. This flake ages and maintains its character well.

I smoke this in a group 4/5 straight billiard.

I give this a 4 star recommendation as I find this a perfect example of top-notch manufacturing, flavor, consistency, and taste.

...a pipe is to be savored...

4 people found this review helpful.

O'Confrère Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
O'Confrère (31)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I know... it just depends on what you are looking for and what you want out of it. BBF is an old staple of mine. It is not multi-dimensional nor complex, but it is a reliable smoke that always tastes good and sometimes delicious. It's one you can go to when you don't want to think about which tobacco you'd like to smoke next. It's a good companion. Like a faithful dog, it doesn't require much attention but will reward it. For that: four stars.

However, again like an old dog, if it is too wet you don't want to get too near it (although it does smell better). It often needs a considerable amount of drying. I remove it from the tin, rough it up and leave it open in a jar overnight, then cap it and put it away for awhile, checking it, and if necessary, opening the jar again for awhile. Once it dries it is an easy smoke anytime, and stays fresh in the jar for onks. It's also a good staple for the 'cellar' as it gains with age.

BBF is a classic. It is a no nonsense, easy-does-it flake, with which every smoker should be acquainted.

P.S. Sometimes I think this may contain a smidgeon of Turkish (Izmir) leaf... Don't pick it up on the tongue as much as I catch an occasional whiff in the air...

Pipe Used: Several. All reserved for Virginias w/out topping.

3 people found this review helpful.

cigrmaster Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cigrmaster (3)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

This was my first foray into the world of Old Sam and boy did I fall in love. I am a big fan of Virginia Flakes and why I did not try this years ago, I know not why. The flake is a beautiful brown soft and pliable. The tin note smells like raisins and figs and is quite sweet. I broke out some flakes and rubbed them out, let them sit for about an hour and a half and then loaded my pipe. The tobacco flavor started out sweet and tasty and continued that way to the half way point. The flavor got richer and deeper the longer I smoked and I basically fell in love.

The tobacco burned to a fine white ash and left nothing in my bowl. There is absolutely no bite to this tobacco and it has now become one of my go to smokes. The fact that you can buy this stuff by the pound makes it an exceptional value in my book. I highly recommend this to any Virginia lover and anyone who happens to smoke a pipe.

3 people found this review helpful.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (96)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Update September 12th 2008 :- I have just changed the setting on flavouring to read "Non detected" as I have been very reliably informed that "THERE IS NO FLAVOURING IN BEST BROWN FLAKE" that little gem of information came from Samuel Gawith's themselves, I stand corrected.

Updated 14 July 2008:- I mentioned I didn't like the way this was packed in the tin, also, I noticed several others have complained of Sam Gawiths thickness of flakes, since my first review I have been reliably informed(by one who has seen all)that Sam Gawith flakes are actually hand cut, some lucky fellow gets to stand in front of a whizzing blade that will happily slice through just about anything presented to it, armed only with a stick, and nerves of steel, our intrepid hero pushes the cake through the blade, so if perchance we get varying thickness of flake, this is due to the fact that he is getting near to the end of the cake. If however, on the other hand, we get bits of stick, I am told he would like them back, as his fingers are getting that bit closer.

First Reviewed 15th May 2008:- Tried this and loved it straight away, a good all day smoke, not overpowering, flavour not as full as G&H best brown flake No2, but a nice easy going smoke, I keep several tins of Sam Gawith's flakes on hand, and this is one of them. On the down side, I'm not overly impressed by the cut, call me old fashioned, I like my flake cut into neat slices, so I can take a measured amount from the tin, this looks as though it's been thrown in from fifty yards, no points for presentation, but lets face it, I didn't buy the stuff to look at and admire. Burns well, good moisture content, smokes beautifully and tastes good, I would be happy to recommend this to novice and vetran alike.

3 people found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (525)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the best straight VA that I have ever smoked. Even though FVF has a special place in my heart, BBF is virtually almost identical to FVF. The difference is that it is pressed under heat for a shorter period of time.

BBF is slow burning, very creamy, woodsy and earthy in taste, just like FVF. Its advantage, I find, is that it is easier to master in its smoking, which gives my preference over FVF.

If you are looking for a pure and delicious straight VA, try BBF. The only thing that prevents me from giving it 4 stars is that SG's flakes are hard to deal with, making them harder to smoke and keep lit.

2 people found this review helpful.

Inquisitor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Inquisitor (155)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

When BBF hit ASP, the pipe newsgroup, it was the tobacco of the moment for a month or so. I recall it as being the beginning of the pipe world's Lake District invasion, and the Zimbabwean/Malawian/Brazilian Virginias, combined with the steam-pressing attributes, made this a very different animal than what most were used to smoking.

BBF's primary attribute, to me, is it's fickleness. When it smokes well, there is almost nothing better. It has a warm, "brown", sweet, hay-like characteristic that is nonetheless very natural tasting (although I believe some sweeteners are applied). It smokes quite cool, but is rich and self-assured. Each puff is a delight.

When it doesn't smoke well, though, which is about 65% of the time for me, it is just "ok". The sweetness doesn't show up, it smokes hotter, and it just doesn't flash its charm. I can't explain why it does this, but it keeps BBF from being a part of my regular rotation. I"ve had better luck with its plug version, Kendall Plug.

Additional comment: I don't find ANY soapiness in this blend, and I am very sensitive to that floral stuff. It smells like cut, partially-dried grass or hay in the tin, but it ain't stinky.

Update January 2005: If you love BBF, you MUST try SG's Medium Virginia Flake. If you don't like BBF, you MUST try SG's Medium Virginia Flake too.

2 people found this review helpful.

Mike Castello Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike Castello (49)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This pressed flake cut in six inch shingles rubs out very nicely, and packs ok for it's cut. The charring was seductive enough, the smell of tobacco quite inviting to my senses. Once relit again, it stayed lit. It burned smoothly, drawing very effortlessly. I was surprised because I did not take the best of care when I packed my pipe. The flavor is Virginia tobacco, processed and cured with loving care. It begins, continues, and ends with a uniform taste, never a hint of bitternes to it. This is very fine tobacco for those who enjoy Virginia flake, and probably for those who think they don't like Virginias. It is squarely in the medium range for strength, but the flavor is a little lighter than the fullest of Virginias, but I find that this is more flavor than those stronger Virginias that can simply be too much for me. You don't get queezy from this smoke, but you know you are smoking real tobacco. My score card is 10. What more can you ask for? If this blend could pack it'self, light it'self, and maybe pay for it'self it would then be perfect.

2 people found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (153)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Best Brown? Not really. Ok boring brown, maybe. Nowhere near as good as Stonehaven, GH Brown Flake Unscented, or Germain's Brown Flake. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with this, but I also don't find anything that gets my attention -- for my tastes, this is a smoke for those who want to smoke a pipe without having to pay much attention to the flavor, which kind of defeats the purpose of a pipe for me. So, for me, a very generic so-so smoke; if others really like the one note of flavor, they will obviously rate this higher -- I really like some one-note tobaccos, but this one does nothing for me. Really two and a half stars, but since it doesn't really have any flaws, I'll go with three rather than two.

Pipe Used: various briars and a cob

Age When Smoked: 14 months after purchase

Purchased From: pipes & cigars

1 person found this review helpful.

Old Nate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old Nate (11)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This tobacco forces me to calm down, to sit back and focus on nothing but enjoying my time with the pipe. My first go with best brown was not very memorable. It came off a little bland. There was nothing off putting or harsh about it, just a regular smoke... Fast forward a year and though I still have a lot to learn about my pipe and tobacco, my acquired experience in that year has afforded me incredible smokes with SG Best Brown.

I prefer BB rubbed out and dried for at least several hours. The moisture level is usually quite high and I prefer my tobacco on the drier side and I've found BB performs wonderfully at these conditions. From the charring light it delivers a juicy sweetness! Not exactly an in your face sweetness but a lovely slight roasted malty sweetness. Reminds me of a bock beer that has nice caramel undertones. When smoked slow, this stuff really comes through clean and pungent in a good way. I can smoke a bowl in the house and the wife doesn't notice as long as I do so a few hours before she comes home and I find the room note quite nice, but I also love this tobacco.

One negative I have found is that I have a hard time smoking this down to the bottom. I almost always have a little dottle at the bottom of the bowl, and this tends to get a little acrid if I push it or try to salvage what tobacco remains in my pipe. I believe this is probably due to my inexperience rather than the tobacco devolving into a lack luster over stoved mess. But I still give this blend 4 stars, the first 2/3 of the bowl is lovely! Highly recommend this and if smoked slow it will reward you!

Pipe Used: many

Age When Smoked: New bulk and 1 year old bulk

Purchased From: B &M

1 person found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (611)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

A mildly tangy, creamy mellow straight Virginia flake with hints of citrus, bread, and dried figs, all of it naturally inherent with no toppings. There are mild hay, grass notes, with a little earth here and there. Not much complexity or nicotine which makes it a no-nonsense all day smoke. Needs a little dry time, but it’s easy to break apart and burns slow, cool, and dry with no bite or harshness.

1 person found this review helpful.

TattooGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TattooGuy (9)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Best Brown Flake is simply delicious to me, maybe even more than FVF and more easy going. Aromas of great brown VA, almost as sweet as chocolate. Great tobacco taste. Great complexity. 3.5 stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

Elm0 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Elm0 (5)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As said a very underrated, no nonsense, very pleasant tobacco

One of the better less moist SG varieties ,burns faultless all the way down to an ashy bottom ,very easy to keep lit & has an ever so slight sweet taste which is more apparent the slower you smoke it

I am torn between this and FVF to say which i prefer but to say they are both great smokes is enough

1 person found this review helpful.

Peter Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peter Piper (41)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I nearly overlooked this as I sought to review various SG samples which I have recently acquired. Which is a shame and maybe an unfortunate destiny for this fine Virginia, coming as it does from the same stable as the rightly lauded FVF and perhaps going under the radar as result.

But if you like a straight Virginia and perhaps have not got around to this one, then you will do yourself a serious favour by putting that right.

A very straightforward presentation of an almost uniformly brown flake (I guess that's how they came up with the name, der!) with a delicate natural sweetness on the nose. No fuss, no additives, just a quality leaf.

Packing and lighting is as easy as pie and the smoking experience is mellow and gentle, with a delightfully natural flavour that fills the mouth and leaves this smoker, at least, at peace with his pipe.

A much under-rated gem in my humble opinion.

Highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

jonoz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jonoz (6)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Seems I've found my go-to tobacco after years of trial & error. Cannot stress enough the procedures others have recommended, 1. Open tin . 2. Fully rub out all flakes. 3. Let stand at least3 days lid off. 4. Enjoy ! Love nil bite, "clean"nutty taste and long, slow burn. Not a powerful flavour, quite subtle but discernible so I can smoke it all day every day 4 stars from me. Well worth the hassle involved

update 7 Oct 2013 A Bitch to prepare, an Angel to smoke ! I won't stray.

1 person found this review helpful.

robsm2013 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
robsm2013 (6)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Disagree with Gus Tation here....this blend is one of my favorites; easy to rub out - not too moist, and can be smoked right after opening the tin; unlike FVF which needs dry time. This blend is extremely rich - notes of honey, nuts, salty and thick - highly recommended. If you like Solani Aged Burley Flake, you'll love this one too! very similar, but slightly sweeter -

1 person found this review helpful.

3000DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
3000DK (2)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Having read the reviews on this site, I ordered a 50 gr tin, which I have almost emptied by now. Opening the tin was a disappointment - albeit expected as I had previously tried the FVF from the same producer. The slices seem to have been thrust into the tin with a coal shovel. Moisture way too high (a few hours drying time is highly recommended). Next disappointment is the stronly varying thickness of the slices and the fact that they are 'burned' together quite a lot. This means you have too much preparation before you can fill the bowl of your pipe to avoid cluttering and endless relights. When you finally get there, the taste/strenght/smell is after all quite pleasant - but not outstanding compared to many other flakes, I know of. My favourites will still be Dunhill Flake, Solani 633, Solani Silver and a few others - all of which presents you with quality leaf and packing to justify their relatively high prices. As for BBF: Now I've tried it, but I honestly do not concur with the general 'hype' - for me it is a no go.

1 person found this review helpful.

Rodrigo de Xerez Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rodrigo de Xerez (16)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Well, I normally do not like flakes... but this one has some delicious Virginias on it!

Easier to fill the bowl than St.James or Balkan Flake. The colour is more brownie than colour in Golden Glow.

Burns well and evolves in a good virginia smoking experience... creamy, slightly sweet and not boring at all. The taste is more toasty than the taste in Golden Glow (which I do prefer) Nevertheless, a recommended one for Virgina fans.

Only problem is this can become a little bit boring if smoked bowl after bowl and tin after tin.

RdX score: 87.90 (I revisit now and then, but I only regularly repeat tobaccos over 90)

1 person found this review helpful.

Steden Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steden (84)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Update 09-20-2009: More smoke this tobacco and more I appreciate its incredible purity and quality. Dante Alighieri said: "nulla è più buono dell'uovo col sale" (transl. nothing is better than an egg with salt)he meant that the simple things are things better.

Smoking BBF I can understand why.

Original review: This is a wonderful Virginia! I agree completely with both the caption on the tin and with the previous reviewers. What I was pleasantly impressed is the high quality of the leaf and its perfect maturity and seasoning. The smoke is smooth, cool, velvety, with deliciously sweet taste, aroma and flavour of grain and delicate herbs. Smoking it is very relaxing, highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Top notch, as one would expect from any SG Virginias. Best Brown is milder and darker than FVF, providing more nuances and some extra depth, with no extra flavors. The purest Virginias you can find without running into blandness.

If you love sweet Virginias, this one is the perfect for a very contemplative smoke. I usually smoke FVF, IRC Flake or Old Gowrie, leaving Best Brown for completely serene occasions.

1 person found this review helpful.

Chris08 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Chris08 (37)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

That it's packaged as unbroken flakes allows the smoker somewhat more control over the experience than with Medium Virginia Flake. As with all Samuel Gawith Flakes, I like the presentation in the tin. A little uneven, it seems more pure and less like the product of mechanized industry (i.e. Dunhill's Light Flake)

This seems a little milder to smoke than Medium Virginia Flake, but the difference is subtle. It is also a shade darker and perhaps sweeter, but again the difference is small. Both tobaccos reach their zone early for me and remain relatively consistent throughout the smoking experience. This is mild, sweet and pure Virginia goodness. Almost cleansing.

While not as deep a flavour experience as its cousin, FVF, this remains a tobacco that I will keep on hand for when I want a lighter Virginia experience.

1 person found this review helpful.

Requiem Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Requiem (36)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the most neutral tobacco I've tried so far, and I mean neutral in a very good way, as in pure tobacco taste. I don´t find it as sweet as other virginias, but yet fully pleasing. It´s not as strong as FVF, for example, but is also smoother on the throat. Easy all day smoke and now my favorite VA.

1 person found this review helpful.

Plunket Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Plunket (39)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've just finished the last of 10 tins smoked periodically since December 2008. This is principally flue-cured Zimbabwe, which I have smoked in other blends and find apealing, but overall I found this SG offering somewhat mediocre: I generally prefer a bit more of a 'buzz' when I first light-up and this, it was not.

This would apeal to those who prefer a lighter virginia flake smoke and it will enthrall its devotees.

As is usuall with SG's - moisture is a little on the high side, it benefits from a little drying, but it rubs-out easily, burns well and holds the burn throughout the smoke.

Put simply, Samuel Gawith's don't make a bad tobacco - so definately recommended and one I might return to over time.

1 person found this review helpful.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (119)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

OCT. 2009 UPDATE: Upgrading to four stars. With more experience with this blend, and having smoked some well-aged BBF, this is now easily a four-star weed. I'm applying the same rule to this as I do to FVF: only smoke it aged, never green.

ORIGINAL REVIEW: Remember the job of the court jester? He tasted the King's wine to be sure it was good and that it wasn't poisoned. That's the kind of service I wish I had for BBF - a jester to smoke the first half-bowl for me so I can start half way through.

The flakes are just a bit too moist from the supplier. Took a while to get it to burn consistently because I didn't let it dry first like I should have. Finally it settled down, but unfortunately to a rather one-dimensional taste.

After my hypothetical jester has smoked the first half of the bowl for me I'll gladly take over. That's when the flavor begins. Typical sweet flavors and richness come in if you nurse it carefully.

Is it worth smoking a boring smoke for a half hour in order to get at the good part? I guess it depends on my mood. It gets three stars because patience really pays off with this one.

1 person found this review helpful.

Stevethesuperhero Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stevethesuperhero (7)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

BBF has a neutral tobacco flavour that lasts from the first light to the end of the bowl. There are elements of sweetness to it, and slightly nutty undertones. When smoked slowly the tobacco has no bitter taste and smokes dry and cool in the right pipe.

About 3/4 of the way down the bowl there are hints of an almost herbal nature - something like lavender. These ease off near the end and the final 10-15 minutes return to a natural tobacco flavour, albeit with slightly more body than the beginning of the bowl. Smoking all the way down to the dottle is not a problem, as it remains cool and sweet. The nicotine is not overpowering, and no strong taste is left in the mouth. This is ideally suited to day-time smoking, and infact it would lose it's subtle notes if it was smoked after something stronger. The room note is of tobacco, nothing more.

I smoked through this tin quicker that I have smoked through any other tin. Although it is a mild smoke, and over the day I often move onto a heavier flake, this has a seductive, alluring call to it. Well represented in my cellar. Delicious.

1 person found this review helpful.

schnorrer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
schnorrer (14)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Appearance- thick cut brown flakes in narrow sheets ("beef jerky")

Tin Aroma- smells like dried apricots to me. I am tempted to take a bite

Moisture- rather wet. You may want to pop the tin and let it dry for day.

Smoking experience: I love this stuff. Delicious light Virginia flavors. A hint of black coffee (or chocolate). Mild to medium strength, never makes my head spin. Smokes generally cool to medium. I have never been tongue bitten, even when puffing hard. Mild enough for after breakfast, yet strong enough for after dinner and drinks.

Smoking method- as the flakes are usually rather moist when the tin is first opened, I prefer to rub it out well for the first week. By doing this, it lights easily and stays lit. As the flakes dry, I start to fold and crumble for a good flake experience. This tobacco may not be ideal for a novice flake smoker, as it takes a little experience to learn how to work with it (the flakes are rather thick and moist).

Summary- for me, this is it. My desert island tobacco. The more I smoke it the more I appreciate it (and want more).

1 person found this review helpful.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (118)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

I am a great fan of African VA's, especially in pure form and in flakes.

This one is a little less smooth than Full Virginia Flake, also from Gawith, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. BBF leans towards a more "tobaccoish" flavour, and is therefore a good autumn/winter smoke for me.

After Kohlhase & Kopps' more or less failed attempt to (re-)make the good old flakes from Rattray's, Astley's etc., These flake from Gawith stay true to traditional English flakes (because that is exactly what they are).

No humectants, deep and complex, as only clean and pure VA can be, plus careful stoving makes this the closest thing to Mana from Heaven.

HURRA for Gawith! My highest recommendations!

Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark

1 person found this review helpful.

hornsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hornsmoker (7)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Best Brown can best be described as a medium strength english style flake that comes off as something less than ho-hum at first glance. It has a very finicky personality and many have given up trying to figure this one out. Don't plan on making any final thoughts on this tobacco until you've smoked at least a dozen bowls - for it is difficult to know. If Best Brown was a person, he/she would be very shy and not likely to warm up to you until you earnd its trust.

I smoked quite a bit of this before stumbling onto the fact this tobacco smokes far better in broken flake form than rubbed up. Just as well because it doesn't rub out very well to begin with. It helps to take a bit of the tobacco and let it get dry as a bone, pulverize it and use on top as a fire starter. I keep some set aside just for this purpose.

What Best Brown looses in initial excitement, it more than makes up for in subtlety. It's somewhat one dimensional in taste, but is never boring. Similar tobaccos include Rattray's Brown Clunee and F&T's Special Brown Flake. This tobacco also doesn't change much with a DGT technique. In fact, it's better smoked beginning to end. It burns to a very fine soft white ash and makes only a gradual shift from beginning to end. DGT tends to muck up the flavors and once it starts getting good again, it's over.

This tobacco does have a very mild honeydew sweetening, but really doen't show itself until more than half way through. Tin aroma isn't real noticable until you've had it bulked up in a jar for awhile. Room note is pleasant and doesn't recieve any complaints. Since the tobaccos used are are african virginias, the taste is much more subtle and less earthy than their american counterparts. Stronger in nicotine, there is also little or no bite provided you don't over do it.

I wouldn't term this as an all day smoke, but one could smoke it almost exclusively if willing shell out the pesos to do so. I would say its more suited to veteran smokers, but those with lesser skills should also find it enjoyable as an occasional smoke. My number one caution with this flake is not to dismiss it right off and try it in many different pipes. There is no rhyme or reason, but Best Brown definitely has a preference for some pipes and not others. Again, she is a fickle beast. Take some time to get to know it and you may find this becomes one of your staples, as it has become one of mine. Highly recommended!

1 person found this review helpful.

tango Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tango (3)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

221 reviews and counting, what more can be said? If someone offers me a bowl of Best Brown Flake, I will gladly accept. If I offer someone a bowl, they gladly accept. An open tin makes smokers smile. That's all I can ask for.

Age When Smoked: less than 1 year

Nobody has rated this review yet.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (133)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I finally got my hands on a tin of this from my local B&M. Upon first opening the tin you may very well need to dry this out for a spell. Right out of the tin it will need some coaxing in staying lit, but once it does it produces a fine smoking experience. This is a straight up VA and being such may prove a bit boring for some. But like all SG products, this is a high quality leaf being used. It is thinly cut, so should be no problem in stuffing and smoking straight away. The nicotine level is just right for me and it burns down to a nice ash at the bottom of the bowl. I would say this is one of the better VA blends out there, definitely recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (204)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Very Pleasant

Best Brown Flake . A VERY fitting name as this is one of the best out there ! The only negative point is that it is a touch on the "overly" moist side , alas a little airing time would help it but other than that it is only good , good , good ! It has a splendid and full Virginia aroma unlit which is almost "grass" like and despite the moistness it rubs with ease . The flakes are some of the thickest I have seen as of yet too ! If smoked straight from the tin without extra airing time don't over fill the bowl or the moistness will create a lighting problem but once lit it is possibly the fullest taste of Virginia I have had up until now . Nicotine content is good (for me) as its about St James Flake level , as is the thickness of the smoke . Absolutely zero bite from it and can be inhaled with ease . If you favor a good Virginia flake and are prepared to allow a little airing time then I don't think this will disappoint you at all !

Pipe Used: Butz Choquin

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke King

Nobody has rated this review yet.

GenericusernameYOB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GenericusernameYOB (4)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

Okay, so without getting too involved:

Moist in the tin, most flakes needed an overnight drying to be acceptable the next day, that being said, I find all SG tobacco too moist straight from the tin. Also lots of variation in the flake width, but that all adds to the charm of SG flakes. Slightly sour nose.

Easy to maintain when half rubbed out and broken up. Moments when it could attain the luxuriousness of FVF. Never quite though.

I can see why some would have this as an all day smoke. It's fairly monochromatic and neutral. I struggled to find the sweetness that others have, and think my definition must differ from others. Much like Capstan Blue, there was not enough variation in taste to keep me interested. For me it plays second fiddle to its bigger brother - FVF: far more flavours, creamyness and infinitely sweeter.

Pipe Used: Parker rusticated billiard

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SmokeDawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeDawg (52)
★☆☆☆
Mild None Detected Very Mild Unnoticeable

I love Samuel Gawith tins with Squadren Leader and Skiff being personal favorites so I was excited about this one after reading the reviews. But after bowl after bowl, smoked just about every way possible I have come to the conclusion BBF is not for me. I rubbed it out, I dried it out. I smoked it from the tin. I've broke some up and stored it in a jar and gave it a few weeks. I rolled and stuffed it, with all these methods in different pipes. I found BBF VERY one diminsional and lacking in variation and taste. The sweetness is tasty when it hits you, but comes off too mild, and subtle for my taste. I found myself working to hard to get something out of this blend.

I will celler it and come back to it later to see if some time has helped it. I love Virginias, and though VA blends are traditionaly mild, this was not what I was expecting. This was more mild than medium though it is listed and promoted as a medium strength. After trying BBF I went back and re-read some of the reviews and noticed others have experienced It's more on the mild side as well.

Purchased From: JR Cigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nicotiana_rustica Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nicotiana_rustica (13)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

One of the best virginia flakes out there. Creamy, sweet, nutty...a big pleasure! If FVF is to harsh for you- just grab BBF, that is a pure pleasure and indeed a solid tobacco!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CriolloCorojo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CriolloCorojo (18)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Wow! Great Virginia in a flake form. We see that a lot, but this one is something to remember. It doesn't dry out too easily, and it still smokes well when it does. I have had multiple tins of this great Virginia flake and have enjoyed every bit. The room note... who cares. The taste bud experience... well, I have to say that I will be buying more. Samuel Gawith is great at making exceptional blends, and this one is no exception.

Pipe Used: various dedicates to flake and/or Virgina

Age When Smoked: 8 months

Purchased From: various over time

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (132)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I was gifted some of this from a forum buddy. I found it to be a great rich tasting Virginia. I actually preferred it to FVF and found it to be fuller than that one. I think this is my favorite offering from Samuel Gawith to date. It should be noted that I am a big time Virginia smoker and I believe that this blend does favor the seasoned Virginia pallet.

The sample I received was at the perfect moisture content. I plan on ordering more and will see if it has the normal moisture issues common to the SG brand.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (109)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Pure tobacco flavor that is consistent throughout the bowl. Has a taste that reminds me of B&M Brown Bread, with a pleasant molasses, nutty grain flavor. A reliable standby.

Pipe Used: Neerup, Armellini

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Corona Smoke Shop, Jackson, MI

Similar Blends: FVF minus the harshness..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Steve Lewis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steve Lewis (5)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This Virginia is one my regular rotation. This blend is a pure Virginia without any topping and is a rather robust smoke, however, the nicotine is low to moderate and is easy to rub out. I have three Sam Gawith blends on regular rotation because I think that their Virginias are consistent, flavorful and of high quality. The only work around issue is the moisture content. However, if you are patient with your lighting and realize that it may take several relights at the beginning of your bowl then you will like this blend. Finally, I would submit that Gawith's Best Brown Flake is not quite as moist as other Gawith blends such as FVF or my favorite Sam's Flake.

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr.MeerBill Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr.MeerBill (35)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Almost as good as FVF easyer to keep lit great flake

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mimefrog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mimefrog (5)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

BBF is an amazing medium body VA flake. Yes, it does need drying like most SG flakes. Yes, the tin presentation often looks "as if it was packed with their feet," as a fellow reviewer of SG blends once quipped. But man, it is amazing stuff: one of the sweetest, most savory, smooth, and cool burning sipping tobaccos I have ever had. It also forms plume rather quickly in my experience.

I've bought it in tins and 250g boxes. They are essentially the same, except the flakes in the boxes are longer and come in a bag inside the box.

Because its so straightforward and medium bodied, it is also an excellent base if you want to try blending yourself. I blend it with MacB's ODF (3:1 ODF to BBF) with great results. I have also been told its a great base to make a VAPer but I have yet to try it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

corncobcolombiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
corncobcolombiano (8)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Probably my favorite straight Virginia flake right now. Sweet and flavorful, beautiful, subtle, raisin bread sweetness! A little initial drying does assist the experience. Just great, sweet, molasses, raisin, Virginia leaf. The pure tobacco taste, and perhaps "deeper", fuller, sweeter than most Virginia blends (maybe that's the brown flake). Can't put my finger exactly on it, but I prefer this blend to others most of the time, perhaps like the comparison of brown sugar to white-- there's more flavor there.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

joeljcj2 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
joeljcj2 (8)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Full Very Pleasant

not really a review--a querry? what are those others of you who rely on sg best brown flake --doing for tobacco duing these interminably long outage periods ?? i have enough f0r a few months--but this occurs with sg all the time. i try other unscented, uncased flakes....dunhill, gawith hogarth , iwan ries, and even some mildly casedflakes....but i am used to, and enjoy sg-bb. suggestions? ( this is similarly true for sg-st james...frequently unavailable)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Knightsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Knightsmoker (56)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Great straight VA flake. I think I like this better than FVF. No bite smokes very slowly.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

430pat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
430pat (39)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Third place behind FVF and St. James will stock up on this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JustinCarcerated Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustinCarcerated (54)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

First SG Toby, tin presentation nice-unsure if its Sam's m.o. to cut flakes at uneven width and thickness, but it does not deter from the fact the tobaccos are very high quality flake. I smoked this in several pipes, Meer, Sav, large Aldo, to get a feel for the flavor. Much work needed to get proper humidity-I aged my tin 18 months properly and it was still a challenge. Taste is Va, hints of sweetness but to my tastes too sour, poor aftertaste. I'm not a fan of pure Virginias nor pure Burleys, but I do enjoy both in appropriate proportions. Current rotation-for comparison purposes: Bob's Choc Flake, Erinmore Flake, FMOTT, University Flake. Will replace Froggy with Hyde Park.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

machinebcon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
machinebcon (50)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Oh yes, wow. BBF. Best Bosom Friend, in this case! If this is not one of the best 5 VA flakes, then what? Perfectly clean, cool, slowly burning VA, in my tin slightly broken. Rubbed out, folded, cut in cubes, it all works with this one. Absolutely no shading, no casing, no hints of anything else than beuaitfully clean Virginias. Get it! 5/5

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (525)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I had found that the SG line of flakes were very inconsistently sized. The cut would be thin for one flake and then thick for the next flake. Also the flakes were a little difficult to rub out. Lastly, I had trouble keeping this stuff lit and producing an acceptable amount of smoke. These flakes had really nice flavor though. Eventually dropped the whole line of flakes due to these drawbacks.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Passion Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Passion (28)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

The virginia flake second only to FVF. BBF is sweeter, less fig and raisiny and sometimes a bit grasslike. This does need dry time and I prefer to rub it out or cube cut it.

If you like your virginia blends on the sweeter side, this is the one to try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

silverowl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
silverowl (1)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong

A quite satisfactory flake from Samuel Gawith. Easy to light and smoke. I prefer to smoke it without drying so this way you can smoke it for quite a long time. I will definitely buy it again. It is mostly tolerable for bystanders but there were some people who changed tables to put some distance to the smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Vovinam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Vovinam (19)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

If you are looking for a Virginia that is perfecly straight, sweet natural and well rounded like a Burley this maybe can be your choice, but it's just tooo much straigh for me: no tones, no colours, no variety. I don't wanna say that is poor, but it's exepensive and for that money I can buy a almost one and a half tin of Capstan navy and this is way better! Anyway I found that the BBF it's a pretty good base for homemade Mix. In particular is amazing with a hint of added orientals and you can also create a very good and perfectly balanced EM by adding just a little syrian latakia, those ideas can be a good way to give it variation and deepness. It's up to you.

Type: Natural Virginia flake ; Contents: Brown virginia (I think) ; Cut: Flake (better rubbed) ; Humidity: Wet and tender with a very good smell of dried fig ; Lighting: Not so easy in the first place, but once lighted constant burning ; Pipe recommended: Rubbed in a bent pipe

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cakeanddottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cakeanddottle (36)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

My favorite tobacco from April to November, when FVF takes over during the winter months. This beautiful Va flake is earthy in a brighter way, with bread-y notes, honey sweetness, and a sun filled hay loft body. Not as flavorful during the winter months when the palate is less sensitive.

The opposite side of the coin to FVF, and the most similar to it of any tobacco made. You can not beat a Samuel Gawith Va flake, period. FVF and BBF comprise a third of my cellar, and there are only three other Va flakes that I consider worth keeping around as a diversion. This is just a brilliant, historical pipe tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Juna Gu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Juna Gu (31)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm heavily biased towards liking anything and everything from S Gawith (not so much Hogarth) so take that into account.

The Lakeland tour. This might be my Coniston Old Man.

Very straightforward flakes of Virginia. In my 50g tin the flakes are thick cut and chunky, slightly sticky and moist. I always make the mistake of trying to smoke straightaway upon opening the tin and then upon realising my mistake get to giving the flakes plenty of time to sit in the air before smoking. Like FVF it can be tricky to get right but I've hit the spot a couple of times with this so far and it can be seriously sublime. One night I managed to get that almost-going-out tempo with it and it smouldered for a full hour delivering the tastiest trickle of smoke. Utterly becalming and joyous. Other times it's just alright and requiring plenty of relighting.

Basically though the tobacco is top notch; it's my pipe smoking and my pipes that are wanting.

At the moment I'm smoking this back to back with St Bruno Flake and the difference is marked.

At some point I'm going to get something from S Gawith in bulk and this could be it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

THB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
THB (6)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I just reviewed Full Virginia Flake and my remarks about Best Brown Flake are virtually identical. Best Brown Flake is one of the most enjoyable blends that I have smoked. The tin note is that of pure, natural tobacco. It smokes slow and smooth. I like it best after letting it dry for a few hours and then fully rub it out. Comparing it to Full Virginia Flake is difficult for me because they're different, but both have that something in common that keeps me from deciding which blend I like the best. Samuel Gawith blends have a dryness to the smoke that I like very much. Best Brown Flake might be just a little milder than FVF.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

AlexL Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AlexL (26)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild Tolerable

It's Full Virginia Flake with downgraded nicotine content. I've already revised FVF, have nothing to add. The relation pain/gain is too high for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thisshiphassailed Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thisshiphassailed (1)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Having just finished an ounce of bulk, I really like this tobacco. It's grassy and sweet with a hint of dried fruit perhaps. Fold and stuff a slightly dry flake in a medium sized bowl for the best results. This is when I grasped the true flavor. These flakes are very thinly sliced and rubbing them out seems to dull the flavor. It's not too complex, but in a good way - a perfect candidate for a mindless comfort smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Quaffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Quaffer (18)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This stuff is great for everyday smokes. Like another review stated, it's one dimensional so you'll be getting pretty much the same experience every time you smoke it. But I don't mind.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ap Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ap (56)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Excellent flake!! Cool burning with medium strenght this Va tastes very good and does not bite. A sweet and smooth classic !

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Taerin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taerin (20)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a one-dimensional smoke that is very cool with a small amount of bite and burns well once you air it out a while (very moist). I enjoyed smoking it, but I will not buy it again. I gave it three stars due to the high quality of the tobacco, I just wish it tasted better and had more depth in flavor; the hay like taste just does not work for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Problematic Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Problematic (8)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

What can I add to that last review. Nice one. What clay pipe said.

A should try. Nice mild flake. Not really my thing, I want a stronger flake. I'd give it 4 stars for quality aged strips but I took two off because you're really only getting a little over 1/2 a tins worth once it dries to an acceptable level to smoke. Way way too wet for my money.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

who broke my clay pipe? Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
who broke my clay pipe? (45)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

50g rectangle tin.

Tin aroma:Sour citrus/sour plum,stewed fruits-very juicy, fruity, fruit salad-sour apples.

Contents:Golden brown tigers eye streaky gold,ginger & brown rough cut stringy uneven flakes.(i don't really care about presentation as long as its good baccy)looks like loose sold but in a tin.

Quite moist to touch,i have to admit i was expecting a darker or "un-chocolate" flake to be honest-like their chocolate flake offering.

This is quite wine-like,fruity wine,and reminds me at this point of a flake equivalent to Dunhill Royal Yacht's ready rubbed.

Considering its moisture it takes light ok(i rubbed it out into a semi stringy flakey ball and just loaded,feels like grass).

First off i get a bright citrusy virginia,followed by a darker burn't orange(alegorically speaking),more mature virginias, or darker maybe redder virginia.It has slight tang but definately no bite.

Winey and slightly sour (definately no bitterness)but not so multi fruity in the mouth at this point.In my mind this baccy has been re-christened "golden flake",it tastes more gold than brown in my mind.

Smoking this in an old vintage 'Park-Drive' aluminium stem system pipe with moisture trap ala Falcon style:This pipe has a very slim @ 2.0-2.5mm draught diameter smoke tube which concentrates the taste nicely for the virginias in this juicy sweet and lemony sour virginia flake.There maybe some small burly in here but i am mainly getting virginias.

Tasting a cross between a number of already familiar smokes in my current possetion;Dunhill light flake,Dunhill Royal Yacht,Gold Block(when smoked in the ronson 3 way),Capstan Ready Rubbed,Peterson 3ps.

I like it already;think of it as a Dunhill medium flake but ultimately Samuel Gawith - it has the SG meaty and full pastry butchers pie factor;think of earthy new potatoes;rich but medium,not a dark flake.

I get hints of cloudy bitter lemonade in here,naturally sweet and definately unsweetened - perhaps like a pancake with lemon and no sprinkled sugar.

Bitter lemonade seems to be my best alegorical description to describe the taste and aroma,perhaps sour apple,or lemon grass -lemony apple.

A darker golden brown and more forgiving equivalent to Capstan Ready Rubbed - this is lemon as opposed to lemon peel(but i do like Capstan a lot btw)aromatically closer to peterson 3ps overal;for all the lemon going on in here it doesn't have any soap factor and hasn't once implied lemon squeezy dish water detergent.

Burns cooler than all its competitors i recon - its unique factor is its slight playdoh earthy new potato hint which assures you of its SG identity next to its simular contemporaries.

Probably mid level nicotine which feels like more, probably due to the taste association with other Samuel Gawith heavy hitters,it seems a heavy virginia that punches more than its body weight.

Burns down to a totally burn't fluffy ash,i only have to wipe out the moisture trap about twice in a full medium bowl session.

Very mild lemony room note,leaves no strong amoniac linger.

Definately worth 3 stars at this point.Not as easily available to purchase in the highstreet,but is a lot more cooperative than other simulars. I will definately keep some on hand and buy again because i have a feeling i will get through this tin quicker than a lot of others.

Easily an all day smoke,very easy.Complimetary drink would be iced lemon tea.

UPDATE 04/07/12 I have finally realised what this baccy really tastes like because i just so happened to be drinking while smoking at the same time recently,i can best describe the taste of this as like an old english cider,think of "strongbow" cider. If you like apple cider the chances are that you might appeciate this because the taste is as near as dammit.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KahveDelisi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KahveDelisi (45)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Nice! I've got best results fully rubbed and straight out of tin without extra drying time. Because it's too wet out of tin, it needs more relights at the begining but tastes much better than dried or folded versions (at least for me).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mesh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mesh (21)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

After Full Virginia Flake, BBF is to my mind the best straight Virginia pipe tobacco available in Britain. More subdued overall than FVF, it is nonetheless rich, creamy and complex, and, being less tightly pressed, is considerably easier to deal with than its aforementioned 'older brother'. All in all, another masterpiece by Samuel Gawith, one which has few suitable rivals on the British market.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (525)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A little less sweet and dried fruit-y than most va flakes, but a unique experience.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

John Frum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
John Frum (15)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Am now into my second tin, and it hits the spot. I tend to like 'em sweet - BBF is pleasantly so, and for me it's a good, satisfying smoke. I find it needs some drying, though - rub, dry, rub etc - before it'll smoke well, and when it does, it's great. Nothing fussy about it, but it delivers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SteveH Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteveH (28)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I'm not generally a great fan of straight Virginias, preferring something else such as Cavendish, Latakia or whatever added to give it a bit more va-va-voom. This, however, has subtle charms which are winning me round. It is slightly sweet, and has an earthy quality I rather like. There's just a hint of dried fruit in there as well, I think. For relaxing with in the evening, I'd want something stronger, such as a Latakia, but this is a good morning or working smoke. It does not seem to me to be excessively moist, contrary to the views of some other reviewers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

William H. Hardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
William H. Hardy (31)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I was pleasantly surprised by this Samuel Gawith product. I had tried 1792 Flake and Navy Flake From SG previously and was underwhelmed. Frankly, I had started to just write off SG and stick with the G&H tobaccos when I wanted something a little different. Best Brown Flake is the best SG that I have tried. I've had Grousemoor, Squadron Leader, and Westmorland Mixture along with the previously mentioned SG tobaccos and was not terribly impressed with them, but SG's Best Brown is actually quite good.

Best Brown Flake has wonderful undertones, is relatively meaty for a VA, and is wholly satisfying. I have had little trouble keeping it lit, but I usually rub my flakes out quite a bit before smoking and I also don't mind the seemingly extra moistness of the flake. I can leave it out a little while before I smoke it, so it doesn't bother me. The water weight of any tobacco is pretty negligible when you get down to it. (Besides, it's a whole lot better in that arena than, say, a flake of Ennerdale. Though, I do love Ennerdale every so often) Anyway, I prefer G & H's offerings to SG for the most part, but Best Brown is a rare exception.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (218)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant

Let me start with my typical "Samuel Gawith" rant about how much moisture you are paying for. The tin has ( and I counted them) 10 flakes of tobacco exactly equal to 5 full pieces of bacon in volume. The tobacco is of high quality but even after attempted drying and rubbing it is hard to light.Even after it is lit, you are fighting to keep it lit through the whole pipe, this detracts from the whole experience. The flavor has some sweetness, is smooth and has low "N". What it doesn't have is interest, I like my Virginia's with some "Zing", more sweetness, and any of the typical flavors of hay/citrus/honey/molasses that I seem to get from McClellands Virginias. I'm not saying this is bad, I'm just saying I find this boring and bland. I will finish the tin, someday ,but won't buy more.

Updated 6/10/12 - I've had this resting for almost 6 months, the moisture is down to a smokable level, the tobacco now performs much better. The tobacco is very smooth but low on "N". I find this tobacco to bite the least of all the brown flakes,including FVF. I have to raise this to 3 stars , oh, I'll probably buy again !_

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (297)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I expected this one to be a lighter version of Full Virginia Flake, but it seems that it is so only in color: the taste is possibly even richer to my tastebuds!

The long flakes are soft and moist, but require very little drying out. They pack fine, and when lit burn quite regularly.

What to say about this tobacco? Only that it's a very consistent, benchmark matured Virginia. Completely natural flavour, good balance of sweetness, spice, smokiness and a touch of sourness. Boring? Not very original or distinctive? Maybe. But GOOD.

A reliable smoking companion!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bigdadz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bigdadz (30)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

This stuff smells like sweet uncased natural virginia in the tin. I really wanted to like this one, but all I get is a undimensional hay like taste that really doesn't do much for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (513)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I love well aged blends but I always review “new” tobacco. Unfortunately, in this case, due to the extreme difficulty of obtaining SG blends here in the US, this review is based on a two four year old tins. That's the bad news; the good news is that age serves this flake really well. Sweet with soft edges, Best Brown is forgiving for a puffer like me. Now that the tin has aged, much of the tin scent of “hay” has been replaced with raisons and figs. I am one of the few that isn't a big fan of FVF, even when FVF is aged. I find BB to be a far more enjoyable smoke. It needs some dry time, but it's worth the wait as it burns cleanly with the flavors developing throughout the course of the bowl. I don't find it to gather a much more strength as the bowl progress's. I have smoked BB in various size bowls and folded as well as rubbed out and my choice is a smaller bowl, fully rubbed out. I guess I'm just going to have to “suffer” though a few more aged tins! Highly Recommended

Nobody has rated this review yet.

palm springs piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
palm springs piper (12)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

My second email order after finding this website - what can I say? It's a homerun with bases loaded, a double century at the Lord' Test! Cool, rich, creamy, mildly sweet with an incredible brown sugar aftertaste that is unbelievably good with a cup of coffee or a medium dry cocktail. Nice moustashe residue for the better half to enjoy, too. Try it. OK, maybe it is monochromatic, but the best things in life are the simple things, like this grand tobacco, and a cup of coffee.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

MacNutz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MacNutz (12)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I am most interested in English/Balkan mixtures but Best Brown flake is my very favourite Virginia based flake. It surprised me somewhat, as I was expecting something a bit stronger. The tin smell, upon opening, strengthened that impression.

A strong smell of fermented fruit with a bit of earth and old leather smacked my nostrils at the beginning but the fruitiness of the tin aroma mellowed quickly after opening.

Now the smell of the flakes reminds me a little of the smell of my dad's Bull of the Woods chewing tobacco.

Smoking it slow and cool is essential to the enjoyment of this aged Virginia. With that in mind, I found the taste and side stream smell wonderful, featuring more nuances than some have experienced.

This one will be in my regular rotation for some time, I suspect.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kokinhenik Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kokinhenik (39)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've got to say that the aged Virginia's really hit the spot for me. I prefer this over the Samuel Gawith FVF and 1792. My tin was perfect. Didn't need to dry it out, smoked great, and no bite. This is one of my top five favorite Virginians.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darth Vader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth Vader (75)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Very Pleasant

When i smell this tobacco it reminds me of sweets shops as a child. A really nice Va that can bite if rushed. Mine was bulk and needed a little drying. Quality SG.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CoolPilot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CoolPilot (64)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My favourite VA , I love it. Sometimes I cannot wait to let it dry after opening. Nevertheless, it is always a top experience. I like it more than FVF which I found to be milder. The dark aged tobacco in the BBF is a well balanced experience in terms of strength and flavour.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TheSmokinDragon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TheSmokinDragon (56)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

extreme smoothness, with a nice vita-n blast..like it morn'in noon or night

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Taste Buds Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taste Buds (136)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant

My initial impression of this blend was very positive. But after a few more bowls, I found this Virginia flake to be lacking in flavor. A very boring smoke that burns hot. It is also too sweet for my taste. Like butterscotch. I doubt if I will finish the tin. The F&T flakes are much better in my opinion.

Update: Mixed this 50-50 with FVF and found that both blends benefit from this union.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (120)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Probably one of my favorite VA flakes. Easy on the tongue compared to McClelland offerings.

I opened a tin of this back in 06/08, and the moisture content 3 years later is still perfect. Tin aroma reminds one of fresh cut hay. Easy to enjoy as long as it is dried out a bit.

You will enjoy a rich, leathery smoke out of this flake, straight forward tobacco flavor, with just a hint of Lake spice.

Paired well with a Johnny Walker Gold.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (204)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Aged VA it says on the tin, and aged VA is what is inside. The full, fruity, sweet, hay-ish tin aroma upon breaking the seal already told me enough: I would like this blend.

As with all SG flakes, it needs to dry a good bit before it can be truly enjoyed. I prefer rubbing out SG's flakes; rubbing thoroughly and stuffing gently, this 'baccy starts out fully sweet and fruitily (well, aged VA...) and, with some maintenance, provides a sweet and full taste to the very end without even hinting at bitterness. Less of the hay note in there than with a "younger" VA, the room note is sweet and unobtrusive, though probably not good enough to elicit general acceptance.

Solid, satisfying medium-strength blend; I may return to it, but I do have other VA flakes available that are just as good at rather less expense.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

orka Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
orka (50)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This review is based on a tin purchased in january 2011, smoked in a large (group 4'ish) billiard, which is dedicated to VA/flakes.

Presentation was what I've come to expect from S.G - varying degrees of thickness and length. Tin note is appetizingly sweet and raisiny with faint cocoa undertones. Rather wet when freshly opened, airing is preferable, but not absolutely necessary. Optimal a month or so after opening (I store all my opened tins in tupperware's, though).

As others have mentioned, this isn't a very 'in your face' tobacco, and it benefits greatly of a slow and steady smoking pace. I found the taste to be good, a little non-descript, but sweet along the lines of brown sugar. Consistent in taste from top to bottom, though sadly not much strength in the nicotine department. It does have a nice body however, and if I hadn't known better I would've said there's a burley component somewhere in the mix. The sidestream is, as advertised, absolutely wonderful. I usually never drink coffee while smoking, but BBF is one of the exceptions I make; it does complement a cup of coffee very well. Roomnote is rather discreet as well, though unmistakably that of tobacco and nothing else.

All in all BBF turned out to be a pleasant surprise and I will definately buy it again, despite the nuisance of the inconsistent cut.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DTJ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DTJ (4)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I am trying to like this but I find it smokes very wet, perhaps I am doing something wrong?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

chaplikc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chaplikc (135)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I can not say much more than the other reviewers have already said. While not my favorite flake it is good. Others have said this is the same as Kendall plug but I prefer the plug over this. I would smoke more if I were given more however given the choice there are others that I would buy first. To me it is just a good, no frills kind of flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipelovingcalvinist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipelovingcalvinist (68)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Though I am primarily an english blend smoker, Best Brown Flake is one of my favorites. BBF goes just as well with my morning cup of coffee as it does after a heavy meal. Nutty and slightly sweet, this tobacco never fails to satisfy-just be sure to dry it out some first.

soli Deo gloria

Nobody has rated this review yet.

maldoror Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
maldoror (1)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

I discovered this tobacco for a long time, and couldn't help buying new tins: it is now clear that it is one of my all time favourites tobaccos. It has a perfect low-burning rythm and a deep and subtle taste which is (more than) pleasant from the beginning to the end of the pipe. The room-note is quite discreet but very pleasant! Simply one of the very best yellow matured virginias!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (121)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

The smell off the tin is very inviting. Easy to light and keep lit. A slow burning, full bodied smoke. I get a toasty, sweet and slightly tangy smoke with malt accents.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

risle-lariviere Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
risle-lariviere (33)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A good flake with a rather sweet taste but not too sweet .Always in my rotation for the last three years .Every cellar should have a few tins put aside .

Recommended +

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipesrevisited Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipesrevisited (45)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I smoked my way though the pouch so quickly that I never got round to make notes for an in depth review.

Best Brown changed my smoking preference from mainly EM's to mainly natural Va(Pers). Best Brown however is irreplacable and I keep craving it untill my next order has come by mail.

Recommended to every pipesmoker as a reference tobacco!

Update march 2011 As fast as I smoked my way through a pouch of this, so slow I work my way through a tin. Did I get a bad tin? Lighter of colour, almost tasteless and difficult to keep lit. To be continued...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (192)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I managed to win a tin of Samuel Gawith's Best Brown Flake from ebay for the initial bid price of $14.95 . I was quite surprised mine was the sole bid throughout a 7 day auction.

My tin was dated 12/04 and I was delighted that my first foray with this tobacco was from a fairly well-aged tin. The clump of unevenly arranged flakes were quite moist considering the age of the tin and came apart quite readily for smoking. I like the uneven style of packing flakes that Sam Gawith employs over the more uniform presentation as found with other blenders. The flakes in my sample were VERY dark brown in appearance without any sugar crystals present. There was absolutely NO Lakeland floral or soapy aroma. It had no cased/top dressed aroma at all. It smelled very earthy - similar to damp soil - and a tad sweet. In spite of its seeming freshness (not what I expected in a 6 year old tin), it packed and lit quite readily, only requiring the initial 2 lights and one re-light by mid bowl (Group 3 bent billiard). It produced a small bit of moisture, but nothing to be off-putting. After many further tins, I find BBF a very different tasting VA and very delicious with one of the best, natural, "old-time pipey" roomnotes ever. Much better than their FVF in my opinion.

UPDATE 4-7-12: Due to availability issues with SG, I've been saving what I had left of BBF but now that it is available again, I delved into my stash from a tin nearly 2 years old and I promptly ordered 2 more tins. I had maybe 3 flakes or so left and they were dry to the bone. They also exhibited sugar bloom as well. I broke some slivers along the length of a flake and literally crunched them into my Peterson's 2012 St. Patrick's Day bent billiard and lit up. Dry to the bone, but what a smoke! I was thoroughly impressed just as I first was. It smoked like a charm and without heat or bite. Subtle in flavor and very tasty, it left a nice lingering tobacco presence in my beard and mustache.

UPDATE 4-12-12: My 2 tins arrived the other day. I cracked one open and was greeted with a nice, sweet smelling, honeydew like aroma. Even though it was very moist in the way SG is noted for, it smoked like a charm. My favorite Virginia hands down!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

takkun Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
takkun (9)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I picked this up from a bulk jar at Leavitt and Peirce over in Cambridge, and I'm only guessing this is the same stuff.

Mine came a little dry, but rehydrating it produced the most wonderful smelling tobacco ever. Plums and citrus. Picked apart the flakes and stuffed it in a medium kirsten, lit up pretty well.

The flavor is good, if monochromatic. Earthy with little hints of sweetness here and there. Definitely less bright than a yellow VA, as would be expected from something described as 'brown'. Sweet sidestream, but ashy room note.

I'm still up in the air on this one. I really looked forward to trying it (perhaps I'll get a tin straight from SG and see), but it didn't live up to my admittedly high expectations. It's not bad at all—far from it—but it doesn't tickle my fancy the way others do. When I'm done with my little stockpile, I just might grab some more to keep around.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Chatsworth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Chatsworth (52)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

I love this virginia. Sweet, tangy, and flavorful. Less nicotine than FVF. I cube cut it with scissors. Flakes are just so much fun. This is different enough from FVF, that using just BBF and FVF could be an adequate rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sparky hughes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sparky hughes (3)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Mild Very Pleasant

best brown what can i say about it,it's the best tobacco i have tryed yet it taste's and smell's nice and it's my number one choice i'll be smoking now on when my tobacco shop gets it in.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Philosopher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philosopher (27)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Very pleasant not-in-your-face tobacco: brown flake with a tart undertone not present in the FVF. 50g tin seemed to go on and on (but not complaining!)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (234)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I recieved an aged tin of this in a trade and had never really given this one much thought. Boy was that a mistake, I really like this one and reach for it often, in fact one more pipe full and I will have used it up in about four days. I will certainly buy more to cellar of this one.

It comes in a rather plain uninteresting rectangular tin, and upon opening it, I am greated with a sweet rather twangy haylike aroma. The flakes are pretty uniform but coming aprt a little and are mostly a medium brown color with flecks of a lighter brown. I dried it overnight and it crumbled into a nice bit of thin ribbon cut pieces and loaded easily into my pipe. My pipe I used first is a new Jan P and then I used several different VA dedicated pipes. It is very easy to light and it stays lit well. The first taste upon lighting is a semi sweet haylike flavor with a little tartness in it. The smoke is nice and creamy and very pleasant. As it burns down, it does pick up more strenth and really picks up on the sweetness factor. It smokes down all the way to a mottled grey ash with no moisture in the bottom of the pipe. Smoked nice and slow, it never bites and is very gentle on the pallet. If you really get her going though, it can bite a little but you have to try to do this as it smokes pretty slow and easy with regular smoking. The room note of the smoke is pleasant to me, not over powering, i had a non smoking neighbor tell me it was very good smelling and not overwhelming. This is one of the VA blends that really satisfies my taste buds, I always want to refill and lite another bowl of it. A really good VA flake that I will keep around. I highly suggest geiving this one a try if you are a straight VA lover. It is a top notch smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

acyv Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
acyv (10)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Full Pleasant

Very nice "man tobacco", I liked it very much, the taste on my palate is very good...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Rafer Janders Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rafer Janders (4)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm a very recent convert to the art of pipe smoking having enjoyed cigars and this is my first review, although it isn't my first tobacco. Having journeyed a little along the path of tobaccos and being guided by the reviews on this site, this is the first leaf I have felt compelled to review.

I have to say that this is a very pleasant smoke. Like other Sam Gawith flakes, it has a lovely moisture content and feels great to rub out or fold. It seems to burn well enough without needing to dry it out. The note from the tin is of raisins and nuts, like fruit cake. In fact an aromatic smoker friend of mine felt that it was the most pleasant non-aromatic he'd smelt.

It packs and lights well, and although it doesn't have an overpowering aroma or flavour, this goes in its favour because one never tires of it. A good every day smoke I think. I found FVF too high in nicotine to make it a regular. It took me back to smoking Luckies, although I would rate it highly too.

The bowl of my Big Ben billiard smells great afterwards too.

All in all, I am very impressed with this and will probably make it a staple. Truly a Best Brown Flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WillardFan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillardFan (68)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

After hearing so much about this blend, I decided to give it a try. This is one of the best tobaccos I've tried in a long time. Very smooth, no tongue bite, and in a Virginia blend, I found this to be an exception. I don't rub this out, I just pinch off little bits at a time till I have enough for a bowl. Takes two lights, a Char-light and a relight. Burns well, leaves very little dottle. In my opinion one of the best Gawith blends I've ever smoked.

Update: This stuff once opened, dries out really fast. This makes it a bit milder, and the flavors become more subdued. Recommend you use up the tin within a week or so...

R.W.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

duke269 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
duke269 (2)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If I didn't have Full Virginia flake to compare it too, it would be much better. Just not as good. Flatter in flavor, no little nuances. Still, I'd pick it up given the opportunity. My only beef with it is that my tin had some really thick flakes. Maybe just a one-tin thing, no one else I've seen has said anything about it. Kind of a pain in the butt trying to rub it out when you're studying for finals.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ivycap Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ivycap (63)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Didn't get much at first light, but as it calmed down and I began to relax, this weed sang for me, and it was a pretty song. A cool smoke with some natural sweetness and a full taste. Aged, flue cured Virginias are a dream.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

rramstad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rramstad (115)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Earlier in the day I smoked some Kendal Plug as a contrast. I have a lot of problems with light VA and bite, especially things like Coniston Cut Plug and MacBaren Virginia #1. BBF unfortunately bites me quite a bit, on a scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being the worst, I rate it a 4. (For reference, 5 would be something I'd smoke very occasionally because I like the flavor enough and am willing to put up with the bite.)

The taste profile on this is a bit thinner in body than Kendal Plug, and also somewhat more monochromatic. It's a nice flavor, but doesn't really change or develop down the bowl as much as other offerings from Samuel Gawith.

FVF is still my favorite in this line, along with Squadron Leader.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ProdigalWeb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ProdigalWeb (18)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a great all-Virginia flake. The tin aroma is to die for. That great Virginia aroma of ripe figs and raisins. The flavor is very nice but very plain Virginia. I'm getting used to a little more spice from perique or orientals. I'm sure SG makes these too. The tobacco is a little wet out of the can, so I'm experimenting with what is the right moisture. I'm also experimenting with whether to smoke it as a flake or to rub it out. I'm having better luck with rubbed out at the moment but my flake technique is improving.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Prior Wrath Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Prior Wrath (6)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my everyday smoke. Exceptionally great virginia flake with myriad of nuances. No rubbing necessary, I just like to fold it so it just fits into the pipe. Keep it very slow.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Easter Egg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Easter Egg (5)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

My first pure virginia without added orientals, and also my first attempt at a flake. Took the flakes and tore them into narrow strips of about 2 cm (a bit longer than 3/4 inch for our non metric friends) then let them air out for 5 minutes. Packed in a churchwarden with medium size bowl.

I think next time it might need a bit more drying next time, I had to relight quite a few times.

Great cool smoke, fabulous taste, no tongue burn, just the right amount of Nic for my liking.

Next time i might have the courage to try the packing method as explained on the Mac-baren website : http://www.mac-baren.com/TopMenu/Expert-Knowledge/Flake-Tobacco/How-to-fill-a-pipe-1.aspx

Will let you know later on how that turns out.

After this first bowl, I am pretty confident BBF will come into my rotation together with Squadron Leader.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (113)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is a nice, mild, gentle Virginia Flake: nothing fancy, with a sweet flavour and an unexceptionable room note. The tin note is ‘warm' and natural, with none of the ‘Lakeland' chemical properties that so many people dislike.

It gets off to a humdrum start (the first few puffs taste like a strong cigarette, I find), but the flavour builds to a pleasant fullness after a few minutes, and you get a slow, cool, civilized smoke: no bite and no bizarre flavours. Enough nicotine, but certainly not too much.

I don't, to be honest, notice all that much difference between BBF and SG's Medium Virginia Flake (aka Golden Glow), though BBF is possibly a bit milder: a tad too mild for some palates, perhaps. Like flakes in general (IMO), it's better folded than rubbed out. When you first open the tin (you can also buy it loose, I believe) it's a good deal too moist. This is a problem endemic to SG's tinned tobaccos, and BBF, like so many of its companions, is best dried a bit before you light it.

Apart from the minor drawback of excessive moisture, BBF is an excellent smoke for those who like VA flakes. A good all-day smoke, and a good tobacco to relax with; though I can imagine that some people will find it boring after a while, and want to turn aside to something a bit meatier.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ian4545 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ian4545 (7)
★★★★
Mild Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Best Brown Flake is very smooth and lite. It tastes a lot like Full Virginia Flake except not as strong. Best Brown Flake has no Tongue bite and burns very well. This is my new everyday smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Thunderchunkie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Thunderchunkie (4)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This one makes me wonder why I smoked ciggarettes for so many years. I would consider myself a complete idiot if it were not for the fact that I had enough sense to pick up a tin of this, lol. Toasty, Brown, slightly nutty tasting, almost malty. Very mild, smooth and gentle on the tongue, this is what tobacco should taste like. Being the first flake I have tried, preparing it was an adventure too (finally got it right on the 3rd bowl, hahaa!) Definitley damp out of the tin, needs some drying or it prob wont stay lit, didn't for me.

baccy baccy num nums!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Walkman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Walkman (5)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Best Brown Flake is one of my favorite tobaccos. It's a medium brown Virginia that's naturally sweet, nutty, and smooth. BBF doesn't bite, requires few relights, and provides a nice volume of smoke. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kg0mz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kg0mz (54)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is docile for a VA flake, not at all harsh on me billy goat. I like to rub it into a ball, poke it in there, and top it off with the crumbs. Steamy and grassy at first, but sweet like toasted bread by mid-bowl. Smooth and creamy. No bite and never bitter. Burns like a champ. Adequate strength. Not as bold as FVF, but not as astringent. I like both, but this I can enjoy as often as I please.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

babysinister Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
babysinister (46)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

I like the sweetness level in this mature Virginia. The sugar doesn't screw up the Virginia; burns well, just a little on the hot side but no drawbacks there, as it has no bite, which is a good thing in a straight Virginia. Perfect flake cut that is easy to fill and loves you a looong time. I just fold and insert in the bowl using the air pocket method, which works really great in a Dublin. Don't evade the sidestream, for it delivers a tobaccoey aroma that is nutty and redolent of a field of sweet hay on fire. And to put this review in perspective, I primarily like English/Balkan blends. Or at least I did up to now. Yes, this could be a realigning experience. Time will tell.

Update: I aged several jars of this flake for four years and now it's streaked with 'sugar' rows of bloom/plume. Too bad I can't give it a higher rating than Highly Recommended, so I guess that will do.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dk-piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dk-piper (25)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

delicious flake. tobacco smells like citrus, orange, sweet. Very intense smell. Once lit, the tobacco reveals nutty aromas. Sidestream is just wonderful...roasted almonds and caramel come into my mind. Similarities to FVF are there.

The best way to describe this baccy is..."the simple things/tobaccos in life are the most enjoyable."

BestBrownFlake is a down-to-earth-tobacco. Very honest, very pure in taste. Smoke is gentle and smooth as silk.

Mr. Gawith did it again! :)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

John W Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
John W (1)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My favourite tobacco to date! I have for many years smoked aromatics and only in recent months ventured into pure Virginias, and also into flakes. The most notable thing is that unlike aromatics which in my experience tend to taste nasty in the final third of the bowl BBF smokes to a fine ash with no deterioration in taste at all. In fact while subtly changing the final third tastes easily as good as the first puff. I've mixed it with SG's Firedance when smoking indoors as the aroma seems preferable to my wife, but quietly yearn to retreat to my study for an experience uncontaminated by any topping at all. I enjoy it dried out a little or even straight from the tin, a flake or two simply rolled and stuffed, and it stays lit pretty much throughout. If you haven't tried it yet, order a tin!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Rehfeldttw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rehfeldttw (8)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is an excellent flake tobacco. It has a earthly/smokey taste with the strength being medium. Very mild sweetness to it which I have to look for carefully. Otherwise it is difficult to find that VA sweetness.

Sip this blend and try not to puff too hard or you will get a bite.

I recommand drying the tobacco for 10 to 15min per side.

Overall a good tobacco to have in rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Morgoth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Morgoth (22)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Very natural Virginia, that is mild in taste and strength. The subdued flavour is of molasses and toasty oats...and is faultless for that ‘contemplative' smoke. This blend does not have the minuscule sweet-spot that Full Virginia Flake seems to only rarely (IMO) reveal.

Highly recommended.

A companion infusion: a cup of java.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

karnevil9 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
karnevil9 (17)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I will first say I love this. I love anything Samuel Gawith has. However it is a flake. I am not very fond of flakes. I found this one very hard to rub out. I found it even harder to light. This being said. Once it was lit and was going it was excellent. slow burning, cool, but not at first. The longer it burned the better it became all the way to the end. It has a nice sweetness to it from the Virginia's. It is just wonderful straight tasting tobacco. what could be better than that.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipemanuk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipemanuk (76)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Well...this is the one Sam Gawith tobacco I have problems with. I don't doubt any of the positive comments made by others and my problems with this variety may be entirely due to the 500g box I have been struggling through, but every time I smoke this I get a sore roof of my mouth, EVERY time.

The quality of the flakes is very uneven and there's lots of light striations to them as if there's a lot of sliced stalks in it...that's why I queried whether is a QC issue. Apart from this blend and an absolutely disgusting tin of FVF I had to throw away, I totally admire all their other blends. Other tins of FVF have been fine so I surmise that their QC leaves something to be desired sometimes. On the other hand it may be that the chemistry in my mouth just reacts badly to this particular blend. I have got a feeling someone else reported the same reaction as me so that may be it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

eamonclever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
eamonclever (45)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

when it comes to flakes, this is a must try! Especially if one enjoys the Rattray line, this is a perfect intruder in this well positioned top segment of good tobacco. Out of the tin or with some little airing in the pipethe flakes are perfectly done for loading the pipe. After some relights at the start - flake smokers don´t bother- the weed produces a good amount of smoke and taste, which is quite strong but very delightful. I love to smoke it in large but also a bit narrow upright bowls. An old one is now reserved for BBF. This means I will buy it more frequently. BBF might be a bit smoother than Rattray Marlin Flake which is my reference in this segment(non flavoured). Unless this mixture is quite pleasing and burns easy down the bowl without noticeable problems, I detect a bit more sweetness and overall satisfaction in MF, on the verge but in the end - only three points. For all who are cute - try Brown Flake#2- although a lakeland kind of tobacco imo it is the real carrier of the torch when it comes to brown flake tobaccos.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

MikeA Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MikeA (9)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I love this stuff. To me it seems to have more of a nicotine kick than FVF does. It's a very approachable smoke that does not need to be babied as much as FVF to enjoy the flavors it imparts which is somewhat naturally sweet with a natural tobacco taste. It improves with age. I typically dry, rub, pack and smoke. I seem to smoke more of this than other Virginia's. This is definitely in my top 3 pure Virginia tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sniper3 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sniper3 (26)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I love the flavor. But the damn stuff burns me every time. I have a full pound. that's been aging for 8 years. Still bites me - DAMN!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

chgo.piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chgo.piper (36)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If FVF is to much for you then you might enjoy BBF. It's just a milder version. If I had to choose between the two, it would be FVF without question. That's not to take anything away from BBF, I just prefer a more robust virginia taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dedalus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dedalus (6)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I really enjoy BBF first thing in the morning. If I decide to have a morning smoke, it's always BBF. Pairs well with coffee and is mild enough that it leads into later afternoon and evening smokes perfectly.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

macbforme Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
macbforme (7)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Boy this was good! Its all about tobacco with this one and it is nothing more .... or less. No looking for taste with this one...it is just in your face tobacco. Tobacco for the man's man!

Freshly opened tin smells of raisins. After a couple of weeks drying time it still smells of raisins even though moisture content is about half.

I decided to give it a thorough rubbing out and then I broke into very small pieces and loaded my pipe very loosely. This smoked very well with minimal relights.

Taste was good old sweet tobacco. The sweetness was just right and provided at times a "toasty" flavor. This tobacco has convinced me that I need to just stick to Virginias and quit my quest for the perfect English. Most English blends tend to leave me "wanting more" whereas a sweet virginia like BBF leaves me feeling satisfied.

After a nice experience with BBF I am going to try FVF for sure!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jeffo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jeffo (17)
★★★☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

this is my first tin of this and i like it it is a very uneven flake but a very good smoke there does not seem to be much of a addative and very good before bed

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (155)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I left something as 5/6 flakes in the tin, just to see how they improve over the months. First, I have noticed how much the tobacco colour has brightened ... and the tin aroma has developped a tone similar to green tea, which I seem not having noticed before. The smoke volume has also improved, and the body as well. Very much more pleasant a satisfactory, indeed. One more star.

ORIGINAL REVIEW FEB05/2009:

Trip to Kendal # 4.

A couple of months ago the list of the imported SG's tobaccos has been increased to the double. Just before X-mas, I have grabbed some of the new ones, namely: BBF, Sam's Flake, 1792 Flake and Chocolate Flake.

Having tasted all of them, I start reviewing BBF, even if a hundred an more reviews should be enough...

I'm frankly not able to add anything truly new, and just say mine.

Yes, BBF is the younger brother of FVF (the first SG I bought - along with BR#4 and BF at the time they started coming in Italy - which I will review soon or late) made in the ancient way of flakes having different thickness and uneven structure, some appearing like "bricks".

Mandatory instructions: needs very careful preparation, and NEEDS rubbing-out.

A natural, mono-dimensional but solid virginia; it does not deliver a great volume of sweet-grassy smoke, a bit on the mild side for me; good enough as the first bowl in the morning if You are willing to dedicate some attention.

And the main con... it's really too expensive for us Italians.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Latakia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Latakia (67)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If one is into VAs, this is good but it really isn't for me on a regular basis. If smoking a VA, I prefer something Solani 633 pressed with Perique or something like McClelland Christmas. This is mono-dimensial....however, a no nonense smoke with no casing, bells or whistles...pure VA tobacco. I do like the press which was really firm and offered a nice cool smoke even when thoughly rubbed-out. As a result of the cool smoke, would be a good tobacco to break in a new pipe...sort of neutral taste and cool burning. I would smoke it again but wouldn't rush out to get a tin although it may change as I change and I smoke through this tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

p4p4 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
p4p4 (52)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I think that Best Brown is a very pleasant flake, with natural smell. Good burn quality, cool, medium /medium-to-full strenght. The flavor is like brown-sugar, natural, delicious, semi-sweet. It explanes a sensation of agreeable purity

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Michigander Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Michigander (19)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Wow !!! The tin note is of dates. The taste is of a very deep full Virginia flake. Reminds me of MacBaren's Navy Flake.... a tad lighter.... much better.... no casing. Room note is tobacco, but pleasant. Not an aromatic. This has instantly become my third favorite after Davodoff's Flake Medallions and SG's Golden Glow.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BBlevins Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BBlevins (102)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I find this flake to be pleasant tasting although it is monochromatic and become flat and boring within a few few bowls. It has a pretty good bite potential being a Virginia. I eventually have almost a pound of this stuff away because I just had no desire to smoke it anymore. To me it lacked flavor and offered nothing to make me want to smoke it again. If I had to describe it in one word it would be "boring".

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fly ticky Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fly ticky (26)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

This is a very good smoke,to say the least.I can smoke this any time any time.I simply love the grass like flavor.It is better in the tin than in bulk,but both are very very good.If you like viginias you should love this.BB and 2035 are the only two smokes I can smoke anytime and enjoy.Thats all folks,well I might some red cake in once in a while.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (198)
★★★☆
Mild Mild to Medium Very Full Pleasant

Everything with BBF is the same as with FVF but with less aroma, less flavor, less taste, less strength and less nicotine.

BBF shows up its wonderful quality only at the second half bowl, In fact, the first half bowl seem to be a bit bland and tasteless if compared to FVF, but with some patience, the second half is very tasty, deep and delightful.

FVF and BBF are great Virginia and must have for any Virginia smoker. I find the bulk leaf is better quality than the tined one; the flakes are nicely done with wonderful aroma.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipi (3)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I have to admit that I tasted this baccy due to his high rating in this forum - I am in the middle of the box, and the leaf is still wet, but insofar I am not thrilled - maybe too mild for my taste, and without the nuances I noticed while smoking other similar blends - I 'll upgrade this if necessary pipi

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sasquatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sasquatch (65)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Sweet, grassy, easy smoke. I piggyback Best Brown Flake onto most of my orders now.

What's it like? More virginia-y than Golden Sliced - akin to Mac Baren Virginia number 1 but no honey topping I guess.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bazsup Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bazsup (13)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I purchased this as a bulk purchase. Don't know how different my experience would be from the tin buyer but I did ejoy my 8 ounces. This tobacco is an enjoyable mild addition to my repertoire. I am in "like" but not in "love". I have to admit though that even when I fall in love with a tobacco it never lasts.

The flake thickness is inconsistent which I know is normal for this brand. I don't mind variation but a few were thicker than I enjoy packing or puffing. When the thickness effects the smoke I am disappointed.

As far as flavor is concerned, it is very mild. Now I smoke them hot so the mild smokes are what I look for. I enjoyed the flavor but it is maybe too mild for me. I would enjoy a flavor commitment.

Unlike most oter reviewers, I didn't have a problem with the moisture content. Stayed lit and I didn't need too many cleaners.

All in all a pretty good experience.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

matty Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
matty (21)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is what men smoke good tobacco flav love the real tobacco sidestream screw what anyone else thinks I like it all over my clothes and beard like a real viking thats how good it is. Goes well with a cup of black sumatra mandehling or grandpas whiskey. This has personality through the bowl perhaps I should order another pound or five. Once I see sugar chrystals developing through the mason jar it's ready. Do not be an agressive violator smoking this very slowly develops skill, character, and your palate. Enjoy!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bighitter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bighitter (37)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Well, I feel this completely blows away what seems to be everyone's favorite, Full Virginia Flake. I just think this has much more sweetness and flavor than the FVF. Just got a small sample, and it's honestly what I've been going for lately, but it's very nice, simple, tobacco without a trace of casing or flavoring, which is important to me. Might have helped that I first tried this in a new cob, but it was deliciously sweet and just slightly spicy. Nice one, Sam...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

marosi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
marosi (47)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

All Gawith blends are of the highest quality, and this is no exception. This is, without a doubt, one of the best VA flakes available, and the others that are in the "best of" category are also Gawith blends. Many, if not most, VA flakes smoke hot, but not Best Brown. If you smoke it with a little respect, it will reward you with one of the coolest VA flake experiences possible.

In the tin, this smells mildly sweet. Noticeably absent is that funky catsup smell one so often encounters with VA's. It is not overly moist in the tin, but still requires a little drying out for my taste before smoking.

This packs easily when rubbed out, and burns readily. This is frustration free smoke in that regard. Smoke it slowly, and few relights are needed.

Now for the taste. This tobacco offers a huge amount of sweet, smoky goodness. You will swear that it is cased, it is so sweet and tasty, but it is not. The flavor is rich and smooth, and not monotone at all. This is very unlike almost all other VA flakes out there. You owe it to yourself to try this blend. Beware though. Do not try this first, and then look for other flakes which offer a similar smoking experience. With few exceptions, they do not exist. This is a truly singular flake, and worthy of the "best" moniker.

Update: Others have noted a somewhat flat, monotone smoking experience. I would suggest that this blend really requires your finest smoking pipe to access all that it has to offer. It is very subtle with great depth, like a fine single malt, but you simply are not going to get there if you are not using a pipe with truly fine smoking characteristics. When I smoke this in one of my Ashtons, or a very high grade Il Ceppo that I have, it blows me away. I imagine a good meerschaum would offer the same experience. When I have used a pipe with lesser smoking characteristics, this is still tasty, but the depth of subtle undertones are not there.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hermit 78 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hermit 78 (33)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Samuel Gawith's quality control guy must come to work drunk half the time, but when this stuff is on, it's on. Tastes like honey, wheat toast, hay, heather, and the tiniest hint of mint. Dry for a while, then fold 'n' stuff. It stays consistent throughout the bowl, even if it isn't always consistent from tin to tin. Aging helps. This is in my top 5, despite the quality issue.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

petersonsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
petersonsmoker (9)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This one of my favorite flakes - gentle and sweet with enough nicotine to satisfy but not to overwhelm. This is my go to Va and you could not do better. Smokes great in narrow, tall bowls. I buy this in 1lb boxes and it always arrives nice and moist through the mail. I rub it out fully and dry for a little before smoking. Never a whisper of tongue-bite.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hagen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hagen (91)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

UPDATE: have i gone crazy? am i the only one to feel that this blend has gone downhill during the last 6 moths? it is now a pale grey-brown, it's loosely pressed, there's almost no smell of fermentation, and to me, it tastes grassy with much less depth than before. there's still a variety of flavours here, but it doesn't compare with my first encounter with bbf. has sam gawith run out of zimbabwe leaf? whatever the reason, i've downgraded one star :END UPDATE

"made in england", indeed. like the ancient true rattray's, there's not that much tin aroma (but very fine it is). i take that as a sign of high quality, really.

bbf is the best, straight flue cured i know of, very well suited to go with a cup of espresso late in the day. like its big brother fvf, it is quite heavily stoved - only not quite to the same extend, so that there's a good deal of tang and zest left. exquisite!

as usual with samuel gawith tobaccos, don't smoke it in a very narrow bowl, and let it dry out well before smoking.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipinNfishin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipinNfishin (21)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

BBF is another good flake by Samuel Gawith. When compared to the flavor is more user friendly than FVF. FVF has to be controlled to yield marvelous flavor. BBF the flavor is just open and apparent. Both flakes are offered in the same format, stacked flakes that need a little drying.

When I want a casual smoke, a no brainer, than I will go with BBF. I reserve FVF for moments of rare solitude, when wife and kids cannot interrupt.

BBF gives me a straight forward virinia flavor. Burning sweet grass such as wheat, barley, or hay, are the prominent flavors.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is my new favorite VA flake. That's it, really. It's just really good.

I know this probably doesn't need to be mentioned for most of the people who post on this site, but a reviewer below mentioned that this was "Zimbabwe" tobacco and not actually "Virginia." The word "Virginia" to describe tobacco simply means "Virginia broadleaf" or "brightleaf" tobacco. It's a breed of tobacco, and has nothing to do with where it's grown. This is a "Virginia" tobacco grown in Zimbabwe, one of the top tobacco-producing countries. A lot of the "Virginia" tobacco made today is not grown in Virginia or even in the US. Europe, India, Russia, many African nations (including Zimbabwe), Brazil, all produce "Virginia" tobacco.

It's the same as the distinction between "Cyprian" and "Syrian" latakia. Both are made with the same breed of tobacco, Oriental "small" or "dark" leaf, but are grown in different places.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Packer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Packer (56)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Samuel Gawith is one of my favorite blenders. This being said, BBF is my favorite of thier flakes.

After trying a couple of 50 gram tins, I have bought several pounds of this in 1 pound boxes. As with most flakes I find that considerable drying is a must to enjoy. After drying I give this flake a full rub out. This makes packing, light, and burn effortless. Being a Virginia, to avoid bight, I sip, and enjoy this blend. I will not say that this is the "best tobacco" that I have ever tried, but I will say that I have put more of it in my cellar than any other blend. I am never disappointed with a bowl of this blend, and IMO this is one of the best "all day smokes" to be found.

Rate

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Slow Triathlete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Slow Triathlete (48)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I have been smoking this off and on now for a bit so I thought that I would have enough to go on to post a review. Here goes:

I bought a tin of this to try and smoked the whole thing and then bought 4 ounces of bulk from smokingpipes just to see if there is a difference between the tinned version and the bulk version. To my rookie tastes I didn't notice a difference.

This blend comes in a large flake form. Both the tinned and bulk version came pretty damp so I rubbed it out as much as I could, let it dry, and then rubbed it out some more and then let it dry some more. I followed this routine just about everytime that I smoked this and I didn't have any issue with tongue bite.

Right off the bat I can tell you that I love this blend. I have found that I like it more in a bent pipe than in a straight pipe. The flavors seem more pronounced to me in a bent. Not sure if there is any validity to this or just my preference. I got a lot of dark virginia tastes and even a hint of chocolate in this blend. Overall I would say that it's a medium strength blend and very, very enjoyable.

On a side note, I can't remember where I read it but I think that I saw that this is pretty much the same as FVF, just the preperation is different.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Zone Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Zone Smoke (199)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I haven't reviewed this blend in a few years. Since that time, my experience as a pipe smoker has matured and the product has become available in bulk. That being the case, I submit the following.

This fine tobacco flake has become a staple in my cellar. I purchase it in one pound boxes. It's high quality tobacco at an affordable price. I won't go into the details of it's appearance, etc. because others have adequately described it. I'll just say that it's very good tobacco and leave it at that.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe-arazzo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe-arazzo (71)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

My experience with this was much like that with Full Virginia Flake by the same company, though my personal preference still goes to FVF. Nevertheless, the quality is more or less identical so it deserves the same rating.

Openning the tin, one is greeted by the same jerky-like flakes of varying size and thickness, with the same leathery consistency as FVF. The tin aroma was reminiscent of citrus and worchestershire sauce.

The flakes smoked best 3 weeks or more after sitting in an opened tin, which I keep in a large jar with other opened tins. Drying the flakes out quickly right after openning the tin resulted in a very grassy taste and it seemed impossible to get the moisture just right. I found after 3 weeks the flakes mellowed out and no additional drying was required for a nice smoke. The flavor went from grassy to woodsy and finally ended with a sweet worchestershire flavor as I went through the tin. I did not ever reach a point where the quality leveled off or declined, so this should be good for extensive aging in bulk form.

Finally, because of the moisture there is a relatively small number of smokes per 50g. tin, 15 for my pipe rotation, just like FVF. But the tins are relatively inexpensive so I think it balances out to be a nice value, though not as nice as the latakia mixtures by the same company.

I could easily see this in my rotation along with FVF as a slight change of pace. Sam Gawith knows how to process virginia leaf.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Quoll Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Quoll (17)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I am becoming quite a fan of SG flakes. This is the third I have tried so far and ranks a close second to FVF for me.

Big rough cut flakes, mid and pale browns. The tin aroma is all Virginia - somewhere between FVF and Rattray's Marlin Flake. I had a very strong impression that I was going to get a mild smoke from this. As I have found with other SG flakes, The moisture level is a bit on the high side and the flakes benefit from a short dry out of the tin.

A rip, fold and pack rather than a full rub-out for me. This is another I find hard to get going, but it is worth it. The strength and nicotine is much higher that I expected. Coupled with some complex flavours and a nice creamy smoke I get a very satisfying experience - actually more so than FVF, though I prefer that tobacco's flavours. Once I have it going, I get a good clean burn to pale ash right to the bottom of the bowl. Nice constant flavours too, with no sourness at the end like so many others. The taste is all Virginia - no additives and with the sweetness and brightness of a very good quality tobacco.

Little tounge bite, though it can get very hot if you go too fast. Best sipped in a relaxed way while enjoying the experience. Four stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PipePaladin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipePaladin (78)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Nice! Nice! Nice! Not as great as FVF but also a bit stronger: This is good stuff!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Argo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Argo (17)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A nice steamed flake, probably the SG unscented signature. Tin aroma is of fresh hay and light sweetness, packs easy, rubs easy if you prefer it that way. However I find it loses a little something when rubbed, and prefer the flake folded and sipped, with a clean palate for best results.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ElHumidor525 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ElHumidor525 (4)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Best Brown Flake is a nice everyday smoking tobacco. It is well priced for what you get. Upon opening the tin, the moist brown flakes look appetizing. I needed to leave this one open for a day or two because it was so moist.

This one lights easily and is very consistent throughout. Nice classic Virginia taste. Best Brown Flake is very easy on the tongue no bite. Similar in character to Orlik Golden Sliced. This one gets 3 Stars, because it is nothing out of the ordinary.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cashmere Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cashmere (11)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Based on the reviews, I was expecting BBF to be something of an "also ran", compared to Full Virginia Flake. It's not. It is at least as good; to my tastes, it's better.

I smoked my first tin of BBF and reordered more faster than any other tobacco I've ever had. It quickly became my go-to, all-day blend, relegating others to the "special occasion" category.

In addition to the wonderful taste and burning qualities (as good as anything on the planet), it is a terrific value, especially in bulk.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stacey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stacey (40)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Very close to Full Virginia Flake but not quite as sweet. Still, this Virginia is well above the average.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WmZiggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WmZiggy (66)
★★★★
Very Mild Very Mild Mild Very Pleasant

I would concur with most of the comments in the three to four star range here. This is a nice flake, easy on the tongue and palate. It develops a subtle sweetness as it settles into the second third of the smoke. It has the typical "high notes" of Virginia, but is never harsh or hot. A great tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SMOKETSES Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SMOKETSES (208)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

For those who adore the sweet tobaccos, they will rather be disappointed. It is not very strong; it is not easy to be smoked, especially in the morning with coffee. It smells beautifully, when you open it, it burns up well, till the end, it doesn?t warm up the bowl and it doesn?t burn the tongue. When I kindled it, I had and attack to the palate and after I led him get dry ? NOT MUCH ? only one night, I thought in the morning that it is a very good and honest tobacco. For the fans of VIRGINIA, it must be one of the best tobaccos. It does not have any sweetening flavor. Clean as all SAMUEL GAWITH' S. Something strange happens to me. After a bowl of BBF, I get pleased even more with the mix which I have prepared with Sir Walter, Pal O' Mine and DTM Käpt'n Brammer´s

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fumatore Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fumatore (48)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I smoked a few tins of this before I moved to Full Virginia Flake, which I like much better. I just recently ordered another tin of BBF and still find it too mild or lacking in flavor. Then again perhaps I should not review pressed Virginias at all since there are so many other tobaccos that offer me more enjoyment. With that said, this is quality leaf from a respected company and enjoyed by thousands worldwide.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Alouette Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alouette (7)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a very mild flake that required drying before a decent smoke could be had. The quality of the leaf is apparent and the presentation is perfect, yet the flavour is ephemeral. After trying it in a number of pipes it never revealed its secrets. Perhaps it doesn?t have any. Too plain-spoken for my tastes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bent-1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bent-1 (32)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Only thing I can add to this fine blend, dry it. A friend passed this tip: Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees F, spread out the flake on a cookie sheet. Gently separate the flake into strands (creating air space) but don't pull it completely apart. Cook it for 60 seconds (experiment to taste). Let cool. It's now ready to pack. The flakes are still leathery, dry, but not brittle.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (525)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

My first review of this blend was posted about 3 years ago and since then I have become much more experienced and have developed patience and increased skill. I thought I needed to give BBF another shot since I really didn't do well by it last go 'round...I rated it as average and gave two stars.

This time I picked up a tin at my local smoke shop in Germantown MD and proceeded down the street to homebase.

When I got this home it was as I remembered, moist, had a hay-like scent, promising I thought. I let this stuff dry out for about 2 hours and packed it in my Savinelli Tadpole with the broken up strips placed in length-wise.

This lit well, once dried, and smoked with a little bite...no big deal. Though this was not the easiest to kep lit, I liked this blend...it produced a moderate volume of smoke, a nice smokey flavor, no sign of lakeland soap and it gains greater depth toward the end of the bowl. Minimal relights and this was a much better experience than 3 years ago. 3 Stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Captain Pete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Captain Pete (83)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

In the tin, it is typical Samuel Gawith; leathery and moist. The aroma is faintly oatey and haylike. The flake, again typical of Sam G., is hard to break up, and not extremely easy to light. But once lit, it stays lit very well.

I gotta say, I was disappointed at first, as the lakeland aroma and flavor I've become accustomed to with Gawith & Hogarth, and some of the Gawith blends, was absent. I have grown fond of this background note, and this flake tasted a little flat without it. But once I had become better acquainted with the tobacco after a few bowls, I was generally pleased with the overall taste and superb quality of the flake.

This is one of those tobaccos that seems better suited to smallish pipes, as of yet unpolluted with any other tobacco flavors. Its effect was mild on the tongue, and mild on the palate. The flavor was oatlike to me, not sharp like some virginias. Truthfully, as good as this tobacco is, I found it lacking in fullness. It is a lightweight, but still good. Just the same, it will doubtful see a regular spot in my rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

butter_side_down Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
butter_side_down (12)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

Update 07/09 -- I'm appreciating this a lot more recently. I originally felt it was too light on flavor, but I've learned to slow down and I'm getting a good deal more flavor from it. I prefer it to FVF now. For what it's worth, I believe this may be the base tobacco for both St. James Flake and Kendall Cream Flake as they all share a similar base flavor but have different high notes.

Original review from 6/07 -- Nice light VA with a slightly sweet haylike flavor. My tin rubbed out well, packed well, and burned well. My main complaint is that it is just too light for my tastes. Although I do not think I will buy it again, I do give it three stars, as it is very enjoyable.

Bottom line: Very pleasant, but perhaps a little too well behaved. I would recommend it very highly to a VA smoker who found Full Virginia Flake too strong.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gnossos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gnossos (39)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

This is a truly enjoyable blend. Why two stars? Well... I really enjoy smoking this, a lot. I'm about halfway through my first tin. However, I will smoke one bowl of this. The end begins to taste a little sour. Then a couple of hours later I'll load up some Prince Albert, or really, any other blend - and all I can taste is sourness. I have pinpointed it to this blend in particular and the sourness lasts for at least two days - yep, even the next day PA tastes like lemons and it turns me off to smoking.

I have no idea why this blend does this to me and I'm sure it's due to some weird body chemistry issue. When it isn't sour at the end of the bowl it is truly enjoyable. But I will not be buying more of this as that sourness ruins my pipe smoking for at least a couple of days.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

birdseye Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
birdseye (15)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

I have searched and searched for a truly fine Virginia-style flake tobacco to compliment my absolute favorite, the king Penzance, but to no avail until I came across S.G.'s Best Brown (yes, I know it's made from Zimbabwe leaf not Virginia). I had pretty much settled on Peter Stokkebye's Luxury Bullseye (a truly fine blend) but still wasn't quite satisfied. Best Brown is the nirvana of flake tobacco (other than Penzance, of course, but different enough) and I concur with all the four star reviews already posted and only wonder why each and every one wasn't four stars but, of course, taste differs. I do find that Best Brown seems to smoke best in an apple or pot shaped pipe (assuming they are of the very highest quality) but why that is, I'm not sure. Chris Gaul.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Moe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Moe (45)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Whats not to like? Its a nice, mild, well done Gawith virginia. I consider it the "little brother" to Gawith Full Virginia Flake, which I like a tad better. This is good though.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

(Update 15 January 2007) I have reached what I consider to be the pinnicle with this tobacco and, even more, believe that if I was restricted to only one tobacco, Best Brown Flake would do. I found that smoking it in one of Cavicchi's pipes, about a group 5 in size, enables me to unleash this tobacco's potential. In this pipe this tobacco's flavor is deeper, richer, fuller and definitely multi-dimensional - I taste caramel, brown sugar, spice, sweet potato, occasional salt and various other tasty things. The smoke is smooth and creamy, becoming a little stronger towards the last fifth of the bowl. Now I want to buy another Cavicchi (I only own two) so that the individual pipes have at least one day's rest between smoking this most excellent tobacco.

(Original review) BBF is a very worthwhile smoke. I have yet to reach the pinnacle of what this tobacco is reputed to offer by some smokers, but for me it has always been exactly as advertised - a cool, sweet and mild smoke. For me, the flavor is a little sweeter and somewhat more full if I leave the flakes unrubbed... I simply fold two or three (depending on the size of the bowl) complete flakes in half and then stuff them into my pipe. You have to use a certain amount of judgement in doing this as this tobacco swells on lighting and if you've stuffed too much into the bowl you destroy your draw and you'll find yourself frustrated. I have learned as well that on first opening a new tin, you are well-advised to leave the top off the tin and let it sit and dry for at least a day. BBF is one tobacco that, after letting it dry for a day, I will seal just with its sorry Samuel Gawith tin top and not double seal the tin inside a ziplock baggy (which is what I'm careful to do with Samuel Gawith Perfection or Esoterica's Penzance). When you can bend the flake double and it almost breaks, you have reached the ideal moisture level. At that point and with a judicious packing, re-lights are few and far between; BBF can be consumed very, very slowly, and you will find yourself enjoying a genuinely tasty, naturally sweet tobacco. I would go so far as to say that if I was restricted to only one tobacco, BBF would fill my need. While I would certainly miss some of the more lively and exuberant blends, such as GLP's Haddos Delight, Odyssey, James Fox Dorisco Mixture, or even Penzance.... BBF would suffice.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Black Seamus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Black Seamus (56)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I once again find myself reviewing a tobacco that has many reviews, and so I'll keep this brief.

This is some very tasty weed. When I'm in the right mood, with the right pipe, there is no finer Virginia flake to be had. A wonderful flavor, rounder and sweeter than its stablemate, Full Virginia Flake. There are times when I think there may be a touch of flavoring, but never enough to be certain.

I haven't detected any of the Lakeland "soap" that others mention. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Backwoods Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Backwoods Piper (48)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Best Brown Flake is a definite pleasure to smoke in the early morning after a hearty breakfast along with a cup of tea or coffee.

I found this SG offering a pleasant morning warmer. The tobacco is certainly a beautiful flake to the discerning VA smoker. I love a good Zimbabwe pressed flake. BBF certainly is no disappointment. The aroma of this weed is nice and sweet and nutty. Its a good honest tobacco. It rubs out very nicely into a fine pile of rich ribbons. You definitely need to let it rest for a couple of hours before smoking. It burns rich and flavorful if you take it as your first smoke of the day. Don't expect this one to have the same impact if you have smoked fuller blends before smoking BBF. BBF will have a even fuller flavor if you dry out a whole slice and pack it whole. It has a nice bountiful volume of smoke and a decent nicotine hit for an am smoke. The ash for BBF is a nice light grey to almost white and will not leave a dottle if allowed the recommended drying time before smoking.

Its a keeper and will be added to my list of buy again tobaccos. If you enjoy light to medium Virginia's all I can say is give this one the fair chance it deserves.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (140)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

Very tasty! Best Brown smells wonderful in the pouch, I managed to get this in bulk, with a rich tobacco smell. I enjoyed packing in my pipe and prepared to relax. This tobacco does not disappoint, on any level, while it is not the best smoke I have ever had, it is still quite a step up from most.

There was a decent dose of nicotine, but this is no head swirler. You could smoke this anytime. Highly Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

loosewatches Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
loosewatches (108)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant

I have to agree with Pipepundit. This is a very pipe choosey flake. My first few bowls of this were uneventful. Then I tried it a dublin which I reserve for Cob plug. (Interestingly, I picked up NO tonkin flavoring crossover). I keep the cake in this pipe a little thicker at the bottom, as in conical. Best Brown sings in this pipe. A little sweet, a little nutty, a little caramel (very little) at times, and very smooth. If it smoked this well in more of my pipes it would be my all day flake, replacing Full Virginia. Recommended. Highly recommended for those with the patience to let this flake pick it's own pipe. Smoke it up.

Oh yeah, almost forgot.. . in reference to FVF, my experience is that Best Brown comes, in bulk at least, more uniformly sliced. It also rubs out to a better consistency for me. I tear the 6 inch flakes into fourths and rub it out all the way. I also pack it lightly and it burns like a dream. A one match affair.

(just out of curiosity, what the hell is a unilateral tobacco?)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I am partial to Samuel Gawith products. BBF is a delicate flake which can be temperamental: in the right pipe, at the right burn rate, it is superb. But it is choosy, and if it does not agree with the pipe, the smoking experience can be non-descript.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Carlos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Carlos (18)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Very tasty pure Virginia! It's a bit sweet, very delicate natural tobacco. It's very easy to smoke. Each second with this tobacco is something very pleasant. It's my favourite natural tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BigSwede Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigSwede (61)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Samuel Gawith is getting a lot more of my business, in no small part because of this excellent tobacco. This is a warm, reliable and steadfast tobacco that makes few demands on the smoker. I hadn't smoked a lot of virginias, so I've been on a learning curve with this one. Now I can see what the fuss is about! Wow!

After some considerable experimentation I've found that what works for me is to rub this out, let it dry just a tad and then smoke it in one of my no-name bent billiards that is now dedicated to virginia tobacco. If I take some time to gently light this and do some tamping then I am always rewarded with a wonderfully honest, low key but none-the-less velvetly/nutty smoke. It smokes all the way to the bottom without incident and, if anything, gets better at the end. Now a part of my regular rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

imago Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
imago (63)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Since receiving my shipment of this, I've smoked three bowls and have enjoyed each and every one of them all the way to the bottom of the bowl. I haven't analysed the experience thoroughly enough to give a detailed review, but I do plan to order more of this (in bulk, no less) soon. I don't detect anything fancy about this blend, but it certainly is great tobacco.

Update 20 August 06: My opinion of this tobacco has grown over time. It's one of the best tobaccos I've had the pleasure of smoking.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kylepoet Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kylepoet (18)
★★★☆
Very Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I'll chime in here on a very fine SG tobacco. You get what it says when you buy it: a cool, sweet and mild smoke. I enjoy Virginias; they wend in and out of my English and Balkan rotation. A straight tobacco like this keeps me from becoming bored. I'm not sure what the difference is between Zimbabwean leaf and that grown in the Commonwealth, but what Samuel Gawith offers is as good, if not better, than some of the straight American Virginias I've experienced.

This is a journeyman's flake. There's nothing subtle about it, nothing complex, no tricks. It smokes the same, from top to bottom, bowl to bowl. Some might hesitate at an unvaried taste, but I find it comforting when I choose it. I don't have to pay attention to nuances, figs, prunes, or Macedonian humus when I load BBF. All I have to do is sit and smoke.

I prefer Best Brown a little moister than drier. It makes it easier on me to fold and load the flakes. I top off the bowl with some loose "kindling," light, tamp, then light once more. I've never had a problem with BBF burning hot, biting, or otherwise acting in an unruly fashion. It knows that it's there to be savored, in its simple and unassuming way.

I enjoy BBF most in somewhere around a Dunhill 3. Smaller, and it doesn't have a chance to do its job. Larger, it can't quite handle the center stage. Kept in its own pond, it performs.

This could be an all-day smoke if one's tastes run toward straight leaf. I'm trying to nail down a place where I can get a can of SG's Full Virgina Flake to make a comparison. Until then, I'm content with BBF as a solid "go-to" when I can't decide what I want, or when I know I want a no-frills tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spuds Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spuds (14)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

My first experience with Virginias came out of a jar labeled "Virginia #1 Mild" at a local cigarette shop. Erroneously thinking it was a Mac Baren product, I tried some out. Consequently, I stayed away from Virginias for years, finding refuge in the land of latakia.

Eventually, curiosity began to gnaw at me and finally, I came across SG Best Brown Flake and I've been smoking it ever since. I still love my latakia, but BBF smokes cool, is sweet, and doesn't bite. It has a nice toasted nutty taste. This review is based on many bowls in different pipes.

I generally roll it up and stick it in the pipe, and drop some smaller pieces on top. I like it best rolled (rather than rubbed out) as this enhances the magic of a cool and slow burning virginia.

BBF seems to respond differently to each pipe, so work it around your lot to find a good combination. My GBE ? good; My Barling ? good; My Charatan ? not so good, I noticed what has been described as a floral/soapy taste in the beginning which diminished as the bowl progressed with this pipe. Yet another pipe tends to bring out the sweetness while subduing the nutty component.

BBF smokes through the bowl with very little change; the natural sweetness is noted throughout and with a simple and great tobacco flavor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr.Vince Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr.Vince (11)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

this is my first S.G. blend tested, and I am quite pleased! It is also the first blend I have tried that was all african blend. I like mild virginia blends,but don't like the pouch aroma of most of them,especially the McClelland ketchup drieing on a park table smell.this has none, or little of that. It smokes well even when very dry, not too sweet, not too tart when smoked correctly. If you like Virginias and want to try somthig a little different you may like this blend,I did.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kilted1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kilted1 (43)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Samuel Gawith is probably my favorite of the two Lake District houses of blending. Many of their blends are a regular part of my long range rotation and several make the short range list as well. On any given day you are likely to find me smoking a Samuel Gawith blend at some point.

Appearance: A leathery flake of varying thickness mostly tan and chestnut brown flake with a smattering of yellows and dark brown mottling. Very pliant and easily manipulated to match your own smoking style.

Tin aroma: The first thing that is apparent when opening a tin of Best Brown Flake is simply natural smelling steamed pressed Virginia. There is a faint (very faint) floral characteristic, slightly fruit like and quite common in Lake District blends, but absent is any top dressing or scenting in this mixture. There are the expected hay-like tones with deepening fruity notes, promising a no nonsense Virginia blend of high quality.

This tobacco seems too moist to me, I decided to air it for at least ½ hour before smoking another bowl. I general, it performs well straight out of the tin, however, ½ hour's drying time helps enhance the burn rate slightly maximizing flavor delivery. As with most flake tobaccos I simply take several flakes together, fold them in half and insert them length-wise into the bowl trimming off the excess. I find it has a much better burn this way and makes for a long enjoyable smoke. For this review, I?ve chosen an L'anatra Canadian which is dedicated to Virginia flakes.

This one like several other Gawith offerings can be a little tough to get going at first, yet once fully lit provides a self maintaining bowl nearly every time. The very slight floral aroma noted in the tin aroma is there for the first few minutes of the bowl each time, but rapidly fades as the Virginia begins ?stoving itself? and deepening in flavors and balance.

Mid Bowl: Approaching mid-bowl, the fullness tends to build this mixture lacks complexity, something I find disappointing, the Virginia has plenty of depth and character yet there is little or no variation in flavors or range. While it is rich and deepens very nicely, it just ends up being rather bland too me. This is probably a very desirable characteristic for some, but I prefer a more nuanced smoking experience even in ?simple blends?.

Home Stretch: As end of the bowl approaches, I find that it becomes slightly more intense, yet remains almost monochromatic in flavors. The only variation being an occasional return of the ?floral property? noted early in the bowl There is a sweetness which builds slowly over all and at times become almost too much for my preferences. None of this is to say that I really find any ?fault? with Best Brown Flake, just that there are many other things I prefer.

Supplemental Notes: This is a top quality mixture which is sure to please many, might even be their ?huckleberry? it's just not mine. Rating for those interested in such things **

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Meerschaum Man Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Meerschaum Man (85)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This all day smoke is pleasant and easily lit with very little trouble burning it to the bottom of the bowl. For me, the sweetness continues to build throughout the pipeful. The aroma from the tin or bag is warm and comforting. My only reservation is that often, too much trash must be seperated from the leaf prior to smoking. The quality of the smoke is in direct proportion to the amount of time devoted to it - slow indulgence is rewarded with tasty pleasures to be had. The tin posts notice of being cool, sweeet and mild. So it is. There are enduring qualities here, not extraordinary but worthwhile nonetheless. This blend is worth your time.

Meerschaum Man Smoking an Altinok Smooth Canadian

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ranger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ranger (58)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I like this flake, though not as much as FVF. Thin pliable strips of medium brown, nearly uniform color. Perfect lighting and burning characteristics. A pleasant taste of sweet and earthy without any bite. An all day smoke that was perfect throughout the entire tin. No complaints.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lancelot Gobbo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lancelot Gobbo (23)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

A truly nutty smoke, with no bite, but a limited range of flavours. It certainly gets sweeter towards the end of the bowl, especially if you puff slowly. I really like it, but would find it boring to smoke all the time. If what you want is honest nutty taste this is an excellent choice. Well worth keeping around. Lovely flakes - easy to rub, or fold without breaking, and easy to light and keep alight.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hemlock Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hemlock (57)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong

Excellent cool burning tobacco, very satifsfying. I have been exploring non-aromatics with an apparent affinity for the natural types of leaf- this blend is another to add to my choice list. Lovely virginia flavour with a delicate sweetness (maybe added?), including a bit of tang from the chosen leaf. I don't know if this is a particular characeteristic of Zimbabwe leaf, but I like it. As I find with other virginias, I have to hit the zone to get the goodness. The start of a bowl is merely the primer to the real smoke a third of the way in. I don't rub these flakes out. Just fold and lightly pack stuff the bowl, with a top layer of a few crumbs for a good light.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Collezionista Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Collezionista (59)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

While I can understand how it might bore a more pyrotechnically inclined smoker, I really must say that Gawith BBF is a fantastic flake. It starts off a little bland but just gets richer as the bowl progresses. I detected much of the natural VA sweetness of FVF here, but also a sort of chocolate/malty undertone that reared its head now and again. Sure, this isn't Marlin Flake so lets not compare them. BBF is, however, a very mellow and enjoyable flake, probably my new go-to when I want a mild, natural tasting VA. Recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrDNA Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDNA (58)
★★★☆
Very Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

Notes: I smoked a few tins as well as several ounces of the bulk, from various vintages in several pipes. I prefer it in my Ashton Size 2 Billiard.

Appearance: A light brown to dark nut brown 6" flake, neither loosely nor firmly pressed.

Aroma: Soft sweet plum, a hint of ketchup, walnuts.

Taste: Very subdued. Mild, slightly bitter tobacco taste. Old, dusty, nutty flavor, like dry soil. Coaxed with careful smoking into a slightly sweet nuttiness redolent of walnuts and cashews. Acidic ketchup flavors are present, promising for aging prospects. Very, very mellow, at times as quiet as smoking hot air and requiring your attention to bring out its best.

Comparisons: More nutty than Dunhill Light Flake, Less sweet than Rattray's Marlin Flake or others for that matter. On the dry, nutty end of the spectrum of Virginia flakes, as opposed to the toothsome sweet ones.

Bottom Line: For lovers of Virginia flakes, a requisite. For those who prefer the subtle, nutty tasting flakes this will be a winner. Those who require more flavor or sweetness will be disappointed. A gentle, quiet, easy to smoke tobacco of the highest quality.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RickPiatt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RickPiatt (16)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

This is one of those select few tobaccos that when you first try it you find yourself saying "so what's so special?". Its days later when you've finished the tin while all your other open tins of tobacco were completely ignored that it dawns on you. This is just the go-to tobacco you've been looking for. At least for me it is. And, darned if I can explain it other than saying in every way the tobacco is mildly medium with an extremely normal flavor that just makes you so darn comfortable that you'll reach for it every time. Oh sure, there are nuances to the flavor that you'll notice after you've smoked it for a long while and I don't seek to diminish these flavors - they're all wonderful to be sure and just add one more dimension to this wonderful weed. Lakeland perfection in an extremely gentlemanly manner. Go get some, you won't regret it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

The first few bowls of this flake were straight from the tin just lightly rubbed out. Not a great experience. My next encounter involved an overnight drying of enough flake for a morning smoke. The flake was quite dry without getting brittle and was a very fine and tasty Virginia smoke. I wish there were more tobacco in the tin. Follow Paddys' advise and dry this out before lighting.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Dottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Dottle (162)
★★★☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

5/23/2005

BBF sure looks nice in the tin but to concur with some others here I found it extremely bland and lacking in both body and fullness. I wasn?t sure I was smoking anything. In short, it just lacks OOOMPH. There are much better flakes out there to keep you interested.

A cigarette is to be smoked. A cigar is to be enjoyed. A pipe is to be savored.

I rate this tobacco 5.0 out of 10.

Update 6/2/2005

Perhaps the stars and planets and stars were not in perfect alignment and perhaps all was not right with the world when I had my first bowls of BBF. I had a change of heart on this blend. It is a good but not great smoke on the mild side. I think my early negative impressions of this tobacco were because I had smoked stronger blends earlier in the day. This made it difficult to find the flavor in this lighter blend later in the day. Let this be your first smoke in the AM for a fair appraisal and to appreciate it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

I really wanted to like Best Brown Flake because I sure am a fan of several Gawith offerings. In addition, I love strong Flue-cured Zimbabwe leaf that dominates several favorite blends of mine. I really wanted to like it -- but alas, I couldn't.

I gave this lightweight Virginia offering every opportunity to please. I tried it totally rubbed out. I tried it partially rubbed out. I tried it whole. I tried it in a variety of briars. No, I didn't try it in a disgusting cob!!! Nothing worked. No complexity, no bursting flavors and no more tins of this stuff for me. I might as well have taken some hay from the barn and lit it up.

This offering looks and smells good. It packed easily and it burned clean. I think those who like lighter Virginia fare will really enjoy BBF. If, like me, you want a slap in the face when you light up, look elsewhere.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (108)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've thoroughly enjoyed the other SGs I smoked (Chocolate Flake, Squadron Leader, FVF), but this one just doesn't come up to their level. I've tried it in a variety of pipes, but each time I wish I'd grabbed another of his blends.

Quality leaf from a quality blender, but give me FVF instead. This one is just too bland.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Warwick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Warwick (20)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Mild Tolerable

Like another reviewer of this blend, I don't think its generally worth smoking a VA unless it is outstanding in some way. For me, BBF does not meet that criteria.

As several have noted, it requires some work to get this tobacco packed right. I've tried it folded, rolled, partially and fully rubbed out. In all cases, the experience is of a decent blend. But while the flavor is pleasant, it is relatively weak, and never really develops a richness and fullness that are present in other VAs. I suppose this could make it an all-day smoke for some, but for me this blend never rises to the level of satisfying. Nicotine content is noticeable but not dizzying.

For me, this blend just doesn't provide the return on investment for the work required.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ajaj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ajaj (69)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Yum. BBF has a pleasant mild haylike aroma which is nice; not in a strong grassy sense, but just there. I particularly enjoy the natural sweetness present. You can tell that there are no detectable additives; just pure and natural virginas. BBF is lighter in flavor than FVF and leave a more dry but refreshing aftertaste in one's mouth. I highly recommend this tobac.

Update April 2005:

If Mr. Pease begins Montgomery's tin description with "Virginias, Virginias, Virginias!", then BBF's should begin with "Wow, Incredible, The Best!" Sorry, but BBF, in my very humble opinion, is still the gold standard for Virginias.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Diogenes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Diogenes (12)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant

After reading many favorable reviews of this tobacco I decided to give it a try. My first impression after a few bowls was "so, what's the big deal here?". I just couldn't detect anything but the mildest and monochromatic flavor and aroma... burning dried grass was more impressive.

But right around the time I got through half the tin I came to see the light. Maybe it took awhile for the dedicated pipe to "take" to this tobacco but once it finally did, I couldn't smoke enough of this stuff. This became one of my favorite "all day" type of smokes although the price has redefined the term "all day" to mean "once a day".

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

03-16-2005 Another Fine VA blend

Appearance and Tin Aroma: This flake comes in the familiar rectangular tin from SG. The flakes are neatly folded in half in the tin and look just like the tin description: Brown. The aroma is reminiscent of hay, but not of the bright variety.

Packing and Lighting: This blend was not fussy so I usually grab a slice of flake, fold and stuff into my pipe. No need to crumble any at the top of the bowl, lights easily, 2-3 relights max.

Initial Flavor: Smoooooth, riiiiich, yuummmm.

Mid-Bowl: Deliciously round and full. Not as spicy as Marlin Flake or Cut Virgina Plug, but rich in th mid-range flavor spectrum. This is a awesome DGT candidate.

Bottom of Bowl: Nice natural caramel notes, buttery, a good increase of strength. Leaves a fine dusting of light grey ash when it is all over.

Overall: This blend is in my top 5 of all-time favorite VA blends. When I want a full VA, but do not want spiciness, this is the one I grab. It burns cooly, just as the tin describes and is not sensitive to bowl size. There is a good nicotine punch in this, so eat well before enjoying. Not much more to say other than I have layed some tins down for aging to see if that makes a great blend even better.

Rating: 4.75 out of 5 Points

Nobody has rated this review yet.

FiveRings Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
FiveRings (21)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

BBF is a great yet difficult tobacco to appreciate. It requires your attention and the right pipe.Its charm is most of the time hidden under a decent and cool smoke. It provides though some sudden bursts of incredible taste unmatched by most other VAs. It is one of my top favorites and a must in my cellar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

A home run in every category and in its class I have yet to find its superior.

Update: All around in my top Virginia blend category. If this is topped with an aromatic additive, it is utterly unobstructing to real tobacco enjoyment.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
★☆☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A middle of the road Va flake that has zero offensive characteristics. Certainly passable, there are so many better variations on this theme that I have a hard time smoking anything less than outstanding when it comes to VA's. I could start listing the better ones here and also the worse, but to do so would take all night and the lists would be pretty close to even.

Absolutely average.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bigblends Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigblends (46)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I'm very convinced that this is the flake version of Kendal Plug. I'm not 100% positive, only because I'm not on Gawith's production floor cutting flake. Anyway, there are striking similarities between the two.

Kendal Plug's aroma and flavor are more concentrated, and I believe this is because its left in a pressed block, rather than further processed into flake. I found BBF to be a bit more reserved in many respects, though it can burn a little cooler than Kendal Plug from time to time.

The sweet, rustic notes are there. The great colors and aromas are there. It's very good tobacco. But given a choice between BBF and Kendal Plug, I'd stick with the plug. I don't really see the need to keep both around. However, I have had some magical bowls of BBF that make me want to store some away.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gee (7)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

On the seventh day, after making coffee, God packed a bowl of BBF.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Arashi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arashi (5)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Like Inquisitor, I find this a difficult blend to smoke.

When it's in the zone it's incredible. Sweet, smooth, and complex. But I have a real problem finding the right humidity for this tobacco. Too wet and it bites fiercely and makes for a very unpleasant smoke. Too dry and it's nearly flavorless.

I've only hit "the zone" a few times and that's what keeps me trying. After this tin is done I'm going to hold off for a while and let another tin I bought age for a few years to see if that helps.

For those that can figure out how to make this flake burn well, this may be your ultimate VA flake. For me it's a real challenge.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Todd Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Todd (9)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Much has already been said, so I'll just focus on one aspect of the reviews brought up by Inquisitor and others - that Best Brown Flake is a "finicky" tobacco.

The difficulty is that BBF, compared to most other straight VA's I've smoked, is a fairly light-bodied smoke - you need a goodly quantity of smoke to really appreciate its flavor. In smaller, narrower pipes that generally smoke VA's well for me, I just don't get enough flavor out of this tobacco, so I end up puffing harder, faster, and hotter. Similarly, my meerschaum (in which I usually like VA's) just leaves the smoke feeling too flavorless and quickly leads back to fast puffing and unpleasant tasteless heat.

But carefully smoked in my well-seasoned, Group 5 sized billiards, it's a whole different story. Now BBF shows itself clearly as a sibling of SG's Full Virginia Flake, but lighter, a bit sweeter, and much less monotonous to my taste (though calling BBF "complex" would still be an overstatement, I think). I agree with other reviewers that the taste is primarily grassy or haylike, though in a more pleasant way than those descriptors sound at first. I finish the bowl with a very light, very neutral aftertaste (unlike many stronger VA's) and very little mouth fatigue. Taste-wise this could easily be an all-day smoke, though I think I'd want something less fussy in the heat and burning department.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend this to veteran Virginia smokers that have enough patience to get the hang of it. If you haven't smoked a Lakelands flake before, this is a perfectly good place to start and is a very different experience than the typical McC or Rattray-styled VA's. For new smokers I'd be reluctant to recommend this, especially if you don't have a decent selection of pipes to experiment with. Better to try something a bit more traditional and come back to this later. Personally, I'll buy up some more BBF in bulk and come back to it occassionally to see how it ages. While I wouldn't smoke this regularly, I look forward to it in the summer months when I want a bit more subdued tobacco to fill my bowl.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Miguelaventura Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Miguelaventura (3)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Very Pleasant

In my modest opinion Best Brown Flake is the quintessence of Virginia Flakes. It?s tasty and cool like no other, wonderful! Really the best VA available in the market. If Latakia did not exist, I could smoke only this thing forever and ever, and ever?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jaybee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jaybee (76)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A very nice middle-of-the-road virginia flake. Typical semi- sweet grassy taste that is satisfying if sipped but pyrotechnic if pushed. Needs some drying, but economical and reliable.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (87)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Another home run from across the pond. Not alot to add over and above what was already written. I do find that this blend does bite hard if not completely dry, leading me to open-air it prior to smoking. Flavor is straight forward chunky va. I find very little sweetness present, just rich, smooth leaf. I also do not detect the "lakeland floral" additives mentioned in other reviews. Buy it in bulk, jar it and enjoy. I find it best in a taller pipe, so break out the freehands for this gem.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

LoisKelly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LoisKelly (55)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I am normally not of the opinion that wine needs time to breathe, nor that most tobacco- particularly Virginia flakes- needs to be dried out. Some of our brethren here recommend almost ritualistic preparations for flakes that I, for one, deem perfectly suitable straight out of the tin. Marlin Flake, Astleys No. 109, and Hamborger Veermaster are perfect as is, Dunhill Light Flake tends toward the dry side, and some of the Cornell & Diehl blends are already positively ashen. Still, I hear the endless litany- leave it on the dashboard at the beach, dry for a minimum of three days, stick it to the wall of a tandoori oven, and-get this- run it through a coffee mill. I can't for a moment imagine what they would do to prepare a bowl of Best Brown Flake. It is downright gooey.

Still, it's not that much of a bitch to light, and it encourages a slow, steady pace that is rewarded by a mystifying smoke that may run from intruiging to bland, depending on one's mood. A much better all day recomendation than its fuller sibling, Full Virginia Flake, to be sure, but still a flake I reserve for occassional use. Used in this manner, it finds a place in my rotation, where it provides a nice change of pace.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

provguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
provguy (52)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

oooheeeee!!! I am presently on my 1st tin of this magical weed. I am taken to another place far away where the experience of smoking this transcends. This is one remarkable tobacco. It comes is post it note style slices and falls apart easily enough to rub out without any difficulty. Relatively easy to pack once rubbed out. Flame hits weed and you are off. The flavours are delicious and the spicy side is up front. It is hard for me to believe there is no perique in this blend. I am sold. This stuff along with Paul Olsens MOB 111 have been my big finds the past few weeks. Pipe smoking has reached a new level for me. 5 out of 5.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nigel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nigel (2)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my first review of a tobacco. After trying 3/4 bowls of BBF I realise I find it a little bland but this maybe due to smoking Marlin Flake regularly. The flakes were moist from the bag so I set to dry a little but probably not quite long enough as I had quite a few relights. First impressions were not too bad but I found the flavour didn't improve much throughout the bowl it just seemed to remain constant. On the upside I didn't suffer any tongue bite with this and I found it a mild smoke, probably good for an introduction to Va's. I'll perservere with the baccy I have left but will probably not invest in more.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Briarabbit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briarabbit (116)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This is my first try with Samuel Gawith Virginia flakes,although I have tried the 1792, but that is a D8 bulldozer compared to this flake. This is a brown (of course) soft Virginia variety grown in Africa, and treated like a king at the S.G.House. The tobacco tastes full,naturaly sweet,spicey,and is just darn good high quality beautiful pipe tobacco.A+ Update: The only thing I might add is this is the first time I have noticed a tobacco having that "Earl Grey" tea scent in the tin. Put your nose down close to the tobacco and you'll smell it. I really don't mind the tea smell as it has no effect I can sense in the taste of the good leaf.Still an A+.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Checkmate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Checkmate (23)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

After hearing some great things about this tobacco I decided to take the plunge and get myself a tin of the stuff. The smell right out of the tin was wonderful high grade Virginia. The flakes rub out easily and the tobacco takes no effort to keep lit. The first few puffs are indicative of the flavour of the tobacco for the entire bowl sweet, but with a wonderful nutty depth that not many tobaccos can duplicate. It doesn't hit you right away, but half way through the bowl of Best Brown Flake you realize that you're smoking some extremely good tobacco. The tobacco behaves very well and smokes quite cooly for a Virginia down to the bottom of the bowl. The nicotine content is there, but never overwhealms. I will be keeping a couple tins of BBF around the house and would recommend it to all.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Blackhorse Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blackhorse (70)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

After reading a good deal about this tobacco I ordered some amid a package from Synjeco (how do they get their orders out so fast - wow!).

Hmmm-m-m-m, how to attack my first bowl...in a pretty deep Mauro Armellini...rolled and inserted, not broken...with a finely rolled out topping to light (I'm always looking for tobaccos I can smoke this way - due to outdoor tendancies with my Retriever). Three lights get it going to my satisfaction - a little VA heat at the light, but then I'm pulling firmly to fire it up. Gents, this is everything you say it is...medium, medium, medium...but really, really, really excellent medium! It seems the 1st third is the mechanics of getting it setup and going...the 2nd third and the sweetness and flavor of the VA's really comes on...the final third being the settling and gradual diminishment of that VA sweetness into a slightly richer and deeper tone...until gone.

Quality? Just look at who made it - of course! Worthy? Absolutely! Medium, but rich in natural tobacco flavor. Fickle? Golly, if my first bowl just rolled and stuffed into a somewhat random pipe selection is THIS good - I can hardly wait for a perfect pairing.

If you haven't yet tried it - turn off your computer, get the car keys, drive to the nearest shop that stocks it - and light it up! No, I mean right now! Go on - get up! That's it! Good boy!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (125)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Very Pleasant

In my opinion this is the finest tobacco sold today. But then I am a Virginia Flake lover. I buy it in 1 lb. blocks and tear off about 1/8 to 1/4 of the block and separate the individual flakes. I then rub it out until it resembles a fine ribbon cut. From that I will put a fistful in a pouch which I intend to smoke over he coming week, because I want it to dry out. It arrives a little too moist and does not smoke as well if not dried a bit. I find this tobacco should be smoked on the dry side. On first lighting, the smoke is a little sharp, but quickly subsides into the constant, delicious flavor of a pure Virginia flake, smooth and without a bite. There are no additives or sweetners that I can detect. I suspect that those who found the tobacco soapy in the English flake sense, were actually smoking the scented version of this flake which I have never tried. This unscented Best Brown is a tobacco purists delight. The Full Virginia Flake comes a close second, but I think the additional pressing and cooking removes some of the rich flavor. For me, this is the Holy Grail. _______________________________________________ 7/25-03 Buy it in bulk. Rub it out to a ribbon. Let it dry. It is the best smoke in the world.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

LarryF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LarryF (4)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Medium Pleasant

I just recently discovered this wonderful flake. It isn't terribly complex, but it is steady and flavorable. It has a sweet, almost chocolate-like favor. (Chocolate is a strange word to use for tobacco, but that's as close as I can get.) It's a lot like Full Virginia Flake, but it's not as strong, which is a big plus for me. Relax, smoke it slowly, and it will grow on you. I'm already adding this to my cellar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darwin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darwin (101)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I'm smoking Best Brown Flake in a Cavicchi freehand. These beautifully prepared flakes are mostly light in color with some dark streaks and bird's eyes. Mine is a little on the dry side; just the way I prefer a VA flake. My sample was purchased in the bulk form. It rubbed out easy and lit with two matches. I filled the large pipe about 3/4 full.

Initially, the flavor is earthy and slightly sweet. I'm tasting most of the sweetness on the tip and middle of my tongue. I'm not tasting any of the floral/soapy taste I get from some other Lake District blends, possibly due to the dry nature of my sample. It's not as sweet as a McClelland mature VA, but it doesn't bite like a McClelland blend either. Don't get me wrong, I love McClelland Virginias, but you have to be careful. The flavor is all Virginia; I'm not tasting any burley or perique.

After a tamp or two, I'm about half-way through the bowl. The flavor has settled into a delicious, mild to medium smoke. There is a pretty good nicotine content too; it's very satisfying. Clearly, this is a high quality flake tobacco. I would not describe Best Brown Flake as complex, but it's still delicious and satisfying.

Towards the end of the bowl, I'm getting a nice nicotine kick and the wonderful flavor remains.

I would rate Best Brown Flake as my favorite Samual Gawith blend that I've tried; I like it better than Full Virginia Flake. This is a great tobacco and I plan to buy more and smoke it often. I strongly recommend Best Brown Flake to Virginia flake smokers; it has a great flavor, it doesn't bite, and it has a great nicotine punch.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (260)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I had varied results with this blend and perhaps just don't have the patience and temperment to get everything perfect in order to obtain an enjoyable smoke. My purchase was a tin that contained a tightly pressed, rectangular block of nicely prepared brownish flake with some golden intermixed. However, when separated, they formed some narrow ribbons that made uniform packing difficult or clogged the air hole. Pipe bowl size also seemed to influence the smoke more than other VA flakes with larger bowls bringing a better overall result. Even @ best, the taste lacked the sweetness and intensity that I prefer and tasted rather dull and uninteresting. Although the aftertaste was not objectionable, the blend left my mouth noticeably dry after each smoke. This is a cool smoke without a hint of bite but it's not the 'best' VA flake of any color by far.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

fourshephards Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fourshephards (51)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I am a Virginia fan. I am a VA fanatic. The richer the VA the better IMHO. This Samuel Gawith flake fits right in to "genre" of rich virginia flakes. Others have found this to have a "soapy" taste. After a couple of tins, I have not yet found there to be any soapy taste at all.

This flake is similar to the S. Gawith Full Va Flake but a little lesser in strength. It seems to me though that there is an additional subtle sweetness, maybe a little vanilla that adds to the appeal of the flake.

This is a little tough to light but once this is accomplished Best Brown burns completely to a fluffy white ash leaving the pipe walls clean.

I love this stuff. I give it a five x five.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Grundie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Grundie (26)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant

An odd one is this. The tobacco comes in 6" flake strips which I found easy to rub out, but I couldn't help but notice how quickly it dried out when in the open as compared to other flakes.

Once the bowl is packed it took a few charring lights to get it going, once lit it burns quite cool if puffed carefully. The flavouring is odd, I can only describe it as natural. The predominant flavours are earthy, perhaps with some nuttyness. There was a a distinct lack of sweetness for most of the bowl, only some slight sweetness was detected near the end.

Strength wise it is quite mild. There was no tongue bite and the nicotine content appeared to be quite low too.

So to sum up I can only describe this tobacco as neutral in flavour and strength. Pleasant but gets a bit dull after a while.

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Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (263)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A favourite amongst smokers of the Gawith range, it is very similar to its more robust cousin Full Virginia Flake. Brown Flake is perhaps creamier and smoother, a natural Virginia no doubt, but with a very discreet chocolaty undertone when smoked (for many reviewers this undertone is referred to as a ?soapy? taste). Medium strength, the flakes are visually very attractive, a light brown hue with some darker strands, with a softer texture than FVF. On opening the tin you are greeted by the natural aroma of tobacco. There is no ketchup-like scents (e.g. McClelland?s Vas.) or dry raisins/molasses whiff (e.g. Dunhill?s Light Flake and some Rattrays Vas.). Brown Flake is very tightly pressed, making it a little bit difficult to rub it out, pack (it is easy to clog the bowl if not done carefully) and light. But once this is achieved the smoking experience, without being out of this world, is very nice, very sober and long lasting. For an experienced smoker this flake may be on the dull side, but if trying to break away from aromatics it is an excellent example of what smoking a natural pipe tobacco means. As with virtually all Virginias puffing slowly is advised, though I don?t find Brown Flake to have a tongue biting tendency on its own. Not my first choice for a straight Virginia smoke, but definitely a recommended natural and friendly tobacco.

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JoeBriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JoeBriar (10)
★☆☆☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Seeing as I love SG's Full VA flake, I couldn't wait to try this one out. Oh dear...oh dear...oh deary me, such a disappointment. Why? The infamous soapy taste is overwhelming here, like smoking a bar of Camay soap. It nearly made me retch & I emptied out my pipe unfinished.

Seeing as the Full VA flake has none of this horrid character, what do they do to spoil this tobacco up in Cumbria?

Sorry people, I cannot recommend at all.

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KEF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KEF (13)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This tobacco comes in 1x6 inch strip form. I ordered a quantity from Synjeco (very nice people), and it came in a rectangular block, and I broke off a 1x1x6 inch piece to keep in a plastic bag for easier access. Medium brown in color, and not too much scent - maybe a whiff of the lakeland "soap", but by no means overwhelming. The pieces break off in long stringy sections, and I usually use scissors to cut those to fit the bowl I'm using. This tobacco does not dry out quickly, and does not require much care to keep fresh. Once lit (I generally use a billiard shape) it stays lit well. The flavor is hard to describe because it is not unusual or at the odd edges of the taste spectrum. It tastes like tobacco without flavoring. Definitely quality tobacco used to make this stuff. I've not tried 1792, so can't comment on comparison, but this is a medium to strong tobac. Does not DGT well. I'll sometimes mix it with some of the sweeter/sharper McClelland's virginia flakes (blackwoods, St. James' Woods) for an interesting blend. Alone it seems almost nondescript except for a very nice tobacco flavor. I had to smoke a few ounces before I realized that this, for me, is just a simple, well made and nicely flavored tobacco that I will smoke regularly. Not all day, but at least once a day. Decent nicotine hit, but nothing like brown bogie. I'd recommend you smoke at least 8-10 bowls of this before passing judgment. By then you, too, may be calling Synjeco. Highly recommended. 9 of 10. - Kelly

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

I'm not a huge VA smoker , but this is one that I enjoy . It has a medium spicy taste and aroma for me . It is one of my regular tobaccos that I reach for when in the mood for a VA .

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Sceny Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sceny (66)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is the second S. Gawith blend I have tried, and it is something of a shock, moving to this from 1792 Flake. If 1792 can be described as "overwhelming", than I would describe B.B. Flake as "average". The taste, while very nice and fairly complex, never really breaks out. The nicotine content, however, makes this a satisfying smoke for after a meal. The smell in the sample bag is mildly perfumy and soapy, with a hint of sweetness as well. The tobacco cames in 4" flakes, mostly medium and darker brown with a few lighter veins; the overall effect is medium brown. The flakes are on the moist side, a bit sticky to the touch but by no means excessivly moist. They rub out with difficulty, due to the moisture, but pack quickly when rubbed. The tobacco lights easily, and burns well during a bowl. I used a group 3 Dunhill Shell Briar for my first bowl of this blend. In the first third, the flavor starts off pretty good. It is medium in fullness and richness, but there is a decent level of complexity that increases as the burn continues. There is some sweetness, but it stays in the background, and I don't notice any of the perfumy note I smelled earlier. There is no bite at all at this point; the smoke is smooth and "firm", if that makes any sense. The flavors overall aren't spectacular; rather, the effect is one of subtly and quality in an "average-tasting" blend. The smoke is nice blown out through the nose, when it takes on a slighly spicy note. In the second third, I notice that it is easy to smoke this too hot. Even when smoke hot, however, it does not bite. The flavor is richer now, with a bit fuller taste and more complexity. It is still not overly flavorful, but smoked slowly, the subtle variation is more easily appreciated. One reviewer described the taste as "earthy", and I would agree with that, though it isn't the only flavor present. The sweetness is a bit stronger here, but I still would not call this a sweet tobacco. If I draw deeply on the pipe, the flavor is rich and substantial, almost like unsweetened chocolate without the bitterness. Moving into the last third, the nicotine is becoming more obvious. While not as strong as 1792 Flake, this is still a blend with some kick. The sweetness is stronger than at the start, but the other flavors aren't much more intense. The smoke is still smooth and bite-free, and there is no moisture right to the bottom. Overall, this is a high-quality, medium-flavored Virginia tobacco with some nicotine punch. The flavors are always subtle and "average", but they are very well-blended and not at all boring. If you're looking for a semi-sweet, middle-of-the-road Virginia with no bite, you may want to try this one. Don't use a huge bowl, though, unless you're sitting down! I plan to keep some of this around for when I'm in the mood, but normally I like Virginias with more intense flavors.

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farndog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
farndog (22)
★★★★
Extremely Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Strong

Best Brown Flake is almost exactly like Full Virginia Flake. Best Brown has a couple different components that add an almost chocolate flavour to the tobacco. This tobacco rubs out very easily from the thin flakes they are cut into. IMO, Best Brown has a bigger nicotine kick than the Full Virginia Flake. This is a great natural English style flake tobacco that will burn down to a nice grey ash. Don't miss out on trying this one.

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