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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
Manufactured BySamuel Gawith
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutFlake
Packaging50 grams tin
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
PipesAndCigars.com
Iwan Ries
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 35 Users

3.3
263 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
134
3 star:
94
2 star:
28
1 star:
7
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
★★★★
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!

54 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

A mildly tangy, creamy mellow straight Virginia flake with a lot of citrus, some dark fruit, hints of bread, and dried figs, all of it naturally inherent with a light sweet topping. There are mild hay, grass notes, with a little earth here and there. Not much complexity, and has a slightly more than mild nic-hit 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. Has a consistent flavor all the way through. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and needs a little more than the average number of relights. Has a pleasant after taste.

45 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!

22 people found this review helpful.

KinnScience Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KinnScience (30)
★★★☆
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

15 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I love strong Flue-cured Zimbabwe leaf that dominates several favorite blends of mine, but not is so deliciously deep, strong, dark and yet sweet as this beautiful tobacco. And best of all, this rich dark brown flake turns near black with aging, loads up on the sugar crystals and ages better than Raquel Welch (well, almost).

15 people found this review helpful.

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

Best Brown Flake is the first EU made straight Virginia I have smoked, as I usually smoke McClelland Virginias. At first light it was a bit hay like, but as I continued through the bowl it turned slightly sweeter and was smooth with no bite. This blend wasn't complex at all but to my surprise it turned out to be a very enjoyably pleasant straight forward smoke. I would definitely put this into my regular rotation and an overall great smoke.

13 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

11 people found this review helpful.

PeterD Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PeterD (91)
★★★★
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...

10 people found this review helpful.

O'Confrère Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
O'Confrère (40)
★★★★
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.

9 people found this review helpful.

Old Nate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old Nate (17)
★★★★
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

8 people found this review helpful.

cigrmaster Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cigrmaster (4)
★★★★
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.

8 people found this review helpful.

DenizBeck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DenizBeck (263)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Where has this Virginia been all my life? Admittedly... I smoke straight Virginias not too often, but if I want something smoother, milder, I'll grab for some straight VA.

Inside the tin the typical moist Gawith Flake. Long, and not too densly pressed. Tin note reminding me of oat, bread and honey, with maybe some citrus. Drying it out for right amounts of time is key imho...find your personal sweet spot and maximize the joy.

Once smoldering Best Brown holds up to its name...it's one of the best Virginias I had so far! Oaty, bready, slightly honey sweet and spicy and definetly some earthiness to it. It only has a minor citrusness and fruit tone to it as I perceive it...very rich aroma. After a while I also get a hay-ish dimension out of it. Toast-y and creamy. Not the simple "grassy/hay-ish and citrusy" Virginia one might think of when thinking of some other straight Virginia...but that's what I love about BBF and straight Virginias...bready, oaty, earthy dimension, with a rather dark, rich and spicy character! BBF has it all..

It also reminds me a lot of St. James Flake minus the Perique. Similar tin aroma, similar Virginia taste. Bet they use the same leafs for the two.

I'm overwhelmed by its beauty and aroma...4/4 stars, instant favorite...one of the few Virginias I'll keep at hand any times.

Pipe Used: Clay Pipes / Various Briars

7 people found this review helpful.

steppx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steppx (152)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The comparisons are Gawith's own Full Va Flake and probably Macbaren's HH Pure Virginia flake. Hot pressed and unadorned. Best Brown is lighter in color than FVF and a bit sweeter and brighter in taste. Its a very fine virginia flake, no question. It maybe hasnt the complexity of FVF but its got its own appeal...a subtle sweetness and its also an easier smoke to repeat during the day. Pure virginias on the market run from Buteras dark stoved and several of the heavily stoved McClelland flakes all the way to Pease's Union Square and then Wessex Brigade Dark Campaign flake. Or Astely's 44. The latter two have a bit more casing (that is, IF best brown has any...its hard to tell...but most tobacco made for pipe smoking have at least a tiny bit). I rate BB among the very best and honestly i smoke it more often than I do the FVF. Its a classic. Been around forever and is always popular.

Purchased From: 4noggins

7 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
★★★★
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

7 people found this review helpful.

GabrielCRT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GabrielCRT (94)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

For my palate this is the best straight Virginia available. Best Brown Flake is a rich, straightforward, mild-medium strength Virginia. It has a good amount of sweetness with honey and citrus flavors. Throughout the bowl it becomes grassy and earthy with some occasional spice mostly through the nose. I never noticed a topping as much as maybe a mild citrus or honey casing. Highly recommended.

6 people found this review helpful.

Big Train Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Train (58)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

Best Brown is a very high quality Virginia that is beautifully presented . It is a full flavor tobacco reaching the high notes of the Virginia experience . I left a jar of this tobacco in a remote place for three years and when I discovered it again it was full of bloom . Well aged this takes on Olympian qualities . With the sugars forward this is sublime . The problem with all Samuel Gawith blends is the extreme moisture present upon opening . After trying various methods over the years , none of which worked well , I have settled on a better strategy . I select a very mild Virginia flake with almost no topping , maybe Newminster flake . I mix it itno the Gawith using about 25% of the Newminster . This provides enough kindling to properly light and enjoy the tobacco . Leaving the Gawith out over night on wax paper simply did not work It became too dry and lost it's flavor . Leaving it in the can for a month just didn't reduce the moisture that much . The mild flake mix seems like the best idea .

6 people found this review helpful.

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

This is probably the best “sweet” tasting flake I’ve smoked.

I enjoy FVF but the room note is atrocious.

This one is much more mellow and has a more pleasant room note. My only criticism is that it lacks nicotine strength for my taste. That’s the only thing keeping it from a 4 star rating in my opinion.

The tin starts off “wet” as many SG blends. Really I would say it is more oily than wet. Dry it too much and it loses some of the flavor.

It’s good rubbed out but I prefer fold and stuffed.

You can get a good long smoke out of this even in a really small pipe with a out of third of a flake using the fold and stuff.

It’s super tasty and I’ve enjoyed it in every pipe I’ve smoked it in.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Dublin & Qandale, Stanwell Bent Apple

Age When Smoked: 1-2 years

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

5 people found this review helpful.

Reagold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Reagold (25)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

First I love Samuel Gawith for it's total lack of marketing. I mean, look at the name of this! Look at the "tin art". I can even imagine they creating the name:

- How we will be calling this new blend?

- Well, what is the cut?

- Flake.

- What is it color?

- Brown.

- Do we have a better brown flake than this in our production?

- No.

- So I think that "Best Brown Flake" suits good.

- Brilliant! How inventive!

Ok, on to the tobacco itself. If you're expecting good mannered, well-disposed squared flakes, sorry! You'll find dark, thick and uneven flakes thrown in the most messy, almost offensive way. But the smell will make you forgive all this. It's clearly well aged.

We'll, I'll love flakes and I love to fold'n'stuff them, so my first smoke was terrible, I just find impossible to fold'n'stuff this, it´s too thick at least for me. So next I tried to rub it (crucify me). And when I rubbed this I found out how pressed it was! You can rub this forever, there's always another piece of flake that turns in mountains of tobacco. I also tried to slice it in tiny cubes. These two ways it worked much better.

Is it delicious, intriguing, and every other fancy description already used on the others reviews? For sure. But for me is also very, very unpredictable, and that makes me smoke a little tense and spoils a part of the pleasure. Anyway, a classic that deserves to be smoked by everyone.

5 people found this review helpful.

Lingo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lingo (10)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

When I decide to test/taste something new to me, I go like this: load it in different pipes with different pressures at different moments of the day. At the end of Tin 1 I am very close to have a good grasp on the thing. So this is, say, my 15th puff with BB: take a flake, fold it once on the long side then once on the short side. screwed it in a Ser Jacopo group 2. needs drying, prepare a Lapsang Suchong..............tea's ready, back to the thing. light it, quite a remissive tone, three matches do... bitter chocolate , coffee, nuts and hay, then the road seems to go somewhere else but instead.... it doesn't go, kinda stays there, within a strict Virginia area.... it's true, the risk is monotony... you find yourself expecting an evolution that never comes... at any moment it gives you that FVF hint like a suggestion, but then... nothing more... me as a stjames lover, I feel it like it BUT... no perique, road closed again if you know what I mean... NOW here is why BB is splendid: if you focus on that single note, like single malts, THEN you'll find all the beauty of a natural, honest and excellent tobacco. It's a metaphor of pipe smoking, thus a metaphor of life: "less is better" (Miles Davis)-- Only drawback is about all the excellent natural, and CHEAPER, tobaccos on the market...

Pipe Used: different briars

Age When Smoked: new

5 people 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.

5 people found this review helpful.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (110)
★★★★
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.

5 people found this review helpful.

OkieSmokie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OkieSmokie (15)
★★★★
Very Mild None Detected Very Mild Very Pleasant

I was gifted this in 2016 as part of "Smoking Santa" exchange with a fellow pipe smoker. The jar lid had a 9/23/10 date on it. The ribbon flake crumbles easily and packs well. I suggest letting it air for 15-20 minutes or it can be difficult to light. What a wonderful smoke, smooth and creamy from the start all the way through with a wonderful room note. There's a nutty sweetness that is cool and not harsh in anyway.

Pipe Used: Kaywoodie Billiard

Age When Smoked: 7.5 years

4 people found this review helpful.

Stefanos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stefanos (150)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

There’s no other tobacco I’ve smoked that has taken me so long to review (except Full Virginia Flake) and still I do not feel confident about my assessment. With most tobaccos I smoke half of the tin or a third and even less and I feel confident at writing a review. On the other hand Best Brown Flake baffles me. I have tasted BBF tobacco from both tin and 250g box and while it was essentially the same tobacco there still were significant differences. First in color, box was much brighter (considerably lighter in color than FVF, almost as bright as Golden Glow), then the smell from bulk was pure grassy, green tee-like, while from tin it was obviously topped lightly, with tonquin I guess.

Otherwise tobaccos were similar, although I think the bulk version broken flakes were more pliable, easier to rub out and also smoked better, but this probably has to do with moisture.

My bafflement is not confined to batch variation – as I said the tobacco in different batches, despite the differences is essentially the same. The problem is that this tobacco, although at a lesser degree than FVF, is very susceptible to treatment variations: it will smoke considerably different depending on how much you dry it and how thinly you rub it out. As with FVF, I have smoked half a kilo while not feeling confident that I have got the handle of it. Still, were it not such a good tobacco, I would have given up, but then again, when BBF is good, which is not always, it’s very good!

It’s sweet like a bakery product, earthy, yeasty, surely darker flavours than Golden Glow but less yeasty than FVF, it has a nice medium strength and it gives me the feeling of smoking as natural a tobacco as any. BBF taste is unique among Virginias and it’s also very good to mix with some Orientals.

4 people found this review helpful.

pylet2000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pylet2000 (33)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

An excellent example of a pure Virginia Flake. Samuel Gawith does this type of tobacco better than anybody else in my opinion, and these flakes are no exception.

Compared to Full Virginia Flake, Best Brown Flake is noticeably more subtle, a touch sweeter, and perhaps a bit less "chewy". I find it to be at least as enjoyable as Full Virginia Flake depending on my mood, and better than any other make's straight Va.

Like all Gawith flakes, these take a little experimentation to get right: They come overly damp (good for aging), hold moisture longer than most tobaccos, and won't burn right when freshly opened. Let it get too dry, and you lose some of the flavor and soft tones. The right moisture is different depending on whether you want to rub out or fold and stuff, and smokes a little different in large or small bowls. Thus the slightly higher level of "fuss" required to figure this flake out. You are rewarded with an excellent straight Va flavor for your troubles. When I feel I have the moisture right, relights are on par with any other flake.

In the 250g box, the value is rather decent as well for the quality of the tobacco.

4 people found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (203)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

A superb Virginia flake. From the tin, the flakes are perfectly formed and firmly pressed and the tin note is sweet and bready. The initial flavor has a slight sugary quality to it, along with a delicate grassiness. The finish gives a faint hint of a topping that's quite nice and entirely reminiscent of the high note found in Full Virginia Flake. The smoke is smooth and flavorful with absolutely no harshness. Like all top notch Virginia's, Best Brown Flake saves the best for last. Down the bowl, the flavors liven up and hints of spice appear amongst a warm, rich woodsy flavor and creamy texture. No bones about it, Best Brown Flake is a perfectly executed blend and it presents all the hallmarks of a high quality straight Virginia. I still prefer the extra richness of Full Virginia Flake, but Best Brown Flake makes a very similar statement, albeit in a milder fashion.

Pipe Used: Briar

4 people found this review helpful.

SmokeDawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeDawg (82)
★☆☆☆
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

4 people found this review helpful.

3000DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
3000DK (5)
★☆☆☆
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.

4 people found this review helpful.

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

Scored an almost 14 year old tin of this from a silent auction at Strauss in Florence Kentucky. I had never tried fresh Best Brown, let alone any with significant aging. This tobacco has been a treat, and I'm hanging on to the last half of this tin with my life.

Popped the tin and the thin flakes had partially melded together with age. Residual moisture had escaped and left delicate, flimsy flakes for me to pick apart. Airing some out for 15 minutes made it bowl-ready. I wasn't prepared for the flavor journey I was about to take. Sweet, musty, funky, savory, delicious.

The best comparison I can make flavorwise is to my favorite kind of beer. Bottle fermented Belgian ales with significant age. Yeasty, murky, bready and sweet.

Recently I bought a 250g box of Best Brown to see what it's like fresh (and to start aging some in a jar). While decent, it's nothing like what it becomes after 10+ years. Ive actually tasted a similar note to the aged Best Brown in Wessex Brigade Campaign Dark Flake. Looking forward to aging some of that too.

Pipe Used: Various small pipes by Anastasopolous and Gamboni

Age When Smoked: ~14 years

Purchased From: Strauss Tobacconist

3 people found this review helpful.

DeathMetal.org Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DeathMetal.org (120)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Summary: a wonderful take on Virginias, but the lack of Nicotine makes it fall short of "recommended" status.

This is a really nice Virginia. At first, the acidic bloom of this type of leaf is discernible, but then it vanishes, leaving only a union of a honey-sweet hay flavor and the more harvest vegetable taste of a seasoned Virginia. As far as flavor goes, I could puff this forever, but one of the reasons we seek out Samuel Gawith blends is the intense Nicotine experience that makes them so relaxing, and that is missing here. Relax; be a heretic; mix it with some strong American Burley like "Dark Burley" or "Five Brothers" and you will be at home. Great leaf, needs more power.

Thanks to Pipes Magazine forum member "dadgy" for this sample.

3 people found this review helpful.

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

I was amazed when I cracked the tin open. I expected to find, well, a BROWN flake product. What I saw was well-cut flakes of such a light hue they reminded me of the Lakelands in Squadron Leader when that blend is first opened. By the next day, they had begun to turn brown and within a couple more days the tobacco had indeed turned brown. I remember Escudo doing the same.

I was not particularly (yes, I know this is heresy) impressed with FVF and was prepared to be underwhelmed by Best Brown Flake. I was wrong, I thoroughly enjoy this VA flake, less tangy that FVF, but still full enough flavored to my liking. Straight Virginias tend to leave me with an unpleasant aftertaste; BBF does not.

I could probably keep typing, trying to come up with more hyperbole, but cutting to the quick - this is good product. I keep a couple of tins in back up and one opened at all times.

Pipe Used: Briars - prince, diplomat, GBD 9438

Age When Smoked: New production

Purchased From: Cigar Express, McKees Rocks, PA

3 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
★★★☆
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 !_

3 people found this review helpful.

BingCrosby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BingCrosby (72)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

It's an SG flake... and it's a good one. My tin was aged but i would actually be interested to try a fresher tin... it was almost too rounded out for my taste buds. Usually I prefer that, but a little zest strangely might have been nice... I got smooth bready molasses like notes.. pleasant if somewhat straightforward... not as complex and delicious as full Virginia flake... but it hits right down the middle in a pleasant way. Love the rough cut gawith flakes... rustic at its best.

2 people found this review helpful.

Luckyluke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Luckyluke (11)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

Marvellous Tobacco! full bodied, flavorful virginia, that is as smooth as silk. The sweet beautiful flavor comes out the best for me when i rub out a bowl and let it sit out for around 30 40 minutes, Thats all it takes. I absolutley love this flake straight from the tin, you can age it of course, if you want it to shine even more.

2 people found this review helpful.

Stegus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stegus (1)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Elegant. Medium bodied. Spicy. Slightly sweet. Creamy and slightly musky. Hint of raisins.

Nice clean smoke, mild to medium flavor and medium strength. Reminiscing to smoking a cigar. I'm not an experienced smoker and have only tried a few unflavored tobaccos before. This is the first one I really enjoyed. I will certainly buy this again.

Pipe Used: Bent Dublin

Age When Smoked: 2 years

2 people found this review helpful.

Swiss-smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Swiss-smoker (62)
★★☆☆
Very Mild Mild to Medium Mild Tolerable

This will be the tobacco to smoke at the EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP in October 2016 in Slowakia (link: http://www.pipenitra2016.sk/?page_id=11&lang=en). A friend of a neighbouring pipe club gave me a sample. As always with Samuel Gawith, it’s not moist, it’s wet, and therefore needs considerable drying time. In large bowls I fold the flakes and cram it in my pipe. In smaller bowls I prefer to rub it a little. Both ways lead to a good, slow, steady and cool burnig. For those used to smoking flakes it’s (mechanically) a pleasure to smoke. For those not used to flakes, buy a few tins and get some training before the championship. It’s rewarding.

BEST BROWN FLAKE is a pure Virginia. Regarding the taste of this mixture, well, it’s not my pair of shoes. I was expecting a broad fan of all kinds of Virginia flavours. I thought I was smoking a soft, light Aromatic. I could not find all these pleasurable flavours, typically attributed to Virginias. It is smokable, sure, but I am disappointed.

2 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

A basic, no frills Virginia flake. Has a nice sweetness that vaguely resembles brown sugar or molasses. Not very complex, but it is enjoyable to smoke. Has a satisfying strength to it. I get the best burn when it's very dry, but even then it takes a few matches to get going and requires a few relights. It's a good, solid smoke.

Mild to medium in body and taste. I think it does have a very mild sweet topping.

Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman, Mark Twain, Diplomat Apple

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

2 people found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (266)
★★★☆
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

2 people 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

2 people 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 -

2 people found this review helpful.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (171)
★★★★
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.

2 people found this review helpful.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (130)
★★★★
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.

2 people found this review helpful.

Sasquatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sasquatch (81)
★★★★
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.

2 people found this review helpful.

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.

2 people found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (302)
★★★☆
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.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pryhosm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pryhosm (112)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Wonderful sweet Virginia, fresh hay and a brown sugar flavor. A Hint of soapiness, not always there and I sometimes wonder if I am imagining it. The mechanics on this are important (at least to me). This needs to dry for 10-20 minutes or it will bite. It is an odd tobacco to me as it seems relatively dry in flake form but when smoked without dry time it is steamy. Steamy equals a bad time with me. It also won't stay lit very well either without solid dry time. Rub it out and leave it alone for 20 minutes and you will be good to go. In my opinion best in a meer but very nice in any pipe. The smoke is sweet, not aro sweet but like a sweetened pastry, sticky buns come to mind. It is a sweet, bready flavor, very unique. Not like a typical VA. The flavor is not as "fresh" , not a bad thing. This is a darker flavor kind of like brown sugar vs table sugar. Molasses and a bit of subtle spice. This is a great smoke when done right, not careful with prep it will require many relights and a sore tongue.

Pipe Used: briar's, cob's and meerschaum

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: pipe's and Cigars

1 person found this review helpful.

Greekpipesmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Greekpipesmoker (152)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This flake is the second best blend after full virginia flake.when you open it you get a light sweet topping in combination with citrus dried fruits and a little grass.rub it and let it dry a little.the lighting needs a little effort though the result is great.a decent sweet flavour with citrus and a hint of grass.magnificent!burns medium never bites and leaves a bit more moist at the end of the bowl.the nic level is low to medium so it's an all day blend to me.you can smoke it every hour leaving you a great aftertaste.defenitelly should try it!!

Age When Smoked: Rubed and leave it to dry out a couple hours

Similar Blends: Sanuel Gawith Full virginia flake(but sweeter).

1 person found this review helpful.

Rob73 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rob73 (77)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I'm not a big fan of straight Virginia tobaccos, 'cause I don't like too much the sweetness, although natural. I must say that BBF is really good. The quality of tobacco is very high, its strength is moderate - perfect for an all day smoke - and it produces a pleasant feeling. I found it also excellent using it as the base Virginia for some self made mixtures. Highly recommended for straight Virginia lovers, recommended to the others for a must try. 3,5/5 in my personal rating system.

Purchased From: Hobby Fumo, Milano (Italy)

1 person found this review helpful.

Giovanni Palomino Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Giovanni Palomino (21)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Novelty to try your first flake experience learn to smoke was very motivated, in regards the smoke flavor and medium strength give you stimulating smoke Burns evenly which prevents the rekindled many pipe and it does not burn the tongue, so is a good tobacco but there is nothing that stands out and at this stage of the search for the ideal tobacco would consider that it recompraría not very soon.

Pipe Used: Mr Brog Bosman

Purchased From: 4noggings

1 person found this review helpful.

point9 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
point9 (114)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Given that there is full Virginia flake in Samuel Gawith's Va lines, I didn't hold much expectation of this one, and I was surprised. Best Brown flake isn't a light version of fvf, rather it's a brother who shares the dignified pedigree with a different character. Not like fvf, bbf is much thinner flake and fold and stuff method should be applied easier. One of the best Va on the market.

1 person found this review helpful.

Jorge Soler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jorge Soler (129)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

This is another Samuel & Gawith's all time favourite. The tin note is not quite noticeable, but I was pleased by the unevenness and appearance of the flakes as I opened it. They look like ragged leather or rotten wood strips, but not in a bad way. I've had no problems in rubbing and packing this tobacco into my pipe. The moist content is quite high, so these flakes will benefit from some drying time. The topping or casing is somewhat noticeable, but not soapy. There is something to this tobacco, as in every other S&G blend, that is unique to it. If I were to have a blind date with this tobacco, I am pretty sure I would be able to tell it was one of S&G's blends: they all share this undertone and characteristic. If properly dried, it does not seem to smoke hot in your bowl and it burns quite evenly leaving a fine white ash behind. It has a somewhat plummy or orangy taste to it, but my guess is this is due to the casing or topping and not because of the Virginia tobacco itself. I cannot detect any tongue bite at all, but if you smoke this tobacco straight out of the tin, you might do. As I progressed with my smoke, the taste went from medium to medium/full. It has some nice undertones and nuances, but this tobacco does not quite feel like a straight Virginia. I have thoroughly enjoyed my bowl, but if I don't give it four stars is due to the topping and because of the lack of noticeable Virginia properties. It is only in the last quarter of your bowl that these properties will start to show up, but the nuttiness dimension is still missing.

Pipe Used: Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: ?

Purchased From: tobacconist in Spain

1 person found this review helpful.

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

So far my favorite flake. I have a dr grabby omega with a filter that I smoke heavy to straight va blends in because I get a better temp and dont have to use a pipe cleaner for moisture. But this flake smokes great in all of my pipes. Has a nice cool clean deep and sweet flavor. Too bad I have only 3 flakes left. Guess it's time for some more. Oh how my wife would love the idea of buying more tobacco lol oh well

1 person found this review helpful.

Planet Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Planet Scott (60)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable

I'm on a Virginia kick, so I was excited to try this one, based on the reviews. It is not a bad a, but it does lack a richness I've come to enjoy in some Va and Va blends.

I've also learned to not give up on a Va too soon as the cay grow on me after a tin or two.

Not my favorite Va to date, but a decent smoke I'm certain to enjoy more of.

Pipe Used: Parker Zulu

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: P & C

Similar Blends: Milder version of Pease Six Pence.

1 person found this review helpful.

Jevverrett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jevverrett (83)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I bought this as a expansion of my exploration of straight VAs. I used my new savinelli I bought to be my VA pipe after I tried the dunhill flake.

It's pretty nice looking in the tin, darker brown than the dunhill. It has a slightly fuller flavor than I would have expected. It's taken some drying to get it to behave the way I wanted it to. It burns well dried out, almost no dottle. Unfortunately, I'm still getting a sour lemon flavor off the VA tobaccos. I get hints of something darker, fuller but I don't know what.

I have enjoyed this tobacco, and have smoked almost the whole tin at this point. I don't think I'll buy more, I'm probably going to try something different next tin I buy.

Pipe Used: Savinelli one straight billiard #106

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

Similar Blends: Dunhill flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

incognitopoet Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
incognitopoet (36)
★★★★
Very Mild None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

To the many fine reviews already on file, I will just add a few notes.

This is a magnificent tobacco that is everything it should be and nothing it shouldn't be. I love every minute I spent smoking this wonderful creation. It is mild but satisfying, sweet but not cloying.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

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.

Nicotiana_rustica Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nicotiana_rustica (23)
★★★★
Mild to 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!

Similar Blends: Orlik golden sliced, Capstan original BLUE.

1 person found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (492)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

EDITED 10/30/2016

I ordered a box of this based on my earlier experience with the sample sent to me. I must say I was less smitten with the blend than I was at first tasting. I can say that I had a lot of time to taste this back to back with FVF and my conclusion is that FVF is a superior Virginia to my tastes. This is a bit of splitting hairs, but I find that I like a few other SG vas better than BBF as well, including their Summer Flake. BBF is all sweetness to my tastes and it lacks in body what FVF seems to deliver with its sweetness.

I have decided to drop a star off this one more to differentiate it from FVF and some other SG blends that I feel to be superior. Don't get me wrong, this is still a great blend, but I find that I get a little bored of this one as I get near the end of a pipe. This is something that never happens with FVF.

I became so bored with it, in fact, that I added a heavy bit of Perique to the last 5 or so bowls I had left. These last bowls were my favorite of the box.

ORIGINAL REVIEW 1/7/2014

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 o 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.

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.

JustinCarcerated Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustinCarcerated (99)
★★☆☆
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

jonoz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jonoz (12)
★★★★
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.

Purchased From: www.smoker.co.il/info@smoker.co.il

1 person found this review helpful.

Mesh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mesh (50)
★★★★
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (264)
★★★☆
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

Steden Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steden (94)
★★★★
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.

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

1 person found this review helpful.

WmZiggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WmZiggy (76)
★★★★
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (120)
★★★★
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.

Blackhorse Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blackhorse (90)
★★★★
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!

1 person found this review helpful.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (127)
★★★★
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

Goose55 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Goose55 (15)
★☆☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Unnoticeable

I just cracked a 1/2 pint Kerr jar jammed packed with bulk SG BBF that had been in my "cellar" for 2 years expecting something akin to the delicious Gawith , Hoggarth, & Co's Brown Flake (unscented) and am initially quite disappointed. I had rubbed out a handful of flake and let it air for about 1/2 hour before smoking and a couple days later am revisiting it. I am going to come back to my review after some time to report on whether it has gotten any better. At this point I can only say I am looking forward to the two 500 gram boxes of Gawith , Hoggarth, & Co's Brown Flake (unscented) in today's mail. For now I find SG BBF tasteless and hard to smoke. I keep looking for flavor and find next to none. Just bland.

Pipe Used: Bent James Upshall Tilshead Billiard

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1644)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Samuel Gawith - Best Brown Flake.

I wish every Samuel Gawith had the same amount of moisture when fresh as this! What's happened, I don't know, but the usual Sam G' soaking wet flakes have been replaced by some perfect ones; stone me! They aren't too thick either, and they're slightly broken, making loading a bowl as unproblematic as any decent flake.

Lighting B.B.F. is relatively simple, and then it gives a slow burn with a mid temperature smoke. To me, this would suit a beginner to our hobby instead of a sweet aromatic. The taste is a toned down, soft, and sweet Virginia one, without many of the cutting flavours sometimes found in Virginia blends; deep and sweet instead of sharp and zesty. Apart from the sweetness I get no extra flavouring. And nor do I get any tongue bite.

The room-note's pleasant and the nicotine's a little below medium.

I have no doubt in my mind that Best Brown Flake is high quality, but in all honesty it bores me after a short while.

Three stars based on quality.

Recommended.

Pipe Used: Peder Jeppesen

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: My Smoking Shop

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BryGuySC Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BryGuySC (26)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This batch came in a 250 gram box but the ziplock bag was not sealed all the way, and the outer box was mostly sealed, so it was a little bit dried out but actually had a perfect level for smoking. still pliable and a hint moist. It probably could have dried it a hair more before smoking, but I balled up a bit and stuffed it in a cob, musketball-style.

This sometimes starts off pretty bland and unimpressive. After about half of a bowl, the flavor notes picked up and there were some nice flavors of hay and cereal. More of the grain part of the hay than the fresh cut smell of hay or the barn smell of hay. Kind of like sweet Special K. I also get hints that reminds me of that sharp, coarse grass that grew around my grandfather's pond. Very mild creamy citrus notes on the tongue. I grew up next to a hay field. This brings up memories of walking across the field kicking the piles of drying, but still damp on the bottom, grassy hay. It also had moments that make me think of the buttered rolls we would eat at dinner.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Arkie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arkie (129)
★★☆☆
Very Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

I have never smoked a flake tobacco that I considered bad but I would rate this stuff as the least good of any flakes I've tried. The flavor was so mild that it bordered on being bland. It's ok but there are so many excellent flakes available that it's not worthwhile.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Sweet, bright flavor with grass and a nice fruity tang. Needs a bit of drying but then it burns wonderfully with no bite and few relights. I bought the 250g pack and cut the long flakes with a scissors before folding and stuffing.

Pipe Used: Savinelli 122

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Carlo1986 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Carlo1986 (22)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Natural straight Virginia. A little too wet (I usually let a stripe one hour out of his tin, before smoking). Sweet, nutty, with a delicious juniper note (and something like acid tomatos, very intriguing). In a medium bowl, you can find a discrete amount of nicotine (this reason and the fact that this isn't a well-burning tobacco, suggest that it isn't for novices). It gives its best also in briar wood and in cherry wood.

Pipe Used: Many briars, ceramic, olive wood

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: local tabacconist

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This was my first experience with Virginia flake,so I think I dumped as many bowls as I smoked trying to figure out how to pack it . For what I did manage to smoke I enjoyed it. The tobacco was smooth with no bite ,a subtle natural sweetness that's part of the tobacco flavor,no lingering after taste. I will definitely get it again one day but for now there's a lot more to explore.

Age When Smoked: Fresh ?

Purchased From: J&R

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gam86 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gam86 (49)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

A friend of mine gifted me with a tin of these wonderful tobacco, I was very pleased or it round and rich taste. I think is a all day long tobacco and it matain its tastefulness for a long time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

L'Italiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
L'Italiano (170)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I do not know if my tin was unlucky, but I disagree with most of the previous reviews. In my opinion this is an average straight Virginia, without virtues and vices. Pure Virginia, without any flavoring, no more and no less. In my personal system rating (from 1 to 10) my score is 7 and two stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Guillaume Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Guillaume (15)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

Just a wonderful (but not aromatic) tobacco.

When I open a tin of it I put its contents into a jar, then I break the tobacco into pieces which can be put into my pipes without further thinking.

Then I put some of it in a dedicated pipe, when I take a little rest. A wonderful tobacco, indeed!

Pipe Used: Peterson "Mark Twain"

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tragvraba Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tragvraba (2)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Very nice tobacco. Definitely my favourite SG. The flakes rub out very easily, whereas I had some trouble with the Full Virginia Flake. Takes a long time to dry, but it's worth it.

Pipe Used: Peterson System 302

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bluesmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluesmoke (75)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is a nice flake which conveys dark flavors of caramel, roasted beef, charred nuts. The cut of the flake is inconsistent re: size/thickness, which has been a problem for SG for quite some time. For my tastes this needed some drying time yet I found it difficult to get going and had to relight several times. The amount of smoke produced was minimal and wispy, disappointing. For a straight VA this is a good tasting flake and the price not too bad. I don't smoke this flake regularly but I recommend any VA lover to give it a try. MGBWY

Pipe Used: Corn cob

Age When Smoked: Fresh Tin

Purchased From: BATB

Nobody has rated this review yet.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (180)
★★★☆
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.

GenericusernameYOB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GenericusernameYOB (6)
★★☆☆
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. For me it plays second fiddle to its bigger brother - FVF: far more depth of flavour, creamyness and infinitely sweeter.

Pipe Used: Parker rusticated billiard

Age When Smoked: 6 months

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.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (136)
★★★★
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.

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

The sister to SG's FVF, it's second only to FVF when it comes to straight Virginia flakes for me right now. Sweet and flavorful, beautiful, subtle, raisin bread depth! 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.... 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 (10)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Full Very Pleasant

rich full smoke with no bite. it is similar t0 sg st james which has a good bit of perique and some pepper. I tend toward this during the day and st james in a nice reading chair at night--perhaps with a wee drink.

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 (137)
★★★★
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.

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.

cakeanddottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cakeanddottle (68)
★★★★
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. This is just a brilliant, historical pipe tobacco.

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.

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 (57)
★★★★
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.

who broke my clay pipe? Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
who broke my clay pipe? (61)
★★★☆
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 (52)
★★★☆
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.

John Frum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
John Frum (17)
★★★☆
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 (35)
★★★☆
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 (76)
★★★☆
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.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
★★★☆
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 (35)
★★☆☆
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.

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 (47)
★★★★
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 (110)
★★★☆
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 (69)
★★★★
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.

orka Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
orka (64)
★★★☆
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.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (191)
★★★★
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.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (227)
★★★★
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.

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 (249)
★★★★
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.

WillardFan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillardFan (86)
★★★★
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.

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.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (129)
★★★☆
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.

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 (51)
★★★★
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.

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.

chgo.piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chgo.piper (37)
★★★☆
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.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (187)
★★★☆
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.

p4p4 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
p4p4 (59)
★★★★
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.

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 (204)
★★★☆
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.

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.

marosi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
marosi (67)
★★★★
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

bent-1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bent-1 (36)
★★★★
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.

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.

Moe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Moe (46)
★★★☆
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.

Backwoods Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Backwoods Piper (70)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild 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. The aroma of this weed is nice 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.

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 (180)
★★★★
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.

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 (21)
★★★★
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 (80)
★★★☆
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.

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.

Ranger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ranger (64)
★★★☆
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 (60)
★★★★
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.

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.

UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (110)
★★☆☆
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 (37)
★★☆☆
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.

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.

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 (77)
★★★☆
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 (102)
★★★★
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.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (286)
★★☆☆
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.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.