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For over 200 years, Samuel Gawith & Co. have been producing fine pipe tobaccos that have been enjoyed by all walks of life the world over. In the mountainous Lake District of Cumbria, the generations of Gawiths have been hand cutting, stripping and blending their tobaccos. For over two centuries, the blenders and spinners of Samuel Gawith, Kendal, have been producing the famous Kendal Twists. Coal miners, both underground and on the ground, have been chewing our Pigtails, whilst pipe smokers have savoured the rich flavours and slow burning characteristics of the thick Brown No.4 and Black XX.

All of our twist tobaccos can be smoked either flavoured or un-flavoured. Some of our popular flavours are black cherry, rum, whiskey and apple. All twists are available pre-packed or on the roll. Because the process is almost entirely by hand, quality control ensures consistency of excellence.

Notes: Categories refer to the thickness and colour of the twist. The Brown No.4 does not undergo any heat treatment and has full tar and nicotine content of the tobacco. The Brown No.4 is a thick twist. The Black XX is an extra thick twist. The Black XX under goes heat treatment that creates the black colour and less tar and nicotine than the Brown No. 4. All Samuel Gawith Twists are unsliced.

BrandSamuel Gawith
Blended BySamuel Gawith
Manufactured BySamuel Gawith
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin, bulk
ProductionCurrently available
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Very Strong
None Detected
Room Note

Favorite Of 15 Users

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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant

I opened the tin and thought a dog had pooped in it. That's about the best way I can describe the visual presentation of the black twisted rope tobacco inside.

It took forever to get the oily, black tobacco prepared for loading. I used a small knife to slice off a swack and then spend forever whittlin' it down to shavings small enough to fit into my pipe. It took forever to light, too.

Once I got a decent burn going and actually began smoking Black XX, I realized that preparing the leaf for smoking was the easy part. The first time I blew smoke from my nose, I singed every hair in my nostrils - this stuff is spicy!

I am all for nicotine and thought I could handle that drug in any measure. Boy, was I wrong. I started to hiccupp after about the 10th puff. I was swoonin' and droolin' by the 20th puff. Don't ask me what happened after that because I don't remember.

The room note was pleasant as was the "all tobacco" taste. It is so unique that I urge you to try it once. And believe me, once was enough for this cowboy.

I admit it, Black XX rope made me cry uncle. I don't think I'll need another smoke for at least a week.

35 people found this review helpful.

Wiseguy1982 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wiseguy1982 (23)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

The tin was fairly easy to open, but bends easily.

The tobacco laid there, looking at me with a cantankerous grin. Like a pretentious turd. (Sorry, everyone is right, this looks like poop.)

The tin note was strong, oily and heavenly.

Man, this stuff is thick! I sliced off a couple of coins, and proceeded to disassemble them completely. This left me with a lot of nice thick ribbons, maybe too thick because they wouldn't stay lit, even after a night of drying. The tobacco had a wonderful silky texture to it, and packed effortlessly.

I got some good smoke out of this bowl though, much better than the first. I just don't think I grasp the preparation yet. I mean, at least it smokes, but practice makes perfect.

The first few puffs upon lighting reminded me of a strong cigarette. Not entirely offensive, seeing as this is a no holds barred, straight up tobacco. As the bowl progressed, and tamping ensued, I was beginning to finally find the charred meat flavor. This stuff is definitely not for wimps. Thank god I have brass balls. Nicotine and I are the best of friends as it is, so that cantankerous grin faded to brilliant white ash. Just beautiful. I smoked this on an empty belly, which I filled with coffee as I smoked. Not that scary. I even inhaled a little bit and it wasn't too bad. I try that with everything I smoke. If I can't stand it after that, it's bad, but this is glorious.

The flavor doesn't waver too much in this, but my god, I haven't been in such a blissful state since my first CC which was a Cuaba soloman. I could smoke this before bed and sleep for a day, why do I have to go work?!

The overplayed reviews of being similar to motor oil, burnt meat and other lack luster phrases have been swept away. I even found some raw sweetness here, it was wonderful. I think this is a creeper.

I can certainly see how many puffers would not smoke this every day. However, I am not one of them. This is going to become a staple I think, if I can ever get the prep thing down pat.

If you have a problem going #2, this will help. It's strange how tobacco does that. EDIT:

Oh sweet Jesus! Just finished the most perfect bowl of this stuff! I used a thinner cut on the coins this time and didn't rub them like I did last time, I actually "rubbed" them instead unfurling them, and let them dry for a couple of hours in the open.

Once again, because I fear nothing, this was on an empty stomach with strong coffee!

I feel simply euphoric. I definitely cannot smoke this if I have to work on the same day. Too much euphoria and a heavy desire to slumber.

I can't believe I forgot to mention this, but there is absolutely NO lakeland essence in this either.

21 people found this review helpful.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
Overwhelming None Detected Very Full Very Strong

I guess strength and flavor are matters of personal opinion after all. Whether you will find this as potent as I did remains for you to decide.

All I know is that I loaded a group three sized bowl fully dressed and in my right mind. At the end of my smoke, I found myself clothed in nothing but my BVD's and hiding behind an avocado tree in my backyard warding off fruit rats with a pen knife.


18 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2151)
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Extra Strong

This takes a little effort to prepare and can be a pain to smoke if you leave too much moisture in it. On the other hand, you'll lose too much flavor if you dry it to the bone. That dry, it is a little harsh and cigar/cigarette-like if smoked fast, especially after the half way point. Leaving a little moisture in the tobacco is recommended, even though you'll have to relight a fair number of times. You get the taste of a boldly strong, earthy, fairly floral Virginia that also offers some dried and fermented dark fruit, a bit of spice, and a touch of cigar. It will likely still give a cigarette/cigar note if you puff fast, and as strong as this is, you really need to sip this slowly in a small bowl. Eat well first. If you don't, the extra full taste and strong nic-hit will make you wish you had. Won't bite, but has some roughness. Burns slow, cool and clean with a very consistent flavor. Will leave a little moisture in the bowl. Has a strong, lingering after taste and room note. Certainly not an all day smoke.

16 people found this review helpful.

Brandr ODS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brandr ODS (15)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

I love rope tobaccos, plain and simple.

A lot has been said on how it’s difficult to get the pipe going while smoking them, slicing them, preparing them etc. etc., I’ll just say it’s the same for me. But, isn’t this a sign of complexity and high quality due to the bi-centenarian, made by hand process and the leaves involved?

For example, take a high quality, expensive and renown single malt and try drinking it as if it was a common, medium quality, cheap whiskey : are you able to get all of what it has to offer (i.e. colour, consistency, taste, aftertaste, smell…)? It will force you to slow down, relax, concentrate and pay a lot more attention to it in order to understand it. Further, you are not going to drink it on a daily basis : it’s a product you best appreciate in special occasions, or from time to time.

I believe this example could nicely fit on this tobacco’s category.

By sniffing it I mainly got spicy and oily smell, alongside with an omnipresent beef steak note; secondly , I can detect some raisins and dry fig hints on a briny background.

In the bowl : the beef steak note is the King’s champion here, and the other flavours die honourably after a brave fight against him. I’ve never smelled, neither tasted, such a spiciness : it’s very strong, and it’s best savoured and pronounced at the half of the bowl. Pungent, yet intriguing, when you exhale slowly through the nose.

I believe the rope has been left under pressure macerating in its own juice after steaming and, maybe due to this process, it has a less nicotinic and slightly sweeter taste than Brown No.4. From draw to draw I get some feeble hints of dried fruits (raisins and figs), licorice root and Stout beer.

I was about to forget : overall, it tastes like strong and pure tobacco, but with something more interesting to offer.

It leaves behind the most white, soft and homogeneous ashes I’ve ever seen in a bowl. Some say it’s an indication of excellent quality of the product.

I confess, I’d like to visit SG factory in Kendal and have the chance to assist to the whole tobacco blend creation, from the leaf to the rope. I mean… look at these pictures that shows XVIIIth century’s machinery :

Cheers Everyone, Brandr ODS

Age When Smoked: Fresh and 4yo

13 people found this review helpful.

Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smoke (13)
Very Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I would first recommend dry it good so its not hard to keep lit. Maybe an hour, you dont want to over puff this. Once going I really thought it had a sweeter taste than the smell , I would say molasses, dried friuts , dates, figs as well . I enjoyed it much and think of it like a good Scotch you sip. The nicotine in this is what can get you and it will creep, also had I dried it more I wouldn't of over puffed and forgot the high nicotine centent .

9 people found this review helpful.

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

Sometimes I think people allow appearances to cloud their judgement. I've been smoking SG's Black XX for about four years now, not very often (daily) but regularly (two to three bowls per fortnight). In my experience, Black XX is consistently very flavorful; I get hints of burnt caramel, sweet toasted oatmeal, toasted whole wheat bread and always a very very pleasant spicy overtone that reminds me of cinnamon. I have never found it to be harsh or overbearing in any way nor have I found it to be too strong in nicotine (however, I have a strong tolerance for nicotine and blends that give some people the sweats will not even register with me). I used to cut the "rope" into coins and then cut that into quarters; I learned through time that the easiest manner for me was to simply cut the rope into chunks measuring about half an inch and then pull that chunk apart and further shred it with my fingers to the point where I can stuff it into a pipe. A chunk about a half inch will perfectly fill a large group five bowl and and a leisurely smoke in a bowl this size will last about two and a half hours. Again, appearances can be deceiving; the room note from Black XX is (at least to my nostrils) slightly floral and very light. My wife vastly prefers the aroma of burning Black XX to the aroma of a Balkan (or English) blend; she has even commented on how pleasant the aroma is compared to those blends. While my favorite blends are the Balkan/English mixtures, I could be content with just Black XX. It always provides for a good full flavorful smoke with no bite and no hassles.

9 people found this review helpful.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (204)
Overwhelming Extra Strong Overwhelming Strong

This is for those experienced pipers who like strong cigar like tobacco. Just cut some and let it dry a bit, this has many flavor and nuances, to be enjoyed any time when you fell the need for nicotine and dark deep flavor.

8 people found this review helpful.

erkantural Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
erkantural (10)
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

Black XX is one of a kind! There are other ropes around but none of them can match this bad ass!

Straight virginia turns into black by heat process. It's oily and wet, covered with sugar crystals. Amazing smell upon tin opening. It keeps the original condition very long time even after opening the tin. I know it sounds like an adult movie screenplay, creepy too in second thought.

I have tried many different methods for preparation. I've cut pieces and rubbed them, cut sticks like flakes, unrolled the leaves carefully and cut them loose; I've even chewed a piece for a while and dried the chewed. But the best way to get the most out of it is cutting coin like pieces using a sharp, 20-22mm cigar cutter and using a relatively smaller pipe; as many people recommends.

There's no need for dry time according to my experience, for the taste. However a little drying helps tobacco to catch fire and to keep lit.

It has the taste of a fat, smoked stake. Don't be alarmed, it's heavenly! Best consumed after a big meal. It goes perfect with single malt Scotch.

After trying a tin with my wife, we've ordered the rest of tins that my tobacco guy had in stock; unfortunately only 9 tins he had. And we've smoked it all in a couple of months.

Black XX rope is one of the best tobacco product you can get. Would you like to smoke it now? Please be my guest. Or maybe you'd like to cellar it, sure! No problem at all!

6 people found this review helpful.

ynrozturk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ynrozturk (60)
Overwhelming None Detected Full Strong

This is no joke. I repeat, this tobacco is no joke.

We all know how it looks in the tin. But beyond that, it smells of earth, leather, and just a deep, musky aroma. Very nice indeed.

Preparing it is a pain. Cut, cut more, cut even more. Takes a good 10 minutes to get it to a suitable rub. After that, it's easy to pack and light, no real problems.

The problem for me was the nicotine. Holy crap. I mean I'm a big guy, I can take my nicotine. I can take my liquor. But after a few minutes with this I was feeling light headed. I had to put the pipe down. I actually got the cold sweats and had to lie down for a bit. Jesus, this does not mess around.

A friend of mine wanted to try it, and we would always trade tobaccos as well, so I gave him this, and he gave me another Gawith blend. Ironically, I have not heard from him since that. I guess the nicotine was too much for him, too.

I will not knock it because it is a high quality leaf, as are all Gawith blends. But the nicotine is just too over the top for me. If you wrestle bears on a daily basis and eat the kidneys of your enemies, give it a shot, you'll probably love it.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Local tobacconist

5 people found this review helpful.

BriarPatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarPatch (33)
Strong None Detected Full Strong

Black is not Brown.

Which is counterintuitive, and hence a source of some confusion here. We think of white as pure and light, and anything labeled Black XX surely must be at the extreme opposite end of the spectrum. Except when it isn't.

Black Rope XX is milder than Brown Rope No. 4. According to SG, Black XX begins as Brown No. 4 but then "undergoes an additional cooking process which removes some of the stronger tar and nicotine elements, turning the rope black, and providing a milder smoke than Brown." It results in a denser, mustier, richer, but more accessible smoke.

I like this stuff. Neither Black nor Brown has a lot of flavor in the typical sense. What they do have is strength, which is not to be belittled. Black has less of it, but it's heaviness, or richness, compensates quite adequately.

Think of it like this: You cook (or order) a fabulous Indian curry for yourself and your wife. Her's is mild, yours is hot. Technically, they both taste the same, but yet there is a world of difference between the two. It's not the flavor, but the heat making the difference, but in the end, it's all part of the "flavor" experience.

Brown adds heat when you want it, Black not quite as much heat, but depth. I have other tobaccos that can give me what Black does, but there is nothing out there like Brown. Black is a fine tobacco if rich and hearty is your thing, and I recommended it.

But, Black is not Brown.

Brown exists in it's own galaxy.

P.S. If you become addicted to these ropes (as I have) but the novelty of all the cutting and rubbing begins to wear off, you can purchase both in a "sliced" version from Gawith Hoggarth.

5 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (834)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

As did the last poster, I found this stuff problematic to keep lit. It was much better after it dried, of course, although I did try it fresh out of the tin just because my normal routine is to try all tobaccos completely fresh, with some drying period, and then with a more extensive drying period. No matter how long I allowed the cut coins to dry, they never wanted to hold a light for very long... that is, until I waited so long that the tobacco became tinder. No problems holding a light then. The problem then became how to keep my nose hairs from catching fire!

The taste of this was strong to the point where it seemed somewhat character-less. It made me think of drinking a dark roast black coffee. If you like that taste, this might be your 'baccy. But if you prefer something less overpowering with a few delicate notes amidst the darkness, look elsewhere. This is like smoking a double maduro Honduran cigar as opposed to, say, a full flavored but fairly mild colorado Dominican. Very full taste, and the fullness of it is wearing. The taste buds are so busy dealing with the forest that they can't study the leaves. This is not to say it's a bad smoke but I had better success with it in a small-bowled pipe rather than the oversized ones I favor. As a 20-30 minute smoke, it was very nice. I just prefer a little more "color" if you will. But if you love virginia tobacco, I highly recommend that you at least try this. Email me - I can send you a sample. Please! :)

5 people found this review helpful.

Knightsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Knightsmoker (135)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I love ropes. They are strong yes but that can be a good thing from time to time. I see a lot of comments about the difficulty for preparing ropes. So here is how I do it. Get an old or just a cheap cigar cutter and cut off the size you want. I like mine in a fine ribbon not quite a proper shag cut. The cigar cutter works wonders and takes no time to prepare. Once cut, simply rub it out and give it about 10-15 min. of drying time, no more than that. As far as the debate on which has more tar/nic between this and Brown Rope no. 4, for me it is the brown. The cigar cutter has to be cleaned about every 1/2 and oz. because of the tar in Brown. Black on the other hand cut the full 50 gr. without needing to be cleaned. Nic. being what it is is subjective and effects us all a little differently but for me the Brown has more. As far as the flavors go, there are some differences too. Black has stronger earthy, floral VA flavors, some dried dark fruit (which is different than the Brown for me having more of a toasted grain sweetness), a bit of spice, and the creaminess I find in Brown remains. I do get that smoked meat flavor from time to time (it reminds me more like the smell of Jack Links original beef jerky) but it is not all the time. Keep the smoke low and slow and don't try to get large plums of smoke or it will loose all these great flavors. All that said, I do prefer the Brown over this one and since they are the same tobacco I have rated this as recommended. It should be tried by anyone looking for a strong, full flavored smoke who can handle a good amount of nic.

4 people found this review helpful.

Bruck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bruck (27)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I tried a little experiment before smoking this stuff - I shaved off all of my chest hair. Sure enough, after one bowl it all grew back!

Seriously, Black XX is not for the newbie or faint of heart. I like to slice off a coin or two when I feel like a good kick in the pants. Flavor is strong, not at all sweet, rich, leathery, and nutty. I don't get that feeling of having my mouth coated with plastic that I get from other ropes.

Others have noted the rather off-putting appearance, so I won't dwell on that. My only issue with it is the difficulty of keeping a good burn going.

This stuff makes pretty good chaw, FWIW.

Age When Smoked: A couple months

Purchased From: some guy at my mom's house

Similar Blends: Brown #4.

4 people found this review helpful.

Jorge Soler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jorge Soler (127)
Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong

I have been enjoying myself preparing, unfolding and slicing this tobacco. The jet black colour would indicate it has been steamed press, and this in turn reduces nicotine levels, but it seems to be fairly strong never the less. I have tried a few ropes and twists so far, and my experience tells me that brown ropes tend to be stronger than the black ones. There is nothing special about the tin note apart from this sort of woodsy aroma, but I really cannot detect any casings or added flavours. As a matter of fact, the only added flavour I detect is that of cooked tobacco itself. The taste is difficult to describe, but it has this musky or sweet undertone that keeps demanding your attention. It is somewhat reminiscent of Cabbies Mixture, but it is missing the floral undertone of the Brown Irish Rope or Irish pigtail twist tobaccos. As this only comprises unadulterated Virginia leaf, some pipe smokers might as well find it bland, but in my personal opinion the smoking experience is quite flavoursome and rich. Also, I like how it develops as you progress with your smoke. It never gets to a point where it is that strong it makes you want put it out for good and I cannot detect any tongue bite at all. It just gains in character and strength, but not in a negative way. Something worth mentioning is that the moist content seems to be rather low, but despite this fact I found myself relighting more often than not. A rough cut has done the trick for me, but this rope will smoke perfectly fine as well in a shag or riff cut fashion. The room note is somewhat sickly for none smokers, so be advised as your wife might not like it after all. As for the leaf itself, it looks simply gorgeous as you unfold and prepare it. It has a silky and spongy appearance moist content permitting. The ash it produces is coarser than in other ropes, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. And to top it off, you can chew it. I found no faults or loose ends in this tobacco, so it is going to get 4 solid stars.

4 people found this review helpful.

Erman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Erman (9)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

Black XX Rope is a very special tobacco. It has a very strong, but also very smooth and velvety smoke. I usually like to smoke it after the Sunday dinner. It needs a good preparation and drying time. And it's hard to keep lit. But once lit, it rewards you with a very sophisticated and mellow smoke.

Pipe Used: Peterson Dracula 03, Peterson Dalkey 03

Age When Smoked: 1-2 year aged

Purchased From:, Local Pipe Shop

4 people found this review helpful.

LordByron Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LordByron (1)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Another one of a kind offering from Gawith… I have not reviewed anything in a while since I have been on a cigar break but I still enjoy my pipe and this one is worthy of a few notes. Black XX is truly an unusual tobacco that has many nuances for the “seasoned” pipe smoker. I have always been a fan of Lakeland blends and had yet to try this one until recently. The presentation is amazing. I bought a bulk box from Mars and it was about a 15 inch long rope curled up in a bag inside a box with the Aston Villa colors on it. The smell to me was sweet and earthy. Others have mentioned machine oil and all the rest but I did not detect anything other than pure tobacco with a mild smoky scent to it.

To prepare I sliced off a 4 inch piece and then began to cut thin slices off the rope and rubbed it out to dry. While it was drying I prepared the rest of it (and the 500mg of Dark Flake scented I purchased with it) for aging. Mine came with only a moderate amount of moisture so once it felt like it was about to get crunchy I figured I would give it a go. The rubbed out slices produced a fine shag so I loaded it lightly into a Stanwell that I have had for years that always gives me a good indication of how a tobacco will behave. It was the perfect choice.

Upon light there was an unpleasant taste and aroma to be honest. I am very familiar with Lakeland offerings and expected that. They always seem to hit you off guard at first but after two more relights I was on my way. Black XX has a very distinct taste and aroma that I have not tasted with any other tobacco. Cigar like, yes I can see that. The taste is similar to a maduro at times but what I noticed more was the faint sweetness of dark VA with a clean burley like undertone. There is no “Lakeland essence” here just a dark sweet clean tobacco taste that stands alone and is very tasty.

As the bowl progresses the strength increases as does the sweetness of the VA. It is a musty sweetness that is mellow, subdued and somewhat masculine. I like to place the tip of my pipe up to my nose and slowly breathe in, not drawing smoke but catching the aroma from the stem. If you are familiar with good Virginias you will know what I mean and this one is dark, full and very pleasant. The room note (or garage note in my case) is a musty earthy scent with a slight floral top note which I did not taste during the smoke.

Is it strong? Yes, I would say so. It’s the kind of smoke that takes the edge off. No hiccups or anything like that, not quite sure what those guys were doing. It just mellows you out. I enjoy strong smokes such as 1792 so I sat back and sipped this one and it put me in the zone fairly quick. There is definitely strong nicotine in the taste and on the palate but its manageable with slow smoking. This is one that you should take your time with both in prep and smoke time. It has to be dry and you have to smoke it slowly. A cool dry strong sweet smoke will be the result, a true pleasure.

Bottom line, this is a unique smoke that is strong, creamy and full bodied with a sweet mustiness that is downright delicious. If you are a true pipe smoker you should try this one. Match it with a good beverage and enjoy it for what it is. Patience and prep time are essential but you will be rewarded for your efforts.

Pipe Used: Stanwell

Purchased From: Marscigars

4 people found this review helpful.

Ambush1964 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ambush1964 (17)
Extremely Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is my first review, and I'm a newbie smoker as well. This is the first twist I have tried. I like the idea that it was made the same as a couple hundred years ago. I imagine this is the type of tobacco that mounain men here in Montana/Montana Territory/ and before carried with them, very robust and easy to keep fresh. It could be used as chew, or in a pipe. This does look like fresh bear or wolf scat, very dark and oily. It has a tin note of a slightly sweet open fire cooked meat, with a bit of wet pine sharpness to it. Those of you who have tried to use damp pine for wilderness direct fire cooking will know what I mean. Don't let this dissuade you from trying it. My brother and I sat down for smoke while out camping. I cut a few thin coins from the tobacco rope with my pocket knife and rubbed them out, stuffed the pipes, an average sized Comoy's Canadian for me and an average size Savinelli Church Warden for my bro. I loaded mine with less than half a bowl (again I'm a lightweight). It took some doing to light and when the heat hit it, it swelled up and made a tight draw. I did not dry the tobacco at all before loading the pipe. I loosened the pack a bit, tamped lightly and lit it again, success. The smoke was a slightly sweet smoky meat, beefy, bacon and dark fruit. I had to re-light several times, but it was worth it. This is one of my favorite tobaccos so far, I have tried the gamut of pipe tobacco types, about thirty different tobaccos. This is however, the strongest nicotine hit, second so far to Petersons' Irish Oak.. I got a bit dizzy, but was cautious as I figured this for a strong tobacco and avoided any unfortunate spewing. My brother tried this with a full bowl in the Church Warden pipe, he smokes strong cigars, and a lot more than myself. He liked this better than most pipe tobacco, as he thinks pipe tobaccos taste more like cigarettes. He is a Marine and much more determined than I, he finished his pipe and the end of my own. It hit him like a bear swat with it's nicotine as well. With our pipes in hand and a Bourbon for myself and a Scotch for my brother we really enjoyed this tobacco and I would highly recommend it, albeit in small doses, except for the hardcore smokers who like a bit-O'-vita N.

2015-01-18 (Yes, it took me this long to get back to it) I tried this again in a very small pipe. I can't even get my pinky in to the bottom of the bowl and have to use an old horseshoe nail for a tamper. I smoked this and enjoyed it fully for about 3/4 of the bowl...then the nicotine spectre jumped out of the smoke and cracked me on the head and stirred my insides with his scythe. Holy shit this stuff is strong. I dumped the bottom dottle before any purging of the devil from my stomach. Again I fully recommend this tobacco, great, unique flavor for as long as you can take the nic hit. I can't imagine what the S.G. Brown rope has for nicotine...I think it scares me, no...I know it scares me. Of course that does not mean I won't buy some and try it.

Pipe Used: Vintage Comoy's Canadian 2991

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: The Black Death?-just kidding I really did like this, it is unique, nothing even far..

4 people found this review helpful.

Stuffin McPipey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stuffin McPipey (9)
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Very Strong

Holy smokes! I have been so curious to try this blend and finally after several weeks of checking, my tobacconist had some. So I ordered 5oz and after what felt like years (it was actually six days) my order arrived. I was expecting much worse based on the reviews. What others say look like a "dried up imperfect quality defect from the cigar manufacturer", or "a dog turd" actually looked wonderful to me. It was of dense, moist sponginess, and it smelled like a hardwood bonfire, no scent other than that. The 5oz rope looks incredible coiled in the ball jar I decided to keep it in. It truly is the darkest, most oily, strongest scented tobacco I've ever seen but it's incredible looking. Now to the real test...

Before I go any further I need to explain a little bit what kind of guy I am. I'm pretty simple; I'm not one to stare at art waiting for it to speak to me. I don't care too much for the abstract. I know whether I like something or not immediately, no need to wait to see how something speaks to me or how I superimpose my inner child over something. My favorite author is Hemingway because there is no underlying tone or metaphoric reflection on society from his writings. He's a storyteller. What you read is exactly how you should interpret his story. I am also more addicted to nicotine than anyone I know. From about five minutes after I wake up until I go to bed I have (at least) two nicotine lozenges in my mouth, four mg each.

For those reasons exactly, I love this tobacco. Like Hemingway and unlike art, there aren't any layers that are left for the user to sail into his own majestic place with. There's nothing here messing with my inner child. This stuff is raw, packed full of nicotine and there's one beautiful flavor: premium grade chocolaty tobacco that has been either cured or fermented, then rung out like the oil soaked rag that it is, and jarred. Every ugly, nasty, raw, beautiful stereotype that is given to tobacco can be found in this rope. I have gone through two bowls back to back, and if I wasn't so buzzed from the nicotine I'd have thrown my pipe in the bushes over an hour ago due to the frustration of having to relight my second bowl because I wasn't patient enough to let it dry, I wanted more. But I am buzzed and so I don't care that I keep having to relight it; it's my own fault that I don't want to wait, I just want to smoke. Tomorrow I'll do as I did the first bowl: I'll dry it for a half hour, except I'll cut off a bigger dollop so I can go through the night with it.

I just finished smoking and there is no bite. Zero, nada, none. My tongue is fresh and clean as a whistle, my head is spinning, and my brain is going faster than I can type this. Did I mention I love this tobacco? My only advice to you is buy some before I buy it all.

Pipe Used: A skanky old briar, deep/wide bowl

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Internet

Similar Blends: Heaven- just add tomatoes, a rocking chair, and a salt shaker..

3 people found this review helpful.

Gestalt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gestalt (20)
Extremely Strong None Detected Overwhelming Extra Strong

I have attempted to smoke two bowls of this. One neat, and one mixed with a straight Virginia. The neat bowl tasted like sticking a charcoal briquet in my pipe,dusting it with chemical firelighters and lighting it with a drop of diesel. I managed to smoke about half of it. The mixed bowl tasted like a less concentrated version of the former. Although the predominant flavor was still akin to a smouldering damp pile of leaves.

This is the weirdest tobacco I have ever smoked and I just can't bring myself to go back for more. It's not the strength that's stopping me (I smoke brown ropes and Irish Flake on an empty stomach for breakfast), nor is it the prep. It's easy to get going if you know what you're doing and remarkably well behaved once alight. The problem is the taste.

Reading the different reviews leads me to believe that this is a very different tobacco depending on your taste buds. Some get Virginia and fruit flavors, some get motor oil and beef, others, like me, get a farmers burning pile complete with a few tractor tyres and a dead badger.

I like smoke. I like smoked meat, smoked beer, smokey single malts and Latakia... but this is too much for me.

Tin available for swap if anyone's interested.

Pipe Used: MM Mark Twain Corn Cob

Age When Smoked: 5 Years

3 people found this review helpful.

Pipesmoking101 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipesmoking101 (62)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco is all tobacco. No flavourings added, beyond that deep, dark Virginia taste. It is not for everyone, that is for sure, but I like it, and have enjoyed thoroughly my fist tin of this fine tobacco. Let's get one thing straight, despite appearances (which may put some off) the tobacco used here is absolutely first class.

The tin appearance is - as many have mentioned - like a turd in a tin. To those of us who enjoy this tobacco, however, it looks like a turd of the gods, perfect & inviting (although that sounds a bit depraved). We are, however, aware of the delights it contains!

The tin note is oily, dark and rich. Bread-like in some ways, with a forceful backnote of burnt grain. Again, it may put some off, but I would advise that even if it does put you off, persevere as the smoke is worth the reward.

It may require some drying time for some, but mine was actually okay (the tin had previously been opened & re-sealed). I use a mostly rubbed-out disk cut with some broken disk contained in the bowl to temper the burn.

The taste is really just what is expected from the tin note. Dark, heavy, somewhat dank, but at the same time extremely moreish. I get molasses, fatty meat & subdued herby notes dancing in the background. I sense some juniper, weirdly enough - but I think is probably just the tobacco itself teasing my tastebuds.

The burn for me was fairly steady. It required a few relights throughout the bowl, but not excessively so. When lit or re-lit the burn was even & cool. The room-note is tolerable. For those who don't partake of this tobacco, it could be a little overpowering as it does tend to linger somewhat, and leaves a stale tobacco smell (which I actually quite like) until the next morning.

The nicotine is very strong in this one, not a pre-breakfast smoke, to be sure. I have only smoked it in the late afternoon/evening, and that's the way it will stay.

If you are someone who likes stout, strong tobaccos that share a link with the past, then this is a tobacco for you. If you are into cherry-flavoured aromatics, stay away - this is not for you. For those who are looking into the world of straight tobacco types, I wouldn't recommend this as an entry point, you should be aware of a range of flavours in different types of straight tobacco before you try this one.

Overall, I like the tobacco, and I like the ritual of preparing it. I will go back to it regularly, but it just lacks the nuance and character of a go-to smoke. On that basis, I will give it a well-deserved 3 stars, and if this tobacco is your sort of thing (as it is mine), you could do an awful lot worse than go for some of this.

Pipe Used: Dunhill size 2 billiard

Age When Smoked: unknown (bought from a friend).

Purchased From: A friend

Similar Blends: Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. - Black Pigtail, Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. - Black Irish XXX.

3 people found this review helpful.

Uban Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Uban (53)
Overwhelming None Detected Overwhelming Overwhelming

EDIT: I had put this under Brown Rope by accident. No wonder - it made me me so goofy every time I smoked it that I got lost.

I have great respect for Gawith as a result of Skiff, SL, Best Brn, FVa Flake, etc. I do not appreciate tonquin, howerver. I generally love a good Va, but this? It really does smell just like an empty BBQ heating up. It indeed does taste meaty. If I want to taste meat, I will eat rather than smoke a pipe! Smoked straight, I would rate it minus four stars. I found it awful. I mixed it with some PA, as suggested below, & it ruined the PA. It remained harsh even mixed with straight McC Oriental.

HOWEVER: I am no blender, but on about the sixth try, I came up with Solani 633, McC Oriental, & BR #4 in equal proportions. To my surprise, It made a REALLY good smoke - a solid 3 star performer. I will finish the tin that way and will not buy more, as I have a tin of the Black to wade through. Next surprise: it was pretty good mixed 1/3 in Sail regular. I may do more of this & report back. RIR

UPDATE 8/16/15: Not one to give up, I just cut a 5/8" slice off this after a year & a quarter in the humidor. It broke down pretty easily into sheets of twisted leaf that I mixed with 1/3 volume of P&C's blending perique. Put into an old large-bowled Pioneer Calabash and that seems to have found it a home. Very spicy, no bite and a pretty decent albeit VERY strong VaPer flavor. Tames down soon to a full Va flavor with just a nice hint of the Perique staying around the edges. Upgrade to 2 stars on that basis.

Pipe Used: meer, cob, briar, clay, CALABASH

Age When Smoked: 1 year & 2 1/4 yrs

Purchased From: Gift

Similar Blends: nothing else on this planet that i've tasted.

3 people found this review helpful.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (84)
Very Strong Extremely Mild Extra Full Extra Strong

I have always liked to experiment with the extremes of aesthetic experience, so when I heard of this tobacco, and read the reviews, it was only a matter of time until I had to try it.

I don't know what to make of this one. Clearly it's a top-quality leaf that provides a unique and fascinating smoke. There's something primeval about this one, something of the excremental -- no, sorry -- elemental terra. It's easy for me to see how one can either fall in love with it or detest it; conversely I don't see how anyone can be neutral or indifferent to it.

Make no mistake -- this is an in-your-face tobacco. It's got strength all right, as everyone here attests. And it's got flavor, that's for sure, but it's one that I can't quite put my finger on; it's a flavor that is, weirdly, simultaneously alluring and repellent, much like scotch to the unacclimated. It smokes very strong, warm, and bone-dry, with an odd smoky dark sweetness hovering in the foreground, though the smokiness is very unlike the smooth full smokiness of latakia: this smokiness is raw and rough around the edges and sulfitic, like burning flowers with a hint of coal cased licorice, or maybe it's licorice cased coal.

I do have a problem keeping this lit, even though I cut off coins with a cigar slicer and rub them out into shaggy ribbons. But when it eventually burns to the bottom it leaves a fine white ash like talcum powder.

Black XX Rope is the tobacco equivalent of the blackest porter you can imagine, or the muddy sediment of turkish coffee, or grain alcohol with a touch of ouzo in it. If you like the smell of freshly laid asphalt -- which I do -- you'll probably like this.

I expect I'll be getting to know this strange, intense tobacco more intimately since it's such an intriguing flavor, one I find difficult to resist, like a vamp I'm drawn to against my better judgment. Indeed I find myself reaching for it on an almost daily basis. I wouldn't be surprised if I increase my rating of this to four stars in the future, as this smoke just gets better and better the more I get to know it.

Recommended for those who aren't afraid to peer into the abyss.

UPDATE 10/16/10: I've been smoking this now for almost two years, and I still find it hard to keep lit. But it's worth the effort. I don't smoke it regularly, but every once in a while I just need to have it. It's flavor is like none-other. I think the most accurate description I came across recently was "burnt machine oil," which apparently is a flavor I like. (Though I still say it tastes to me like burning soapy flowers with a hint of ouzo.) It's one of those unique flavors I find to straddle the line between repellent and enticing, and it's uniquely satisfying when I crave it. It's not in my rotation, but I always keep some around when I need to satisfy some masochistic itch.

UPDATE 04/13/15: A few years later, and I still feel the need to scratch an itch only Black XX satisfies, moreso now that some villain at SG removed my beloved Bracken Flake from their inventory. And I still find it both alluring & repellant, though now more the former than the latter. And I finally found a way to keep it lit quite nicely, even right out of the tin (I definitely prefer it moist -- the flavors are really alive when it has some moisture to it): I cut the coins very thin, rub and tear them apart into a loose shag, pack lightly, and tamp until it's a bit springy. Yes, I've grown very fond of this strong, vile, yet delicious turd. The more I get to know it, the more impressed I am by its remarkable depth, nuance, and unique, sulphitic sweetness.

UPDATE 04/16/16: I seem to have smoked more tins of this than any other since SG has decommissioned my beloved Bracken Flake, even though I still have an ambivalent relationship with Black XX: it's still both repellent and alluring to me. Every so often I smoke a bowl of this that is perfect, but it requires a very slow rhythm and real concentration. But more than anything, I've discovered that the moisture level needs to be just right to make the bowl successful: it requires some moisture for the flavors to come through, but too moist and it's impossible to keep lit; too dry, and the taste becomes too harsh. (Indeed getting the moisture level right seems as difficult as cutting fugu safely...) But every once in a while, when the moisture level is just right, it's an immensely satisfying smoke: it stays lit easily, and the flavor is a thing of dark and dangerous beauty... which I suppose is the reason I keep coming back to it, I want to hit that elusive bullseye which just hurts so good when I do...

3 people found this review helpful.

Ahmad Othman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ahmad Othman (46)
Very Strong None Detected Full Strong

By all means this is a peculiar blend. From its name to tin design, to its structure and mechanics. And then smoking it is another experience. The simple tin art gives nothing of the blend, but may relate since it will get your head gears going akin to the gears on the tin. And now when you open the tin, you are welcomed, or rather hit by a pungent smell. I will do my best to describe. It smells like a butcher house that has a grill. And you're making sausage, lamb sausage with herbs and spices while getting a smell of the grill as well. or it smells like manure as others have called it. But the image I had in my mind whiffing the tin was that image I spoke of. my tin had a large oily, nearly pitch black rope and a small piece, probably to complete the weight. Now to prepare this. it gets a bit tricky. As soon as you start cutting the rope to coins, they start breaking into some flakes that are drowning moist. And you get all that aroma on your hands and in the air. from there you can pack it however you want, but from trying a couple of bowls, try chopping this as small as you can. I tried it both dried out and moist. And here is how it goes. It is easy to pack once you slice it small enough, then the pain begins. This blend has to be constantly relighted. And by constantly I mean 2-3 puffs then relight. and so on, that of course when you smoke it moist. And you'll find that it will expand considerably in size while getting all that moisture out. And if you smoke it dry, you lose most of the body sadly. so beware. Now to the body of the blend, it is definitely a strong blend, quite potent in aroma, taste and room note. This one won't make you any friends and you may lose some as well. But the good thing is the room note doesn't linger for long. The taste of it is consistent throughout the bowl, it tastes like charbroiled meat with a tinge of freshly ground black pepper all over it. I tried smoking it fast, slow and in between but the taste profile never changed, and with that it never bites or leaves moisture in the bowl despite being nearly wet rather than moist. through the mid bowl the peppery taste reminds me of a simple cigar without complex taste, or one that has been lit, put off and rested for a while before relighting it. It burns down nicely and leaves a perfectly fine grey ash that falls down with a single tap of the pipe. It isn't an all day smoke, and can be annoying to maintain but in its virtue, it delivers quite a kick both in nicotine, flavour and body. I recommend it for those who want a simple, strong smoke from time to time and won't mind the constant relighting

Pipe Used: Ropp vintage cutty with horn

Age When Smoked: One year old

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

Burney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Burney (12)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I honestly can't understand why folks have such an issue with the strength of this blend. Maybe it is me being use to the South African blends, but this makes for a nice, relaxing smoke.

The meat taste comes through very nicely, but for the rest, it is a nice, mild every day smoke.

The nicotine hit is not too bad, Peterson's Irish whiskey is worse.

Pipe Used: Several.

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Local B&M.

2 people found this review helpful.

Ig88 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ig88 (9)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Very Strong

My first smoke of this wasn't that pleasant. It tasted like a burnt cigar to me. Thinking this smoke was overrated, I put the rest of the oily turd into a jar and forgot about it for roughly a year.

I ended up finding it in the back of my tobacco stash and decided to give this smoke another try and let me tell you, I am so glad that I did.

So many variables are present during a smoke that I do not know what changed. It could be my tastes, the pipe, the weather and/or allowing the tobacco to age. This tobacco gave me the push towards trying other twists which I prefer now.

I can taste cocoa, caramel and coffee when I smoke this. It's surprising complex and sweet. It burns very cool with cool cream like smoke. This smoke tends to burn my nose if I exhale through it. This is a wonderful smoke that everyone should try at least once. Prepare yourself for the nic hit as well. Although I did not find it as strong as other reviewers it is very present in this blend.

Pipe Used: Yellowbole

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Similar Blends: Coconut Twist, Rum Twist.

2 people found this review helpful.

mrmiloboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mrmiloboy (6)
Very Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I recently bought a tin of this stuff not knowing what to expect as I smoke mostly English blends. Okay. I must admit that is does resemble something that a chihuahua left on the lawn, but it sure doesn't smell or taste that way! I find myself grabbing the tin and just smelling the contents. I absolutely love the aroma of this tobacco! Kind of a sweet smoky note. Now it was a matter of how it smoked and it doesn't disappoint.

I used a cigar safety cutter to lop off a few rings and rubbed them out completely and let it dry for about an hour. Filled one of my Viprati pipes and took a few tokes before lighting and I could tell I was in for quite a bold but flavorful smoke. After a couple of puffs I tried to retro-hale and boy was it spicy. So I waited for a bit and tried it again and about a quarter of the way down the bowl it mellowed and was a bit sweeter, creamier smoke. A very enjoyable smoke. In fact I have had at least a bowl of this stuff every day since and sometimes once in the morning and evening. It is very strong but very refined. This stuff will definitely be in my rotation!

Pipe Used: Viprati, Mario Grande, E. Wilke

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

odinbaal Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
odinbaal (6)
Very Strong Strong Full Tolerable

I smoked Black XX Twist a few months ago and I must say it was a pretty disgusting experience. The smoke tasted like barbecue, oil machine, and worse. I tried it out of the box, oozing with oil, and also after drying it. This morning I decided to re-visit it so I opened a new tin (it wasn't as wet as the first one), sliced a centimeter's worth of the rope, and proceeded to rub it until I had large leafy threads. Dried it for a couple of hours and filled a corncob pipe with it. Smoked it outside and, for one thing, the barbecue smell had almost gone, leaving me with a pleasant (though heavy) smoke. A definite change from last time, and I will certainly experiment more to get the most out of this interesting (and unique) tobacco.

Pipe Used: Corncob

Age When Smoked: A few months after purchase

Purchased From: Samuel Gawith, Kendal

2 people found this review helpful.

Wellpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wellpipe (59)
Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Not for wimps. Black, oily, full, but not (quite) as horribly strong as it looks. Take a tour back in history and taste what generations past have known as real 'baccy. In a way it reminds me of real licorice with its unapologetic strength and simplicity. We are fortunate that Gawith is still making this magnificent blend so we can enjoy the legacy and for a few glorious moments travel back in time.

Update 2/11/2013: After enjoying an overly large bowl of this filled to overflowing I have updated my strength rating to 'Very Strong' for the nicotine. I need to remember to enjoy this one in modest volumes. Yikes.

2 people found this review helpful.

elendarsilvermoom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
elendarsilvermoom (3)
Very Strong None Detected Full Very Strong

Upon reading the reviews here and hearing so much about the brute strength of this tobacco, I decided to order a tin for a test run. I was so anxious to try this that I rubbed a bit out and packed it immediately. Couldn't keep the pipe lit for anything, so the first couple smokes were less-than-enjoyable. I cut more off the rope and let it air dry for a bit before I rubbed it out. Working with this rope is a treat, leaves my hands looking like I've been working on oily machinery (I wonder if this is part of the reasoning behind the industrial gears tin art...) After giving it time to breathe, I found it much more enjoyable and easy to keep lit...

However, I have a tendency to smoke a bit too fast so I got a bit carried away once I was able to keep a light, and consequently I was floored by the nicotine hit. The flavor is smoky, though not in a latakia sense. It is a much deeper and darker flavor. It brings to mind the flavor of a nice grilled steak. I enjoy it best after a nice helping of corned beef and cabbage. Amazing! My wife doesn't agree with the room note at all, so I make sure to burn strong incense while I'm smoking this stuff.

This is definitely not a tobacco for the meek and will readily break its foot off in your ass if you don't give it the proper respect. Give it the space it needs and it will reward you with a beautiful, rich smoke. Definitely recommended, especially to nicotine lovers!

P.S. Don't let the ugliness of the rope turn you off. It DOES look like something that my cats would leave behind in the litter box, but smells more like chipotles and motor oil.

2 people found this review helpful.

Blue Bayou Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blue Bayou (60)
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Extra Strong

Stygian fumes from the bowels of Sauron's dungeons... Please remain seated while smoking it and do not drive or operate machinery, or death/serious injury could result from nicotine-induced vertigo...(well, almost!) If Satan himself smokes, this is what he's other words, I love it!

I recommend using this by mixing it with a milder blend, perhaps an aromatic. Notes of creosote, charred oak, fusel oil, and gunpowder. Very strong when smoked alone. But adds stoutness & body to milder smokes. Not for the faint of heart. But awesome in its own way!

2 people found this review helpful.

Dubinthedam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dubinthedam (133)
Strong Strong Full Very Strong

1 star because it's SG, 1 star because it's strong. That's it. I love 1792 and Brown No.4...but this one goes too way out there for me. I get burnt Peking duck, burnt pop-corn, burnt toffee, soya sauce with a hint of mint....and yep, it tastes rough...You just have to try this once, just to know that 1792 is an easy blend to smoke.

2 people found this review helpful.

DaveS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DaveS (11)
Extremely Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Strong

ARE YOU KIDDING ME. VERY STRONG. Does not taste like tobacco. Ruined 2 pipes with it. Now because I'm an idiot, I'll probably never taste food again.

2 people found this review helpful.

pop-pop's pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pop-pop's pipe (96)
Overwhelming None Detected Overwhelming Extra Strong

This tastes like barbequed ribs! I want tobacco to taste like tobacco! I like strong blends, but this is ridiculous! At this expense, I could buy a pack of DeNobli or Parodi Toscano style cigars, break them up and smoke them in my pipe, and only pay about $3.00 ! The sight of this tobacco is unappetising, it looks like a turd! I could do Irish Flake, I could do 1792 even, but this blend is absolutely putrid!

2 people found this review helpful.

LeGunnCat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LeGunnCat (18)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

"A cigar smokers pipe tobacco."

I'm not sure I understand all the fuss about this tobacco. It's sounds extremely imposing and reading the reviews would lead one to believe smoking this could possibly change the way you approach smoking a pipe.

The presentation reminds me of chewing tobacco twists I had seen in my travels through Kentucky. The smell was mildly reminiscent of your basic chaw, Redman, Levi Garrett, etc... mild smelling with a nice pure tobacco scent. I began by cutting 4 coin sized pieces off the twist. They were easy to rub out into ribbon. I expected more moisture, but this was ready to go, so I packed my corn cob (as a precaution). It lit easily and stayed lit. Right away the flavor reminded me of a medium to strong cigar. Very nice. I was waiting for the nicotine punch experienced by many, but found it no more powerful then your average cigar.

I believe this is an excellent smoke, full bodied with no flavoring. The more I smoked this blend the more I liked it. Caution should be taken to smoke this slowly and not get it too hot. If you are a cigar smoker, you will be very pleased with this blend as it taste very much like a medium bodied cigar.

2 people found this review helpful.

Ratcat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ratcat (30)
Mild None Detected Overwhelming Strong

Finally I got one of this. I think every pipe smoker should have one of this. I open the tin and it wasn't very.....hum...nice. It smelled like rubber. Then after I left it alone for a few days and re-open it again, the smell got a bit better. It kind of smell like very dark cigars except a lot more murky. I know this is going to be strong so I slice it up in real thin and let it dry a bit. This stuff is very oily. Pack it and let the flame do the work. It smoke suprisingly dry. It taste like real tobacco but it kind of falls away from the pipe tobaco genre. A litte bit like the chewing kind but totally without any sweetness. It is a slow moving powerful dark monster in terms of flavoring but I detect zero nicotine content. From the top of the bowl to the bottom, the taste remains firmly dark and rich and again I must mention, no sweetness. But it is very strange.....very very strange...yet it remind me of something I had tasted. I think and think and think and then it hit me. Perique!!! Damn this is Perique's cousin. So the next day, I mix this stuff up with some very light orange virginias, half and half. Load it up and bang!!!! I got a mixture 90% tasting like my fav, Peterson's old version of Irish Oak (Murry's version)!!! And then it all made sense. Perique is more peppery this is more murky. I am so glad I got this. So treat it like a spice and it would serve you well. But if you like to take this straight up, then maybe you are missing the point.

2 people found this review helpful.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
Very Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Strong

Hey if you are up for a challenge and have smoked the strongest flakes without a whimper, this may be your smoke. I have tried to find a reason to try this again but I will have to wait until I forget what happened the first and second time this was attempted. There are just too few pleasurable moments involving this product. That being said, if you are a real man (puff-strut-flex, etc.) then go for it! I recommend you try to sample it before you buy more than you can smoke in a lifetime. (one tin!)

2 people found this review helpful.

Warwick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Warwick (37)
Extremely Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

Maybe something happened to my piece of Black XX at the factory before it made its way into the tin, but I did not find the flavor primarily tobacco-like. Instead, the flavor and room note are reminiscent of burnt machine-oil.

This is in contrast to its counterpart, SG Brown Rope #4. The Brown Rope has a wonderfully strong, unapologetic, all-tobacco flavor.

Neither Black nor Brown tend to bite. The Black XX smokes smoother than Brown, and it doesn't have the nicotine peppering the tongue as much, although it is certainly almost as strong. (It took me quite a few bowls of each kind of rope to acclimate to the point where the nicotine no longer prevented me being able to walk around as I smoked them!)

Unfortunately, the Black XX simply has a foulness to it - this burnt oil, burning plastic kind of ambience - which is downright nasty and which lingers in my mouth afterwards.

This could all be personal chemistry at work, which is unfortunate, since I much enjoy Brown#4 and would like a smoother version of it.

2 people found this review helpful.

Devonshire Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Devonshire (47)
Overwhelming Extremely Mild Overwhelming Overwhelming

I had the bad sense to purchase this, but the good sense to put it in my least favourite briar. That was good, because I had to clean the briar thoroughly to get the taste mostly out. This tobacco looks more like it was made for chewing. I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't appreciate any flavours at all.

2 people found this review helpful.

chaplikc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chaplikc (135)
Extremely Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Very Strong

I was driving in my truck the very first time I tried this, what a mistake! I am not kidding when I say that I almost had to pull over because of the nicotine punch this stuff packs. The nicotine did not sneak up on me as it does in some blends, this one just slammed me in the first few puffs and built up in strength through out the bowl. The flavor is rather odd and reminds me of the smell of a fireplace after it has burnt out and rain has come down the chimney on the ashes. I recommend this only to those whom are die hard nicoholics. I enjoy strong blends but this is to much for me.

2 people found this review helpful.

DandyMan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DandyMan (4)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Tobacco Stake! Smells great both lit and unlit. Spicy and round, heavy on nicotine. Great for a quick chew as well. This was my first rope tobacco and I enjoyed it so much it got me started on some serious sampling of other ropes too. Still one of my favourite.

1 person found this review helpful.

Calamiti Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Calamiti (64)
Very Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

"I love the smell of napalm in the morning..." The little black turd has definitely some machine oil in it, the kind they used to grease steam locomotives a century ago. I wonder if there are any other tobaccos with an industrial nose note.

I smoke it in the mornings to warm up my internal engine. I slice it in thinnest coins and rub them into the finest shag, then it smokes like a charm with no relights. It's leathery and meaty-sweet, the kind of sweetness of a semi-raw steak cooked on a kerogas. A strong mix, but not overly so, I've never had light-head even when inhaling.

Very old-schooled, very manly. Highly recommended for the guys who love it stronger and fuller. Be aware it will ghost your pipe with the smell of burnt oil. I dedicated a pipe for this mighty weed. "...That gasoline smell... smelled like... victory!".

Pipe Used: Parker Zulu

Age When Smoked: 2

1 person found this review helpful.

balkan_boy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
balkan_boy (49)
Extremely Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

The reason I write this review, is that while browsing some tobaccos, i suddenly get nauseated. Then I remembered that this is how I felt when I smoked this tobacco. It's so strong, that after only a 1/4 of the bowl, you start sweating like a horse, you feel dizzy, and feel like you'll vomit all of your intestines. I have tolerance for the nicotine as much as a heavy smoking person would have, but right now, I feel sick, and that is far more bearable than when I smoked Black XX Twist. So, to begin with, the appearance resembles dog poop, not exactly the most pleasant look I would say. That apart, it takes a bit until the tobacco gets into your pipe. Cutting is not that much of a problem, since plugs are like that, they require a little bit of a preparation before you lit. Smell out of the tin. Not pleasant at all, not that bad either. But certainly different from every other tobacco that we're used to. I guess that's because of the olive oil used in the preparation of the ropes. Now the smoke. It smells literally like barbecue. If you chase citrus notes, earthy, tangy, smoky, leathery, campfire, nutty, sweet notes usual for other types of blends, here you can discern burgers, chicken fillets, steaks, meatballs, bacon, veal, pork chops, and so on. It's literally like that. Fried chicken also and similar stuff. I don't relate this to any tobacco taste at all. There simply isn't any. In all, it's a manly smoke. Not in the way latakia is, but still a smoke for tough men. For the Nic hit, see the beginning of this review. As a 240 lb (120 kg) and 190 cm 6 ft 3 inch guy, only half a bowl was enough to put me down. And because of being such a badass mothe@#ucker, I'll give it 2 stars. It will knock you off of your shoes.

Pipe Used: can't remember because of the shock

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: There is no similar to it..

1 person found this review helpful.

Alexander D. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alexander D. (1)
Very Strong None Detected Full Strong

Special tobacco! In a sense, very tasty. But not everyone will like. Wife, cat, and a dog run away from home (and maybe You too))).

With this tobacco You have three problems. At first. It almost does not light. SG prefers to give you the semi-finished raw tobacco that you yourself suffer with him, leading to the desired state. That's very kind and wise on their part ! Second. This tobacco taste like smoked shit. But it is very delicious! (What you'll find out a little later, if you do not throw this tobacco in the trash) And thirdly. This tobacco is very strong. So, if you manage to keep the fire in the bowl within half an hour, smoking SG XX, you fell under the table, with a sense of nirvana and smoked shit in your mouth.

The first problem can be solved by drying of tobacco and the presence of a large box of matches. How to dry tobacco and how long to do it - decide for yourself. (Personally I do not like to dry tobacco, so I prefer to stock the second large box of matches) The second problem will be solved itself with time. Over time, you will surely fall in love with SG XX! And soon you stop paying attention to the presence of large amounts of nicotine.

I strongly recommend that SG XX for true connoisseurs of special tobaccos !

1 person found this review helpful.

pzzl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pzzl (6)
Extremely Strong Medium Very Full Very Strong

After reading a great many good reviews.. After smoking first pipe this stuff.. I thought that nothing understand about tobacco and smoking pipes. But after 2-3 pipes Black XX, I understood that it wasn't for me. Very Strong! Extremely strong tobacco! My hands were trembling, my heart were escapes to outside after half a pipe. I was bad because it contains a large amount of nicotine! My taste buds, my palate were curse me. It isn't the taste of tobacco, it's the taste and smell of the hell! I'll never go back to it. There are a lot of delicious tobaccos in the world, that to not smoking this.

Age When Smoked: 8 years

1 person found this review helpful.

reedsteve Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
reedsteve (7)
Extremely Strong Medium Extra Full Strong

Everyone here is honest and correct... yet..... My experience is rather different from those of some of the other polarized views. I was introduced to this rope tobacco genre (20 years ago) while visiting a scientist. who was an avid tobacco connoisseur. While taste testing of his rare stock, and reading pages from his various books on blood and music , it struck me how unique and focused are his interests and tastes. He offered to add my "requirements" to his import list for "Kendal Twist" and such. This substance, I find to be as strong as Black XX . One expert reviewer and close friend for 40 years thought that XX was an awful smoking experience. We often crave a humanly improbable paradox. I refer to the quest for infinite intensity and complexity of taste, juxtaposed to sublime smoothness, subtle mellowness, and ideal burn qualities. Black rope is similar product to Kendal Twist and the other braided products of Samuel Gawith but perhaps a bit easier to understand and is available currently. After dabbling into both over a 10 year span, it occurred to me that other than Early music legend Arnold Gr....., no one would ask a bartender for a "bloody Mary" but hold the tomato juice, use a whole container of Tabasco sauce instead. That was one of his parlor tricks. Does that not beg: : what if Black XX were to be used as condiment for unflavored and disappointing tins that simply underwhelm? I have already abused over-hyped precious latakia, Semois, and Perique . Why make the same type of mistake , nearly ruining great pipes with tightly packed single leaf orientals ? Forgive if you might, this ramble, for myths abound in our realm. The fact of occasional use of this rope, does not hang you up or numb the senses to pipe smoking. I still enjoy some recipes that others find too weak, too this or that. Greatness can be found within a consistent and creative person or product. not just in strength or weakness. It is perhaps more a gift of illusion to the senses, than a rating list, when this gift is properly understood. Some carefully sliced bits of this say 5% added to an overly mild English as described might just bring out intrinsic depth rather than simply take over.

Pipe Used: Connoisseur, Dunhill

Age When Smoked: various supplies 1-4 years

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Nothing much, at least in our galaxy. Seriously..

1 person found this review helpful.

Cumarinophil Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cumarinophil (105)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Very Full Tolerable to Strong

Samuel Gawith Black XX sure is a unique experience regarding look, feel, smell and taste. The preparation is fun, I sliced it and than rubbed out the slices for an easy fill.

With first light the immediate impression was chicken, roasted old school over coal or a camp fire. Not my cup of tea when comes to pipe tobaccos, but I can appreciate the quality and uniqueness of this creation. The taste is full, deep, dark and rich. Smokable Beef Jerky anyone?

Personally, I find 1792 Flake to be very strong, but this one was okay at 10 am, with remarkably no bite at all. Maybe the strength varies from tin to tin. I preferred it in a corn pipe without filter, filled one third with meerschaum granules, for that espresso feeling.

For sure this is a tobacco not to be judged by reviews alone, so I recommend to definitely get a sample. Maybe try to share a tin with friends at the smoke club or Super Bowl. It'll be hell of an attraction on its own.

Pipe Used: Various with and without filter

Age When Smoked: fresh

1 person found this review helpful.

guitar2mw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
guitar2mw (92)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

If you're reading this, then you're probably curious whether or not this tobacco is for you. Let me put it this way: This is a real man's tobacco. I don't mean any harm by that statement, but I will tell you about my recent experience and let you be the judge.

I opened the tin and knew that I was in for a treat. The rope was quite thick and smelled like good, strong tobacco. It was very moist and oily as well. After picking a pipe for this stuff (a Czech-made briar with a very large bowl), I cut off a few coins, broke them down into ribbons, and loaded the pipe.

The first charring light gave me a blast of straight-up tobacco flavor. It reminded me of smoking a very dark and oily Maduro wrapped cigar. It took 2 more matches to get it going, and I quickly learned that I had to sip this stuff or else risk permanent brain damage. The smoke was thick and oily, but the tobacco provided such a wonderful taste. The room note reminded me of my mechanic's garage.

The nicotine really hit me hard, and I'm a daily cig smoker. Typically I don't feel the nic hit with so-called "strong" tobaccos, but this one kicked me in the teeth and proceeded to hand my ass to me when finished. I was actually glad the pipe kept going out, because I honestly needed the break. The flavor stayed the same throughout the entire bowl...strong, earthy, oily...magnificent.

I imagine that John Wayne would have smoked something similar to this blend. It just takes a man to handle the flavor and nic hit. I will warn you: You'll feel pretty manly while smoking this. You'll have the incredible urge to lift heavy objects, work on your truck, grow a beard, and drink Old Crow whiskey straight from a bull horn. You might even be able to use some of the oil to fix squeaky door hinges or something. There is nothing mild about this blend whatsoever. After finishing the bowl that I had, I noticed that my beard had grown about 2 inches. Yeah, it's that good. I recommend it to anyone looking for a very strong change of pace. It surely isn't an all-day smoke for me, but it was a good one.

Pipe Used: Czech-made briar

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: JR Cigars, Statesville, NC

1 person found this review helpful.

beercritic Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beercritic (33)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

This showed up today after being backordered a couple months. Used a cigar cutter to slice off a small coin, then rubbed it out. The tin note is deep, dark and compelling. The taste is savory, deep sweet tobacco. Not the strongest I've had, but blissfully strong. I'll be getting more of this.

Pipe Used: 3 inch sipping cob

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: P&C

1 person found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1281)
Extremely Strong None Detected Overwhelming Very Strong

Samuel Gawith is one of my favorite manufacturers. Their Virginia flakes in particular are outstanding. So I'm frankly very surprised at how utterly repugnant I find Black XX.

I don't like to slam a tobacco. I give every tobacco a fair shake before I post a review. I even finished my packet of Five Brothers before panning it with a 1 star rating. I can usually find something of merit in a tobacco even if I don't actually like it. But this. What in God's name is this wretched stuff?

I can't stomach more than a few puffs of this tobacco. It is absolutely vile. I've never finished a bowl. I suppose it's possible that Black XX smooths out at around the half bowl and becomes a sublime tobacco smoking experience. I'll never know, because I've never been able to get there.

It smells OK in the tin. No hint of the ghastly horridness that's about to be visited upon your tongue and nostrils. The flavor and aroma of this tobacco remind me of burning rubber tires. Or melting plastic. Add in some rancid Liquid Smoke and the nastiest barbecue sauce you've ever tasted and that's Black XX in a nutshell.

No idea what I'm going to do with the rest of this tin of Black XX. Probably put it away for months, or years, until I've forgotten how revolting it is and then give it another go. Or perhaps I'll try mixing it 50/50 with Brown No. 4 as another reviewer has suggested, though I'm not sure I have the heart for it. I'm still evaluating Brown No. 4 and haven't completely made up my mind about it yet. But at least it's interesting and capable of being enjoyed. Not so with Black XX.

There's always going to be some freak who thinks any given tobacco is God's gift to pipe smokers. I don't know how else to explain all the 3 and 4 star ratings. Please just trust me, 99% of you will detest this evil tobacco.

1 person found this review helpful.

ELF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ELF (40)
Medium Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

This Weed,for Serious(Seasoned)Pipe Smokers..Only;If You are"NEW to the Sport",You have been Warned. I prefer TrueEnglishBlends,so I very Much enjoyed..A true History Lesson(while SLOWLY-Puffing,on this)Truth of the Matter,is"All Plug Tob..BlockForm,or Rope" Are ALL- Full Flavour(By design),,,How Strong;they are Depends on HowThick,You Shave the peices Off. Smoking this,was More of a Spiritual Experience,,,and Contemplated...How Many Sailors,Soldiers. One thing Not mentioned,in Blurb(on description)..People would Also Snuff this Tobacco. When tobacco really fresh(TooMoist to cut off) A piece would Be RippedOff(with Your teeth)and Voila'chewing tob.',,,When moisture level,was right..A pocket knife,was used to cut Off,a few slivers(and fill Your pipe),,,When rope was TOO Dry...It Would be ground up in Your hands,and Added to Your Snuff Box. My Uncle(Veteran,War2),,,If they Were,Struggling to stay Awake(NightWatch),,,On Many Occasions;Wld Snuff..His Rope Tob. If You are looking For Serious OldSchoolPipeSmoking...Here's Your Chance

Pipe Used: Peterson 317(p-lip)

Age When Smoked: New Tin

Purchased From: Briar+Bean/Clarkesville,Tn.

Similar Blends: Gaw.1792.

1 person found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (266)
Very Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Very Strong

Yes, it's strong, but there are other blends and ropes just as strong that I've enjoyed. For me, this was like smoking the burnt fat left on the grill. I can see how some could like that, but the taste just didn't appeal.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mike0831 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike0831 (10)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I always alway smoke slow. Ages ago when I smoked cigarettes I did enough fast-paced nicotine consumption. I'm too old for that now. With that said whether it's a tasty aromatic (Sutcliffe Maple Street) or this monster of a weed, I take it slow. The slower you smoke this tobak the better it'll go for you. I think there's some complexity in the smoke bit it take a whole lotta patience. The preparation does take time but I have to admit I like that (I also really enjoy Peterson's Perfect Plug). This is a really good tobak but it definitely needs to be smoked in a pipe with a small bowl. Dry it out first otherwise or you will be tearing your hair out, being naucous and cursing Mike0831.

Pipe Used: Stanwell 43

Age When Smoked: 55

Purchased From: Tobacco shop

Similar Blends: Peterson - Peterson's Perfect Plug.

1 person found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (263)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

After having failed to obtain any of Gawith, Hoggarth & Co's ropes, which I have been partial to since my last holiday in England, via mail oder, I was quite surprised that there finally is an importer of this particular rope to Germany. The time from noticing this fact to obtaining a tin was measured in minutes (about 70 of them, which is the time it takes me to drive to Dan Pipe's store from where I live).

Opening the tin, this is very much what I remembered from back when: the BBQ-ish tin note with lots of smokiness in it. Also the tales of being overwhelmed by this 'baccy by the people running the store.

I cut off very thin slices, rub out and let dry for about an hour, or longer. I then stuff gently into my smallest pipes, light up a few times, and enjoy the wonderfully beefy, deep, dark taste of this. I need a few relights, but that is OK; I want to take a few breaks during the smoke, too: this _is_ strong stuff.

Normally my last pipe of the day, I thoroughly enjoy this blend with an Islay Single Malt; the peatiness just seems to go along splendidly. Leave the rubbed-out 'baccy lots of room, and go slow is my advice. Thoroughly delicious, real 'baccy, and now that I can get it locally, in my rotation with the due respect for its strength.

Pipe Used: Jirsa Minor, Missouri Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: New tin, 1-year-old

Purchased From: DanPipe

Similar Blends: Samuel Gawith - Black XX Twist (Rope).

1 person found this review helpful.

scottyspipesebay Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
scottyspipesebay (25)
Strong Mild Very Full Tolerable to Strong

Don't like it in the pipe. Too burnt meat, for me. But, it makes for a great little HRC. Akin to tiny stick of dynamite that smokes for a month of Sundays. Holy Mole! 1 star in the pipe. 4 stars as an HRC.

A note to Wiseguy must push the spoon end of the tamper under the lip of the tin lid to release the vacuum seal. All tins are easily opened, but you must do that first or you'll break you wrists trying to open the darn thing. "So now ya know...I'm Paul 2"......

1 person found this review helpful.

JackSparrow Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JackSparrow (14)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Hey guys, this stuff is the real man's heaven!!!

Robust, greasy, beefy, earthy and smoky, and it's just a VA blend, no more: Samuel, how could you create this??? You're the undiscussed Lord of blenders!!! SG comes first, all the others follow….

This baccy is simply fantastic, unique, nothing similar yet. First of all we have to say that black is not brown: this rope is really different from the other SG one (BRN4). A bit lighter in N dept and less earthy and more smoky.

Opening the tin you can find a greasy black rope, dark as the night, very thick and with a deep complex aroma, rich of nuances: earth, grill smoke, burnt oil and in the background dried fruits as raisin and fig; just a hint of nut.

I slice the rope in about 1 mm slices, let them dry out for a little while and then load my bowl. It is very easy to light and burns very well, for a rich smoky and cool smoke. At first puffs I find it a bit harsh but just a little while later it gets round and going throgh the bowl the sweetness of VA comes out, so its nuances of dried fruit.

It's strong and rich in the N factor, but not as its big brother BRN4. I never find it overwhelming or sicking, rich for sure, but always pleasant. It got at once one of my favorites. Not for the morning, but perfect after a good lunch or dinner. Pure tobacco taste, not for aromatic lovers, only for straight tobacco fans.

Very good mixed in equal proportion with BRN4.

Simply fantastic, if possible I'd rate it more than 4 stars!!!!

1 person found this review helpful.

Osiris Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Osiris (1)
Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

After reading all of the previous reviews, I approached this tobacco with some trepidation. I was pleasantly surprised by this tobacco. It is a strong, full-flavored offering from Gawith. The core flavor is something I would describe as 'spice box.' It's a flavor reminiscent of heavy aged red wines. It also has a definite beef steak tone. I sensed a layer of blackberries in the background. The smoke was strong and full but never bitter. The flavor remained consistent all the way to the bottom of my pipe. It was quite delicious.

It actually reminded me of my favorite cigar: the Partagas Black.

I cut 1/4 inch thick medallions and rubbed them out. I smoked it in a small-bowled Capri pipe. It did take a few tries to get it lit. It also required numerous relights. However, it may just be that I didn't allow the tobacco to dry out enough before smoking.

It's not an all-day smoke. It's to be sipped and savored after a heavy meal. It's a sweet, meaty, muscular tobacco; a real man's tobacco. It definitely has a high nicotine content that may catch you off guard if you are unprepared.

Overall, this has instantly become one of my favorites.

1 person found this review helpful.

juvat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
juvat (36)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

This is the kind of blend that will curl your toes and put hair on your balls. Love it, but its not for the feint of heart.

1 person found this review helpful.

alpyesilay Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
alpyesilay (9)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong

A good satisfying one. Not very strong as exaggerated. Every pipe smoker needs to try this one.

1 person found this review helpful.

hamiltoncallum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hamiltoncallum (3)
Very Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Strong

My dream tobacco. Do you remember 50's and 60's rom-com films that use that swirly, dream-like effect when progressing to another scene? Everyone has their own version of these in real life, and my own swirly... dream-haze 'thing' is in a cloud of this stuff. Except Audrey Hepburn isn't be there.

Of course everyone has varying tastes, and like many, mine from the word go, was for the full flavored hearty stuff. And if you have the same tendencies for strong traditional tastes, this is definitely for you.

You may have noticed the frequent mentions of difficulty or even awkwardness in preparing and smoking the stuff. Don't fret. That's what this site is for! Learn from what others have done, or 'standing on the shoulders of giants'. I have, evidently, stood on many here, because all that's necessary to enjoy this stuff is to simply cut slices to your own preference, (and you'll learn that quickly,) and let it dry out for a while. Take your time with it, and you'll get your hazy-dream-like camera effect thing to help you progress to the next scene with Audrey Hepburn.

1 person found this review helpful.

Azazelo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Azazelo (4)
Very Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong

For me, this was quite a special blend to explore. The first time I smoked it I was overwhelmed and... a little bit dissapointed. Brute strength. Then I rediscovered it a few months later and it was a much more pleasant encounter. Maybe You have to be in some sort of mood. And appetite, of course. And You should have some respect for it. Actually I would describe it as a very strong as to nicotine content but quite tasteful and even rich in delights it can offer to You. I smoke it regularly and each time I make several deliberate interruptions during the session. Honestly, this is a great blend. Not for everyone however. Only for that reason I give it just three stars...

1 person found this review helpful.

BradS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BradS (22)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

After reading comparisons of Black XX to diesel fuel, used motor oil, and worse, I was a little apprehensive to try a sample of Black XX that I received recently.

I received encouragement from some and goading from others to give it a go, so I did. Black XX was definitely a surprise! I liked it and hope if you have not tried it, you might give it a shot anyway. Some of the descriptions may be due to how different Black XX looks, rubs out and tastes different than most any other pipe weed.

I cut a 1/4" disk off the sample piece and had to shred it with my fingers. It did not seem to want to rub out very easily for me. I loaded it in a MM Diplomat cob and went out to the back porch.

It was a little difficult to light, but once going, easily stayed lit to the bottom of the bowl. I found many surprises from Black XX. The flavor is smooth and nice. It tasted like a combination of dark ale w/o the sweetness, the crispy end of a smoked brisket and a maduro wrapped cigar rolled into one.

Also surprising was the fact that it burned very cool. Cobs generally emimate quite a bit of heat from the bowl for me, but Black XX barely caused my Diplomat to get warm. There was zero tongue bite through the entire smoke. The flavor was consitant from top to bottom.

I wouldn't smoke this in the house due to the pungent room note, but it's not offensive to some as you would believe. My wife, who is picky about what tobacco smells she likes & doesn't said, "It smells like an older man's cigar". She said it wasn't intollerable, but would not approve it for the house (expected).

If you haven't tried this, don't be scared off by others. Smoke a bowl and form your own opinion. That said, I would not recommend this for a newbie pipe smoker that does not have a developed palate for toby yet.

1 person found this review helpful.

who broke my clay pipe? Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
who broke my clay pipe? (61)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

Purchased 2 x 50g tins in good faith;i have never tried it before but i am an optimist;i like the industrial gears tin art which reminds me of my engineering job...(i have bought albums before because i liked the picture,,,sometimes the music is good,,,is this baccy?)

Open tin appearance:looks like a greasy turd,dark and oily,or a small diameter skinny black pudding sausage (dried pigs blood in intestines skin)

Tin aroma:licoricy diesal engine sump oil,,dark soy sauce, burnt cabbage aroma,,;this is very like pure well used diesel engine oil..

Handling:this is quite moist, leathery and tough in the hand ; hard to tear. I cut into 1/4" thick discs with a stanley knife and rub them out to produce a small pliant bundle that feels what i imagine cut up bat wings would feel like,,,..(very rubbery like silicone or an oily jiggler dangler skeleton or white cabbage leaf)

Loading pipe:Using a clay 6" Georgian (my favourite allrounder pipe),loaded about 3/4 high for a trial, i try lighting with my pipe zippo...:It doesn't want to burn on its own,,so basically this is definately a prepare and let dry first type of tobacco... its not instantly smokable,,,um,,,i believe that is partly due to this being marketed as a chew as well as a smoke.

Flavour:Of a dark monotone(but likeable-ish)tarry full flavour with obvious nicoteen,,;i hyperventilate purposely to see what its got,;slightly sweet and salty,burning oil couldron flavour with slight burnt beef or chargrilled earthy winter vegetables, but more carbonic,,,;this is ok with me because it tastes industrial in a tasty way as opposed to a burnt bitter lard fat/greasy manky oven flavour...

Initial impression ; this is serious tobacco with no humour; its business.

Room note:OIL,like machine tool gear cutting oil that smokes a bit on the hot freshly cut metal swarf shavings ,, produces good oily grey thick smoke.

Post pipe aftertaste: OILY; there is a slight liquid "baxters beef consomme with sherry"stock flavour going on with black pepper and olive oil perhaps. A faint lemony citrus from time to time reminds you that this is Virginia.

More:There is no soap whatsoever and no tongue bite either,,Full bodied for sure;and this has stout ala guiness or dark treakle and a density factor,but in someway its not massively flavoured in taste(strong but one dimensional);its strong but not really a flavour as much as a sensation of diesal in the mouth after syphoning some..... ! ...... Its tobacco but it doesn't taste like cigarettes,cigars,or pipe tobacco. This is my first rope so i have no comparison by which to judge. i bought some "brown #4" to try as well(perhaps it tastes like smoking chewing tobacco?) Its room note is as perfectly camofluaged in my working enviroment as a tobacco can possibly get in an engineering machine shop...

Its strength is perfect for somebody who works and wants a good nic fix to get working with , this is like espresso coffee in effect.

A few bowls later:-sliced thinner and put into a bud grinder to tear into smaller raggy pellets for better bowl airflow brought about a better burn and taste(same as before but stronger) What was noticed with this preparation was a slightly peppery parafin-esque/white spirits/turps/ vodka spirit vapour aftertaste that was the strength of the nicotine itself.

FINAL OPPINION : Letting some preshredded totally dry out and then stored in a jar with a few intact peices has greatly improved the smoke,,,,;gone is the spirit aftertaste and it seems more mild. It burns a lot easier now as well;i think it came in the most vacuum packed tin i have ever seen;it was practiacally imploding which means the baccy inside was being stretched;this is charecteristic of all tinned baccy in that it will light at first, then get harder as it returns to normal pressure by shrinking;you then have to wait for the moisture in it to go before it will light easy.. Its a stout flavour (oil and black pepper;quite peppery like on a pepper steak)and would accomodate a stout drink with it,,,;its aftertaste is a bit burn't and bitter(imagine roofing pitch if that helps)but its ok while you are smoking it,,,,;i found cola the best chaser to go with it to be honest.

I have also blended it 50/50 with "brown #4" which gives more width of flavour and together they fill in eachothers holes in tastes,,,like a good mesh of gears..

I have found myself craving it for its strength factor in small doses,,:i think its a great workmans strong smoke who needs a kick and is thinking about something else completely other than tobacco tasting..

Would i buy this again? ;yes , sometimes my mood is such that i fancy the blackest of blackness of which this is the quintessential stout example..

UPDATE 12/04/11 I think this is a sound purchase and i have grown to like it for its cut down pure no compromise potency,being stored in a glass jar and allowed to air has emancipated it hidden qualities,this is as strong as pipe tobacco gets as far as a combination of total stout and strength can get,,,i still like other tobacco's of course,but this has a stand alone quality and unique individual personalty to be an honoury member of my tobacco in crowd..

Update 21/05/11:Having had some jarred for a couple of month i can say that it gets milder,rounder and more approachable.. The tobacco has lost its rubberyness and cured into a more stiffer leathery licorice stick consistency..

Pipe Used: Clays,Falcon Pipes

Age When Smoked: New and couple of years

1 person found this review helpful.

Newbie2010 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Newbie2010 (18)
Very Strong Very Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Nothing like a little Vitamin N to take you down a couple of notches. Wow. Proceed with caution. This is definitely a strong tobacco, and I love the smoky tin aroma. I've smoked it in my Peterson 314 and my small Peretti bent billiard. Wouldn't go any larger of a pipe than that. Burning rubbing, petrol and blazing plastic? Yup...I caught all that with the first few bowls. No wonder it was more available than the SG blends. So, the turd sat in its tin for a while, and a few weeks back,I went to attempt to acquire a taste for it again, but it was a dried out mess. I rehydrated it, so that the, um, wrapper had a nice sheen. Yesterday, I cut a few coins and rubbed it out and let it sit for a few minutes. I packed it my 314 and sipped it slowly. At first, I caught those rubbery, plastic, petrol flavors, but backed off and just sipped it and let the bowl settle. Soon, I was getting deep smoky tobacco flavors with burnt and slightly bitter malt and sugar flavors. I liked the long finish. The nicotine crept right up, too. I had rubbed a bunch out, so I put it away, and today, I mixed it with a little natural cavendish from Leavitt & Pierce, and that mellowed it out very nicely. It had a better room note, too. It sweetened it up, like a creamy and highly caloric Carmel Mochiatto from Starbucks. I don't know if I committed a sin by mixing in that cavendish, but I enjoyed it. Black XX just might be a good blender, that espresso shot in your coffee or the shot in a boilermaker. Happy New Year and Happy Piping!

1 person found this review helpful.

yinyang Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
yinyang (45)
Strong Very Mild Very Full Tolerable to Strong

How does something that looks like a canine crunchie and tastes of petrol rate four stars with me? It's counter intuitive. Yet, I love this stuff. Strong, yes. Monochromatic, maybe. But not sweet? Well, maybe not like a typical candy coated VA, but I tell you, it's there.

The nicotine isn't an issue either, so long as you respect my case, a small bowl insures no palpitations. A 1/4 to 1/3 inch coin, rubbed out is plenty. I like mine fresh from the rope one attempt at drying it out made for a barfy smoke.

This tobacco doesn't have the typical 'high notes' as you would get from a lemon VA, obviously. So don't try it with that expectation. This is subwoofer tobacco through and through.

Definitely a manly weed.

Four stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

Chris08 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Chris08 (37)
Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I will reccomend this tobacco, with the caveat that it will only suit those who have a desire for strong tobaccos without the sweet or subtle nature of milder Virginia's.

Black XX does require some preparation to make smokable, but no more than plug tobacco does. I cut it into coins with a sharp knife and then cut the coins before rubbing out. I still found that it smoked best outside with a mild breeze to keep the tobacco burning.

This stuff is a nicotine lovers dream. I found it a little overwhelming at first and it produced hiccups as I worked my way through the bowl. Tame puffing is required. When sipped outside, with a drink to periodically cleanse the palate, it's was great. If you're a heavy puffer, however, beware!

As mentioned, this tobacco isn't particularly deep. There is no complex transition of flavours as you make your way down the bowl. It isn't particularly sweet or refined. Just good old fashioned pure tobacco taste that can make you sweat.

1 person found this review helpful.

Loboatomy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Loboatomy (40)
Extremely Strong Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

Fantastic and real, campfire scents without Latakia, an intoxicating amount of nicotine. If there is any flavoring in this, it's very subdued, just multiple iterations of darkly pressed and stoved tobacco and it's expected cogeners. Almost a roasted spice scent once it gets going. I find that shaving the disks thin enought that they become like a shag cut when rubbed out gets the most goodness out if this stuff. Preparation is more than half the fun...I find that a utility knife with a fresh blade makes this a snap.

A wonderful dusky turd to be sliced and diced and enjoyed in a SMALL bowl...did I mention a SMALL bowl...

This is drug 'baccy, wonderful and addictive. Fantastic after a big, spicy meal...

1 person found this review helpful.

Alguhan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alguhan (140)
Very Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

It is not hard to prepare but takes time. I am cutting 2 or 3 medallions from the rope, air a bit, and rub. I am choosing a smal bowl for this tobacco because it satisfies my nicotine needs in a couple of minutes. Hard to light but once I catch the regular burning it stays lit.

Offers a cool and sweet smoke with a nice taste of tobacco. Yes, it is too strong, not suitable for every day smoke. I think I'll had a bowl of this on rare ocassions. Not the easiest smoke I've ever had, but it is a true pipe tobacco.

1 person found this review helpful.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (130)
Very Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

The lonely, unassuming little turd just stared up at me from the tin, having rested quietly all this time during its trip from the Lake District in the old country: The rope was nothing like a hard plug, but instead it gave somewhat to the touch. Tin aroma was very nice, reminiscent of smoke and earth and straight-up tobacco.

I cut a few coins off with a pair of scissors, then carelessly cut the coins up before giving them a short rubbing-out. It separated nicely, and felt not so much moist as silky and smooth. I knew if I packed it too tightly it would be impossible to smoke, so I gave it just enough tamping with my finger to keep it in the bowl but still provide an easy draw. In other words, a very light two-layer pack. This may be the source of frustration for many who haven't appreciated this tobacco. It's all in the technique. I chose my bent Cristiano, which ended up a good choice for this weed.

The tobacco lit readily, and provided copious smoke. Imagine a really high-quality Virginia leaf but with the kick of three Ashton VSGs. There you have it. If you sip it, you'll get classic Virginia flavors sans a lot of the sweetness, but that's not quite enough to keep the fire alive, so my cadence turned into a heat-it-up smoke fest for a few seconds for a few mouthfuls of wonderful, rich, in-your-face strength, which admittedly heated up the briar a bit, then back to a couple minutes of delicious sipping during which the flavors were as mellow and wonderful as most high-quality leafs I've tasted.

After about a third-bowl, an occasional hint of Lakeland would show up, in a good way, but was fleeting. Not exceedingly complex, but a rich and flavorful smoke the whole way down. I virtually never feel nicotine, but tonight I did, even after a big Mexican dinner - you know, the kind where you fill up on chips and salsa before the meal even arrives, then you down the whole entree. Very glad I had a full stomach.

About two-thirds down, I very gently stirred and dumped the ash so I could keep it lit. The last ten minutes added some toastiness which was very nice. Not much dottle left, a mild but not unpleasant aftertaste, and a memory of an altogether wonderful smoke on the back porch at midnight.

I won't smoke this every day. Maybe once a week if I'm lucky, or whenever I need to be reminded of what a real smoke is like. At that rate, this little eight-incher will easily last me a couple months, but I intend to stock up on this stuff. I imagine it will become heavenly with a year or three of age. Highly recommended for those who need a reminder of what real tobacco is like.

1 person found this review helpful.

Theodor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Theodor (2)
Very Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Having established my lack of palate sophistication in TAD with an against the grain distaste for the Penzance eunuch, I freely admit that I am a neophyte, coming to this esteemed assemblage with 1792 my untutored standard fare, already smoking Black XX. In my inexperienced interpretation, this is unflavored Virginia, even-tempered, with no after-taste. As all twists, prep is the issue.

Comparing like to like, the bulk version is only slightly, if darker than bulk Brown Bogie. The tinned is darker yet with an oily gumminess elicited from the bulk by compression. Brown Bogie doesn't have that characteristic to the same degree. Black XX is much smoother, less tangy with faint earthy barbeque smokiness, far more pronounced in the Brown Bogie.

Pardon s'il vu plait. I must resist being the troll judging detractors expecting some fairy dust blend like Penzance as incroyable pleurnicheuses efféminé-hommes mouche du coche qui savent tout. I must. Nevertheless, by now, even as a newbie, I know I have no business smoking some things. I will look for variety while reasonably adhering to my nicotinic raison d'être, the star of the Black XX show, soaring a cappella. While Brown Bogie's nicotine content is significantly higher, Black XX has a cleaner taste, is milder, smoother, and more easy-going.

1 person found this review helpful.

Bluenoser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluenoser (34)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

An excellent Virginia tobacco. Full of natural sweetness, creamy as whole chocolate milk on mouth and tongue. Room note lingers about freely reminding you that you have just smoked a bowl of historic leaf once enjoyed by our great-great grandfathers. Absolutely cigar could ever provide such satisfaction or joy...a Macanudo robusto comes within yelling distance but no further.

1 person found this review helpful.

kg0mz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kg0mz (54)
Very Strong Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

Upon opening this tin, the thought came to me, how do I know this is tobacco and not mummified road-kill? The odor is like tobacco, but how do I know a mummified snake doesn't have a tobacco odor? Really. Well, it doesn't smell bad, so I picked up a small piece (the head?) that had broken free from the main body of the rope or twist. Momentarily forgetting everything I know about rope tobacco, this half-inch chunk, I teased it apart, tried to rub it, cut it up with scissors, tried to rub it, stuffed it into a cob, and lit it.

My wife marinates a thinly sliced pork meat that she threads on long, narrow gage wooden sticks. We grill it outdoors over charcoal. Black XX has a similar aroma. Grilled meat, lemon grass, garlic, soy sauce, charcoal. I am anxious to smoke this after eating that meat.

[I wonder if people who do Civil War reenactments include this for historical accuracy? I should go to one and ask. Maybe I should join in? How did it come to be, this rope form of tobacco? What was that first twister thinking? What other permutations were tried before settling on the rope? Are my teeth black now? My wife knows some old ladies that either smoke or chew tobacco until their teeth turn black. Its what they do. Would a 18th Century rope smoker think a modern filtered cigarette odd?]

By the way, this isn't something you need to tamp. You break off or chip away the top layer of the lava rock. Half way down I encounter a fleeting laundry note. Bleach? Oxydol? A long-used essence? Ah, Lakeland.

I am assigning four stars. It tastes good to this carnivore. It satisfies. An entire evening's worth of entertainment. It is fun to smoke, if somewhat funny. I haven't laughed so hard since the pigs ate my little brother.

07/27/09 UPDATE: I am revising some of my reviews. I have given out more 4 star ratings than anything else. That practice is probably not helping. So, I am reducing Black XX to 3 stars, not because I like it less than I did before, but because I am limiting 4 stars to fewer than 25% of all my reviews. One day I may use the 4 star rating to designate my top five.

1 person found this review helpful.

eichenlaub Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
eichenlaub (13)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

This is one of my everyday smokes, I just love it. Sliced thin, rubbed out, and dried well this burns very easily. This taste is quite full, something of plums in there it seems but mainly just good tobacco. Samuell Gawith does a great job with their ropes and this is no exception. If you enjoy a strong tobacco then this is certainly worth a try.

1 person found this review helpful.

lvpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lvpipe (13)
Very Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is pure tobacco taste, yes it is strong but it is a wonderful smoke. Really nice with a strong cup of coffee, tea, bourbon or scotch. I enjoy this cut 50-50 with Kendall Plug also.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Not the easiest tobacco to prepare, but that may only be my lack of experience in handling such presentations. The tobacco is characterful and strong in nicotine. It has a scent similar to that of Coniston Cut Plug, but much less obtrusive. It smokes cool.

I am not very fond of this particular scent, so I used my supply to enliven otherwise weak and dull mixtures. As a spice tobacco it has been useful.

1 person found this review helpful.

jankoez Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jankoez (67)
Overwhelming Medium Overwhelming Overwhelming

This is awful and never to forget experience. From the appearance to taste in your mouth it is gross and if you are VERY tolerable it tastes as you soaked cigar leftovers for days in pond water, and then tried to smoke.

Samuel Gawith has very good tobacco blends. This one is not; money just gone with the wind?

1 person found this review helpful.

Gilly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gilly (2)
Very Strong Mild Very Full Strong

Here in the UK, called Dark XX Twist, came in plug form in a white plastic bag. Harsh for the first half bowl then tolerable.

1 person found this review helpful.

Packer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Packer (56)
Very Strong Mild Very Full Strong

After reading the reviews contained here I decided to give this rope a try. This blend is so different than anything I have tried before, I have no reference point for comparison. This one stands on it's own. Black rope sums it up. Aroma is strong,earthy, cigar like, pure tobacc. I use a cigar cutter to shave off thin slices from this rope. I then rub out this oily leaf (much like a quality cigar) Lighting this rope is a several match affair. Keeping it lit is also a little bit troubleing. If I had reviewed this blend early on I would have given it 1 star. Some reviewers have said it is a love it, or hate it blend. At first I was closer to the hate end of the spectrum. Now after several tries, I am somewhere in between. My taste at this time craves the sweet fermented flavor of other Va. blends, but I am beginning to like the change that this blend offers. Most likely in time this blend will move up a notch or two. For now I give it

5/31/08 UPDATE.....As stated above this weed has moved up to a solid *

1 person found this review helpful.

Kapt'n K Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kapt'n K (1)
Extremely Strong Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong

Cut it into quarters, unwound it, and let it dry for 20 min. Smoked it out of a Group 4 LB S. Musty, somewhat sweet and sour, somewhat salty, and not very bitter. Very strong tobacco taste not much else. Enjoyable for what it is, a super sonic kick in the ass. I like smoking it with my morning coffee when I come in for work. Nice jump start for the day.

1 person found this review helpful.

Monk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Monk (2)
Extremely Strong Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

This is, truly, one of the tobacs out there that fall into the "love it or hate it" category. It comes in an oily rope...strong and, at times, even a bit overwhelming..even for the experienced smoker. This is a tobac that brokes no argument. It is strong, full bodied and ready to satisfy even the most base nicotine desire of any smoker. Yet, unlike it's cousin, the brown rope, Black XX has a lot to recomend it. It is smooth, burning down to a fine, gray/white ash without even a hint of a bite, even if puffed with a heavy hand. Upon first lighting, it gives a hint of the Lakeland soap which quickly burns off leaving the smoker alone with nothing but the deep flavors of the stoved tobacco itself. This flavor matures throughout the bowl, burning clean and dry all the way down with ocassional hints of Lakeland flavor showing through, though never overpowering the pure, tobacco taste. The finish is long, the pipe is cool, and the overall experience is thoughtfull and to be relished long after the last ember has died. I truly find that Black XX is NOT the one dementional monster that many portray it as, but a strong, not-so-subtle, and flavorfull example of dark, stoved weed at its finest. Not a smoke for the neophite or the faint hearted, Black XX is a true treat for the studied smoker searching for a full and rich tobac that stands apart from the established ranks of the smoky, latika greats. ~Monk~

1 person found this review helpful.

BriarFire~ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarFire~ (24)
Extremely Strong None Detected Very Full Unnoticeable

Part 1 This is some good baccy folks,it packs well,and is a cool burner. After cutting some small coins off the rope then rubbing them out well and then drying it out all day I loaded up a small briar and went outside. Ive seen this stuff called "Black Death" and "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse having a tea party in your mouth" etc. So I was a bit apprehensive when I started the charring light.Wow,a big blast of virginias hit me,almost like FVF on steroids.The second light was even better,I could tell right away this was going to be a treat. The bacca burned cool and dry,nary a relight, and had absolutely no tongue bite,just lots of pure tobacco smoke,Very rich smoke,The flavor is Very stout and robust but no "horsemen" showed up.The XX burned so cool the briar didnt even really heat up,and the bacca burned to a nice dry white ash.I didnt experience any harshness or nicotine effects whatsoever so I loaded up a second bowl and had a similar smoke.

Part 2 A couple days later I cut some thin coins,rubbed 'em out,dried 'em for 45 mins. or so,loaded up and went outside.On the charring light I got some hints of asphalt or maybe roofing tar,Im not sure.I had a hard time getting it and keeping it lit.I kept puffing and seeking that pure virginia flavor I had just a couple days previous,Then out of nowhere came the Horsemen,and Black Death was the lead rider,and he brought along St. Nicotine the Terrible. Together they proceeded to give me a thrashing I wont soon forget,Blow after punishing Blow,A beating so severe I deeply regretted ever taking up the pipe. Im not certain if the drying time had anything to do with it,but thats what I suspect.Once I recover,I'll give an update. Please be careful with this stuff. Update Moderation is the key to the XX, let the coins dry out well,smoke it too moist and you'll puff hard to get it going,also take your time and enjoy.Puff fast and you'll pay the price.Slow down and relax and you'll be rewarded with a rich satisfying smoke.This can be a heavy hitter,so reach for it only when the mood strikes.

1 person found this review helpful.

Joey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joey (9)
Strong None Detected Mild Pleasant

Sorry this is so long but here goes...Well I must first say that after smoking a pipe for only about nine months now I still consider myself to be neophyte. That being said I had heard my friend Rafe mention this tobacco and so began the research. I read all of the reviews that you nice people have written about seeing fruit rats, drooling, swooning and was quite frankly impressed! It is not every day that you hear a genuine leather tongue say he was wooped!

Now the time came...a couple of nights ago I was at the Tinder Box in ATL and they were having a big fire sale (got the last tin of Murry's blended Royal Yacht they had for $6!) and as I walked around looking I spied this tin that said Black XX on it. Now you know what they say about curiosity. So for $6.00 I figured that if I didn't like it I could give it away or toss it.

After I got home I could not wait to open it up and see what I had invested in. Dog poop...but not just any dog poop. This dog poop was covered, and I mean COVERED in white crystels! Only recently have I learned what this means so I was even more excited!

So, this morning I took it out and cut off a couple of pieces of it and chopped them up with a butcher knife the same way I would celery, onions or whatever, diced them up real fine and then rubbed them out. Took about 30 seconds. Then I stuffed my Vintage Peterson 307 full and sat down with trash can nearby just in case...

Now mind you I was smoking on a FULL stomach. But here is my review, I know, FINALLY! LOL!

The first third of the bowl was very "full in taste". In otherwords it tasted totally like tobacco and very thick and heavy but there was no evidence of the nicotene. About a third of the way down the bowl my tongue started tingling and it got what I would call "spicy". It was about now that I got a tad light headed and could tell the nic was taking effect. Not overpowering by any means. Rather a nice simple buzz. Finally the last third of the bowl was a big surprise. It was almost as if someone had stuffed a piece of candy in my mouth. Kind of hard to describe really but it was absolutly plesant. It was simply sweet tasting to the end from this point and left a taste in my mouth that was sweet for about 2 hours after.

My roommate commented that he really liked the room note and that it smelled like one of those cheap cigars, swisher sweets or some such thing...the room note was very nice! And if you like big white billows of smoke this is definatly for you...I mean BIG SMOKE!

Now, I smoke U Flake pretty often and can tell you this, I get more buzzed off UF than I did today off of XX. That being said, perhaps it was because of the age of the XX that made it so good. I can tell you this. I am going to buy more and let it sit! I like it. Also it was fun to have a friend of mine over and see that he had the same experiance smoking it that I did. Very Plesant. Will write more about this after a couple of more smokes...


1 person found this review helpful.

Pkloop Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pkloop (52)
Strong Extremely Mild Full Very Pleasant

Ahh.. My current favorite. The mean looking black rope. This tobacco is great. I love the "work" to get it smokeable and as other reviewer's have said every pipester should at least try a rope for that reason alone. But if they try Black XX they may fall in love with it. This is indeed a no-holds barred tobacco that doesn't play around with fruity flavorings and room notes. BUT as far as its room note I personally love it. As does my wife. In fact as I've said I think it is indeed "very pleasant". I can only describe room note as rich/earthy smelling which is also exactly how the rope tastes. True, this may not be for those new to tobaccos as it could overwhelm them. To those non-rookies however, your making a mistake by not trying this out. I find that a large bowl of this combined with a Jack Daniels on the rocks is the perfect close to a hectic day. So for those who enjoy there whiskey straight and their tobacco as well, would do well to stock up on this classic. reviewed 11/10/04

UPDATE 11/18/06 Still a favorite for me. This rope, with its earthy, rich taste just hits the spot for me everytime. I strongly encourage all pipesters to give this a shot...and if you dislike it I'll gladly take it off your hands! Yummy! Oh..1 more thing, this is about as bite free a tobacco as I've ever burned. You can puff this one up without fear. Zero Bite.

1 person found this review helpful.

wyrmis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wyrmis (7)
Extremely Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I actually enjoy this blend, but I do not recommend it overall. It has a great "mesquite" flavor, is very strong, and very pure. It has a kick that will last you but does not punch in the stomach so much as mellow you out. I have smoked a few bowls of it and like it.

On the downside, though, it requires more care and dedication than its worth to light it. Slicing, drying it, and then finely chopping it works nicely, but takes a good couple of days. You can also go for the relight every three minute method.

It also flavored my pipe very strongly, though some have said that it does not happen. And its kick is a little more than I want. It seems to be more a once in awhile tobacco. Its always worth having some around to share with friends if they are looking for something new, though.

1 person found this review helpful.

OPCguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OPCguy (46)
Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

Black XX Rope - I really wanted to like this, I even had it shipped to me 2 day express. My first impressions of this was, "Wow. Look at the blackend dog crap, coiled up in the can. Despite that first impression it did look yummy to me.

I like nightcap and was looking for that big nicotine punch but it never came. I got more of a punch off of Penzance than this for some reason. Maybe I got a bunk can? Maybe I rubbed it out too much? I'm a little confused after reading the reviews. I don't care much for the taste of this stuff though its not aweful, but not an everyday smoke for me. If I could somehow get that nicotine kick that this stuff has I would really like this as my Nico-Fix go to tobacco. Somewhat dissapointed because I bought this just for that.

That aside, this weed is great if you like getting in there and touching and playing with your smoke. I cut mine, with a steak knife, into little disks and then rubbed them out. This is very enjoyable if thats your sort of thing. I loved it!

I will try again and hopefully be able to raise the review.

UPDATE: Well I've tried this dog doo doo in a tin a number of times now. I even have blended it with a little Nightcap, Frog Morton, and luck...this stuff is aweful and doesn't do the job with the nicotine like I have hoping for...although its worth 6bucks just to look at this stuff!

1 person found this review helpful.

Relapse Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Relapse (18)
Overwhelming None Detected Medium to Full Very Strong

I guess this makes me a wimp. I had used this tobacco to punch some extremely mild blends without any pleasant results; then some firnd suggested I smoke it straight. What a blast! This concoction should come with a severe warning on the label and a waiver to sign before trying it. I'm still suffering cold sweats and shaking all over. Maybe I'll call an ambulance to take me to the hospital!

When (if) I recover from the half bowl I managed to puff, I'll send it to my worst enemy as a present.

For starters, the chore of cutting and preparing it should be a harbringer of what the foul weed packs. As you light it, it smells even fouler than it smells out of the bag. Thanks heaven it's sold here in 20g bags, not 50g tins.

Taste? Who can detect any taste among the stench it forces ito your tongue and nostrils? It's pure nicotine, probably intended for some masochist seeking a painful suicide method.

Nuff said! It will take me months to recover my taste buds and years to forget the horrible experience. 20 minutes after putting out the pipe I'm still shaking... Highly recommended to those looking for a way to kick the habit.

1 person found this review helpful.

BendoG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BendoG (1)
Overwhelming Very Strong Overwhelming Very Strong

I was in my local bacco shop and saw what I thought was a piece of dog crap in a bag. In my curiosity I asked the question, "what in the hell is that in the bag". I should have known something was weird with it when I got the response, "ha, ha, ha,". Well to make an hour long conversation very short, I loaded it into my nording freehand and well holy hell, it made my taste buds feel like they were burnt and the smell ohh my god the smell was very, very unpleasant. I would never smoke this again and to get the taste out of my pipe I had to scrape the cake completely out and soak it in captain morgan for a day and a half. So I hope this keeps someone from making the mistake that I did.

Later and good luck.

1 person found this review helpful.

cigarnomo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cigarnomo (2)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Pleasant

Ok, I've read the reviews and now it is time to try it myself, well low and behold I walks into my tobacconist and there in a big jar sits a big black coil of a thing called xx Black Rope! Slice me off a hunk, say's I. Your gonna love it say's he. So off to my smoking cave I go to try out this stuff. As recommended by my very knowledgeable proprieter I slice some "coins" about the thickness of a nickel off and then slice them in half. I let them set a spell, about 6 or7 hours I suppose and return to find them nice and ripe for smoking. I then proceed to rub them out, and rub you will my friends because this stuff is the real deal, I began to notice that this was high grade tobacco, almost cigar leaf like. A M/M Cob was brought into service for this inagural smoke because I did not know what to expect and did not want to taint any of my briars. Light up was easy and uneventful except to say that I was surprised at how deliciously mild the first few puffs seemed to be! Complexity... the only word to describe what I was experiencing, Ok, rich and full bodied would work too. Now here comes the good part, if you are a current or former cigar smoker like myself and you have been looking for that "holy grail" of pipe tobaccos this is it! I discoverd that if you let your pipe rest for a while and relight for DGT you will experience flavor similar or better than say a dark Padron or a La Gloria Cubana Serie 7. Nicotine? You bet but not overwhelming for an experienced smoker, this one is not for sissy's or newbies that don't have tolerence for nicotine for it will kick you a@$. Finishes to a fine white/gray ash, Highly Recommend.

1 person found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1281)
Very Strong None Detected Very Mild Tolerable to Strong

I had great expectations for this. Tin presentation was an oily, jet-black rope. Much tighter in its wrap than the Brown No. 4 Rope. The smell is similar to that of Brown No. 4, just sharper.

I used a cigar cutter to produce some slices, which I then rubbed out fully. The Black XX lights and burns well, but the predominate taste was pre-smoked Brown No. 4.

I gave this tobacco the "Might try it again, but will not keep it on hand" rating because I still have some left in my tin. I will come back to Black XX and use different approaches: smoking various quantities, leaving the slices intact, etc. Then I'll add to my review.

As it stands now, this is just not that great. ----------------------------------------------

UPDATE: 8/12/04

Ok, I gave this another try. I kept the slices on the thin side, left them whole, packed with no pressure, and topped off the much smaller bowl with fully rubbed out tobacco to develop some good embers. I just can't get past the dominant pre-smoked flavor. I downgraded this blend to the "Not my cup of tea" rating. Yuck.

1 person found this review helpful.

Grundie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Grundie (26)
Strong Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

A good tobacco if you want a quick hit of tobacco satisfaction. The rope has a mild virginia odour to it, but I understand African tobacco's are used in it's manufacture. I would descibe the favour as a richer more refined version of Condor, but with a pleasant leathery edge. I gut the rope in to 1/2" segements and then quater the segements and then rub out. Although he flours are refined and very pleasnt, this tobacco does have a serious nicotine kick so bear that in mind. The room note is not unpleasant, quite sweet but not aromatic. However the intensity of the room note can be offputting to some people. A great smoke to relax with, perhaps with a good Scotch or stout in your hand.

1 person found this review helpful.

GabrielCRT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GabrielCRT (93)
Very Strong None Detected Extra Full Very Strong

This twist/rope isn't a go-to for me. I reach for it very occasionally. The rope is easy enough to work with I use a cigar cutter to slice coins which can either be stacked or rubbed out. The strength is up there it has power, body, and a sedative effect that I enjoy. The flavor is not my favorite. The Virginia is ultra meaty in taste and aroma. I completely get the charred meat comparison. Motor oil is fair as well. Even though the taste is not what I like, I recommend this blend. It's VERY odd and unique and for a rope tobacco it's pretty good.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mesh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mesh (50)
Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

In moderation, I love this tobacco. Those first two words need special emphasis. Although it's not quite as strong as its lighter-complexioned brown rope cousins, a large pipe-full of this before at least a couple of meals have been fully digested will tend to make you ill, which is not an ideal state of affairs.

To me, black ropes have a taste which is pretty much incomparable to any other tobacco, even brown ropes. SG's black role also lacks any Lakeland flavouring from what I can tell, so it's also distinct from the flavoured versions of black rope that Gawith and Hoggart sell.

Flavour-wise, we're talking rich and smoky, a bit like a dark-fired Kentucky but sweeter (it is a VA after all). It might seem to strange to describe black rope as sweet but a dried-fruit type of sweetness is definitely there once you get past the initial notes of motor oil and burnt meat (to borrow terms from some of the less favourable reviews below).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

aksamolsa Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
aksamolsa (20)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

Well, it may not be the best looking tobacco, but it is no doubt a good tobacco. Very difficult to prepare, needs to be dried after preparing it. Once you lit, there you go. It burns smooth leaving a lovely white ash. Be prepared for a continuous nicotine rush after ten minutes of smoking. Not bad, but may be somewhat overwhelming. I prefer this one over a long night or may be brown no.4, but in my opinion this one is a bit -just a bit- head of no.4

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pre Republic Peterson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pre Republic Peterson (13)
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Wrth trying just to say you have tried them all. This was my first rope tobacco. I am an experienced smoker and I am pleased I have tried it, not least to know I have done so. :)

This is freaking strong, I smoke big bowls of it as I am a risk taker. HUGE vitamin N hit! The biggest I have ever had.

Need to brush teeth straight after and drink lots of fluids.

I recommend you try if your experienced, its worth a shot, who knows you might love it.

Nobody has rated this review yet. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note (120)
Very Strong Mild to Medium Very Full Very Strong

Summary: This stoved twist removes sweetness from the leaf and brings out a meaty flavor with high-octane performance.

Opening the tin revealed a scent like fertilizer, perhaps peat mixed with wintered manure, and a flat rope of a moist oily nature. When cut, cubed and rubbed out, this produced a small quantity of dense black tobacco. After the requisite fifteen minutes of drying, it lit with slight resistance, although several more lights were needed through the course of an average bowl.

Upon taking flame, the tobacco released its fertilizer smell, and gave forth a taste like fatty meat flame-broiled on an outdoor grill, combined with flavor like the scent of that peaty topsoil. During the bowl, small specters of Lakeland flavoring whisk through the taste, causing those of us who are appalled by such things to gag but keep on smoking as this tobacco delivers a fantastic taste. With the sweetness gone, the richness of the Virginia emerges in a full taste that continues that sensation of simmering meat.

On the nicotine front, this tobacco may not be quite as strong as the brown ropes but it comes close enough that the distinction is academic. It flavor does not vary through the bowl other than the aforementioned internal Lakeland ghosts, as if someone sprayed down one layer of leaf with the horrible geranium scent. None of that impinges in any way upon enjoyment of this natural, full-bodied smoke and the peace of mind it brings.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1627)
Overwhelming None Detected Extra Full Very Strong

Sam Gawith - Black XX Twist.

Oh my, this thing screams POWER, right from the appearance of the twist to the smoke. From the pouch it isn't the thickest but by God it's the firmest, you will need a very sharp knife. As usual with this brand it's too damp, it's imperative to give it a little time to allow this to diminish. As I said, this is powerful, that's identified upon the first puff, the nicotine's like being hit in the face with a brick! Nicotine aside I find the flavour quite enjoyable, albeit very full. The taste is a very strong Virginia one with a sort of burnt finish to it. The burn is good, once lit it's even and consistent. I find the flavour decent enough at first, but after about ten minutes it develops an unpleasant bitterness. The room note smells like a bonfire, my wife actually asked "what's burning?".

I think this is the quintessential 'stout' smoke for a very experienced pipe smoker but for me it's just far too much.

Pipe Used: Meerschaum Bent Billiard

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: My Smoking Shop

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bluesmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluesmoke (75)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant

Wow. This is strong stuff. I had to try it though I knew it would be robust. Not my cup of tea, harsh, but pure tobacco taste, which I respect. Pretty easy to prepare with a very sharp, thin blade. Nice amount of smoke. One cannot help but think this was how it used to be done many years ago and feel a very nostalgic effect. JS

Pipe Used: Sav

Age When Smoked: Fresh Tin

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The good Rev. Rizzo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The good Rev. Rizzo (36)
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

One word, love! I love the preparation to smoke this. I love the quality of the leaf rope. I love the flavor and strength. I love how this ages.

Pipe Used: Peterson Meerschaum 106 Golden Supreme

Age When Smoked: 4 years

Purchased From: Allegheny Smokeworks

Nobody has rated this review yet.

doc pipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc pipes (21)
Extremely Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

I have smoked this on and off for the past three years whenever I feel like punishing myself. When sliced into coins with a cigar cutter and rubbed out, an easily packable ribbon is obtained. The greasy, heavy, earthy pre smoke aroma translates exactly to the taste of the smoke. The smoke is remarkably smooth on the retrohale, and even gives some vague suggestion of sweetness. Most smokable when paired with a sweet beverage to overcome the nic hit and to balance such heavy, dark flavors.

Pipe Used: hardcastle crown

Age When Smoked: 4 years

Purchased From: iwan ries

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (203)
Very Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

Black XX tastes like BBQ'd bits of fatty beef, basted with black treacle. As far a strength goes, this is definitely a power-house. However, I do enjoy smoking it from time to time. The flavor is deep, rich and spicy but at a slower pace it can also be surprisingly mellow and even slightly nuanced. I notice a very subtle Lakeland scent in the side stream, as well as an earthy cigar like note to go with what I can only describe as a very dark stoved, sweet Virginia flavor.

Black XX is loaded with nicotine but I don't find it to be as strong as Brown No. 4. If I over do it, the nicotine seems to have immense staying power and usually puts me in a state of malaise. I am always amazed to read that some folks smoke this regularly as I can only partake after a good meal, sometimes being careful to pair it with some sugar. A rich Imperial Stout works nicely.

I believe that either you have the constitution for a tobacco like this, or you don't. I can smoke blends like 1792 Flake, Revor Plug, Dark Birdseye and Coniston Cut Plug without issue. However, Black XX is a stronger than any of these.

If you haven't smoked this yet and you feel compelled to do so, eat a good meal before hand and bring a small pipe to the party.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

meerschaum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
meerschaum (8)
Overwhelming None Detected Overwhelming Overwhelming

While smoking this tobacco I realised that i had never had a real Nicotine kick, until that moment. How do I get the taste and smell of this stuff out of my pipe? i am not kidding, i can smell my nice pipe from across the room now. I need no more.

I recommend it only as an interesting experience. We smoke this tobacco as a dear out of a clay pipe now.

Pipe Used: Peterson 2013

Age When Smoked: new

Similar Blends: Nothing I ever Smoked.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WillardFan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillardFan (86)
Strong Strong Full Strong

Tried something new with this stuff. Try mixing this with some Best Brown Flake. Not too bad. Still knocks the poop out of you though...

Well this one is unbelievable. Wow! Strong is an understatement. Not for the faint of heart. Kicks like a mule. At first the taste is something akin to burning cardboard, but then you get a subtle sweetness. No bite, but after about a minute, it brought back some memories of a Santana concert I went to in the seventies, where I smoked something that made my head swim. I wouldn't recommend this on a daily basis, but if you want a major change of pace, that kicks you in the butt, this oughta do it. If only it didn't look so much like a big dookie...

I've been mixing this with a bit of Prince Albert. Makes it a whole lot easier to light and to keep it lit as well...

Pipe Used: An Italian Milano bent model.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1281)
Extremely Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

This was definitely a strong smoke but not overwhelming like some of the flakes (1792 and Brac) This was just straight forward, in your face, no nuances, strong smoke. I'm glad I tried it, but wont be revisiting it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PIE-EYED-PIPER Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Strong Very Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

I was gifted a tin of this for my birthday a few months back. I was extremely excited to smoke it that I invited a friend and fellow pipe smoker over for dinner one night. Cracking the tin open, I could see that the tobacco (rope) was as black as tar. After clipping off a few discs from the rope with my cigar cutter, my friend, a veteran pipe smoker of 25 years, forewarned me not to fill up my bowl as I may have a system shock from this tobacco. He explained to me that this tobacco is not quite the same as the rest of the SG blends I've smoked. When asked how different it was, he simply replied: “you have to try it yourself”. Being a neophyte at pipe smoking, I heeded his words of wisdom.

Fortunately, I did heed his advice. After a few puffs, I could feel myself turn blue and nauseous. This tobacco is STRONG. Not only was it strong, it tasted like I was smoking burnt steak – like smoking charcoal. Much as I tried finishing the bowl, I could only finish a third of it. I discarded what was left in my pipe and traded my nearly full tin of SG Black XX Twist (Rope) for my friends half consumed tin of SG Best Brown Flake.

Is this a bad tobacco? I don't think so. Maybe one can argue that I'm not used to smoking strong tobaccos. I would strongly disagree with that as part of my regular rotation include Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.'s Dark Flake U/S, Brown Flake U/S and Dark Bird's Eye. Maybe I was a little bit off that night that may have caused such a distasteful experience.

The fact that Samuel Gawith has this on the market means that there are people who do like this blend. If ever there is a pipe tobacco that would make me raise the white flag, THIS IS IT! This tobacco is definitely not for the faint of heart. This is for the more EXPERIENCED SMOKER. I've been smoking for 5 years and still consider myself a newbie at this. Even my “veteran” friends treats this tobacco with great respect. I strongly suggest that you do the same.

Will I ever give it another chance? Maybe in the future… the distant future. For now, I would SOMEWHAT RECOMMEND this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cactido Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cactido (1)
Very Strong Very Mild Full Strong

I was drawn to this by my love of full taste, high strength tobaccos, as well as its history. It's commonly talked about as a sailor's and miner's tobacco, but this was also the favorite of the mountain men during the American fur trade era. Because it was so densely packed, it could be transported in large quantities to the rendezvous, something the fur companies looked for to maximize their profits. Rope tobacco was very likely the only kind of pipe tobacco available at the rendezvous to the mountain men once they headed west, and pipe smoking was among the mountain man's favorite activities.

This is definitely a strong tobacco. I had a good night's sleep and a full meal before enjoying it, and I'm glad I did. There's plenty of nicotine in here. To me, it tasted of salted meat with a good dose of pepper, with slight notes of a sweet, buttery nut flavor. The flavors stay consistent to the bottom of the bowl.

I've smoked it the way it would likely have been smoked by most mountain men, cut into coins and jammed straight into the bowl, with a single coin rubbed out and put on top to aid lighting, as well as completely rubbed out. The whole coins last a whole lot longer (in a pipe that generally lasts 30 to 35 minutes, I get over an hour), but are a genuine pain to keep lit. The rubbed out bowls last quite a while, and burn smoothly straight through.

The significant other can't stand the smell of the heavy smoke as it whirls from the bowl, and I can't say I blame her. It's just about as strong as the tobacco itself.

I don't count this among my favorites, but I'll definitely be keeping some on hand for when the mood strikes me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kiowapipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kiowapipe (17)
Extremely Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

It's quite possible that the inventor of this tobacco was moved by the hand of Satan himself. It's potently vile, yet somehow irresistible. It looks and smells like the poo of a fiendish tobacco elemental. In the bowl, though, the flavor is much more mild than I expected. Still by no means mild, just more mild than expected. The flavors are tough to explain- burned flesh, synthetic gear lube, diesel exhaust- but all somehow in sort of a good way. The nicotine is just shy of overwhelming. If I smoke a small bowl after a big meal I can escape with just a strong buzz rather than the N-sweats and a spinning room. There is something strangely satisfying about this tobacco, though. I can't put my finger on it, I just feel kind of ...settled... after a bowl. I know somehow that I like it but I haven't completely come to grips with that yet. The rating on this one is a tough call, as I certainly wouldn't recommend it to every piper. I guess if you find this description intriguing I'd recommend you try it. If you find the description off-putting, stay the hell away.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (127)
Very Strong Mild to Medium Very Full Strong

This is combustible Marmite, and you'll either love it or hate it: it really is as simple as that. Smoking stuff that tastes like this and packs this kind of N wallop (see previous reviews) is certainly not for the meek. Personally, being a little on the meek side, I think it's awful. Smoking enough of it to write a fair review was an ordeal that I wouldn't want to submit myself to again; but I recommend it because I know that it's exactly the kind of baccy that some people like, and you don't know until you try. For what it is, it's right on the button - if you like that kind of thing.

It takes a lot of preparing, and isn't easy to keep alight. Smoke it in a small bowl; take it slowly, or it really will floor you; beware of the ghost: this will stay in your pipe for a long time.

Great luck, and don't say you weren't warned. This is strong stuff that'll kill you quick if you don't approach it with caution.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mate (3)
Very Strong Strong Full Unnoticeable

This is the worst Tobacco Money can buy.

I am a big S&G fan, I thought the could not make bad baccy, I was wrong

It taste like smoking rubber

I can't think of any one I hate enough to give the rest of this tin to. OK maybe I'm exaggerating it would be a great gift for Politicians, especially the Anti-Smoking Nazis

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ken_mays Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ken_mays (8)
Very Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Strong

After a few abortive attempts with its stronger cousin, the Brown Rope, I tried the Black XX, hoping it would be more flavorful and mild.

Taste and aroma is primarily reminiscent of burning plastic. I've never gotten through more than about half a bowl. Ash is a dark, malevolent grey, and the room note is acrid.

I have to say the Brown Rope is far more pleasant even if it's stronger.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (191)
Strong None Detected Mild Strong

A tobacco for seasoned pipe smokers, for the strength that is. Better balance between strength and flavor than Brown No.4. Smokes better when the tobacco is dry, on warmer days for a quick nicotine buzz. A few thinly cut disks in a small pipe, smoked slowly, will do wonders. Tastes like burnt onion skins with dark Virginia undertones.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

snuffdog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
snuffdog (4)
Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Sweet and fairly stout, like the over browned edges of burnt caramel. Not the head butt of it's Brown brother No. 4 but more a complex sweet Virginia flavor.

I like it as a satisfying standalone and also as a mixer to boost more complex but less satisfying blends. This is a highly addictive treat that I could smoke every day. Black XX's pitbull appearance might intimidate but it's more of a kitten with claws.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kennethwilkinson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kennethwilkinson (1)
Very Strong Very Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

i smoked cigarettes for 10 years and stopped 3 months ago and started smoking pipe and just found my self inhaling the smoke from the pipe i was just about to quit until i ordered some of this stuff. when i opened it up the smell was nasty. but i loaded it up just for a taste. and it was what iv been waiting for from the moment i picked up a pipe a strong but not to strong of a taste. like a strong black cup of coffee. so i tried to inhale it but i couldn't the smoke was to much for my lungs.after a week of smoking this i realized i was in love with a tobacco named black xx i threw all the rest of my tobacco away. every time i smoke this stuff i start to wonder why i smoked cigarettes for so long. its very enjoyable. if your trying to stop smoking cigarettes and start smoking pipe buy this tobacco. its got the nicotine rush you want, it taste pretty good and you cant inhale it, if you can you might want to go see a doctor

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe-arazzo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe-arazzo (71)
Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Lakeland Tour Stop 15

I hate to give this a bad review, because it seems that my tin was sub-par. I do not notice any or at least not many reviews here that note problems keeping this stuff lit. But I had a hell of a time with burning this stuff. I cut it into very thin coins, rubbed out and dried extensively, and I could never keep it lit for more than 30 seconds or so. I loaned some out to another smoker who had the same problem. But again, if others don't mention this problem, it was probably my tin (or, less likely, me). So take this with a grain of salt.

Also, the flavor was not to my liking. It tasted and smelled just like burning peat moss. Interesting but not pleasant.

Two stars for interest, and that's probably generous. But again, it was just one tin and this is just one review. Try it and see for yourself.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sethus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sethus (9)
Very Strong Mild to Medium Very Full Very Strong

truly a mans smoke is a classic English rope...but be warned it makes women faint.. recommended !!! WARNING ...BLACK XX WILL PUT HAIRS ON YOUR CHEST OR TAKE THEM OFF, WHICHEVER THE CASE MAY BE , truly awesome JUST AWESOME .


Nobody has rated this review yet.

Quick_nick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Quick_nick (27)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

Black XX is a very nice smoke, it was full and strong but it didn't completely knock me on my ass. The rope cut and rubbed well; filling and lighting was effortless and it hardly needed a relight. I wish more companies would make ropes because when done right like Black XX it can be extremely rewarding. There was some nice sweetness and spice through out the smoke. Spice in a cinnamon or nutmeg sort of way not the perique sort. Having tried a couple other ropes I think Black XX is a nice one for someone curious about ropes who hasn't ever had one yet.

It lacks the edge to give it 4 stars but i think it could deserve three. Black XX is a great change of pace smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dr.sadik Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr.sadik (100)
Extremely Strong None Detected Full Strong

i would say highly recommended for a seasoned smoker,,it have a content of nicotine tht cn truly knock u down,,preferred in smaller bowl i smoked it once in a savenelli extra and it outlasted me to a 3 hrs,,black pressed tobacco tht cn hock u into stronger tobacco or turn u bk frm smoking at all ,,cut into small flakes pack up and prepare a chair to lay on for the rest of the day,,never smoke in th night as it will alert through out the rest of it,,i would definitly buy more

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jopado Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jopado (12)
Strong Medium Very Full Strong

OK. here's the deal. Yeah it looks like something a Greyhound dog left on the esplanade in Barcelona, Spain. However, if you give it a chance, it'll give you a good smoke.

Start by finding one end of the,,,,er...rope (?) and slicing off a couple of dimes worth. I use a fish filet knife for this step. Next, pick your favorite mild tobacco and pack half a pipe and then drop in a couple of the dimes worth of Black XX and pack as per normal with your mild stuff. Lite and puff and wait for the explosion. Wait for a day or two, repeat.

Over time,ease off on the mild stuff and now your ready! Unless you chew heavy duty tobacco and snort snuff I suggest that you do not try Black XX straight out of the bag, it might be a bit much.

NOTE: 11/18/08 I just received a new half pound from Smokingpipes and it's labeled "Black XX Finest". (?) Is this an improvement? I don't have any of the old stuff around to compare it to (I haven't attempted to cellar and age this tobacco) but it appears to be just as ugly and repulsive as regular old Black XX. If I use my imagination it might be a tad milder. But maybe I'm just toughening up to it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Effluvinator Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Effluvinator (51)
Very Strong None Detected Extra Full Extra Strong

I have tried and tried but I just do not like this stuff. I have tried it in clay, briar, cob, and meer. While I enjoy strong tobaccos such as the various brown ropes, Dark Flake, 1792, etc., the taste of this just puts me off. I have no problem with the amount of nicotine in it, it just simply tastes bad to me. I have nearly finished all of the 2 ounces I had purchased but I don't think I will smoke the remainder unless I can find something with which it could be blended that it wouldn't merely overwhelm with its taste. I always feel that if anyone enjoys a given tobacco then it has some merit and it is not my intention to malign it. It is just not something that I can tolerate, much less enjoy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
Very Strong Extremely Mild Full Extra Strong

Great Lakeland blend, as anyone would expect from SG. Of all pipe tobaccos I've smoked, the most cigar-like, and one of the strongest. Pure dark leaves with almost no floral/soapy taste.

Slice a few thin flakes, rub them out, fill the pipe, sit back and enjoy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jaybee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jaybee (77)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I was gifted a sample of this by a friend (221b) and was pleasantly surprised. It was one of those situations whereby the realization was much more pleasant than the anticipation. Not for the novice, this black beauty is meant to be sipped, not smoked. The first 1/4 bowl was a little strange as I searched my house to see if some electrical wiring was on fire...By mid-bowl it had settled down to a slightly sweet virginia taste. There's not an abundance of taste, rather subtle really, but it has plenty vitamin N and my senses were hyperactive for 30 minutes after the bowl was finished. Not an everyday affair for me, but certainly several times a week. Just don't drop it on the floor, someone might think the dog had an accident. Recommended..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Katxinba Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Katxinba (6)
Strong None Detected Medium Unnoticeable

This is my first twist tobacco. It looks like the momified finger of...a dragon ;o). It has a subtle smell of dried figs and raisins. After reading many of the reviews on this tobacco, I was a bit afraid of the "Black XX beast", so I smoke it with a trusted briar.

I cut it in thins coins, and cut the coins in half an rub it. I let it dry for 15 mins ( the tobacco layers were tighly packed, as if they were melted).

The smoke is smooth, creamy, with a dry fig, newly cut willow wood and Virginia smell, developing into a subtle homemade custardly smell ( custard made with milk, cornflour, sugar and vanilla pods, not the industrial custard ;o). It is a very nice smell and taste. By the last third of the bowl, I can feel the nicotine tingling in the back of my neck. It is a very nice, dry and smooth smoke. I love it .

I rate it with three stars because of the pre-work required ( you need some time to devote for preparing it) so it will not be one of my "default" tobaccos, but I will always keep it at hand.

I don't give any rating on room note ( I never do). Enjoy it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (145)
Extremely Strong Mild Extra Full Very Strong

This is one for the curiosity factor. It's difficult to peruse the online vendors with their fabulous pictures and great variety, and not come upon a rope.

Thick, dark, familiar in representation to something far less appealing. From these images, one finds another pull toward Tobacco Reviews, for some greater definition. Reading the many posts, I found myself imagining some torture chamber with an evil tobacconist--a sadist, wishing to punish those too ambitious.

To be fair, I would have ordered a sample sooner or later. There's so many great blends out there, it's difficult not to diversify. XX pretty much gives you exactly what you expect, a beating.

I thought this would taste like a dark, very dark Virginia--sweet, yet exceedingly robust. I was wrong on that count. It's nothing like I've ever tried. It's got a smoky taste, not like Latakia. It's more so like they sat this thing on the grill and fired up some briquettes. I don't suppose you'd call that a flavoring, or would you?

The strength overwhelms any taste of pure tobacco. I don't mean that to say there's a lack of quality leaf, or a muted presence. I simply suggest that the strength overpowers the senses so much, that one tends to forget what they're smoking. Above all, I get that faint, smoky vibe and a nicotine kick that could silence any doubter. This isn't a Nightcap high, or a 1792. It's pretty much beyond anything like that. Your head might spin, you might get palpitations, or sweat like mad. It really depends on your previous exposure to strong blends.

This oily, compacted menace means you'll have a ton of fun slicing this rope. XX is moist, somehow, and I'm not exactly sure why, other than it's wrapped tighter than you could imagine. How I'd love to compare a rope of Escudo before the cut. This is truly a beast...and it's exactly what I wanted.

Many complain endlessly about this product, which is a curious thing considering the very obvious connotations and lengthy reviews associated with XX's formidable existence. Yes, there are many who'll try to steer you in some other direction. Step into my office, and vacate your mind of such remarks...

Three of Four.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jackhackett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jackhackett (76)
Very Strong None Detected Full Very Strong

Why didn't I figure out that this stuff has got to be either made for blending with other tobacco, made to be chewing tobacco, or made to be used as an indian vision-quest hallucinogenic BEFORE I loaded my pipe with it?

So, yes it's got rocket-to-the-moon nicotine content, but it is absolutely worth trying as it is full of rich and complex flavors that I have not experienced elsewhere.

But be aware that you're essentially handling a variant of the white lightning moonshine of pipe tobaccos. If the two "X's" are an indication of nicotine strength/content, I think I would be tempting fate to try SG's 3X ("xxx") version.

Cutting the stuff up is a bit of a chore but necessary, and while it's potent, it doesn't seem to leave any unpleasant traces in the briar, and it does burn quite well with some drying.

Former (or current) cigar smokers should like this quite a bit.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Keeper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Keeper (112)
Strong Very Mild Full Tolerable

An interesting experience to say the least. I was thrilled to finally try a rope tobacco. Though my sample was only a small chunk, and quite dry - I still had to cut and rub it into stringy flakes.

Others have said it - so I won't go over the same ground. Powerful and rich in texture, nicotine, taste and aroma. I found it to be one of those extremely potent experiences I'd probably only undertake once in a while. But as has been said - it definitely is worth trying and likely repeating.

The taste is even less floral than 1792 - and quite unlike any other topping I've experienced. It melds so nicely with the potent taste of tobacco that it virtually integrates. There is a latent and murky spice that simmers beneath the cool exterior of this leaf. It didn't bite or sour at all and remained fairly consistent through out the bowl.

One bowl lasts a good long time, and perfectly compliments a dark beer as others have stated.

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sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
Very Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

Huge, wrecking, pure power! This is really a challenging experience! It's a bit (euphemism) tricky to prepare it to smoke: I've tried to slice it with a cigar cutter and then leave the slices to dry a little. Useless. I've used a tobacco grinder to rub them out and then leave again to dry. A little better. The first impression is a smoky flavour, reminding of burnt wood. After few puffs your head starts turning, halfway the bowl you think Mike Tyson have punched your stomach, at the end of the bowl you find yourself shakin' St.Peter's hand at the Pearly Gates...

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ajaj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ajaj (69)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Strong

I don't smoke this everyday but the quality of the tobacco is superb. This is real tobacco; wimps need not apply. I love the dark earthy tones with powerful waves of smoke on a hot summer afternoon . Try this with your favorite beer or single malt and you'll be rewarded. Dry, earthy, gothic. Picture yourself at a darkened coal miners pub, laughing at your mate's latest screw-up, beer-foamed moustache, and strong blue smoke billowing from your have SG black Rope.

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imago Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
imago (63)
Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a rope tobacco which reminds me of well-oiled leather in texture. In flavour and aroma, it is quite strong, although not unpleasantly so. It was difficult for me to keep lit at first; subsequent experiences with it were a bit more pleasant as I gave the tobacco some time to dry out after I had shaved off and rubbed out what I wished to smoke.

Be warned: don't do as I do and smoke this stuff when you've consumed nothing more than four cups of strong black coffee. It packs a real nicotine-wallop.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

lvnvbiker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lvnvbiker (15)
Very Strong Mild Very Full Tolerable to Strong

I have not been able to stop smoking this since I got it! This is the real smoking experiance, from slicing the rope to the light dry ash it is heaven! Stong as an Ox no holds barred tobacco. I can only compare this to a great cigar in terms of flavor, it reminds me of some of the better Cubans I've sampled.. Smoke this in a small bowl!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Minz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Minz (10)
Extremely Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

Whew! I have tosay this is strong stuffZ! And I like it that way. Smmoth and spicy on the tongue with just a little bit of sweetness chiming in now and then. Very little bite either, even with my enthusiastic puffing. This is what I reach for when on days like today, coffee alone isn't cutting it.

If you've never tried it, give it a whirl. But be warned, this smoke isn't for the faint of heart.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (102)
Strong None Detected Full Strong

Friends, this is pipe tobacco. Dark, strong and foreboding in the tin. Being my first "rope spun" experience, I loaded up a bowl in a pre-40's Comoy, after shaving generous slices from the coil with a pocketknife. I had chosen to smoke in the company of an old friend, for mortal and medical support. Soon the room was ensconced in a dark fog, which smelled alarmingly like a barn burning down. The leaf was very wet, needing many relights. In a short time I had settled into a slow even draw, which brought peppery puffs rushing onto my palate. There appears to be no casing of any kind, just raw tabac. A thoroughly different experience, to be entered into slowly(and sitting down). As one would guess from the chocolate color of the coil, there is nicotine aplenty. Newbies need not apply!

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KEF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KEF (13)
Extremely Strong Very Strong Medium to Full Strong

This comes in a rope of a smaller diameter than the brown rope, and it is black and oily on the outside, but once cut the inside appears a bit more chocolate colored. Not much of a scent unlighted. It is oiler than the brown rope. Quality tobacco, and it obviously is put together well. I cut it into 1/4 inch slices and break it up. Tough to light, but once lit stays lit well. Flavor on lighting is almost a sharp/sweet licorice taste with heavy tobacco underpinning. The nicotine content is high, and by the bottom of a mid-sized bowl I'm done smoking for a while. Rubbed out and mixed with a lighter and sweeter ribbon cut virginia (like Apertif) is a great smoke. Alone this is a bit too strong for anything but a small bowl. It does not seem to leave any significant taste in a pipe. Overall, an unusual and spicy taste. For anyone who is up to trying something "different" and very satisfying, I'd recommend trying it. 8 of 10. - Kelly

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