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For the dedicated smoker who demands a fuller flavor to the tobacco. Commonwealth, another Samuel Gawith Bi-Centenarian, is a full-strength blend of 50% heavily steamed Virginia and 50% Cyprus latakia.

BrandSamuel Gawith
Blended BySamuel Gawith
Manufactured BySamuel Gawith
Blend TypeVirginia/Latakia
ContentsLatakia, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutRibbon
Packaging50 grams tin
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
Iwan Ries
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Tolerable

Favorite Of 22 Users

3.3
173 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
82
3 star:
62
2 star:
25
1 star:
4
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CriolloCorojo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CriolloCorojo (18)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

For all you English/Latakia lovers out there, you are really missing out if you haven't tried this one. For those of you who are not fans of English blends, you should stay away. This stuff is awesome. I would give it four stars if they reduced the latakia by 10%, the virginias by 10% and replaced the missing 20% with something else to add some complexity. I would recommend perique. But alas, they would need to change the name to something other than Commonwealth (Acadian English Alliance... no how cheesy). However, if you are just plain craving latakia and virginias, then this is the bomb.

It lights very easily and has the right amount of moisture out of the tin. This is contrary to one of SG's other fan favorite latakia blends, Squadron Leader - which I will review at a later date. Just suffice it to say that I like this blend more than Squadron Leader.

This blend will always have a place in my rotation so long as I am a pipe smoker. There are a few other English blends that I like more (Ashton Artisan's Blend which I will review at a later date will certainly be getting a full four stars), but this one will definitely remain a member of my crew of English friends.

19 people found this review helpful.

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

Upon opening this ripe old tin, you will be greeted by a very oily wax paper cover that protects a dark, rich looking blend with a smattering of sugar crystals all over the leaf. The tin bouquet is enticing and will cause the body to undergo a trembling sensation as you load your pipe. It was not all that easy to pack anyway because the leaf is very long-stranded. At the match, this one provide a pleasant, sweet Latakia flavor with delightful aged Virginia playing in the background. A 50/50 Virginia/Latakia blend that will please.

19 people found this review helpful.

Otis56 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Otis56 (31)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

A real manly smoke. I personally love Latakia so a mixture of 50 percent Latakia and 50 percent Virginia would be a mix made in heaven. This blend is very smoky, leathery, and earthy, has some floral overtones as well. Holds a light. Burns clean and smells ever so lovely and stinky strong. Like I said a real manly smoke. Peace.

Pipe Used: Ashton Bent billiard

Age When Smoked: 1year

Purchased From: 4noggins

18 people found this review helpful.

SteveH Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteveH (35)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Strong

Medium cut. Powerful smell. Taste - rich, sweetish, dark, smoky, plum-pudding. Marked liquorice note - not unlike some dark beers, such as Theakston's 'Old Peculier', in that respect, and the two go well together. Despite the high Latakia content, it is well balanced by the Virginia. Pure latakia is strongly-flavoured but curiously lacking in body, as I discovered when I smoked some experimentally. This mixture, therefore, could have been a bit thin - but it isn't. The Virginia has been well chosen to beef it up. This is one of my four S.G. regulars. So far, I have only ever tried it new, but I have five tins of it ageing - 9 months old at the moment - and will open one every Christmas for the next five years, to see what happens to it as it ages.

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: http://mysmokingshop.co.uk

14 people found this review helpful.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (84)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

An unbelievably smooth and cool smoke that is entirely planar -- no depth, no subtlety, no nuance, no complexity -- but it's nonetheless a most rich, full and satisfying smoke.

Others here have commented on the single note of this blend, which is entirely accurate. But if you happen to like that note, which I do -- very much -- then this is a wonderful blend. Single notes can be very pleasant: the sound of wind in the trees, the sound of river water... In this blend it's the timbre of the note that delights, and this is a velvety bassoon.

It's an ambient, terrifically full smoke that may not tease you with its subtlety or depth, and sometimes that's just what you want when all you're looking for is an excellent, smooth, simple, solid, pleasant smoke you can sink your teeth into, a real latakia lover's dream. Not an everyday smoke for me, but definitely in my rotation.

11 people found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (264)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

Since Sam Gawith (and their German importers Kohlhaase, Kopp & Co.) went out of their way to point this blend out as a "full-strength" affair with lots of Latakia and VA, I had to do my duty. Hence I ordered a tin, which then had to wait around for a month for me to finish a few tins of other blends I had open at the time.

I was with friends when I finally opened the tin. The tin note is more than a little remeniscent of Dan Tobacco's Holly's Discovery; going by the descriptions of the blends, that is not the only similarity: both are approx. 50/50 Latakia/VA blends.

Damp as it is out of the tin, the dark brown to black leaf of Commonwealth still lights up readily. Lots of smokiness and toast from the beginning, spice and full- tilt sweetness. Mind you, I love Balkan blends with their abundance of orientals and their layers of depth and variety in taste and texture. But this is the stuff I had been searching for until I found Holly's Discovery -- the full VA sweetness with the full amount of Latakia toast and spice -- only in this case as an easy-to- stuff ribbon.

What can I say? My friends also had a go at this, and both (one of them a Lady pipester) found it to be quite good and satisfying. Four bloody stars, already. Goes well with Islay and Orkney Single Malts.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: Fresh from new tin

Purchased From: Smoker's Corner, Lübeck, Germany

Similar Blends: DTM Holly's Discovery.

10 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1644)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

Samuel Gawith - Commonwealth Mixture.

The mixture covers the whole spectrum of tobacco colours, right from bright yellow to jet black. The aroma of the mixture is delightful, a very rich and intoxicating blend of smoky Latakia, a touch of raisins and an almost peaty quality. Moisture level is superb with this one, requiring no extra time to dry.

Due to the moisture it lights with great ease, giving a brilliant/even burn leaving a grey ash. I can't find a negative point with the flavour of the smoke, the Virginia gives it a very solid base with the smoky eminence from the Latakia really shining brightly. I don't get any dried fruit as I did in the aroma at all, but what I do get is pure brilliance.

Room note: full, but I like. Nicotine: medium.

I feel that if you like Latakia smokiness then this one is a must for you to try!

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Peterson Dracula

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke King

Similar Blends: Squadron Leader.

8 people found this review helpful.

Leandro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Leandro (13)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

A dark, rich looking blend of great aroma (Latakia mostly): Very smoky, leathery, and earthy. No Oriental, no floral or fruity notes, no complexity or sophistication... Pure "Good Tobacco" and nothing more. A noble one: Serious and generous. It lights very easily and burns clean. One of my favorites

7 people found this review helpful.

albfneto Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
albfneto (184)
★★★★
Medium Strong Very Full Strong

I received a sample of this from one Friend, Brazilian Pipe Smoker. according to him, this was an aged, maturated sample. Since it not haves Oriental tobaccos, is is not a "complete" English Mixture, but a Virginia-Latakia mixture. Despite it not have Orientals, in the smoking, i remember the antique times, the antique mixtures, and i remenbered Engine 99, Pirate Cake and the antique (not the actual ones) Dunhills, as Standard Mixture Full. For me, it is not so strong in Nicotine, but is strong in flavour... Tobacco flavour. I enjoy this mixture. I'm one between few pipe smokers that enjoy both aromatic and non-aromatic tobaccos.

Pipe Used: A Brazilian (Bertoldi) Volcano Shape.

Age When Smoked: aged

Purchased From: received as sample

7 people found this review helpful.

scottyspipesebay Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
scottyspipesebay (25)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant

Samuel Gawith Commonwealth Mixture, BULK from pipesandcigars.com: This has a wonderful room note: Sweet and nutty, although the flavor is flat and the VA barely comes across; never-mind the fact that it has a bite and sour taste that is very disappointing. I tried aging some with no results. By adding 1/3 ECR bulk to this it added body and the sweetness it so lacked without it. So, I was able to save it but I won't buy it again. I blend my own Cyp Lat mix that blows this out of the water, but we learn by trying. If you're looking for an excellent English Cyp Lat mixture, please try Balkan Sesieni. You won't be disappointed. Next, don't be taken in by the remake of Balkan Sobraine. You'll be spoofed into paying a lot of money for the name, but you will not get the product you were hoping for. The first 1/4" tastes fairly nice, but then it immediately turns to bitter bitey dottle, and then you know you've been had, while the makers of the stuff are laughing all the way to the bank. Just a word of warning. It's being re-released in small amounts from time to time, but avoid it at all costs. It is NOTHING like to original!

7 people found this review helpful.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

Appearance: A mostly dark ribbon cut

Aroma: Latakia dominates the aroma of this blend, with only a trace of the Virginia noted. There does not appear to be any Oriental in the blend.

Packing: and lighting The blend packs well and lights easily, although not unusually so.

Initial flavor: The first blast of flavor is almost disappointing, based upon the aroma. The Latakia does not dominate the flavor as it does in Penzance. It is there, but balanced well by the Virginias.

Mid-bowl: Retains the well balanced characters of the sweet and smokey elements, no real layers of flavor. Somewhat monochromatic, but not boring. This can be smoked and enjoyed while otherwise occupied.

Finish: No real change in character right to the botom. As with all SG blends, a beautiful ash.

Summary: A nice enough Latakia blend, but I miss the Turkish.

7 people found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (203)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A 50/50 mix of Latakia & Virginia hardly seems like a novel idea. I would assume that just about every person who has tried their hand at home-blending has attempted something similar to this with a varying degree of success. Commonwealth Mixture could easily be an average smoke, maybe even boring. However, the quality of the leaf, combined with the way Sam Gawith processes their Virginias for optimal sweetness, turns a seemingly simple blend into something that is way more compelling than I would have ever imagined.

The tin note is a full, smoky & just plain wonderful. Like Squadron Leader or Skiff Mixture, the tobacco is cut thin; it's easy to pack and requires very little dry time. When lit, the flavor is Latakia-forward with the Virginia adding a subtle influence of sweetness and there’s a touch of spice on the finish. As the bowl warms, the toasty flavors of the Virginias come forth and begin to harmonize with the Latakia, making for a moderately complex, perfectly balanced and incredibly tasty smoke. As expected, end bowl flavors are spicy, rich and focused.

In my humble opinion, this is a lovely English mixture. The tobacco flavor strength is a firm medium, nicotine strength is mild to medium. I prefer smoking this in a pipe with a wider & more shallow bowl, which helps to coax out some extra complexities. For me, a classic and an instant favorite.

6 people found this review helpful.

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

If this is a sample of the stereotypical English blend, count me in. I've heard some horror stories about the SG tins and not being properly sealed. Not the case with mine. My tin aged about 4 years. Upon cracking it open I was met with a strong smokey smell typical of English blends. The tobacco is pressed in nicely and has a beautiful black oily appearance. I felt like this was my stop as soon as I boarded the SG bus. Examining the leaf I found all good quality product. I let a pinch dry for about ten minutes to start. It settled nicely and took a charring light with ease. I was met with a full stout puff of smoke. I tamped and put the pipe down for almost twenty minutes to breath. When I came back to it, I relit and was off to the races. The flavor was creamy and sweet. Somewhat one dimensional all the way through the bowl. I was not disappointed by this as it was just plain good. Before I knew it my first bowl was gone. It burned nice and even all the way through wth a cool heavy smoke. All in all a very satisfying experience for this venerated blend. I smoked the remainder of the tin over a two week period in four different pipes with the same pleasing results. Never once meeting the over powering Lakeland soapy taste. No tongue bite either. It behaved like a perfect travel companion the whole trip.

Pipe Used: Peterson System Standard XL307

Age When Smoked: 4 years

Purchased From: Allegheny Smokeworks

6 people found this review helpful.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (136)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Cool,smooth smoke from beginning to end. Maintained with very little attention, burns clean and dry. The right amount of flavor and strength, you don't need to sip or search for the flavor with this one. Nice spicy note on the retrohale. Very well done. 4*.

Pipe Used: Grabow Grand Duke

Age When Smoked: Undated tin recently purchased.

Purchased From: Smokes on Burdick, Kalamazoo, MI

6 people found this review helpful.

Stinkypipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stinkypipe (156)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A wonderful blend. Just outstanding to smoke. I am a big fan of taste that is wood smoke and sweet hay with the flavor of nuts here and there along with anything else you want to throw in. This blend gives me all that and more. This is Frog Mortin Across the Pond with more flavor and more varied taste. Burns fairly cool needs to be smoked slowly and room note is a campfire. Gosh this is good. It will bite a bit if your not careful and keep it slow and sip not puff a lot. It's in my rotation of damn fine smokes! You should give it a shot.

Pipe Used: Nording

Age When Smoked: Couple months

5 people found this review helpful.

georgariou33 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
georgariou33 (16)
★★★★
Medium Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

wonderful latakia...great balance...good taste...i like non aromatics and aromatics so my collection of 105 blends is a mix bag of brands and mixes...this blend is excellent!!!! dont pass on this one

Pipe Used: big ben and stanwell only

Age When Smoked: 70

Purchased From: pipes and cigars

Similar Blends: 000.

5 people found this review helpful.

Mesh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mesh (50)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I like the sweet-savoury balance here, which is IMO slightly more tilted towards the sweet, i.e. towards the Virginias. This lacks Orientals, so it's not a conventional English blend in my book. If, like me, you're predominantly a VA smoker who craves Latakia every so often, you'll get the best of both worlds from CM. For me this is a rich, creamy smoke with an adequate amount of body and strength... after a heavy meal of red meat, you could do a lot worse than a glass of peaty Scotch, somewhere to put your feet up, and a nice big fat bowl of this tobacco.

5 people found this review helpful.

JohnH Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnH (12)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

A very enjoyable smoke straight out of the tin. I'm a fan of Latakia so this 50/50 suits me well, but certainly wont be for those who don't like Latakia.

Strong dominating Latakia hits as soon as I open the tin, smoky, earthy, and I get some almost oaky barrel notes, maybe even a hint of whisky, smells great. The first light is good and the flavor takes off from the aroma, the Virginia carrying the Latakia. It's a good cut, packs and burns well. I've heard some people complain of tongue bite the first few bowls, and they recommend some aging to combat this, but from my experience I don't find this a problem, for me it's a very enjoyable smoke straight from the tin. I could agree with others that some Perique could work with this, but it is a great smoke as is, could be really interesting with a bit of whisky stave in it, a la FM Cellar.

Overall I very much enjoy SG Commonwealth, and would recommend it to English and Latakia lovers as a must try.

Pipe Used: Tsuge The Tasting 23

Age When Smoked: 6 months

4 people found this review helpful.

Pipenick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipenick (27)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

My favourite Latakia now days.I'll smoke it as regular daily blend(around 5-6 bowls a day).Steamed Virginias keeps it intresting and the Cyprian Latakia gives the nice rich smokiness and strong aroma-as you would imagine a blend with 50% steamed Virginia and 50% Latakia would be dull but I haven't notice such a thing.There's people who'll say that it's one dimensional mixture but it is not.I just bought 3 more tins.No bite,cool smoke with fine Grey ash in the end as Gawith's blends usually has.

Pipe Used: Several Stanwell's, Big Ben's,Savinelli's

Age When Smoked: Straight from the tin

Purchased From: local tobacconist

4 people found this review helpful.

cakeanddottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cakeanddottle (68)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is the one Samuel Gawith tobacco you're likely to find between shipments as it doesn't seem to enjoy the popularity of the rest of the line.

I have mixed feelings about this one. I have had both nondescript and awe inspiring smokes with this one. I have not been able to figure out what made for the good ones, and anyway no tobacco should make you work so hard to play to its strengths.

On a good day, there is a marvelous sour tang to the Latakia here that elevates this smoke into incredible territory. Good luck replicating that experience though. Most bowls are a lackluster, ordinary smoke that you could easily miss if something else in the room caught your attention. This one should age well due to the 50% Va content. Also worth mentioning is that this is pretty tame for a blend that is 50% Latakia.

Update 11/21/2011

I am adding one star. I don't know what it is about this simple 50/50 mixture. I get wildly inconsistent experiences with it. At its worst, it's an ok medium-full blend. Somewhere in the neighborhood of average. But I've had numerous bowls of this that had me singing its praises. I need to narrow down the factors that contribute to making this one sing. If you can dedicate yourself to figuring this one out, it's a great Lat blend.

4 people found this review helpful.

TheAromaticDan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TheAromaticDan (9)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Oh boy, do I love Latakia. Since this blend is allegedly composed of 50% Latakia and 50% steamed Virginias, I knew this would be right up my alley. The Latakia is apparent from start to finish, but never dominates the taste you get from this magnificent blend. The taste is full and doesn't bite at all, though I noticed it could get hot at times. I as a nicotine lightweight have never noticed a significant N hit. As with many Latakia heavy blends, its scent pervades the room for quite some time.

Pipe Used: various pipes without filter

Age When Smoked: 2017

Purchased From: tabak-boerse24.de

3 people found this review helpful.

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

Bold, strong, full, smooth, deep, and with a strong personality. Obviously, it is highly suggested to people who absolutely love Latakia.

This is what my mind pictures when I light my pipe packed with Commonwealth: it is like smoking your pipe watching a beautiful winter sunset from the top of a silent volcano. Definitely an evocative smoking experience.

Pipe Used: Savinelli - Roma

Age When Smoked: 2 weeks

Similar Blends: Sobranie of London - The Balkan Sobranie.

3 people found this review helpful.

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

Ready to smoke out of my tin. Tin note latakia woodsy and creosote like. Lit well, char light was very pleasant with some sweetness and much latakia flavor. Burn rate was excellent. Full of rich flavor with not much complexity. Smoke mouth feel was excellent, no tongue burn. Billows of righteous smoke from this blend. My wife would not be present when smoking this great blend, yet commented how well it smelled on my clothes and stache.

Pipe Used: Many

Age When Smoked: open tin

3 people found this review helpful.

zofo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zofo (2)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Strong

This tobacco is one of my favourites. I have to say it's definitely one of the best by Samuel Gawith (at least for me, because to be honest - the other blends aren't that great and not great at all). This mixture has the exact scent of an Englishman after he's had his tea & pipe at 5 o'clock. The combination of Latakia and Virginia is just right - it tastes harsh, but doesn't give you the feeling of wanting to call the fire extinguishers. Unlike some "Balkan" tries of Samuel Gawith this one is worth it.

Similar Blends: Peterson - Old Dublin.

3 people found this review helpful.

pencils Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pencils (43)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Full Strong

On the back of all that I have heard about the monochromatic nature of this tobacco, I expected it to be somewhat dull.

For what it's worth, I agree that it is monochromatic but neither dull nor monotonous. After every bowl I had the same feeling - "Hmm, that was pretty straightforward. No real highs or lows. Same at the start as at the finish".

I still managed to polish off 50g in less than a fortnight.

Tasty, latakia, relaxing. I liked it a lot.

3 people found this review helpful.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (130)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

UPDATE (2016-09-05): Smoking from a stash dated May 2010 (more than six years old). Some say high Latakia blends don't improve much with age, but this stuff is so smooth and tasty I had to give an update. I was jonesing for some big Latakia and i remembered "Hey, don't I have some Commonwealth in my cabinet?" Yup. A pound of it in jars plus a couple tins. Had to crack one open tonight, and so happy I did! It's probably been three or four years since I had it and it's better than I remembered! Strong flavor, a bit tangy on the retrohale, but still surprisingly complex for a blend with only two weeds in it!

ORIGINAL (2009-12-13): Your tastebuds will revolt. They will picket, they'll throw rocks, they'll beg for mercy.

"The Latakia? You can't handle the Latakia!"

If you think you know what a Latakia slap feels like, you ain't seen nothin' yet!

But perhaps I exaggerate. Or not. Your tongue will wonder what it did to make you treat it like this. Then it'll beg for more.

"Come on Baby, make it hurt so good!"

The label says "Full Strength Mixture." No, 'ya think???

Gotta tell you, I don't often write a tobacco review after only one bowl, but this one's a no-brainer. If you like Latakia, GET SOME OF THIS! (sorry, didn't mean to shout...)

Starts off smooth, ends up smooth. Starts off rich, ends up richer. Starts off creamy, ends with an explosion of flavor. Starts off full, ends up FULL. Don't confuse strong flavors with harshness. The quality of the Latakia is amazing, and of course building on a foundation of SG Virginias guarantees the building will stand strong. No way you're gonna forget there's a pipe in your maw.

Gotta order more...gotta order more...gotta order more...

Age When Smoked: 6 years.

3 people found this review helpful.

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

Revised 04-14-2005

This was recommended as a replacement for "Raven's Wing" by the good folks at the now defunct Gus's Smoke Shop. While it did not have the same flavor, it did not disappoint at all. It smells like a strong Latakia blend in the tin, but when smoked, was balanced well with the steamed virginia. This blend developed the same type of chocolate, earthy note that "Charing Cross" has but not quite as complex although "meatier" in flavor. It is sweeter than that aforementioned blend too. I have been pleasantly surprised by this blend over and over, and will definitely recommend it to all those latakia lovers out there. I found it to be at the perfect moisture level for my taste and smoke it regularly, especially in big pipes.

3 people found this review helpful.

rafalgdansk87 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rafalgdansk87 (12)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

This tobacco is good example for that, the sometimes simple is better. Just 2 ingridients - 50 % sweet virginia, and 50% smoky latakia. Smoke is mellow, easy burning, no spiciness, no bite, just full sweet and smoky taste. Great as an everyday latakia blend.

Pipe Used: Worobiec 72

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Smoke Shop, Gdansk, Poland

2 people found this review helpful.

tschenyinkoh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tschenyinkoh (51)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

I tasted some but found the rough edge and flat, if not dull, taste may not be my personal preference. So I rated it as two stars: just smokable.Then I put it somewhere and forget.

After six months, when I discover it, commonwealth become as dry as brittle paper. Surprisingly, it smokes like heaven because commonwealth shows more mellow and smoky aroma, Virginia and Latakia perfectly merge and balance. So I rated it as four stars. In result, I conclude that if you significantly reduce the moisture of SG tobacco and cellar it carefully, the quality of mixture will be glowing.

Enjoy + Require buying + An all-day smoke → Four Stars Rating

Age When Smoked: six monthes

Purchased From: bulk from pipesandcigars

2 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

The Lat is of good quality offering ample smoke and wood with a mild spice. The Virginias offer no flavor and only a hint of sweetness. It's almost like smoking straight Lat which doesn't do a thing for me. Pretty boring actually. Seems to be a "blend" for Lat junkies only. The quality of this Lat is the only thing that keeps me from giving this 1 star. It'll make a good blending component.

Medium in body and taste. No added flavoring. Burns well.

Pipe Used: MM Little Devil Cutty, Little Devil Acorn, Marcus

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

2 people found this review helpful.

bayro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bayro (28)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Strong Very Full Tolerable to Strong

Top latakia - virginia mixture! For all fans of real, powerful English mixtures and Latakia lovers , all around the world! This tobacco impressed me from the first bowl, so I immediately order from my US tobacconist 250 grams of this divine ambrosia! And to quote my predecessors; only for true fans of latakia, others - better to avoid! My deep respect, good old Samuel!

Pipe Used: DMP, Danske Club, some old Tanzanian meer pipes

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: smokingpipes

Similar Blends: Peter Stokkebye, Proper English, Balkan Sasieni.

2 people found this review helpful.

Greekpipesmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Greekpipesmoker (153)
★★☆☆
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

This blend is no joke!!!high latakia content only for strong blend smokers.when you open it you get a smelling punch in the face!(latakia)woodsy coaly smoky.lights ok and burns nice.moist is absent.very rich latakia flavour and sorry no virginia flavour detected though i could see them.even an english blend fan might not like it due to it's harshness.if you are not sure don't go there it might bite you!!!i suppose this blend has only haters and lovers noone in the middle.

Age When Smoked: When opened!

2 people found this review helpful.

Rob73 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rob73 (77)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

50% Virginia and 50% Latakia for another great EM by Samuel Gawith. Intense, meditative, perfect for a great evening smoke. 4,0/5 in my personal rating system.

Purchased From: Stop and Smoke, Milano (Italy)

2 people found this review helpful.

AlexFullin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AlexFullin (6)
★★★★
Strong Strong Very Full Very Pleasant

Probably the best English mix out there. And I say probably because I havent tried them all .....yet. Mellow, balanced and powerfull. Round all along the bowl, its mellow and powerful without being overwhelming. An underated beauty.

Pipe Used: Orlik Antique

Purchased From: Local Corner Shop Quilmes Buenos Aires

Similar Blends: Squadron Leader but rounder all throu the bowl..

2 people found this review helpful.

crazy owl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
crazy owl (72)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

It´s curious just now I discover that my most dear blend of every day from 3 years ago,when it arrived at local tobacconist,were not yet reviewed.So simple blend La-Va but married to the top of perfection.I don´t know where from comes the leaf but remains year after year above the rest.Yes,we know the incredible Mc Clelland virginias of heavenly flavour,but they can get the balanced point of mixture with Latakia.Samuel Gawith get it,blessed mistery.Today I,m smoking the cellared stuff,in ceramic jar beside the local very long and hot summers maduration is overpowering,3 years become more than 12 in the tins,and it´s wonderfully different.Both versions,fresh and aged are excellent.Let´s hope the quality keep on the front line of these trustable tobaccos,the last bastion in the brithish pipe world.By the way,if you are looking for complexity obviously you can´t find it on this blend,but depth is another question.Easy to smoke every day,only when trying several pipes,to enjoy bowl variety.Nice cut.I also realize that are people who don´t like Samuel Gawith´s tobaccos as a rule.Taste is free but with Presby found again is ,at present time,my choice.

Pipe Used: all kinds

Age When Smoked: fresh and quite aged

Purchased From: local tobacconist

Similar Blends: itself.

2 people found this review helpful.

Knightsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Knightsmoker (137)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the best in its class (Lat. and VA only). I have smoked several English styles that lack the oriental component and this is one of the very best available. Lat is strong, although it is starting to mellow a little now. Nice smokey, peaty, earthy. The VA's are a little sweeter now too. Although steamed I think there must be a lot of red and browns as I get a sweetness that is malty and of roasted grain/breads but every now and then a note that is different, not citrus but sweet nonetheless. I cannot quite put my finger on it but it adds another element. Should age well I would like to try it at 5 yrs now too.

Age When Smoked: 3.5 years

2 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Very heady latakia scent in the tin, with the color ranging from black to dark brown. Cut was sort of a ribbon with some choppy stuff tossed in.

Tough one to review. I picked this up on a whim without knowing much about it. The absence of orientals in a latakia blend begs comparison with blends like McClellands Anniversary, but I found the two nothing alike in taste. In this one, the virginia was so subservient that any sweetness was so far to the rear and the blend took on a dusty, hazy flavor that was more bitter than I would expect. I didn't find any creamy notes in this one, and it was far from complex. The only differences I found was as the bowl neared the last 1/3rd or so, it gained in intensity. The smoke was sort of chewy and full-feeling and the taste was not bad, but it was missing that complexity that I prefer in latakia blends. Perhaps the heavy steaming that is claimed sapped the sweetness from the virginias, but this one tasted very close to straight latakia except it was not quite as one-dimensional. If you love latakia, this is a blend to try. I can see why it's one of the few SG blends that never seems to be out of stock in the U.S. It's fine for what it is, but it just doesn't have enough going for it to warrant another try. Interesting to note that I enjoyed this one more when I pointed the pipe bit at the roof of my mouth. P-lip lovers may get more from this than I did.

2 people found this review helpful.

machinebcon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
machinebcon (50)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

It says "Full Strength Mixture" on the tin, but this is not the same beast like Nightcap. Commonwealth Mixture is a light, cool, sweet smoke with a creamy tone. The tin aroma is smokey-sour, the room note drives your wife away, but the pipe is pure joy from the beginning to the last puff. High grade tobaccos, quite moist in the tin, needs drying else you need to relight every two minutes. Apart from that, five of five stars! Everybody who likes Lat should have this in rotation. Definitely recommended.

2 people found this review helpful.

maigret fan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
maigret fan (74)
★★★★
Strong Strong Medium to Full Pleasant

A traditionnal English tobacco, tranditionnal in its taste and in its quality. Good mixture of the Viriginia with a full Latakia addition which will please the smokers who enjoy that kind of blend.

One of the best of the Samuel Gawith range. I was disappointed by the Squadron leader blend, lacking Latakia to my taste. Here is something fully satisfactory. May I say it reminds me of the legendary Balkan Sobranie although I did not smoke that blend for twelve years?

2 people found this review helpful.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (110)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

First let me say I was going to give this three stars, simply because I will not be hoarding this tobacco, having said that, I have just compared this tobacco with Germain 1820 in a previous review, to which I gave three stars, and comparing the two together, this must surely rate four.

A dark broken flake of quality tobacco's, a good honest English tobacco and well balanced. Packs and lights easy, a well behaved burn requiring minimum maintenance and a good flavour all the way through.

Personally, IMHO, I do not find this to be a full strength mixture, more in the line of medium, a good but by no means, an overpowering amount of latakia, complimented by fine quality virginias. This can make a nice diversion, if not an occasional change from Squadron leader. Most certainly worth a try.

2 people found this review helpful.

A. Morley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A. Morley (97)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Extra Full Overwhelming

As a pipe smoker you can smoke an English blend or you can smoke a man's English blend. Commonwealth Mixture is a man's English blend. I doesn't for a second try to hide ho unpretentious it is. You want Virginia? Well you got Virginia. Long cut, dark, angry Virginia that would make McClelland wet itself. You want Latakia? Well here it is, sweetheart. It's the other half of the blend. And that's all ya' get! Ha!

This blend is simple, pungent, and damned good. You have the almost unhinged and at times hot sweetness of stoved Virginia and, should you desire a reprieve, a full, meaty Latakia will come and rough you up for a little while. The flavor is full and the smoke is strong. You'll have to take time out to smoke this, because it will not take to the sidelines. You have to treat it with some respect too, smoke it slowly, otherwise it will hurt you.

Take it like a man and you will manage to experience, in equal proportions what fine, heavily stoved, African-grown Virginia leaf can do and also get a dose of the fullness of ashy, meaty Latakia in the process.

'You game, pilgrim?

2 people found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (302)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Desperately seeking?.Virginia!

I believe this one is known as KBE mixture across the Atlantic. One of the moistest Latakia mixtures I have tried (airing recommended). The mixture is composed of mainly black and dark brown ribbon cut strands, not exactly sinister looking?but close. Upon lighting, a full, straightforward Latkia blast comes through. Hmmm, not bad. Toasty and rather sweet, in that incense like sweetness, it immediately affirms itself on the palate. Trouble is, in so doing it deprives other flavours from making their stand.

Way down the middle mark the mixture is still very tasty and dry, albeit only in one direction?. The Cyprus delegation is all over the place, but where is the American leaf? It seems that in this Gawith offering the Tobacco Lords of Scotland have overpowered the Commonwealth of Virginia. This is a good, simple, strong tobacco. By no means it is a contemplative or meditative experience. It burns slowly and rather cool, yes, but there is no subtlety of flavours, there is no regional coexistence of taste spheres. While the zesty, almost salty presence of Latakia is evident, it does seem to lack the understated sour/sweet element of Turkish tobacco, as well as the nutty whiff of other Orientals, and the elegance of Virginian varieties, such as you find them in My Mixture 965, London Mixture or in the Original Balkan Sobranie Mix. To borrow a figure used by the esteemed Eulenburg, it lacks ?ampleur? Other than that, it is a very good, uncomplicated smoke. An excellent companion for cold, windy days.

2 people found this review helpful.

Albion1956 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Albion1956 (41)
★★☆☆
Medium Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

This tobacco promises a 50/50 mixture of Cyprian Latakia and Virginias, well they are right in that respect, and that is it. I like a good Latakia blend, and I am certainly fond of good Virginias, and in the process of reading up on this and purchasing it I was hoping for more. A mixture of both mentioned tobacco's various Va's etc, made for an attractive blend on the eyes. The smell in the can reminds me of dirt, but well processed dirt. The tobacco was slightly moist, and few minutes in the air took care of that. Charring was no problem, and after the initial light I tasted the latakia with an essence of Va's. Not that the latakia overwhelms, but it predominit, smoking down the bowl offers no variation, except the changing of the lead between the two starters. A pale white ash shows a quality tobacco, but not much else. Bottom of the bowl leaves some dottle, something Mr. Holmes might prefer, first thing in the morning, but well... A well processed tobacco, burns evenly, and leaves one with a sense of did I miss something?

2 people found this review helpful.

Calamiti Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Calamiti (66)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable

Like all truly ingenious things, Commonwealth Mixture is amazingly simple. No fancy mixology and no weird combinations here, just take half top-notch Latakia and half very good Virginia, that's all. The result is a smoke so dense and oily you might feel like you're drinking the smoke, not smoking it. Were the tobaccos just of a bit lower quality, that extra density might well be overwhelming and disgusting. That's not the case here, however. Both Latakia and Virginia are stellar and make together a true smoking delight.

Commonwealth is in no way a high-Nicotine mixture, it's rather "Mild to Medium". I really don't know, which kind of strength Samuel Gawith mean when they label the tin with a "Full Strength Mixture" warning. If they mean not Nicotine Strength but Flavour Fullness, boy they are right, this weed is FULL.

Highly Recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

L'Italiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
L'Italiano (170)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

COMMONWEALTH MIXTURE: For all those who love English blends with a great amount of Latakia. It is ideal, it is perfect. There are a lot of prestigious blends in the market with a very very high Latakia content. For example Cornell & Diehl Pirate Kake - G.L. Pease Odyssey - Dan Tobacco Bill Bailey’s Balkan Blend - McClelland N°5110 Dark English Full. But all these mixtures are strongly unbalanced, they do not have a harmonious proportion of the components. I mean that you can taste only Latakia and nothing else. It is like smoking straight Latakia and it is really impossible to detect the flavors of the other tobaccos. Commonwealth is completely another thing, it’s the old English school, precise, balanced, never overwhelming, never cloying. Ideal for Latakia lovers’. Perfect for those who love the right proportions. Commonwealth is an English mixture so well balanced that it does not even need oriental tobaccos. For all these reasons, in my personal rating system (from 1 to 10) my score is 10 and four complete stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Man oh man. Tasty stuff. Heavy latakia as expected, I can't find much from the Virginia in the smoke. Burnt easily, took one relight, put me half way into a nap, good feelings all around. A very nice room note if you enjoy latakia, expect non smokers to object. A simple smoke, but one that I heartily recommend.

Pipe Used: Billiard Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: 2 years

1 person found this review helpful.

Lazarus77 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lazarus77 (87)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Good blend, no complains, high quality tobacco, easy to pack, burns easily, few relights, no tongue bite, consistent solid flavor, just a bit boring, missing pinch of Orientals... Worth to try it for sure. Recommended.

Pipe Used: Edison old briar

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Local store

1 person found this review helpful.

Wibblefishofdoom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wibblefishofdoom (139)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

It's been a while since I've had some SG so I've treated myself recently to three of their offerings, this being one of them. Wasn't sure how this would compare to other SG lats but, with 50% Latakia, it looked promising.

The tin aroma is one of mild creosote, perhaps a little stronger than the smell of, say, King Charles Mixture. Packing was okay but the lighting was a little tricky, this stuff is a little damper than I like but doesn't take a lot of drying out. The smoke itself is very heavily "latted" so to speak, the latakia is very strong. I think the only think stronger in lat terms is pure latakia itself. Still though, I like latakia so it's no real biggy.

To be honest, there's not a whole lot going on here. A good strong lat taste and not a whole lot else. The most interesting smoke I had was after I had popped in some 3 Noggins in the well-ghosted pipe about half way through the tin, the next smoke of this stuff had a little variety in it, some of the ghosting from the orientals and virginias in the 3 Noggins had just nicely ghosted the pipe. Sadly, mixing the two in a 50/50 split didn't have quite the same result. Only the whole then, a good lat hit probably best reserved for first thing in the morning with a stiff coffee, but not a whole lot else. In spite of the lack of variety though, and probably because of the lat-hit, a decent enough three stars in my book.

1 person found this review helpful.

Sylvian Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sylvian (28)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Extra Full Extra Strong

Could not get along with this 200 year old guy. For me Commonwealth does not have the wonderful balance and VA - Latakia interplay that SG Balkan Flake offers. A rather 'dirty', uninspired and misbalanced smoke. The impression might change with time, but I doubt I'll buy another tin.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I received a gift of this blend from a Cigarbum.com forum friend. Commonwealth Mixture has an appearance of leaf with a medium reddish brown color along with some tan and black pieces. Packing the pipe was not without some concentration; the ribbon cut is prone to loading unevenly and I had to load with little pinches, checking the pack after each one. The ribbon cut is not particularly easy to light and, for me, required some relights. The aroma of the bag is very smoky from the influence of the 50% Latakia in this blend. The initial flavor was the creamy, smooth Latakia. A short while later I detected the sweet Virginias. I tasted the very slightest hint of Lakeland floral character, but it could have been my pipe. This Virginia/Latakia blend reminds me of Pirate Kake; Commonwealth is not as rich in Latakia taste as Pirate Kake and adds the grounding of the Virginia taste. In mid-bowl the flavor balance starts to lean more toward the Virginias, their sweetness showing up from time to time. The finish is the same as the mid bowl smoke. The smoke body power of this blend is medium and primarily from the high concentration of Latakia. The nicotine strength of this blend is mild to medium. The complexity of this smoke is simple: Virginia and Latakia. Commonwealth burns cool and dry in the bowl and didn't bite my tongue. I smoked it in a Comoy's Guildhall billiard and an Orlik Captain Black billiard. Both have a good, conservatively thick cake. Commonwealth would be a good choice for lovers of Virginia and Latakia mixtures. I don't know if this would qualify as a Latakia bomb but it is getting close if it is not.

Pipe Used: Captain Black billiard, Comoy's Guildhall billiard

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: a gift

Nobody has rated this review yet.

samanfromiran Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
samanfromiran (22)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

common wealth was the best latakia for me.its a real latakia bomb.the latakia was the main part in smoking this blend.the smoke was also strong for me.please dont think about this blend if you are beginner or aromatic smoker.its not for you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I hate not recommending a latakia blend, but this has no complexity to it. I get that its 50/50, and that might be the problem for me. Yes, it delivers a decent Latakia flavor, but that is where this it ends. I wouldn't be upset if someone gave it to me, but I will never buy this again. It does smoke OK, although like all SG tobaccos, it comes wicked moist. Had to air dry the first few bowl fulls for awhile. After that, it got better because the lid fit was horrendous, allowing a ton of air to get in. For the monry, there are SO MANY other blends out there to satisfy. This is not it.

Pipe Used: Ben Wades

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Uban Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Uban (53)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

Based on a tin aged 4 yrs: WONDERFUL Lat aroma on opening, I almost wanted to eat it. Easy ribbon cut, packs & lights right up, one tamp & relight and - that great smell of Lat is just barely balanced by Va sweetness to create a near-ideal flavor & aroma. Smokes cool & dry w/ not much change in flavor but for the occasional burst of sugary Va. Highly recommended IF AND ONLY IF you love lots of Lat.

Pipe Used: Meer, cob, clay

Age When Smoked: 4 yrs

Purchased From: ??

Similar Blends: Not many Va-Lat blends I know of..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A latakia lovers dream. Very much just a straightforward VA and latakia mixture. This is nicely smoky, but to the detriment of the overall flavor. I cannot detect the VAs as much as I would like. Good volume of smoke, which is essential for my liking a blend/mixture. I like more complexity and balance in my latakia blends, but if you like it smoky with some VA there for support then this would be one to try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darth Vader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth Vader (110)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Great stuff. One of my first Lat blends so it took me a while to appreciate. Probably my fav SG lat blend. An easy 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hubup Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hubup (14)
★☆☆☆
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Very Strong

Nope this one is not for me. No aroma, full strength, bad smell of latakia. Stay away if you like aromatic tobaccos. I tried and dumped it...

Purchased From: Tobaccoshop

Nobody has rated this review yet.

irwanFahmi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
irwanFahmi (4)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

This is 1 of a good Latakia blend, Very good smoke, Taste was so sweet from the start of the the bow till the end. I enjoy this tobacco and ones of my favourite.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Peter Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peter Piper (41)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

This is a proper smoke, it should come with a warning along the lines of: "...do not drive, or operate heavy machinery..."

Does pretty much what it says on the tin, smoky and deep with a good hit. Leaves you very satisfied after a bowl full. Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

In my opinion (surely debatable) a Virginia/Latakia blend is the quintessential English. Other blends are English by other definitions and I enjoy more complex ones of those, but at heart a Va'Lat says "English" to me. Hence, from the description of Commonwealth Mixture I should have been more impressed than I was.

I had two complaints: 1) For some reason my particular personal oral chemistry rendered this to be exceedingly salty. 2) For a "heavily steamed Va" I would have expected a more mellow component than the outright bitter tartness rather than pleasant Va tang I was expecting.

When I want a Va/Lat English I will stick with C&D's Yale Mixture, one suitable as an all day, always pleasant smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CoolPilot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CoolPilot (69)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

Good stuff, but nothing special, nothing memorable in this mixture. But the good points are: easy to smoke, some strength, and good taste. Despite the "full strength" this is just a medium to strong, at best. Will buy again if I find nothing else on the shelf.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

John Frum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
John Frum (17)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Decided to give this one a shot after enjoying both Skiff and Squadron Leader, which CM does resemble somewhat.

My initital ipression based on some half-dozen bowls is that it is an okay smoke for me. I prefer flakes in general, so may try SG's Balkan Flake at some stage. This tobacco deserves its Lat-bomb reputation. No problem, as I like Latakia. Good, earthy incense aroma and dark flavours. Have tried adding a bit of rubbed-out Best Brown Flake (a firm favourite of mine) and it's better for me this way. I can also recommend 50/50 BBF and straight Cyprian Lat, by the way.

Probably will not buy this one again, but I haven't disliked the experience.

10.12.12 Well, this weed is growing on me - am finding that it behaves best when thoroughly dry, say a fortnight after cracking the tin and stirring a bit. This is the case with Skiff and Squadron Leader also, for this smoker anyway. I'm liking the uncomplicated nature of the stuff, the good whack of Latakia, its full flavour, and it seems as well to deliver more of a nic kick than Skiff or SL. I withdraw my remarks about not buying more. Bring it on!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I tried this side by side with Frog Morton, a mixture also consisting of Va and Lat. I can honestly say I liked neither of them, but would put this one ahead by just a bit. This is probably a 2.2 stars whereas the Frog is about 1.75.

As to the good. Quality leaf as to be expected from the blender. It burns slow and cool.

The bad. I just don't really enjoy the flavor! I never got excited about having a bowl of this. Perhaps it is just too heavy on the Lat for me. Also, the tin is terrible as is with all of gawith offerings. Do not let any of their blends sit in the tins for more than two months or else they will get too crunchy. Monodimensional and boring.

Overall, this is smokable for me, but I would rather have some Squadron Leader in my pipe.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (266)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is pretty much what it says it is: do you want a medium strength Latakia? Nothing else, just that one thing? If so, try this, it should make your rotation. If you want anything else, you won't find it here (or at least I didn't)! I got no bite, either, but that varies from smoker to smoker. Since I know there are many tobaccos out there I would rate a 4, the question arises would I rebuy this particular tobacco, assuming my tastes don't change much more. In this case, the answer is probably not often.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KahveDelisi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KahveDelisi (52)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Similar to SG Balkan Flake, Commonwealth is sweeter in taste and requires less maintanence. I like it more than Balkan Flake but not as much to rate it 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tumbaki Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tumbaki (9)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I live in cold Canada, and find this the perfect smoke on a cold day. Not the bwst tobacco indoors with company. Rich and flavourable. A must have blend and recommended highly.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cgar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cgar (37)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Dark rich full flavor blend. Very Creamy with a light sweetness that sneaks in here and there. Overall a fine smoke that provides a nice change up. Could be an everydayer but I think many would say this is just a special treat that is better to have every now and then.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Carlos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Carlos (21)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Extra Full Very Strong

It is very specific tobacco. Smell of Latakia is very strong. Also taste. Even when you finish smoking, you can feel this Latakia blend... If you like Latakia VERY MUCH - you should try this one; otherwise, you won't like it. It's not an every-day smoke, it's something special.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JackSparrow Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JackSparrow (14)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

It's a SG, so top quality is unquestioned, but, considering it is an english mixture, it is a bit too monochromatic for my taste (like Balkan Flake). In the first half of the bowl latakia is leading, in the second all VA sweetness comes out and balance the blend. For the lack of orientals i rate it 3 stars (i love smooth and round EM).

I highly reccomend, for all well balanced EM lovers, the following mix: 50% Commowealth, 50% Squadron Leader. Supreme!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bence Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bence (34)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

I feel home, when i smoke this baccy. Simple proportion of high quality va & cyp-latak leaves. Straightforward stuff. 200 year old recipe. Highly recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (187)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

Well, at the end this monolithic binomial of Latakia and steamed Virginia has revealed to be a solid and pleasant smoke. The smoker who appreciate this blend is the same of the Nightacap (or Old Ironside) league.

Commonwealth needs some drying but please don't overdo that! The smokiness of the black weed keeps the center of the stage all the play long, the mellow dark Virginia adding some buttery-sweet colours. Mild-to-medium, smooth as silk, perfectly cool and refreshing.

Some predictable problems with my SWMBO, I can perfectly understand her …

Three full stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gladi8tor96 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gladi8tor96 (133)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Excellent Latakia blend. Burns well once you let it dry a bit. Out of the tin it's quite moist. Very creamy and smokey with just a hint of sweetness. Strong Latakia dominates the smoke with hints of sweetness and touches of savory/earthy notes. Reminds me a bit of other Lat. bombs, as it can get a bit monochromatic.

Pipe Used: Bent Billard

Age When Smoked: New from store - 1-3 months

Purchased From: Jeanie's Smoke Shop

Similar Blends: Cornell & Diehl - Star of the East Flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Piper@thegates Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Piper@thegates (20)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Commonwealth is an uncomplicated straightforward VA/Latakia blend of the quality associated with Sam Gawiths. I've not seen another tobacco this moist in the tin, which led me to think I would have problems keeping the pipe lit. Actually it lit quite well straight from the tin although it did improve with a little dry time. The taste has been described by many as one dimentional, which it is to an extent but what do you expect from such a straightforward blend of 50/50 VA and latakia? Sometimes the simpler things in life are just what is needed and I really do enjoy a bowl of Commonwealth in the early hours when there isnt a sound to be heard anywhere. If you enjoy Latakia as I do and are looking for a simple, relaxing good quality smoke then I'd recommend this without hesitation. Commonwealth is readily available in the U.K. which means it has a regular place in my rotation of Englishes and so shall it remain. Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (145)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

"Bland, boring, weak, steamy. I'm not getting it. This thing is destined to sit on my shelf when the next big batch of Englishes arrive..note to future self, forget your second thoughts." That was the quote found in my smoking notes, having grudgingly gone through half a tin of Commonwealth Mixture.

I had earlier finished up my Balkan binge (Odyssey, Charing Cross, Abingdon, Bill Bailey's, Balkan Sasieni), successfully placing the Oriental leaf I had in the past found so elusive. In the meanwhile, I received a large shipment of Englishes (Quiet Nights, the newly redistributed Dunhills--Nightcap, 965, Standard Medium, London Mixture...and Old Dublin), promptly setting the blend aside.

I found that the Englishes kind of reset my palate from the Balkans, and I was better able to appreciate Commonwealth for its simplicity after having abandoned the initial effort. Now, by the time I returned, my tobacco had petrified to a solid mass, requiring rehydration (Listen here, Gawith: you really need to invest in some better tin technology, your stuff just doesn't work).

Where I had first found Commonwealth unbalanced, I began to understand that going from an Oriental overload to the state of deprivation was unwise...it required an intermediary step, which the English binge had done so successfully. But even on theoretical grounds, I questioned my former opinion. Why should all Englishes require Oriental leaf? I often praise blends that try something different, and it's not fair to rail against this one for doing the same.

There must be trade offs in such a radical departure, and yes, unlike your average English, with a Virginia component hovering around 30-35 percent, the high Virginia content here makes for a comparably sweet blend (test this for yourself to see whether I am wrong) and a meaty, sonorous note, more so than many of the traditional mixtures, at least. The Latakia component, similarly in its hefty proportion, imparts a dense smokiness that will coat your palate thoroughly of its fumacious nature.

Though I disagree with the "Full Strength Mixture" proclamation, I doubt many smokers will complain--Commonwealth is easily comparable to Squadron Leader in this regard.

Yes, the blend has its flaws, but I'm sure most people out there will find the smoke satisfactory enough--certainly not bland, boring, weak and steamy. Tobacco snobs will probably disagree.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ap Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ap (57)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Strong

A Latakia lovers dream, huge smoky flavour, light sweetness from the Va and a good nicotine kick. Very good

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (146)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

This is a very attractive looking blend that seems to use the same high-quality virginias that Sam Gawith is known for along with a heavy dose of Cyprian latakia. It burns well, it burns cool, and it doesn't bite (much). The flavor is typical of a sweet English, and I at times found it hard to believe that the latakia component was as high as advertised.

In the end, though, there was nothing to set this blend apart from countless other Englishes. Like most of SG's mixtures of this type, it was far too mild for my tastes. I prefer full Balkans, and this stuff was positively wimpy (IMO, of course). I don't mean to disparage the quality, however -- I think it's a top-notch blend, just not for me.

Your mileage may vary, of course.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (180)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I agree with a previous reviewer that this is monochromatic, but what do you expect, this is a 50/50 blend. There is not going to be much of a change of flavor during the course of a bowlful of this wonderful blend. I find that CM will be a very dependable smoke all the way down to the fine ash at the bottom of the bowl. It produces a nice amount of smoke, a nice dose of Vitamin N. It is a very dry smoke with not even a whisper of gurgling. It may not be an all day smoke for many, but for some it will really hit the spot. I will mark it as a tolerable room note because the wife did scurry away shortly after I fired up a bowlful. I would definitely recommend this to those wanting to start to move away from the aromatic blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I agree with those reviewers who call this blend "one dimensional," because anything with 50% Latakia and 50% "heavily steamed" Virginia is likely to be somewhat one-dimensional. But what a pleasant dimension it is! (Yes, those who have read the other review I wrote tonight, of Esoterica Pembroke, will note that I described it in the same way.) This is not at all similar in taste, but is somewhat similar in style, in that it stays pretty much the same throughout the bowl, but that is ok, because if something is really good, it doesn't really need to change! My tin is, like the Pembroke tin, about 12 years old. Unlike Pembroke, there is no liquor topping in Commonwealth Mixture. What is similar is the mellowness of aged Latakia. This one has 50% Latakia, and though age takes away some of that lovely smokiness some Latakia lovers crave, I myself like that variety more when it has had time to mellow a bit. My sample of this blend is a joy to behold: when I first opened the tin a few weeks ago and poured the contents into my wooden blending bowl, there were sugar crystals on the mainly black or nearly black leaf, that sparkled when I moved the bowl around or changed my perspective. Changing perspectives in the smoke are more difficult to come by, though I can get some nuances by carefully altering the smoking rate, an art I am beginning to learn after three years of pipesmoking. I cannot get the range of flavors or overtones with this blend that I get with a fine old Virginia (though perhaps that could be attributed to my personal biases; it is true that while I appreciate all styles, I am mainly a Virginia smoker), but the flavor I do get is spectacular, and I could almost go to four stars on this one. Call it a three-and-one-half. There is no hint of bite in this, for me at least, though it does tickle the back of my throat a bit when I puff a little harder. If I wasn't always wanting to try new blends, it could be an all day smoke for me, though I would miss my Virginias after a while. There may be a light topping here, but I can't identify it. It may just be a product of the aging and "steaming," and all I can say is that the nose is somewhat flowery. No matter, I like it!

6-14-11 Finishing this up finally, with just 3-4 bowls left. My opinion hasn't changed, though I wonder if I would like it as much if it wasn't aged. I'm quite enjoying this bowl. I have a thing for aged Latakia that not everyone shares, but I think high Latakia blends like this develop a pleasant mustiness/wineyness after 10 years or more even if the smoky "edge" is taken off. A 50/50 blend of Cyprian Latakia and black steamed Virginia is not going to have a lot of depth, but this 1999 stuff at least is a mellow, pleasant smoke throughout the bowl. I'll miss it!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tom Bombadill Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tom Bombadill (102)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Strong

If you enjoy latakia/oriental blends this mix is well worth a try. Without a doubt it's the strongest/heaviest latakia blend I've smoked. At first it was almost too strong and I wondered how long the tin would be around before I finished it off. The more I smoked it, the more I liked it. It is certainly not complex. Latakia all the way with a slight sweetness from the virginias. (I am smoking it in rotation with a light oriental, SG Grousemoor and WC Bada-bing.)

It's the kind of blend I like to smoke outside. Also, it doesn't appeal to me as an all day smoke due to its strength. At first, even though I grew to enjoy it, I didn't think I would buy more, but now I'm sure at some point I'll gladly revisit this blend.

Four(4) full strength latakia stars!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (191)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

For the Latakia enthusiast. The Virginia acts as a filler, not a bad thing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (129)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a very fine tobacco when you're in the mood for Latakia. It's a little one-dimensional, as several reviewers have remarked. This isn't a problem for me, but it's worth pointing out to people who like nuance and complexity that this is not at all a sophisticated or demanding tobacco: no orientals, but a good, stout blend of sweet Virginia and pungent Cyprian Latakia. The two components complement each other in a way that seems to me just about perfect. I don't find that the Latakia, though very much a presence, swamps or overpowers the qualities of the Virginia. Taken as a whole, the package gives a smoke that's smooth, tasty, fairly slow burning and easy on the tongue. Perhaps people will know what I mean if I call it a ‘winter' smoke.

Although it's said to be a full-strength mixture, and although it punches you quite hard on the nose when you open the tin, I don't find that CM has a particularly high nicotine content. To my mind there are two negatives, though not very serious ones. One is that it comes very moist in the tin: it really does need quite a lot of drying. I see that several reviewers have said that it improves a good deal with age; I'm not surprised to hear it. Another negative is its very pronounced and distinctive room note. It isn't unpleasant if you like the heavy, sharp-edged fragrance of Latakia mixtures, but innocent bystanders may well reel away choking.

In terms of my own preferences, this isn't an all-day smoke; I have to be in a Latakia mood, and that doesn't happen all that often. When I am, though, I like CM a lot. On this basis, I think that three stars would be a fair rating.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Thorre Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Thorre (27)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Commonwealth is a good straight forward pipe tobacco. Quality Latakia and Virginia. This is the smoke I imagine walking across Middle Earth with. The mountains, the forest, and the plains. Sitting around the campfire at night. Pulling out of my leather pouch, and smoking. Just a simple pleasure.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Nicely balanced sweet Virginias and Cyprian Latakia for a solid smoke that will please the Latakia needs of English smokers. It's rather monodimimensional, but the sweetness and mellowness of Virginias make up for the lack of depth.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PeterD Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PeterD (91)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This mixture may well indeed be one dimensional, but the dimension appears to be rather expansive. By that, I mean that I enjoy a variety of flavors and taste from the basic components of Virginia and Latakia.

I also keep this mixture fairly moist which I prefer over the dry, but find that as always, moisture plays a significant role, perhaps more than most tend to think about or give credit to.

As a matured virginia plug smoker for over 45 years, I do enjoy some of the heavy Balkan type flakes or plugs and keep them in my rotation. If this were available in plug form it would suit me far more than the "broken flake". I buy this in 1 lb bulk, and I don't see nor have I ever seen a true broken flake with this tobacco.

I smoke this in a group 5 straight billiard. I especially like this in the morning with tea or coffee. In the evening with a smokey scotch. Definitely worth a good try!

....a pipe is to be savored.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is one that I can't get enough of - the can that's always near empty. I never buy it in bulk because I'm afraid it wouldn't taste the same as is sometimes the case but I'm content buying tins. Love the richness of this smoke. One of my top 5.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

orka Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
orka (64)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Good, straightforward English mixture. As has previously been remarked upon it can be perceived as monochromatic, and I agree to some extent. But I don't see it as any major fault, but rather a part of its personality. A stable no nonsense mixture which perhaps won't grant any profound insights into the mystic world of pipe smoking, but it's certainly not a waste of time either. And it will always deliver exactly what it promises, from the first to the last puff. Grassy Virginia sweetness with a touch of "Lakeland", combined with a mellow, earthy and creamy latakia taste.

I would perhaps suggest this as a good tobacco to try if you want to single out latakia and get a feel of it, to understand what it does in other blends. Or if you simply can't get enough of latakia and don't care about complex spiciness, fruity overtones and bouqets this and that. Simplicity in itself can be a great feature.

As others have also noted, it's somewhat of an overstatement to say that this is a "full" mixture. As far as strength is concerned there is really nothing to fear from Commonwealth Mixture. However, you might want to keep in mind that this is no light mixture either.

Personally I like to pack this in the morning, and smoke it in the evening (or better yet, the evening of the next day). To me it doesn't come to its right straight from the tin as I find it needs a significant amount of time to breathe before putting it to the match.

I do like this mixture. The problem is just that I don't like very often. I struggled a bit with how to take that into account for the sake of rating, and I reached the conclusion that it's how I feel about it when I'm actually smoking it that matters the most, not how I feel about it when I'm not smoking it. And when I do smoke it, it's a 3-star tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Croaker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Croaker (13)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Full Strong

Commonwealth Mixture is a full flavored Virginia/Latakia ready-rubbed ?English? mix. It has good packing and burning characteristics and is, overall, commendably behaved. The mixture produces a full volume of pungent smoke without biting ones tongue.

The Latakia in Commonwealth Mixture doesn?t seem to meld well with the Virginian tobacco. Indeed, Commonwealth has a strangely monochromatic Virginia-Latakia flavor without ever achieving a Virginia/Latakia melded flavor. To be fair I?ve never let a tin of Commonwealth age for more than a few months and I?ve never aged a bulk sample: it may be that this Virginia/Latakia blend would ?meld? more if given time.

Taken as a whole, Commonwealth Mixture has many assets one might commend. Nevertheless, it doesn?t distinguish itself in a crowded field. I find Balkan Flake, another Gawith offering, to be a far superior representation of a pure Latakia/Virginia English-style tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

scottbtdmb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
scottbtdmb (4)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Being a newbie on the pipe smoking scene, the past three months have seen me make the classic transition from aromatic to VA to English tobaccos. After initially being turned off by many sub-par aromatic blends, my local tobacconist kept me in the game by turning me onto VA Woods. After falling in love with this blend, I tried other VA blends and nothing seemed to compare to my first love. My tobacconist then turned me onto numerous English blends and I fell in love with Nightcap, 965, and several local Fader's Blends. Just this past week, I went up to Fader's to kill a Saturday morning and was greeted by the extremely friendly staff. One of the tobacconists there commented on how Commonwealth was his favorite English smoke and how well it went with a cup of coffee. As I have also recently discovered a love for coffee, this seemed right up my alley, and I tried a bowl from his tin. Since I have gotten into English blends, I have become a big fan of Latakia and Commonwealth delivered the Lat with a right uppercut! I absolutely loved this stuff from the first taste. The avant garde taste of Lat that I have come to know and love was perfectly counterbalanced with the rich smoothness of the VA's. Better yet, this blend did indeed go well with a cup of coffee. In conclusion, give this a try if you are a coffee drinker and want a nice English to compliment your early morning cup. I also find that it is a nice blend to smoke in the evening with a Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout. The bitterness and coffee-ish taste of a stout seems to really mesh well with Commonwealth. Overall, a nice interesting tobacco that does the job and does it well!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CPT/VSG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CPT/VSG (72)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This blend was a surprise to me--I thought the absence of Orientals would result in a rather boring blend but the balance of Virginia and Latakia is excellent. "Creamy" is often used to describe this tobacco and it is accurate. While the blend is not what I'd describe as complex, it is tasty and a nice change of pace smoke for me. While it's not an every day tobacco for me, I do keep some cellared for those occasions when I need a change from my other English/Balkan blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Duke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Duke (41)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I really enjoy this blend. Its simple formula produces an astounding smoke. It has that briny note that I have found and enjoyed in some English/Balkan's. Produces a huge amount of smooth smoke. I'd like more strength. I feel someone trying an English the first time could handle this easily. As with all SG tobaccos the finest of ash is left in the bowl. It is a bit damp first from the tin.

Somewhat Recommended

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I thought I would not like this mixture because it has only Virginia and Latakia, and no Orientals. After all, the recipe seemed very similar to the Balkan Flake, which I find quite flat. Well, I was wrong: I was given a free tin from the editor in chief of Smoker Magazine, and I am ejoying it a lot. The trick is that this blend contains a very "greasy", unctuous and rich Latakia, and the Virginia base is equally rich and juicy, with a great natural sweetness. As I said, there are no orientals and at times I feel some spice is missing and that the smoke could use some more body, but it's quite satisfying and licorice-like. Maybe not very complex, but very rich, woodsy, dark and enjoyable, and still very smooth. I suggest letting the tin air for a while before smoking, as this tobacco is quite wet and might water down the taste.

2009 Update: I opened a fresh tin a few years ago, and I was shocked by the bland watery taste of the smoke... no Virginia sweetness, no Latakia smokiness. Then I decided to let it dry in a room with heating (and so, with quite a dry air) for a couple of days with the lid off. Only now I recognize the fine smoke which Commonwealth Mixture can offer! By all means, give this tobacco an extended drying period after opening the tin, or it will be lousy at its best! I can't condone Samuel Gawith's policy of packaging the tobacco with such a high moisture content (I am paying good money for fine tobacco, not for water!!!!!!), but if you are willing to let it dry A LOT it is a nice blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (204)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Mild Tolerable

This blend is delightful with morning or late evening black coffee, the Virginia is sweet and tasty, the latakia is deep and extremely smoky, nicotine is medium, the tin need to be opened for 1 day before for complete drying and better smoking.

I like it but I prefer that sexy mouth feel I am getting from Turkish is Squadron Leader.

Quality English tobacco for heavy latakia lovers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

beaupipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beaupipe (102)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Whenever I'm pining for some connection to my childhood in the north of the Commonweal, I reach for this classic Latakia bomb of a tobacco. As many reviewers have pointed out, this is very much a one-note tobacco, but if you like that woodsy, cedary note, then it is a must-have.

A well-aged tin (like the one I'm puffing on now) is a marvel of moisture-level-perfection and provides a completely biteless, remarkably cool smoke. Those hot, sugary Virginias are completely dominated by the Latakia both in flavor and in tobacco structure. The cut is fine and packing and lighting are easy as pie.

If there is any reason to complain about this product (beyond its lack of complexity) it is in the occasional inconsistencies in the tobacco cut. Any given pinch might show strands that look like ribbons alongside others that are fine as shag. This particular tin has a surprising number of toothpick-like chunks of golden colored Virginia. If we could still smoke in restaurants, that might be a positive benefit, but here at my desk, I'm partial to floss.

Ah well. Fabulous for Latakia spices, but if it's traditional English or Balkan complexity you're after, you won't find it here.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Contrary to my apprehensions the mixture arrived at the perfect moisture level for smoking (the tins were bought in London). The initial aroma was, of course, latakia, but by no means over-whelmingly latakia. The virginias hold their own.

Predisposed to the combination of virginia and latakia only by Balkan Flake, I expected Commonwealth Mixture to be just a latakia heavy version of BF. It is not so: I cannot tell whether the virginias are different or the latakia is different, but BF is a little smokier than CM. Perhaps the flake form concentrates the flavours.

The mixture is very cool smoking and lasts a long time. The virginias continue to hold their own when the pipe is lit, and are not trodden over by the latakia. The over all effect is of a rich and opulent blend, not at all one-sided. (I wonder whether the proportions of the two tobaccos are by weight or by volume, and whether it would make a difference?)

I had described Nightcap as being Wagnerian, and Pirate Kake as a brass band. CM could perhaps be best described as a sonata for organ and trumpet - though I am not sure which tobacco is the organ, and which the trumpet.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sasquatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sasquatch (81)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

I hadn't had this for maybe a year and a half. Ordered a tin because I was in the mood for a heavy, easy going smoke. Bingo.

This stuff is fantastic. Very sweet early on, it develops into a massively heavy smoke - terrific density of flavor at mid bowl and beyond. It's not really very complex, of course, in the same ballpark as Frog Morton, with a sweet virginia carrying a smokey smooth latakia. I find FM a bit cloying, though, and this one not so.

What else is there in this oriental-less "English" style - McClelland Anniversary comes to mind, but not much else.

This is a great smoker's tobacco, to be savored amongst the tolerant.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ranger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ranger (64)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Went through this tin quickly. Large latakia taste, but not overpowering. Hint of sweetness from the virginias and very smooth. Mine burned perfectly without any drying in both medium to large sized pipes. Easy to pack, light and smoke. Great price, great taste, a pleasure to sit back with and relax.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

qmechanics Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
qmechanics (7)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

Commonwealth is a strong English blend not for the mild in heart. The Virginia tobaccos, though not lost in the blend, are not the star of the show. This is Latakia heavy (50%) as the title description suggests.

If you are a cigar smoker who enjoys Pepin,Camacho, La Gloria, La Flor Dom., or should I say strong full bodied smokes, you should give this a try. After giving up pipe smoking years ago I recently took up the habit again. I tried aromatics at first as this was the choice of my youth. Then I learned more about nonaromatics like the English blends. A number of these blends I have tried do not conflict with a good cigar in terms of taste or bite. Commonwealth is among the best of these. And if the Latakia here does not quite hit the spot (lol) you can always buy pure Latakia to add a pinch for a bit of customizing.

After all what is an English blend without latakia ;-)?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WillardFan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillardFan (86)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

6/12/08 Out of all of the Gawith blends I've tried, this one has to be the best of the best. Down to the last ash, this stuff rocks. The combination of the Virginias and Latakias is simply perfection.

I'm going to try this in bulk, and I can only hope that it doesn't lose any of the qualities in the tin offerings.

If you're not a fan of Virginia's, and if you haven't made up your mind about Latakia, well then, this one ought to do the trick!

By the way. The tin I purchased was one of three on a shelf in the tobacco store where I shop. But the tin I bought was hidden behind some other stuff, and looked a bit beat up. Paint chipped, the tin itself a bit the worse for wear. But you guys are always saying things about aging, so I was hoping that the tin I bought was still intact, and that it's contents would be fantastic, and indeed all was well. I just wish that the folks at Gawith would date their stuff!

7/14/08 I see what some of you are saying about packaging consistancy. I just opened a new tin of this, and it looks nothing like the last tin I bought. It also doesn't taste the same. It's not bad, but the previous tin I bought had a much better taste. This is my go-to blend, so I hope this isn't a foreshadowing of future tin quality?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cmhpipesmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cmhpipesmoker (21)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

I purchased this blend for three reasons. One, because it has been rated here by some as a heavier styled English blend which I prefer; two, because of the positive reviews and comments posted on this web site about this tobacco; and, finally, the local pipe shop I frequent had it priced where I coudn't pass up trying this tobacco. Based on this, I decided to give this blend a whirl. I tend to stick to those few blends that work for me, typically not veering off of this course.

Boy, I couldn't have been more pleased about this purchase. Upon opening the tin, the aroma is that of the sweetness of the Virginias and the smoky aroma of the Cyprian latakia. If you expect any more out of this tobacco than that, you'll be disappointed. If you take it for what it offers, and prefer this combination of tobaccos, you'll be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

Like any tobacco, I closed up the tin and let it sit for about a week before packing it into its first bowl. I wasn't let down on that first smoke. It offers in the pipe what it offers in the tin. A very consistent blend of Virginian and Cyprian latakia aromas. One does not appear to be followed by the other and one does not overpower the other. What I found was that they commingle for the entire smoke.

This evening, I just finished the last bowl of my first tin and the tobacco had started to dry a bit. Whether this is good or bad, I will need to find a better way to cellar my tobacco. However, the aroma and taste of this blend did not suffer, only improving over this course of time.

I don't think I can make enough good comments about this tobacco and not find anything bad about it. I highly recommnend this blend and I will be heading back to my frequented pipe shop to purchase several more tins, adding this to my short list of go to blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PipePaladin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipePaladin (78)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Medium Tolerable

This one is quite interesting but only for the latakia lover as it has loads in it! However the combination of cavedish with latakia is just wonderful! Lightly aromatic as well as i like it! Peculiar staff for peculiar tastes.. I am not in love with it but I believe that it worths a try..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fumatore Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fumatore (48)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Here is another blend that is better than 3 stars but not quite 4. What I really like about this tobacco is how it combines strength with coolness of smoke. I have smoked it late in the day after a few trial packs of other blends have destroyed my tongue, but nary a bite from Commonwealth. I love how the steamed Virginias temper the heavy Lakakia to mellow it. Of course, I do like blends that don?t ?Oriental? me to death.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I was at this trendy little restaurant a few weeks ago with a sometimes buddy, and he orders something like albino jackalope breast, 27 ala carte, 35 with veg-all, forty with a salad. He says ?Here, try this, it tastes like chicken.? I like chicken, when I want something that tastes like chicken I order, or make, chicken. Not only is it cheap, but it tastes just like chicken.

That?s how I feel about comparing other latakia blends to Penzance, no offense to other reviewers. I like Penzance, I like it a lot, I?m usually sitting on a pound or so. So having something else that tastes like Penzance seems a bit silly to me.

Commonwealth tastes like Penzance the way Duck tastes like chicken, both are bird shaped and made out of meat, but even my jaded palate finds a large distinction between the two. I like Commonwealth a lot and it?s gotten rookie of the year in my rotation (I know, it?s not a rookie, my rotation is) but it?s not a Penzance shadow, not even made from the same stuff, not even cut the same.

Commonwealth doesn?t have the Orientals that Penzance does, in fact the only other latakia Virginia blend I have is the McClelland Syrian special (it?s something like that, I?m not going to dig up the tin to quote the name exactly). The McClelland tastes like chicken. Like chicken in a used Missouri meerschaum slathered in ketchup and lit with a blowtorch. I know, better men than I are huge fans of McClelland ?baccy, and they are ?merican gull durnit, but I can?t get around the catsup thing.

Commonwealth, however, does this blend right. Opening the tin is not like opening a catsup bottle, it?s a earthy dark leathery cocoa type of scent, a little too moist in the tin and I dried it for an hour or so. You?d think a 50/50 Va/Lat blend would taste mainly like a camp fire and the Latakia would overpower the Virginia. Maybe it?s a testament to the fine folks in the Lakeland district, but this mixture is so sublime, the harmonies so tight, that everything flows into one another like a lazy drift down a summer crick.

I give Penzance four stars and I give commonwealth four stars, I state, however, emphatically, that they are not the same four stars, though in the same galaxy, like ducks and chickens, far from the constellation albino jackalope.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

constantsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
constantsmoker (65)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Wonderful blend. I never believed that such a powerful combination could be such a smooth, cool smoke...one that you can easily smoke all day. Ranks up there with Penzance, Odyssey, and Old Ironsides. Moisture content is perfect. Lights easily and may only require one re-light per bowl. Rich in Vitamin N, but not over-powering by any means. Extremely well balanced, tasty blend in the English tradition.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JRI Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JRI (2)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Ahhh,Commonwealth! I used to think that nothing would hold a candle to Penzance and Margate,until I had the great pleasure of smoking Commonwealth. This has to have the best latakia of any latakia blends out there,very,very smoky flavor easy on the tongue and throat. The virginias used in this blend are also outstanding as they are sweet no bite and do not overwhelm the latakia,this is a prefectly balanced blend. Upon opening the tin and/or the one pound box,the wonderful smokey scent comes through first,then the earthy smell of the virginias. This tobacco packs well and lighting is a two step affair,once going,it only required one relight,the taste remained excellent throughout the entire bowl,vrey pleasant nicotine content,and burned down to a beautiful salt and pepper ash. If you are a latalia lover,you must try this tobacco as I firmly believe that you will not be dissapointed!

Four out of four stars!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Simplicity is a problem? Not in this case! Commonwealth is a very nice everyday/all-day latakia smoke. The excellence of the components (Latakia + VA) is a guaranty of satisfaction. Commonwealth is a wonderful old-fashioned English blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nonpareil Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nonpareil (16)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a pure delight. I decided to try this since I had been impressed with Squadron Leader and I was not disappointed.

It is true that the flavor is not complex and multifaceted, but it is wonderfully smooth and straightforward. The blend required a few more relights than I normally require, but it is very cool and clean burning. The impression I get is of the very highest quality leaf, skillfully blended. This will remind you of why you took up the pipe in the first place.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Simenon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Simenon (20)
★★☆☆
Strong Extra Strong Medium to Full Pleasant

This would be quite a good, solid, blend absent the persistent "soapy" aroma which pervades -- and ruins -- the smoking experience. The flavours of Latakia and Virginia tobaccos are literally covered in a musty, sticky and artificial aroma which gives off the impression of soap! What on earth made this happen? (This is somewhat http://dappered.com/ of the Bowmore FWP syndrome which affected an otherwise great malt whisy). And otherwise, Commonwealth mixture is great. It packs well, it is mild in that the VA are steamed and do not bite, and the latakias are somewhat muted making their percentage less daunting than one would expect... but alas all the above is moot, since the experience is tainted by this soapy flavour. Too bad.

The soapy flavour seems to calm down after a few years... I am writing this 8 years later. Lets reward the passage of time by giving this mixture an extra star!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

With some orientals added, this could be the perfect blend. The latakia is of an increbible quality and the Virginias are sweet, well rounded and balance perfectly the taste explosion of the black component. Smoking this blend has been a fullfilling experience, my palate was satisfied and didn't ask for more too soon. It comes very damp in the tin, so leave it open for a while: it won't burn easily anyway, but some air helps.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco has an interesting distinction in my collection. It is my favorite pub tobacco. This could be because it burns cool and tastes great, perfect for smoking while doing other things. I also like to think that it goes so well with stout that it might have been made with this in mind(surely not?!!). The smoke is dense enough and the tin moisture is perfect. While not being terribly complex it still draws me back time after time. A must try and a classic in the making if my thinking is correct.

Nobody has rated this review yet.