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Iwan Ries

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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
FlavoringOther / Misc
CutBroken Flake
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy Iwan Ries
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Tolerable

Favorite Of 17 Users

3.2
142 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
57
3 star:
60
2 star:
22
1 star:
3
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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.

4 people found this review helpful.

SteveH Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteveH (28)
★★★★
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

3 people found this review helpful.

The good Rev. Rizzo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The good Rev. Rizzo (22)
★★★★
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

2 people found this review helpful.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (109)
★★★★
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

2 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!

2 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.

2 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (164)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Very Pleasant

Samuel Gawith Commonwealth Mixture . The unlit mixture is more like ribbon cut than a broken flake albeit very appealing visually as it 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 also . Moisture level is superb with this one , requiring no extra time to dry . Due to the moisture amount it lights with great ease , giving a brilliant/even burn leaving a grey ash . I really cant 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 is very pleasing but not at all overpowering , so this one won't offend any non-smokers around . I feel that if you like Latakia smokiness then this one is a must for you to try !

Pipe Used: Peterson Dracula

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke King

Similar Blends: Squadron Leader.

1 person found this review helpful.

albfneto Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
albfneto (163)
★★★★
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

1 person 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.

1 person found this review helpful.

Wibblefishofdoom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wibblefishofdoom (111)
★★★☆
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.

irwanFahmi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
irwanFahmi (2)
★★★★
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.

samantabhadra411 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
samantabhadra411 (6)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the best tobacco i've smoked and would recommend it to any lover of English blends and non aromatics. It is very stout and and has a great aftertaste. I would also recommend it to any converted cigar smokers on the grounds of its smokey and full flavor. Bear in mind that it is very different from a cigar. It is somewhat unlike my other favorite tobacco, Peterson Irish Flake, but both of which top my list tied for #1.

I would not recommend this to aromatic smokers, beginners, moderate smokers, and Black and mild addicts. But anyone with a taste for strong tobacco I feel would like this.

No bite at all for me. Cant say for you. And if anything is an indicator it is that every time i buy this I buy several other tobaccos and this is gone first and I have to order more. I would recommend this over gawith squadron leader.

Happy Smoking

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stiff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stiff (7)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

The latakia bomb from SG. Smokes cool and dry, even straight from the newly opened tin. A very pleasant smoke that burns rather slowly and evenly. For the hardcore English lovers in my opinion. The latakia content might be a bit overwhelming for some. A very oak-y and smoky blend with a great after-taste. The room note is strong and I must say the wife hates it: " Week-old camping gear yet to be aired out" is how she described it if I recall correctly... As I said, very smoky... Good blend nonetheless, I find SG reasonably priced for the quality.

I had a bowl after an oriental meal the other night, goes very well after harissa.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PipeBot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipeBot (7)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Tricky one to review. As others have noted, this 50/50 virginia & latakia mixture is fairly monotone. Then again, it doesn't pretend to be something it isn't. If you feel like other English tobaccos don't have enough latakia for you then it is worth a try, as the components are of the high quality one expects from Samuel Gawith, but I can't really give it more than two stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (485)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

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

This one was ok, but I like a little more than just Lat, and VA.

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 (97)
★★☆☆
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 (64)
★★★☆
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 (15)
★★★☆
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 (119)
★★☆☆
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 there 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 (149)
★★★☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lucretius Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lucretius (6)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

While I enjoy blends with a good amount of Latakia I have to agree with the reviewer who described Commonwealth Mixture as 'monochrome'. The taste is smoky, sour and tangy, and though I can't fault the strength or the quality of the tobacco there is a lack of complexity that leaves me wanting more.

A decent smoke, somewhat recommended for hardcore Latakia-lovers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (557)
★★☆☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I made a mistake with this blend from the beginning. I thought it was an aromatic blend and I didn't open it. Huge mistake. You didn't know? Couldn't you ask? Probably my mistake was beneficial for the blend, as it was sealed in my “cellar” for 2 years. 50% Virginia 50% Latakia. At times it gave me the impression that it has a very subtle but pleasant scent. It is the first time that I got excited by smoking Cyprian Latakia. Its Virginia is very good and it adds a sweetness and a creamy texture to the mix. Its moderate nicotine strength lets you smoke it pleasantly all day long. It does not contain Oriental, but even though this blend has a well balanced flavor that will surprise you. It is broken flake with very good moisture and a very nice aroma when you smell the tobacco inside the tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KahveDelisi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KahveDelisi (45)
★★★☆
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.

Mike__P Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike__P (87)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

Got Latakia?

Here's an English blend that Greg Pease must love, because there's enough Cyprian weed to deliver a deep, smoky wallop to even the most galvinized tasebuds. CM is dark and acrid. It starts out nicely balanced with delicious Virginias adding a counterpoint, but the whole thing transforms halfway and it gains considerable weight and intensity, much like some of the fuller creations from the aforementioned blender. If you're looking for subtelty or finesse, then step down to Squadron Leader or Skiff in the SG line.

But you knew that already. To me, CM is a bit ponderous, and I prefer more complexity, but that's not the point with this one. I get only an occasional wisp of Lakeland essence, so if that's not your thing, don't fret. Add a star if you love Latakia or need a fix. (And who doesn't on occasion?)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

maigret fan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
maigret fan (55)
★★★★
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?

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.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (202)
★★★★
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipelovingcalvinist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipelovingcalvinist (68)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Deeply rich, full, and creamy. I enjoyed this heavy latakia blend more than Pirate Kake and the Captain Earl blends. This is my go to blend when I need a latakia fix.

Soli Deo gloria!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

macpuffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
macpuffer (17)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a very good mixture indeed......lots of Latakia balanced with somewhat sweet Virginia. No orientals, but then if you think this blend needs them you have missed the point. Try this blend....top notch.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Carlos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Carlos (18)
★★★☆
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 (24)
★★★★
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.

GSTQ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GSTQ (31)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong

Appearance is a dark brown rough ribbon. Tin smells of musty smoke. Tastes lightly sweet and moderately smoky, with deeper notes.

Commonwealth Mixture is a nice tobacco, slightly sweet Virginia mixed with a basic Latakia smokiness. Occasional deeper notes creep in. Toward the end of a few bowls there has been something there that reminds me of a nice maduro cigar. I can recommend Commonwealth Mixture, yet it has very little to keep my interest beyond this tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cakeanddottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cakeanddottle (36)
★★★☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Arash Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arash (5)
★★★★
Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Amazing lovely tobacco. This is my favorite tobacco now. I highly recommend it to all the english blend smokers. It's much better than alternatives for example the Macbaren Vintage Syrian. There is no tongue bite and the smoke is full taste and cool. You don't need a filter smoking it and you can smoke it in any pipe. The nicotine kick is strong. Enjoy ;)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (155)
★★★☆
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 (49)
★★☆☆
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.

UPDATE It's got good Latakia, but is a bit flat...needs something else to help round it out. Still a wonderful smoke though!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

risle-lariviere Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
risle-lariviere (33)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Strong

It's a full Latakia blend with a good vitamine N strenght but sweet and silky on the palate.

For Latakia lovers i'd rather say.

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.

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

I know I am missing something here!! The truth is for some un-known reason I just dont get Sam Gawith blends! I want to enjoy them, the description sounds like something I should love! I love full English blends, I live for powerful Latakia kicks.

This tobacco was so wet on opening the tin that it was impossible to light. It smells devine. Once dried out I sat expecting that this one was going to blow me away and end my non-pas with Sammy Gawith blends. Disappointment again im afraid.

I give up!! I really wanted to enjoy this tobacco but unfortunatly this tin is going to join the other Gawith blends at the back of my cellar only to come out when I have nothing else (highly un-likely that will ever happen!!)

There are so many high quality blends out there, this one just cannot compete!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (134)
★★☆☆
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.

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

I've had a year of English mixtures exploration and with this mixture I've hit the holy Graal of Englishes.

It excells in every aspect, it impresses, it soothes, it tastes perfect and it's what every other English blend wants to be but not quite lives up to. In short: THE best! Commonwealth is like a buffed up Squadron Leader but with less tangyness and more flavor. It's like a Skiff mixture that doesn't need slow smoking and sherlocking to investigate the flavors. Don't know if I could call it broken flake though. More ready rubbed than broken flake.

For me after one full year of English Exploration I have decided the following: SG Commonwealth is my absolute favorite English mixture. SG Balkan flake and Germain's Special Latakia flake are my favorite flakes!

This is as close to tobacco divinity you'll ever come! (sorry if you think this is sounding like a salespitch)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Another good SG offering, but not in my true favourite ones.

It has a nice taste (combination of Cyprian Latakia and fine Virgina) and creates clouds of marvelous smoke, but I just do prefer when you have some Orientals in the mixture. I want some sour & tangy taste in my English and Balkans Tobaccos.

Recommended when needing a Cyprian Latakia kick.

And not to be smoked in company of partners who only appreciate Aromatics.

Rdx score: 89 (10 pipes smoked)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ap Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ap (56)
★★★★
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.

Archo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Archo (6)
★★★★
Strong Medium to Strong Full Tolerable

I find myself getting unreasonable irritated when I read reviews from other pipesters carping on about this blend being too one dimensional. Come on guys, you can hardly expect a symphonic eruption of flavour along your palette from a blend which consists entirely of fifty percent Virginia and fifty percent latakia. Judge the blend on what it is, which is a high quality blend with a big latakia kick.

The generous quantity of latakia means this is one solely for the latakia fanatic. All other pipesters should stay well clear. And for those of you who like your latakia large and mean you won't be disappointed. Upon opening the tin you are met with a deep, rich, almost overwhelming smoky aroma. The tobacco is of the usual high quality you expect from SG, however it is slightly on the moist side and requires some drying out before smoking. Once dried it handles nicely, packs without a fuss and stays well behaved. It lit after two lights and stayed light for the reminder of the bowel.

This is a big flavoured tobacco and for best results smoke in a large bowel so the flavours can really open up and engulf you. From the fist puff the latakia takes control and pretty much stays in charge for the reminder of the bowel. The va's add a pleasantly sweet undertone thus ensuring a somewhat restraining hand is placed on the latakia. And don't fret, SG haven't forgotten the vitamin N. There is a very charitable helping of it, easily enough to keep even the most hardened nicotine lover satisfied. The strength of this tobacco (believe me its strong) means that for me it's not an everyday smoke. The heaviness of the blend tends to restrict my smoking of it to the months of early darkness and morning frost and icy gusts when its smoky warmth is much needed.

So to sum it all up, Commonwealth is an excellent full strength mixture. Latakia devotees need apply only. Another classic from SG.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (141)
★★☆☆
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 (130)
★★★☆
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.

pufdragn63 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pufdragn63 (13)
★★★★
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable

I value my wife's opinion when it comes to Latakia blends, because I find that her nose is the best indicator of quality. She calls them my "leave him alone to smoke in peace and quiet" tobaccos because she hates the smell. However she is able to differentiate between them all with uncanny accuracy, for it seems that her reaction to the room aroma of a good stout English blend is inversely proportional to the actual quality of the smoke. She tells me English Luxury is "awful." "Erinmore Balkan is "shocking." Squadron leader "stinks." Frog Morton is "terrible." And she has always despised anything that came from the house of Dunhill. So, after loading my trusty Ashton XX Pebble Grain and setting it alight, I asked the good woman her opinion of Commonwealth Mixture. When she walked back inside the house, slamming the door behind her, I knew I was onto something extraordinary. If you like blends with a lot of Latakia, then Commonwealth is definitely worth trying. To my tastes it is cool, smooth and bite free. A one note song from start to finish, indeed it is, but what a note! Latakia all the way! Think coal tar, steam trains, leather, campfires, blacksmith shops of old, witch hazel, dust and old machinery. It won't save your marriage, but it might get you a bit of peace and quiet. In short, I think it is sublime.

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.

ProfessorBrown Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ProfessorBrown (7)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

I love heavy Latakia blends, and this is a good one. It was missing some "awesomeness", however, and a little one dimensional, but is still a pleasure to smoke. it was consistently good through the entire bowl.

3 stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tom Bombadill Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tom Bombadill (82)
★★★★
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.

N7COF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
N7COF (56)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

A friend that didn't care for this gave me a tin of this today. Not a complex tobacco by any means but one for lovers of Latakia. A good smoke, nothing exciting or dull. I'll keep it in the cellar & not sure if I will by more of it but time will tell.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pencils Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pencils (22)
★★★★
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

awt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
awt (15)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Very Pleasant

Good, just very good. Plenty of quality latakia and VA. Too moist, needs to dry out. Maybe not comparable with ex. Westminster GLP but still excellent. A good day smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fellow traveler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fellow traveler (64)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

The tin smell is strong of smokey fires. I enjoy it. The taste is another thing. The smoke is creamy and smooth, with no hint of rough edges or bite. The initial light is smokey latakia which smoothes out to sweet mild virginia, then the combined taste begins getting stronger and stronger and stronger. Soon it overwhelms your palate, almost like smoking a strong cigar. Like all Gawith blends it is silky in your mouth with no hint of harshness or bitterness.

Like diving into cold water, the initial shock is invigorating, then you enjoy it for a while, then go numb and it is not fun anymore. That is what this blend is to me, no fun to smoke anymore.

But in all fairness it lives up to its description, and if you want a strong but mellow and smooth blend full of latakia, this is a good one. I personally will never buy it to smoke, but I keep a tin around to smell. Overall, I love the brand.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (118)
★★★☆
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.

Phantom55 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phantom55 (29)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A very nice two tobacco English. Not particularly strong, but very mellow throughout the bowl. Many blends have 50% latakia, but in this one, it is not overwhelming. The steamed, probably African, Va does not bite, and provides flavor. A very nice smooth smoke which goes well with morning coffee for English smokers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nachman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nachman (13)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I never thought I would find a blend with too much Latakia, but this is my first. It is somewhat one dimensional, like smoking a blending tobacco. I have ordered some turkish to try to improve it. Edit: I added some Turkish 92OZ TO 8OZ Commonwealth) and let it age for a while. It is better, but still not one of my favorites. I love Westminster and think I will let Greg do the blending for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (119)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

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...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ItarPeyo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ItarPeyo (19)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong

Like it's sibling Squadron Leader this needs drying out after popping the tin. Don't waste butane/matches trying to smoke this out of a freshly opened tin + it might bite back.

Some view this as lacking complexity because of the ingredients, you have the virginias and lots of cyprian latakia and that's it. Here the complexity lies in the progression. It starts of with a sharp latakia attack which gradually leads to "soapyness" and becomes creamy and at the same time the sweetness of the virginias starts to surface somewhere at the last third of the bowl.

The room note repels people, but sometimes it's a good thing.

I'd give SL 3.9 and commonwealth 3.6 stars, both losing 0.1 star because of the moisture level in a fresh tin, but I'd rather dry than remoisturize my tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

forecastle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
forecastle (4)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Strong

I bought this blend from my local tobacco purveyer as I was looking for a new English blend and have let it sit in a pouch for roughly a week. After drying it out (which it does seem to need) I gave it a quick tar and tamp, and began to try this blend.

The first two-thirds of the bowl are creamy and rich with the taste of Latakia which is well grown and robust, much like a good coffee without the heat. The tobacco burns cool and even and has a very enjoyable aftertaste.

The end of the bowl takes on a sweet tone lent to it by the "heavily steamed" Virgina tobacco. This is a very nice flavor as it melds well with the taste of the Latakia creating a great blending sensation.

I prefer to call this a two-note tobacco because of it's robust start, and sweet finish.

Commonwealth is an English blend that is almost sure to please any palate looking for a exceptional tobacco. It is easy to see why it is compared to other big names in the latakia/English families.

The only downside is the room note as it is sure to be offensive to some if not many.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (109)
★★★☆
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.

late-nitedrydrunk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
late-nitedrydrunk (10)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

Every year after the first frost when the leaves begin to fall from the trees, I get a sweet tooth for some latakia. This is what I'll smoke. All of this latakia is intoxicating. And the virginias used are top notch. While not as complex as some other more traditional englishes, the taste is straight forward and full. One would have to try commonwealth to fully appreciate other reviewers comments about the creaminess of the smoke.

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 (77)
★★★☆
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.

Sniper3 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sniper3 (26)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Kind of a one trick pony - but not a bad trick. You get latikia with this blend. Re-read that last sentence over a couple of times and you have a review. Give it some drying time. No "Lakeland" flavor tasted. I get it in tins not bulk, I like to know what I'm really smoking. This is one of the less expensive tobaccos, you can find tins go for under $7 per 50grams. Not really a flake - more of a short ribbon cut (some of the older reviews called it a long ribbon - SG must have changed the cut). You do not have to over-puff in search of taste - keeps every thing nice a cool. Dry and a nice white ash - you don't have to fight it to keep it lit. A creamy mouth feel. You will get a latikia after taste, but I enjoy that. A bargain -- Enjoyable!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Loved it, creamy goodness at the beginning and then a wonderful latakia finish. As other have said it may be one dimensional but it is an exceptionally good dimension.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

orka Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
orka (50)
★★★☆
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 (in the Lakeland way, of course) combined with a mellow, earthy and creamy latakia taste. That's it.

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.

Now, I do like this mixture. The problem is just that I don't like it very frequently. I struggled a bit with how to take that into account for the sake of rating on this website, 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.

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

I totally agree with Croaker's review, bellow, and have nothing else to add, except that today I made a 50% mix with Virginia nº1, just for fun, and I´m happier with it.

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 (70)
★★★☆
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.

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

Samuel Gawith refers to this as a Full Strength Mixture. While this certainly refers to the taste of Latakia and body of smoke, it is by no means a nicotine demon.

Commonwealth provides the smoker a great campfire simplicity that develops a slight sweetness toward the second half of the bowl. While producing volumes of smoke this mixture does not burn hot, nor does it bite the tongue or make you dizzy with nicotine.

While the smoking characteristics of this tobacco are fantastic, this is not an all day smoke. Great on a crisp evening, preferably outside. I find that it does require something to sip on, to cleanse the palate. This is characteristic of all Latakia heavy mixtures I have smoked and tea is the perfect companion of this mixture.

In the company of other full strength English Mixtures, Commonwealth Mixture solidly deserves 4 stars. To my palette, however, it can only ever be an occasional smoke.

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.

bryantm3 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bryantm3 (29)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

A nice English blend. I don't like it as much as 'Early Morning Pipe' from Dunhill, but nonetheless it is a full blend. A couple of warnings, though: don't smoke this in an enclosed area because the smoke is very strong and it tends to stink.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (74)
★★★☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Commonwealth - 50% heavily steamed Virginia & 50% Cyprus Latakia is an interesting blend and these blenders pulled this off well...darn well! I love this stuff. If your a Latakia lover you must fill a pipe full of this. Commonwealth and Squadron Leader are in constant battle for my pallet for first place...I give the slight nudge to Commonwealth...um um I love this sticky weed. Very delcious to the last drop!

Update from the original 2006 review I did. (removed negative description)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (296)
★★★☆
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.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (96)
★★★★
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (196)
★★★☆
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.

MagnusMaximus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MagnusMaximus (4)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

First of all, this is my first tobacco review on this site, and I am something of a pipe-smoking novice, as I've only been smoking for two years, so your own mileage may vary.

I smoke this tobacco in a Peterson billiard of average size.

The first thing you notice when you open the tin is the very strong aroma. it's almost overpowering, really. Unless you love latakia, you might be scared to try this stuff, especially since it's billed on the label as a "full strength mixture." The imagination can run wild, with the known British penchant for understatement and the whallop of the tin aroma!

Lighting up is easy enough, though you might have to pick out a stem or two, or break up a piece that didn't quite get rubbed out fine enough for easy packing at the factory. The smoke itself is all bark and no bite. In both ways. I can make this tobacco bite, but judicious, non-greedy puffing will make this a non-issue. When smoked, the flavor is about medium or average, definitely not overpowering. It has a pleasant smokey latakia taste, with a sweet background. Simple and very pleasant. I could see this as an ideal all-day smoke, particularly for when you're doing other things and don't have the luxury to sit down in your favorite armchair in the den and do nothing but savor your pipe.

Nicotine is mild: it gives me a pleasant relaxed feeling, but definitely doesn't make my head spin or anything like that, which is another plus for all-day enjoyment. The tobacco burns with minimal fussiness, though I let it dry out for a bit when I first opened the tin, and I find that it burns down to a fine grey ash, with usually not much dottle left in the bottom of the pipe.

Highly recommended, especially for those who want to get into latakia and English blends. Be warned though, if you've been smoking aromatics, it's likely your wife will turn her nose up a bit if you're smoking in a common area. The room note is definitely tolerable, but it isn't sweet or as pleasant as the aromatics that non-smokers love so much.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

beaupipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beaupipe (100)
★★★☆
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 (167)
★★★★
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.

Trident Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Trident (2)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Sweet, full, and satisfying with no bite. A "go-to" Latikia.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sasquatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sasquatch (65)
★★★★
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 (58)
★★★☆
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.

TechnoChimp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TechnoChimp (4)
★★★★
Extremely Mild Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Strong

After a tin followed by a bulk pound, I cannot fathom the person who believes this is a "full strength mixture". There is tons of top notch Latakia flavor which is perfectly balanced, almost no nicotine, absolutely no bite, and a distinctive "creaminess" that cannot be found elsewhere. The smoothness of this tobacco is unrivaled. Dried and packed properly it has no equal. This has just barely replaced Penzance as my favorite blend. Although vastly less complex, it's flavor development in a large bowl is just as entertaining as the most complicated English you may find. Buy a bunch, dry it well, and you'll never want to be without it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

loosewatches Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
loosewatches (108)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Commonwealth mix falls into the Latakia bomb category. If it weren't in fact made in England, I wouldn't even call it an 'English' blend. But I don't really want to start that debate here. (Nothing to debate, anyway.)

I like a big daily dose of latakia (along with one or two of the flower powered flakes) to break up my steady intake of virginia and virginia&perique. This hits the spot. While I do love Pirate Cake and its burley gloved black leaf slap, this is just better. Personally, I don't taste the VA leaf much in Commonwealth. It's there, but just, even if it is half the blend. Taste wise, there is a lot going on here. This is a blend I like to sit with.

Note: I have no idea what the hell the following statement means, even though I am about to author it.

If I had to pick just one blend to smoke only once a day to add variety of the many blends I'd take with me to a desert island, this would certainly be one of the ones I'd like to think about picking.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarChef Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarChef (100)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If you're looking for complexity, subtlety or nuance here you may be disappointed. If you're looking for quality tobacco handled with care that delivers Latakia with a left uppercut and a kiss of sweet Virginia you'll be pleased. I certainly was. There are times when you need that Latakia fix but don't have the attention span to give the more complex, layered flavors of some blends their due. This is just right for those times.

A little damp, so drying will be needed. The ribbon cut packs nicely, takes the match easily and stays lit with minimal tamping and relights. Burns cool considering the Va content and the Latakia, despite the full load, does not leave a creosote film on palate or pipe.

Very good if you don't have lofty expectations.

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.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WillardFan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillardFan (68)
★★★★
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.

Big bad Jon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big bad Jon (232)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This blend is better than the two star recommendation the problem is that there are a lot of tobaccos of this type that are a bit better. There is a full assault on your senses in the latakia department. I do not think it is the best quality Latakia that I have tasted but it is average. The Latakia overwhelms the VA tobacco and does not leave a lot of room for nuances. The tobacco burns completely and cool, leaving no residue in the heel. The blend is tongue friendly and never got out of hand. It is fairly strong but not like other Lakeland blends. Overall I wish there was a bit more nuances in the blend but it tastes and burns well.

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.

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

Stop 5 on the Lakeland Tour.

I have not fully figured this one out yet. First of all, the tin I smoked has been in my "cellar" (read: closet shelf) for probably 4 years. The tobacco was pretty dry; not bone dry but the only SG tobacco I have ever had to ADD moisture to. Mostly a latakia powerhouse with a significant "base" of very sweet, tangy virginias. As much as people praise aged tobacco, and I among them, this is one I really want to try from a newer tin to see if it has more flavor that way. I'll get to that anon and update. For now, this is definately a classic for latakia blends, and I think probably part of the inspiration for such current favorites like Maltese Falcon. Everyone should try it, at least if you like latakia or want to know what it's all about.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

EtOH Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
EtOH (7)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

If you are new to latakia or just not sure, go ahead and skip this one and find a milder blend with some other tobaccos blended in with the latakia.

This is a full-on latakia assault of the senses! I like this blend and the smoky goodness that is risen from the ash-it seems it would go perfectly with an Islay whisky, and since it is available in bulk, I definitely recommend purchasing at least two ounces to try. That way, if you like it you can purchase more and stock it up your cellar.

The only downside is the lack of complexity, but who knows-pair this with that Islay Scotch and it may develop into a complex experience. The lack of complexity forced me to downgrade to three stars, otherwise it would have been four for the latakia component.

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.

bearzerker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bearzerker (17)
★★★★
Medium Medium Full Strong

Wow!! This stuff is great. I've been smoking a lot of C&D Bow Legged Bear and I think I prefer this brand and blend better. I love how the virgina and latakia work together and this blend is a lot easier to smoke than C&D's. (Sorry C&D) It's got a great flavor and dosen't have a lot of bite like I get from a lot of heavy latakia blends. This stuff has totally changed my opinion of latakia all together. The room note is great. I'm not sure what the date is on my can but when I opened it I was greeted by a very nice aroma and the tobacco was packed tight and moist inside. I put a bowl full on a napkin for a few minutes and then loaded it and fired up and I was really pleased on how easy and mellow it smoked and it's got a nice strong flavor and room note, that I really like.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bigblends Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigblends (46)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Extra Full Strong

Some blends are presented in tins that tell you Latakia is added in careful measure or with a gentle touch or in just the right amount to add interest.

To hell with that.

Commonwealth is a flavor powerhouse that showcases the best of Latakia. The Virginia, although an equal as far as quantity, serves as the foundation upon which the Latakia heroically stands tall and proud.

You get the smoke, the dry campfire -- common to Latakia. But then, all of a sudden, Commonwealth grabs you by the nostrils and pulls you into a bottomless pit of Latakia lust. You're treated to the herbal elements, the vegetal undergrowth, a pinch of something pine-like, and much more.

The tobacco burns easy and cool, without bite, and with loads and loads of interest from char to ash. Amazing stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

A. Morley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A. Morley (73)
★★★★
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?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Camus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Camus (15)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a leather wing-back chair and roaring fire sort of smoke. There is a sweetness at first from the virginia that gives way to musky, smoky and sometimes sea salt, notes from the latakia. The sweetness returns now and then but progressively diminishes toward the end. As noted before the blend is quite monochromatic and a slow-burner and for this reason I prefer it in smaller bowls. Despite the 50% latakia I find that this blend does not exhaust my taste and leave my mouth feeling "furry" in quite the way other latakia heavy blends do.

With its sweet, peaty, smoky and salty flavours I find it matches beautifully with Islay single malt whiskys.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A bit 2-D but honest. Not so subtle that you have to suspend all other activity to enjoy this blend. A sturdy and reliable tobacco for the English enthusiast. True 3 out of 4 stars.

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.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

An excellent offering from Samuel Gawith. Not as full as Balkan Flake but equally as delicious in a different way. The Virginias have an almost McClelland like tanginess to them. The Latakia is smooth and full, but not a kick in the mouth. A nice change of pace for those who appreciate Balkan or heavy English blends Still full and rich but with a unique flavor. 3.5 stars!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bl (8)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I usually prefer English blends with less latakia, but this one is great. It packs well and stays lit well without ever burning hot. The room note isn't bad for English tobacco, and it leaves my pipes clean and dry. I've smoked about 1/2 of the tin so far, and it's already something I plan on buying more of.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

haredawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
haredawg (46)
★★★★
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 (61)
★★★★
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.

peakbagger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
peakbagger (41)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Samuel Gawaith produces fine pipe tobacco and this is one of my favorites. This is a dark and rich [with latakia] but pleasant smoke; easy on the tongue. Strong roasted coffee, Scotch whisky and Commonwealth are for those individuals who enjoy fine but heavy flavors. If you're looking for complexity from your pipe look elsewhere, this is a single minded blend. 8 out of 10 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 (13)
★★★★
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.

jackhackett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jackhackett (76)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

An incredibly straight-forward, comforting, delicious smoke, Commonwealth Mixture is everything that it's supposed to be and nothing it's not supposed to be.

The latakia is quality leaf, the VA is prepared with a skilled hand. And not to belabor the point, but CM is very comforting in its simplicity; definitely a put-your-feet-up-by-the-fire/home again kind of blend.

Very good stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Simenon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Simenon (15)
★★☆☆
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.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Update: This gets an additional star. I find CM a pleasant diversion from my traditional English and Balkan mixtures when a break from Turkish tobaccos is desired. I still like McClelland Anniversary Blend more. How this gets an overall "Extremely Mild" rating for artificial flavoring eludes me. This tastes unadulterated to my palate. Oh well...

The tin aroma is peaty, earthy and mulch-like. It is very dark in color and flavor. I found too many stems, about the size of small twigs. The tin I smoked was cellared for one year and just about the right moisture when opened.

This did not migrate in flavor from start to finish, except that the sooty, oily beginning dissipated after 10 minutes or so. My mouth felt coated quite thoroughly for hours after I put my pipe down.

Commonwealth Mixture is invariably cool, easy to light, keep burning and gives a good amount of smoke. Nicotine is generously provided, suggesting a prior meal and enjoying with a palate-cleansing beverage of choice.

Once every few minutes a sweet note from the Virginias pinch hits, but this is not a sweet blend. I have smoked straight Latakia and the 50% VA does provide something of a break from pure monotony, barely. Still, CM has a certain charm akin to a used bookstore smell of mustiness.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Meerschaum Man Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Meerschaum Man (85)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

If you appreciate earthy English Blends then by all means get some of this in your pipe. Allowably, this is a latakia blend but the treatment of the Virginias displays the creative touch of a learned blender. Clean burning and cool it fills the room with a note of musky old bookshops and rainy days. An undercurrent of sweetness finds it's resonant note to the accompaniment of a fine latakia. Like a rich tapestry, it has always given me pause for reflection and rest. Any blend that's been around for 200 years must have merit and this one is a fine example.

Meerschaum Man Smoking an Altionk Canadian Smooth

Nobody has rated this review yet.

monkeybong Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
monkeybong (7)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a blend that I can take or leave. I enjoy smoking it when I do, but I don't go to the shop with the need for more. I know it is supposed to be a stronger blend than Squadron Leader, but it doesn't hit me that way. Overall, a quality yet forgettable smoke.

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.

Professor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Professor (67)
★★☆☆
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Do not be put off by the star rating. Samuel Gawith's Commonwealth Mixture is a good, solid tobacco. There are a lot of better choices for tobacco out there, however, and this does not compare to my three- for four-star rated reviews. Still, this weed is not without some good qualities. Indeed, it needs a bit of drying, but once that is done Commonwealth Mixture lights and burns rather well. The tin says 'full strength' and that is definitely the case. Those of you who are frustrated with the inconsistencies of Dunhill of late might find Commonwealth Mixture the perfect consistent alternative. (I do not care for Dunhill as a rule.) Samuel Gawith blends quality tobacco and this weed is certainly rich in the tin. It is too strong for my tastes, all the same, and the flavour never quite crescendos. With all of that said, it is worth a try if you enjoy full Latakia blends and feel like giving Dumhill (spelling intended) a well-deserved rest.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This smells like a typical heavy Latakia blend. However it does have a nice balance with the VA. About mid bowl it afforded a chocolate like note similar to G.L. Peace Charing Cross, not as complex in flavor but definately heavier and sweeter. I definately recommend this to Latakia junkies. Performes best in large bowled pipes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BigBen53 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigBen53 (21)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Commonwealth Mixture Tobacco This full English is a wonderful complex recipe of the finest Cyprus Latakia, It 50% heavily steamed Virginia & 50% Cyprus Latakia blend,It Smoker cool full bodied yet remarkably gentle no tongue bite. The Room Note Aroma was full Latakia/ English. Commonwealth Mixture is one of my favourite English tobaccos.English brand from Samuel Gawith. in the tin or Bulk. I would call truly outstanding. It is full and rich enough to satisfy just about any English blend smoker. I give it 4 Star . I smoke this regularly, and it is definitly ones of my favorite . Sometime a all day Smoke. if you like English Tobacco you have to get some to try Made in England.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Keeper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Keeper (112)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

UPDATE: After a week or so of airing in the tin, and occasional drying - I have upgraded my opinion of this tobacco. This is a nice, smooth sweet and smokey mixture that is in fact quite reminiscient of Raven's Wing. There is an almost molasses or syrup note - yet I don't believe there is any topping applied. It is a fine and cool smoking blend. In a more seasoned pipe, with careful puffing, the bite is reduced to a minimum.

-------

This is an odd tobacco in that I can't quite make up my mind about whether or not I could smoke it with any regularity. usually within a few bowls I at least have a clue as to whether or not I'd buy it. As others have stated it is the more muted end of the English spectrum. I actually find it similar to the venerated 965 but with IMO - considerably more flavor depth (not complexity, just pure dark depth).

It is quite a threatening looking tobacco which initially lets off a sweet/smokey blast of latakia but then evens out to a constant nutty leathery taste. In a relatively new briar I found an almost even interchange between the sweet steam pressed VA and the dark smoke of the oriental leaf.

There isn't the high note of the tangy orientals you may find in EMP or Durbar, but perhaps that is part of the appeal for me. A straightforward ride that indeed compliments a stout beer and a hearty lunch.

The tobacco benefits from some drying time and light rubbing of the flakes and cake. The one off putting element I've found in this tobacco is that periodically there is a tiny bite - no matter how dry I attempt to keep the pipe. And I'm not quite sure this tobacco is that unique as to warrant any continuous attention.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bigjonburley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigjonburley (64)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Bam! You like latakia? This one is one of the best. I believe a tin of this stuff should be in every smokers stash. Gawith has many fine blends but I seem to constantly return to this beauty. The Cyrian Latakia in this blend has a charred cedar note that I have not detected in other mixtures. Wonderfully complex, this tobacco is never a bore. Highly Recommended for the confirmed English smoker.

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.

CaptnDan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaptnDan (242)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I had high hopes for this blend. At a 50/50 mix of my two favorite tobacco?s, I thought, how could I go wrong?

This nicely aged sample simply didn?t live up to expectations. The Virginia was weak, not at all assertive. All it seemed to do was to detract from the Latakia, because that wasn?t as flavorful as I had expected either. Surprisingly mild, almost to the point of being bland.

I just couldn?t get excited about this one. I can take it or leave it. Two stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Puffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puffer (9)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

If you are looking for Latakia, Commonwealth is where to find it. The same can be said of dark Virginia! There are many fine blends with plenty of Latakia, but this tobacco offers a straightforward simple flavor of dark, rich Virginia with loads of dusky, leathery, smoky Latakia. The taste is neither subtle nor complex, but totally enjoyable for the smoker who knows what he wants.

The tin aroma is remarkable in that it is so faint. I expected a burst of deep, leathery Latakia smell, but none was there. The cut was short ribbons, appearance dark red to black.

Packing was easy, although I would recommend a little airing. Tin moisture is high. This is not all bad, since the Samuel Gawith tins don't reseal very well. Storing the opened tin in a Zip-Loc bag keeps the tobacco fresh.

The first match brought on the Latakia! The flavor is intense but the smoke is cool. After levelling and relighting, this weed smoked clear through without additional relights. The taste alternated between the zingy Latakia and a rich, heavy Virginia without much in between. There are no nuances or side notes, just the two major components coming through side by side. Occasionally one would predominate, then the other. This may be a consequence of the rather small bowl I use to smoke this blend. A larger bowl may bring a more harmonious flavor.

Although the flavor is pretty full, there was no harshness or bite. The smoke stayed cool down to the end. Ash was medium gray with no dottle.

Other blends such as Durbar and Black Mallory have plenty of Latakia in concert with other varieties, but Commonwealth provides the simple, straightforward taste without embellishment. If you like English blends, you'll want to try this. Great on a cold day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I recently purchased a tin of CWM from a pipe shop in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Uopn opening, the contents revealed the fact that the tin had obviously been on the shelf for quite some time. I was greeted by a very oily wax paper cover that protected a dark, rich looking blend with a smattering of sugar crystals all over the leaf.

The tin bouquet was enticing and caused my usual body trembling sensation whenever I try to patiently load a tobacco that smells this good. It was not all that easy to pack anyway because the leaf is very long-stranded. It was also way too moist; but who has time to let something that looks and smells this good dry out?

Not easy to light or keep lit, CWM did provide a pleasant, sweet flavor once I got the stuff going. The Latakia presence was there, but played second fiddle to the finely stoved Virginia leaf. While I enjoyed the subtle, sweet flavor with the hint of Latakia, the nicotine punch was so light that I decided purchasing another tin is probably not in my future plans.

And finally, I remain quite surprised that this is a 50/50 Virginia/Latakia blend. The Virginia leaf sure won the power struggle in my particular tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mike Castello Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike Castello (49)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Commonwealth is a medium to strong English blend from an old English firm that knows how to make an English blend the right way. SG also makes Squadron Leader that is possibly the quintisential English blend for the ages. Anyway, back to Commonwealth mixture. The tin aroma is very calling and says behold a true blend worthy of thy pipe. Packing is easy as the cut is just about perfect. The tobacco is a bit moist for easy smoking. Keeping the tin open for a couple of days does the trick. I do this with just about every tinned blend I open so this is sop. Now, the smoking is just fine. I find the taste true of Latikia, with superb high notes from the Virginia. The only problem, the blend begs for Orientels so it can fullfil it's destiny as a Balkan blend. This is a very personal preference and should not deter anyone from smoking CM. In conclusion, a fine English, but not among my first two or three picks, but up there undoubtably.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WxGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WxGuy (95)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

Commonwealth Mixture has commonish roots. A 50/50 blend of virginia and latakia, it is the first-generation offspring of a great marriage. Not nearly as complex as the myriad English offerings from Dunhill for example, it is still a well balanced blend with a suitable measure of variety. Like a good dog, it does not bite, is not overly-excitable, but does have a lingering odor that is offputting to others than the master.

It was Commonwealth that made me realize what non-latakia orientals bring to an english blend. How so? Because they are nonexistent in this blend, in stark contrast to London Mixture or Durbar. Now, I like these last two very much, but sometimes the orientals can distract from the simpler interlay of virginias and latakia.And in the present case, simple is just fine.

The tobacco has a variety of forms, from fine virginia ribbons of varying length to nuggets of black latakia.(ooooh!) My tin arrived perhaps just a tad on the moist side, but dried out just fine after opening a few times. Not steamy in any way, just a tad hard to get ignited at first.

Another thing that I like about Commonwealth is that it does not pack the nicotine whallop that comes with most Dunhill blends. I like to go to bed w/o my head spinning, thank you. Commonwealth is, of course, no weakling in the tobacco world- just a tall, dark stranger that is worth striking up a friendship with.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This mixture is strong in flavor and deliciously uncomplicated. Do you like high quality latakia in generous amounts? What about sweet, dark, dry-smoking virginias? A cool, dry smoke? If yes, yes, and yes are your answers, then smoke this stuff, and do not worry about the lack of complexity; it's fine, no one will hold it against you. Pack a big ol' meerschaum (highly recommended) or briar with this stuff, puff away with an imperial pint of Guinness or three at your elbow, and be happy. It's easy. Just be sure to have a napkin handy to wipe the inevitable happy slobber from your delighted, child-like face.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (263)
★★★☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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?

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Sykes Wilford Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sykes Wilford (35)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Strong

Here's a weird one for ya-- I generally don't smoke latakia blends, but this is one of my favorites. Commonwealth is half Latakia and half Virginias (of which, most appear to be Red Cake Virginias). I don't really know why this one appeals to me while I shun most latakia laden blends, but it does...ahh, the mysteries of pipe smoking...

Maybe it's the Cyprian Latakia that makes the difference for me, but even Cyprian doesn't excite me all that much in other Latakia blends (C&D Englishes most notably).

I can't taste much other than the Latakia here, but for some reason I just love the flavor of the latakia in this blend over that in others. Maybe the Zimbabwe (or Tanzanian etc.-- most Gawith blends use African origin Virginias) Virginias smooth out the flavors of the latakia without considerably adding their own personality. I honestly don't get it, but as far as Latakia blends go, this is one of my favorites (though I don't smoke any Latakia sufficiently often to give this one a "smoke regularly" rating).

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

If you're expecting another Gawith Virginia tobacco, you may be in for something of a shock with this one! 50% Latakia... can you say "dark and leathery"?? If you want Latakia, you've got it; but search elsewhere if you're looking for smooth complexity. The aroma of my sample is very strong with Latakia; it's a leathery, musty smell clear even through the plastic bad. The tobacco itself is very dark, about 50% black mixed with dark and medium browns, and crumbly in feel. The cut is medium to longer, and my sample came in several chunks held loosely together. The moisture level is roughly average, and packing is easy. The leaf takes fire quickly and burns very well, needing a lower than average number of relights during a bowl. I first tried this blend in a large Nording freehand. In the first third of the bowl, the primary initial flavor is the unmistakable leathery, dark taste of strong Latakia. The taste is very strong; it isn't quite overwhelming, but it does leave a bit to be desired in complexity. This Latakia appears darker and lacks the sweetness of many other strong Latakia blends I've tried, and it is also somehow "sharper" on the tongue, though it doesn't bite. There is tobacco here other than Latakia, but it mainly stays in the background, a lesser note that can't break away from the dark, rich flavor. In the second third of my bowl, the flavors are much the same. The Latakia is perhaps a bit more muted, but the smoke is still overall very dark and leathery, without being overly full or complex. It tickles the back of my throat when I exhale through my nose, and I wouldn't call it smooth. I'm noticing a very mild sweetness, slightly more obvious in this part of the bowl than in the first third. The room note is rather strong, perhaps offensive to many non-smokers. There is a bit of moisture during this third, though a single pipe cleaner will usually take care of it. I've also noticed that it is a blend that burns somewhat hot - no Frog Morton, this! In the final 1/3, the flavor becomes a bit more dynamic. The sweetness is stronger, and the smoke is smoother and a bit cooler. The taste is still very dark, however, and rather uncomplex. There is no real bite, and little moisture in the bottom of the bowl. Overall, I would call this a strong, dark, and fairly simple Latakia tobacco. It is not nearly as sweet or smooth as Frog Morton, and has fewer flavors than Raven's Wing or Penzance. Still, I enjoyed it. The only things that bothered me about it were the lack of complexity and the hot, slightly harsh smoke. I will likely reach for this when I'm in the mood for LATAKIA and little else; I plan to order more for that purpose.

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pokrsmokr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pokrsmokr (32)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Another fine tobacco from Samuel Gawith, Commonwealth is like a luxurious verion of Half and Half being equal parts steamed Virginia and Cyprian Latakia. The tobacco is very dark and sultry and has, as you would imagine, a dark sweet/smoky tin aroma. I purchase mine in the 8oz 'baseballs' which are very tightly packed and vacuum sealed. After breaking the tobacco apart, I prefer to let it air for an hour or so as it is quite moist. It packs and lights easily- though it tends to burn a bit hot, despite the generous amount of latakia. At first taste the latakia stands out but the virginias announce their presence in the next few puffs and neither really dominate the other throughout the bowl. The result is a luxurious smoke which is both sweet and smoky with a nutty undertone and hints of molasses or caramel. This tobacco has a very interesting finish as the flavors become enhanced with almost an earthy effect. It's not exactly complex, but it is a tasty tobacco. I recommend smoking this slow, not only to avoid any potential bite but also to prevent the tobacco from going flat -this definitely requires slow leisurely puffing. It's rooms aroma has been described to me as smelling like 'dirty gym socks', but I'm not put off by it. This is not an everyday smoke for me, but I definitely recommend it to both virginia smokers and English smokers who are looking for an interesting change of pace.

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Colonel Panic Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Colonel Panic (42)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Pouch Aroma: This tobacco is musty and dark smelling with only a hint of caramel sweetness. I can smell the slight leatheriness of quality Latakia and savory dark Virginias. Very nice, and just what I'm in the mood for.

Appearance: This is a dark blend, about 75% dark red and brown tobaccos, 20% dark brown and black and a 5% flash of lighter VA Bright and maybe Turkish. The cut is a fine ribbon which reminds me of Dunhill's #965.

Packing and Lighting: After packing easily into my Charatan long Canadian, the charring light goes perfectly with the tobacco raising a slight crown. The smoke is dense and rich and lacks the sharp spiciness which #965 has at first. I think this is going to be a very smooth, bite-free smoke!

Exposition: The initial flavor is very smooth, mild and smoky with no extreme flavors, i.e. no Balkan-style bitterness nor Frog Morton-esqe sweetness. It's just a mild, middle-of-the-road English blend with flavors tending to the darker end of that spectrum. Thus far it's an alright smoke but nothing to write home about as there isn't much complexity here nor any body to speak of.

The Story: Once I got 1/3 into the bowl the flavors had settled into a light, thin smokiness with hints of brown Virginias and Turkish. It's smooth, sure, but the smoke seems to lack both body and complexity, and could stand to have a more solid base of flavors for the Latakia and Turkish to stand out against. As it is, the condiment tobaccos just taste thin and strident as if the blend wasn't well balanced.

Further down, it's getting a little acidic tasting which is actually a welcome addition of /something/ to keep my interest piqued. I think the most disappointing aspect to this is the utter lack of what I call mouth-feel. I like to feel the smoke on my tongue, roll it around and really taste it. I can't do that with this tobacco - I can taste it but I don't get a sense of having something in my mouth. I guess the difference is between walking past a quality bakery and smelling cinnamon rolls vs. actually tasting one fresh from the oven. To use a term coined here on asp, I'd say that it lacks The Cookie' :) The smoke rising from the bowl as I exhale little puffs is quite nice, but not enough to save it.

It does smoke easily, burns well and requires few relights and leaves a nice leathery-smoky room aroma, but I just can't get into it. To venture a guess, I'd say that the Virginias used as a base aren't well-integrated with one another, but a blender I ain't!

Denouement: It's still burning well as I approach the last few minutes of the bowl, and the density is finally increasing a bit and becoming more varied and interesting. It's still not enough to rescue me from my ennui though, and I'm finding it to be nothing more than a last-ditch effort to seduce me out of desperation. I'm not falling for it, either.

The last dregs of the bowl sweeten up and the oriental component mingles with the Latakia in a nice way but the base tobaccos are still nowhere to be found.

Don't get me wrong - this isn't a /bad/ tobacco. I usually smoke Virginia flakes, and when I smoke an English I like something rich and complex like Dunhill (965, Nightcap) or something with well-balanced Orientals like Dr. Truesdell from Hiland's or F&P's 'Silk Road' or Oasis'. This is just an adequate smoke, no more, no less.

Pros: Smooth, nice clean English aroma, burns well and clean to a nice medium grey ash, doesn't require a lot of attention.

Cons: Thin-tasting, very low nicotine, poorly balanced flavors and complexity, no body to the smoke. Even smoke rings blown dissipate quickly in still air! The most telling thing is that, with this bowl finished, I find myself craving a pipeful of Rattray's Hal o' the Wynd'.

(Later) I smoked this again in a small Savinelli #806 Canadian which is very well broken-in and got a slightly richer smoke but at best I'd say it's a competently mediocre tobacco to my taste. I don't smoke English blends often these days, and what I do smoke has to have either subtlety or complexity to hold my interest. This is nice and might be a pleasant all-day smoke for a Latakia lover but it just bores me.

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