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Iwan Ries

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Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake is for lovers of pure pressed Virginias. Created in the heart of Lakeland, the hot-pressed blended Virginias take on a delicious and distinctive dark colour that creates a pipe smokers dream, a feeling of calm, serenity and anticipation of the next pipeful. A "must have" for all Virginia lovers. Medium strength.

BrandSamuel Gawith
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutFlake
Packaging50g Tin, 250g Box
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy PipesAndCigars
Iwan Ries
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 83 Users

3.5
450 reviews
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295
3 star:
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solobaricsrock Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
solobaricsrock (3)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Whats to say that has not already been said? This is a wonderful tobacco that is very straight forward. Upon opening the tin I have to marvel at the aroma. Its very flavorful smell of fruits like raisins and plums. It reminds me of my grandmothers hand made farm jelly. Heavenly bliss in a tin.

The flakes are a little large for the pipe I smoke them in, so I usually shred a full flake by hand and allow it to dry in the open air for about 15-20 minutes. Then after loading I like to draw on the pipe unlit to allow for savoring the straight tobacco aroma.

I usually do 2 or 3 charring lights depending on the moisture. This allows a nice charred "cake" to form on top. After that its on to the enjoyment. This tobacco is very pleasurable for the aromas it imparts, as well as a flavor that reminds me of fresh cut hay. I spent summers on my grandmothers farm (mentioned briefly above) and that taste is unmistakable. They say that taste and smell are tied to memories, and this brings back some of the best for me. Anyhow the flavor is very unadulterated and I find it highly relaxing. It also stays on the pallet for a while after smoking so I usually find myself wondering when I can get the next bowl! Its that good.....trust me.

I usually sit down and allow time to smoke every last bit in the bowl, as even the dottle is not overwhelming like other tobaccos I have tried. Ash is always a white/gray color and smoke is a thick creamy white. My live in room note adviser (AKA my wife) says the room notes are very tolerable, and she like the smell.

All in all this is a no nonsense VA blend that should be tried at least once. I venture to say this is the best of the Gawith blends. St James Flake is also recommended for a good change of pace.

Happy smoking, and please remember to support your local tobacco shops!

17 people found this review helpful.

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

This is indeed a full virginia flake. It smells like a typical virginia in the tin, but the stoving keeps the aroma subtle.

This has a very ordinary and nothing to shout about flavor, and, it will certainly bite your tongue if you puff too rapidly. A slow burn brings out the flavor better anyway. It is a difficult smoke for me to appreciate as the flavor puts me off a bit. It does have a lingering room note that won't run off the wife and kids.

If a grassy tasting straight virginia is a regular menu item for you (it is not for me), then this may be for you. I suspect aging will mellow out this blend and according to my palate, it does indeed need mellowing. I know a lot of folks are shouting this blend's wonders, but I just don't get it myself.

14 people found this review helpful.

BriarPatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarPatch (33)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Preface: I have been smoking Dunhill Standard Mixture Medium for near-on 30 years, believing that it has no equal anywhere on earth. But it is gone now, and so I begin a quest for my Holy Grail: A substitute to replace the standard on which all English tobaccos are based:

If you search here for the tobacco with the most 4 star reviews you have Full Virginia Flake. No, not an English type, and not a likely SMM substitute, but how could I go about my quest of trying all of these tobaccos while ignoring numero uno?

In May 1607, the London-based Virginia Company's three ships landed in Virginia and founded the first permanent British settlement in North America. It was a for- profit expedition. They hoped to find a route to the Far East (the infamous Northwest Passage) in order to further advance trade with China and/or to discover gold. They accomplished neither, while their mortality rate due to disease, starvation, & Indian warfare approached 70%.

What saved the remaining intrepid souls and their colony at Jamestown?

Tobacco.

Seedlings from the Caribbean blossomed in the inviting Virginia soil & climate and Virgina-Type tobacco was born. So flavorful was this tobacco that it's reception in England was overwhelming. Demand skyrocketed from a little known or used product to a popular pastime. A colony was saved, which lead to a nation.

And now I know why, having sampled FVF! Oh, Virginia tobacco!

Sometimes we try too hard, and seek too fiercely, that which has always been. Like Mother's comfort food, Samuel Gawith's FVF satisfies us because it is simple, and simply, good. You don't have to put this brand in a cellar for 20 years to enjoy it, or search the far corners of the earth to find it, or pay dearly to buy it. Just open a tin, rub out the delicate flakes, pack your pipe, and relax. Your pleasure is assured.

I like this stuff a lot, and I now recognize that it is a very important component of SMM, and that blends without a proper Virginia component do not appeal to me. Virginia is the richness & the body. Add Latakia for it's wonderful smokiness, & Orientals for some complexity and viola: Perfection in a tin! Easier said than done perhaps, but we are closing in.

Smells too sweet in the tin, but doesn't smoke that way. The flakes are delightfully moist and any attempt to dry them would be immoral. Put down whatever you're doing instead, and just smoke. If you do that, I promise it will burn perfectly. And you'll savor the creamy richness that is the hallmark of a moist tobacco such as this. It is a proper example of how long a tobacco should burn, which is a long time for FVF! If you dry it out and then go on Tobacco Review to write how you find FVF to be boring and unappealing, I will come and find you...

Rubbing out the flakes is fun and easy, but I suspect as a regular daily tobacco this process might become somewhat tedious.

I would add that everyone should try FVF except that, -based on the review numbers-, everyone already has!

Update: I prefer my tobacco tinned, even though it is more cost effective to purchase bulk. I like knowing that everything is perfect and undisturbed in that tin until I open it, and that specifically includes proper moisture content. But it seems everyone is out of FVF so I resorted to ordering in bulk, specifically the original 500g box that comes direct from Samuel Gawith. I was expecting to be a little disappointed, but I was surprised instead. The flakes arrived completely sealed and with perfect moisture content. And for those upset about "quality control" when broken flakes are found in their tins (I fail to grasp the import) a 500g box is a thing of beauty to open. The box is specifically designed to hold flakes, there must be a million flakes in a 500g box, and (in my box at least) every flake was perfect and intact, all neatly aligned, row upon row, of delicious fragrant flakes.

11 people found this review helpful.

Cooksmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cooksmoke (29)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This offering from S.Gawith & Co. is a leaf of first class preparation. The tin aroma is scrumptous Virginia, as only Virginia can be. The flakes are large, and break up for smoking with little effort. No flavourings are present here, just pure leaf. I noted that this leaf smokes quite differently from my normal McClelland and Rattray Virginias. It has less of the sweet/sour peaks of say #22 Virginia or Old Gowrie. The tones are far more earthy. Rich, but not overly sweet, and cool so long as you keep the pace down. Overall a good smoke for relaxing by, but perhaps a little lacking in the flavour department for my tastes.

9 people found this review helpful.

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

Ah, Sam Gawith's Full Virginia Flake. What more can be said? Well, frankly, THIS:

This is an old-school tobacco in the purest sense. One type of quality leaf, handled and prepared with care and love, by an old-school company using, by and large, old-school methods.

For those of you complaining that the size and shape and thickness of the flakes are uneven: quit it. This stuff is made on machinery that dates back to the 18th Century. I kid you not. Look it up. Some of the machinery Sam Gawith uses is actually protected by the UK government as historical artifacts.

You can't get much more old-school than that.

And unlike most of the fine blenders that were once in the British Isles, they haven't sold out to tobacco company eating monsters from Denmark. Imagine: an English tobacco still made in England! Holy beans!

I love Sam Gawith on principle. If they were an attractive woman, I would ply them with alcohol and try to get them in to bed.

Tin note: fermented Virginia glory, a wet field in the Fall with year-old, mostly-rotted away manure on it. Gorgeous, gorgeous scent.

Smoking: dry out first! This advice about all Sam Gawith offerings is so important, it's not even funny, but still kinda is. A 50 gram tin of Sam Gawith tobacco contains around 25 grams of moisture, but, like a beautiful woman who lies to me just to build up my ego, I'm totally ok with it. A pleasant, mutli-dimensional, rich, Virginia experience.

Sip for best results. Relax while smoking it. Do nothing else.

Fermentation is very present to me with this tobacco. Though no sugar crystals seem to be on fresh flakes, it is obvious in so many ways that this has been aged quite a bit before being sent out.

It's just delicious.

A word about smoking high quality Virginia flakes: keep at it, even if you have several so-so smokes in a row. Try it in different ways, in different pipes. Once you figure them out, you will reach the promised land.

I promise.

8 people found this review helpful.

Perique Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Perique (88)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Do we reallly need another review of this excellent tobacco? I say yes, because previous reviews are misleading.

Is this most likely the best pure Virginia pipe tobacco out there today? Yes

But this tobacco is, quite simple, a pain in the ass.

Now I know there are those out there who relish in the thought that they are amongst the elite, the cognizanti who are anointed into the secret club of spending at least as much time preparing and tinkering and babysitting your tobacco as you do smoking it. But for those among us with other things going on in our lives besides pipe smoking, this tobacco is simply a pain in the ass: a pain in the ass to find, a pain in the ass to prep, a pain in the ass to keep lit.

Flavors are amazing - the best pure VA you'll find. Final third of the bowl is a glorious experience, But getting there, to me, simply isn't worth it. Especially when there are so many amazing (and better behaved) flake tobaccos out there.

So I'm going to go against the crowd 'wisdom' here and say this is a pain in the ass, MF'er of a tobacco. If that's your thing, this is your blend.

That said: nic heavy, glorious final third of the bowl, undoubtedly the best pure VA out there. Does not bite (and it's a good thing too, because you'll have to puff this sucker to get it burning).

7 people found this review helpful.

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

I'm with Elm0 immediately below. I am the most generous giver/friend/parent that I know in my little slice of life. I've been blessed with an embarrassment of good fortune professionally and have no qualms about, for example, tipping for great service at twice or more the accepted rate. But I don't like pickpockets. Despite my having written many times that price is what it is and that a tobacco review should concern itself with just that -- the tobacco -- I can't help but to say that not only does one have to fuss to an incredible degree to get this stuff ready for use, but in doing so I hear laughter from abroad as the flakes dehydrate with a good third of the purchase price following into the netherlands. That said, once played with, set aside, allowed time to dry and having had the (imagined?) ridicule subside, you can light up and enjoy an extremely satisfying flake that embodies what at least I think to be "the true tobacco taste". I have 8 more tins in the den and I'll still smoke them, but I've got to get to an anger management course before popping the next soaking wet lid.

6 people found this review helpful.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (33)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Sam Gawith's Full Virginia Flake:

So much has already been said about this particular offering from the esteemed Sam Gawith that it is fairly hard to make any new observations other than personal ones about this blend.

So here they are:

Really a professionaly done product. The Virginias used(wherever they come from) in this mixture (flake) are superb. Simply that. The initial light up is a delight and the following burn is ,of course , remarkable. My pipes and my taste buds and my contemplations all are overjoyed with my choice of this tobacco in my daily itinerary of smoking indulgences. We just loves it!

Strength: Perfect, not overpowering but definitely robust and hearty. I have several other of the Kendal tobaccos from Sam Gawith and from Gawith and Hoggarth that I enjoy but I always return to the main course- Full Virginia Flake confidently and often. I am justified each time with the choice. Conistency of taste and all the other looked for attributes are the result.

Flavorings: Good Tobacco and various undertoines that are very pleasing. I am not sure if they are natural to the tobacco or applied. I really don't care either way. It really makes little to no difference in the "botto0m line" taste for me. The best advice I can offer for those wanting to know exactly what the taste is I can only say try it. I really can't say anything authoratative as some have about"rasins" or "figs" or any other subtle taste aspects. Mama and Papa's marinara sauce was like that. Nobody seemed to have time to ask why it was so good they were too busy enjoying it.

Room note: I don't give this much thought. It is tobacco, good tobacco burning and that's good enough for me. I'm not sure how everyone else does it but personally I can't much smell what I'm smoking. I refuse to get up and go outside to clear my sinal passages to find out. I am too busy enjoying myself for such activity. Besides which it is just not that important to me and mine.

Recommendation: Fairly obvious from the above review I would think. A professionally done product with everything that a medium to mild blend of Virginia tobaccos could posibly be expected to provide for a grateful pallet.

Get some.

-------------The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

6 people found this review helpful.

Berthold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Berthold (4)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

I bought a can of this because of the huge amount of positive reviews, and I think I've played for a fool. I do like straight tobaccos that taste nothing but a good, solid tobacco so I thought this was something for me, but it wasnt.

To make it short; FVF is a very mild virginia flake that doesnt really taste much of anything. I tried drying it, moisturizing it, smoking it out of every pipe that I've got but nothing could give any of taste that taste these reviews are talking about. Im disapointed.

It does smell like wet hay out of the can though, but I dont buy tobacco to smell it. I buy it to smoke it.

5 people found this review helpful.

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

Full Virginia Flake is about as good as a flake can get: full of flavour, sweet (in a natural way), cool, slow-burning with a pleasant room note, and uniform all the way down the bowl. Taken slowly, it's absolutely delicious, though it probably won't appeal much to the lover of strong flavours.

This is IMO far and away the best SG tobacco. The only quibbles that I have are (a) that it comes much too moist in the tin, and (b) that the flakes tend to be rather thick and difficult to rub out (at least this was true of the 50 gm tin I bought). I find it better to rub them out, rather than folding and stuffing. If you fold and stuff you'll be forever relighting.

Excessive moisture is a besetting sin of SG tinned tobaccos, all of which benefit from drying. One aspect of this is that, as part of your 50 grams, you get a significant amount of water that evaporates off and leaves you with less weight than you think you bought. This is more than a little naughty on the part of SG.

But these drawbacks are so insignificant compared to the exceptional quality of this tobacco as to be hardly worth mentioning. It should be pointed out, though, that the FVF experience is greatly enhanced by a little drying; you won't get the best out if it if you plunge straight into a newly opened tin.

With those few insignificant caveats, a first-class all day smoke. Absolutely outstanding.

5 people found this review helpful.

ian0077 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ian0077 (7)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Very Full Pleasant

this is the ultimate in tobacco. if you like va or are trying for the first time imho i would definately try full virginia flake.

if you just dry out for about 30 minutes or microwave for 5 seconds and leave for 5 minutes. just ready to fold and stuff into your pipe, with just a little rubbed out on the top, to light and your in for a very slow burning, enjoyable slow smoke, which lasts for ages.

you will not be disapointed at all, believe me, enjoy.

5 people found this review helpful.

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

Out of a freshly opened tin, this stuff is nearly impossible to smoke. It's sopping wet. I open up the tin and stick it in my cigar humidor for a week or so to dry it out a bit (while simultaneously humidifying my cigars LOL). Once you get the moisture content just right this stuff is delicious. I had a bowl of this last an entire full length movie once. It burns slowly and sweetly. It's for the PATIENT Virginia lover. It is indeed one of the premier Virginias on the market and I have plenty of this stuff on hand. In my top 5.

==EDIT==

I'm enjoying a bowl of this stuff now as I type and a reaffirm everything I said above with a couple additions-

1) After having an additional year to age this stuff has somehow gotten even BETTER.

2) I've decided that I would pay $100 a tin for this stuff if I had to (granted in limited quantities). It's that good.

Pipe Used: Peterson fermoy

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Beehive Cigars, Salt Lake City, UT

4 people found this review helpful.

apipeareyouserious? Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
apipeareyouserious? (21)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

I could have saved some money & just purchased a couple of cheap cigars. I really didn't like this stuff, I tried every way in the world to enjoy it thinking maybe it was my packing/smoking method or my pipe. Smoked it slow, smoked it fast, did the 50% method, did the folding method, tried it in a car, tried it at a bar...I realize a lot of people like this tobacco, and I will say, without apology, that I am not a fan.

4 people found this review helpful.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (87)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Unnoticeable

I purhased a tin of this virginia from John and his cronies @ Smokingpipes.com for a friend of mine. I have a poor relation with virgina's, especially flakes(St Bruno is the exception), but rather enjoyed trying this. Said friend was good enough to give me a few flakes which I promptly stored with little intention of smoking. Some months later, being in the mood for change, I pulled the forgotten flake out. It certainly is attractive, rich and slightly oily to the touch. I gave 2 flakes a good rubbing out and funnel-filled an old rusticated pot, which is my St Bruno pipe. Out to the back porch and up we lit. Initial flavor is soft, straight forward tobacco taste, very smooth. Continuing through the bowl, taste becomes increasingly rich but remains gentle. Nicotine content does sneak up, but i do enjoy a good toe-tingle. Near the bottom of the bowl a slight murkiness creeps in, nothing too off-putting. Ash is fine white powder. I puffed steadily but was not bitten, much to my surprise. All in all, this is good tobac, a pleasant switch from my usual Englishes. I think some time is needed to really let this blend expand, so I'll order up a tin or 3. NB-I found the room aroma to be very subtle, when I moved to the kitchen, almost neutral. 09/04-Like Paddy I jar this tobacco. Smoked slowly it is tantalizing. Puff hard and, well, EEK.

4 people found this review helpful.

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

Full Virginia Flake is a straightforward, almost dry tasting, medium to full smoke. Unlike other natural Virginias reviewed here, FVF is of a rather austere variety: there is virtually no natural sweetness and no flavour complexity to it. Still, it is a very pleasant natural tobacco, easy to rub out, with a good burning rate and a lasting, toasty denouement (redolent of Grape Nuts cereal). The flakes are medium to dark brown, slightly oily but not moist, with a very plain and agreeable aroma. One could safely say that what you see and what you smell is what you smoke.

Personally I wouldn?t smoke it all day, because by the end of the bowl you do get a subdued harshness that tends to go relatively bitter. It also provides quite a strong nicotine kick. But other than that, it seems to me an excellent example of what a clear-cut, uncomplicated Virginia tobacco tastes like. Again, if someone out there is trying to switch from cigarettes to pipe smoking, Full Virginia Flake can be an excellent choice, albeit it?s by no means a beginner?s tobacco.

4 people found this review helpful.

Granny Smith Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Granny Smith (9)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Rich, creamy and oatey is how I would describe the taste of this Lakeland style blend. I don't often smoke pure Virginnia's since most of my regular blends are heavily blended with latakia, and this makes a nice change and gives a pure tobacco taste. Earthy, yes, full flavoured yes but never overpowering.

Pipe Used: Dunhill

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: Black Swann

3 people found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (41)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Samuel Gawith’s Full Virginia Flake is on a short list of tobaccos that I think “every pipe smoker should try”. OTOH, if you “just don’t like VAs”, then stay away, because FVF is nothing more (or less) than a consummate VA. To me, it is the Unwobbling Pivot of VA flakes. Yes, there are other good ones with more “obvious” qualities, if that’s what one wants; but, while the others might be “different”, FVF is ever unbowed and “the same”, and I hope it never changes.

In the tin, FVF looks ordinary enough, dark and lightly mottled, and the flakes are a little on the thick side. The tin note is restrained, TOP quality, stoved and hot pressed, fermented VA leaf, with shades of dark, figgy raisin bread, medium roast coffee, and a bare brush of dark chocolate. Surely, too much has been made here of the original moisture. It’s perfect for sealed tin aging, and it’s fine for smoking, too, given some technique and some patience at the light. YMMV, but drying FVF too much results in a harsh smoke, especially for deep sniffers. I like to fold, spindle and loosely stuff most of a moist flake into a dedicated VA pipe. FVF always smokes fine for me with minimal (if regular) attention, although it took practice to consistently smoke the very last of it. There is plenty of smoke for a VA, and the scents and tastes start deep for a VA and then they get deeper, with subtle and subtly spicy overtones, and it’s all pure, premium tobacco, from top to bottom. I actually enjoy the “sophisticated” casing and/or topping, very mild, with a nice taste and smell. Like any good VA, FVF gets better as it is smoked down. It is a very “mature” smoke, complex but never popping its buttons. Basically, it smells and tastes well-aged when it’s fresh from the tin, then it gets even better with aging. Strength is medium. Tastes are fuller than medium. Room note is pleasant. Aftertaste is best of the smoke, only sweeter, and it lingers long, adding just a hint of anise as it trails off.

4 Stars, of course, for this excellent and very satisfying tobacco, and I’m sorry if I’ve ever taken it for granted. I wish I could stay away from my cellared tins.

Pipe Used: various briars; dedicated preferred

Age When Smoked: fresh to 18 mos; to 8 mos. from jars

Purchased From: 4 Noggins

3 people found this review helpful.

Eric Cioe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eric Cioe (26)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

When I started my foray into Virginias, I ordered an 8oz tin of Union Square, a 250g box of Gawith's Best Brown Flake, and a 250g box of this. I had smoked Union Square aged before and loved it, but fresh, it didn't quite do the same thing, so most of that is aging away. The BBF is really subtle and after smoking 2oz of it, I don't feel like I have a good enough handle to review it.

Then I opened my first 2oz jar of this, and it was love at first smoke. Yeah, it's wet and needs drying out. Yeah, the 250g probably turns out to be more like 175g once you dry it out to smoking levels. But once you get your technique figured out, you'll be rewarded with a delightful middle ground of all the best parts about smoking a straight Virginia. On lightup, it has a little bit of the tang I associate with red Virginias and a little bit of the zest I associate with brights. It's sweet, but not too sweet. It's tangy, but not overly so. But as the smoke progresses, it gets a little earthier, a little darker. The sweetness takes on a deeper note I associate with stoving.

For me, I like to dry this out for at least a few hours. Sometimes I dry it out overnight, then breathe onto the flakes a bit to give them a little pliability back. I rub it out fully and pack tightly, as I find that gives me a consistent, long-lasting smoke. A group 4 sized pipe can smolder this stuff for two hours. That somewhat makes up for the moisture taking up so much of the packaging weight. I usually find that I can get 16 pipefuls out of 50g, but this was more like 12-13.

This is a serious desert island blend, and that's fresh. I'm guessing aging will deepen the flavors a little further, and am looking forward to order lots and lots more of this. That you can order it in bulk for totally reasonable prices makes it even better. Highly recommended for almost anyone.

Pipe Used: Lots of them, but especially a group 4 Comoy apple

Age When Smoked: Fresh

3 people found this review helpful.

Auroch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Auroch (2)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

As a cigar smoker, this reminds me of a mild-medium connecticut wrap cigar. Very nice hay/light leather flavoring with mild nutty tones.

tin note - smells like standard virginia - vinegar/ketchup. The smell will grow on you.

room note - decent, not overpowering, but definitely not as attractive as aromatics

taste - great smoke, nice and even burn. After you let it dry out it burns great.

Pipe Used: Peterson Belgique Fishtail

Age When Smoked: 1 year, 2 weeks open

Purchased From: JR Cigar, Statesville NC

3 people found this review helpful.

Lit a Kia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lit a Kia (35)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I'm not a huge fan of straight Virginias, but I enjoy quality VAs and VA/Pers now and then. Given the hype surrounding this iconic VA, I gave it a try.

Tin note was interesting, not great. Hay and fresh grass, but not very vibrant. Kind of flat, even a bit sad. Flakes were damp and limp compared to others I've tried. Burn was lousy despite using multiple approaches. Plenty of relights and more than one bite.

Maybe this would be better with some age, but compared to other VAs of similar age, it just struck me as a lousy tobacco. (Admittedly, I could be approaching this the wrong way, but I have not found similar blends this fussy.) It also seemed like a lot less care goes into the packaging than with other brands. I'd be OK with that for the right price or a quality tobacco, but that wasn't my experience at all.

Bad tin? Bad day on the Gawith factory floor? Maybe. I'm not planning to buy any more of it though. Life's too short and there are better VAs out there, in my non-expert opinion.

3 people found this review helpful.

Ethan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ethan (34)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

This blend confirms my opinion of straight Virginia tobacco. I'm not the biggest fan of them, I feel like something is missing in them. They are just plain high grade tobacco, which I think is the point of a blend like this so it is spot on as far as that goes. With that being said, if that is what you want this is definitely it. Not bad by any means just not for my taste.

3 people found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (94)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Opening a tin or a box of Full Virginia Flake is always delightful. The flakes are usually full of sugary plume and marvelously presented. FVF is moist out if the tin and needs some dry time prior to smoking. As far as prep goes, I have always rubbed this flake out thoroughly and I have never had a bad smoke. It smokes dry, soft and cool with a slight fruity flavor that could almost at times be mistaken for a Lakeland essence, but the flavor is a bit different as it is not floral or soapy. It's quite light and refreshing on the palate and I find the first portion of the pipe to have a sprite tanginess along with a whisper of sweetness that is tremendously enjoyable.

FVF gets a bit spicier down the bowl and the flavors firm up a bit bringing forth an array of toasted grain flavors. Mid to end bowl flavors remain steady and quite delicious. At a proper pace it rarely turns bitter, never bites, remains exceptionally cool and it keeps its warm tone and semi-sweet dark fruity essence.

Another aspect of FVF that I enjoy is that it's fairly forgiving when smoked at a steady pace. A slow cadence will reveal the most appreciable flavors but it doesn't seem the budge too far from tasty when stoked up a bit more than usual. For all its flavor along with its moderate strength, FVF has a nice aroma. You gotta hand it to the British, I love their sensibility when it comes to tobacco.

FVF is a beautiful, excellent and quintessential English flake, and for certain one of my favorites from the S. Gawith catalog.

3 people found this review helpful.

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

The highly acclaimed SG Full Virginia Flake - finally I got to try this nearly legendary tobacco. Before this my only experiences with Va flakes were McClelland Dark Star and Dunhill Flake. Dark Star is in a class by itself and to me defies comparison with anything else and so it is only the Dunhill to which I can make any comparison. My B&M charges exactly $.09 more for a tin of the Dunhill than he does for FVF. That 9 cents in my estimation buys a better blend in the Dunnie. Despite SG claiming the matured Virginias in FVF I found it to taste too green. Plain and simple. I do not expect it to be tang-less; it is a Virginia after all. But after the hot pressing I would have expected a more mellow blend, less tart. There is a difference to me between tart and tangy.

I intend on exploring this genre more with other blenders (C&D's Simply Elegant series to be specific) shortly, but FVF did not exactly enthrall me. It would rate above two stars if I had not already given Dunhill Flake three.

Purchased From: Cigar Express; McKees Rocks, PA

3 people found this review helpful.

Max1a Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Max1a (29)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Pyrolysis single-photon ionisation (SPI)?time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS) and statistical analysis techniques have been applied to differentiate three major Virgina flake type tobacco by means of the gas (combustion) phase. SPI is known as a soft ionisation technique that allows fast and comprehensive on-line monitoring of a large variety of aliphatic and aromatic substances without fragmentation of the molecule ions. The tobacco samples were pyrolysed at 800°C in a nitrogen atmosphere. The resulting pyrolysis gas contained signals from more than 70 masses between m/z 5 and 170. Mass spectra obtained were analysed by principal component analysis (PCA) and linear discriminant analysis (LDA) to distinguish between different tobacco types. Prior variable reduction of the data set was carried out by calculation of the Fisher ratios. Results achieved give information about chemical composition and characteristics of the smoke derived from each tobacco type and enable conclusions on natural aromatic compounds and nicotine content to be drawn. Based on LDA, a model for tobacco type recognition of unknown samples was established, which was cross-checked by additional measurements of each tobacco type by human ingestion(pipe smoking). Furthermore, first results on the recognition of tobacco mixtures based on principal component regression (PCR) are presented. When tested against MacBaren Virginia Flake, and Erinmore Flake; Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake was deemed superior in every respect except nicotine content. Erinmore flake produced a higher percentage of nicotine in all procedures at 1.9883223ppm. Taking into account any subjective influence beyond the control of these tests, it nonetheless determined that Samuel Gawith FVF is the best Virginia Flake in the world!

3 people found this review helpful.

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

The Little Notebook of Anna Magdalena Bach includes a cantata that Bach wrote on the pleasures of pipe smoking. I have often wondered what kind of tobacco burned in his pipe as he engaged with the monumental architectonics of the Mass in B Minor, the great passions - or the kindly humour of the Coffee Cantata. It is a pleasing fantasy of mine that the tobacco was something like Full Virginia Flake. It has a simple, rustic charm which is immediately appealing. The charm endures, but it is simple and needs to be leavened with other flavours.

3 people found this review helpful.

chaplikc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chaplikc (135)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is pretty good stuff, kind of reminds me of a slightly more refined dark star. It is sweet and tangy, slightly spicey at times and delicous. The one thing I dont particularly enjoy in this blend is the nicotine strength. While it is not overwhelming in strength it does pack a hard punch and is sometimes a tad to strong for my enjoyment. I highly recommend this to flake lovers who love a good nicotine wallop!

3 people found this review helpful.

incognitopoet Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
incognitopoet (25)
★★★★
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Very Pleasant

There are already a lot of great reviews, so I will just add my own notes.

The first thing I noticed about this flake is the mouth feel. I wish I would have known about this stuff when I was trying to switch from cigarettes to a pipe. It offers a blast of heavy tobacco flavor without any complicating factors. The nicotine levels are so high that the smoke is almost bitter. It doesn't taste like cherries or chocolate or anything else but good, strong, super clean tobacco.

In a way, it has the powerful flavor like a good cigar, but without the acrid tinge. I can smoke a bowl, go into the library for several hours, and enjoy the flavor and nicotine the whole time. I am a man who requires decadent amounts of nicotine the entire time I am awake. This stuff takes care of business!

I am hoarding this flake. Cornell & Diehl's Opening Night is a slightly sweeter, slightly creamier flake, and between the two I have my needs met. Both are worthy of multiple-pound purchases.

Magnificent work of art. Absolutely amazing!

Pipe Used: Peterson 302 and 303, CAO meer

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Similar Blends: Opening Night.

2 people found this review helpful.

PhillyB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PhillyB (41)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This was my first experience with Samuel Gawith flakes. I had the experience that many people talk about with this brand, namely that the flakes seemed to have encountered a Super-Soaker at some point in production. Out of the tin they were moist to the point of not being smoke-able. A few minutes of letting them sit out seemed to do the trick though.

The smell from the tin is not quite like the other straight Va blends that I've had. It does have the sweet citrus you'd expect from a Va, but it's more of a sour lemon-grassy than actual citrus fruit. It also has a slight wheat note to it as well, which so far I've only really gotten from Orlik Golden Sliced.

I did have problems getting this blend to actually start smoking, but after it got going it stayed lit just fine. The smoke was a little milder than I expected in the flavor department, yet somehow the body of it quite full. The flavors were of a mostly sweet citrus and a hint of that wheat grain came though as well. It also produced slightly bluer smoke than most other blends I've had, but that might just be my imagination.

Overall a very pleasant Va blend and one that I would likely return to.

Pipe Used: Medico Crest

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

2 people found this review helpful.

idbowman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
idbowman (11)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

There is virtually nothing to say about this blend that hasn't been covered in any of the other 400+ reviews, but I would mention that ones enjoyment of this blend (assuming your not predisposed to dislike VAs in the first place) depends on patience.

Like most Sam Gawith tins, the flakes (which are quite dense to begin with) are very moist. Given 12 hours of time to air out in a dry room with decent air circulation will work WONDERS for the experience. Smoked straight from the tin you'll consistently be relighting, fussing, and struggling for a smoke that is slightly sour, lacks body, and is unsatisfying. Smoked with appropriate drying time, all of the wonderful flavor and aromas that you're expecting come to life in a smoke that is full-bodied and rich.

Otherwise, to summarize for the sake of expediency (when appropriately dried):

Deep, dark fruit tin note; complete, rounded, and unadulterated VA tobacco flavor; consistent from tin to tin, from bowl to bowl, and throughout each bowl itself. Good fresh, but improves dramatically with age (even at 2 years old it goes from good to very VERY good).

2 people found this review helpful.

cigarcohiba Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cigarcohiba (24)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Extraordinary mellow. A tobacco that gives off a smooth sweet taste. An easy smoke that can be chracterized by its constant stabilty as far as its smoke properties.A spicy taste is detected at times. Difficult tobacco to rub. A very good virginia blend.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Not much to say about this blend besides a simple, brilliant blend. It's one of the first of the Gawith blends I have tried, and because of this, will acquire many more.

The flavor is a simple Virginia, which to me is almost hay stackish, in a good way. A lot of Virginia blends try too hard to make the blend pop, by making it sweeter. Whether that is adding a casing, or making it cavendish. The room note is quite pleasant compared to some other darker Virginias.

The strength is mild. The flake rubs out well, but I prefer to bend and stuff which seems to work very well, and gives you a long chill smoke.

Pipe Used: AKB Smooth Freehand Meerchaum

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

2 people found this review helpful.

Industro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Industro (2)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

Of course I can´t add anything to a tobacco that´s been reviewed well over 400 times, besides my personal impression. I haven´t smoked a better straight Virginia than this. But is it better than my other few favourites? No. But it is quite different. The flakes burn for a remarkable long time, even if dried a bit more than they afford to. This tobacco never implies, no matter which stage of the smoke, that there´d be anything added to the pure Virginia. All flavours seem to unfold due to the processing method. At least it tastes as natural, as you can imagine. If you fancy straight VA´s, you owe it to yourself to try this tobacco at least once.

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Purchased From: Synjeco

2 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (203)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

A bit too mellow for my taste. I wish it had a little edge to it and a little more body. All in all though, a quality tobacco worth 3 stars.

2 people found this review helpful.

O'Confrère Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
O'Confrère (31)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Yep, this is a tobacco that everyone should try, and, yep, it definitely needs drying before smoking.

This tin is from 2008. The flakes are dark brown, mottled with lighter birds' eyes, and are very moist. The aroma in the tin is attractive, fruitily sweet with notes of fruitcake (or Christmas pudding), berries and herbs. If dried, it rubs out well to a stringy ribbon and packs easily. In the unlit pipe it tastes sweet and confirms the aromatic qualities noticed in the tin. It takes to the match and burns well to the end of the bowl with little maintenance. It's an easy smoke that offers earthiness with toasty notes of coffee, hickory nuts and walnuts. While the well- known Lakeland flavorings, often called 'floral scents' or 'soapiness', are not as strong here as in other blends from the same house, they are recognizable from first light and become stronger as the bowl progresses. These are absorbed quickly by the pipe and are easily detectable for many smokes to come, so be aware. If you like them and smoke them often, you may want to dedicate a pipe to them, and you may miss them in other blends. Here they seem to meld with a certain tarriness to provide the backbone of this blend.

FVF is a diplomatic and very easy smoke, with some depth, a smooth and full mouth-feel, and a Lakeland tang. If you are looking for a regular nicotine fix this will deliver reliably, if a bit stolidly. Samuel Gawith's Full Virginia Flake is a tradition and one of the very few remaining blends to offer this traditional smoking experience. It is one that every smoker should try, especially if they are looking for "their brand" to smoke daily. Thank heavens (and Kohlhase & Kopp) that SG is still around! Maybe this is for you. However, if you are looking for complexity or a broader flavor-spectrum, look elsewhere.

Reccomendation? The Lakeland perfume is present from first light to aftertaste and that is difficult for some. This smoker prefers other Virginia blends (including SG's Best Brown, and others by McClelland, Comptons, McCranie's, C&D and Pease), but this is a must. Two stars.

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

2 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (701)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I really don't understand why people who dislike flake tobacco bother to smoke this kind of blend and then trash it for being what it is. Forget the people who complain about that; this tobacco is worth a little effort. Dry or damp, aged or not, this tobacco always delivers a pure, slightly sweet, earthy Virginia taste with a touch of pepper/spice. I prefer it slightly moist rather than dry only because it seems more subtle tasting that way. It does mellow with age, which is typical, but not enough to lose the pepper/spice note that I enjoy. It's more of an experienced smoker's choice, but once you "get" it, you'll find that there's not too many variations to beat it. Match it? Well, maybe. But better... well, it then becomes a matter of degrees as what your favorite in this genre is. Completely deserves it's reputation as one of the all time great tobaccos.

2 people found this review helpful.

FunkyD in the Morning Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
FunkyD in the Morning (7)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Extra Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Full Virginia Flake, what's there to be said that already hasn't? Hmm...Well here's one for you. STOP HORDING THIS SHIT YOU DUMB A- HOLES!. Don't you realize that most of you will be dead by the time you actually smoke one third of your tobacco? And then what huh? Your spoiled kids aren't going to be fighting over ownership of your old stinky tobacco when you're dead, no, they'll go for the house. Maybe the car, what kind of car do you drive? If it's a nice car that still has a lot of value, hmm, ok so the kids would fight over the house and the car after they stick you in the ground. Then what, your one kid that none of his siblings like (probably has some kind of mental dysfunction) will be stuck with it. And God knows what he's going to do with it after you're rotting. Maybe toss in some grass and smoke one for Papa. How degrading!!!!! This is an excellent tobacco that you'd rather spend money on and throw away than give someone else a chance to enjoy it. You're tobacco will outlive you. If I knew who you were, I'd form a FVF rescue and break into your house and steal your shit. Let it be enjoyed.

2 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (513)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I know a lot of folks love this flake and I smoke a lot of flakes, but I can't help but think this is way overrated. It lacks the sweetness of other flakes and tastes too much like hay. I will admit that the oldest tin I have smoked is just over a year old so maybe it gets a lot better?? I have several tins cellared so time will tell. I have tried sipping it, smoking it in flake form and rubbing out in many pipes. It will steam your mouth if not dried properly. When its available (which is next to never) FVF at a low price point (at the time of this writing) and taking that into consideration I have given it two stars. I also wonder if FVF was priced at the level of most other flakes if as many people would feel as strongly about it as they currently do?

2 people found this review helpful.

orka Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
orka (54)
★★☆☆
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

It is my blessing and curse to always have too many tins open at the same time. This tin of FVF was no different. Almost a year ago, when I opened it I was very impressed, almost ecstatic, like so many other reviewers here. But the ecstasy faded, and I found myself less and less eager to smoke it. While it has a good body, pleasant, though a little monochromatic taste, it has less of a nicotine hit than I expected (and would have wanted). I like the "earl grey tea/floral" crossover (and it does go very well with the aforementioned tea). But in the long run there is little here to keep me interested for more than an occasional smoke. To me it seems like it is best smoked fresh and right away, aging (or neglecting, if you will) an already opened tin does little else than just dry it out. Rehydrating the flakes doesn't seem to be able to revive the splendour that was there at first.

The flakes are cut thicker than I like, which makes smoking them folded quite a chore, so I usually rub them out - which is a pity, as they taste better folded. Someone suggested the cut varies sometimes, so maybe my tin was from a monday production run or something.

I might get more FVF tins again in the future since it has many nice qualities, but in the end it didn't quite deliver what I expected from it, so I don't think I'll be in any particular rush to get more.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

I'm redoing this review for my Lakeland Tour (stop 6)

The first tin of this I smoked was outstanding for about half the tin and then sour and bitter for the second half. The second tin was consistent, always good, but never quite as good as the first half of the first tin. The second tin was much more spicy and almost harsh. It was as if they had overcooked it. This deserves at least 3 stars even when it's only so-so. But the occasional mind-blowing smoke puts it at three and a half at least.

This always seems to lose flavor after a while. I know others don't experience this, so I'm a bit baffled by it. I'm still trying to figure it out, and it's given me enough smoking pleasure to merit the effort.

2 people found this review helpful.

BriarFire~ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarFire~ (24)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

(05/15/2007) A rich and flavorful virginia with no bite,who could ask for more?Do yourself a favor,buy some and let the tobac do the talkin,you wont be disappointed.

(05/26/2008) Even better with one year of age on it! An amazing tobacco!

2 people found this review helpful.

bighitter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bighitter (37)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

===update, old review below=== Let this age for several months and then found I needed to rehydrate it slightly, so I put in a little Humydisk, the kind you "dip in water--wipe dry." It immediately rubbed out the next time I touched it, but it did not seem overly humid, so I tried it out. Yeah, this is a good virginia, very subtle in flavor compared to some blends that use burleys and periques to round them out, so I imagine this could be a good component for a blend, should you go in for that, though I myself tend to be a little lazy about it and generally have had better luck leaving the blending to the pros. I'm leaving my rating as is, questioning my flavor profiles below, and saying this is a good dependable VA. Thank you.

old review Well, I like this most of the time, when I note a little chocolate sweetness (not that it's flavored). Sometimes, however, and I don't know if this is the difference between rubbing it out and not, I sort of get this caramel-coated celery, if you can imagine such a thing, that I don't particularly care for. I should say that I bought this bulk, not tinned. I think it smokes better and tastes better simply torn in half and stuffed into a pipe, rather than rubbed out.

2 people found this review helpful.

cajomu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cajomu (20)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Tried this again and decided I must have had a cold the first time I smoked it (see below). Good Virginia taste and sweetness, though I still prefer SG's Medium Virginia Flake. Still find it hard to light. Might be worth trying if you like Virginias, though I can think of many better tobaccos for the money.

After trying SG's Medium Virginia Flake and liking it, I was most disappointed with Full Virgina Flake. While the flakes were well constructed (dark and firm), I detected little of the aroma that others report. It was also more difficult to rub out and light than most flakes, though once lit it burned well. Taste-wise, it was quite bland, with very a slight grassy flavor (becoming slightly more pronounced towards the end of the bowl), no sweetness, and a mild Perique- like tang. At least there was no bite. Mine came loose from the tobacconist (it was sold as "bulk"), rather than tinned. Maybe that accounts for the disappointing experience.

2 people found this review helpful.

Nick O'Teen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nick O'Teen (90)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Now this is one fine smoking piece of beef jerky!

A bit difficult to work with but more than worth the effort.

FVF has a delicious tobacco taste with a nice nicotine kick. This is one of the finest virginias I've ever smoked.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

This is another blend that I was afraid to try due to its reputation for strength, but I was pleasantly surprised when I finally did.

Appearance and Tin Aroma: Beautifully arrayed 1" by 3" flakes with lots of sugar crystals evident. Mostly darker VA leaf. Smells like a good fortified hay, definitely rivals the best out there.

Packing and Lighting:I tried many ways and settled on rolling a slice and then peeling a few strands off of another slice and gently rubbing out on top of the rolled slice in the pipe. This blend seemed to taste best in this way IMO. The flakes are pretty oily and when the tin is firsst opened, can be a little fussy to light. 3-5 Lights typical, but worth it.

Initial Flavor: This is smooth, complex, and rich from the get go. I am sorry I waited so long to try this flake. You get sweet notes, middle notes, bottom notes, etc...

Mid-Bowl: Delicious, round, and smooth. There is a symphony of flavor. DGT works awesome at this point.

Bottom of Bowl: Yes, there is a definite increase in strength, but it is not overbearing. I usually will take a sip, let it go out and relight and repeat this until done. Ash is mottled and fairly fine. Can leave a lot of moisture in the shank when the tin is first opened. You will be left pleasantly satiated when done.

Overall: This is a world-class VA flake. I thought that Marlin Flake was the standard by which to judge all other flakes. I was wrong. This blend is the standard. It is truly delicious and ages marvellously. Go get some now! Lastly, you do not have to worry about tongue-bite with this blend as it generates plenty of flavor at the slightest sip, nicotine is there a plenty too, so eat before you smoke. Enjoy....

2 people found this review helpful.

Appalachian Scholar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Appalachian Scholar (22)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

First tried it in 2002 as part of a free sample. At first, I didn't like this blend. It was the first I ever tried and smelled like burnt bread. For some reason, I didn't throw it out. Six months later, I tried it again. I discovered three secrets about VA's. 1. Straight pipes or quarter-bent only. No Oom Pauls. 2. Contrary to convential wisdom, Virginias mellow after drying out for a while. 3. For some reason, I enjoy VA's more in the winter than in warmer months. I finished the whole tin and began experimenting with other Virginias. I never met a Virginia I didn't like and I owe all to this blend.

Pipe Used: Brewster Billiard

Age When Smoked: New

1 person found this review helpful.

Joeray Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joeray (61)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is trully one of straight virginia blend that I really like it most. Just like the others reviewers wrote this blend is very good at tin aroma and flavor. Came with a nice smell of fruity scent and the flavor of matured virginia and also good at sight, nice flake with dark brown color that really looks very nice.

This tobacco is form as a hard, wide, large pressed cake. Need little bit preparation and afford to enjoy it well and to get what "a pipe smoker dream of" as what the most this blend lovers said. The tobacco is not easy to light, especially if I pack it on flake form, just fold it and pack. To really enjoy this tobacco I need to rub it and get air for 10 minutes before pack and light it in to my pipe. So I rub it all and let it in to open air for 10-15 minutes and then put it in to mason jar and the result is incredible, I get what the others said, a pipesmoker's dream.

Still need several times relight at first 5 minutes to get a great smoke and full taste and flavor of this tobacco but after 5 minutes, the journey is very wonderful. I can taste a fruity sweet but not very sweet smokes and it sticks very nice on my tongue and palate. Very nice and pleasant flavor of virginia tobacco, so smooth lingering at my mouth and if must compare, it almost similar with capstan blue tin flake.

At the middle of the bowl the taste is increasing and just keep your bowl not to overheat to get the best taste. The nicotine amount just at the right portion, not to mild nor to strong, just a right amount for me. Even need a little afford to completely enjoy this tobacco, I'm sure to highly recommended this blend to other pipesmoker fellow. Just preparing a right time to enjoy this tobacco and smoke it properly, because this tobacco if you enjoy it with rush, it might hurt your tongue just like the other virginia tobacco.

Pipe Used: Wagner's Old Bailey BB&S

Age When Smoked: New and one year

1 person found this review helpful.

Blue Bayou Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blue Bayou (59)
★★☆☆
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

FVF just hums along in the background--I forget I'm even smoking a pipe with it. Straightforward & un-complex.

1 person found this review helpful.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (74)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

What hasn't been said about this flake? This is the quintessential virginia flake, the standard by which others are compared, and rightly so. It is truly an exceptional flake, rich, sweet, smooth, creamy, buttery, etc... it's all true.

So why three instead of four stars? As delightful, even perfect, as it is, it seems to my tastebuds a bit too monochromatic and planar (or, more accurately, as they say in computer graphics, two-and-a-half dimensional). I require more nuance to maintain my interest over time. (Frankly, I find FVF a little bit boring.

Nevertheless...) This is a standard which all serious pipe smokers must sooner or later give a try, even if only to have a yardstick by which to measure other pure virginias.

1 person found this review helpful.

Puffingstuff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puffingstuff (81)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Smoking this is akin to getting to spend a weekend in Paris with Samantha Brown.Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. This is my desert island tobacco. If there is a better Virginia Flake made, I have not smoked it yet. This gets more amazing with age. Buy a about 75 pounds of the tobacco seal it in tuperware (example) boxes and toss it in the attic for a few years.Just forget about it. I'm smoking 6 year old FVF, and I find no sweeter words to describe it than, W O W!

1 person found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (589)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I just finished a tin of this and I'm going to buy more in bulk and put into my steady rotation. It's that good.

Thankfully, no Lakeland florals are present. This is a rich flavorful, no-nonsense virginia flake that has loads of depth, color and nuance. A complex flake that yields vast riches of complexity. Not much to add to other wonderful reviews here except to say that if straight virginia is your thing (if you're a Hal O' The Wynd fanatic as I am) you definitely need to check this out! I won't say it's "better" than the Rattrays but it will sit proudly alongside the Hal in my tobacco bar. I'll bet this stuff ages beautifully! Well done, SG!

1 person found this review helpful.

Grey Cloud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Grey Cloud (9)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If God smoked a pipe I'm sure it would be this tobacco that would be his number one favorite. Mellolw, delicious, sipped slowly it delivers a very rewarding high nicoteen flavourful delight.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

A high quality Virginia that I smoke regularly, though not as often as Marlin Flake or Old Gowrie due to higher nicotine content and lack of that enjoyable mild woody flavor on Rattray's Virginias.

1 person found this review helpful.

tonyg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tonyg (103)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

If you get a really fresh tin or bag of FVF and set it to the flame you will probably be very disappointed. It's hot, bites the tongue and lacks flavor. Give it some air and you will be in for a real treat. Works well in pipes of all sizes. Like most Virginia's, this one ages beautifully.

There are a lot of really fine Virginia's out there. FVF is among the best. Not to be missed.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I even like the label on this tin -- a fitting tribute to Sherlock Holmes! This is a very fine flake. No bite, smooth, long burning to a fine white/grey ash. I would add that it is nutty in flavor and consistent in taste top to bottom of bowl.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

This is the best Virginia I've ever smoked. Cool, great taste, burns well and leaves my pipes clean. I'm going to cellar a few tins.

1 person found this review helpful.

PipePaladin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipePaladin (78)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I think FVF must be the most ''single-malt'' high-quality virginia pipe tobacco you can find with great natural taste and slow / no-bite smoking experience! From the 1st smoke I became a fan of FVF and to all the pipe smokers I know, they love that stuff! A must! Go and buy a tin NOW!

1 person found this review helpful.

putodissey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
putodissey (4)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I tried some virginia tobacco but this! Absolutely one step ahead, tin aroma when open is not as others and is not so easy to smoke because a little bit too humid BUT when you begin to smoke...Wow. It's a must!

1 person found this review helpful.

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

How to achieve the 'holy grail' smoke in under £15 pounds:

1. Buy corncob pipe. 2. Buy SG virginia full-flake 3. Puff away!

This smoke is just a pleasure. I found the tin aroma of this high quality virginia absolutely intoxicating. The room note was sweet and very pleasant. Taste was full and satisfying, with adequate nicotine.

I can smoke this all day quite happily, and have been doing so. Right out of the tin the tobacco may be a tad wet for folding, but it rubbed out beautifully and smoked like a dream. If you haven't tried this tobacco you are definitely missing out!

Am going to try the 1792 flake as I have enjoyed this one immensely and want a bit more kick.

Puff in peace.

1 person found this review helpful.

Black Seamus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Black Seamus (56)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobac has been many-times reviewed, so I'll keep this short: this is very good and tasty stuff. Rightly thought of as a standard in Virginia flakes. If you like Virginias, you'll like this stuff. Wonderful as the first pipe of the day or the last.

I'm of the fold-n-stuff school for flakes and this one works well with that particular treatment.No biting, and it's not particular about the pipe you smoke it in.

1 person found this review helpful.

Backwoods Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Backwoods Piper (51)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

This is a winner for sure. It is nice and rich in flavor and aroma everything one would expect in a great VA flake. I strongly suggest a gentle to full rub out depending on your desire as to the fullness of the smoke and then an hour or so drying out period. Truly one of the best and honest smokes of all time. I purchase several tins for my cellar. I am sure as these tins age the satisfying flavor and richness of this tobacco will improve. No wonder this tobacco has been in production for over 200 years.

1 person found this review helpful.

Briarabbit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briarabbit (116)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I purchased a 1 lb. box of this fine tobacco a little over a year ago. I smoked some when it first arrived, it was on the bland side. I smoked some on the six month after storing the tobacco, it was good. Today after more than a year, the tobacco has blosomed into the best Virginia I've ever smoked. It's tangy, has a faint sweet note, and tastes like genuine Virginia heaven. I highly recomend a slumber for this fine tobacco as it really brings out the best.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I just finished off a tin of this that I purchased back in late October/early November. Ever bowl I smoked was either as good as the last or better, it being a very consistent smoke in every pipe that I smoked it in. It is dark brown and a little moist or oily in the tin. However, I had no trouble lighting it and keeping it lit. I find that it smokes best when the flakes are packed as intact as possible. The taste is superb. It is full with the right balance of earthiness and sweetness and always leaves you wanting more. Since I liked it so much, I bought a pound of the bulk version, which looks identical to the tinned product. I will be reviewing the bulk soon. Anyone who likes a good bold Virginia with balanced earthiness and sweetness should definitely give this one a taste, or perhaps several tastes.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

This has been one of my go-to blends for quite some time now and I buy it by the pound since it seems to find its way into my pipe more often than not. Presenting the smoker with a full chorus of flavors both subtle and bold, it has never let me down for a comfort and pleasure. Full and rich in appearance, it provides scent of fulfillment from beginning to end. Long burning yet not leaving undue residue, it speaks of earthy sensations that cross time and geographic boundry. This is not to be missed by those seeking the sweetness of the Virginia leaf in a cool burning blend. I recommend this without reservation.

Meerschaum Man Smoking an Altinok Canadian Smooth

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Definitely a milestone in the Virginia flake range, it's hard to find a better tobacco of that kind. The slices are very moist in the tin, almost sticky, and smell wonderfully of hay and dried fruits. It's better to leave the tin open for some time to have a decent burning, an maybe rubbing out a slice on the top of the bowl could help in light it better. During the smoke it delivers all the flavours you have smelled in the tin plus some more subtleties, so you may want to smoke more than one tin to understand this tobacco completely. The body is not so full as you might expect, infact the nicotine content is pretty low: you can use a large bowl without any problem.

1 person found this review helpful.

Collezionista Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Collezionista (59)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

FVF is a relatively simple tobacco, so I need not go into too much detail here. Its abundant flavor is not overly-complex but FVF is perhaps the smoothest, richest VA flake out there. Smooth as satin it is. The name "Full Virgina Flake" does indeed describe it well. FVF is just chock-full of rich, sweet, natural tobacco flavor and it's always an intensely enjoyable smoke. It's neck and neck with Marlin Flake as my favorite VA flake. FVF should prove a true pleasure for fans of rich Virgina flakes, and not a baccy to miss out on!

1 person found this review helpful.

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

The legendary FVF!

Mana from heaven for sure. This masterpiece beats all flakes I have ever tried, and I've tried a few in my 12 years as pipe smoker.

The flake is dense and dark, almost like rubber or pencil eraser and it is very difficult to rub out. It is also oily and greasy, but I seriously doubt that propylene glycol is being used here. FVF smeels sweet and stoved - like bright sultanas and prunes; which is, IMHO, an indicator of extremely fine VA.

Plumes of rich, thick and creamy smoke emerges from the bowl and notes of melted butter, whipped cream and Bailey's comes to mind. While being gentle this beauty also packs a good wallop, and to summon up: FVA has it all, not too strong as some Lakelands, not too sharp top-notes as some of the brighter VAs, not too zesty as some of the US products and most important: Not that German "remake-taste" as many blends tend to have these days.

One of the few true, still English made, quality flakes available. A true masterpiece from SG

Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark

1 person found this review helpful.

RickPiatt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RickPiatt (16)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

This is the VA standard. None better on the market today. One piece of advice if I may, the tobacco tends to be a bit wet in the tin ... let it dry out a bit before lighting up.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Although I usually smoke Rattray's and F&T Virginias, I continue to try other old-school VA flakes just out of curiosity.

The review of fourshephards below completely agrees with my experience with FVF, so I get off easy here. A top-notch tobacco, a standard VA flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I'm writing this rewiew just after smoking it in a meerschaum pipe. This VA flake is quite strong compared to others I use to smoke (i.e. Rattray's Marlin Flake). At first is quite dry (and bitter too if your pace is too fast). After few minutes the wonderful typical smell of Virginia comes out, the smoke turns to sweet and mild. There's no risk of tongue bite if smoked properly. After that the tobacco feels musty (whatch out for the unpleasant condense in the bowl; it is to be smoked in a bent pipe). At the end the flavour gets stronger and you start to feel the nicotine flowing into your body. Overall a good straightforward tobacco.

1 person found this review helpful.

Joe Patterson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joe Patterson (48)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is a nice tasty flake -- I think it is best straight out of the tin before the flakes get to rigid. A solution is to rub out all the flakes upon opening, but this is actualyl a tobacco I like jsut a tiny, tiny bit moist. Full, smoky, tasty VA. I've gotta get some more tins to stock away.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Dottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Dottle (162)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the best VA flake I have smoked to date. It delivers a full, smooth, sweet, natural tobacco flavor from beginning to end with no bite. And it has none of the ?soapiness? that is characteristic of other SG blends. Some folks may find it a bit strong but this is simply a delightful tobacco with excellent burning qualities. I?ll be cellaring many more tins. Don?t miss this one!

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

I rate this tobacco 9.98 out of 10.

1 person found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (300)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

A great Virginia flake, one of the best out there.

Absolutely not flavored (which is good, compared to some soapy scents that Samuel Gawith applies to the vast majority of their products), this is almost exactly what the name says. "Almost", because it's not that full in my opinion: it's very tasty, but it's actually a medium bodied tobacco and nicotine content is low (I had two whole flakes in a huge Mastro de Paja and at the end I was perfectly allright).

A sweet, natural, very pleasant tobacco: pure virginia (probably African) joy. Nothing is wrong in this tobacco: honeyed flavors, a gentle round smoke, no nasty notes, no tonguebite.

Why not a maximum rating? Probably because it's so "perfect" that sometimes it leaves me wishing for some interesting "excess", for some weird change of taste or a sudden growth of intensity.

But this is a very minor complaint: it's one of the very few Virginias I'd pick immediately for a relaxing, uncomplicated evening smoke.

1 person found this review helpful.

FiveRings Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
FiveRings (21)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

FVF is certainly one of the top VAs in existence. Quite strong, with excelent natural taste, sweet, cool and easy to appreciate.It dosn't have the depth or the sudden bursts of other top VAs, but it gives a continuous stream of natural and sweet - almost intoxicating, VA flavor. A great tobacco to smoke and to cellar.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

One of the classic Virginia flakes. A perfectly cut dark brown flake with a rich, slightly sweet aroma that burns and tastes wonderful. Obviously stronger and fuller that medium Va. Flake with a bit more complexity. Kind of spicy, kind of sweet. Goes great with a strong ale or Kentucky Bourbon. Again, thank you smokingpipes.com for the great prices on these tins from Samuel Gawith. At this price, FVF may rise to replace one of my top five Virginias.

1 person found this review helpful.

imago Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
imago (63)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

My review is based on an aged sample that a friend sent to me. The tobacco came in a block of easily separated flakes which were lightly frosted with sugar crystals.

I had already been a fan of "Best Brown Flake", but I believe that "Full Virginia Flake" is even better. The flavour was full, rich, and heady without being overwhelming or cloying. The room note reminded me of hay and leather (good quality leather used for saddles, baseball gloves, etc.) After I realised how much I like this, I began puffing even more slowly, in hopes of making the bowl last longer.

I detected nothing unusual or unpleasant in the flavour, aroma, or burning characteristics of this tobacco (except that it doesn't last long enough to suit me). This is the first tobacco I've tried in a long time that I feel warrants a bulk order...and soon!

1 person found this review helpful.

flint Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flint (30)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

It looks like this has been reviewed to it's fullest but I'll add my two cents. This is with out a doubt one of the best aged and pressed vrginia flakes I have ever tried. My tin had some age on it even had a bit of rust in the tin. I didn't get tongue bite at all and this is sweet ambrosia in a can. Also after smoking two bowls I noticed I didn't have a bad after taste in my mouth as with some blends I could name. This is just one heck of a good full quality tobacco and I look forward to getting some more. I highly recommend this to lovers of straight virginia flakes. Amen

1 person found this review helpful.

rosczich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rosczich (9)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

Full Virginia Flake is for lovers of pure pressed Virginias created in the heart of Lakeland. Full Virginia starts life as a blend of Virginias in the cold press. Hot pressed for 2-3 hours and allowed to cool overnight, the cake takes on it's delicious and distinctive dark colour that creates a pipe smoker's dream; a feeling of calm, serenity and anticipation for the next pipeful.First, by no means I can use the word "Full" to describe this tobacco. It'smooth on palate, tongue, throat and stomach. The taste is simply fabulous. It's a tobacco I could smoke all the time for the rest of my life.It is good to have a good meal before and beside a good glas of wine or single malt.i like it to be smoked in my fantastic morta pipe from mr. prammer. I most highly recommend it to those of you who appreciate the wonders of natural pressed Virginias.

1 person found this review helpful.

OSR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OSR (73)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Enough has been written about this flake, it's wonderful.

FVF is the closest thing I've found to two of my old favorites, Capstan Full and Gallahers Rich Dark Honeydew flake (when they were manufactured in England). Capstan Full was a wonderful flake and I'd almost say that this is the same tobacco.

For those who like a rich, cool and satisfying 100% Virginia Flake then you need to try this. Superb!

1 person found this review helpful.

LoisKelly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LoisKelly (55)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

This is about as palate coating a blend as I can think of. With barely a trace of soapy flavor, but a surfeit of soapy mouth feel, this is a weird one. The flavors are unquestionably full, but grow monotonous and dull with repeated use. For occasional use it's a unique blend that can be quite entertaining, and I can understand why so many are enamored of it.

The flakes are gooey enough to plug a radiator leak. How this thing burns at all is beyond me.

Addendum, 9/04: For me, this blend practically defines the phrase "I smoke this on occasion." The floral components are not nearly as heavy handed as in other VAs bearing the Gawith name, or as in any of a number of more over the top British offerings. Although they are at first somewhat intriguing, if not compelling, they nonetheless grow less interesting with repeated use, leaving a very monochromatic smoke. When I use it infrequently, I am pleased, but when I visit it too often, I am not.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Full Virginia Flake (FVF) is a real treat, and I treat myself to it regularly. This natural tobacco is well presented in the tin, and the slices look truly wonderful. Lots of very dark leaf with some deep brown as well. My tin had some age on it, as I noted crystal deposits. These are not sugar; rather, I believe they're either the byproduct of pH shift over time or residual metabolic wastes produced by the orgamisms responsible for aging/fermenting the leaf in the tin.

Regardless, opening the tin revealed a nice scent, not unlike Nori, that blossomed into a wonderful earthy raisin/date/fig-like aroma. The smell is mouthwatering. The flakes arrive moist, but not drenched. However, they're way too wet for me to smoke out of the tin.

I always allow flakes like these to dry before smoking, and I only set out and prepare as much as I think I'll need for the bowl in hand. I slice the flakes into two sizes: a cube-like cut that I rub out, as well as some very narrow strips that I fully rub out to use as kindling.

Packing this stuff requires a gentle hand. I never use any pressure to load a bowl. I sprinkle in what will fit, tap the sides and bottom of the pipe to get everything to settle, then continue loading. Midway through, I'll sprinkle some of the narrow-cut leaf in to aid the burn. Then I add more of the broad-cut leaf and top the whole thing off with the narrow.

The light is simple, though a few lights may be necessary. This stuff can burn all the way down with one or two lights, and it's smooth enough that I can puff the way I want to without experiencing bite.

FVF offers a good mouthfeel and a flavor-forward smoke that serves up one big note after another, rather then weaving them in and out. You may note some grassy flavors, particularly if your embers are about to die out. The cilantro/soap notes are kept to a minimum. They're actually quite nice in this instance, and I rarely experience them past the early puffs of the top third. Otherwise, it's rich, sweet, natural VA flavor. Great stuff.

The mid-bowl notes also are fantastic: freshly baked bread, dark coffees, dark chocolate, roasted nuts, and other savory delights. End bowl is as good as the rest, but if you smoke this stuff on the wet side, you may find some dottle. If not, it smokes clean to the heel.

The smoke is constantly delicious, never getting bitter or too hot. Nicotine is not an issue. The "Full" in FVF must refer to the flavor and/or body.

FVF is a regular in my VA line up, right along with Dark Star. FVF is worth buying by the pound (by the truckload??), aging, and smoking regularly. It's truly a satisfying and wonderful smoke. Enjoy it.

1 person found this review helpful.

lustra Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lustra (170)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

In deference to the reader who has (presumably) already staggered through the long list of reviews for this tobacco, I'll just say:

a) I like this tobacco very much.

b) At minimum, this is an essential tobacco for rounding out the experience of the gourmandizing pipester.

c) Read Paddy's excellent review in this sequence, if you haven't already.

1 person found this review helpful.

DUPE.629 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.629 (133)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

October-2003. Full Virginia Flake. Delicious natural taste of Virginia which is consistant to the last puff.A totally natural taste of pure Virgina which is free of any sugary casing's.Light's easily & doesn't create a fuss in anyway.Leaves a nice clean ash at the bottom of the bowl.A real smoking pleasure & definitely my favourite Virginia. A real winner & deserves the highest rating possible.Nothing artificial here!

1 person found this review helpful.

dougf Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dougf (1)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant

I've been smoking a pipe for about 30 years and Full Virginia in particular for several years now. While each of us have their own preferences, this along with Dunhill's Durbar are my two favorites. The rich, pure tobacco flavor can only be compared to the best, most flavorful cigars in depth of flavor. Rarely do I take the time to rave about any product, but Full Virginia has been consistantly quite enjoyable for my several years of trying most if not all flake tobaccos. If a moderately strong, rich tobacco isn't your thing this won't be your tobacco. I only wish the bulk version was in stock by more retailers.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

This is quite simply a beautiful flake. This was my first introduction to Lakeland tobaccos and I have to say I can't wait to try some others. It reminded me of old, slightly fermented hay bales, and fresh bread baking. This leaf has very little sweetness for a straight virginia, but don't get me wrong- it is certainly not bitter or sour. I've been smoking it in a group 3 Nording full bent pipe that has only had straight virginias in it, and the flavors have come through extremely well. The first few puffs are very unsubstantial, but this quickly builds up into a rich smoke. My wife even likes the room note (said it reminded her of her mother baking!). This can bite a wee bit if you are not careful- but I find DGT'ing solves this completely. I had to buy some more and put it in the closet for some additional aging and to have some for back up. Buy some quick!!!

1 person found this review helpful.

Black Dog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Black Dog (25)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have found Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake to be a tobacco that took a few bowls to "grow on me." The first few bowls I had were somewhat unremarkable; not bad, just sort of ordinary. But, as I smoked some more, I found that the tobacco needs to be appreciated for the pure, unadulterated tobacco flavor that it provides. FVF has little if any toppings or casings, just good wholesome VA tobacco flavor.

When you open the tin you can't help but be impressed by the excellent presentation that Samuel Gawith gives the tobacco. Nice thick, "meaty" flakes. I let a flake sit and dry for a while for this review, then rubbed it out roughly and loaded it into one of my favorite pot bowl pipes. A charring light, a tamp, and a second light got the tobacco going nicely. Once the ember got going, the full mellow VA tobacco flavor comes through. I had no trouble with any tongue bite; this is a nice cool smoke. No relights were required until the final 1/4 of the bowl, when a few relights were required (which could be due to a poor packing job). There is a fair amount if nicotine in this tobacco, but not enough to make it unpleasant. I've also found that this tobacco works well with the DGT treatment. Overall an excellent tobacco for the lover of pure, unadulterated Virginias.

1 person found this review helpful.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (263)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The tin claims that this tobacco has been manufactured for 200 years and I understand why. Oh, sweet, unadulterated, straight Va. The nicely prepared flakes of dark brown to black tobaccos are intermixed with some lighter brown, but not much. The flakes are more flexible that many others thru the end of the tin and prove ideal for my packing technique without any rubout. With this packing, I experienced no bite even @ a relatively fast smoking pace. The taste is quite strong, rich and one dimensional, but not so overpowering that I can't use this one as an all day smoke. Tastes the same thruout a bowl and in varying bowl sizes. The room aroma is also preferred by my family as compared to other straight VAs. The only disappointment was that the 50 gram net tin weight only partially filled the oversized tin and made it seem that I'd devoured the tobacco. Maybe I did since I really enjoyed this blend. If you like straight Va flakes, you must give this one a try.

1 person found this review helpful.

Rev. Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rev. Smoke (18)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I thoroughly enjoy this blend. Presently, I am smoking through some I got in bulk. The flakes are some six inches or so and rock solid, if there is any problem with this blend, it is that FVF doesn't rub out as easily as do some other. Of course, if you enjoy a more solid flake in your smoking, then this shouldn't bother you.

I love the tin aroma of this blend - rich and buttery sweet tobacco.

Some may claim that it is one-dimensional in flavor. Hmm, take some time and ponder the many dimensions. I don't know that "full" is the operative word in this blends description, but it is of the highest quality. This is what straight VA flakes aspire to attain when they grow up.

I can smoke this and ellicit comments of how good is smells, interesting response for a "straight" tobacco.

How can I describe this one? Rich and buttery, even the smoke has a creamy texture in the mouth. This is something you must try if you like a good Virginia.

4.5 out of 5 halos (smoke rings).

1 person found this review helpful.

tillmanj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tillmanj (73)
★★★★
Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

Tin Aroma: Plain old tobacco. There is nothing noteworthy about the aroma, which is very nice in it's own way. I know, sniffing this, what to expect; big bold TOBACCO taste, not apricots or smoke or anything else, just tobacco.

Physical Characteristics: Perhaps the prettiest flakes I have ever seen, they are predominately dark drown with flecks and swirls of tan and light brown through them. They really are a marvel to look at. I am not one for rubbing out a flake, prefering to fold and roll, which this flake is amply pliable to handle, and my experimental flake did rub out nicely.

Notes: Now this is a satisfying smoke! Big bold tobacco taste, a slightly spicy, lingwering aftertaste, and a good sized nicotine hit. What a perfect flake for an ex-cigarette smoker. This flake and some strong dark coffee create some wonderful early morning experiences. For me, a good first smoke of the day, it gets me up and moving. Being that it is a Lakeland district tobacco, I was on the lookout for the telltale 'soapy' flavor they are all said to have, but I have not been able to discern as such. The room note is rather strong, and not what I would call pleasant to a non smoker, or another smoker for that matter, so be warned!

1 person found this review helpful.

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

FVF is a lovely, dark flakewith a slightly sweet natural aroma. It rubs out easily to any degree desired by the smoker. I preferred it just broken into smaller pieces for slow burning in a medium bowl, but in a small pipe fully rubbed worked fine. The flavor is rich, sweet, not very complex, but satisfying. It burns slowly, without moisture, and leaves a clean, white, fluffy ash. This is NOT as strong as their 1792 Flake, and IMHO can be smoked at any time by Virginia lovers.

1 person found this review helpful.

pokrsmokr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pokrsmokr (32)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Lake District tobaccos. Yup....heritage, history and damn fine baccy -what more could you ask for? Samuel Gawith has several Virginia Flakes which I like. Full Virginia Flake is perhaps my favorite. It is a dense beautiful dark brown flake which can be smoked well rubbed or sausage style (though burning may be tough without rubbing out some). I often pack either rougher rubbed out flake or sausage roll and top it with some well rubbed flake.

The tin aroma is attractive yet subtle, especially when one considers the flavors this tobacco offers when smoked. Although it can be a slight pain to get the burn going it is well worth it. Virginias are touted highly for their sweetness, the naturally high sugar content. FVF is no excpetion, err, but it is... it's not sweet in a kid in a candy store manner, rather in an adultlike "pass the molasses for my oatmeal..damn, this is real good sh*t" way. It's certainly not the most complicated Virginia I have smoked, but it's one of the most consistent and it solidly delivers taste and pelasure down to a pale greyish white ash. Due to the steaming process, this tobacco is much headier than many of the lighter Virginia flakes -and bites much much less. Defintiely worth trying....definitely worth putting away in the cellar for aging.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I like to keep Full Virginia Flake around, because it is an excellent example of how good pressed Vriginia flakes can be. Opening this tin unleashes a very plain smelling tobacco cut into thin strips. The strips or flakes can either be rubbed out or simply rolled for packing into the pipe. FVF is a little difficult to light unless you put a few scraps on the top to accomidate lighting. The flavour is fairly one dimensional - just good Virginia tobacco. The flavour can run like a cigar almost. The tobacco burns to a clean grey ash. The nicotine isn't as full as you would think by the name. A great Lakeland tobacco.

1 person found this review helpful.

linuxconf Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
linuxconf (11)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

This is one of my staple tobaccos. It is strong enough for me, and carries with it a stong flavor. I generally smoke this in larger bowls, so my only complaint it that I have to use 1.5 flakes/bowl (I wish they were bigger). I have gotten no tongue bite from this tobacco as long as it is not allowed to dry out. If you enjoy a Virginia, and a little strength, this is a must try.

1 person found this review helpful.

sagepipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sagepipe (9)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The Full Virginia Flake is in a class of its own. It seems to be a very pleasing smoke for a large number of people. It is quite possibly the highest ranking tobacco per capita on this entire website (Rank/Reviews). I believe this smoke to be a crossroads for a variety of smokers. Outliers aside, this smoke has enough depth and flavor for the connoisseurs and a smooth flavor and strength for the neophyte learning their way. This is the gateway tobacco!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

There isn't much to add to what reviewers before me have written. Put simply, this is a tobacco any pipe smoker must try sooner or later. It is one of those tobacco's that you need to always have on hand. Take into account, like many flakes that SG produces, this is rather wet when you first receive it. Personally I shred it to little bits and then let it dry out for a while. After that, it smokes like a dream.

Pipe Used: Savinelli "Virginia"

Age When Smoked: 0

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Heliumbro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Heliumbro (13)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

(I am a newer and irregular pipe smoker. My reviews are subject to my preferences and tastes and pipe smoking habits) This was the first ever pipe tobacco I tried. Didn't know how how to pack it or smoke it or anything. Just bought it because it was so highly reviewed. It burned my tongue, tasted like an ash tray and made me stop pipe smoking after the first bowl. A week later I tried again. Same thing. I put the tin away and walked away from pipe smoking for several months. I read reviews, articles about starting up and techniques for smoking. I watched every youtube video I could handle for beginners. I smoked other blends (aromatics and english's) until I had got the basics down and was enjoying most of them. Then I tried again. I rubbed one 1-year-old flake out after leaving to dry on the counter for awhile. Packed a bowl gently, lit it carefully and smoked FVF as slow as I could. I was rewarded with a really great pure virginia leaf smoke. The tin comes packed with 'sopping wet', dark brown flakes sort of haphazardly thrown in. Not too nice a presentation. Smells of ketchup and that fresh tobacco leaf flavour you get when you open a fresh pack of strong cigarettes, but much richer and more pleasing. With age and some drying time, the flakes rub out just fine, light well and smoke cool. I don't notice any grassy or hay like flavour, just this rich earthy and sweet grilled meat flavour. Dark brown flavour is the phrase that pops into my mind as I smoke it. Cool smoke that benefits from a slow pace and gentle pack. Though I don't get many of the high praise tastes that many other reviewers seem to notice, I do think this tastes very good and has earned a place as being a go to, respected Virginia flake. I smoke this off and on (mostly in the fall and early spring) and find it suits the more quieter pipe smoking moments for me. On the porch, in the garage, long car rides by myself.

Pipe Used: Estate Cesare Billiard

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is the best straight Virginia Flake hands down. If your a straight Virginia smoker then this should be in your rotation. I've never smoked a straight Virginia that has the depth that this flake has. That being said, I'm a burleyphile and while this is the top of the spectrum for VA flakes, it just doesn't ring a bell for me. 4 stars for straight Virginia smokers, 2 stars for me. It's something I wouldn't keep in my rotation, but may visit occasionally from time to time.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Oro

Age When Smoked: 3 Years

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

nekeke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nekeke (19)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Very Pleasant

It seems that I am not very fond of straight virginias (save for the other SG) I finally got to decide about this tobacco and all I can say that, it is ok. It is tasty but not so tasty that I would miss it if got no tins left. Burns cool, leaves a fine ash. Other than that, I do not know what else to say really. Good, but unlike Best Brown flake, this one is, well...boring.

Oh and blowing from the nose is quite the torture, a characterictic that I do not like in a pipe tobacco.

Pipe Used: Various

Nobody has rated this review yet.

beano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beano (7)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

only 2+ years experience

This toby has a big mark for it and another big mark against it. It is indeed a very fine smoke. Earthy, rich, feels like a big puffy leather couch in my mouth. However, it ships so flippin wet. The flake is so thick and takes so long to dry, it is almot not worth the effort. In order to get it to smoke I have to completely rub it out, and let it it for hours. I like to smoke when the desire strikes me, and this flake is not ready to go when I am. Also it is expensive. A must try for sure, but certainly not a heavy hitter in MY cellar. That being said, I have 8oz in the celler :/

Pipe Used: cobs

Age When Smoked: fresh

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TattooGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TattooGuy (9)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

All has been said. Full Virginia Flake is definitely a must. This one is a difficult beast to tame but once tamed it is fabulous. Complex, rich, creamy. Definitely 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PanamaJack Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PanamaJack (2)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is my classic breakfast baccy. On weekends when I have more time to enjoy a bowl with some eggs and bacon, I start the morning with it. For any beginner I would recommend it so they can have a "base point" or "starting point" to start understanding the nature and variety of other tobacco. Also a great base for custom homemade blends. You could try a VaPer (Virginia + Perique), or a Latakia blend. It will merge with other tobacco in a perfect match (if the proportions are right) to enhance any given flavor in the mix.

Pipe Used: Gubbel's Big Ben

Age When Smoked: Unknown

Purchased From: http://www.outwesttobacco.com/

Nobody has rated this review yet.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (260)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Very Full Pleasant

Full Virginia Flake . Very pleasurable indeed ! Possibly my favorite Full Virginia Flake so far ! The flakes themselves are deliciously thick and despite the high moistness they are not too hard to rub out with a little tenacity . It has an almost earthy pre-light aroma . Once lit I found the smoke incredible, it has a wonderful full Virginia taste with no tongue bite and a very steady burn . I found the nicotine level to be about the same as Orlik Golden sliced which I found to be perfect . The smoke is also the same texture as Golden Sliced . Room note is nothing extraordinary but that of a full Virginia . It does not leave a lot of residue to clean out in the bowl after its smoked either . In all it is the apotheosis of Virginia Flakes , brilliant !

Pipe Used: Britain's Best Briar

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke King

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kraft1994 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kraft1994 (54)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is a no BS straight virginia blend. Everything you'd expect from a great blender like Samuel Gawith. Just straight, sweetly satisfying virginias. Almost a hay like flavor. Not too much complexity with this one. Just a simple elegant virginia perfect for all day puffin. Simply Perfect.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (137)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I finally got the chance to get a 50g tin of this and I can see what all the 4 star entries are about. The only fault I have with this blend is the moisture level is way too high on first opening the tin. Picking one flake up at this point has the feel of a stingray or shark (very moist and leathery) that you can pet in the petting pool at the local aquarium. Lighting right out of a freshly opened tin is almost impossible with the fold and stuff method of packing. I find that once lit, it stays lit all the way to the bottom and gives a very nice dosage of nicotine. You will not find much uniformity or any neatly stacked flakes in the cutting and tinning of the flakes, which is by no means a detriment. It smokes down to a nice ash at the bottom of the bowl. All in all I would definitely recommend this for all to try, when it is available.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nicotiana_rustica Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nicotiana_rustica (19)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If you search for pure virginia flake tobacco with the most 4 star reviews you have Full Virginia Flake. Just open a tin, rub out the delicate flakes, pack your pipe, and relax. Your pleasure is assured.

It comes too sweet from the tin, but doesn't smoke that way. The flakes are delightfully moist and any attempt to dry them would be not a right approach since you'll savor the creamy richness. And THAT is the hallmark of a moist tobacco such FVF.

FVF and BBF are by far the virginia flakes I prefer the most!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Good Virginia leaf flavor if I'm without McClelland. Missing the nuance and richness of other virginias but still good. I like the long and skinny English style flakes sometimes. You can rub into long ribbons if you want. I either rub out fully or partially rub. 2.5 to 3 stars.

Age When Smoked: New, less than a year

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (126)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Tastes like Best Brown Flake with the addition of some harsh notes of burnt sugar (beyond carmelized). Somewhat hard to get going, but once lit beyond charring, it takes off well, after the early-on relights. Consistent flavor through the bowl, but, again, not as smooth and desirable for me as BBF.

Pipe Used: Peterson

Age When Smoked: ~1 year

Purchased From: Corona Smoke Shop, Okemos, MI

Similar Blends: BBF.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WillBrown Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillBrown (48)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Unnoticeable

I tried this blend for the first time ever earlier this year. At the time, I thought it was one of the best tobaccos I've ever smoked, but, after a full year of trying many other blends, my estimate of this smoke has declined a tad (then why, you may ask, didn't I rate it three stars? Because it was five stars before!). It's still one of the smoothest smokes I've ever tried, yet, at the same time it packs a nic wallop that creeps up on you. I usually downgrade a blend if the nic-hit is too high, but, in this case FVF's great taste trumps that consideration. The taste is wonderful, the moist leathery flakes provide a hint of raisin and plum—there's also that typical Lakeland flowery bouquet, although in this case much muted than that found in other blends. It can be a bit frustrating to smoke. My first few times at this smoke my lighter was pretty active, it was difficult to keep lit, but once you get the knack of it, it's no problem (drying it out before smoking does seem to help in that regard). One of the things I absolutely love about this blend is how long it can last. I've had bowls that last longer than an hour! It's really a satisfying smoke. I think anyone who enjoys quality tobacco should try this masterpiece. Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Eric Nording Freehand

Purchased From: local shop

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

While I may add a longer review later, I wanted to at least add to the chorus of approving voices for now. This is one of the quintessential pipe tobaccos, and has been made for literally hundreds of years. The machinery itself upon which this flake is made is over two hundred years old. The steam process makes this entirely different than a non-steam pressed VA flake. The flavor is full, rich, and mild (not in the of lacking flavor, but in the sense that it is smooth and rounded). It lights easily and burns readily, and unlike most VA flakes, offers no tongue bite. Like fine wine it only gets better with age, as the sugars crystalize in the tobacco. These flakes from Gawith are unique and offer a truly fantastic smoking experience. Smoked in a pipe which is equal to the task this offers as good a smoke as can be found in the world of pipe tobacco. Simply wonderful.

Pipe Used: Ashton Sovereign Bent Rhodesian

Age When Smoked: 3 years

Nobody has rated this review yet.

balkan_boy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
balkan_boy (34)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This tobacco requires a lot of care in order to bring up the best of it.
Comes extremely wet and needs a fair amount of drying. Let's say about an hour or two. Sam Gawith folks use a lot of Propylene Glycol, and thus it doesn't dry easily. When dried, the best is not to rub it out, but use a cube-cut method. There is a lot of info about that method on the internet, but it brings the best flavour out of the flake. Fold and plug will do also, although not as cube cut.
When everything done as it should be, FVF will reward you with a decent Virginia taste. Not as good as Gawith & Hoggarth's Bright C. R. Flake, because i love that Lakeland Floral note and here it's almost undetectable. That's normal because FVF is mainly dark virginias. First half of the bowl, you regret buying it and not buying Bright C. R. Flake instead, but the second half, quite the opposite. It becomes really "Full" as it's name says. Full and satisfying, but not too strong. Straight forward Virginia. That sweet smell that you taste when smoking Latakia mixtures and the first punch of latakia fades away, and VA comes into the front, well FVF is exactly that, all the way, in unlimited quantities. Pretty blunt in the beginning, but kicking towards the middle and decent all the way down. I don't give it 5 stars because I think it is overestimated and praised too much without meeting the standards for it's legendary fame. If you like dark leaf, straight VA, go for it, you won't regret. Dry it, because it's wet, pack it well, and smoke it in sips. Not an easy tobacco, but it's not picky at all. You can smoke it every day, all day, in every occasion, you won't get bored.

Pipe Used: briars meers and cobs

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Reggietom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Reggietom (7)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I bought some of this to try based on the reviews I read here. I enjoyed the smoke not to strong, not too mild, no perfume just a nice pipe tobacco. I still have some left and I go back to it now and then and it provides a nice change from from my regular favourites. In my opinion this is definitely worth a try.

Pipe Used: Peterson Donegal

Age When Smoked: New, and aged

Purchased From: The Tobacco Bar Plymouth

Nobody has rated this review yet.

McKNooB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
McKNooB (34)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

What can you say about one of the classics?

1. Extremely smooth. 2. The right amount of flavouring. 3. Lights well. 4. Packs well. 5. Burns cool. 6. Extremely smooth. 7. Extremely smooth.

One of my favourites, a real treat. Age it a little, then sell it to me, I'll pay top doller.

I will.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Elm0 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Elm0 (5)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

SG know they have a winner here it's a fantastic virginia everything you could want ,so they sell it to you soaking wet ,you open tin to find in the corner a small clump of baccy already rusting the inside of the tin ........!

This is done to bulk the weight up so they can sell less in a tin & make more money, i see no other benefit of selling it this wet, i rubbed out a tin & dried it till it was just able to be smoked, i then weighed it and it had lost 30% in weight

Some of SG's other flakes can sometimes be a little moist'ish, i smoke 1792, st james, firedance but none of these are even close to how wet fvf is

I love the flake but will not buy it any more because of this, all i ever feel while smoking it is that have just been ripped off

SG sort this flake out please please please

EDIT : 6/10/2013 Heard a rumour SG had sorted this out, so a tin later a massive improvement bought a second & sure enough quality control has come good again ,back to a 4* smoke ,about to buy 2 kilo's just incase it goes back to a soggy clump

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Knightsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Knightsmoker (62)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Another great straight VA. I love this blend. Smokes slowly but will bite if pushed. I think with about 3 yrs. on it it will be outstanding. Second only to Best Brown as BB does not bite. I do get more flavor with FVF than BB but both are very good. The bite tips the scale.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

panduji68 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
panduji68 (27)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This was an odd tobacco for me... When rubbed out, it presented itself in almost a ribbon cut. The smell was glorious, and of pure sweet Virginia with no topping or casing detected. It was rather wet out of the tin, and required an overnight drying out in my air conditioned living room prior to packing the bowl. After a charring light, it smoked very cool with no tongue bite at all to the bottom of the bowl with no added flavors detected whatsoever. Nothing but a powdery grey ash left upon completion of the smoke. Slightly sweet Virginia taste, nothing else really going on. A very enjoyable smoke indeed, but nothing to write home about.

Being aware that a bowl can change from one smoke to the next, I decided to cube cut my next offering of this wonderful tobacco... Again, she was rather moist out of the tin, and I had to let her dry out for a day prior to smoking. The same exact smell of a quality Virginia filled my nostrils upon taking a whiff prior to lighting... After the charring light, I immediately detected a sweet somewhat perfume type topping which was not present when I had rubbed it out... It readily made itself known, but not in a bad way. I found it to be a well balanced nuance to the sweet tasting Virginias present in the smoke. This one, however, burned somewhat hot as opposed to the rubbed out method first tried. Still no tongue bite at all, just hot in hand, and somewhat crispy in the pipe. Very sweet Virginia taste from beginning to end, but with four relights required...

Once I figure this one out, I will probably buy again and again. The taste is just too good to get disgruntled over the pain in the butt factor required to keep this one smoking properly.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

22yrsonthepipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
22yrsonthepipe (21)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

After finally getting my hands on a tin of this what a disappointment. Dont get me wrong it's very high quality baccy but there are much nicer smokes out there and I don't believe FVF measures up to the hype at all.

This compares most to Orlik's golden sliced, just a little more bass and the flavour is unmistakeably burnt raisin toast as opposed Golden Sliced's orange. Can get bitter and foul tasting (rotten eggs?) in the last 3rd.

Like other SG flakes, comes extremely wet in the tin but to my surprise, I was able to smoke it right out of the tin just fine. The ribbons are so thin that by the time they are rubbed out (and picked apart), they are already dry.

Burns OK straight out of the tin when cube cut but has that charcoal taste like university flake so I wouldn't recommend it. Its much sweeter rubbed out.

If it had a bit more depth it would have got 3 and a half stars. Not an all day smoke as it's a bit bland and one-dimensional. I prefer Orlik Golden Slice which is cheaper, easier to prepare, more of an all-day smoke and orange is nicer than burnt raisin toast.

2 and a half stars really. Some of the flakes have a little bloom on them which is why it leans more towards 3 stars than 2.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mimefrog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mimefrog (5)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

PREP: As others recommend, I dried the unbroken flakes for about 5 hours on a plate in an air conditioned room. I've smoked it in flake form with the fold/stuff method in a dublin and rubbed out in an oom paul. Both ways are great but I needed a few relights in flake.

SMOKE: FVF is a one trick pony, but what a trick! Its got a straightforward VA sweetness that hits a nice high note and tickles when I roll the smoke out slowly the nose. Like pretty much all tobaccos, it built flavor as the smoke progressed, becoming downright earthy sweet 1/3 in. Worth a try for every VA lover and I will definitely keep it at the top of my rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Happy Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Happy Piper (14)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

SG's FVF is definitely something every Va-lover should try at least once- it is by no means bad tobacco. I do however feel it is not representative of a pure Virginia, being to my taste, distinctly flavoured or treated in such a way as to mask the true potential of this noble leaf. It also takes some practice to prepare well from the tin, as wet as it is. I personally do not mind drying it out, but I do mind the fact that it is difficult to gauge exaclty when it is at perfect moisture. Get it right and it is a very nice smoke indeed- get it wrong and it can be a bit harsh (if too dry) or problematic (too wet). After smoking this regularly, going to something produced by Orlik suddenly becomes sooo much easier. Yes the rich creaminess is there, yes one can produce oodles of smoke and get a fine relaxing pipe, yes it is very consistent. But it is not quite as sophisticated, subtle or full-flavoured as a four star blend should be. I far prefer the very rare Mick McQuaid's Square Cut. IF you EVER happen upon a tin (or 10) of MMSQ, buy it on the spot and see what FVF is missing.

Addendum: Afer a break of a few weeks I smoked another bowl of FVF last night and this morning a bowl of both Cumberland and Fillmore in two brand new Don Florian Dublins. I had significantly underestimated the ghosting power of FVF and strongly recommend FVF is quarantined to pipes put aside for it and other Lakeland 'Virginias'.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

With so many reviews already it is hard to find something new to say, but I'll give it a go anyway.

I actually put off buying my first tin of FVF for over a year. As someone who had mostly smoked strong English blends I was concerned that, despite the many great reviews, a pure virginia wouldn't deliver in the taste department. Well, I was wrong. FVF is an exceptionally tasty VA that is every bit as satisfying as an English blend. If you like big bold tobaccos and haven't tried it yet you really ought to do so as soon as possible.

On the downside, the flakes do come overly wet. My latest tin has been transferred to an open jar and has been sitting out for three days and is still nowhere close to smokeable. Admittedly, even in summertime, Scotland is not the most arid of environments, but I don't think the weather is to blame.

Despite this, I can't give FVF any less than the full four stars. On my personal rating scale this gets a 5/5. Try it, love it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

430pat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
430pat (39)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Rub it out,let it dry in an open pie tin a few days then I place it in a resealable plastic container,pack lightly,char it,lightly tamp,light and enjoy absolutely fantastic.You can not smoke this out of the tin it just will not light so don't try.

Really,Really Good

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (574)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to 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, when I could coax out some smoke the flavor was rich and full, little consolation when you have to do so much maintenance.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

An absolute classic which thoroughly deserves its place at the top of the ratings.

Astonishing depth of flavour for a single, uncased varietal, sweet smoking with a hint of peach. Take it easy, or the nicotine will send you reeling.

Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is one of the best flakes of virginia ever smoked. The other best is the Brown Flake. It is imperative that the tobacco is left to dry for a week or two. A couple of days with tin fully open, and then some 10 days in the closed tin, just let it rest. If you smoke it before this time, it is likely to be quite hard to light it up and to keep it burning. It becomes an hateful experience. Normally, when dried sufficiently, the tobacco lights up and burns to ashes with no relighting needed. Otherwise, you are warned. It is not even worth trying to smoke the FVF out of the box just open. It simply won't work.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I cannot say more than has already been said in the last 399 reviews of this blend. It is my absolute favorite Virginia and it ages better than any other blend I have tried.

Truly sublime!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BTGreenwald Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BTGreenwald (6)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This stuff is fantastic. I've read reviews expressing varying difficulty in the preparation process. I read'em reviews while in eager anticipation of the post man with a nice sized box of this treat. So I got to researching because I really wanted to create the best of all possible worlds for this smoke to burn cool and deliciously.. Placed four Flakes one on top of the other.. cube cut into millimeter squares (easier than it sounds). Then I backed off and smoked some of go-to MC2015.. Waited about three hours, packed a bowl and stuffed the rest of my cubes in a Mason Jar. Man! No problems lighting.. little tamping. I've had to stop smoking on occasion because I'm sucking the dog out of this delicious stuff and it truly does require patience. Its so good it makes me feel guilty... I am in touch more than ever with our forefather's love relationship with Tobacco... Get you some. There are a couple of retailers that have it in stock at the moment (that's all you'll get from me) SG must have pushed a large shipment of their flakes.. Do not delay!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Squidpanda Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Squidpanda (2)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Full Virginia was the first pipe tobacco I experienced. I owe my love of pipe smoking to this tobacco. With a smooth and mild flavor it is great for first timers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RonPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RonPiper (5)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Tolerable

This was my first introduction to "Virginia's" years ago when I first took up the pipe. I was still in the newbie stage experimenting and finding my way searching for my smoke of choice. If I was going to stick around in this hobby I was going to have to try one of the best. I did and I got carpet bombed with nic. It made me go to bed early that evening. Now being a little wiser and having more patience I decided to revisit the flake that took me out. Much better result this time. Flavorful with a sublte sweetness I sipped slowly knowing the beast was in my bowl ready to nic me in the dirt. The end result was a very satisfying smoke. Pure tobacco nothing more added. Don't think it will make my rotation though, more of a vaper now. Nonetheless, I have several tins of this in my cellar because I found it increasingly hard to find. A definite must try.

Makin' my wife rich one bowl at a time...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

rogermugs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rogermugs (14)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Very Full Pleasant

Apart from being much too moist on opening the tin (a matter which probably aids the aging process), this is as good as it gets.

Perfect taste, perfect sweetness, improves slowly throughout the bowl, never bites. I love SG, and thus far this is my favorite offering of theirs

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

The flavor is full in this one. Doesn't burn too hot, tastes very good. About as good as a Virginia can get. Only complaint is that it dries slow and doesn't rub out easily.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Had this for a month.

Cannot get it to light. I rubbed the lot out to dry it and left it and it still wont light.

When I can get it to light, the taste is ok but nothing like the honey tin note.

I am guessing that some of the weight is moisture as my tin is quite 'light' on tobacco.

I will put aside for a while longer and smoke another VA.

Disappointing given this stuff aint cheap. I expect to be able to smoke stuff out of the tin sooner.

Edit My first tin had to be returned to the tobacconists after the tin rusted up. My second tin fared no better, showing rust on the rim and, after a month of drying, has gone mouldy, despite my best efforts at storing. Pipe smoking is meant to be relaxing and if I buy a tin of tobacco, I expect the work involved to enjoy it to be minimal. When I was able to smoke, it was unremarkable. I have switched to Orlik Golden Sliced and am enjoying that far more

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Teamkazam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Teamkazam (2)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Reviewing this is a little like throwing a glass of water into the ocean... But I will swim against the tide a little bit. Great smoke but is way too wet to smoke out of the tin. I rubbed the whole tin out and jarred it for a month. That seemed to help it in so many ways. It's wet, leathery and hard to keep lit. It demands almost too much attention. Once dried a bit it comes closer into the glowing reviews I have seen here. The last third of the smoke is amazing and tastes completely different then the first third. All-in-all, wonderful but falls short of perfect based on the prep needed. The one big disappointment - compared to the amount of tobacco you get, the tin is too big..... Fully rubbed out it was about half the quantity you would expect.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Shoog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Shoog (13)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Comes very moist like stated a hundred times before. I recommend letting it air dry over night. Other than that there really is not anything negative I can say about this stuff. Sweet plum like tin note. Burns cool with lots of sweet creamy smoke. Never bites. Decent enough room note. The only reason for 3 stars instead of 4 is it does take some prep to get the most of this tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ERader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ERader (5)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Simple, tasty, full of flavor, what our "poor fathers" smoked back in the day. Gets better with aging. Love it, A true classic!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TheJayBee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TheJayBee (56)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Full Pleasant

I love VA/PER more than pure VA, this is the only reason why I will not buy the Full Virginia Flake much, and buy instead the St. James Flake more frequently.

Upon opening the tin, the smell is very similar to St. James', albeit a bit weaker (pot pourri, dried fruits). I found also it smelled a bit like bright honey. Anyway, very pleasant smell.

The flake is wetter than G&H flakes, but less wet than St. James. I had to relight the bowl more times with the briars and I never had to relight with the meerschaum.

The smoke is so mild, so darn cool, is sweet, and the room note it leaves is just amazing. No complaints from the smell this time!

Recommended not only to VA lovers, but to every pipe smoker. This could be an everyday, all day smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Quite simply the best Va flake made. Unadulterated. You are tasting a process here, and one that no one else can duplicate. Full enough to be smoked all year round. Satisfying as tobacco, satisfying in sweetness, just plain satisfying. Tied for my very favorite tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

pipe candy love it dry it out lightly pack it set back and enjoy one of the best tobacco's on the planet is a pain to keep lit but worth it

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe1000 (14)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The flake came out of the tin very damp. I have seen a number of reviews online of people not being able to light or keep SG's flake's lit. If you find you have this problem (or tongue bite) just dry / rub the flake out until the tobacco just about springs apart after pinching (if you can hold back from smoking this beautiful flake straight away!) and hopefully it will be very satisfying smoke! SG's full Virginia flake is a smooth and sweet smoke with absolutely no tongue bite and very few relights. Will be ordering more it was fantastic! All the best guys & girls happy piping!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TW (25)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This has become an accepted "standard" for flakes, and very popular. As such it should be tried by anyone investigating unscented flakes.

However, to me at least it's not necessarily the best of breed. The taste stresses the lower notes rather than the hay-like favour that seems favoured by many Americans. It can be a bit over-compressed, cut thick wet and leathery which makes it hard to rub out and tricky to light. Drying it makes it a little easier to light (though not much) and less steamy (so more flavour).

If too wet it can be very sweet and sugary towards the end of the bowl. Overall there's a knack to smoking it, like with most S Gawith flakes.

What it is not is cased (with anything other than the sugar and water almost all Va is cased with by everyone) or flavoured/scented. Not At All. Not even a little bit. No Lakeland scents what so ever. So if you think you can detect flavouring you are wrong. Maybe you don't know tobacco as well as you think? Maybe you haven't reaised it's made from (very good) African-grown leaf (like most UK Va tobacco) and therefore tastes different to US grown Va?

Only three stars as I reckon Gawith's equally unscented Best Brown Flake has a slight edge.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ThePuffingLibrarian Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ThePuffingLibrarian (5)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

The aroma in the tin is a combination of wet hay, marshes and vinegar and it might discourage some people. However, the taste of this tobacco as you smoke it is quite different and pleasing. It has a nice room note and it burns well. Like a lot of straight blends, it might be hard to notice the complexity of this tobacco and you will have to adjust your puffing rhythm and intensity to capture its subtleness. Overall, a very good tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipey duck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipey duck (15)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Unnoticeable

I had many SG blends and also FVF a few yeahrs ago. What i find anoying was the presence of their flakes. Some flakes where so thick and moist, i couldn t deal with. But by all the great reviews here I tried anoher go, and see... There where still very moist flakes in the tin but in a thickness i could handle. And the smoking was from the charring lite till the end a pleasure. Full and spicy, round and ballanced. Delicous. Perfekt strengh for me. Highly recommended

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ryan65 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ryan65 (6)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

My favorite straight VA. A bit wet so I rub it out completely and let it dry over night, the flavor is quite complex, I've heard it described as buttery pancakes and I would have to agree. Its hard to prepare in my opinion, and will bite if not done correctly, so much so that I didn't come back to it until a few years later when I finally got it to smoke correctly. Absolutely delicious!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

samcoffeeman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
samcoffeeman (29)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Out of the tin, this has the scent of pure VA leaf. The flakes look like strips of bacon or beef jerky. Pack it right and you will be pleased, the moistness makes it tricky to get the pack right. This is a smooth and delicious smoke, with a little pepper/spice. I rate it as super enjoyable. Part of my rotation, could be an everyday smoke if I smoked every day. There are some different methods for packing flake here: http://pipesmagazine.com/python/pipe-smoking/flake-pipe-tobacco- preparation/ I have been using the rub method and will be trying some others.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

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

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is a beautiful VA flake. It's character is refined and fairly laid back, so I could smoke it all day long. It presents so many different notes from time to time (from white wine to unsweetened dark chocolate) that it's difficult to keep track of them all, but it never seems to put a foot wrong.

Is it worthy of the hype? As I haven't smoked every other VA flake I don't know, but it's certainly worth four stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

daveyj66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
daveyj66 (8)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant

What else can one add other then this is the best Virginia Flake available today!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zahrinisa Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zahrinisa (1)
★★★★
Medium Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A very wet tobacco. First two bowl, had to keep relight. Cellar it for two weeks than try it again.Best ever baccy. No flavouring just the taste of tobacco. Smoke cool. Will buy this again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

As most other reviews have already pointed out, this is a legendary tobacco. This is easily my favorite VA and I buy it in quantities that would embarrass even the greatest tobacco hoarders.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (155)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have rated this as highly recommended more due to the fame of this blend, but I find that I finnd that I enjoy a few other Va flakes as much if not more than this one. I do think anyone smoking a pipe should try this blend if only to use as a benchmark to others of its kind.

It is no doubt a high quality flake. I think that I prefer Marlin Flake to this and it is definitely easier to find. I will note that i bought two 100 gram tins of Marlin that were likely old and the tine of FVF i smoked was new. Perhaps with some age this one may be better to me.

Anyway, I feel fortunate enough just to secure the tins I purchased and may sing more praises after a few have had the chance to age.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

runamuck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
runamuck (5)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is the best hands down Virginian only tobacco I have ever tasted. If you love straight Virginians this is for you! For me its a bit one flavor. I like more depth and contrasting flavors,(not artificial though). Aside from my personal tastes this is exuisite and I give it the highest rating I can because its the best of the best of straight Virginians.

*I'm not able for some reason to give this the full four stars but that is what it is.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mnadz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mnadz (35)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco made me realize that straight Virginias are not my favorite. Just not strong enough in taste. Blackwoods Reserve was my firt hint, this my second. Both got such high reviews, but I was a bit disappoited. I give this two stars because unlike, Blackwoods Reserve, I at least did taste this. Tobacco is high quality, no tongue bite, wife enjoyed aroma. If I feel like smoking and English blend with not much nicotine and easy on the pallet (early morning), maybe I'll turn to this. In the meantime, I will stick to my Balkan blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

It took me a while to get a hold of this tobacco and, yeah, it's good just like everybody else and their brother have said almost 400 times now, but as I have finished my first tin, I am not sure why this tobacco is held in such epic, epic, epic regard.

It is creamy and sweet with zero bite which was great when I could keep it lit. My flakes came very, very wet. I would let them dry out for a few hours before I would put fire to them and always had to re-light way more than I would have liked.

The burn characteristics really are just not great in this blend. And after all, that is what you do with pipe tobacco!.... so it is important.

On the whole, this is an average luxury tobacco. In my opinion, there are better VA Flakes out there that are easy to find, easy to smoke and have more complex flavor composition (read: Dunhill Flake).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sethus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sethus (9)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

AWESOME JUST AWESOME ..its like Christmas every day, a full relaxing blend ,.no problems here in GB getting hold of it,.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

After all the agony and ecstasy I've found here, and considering the absence of FVF in the online shop in which I usually order, I phoned to one good local tobacconist (I live in Tel Aviv) and asked him with my most charming voice if he have some SG tins. To my surprise, he has all the line of SG tobaccos, and for the nice price (half the price of Dunhill tins of the same size). So I loaded a full bag of different tins, and certainly the first which I've opened at home was FVF.

As so many reviewers already mentioned, it's pretty damp. But I think that maybe it's not necessarily bad thing for cellaring. Tobacco should have some humidity for further fermentation. So I took out one meaty flake, put it for 10 seconds in micro and folded into my favorite Savinelli. After a number of relights it took the flame and I've prepared to get heaven's pleasure.

In the beginning I felt sweet Virginia taste. But towards the middle of the bowl it got lost. In the second half of the bowl the pipe gave giant viscous clouds. Seems I should dry it more. So, it's undoubtedly good Virginia, with no tongue bite, but… is that all? Dunhill Flake at least gave me rich taste during all the bowl, and left flavorous aftertaste. Here, I only feel that I smoked something (maybe cigar?) and got a solid satisfying nicotine dose. Is it worth?

I'll finish the tin and cellar two more. Meet me in a year.

P.S. After 3 days in unsealed tin these flakes are smokable without endless relights, especially when rubbed out. Still, too much hustle and bustle. It's like dating cinema star, after all the courtship and wooing you can get some pleasure. Maybe.

04/2013 Update: After nearly a year I returned to this stuff. Cellaring made it better. It's still moist, flakes were packed by the left foot, most of them fall apart… But the taste and just right dose of nicotine redeem this poor presentation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

nesta Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nesta (8)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As I write this I am sitting on the porch smoking a bowl of Full Virginia Flake in a big, fairly new pipe. It's not fully caked, but enough to get a good smoke, and so far it has only seen natural blends dominated by Virginia leaf.

Full Virginia Flake is a great tobacco, and a benchmark that I would recommend all smokers try at least once. There is a rich, deep flavor with a nice but not overwhelming sweetness. It is full as the name would suggest, and unlike many more common VA blends there is enough nicotine to satisfy this smoker on most occasions.

When properly rubbed out and allowed to dry a bit, it takes a light with relative ease and doesn't need to be relit constantly - however for me this meant rubbing it out last night, allowing it to air out on a dish for about an hour, then packing the bowl and waiting until morning to smoke it. This comes, as most SG flakes seem to, extremely moist in the tin. Now this is personal preference, but I have a distaste for paying for water weight, and believe it's reasonable to expect a tobacco to be ready to smoke less than an hour after opening a tin.

I appreciate the rich, full flavor, and I reach for this tobacco when I want a pure VA experience with plenty of deeper notes than are offered from the bulk of Virginia only blends. However, I am not stuck on VA only blends and don't see the necessity of limiting myself to such smokes. I find Cornell & Diehl's Night Train to be an equal, and in many ways superior smoke which is dominated by a rich, full VA taste and subtle sweetness, though it does have a little bit of burley and some Perique to back it up and round out the blend. Similarly I find Esoterica Tobacciana's Tilbury a lighter, though equally elegant, blend which requires less preparation and drying time to enjoy it. It does feature a modicum of burley, unlike FVF, but it is not in a quantity substantial enough to alter the taste. There are also a few VA/Per blends I enjoy just as much, if not more than, FVF on most occasions.

But this is FVF, and it does not really beg comparison to many other tobaccos. My point is simply that on it's own merits, FVF has a wonderful flavor, depth, aroma, and body, and it is a very good blend. It just happens that there are many other blends which are far more readily available in the United States and often cheaper which I find equally exciting and fulfilling, and which frequently can be had for less money and enjoyed with far less messing about with the product prior to smoking. Everyone should try it, and if I can get a tin or two at a good price when I'm already buying something else I will do so, but when it is not readily available I will shed no tears.

Great change of pace when I want a rich, full flavored and slow burning Virgina.

When dry enough to burn without major issues, I find it free of tongue bite, though it can start to get a touch spicy and ashy if rushed or smoked aggressively. A little hay, some brown sugar sweetness and a touch of spice different from a peppery VA/Per.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ericgmorgan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ericgmorgan (1)
★☆☆☆
Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Strong

Note: I am new to straight Virginia's and Virginia Flakes. I am sure my tastes will grow with time and experience. This is my first time to smoke SG FVF.

I received a sample from a friend... 6 or so flakes. It smells nice and sweet in the bag. It is extremely wet/tacky/syrupy.

I rubbed out a couple of flakes and let them site for approx. 20 min before I packed the bowl. I should have let it sit out an hour or 2. Because of the stickiness of the tobacco, it packs tight. It was difficult to light, however, once lit it remained lit.

After approx 1/4 to 1/2 of the bowl, I was done. It was not sweet to smoke, but extremely spicy/peppery. It lost any and all appeal to me very quickly. It ripped my tongue a new one with tongue bite... Should be smoked extremely slow.

This tobacco in my opinion is for experienced pipe smokers. It is not a good option for me at this point.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (120)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

FVF is a horrible over-rated tobacco, no one said ever.

Nothing more to add to the hundreds of positive reviews, but this is one great straight Va!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

2 years ago i got a tin of fvf and i liked it, but i couldnt taste much since i was and am a big english blends fan, now ive come back to it with fresh taste buds, and i must admit the taste is wonderful, it gives me mental images of a gentlemens smoking lounge billows of creamy leather infused with oaky undertones and that dank musty smell of aged books and newpapers, and all of this soooo subtle and so modest that the memory will never regain total recall of the smokes past as if a black and white photo of a summers day long past. it is in my opinion one of if not the best fv's / pipe weeds out there

Nobody has rated this review yet.

R3TRO Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
R3TRO (2)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

Wow, talk about a difficult tin to find! There are several well stocked tobacco shops in my area (L.A.) and I found one LAST tin and immediately took it to the front counter! Probably bought the last one in Los Angeles.

Got a new pipe (Peterson Fermoy) and packed it. I just folded it several times, stuffed it in, and tampered the top. Took two matches to get it going and darn if it didn't burn to the bottom with only one more re-light. I have smoked this about five times now in the same pipe with the same packing and am ready to review it.

First if it is very full flavored, as in Virginia full. Love it. No tongue bite. Beautiful clouds of smoke pour out. As long as you puff it somewhat aggressively, not too many re-lights needed. Decent nicotine hit, perfect for that morning wake up. Nice full smokey, tobacco flavor.

I will probably put this away for 6mo because I'm afraid I will never find it again and want to go back to it. Love this baccy, very fun to pack and keep lit as it does demand attention, but the payoff is a damn good smoke!

See you in six months...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (162)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable

What can be added to the 360+ reviews on this? If someone wants to know what 'full' or even 'very full' means in this site's 'taste' category, I recommend they try this flake. It's a bit more than one dimensional, but that flavor is full -- I doubt many can be neutral on it. Damp, as has been pointed out, slow burning, and full of basic if strong tobacco flavor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JCelsius Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JCelsius (5)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

It comes damp, but after about an hour on the window sill, dried up quite nicely. The flavor is pleasant but not overwhelming and just really lets you enjoy the smoke. Not perfect, but damned if it isn't something special nonetheless.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

What a great Full Virginia! Took me half a year to get this baccy - it was indeed quite moist in the tin, so I had it dried out for an hour, then rubbed out a flake, packed it, and put the debris on top. Butz-Choquin billiard, straight medium-sized bowl. Easily lit, it unwrapped a huge package of natural sweetness, earthiness, volume and a decent dose of nicotine. Not as flat as Dunhill Flake, not as fresh as Orlik Golden Sliced, and not as harsh as Macbaren's VA No.1 It smokes like a dream, no signs of tongue-bite, and a comparably acceptable room note for a non-aromatic tobacco. Carries a bit of butter cookies sweetness, roasted sunflower seeds, but even when smoked like a locomotive it stays pleasantly cool. The second third is a dream, changing to a cigarish-nutty smoke towards the last third. I rate this a bit higher than other full VA flakes/mixtures, so: 5/5 stars, definitely.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (574)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a joint review of St. James and full virginia flakes as I find them very similar. These flakes are between a traditional sweet and dried prune-y flake like old gowrie and a pungent beef jerky-ish kendal/lakeland rope. Fans of many styles of tobacco will likely enjoy this, including orlik golden smokers, heavy latakia blend smokers, kendal/lakeland smokers, and cigar smokers. It has more complexity and nicotine and a thicker body than a typical va flake like old gowrie but not so much as to turn off many smokers who can not handle higher nicotine tobaccos like irish flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

maigret fan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
maigret fan (57)
★★☆☆
Very Strong Medium Medium Pleasant

I bought the tin three months ago - opened it three weeks ago. Too damp as often with SG tins. I put it in a pouch to dry but not much progress. The problem with their flakes is you cannot do much with them when they are too damp and that if you wait they are like dust.

Need to be smoked in the open air when the wind keep it burning otherwise I kept relighting the thing every minute. Otherwise that is strong, not as strong as their 1792. With all this the smell in the tin is fine but it is difficut to find much enjoyment when smoking it. Pure virginia but a little flat under the nicotine strength. Rather disappointing I would say.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Not highly recommended but if your up for a different bump try it. Upon opening the bacco it has a ketchup scent as some of you said, but to my nose i had the scent of the hay/earth scent Virginia's have moreso than ketchup. Yes it was damp and by far to wet for tin to pipe load. Rubbed out, it took about 10 hrs or so to dry to my textual liking. Its very cool smoking and has the flavor of a mild blend. Soft to the pallet in the top of the bowl, half way down it stands shortly depending on sipping techniques. Few sweet spots if you have a ghost or two sitting in your pipe. I prefer my english only style pipe. No need to hide the vitamin n. Its good in this mix. Not as upfront to me but deff there.

I put aside two tins for later winter season when i know i wont find it. Some of you have become hoarders and well i do see that. I myself buy bulk of something i like but i know hoow much i would smoke in a given time. After smoking for ten years i have come to learn, sip and enjoy.

Pleasent smokes and happy piping.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Smooth, creamy, butterscotchy, slightly spicy. Calming. Lovely stuff. One to relax with and savour. As other reviewers have said, it's rather damp straight out of the tin (some people say all SG tobaccos are, but I've only noticed it with this one). Therefore, you may want to air it for a few hours. That's why I'm withholding the fourth star, but damp or not, it's excellent.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ynrozturk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ynrozturk (40)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I had given pipe smoking a break for the past year, due to the fact that it's extremely hard to find a selection of good tobaccos where I live. That, and the fact that I refuse to smoke sub par tobacco led to my absence.

The other day though, I saw a tobacco shop and said what the hell, I'll drop in - maybe they have something good. The shop keeper said he had Mac Baren, Amphora.. the usual. So I asked "Got anything in tins?" to which he pulled out a box filled to the brim with Sam Gawith tobaccos.. I couldn't believe it. He had more than 20 different blends! For Istanbul, that is a gold mine. So I stocked up on FVF (which I've heard so much about), 1792 and some others.

Onto the tobacco. I am a fan of straight virginia blends. I was so eager to try FVF as every Sam Gawith blend I've tried, I've loved. Okay, maybe not Bracken Flake.

It's very moist out of the tin so I let a few flakes air for an hour or two. Perfect. Loaded up and lit up - this tobacco deserves all the hype. It is what it is, an outstanding straight virginia blend with just the right about of sweetness and nicotine, with a very yummy earthy flavor. Burns cool, doesn't leave a mess, has a good room note. But above all, the taste! I am loving this. I would still prefer Orlik's Golden Sliced, but this is just phenomenal. Just different. Golden Sliced is a bit more "summer" wheras this would be "autumn"

Overall, an excellent tobacco. I could smoke this all day if it were easy to find. Absolute bliss.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Seamaster Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Seamaster (3)
★☆☆☆
Very Strong Mild to Medium Full Tolerable

I picked up a tin of this one based on it being the darling of the pipesmoking forums. It's not one I would buy again. It's far too damp, and therefore takes too much drying as far as I am concerned. It's also got a ten megaton nic hit, which may suit some smokers, but sent me reeling. Definitely not for beginners or the faint- hearted!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

salopst Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
salopst (14)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium Pleasant

Felt damp in the tin, but the aroma was such that I just could not wait to try it in a nice narrow, but long bowled Peterson-- a perfectly shaped bowl from a flake I think. Despite the dampness it lit well after some effort with the initial 'toasting' and stayed reasonably well through to the very end.

SOme reviews have put the nicotine level on this as medium, but would put it above that of, say Nightcap, Maybe it was the way I packed this flake for the first time, and the fact that I did not let it dry a little. I tend not to rub flakes too much, preferring a slower, cooler burn.

Nutty. Mellow. Some plum (maybe) and that typical fresh silage/hay smell of virginias.

No tongue bite, and it smoked to a wonder while ash all the way to the bottom of the bowl, leaving a buttery feel on my tongue afterwards.

A definite "will buy again"!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

palm springs piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
palm springs piper (12)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A very good Virginia. Lightly tangy, full in flavor, but I don't see what all the fuss is about.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mark Devall Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mark Devall (9)
★★★★
Medium Mild Mild Pleasant

Open the tin, smells of rich dark old fruit cake, comes out like some sort of flaky plasticine. I thought "this will never burn". But one tamping after the first char light and there's cloudes of creamy smoke. No bite, it tastes like butter on hot toast.

Hate to say it but in England I have no trouble at all laying my hands on this or any of Sam Gawith's proper tobaccos; makes you remember what Christmas was like before you grew up.

Go on have some!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Grizzly1911 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Grizzly1911 (7)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Thankful for this site otherwise I may have never tried this excellent tobacco. Straight forward no nonsense goodness. Can't wait to try some others as this has opened a whole new door for me. Being my first flake, I am hoping that when I get the hang of rubbing it out it will be even better (if that is possible). Hands down if you haven't tried this you need to. I will buy many more tins to keep at home so I will never run out.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

IanTimothy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
IanTimothy (8)
★★☆☆
Medium Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

I use to love this tobacco, something is wrong with the quality control FVF is just not as consistent as it once was, and I know tastes change, but there is just something that takes the edge off this once top tobac! the second issue is with Sam's tins..they are useless and allow the tobacco to dry out far too quirky..I have had to put the contents in a air tight jar, so sorry to say it may be a while before I revisit this once great product, after many many tins it no longer has the edge, I write this review with great sadness

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Piper@thegates Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Piper@thegates (20)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

There's a reason Sam Gawiths enjoy such a high reputation amongst pipe smokers and that is because no matter which blend you smoke, according to your taste preferance, you are guaranteed absolute top quality tobacco providing the smoker with the very highest value for money ratio anywhere on the market. And right up amongst their top blends is FVF. Full of pure Va taste and Brasilian smooth, FVF provides a great start to the day.Lets face it, there are many pure va's on the market no matter where you are and some such as Richmond Mixture are comparable to the best and much less expensive and easier to come by than FVF, the thing is though is that many of us build up loyalties over the years to our favourite blenders in the knowledge that we will be passing over our hard earned cash for what we have come to expect, consistent top quality tobacco which maintains high standards over many years. This is what you pay for when you invest in any of the Sam Gawith blends, taste is another matter, its ridiculous to review tobacco blends when you know for example that you dont like Latakia but go ahead and review Commonwealth for example and then award it one star and complain that you find the Latakia content too much. I base my reviews on the QUALITY of the product and its vfm. Therefore anything less than four stars would be an insult with FVF. FVF is as good a Va tobacco of the highest quality to be found anywhere. Four stars easily.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I recognize that we don't need another review of FVF, but I'm compelled to submit it anyway, just as the rest of you did, because it's that good.

I typically don't like straight Virginia blends, because I usually find them too grassy, bland, finicky and in need of condiments, such as Latakia, Burley or Orientals, to really shine. FVF is a rare exception, along with McClelland's Blackwoods Flake, and both are among the best tobaccos I've ever smoked, in any genre. FVF meaty, full flavored, deep, smooth, buttery and fairly complex. It is amazing how Gawith can produce such smooth-smoking mixtures, and FVF is a standout in the Lakeland line. No floral essence here: just straight tobacco, pure, dark and simple, with enough nicotine to engender, as the tin says, "serenity." It's an absolute must try for any piper, the Holy Grail of Virginias -- if you can get ahold of it. And that, my friends, is the big "if."

I agree with FunkyD: Stop hoarding this stuff!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

My first venture into Virginias, and indeed flakes. Not going to lie, I was intrigued by the hype this product seems to have generated on here. However, being an avid aromatics fan, I was slightly dissapointed. However this is less a flaw in the product and more a matter of my personal taste.

There is no doubting that this is a fantastic product, the flakes are entising, dark in colour, with lashes of blonde. A fantastic tin note is to be enjoyed, although it is one I struggle to put into words having limited experience with Virginias. Think woody, sweet and slightly spicy. The flakes are slightly damp from the tin and need a touch of drying, but overdrying can prove disasterous as the latter 1/5 of the tin demonstrated!

The product is not too bad to light, I reccomend rubbing fairly finely and drying for a short while. A very mild, mellow and slightly sweet taste eminates from the tobacco when lit, undeniably a pleasure to smoke and a virginia which would take some topping.

I was also pleased to see that the flakes are produced in the lakelands, a stones throw from my native Yorkshire!

Overall I cant deny that this is a fine tobacco, clearly the highest quality virginia is used and for a virginia fan I cant see a better match available!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

acyv Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
acyv (10)
★☆☆☆
Mild Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

There is something wrong with new FVF. Suppose Samuel Gawith has changed their fermentation method. Upon opening the tin vinegar/ketchup flavor is covering to room. Flakes are much more wet rather than previous years. Even if you can light up the tobacco after several attemps(if you are lucky) you are starting to taste vinegar/ketchup taste easily. After several minutes that taste is disappearing and it's like you are not smoking virginia. Supposely, tobacco hasn't completed it's fermentation process thus they put that idiotic flavour inside. I presume, due to lack of Samuel products in last year in the market, producers have changed their method for fermantation like mcclelland's style. After that, I couldn't taste the sweetness of virginia at all. Further more FVF is not from my favorite tobacco.

I must express that, all last produced SG tobaccos have that vinegar/ketchup taste. This brand has lost it's place on my tobacco selection.

Once they overcome those problems I can revise my review otherwise no chance.

PS : I made this review upon finishing 4 tins of FVF withing 2 weeks.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bearsy87 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bearsy87 (10)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

A very different smell upon opening the tin, looks almost like flakes of tree bark. Burnt well straight from the tin after some rubbing. On the whole this a great offering of from Sam Gawith but is lacking in complexity and flavour. this will definately be in my rotation but I can't give it that fourth star. I'll stick to Samuel Gawith's 1792 Flake, much tastier and suited more to my smoking enjoyment.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WinstonTones Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WinstonTones (3)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Upon opening the tin you will find long, dark and moist flakes of pure Virginian tobacco. I had to leave a couple of flakes out to dry if there was going to be any chance of keeping it lit. Not a problem, but I like to smoke my baccy pretty much right out of the tin.

I'll keep it simple as it's a simple tobacco. The aroma is deep and rich, the taste mild and mellow. What a lovely, no nonsense tobacco.

Although I prefer more complex and interesting mixtures (Frog Morton, Erinmore Flake) I did really appreciate the authenticity of this flake. Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Wibblefishofdoom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wibblefishofdoom (111)
★★★★
Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I bought this last month with a tin of SG's Grousemoor that was to be a birthday present I bought with money I had received from my brother. I wish I had chosen this as the present instead.

I always like to have a good whiff of a packet when I first open it and this one proved a leafy, oaky aroma with bizarre hints of green tea and raspberries. Good stuff so far. Packing and lighting, well, I always find these a bit of a pain when it comes to flakes, though that's probably down to me not taking due care and attention in my lust to get cracking with my smoke.

The smoke itself is knock out stuff. The flavour mixes a little oakiness with a good meaty flavour, almost that of a decent steak. The only mistake I made with this was packing my first pipeful to the brim and really had problems finishing it off due to the strength. Having seen the error of my ways, however, I have since filled the pipe half full, more than ample for a ruddy good smoke. The room note is nothing memorable but the lack of any tonguebite more than makes up.

On the whole, it is a little too strong, too potent, to be a regular fixture in my pipe but there is no doubt in my mind that this is an excellent quality tobacco that I am perfectly happy smoke when it is to hand.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

elelion Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
elelion (25)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

Well-fermentated flake. Worth a try but this will not serve as my daily blend. Probably because I smoke it with a V-shape bowl and did not find a way to master it.

For me this blend just produces too much oil during the smoke, a little disappointed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zdalekacelny Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zdalekacelny (3)
★★★☆
Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Very nice blend, but perhaps could be more interesting. Quite strong, but with surprisingly smooth taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

wow, this is nectar of the gods! the best tasting tobabacco I have ever experienced. I have smoked a pipe on and off for many years,However and unfortunately I have become a heavy roll up smoker!(the stress of postmodern living!)and want to stop inhaling the foul paper! I have found most pipe tobaccos unsatisfying - until now! I didn't realise what an experience a quality pipe tobacco could be - surely it doesn't get more delicious than this. Seems quite strong in the N department so I'm not sure it would be suitable for all day smoking - time will tell. A must try - super smooth with no bite and a nutty chocolatety flavour - a masterpiece in my opinion. Even though it was very moist straight from the tin - resembling moist cake -it burnt beautifully.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

under the arbor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
under the arbor (12)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

"No one ever had the rainbow honey; until they had the rain" Jim Croce was right. This stuff frustrated this novice to no end. Mr. G's FVF did not behave like my MacBaren flake(s). So I left the tin open and kept it under the reading lamp for a while. My gummy, unwieldy flake now aquired the consistancy of "turkey-jerky" if there is such a thing. Not to be defeated, I laid out a generous sheet of parchment and proceeded to "rub" & "rub" and well you get the picture. Back in the can she went, exiled to the back of the shelf. After a month, this stuff was as dry as Moses' bagel. Then an epiphany; (pay attention fellow novices) Place the SGFVF in a quart size freezer bag, take the smooth end of the meat tenderizer your MIL gave the wife and beat the stuff choosing anything or anyone to think of as you do it. Now, here's the crucial step; put one of those nickle size humidor disks in the bag, get all the air out as you roll up and seal the bag and come back tomorrow. This stuff is heaven. I think FVF may even bite less than Clunee. In the end, I'd give it four stars were it not for the work it took to get it to three. Cheers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

The description says it all. An excellent straight Virginia. It doesn't bite, smokes well, taste very pleasant in the Virginia hay/grassy arena, with just the faintest toasted/chocolate note on the end of a puff. This is a fine smoke but It doesn't match a true blending masterpiece such as Solani's Silver Flake. Silver flake is a 4 star. This is a 3 star for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Just a natural, English tobacco. Very easy in smoking, much easier than Best Brown Flake. Taste - a bit different than BBF, more flat I think. It's also a bit stronger than BBF. If you want to start smoking natural Virginias - I think it's a right choice.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Beautiful balance of top quality Va leaf. A bit moist right out of the tin, but the rewards of this smoke are unmatched by anything out there. If there is a tobacco today that deserves a legendary status that will be talked about for years to come with out question its SG FVF!!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

furious Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
furious (29)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This is THE pipe tobacco that calls to me in my sleep. It is great any time of day or night. Goes with everything and in any situation. Highest quality leaf aged to perfection. Recently purchased tins have been very moist, however, so a great deal of patience in the form of drying time is necessary before lighting up. I couldn't wait last night after a very long week and was punished severely with relights too numerous to count. Even though the burn was very irregular and rather hot, there was absolutely zero bite. The flavors are typical of high-class Virginia: raisins, figs, grassy, and slightly herbal. Develops in intensity during second half of bowl. A classic and staple in my rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Greebe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Greebe (2)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

What else can be said about this that hasn't already. This was my first straight virginia flake. At first it was a little strong with my regular heavy puffing routine, but after I slowed down it really grew on me. I orderd a pound of it this winter and really enjoyed every bit of it. My only complaint is that I wish I would have orderd more since now I can't find it anywhere. Good Stuff, wish I had more.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Taste Buds Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taste Buds (138)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Unfortunately, I was unable to achieve the nirvana that most smokers have experienced with this blend. One reason may be the strength, which is beyond my limits. It also requires a lot of preparation and can be very finicky. The leaf used is exceptional, but there are other flakes that are better suited to my tastes.

Update: I mixed this 50-50 with Best Brown and found that both blends benefit from this union.

Update 2: I finally got the hang of this blend. Let it dry overnight in a large bowl. Then rubbed it out thoroughly. Well worth the effort. A delicious and cool smoking blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Assuming a smoke preceded by all the necessary care and patience (SG flakes demand a good deal of foreplay), this is a blend that deserves all the accolades that it receives. It is a classic and a masterpiece.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ijustknewit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ijustknewit (4)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

My first review on here, hello everybody. I am comparing this highly-rated Virginia to another highly-rated virginia, namely Dunhill Virginia Flake, which is actually the only other pure virginia tobacco I have smoked so far. I have put this review in the Dunhill section also.

I have only been smoking a pipe regularly for about three months having first purchased my old Duncan Delta filter pipe 37 years ago at the tender age of 16. At that time I dabbled with Clan (as you would expect, what a disappointment when that lovely sweet room-smell wasn't replicated in my nose when smoking the stuff), Holland House, Three Nuns, St. Bruno, Erinmore Flake, and Tetley's loose tea when skint, only once. It has been used on and off over the years for the smoking of various herbs legal and otherwise and has now returned to its intended use as an incinerator of fine tobaccos.

Here we go then for my first simple comparison of two virginia heavyweights. The big picture for me is that the Dunhill Flake is much sweeter and milder than the Gawith's. It is better presented in smaller more regular flakes and is overall much more delicate, or dainty. This presentation in a smaller tin, full of smaller flakes, gives an impression that in comparison to the Gawith product in its larger tin full of big rough meaty flakes, you are being short-sold. Not being a sad enough person to weigh the net contents, I cannot confirm this and I am sure the effect is purely one of perception.

The Gawith flake is much moister in the tin and I find that it does need to be dried for an hour or so before smoking to avoid your pipe gurgling, tongue bite and bitterness. The Dunhill requires less drying and you have to work it hard to get any tongue-bite.

The Dunhill in the tin smells much sweeter and milder although the Gawith smells more complex and fruity, like dried apricot and raisin. Not yet possessing the olfactory skills of other reviewers I am not able to offer any more elaborate distinctions once the tobacco is alight.

Both tobaccos are highly enjoyable smokes. Of the two I prefer the Dunhill.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Love love love it! My sample bowls are now gone, a wonderful experience I will remember..

Update: 1/19/2012~Oh-oh it's magic! This stuff gets better and better with age...if you can stay away from it for awhile and let it alone ;-)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tomspeed Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tomspeed (22)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium Very Pleasant

Now I siting and fill my pipe of this great tobacco for the first time, all my room is full of very pleasure real smell of tobacco I feel so calm after one hard working day, is just a dream tobacco :))

Nobody has rated this review yet.

LANCER Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LANCER (7)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

FVF is not a Va flake, it's THE Va flake. Pure Va tobacco and nothing else. Moisture level at the opening is optimal, don't bother drying it out. The packing I suggest rubbing it out but not so much, because it burns anyway for the excellent quality of the tobacco. Although FVF is not for flake novices, it must be tried.

I think that FVF and Capstan are two of the best Va's in the market.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darth Vader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth Vader (87)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My bulk FVF was a bit wet and more than a little green tasting. I was a bit disappointed. Fast forward a few months..A bit of aging and suitable dry and now i get the FVF thing. A very nice Virginia. Now it's a battle between GLP Union Square and FVF. The sort of dilemma i like.

Update 2014 - Taking a star off this as it's such a pain in the arse to keep lit if it's not at the pertect moisture level, rubbed out well and packed just right. Great when you get it right but a pain when you dont. A fussy tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This blend is just perfect!!!! in all the way!

A must try!!!

Highly Recommended..............................

3 kings: Full Virginia Flake / Solani Silver flake / Capstan original navy cut

Nikolaos/Greece

Nobody has rated this review yet.

MyWay Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MyWay (2)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

One of the best tobaccos I've ever tasted! I would highly recommend it to all pipe smokers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NedF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NedF (22)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

I was expecting an epiphany or revelation with this tobacco; one of those transcendental moments. It didn't happen. That said, it is still a wonderful smoke!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bence Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bence (25)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

I'm realy happy on that i met with this baccy. This one can give me the complet experience of smoking pure VA. Highly recommended for all virga lovers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lazy Mango Jalfreizi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lazy Mango Jalfreizi (5)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Comes (as always with Samuel Gawith flake tins) extremely damp and with variable thickness flakes. Neither of these are a problem to me.

Once the tin is opened, I lightly separate the flakes, and leave them to dry out for a day or so in the tin with the lid off. I find it important to keep an eye on it during this phase, as letting it dry out too much means having to rehydrate it. I find it at it's best when the flakes are soft and flexible, and ever so slightly damp to the touch. When it's reached this state, I put the flakes in an air tight plastic pouch, and fold this up and keep it in the tin. The flakes keep their moisture level for weeks and weeks prepared like this. To smoke it, I rub the flakes out fairly well, and allow it to further dry for a minute or so. For me, it's at its best when it's just losing it's ability to stick together when squeezed into a ball.

Once lit up, you get a beautifully mild but exquisite virginia flavour, with absolutely no tongue bite at all. Sweet and creamy, it often leaves me wondering why I smoke anything else. I could call the flavour monotone, and that sounds like a bad thing, but it's not. It hits the right note for me, that's for sure. It burns cool and slowly, and is best sipped. Smoking it a little harder past the middle of the bowl, gives it a stronger earthier flavour, which is very pleasant. Slow down again, and the beautifully creamy and sweet virginia flavour returns once again, and stays true all the way to the bottom of the bowl. It never gets bitter or harsh, and is along with G&H Brown Bogie my favourite smoke. The high nicotine level leads to a very pleasant and relaxing smoke. Highly recommended

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gporto Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gporto (1)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

My wife got me a tin of this for my birthday. Where she got it and what she paid I don't want to know. I have smoked Perfection many times before since it is more available. This flake is similar in taste, but has a much better finish. Unfortunately, it's now favorite for me. It comes quite moist, so I prefer to have it dry out some, but damn is it good.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Katharsis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Katharsis (39)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

Just got some of my first of this. Smoked two bowls so far. I had really high hopes for this, and therefore I was actually expecting to be slightly disappointed. I wasn't. This stuff is amazing. It's actually so flavorful and rich that I can barely finish a bowl. It's almost too much of a good thing. Definitely an evening smoke for me. It smelled like rich raisin cakes with a good old tobacco smell in the container. I love tobaccos whose flavor is stronger than the actual nicotine content, and this is exactly what I'm talking about.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Best tobacco I have ever smoked. If you want a satisfying smoke I highly recommend it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jaysown Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jaysown (7)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Probably my favourite straight Virginia. A well rounded flavour with a sweet "dried fruit" aftertaste. I find it lights and smokes well whether I rub it out or just fold the flakes into the pipe.

It's packed fairly moist in the tin but it dries quickly enough if you want a drier smoke. Actually I prefer this one a little more moist as this seems to improve the flavour. As it dries out I find the flavour flattens a little.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

roscoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
roscoe (11)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

A full-bodied and delicious tobacco for lovers of pure and perfectly matured Virginias. And the tin aroma is sublime.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A good, solid, if enormously overrated Virginia flake.

Having more variety and body than Orlik Golden Sliced, more raisins and florals than Dunhill Flake and less of a cigarish punch than Irish Flake. This is a fine flake with broad appeal. Just didn't seem special enough or different enough to make me not care about the usual Samuel Gawith flake crimes of over moistness and too much variation in the thickness of cut.

It's a good tobacco - I'd just rather smoke Dunhill flake when I want a good Virginia Flake and the prices and availability are about the same now anyway so I buy Dunhill Flake. But if it wasn't available I could certainly put up with this for a while and I wouldn't be too sad.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is an excellent Virginia tobacco, very smooth, cool smoking with no bite. This tobacco is not as sweet as some other Virginia tobaccos out there but is a good satisfying smoke. One of the drawbacks of this tobacco is the inconsistency of flakes; being as popular as this tobacco is, you would think the company would invest in a new slicing machine.

Update: Jan/18/2013: My recent purchase of this tobacco was a big disappointment, it wasn't the same tobacco that I reviewed in 2011, this new tobacco is tasteless.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipelovingcalvinist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipelovingcalvinist (68)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

With over 300 reviews, I have nothing to add but that it is indeed a darn good flake.

soli Deo gloria

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JackSparrow Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JackSparrow (14)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Opening the tin is such a surprise: its natural flavor is an explosion of grape, figs, licorice, chocolate, nut, wood, hay, almonds, and maybe more... Flakes are dark brown and moist, but once prepared correctly and with the right care, burn slowly and dry. I use to prepare my flakes fraying them with my hands, letting them dry slowly for some hours under the lid of an empty tin, in the end uncovering and letting dry more for about half an hour. Flakes are so much fun!!! Once lit (after some drying) smoke is fantastic and burns well, slow and dry. Taste is rich, medium to full, room note is pleasant, flavor is mild to medium, I couldn't detect all flavors found opening the tin, I'd say wood and fig prevail. It gets better and better going down the bowl, the best from 1/3 to end. It's a typical all day blend, a faithful friend you can always trust on (be careful, it' addicting). It one of my favorites, always present in my rotation. If you like English mixtures try to mix up this wonderful VA with SG Balkan Flake: 2 parts of FVF, 1 part of BF, simply fantastic!!!!!! 4 stars, no doubt! Well done Mr Gawith!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fazby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fazby (37)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

At a pipe show, the Gawith rep said that they just tin it up and bring it. It is not aged. So, I listened and bought a tin.

Five years later and I have opened it. Yes, one must let it dry a bit. I pull it apart and let it sit in a tupperware bowl over night or longer. Then I snap the lid on and let it stabilize a bit. (What feels crisp, really isn't...) Finally I pull or cut the stands into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces. Still flake but broken up.

Well worth the wait. I do not have the palate of some of the folks here, but I am really enjoying this. Sip it and it is delicious. Puff hard and your tongue will not be happy.

Wish I had bought more tins at that time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

HokieGeek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HokieGeek (23)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Well what do you know, this was a good smoke! It had a sweetness to it in the background, and the room note was actually quite good. A very pleasant "tobacco" scent. I greatly enjoyed this and can't wait to have more!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hiatus67 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hiatus67 (6)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The best tobacco that I smoked ever, a full taste and none tongue bite. I want to check the plug version and cut my own flakes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

derlict311 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
derlict311 (67)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

At first, I wouldn't accept the four star rating this flake consistently gets. Today, I would give it a solid four stars. Once I acquired this taste I couldn't imagine life without it. Nothing compares to that Worcestershire flavor and oooh, the raisins. I crave this tobacco like no other. It is the gold standard of Virginias. I can't imagine how good it would be with three years age on it....but if I can successfully keep my masons locked away, I'm going to find out.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (227)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Ok, Ok, Ok, we all know this is a great tobacco but I feel I have to point out the negatives. The last few tins were so wet that I had to almost wring the tobacco out before I even started to dry it. This tobacco smokes hot ( steams) if you don't smoke it dry and slow. And what's with the British "weights & measures" is 50 grams being measured on Saturn at Samuel Gawith. I only get about seven medium pipe-full's out of one of their tins as compared to 13-15 from most other 50 gram brands ( had the same bad experience with some of McClellands tins). I DON'T LIKE PAYING FOR WATER WEIGHT. And what's with the way they pack their tin, or should I say sweep off the floor and dump in the tin, the tin is only 1/3 full. A great 4 star tobacco that I have to take two stars away for deception . Anyone else annoyed at this?

Updated 9/2/11. Well, by the lack of response to my review, I guess I'm out of line. So I tried another pipe and I found another few reasons to sour on this blend, it started to gurgle during the light and even with 3 pipe cleaners and pulling the pipe apart 3 times I couldn't get a dry smoke ( all at a sip). The dottle was so big and damp I finally couldn't even light it and dumped a 1/3 of a bowl. Flavor was great even with the relights!

Updated 9/15/11 Thank you all for the great reviews or I would have given up on this blend a long time ago. I found the secret, I RUBBED OUT THE FLAKE AND PUT IT IN THE MICROWAVE FOR 15 SECONDS TO DRY IT TO THE POINT WHERE THE FLAKES JUST START TO LOSE THEIR FLEXABILITY . I proceeded to enjoy a 1 3/4 hour dry, sweet, flavorful smoke. This is a 4 star blend but I will only give it 3 stars for all the above trouble.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bob88 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bob88 (2)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

I have just recently finished off a tin of FVF and wow what a blend. It was my first pure virginia blend; one which was recommended to me throught this site. For a long time this is the wonderful sweet and tasty baccy that my virginia based aromatics from yesteryear couldn't provide. My only regrets are that my tin was rather young and that my palet (being young in development) may be unaware of some great flavour aspect in the tobacco. However still a great experience for me which i intend to repeat again.

I highly recommend this tobacco, (and it's English made, so pleases me).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Timnewton30 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Timnewton30 (1)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Well, after many years of being an Aromatic fan I really had the urge to find myself a pure Virginia flake. I wanted to enjoy Virginia as much as I do my aromatics. Well, after trying a few Virginia flakes from various blenders, I thought damn it lets just go and buy me some of this Samuel Gawith 'Full Virginia Flake' that everyone seems to be ranting and raving about. Well what can I say, I think I have found my regular Virginia Flake. WOW this is good stuff !!!! Just wish I had some already cellared as it is a little moist straight out of the tin. But hey, once you have mastered the art of smoking this leaf you will be reaping your rewards. Now to go break the bank and get myself a 20 year supply at least :)

To put it simply, just buy, smoke and enjoy !!!!!!!!

2 days later: This stuff is addictive, wow !!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Ah, FVF...the tobacco I pinned so many hopes and dreams on. After (almost) a full tin, how do I rate thee?

Meh.

Is this a bad tin I received? Did I foolishly believe it would be good without umpteen years of age? Does this tu-tu make me look fat? Questions, questions...I could care less what the answers are. You had your chance, oh overhyped one, and that's more than many blends get.

To be fair, it's smokeable. Nicotine seems good enough for my liking, too. But where in the world is the taste? I occasionally catch a Lakeland glimpse, but not a defined tobacco taste to be had. Muddled.

Sad, this SG offering is the first I've been disappointed with. Even love it, hate it blends like their Firedance Flake and Black Irish XX are well worth the wait and pounce availability.

Adieu, FVF. May the tobacco gods give you a second chance someday with me...just don't expect me to be praying for it.

Two stars. (...and thank your tin art for that.)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Romanypipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Romanypipe (2)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

After reading numerous reviews I simply had to find out for myself.

When I prized open the tin I was greeted with a beautiful aroma that reminded me somewhat of old gowries and believe it or not curly flake by Larsen!

The flakes were very moist and a drying out process would no doubt benefit the smoke.However ,being the impatient excitable type and forgetting any of my supposed British reserve I folded and stuffed!

My pipe is a small Dr Hardy bent briar.Obviously due to the moisture a few relights were required,yet despite this all I can say was that I became somewhat lost in this besutiful delicious smoke.Apparently ,old gowries has been attributed with relaxing properties that give a somewhat transcendental feeling of complete tranquillity.Apparently...!

Well in all honestly be prepared as this tobacco actualy does this for you!! Bit of an overkill ..perhaps, but it is the smoke that made me put this in the review!

A cool full bodied smoke that has a haylike with an almost subtle treacle hint.Not a cased candy flavour but a natrual sweetness that never dissapoints.My bowl ,albeit small ,still sipped nicely for an hour .

I can honestly say that this tobacco for all you virginia lovers is the best you will have and rest assured as soon as you try this wonderful leaf you will know it is going to be in the rotation indefinitley!

To my fellow Brits who often for convienience resort to St Bruno from the supermarket.Get on the internet and order some! Greens of Leeds is a good site. For me this is a pipe's best friend.To my American friends across the pond if you can get hold of this then go ahead and ENJOY.

Highly recommnded.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

fireball Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fireball (36)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

As mentioned by more than one reviewer, this is an excellent tobacco, beautifully presented. The great difficulties it presents to actually smoke it though make it a tough recommendation for beginners. Hard to prepare and pack, tricky to keep lit and demanding concentration throughout the bowl, if it wasn't so exceptionally good, so wonderfuly sweet and flavoursome, it would be savaged here. The undeniable fact is though that it rewards care before and during use. For me I have to shred it up carefully and store it like that for a couple of days before smoking, to allow the strands to dry out a bit, then carefully pack the bowl ensuring a consitent density. Then, and only then, does it make me smile inwardly and outwardly at the completeness of the pleasure. Pure, full and rich Virginia, every tobacco in all forms should be this good.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JohnnyMcPiperson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyMcPiperson (89)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is another early favorite of mine, discovered it amongst a sampler from a fellow smoker a few years ago. When I first started smoking this one, it used to knock my socks of with the nic hit, I know now that it isn't a blend particularly known for the nic content, but for whatever reason at that time it was for me. I love the flavor of this blend and the way it smokes, it is one of the most consistent flakes I've tried and it is fun to try packing it in various ways, I like to roll it up and stuff it in personally in sort of a coil, but it also does well folded and loosely packed. This is a very traditional VA I think and I've smoked some of it that was heavily aged and I think it really shines in this state. I recall pulling those flakes out and seeing the crystals on them and thinking, this is going to be good, and it was indeed! I love the sultry sweetness that comes from this flake it is a great tobacco to sit and sip, contemplating the deeper things of life, another tobacco that goes well unaccompanied except by your undivided attention and your relaxed thoughts!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Wow!....WOW! This is really a greart tobacco!

yeah...it's hard to dry, hard to pack, hard to light, and quite hard not to get hot......but if you manage to do all this...you'll be rewarded with a paradise tobacco. No topping aroma, no addiction. Just pure virginia taste, very strong, very "male", very nutty, very brown, very tasteful.

No bite. Good! Really one of my favourites!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Wellpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wellpipe (48)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Definitely the king of the English pipe tobaccos. Good luck finding some.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gkontos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gkontos (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium Pleasant

The perfect virginia choice. My everyday smoke. Once you dry it for a few hours, it smokes cool to the end of the bawl.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Palermo09 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Palermo09 (20)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Beautiful. What else can be said that hasn't already been said. Perhaps my favorite Virginia. A must have to bad it's hard to get.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Denevei Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Denevei (58)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Full Virginia Flake is a straight Virginia pressed into a cake and then sliced into a fairly easy to handle flake, darker brown in color. The flake is a bit on the moist side, so I would suggest taking one from the square tin to air dry for a short while before rubbing it out for smoking. The tin aroma is strong and rich, a delight to a Virginia lover. From the first light, it is obvious that this Full Virginia Flake is a relatively one-dimensional smoking experience, but it isn't an experience to be missed by those who enjoy a good Virginia. What it lacks in complexity, it makes up for in the fullness of the flavor it does have. This is a fairly sweet smoke, though not overly so, with a rich, creamy flavor and surprisingly little bite. There is a slight undertone of vanilla and spiciness to the smoke, but what is, in this, reminiscent of vanilla is just the natural Virginia tastiness. The tobacco lights easily if dried just a bit, rubs out easily, and loads well into a pipe. I found myself tamping less than with almost any blend I've smoked because Full Virginia Flake just seems to want to burn and be smoked. All in all, I would say that it is a delightful smoking experience, and certainly is one I'd add to my list of tobaccos I want to keep on hand.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

M.Toney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
M.Toney (53)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Purchased this tin and opened it about a year ago. I then sealed the tin & contents in a freezer bag & reopened & resampled to opine. It still contained enough moisture which required a little drying time. This is a very smooth & mild smoking flake that doesn't bite or get harsh. It has a slight Lakeland essence & this mixture becomes a little sweeter as the bowl progresses.

I can taste why this blend has quite a following & always in demand. I rubbed out enough to fill a size two Dunhill. A proper moisture content provided a good burn rate & it smoked mild to the very end. As many have attested & I concur, this is a very tasty & enjoyable pipe tobacco. It's almost a toss up for me, between this & Blackwoods Flake. They are both quality blends but to me, Blackwoods Flake slightly edges this one out. I thought Blackwoods Flake tasted a little sweeter...but that's just me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dubinthedam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dubinthedam (133)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I only had one tin of this, the hype clouded my appreciation, a great va flake. Thick slices, sound flavors but I would rate rainers golden flake much better.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ebenezer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ebenezer (1)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

"This is how tobacco should taste!" That's the first thing that popped into my mind as a, let's say, experimenting smoker. I never smoked a cigarette in my life, nor do I intend to do so. For me, smoking is all about taste, as it is with my food also.

I started out smoking cuban cigarillos, then went on to handmade cuban cigars. While the experience was interesting I can't say that I have been particularly fond about it. Especially considering the expense and care needed for cigars. Not to mention the copious amount needed to smoke them, the smell (which seems to bother a lot of cigarette smokers for some reason...), but especially the excessive amount of nicotine you get of which I am not a fan of, not at all.

So one day I had a dream about smoking a pipe. I usually listen to my subconscious so I was bent on giving it a try. Since I always do my research on things I know little about on the internet I found this forum and set my eyes on the "grand prize" which is SG's FVF.

Alas, it is hard to find even in a civilized, western country. I settled for a few "lesser" brands that I found but was left unimpressed. Now, after I managed to get my hands on a tin thanks to my sister who is abroad, I am left, shall I say utterly gobsmacked about the excellent taste of this tobbaco. This truly is the stuff dreams are made of!

I won't bother with descriptions of flavour and taste other than the ratings, since I am far to novice in the art of smoking for that and leave that to those who have more experience on the matter. Suffice to say however, that for me, whenever I shall think of tobacco again, Samuel Gawith's Full Virginia Flake will remain forever embedded into my very taste buds. Highly recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sweetbriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sweetbriar (14)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

10/10 *'s.. absolutely great stuff..thank you Samuel Gawith..!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (134)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This product alone could serve as an introductory to the law of supply and demand. Plentiful in the past, the cellar dwellers have stockpiled batch after batch, clearing store shelves and the entire inventory stockrooms of online retailers. A couple years ago, I was able to order a few ounces without any great hassle, and certainly no fan fare--it was an ordinary transaction. Now, the honor of claiming a single tin has risen higher than witnessing the coronation of kings.

It's fitting, as FVF is widely regarded as the king of Virginias, and I can't disagree. This blend does everything, and it's difficult to find fault in such a rounded product. In its absence, I ordered a tin of Union Square, and now I'm not so sure that its reputation should go unchallenged, particularly with such problems in the supply chain. But I'll save that bit for my next review.

My most recent tin of Full Virginia Flake was supposedly created in harsh conditions--the distress of Samuel Gawith's production arm--struggling to meet demand, undermanned, overworked, short in resources. You would think someone hit the lottery and just kind of forgot about the factory. Of course, I'd probably be happy to own that factory, only if the market wouldn't drop out like the cigar boom in the 90s, whose implosion destroyed everything in its once glorious path. What happens when the cellars are full, I wonder.

In any event, this new sample of FVF does seem rushed. The dark shaded, moisture laden leaf has been replaced with a different looking flake, a lighter brown in color, stringy, and exceptionally dry. I pulled up an image search to see if I've been imagining things, and I was confronted with the reality that this batch is seriously different than what I've come to expect.

Obviously it wouldn't be fair to bitch and moan without at least smoking a single bowl, and in this odd state, FVF smokes very close to Union Square. The strength is there, but the apparent lack of a dark press has lightened the flavor, and that caramel note replaced by the more familiar grassy undertones reminiscent of those other Virginia flake commoners that no one bothers to care about these days. The sugary, raw molasses flavor seems lessened, as a consequence, absent even. What's going on here?

Even in its compromised state, there is much to admire. The ripe sweetness still dominates, and the bowl develops that concentrated strength as the smoke goes on. The more I puff, the greater a memory my recent fit. I like to complain, but this is still great stuff. It will take me a couple months to finish off this tin, and hopefully I'll curse a lot less when trying to get my hand on another sample.

Four of Five, for now.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PIE-EYED-PIPER Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PIE-EYED-PIPER (20)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I'll make this short, not necessarily sweet - WHOA MAMA! LIP SMACKING DEEELICIOUS! Best Virginia ever!

This is my favorite VA flake. It just has the right amount of flavor and strength to make it an all day, every day satisfying smoke (only if it were readily available – just wishful thinking). It's a delicious VA flake with a slight hint of sweetness and nuttiness to it.

The tobacco is deep medium brown in color. The moisture level of the tobacco when the tin was initially opened was high. One could only appreciate the sweet aroma emanating from the tin.

I usually smoke this flake using a “modified” fold and stuff method. After the initial step of folding it cross-wise, instead of folding the flake length-wise as one would in the standard fold and stuff method, I roll it and mush up the bottom of the roll. I also partially mush the [rolled] body of the flake forming sort of an octagon. This allows air to pass through the tobacco for easier burning. I insert the roll of tobacco into the chamber leaving a little more than 1/6 or 1/8 of an inch from the top. I then mush up the top of the flake to near ribbon consistency then insert the whole tobacco into the chamber. Breaking up the top of the flake to near ribbon consistency allows for easier lighting. Depending on the depth of the bowl, I sometimes take ½ or 1/3 of a flake and rub it to ribbon consistency and put it on top of the rolled flake. This will serve as tinder and will allow for even lighting and a cooler smoke (at least to this reviewer's personal experience).

It may take a few relights to get this tobacco going. But when it gets going, one can savor a full, enjoyable, satisfying, flavorful smoke.

I really enjoy this tobacco so much that I wish I could consistently do this on a daily basis. However, looking for this [much less purchasing a tin or bulk] is like looking for the Holy Grail.

A word of advice, as with any Virginias, it must be smoked slowly (or gently) to avoid tongue bites. Treat it well and you will get the best smoking experience.

This comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED with 4 STARS!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (196)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Very Mild Pleasant

Over six months ago I decided to try Full Virginia Flake only to find it was not available - anywhere - in the USA! I finally snagged 3 tins from Pipes and Cigars just last week (they are now sold out of all SG tobaccos!).

The tobacco content was very moist upon opening the tin and initially smelled like freshly mowed, wet grass. I couldn't pick up much else until a few days later when the tobacco dried a bit and then I got the hint of raisins. I was hoping to find some sugar crystals on the leaf, but so far the first of the three tins that I opened didn't reveal this. I picked up several of the flakes, folded and stuffed them in a meerschaum-lined briar. It took several attempts to light, but once lit, it burned fairly well till the bowl's end. The was way too mild which did not add to any real smoking pleasure for me. At times I perceived a bit of the Lakeland taste - but not in the way that is typical of SG's Lakeland signature flavor. It came every now and then in small, subtle bursts, never overwhelming. Perhaps it was the leaf itself, so I can't say for sure as it was never present coming from the tin. It was almost incense-like and. Lately, I've been loading a bowl the night before smoking and let it sit over night. By morning, the tobacco is sufficiently dried out to take with a charring light and one additional light, always burning evenly and cool. I wasn't particularly overwhelmed by the nicotine presence, nor do I really look for that in a tobacco anyway.

In my opinion, FVF is not the quintessential Virginia flake. I really don't see (or taste) what many others have with FVF. Even after very sufficient aging/drying, I find this to be next to flavorless. The every now and then hints of flavor that at times come through are not satisfying enough for me to want to revisit. My opinion is based on 3 tins of the stuff. Only 2 stars from me.

UPDATE 4-7-12: Similar to my recent revisit with BBF (see my review), I tried some leftover and very brittle flakes from an old tin. It seems like drying these SG Virginias to the point of brittleness seems to bring out the best in them - at least for me. Not as astounding as with BBF but improved somewhat.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gilthoniel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gilthoniel (25)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Not much to add after so many reviews. One hell of a good tobacco, though not the most well-behaved smoke, unless you are patient enough to rub it out all the way. Worth all the relights though, because it's just lovely.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

The best Virginia on the market. A mind blowing experience

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TEO Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TEO (26)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

How sweet, nutty, creamy this flake is! I got nothin' more to say, you guys have almost described it all, the best flake I've ever smoked..I add I had a fault last night & fell asleep not finishin' my bowl and after all, this morning, a picked up what I thought might be a harsh smoke and...It is really special! It kept flavour, body and sweetness...I copy it's not that easy to pack, since it is really wet on openin' the tin, but it doesn't rub out that good even when it is dry. Anyway...this is pure tobacco aroma, pure tobacco experience..Great one! Highly recommended...maybe not for beginners, cause it may cause the urge for powerful smoking and may bite a little.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Traderbob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Traderbob (24)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Hard to add anything new to what has been said. I have mostly been smoking FVF from bulk as my local B&M has some in stock and tinned SG is hard to get. I like my tobacco moist, but this one is difficult to dry/rub out. I have tried both typical methods of smoking flake - folding and suffing and rubbing completly out and letting it dry. The second method did make it a little easier to smoke, but still had to re-light about 6 times per bowl. Difficult to keep tamped during a smoke. All that being said, I still love this tobacco - one of my all time favorites!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Alden Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alden (7)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Even after my tin had been open for a month I found this tobacco difficult to prepare; it is still very moist, rubs out into chunks rather than small flakes and if I'm not very careful in loading it into my briar it becomes a difficult smoke with numerous re-lights. If I leave a flake or two out for a few hours or overnight it goes dry and crumbly but still requires frequent re-lights. Overall, I found it takes too much effort to get a relaxing smoke from what is a very tasty blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PipesterJim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipesterJim (44)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

After the disappointment of 1792 Flake I had to remind myself just how great SG flakes can be. A nicely aged tin of FVF was just the job.

I've said it before elsewhere. Some VAs are tangy - some are sweet - some are toasty - some are creamy. FVF is all of these things and more.

Wonderfully complex, it responds to every nuance in terms of preparation and smoking pace, with a decent vitamin N kick and a good volume of smoke to match.

Enjoy it with at least 6 months of age for best results.

A full 4 stars from me. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

slowsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
slowsmoker (1)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Full Tolerable

Yes it has all been said before and I fully agree, this is a wonderful smoke and in my top three favourites. Simply sublime.

I would however like to swap some for Captain Black Royal for a friend who loves that. We cannot buy this in the U.K. and none of the U.S. internet stores seem to want to ship to the U.K. If anyone is interested in FVF or any other English produced pipe tobacco let me know via aliasme@mail.com

Thanks.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ol'smoky Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ol'smoky (2)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

Yes it has all been said before and I fully agree, this is a wonderful smoke and in my top three favourites. Simply sublime.

I would however like to swap some for Captain Black Royal for a friend who loves that. We cannot buy this in the U.K. and none of the U.S. internet stores seem to want to ship to the U.K. If anyone is interested in FVF or any other English produced pipe tobacco let me know via aliasme@mail.com

Thanks one and all.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe-billed Grebe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe-billed Grebe (18)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

At first I didn't "get" FVF until I stopped trying to get it. Then I got it. You dig? Kind of a zen blend, man. A bowlful of FVF in a Radice pipe was probably the best smoke I've ever had. It's leathery flakes of mottled brown goodness, and mine has some sugary plume on it now which is icing on the cake. To me it's just simple, stout, sweet pipe leaf in its Platonic form. And I'm kicking myself for not stocking up when it could be had for $6 and change per tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Carrot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Carrot (13)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

I'm a big fan of virginia tobacco and this is a good one of this type. It's a great all day go to tobacco and has given me many hours of smoking pleasure. I first started buying it in tins and found it to be wonderful. I then started buying it in bulk 250g packs. I don't know what it is about the bulk FVF but if find it very difficult to light and very difficult to stay alight. Normaly I have to light a pipe about three times to smoke a bowl but with the bulk FVF I need to light it about a dozen times which is a drag if you are doing something like driving a car. I've tried drying it out but it does not make much difference. It's still good but there is much fiddling and constant relighting which is a bit wearisome. If you want to smoke this stuff I recommend that you buy it in a 50g tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Charlie Allnut Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Charlie Allnut (16)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Trouble with England, it's all pomp and no circumstance.

Is this the most overrated pipe tobacco on the planet? It is certainly in the Final Four of the overrated tobacco tournament.

FVF is a pleasant smoke, once you've rubbed it out and dried it. And it is not the easiest to rub out.

FVF is a sweet smoke, but they add so much sugar to the leaf! My doctor told me to cut out the carbohydrates, so I'm avoiding this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Peppino Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peppino (74)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

As others have said,aged 6-8 yrs fresh as when it was first made. Rubbed 3-4 slices and fired up. At the start it's a little warm but that leads to a great Virginia smoke. Gawith does Virginia's like nobody else save Dark Star, burns to a great white ash and dry. As the bowl gets cooking the flavor really comes on to a fine rich smoke. Highly Recommended!!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ivycap Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ivycap (63)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My batch was well aged and tasted so darn good. It is sweet, suculant, and not at all harsh to me. I could smoke it all day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

vaperfavour Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
vaperfavour (30)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Very Pleasant

This is a review of a 12 year old tin. Wow. Black strips that have dried from all the age.A smell like nothing else.Cream, coco, sugar, maybe a little coffee bean. Nicotine in spades, hitting me like waves of delight.superb at this age, it cant get any better than this is now. To all those who say they dont like FVF, or dont get it, age for at least three years.yum.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tee-dub Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tee-dub (48)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Already 268 reviews? Well, what's one more?

I waited for a long time to try this, and its lack of availability elevated it to a status beyond what I reasonably should have expected of it. That said, I did like this, and it is a nice smoke.

I do not claim to be anything but a novice at Virginia tobaccos, but I'll tell you what I think anyway:

The flakes are darket in color than one might expect, and in the tin they smell of raisins. The flakes are not tightly pressed, and would fall apart in a stiff breeze. Suffice it to say they rub out very easily, and pack effortlessly.

The tobacco is bright, tangy, buttery and lightly sweet, but is light and unobtrusive. So light in flavor that you'll taste the ghost of whatever you smoked before, and you'll have to dedicate a bowl to it. I had smoked Royal Yacht previously in this briar, and the Royal Yacht's ghost almost overpowered the Gawith for the first bowl or two. The flavors are there if you look for them, and they're worth looking for.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A wonderful flake. Tasty, lightly tangy, sweet, that you will want to smoke to the very bottom of the bowl. The tin note is fantastic. I rubbed this out and enjoyed every minute of the rubbing and smoking. Gave it 6 hours drying outside the tin, and used 2 pipe cleaners for the gurgle. Smoke it slower near the end, and the nicotine intensifies.

Yes this is justly ranked very high with many reviews. I waited months for the online sellers to restock and was not disappointed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

First class quality - at a fraction of the price you'd pay for most other tobaccos. The standard by which all other VA's are judged. When you can find it stock that is!

About this rumor that K&K is taking over the manufacturing, I contacted Samuel Gawith and this is what they had to say:

"Dear Geoffrey

There is ABSOLUTELY NO TRUTH whatsoever in this. KK are our distributors in Germany and that is all. Spread the word !! Best regards Bob Gregory"

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Claudius Stradivarius Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Claudius Stradivarius (171)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Without a doubt, this represents the best VA flake on the market.

Dark flakes producing a rich, creamy taste with a hint of spiceness and sweetness.

It might have a tendency to bite at times if not smoked carefully.

It produces a dry, kind of brownish ash...

As K&k seems to have taken over, I will wait and see the new production's feedback before buying any.

I feel like a good era in pipe tobacco has been closed with this take over. I don't understand why Samual Gawith has relinquished its rights over such wonderful products.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

umm_bacon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
umm_bacon (12)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Not my cup of tea. I am not a fan of the subtle tobaccos. I can appreciate the appeal, and with more experience, I am guessing this might grow on me, but for now it is just blah. I would definitely concur that you must let this dry out a bit to maximize the experience. To be continued…

Nobody has rated this review yet.

commonsenseman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
commonsenseman (4)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

I don't have much to add. In my mind this is just the best straight virginia out there. It's perfect in every way. Rubbed out or folded and stuffed, it's delicious either way. This is one of the creamiest tobaccos I've ever had, very smooth. Although it's full-flavored, it doesn't seem full-bodied to me. I don't notice any nicotene kick at all. It smokes perfectly to the bottom if dried out properly, ages extremely well (it seems to improve with as little as 6 months), is fairly cheap when available & tastes amazing. What's not to like?

My advice, open a tin & let it sit for a week or two to "mellow" out. Then enjoy, repeat as necessary.

4 out of 4.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is the KING of all Va. tobaccos. It is so rich, buttery, and creamy sweet that at times you find yourself in disbelief that there is a tobacco that taste this good. Dry it out and the flavors easily triple as does the quality of the burn. Age it for a year and it will amaze you. Age it three years and it is almost a mind altering experience. Age it 5+ years and enter the perverbial halls of Valhalla. If you said that FVF was the best tobacco of all time, you would not get much argument from me.

Personal Rating 10 of 10 (rare)

Tobacco reviews rating 4 of 4

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Daggers62 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Daggers62 (18)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

My first flake which I ended up rubbing out, I couldn't get on with the fold method but maybe that is down to my inexperience with flakes.

The tobacco is sweet, tasty, and very morish. If you want to just sit back, relax, and enjoy then you cant go far wrong with this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jeremy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jeremy (19)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Among my favorite straight VAs. The flavor seems to flow around the tongue, not just one flavor like so many VAs.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Storm Watch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Storm Watch (25)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

I was hesitant to review this tobacco. Mostly because I didn't like it all that well and every one else seems to. To be honest I can only give it two stars. Personally I found it rather bland. I've had drug store blends I liked better than this. Everyone has different taste buds and tastes even change over time. Perhaps some day I'll like this as well as the others do.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BingCrosby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BingCrosby (48)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

perhaps the favorite of the gawith flakes, i still have a few left to try myself, full virginia flake has a solid reputation.. Having tried it before, i decided to age some a little and see how that would effect the taste.. I was very pleasantly surprised.. What makes this flake great for me is not any particular flavor but the range of different flavors that other 'pure' virginias don't seem to have.. It is a full flavor that has everything from deep bass tones to high citrus notes - and everything in between.. It would be good any time of day. I find other virginias like 'old gowrie' suitable for morning smoking but at night I want something a little more substantial.. full virginia on the other hand will satisfy at any time.. There is no such thing as perfection.. but there are some brilliant imperfections out there and full virginia flake is one of the best i have found.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JESTRAB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JESTRAB (10)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

What else can be added. This flake is simply a benchmark for other straight virginias. There are not any tricks, no 'improvements' made to this baccy, just a natural tobacco as it should be. If you are looking for a polished taste, this is not for you. But if you want to taste real tobacco, go ahead and you will not regret.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Pipesmith Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Pipesmith (6)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I liked this one. The flakes are surprisingly thin and narrow as though they had been full sized flakes that were shrunken in on themselves a bit. Supple and leathery - and very, very dark. The dryer they get, the better they burn. I must be flake challenged though as it takes me a number of relights to work through a bowl. However, there is no tendency to bite the tongue for me. Rich tasting and satisfying. If a comparison could be made to a beer, this would be a stout or porter. Not much nicotine that I could notice, which is fine by me. If you want a top notch example of heated and pressed Virginias, this is it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Big Nick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Nick (72)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I just don't understand the popularity of this stuff. At best it tastes like a good cigarette. My reality says it's prickly, flat, stinky and uneventful. Sweet? I think not. Fresh cut hay? Maybe, but doesn't that seem bland, unless you're a cow. You don't chew on a piece of straw when you want sweetness. I don't know, I just don't get it. To me, this stuff is the reason that casings and toppings were created. But of coarse, I am way in the minority on this one. It's like Parmesan cheese, to me it smells and tastes like dirty socks and makes me gag, but a lot of people like it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipesomkinsquirrel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipesomkinsquirrel (16)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I have tried a few different Samuel Gawith tins, and this is by far the only one I would buy again.

Upon opening the tin, I was surprised to see the flakes to be a lot darker in colour than I was expecting. The tin aroma was fantastic with just a hint of dried fruit and no casing. Just simple plain old tobacco.

My tin benefited from ageing for about two months. It was smokable off the shelf, but the flakes were a little moist, and seemed to burn a bit hot when I first bought it.

The last time I smoked this was out of an Amorelli bent billiard pipe.

The flakes were easy enough to break up, but I was not completely satisfied with the consistency at which I was able to break them up. It seemed like the best I could do was to get them like a ready rub flake.

The charring light was fantastic. Smooth, dark, and rich. I could almost swear I detected a little perique in this blend, but it may have just been my senses playing tricks on me. Either way I liked it, and hope that is a continued characteristic of this tobacco.

It was strong, but not too strong. I was able to leave my park bench feeling quite satisfied, but not in a sleepy trance that I get from some VAs.

This blend burned down to a fine white ash, and never got too hot. I did notice that care must be taken while enjoying this tobacco, for it will bite if you let it get away from you.

All and all, not my favourite Virginia on the market, but for how it was presented and advertised, I would say it measured up to its promises.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ned Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ned (10)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

a wonderfull VA, dynamic, complex and... no words...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I can't add much to what others have said, but this is a tobacco that every time I smoke it, I ask myself "why don't I smoke this more often? this rocks!" I recommend leaving it just a bit damp, and using the fold and stuff, for nice slow burning...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

risle-lariviere Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
risle-lariviere (33)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is as good as things can get.

Well packed flakes sliced thinner in my tin anyway.

Once lit stay that way all the way down.

Nicotine, yes there is a good portion here.

Very sweet and does not bite and funny enough didn't get hot as VA get.

A keeper for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ozzie_dad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ozzie_dad (7)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Full Virginia Flake is a good one. The flake was very easy to pack and stayed lit very well for me. The smell was all virginia (obviously). The taste was all virginia as well. I really don't know what else to say other than this is a great tobacco. If you like yourself some virginia then definitely go for this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

With over 250 reviews, I can't say much that hasn't already been said about this blend:

--Letting the flakes dry out a bit before smoking really unlocks the flavor.

--Beautiful sugar crystals on the flakes, right out of the tin.

--Smokes well with the air pocket method or rubbed out.

This is one of those "always have on hand" blends for me. Top notch VA.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flagg1122 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flagg1122 (15)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a great flake. I love the aroma of any freshly opened tin, but this has a truly wonderful friuty classic virginia smell. It needs to be dried out a bit before smoking. Personally I find that rubbing out the flake is superior because I can always get a more even, flavorful smoke. I just dont have the skill for the fold and stuff method.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (131)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Virginia Flakes as they are supposed to be, a balanced taste and aroma. No bite even if smoked fast, burns well from the beginning. I finished the tin fast, too fast. For the tin size I was expecting more tobacco but I get about half the number of smokes per tin when compared to other Flake tins.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I cannot say it better than The Seventh Cavalier and agree 60%. My sample was bulk, the flakes are about 7 inches long. Near perfect in every way, if you like flakes, or like to play with your food.

But to strong for my flavor profile (yes, I do believe in profiling), so for the tobacco =, for someone who likes what I like .

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Seventh Cavalier Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Seventh Cavalier (3)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

With Full Virginia Flake, Samuel Gawith has set a standard to which not only Va's, but all pipe tobaccos can be compared and held to. An absolute masterpiece of the entire tobacco world. The culmination of hundreds of years of tobacco trial and error, of experimentation, of science and artistic vision, of new technologies and new possibilities brings us one of the pinnacles of pipe tobacco today in a little metal tin, whose price is almost so low as to make one feel he's getting over on the company for allowing us a chance to own something so great for something so little.

OK, so I like it.

Popping open a tin, one encounters the ubiquitous floral scent of Gawith's Virginias. A scent that is both strangely alien and curiously familiar. This scent then fades into the rest of the tobacco, almost as if it was done on purpose to remind us of whose tobacco this is. Then the musty, sweet leathery smell of pressed Va's comes through. One finds, wrapped gently between the folds of virgin white paper, the unfolding of which brings that same joy and anticipation we once knew in our Christmas or Hanukkah youth, a great mass of wavy, almost sinewy, dark flakes, moist, no two nearly alike, flecked through with bright spots like a perfectly marbled New York Strip.

I've enjoyed this weed in any number of pipes: from the narrow, small Peterson tankard packed with folded flake, to a wide size 6 meerschaum and rubbed tobacco.

I find myself, despite my oft loquacious nature, at a loss for words worthy or accurate enough to do justice in attempting to describe the experience of sipping this tobacco. No prose, not even from Shakespeare himself, could come close to fully relating to those who have yet to try it just what they ought to expect. Suffice it to say that I enjoy this tobacco so much that I almost want to eat it, and inhale far more sips than I ought to, out of nothing more than the sheer desire, seemingly beyond my own control, to experience this tobacco as fully as possible. I remember one of my first thoughts being "this is what tobacco should taste like." Both mild and massive, sweet and musty, playful and restrained, it is always everything I want it to be. "Bite" simply does not enter into the equation.

Indeed, there are a number of other tobaccos, all with their own personality and unique traits, that I feel equal this pipe weed. But I cannot imagine, nor have I experienced anything that I would call better without being a most complete liar.

But do not take my word for it! If you've made it this far through this review, you now owe it to yourself to reward such an effort with a tin of Samuel Gawith's Full Virginia Flake. And if you don't like it, that's ok! We're all wrong about something!No, I kid. The often contrary descriptions and opinions pipe smokers experience are part of what makes the world of pipes and their tobaccos so much fun. But I warn you: if you choose to dispose of an unfinished tin in the trash, the tobacco gods will certainly punish you!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Indescribably good. Very dark flakes with a leather aroma.

This is a very slow burning flake that has a spicy and creamy taste. As this flake is hand blended and prepared, the flakes are uneven in thickness.

It needs to be smoked slowly to liberate all the richness and creaminess. If pushed, it will become unpleasanty bland and bite. The ash is brown/cream in colour, which i have not seen in any other tobacco yet.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Oh, how I love Mr. Gawith's Full Virginia Flake.

In between bowls upon bowls full of Prince Albert, I'll look to the rear of my tobacco cabinet and notice its jar. A feeling of guilt overwhelms me as I faintly remember my past experiences with what can only be described as simple elegance. For some reason, it seems that this tobacco shouldn't be smoked daily, lest one not appreciate it sufficiently, but when it calls out to me, I never hesitate to answer.

Smooth, simple, and satisfying. No tongue bite, and no off-putting tastes or smells. Inhale it for a moment, and you'll notice the nicotine. If you treat it right, it will be one the best smokes you've had.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dogwood Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dogwood (17)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is a great tobacco like any SG blend. It's smooth and sweet but with rich virginia leaf taste. Full Virginia is excellent unflavored virginia flake.

It is pressed pretty hard, as others have said, but it's smokes well as broken flake or with the fold and stuff method. You can rub out fully with a little patience. You will be rewarded!

This is exceptional tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

What "The German" said. You get the most out of this blend once it's fully rubbed. Don't know what I was thinking but lets say I was simply being stubborn about not rubbing it out...yes I was wrong!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gnarlly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gnarlly (6)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

Pure VA, with a very sweet taste to it! I've tried a few other Virginia flakes, and this one seemed the most pure and tasteful to me.

Moisture content was high with my fresh flakes, so it may be best to let it dry for a bit after rubbing out, before packing, or you will most likely get a fair amount of moisture in your pipe or need to relight. Otherwise, it smokes very well down to the bottom of the pipe, producing a nice, thick smoke.

The taste is pure VA, with a very sweet, almost sugary aftertaste to each puff. A very nice mellow and relaxing tobacco, without any hidden unwanted surprises. Nice amount of nicotine to relax. The sweet, sugary taste made it stand out very high to me. Good stuff!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jvande7 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jvande7 (15)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

What more can I say about this stuff? The review stats speak for themselves. This tobacco is adored by many. I dig it, but I give it 3 of 4 stars because I think the flakes are a bit too thick and wet (typical of Sam Gawith), and it's too strong/full for my tastes. I prefer Orlik Golden Sliced if we're talking Virginia flakes (to be fair, OGS is a VaBur so that's apples to oranges). I don't reach for this very often because it packs a significant dose of vitamin N (nicotine), but when I do it's always a good smoke (except for the "cat-piss" sidestream when you get it too hot). Above average stuff for sure, just not my all time #1 favorite. Try SG's Medium Virginia Flake if you find FVF to be too much to handle.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This tobacco must be aged in a glass jar for a minimum of two weeks to enjoy the full smoking pleasure of it, that being said it is a wonderful no-nonsense smoke. There is little flavor to it, other than the taste of high quality weed.

very mild and enjoyable with no bite whatsoever. my personal recipe for packing this is to pull apart the fine strands of leaf and then chop them into tiny cubes. pack lightly and puff slowly for a seriously relaxing smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Having picked up this blend during my last visit to Dan Tobacco, I now have smoked enough pipefuls to form an opinion.

Opening the tin, the aroma is totally delicious. Pure VA beauty! The leaf in my tin is a flake of various sizes, thinly cut and at first rather wet. Crystallized sugar is in evidence -- promising a sweet smoke.

And sweet it is. In my experience so far, this blend needs to be rubbed out; my attempts at folding and stuffing were disastrous, leaving large amounts of dottle that I could not relight with a blowtorch. Rubbed out, it still burns nice and slowly (and needs to be stuffed gently). The taste is sweet, with a full blast of VA acidity and some grassiness left in there. The room note is not a real winner, but still rated "not objectionable" by several people I asked. Little more than a mottled ash remains.

A beautiful smoke, and one which I will probably come back to, but there are some other blends out there that are, IMHO, just as good and which I can buy cheaper where I live. The standout feature of this flake is its full-tilt sweetness, which I do appreciate.

Update 2010-05-04: Up-rating to 4 stars, because this is a truly exceptional blend. Forget the price (if you're in Germany), just try it. It's worth it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RumblePen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RumblePen (1)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

One of my favorite pure Virginia blends. I smoke this and G.L.Pease's Union Square more than anything else. My only criticism would be that the flakes are often too thick and stiff and won't rub out as easily as Union Square does.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipealicious Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipealicious (21)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

My first try of flake tobacco, after reading the reviews on this site. Bought a 50g tin at my local shop in Belgium at 9.50 Euros a dose. Fairly expensive, but in my opinion worth it.

Opening the tin I'm blasted away with a very powerful aroma that is a combination of mellow sweetness, unbaked bread dough, raisins ... Complex to say the least.

The package contains broad chestnut colored flakes with golden stripes and all are completely covered with sugar crystals. Some natural fermentation at work it seems.

I smoked half a tin by folding one or 1+1/2 flakes and the smoke lasts for more than one hour. The taste is pure Virginia: grassy and citrus like (more like lemongrass), combined with the zest and taste of very high grade tobacco. The taste evolves as you smoke and leaves a mellow sweet and again a yeast-like aroma in the air. It gave me a nice nicotine kick as well.

Not my everyday smoke, but a nice treat from time to time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ian4545 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ian4545 (7)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I have smoked a total of four bowls of Full Virginia Flake out of my new pipe and the aroma in my new pipe is much stronger and smells better than the aroma in my old pipe.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I can't see how anyone says this is overrated. I haven't tried everything but I've tried enough tobaccos to know that this is a really good product in every way. It emminates care and love for what it is and we all know what it is. I have had a tin for ages now and I thought I'd have smoked it all by now but I haven't, not because it isn't good but because it is sooo good and I don't have easy access to it, so I'm not smoking it all the time, mores the pity. It's lasting a surprisingly long time too, whilst I keep on searching for something half as good that I can get regularly. I haven't tried anything else by SG yet but if this is anything to go by I've got a lot of good smoking waiting for me when I can get near a decent supply. Everything from the packaging to the cut of the flake to the texture of the tobacco - all excellent and clearly done with product first, profit margins at least second. And the smell is just wonderful; not cheap smelling and fake aromas - this has subtelty and depth, sweetness. It just smells real.

As for the smoke it does take some getting used to - it is moist in the tin and I've tried drying it and rubbing it out and then just folding it and stuffing it in. I prefer to smoke it moist, even though it might take a couple more matches to get to the bottom of the bowl. Obviously this isn't the most exciting, intruiging of tobaccos, but it very, very good. I'm sure there are other good, and different, straight Virginias out there and this might not suit everyone's tastes but it is certainly worth a try (which is obvious by now, huh), you just might find what you've been looking for.

May SG carry on making this stuff just as it is till all the lights go out.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

If you like Virginians then this should be on the top of your list. The tin note is fantastic. My mouth watered with each sniff. Naturally sweet, tangy and fragrant. Just like a Virginian should be. My tin was packed in 2007 so had a little age on it. When I opened it, the flakes were nice and moist with streaks of sugar crystals on them. I had to tear up and rub out a couple of flakes into a stringy consistency, dry it out a bit and then packed my pipe loosely. If you pack it too tight and puff too vigorously it will take a chunk out of your tongue, no doubt about it. But, show FVF some respect and it will reward you with the best tasting Virginia you will ever experience, even better than Black Wood flake if you can believe that. The smoke was so tasty and smooth. Like silk. Simply the best.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CD Primal Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CD Primal (6)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Virginia tobacco. (period) If you are looking for a cacophony of flavors or an aroma sensation, you may be disappointed. If, on the other hand, you enjoy the taste of and smell of a pure wonderful tobacco this is probably the ticket. The taste is mellow and the smell is pleasant and unassuming. It's a little like the smoking equivalent of good background music. It doesn't distract from the conversation or activity at hand but enhances it. However, should you pause, it can be appreciated on its own considerable merits.

As has been said, it is quite moist out of the tin. Once dried a little and rubbed out (I like pieces about 1-1.5 inch by a 16th of an inch) it burns evenly and cool, and I cannot make it bite. I get a nice little hit of nicotine, just enough to loosen up and relax. Great stuff and I will be sure to have some on hand.

Update: Reduced to 3 stars. Not because it is not the best example of its genre (which it may be) but simply because my tastes are more focused on latakia containing blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is the first "non drugstore" blend I ever tried and the first flake for that matter. Since then I've tried lots of others.

I agree with some of the reviewers here that it's overrated. It's high quality tobacco, but pure VAs for me are just boring.

For a VA blend it doesn't give me MUCH tongue bite. I've been smoking this mostly in bigger pipes and there's always a decent nicotine hit waiting at the END of the bowl.

Like most of the other SG blends this comes moist straight out of the tin, so needs some drying out.

A must if you are a fan of straight virginias.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ask4free Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ask4free (7)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Just tried Full Virginia for the first time, in fact first flake I have ever tried. I wanted to try a flake and my tobacconist recommended this one. Glad he did! It was very pleasant! Very nice natural taste, pleasant subtle sweetness, and natural virginia smell. I enjoyed preparing it by rubbing and packing, part of the fun with pipe smoking! I smoked slow (as slow as I could, I tend to smoke fast...trying to learn to slow down! LOL)Had trouble keeping it lit, probably due to moisture. I need to let it dry a little longer. Overall, I really recommend this one, especially if your curious about flake tobacco as I am. The Navy flake is next!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tramroad28 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tramroad28 (26)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

Overrated....but a must-have for those proclaiming discriminating taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Susanna Hoffs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Susanna Hoffs (74)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Lovely lovely smoke... I find it pretty smooth and creamy, with a hint of natural sweetness. No wonder this stuff is popular!

I have tried the fold and stuff method with limited success, so have settled for rubbing out the flake(s) to an consistancy somewhere between ribbon and broken flake.

This virginia blend if smoked with respect, can bring on an alomst perfect harmony with ones briar.

I find this a great outdoor smoke.

Try it...

UPDATE

Bumping this one up to 4 stars... It was a crime not to have done so initially!!! What was I thinking?!??

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mike Toney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike Toney (44)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I opened one of three tins right after receiving the morning mail. It was almost saturated & the dark flakes had a rubbery feel. I usually rub my flakes out to an almost shag-like consistency while still moist and dry them out in a stainless steel measuring cup over my computer vent. I always like to keep the remnants of the tin sealed in a zip-lock bag to maintain freshness. This tobacco took a little longer to dry out than most and smokes good dry, but better if slightly moist. I prefer VA blends or straight VA over anything else.

I wasn't overly impressed with the taste of this VA, but I did like it for its smooth & mellow quality. It is totally biteless with a slightly sweet flavor & slow burn rate. Since it is a VA blend, one can expect a lingering cigarette-like room note. I am fairly well pleased with my first sampling, but I prefer other Virginias over FVF. It is excellent, but for me, not exceptional...might be after aging. I also enjoy growing my own VA here at home. I might add that it is a modestly priced tobacco @ $6.89 USD per 50 gram tin & I feel it's well worth it! Therefore, IMHO, SG's FVF merits three *s!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr.Dark Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr.Dark (9)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

Although I wanted to be, can't say I was too blown away by FVF. Out of the tin, the tobacco was beautiful to look at (the typical crystals people frequently mention) with a wonderfully leathery smell. My tin was very moist so I let it dry out for a little while. I can see why it is so valuable in a good english blend, but frankly it is just a bit one dimensional for me. I suppose if you love that dimension, this could be a holy grail.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

beren911 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beren911 (5)
★★★★
Strong Very Mild Medium Very Pleasant

The Full virginia flake is a must for everyone that likes virginia tobacco. It's simply pure enjoyment for beginner or experienced smokers. I just bought a tin and smoked the second bowl, and damn, the thing is already getting better. I cannot find anything negative to say about this marvelous tobacco.

A must, definitly.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I open the tin...and i see dark-flakes covered with sugar-crystals. it Smells like sweet wet wood or leather. The flakes are moist and bend like rubber. Preparation for the pipe takes me twice as long as usual...but it's worth it.

Plenty of reviews showing that this blend is a true virginia- masterpiece!

Thank you tobacco-reviewers!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BPM Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BPM (1)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

FVF is my barometer of Virginia technique.

If I do everything right-- properly drying it, rubbing it out evenly (my preference), packing it well in the right pipe, and smoking it slowly, it provides as delicious and satisfying a smoke as I've ever had. But if I try and smoke it too moist, or too quickly, or pack it poorly, it descends into a boring tasteless concoction that is hardly worth the trouble to smoke. Even mid-bowl it will turn mundane on you if you speed up your pace-- but slow down again and it comes right back in all its glory.

I like it best almost bone dry, rubbed completely out, in a meer. Sipped slowly, it makes my eyes roll back in my head, it's so good. And for those who enjoy DGT as I do, FVF is nonpareil.

An unforgiving tobacco that is more than worth the trouble. I'll never be without it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Morgoth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Morgoth (22)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Strong

I share the opinion of the manufacturer, Samuel Gawith, that this is not their ‘Best' Brown Flake. Unlike BBF, I found that Full Virginia Flake had no significant redeeming qualities...rather, it's quite pedestrian. I would concur with 19volks71 and Silver Spigot below, and don't understand the hype behind this blend at all.

There are much better Virginia blends to be had.

Companion infusion: Quinta da Romaneira 2007 Vintage Port.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

chuckt808 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chuckt808 (7)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

UPDATE 10/30/09: I have found out that Samuel Gawith cuts their tobaccos by hand and after some pondering on the subject, I have decided that the consistency issue I described is maybe not a problem at all and may actually be part of FVF's charm. Like they say, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. At any rate, I am still not giving FVF 4-stars as I have found Rattray's Old Gowrie, which I find to be superior in complexity and nuance.

The rest of the reviews do an excellent job at describing this fine tobacco so I only want to echo what a few other reviewers have noticed, mainly that FVF suffers from some consistency issues. My last tin had several evenly thick and moist flakes but also contained several thin and dry flakes that were tough to rub out and did not smoke as well as the others. This is definitely a 4-star tobacco when the consistency is there but with all the great praise it receives comes a lot of scrutiny. Also, some reviewers exaggerate the strength of this tobacco. Definitely a medium strength tobacco. This, however, is not a detriment. Definitely try this excellent tobacco and hope that you get a good tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bringer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bringer (1)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is simply Virginias at their best.... The initial presentation is excellent(lovely tin with Sherlock smoking, human made flakes, delightful aroma). I completely agree with most other esteemed reviewers that some measure of drying is a must (for me its about 30-60 mins depending on the wetness of the flakes)

After about 30+ tins i still can not recommend the best method for preparing this flake:) I suppose its up to everyone's personal taste....For me its either fold and stuff or rough rubbing to manageable pieces.

The taste is absolutely wonderfull!!! Natural, sweet VAs with many layers of taste, which are easier to reveal themshelves with slow sipping....

This is NOT a blend to rush...not because it bites but because you will miss a lot of its fine properties, so the only drawback here is that you best smoke it when in the proper relaxed mood (but after all thats what pipe smoking is all about- relaxation and serenity:)

For those interested in VAs this is an absolute must!!! Sometimes i think (with a hint of exaggeration) that if this blend was disappearing i would probably quit my pipe smoking!!! It is this good!!! Do not pass it or you will miss the epitome of Va flakes:) Well done SG!!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spizzo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spizzo (4)
★★★★
Extremely Strong Very Strong Extra Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my first review. I have smoked 4 tins of this stuff before I decided to write a review and I like this stuff more and more each tin. The taste is absolutely wonderful and smooth. I cannot possibly say anything that has not been said already but, I think it is worth mentioning that this stuff is STRONG! I would love to make this my all day smoke but it is way too strong for me as I get a very heavy nicotine buzz from this. Other than that, as with all Gawith tobaccos, a beautiful blend! Of course, as others have said, it is very moist out of the tin and benefits greatly from drying.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dr. Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Scott (82)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Out of the tin it is very wet, chocolate brown, almost black, with lots of white sugary crystals all over the thick and unbroken flakes. The flakes have the texture of leather. It smells good. Requires a lot of rubbing and long drying: an hour or more is good.

I smoked it in a larger size pipe that I use just for Virginias. No tongue bite for me. At times, it could burn quite hot. No trouble keeping it lit if you dry it enough prior to smoking.

Less full than some Virginias. I suspect lots of sugar is added to the leaf during processing. Expensive. Takes a lot of work to rub out and dry prior to smoking. After I figured it out, I enjoyed my smokes, but I probably won't be buying it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PeterD Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PeterD (79)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Short and to the point... This is one of my favorite flake tobaccos. The only thing I wish would be to be able to buy this in plug form.

FVF would be in my top 10 tobaccos and has remained there for some time now. Exceptional presentation, complex notes, and appropriate strength.

Smoked in a group 5 size bowl, straight billiard or apple.

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

Nobody has rated this review yet.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (235)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

First note, my pouch of this is not aged, I understand fully that VA tobaccos get better with age. It is also not my favorite VA, that would be Orlick's Golden Flake. But this is a darn good one and I could live on it without any problems. The flakes are gorgeous, I bought bulk and the flakes are very long, fairly thick, medium brown and just look great. The pouch aroma is very sweet and hay like, or better yet, just cut hay. I let my flakes dry out over night near an air vent and by morning they were the perfect moisture content for smoking have tried it rubbed out, folded and semi folded. I like it folded best for a nice long and sweet smoke. It packed easily, and was very easy to light and stay that way and it burned all the way down to a fine ash. At this age, it is a little tarter than most VA's I smoke and tastes just a touch green. nevertheless, it was very pleasant, wafting in and out with various flavors, sweet, smooth and creamy. It is a little stronger than Orlick, and not as biteless, though I got no bite smoking it normally. it did a little when I pushed it though. The room note to me was very nice and sweet, but a neighbor said it was somewhat cigarette like. All in all, a very nice blend, but the rest of my flakes are now Mason jarred and will stay there awhile to see how this one blooms.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Structured, complex, elegant, FVF is like a great Cabernet Franc Sauvignon well aged. Hints of mauve, acacia honey, hay, cereals, coffee arabica, balsamic herbs, spices ... are just a few flavors that me and two hundred twenty-one previous reviewers have tried to describe but the list goes on. You just need to try it.

FVF is a masterpiece Sic et simpliciter!

Post scriptum

I disagree with those who argue that FVF and BBF are similar, they are very different in concept and in the final result: BBF can be regarded as a "grand cru" of a single variety, FVF is a blend of different varieties with a declination of larger complex and "fougére" flavors. IMHO both can be considered complementary rather than competitors.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Thorre Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Thorre (27)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

I have spent most of the 5 years I have been smoking a pipe, trying to find more and better English and Balkan tobaccos. There are a few aros I like. I never have gotten around to the straight Virginia flakes. I just thought they seemed rather plain. Yesterday my wife stopped by the local B&M and bought me a can FVF. She liked the picture of Sherlock Holmes on the can. I opened the tin and it looked like beef jerky. It smelled wonderful. It reminded me of the smell of the old chewing tobacco plugs I remembered as a kid. Just quality tobacco. I chipped up the flakes into small pieces and stuffed them in my AV bulldog. It was hard to light, but once lit, it stays lit. The taste was great, super smooth. Maybe a plum taste. Blowing out plumes of velvety white smoke. I could not get it to bite. This is very high quality weed. It has changed my mind about what I thought plain Virginia would be. Now I have to rethink my cellar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipetype Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipetype (10)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Very smooth and seems just plain pure. Very much "tobacco", without added artificial complexity. It fully coats my tongue and palette evenly with a light, slightly edgy sweetness. I best enjoy this through varying the puff speed and duration. Slow and steady is sweetish, whereas fast and deep produces a slight peppery edge. I am noticing that towards the bottom of bowel, the taste becomes more interesting, with hints of raisin maybe.

This is my second review. However, I have now sampled about 30 brands/blends and am starting to have my own frame of reference. I can easily understand why someone would rate this 4 stars. But for now, and for me, Balkan Supreme, Butternut Barley, Solani Aged Burley Flake, and YES -Pease's Westminster are my Go Tos. For some strange reason - even faced with so much excellence, I still like Mixture 79 every so often, as it brings back some fond memories. In truth though, it does not compare with all the above in quality.

At some point I do want to tackle a review on Pease's Odyssey.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

xy1981ca Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
xy1981ca (2)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I finally broken in my pipe and built some cake at the heel. All the while smoking this FVF. Before last night, I did not have a good experience with this flake at all. It took a lot of work to enjoy. I tried folding it, balling it and rubbing it out. So far, I am only able to enjoy it fully rubbed out. Last night I tried drying it out for a few hours and that immensely improved its flavors. Usually I only get one or two puffs of sweet smoke, but after drying, it was nice and sweet for the first 3rd of the bowl. It burned better also, requiring fewer relights. The nicotine level in this flake is a little high and can be nauseating if you're sensitive like me. So always take it slow and don't over puff. Despite its strength, this flake has little to no bite. As for flavor, it has a very cigar like taste with hints, just hints of figs, raisins and sugars. Overall, a very smooth and full bodied smoking tobacco that is very mild on flavor and has moments of sharp sweetness. I find that I cannot enjoy this flake at all without drying it, or else it will taste very bland and no different than a cigar.

Also, I have a very small pipe, it's a half bent prince Fe.Ro about 1" deep and 3/4" wide bowl. Yet I am able to smoke for well over two hours, sometimes 3 hours and I still have some dottle at the bottom. Is this normal? Am I doing something wrong?

Update:

Got a hold of a 2nd tin. Smoking in a boswell pipe. My technique has also improved. But in the end, still a very bland smoke. The room note is much better than my last experience, but the flavor and taste is still too subdued. I taste tobacco only and no sweetness or figs. Will not buy again. Too bad, the quality is very good. I will stick to esotericas for now.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bluenoser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluenoser (34)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Okay ladies and gents I'm finally ready to add my two cents worth on this blend after going through many tins trying many different methods of smoking it. The epiphany of superior taste for me with FVF occurred this evening following yet another reading from The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur. I have asked myself over and over,"why does Doyle put Holmes' tobacco in the toe of a persian slipper and hang the dang thing over a fireplace mantle which undoubtly would have dried the weed to a crumbled state no less? Well, I tried this sans slipper and smoldering white birch. Instead I used my trusty crock pot yet once again. I first rubbed out the flakes which I might add resulted in a wonderful shag. I then tossed the lot in my crock and baked it on high for a solid hour. After letting the tobacco cool to room temp I loaded up my Peterson Tankard and enjoyed the best bowl of FVF I have had in 16 years of smoking this mixture. Perhaps Sir A.C. Doyle was not suggesting dried virginia smokes sublime BUT I confess to you that in this case it surley worked for me. Don't forget Doyle also said, through his most famous character, "the best place to hid something is, where everyone can see it."..........something to think about perhaps!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BrSpiritus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BrSpiritus (18)
★★★★
Strong Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I smoked this in a Savinelli "favorite" Churchwarden and now that is my dedicated pipe to this fine flake. I must say that I am uber impressed on the time and effort that has been put into this tobacco. Mine arrived with a light dusting of sugars and I knew I was in for a treat. One thing I must warn about is the strength. This has vitamin "N" and in spades. I had to put the pipe down after 1/2 a bowl and get rid of the spins and take a quiet moment in the "throne room". Seriously, if your constipated smoke some of this and you won't be. Who says tobacco doesn't have medical uses?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Alguhan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alguhan (140)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Well, I am smoking this for more than 10 years and never get bored with it. I believe that it is already a proven nice tobacco for virginia lovers. A natural straight virginia with a good real taste of tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bub Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bub (18)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake is an excellent tobacco. Wonderful tasting and a very satisfying smoke. If you've never tried a flake tobacco before, give this one a try. I like to take out one flake and let it dry for a half hour. Then I just fold it twice and stick it in my brier. It burns slower like this. If you're having a hard time keeping it lit, try rubbing it out a bit.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tallman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tallman (35)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

My first experience with a flake. Rubbed it out, packed the pipe, and found something special. If you like Virginias...you will like this one. I just ordered 3 more tins!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Colby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Colby (9)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Strong

I have tried for a few weeks now to enjoy this flake as much as the rest of this website has enjoyed it. I have tried to fold the flake into a plug, I've also tried rubbing it out and packing traditionally. I just can't seem to fall in love with it.

I can tell that this is a quality tobacco. No doubt. However, it's just not my cup of tea. I want to give this tobacco 3 stars SO BADLY, but I just can't. It's much better than a 1 star tobacco. Borkum Riff is a 1 star tobacco. This is not. I don't know what my problem is. I wish i could love FVF... i really do. Chances are you'll enjoy it tho. Don't let me stop you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I am halfway through my second tin of this, and honestly I cannot get enough of it. Although I was at first intimidated by the form (this being my first flake tobacco), I quickly fell in love with the depth and complexity of flavor that FVF offers.

This is easily in my top two tobaccos, and a standard fixture of my daily rotation. I have enjoyed it both with morning coffee and with evening Scotch, and I suspect it would even complement an afternoon beer quite well.

If you have not tried this tobacco, you really should. As a testament to its popularity, I was only able to find ONE online tobacco store that both carried it in bulk and had it in stock.

I do not hand out four star ratings lightly, but I truly believe FVF deserves such treatment.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Sometimes a little too wet out of the tin, 30 minutes of rest fold and twist load, ignition, start % lift off. This is all about smoking an excellent virginia flake. Not all the day but very often a day I grab that tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DaveS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DaveS (11)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I always thought Opening Night was the best virginia. I was wrong. This blend is incredible. Enough said. Try it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Brother K Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brother K (7)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This is a nice smoke that could be an all day smoke. I usually smoke English blends, but this is the first VA I have found that I would consider putting into my rotation. As everyone else says one of the best and recommended for sure. If you have not tried it check it out.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mountain Man Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mountain Man (23)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I love this tobacco.It is naturally sweet with no need to have heavy casing.It has that virginia zestiness that I love,but mild enough not to bite like some virginias.To me,it is the perfect smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

The best virginia flake that I've had the pleasure of smoking & might make it into my top 5 tobaccos. So for now a solid 3.5 stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

wildwoodweed Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wildwoodweed (4)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have found this tobacco to be top shelf, meaning that I have not found any pure VA as good as this tobacco. Sweet with no bite. Buy in bulk and put some away, it does age well. It is great out of the box also. If you like a sweet pure VA or have been wanting to try some you need to get this tobacco!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

FVF is a blend that took me a while to get. I'm a relatively new smoker and even newer with VA's. I find that the trick with FVF is to dry it out a lot and smoke very slow. When properly dried it will burn easily and right down to a greyish white ash. A very clean tobacco in my opinion.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Full Virginia Flake is true to its name. I purchased a tin for the first time last month, and I'm glad I did!

It smells, and tastes, of figs, raisins, and hay. It isn't nearly as tangy as other VA's I've tried, and is naturally sweet. There's definitely depth of flavor, which intensifies the longer you smoke a bowl. The room note is a double edged sword. My wife said that it leaves a pleasant aroma, hay and figs, but she found the smoke to be nauseating after 45 minutes, unlike the smoke from my other blends, like 1-Q.

I've packed FVF several different ways. Fold and halve and pack, or completely rub out. I think I prefer to fully rub out this blend, as it means I have to relight it less often. Either way, I find it best to let a flake dry out for 24-36 hours before smoking it, as my tin was very moist.

A word of warning to those sensitive to nicotine, like myself. DON'T smoke this on an empty stomach! They don't call it FULL Virginia Flake for no reason. So, unless you enjoy having your head spin, breaking out into a cold sweat, and so on, please eat something before smoking a flake of FVF...

UPDATE Now that my tin has been opened a couple months, it only takes a rubbed out flake 45 minutes to dry out. This has really improved the smoking quality of FVF for me, as it doesn't smoke so wet now. 4 star blend now!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This, in my view, is one of the finest tobaccos in the World; however, to my surprise, having just received five tins posted to me direct from the factory in Kendal, I cannot go 'highly recommended' on this batch.

Nearing the end of the second tin, there is a decernable change in the smoke from this latest batch; I therefore find myself agreeing with the preceding reviews in relation to inconsistancy. I am all astonishment! as I have smoked FVF on and off for for the last 10 Year's or so, and have never had ocassion to challenge its quality before.

I know the chaps in Kendal are just back from the Chicago Fair and I hope you guys on the other side of the pond haven't been feeding them too much bourbon - they're country folk from England's Lake District and not at all used to City life!

Even so - to the point, this is still a good smoke, even when not at its best; Don't give up on it, but nonetheless, questions will be asked of Samuel Gawith's before May is out.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flaminbill' Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flaminbill' (57)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

I can see where "Society of the Briar" is coming from. I think that the problem with FVF is inconsistency. I have smoked it when it was simply awesome and I have purchased tins and bulk that were just mediocre. But even mediocre FVF is not bad.... just mediocre.So I will go with three stars because I would recommend it in the hopes that you get lucky.

Sticking with McClelland Virginias is not a bad idea as they have always been consistent for me and quite tasty. I particularly like Dark Star, 2035 and #27. They are all better than FVF when it is mediocre.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Society of the Briar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Society of the Briar (13)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Hmm... Where to start with this one. It's crystal clear that this tobac is highly regarded, here and everywhere else. I'm honestly not trying to be contrarian just for the sake of it, but ... I'm not sure I get it. After burning up half the tin, I'm sort of confused. I sincerely want to have the experience with this tobacco that so many have written about.

I'm certainly not giving up on it yet, but for now, I must be honest and state that I found this to be a somewhat plain, underwhelming, bitter headache/nausea inducer. Perhaps it's because I was never a cigarette smoker? Perhaps my humble four years as a pipe smoker hasn't yet allowed me to appreciate the subtleties of this renowned leaf? - I suspect that might be the issue -

If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears. I've tried different pipes, different lighting methods, drying/not drying the tobacco, offering a prayer to the four winds, etc. Again, it's always an adventure with a new tobacco and sometimes it just takes a little getting used to. Please don't let my review discourage you from giving it a try, odds are you'll like it. I'm going to save what I've got and give it another go, perhaps after summer is over. Till then, I'll stick with the McClelland VA's I enjoy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

HumanBoeing Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HumanBoeing (12)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

How delightful it is to open the tin and find a product that so evidently bears the impress of humans at work! The contents are wrapped in a stained shroud of folded wax paper; the flakes are in a higgledy-piggledy ball of confusion and are themselves irregular in length and breadth - not mere tidily squared-away segments spat out by machine; there's evidence of human involvement here - scarcely believable but true! It looks like something you'd find on a trestle table in a country fair labelled 'Mrs N O'Teens Finest Home Grown'.

And fine it is: it smells fruity but not soapy; it's soggy, but smokes both smooth and long. It's far from weak, but it doesn't send you reeling from the first puff. It's good. It's really, really good. Sing Hosanna!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PfeifenRaucher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PfeifenRaucher (53)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

It really is as good as everyone below says. Stop reading these reviews...you are going to agree with them anyway so now... go buy some FVF.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Near to some 200 reviews, FVF is a top candidate for the HoF, it deserves for sure !

I shall cut mine as short as possible.

I do consider FVF a milestone in the family of Va flakes, possibly the most natural one I have ever smoked, far better than his cousins BBF and SF of the same brand. It enormously benefits aging, drying, and extremely slow sipping. It developes a wide range of delicate tones, from grassy to malty, biscuity, sometimes even cigarish& never harsh or bitter or hot or biting, no matter how hard you draw. The mellow sweetness is steady and natural, comes from the tobacco itself, no aids beyond nature.

But it does not get me enthusiastic, even I would, that is why I am rating it three stars. Virginia based tobaccos are my top preference; but have to admit that, after my 50th bell rang and some better self knowledge, need they are helped by something else, be that the Perique or even a (very moderate) topping/casing. I am not a so patient smoker to mine so deeply in search of flavours as they were diamonds.

Not that it is boring, but I would a more in-your-face experience.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe Shanties Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe Shanties (3)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Ive been smoking aromatics for a year now and finally started to get a little adventurous. i wanted to smoke out side the box, if that makes any sense. well, let me tell you....as i opened the tin i caught a wiff of sweet raisins, a little fig, and some chocolate. the flakes were a bit on the damp side but with a little drying this was a perfect smoke. these flakes were filled with sugar crystals, which i can assume with some good aging this would be an even better smoke. Overall it burned slow & cool and not a tongue bitter, and tasting like smoked chocolate covered raisins(not too sweet but not too smokey either). what more could you ask for right? Very wonderful flake for those who want to get out of aromatics and try something new. Its light on the wallet too!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Meo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Meo (2)
★★★★
Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

I think one of the best flake of Virginia available on the market. It is incredible how using just different kind of Virginias, SG can get such a nice and perfect blend. There are no topping flavours on this blend, just different Virginias and the rest is all the great ability at SG to get this wonderful blend. It is not maybe an easy smoke, but I didn't find any particular difficulty rubbing it out or just putting the flake into the bowl. It is a tobacco to enjoy very slowly since it has a lot of hidden flavours; at middle bowl, for example, I recognize a slight licorice flavour. A great purchase and a great smoke, maybe not an all day but for sure on late afternoon or after dinner is a great companion.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Saluki Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Saluki (11)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

My, this is a tasty tobacco. HOWEVER, it suffers from the same affliction as other Samuel Gawith flakes (Chocolate Flake, Kendal Cream, Perfection). The slices are not cut evenly. Some of the slices are too thick and are difficult to rub out.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cut-shot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cut-shot (10)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Upon opening the tin the flakes are very nice looking indeed. Dark brown flakes with specs of lighter strands of tobacco throughout. The tin aroma is somewhat light and pleasant not really what I was expecting. I thought it would have a very strong pungeant aroma. I rubbed the flakes out after letting it air dry for about an hour and smoked it in a smaller (group 4) Cavicchi straight brandy. I packed it lightly and smoked it slowly. I have tried FVF several times after reading the reviews here and wanted to like this tobacco but just couldn't get it to work for me until today. I don't know if it was just smoking it in the right size pipe that made it sing but it really performed well in the Cavicchi. The initial flavor of the charring light was a little sour but after settling down it was a very enjoyable smoke. The taste did change somewhat about mid bowl and became even richer and fuller. The flavor is very creamy, rounded and deep and a very nice straight VA. I would recommend this blend to a seasoned VA smoker. The nicotine content can get ahold of you toward the bottom of the bowl but that is a good thing to me! FVF left me very satisfied. I will put some away for the future.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

**update 7/2010 - I pulled this opened and stoved on my woodstove tin off the shelf last month. I love it now. Not sure why. perhaps it just had time to age. I look forward to trying an unopened and unstoved tin when this one is done. I give this tin a 4 star rating now. Strange how a tobacco experience can change and perhaps how a tobacco itself can change over time.

This has an aromatic topping that effects the taste in a way that just doesn't agree with me. I stoved a tin of this on my wood stove and let it sit unopened for another month. It improved the smell by mostly eliminating the soapy smell (not entirely and that is why I know the particular smell is added) but didn't get rid of the strange film that seems to cover the inside of my mouth. I wanted some complexity and tried the unstoved version and the home-stoved version in several pipes an never found a combination that was good. I have a hard time believing so many reviewers would find such a bland tasting, mouth soapy covering and smelling tobacco to be so good. I justs don't get it. I am giving away all the tobacco I have except for one tin for a VERY long aging experiment (it is supposedly a Virgina and thus has a distant chance of becoming a palatable smoke). I have a feeling that if stoving just weakens but in no way changes that soapy smell and mouth film, aging won't be able to alter it. With so many other great tobaccos out there, I would recommend avoiding this one completely. Try the Golden Glow if you really must try a SG virginia flake (GG is actually a broken flake). GG is at least a 2 star blend compared to these flakes that are best served used as shampoo.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I have been on a quest to try all Samuel Gawith tinned tobaccos.Full Virginia Flake is probably their flagship tobacco. The tin aroma is best described as that of a spiced coffee cake, but I didn't detect any casing. It starts out as a medium strength tobacco with remarkable depth and character. However it becomes a little strong about halfway through the bowl. The remaining bottom of the bowl should be smoked slow. Watch the nicotine, it will sneak up on you. A little too harsh at the end for my taste, but I would recommend it.

I have smoked this rubbed out, straight out of the tin and it was too moist. The best way to enjoy this, is to rub it out, and let it air for about an hour and thirty minutes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This comes in whole flake form. It should be dried out before smoking. I buy this in 1 lb box's. It's sweet medium tasting and medium nicotine content. FVF is affordable and delivers a enjoyable smoking experience. Just barely hanging on to my top 5 pure Virgina tobacco's. Sometimes can burn somewhat hot.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is a tobacco that shows a preference for certain pipes. It seems to do much better in my smaller pipes, but YMMV. I used to dry out a flake by microwaving briefly, but get a more consistently rewarding smoke by scissoring the flakes across the grain to make cubes. After drying, cubes are gravity loaded into the pipe, and the journey begins. An initial burst of grassiness gives way to a pleasant rounded sweetness over an hour's worth of sipping smoke. It will still not suffer rapid puffing gladly, but rewards the patient pipester. I always have a few pounds on hand now. There are reports of significant variation in the tinned version, so another reason to buy in pound lots.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

UsaRet Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UsaRet (17)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Smooth, mellow, no bite and medium in the nico department. This is the perfect virginia to relax with. Comes a bit moist so a couple of hours drying time is advised.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Korndog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Korndog (16)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Very good tobacco. Lacks the layering of flavors I enjoy in Virginia's at this point. I tried drying it and enjoyed it more, but still didn't find enough sweetness for my tastes. I prefer a good English or Balkan blend when in the mood for a no frills, earthy smoke. Still, this IS excellent no-frills Virginia, and I can see why VA smokers would love the stuff. I will definitely keep this around for a golfing tobacco.

Update: Fourth star added. I figured out how to coax the sweetness out of this beauty. As others have said, I rubbed it out thoroughly and let it dry for a couple of hours. Man, what a difference. Amazing stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

strawalker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strawalker (14)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Nice, sweet, mild and entirely enjoyble. Tin aroma is of quality pure Virgina tobacco and nothing else. A little drying, say, ten minutes improves burn qualities and flavour. Works well in any pipe but I like it in a big roomy bowl. Sip it slow and cool and let the smoke out slowly savouring the sugary goodness. This tobacco blends very well and is really versatile. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

chgo.piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chgo.piper (37)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The best virginia flake I've ever smoked and even better with age. Over time more sugars develop on these tastey flakes. Pleasant nic-kick from the thick, creamy, smooth smoke it produces. Whoever rates FVF below 3 stars doesn't understand true virginia flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Only thing I could add here is that there is a depth to this Va that you won't find anywhere else. It's not your "run-of-the-mill" tangy Va. About 3/4 bowl down it starts and for me...reaches "the zone". Great stuff!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tyro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tyro (10)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

Not much to add here. FVF has become the leader of my tobacco horde at 5 pounds and counting. Its simple, delicious, unassuming, and very cost effective. I have never had a bad pipe full... something which I have experienced even with my other favorites. A fine all day smoke and an essential staple for any VA lover. Highly Recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

You've all heard that tune "If I had a million dollars." Well, if I had a million, I'd spend a large chunk of it on tins and tins and tins and tins of FVF.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fly ticky Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fly ticky (26)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Very Mild Tolerable

This is ok sometimes.Not my faverite I dont think ill buy it again. there is much better smoke avalable.Such as best brown,red cake.2035 dark navy flake .So on and so forth.It will do in a pinch.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Slow Draw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Slow Draw (26)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Buttered pancakes!!! Delicious and smooth. Easy to smoke too (I like it dry). It's tobacco like this that has captivated my attention and focused it on virginias and va.per.'s The depth of flavor and the way it naturally develops...wonderful. I like it rubbed but still a little chunky. Seems to burn well and have richer flavor that way.

It can't be said enough - smoke it gently and the flavor opens up.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is my go-to tobacco when I get tired of trying new stuff. It's the best out there; the Virginia flake is so complex, it tastes nothing like anything McClelland or even G.L. Pease makes; it is the purest strong Virginia I have tried so far. It is dark and rich, tasting at time like coffee or chocolate, and never boring on the palate. The taste transforms throughout the bowl and is always delicious. Plus, other people love the smell of it. A definite 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Right up front I confess to not being much of a straight VA smoker, not really knowing beans about them, and having only smoked inferior quality ribbons that came in pouches in the past. Hot and bitey they were. Well, I prize some of the recommended VaPers, and I thoroughly enjoying SG and GH flakes, so after reading reviews here I decided to ordered up a few ounces of FVF. It came with with crystals at no extra cost, and it seems the right moisture content. So, into a new Ardor with gravity I fed some rubbed out FVF. I was going to start this pipe on Barbary Coast as I usually do new pipes, but I didn't on a whim.

Wow. Sweet and cool as I sipped, this hit the spot. Grassy, somebody said banana, earthy, clean burning, did I say sweet? What a treat! Nice vitamin N tingle. No bite. No roof of the mouth coat. I smoked every crumb, and I can report it was delicious.

I am adding this to the rotation. I might go so far as to reserve this pipe (or a new cob) for straight VAs.

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

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Puff Daddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puff Daddy (43)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A lot has been written about this, but I'll add a few words. The other day I cracked the lid on a quart-sized Mason jar, inside of which is a batch of Full VA Flake that has been maturing for around 27 months. When I buy a one pound box of this marvelous flake, I slice the strips into thirds and seal them in jars. Each and every piece of this glistened with white crystals. Some of the pieces were nearly white with sugar crystals. The aroma was just utterly intoxicating. Now, I must say this - I hate flakes! All I can say is that they store nicely, but other than that, I just do not like flakes. I don't like stuffing them, rubbing them out, the packing of them, nothing. So, once I get 2-3 years on my Mason jars of this magnificent blend, into my little dedicated food processor it goes. In 10 minutes or so, I'll spread it out on paper towels for an hour or so for drying, repack the jar, and I'm ready for some bliss.

And bliss this is. To me, this is the standard against which all Virginias are compared. Some are excellent, like HOTW, but there's only one Full VA Flake. Rich, full, cool. There just isn't a lot more to add to everyone else's comments. It's simply my very favorite VA. Chop it up, and it goes from superb to untouchable. It features prominently in my Hall of Fame of best blends; with Escudo for VaPers, Penzeance and Westminster for Latakias, etc. This is just amazing stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

After smoking half tin of FVF I´m very disapointed with it, though I'm sure something is wrong with that tin... I´ve also been smoking St. James Flake - which is believed to be based in the same virginias - and while I find St. James delightfully sweet, despite the perique effect, my FVF just doesn't taste the same... I´ve tried it rubbed, and folded in half, and folded in a ball, all in 3 different pipes. In fact, it doesn´t taste much sweet, but rather citrinnous and ashy and... just not right.

Will buy a second tin, from a different source, and give it another chance. (not really sure if I´ll smoke the rest of my current tin)

UPDATE: A few tins latter there's know doubt my first tin was from a bad batch. From 1 to 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Well... what more can be said about this incredible Va that hasn't already been written? This tobacco should go down in the Tobacco Hall of Fame.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PipeSmoker45ACP Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipeSmoker45ACP (11)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

FVF has taken the place as #1 for me. Strong, full, sweet, and cool. I'll have FVF for a meal, Orlick GS for a snack, and Erinmore flake for dessert.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A little oily but a nice change of pace for me. Wish it were stronger but you cant have everything and that flavor of hay cannot be beat. Like all the Samuel Gawith flakes I have encountered this needs some lengthy drying (30 minutes or so)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

the tin says it all and thate what you get a good no frills tobacco

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Update 7/2/2009

I finaly got the plot, it took me a very long time, but FVF kept teasing, revealing from time to time the potential of this very fine virginia. to cut a very long story short, I air dried this well beyond any normal drying (by my standards) until it had the consistency of cornflakes, this for me, was the key. I now get a rich, smooth creamy smoke every time. This has to be the virginia by which others are measured. An excellent 4 Star Tobacco.

Original

I am green with envy of other reviewers, especially those who find this to have so much taste and flavour, I have tried and tried and tried again with this tobacco, and all I get is a very fine quality virginia (as one would expect from Sam Gawith) with a little bit of a smooth creamy flavour, having said that, I didn't get much more from Golden Glow by the same maker when I first started smoking it, that is, until I found out how I needed to smoke it !!!!!

Now, I reach for Golden Glow to start my day, can't do without it. FVF on the other hand remains a mystery to me. I have in recent weeks, though confessing to be a mild to medium virginia lover, sought a stronger more fuller flavoured tabac than I usualy enjoy, hoping to find a flake that would be full in both taste and flavour without being overpowering, the results have not been encouraging. Irish Flake, (ye gods) 1792, (I hope I can one day save my poor pipe) Bracken Flake, (I submit) and FVF, which of the four has been by far the most civilized.

I am very much aware that I am in the minority with this flake, and pleased to be so, for if I can find a way to extract from this the sweet notes which so many find, I shall be a happier man. I therefore give FVF 3 stars even if FVF only gives me one and a half........... for now!!!!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This was the third Virginia Flake tobacco that I have smoked and my first in the Full Flavour category. My first experience with Flake tobaccos was with Dunhill Light Flake and then with Samuel Gawith's Medium Virginia Flake. The contrast with these tobaccos is remarkable. While I am still a fan of these (and other Virginia's), I now believe this to be the perfection of full flavour Virginia taste.

The presentation of this tobacco is much darker and more uneven than of Light Flake. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however. Tobacco is an organic product-to see it being too uniform seems unnatural. These dark flakes smelled heavenly and were coated with what seem to be sugar crystals.

Like Light Flake, the charring light yields a sweet, haylike rush of flavour with fresh bread overtones. The depth of flavour is much greater, however, with Full Virginia Flake developing into a much sweeter smoke. It is a much stronger smoke as well, however. Best smoked in a narrow pipe. I found it a little overwhelming in a bigger bowl.

While I still think there is a place for Light Flake (if available), Best Brown and others, this is surely going to be a staple of mine. Now if I can just afford to cellar a ton of the stuff!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fernalgas Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fernalgas (8)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Mild Pleasant

I am at the end of my first smoke of this...I bought this because of the ratings and reviews that it had...I did not receive as much sweetness as I anticipated...I only lit it once after I rubbed it out which is signs of a good tobacco...hopefully the more I smoke it the more taste I get from it

Nobody has rated this review yet.

p4p4 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
p4p4 (52)
★★★★
Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

Wonderfull ! This is one of the best tobaccos smoked in my life. Not easy to burn. Just for relax moment. --------------------------------- Una volta nella vita va provato, il miglior virginia prodotto al mondo. Da notare la grande complessità di questo blend, pur composto di soli virginia, esprime una complessità inaudita. Profondo, molto strutturato. Notevole !

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I was very reluctant to add to this review board but as one of my very favorite tobaccos I felt the need to chime in( I have smoked dozens of tins over the past several years). FVF is one of the best flakes(and tobaccos) that I have ever smoked. I tend to dry out the flakes prior to smoking, I get more flavor and zero bite. I have over 150 tins stashed away and hope I live long enough to smoke each and every one. Rich, creamy, sweet, pure tobacco flavor from start to finish. At the end of one bowl I am ready to light another. I am still undecided if this would be my deserted island choice if I had to make just one.... I have been thinking about that question for years. 96+/100 points for FVF. I typically smoke 2-3 tins of a particular tobacco and then move on to another. Smoking just one blend can get a bit boring especially when there are so many great tobaccos out there.I hope I never need to make the desert island choice but FVF would be up there with Cumberland, Escudo, Reiner LGF, Best Brown, Filmore, Hal o Wind and a few others. If I thought S.G was going to stop making FVF I would buy 1000s of tins.....my son could sell them on ebay in 30-40 years for a tidy profit!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CPT/VSG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CPT/VSG (70)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

As an English/Balkan smoker, Virginias are only an occasional pleasure for me but FVF is a consistently pleasant diversion. I've never had tongue bite from it and, once sufficiently dried from the tin, FVF burns well. The key to this tobacco to me is the smooth, flavorful consistency of it. It's a permanent part of my rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gourmet Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gourmet (13)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

This tabacco is a MIRRACLE to me, I have tried many aromatics and English blends but I never was so mystified about a tabacco; thanks to tabaccoreviews.com:

I will always be grateful.

I can easily get bitten by some tabaccos, and this one was so gentle to my tongue, although I thought "Virginias" might bite.

I am not a salesman from SG, but I am convinced that this is the proof of an unbeatable top quality product, which is by all means very cheap in price.

I do not really get it as I have been reading in some reviews which compare its wonderful full flavour to cigaretts, probaly they have never tasted a top hand-rolled cigar or a wonderful red wine.

Upon lightning it reminded me immediately of the top quality cigar producer floor de selva from Nicaragua. (Robusto or Churchill)

Yes, Full Virginia Flake resembles to them in many ways, enourmously creamy almost buttery with a hint of carmalized sugar. Later on slightly peppery and even some leather aromas.

WOOOOOOOOW

The smoke is loaden with nicotine and therefore I would also recommend to sip and not to puff on it, your stomach will appreciate it.

I have rubbed it out, with this method it burns even and does not demand a lot of attention. When I formed the flake to a ball it needs more relights, probably I have to dry it a little olnger.

The perfect after lunch or dinner smoke, which certainly deserves at least 10 stars; and two thumbs up.

It leads on my personal hit list with tabaccos such as, Westminister from G.L Pease and the Flake Medaillons from Davidoff.

Closest I find the description of the full virginia flake from Daniel on www.synjeco where I had ordered FV on bulk:

"First, by no means I can use the word "Full" to describe this tobacco. It's so smooth on palate, tongue, throat and stomach. The taste is simply fabulous. It's a tobacco I could smoke all the time for the rest of my life. I most highly recommend it to those of you who appreciate the wonders of natural pressed Virginias."

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is my favorite tobacco, although I enjoy many.

To try and add more than what has already been written about this product would be pointless.

The only complaint I have is that from batch to batch or tin to tin there seems to be inconsistency, it is always good but sometimes better than others. My 2nd favorite is MVF.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Polykapnos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Polykapnos (1)
★★☆☆
Extremely Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I can tell this is a quality tobacco, as pure as you?re going to find anywhere. I imagine it?s what tobacco straight out of the ground tastes like. In the tin, it has the smell of dried fruit, especially of prunes, and when smoked, it gives off a rich, grassy aroma, slow-burning and never harsh. At times, I even detected the buttery flavor you get in some English blends. But for all its merits, it has one major drawback: the nicotine level is way too high for my liking. I admit I am not the stoutest of fellows, so the nicotine went straight to my head, and fast. First, there was the fuzzy feeling in the brain, then my stomach started to swim, and then I began to see pink elephants dancing ballet before my eyes. I finally had to come inside and lay down on the couch to sleep it off (come on, you know it has happened to you before).

Two stars for the tobacco itself, but I?m withholding two stars because it?s too strong for its own good. Such a complaint is subjective, of course, so I?m sure someone with a higher tolerance will have a much better experience than I did.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

19volks71 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
19volks71 (9)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

FVF is a flat smoke that lacks depth.

It is a one note song from start to finish.

I give it two stars, which it barely deserves. It earns its second star due to it's strength as a blender. With out that, I'd rather pick up a pack of cigarettes.

Cigarettes only take two minutes to finish, so you can ignore the blandness.

A deep bowl of FVF rubs its blandness in your face for over an hour.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipinNfishin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipinNfishin (21)
★☆☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Update: I have suffered unusual headaches. After a long and complete search of everything I intake into my body, for the cause. I have narrowed it down to this and a few other tobaccos. I feel there is an additive, to which I react adversely. Most of you probably can enjoy this blend, but it is best I avoid this blend.

Creamy, smooth, and slightly sweet are the discriptions, that I get from FVF. I had trouble with this blend at the start. I could only get the flavors out of a meerschuam. I kept trying to smoke FVF out of a briar. Then after some advice, I slowed my puffing rate. The harsh strong flat smoke became sweet, smooth and creamy.

It appears stoved virginias have a very narrow range. Miss this small window, stoved virginias go flat. If my bowl gets hot, I slow it down. The taste comes back. This is a revelation!

Dark Star with its reluctance to burn forced me to smoke slow, but FVF does burn well. So, I forced; I got flat flavor. I still mess up and puff to often, but at least I know now what to do.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This has become my "go-to" tobacco.

Before reviewing, I would like to make an observation from my travels. This tobacco seems to be more sensitive than many to the humidity in the area in which it is stored. As I travel the USA, I have had the privilege of getting to know several tobacconists throughout the country. I've bought this tobacco in bulk form through several fine establishments, only to discover that the way in which it has been stored significantly impacts this flake. It seems that the best way to keep this tobacco happy is to store it in the humidor, and never let it dry out until you are ready for a smoke. The establishments that do this offer a significantly different tobacco - both in terms of texture and aroma -- than those that allow it to be stored in the bulk "baggy" on the shelf.

As soon as I have purchased it, the first thing I do is open the baggy and take a strong whiff. If the tobacco has been stored correctly, there is the wonderful aroma of freshly-mown hay. I consider this wonderful because it reminds me of my childhood in Virginia (50 years ago), helping my cousins bale hay on my uncle's farm in the Shenandoah valley. And it also reminds me of the smell that emanated from the tobacco drying sheds that were near my home when I lived in Bangkok, Thailand. The smell that triggers those happy memories is enough to give FVF three stars, even before I light it up! BTW - I have never noticed a "soapy" smell - just freshly-mown fields and aging leaf.

As others have noted, I find that I must let this one dry out for a while before smoking. One trick I have found -- take out a couple of flakes during the last thirty minutes of an airline flight. The altitude and cabin dryness seem to dry this out to just the right consistency for me. And I get to enjoy the aroma for the last thirty minutes of what is often a memory NOT worth remembering (air travel in America!)

I have smoked this fully rubbed, as well as folded and packed in a large billiard (EX606 Savinelli). Either way, the key is to let it dry a bit before smoking so that I can keep it lit without puffing. If I puff it, it does resemble cigarettes (albeit excellent ones!). But if I take the time to sip it and enjoy, the nuances and flavors just keep on coming. This is an extremely sweet and satisfying smoke, all the way to the bottom of the bowl.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (198)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Extra Full Pleasant

This is a straight Virginia, full power, full flavor, extremely deep, extremely tasty with very strong personality, so strong that I am not in mood for it on daily basis; I keep some in the drawer for occasional smoke (around 1 bowl every few months...).

Strait to the point, If you dont mind paying few dollars more, and Really enjoy a good Virginia with your pipe, somthing truly rich, truly complex, then buy Rattray Hall o the Wynd

Nobody has rated this review yet.

michwen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
michwen (2)
★☆☆☆
Mild Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

I have to agree with Auld Eire: "To me, FVF smells like a good cigarette tobacco, with zero complexity or nuance."

This tobacco doesn´t only smell like ciggs but it tastes like them too. I´ve tryed it in different pipes, rubbed and as flakes but it tastes bad no matter what i do. But if you like a good cigarette you will probably like this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Auld Eire Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Auld Eire (12)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Although I will continue to value the observations of many of the contributors to these pages, this will be my last review.

To me, FVF smells like a good cigarette tobacco, with zero complexity or nuance. De gustibus non est disputandum. jm

Nobody has rated this review yet.

1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
1 (8)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Just got my first tin today to find out what all the hubub was about and I'm glad I did. FVF is great. Tobacco Reviews has helped me tremendously in finding the right products for my needs.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I must say that FVF is a really fine straight virginia tobacco. I agree that it needs to be rubbed out and I feel that over-drying will keep it burning better and bring out the hay/grahm cracker taste. I found the 1st half of the bowl featured a sweeter taste, while the second took on earthier tones, though I couldnt detect the soap tatse that people have complained about. I have a few tins cellard, and would buy again due to its high quality leaf and very fair price. 3 1/2 stars!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I favor strong cigars, but I don?t prefer plain-Jane strong tobacco flavor. I want depth and nuance, with toasty things floating over my tastebuds. These kinds of flavors are what attract me to pipe smoking from a long history of enjoying cigars.

FVF is certainly a medium to full smoke but really delivers the goods if pampered. My best results have been rubbing out, drying it for an hour, then packing with the Frank method which let me burn consistently to the bottom with no tamping or relighting.

Good draw, but whenever it threatened to go out I?d pull the old back flow trick, blowing through the pipe for a seven-count until it was happy. Then on the next two or three draws I?d pull a couple big, deep mouthfuls and the strong creamy smoke was delicious! Then it was back to sipping for the next several minutes (or risk getting bit!). This gives the sense of two tobaccos in one, the subtle, flavorful creaminess that people rave about while sipping, and the strong mouthful of huge, creamy, earthy, smoky flavor that is equally delicious but never biting if you don?t overdo it. Those who find this tabac flavorless or un-inspiring might try the pampering method before giving up on this excellent tobacco.

After an hour and a quarter the pipe finally went out and I was curious to see if it actually smoked all the way to the end. The ash was fine with lumps of charcoal. There were only a few shreds of dottle in the bottom of the bowl. For fun I packed ?em and lit ?em, and had about four puffs of very strong but very tasty goodness before calling it quits.

I will definitely be buying this stuff by the pound for aging.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Silver Spigot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Silver Spigot (18)
★★☆☆
Extremely Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

Odorless, tasteless, harmless, useless. This blend might make fine cigarettes. A surprisingly flat blend from this fine brand.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Rolly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rolly (3)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Very Mild Tolerable

After trying this blend I'm really disappointed. It has almost no taste. Compared to other famous virginia blends it's flat and boring. It's smell is also a bit too strong for my taste. Apart from these little complaints this blend could be enjoyable but it bites my tongue badly no matter how slowly I puff it and it dies out even if I rub it to tiny pieces and dry out completely. I don't really recommend this blend to anyone. Maybe fans of Virginia flakes should try it but don't expect too much or you might be disappointed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Malice Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike Malice (4)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

Wow. I ordered just one tin, along with my three tins of Sam Gawith's Perfection, which I fell in love with, in the "stand by me" samler pack. My next order was three tins of Perfection, to six tins of FVF.

This is amazing stuff. Upon opening the 50gr tin, I thought perhaps I bought some beef jerky. It even had a rich smokey aroma. I did have some issues figuring out how to "rub" it out. On YouTube there was a video of a guy just wadding it up and igniting. In a narrow bowl, this woorks very well.

This is, to date, my favorite 'backy. If you haven't, you must. If you have, then you know...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I can easily understand why this baccy stands out as a long-lived classic. Nothing fancy here. Just good old plain, nice tobacco of superb quality.

The only problem I had with it was that in rubbing it out, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get the strands to a decent size for proper packing and burning. They tended to be long and coarse. Reverted to Pipestud's trick of a quick whack with an electric coffee grinder for 1-2 seconds and everything came out just right.

This stuff is wonderful. Once it is the right size, it packs well. lights nicely with one match, stays lit easily, burns cool and evenly, no hint of a bite, clouds of smoke without having to suck up, rich, unadorned taste of high quality Virginia, goes to the bottom with no gurgling or overpowering strength buildup, and left the pipe with no bad after odor or taste. FVF is quite monochromatic but it is a very pleasant taste that does not get boring. If one were not looking for variety, it could easily be an all day, everyday smoke.

Other than the flake size problem, I cannot find fault with this great blend. It easily earns it's reputation and I will keep it around as long as I can get it. Would be good for letting a newby know what a REAL baccy is like.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jopado Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jopado (12)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Not recommended for the beginner but only because it realy is kind of complicated to smoke. Once you've mastered your technique for your pipe and and your taste buds it's a great smoke. Aging is nice but not necessary. Drying is helpful but, again, not necessary. I prefer to just wad it up in a ball to fit my pipe (not tight, it WILL expand enough to cut off your draw) and enjoy. In fact I sometimes stay up past my bedtime just to have another pipe full.

Update: I, like others, have some times questioned 'quality control' in some of Sam's flakes but I think a little differently now. There is no lack of consistency in the leaf, it's prep and processing, and the exact taste and manner of smokability. What changes is it's appearance which changes in how you order it (quantity and packaging). For example; if you order a 2-4-6-8 oz package some one at your supplier has to break off an approximate pinch to meet your requirement and then pinch it up or down to get close to what you ordered. This makes a mess just as it does on your own working surface. I personally believe something similar to this occurs when they're packing the tins to hit the 50g mark. However, If consistency in appearance is important to you(as it is to me) order the 1 pound pack that has not been stirred up from the time it left the house of S. Gawith. It rivals MacBaren in quality packaging. True, each flake is not the exact same thickness but it's not scattered around like something that someone had started to rub and then changed their mind. True, this adds to the challenge of proper pipe packing (especially if you, like me, smoke a flake and not something you turn it into by various form of massaging the tobacco into something other than a flake.)

I apologize for the rambling lecture but this was important to me and I appreciate you letting me get it off my chest.

PS: The 1 pound box of flakes is the perfect length for a 1 qt mason jar if your into that.(1lb=1 jar) A little tricky but you can do it if you try. I currently have five pounds in five jars and one pound in the original package. If this "review", such as it is, is still around a couple of years from now, I'll let you know the results. At least as I percieve them.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Just bought a pound after sampling it for the first time because I just have to age some. I am going through my two ounce sample in a week, which is fast for me. If this improves as much as some of these reviews suggest, I will be in for quite an experience! First impressions are clean, no nonsense Virginia and there is no way I can get this to bite my tongue. I have a handmade (amateur) briar that smokes tasty but has a couple of flaws in that it tends to burn some tobaccos hot and wet at the same time if I am not careful. With FVF, the pipe doesn't get hot even with heavy puffing (this is the best burner I've found so far) and no gurgle either. I'll try it in a meer next. I should probably smoke that pound before I give these four stars, but they seem like a good bet.

Almost a year later now, and my opinion hasn't changed. Does improve in a jar. I am savoring the final two ounces and will buy it again, when I have thinned out my cellar a bit.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipers Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipers (19)
★★★☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant

This is a rich, creamy virginia. Dry it out before smoking. The flavour is very subdued.3 out of 4.

22-09-2008 update

Notwithstanding the rave reviews and the fact that i've tried this in a flake pipe, in fact no matter how FVF ("flat virginia flake") is smoked or prepared it cannot be compared to the fantatic Rattray (HOTW) or McClelland (blackwoods flake) offerings at all. This is a bland smoke with very little taste at all. I will have to downgrade my rating to a mere 2 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Samuel Gawith's quality control is sketchy on a good day, but I keep buying this stuff despite the occasional bad tin. It's not overly complex, but it's dark, sugary, and really good. It bites pretty easily, but if you keep smoking it with abandon, that bite turns to flavour even as the end of your tongue starts to peel off. It ain't bad with a little perique mixed in, either, although I like St. James' flake and Best Brown Flake better.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Oouder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Oouder (11)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Out of the tin this flake is way too moist for me. When I crack tins I empty the contents into a glass jar to keep it moist enough for storage so I don't feel rushed to smoke the tin. I keep it in flake form and rub it out a bowl or two at a time (depending on how much I am going to smoke that day/eve. I like to smoke this flake after it has been dried out some. Lots of people complain about not being able to keep this tobacco lit. I think this is due to leaving the tobacco too wet and/or packing this flake in the fold and stuff method which does work well but can be very tricky and imo ruin a bowl if packed wrong. The more this tobacco is dried out the less it seems to bite. With that said this is a slow relaxed smoke. If you rush it, it will bite you. Can't say enough good things about this blend. My fav tobac I keep a full jar on top of the humidor and a bunch of tins ageing in storage. I have had bad experiences in the past with bulk and so I buy this by the tin. Highly recomended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

itoosmokeapipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
itoosmokeapipe (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This is my desert island tobacco.... the smoke is full and luxurious and the taste is out of this world. If I could give it more than four stars I would. Goes great with a pinch of perique, and also witha little bit of kentucky added in, giving it an almost cinnamony flavor. My standard, all day tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Delicious. If you are looking for a great virginia flake, this is it. Each day I can't wait till I have the time to pack a bowl of it. It's a good solid smoke with a rich virginia flavor. Definitely one of my top 5.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This review is based on the tin pictured above. First tin I purchased and have open now had slightly faded label, deduced it may be an older tin and have some shelf age.

Description: "Full Virginia Flake"

Appearance: Thin sliced flake tobacco resembles beef jerky with veins of lighter tobacco showing in the slices. Needs to be rubbed out and breathe to dry out somewhat.

Aroma: Intoxicating earthy smell of fine Virginia tobacco, slight hay smell.

Packing: I find rubbing out burns best and gives better flavor for me, pack loosely for better burn.

Lighting: Requires some relights.

Taste: Amazing full tobacco flavor, intoxicating and delightful.

My Impressions: A wonderful tobacco that should not be rushed. I only smoke this fine tobacco when I have the time to sit down and savor the moment. Always an amazing smoke. The tin does seem to be getting better as it ages even though it's open.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sylvian Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sylvian (28)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

This flake might very well be the essence of pipe smoking. The floral Lakeland scent is present here, but it's reserved like a Victorian gentleman and does not overwhelm at all. Very rich taste, with nuances ranging from grassy through meaty to sweet. Three dishes in one, so to speak. The room note is not FVF's strong point, but nothing's perfect. All in all, highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

After only 1 bowl with this tobacco (I received my order to smokingpipes.com last saturday) I can say that now I understand why this tobacco has the highest quantity of reviews in this web. After searching and searching for the tobacco that matched with me I can say that this is THE ONE, THE BEST. I don't know how on earth Samuel Gawith makes it but this the most tasteful, plain, pure and net pipe tobacco I never smoked.

I don't know if it is possible to give more stars. If so, I give the WHOLE SKY AND THE MOON.

Thanks to all the reviewers below because they knew what subject they were talking about.Thanks again, friends, from Spain.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dude54321 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dude54321 (1)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

After drying this tobacco out for a couple hours and slightly rubbing it out I find it to be very nice. It provides a sweet, almost nutty flavor. The nicotine hit can be fairly high, also considering I haven't ever smoked previously. Easy to keep lit. Overall, a tobacco every pipe smoker should keep on hand.

Furthermore, I have recently found it's value in blending. I mixed this with an otherwise dull Cherry Cavendish and brought it to life.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

joseph Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
joseph (46)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

Better than this Virginias can't get. Very tasteful, sip it and enjoy!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Idontwantapickle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Idontwantapickle (6)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

FVF is my all time favorite from ol Sam G. I buy this in one pound boxes. I don't start smoking it until I've put two years on it. What patience, and time will do to this Virginia flake is wonderful. Buy some, put it in a ziplock bag, and forget about it. The Virginia flavours that will waft through the curly smoke will excite the senses, and tame the most beastly among us.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I think Full Virginia Flake is one of the best tobaccos available.

The moderately-bodied natural tobacco flavor of FVF has a tangy sweet citrus note. I believe this is the apex of stoved Virginians. I smoke it thick and it has never bit my tongue.

The room note is somewhat sharp ? though not acrid ? with a hint of the citrus-like flavor.

The burning characteristics are a touchy. It's challenging to get FVF smoldering, and I seldom get it reduced to a fine ash. I'm not certain whether 1) the smoking characteristics aren't quite bad enough to diminish my value of the tobacco or 2) the flavor is so good as to render the smoking characteristics inconsequential.

The tobacco comes far too moist to smoke in long flakes of somewhat irregular thickness. Flakes are about four inches in the tin and twice as long in the bulk box. I have tried smoking this as a folded flake, partially, and fully rubbed out. Currently I fully rub-out the flakes and let a pipe-full dry for about 20 minutes before stuffing and lighting.

The tobacco is too strong for my all day smoking. I've made myself ill from smoking one bowl too many.

----

I first purchased this tobacco when learning about pipe tobaccos. My idea was to sample different tobacco types ? Virginia, Burley, etc ? in their purest form. I chose FVF because it had a three star average on this website (this was a while ago) and the name "Virginia" in its name.

What a stroke of luck! I always try to have two pounds in the house; one in a bale-top canister for everyday use and one aging in a mason jar. When the bale-top canister is empty I rotate the aged pound forward and order another pound to start the aging. This is bargain priced in tin or in bulk online at JR or SmokingPipes. I worry that Samuel Gawith will figure out that I'd pay twice as much for this! (A while ago everyone was sold out and I paid twice as much for poor substitutes.)

I've ordered some McClelland Perique to see what I can create.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ChevySpoons Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ChevySpoons (6)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm not sure what I can say that hasn't already been said, but I agree that this is one fine tobacco. I find that with the flakes roughly rubbed out and packed carefully, and the smoke sipped slowly, it lasts a good long time and never becomes bitter or biting. Nor is it overwhelmingly sweet--the blend is nicely balanced. I'd agree that a deep bowl is needed for the flavour to fully develop, but I'd add that I use a deep bowl also because I never really want the experience to end. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to both the seasoned virginia flake smoker and the newbie to virginia flakes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Samuel Gawith is an exceptional house that has been in the business for more than 200 years. If practice make perfect, they should just about be there. I have tried four of thier flakes. Other than 1792 I have been very pleased with FVF,BB, and Firedance. All three have similar base, but differ in curing, and in the case of Firedance, casing. FVF is stoved more, and seems to be sweeter than BB. Both of these are well represented in my cellar. I have several pounds of each maturing. FVF lacks the Lakeland floral scent that many of the S.G. blends have. This suits my taste. As with all S.G. blends, it arrives VERY moist. Considerable drying is a must. I have had my best smoke rubbing out these flakes. This make pack, light, and burn a snap. You get a full, natural Va. flavor. Slow cadence will put you in the "pleasure zone". At this time I have developed a taste for the catsupy, fermented aroma/taste of some other blends so I will rate this one at a very solid *

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Two words sum up this blend: Consistently Delicious.

Tastes great in all my VA pipes. When properly dried, its so easy to sip this blend & extract the fine sweet flavor so many reviewers have noted. Sometimes it tastes like a sweet cinnamon roll, other times like a pecan pie, or a good oatmeal treat. Truly an all day blend, never boring, never a bite, always cool. Weather it's a Meershaum, a coated bowl, or uncoated bowl, straight, bent, or system pipe, this blend delivers complete satisfaction. Aged or fresh from the box, it's a great experience.

Mostly a VA Flake smoker here, Samuel Gawith makes my top three favorites, FVF, Medium VA Flake, & Best Brown Flake. All slightly different taste, all throughly enjoyable.

I list my 7 remaining VA blend list as a point of reference: McClellands #27, Blackwoods Flake, 5100, G&H Bright CR Flake, McCranies Red Ribbon & Red Flake, Rattray's Hal-O-The Wind.

3/14/08: FIVE Stars!

5/16/08: Hermit 78 had the same experience as I had, almost to a 'T'. It's a favorite of mine, superb blend.

___ KEY: Dry a strip it in the microwave for 10 seconds __

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lord Byron Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lord Byron (11)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Well, I could not think of a better tobacco to do my first review on. So much could and has already been said about FVF and there is no wonder. This is without a doubt the best and most consistent Virginia out there period. I have smoked this flake several times over the past year and have never been disappointed. I enjoy many of the Samuel Gawith as well as Gawith & Hoggarth flakes. This one is at the top of the list.

This last go around I noticed FVF?s similarity to Kendal plug which I also really enjoy. FVF does not have the tart undertones but I noticed the zone produces a similar honey baked sweetness. I guess with this and Best Brown being made from the same tobacco you could expect this. It just never ceases to amaze me how an uncased tobacco could produce such a wonderful flavor and aroma. If you have never tried this flake you owe it to yourself to see why we smoke a pipe. FVF is the epitome of pipe smoking enjoyment. As mentioned, be sure to have a clean pipe and a little (or a lot) of drying time does wonders.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

4-17-08 OK, first off let me say that I am not a big fan of Virginia Tobaccos, but this stuff has made me change my mind. Now am I the only one here who thinks this stuff has a citrus taste? Lemony comes to mind. Upon opening the tin, I noted that it was quite moist. It has a pleasant smell, and I used the fold and stuff method in my trusty Willard. It took a few re-lights, but once I got it going, it burned OK. Now for the flavor. MMmmmm, Yummy! If smoked slowly, this stuff is the bomb. If you're not a fan of Virginia's, you really should give this one a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed...

4-23-08 After using the fold and stuff method for this blend, I've found that gently rubbing it out will produce better results. Don't rub it into a powder. It burns better, and seems to give off even more flavor. This stuff is really yummy. I will be buying more of this - to be sure!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SopwithCamel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SopwithCamel (255)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Another great English brand moves to Germany...

Sigh. Well, hopefully they will do as well as they did with Rattray's blends. Maybe they will change a bit, but the quality will be good.

This stuff is good, but there are mountains of other fine blends to smoke. So don't sweat it if you can't get it!

This stuff is really self explanatory. If you are a fan of natural Virginia flakes, I just can't see how you can go wrong.

I agree, this needs a pipe with a deep bowl. I don't rub it out either. The only downside for me is I have to smoke this stuff when I have a lot of time to kill, as it seems to last forever.

In other words, I don't get to enjoy this often. But it is great when I do have the time...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipemanuk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipemanuk (76)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Ok....there's one gripe I have about this tobacco....its the variability of quality. Last tin I had was very, very nice indeed. Everything good about it has been written below so I won't repeat it. The tin I have at the moment is frankly nasty. Its unpleasant to smell or smoke and I've got a good mind to send it back to Sam Gawith and ask them to spruce up their quality control. Bearing in mind I only bought it a couple of weeks ago from Greens of Leeds, there's no excuse for it. So bear in mind guys, you could get some lovely stuff or something out of next doors dustbin.

UPDATE Two things really...firstly I discovered the tin I was complaining about in my original review had rusted from the inside! Hence the disgusting flavour I guess. Secondly, I bought some of the bulk version from the nicest guy in Vermont and I can recommend it again at last. Wonderful, smooth, rich and addictive...I like the addictive description written by others...certainly is.

Makes a nice change from my American VA's because FVF is definitely not an American smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I have to agree with most of the reviewers that this is a fine flake. Stronger and fuller than Best Brown Flake, but it can become overbearing if patience is not exercised. I wouldn't consider it an all-day choice as a fully relaxed puffing cadence seems to yield the best results for me. A very good product..............

UPDATE: As I've gained experience with thos tobacco, I've come to appreciate it more. This is on a short list of flakes that perform better if not rubbed out. I usually tear off large pieces, loosely roll them into a ball and push into the pipe. Once lit FVF burns nicely with a mild flavor and a nice nicotene level. A bowl lasts a long time...........

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Peterschaume Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peterschaume (4)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I think that everything has already been said about this wonderful tobacco.

I just want to give some advices to those who have not fully appreciated.

First, all tobacco from Samuel Gawith are as fully hydrated as can be, because they are most reserved for the maturation. A long maturation (over 30 years) requires a high humidity at start.

Of course, you can smoke these tobaccos from the moment of their purchase, but if so, let them dry for a very long time (it depends on the time during which the tin was stored at the factory, at the distributor and at the retailer, of course).

This said, if smoked too young, it loses all the benefits that could be derived from a good maturation.

Here are some key moments in the maturation: 6 months, 2 years, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years and more (but more than 30 years, that becomes risky).

Secondly, you must never smoke a tobacco too quickly, if you want to extract all the flavor, and avoid tongue bite.

Third, choose a pipe which matches the tobacco. For the FVF, I recommend a deep bowl, in order to allow developing all its nuances. If you smoke it in a too short bowl, you'll have no more than the equivalent of the first third of a deep bowl, the bland part.

Try again this tobacco and respect, at least, the last two principles. You'll be surprised. Conserning the maturation, that depends of your patience. ;)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Punisher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Punisher (44)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

FVF is a dark, rich and addictive tobacco, one of the top 5 in my favorites. Again and again, I reach for this outstanding VA flake when I need to relax and regain a sense of my self.

The uneven cut, thickness wise, of the flakes opens up various possibilities for the filling and level of flavor obtainable by the smoker.

I tend to partially break the flakes only; a full rubbering can lead to tongue bite if puffed too hard and/or quickly. As wonderful a tobacco, FVF tends to be a bit on the quirky side if handled improperly. The minor tongue bite that can result from the partial rubbing vanishes quickly afterward.

FVF does require your full attention in order to be fully enjoyed. A distracted smoking will not allow the subtle sweetness, bold creaminess and leathery aftertaste to fully emerge. All you will obtain is a somewhat ordinary pure tobacco taste that will not motivate you to go for more.

Definitively a complex and interesting blend. If not for the tongue bite, it would deserve a 4 out of 4.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SirLoirn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirLoirn (126)
★★★☆
Very Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Bulk: FVF is 1x6" long dark chocolate srips of a pressed/sheet cut, striated with bright tobacco. A sweet raisins and hay aroma. A piece was readily folded in half and twisted into small flakes. One month later, it was dry and had a leathery texture.

Tin: Looks like a 3 1/2" strip of soft beef jerky. Conjures up a nice, very light meat, soft leather, and nice light hay combination of scents. It has patches that look like mold, which I suppose could be sugar crystals.

Packing & Lighting: Packed about like you would expect a rubbed-out flake to pack, needing a little effort, much like Gnossos(07/12/2006) pointed out. Lit easily, with one relight mid-bowl. At times, there needs to be a fair amount of puffing to keep it lit. A 3 1/2" strip fills a bowl about 2/3.

Taste & Aroma: Several of the descriptors of previous reviewers apply, chiefly a mix of dried fruit, buttery pancakes,and hay, but, I find FVF to be more subdued, bland, than some have indicated. It gave no bite; no sharp, tangy, or grassy aspect.

Initial Flavor & Aroma: bland, weak, natural VA.

Mid-Bowl: This is where an appreciable intensity develops; not very sweet at all. The bowl itself had a rubbery pancake and butter aroma. As the bowl progressed closer to the bottom, the VA characteristics were a little more pronounced: a soft smoky walnut taste. Absolutely biteless.

Nicotine: A nice kick to it.

Room Note: Almost nonexistent, but like a resinous wood aroma.

Overall: Better than, but different from, McClelland's Red Ribbon. Try C&D's Briar Fox or #517R, GLPease's Laurel Heights, McClelland's Blakeney's Tawny Flake, or Dunhill's Standard Mixture Mild as a comparison, though the Dunhill certainly has other components. Orliks Golden Sliced makes another good comparison.

Standard, light VA hay and smoky walnut scent, too bland to stand on its own, it would serve as a blending agent. I don't see it as the standard from which to judge all others. The factor that drew me to FVF is that Samuel Gawith does not use humectants, producing several unflavored, natural blends.

Even though I can only give it 3 stars, surprisingly, I always keep a supply on hand to mix up my own concoctions.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

stieltje Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
stieltje (14)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This!!! This is the stuff!!! I cannot simply state how good this is.

Ok! Bear in mind that this is a review based on my very first bowl of this tobacco.

I got this tin today, opened it, and there where almost no smell, other than dry hay. This was a relief, since I still have a smoking session involving Peterson University flake fresh in mind.

The tobacco fel a bit moist, and "dusty" or how to say, like small particles of sand covering the flake. I sat a piece of flake on my desk to dry up a bit, and at the same time build up a tension on what was to come, I have read the reviews here a few times already.

Half an hour later, could not wait any longer, I folded and stuffed it into an old trustworthy briar, that have been nowhere close such a thing as a peterson blend.

Fired up, first few puffs, nothing.. very mild... pipe went out. Tamped it a bit, slowly lighting the pipe again. And now, magic, a sweet very soft round smoke lingered from my pipe. I fell back in my chair, gently sipping my pipe, some inhales had a sweet banana like taste, the next few was just a sweet round virgiia smoke. By sweet I mean nowhere near anything like a candy bar, or sugar eaten as is, this was more delicate, more finesse.

Now I just feel good, Satisfied.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I'm on the bandwagon with this one, my favorite Virgina. I have to say I haven't tried an SG tobacco I haven't liked. If I could have just two tobaccos in my rotation this one and Squadron Leader would make me happy.

FVF has that clean taste I find in a good Virgina and the flake style is my favorite. Burns cool and slow with no bite. A great all day smoke, easy on the throat. Too wet on opening but a few days in the humidor and all is well.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SMOKETSES Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SMOKETSES (208)
★★★★
Medium Medium to Strong Full Tolerable

The Underclass FVF is a SPECIAL tobacco, thus it doesn?t need too much of analysis.

His abundant flavor is not excessively-complicated but FVF is maybe the smoother, richer and more pleasant flake VA.

It is smooth and rich without tongue bite.

In fact, the name ?Full Virgina Flake? describes it well.

I am a little bit a shamed……………but I will say it: I don't like it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

puro66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
puro66 (73)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

With so many reviews it seems somewhat redundant to add my two cents, but I will any way! This is superb example of virginia at its best. It is smooth and rich without tongue assault. As with all natural products I have no doubt that quality fluctuates. The only real criticism I have of SG product is the slicing which seems to range from suitably thin to extra chunky jerky style.

UPDATE 5/8/13: Fluctuation of quality may have been an understatement on my part. I am removing a star and have no plans to pursue FVF any further.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I can see why this gets such good reviews.

Rough, unveven flakes in the tin with a 'hand-made' look about them. In my opinion a truly wonderful tin aroma - good quality and complex Virginia notes that are born out in the smoking too. It is a little too moist when freshly opened and I find the flakes quite hard to rub out. I usually end up with a broken flake/folded flake pack that provides a slow, cool and long-lasting burn. I have all sorts of trouble getting this one started, but it is worth a little patience.

The flavours are typical good Virginia - grass/hay/peat/earth - with some welcome Virginia brightness to liven it up. Copious quantities of smoke once you have it going well. I find the flavours interesting and well integrated as well as long lasting - no fade-off with this one. I class this as a medium strength. It is a satisfying but smooth smoke and usually leaves me wishing the bowl hadn't ended. A nice clean burn to grey ash too. No bite at all.

4 stars from me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

onepuff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
onepuff (6)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Lovely tobacco for an unobtrusive smoke but not lacking in flavour. Good moisture and fairly slow burning so is cool and flavoursome with no bite.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

First off, the tin aroma is great. It has a nice fig aroma that carries into the smoke. Given all the troubles I have heard about lighting flakes this one lit up quite well. I dried it for 30-45 minutes and I think it could go a little longer as it was still a little on the moist side. The smoke was full of flavor with an earthy maybe even grass aroma. Definitely use a small bowled pipe because a bowl-full will last a long time. Excellent tobacco. I am glad it was recommended so highly here because it certainly deserves it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mo (79)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Update

Inconsistent nonesense.

One bowl is spectacular and the next a nightmare. The flakes are inconsistent in size and thickness. Im sorry but i need to be more strict in awarding recommendations.

HOTW gets full marks, this is a long way behind.

Mo, South Africa

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Slow Triathlete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Slow Triathlete (48)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Just tried this for the first time last night. Got it in a sampler trade with a friend of mine.

Right off the bat I'll say that I really liked this stuff. I rubbed the flakes out fully and let them dry for about an hour before lighting them up. I packed them into my Stanwell Golden Danish Bent Acorn and went out in the garage because it was too darn cold on the back deck.

The best way for me to describe this, and I think it was mentioned before, is that this tasted and smelled like a very clean tobacco. I was able to smoke it slow since I dried it out and the taste was great. Pure sweet virginia tobacco is what you get here. This is the first all virginia tobacco that I have had and I can't really remark on anything bad about it. I had to do probably about 4 relights because I'm still new at this and I didn't want to get it smoking too hot.

I know that a lot of people have this in their cellar or have tried it in the past, but if you haven't then definitely get a sampler or buy a tin sometime. You won't be disappointed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RMBittner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RMBittner (66)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

No point in rehashing what's already been established here: FVF is a fine, fine tobacco. Mellower, and lower in nicotine content, than I expected from the "Full" in the name. Instead, it's smooth, rich, and creamy. (But maybe that would have been too many words to put on the tin.)

I keep only a few VA blends in my rotation, as change-of-pace tobaccos (I prefer Balkan/Oriental blends). FVF has earned a spot in the lineup, along with Old Gowrie, Hal o' the Wynd, and Dark Star.

Bob

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TeeBee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TeeBee (19)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I was very concerned because I was running out of McC Christmas Cheer 2007. But two days ago I received 8 oz of SG FVF from smokingpipes.com (great dealer, fast delivery and very low shipping costs) and I was in heaven; what a fantastic VA! Not much of a aroma from the package (in this case a plastic bag) but when you filled and litten your bowl you was very highly paid out. Full flavour and a subtle sweetness and it stayed that way all the way down to the bottom. Creamy smooth and full of taste. The only trouble was to rub the flakes out, and you have to relight the pipe a couple of times, but it worth it, believe me. Five stars?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

firstsealord Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
firstsealord (22)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

This flake is an outstanding tobacco, very rich, satisfying with the right dosage of nicotine.

The flakes are in a rough, messy stage in the tin; the composition, long slices medium brown in majority with some light and dark brown minorities. Some sugar crystals are discernable.

Easy to rub out, easy to light up, it brings, indeed, a full virginia flavour that lasts throughout the bowl, never dull.

The ideal companion for an eventless watch at sea. I rest assured that Sherlock would have smoked this jewel of Lakeland!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dallaspipehead Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dallaspipehead (12)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

My first experience with this famous flake came to me in bulk. Never before had I seen a flake that held together with such integrity. Beyond leathery, it would be more accurate to describe it like moist strips of balsa or veneer. The aroma was very subtle, almost overpowered by the other bulk blends that shipped along with it. My previous experiences with virginia flakes were somewhat volatile. Mac Baren's Virginia Flake is overly sweet and very hot for me, although I still endeavor to understand it and enjoy it, and the same goes for their Virginia #1(please forgive me, Mac Baren). Stokkebye's 333 & 111 gave me a similar trial. Cornell & Diehl's Bayou Morning Flake was hellish on the toungue as well. I've smoked enough perique blends from varied origins to know the extra heat in 111 and BMF could not be blamed in part to the perique content. I've smoked perique straight, like ol' Allister Crowley, and had less trouble. SG's Full Virginia Flake was a totally new breed of Virginia flake in the realms of virginias I'd met before. In short- by comparison...unbelievably mild. Especially for a flake that claims to be full. Don't get me wrong, I love Mac Baren, Stokkebye and Cornell & Diehl products. They all deserve high merit and praise, but in a range of tobaccos I once considered risky, I now find myself delving deep and puffing carefree! I have tried this remarkable flake in pipes of all shapes and sizes, varied materials and values. The quality is unwavering. Nothing compares to the FVF. I can't help but wonder if it has anything to do with where their virginias are grown (Africa, I suspect). Regardless of its origins- it cannot be outdone. Dare I say, this is THE ULTIMATE in virginia flakes- bar none. The old standard to which all other Virginia flakes should be measured. Perfect in every way from the top of the bowl to the bottom. 4 Stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

schnorrer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
schnorrer (14)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Not much to add to the excellent reviews already posted. This is my favorite "straight" Virginia. A few observations....

1) Like other S.G. Flakes, this benefits from drying out. I usually pop the tin a few days before I smoke my first bowl, and sometimes leave the cover off for a day or two.

2) Even with a few days drying, I rub this out completely for the first week or two. It is too wet to fold and stuff until I get almost halfway through the can.

3) IMHO It is a bit stronger than S.G. Best Brown Flake. On the medium side of "mild to medium".

4) Please smoke this in a clean pipe. If you find the flavor dull or boring, clean your pipe and try again. There is a lot of nuance to appreciate.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Guyrox Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Guyrox (131)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

My, oh my!

Full Virginia Flake is an outstanding...VA flake! I must admit, the best one so far that I've smoked...

FVF is a medium / dark brown flake that smells like cereal/ tobacco upon opening. i cannot detect any casing but the pure smell of rich, matured tobacco: impressive! The flakes are marked with sugar crystals and are a beauty to the hand and eye.

Smoking is, my God! creamy! Yes, CREAMY but full and satisfying...and with all due respect to the legendary and respectable Pipestud, this bakkie does not bite!

It smokes stable all the way, becomes a bit richer once past mid-bowl, and does not wet the bowl.

Highly recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (146)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

This is, to my tastes, the single most over-rated tobacco on the market today.

That is not to say that Full Virginia Flake is in any way an inferior product. It is one of the most beautifully executed all-VA flakes I've ever seen, and the quality of the leaf is absolutely top-notch. Yet I am perplexed to read many of the glowing reviews and to watch how its value seems to be approaching that of gold on an ounce-to-ounce basis. Yes, it's good -- but I would never describe this as the best pure VA on the market, or even one of the Top Five.

Why is this? Because FVF is the fussiest tobacco I've ever loaded into a pipe. Sure, it is perfectly capable of producing the ever-elusive "perfect smoke" -- that is, if you manage to dry it to the perfect humidity, choose the most forgiving briar in your collection, pack it in precisely the correct geometric arrangement, light it JUST SO with a wooden match, and then nurse it like a critical care patient in an intensive care ward. On those occasions (about twice per tin, in my experience) FVF admittedly has no equal. When the stars are right, this stuff positively resonates with sweetness, complexity, and the sort of depth rarely achieved by straight VAs. Unfortunately, the remaining smokes are at best lackluster and at worst hot, bitey and flavorless.

I'm giving this one three stars because (a) it's undoubtedly a classic and (b)those infrequent "perfect" smokes are truly epic. But I cannot give a four-star rating to a blend that disappoints me far more often than not. I've tried several tins over the past five years and have smoked it fresh, aged, moist, dried, and packed in about every configuration I can think of. But the bottom line is that I can name numerous VAs that are far more consistent: Blackwoods Flake, Old Gowrie, and Briar Fox are the first three that come to mind, but there are others.

Should you try FVF? Of course. Individual tastes vary, and it might be that I just don't "get it." But don't feel too disappointed or embarrassed if your tastes aren't in line with those who consider it to be the Holy Grail of pipe tobaccos. I've got about four tins worth of this stuff cellared, and I don't plan on buying any more. YMMV, of course!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

good smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
good smoke (5)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

A very good smoking tobacco. I'am comeing to like Samuel Gawith tobacccos. I give it four stars. I would like to thank Tobacco Reviews for this web site. It has helped me in picking good tobaccos.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (574)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

-This blend is a little cheaper than some other flakes so that is a plus.

-Flakes are cut with inconsistent thickness which affects burn...not the worst thing but can be a pain due to some tunneling down the middle of the pipe pack.

-Smells great in the tin, moisture content is high but I dry my flakes to a desired level anyway.

-Not as much smoke produced as I would like. Needed quite a few relights. Aroma was monochromatic...not as much flavor depth as BBF.

-I was expecting something stronger but this was just soso.

I'd much rather smoke BBF and if I had my preference I'd take a bowl of Chocolate Flake...the latakia is mild, the toppping is not sweet but wonderfully dry and full of flavor...great volume of smoke..a true winner.

If you are a big straight Va fan this might be worth a try...I think there are better Vas out there.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ChicagoPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ChicagoPipe (45)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I agree with the majority of revierws here, that this is one of the best VA I smoked in 43 years. This VA has real full flavor, natural sweetness, burns cool, and has no bite. Some reviewers have mentioned perique in this flake, but being a perique fan, I can definently say there is no perique. I think the spicy flavor comes from the stoved VA. I bought 4oz. bulk, and the flakes were at a perfect moisture content. It seems the tinned version is much wetter. The flakes fold very easy for packing, or could be rubbed out if you wish. I like to fold the flakes into my old jumbo Wellington pipes and enjoy and hour plus of excellent smoking.

A must try for all VA lovers.

Highly Recommended

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Arzmordus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arzmordus (5)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

Right off the bat I'll state I'm not a real big fan of Virginias, so if you are you may as well skip my review.

Luckily I only ordered a 2 ounce sample of this stuff. Was thinking of buying a pound of this stuff from the reviews. Comes in nice strips, very moist, which I prefer actually. Needs to be dried out of course, I let it sit out for three hours before I tried to rub it out.

Has a nice smell, mild, but sweat. Pretty strong, like smoking a cigar. I got a small nicotine buzz off of it. However, I find the taste to be very bland, like most Virginias I've smoked. Not much depth to the taste, it's there, but it's not doing anything.

Overall I wouldn't recommend it right now. I've canned the remaining portion I have of it, since I've heard Virginias age very well. Hopefully I will enjoy it more when It matures a year or two. I'll update my review then.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stacey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stacey (40)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Very Full Very Pleasant

Update on 8/22/2010

I'm docking this one star due to quality control issues. The last few tins of this have not been up to snuff, bordering on tasteless and having none of the sweetness and rapturous scent in the aroma that I originally noted. I still have a tin left from that last batch and hopefully it will improve with age, as occasionally happens with Virgina weed. If it does I may consider restoring the "star upon thar" to this sneetch. What a pity, there was no equal to those original tins I had! Until then, I'll be searching for another pure Virginia, and smoking McClelland's VAPER blends when the mood for a sweet blend strikes.

-----------------------------------------------------------

I got a tin of this two or three days ago from an order placed on http://www.Cupojoes.com and have to say that this is awesome! Opening the tin, I found the beef jerky shaped slices and knew that I had to figure out the "rubbing out" thing so I shelved for the next day.

The next morning I popped open the tin and felt the tobacco. It didn't feel to wet to me so I tried rubbing it, nothing, hmmm.

Thag is definitely feeling confused here, so he does what any caveman would do in that situation and starts tearing it apart. OK, that seems to work better and is definitely more satisfying so I stuffed a small Comoy with one ripped up strip and smoked it. I didn't get much out of the first bowl, but nothing unusual there. It usually happens that way...

So retry the same way, but this time I choose a bigger pipe and stuff two ripped up strips in - Wow! A little slow to light but easy to keep lit. This is an excellent sweet smoke. A lot of tobacco taste. The aroma is intoxicating. Curiously, I don't detect any soapy taste. Oh well, that didn't sound fun anyway.

We have a definite winner here and a real confirmation of my suspicion that it would be better to order from an internet source than buy any more of that bland stuff from the local tobacco shop. This tobacco is now on my regular rotation and I doubt it will be ousted by another, though I will surely try many. Do yourself a favor and go out and get some, but be warned, if you aren't a habitual pipe smoker now, you will be!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hagen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hagen (91)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

06.14.2007. not quite as strong as i immediately thought. but the best tobacco i know of!

03.23.2007. this is pure virginia, which is quite rare to come by these days. a luxurious, heavily stoved flake, which i can only smoke late in the evening, as i prefer something a little sharper and less strong most of the day. as a go-to-bed smoke it is absolutely beautiful. an elegant, deep, sweet, "tobacco-y" and RICH smoke, and yet it is funny how the faintest taste of something "soapy" sneaks in at the last third of the pipefull. all natural, though, as far as i can make out.

i mostly fill the pipe 24 hours before smoking it, as this is almost dripping wet tobacco (goes for all the samuel gawith flakes). some find that gawith is cheating on the weight, but it's fine with me. rather a humid tobacco which takes a little work, than one which dries out the moment you open it.

some tobaccos taste fine in almost any type of pipe. not so with fvf., which imo performs best in a "dunhill-size" 2-3 billard/lovat, due to the coarseness of the flakes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

HoopleHead Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HoopleHead (11)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

I too bought this in a 1 lb. bulk from SP.com and I too taste perique! In fact it is so different from the tinned descriptions I'm not sure I should actually state my opinions, but they're all good, so please understand if I sound a little off-center.

Opening this nice box of flake, it looked like bacon! 6-inch slices about an inch and a half wide. I tear them into 4 pieces and rub between my hands... it balls up quickly into a soft wad, then falls loosely as I gradually release it. It drops easily into my pipe of choice (smokes well in every pipe I've tried) and then packs perfectly, needing little interim tamping. It smokes continuously until you put it down for more than a minute then goes out.

The taste is full and satisfying with a strange perique tingle... I love perique, so this is a GOOD thing. Bits that I inhale occasionally light up my smoker senses and make me happy. This is a great smoke, but I'll need to buy a tin sometime and compare...just to see.

From Utopia TX... havagoodun!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Moe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Moe (45)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Its already been said. Sweet, easy on the mouth, delicious. Other virginia flakes wish they were this tastey.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

indyf1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
indyf1 (17)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is a pretty good smoke -- full bodied and naturally mild on the tongue. The tin aroma is classic tobacco, no fillers. The sheets are moist and a little difficult to rub out, at least initially. After time, the sheets grind out easier. It smokes cool, and maintains its flavor throughout the bowl. A good pack, and you're looking at an hour-long bowl, if puffed at a leisurely pace. Spend the time to enjoy this fine product. The only downside of this blend is the pressed/sheet cut. I'd rather not have to manipulate the tobacco too much before packing it in the bowl, but the quality of this blend outweighs the minor annoyance of breaking it up.

As I smoke this excellent offering, I imagine relaxing in a fine leather chair inside a gentleman's club in 19th-century India, surrounded by English Army officers and wealthy entrepreneurs. A rattan-bladed fan rotates overhead, creaking every now and then. It's warm, humid, and sweat runs down the side of my highball glass, now only half-full of gin and tonic water. A heavy puff from my pipe, and all seems well in the colony.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is a tobacco which benefits from aging, however, it does not have to age much to still smoke/taste well. I personally prefer FVF to the much acclaimed Rattray Virginia blends; I find it has a little more spiciness and character to it than, say, Marlin Flake. I prefer all Sam Gawith flakes simply folded, rolled slightly (tubewise) and stuffed - depending on the particular pipe size, one to two complete flakes from a regular tin will give me exactly the size I need for a lengthy, cool, sweet and exceedingly enjoyable smoke. Now, all that being said, of the Samuel Gawith flakes, I find that Best Brown Flake satifies me more than Full Virginia Flake. Both are definitely worth cellaring since both improve greatly with six months or more aging. FVF does better, burn-wise, if you open the tin and let it sit open for a few hours. I have found that if you can get the flakes to the point of humidity where they just start to crack/break when you fold them, the moisture level is perfect. Once stuffed and lit, you'll rarely have to relight until the end of the bowl; light, small puffs will provide you with a wonderfully full and delicious pipe-smoking experience.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Fun presentation in the tin, like beef jerky, dark and cut into flakes a little on the pleasantly plump side. Tin aroma is subtle. I had a bit of trouble rubbing it out and found it a bit easier just to fold into pipe. Halfway through the tin I got a bit bored with it so I blended it with some leftover MacBarens navy flake and leftover Macbarens Virginia flake, and the contrast of colors was pretty. I mixed in a few pinches of Perique and the three Virginian complement each other well like a three piece harmony with the high note of spice coming from the Spartan use of perique. I really want to give this flake four stars as it is great for what it is and I like the Lakeland soap taste though it?s very subtle.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darwin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darwin (101)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I've smoked a couple of pounds of Full Virginia Flake since I made the previous review in 2003. I'd like to upgrade my recommendation to 4 stars. FVF is surely one of the great stoved Virginia flakes available. I find it deeply satisfying. I will smoke this any time, whether first thing in the morning or the last bowl before bed. Moreover, in bulk form, it is one of the great values. One thing that kind of bugs me though, is that in the tin it comes very wet. Sometimes I feel like I'm paying for quite a bit of water.

02/19/03 FVF is a dark stoved Virginia, but not as oily and dark as Dark Star. In the tin, it has a real tobacco smell with just a trace of the perfume or soap that turns some away from Lake District blends. In each flake there are traces of a bright tobacco which runs in streaks. Small bird's eyes of lighter tobacco are also mixed with the dark Virginia. My tin is over a year old and a little on the dry side; just the way I like flake tobacco. If I look closely, I can see a few spots where crystals are beginning to form.

I decided to smoke FVF in a small, straight Jorn billiard. I stuffed the flakes in and then rubbed out a small amount to ease lighting. At first, I enjoyed a rich, smooth, and slightly sweet smoke that produced a slight tongue-bite. Midway through the bowl I tasted a slight soapy taste, but not bad at all. The blend is not as complex as other Virginia flake tobaccos. However, the rich earthy flavor more than compensated. The complexity built near the end of the bowl; I tasted more sweetness with a little peppery spice. Just near the end, the nicotine really hit me. The bowl finished smooth and strong.

I think this would be a "must" for serious Virginia flake smokers, but it might be a little too much for your first leap into Virginia flake tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Le Fumeur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Le Fumeur (10)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

If you do not like this tobacco, then you just do not like Virginian tobacco! This is the quintessential Virginian, the stellar example of all the Viginia leaf can and should be. In its flake form before being rubbed out, you can see the delicious lines of natural sugar (white) amidst the leaf. The appearance is dark to black with the white sugary lines. Rubbing it out produces at first small clumps and then if you really want to work it out, eventually flakes. But I found that the clump stage smoked just fine. The finer you rub it, the more surface area to produce smoke is the general principle. The tin smell is sweet, full, and meaty. The smoke is a lucious, full blue that lasts and lasts as it winds heavenward. The smoke taste is creamy, smooth, sweet, medium to full nicotine, tannins, meat, raisins, and the slightest hint of vanilla (not a flavored blend, just one of the natural flavors that comes out). This tobacco just gets better and better toward the end of the bowl. The ash comes out fine and grey. I had only a very small dottle left over. The room note is very pleasant. This is without a doubt the best Virginian tobacco I have ever smoked, and I cannot recommend it enough. It is everything a Virginian should be and more.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cell biologist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cell biologist (21)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant

This is a classic Virginia, full of flavor and very smooth. It is slightly nuttier, earthier, and has a rounder flavor that is slightly less intensely malty than e.g., Hal ?O the Wynde. In a graphite bowl this was smooth all the way through and less prone to bite than other less stoved Virginias. The build to the bottom of the bowl becomes even creamier and smoother than the first part of the bowl. Highly delectable. It is a bit wet in a newly opened tin, but it smokes wonderfully well after letting it dry out before packing the bowl.

By the way if you are into mixing, 2 parts this to one (coin) of Escudo is four-stars- plus.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gnossos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gnossos (39)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Frankly, I don't get what the big deal with this tobacco is. It's not completely unpleasant, and will, in fact, do in a pinch. A two star rating might be a little harsh - but I'm going by the text behind the stars (somewhat reccomended) rather than what they might appear as, simply viewing them as stars. I do, somewhat, reccomend this.

I did completely dry this out - tried it fresh out of the tin, halfway dry, and completely dry. Fresh out of the tin it wasn't very good at all, halfway dry and somewhat dry it was alright. Rubbing out was a difficult procedure and even after concentrated effort I ended up more with little chunks as opposed to well rubbed-out flake, which made the packing of the bowl somewhat annoying. When it was completely dry it felt like packing pebbles and in general air flow was hindered in all periods of wetness / dryness by the way it packs.

The taste, for me, was rather bland. It had some good strength to it though, there being a nice nicotine kick.

The most redeeming factor of this tobacco is its smell. The side smoke smell is nice and sweet. Still, I like Rattray's Old Gowrie, McConnell's Scottish Cake, Brookline News and Gift's Boston Harbor, and Gawith's Broken Scotch much better.

I had rather high hopes for this when I first got it. It looks very nice in the tin, the sugars obviously coming out, a nice, dark, dense flake. And then it just went sort of downhill from there. So, if you feel like experimenting, check it out, maybe you'll be one of those who love it. But I don't see myself buying another tin of this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

For me, this is the quintessential Virginia. It is deliciously flavorful, with all the elements that make for a savory Virginia smoke, a natural sweetness with an almost imperceptible hint of the Lakeland scent, smooth and biteless, with a perfect level of nicotine, burns nicely and is modestly priced.

I can?t add much to the glowing reviews of those who appreciate this fine tobacco, except to reiterate the sound advice offered by others. You do yourself and the tobacco a great disservice if you smoke this stuff without drying it and rubbing it out. Do so, and you will be rewarded with a fabulous smoking experience.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

First, let me point out that I certainly am not an expert pipe smoker. I have tried to smoke a pipe off and on ever since the early 90's. I am now making my most recent attempt (the coffin nails have me in their grip). What I have found is that VA is the only kind of pipe tobacco that I really like. Given this preamble, I found this tobacco to require some patience when first starting to smoke it. The first thing I found is that it is not a good choice as an outdoor treat when it?s windy. If you?re in the wind, then you might as well leave your pipe empty as try to smoke FVF. The second personal caveat I found was that it must be packed very carefully. I tried cutting it into squares, rolling it like a sausage, and giving it a rough rubout. In all cases it was hard to keep lit and had the taste and aroma of a bad cigarette. I then bit the bullet and did a detailed rubout. Wow, what a difference! Finally I found it to be too delicate a tobacco to be smoked in a pipe that had been adulterated with a heavy complex flavored VA. The true flavor of FVF will be masked by the previous pipe's inhabitant. Once I worked these little problems out, I have to admit that this is one of the most enjoyable and relaxing smokes I have ever tried. In brief, it is a very subtle, slightly sweet, rich, and smooth aroma tobacco (I smell more than taste pipe tobacco) with no bite. It has a very one dimensional quality to it, but this is a nice break from the more common complex VA flake. As a final comment, I keep reading about the Lakeland soap taste. I am certainly not an expert soap taster, but from the point of view of my taste buds, FVF tastes like pure tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is the best single-leaf tobacco I've had. It's looks dark, oily, sugary and dense. Taste is much the same. Stacks of creamy smoke. It's mostly a monotone flavored tobacco, but that flavor is perfect-rich, dark and bitter-sweet, as is good chocolate. Full Virginia Flake is better than Marlin flake, with less will to bite.

The flakes are thin and long. (bulk purchase) It's a little work to rub out, but work is fun. I rub it most of the way to ribbons and let it dry out some. It's rubbery at this point and isn't the simplest pack in pipe smoking, but it's worth it. Don't pack it too tight since it is dense. Two matches and a light tamp are enough.

The flavor is there in buckets. Some people want more complexity and I like that, too, sometimes. But this is an all day smoke and a contemplative sitter; both for the price of one. Speaking of price, this one's pretty good by the pound. I can't think of a down side, except that it's gone too fast.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hemlock Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hemlock (57)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

With the unusually low price of a couple tins locally and the number of positive reviews here, I had to give it a go.

It was obvious upon opening the tin that the initial moisture level of my first flake would need a day of controlled drying in an empty cigar tin. A dark brown flake, there were some crystals evident, which some suggest is sugar from the Virginia. Simply folded in half, roughly twisted to loosen some leaf, and stuffed into the bowl, the joy of packing flake never fades.

FVF is a rich and rewarding smoke. Getting better through the bowl, cool smoking, gentle sweetness with a complex flavour suggestive of prunes, dried fruits and unadulterated, pressed and aged Virginia tobacco.

Too bad it takes so long to smoke a single flake to get the most out of it. Justice is not served if this is smoked while doing other things. Ashamed to admit it, but I am a product of the hurried world, and I find that to get the most out of this, I need more time to make a regular go of it. Nonetheless, a fine product worth cellaring.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Please pardon me, as this is my first time reviewing a tobacco. That said, I simply do not see what all the hoopla about Samuel Gawith tobacco is all about. I have tried 1792, and while enjoying the taste, I thought I might die from either the nicotine, or tonquin?, or both. After reading the reviews of others, I thought I would give this a try, so here it goes.

Upon opening the tin, I was disappointed by the aroma, somewhat reminiscent of asphalt, or road tar, or some other similar concoction, perhaps old shoes.

Taking a chance it would smoke better than it smells, I filled an old Comoy bent about halfway. Upon lighting, the taste, to me, was rather indistinct and mild, almost tasteless. Room note somewhat reminiscent of cigarette tobacco.

Flakes that I rather enjoy include, not in any particular order: Marlin Flake, Dark Star, Germain's Medium Flake, Old Gowrie, McClelland Blackwoods Flake, McClelland Dominican Glory Maduro, McClelland No. 24 Matured Virginia, Ashton Black Parrot, Ashton Brindle Flake, and Ashton Pebble Cut.

As you can see, my taste in flake tobacco varies, but for some reason, I cannot seem to befriend the Gawith style, and it is not for lack of trying. Perhaps I will try again next year.

My recommendation: If you like the Gawith blends, then by all means partake. For me it doesn't work, but we all have different tastes, and many of you may not like what I enjoy.

Regardless, it is the holiday season, and my best wishes extend to all.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ajaj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ajaj (69)
★★★★
Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is, IMHO, the virginia flake that all others need to be compared to. It may arrive a little moist in the tin but I agree with a reviewer below; the moisture is perfect when one folds the flakes and they just barely crack. The taste is a full, but naturally flavorful, burst of hay, molasses, and sweet fermented weed... what I think a classic virginia flake should taste like. There is a hint of the "Lakeland soap" but I enjoy that flavor. The bass notes are more pronounced than SG Best Brown Flake, and the taste is more rounded. This is BBF's older brother. FVF provides a wonderful DGT experience also. Sam...please don't ever change this classic in the world of tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Virginia lovers, I believe that this what you are looking for. A solid pressed Virginia full of flavor, albeit, one-dimensional. Smoked slowly, this tobacco has a sweet natural taste that is extremely enjoyable. I find I love this one for an occasional morning smoke or simply to enjoy anytime I am in the mood for something hefty without Latakia. Combined with a sweetened drink (artificial or sugar) its naturally sweet flavor is heightened, and makes it an extraordinary treat. It?s rival here I suppose is Marlin Flake, which has just a touch of tonquin (although not as much as 1792 flake), which I do not like. Also, Dunhill?s Light Flake has an inconsistent flavor and topping that keeps it from 4 star territory. This one will need just a bit of drying out but is well worth the effort (I rubbed out and dried my last pound a full 24 hours). If this tobacco were a food I would call it pancakes with lots of butter and maple syrup.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I am updating my original rating from somewhat to highly recommended. Why the change? It took nearly four months to adequately dry this out. My two year aged tin opened with tactile moisture present. The excess moisture really subdued the rich flavors and increased both steam and burning difficulties (duh).

Once this dried out to the point where the flakes just fold without, but nearly, crumbling, the taste just tripped the light fantastic. Load some well rubbed out flake into the bottom and on top of folded, whole flakes for a genuinely tasty, long smoke.

Marlin Flake is a bit tangier and brighter at times, but exponentially more bitey. Full Virginia Flake and Dark Star are in dead heat competition for my time- not a bad situation to be in, eh?

I wil continue to use these tobaccos to cool and deepen the flavors of hotter and brighter blends when I am not in the mood for Burley's attributes (as Burley can be used to tame a pungent and/or biting blend).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Redneck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Redneck (15)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I find FVF to be a monotone blend that smokes very well but has no TANG at all, almost flat. The taste is one-dimentional. This tobac has no bite, is very smooth, and does not seem to have an over-abundance of nicotine. It is easy to rub out, pack, and smokes dry. Easy on the stomache and throat.

This FVF is NOT a standard that other virginia tobac's should be compared to. Hal O' the Wynd is much more Tangy and Tasty!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

fourshephards Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fourshephards (51)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Its about time that I review this tobacco. I have been smoking it for years.

In my opinion, Full Virginia Flake should serve as the standard of comparison by which ALL other Va flakes should be judged. It has a smooth, almost buttery flavor that is as depndable as a swiss watch. It has perfect burning characteristics - always burning down to a fluffy mottled white/brown ash. The flavor, grassy and a little sweet at the match, gathers some strength sa the bowl is consumed, though it never gets sour or bitter. It can nip at your tongue if you get too aggressive with it, but this is rarely a problem as you will want to smoke it gently in order to make it last longer.

In the tin, it appears as thin, flexible pieces of asphalt with some lighter mottlings here and there. It may need to dry out a bit as it can be a little moist at the tin's first opening.

I feel FVF performs best in a mid-size or larger bowl in order to give it time to develope as you smoke.

Highest marks, Highest Recommendations.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ian Weeks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ian Weeks (36)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

It has been explained to me by a friend that this leaf is "steamed" and not "stoved" and I am inclined to believe him. Which is to say, rather, I have no reason not to. Either steamed, stoved, or microwaved GH did an excellent job putting together the recipe for this weed. Notwithstanding the ellusive tin note, unusual for a flake of this caliber and big boldness, and audacity of taste, FVF has a flavor ranked among my ablsolute favorites: Marlin Flake, Light Flake, Hamborger Veermaster. I do not feel bored smoking a Virginia weed that is pure or uncased as some of my esteemed co-reviewers have mentioned, I feel only the sweet, blissful, and sublime essence that the creator of this leaf ment to express, and more often than not when smoking Virginia Flake of any sort I zone out and stare into space, going back... going back... going back...

Ian Weeks Chicago, Illinois

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Esoxhunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Esoxhunter (60)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Updated June 2011

Well, I said I'd get back to this tin,and now I have. It really improved with nearly 7 years of age. It's now sweeter and more well-balanced than I recall it originally being Very nice, but still not exceptional in my opinion. Still, I've uprgaded my review from 2 to 3 stars.

September 2004

This is a nice, straightforward Virginia flake, similar to other nice, straighforward Virginia flakes I've tried. This tastes particularly similar to the flakes I find in my local tobacconists' jars. I'll let the current tin age awhile and try again later.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pmonroeb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pmonroeb (92)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Another good player in this type of tobacco, but I prefer the fuller flavor of Stonehaven or Dark Star.

Maybe just a touch sweeter than some of its competitors.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stormrider Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stormrider (14)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant

Appearance: These big flakes reminded me at first of Edgeworth Slices, right down to the gold foil flaps in the tin.

Tin aroma: Hmmm, very interesting. Intriguing, even. What IS that? Not quite McClelland ketchup, not quite G. L. Pease raisin, close to molasses but a little less sweet-- then I named it: A1 sauce! But not in a cloying way, just enough to tantalize your nose and taste buds and promise a little sweetness and complexity.

Flavor: Creamy, slightly sweet and complex, just honest Virginia what-you-smell-is-what-you-get. Good nicotine hit, can be too buzzy if smoked too fast, along with that old tongue bite if not puffed gently to let it remain cool. A bit hard to light without thorough rubbing out because of the moisture, I like to let a few flakes dry out for a day or so before loading them. Then it just gets better and better, and the flavor grows as the bowl burns down. It's great as is, but sometimes I like to try mixing different blends, and my favorite home blend involves a few flakes of this along with an equal amount of bulk pressed Burley (McClelland bulk X-30) and just the tiniest pinch of Latakia. The result is smooth, creamy, nutty, slightly sweet, and complex with a hint of campfire, everything I look for in a cigar without the stink! Room aroma is true to the flavor and tin aroma, medium strong but very pleasant. Very nice-- a keeper in my stash anyday.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Rocketman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rocketman (6)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

I don't get it, I just don't get it!!! I've read hundreds of notes singing the praises of this flake..."Oh, it smokes so cool", "Yum, it tastes sooooooo good", " I am smoking it right now in my Abbott & Costello, who's on first pillow shaped cardboard freehand and I'm having an epiphany and my life is now complete and I will go to join my maker right after I tamp this down"! Well, here's my thing. I Don't Like This Flake!!! I like other Va/flakes. I like other Va/flakes from S.G.. I've tried it in many differt pipes...don't like it! I've been ageing my stash for over 4 years under a good vacuum and have sampled it every one of those years to monitor its progress...don't like it! I have folded whole flakes, rubbed it out corsely and fine, broken it into manageable pieces, cut it into cubes...don't like it! Smoked it wet, smoked it dry, smoked it in-between...Don't like it! Don't think it has much aroma. I find that it doesn't burn very well for me. I can't taste it very much 'cause the Tongue-Bite demon tends to rip my mouth to shreds no matter how slowly I sip. Don't like it! If anyone feels that I'm hiding my true feelings about this Flake, feel free to e-mail me and I will endevor to be more clear. In conclusion, for a long time I had massive feelings of inadequacy over this (Everyone likes it...what's wrong with me?!?). However, after a year of intensive therapy I now believe that I'm OK and you are all Pod-People!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I place SG FVF in the second tier of Virginia Flakes, right behind Best Brown, Old Gowrie, and Hal O Wynd, in that order. For me it holds first position in its category, slightly above Rattrays Marlin Flake although it is a close call, and I can understand why some may prefer MF. It is not an easy flake to handle. I buy it in 1 lb. blocks, separate and rub out about 1/4 lb. of the six inch flakes. I then further process the tobacco in little food blender I bought just for that purpose until it reaches a fully rubbed out condition and store it in a 1/4 litre preserving jar. In this form, it packs and burns beautifully all the way to the bottom of the bowl. It is very dark brown but has not been stoved black. It smells of a hayloft, of deep, dark, rich tobacco with a faint carmelized note of natural stoved vegetal sugars. The charring light is a bit sharpish, but it quickly smooths out to a tangy, rich Virginia flavor. Full Virginia Flake is well named and provides full Virginia flavor. In fact the taste is so tangy that it steps right up to a Perique effect, but stops just short. It has the kind of tobacco flavor that, when taken in sips, you simply want to last forever. I love this tobacco, and smoke it daily. Most highly recommended. Paddy.\ ________________________________________________ 7/25/03 Buy it in bulk. Rub it out thoroughly and then rub it out some more. It is the second best smoke in the world.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BostonPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BostonPipe (83)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

A very nice elegant flake. After having experienced several hot/nasty virginia flakes in the past, I decided to take a foray into the venue again. This tin is one that my wife had picked up for me three years ago on my birthday. Upon opening the tin, I enjoyed the fresh, subtly sweet fragrance emmanating from within. The flake is mainly dark with an occasional blond streak. I packed several unbroken strips into a large older sand-blasted pipe that had belonged to my Dad, then topped off the pipe with a half-strip that was throughly rubbed out to assist in the lighting. It did require several false lights and tamps. The flavor may be one-dimensional, yet it is a very pleasing, what I feel is best described as a slightly sweet, lemony taste. The taste never varies from beginning to end, it is very consistent the length of the smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nimrod Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nimrod (29)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Unnoticeable

Going through my tobacco cellar (kitchen cabinet) the other day I decided I needed to try a new virginia and this one jumped out at me. I don't really know what "Lakeland" is supposed to mean, but I tend to like VA flakes.

On opening the tin I detected an interesting grassy "green" vegetation sort of smell. My cats heard me opening something (with some tins such as GL Pease they think it's me opening a can of cat food) and immediately came to check it out. Normally they take a quick sniff and flee, but they actually found this tobacco rather interesting (they like eating grass and stuff). Luckily they finally decided that it wasn't fit for their consumption. Anyway, it was kind of strange to find a tobacco that they found interesting. Hopefully this "green" smell isn't a sign of insufficient age.

Early on in the tin this stuff had a very strong flavor which I interpreted as just natural tobacco flavor, but that seems to have died down after a couple of weeks, or maybe I have just gotten used to it. (The "green" smell has died down as well. This makes me wonder if it's actually a topping of some sort that I was tasting.) Now the tobacco tastes a bit soapy or something like Dunhill Light Flake.

Overall this tobacco is not as sweet as other virginias I've tasted but it has more of that leafy sort of tobacco flavor than most. I think it's got less topping than dunhill light flake.

Maybe I'm just too picky or something but I think I prefer virginias with less topping and more "spice" and natural sweetness. If this and light flake are both "Lakeland" tobaccos then, though decent, perhaps lakeland isn't my favorite. Of such scented flakes though I think this is my favorite of the ones I've tried.

ADDENDUM

After writing that review I discovered that the pipe I was using had too much gunk built up in the shank. I have only used this pipe to smoke virginias and lately only this tobacco, so I figure that must have been exaggerating the topping (especially after smoking in a cleaner pipe seemed to bring out a more natural flavor.) Anyway, even after smoking in a clean pipe I'm sure this has at least a bit of that perfumey flavoring. Even with the buildup I had rated it only "very mild" on flavoring and I just changed that to "extremely mild".

I have since taken the dirty pipe, scraped out ALL the cake, and scrubbed the shank quite thoroughly with those bristle pipe cleaners and alcohol. I'll have to be more careful about cleaning these things in the future (even if they've only been smoked with one tobacco since the last cleaning).

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Willy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Willy (75)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a flake I used to smoke quite regularly, but branched off into other tobacco realms what with so many newer products popping up on the scene as well as trying some of the older established tobaks I just never seemed to get around to before. But, smoking this again just reaffirms what the majority of you have noted, and that is that this is one FINE tobak. Just good no-nonsense VA tobacco flavor! A wee bit of natural sweetness, slightly tangy, woodsy, nutty, hints of citrus here & there and virtually no bite. IMHO, one of SG's best! Packs well whether you fold and tuck or rub it out some as I do, and as one reviewer stated adding a bit of finely rubbed particles on top helps get this stuff burning very nicely. I had little trouble w/gurgle, one cleaner near 1/2way and that was it. Burns clean to a fine whitish ash and leaves the pipe dry. Maybe it is just a bit one-dimensional, but I taste subtle nuances now and then that keep me interested. The flavor just keeps on coming, and lots of times I don't want to try to pick out certain flavors as I smoke a bowl. Just tasting that natural, good solid VA flavor fills the bill. As I've said before, simple is best sometimes. Works for me.

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Inquisitor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Inquisitor (155)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

(From a blind tobacco tasting review)

The pressed, pliable flake and steamed aroma mark this tobacco as a Lakelands product. The hay-like qualities and lack of TEFs lead me to believe that this is from Samuel Gawith?s fine line of unscented Virginias. I love this line. They have the ?brown? richness of Zimbabwean steamed Virginias (like G&H), plus a grassy, sweet character that is tantalizing.

I was only able to smoke one bowl of this before SWMBO's smoking moratorium (Memorial Day to Labor Day) kicked in, but this seems very close to Samuel Gawith's FVF. But is seems a bit sweeter and more complex, with less of FVF's nice edge and strength. If it is BBF, my high opinion is maintained. If it is one of SG?s other Virginia flakes, I have yet another SG to add to my top tobacco list, to join the other fine SG blends.

(Postlogue: The donor of this tobacco later revealed that this sample had been aged for 2 1/2 years, perhaps accounting for the changes noted).

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JoeBriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JoeBriar (10)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant

Tasty, toasted oatmeal, nutty, woodsy, rich, full but not overwhelming - friendly. Classic aroma. All the above without horrible additives - all natural. FVF is like a good cup of coffee. If you smoke it after something strong it can taste flat, so smoke with a clean pallette.

A joy of a smoke - this really is an example of why pipesmoking is the superior way to smoke. Don't deny yourself the pleasure of this baccy.

NB: This blend has none of the horrible "soapiness" that sometimes comes with some of the other Samuel Gawith flakes (e.g. Best Brown) which is a relief.

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Eulenburg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eulenburg (193)
★★☆☆
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

My review of this dropped out of the site during some primal cybercataclysm, and it has been suggested that I re-enter it.

I will not search again my quote from Alfred Dunhill, to the effect that "Empire" [i.e., Zimbabwe] flakes are rather monotonous and one-dimensional: I get a generalised feeling of bloated smokiness from FVF that is not unpleasant, but not very stimulating, either, and, at flake-length, becomes boring.

I am sorry to be a party-pooper, but I don't really see what all the fruity-toned crowing about the "Lake District" marvels is all about?I am yet to try one truly memorable mix from S. Gawith & Co., or Gawith, Hoggarth, Ltd. Would so much clucking ensue if the 'baccies were blended in, say, the vicinity of Lake Winnipesaukee?? I think not.

Royal Vintage has put out flakes just as predictable, and as well processed, as this. Not to mention such legends as ST BRUNO, the stronger CAPSTAN, or the Sobranie Pure Virginia?R.I.P.

My own favourite Virginia flake, bar none, is the misnamed LIGHT FLAKE from Dunhill: it is a flavoursome beauty, much more entertaining than this monochromatic, stolid heavyweight, and made, not in some swampy backwater, but where NIGHTCAP and My MIXTURE 965 are made. It has a much nicer finish than this lake thing.

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

This was my first foray into Lake Distict tobaccos, and from there... A first rate tobacco nice packaging, upon opening the can the smell of pure tobacco permiates the senses, wow, this stuff is almost good enough to eat, but I'll wait. Nice thin slices, that break apart with some effort, but the effort is well woth it. Rubbing out is a breeze, and the traditional packing method is in place. The charring light exposes the tobacco to flame and the rubbed out slices try to move out of the top of the bowl, but the tamper keeps them inside to complete the slow evolution of transforming from tobacco to ash, what a terrible fate! The flavors of pure Virginia plus a slight top note? are evident. The tobacco burns to a fine white ash and leaves no aftertaste, like any Virginia, to fast means to hot, so be warned! For the Virginia fan this is prize, for those wanting to try a Virginian, this is the one. A fine tobacco. Now, if we could just do something about this silly import business.

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