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Bright and Dark Virginias blended together with Latakia and Turkish leaf to make this a cool medium bodied smoke.

BrandSamuel Gawith
Blended BySamuel Gawith
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutRibbon
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUK
ProductionUnknown
Where to Buy PipesAndCigars
The Pipe Guys
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 66 Users

3.4
380 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
196
3 star:
129
2 star:
48
1 star:
7
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BriarPatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarPatch (33)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected 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:

Squadron Leader: You knew sooner or later I had to get to this one. The 5th most reviewed tobacco on the board. Same ingredients as SMM, the Classic English Three: Virginia, Oriental, & Latakia. Could this be the one? I?ve gone through 17 blends, with only 13 left and I am feeling the edges of desperation creeping in?

For a time (a long time ago), SMM was available in bulk, as well as 100gr big tins. It was a lot cheaper, I?ve never been wealthy, and lord knows I smoked a lot of the stuff. But I never bought anything other than 50g tins, 50 tins per order. Why you ask? Because one of the greatest pleasure of smoking SMM was the indescribable aroma that erupted upon the opening a fresh tin. I never once opened a tin without a long, ritualistic, inhaling of the contents (this aspect, by the way, did lesson with Orlik). It never ceased to fascinate me in its complexity and mystery, and always generated a contented sigh.

(There is a 2nd reason for the 50g tin, if you are not yet tired of my missives on the evils of dry tobacco: I smoke a tin about every week, give or take a day or two. The moist beginning of the tin is always more enjoyable than the end, particularly in winter with the low humidity levels. Larger packaging would only exasperate this problem and reduce the frequency of FreshTin-itis. )

But I digress?

Upon opening Squadron leader I smell?..

Nothing.

Or hardly anything. No eruption of Middle Eastern aroma wafted up to greet me. Instead I had to get my nose right in it to detect the scent of SL. And at this proximity, the bouquet is fine, if not faint.

And Squadron Leader is fine, if not fantastic. The strength is perfect. No pulling on the mouthpiece seeking satiation. It comes on it?s own. And the flavor is good. English 101 here, at it?s very essence. Dry & full. (Dry as in wine, i.e. not sweet). Where it falls a tad short is in the richness, the ?good enough to eat? category. That bit of magic bordering on wonderment.

So often during these trials I have been frustrated while smoking. Partially, of course, because I would realize that ?this isn?t the one?. Mostly though because my need for my tobacco ?fix? was left unmet. Sometimes the tobacco was too mild; sometimes it was so off tasting that I regretted smoking it. And time being what it is, I have to put the pipe down and get on with life, and a special part of my daily routine was disturbed.

Squadron Leader satisfied my ?fix?. But it does smoke a bit too fast for me, even though it is properly moist in the tin.

Squadron Leader is correctly rated as the 4th most reviewed 3-star tobacco. There is nothing not to recommend it, and it is an excellent introduction to medium strength English tobacco.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful.

rsuninv Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rsuninv (2)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I found a tin in a B&M while traveling for work and since it was on my "purchase list" I scooped it up. I sat in the store and puffed away. I am hooked.

Upon opening the blend it was a tad wet, but based on other reviews this is normal and I was prepared. I sat the desired amount on the inside of the lid while I chatted with the proprietor.

After minimal drying it packed well and only took two false lights. I was very happy with the smoothness and billowing smoke. It burned down to a nice ash with no glop in the bowl.

I liked it so much I purchased three more tins. I had an eight hour drive in front of me after all. :) By the time I made it back to Vegas I had smoked five bowls with zero tongue bite but overwhelming satisfaction. I immediately ordered a pound more.

This is a great English style with flavor and just enough taste to be an all day smoker.

Bulk update....... The pound I purchased had almost NOTHING in common with the tins. I packed it away for cellaring and ordered more tins for now. I had seen this on a different review so I'll be patient. Stay tuned.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.

panduji68 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
panduji68 (22)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I opened a tin of Squadron Leader about a month ago, and the tin aroma actually put me off a little bit initially. It was slightly perfumy or soapy, and really didn't smell like tobacco at all. It was fairly moist out of the tin, and steamed my tongue a bit during the first bowl. It had a slight smokey taste from the latakia, but seemed dominantly floral, and almost perfumy especially when exhaling the smoke through the nose. Nicotine was definitely present, but not at all "strong". Just right for me.

I put it away, and decided to give it another go last week after about a month of opening the tin. The tin aroma still didn't really smell much of tobacco, but wasn't nearly as perfumy or soapy, and it had dried out nicely. I packed a wide bowl Savinelli briar pipe and really wasn't expecting too much to be honest. It took light nicely, and then...

WOW! It tasted absolutely fantastic! The floral note was still there, but much more subdued, and it began to really grow on me. The floral, combined with a slight wood and leather note (especially halfway through the bowl on down to the bottom) really complimented each other. It burned cool with no tongue bite at all, and the room note didn't get me ejected from the living room to the patio by El Dictator.

I finished the tin, ordered a pound of Squadron Leader, and it is going to be my new all day smoke. Highly recommended!

UPDDATE: The bulk Squadron Leader I received seems to lack severely whilst compared to the tin offering. It pales in comparison, and seems hardly like the same tobacco. It is dull, boring, and lacks that Lakeland Essence I initially hated and grew to love in the tinned tobacco. I am going to leave my rating at four stars for the tinned offering. In bulk I would give it two stars if being completely honest. If I factored in my disappointment between the tin and bulk, I would give it one star. This bulk product is beyond disappointing, it is hardly worth smoking!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.

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

This is wonderful, high quality tobacco.

What Squadron Leader is not:

It is not a Latakia powerhouse. It is not a nicotine powerhouse. It's not a particularly 'full' blend -- there are no strong, rich flavors here. It is not a blend that struggles with its identity as you smoke it; flavor changes are subtle as the bowl progresses, but the essential character is present throughout the smoke.

What Squadron Leader is:

A light/medium, almost airy English, with subtle tobacco flavors. The Latakia is there, but it does not dominate. There is some mild Virginia sweetness, but it is not cloying. There is a good bit of dry Oriental spice, but it is never acrid. There is an incense quality at play, but no heavy perfume.

I think of this blend as being sort of like a glass of iced tea. When you're in the mood for a glass of iced tea there is nothing finer than... well, a glass of iced tea. I don't fault my iced tea for failing to give me the same sensory experience as a double espresso, and I don't fault Squadron Leader for failing to give me the same sensory experience as Nightcap or Penzance.

This is a superb light/medium English -- and for what it is, it's damn near perfect, IMO.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (96)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Full Pleasant

Squadron Leader . This is one of the "softest/smoothest" Tobaccos I have tried . I have heard/read a lot of great reports but worried they were just hype but they proved to be true upon trying it . It is like smoking pure Velvet as it is so smooth and the flavour is really English . The burn is very even the whole bowl long, the smoke is not too hot either and gives no bite . I cant find a negative point for this one !

Pipe Used: Mr Brog

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke King

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

TheJayBee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TheJayBee (48)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Full Strong

The smell immediately after opening the tin is of very very sweet Virginias and very fine smoked Latakia and Orientals. A mix of Pot Pourri and smoked charcuterie I would dare say.

The wetness of the SG flakes is infamous. However, their ribbon cut tobaccos are of ideal moist and can be smoked directly from the tin.

The smoke is very very balanced, between the Va, Or, and Latakia. I can distinctly taste the high quality sweetness of the Virginias with the spiciness of the Orientals and Latakia. This blend is ideal for the people who want to introduce themselves to English blends, and they will surely know whether they will like English type blends or not. However, I am thinking for the people who like Latakia a lot, they should go for another blend having a higher proportion of it, as Squadron Leader has just the right amount of it. Anyway, I am sure this blend needs no further evaluations, as it is a quintessential English blend widely available worldwide.

Room note wise, the roomie was not very impressed with the smell, but I love it and seriously could not care less.

FAVOURITE

Pipe Used: Darwin Deluxe

Age When Smoked: A few months old

Purchased From: Le Maryland Shop, Lyon, France

Similar Blends: Davidoff - Royalty, William P. Solomon - Presbyterian Mixture.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (109)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin description is spot on, particularly "cool medium bodied smoke". Strength builds from the lighter side of medium to the higher side as you work through the bowl. Individual flavor components come out, particularly when sipped. Retrohale delivers a pleasant peppery note. Sweet tanginess weaves in and out once halfway in. 3+ stars.

Pipe Used: Savinelli, MM

Age When Smoked: undated; bought 4 months ago

Purchased From: Corona Smoke Shop, Battle Creek, MI

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

albfneto Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
albfneto (152)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

this is famous, is a Legendary blend, but for me,in it, neither is cleary distinguished:

Latakia, Orientals, Virginia? Complex? Not Complex, exactly, but... Tasteless.

is clearly below, inferior, to many other English Mixtures an Balkans, less good that 965, Standard Medium, Balkan Supreme, Britts's Balkan, Chipman Hill, Merde de Cheval etc... etc... Very frar from the favorites...

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

Squadron Leader is a mild, medium body english smoke. Similar to Dunhill's Early Morning Pipe but with Gawith's strong, bold, earthy virginias. This blend has the three flavors I love in tobaccos. Sweetness, Spiciness and Earthiness. This ones a grand slam blend for me. I've learned rather quickly that Samuel Gawith makes some of the boldest, strongest dark virginias out there. They add such a beautiful level of depth and flavor to this blend. Samuel Gawith is a legendary blender for a reason. Quality old fashioned blends for pipe smokers with a taste for tradition and class.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

A tin I was looking forward to for a long time, and was not disappointed. The tin comes very fully packed with a beautiful, easy to light ribbon cut. A bit on the moist side, but gives it time to age and light.

The strength is what I would say a light english should be, maybe a little stronger which I prefer.

The flavor is incredible and complex. It's well balanced with all of the tobaccos and comes out to be really smooth, with even a decent room note the wife doesn't mind.

As I got further down the bowl, some darker virginias appeared and it was beautiful. It's just one of those smokes that changes during the bowl. It keeps things interesting, and gives you different flavors.

Definitely one I would recommend for aromatic and english smokers.

Pipe Used: AKB Smooth Freehand Meerschaum

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

bman64 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bman64 (44)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Unnoticeable

Beautiful Tin Art-I understand that back in the gap it would have been embossed (bet that looked sweet).

The tin note is scrumptious, and I sense a faint cocoa-like scent. I know that makes little sense, but I got it day one nonetheless.

Upon opening the tin, I reminisce over Willie finding that Gold Ticket, as the pricey gold foil peels back to reveal a compressed block of high quality ribbon. Its densely packed, professionally cut and appearing heavier than 50 gms normally feels to me.

I have burned this without drying-due to great moisture- just springy and slightly tacky upon compression. I find for me this burn well when stuffed, it doesn't burn hot, requires few if any relights. It becomes slightly sweet than slightly sour, moderately high Vitamin N, but solid and good all day long.

I especially like the retrohale. Good quality dependable smoke-which is understandable with its loyal following.

Pipe Used: Bent BC Egg w/9 mm filter, Mizz Meer

Age When Smoked: 1 Year

Purchased From: Pipes Cigars.com

Similar Blends: Dunhill Standard Mixture?.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

AntiClimacus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AntiClimacus (3)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm somewhat of new pipe smoker transitioning away from aromatics and all-Virginia tobacco to English blends. I made the mistake to start of my English blend experience by sparking Dunhill's Nightcap (a VERY good tobacco but way too much Latakia for my taste). Anyways..

So here's my thoughts, as I opened the tin, I noticed that the tobacco was a bit moist, not "wet" as some users described to be. Upon light, I immediately noticed the virginias with a bit of the Latakia as an undertone (like a seasoning). My description was a nice sweet, tangy, hay or glass-like flavor (which was quite tasty actually) with a bit of spiciness, pepper, and saltiness from the Latakia. Everything complimented each other (like any other good tobacco). As I started moving to the mid-bottom of the bowl, the Latakia definitely became more pronounced, the tobacco started giving me stronger flavors of oak, leather, pepper, with a subtle sweetness to it. The vitamin N definitely started hitting me at the near bottom of the bowl. The tobacco smoked all the way through, leaving me with all white ash (although I had to relight a few times).

Overall, it was a very pleasant experience, a great introduction to English blend tobacco. If you're curious about trying English blends, I would definitely start with this one. It's very gentle smoke with lots of flavor. She is a bit hard to keep lit (at least for me), so maybe a little drying might work for this one. I experienced absolutely no bite, it was very cool smoke. I can definitely vouch for all the great reviews of this tobacco and keep this one as one of my "favorites".

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

Although most everything that can be said about Squadron Leader has already been said, I feel I should add my opinion into the mix.

Squadron Leader is, quite simply, the best English blend I have found on today's market. It meets all of the requirements for a great tobacco, having great taste, an interesting progression throughout the bowl, and a good dose of nicotine. I suppose I realized how much I enjoyed it when I noticed just how much of it I was smoking in relation to the other English blends I have tried (and I have tried quite a few of them over the past few months). This is a wonderfully crafted tobacco that, to me at least, epitomises what an English blend should be.

I currently have a pound or so of it sitting around, and I doubt I will ever grow tired of it. Along with Full Virginia Flake, this fights for the top spot in my daily rotation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

Okay I don't smoke alot of English, 15-20% of the time. but Squadron Leader is my absolute favorite. A little mild for most English smokers I know, but I can definitely do for everyday and MY time. Woodsy was a great description, Brings to mind the field, the dogs, the birds and friends, I can live like this...

Wonderfully smooth and tasty. Great interplay between the tobaccos. Nothing overrides anything during the smoke. Burns clean and consistent with out any work,(which I don't mind), other than to break up some clumps before hand.

I don't enjoy so much at work, working with wood or subjects that require concentration, because it can detract from my focus,(except reading and light comfortable string work on the guitar). Maybe a little too peaceful and enjoyable.

A very restfull, enjoyable, smooth, complicated, private smoke. Light up, open the book, strum the strings, contemplate, fantasize - enjoy.

The room note is not my wife's most cherished, bummer, I'm over it, sometimes I do things for me.

On the island, this would be there.

I need to get some more to cellar and see if it gets better, but I'm a happy camper just the way it is,(of course there is more to try).

Thank you Samuel Gawith & Co.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

This tobacco I do like, even right out of the tin. In my opinion, I will categorize this tobacco as a standard English blend in the medium robust range. It's another blend that has a perfect mix of Latakia, Virginia and Oriental/Turkish tobaccos but a bit more of the Latakia component. It lights well, burns perfectly, is not overwhelming in heaviness or nicotine, has no aftertaste whatsoever and all tobaccos play well together.

Since some reviewers feel compelled to mention comparisons of this to their experiences with Skiff Mixture, I might as well too. If there is any comparison between them, Skiff is the much lighter of the two. However, I don't find SL to be a heavier version of Skiff. They have totally different characteristics.

The only blend that I regulary smoke that compares to this is Smokers' Haven's American Best Blend. ABB, now reviewed here and available on their website, is probably the closest I've come to my idea of what a medium robust, standard English blend should be. It's slightly better than Squadron Leader due to having a bit more uniqueness in taste and aroma and possibly a bit heavier. However, this blend comes darn close to that standard.

In summary, this is an all around great tobacco, probably best smoked at the end of the day. Recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

BingCrosby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BingCrosby (48)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong

this is a favorite of mine and a great evening blend.. What I like about this blend is how well it works together.. I like how the strong virginias support the spice of the turkish and the latakia.. I noticed more strength in the nicotine department than some of the other reviewers.. This is a complex flavor delivered in a nice cohesive way.. It has enough going on in it to satisfy just about any smoker.. if you don't like latakia you will probably still like this tobacco with its sturdy foundation of virginia and turkish.. If you like latakia (like i do) you will not be dissapointed as it is featured very nicely and tastefully.. good stuff.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (529)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Now, THIS is an excellent example of an English/Balkan mixture! As Jaybee said below, SG really knows how to blend. It's a nice medium-bodied smoke that doesn't tire out the smoker with too much latakia or too liberal a hand with the orientals. It's extremely well balanced and very complex. After my first tin, I knew that this one was going into my regular rotation.

One of the nice things about this is that it's a good starter English for an aromatic smoker moving into Latakia Land, and it's also a great smoke for the seasoned pipester. It's an unassuming tobacco that, in not trying to do too much, ends up in doing everything right. SG should be proud of this one. Absolutely a winner!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

jon39 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jon39 (10)
★★☆☆
Medium Medium Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

Being a pilot,I was of course,drawn to this blend for obvious reasons but I seem to be in the boat all alone with this one! Maybe I got an old tin or something but I did'nt like this at all. Just plain drab to me. Nothing really special stands out. Sort of left a,for lack of a better word,"funky" taste on the old palate. I left it alone for awhile and tried again with the same result's.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

This is a straight-forward high quality "english" blend. It smokes cool, has decent complexity and is perfect for all day smoking. I much prefer it to Dunhill's London Mixture. It is medium strength and does not have a nicotine kick that the Dunhill gives me which IMO is a good thing because I drive a lot.This blend is solid and I recommend it to those who want to try a good tinned "english" blend. The only thing that keeps it out of my daily rotation is its more mature and fuller flavored brother "Commonwealth Mixture". All in all, it is good, the tin is well packed, (although hard to open!!!) and a good buy in so. Cal. Enjoy!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

This is a classic english/oriental blend, probably the same as it was 50-60 years ago. When I opened the can, the turkish aroma was most apparent, with the latakia playing second fiddle and the virginias just singing in the background. By this I mean that you don't notice them that much initially, but would miss them if they were gone. The tobacco was a typical english ribbon cut, about 40% dark and the remainder red to tan in color. Initial taste was just what I expected from the aroma; lots of turkish spiciness, a fair amount of latakia smokiness, and a rich sweet backgrounf\d of virginias. It reminded me of Dunhill's Aperitif, which was unavailable for many years (at least in my area), only richer in the turkish component. I smoked it a several Sasienis of medium size, a Barling and a larger Upshall. It always burned cool and dry, showing all it's complexity when smoked slowly. It rarely needed a relight, and left a clean, white ash. For me, this was the best of S. Gawith's offerings.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Padraig Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Padraig (10)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

This is a time tested nice old blend that spells English with every puff. I have little doubt that other blenders offering "English" blends have copied Squadron Leader. The Latikia is superbly blended with the Virginia's and the Turkish ties it together.

If you like a blended Latikia, it doesn't get much better. Not as overwhelming as a "full" English, this may be a great place to start for a Virginia or Burley smoker looking to go toward Orientals and Latikia.

Burns well, stays lit. I like to rub it a bit before loading in a fine English briar. Little tounge bite. Mellow nicotine.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

bob323 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bob323 (43)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

What is the fascination with this blend?...At best, a rather mundane English blend...There are others out there which are better, more complex, and certainly less expensive...Don't get me wrong...It's not a bad little blend...Just not worth all the hoopla that's made of it...Pleasant enough to serve as an all day smoke but, nothing to write home about

Pipe Used: various for testing

Age When Smoked: Newly bought

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Fly ticky Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fly ticky (26)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I would like to state for the record that this not my faverite baccy.It is however ok that is I can smoke it.It is just not heavey enough for my taste.I am more into fuller english tobacco.Mostly I smoke viginia tobacco but for change once or twice a day I will smoke something else.But as stated I can smoke it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

SmokingMySav Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokingMySav (9)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Strong

Every time I see people praise SL I can't help but laugh. This tobacco is exact replica of cheap communist-era Eastern European cigarettes. Very cheap Orientals and Lat, but only people who had the "opportunity" to smoke Eastern European cigarettes would know it.

Giving credit where credit is due - it's the only one of the SG tobaccos that is non-aro and therefore could be smoked right out of the tin.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (178)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

The first half of the bowl was quite nice. The Orientals took the lead and provided a sour, spicy flavor that I find desirable. The Virginias provided a proper amount of sweetness. The Latakia was a bit lacking for my taste, but I was enjoying this blend regardless. Then I hit the second half of the bowl and something went horribly wrong. The smoke became a bit acrid and the spice pretty much disappeared. It began leaving a musty, stale aftertaste in my mouth. It got so bad I had to dump the bowl. I waited a full day and tried again. Same results. Bad tin? I don't know, but at the price they charge for this I expect better. I'll stick with Engine 99 at half the price.

Pipe Used: MM General

Age When Smoked: Fresh???

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

1 of 4 people found this review helpful.

Pipe Newb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe Newb (12)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I will preface this with the disclaimer that I am not familiar with what makes an "English Blend" different from any other mild/non-aromatic. However, I've heard great things about Squadron Leader and I decided to give it a try. P&C sells it in bulk, so I got enough to fill a mini-mason.

First impression - not a lot of smell to it, I can smell drying tobacco as I did growing up on a tobacco farm as a kid. There is a faint smokiness, but otherwise just tobacco. I found it very dry as delivered, but was unsure if that was due to the blend or the packing, as I've not tried this from a tin.

Char and first draw were very much the same, the first words out of my mouth were "bread! it tastes like bread!", but as I savored a bit more I noted some woodsy and nutty notes. Heavily toasted walnuts, to be exact. The room note to me, smelled vaguely of roasted marshmallow, my wife said "it smells like tobacco". No tongue bite, and no gurgling were to be found, which surprised me for a blend I thought was a little on the dry side.

A completely non-offensive, enjoyable tobacco. Nothing really stands out as exemplary, but nothing really stands out as offensive either. I can see this becoming a personal "comfort food" tobacco for me, something I pick when I don't know what I want.

Pipe Used: Royal Meerschaum Apple

Age When Smoked: Unknown (Purchased Bulk 4/2014)

Purchased From: PipesandCigars.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

UPDATE: If you like this tobacco in anyway but not sure after all, try Dunhill My mixture 965 and you will love it. It has everything squadron leader have, but it is not dull or boring like the squadron leader...

Well, lets see... First of all, I purchased this tobacco, just because I saw it recommended here. It is realy different. I mean from the ones I have already smoked. I am not a very aged pipe smoker, however I like to try everything I find. I tried all the Captain Blacks, A few Mc Baren's, Amphora's, Brown No: 4, Erinmore (flake and regular), St James Flake, Grousemoor and of course Turkish blends. Of all the tobaccos I have tasted, this one is by far the most different; hence the most interesting tobacco I have smoked. I think one will have a "love or hate relationship" with squadron leader. Within a few bowls, first I hated it, then I loved it, and then I thought, I like it but can live without it. But as I get to the end of the tin, I began to think that this is a very unique tobacco, and somehow I would like it to have a routine in my everyday smoke. But how? Well, of course my opinion and preferences may change over time but this is the solution I have found for the foreseeble future. I have bought another 50 grams tin, mixed it up with about 25 grams of Mc Baren regular, and it become a joy to smoke. Not that it is not good by itself, but I found this mixture so amazing, nowadays I can not seem to stay away from it.

Pipe Used: Passatore, Savinelli, Nording

Nobody has rated this review yet.

russ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
russ (24)
★★★★
Medium Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

Its very hard to add to the vast amount of of reviews that have been done on this tobacco. Squadron Leader--my goodness its been around a long time and I for one am glad. Its a tobacco that in my mind is a staple-some would ask--why. Others like myself who have smoked this stuff for a long time and actually like it can understand. For me I like Latakia--not too much but not to little. The Latakia in this tobacco give it just enough depth so as not to totally ruin the other tobaccos that are blended with it. It is just strong enough yet there is a rich creamy and robust taste that will dance with the Turkish and a slight citrus/floral lakeland note that comes in and together with this blend. The Virginias are there also sweetening the deal. I can honestly say that this blend has never bitten my tongue and throat. If sipped gently with some coffee on a nice evening sitting in the outdoors--well for me its a wonderful blend that I always want in my rotation. Its like an old friend In my mind this blend has been around for a long time and for a good reason. Its not too bold--its not too weak. For the life of me as a pipe smoker whos experience goes back for many generations--I just cannot seem to figure out why anyone who enjoys a true English blend would ever state that Squadron Leader is anything less than a good all around smoke.

Pipe Used: Morta and briar

Age When Smoked: 48

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SmokeDawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeDawg (31)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

My first Samuel Gawith and I surely picked a good one. I think I'm in love. There's a reason over fifty fellow puffers have clicked the favorite button. That's something I pay close attention to when reviewing tobaccos for my next purchase. I like everything about this blend including the name and packaging. However my eagerness has gotten the best of me and I've been hitting it right from the tin. I believe a tad bit of drying will make it mint perfect as it's a bit on the moist side from its metal bed.

This reminds me of Mac Baren HH Syrian. But it's a bit sweeter which I like as Syrian is a favorite but sometimes goes bland near the middle to end. I have joined the squadron! Tally Ho! Highly recommended!

Pipe Used: Cob and savinelli churchwarden

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: JR cigars

Similar Blends: Mac Baren HH Syrian.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (101)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This was a very pleasant smoke. There is enough latakia to taste without overpowering the other flavors. You can distinguish the orientals and the solid Virginia foundation is always there. if you are curious about English blends and don't want anything too extreme, this is a good one to try.

This tobacco was a gift from a friend, and so I am uncertain about age, bulk-vs-tin, etc.

Pipe Used: various briars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This blend really needs no introduction; it is practically famous. From a fresh tin with no extra dry time this tobacco smoked nearly perfect. The tobacco was springy, not over moistened. The tobacco smelled sweet with notes of fig/prune and latakia. This blend had a sweet and savory start, mellowed to a mild and balanced latakia blend. The tobacco smoked perfect all the way to the bottom with only a couple relights (maybe due to too much talking on my part). The tobacco had a nice light grey ash and had great flavor all the way to the bottom of the bowl. This tobacco is definitely a favorite! Get some!!

Pipe Used: Nate King Poker

Age When Smoked: Tin aged one year, freshly opened.

Purchased From: Cigar Store and More, Groton, CT

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Simon&his dog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Simon&his dog (3)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Medium Medium Tolerable

I tried this based on reviews on this site, as ever. I found it did not knock my socks off as I thought it might. It's got something, I prefer the Skiff mixture by the same brand. This comes recommended though.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I have no idea what this tobacco was like. I had recently a tin of it, smoked it, enjoyed it, and forgot about it. I've smoked this years ago, and I remember I liked it. I liked it now also. Nothing memorable, nothing distinctive, but still good English blend, nothing negative either. Goes well with booze, smoke is creamy enough, and Latakia is just the right amount. Good for smoking outdoors and in the winter. Stays lit, burns well. (not very usual for SG blends). Tin note has that sour oriental note, but when lit, you hardly catch it in the background. Still present but faintly. Anyways, good smoke, a decent English in my humble opinion. I have one more tin, I'll age it a bit and see what it's like when aged.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This tobacco is lacking something. Strength is good, and so is latakia, but nevertheless it is not a memorable smoke. Three stars, not more. Dunhill Nightcap is similar but better in taste. I smoked two tins of it, and still dont understand this Squadron Leader. I shall give it a third try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Andersson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Andersson (6)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

A brutal aroma transforms into a mild and full taste while smoking.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Taste Buds Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taste Buds (127)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My enthusiasm for this blend has declined over the last couple of years. I think that there is too much latakia for my taste. An excellent blend. That's why I still give it three stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Strichetto Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Strichetto (15)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I've bought a tin of Squadron Leader a month ago, in Switzerland... it's quite expensive, not at top end prices, but expensive. Nice classic very british tin, at opening you can smell the very tipical scent of a classic EM... but it lacks something, what? Correct moist, not too much; quite thin cut for an EM.

Scent: classic EM, but not strong, nor spicy.

Taste: latakia and virginia, well, but not enough orientals, some veeery light nutty ang grass notes. No biting at all. But really too flat, and too light: this is an expensive tobacco, I'm more demanding to such a serious manufacturer.

Room note: less heavy, intrusive and persistent than usual EMs. It's OK, and easy.

Burning: everything is all right, it lights in a while, burns a bit faster than competitors, but is OK.

Best briars: EM dedicated, and all the others, no problem.

Good, yes, but not enough. Maybe elegant and easy to smoke all-day-long, but I prefer stronger EM, and much more rich in personality: only a couple of bowls in a day, but more satisfying is better, by me, and so at this price I prefer some different blends by S.Gawith. Two stars and half.

P.S.: I think I need more than four stars, maybe a 1-10 degree scale would permit a better evaluation? :)

Purchased From: Dubini, Switzerland

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (444)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is more of an entry level introduction to English blends. The latakia hit is modest, as are the light, light, light spice notes from the Turkish. I find this to be more Virginia forward than English blends tend to be. However, it burns well with wood and grass/hay notes, along with a little natural Virginia sweetness. I prefer Dunhill London Mixture, but I give this three stars because I can't give it two and a half, and it deserves more than two stars. But if you like light English mixtures, you won't argue the three stars. A fairly good all day English smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Frogburster Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Frogburster (15)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Very Mild Tolerable

Quite fine cut tobacco, which smells nice, with a hint of latakia.

Tongue taste (the taste you feel on your tongue when you first get the smoke into your mouth): Mild virginia, with some mild latakia an a hint of sweetness, almost towards sweet liquorice.

Snork taste (the taste when you roll the smoke around in your mouth and out of your nostrils): Practically identical to the tongue taste.

All together: A nice looking and nice smelling tobacco. Slightly moist, which can make it tricky to light at first. The taste is rather pleasant, with the hints of latakia and sweet liquorice, but very mild. So mild, it sometimes get too weak to really enjoy. Tastes the same all through the pipe, with no real changes. Consistant and pleasant, but too weak taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (467)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I liked the brass colored tin and the art on the lid as well. Upon opening the square was a nice, light, smokey, perfume like aroma. This blend lit well after packing easily, did need a little drying time, which was not problem. A moderate amount of smoke was produced, though I would prefer more. This blend was a good, tasty middle of the road natural smoke featuring Latakia and some Turkish for spice. I like this one, and the price was pretty good at Jrs.

Smoke in Peace, brothers and sisters of the leaf.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

For such a legendary name in the tobacco world, I'm not so sure the Quality Control / Quality Assurance at SG is successfully staffed by someone who is taking care of business. I didn't mind this one but I'm not so sure that I'll be looking for it in the future.

Not as full as I'd like, its a pleasant smoke but perhaps unremarkable? This is the second stab at SG for me and I'm still waiting to find one that rivals others in this category.

Its nice to work with, fills nicely, lights well and I've found that the burn gets better the deeper into the bowl it gets. I'm glad I tried it but it has yet to kick me in the teeth. A little moist in its freshness, it gurgled for the first few bowls until it was aired out for a while.

Still, throughout, I can detect the latakia which reassures me that it'll get better, but again, unremarkable.

I'll happily finish the tin but I'll be reaching for others well before the Squadron Leader.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I really want to like this blend. The latakia is just right. Strength is just right. After a big dehydration the tobacco smokes like a dream. The smell when you open the tin is great. But in all my pipes it tastes like lint. I remember the smell from my mother's handbag, the smell of old fading perfume. When you light up the latakia is just right, but somewhere along the line comes this flavored taste like Murray's mixture in the old days. Not so pungent to be fair. I'll stick to EMP for the time being. Untill someone tells me where to get a blend with more sweetness. But SL is a nice blend and great that so many loves it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stilbon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stilbon (9)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The first English tobacco I ever tried having read numerous positive reviews about the famous blend. Also, the name alone would have sold me. Decided to give it a review after a four year hiatus. It appears to have aged very well other than becoming dryer than a fart in a sandstorm. The Virginias have started to show signs of bloom as well which is a pleasant surprise.

Lights instantly thanks to the dryness and smokes quite fast considering so I smoked a couple bowls back to back for the sake of review. Taste is still quite mild the way I remembered it. The spicy Latakia is still present. Squadron Leader has an oak, earthy taste with a very mild sweetness imparted by the Virginia leaf. There's also a slight bitter, musty taste to it which I quite like. Room note is robust like a fine cigar. Nicotine hit is quite mild but is still there. Absolutely no bite and tobacco burns down to a fine white ash on both bowls.

A very nice entry into English blends. Not too complex, just a solid earthy taste that makes me feel like I'm kicking back after ferrying my Sopwith Camel into the hanger and lighting up some quality leaf in victory. A classic blend that ages well.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Capt Pete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt Pete (1)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Very Mild Tolerable

Squadron Leader appears to be a favorite for many, and as I work through my first tin I am still pondering the attraction that such a mild smoke seems to hold. It is smooth and nearly biteless if sipped. The hint of latakia is almost the only taste that appears, but is far from prominent. The virginias and orientals are equally underwhelming to my taste buds. This might be a nice first step away from aromatics for those venturing towards a latakia based smoke - but who only want a whisper of taste. As noted elsewhere, the tobacco out of the can needs a bit of drying to retain the light. I find this makes an okay first smoke of the day, nearly on par with Dunhill's Early Morning. Nice for rotation, but not my Holy Grail...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Marshall Law Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Marshall Law (50)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A quintessential medium English. Excellent quality tobaccos and blending expertise worthy of its fanfare. High notes include intriguing hints of cut grass, hay, and lemon, with suggestions of butter and toasted nuts. The virginias are quite tasty, the orientals are not harsh or bitter, and do not attack or dry the throat. Very mild use of latakia keeps the blend extremely well balanced, although note that, by the mid-pipe, this is an oriental forward blend and the latakia seems to mostly duck out.

It does come a bit too moist in the tin, and benefits greatly from a short period of drying out to keep you from steaming your tongue. Do not pack it too tightly, the broad and longer cut along with its moistness can clog up your smoking experience. Better packed loosely, and smoked in a wider bowl.

This is the blend that comes to my mind when I think of an all-around quality, consistent, tasty medium all-day English that is neither murky/harsh, nor a latakia bomb. Recommended!!!

Update 4-6-2013: This blend is growing on me, and is quite tasty, although I admit I have been adding a bit of blending latakia to it to make it my own personal 4 star smoke and to balance the blend better, in light of the considerable oriental content.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dartan4114 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dartan4114 (4)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This was the first English tinned tobacco that I tried. It has a nice flavor with a good room note. It is not terribly overpowering and I have not experienced any bite. This is one of my favorites.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Another nearly legendary blend from Samuel Gawith which deserves its reputation in my opinion. Easy smoking "English" which to me is more of a Scottish blend rather than what we sometimes think of as an English with its rather understated use of Latakia. The Virginia seems respectable if a little green and the Balkans very heavy, together lending a sweet aspect to the entire bowl.

Many extoll its virtues, but a little too heavy on the Orientals for me (excepting the Latakia for the relative lack of it).

Not bad at all - consistent through the burn, not too difficult to maintain fire, packs easily enough. Price is a bit heavy when other Scottish such as C&D's Stratfordshire is available for around 40% this price.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (97)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I guess I am review number 354 so there really isn't too much to add. This is a great milder english blend that goes wonderfully with a cup of coffee in the morning or really at any time of the day.

You should definitely try this blend and any other carrying three stars with over 300 reviews. That is saying something. Great blend I will reorder soon.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Ah! Now _this_ is what smoking a pipe is all about. SL is a classic and for good reason. The flavor is delightful. It has a noticeable amount of nicotine but not so much that one can't smoke pipe-after-pipe of it. It rarely bites. The flavor is complex enough to deserve attention but not so profound as to be intrusive or to make one feel that one is being unfair by performing other tasks while smoking it. (This tobacco complements a good cup of coffee like no other--I highly recommend the combination.) It can be smoked any time of the day and any day of the year. While I prefer it in the largest bowl I can get, it works even in a small one. (The ribbon cut results in a very short smoke if the bowl is small, but sometimes that's just right.)

The Orientals dominate, for me, with a nice tanginess. A good does of Virginia sweetness gives it depth. Finally, plentiful Latakia for a hearty, smokey note for breadth.

This is one of four tobaccos that I keep in large jars, always available. I have many pounds of it in the cellar so as to be assured of an uninterrupted supply (there have been times when it seemed to be going off the market--it's always come back, but I don't count on that always being the case).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

What can I say? I agree with other comments that it is wet out of the tin and that my first bowl was boring. A week later, wow! Creamy, oaky, peaty. Smells like it should be smoked with good company with a cup of tea or a pint of mild whilst reading something engrossing. It smells and tastes similar to Dunhill's London Mixture but is slightly better if only for the sheer fact that this is as English as rain, tea and queuing. Buy if you can, open the tin then put aside for a month.

'Tally Ho Red leader!'

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hottgunn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hottgunn (18)
★★★☆
Very Mild None Detected Very Mild Tolerable

Extremely wet out of the tin. A very bland taste to me. I have tried it in several pipes at different times and it is just not my tobacco. I don't recommend it but a great many do, so I think I am in the minority. I generally smoke heavier Latakia blends so that probably explains it. One star.

I allowed the tin to dry out quite a bit and it does make a big difference. I'll give it three stars now.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

As always with SG, the tobacco is damp. It's unsmokable right out of the tin and needs essential drying. After drying it takes the light easily and keeps it down to the bottom of a pipe.

The tobacco is weak in nicotine, without any latakia taste whatsoever. The biggest problem for me is this "Lakeland" flavor. Once tobacco does not grow in England, I can not assume that some neat British bees brought the taste of flowering meadows. More realistically, it's some aromatic chemistry which contradicts my nose.

To improve all this, I'm mixing it with Robert McConnell Pure Latakia. This way it's acceptable.

Still, Virginia is sweet and good.

Will I finish the tin? Yes. Will I buy more? Not sure.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Oh boy! This stuff is fantastic. I bought the first tin of what I anticipate to be the first of many. Im a relatively new smoker and well, I never was quite sure what "pipe smokers" got so excited about in a fine tobacco. Well suffice it to say, SQ Has made many a man's passion abundantly clear. Enjoying a creamy bowl of this absolutely delightful mix right this instant. Don't walk! Run to your nearest tobacconist NOW!

Creamy, perfectly sweet, a smidgen of the brazen latakia to keep those peepers wide, consistent burn, forgiving on the load/pack, a delightful smoke.

Drawback (notice the singular). The ONE drawback is a bit of excessive moisture out of the Tin

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (108)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Everyone loves SL, and with good reason. It's an outstandingly good English mixture, and (to my taste and memory) very reminiscent of the long gone and much missed Craven Mixture. I'm not always in the mood for Latakia, but when I am this is a go-to (as is Gawith, Hoggarth's No. 25 Mixture). It isn't a Lat bomb and it isn't too strong. You could smoke it all day if you wanted to. It won't bite and it won't tire you, and I can't detect any kind of Lakeland topping. Downsides: as with all Latakia mixtures, the room note is not to everyone's liking; it comes very moist in the tin (this is a failing of Samuel Gawith's tobacco's generally); it doesn't give as long a smoke as I like. These are not fundamental objections, though. As a smoking experience, it's highly recommendable. Maybe air it a bit before ignition.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

First off, the tin is perfect. Not too messy-looking, and greatly reminiscent of the golden mid-century pipe smoking days of yore.

The tin note is that of an English that is mildly smokey and round and sweet. Very pleasing to an English smoker.

The charring light: Bold, bold, bold. The latakia kicks you, and the virginia is there to keep you on your feet. Pungent and powerful, it serves as a wake-up to a pleasing bowl.

The virginia base is the star in my Johs dublin. It's not the typical sweet and playful virginia, but more of a dark, mysterious, spicy and silky virginia that almost reminds me more of a stoved virginia. Behind the unique virginia, a latakia (that is as smooth and salty as it is smoky) dances in and out of the smoke. The orientals serve as a backbone, rounding out the gaps left by the dark virginia. Side note: before this tobacco, I never really understood what people meant when they described orientals as creamy. But this tobacco has taught my somewhat- amateur palate just what an oriental is supposed to taste like. I get a sweet and full taste in the orientals here, reminiscent of white chocolate mixed with a creamy cappuccino. And while this amount of sweet creaminess would typically deter me, it is perfectly juxtaposed with the latakia in the blend.

The room note is by no means bad, but it is still an English's room note. Like a warm campfire and roasted marshmallows. But to a non-smoker, this will (understandably) never smell as good as an aromatic.

Overall: After getting to know this blend, I'm very pleased with it. The only reason that I'm giving it a 3-star is because the latakia can be slightly abrasive at times. And while this does scratch an itch I will have from time to time, and it does irk me when a tobacco is "too perfect," I have to go against my love for this tobacco's personality in order to write an honest review. But just because this tobacco isn't perfect, doesn't mean that it's not worth adding to your collection. It's well worth it; it's legendary for a reason.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I find Samuel Gawith's Squadron Leader a good smoke with a taste along the lines of Dunhill's EMP, LM, and NC. Strength-wise, I'd put it between EMP and LM, along the lines of where I find MM965, but with a different taste. I don't find SL quite as smooth or refined as the Dunhills I've smoked, so on my scale, it's only 2 stars (I'd give it 2.5 if I could). That said, others like it more, so you owe it to yourself to at least try a tin, and an ounce in bulk, and see how it works for you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ShredderBanks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ShredderBanks (2)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This Blend is a very nice Mild "English" Blend tobacco.

There is a nice mild smokey/leathery-ness from the Latakia and though it is the predominant flavor it is very light. The Turkish in this blend gives the perfect compliment to the latakia giving something more for you to move around your pallet a slight nuttiness and a tiny bit of spice. the Virginia are not really noticeable though i am sure they add to how smooth and mild this blend is.

I'd recommend anyone who has not tried a Latakia blend yet to get a tin or a sample and the same goes for anyone who wants to try something new. however if you are looking for something with a large dose of nicotine, hugely multidimensional or allot of latakia i'd say to maybe give it a miss but for me it has a certain charm and is right up there in my top five at the moment.

Adam.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

430pat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
430pat (39)
★★☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Sorry guys I am sure it is a great tobacco just not for me just not enough vitamin N.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A wonderful all day English blend. It has a slightly sweet yet delicate smoky flavour that entices me to pop the tin for more! SG has done an excellent job on this one will be buying more.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sirchud68 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sirchud68 (43)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Not a bad blend. I bought this and a tin of Rattray's Black Mallory. Being two different blends, I still tend to reach for the B.M. more often then not. Once I finish this tin I will update my review. As of now I think S.L. is O.K. Try it out!

Update. Alright! I have given this blend it's due attention and see why it has such a great rep. A very pleasant "English". Not too strong, not too weak. A perfect medium mixture, all day smoke even. I've already given this blend three stars right off the bat and see I've hit the mark, as far as I'm concerned. I would recommend this blend to anyone seeking to enter the realm of English blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SmoothingIt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmoothingIt (5)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

After sampling a A LOT of different tobaccos, I have found that Squadron Leader is always at the top of my list. It's not overly complicated with flavors. It's just a fine English smoke. It's great for beginners as well as the seasoned smoker. I've found that a bowl of Squadron Leader in the morning is as nice as a bowl of Squadron Leader in the evening and for all of the times in between. It is definitely my top choice for an all day smoke.

I'd also comment that the tin is nice and nostalgic - just as the tobacco found inside of it.

My only two other thoughts - it is always far too moist for me upon opening. My last tin needed thorough drying before it smoked well. Also, I found that the bulk seems to be a better smoke than from a tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CochenBallstein Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CochenBallstein (10)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of the finer medium English blends available and it's no wonder it's been a favorite of pipe smokers for a very, very long time. SG does a fine job with it's blends and the quality of leaf in this particular blend is noticeably good. You can't go wrong with Squadron Leader as it stays consistent year after year. Ages especially well if the tin is kept in a humidor. Or buy it in bulk, if you can find it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kruppstahl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kruppstahl (3)
★★★★
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Bought my first tin of SL in Gibraltar, four years ago, while working on a ship wreck there. It was a "blind purchase" I had no idea what I was getting into. Right from the get go, I knew this was the English for me. It has all the right stuff. Right scent from the tin, right moisture content, (sometimes can use a little drying time), packed right, burned right, tasted right, vitamin N content right, and dottled out right. I smoke it slowly and have never found it to bite. If you're just getting into English tobaccos, you won't go wrong in trying this one. It can be difficult to find, which only suggests to me that many others think the same way I do about it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

samcoffeeman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
samcoffeeman (26)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

First bowl review: I had high expectations from this after having read the reviews and my experience with SG FVF. I'm not disappointed at all. This is a very nice english blend. Good tin aroma and appearance. The beginning of the bowl produced a creamy buttery feeling on the palate, with a smooth satisfying smoke. I felt the latakia took over a bit too much towards the latter part of the bowl, as a metallic flavor came a bit too strong. This is a very minor complaint, and again only first bowl impression. Rating: Enjoyable. I still enjoyed the toke overall and look forward to experiencing it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dr.joe54 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dr.joe54 (1)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the first of two non-aromatics I've tried in a long time. After a couple of pipefuls of JR's house english blend I tried this stuff and was pleasantly surprised. I thoroughly enjoyed it right down to the bottom of the bowl. I've put aside several pipes to be used only with non-aromatics from now on. My palate is not educated enough to distinguish the nuances of each type of tobacco in a blend but I know I like this tobacco a lot and will keep it as one of my "regulars."

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mesh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mesh (20)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

As others have said, this is an Oriental-forward blend. It's only after I smoked Samuel Gawith's pure Izmir tobacco that I came to appreciate just how dominant it is here. It's a good all-day blend, but you should certainly look elsewhere if it's a 'Lat bomb' you're after.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TEO Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TEO (25)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Someone talks about complexity about this SG classic but I can't really sense it. I feel this blend is solid as stone because it is quite simple & "mathematic" instead. I mean, Virginia, OK, a little latakia not stealing the stage to that musky oriental leading on the back from the beginning to the end. Solid & recommended, even for an all-day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

twoadaydanny Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
twoadaydanny (5)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

The perfect all day, every day English. A smidgen of Latakia provides depth, and the orientals sing. Utterly more-ish. My "pick one" desert island tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

alfa Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
alfa (6)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

as opposite SG 1792 flake, Squadron Leader SG is one of my favorite tobaccos.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Taerin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taerin (20)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Very nice "all day smoke" style blend. I got this as a replacement to Frog Morton as it is along the same lines but burns better and has more flavor, although I believe Frog Morton tastes better. Very happy with it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tumbaki Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tumbaki (9)
★★★★
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A tip of the hat to Sam Gawith. This is a superior blend to be enjoyed by all smokers. My favourites before becoming unavailable were the Tashir Mixture and No. 10. Squadron Leader satisfies me from sunup to sundown. Try it, it is most enjoyable.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I've tasted better latakia blends than this (night cap, black mallory, king charles mixture,) but to me it still bears all the characteristics of what a good English latakia blend should be like. A good smoke, would buy it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This was the first tobacco I ever smoked, and by the second day I was craving what I now know to be orientals.

A delightfully old fashioned no-nonsense English blend, this is like a nice cup of tea in a world of iced skinny caramel macchiatos. I find it the perfect tobacco to smoke under the stars, and sometimes I can almost hear the sputtering engine from the little Hawker Fury on the tin, as it bravely limps its way over the horizon on its return home from a dogfight.

Tally- Ho!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

brogreggblues Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
brogreggblues (45)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

SL is not bad, but not great. Presby Mixture is smokier, Good Morning is tangier, Nightcap is pepperier. I find SL to be a plain, bland smoke with just a snap of pepper. And I'm not crazy about the ribbon cut. Hard to pack, for some reason.

Squadron Leader is probably too spicy for the newcomer to English blends, too mild for this Lat lover. I'd rather smoke Larry's Blend.

Two out of four stars, exactly 50/50.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TW (25)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

A very easy to smoke, smooth non-aromatic/unflavoured traditional-tasting English blend, with a creamy texture to the smoke and just a hint of spice. The Virginias are dominant (though not in a hot, biting kind of way) with the oriental adding a pleasant note and the latika supporting rather than dominating.

An everyday, all day undemanding but very pleasant kind of blend, with nothing to say against it other than on open a fresh tin the tobacco is, as others have said, a bit on the wet side and benefits from being loosened up and allowed to air for an hour or two to dry it out a little. This not only makes it burn more easily and uniformly, but helps the flavour as well.

Maybe not a tobacco for when you want a full, distinctive blend that grabs your attention and holds it, but a good, uncomplicated pleasant smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Seamaster Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Seamaster (3)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Currently my favourite tobacco by a country mile. A good old school blend, with just enough Lat to spice things up without being overpowering. The nic hit is mild, which I prefer, and the only criticism I can make is that it is, like all SG blends, too wet in the tin — you won't get far if you don't dry it out first. Indeed, I enjoy nothing more than a half bowl left in the pipe overnight, which makes for an effortless morning smoke. Being fully flavoured without the need to puff like billy-oh, and well-behaved in the pipe (burns nicely when dry with zero risk of bite), this is one I'd heartily recommend to a beginner. Definitely deserving of its status as the darling of the forums.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

?pe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
?pe (41)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Classic latakia blend. Not as sharp as Skiff or as robust as Commonwealth. A good all-day smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (205)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I find myself puffing hard on this blend to get some flavor and "N". All I do get is hot smoke, bland and without interest. No sweetness, no Oriental No Latakia.Not a good offering from SG. I won't buy again

Updated 12 5/12-Well, I finally got this ! I opened a 9 month old tin, allowed plenty of time to dry and smoked this at a slow sip, it's wonderful . This fills a mild morning pipe, no bite easy pack &burn and just enough Latakia to start the day. I could smoke this all day, more creamy than sweet. This might kick my EMP out of the morning rotation. BUT YOU MUST LET IT AIR AND DRY FIRST.

Also reminds me of Pease's Piccadilly

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Great classic from Gawith. Right now it's my favorite weekend morning smoke along with coffee on the side. Nice medium English that is easygoing with great burning properties. Not a powerhouse by any stretch but will get your day off to a great start!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Nothing wrong with this favorite at all, except that medium Englishes aren't my favorite! I gave most of my tin away. Gave it three stars, because it is a quality blend; just not my thing!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (467)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Decent dollop of latakia, very mushroomy-earthy-flowery. A very traditional balkan style blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

So easy to smoke yet with a satisfying taste. No tongue bite. What pipe tobacco promises to be!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

juvat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
juvat (36)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

A good solid English blend. Nothing exceptional, but a great English to spend the day with. I like it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

(One of) the best Gawith's. Golden and yellow-green ribbons, with the typical tin aroma of English mixtures. Burns down perfectly, needs no drying time out of the tin. Very balanced smoke, no bite. Tastes like incense in the background. Room note is comparably acceptable for a Latakia/Oriental tobacco. My favourite English mixture, highly recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

John Frum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
John Frum (15)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Like many other reviewers, I can't help but mention Skiff Mixture as well. I tried it first and loved it, still do in fact, after a year, and my review (4 stars) stands.

Squadron Leader is kinda similar in flavor, but this seems fuller somehow (Virginia up front I guess) than the sweeter, Oriental tang of Skiff. Similar smoking characteristics to Skiff. (Dry it out first!) I prefer Skiff, but Squadron Leader is in my rotation to stay. It's just great tobacco. To me it's a glorious, earthy bonfire of a smoke, lots of sweet fumes and tasty to the end. Four stars.

Update 23.1.14 Have come to prefer SL to Skiff, so much so that I bought half a pound last year and it's still going strong in my rotation. (I find that by seasoning a bowl's worth with a pinch of Perique it solves a minor problem I had with SL - not enough nic. Perique goes well with it, IMO.)

Pipe Used: Falcon standard Dublin rustic

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: smoke.co.uk

Nobody has rated this review yet.

William H. Hardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
William H. Hardy (31)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

After about a year of searching, I found a tin of Sam Gawith's legendary Squadron Leader. I think that, after all I had read and all I had been expecting in my mind, it was so over-hyped that it could never have lived up to my expectations. I remember opening the tin with a pen knife and my hot little hands and stuffing the blend into my pipe in anticipation of the inevitable let-down. I'm not a big latakia guy and it was even too light for me in that department. Let me not detract too much from SL, though. It is a fine light-to-medium English and deserves respect. I can tell that it is top quality leaf. It has a pretty good flavor and burns quite well. It just leaves me wanting something more after smoking a bowl of it. Overall impression: Meh.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cairns Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cairns (2)
★★★★
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My favorite blend to accompany morning coffee. I can drink and enjoy my home-roasted coffee, and it is not overpowered by the tobacco. At the same time, I can still taste Squadron Leader very well through the coffee flavors. They complement each other very nicely.

To me Squadron Leader tastes a little sweet and smokey, it produces a good amount of smoke. I highly recommend it if you like a mild- medium natural cigar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Aussie-man-die-as Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Aussie-man-die-as (13)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

Like many, I tried this first, and Skiff later. Skiff is the winner to me. This excels as a mild Latakia blend when that is what I want. There is nothing wrong with it at all, but also it does not impose itself at all. It sings, but quietly and gently in the background. Think crooner, rather than torch singer. Subtle and mild. Quintessentially English if you think understatement and quiet style.

Everything is good - the ribbons that dry out quickly enough, the pack, the char, the steady burn. Latakia gently in front, everything well rounded. It just isn't out of the pack. It does "mild Latakia blend" extremely well if that is what you are after.

This too shall pass.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Taylor3006 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taylor3006 (47)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This was my first foray into English and it wasn't all terrible. I pretty much stick with aromatics and really black cavendish tobaccos but after reading about this blend for so long decided to give it a shot. I suppose my palette is not as advanced as other smokers but it was a nice smoke, nice change of pace definitely. I guess I am not a big Latakia fan as it is noticeable in the blend but not too strong. I really dislike the aftertaste in my mouth it causes. A nice blend with a cup of strong coffee though, it works quite well together. Not an everyday smoke for me but not something I am gonna dump. Worth a try for sure.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

wynnemd1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wynnemd1 (3)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I find this one a great morning companion in the car with my coffee. It is a nice smoker, with a good peppery note in it that tingles the taste buds nicely.

This is another that the wife cares a lot less for the smell...in general the English are not good evening smokes in the bedroom, but I find it very relaxing and full of flavor, nice burning, kind of like comfort food, makes you feel good inside.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fr. Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fr. Smoke (4)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I really want to like this tobacco, but I don't. It's just too mild for my taste as an English blend. It's a full blown English, not a mild English, but I agree with those who find it bland. It just doesn't do anything for me, and I've been dipping into a stash for a year and a half to see if it improves. Not in my book. I'm not a big fan of mild Englishes, either, but I prefer Boswell's Countryside over SL. At least Countryside has some interesting side notes from time to time.

SL is made from fine tobaccos, is well blended, burns well, produces beautiful white smoke, burns to a nice white ash, etc. It's high quality stuff, to be sure. I just find the taste and combination so subtle as to be, well, bland. Smoked it this time in a Savinelli Estella, and that made no appreciable difference. (Just about everything smokes well in that pipe).

Others mileage will certainly vary. I'd trust their tastes over mine. Too many people love this 'baccy. Makes me wonder what I'm missing. I'll chalk it up to inexperience and try again in another six months...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Grizzly1911 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Grizzly1911 (7)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Went in to my locale shop and they had 3 tins, so I grabbed one up to try. Loaded my bowl and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. This is by far the best smoke I have had. I am not experienced enough to describe the flavors, but let it suffice to say that if the other two tins are still there tomorrow I will be buying them.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Arkie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arkie (103)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Good stuff. It lives up to its reputation. I suppose it is proper that SL is the standard against which all other English blends are measured. As other reviewers have remarked, it is a bit moist out of the tin but that isn't really a problem. It doesn't bite and it is well behaved. Everyone should try at least one tin of SL in order to understand what an English blend should be. Having said all that, I still prefer Presby or Pembroke but I would get more of SL if it should ever become available in the U.S. again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

vaporcrow Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
vaporcrow (7)
★★☆☆
Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Pretty smooth but a little too mild for my taste. I think there are better english blends out there such as Peterson's Old Dublin and Dunhill's Standard Mixture. Probably would not buy another tin. Check out my new video series called "Adventures in Pipe Smoking" Focusing on pipe tobacco, collecting, featured pipe smoker etc. short videos for the pipe smoking community.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bigdadz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bigdadz (27)
★★★★
Mild Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

A fine mild to medium english mixture. Well balanced and smooth. It is very traditional in my view, in the sense that it doesn't have anything particularly unique about it. Nonetheless, for an english lover this tobacco delivers. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

vespa Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
vespa (12)
★★★★
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Well today is my Birthday so I thought it would be a good reason to pull a tin of SL off the shelf and celebrate. The tin I have has been put up for 2yrs, I popped it open last evening and let it air-out over night. I started smoking SL when Dunhill ( London Mixture ) went off the market around 03 or 04, on the recommendation of a friend. I enjoyed it then & I enjoy it now. With the few years of age this tin has on it, it has become an even more sublime smoke than what I remember. The Latakia has really gone into the background and the Turkish/Va have come more to the forefront with the Turkish leading the way. Needless to say it has been a very enjoyable afternoon sharing this tin of fine pipe weed with some of my friends along with a few pints has made this a very memorable day/smoke. Maybe thats all we need to have a good smoke? Good friends Good drink and a fine smoke I know it ranks up there in my top 5. Since SL and many of the SG stable are so hard to get ahold of here in the states I only pop a tin open when I have something to celebrate so another tin in about 6 months to a year may yeld some more surprises, who knows?

I Remain Your Brother In Smoke

5/5 Stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dr. Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Scott (82)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Much milder than I expected, this English is almost bland. There is a lot of flavor, but it must be carefully savored to appreciate anything other than the Latakia. And the Latakia is not even that strong. The Turkish is there, but the Virginia is really missing-in-action. There is almost no sweetness at all. SL is a fine smoke without a hint of bite, very smooth and easy to puff. But it is not very exciting.

Compared to Skiff: more savory, much less sweet, doesn't bite as easily, a little more smooth when young, more Latakia, less Oriental.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

maigret fan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
maigret fan (51)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I would agree with most review: open the tin and let it dry, small Latakia addition. I would say that you do not find much chocolate in an apple pie: if you are looking for chocolate you should try something else.

Same with SL: some would prefer more Latakia (that is my point) but others would be happy like it is, a very honest English pipe tobacco, to be recommended to beginners or to the chain-smoking person (which I am not)which will be fully happy with it and its balanced qualities. Those looking for stronger blends could nevertheless have a try for the first pipe of the day. One reviewer rightly mentioned 'early morning pipe': that is the idea.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (496)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have been smoking SL on and off for about two years now and it has taken me that long to really get a feel for why this is an on/off tobacco for me. SL is a very steady “Oriental leading” English blend. I enjoy blends such as this with heavy Oriental and light Latakia as Early Morning Pipe is one of my all time favorites. SL smokes smoothly out of the tin, doesn't bite, and ages nicely. The quality of the tobacco is also very good. SL simply lacks that extra something that keeps me interested in a world filled with English blend choices. By the time I reach the end of the tin I am anxious to get on to something else. I am fortunate enough to have a couple of sleeves left as it is difficult to obtain here in the US. With that in mind, SL is a little too pedestrian to keep me hunting for it in the future. Given the choice of Sam Gawith English blends, I think Skiff is a better choice. Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Withnail Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Withnail (16)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Whilst I enjoy English Blends, I have often found that the Latakia in them can really dry out my throat and leave it feeling as though I've had a cold. Squadron Leader, whilst tasting exactly like an English Blend should, does not give me this problem. The Latakia in now way dominates this blend and allows the other tobacco flavours to shine through.

As others have mentioned, the tobacco is a little damp when the tin is opened, but it is always easier to dry out than re-hydrate. I have marked the "Room Note" as Tolerable rather than higher as I have to take account of the opinion of the Good Lady Wife.

If you already smoke English Blends, I would recommend trying this version of the classic taste as no part overpowers the other as can be the case. If you are keen to try your first English, you could do a lot worse than this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

My first English blend. Thanks to Tobacco Reviews for a good recommendation. Fresh out of the tin, I was not impressed - Bergamot, or something like the overly aromatic hops in many California microbrews, causing an unpleasant raspiness on the back of my tongue. I persevered and smoked perhaps a small bowl per day to try to learn what this stuff was all about. After a week of airing and drying time it was a different weed altogether, and a good one at that. Having tried a number of other English blends since I can say that the orientals here are a bit too forward for my taste, but Squadron Leader would be my first choice for an afternoon smoke in warm weather. FIrst advise to new pipe smokers - Open your new tins, close them up again, and set them aside for a couple of weeks. I found most every quality blend I have tried improves tremendously if aired out a bit.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SMOKETSES Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SMOKETSES (208)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Squadron Leader is a typical English blend. Perhaps one of the most characteristic, regarding the taste of Latakia. It also contains Virginia and Oriental. It is cut into medium sized ribbons. The distinguishing English aroma emerges once you pop the tin open. As for the humidity, I will diverge as I prefer it a little drier, even though I left it out for a while before smoking it. The first impression is mediocre. But as the fire progresses, the strength grows. The Latakia is there, but it does not eliminate the other varieties. It has a complexity that I like. I will surely but 4-5 tins and keep them for further aging. I believe it will reward me. Generally, Squadron Leader is one of the best English blends. No tongue bite what so ever. And of course, my wife's nagging about Latakia continuous.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Even if your not a tobacco expert one would not have a hard time seeing that SL is a beautiful balance of fine leaves. The tin moisture is a bit heavy, but there is no excessive moisture when smoked. SL packs and lights easy and the taste and smoke is thick and creamy which I love. I would certainly make this an everyday if I could get my hands on it more often, until then I'll reserve it as a special treat for myself here and there.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Wibblefishofdoom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wibblefishofdoom (98)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is the first tobacco I have bought on the strength of reviews here and, I must confess, initially I was quite disappointed. The smell from the tin upon first opening perturbed me somewhat as the smell of a whisky-style tar hit my nostrils, reminiscent of the taste of Laphroig whisky - far from my favourite because it is way too tarry. My first smoke, too, was in a similar vain and rather disappointing. I endeavoured, however, despite an urge to dash onto here and type up a appropriately poor review. Thankfully, I chose to persist and allow myself to adjust to it's peculiarities before truly condemning this tobacco to it's smokey grave. Here continues my story...

As I have smoked this over the past few days, the flavour has grown on me. It is actually quite a subtle smoke which does, indeed, start off with a tarry flavour with hints of the smell of an log fire breaking through and continues into something lighter and more nuanced. There also hints of flavours similar to Condor Original Long Cut and Gold Block in here, two tobaccos that sit well in my wee stash. It's mixture of strong and mild flavours provide pleasant surprises through this smoke in a way I've not found with other tobaccos.

On the whole, a very enjoyable tobacco that I am proud to add to my list of those sampled. My only two criticisms are that it can make the mouth a little numb and it smokes too quickly.

Update: I've increased my rating from recommended to highly recommended, this tobacco has become a favourite and I have ended up smoking this every day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (134)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Nicely balanced, mild flavoring but to me very pleasant and not in any way boring. Much more of a Turkish taste to me, with just hints of Latakia. A very good all-around enjoyable and cool smoke.

edit: it just gets better over time!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ArchtopBill Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ArchtopBill (16)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I really like this tobacco. As another reviewer wrote, the cut is reminiscent of cigarette tobacco. While I do not agree with this is far as flavor, it certainly has the look. The cut does not lend itself to smoking outdoors as the thin cut burns quickly; not that hot, just quickly.

The flavor is mild compared to some of my regular smokes, but this is just so pleasant to sit back and relax with. I will be enjoying this time and time again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JoeWNC Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JoeWNC (4)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

This tobacco has been thoroughly reviewed, so there is not much more than I can add. I will simply say that this is pleasure in a tin and not to be missed. If you are reviewing the ratings out of curiosity and have not tried SL-you won't go wrong. Buy a tin.

I would also recommend the SL review on youtube by user harjoeric.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Patrick ValBlanc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Patrick ValBlanc (6)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This was a delightful discovery. While SL was a delicious smoke when freshly opened, it definately took on some character after drying a week or two in the tin and even after on the dry-er side of things, its still a fair enough smoke.

Latakia comes through in the charring light, and recedes rather quickly and deeply in the background leaving the turkish in the forefront as the main player throughout the smoke. A spicy taste dominates, with musty undertones that grow as you go further down the bowl. An even smoke, with just enough progression to keep you interested without throwing you off balance.

But the highlight here, is that I've found this to be a perfect little leaf for long, meditative smokes. It can stand being packed amazingly tight and still burn steadily, so packed in a large pipe, you can get a long, slow burning smoke that'll last over an hour. To cap it off, it's not very punishing on the nicotine, so you won't even have to pay for your long smoke at the price of dizziness and nausea.

Not quite my favorite on the taste front, but it gets four stars, because on the whole, it makes for a wonderful tobacco that will now and then, turn out to be exactly what I need.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tripjoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tripjoker (64)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Another great English blend with a bit of heritage behind it. The great ones tend to last. In SL you will find a well balanced base of tobaccos with the edge going to the Turkish. This is precisely the kind of blend that rings bells for me.

A thin ribbon cut of the full spectrum of the standard English colors with just a tad more moisture than I prefer. A small amount of air time cures that. The loading is easy, and the lighting is a breeze due to the cut.

Turkish is the star from the beginning, and that doesn't change alot through the bowl. The other components start to sing along with the Turkish almost immediately and their volume picks up as the bowl progresses so the turkish becomes a partner to the Latakia and Virginia. Very well done blending by a reputable house makes all the difference.

The strength is a tad light for me as an all day smoke. Just shy of a solid medium, but will hold your interest with it's outstanding flavor that falls soloidly in the med-full category.

No bite, no excessive moisture when smoked. Not a rotation tobacco for me due to the strength, but I will keep my remaining tins in the cellar for enjoyment at a later date. These tins have 3 years age on them, and I would like to try again in a couple more years. A must try for all english lovers, and tame enough for the beginner with a sense of adventure. Cheers!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is a very well-balanced blend. As others have said, more Turkish up front than anything else, which in this blend I really like as opposed to other Oriental types -- this is richer and fuller because of it, instead of sweeter and more tart.

Also as others have said, it is a "drier" smoke than other English blends, but I like it a lot in this case, and I've definitely had drier ones than this. Again, overall very well balanced, with a little more emphasis on the Turkish than the Latakia, but the Latakia is still noticeable enough.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A little age does make a difference ,makes it a little more sweeter to me. Taste reminds me of marshmallows over a campfire .

Nobody has rated this review yet.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (199)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

About time I got around to trying this legend. Because this blend is legendary.

Opening the tin, I see a ribbon cut with black, bright and brown components; the tin aroma is decent, more dry than sweet: a goodly amount of Turkish in there, and not a Latakia overkill.

After a single-match light-up, the smoke is uncomplicated in maintenance. The taste is remarkably sweet for an English mixture (I don't eat any sweets, but I have a bit of a sweet tooth when it comes to tobaccos, so this is a Good Thing). The room note is quite acceptable to me, but experience tells me that non-smokers will hate it. Some complexity in the flavours, but not so much as to demand my full attention; a beautiful smoke.

For me, this is more of a Balkan than an English blend, but since the borders between those two categories seem to be a matter of personal preference (and I prefer Balkans, anyway), that doesn't count in the final tally. The ashes are medium grey, slightly mottled, no dottle left, and not enough condensation to mention.

Great stuff. That's my final verdict.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Tin purchased 8/09. The best way to describe this blend is smoked beef. Thick, rich, smoky and salty. Tobacco comprised of mostly light to medium brown ribbons.

Packs and light very well, I believe the turkish is at the forefront, with the Virginia not far behind. The Latakia is faint in the tin, but comes through upon the charring light. I still have a good source for this. Be sure to check your small B&M's and the mom and pop shops in your locale. You may just get yourself a tin with a bit of age on it.

Highly recommended.

Pairs well with a Chivas 18yr.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Appearance is a mixed brown rough ribbon. Tin smells lightly smoky, lightly sweet. Tastes lightly smoky, dry, with a very little sweetness.

Squadron Leader is very nice indeed. It has a dry-ish taste that I'm not fond of, but the other elements make up for it. The name appeals to me as a former air forces member. I'd promote SL to Wing Commander- but not in my command. While I will likely not buy again, it deserves three stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cakeanddottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cakeanddottle (36)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

This is a fairly middle of the road English blend. I find it curious that it is one of the blends that sells out so quickly, as while good, there are no small number of blends that are readily available that are as good or better.

A mixed gold and black ribbon, this is a journeyman in all regards. Packs and smokes well, the balance of the components is fine. In the balance it's a fairly civil, smoky English with nice Orientals and Virginia tobacco filling out the orchestra. There is nothing wrong with this tobacco, there just isn't anything about it that makes it stand out amongst all the English blends you've smoked before. The three star rating on this perfectly good, workmanlike tobacco is more of a real world two star rating, because your anticipation will be raised by getting your hands on a tin of hard to get tobacco and the smoke doesn't live up to the hype.

In the end, you'll get your tin, smoke it, and then most likely move on and not bother with this one again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Gold standard of English blends. Beautiful balance. Pushes all my buttons.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

As piper said; Orientals forward, just a GREAT smoke...glad I put a pnd in the cellar as I will be smoke'in this one daily...it is smooth, great med-english flavors throughout the bowl...tobacco at it's best by SG

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Piper@thegates Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Piper@thegates (20)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Sam Gawith quality is unquestioned and the skill and artistery which has gone into producing some of the world's finest tobacco blends ensures at least to my tastes, that the smoker will always receive a tobacco of the absolute top quality. Squadron Leader, a medium English oriental is deservedly one of SG's top sellers and much loved by smokers of varying preferences taste wise.

Often compared to Skiff although the differences between the two blends are very noticable, SL is much more oriental forward than Skiff which for me makes SL more of an all dayer. Both blends though have been mainstays in my rotation for many years. No lover of latakia will smoke one blend exclusively, at least none that I know of, the range of blends is simply too great to resist the temptation to explore. SL does ofcourse contain latakia but not to a level where it out runs the orientals which makes for a lighter more subtle smoke than you would get in many other similar blends. A very enjoyable smoke and one which will always remain in high demand, rightly so.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

rramstad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rramstad (115)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a very pleasant blend which emphasizes the orientals while still having enough latakia to give it some real depth. Well worth trying.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cochon74 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cochon74 (20)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I've been looking for Squadron Leader for months... finally got my hands on 2oz from a bulk bag at my local shop. This tobacco - in the wake of Charing Cross, Penzance, Skiff Mixture and McClelland Three Oaks Syrian - is an incredibly mild blend to me. I was a little surprised at how mild it was. Also, having fallen in love with Skiff (purchased in a somewhat wet tin), I was surprised by how dry SL was in bulk form.

I was pleased with Squadron's smoking properties as well as it's flavor. A well- integrated blend which has provided a consistent smoke across pipes, times of day and my moods. It is obviously quality leaf and the blend is both thoughtfully and tastefully done. As a fan of Skiff, I feel the need to say that it's not fair that Squadron Leader gets all the glory. As it stands, I still prefer Skiff, but am very happy to have tried SL. It is something of a classic and to have not tried this English blend is like saying you like rock and roll, but have never listened to The Rolling Stones.

If I find it in tin form, I'll most likely buy a few to cellar and keep around when I want something more gentle. But hopefully, I'll find more Skiff first!

Recommended though, for sure. 3 Stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

potam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
potam (14)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I recommend this mild and mellow flavor tobacco for the Latakia beginners. For the experts? Of course they know very well already about this than I.

This will be the all-day tobacco if there was no boorish person who says "Stop it!".

Nobody has rated this review yet.

roscoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
roscoe (11)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A pleasant but not remarkable English blend, with a noticeable emphasis on the orientals. Not as good as Pease creations.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kiowapipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kiowapipe (17)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is a legendary blend for good reason. This is perhaps the most 'English' English blend I have ever smoked. I wouldn't call it a Latakia mixture, though it does have a Latakia component. This is orientals forward. The orientals are bold and very dynamic, phasing back and forth between sweet, floral, herbal, and 'turkish' sorts of flavors. There's a nice backbone supplied by the Virginias which stays subtly present throughout. The Latakia is applied with a light touch but tastes just right to me, like the perfect amount of salt added to a dish. This is a real 'blend' blend, not just a mixture, but a balanced team of tobaccos. I keep picking up different characters and flavors, not just at the top, middle and bottom of the bowl, but on an almost puff-by-puff basis. Everything just hangs together so perfectly. To emphasize this point, I mix most of the bowls I smoke. I've developed a pretty good sense of what I'm in the mood for and I usually know what to add to even very fine blends to really hit the spot depending on my appetite. I don't think I'll be mixing anything with Squadron Leader. It's just so bloody balanced, it seems like anything I could add would just knock it out of whack. It's far from my favorite tobacco and probably won't be a regular smoke (even if it were easily available) but when I'm in the mood for it I don't think anything else would do. This is indisputably a four-star blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Antihero Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Antihero (8)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

I have been meaning to make a review of this fine example of an English blend. I am very surprised to find this under "recommended" , when it should be under "Highly Recommended".

I stumbled across a tin by accident in one of my local tobacconist shops here in Japan.They only had a single tin of the stuff and they had had it there for about a year. I bought it because I prefer English blends and it was something new. I will be honest when I say I had prejudice against any English blend that wasn't Three Nuns, but Squadron Leader squashed that after the first bowl.

On opening the tin, the smoker is greeted by a bouquet of Turkish, Latakia, and the sweet wiff of Virgina. The smell is a bit "rubbery" at first, but later it will always arise like a holy balm to your nostrils. The tin will continue to carry this smell , even after the tobacco is gone!

This is a tobacco who's Turkish leaf is leading the way and, therefore, can smoke hot if you are not careful. It is best to just sip this blend. It was meant for a relaxed period where time is not of the essence.

The taste is warm and a mixture of sweet and spicy. I dare say that this blend was meant for the fall/winter months of the year. It will warm your insides with a small glow and is very mellow when smoked right.

The ash is something I find very interesting. Unlike many pipe tobaccos that will leave a mixture of black,white,and gray ash that can be rough looking in texture; Squadron Leader leaves a fine gray ash that is (in my experience) almost like a powder. In this respect it is wonderful for building cake as it can be evenly spread around the inside of the bowl with your pinky-finger.

It is certainly a blend I would recommend for anyone who wishes to start in the English blend field. 4 stars and not a rating less.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Only the second English-type tobacco I've tried (the first being Erinmore BF). This was excellent, but I'd probably go for the Erinmore if I had to choose. Thought I got a little bite, but on reflection I think it was just pepperiness. I'll definitely smoke this again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

conicallybored Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
conicallybored (13)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Squadron Leader was hard to get in the US, but is currently back on some shelves in the 250 gram box. I wanted the tin, which is part of the appeal of this blend. Who doesn't like old-timey fighter planes? The tobacco is a hairbrush tangle of skinny long cut ribbons. It arrived a little too damp, which is preferable to a little too dry, I guess. It smokes cool and mild in every pipe I tried. After much anticipation stoked by the unavailability of the blend, it was not a disappointment. Squadron Leader is a good temporary replacement for my favorite blend, which I won't name here, to help avoid having it squirreled away in dark private cellars where I can't get at it.

Update: I'm upgrading my rating to four stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

derlict311 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
derlict311 (65)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

A moderately good English mixture. Not as complex as many English blends but hearty and worth having around.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

who broke my clay pipe? Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
who broke my clay pipe? (45)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Contents:shaggy light,tan and brown ribbons.

Pipe:smoked in two pipes ;6" clay georgian and meerschaum lined bowl falcon pipe.

Purchase reason:bought this by seeking reviews first,,:I like "dunhill MM 965" and "peterson old dublin" a lot and i fancied a lighter toned down variant lately,,esp after finishing some "erinmore balkan mixture" which had a bit more oriental sauce than i would want all the time,,(a bit rich)

Somebody below described this as "like smoking hot air";this described exactly what i was looking for;a medium english/balkan diluted slightly..

Lighting up:smokes strait out of the tin and i could sence it was lighter in taste,,,;smoking in a 6" georgian clay(which is my favourite standard)i could taste the lighty salted butter of the light virginia,with a milder seasoning of the smoky latakia and oriental spice.

Letting the tin air a bit for a dryer smoke removes some of the initial sause(ala lea and perrins worcester sause-ness)which makes it even milder again. (Some of the taste comes from the moisture vapour instead of the dryer smoke and i think the moisture carries the oriental flavour when tasting)

Letting it dry,it smoked cooler and easier,,,almost effortlessly. It is a light airy breezy,lightly cloudy smoke,that reminds me of the sky(the tin art entering my subconciousnes like an album cover i expect,,;tin art can do something with me).

Being dried it tastes milder and instead of "lea and perrins-esque worcester sause",i taste a milder,dare i say "pickled onion monster munch crisps" taste.. :Immagine leaving a packet of pickled onion monster munch on a hot radiator,popping open the bag and inhaling the packaging atmosphere..?

When smoking this in my falcon pipe i can taste my pipe as well because its that mild(but still nice and tasty) Somethings don't need to be strong in life to be enjoyed;sometimes a drink diluted with water tastes nicer,,,its simple as that..

It burns quite quick compared to other things i have smoked,but it smokes cool..

Tastes better in my clay - like all tobacco's i recon ,purely because clay is so neutral and flavourless.

Some people could make this a morning smoke and save themselves for something stronger later,,,;for me i would gravitate towards it when i am perhaps already bloated and fancy a light snack of a smoke...(This is a smoke snack like a packet of crisps rather than a "kendal twist dark plug xx" sunday roast)

It doesn't spoil my pallet or make me stink,,,,;room note is mild like perhaps smelling a jar of branston brown pickle from a distance(a typical light english/balkan, to be honest this doesn't even have a room note other than a light pipe smell) It burns to a light grey ash with some black at the bottom of the bowl...

Nicoteen:Its about light medium and it leaves me feeling mellow,neither stoned or buzzing,,,satisfying basically..

Totally no bite whatsoever.

Would i buy it again?Yes;its not my best smoke though,but i like variation and this is good to keep me piping when sometimes i feel like a smoke but don't fancy a full gourmet..

One last note is that the last of the tin tastes stronger and more "worcester saucish" again because the tobacco is more cut down and sawdust textured,,this may mean there is less air in my pipe packing..@65% light virginia,20% oriental,10% latakia as a guess?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

colonelcustard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
colonelcustard (4)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Strong

What can I say? I love this sh*t.

This is the tobacco that made me fall in love with pipe smoking.

The first time I smoked this stuff it was one of those "AH HA!" moments.

It tasted wonderful, burned all the way to the bottom of the bowl, and never once bit the tongue.

I don't smoke "the ol' pip" as often as I used to, but one of the greatest simple joys in life is an occasional Peterson full of this stuff and an evening filled with nothing to do.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

meerkat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
meerkat (64)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I found this blend a lot lighter than I expected. There is really very little latakia here and the smoke is dominated by orientals (to my palette at least), which is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact sometimes it's very nearly perfection.

Some people have likened this and Erinmore Balkan Mixture and whilst I can see where the comparison comes from (they have a broadly similar style and body), I find EBM to be a bit richer tasting; a bit more latakia, more sweetness. Also, I find SL has a slightly medicinal flavour which is absent from EBM. They do share the easy smoking characteristics and friendly, bite-free, nature that makes them easy blends to enjoy even when quite distracted.

As with most Samuel Gawith tobaccos, this comes quite moist in the tin and can stand a bit of airing out.

I found this smoked best in a large bowl.

Nearly 4 star stuff, maybe I'll bump it up in the future. If you're looking for an all day, natural tobacco you could do a lot worse than this and might be hard pressed to do much better!

Well worth a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JohnnyMcPiperson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyMcPiperson (89)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I have heard people absolutely rave about this blend, while it was not my favorite english by far, I did enjoy smoking through a tin of it. I received an open tin in a trade and was very pleased with the presentation of it, popping the top and folding the foil back you are greeted by the soft leathery smell of latakia and VA. Upon lighting it most reminded me of a scottish blend that I once tried, for me it stayed fairly consistent throughout the bowl with a soft leathery english taste that is enjoyable from start to finish. For it's soft consistent smoke, I took this one too the pool hall on a regular basis and it did quite well. It is a good smoke to accompany an evening activity as it is mild and enjoyable, not requiring much attention and when you finish it, you've got a cool tin with an airplane on it!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A high quality English from Gawith. I would not call it mild but definitely leaning toward the lighter / milder side. A generous volume of cool, dry smoke and nicely balanced but mellow flavors - almost a subtle hint of citrus in there somewhere. Room note only tolerable IMO. Anyone who likes English blends should definitely give this a try - IF you can get your hands on some, that is! Too bad this one is so scarce - maybe because it is the only one with a cool WWI Biplane on the tin... some nice tradition there and great marketing!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

don1688 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
don1688 (27)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

It's odd I never tried this until now. this is a tin with only 4 months on it- very young.

When will I learn to open a tin and let it sit for a week with its top replaced! This, like almost any Latakia blend I've tasted improves with this manuever. Fresh from the tin it is a bit bland, "what's the big deal" I thought. Smelled exactly like Solani gold- sugar or whatever.

After a week this stuff really sings. No sweetness at all, so Va component was really nonexistent. But no worries it's beautifully spicy and slightly smoky. Latakia is present, but I do get the Turkish component on French inhale.

4 stars to me is a "keep it on hand for sure blend", its quite different from any other English blend I smoke and that is a nice change. If it finished like it started when it was fresh, my remaining tins would have been given away, but that week of "airing" really let this special mixture shine. I cannot stop puffing this like a freight train late to the docks. I really recommend to try if you enjoy a nice Turkish/Latakia blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Susanna Hoffs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Susanna Hoffs (74)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I don't get why people seem to think that this is a strong evening smoke kind of deal. It's pretty mild if you ask me.

Very similar to Old Dublin, but a lot blander and weaker. That said this is easily an all day smoke for lovers of light English blends. I smoked SL and then OD one after the other. OD had more richness and depth, whereas SL was a little bit like smoking air at times.

Still I do like it, and it's a great morning toke with a coffee.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bear80 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bear80 (2)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I believe every pipesmoker should taste SL. It is best and unique of tast and smell. A little bit of strength additionally and I would smoke the SL only, but...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is the favourite SG Oriental for many. But not for me.

I find the aroma and taste less creamy, tangy and complex than that in Skiff Mixture. Certainly it is a little bit sourer.

My favourite Balkans and English make me desire to chew or eat them, and I do not feel the same here.

Perfect moist in the tin (if you are not a tobacco dryer) and happily recommended. Just not in my top group.

Rdx score: 89.5

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sweetbriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sweetbriar (14)
★★★★
Medium Medium to Strong Full Tolerable

another great baccy blend from my favorite blender, gawith. I just luv gawith baccy.. highly recommended..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

fruktflugan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fruktflugan (19)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I am normally an aromatic smoker, but this is a great tasting tobacco that is readily available for me in Europe.

Some mild latakia in there, some turkish leaf to back it up, then a bunch of sweet-ish virginia to compliment the other two... And not as much Virginia to make it taste of "bad cigarette" either, they managed to balance this baby almost all the way to perfection!

Boswells Mild English has almost the same flavor and I tend to like the Boswell blend a little more than this, but this is tinned and it's available and almost, almost, as good as Boswells Mild English.

This is borderlining on Highly Recommended for me, but there are similar better tobies out there. They be just hard to find! :D

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Old Northern Smoky Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old Northern Smoky (33)
★★★★
Mild Very Mild Mild Very Pleasant

Hard packed in the tin and quite moist I find a high quality blend of tobaccos except for two, two inch-long stems. The aroma in the tin is a delicious mix of woodsy, earthy and (mildly) campfire smoke.

I let a 2-bowl batch air for about an hour before packing. Took three matches before it stayed lit but once going that same delightful aroma in the tin was wafting in the air. Does not bite but in the first half bowl there is some mild dancing on the tongue. To me this is a mild, dry english smoke. I had hoped for a bit more from the Latakia, but a nice smoke none the less. Burns cool...I was able to hold my bowl all the way down to the very bottom.

You know when you get to the dottle as the smoke takes on a monotone slightly harsh tobacco taste.

My wife loved the aroma so much she loaded a bowl of what I had dried and lit up. She loves it! Her first English blend.

If you are not hunting for more Latakia in your smoke, you should enjoy this tobacco. Its a mild, smooth smoke that anyone should enjoy...even newbies!

I highly recommend it!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I really like Squadron Leader! I'd add another star if I could get more of it...it's really strong for me, makes my head spin about half-way through a bowl. That's neither here nor there for me, the flavor is what I really dig. Great smoky taste comes through every time. I don't smoke much of this, probably because I like it so much that I'm worried I'd get too used to it & have to deal with the frequent supply issues!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Like others here, I, too, bought a tin based on the notoriety. I can say that I was not disappointed, but I could understand how some were.

This classic blend is a very well-crafted medium English, with a smooth, cool, thick smoke; where the Latakia is certainly present, but not overwhelming. Just my speed! If you are looking for that big, smoky Latakia kick, this would almost surely disappoint. But for new-to-English smokers, or those whose preference runs to the more restrained, this is definitely a blend worth experiencing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I enjoyed this blend. Smokes cool and slow. For those seeking an English blend this is a must try. My only criticism is that it could use a little more taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cranziron Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cranziron (9)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This is quality tobacco, but in my opinion it just doesn't hold up to the hype. It's hard to get here in the States so I ordered a few tins from Dan Pipe based on its popularity and very favorable reviews. I have to say I was disappointed with the mildness of this blend. The latakia is WAY in the background and it certainly can't be classified as a full flavored tobacco. Again, quality tobacco, but not my cup of tea.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Griswold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Griswold (16)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

SG's Squadron Leader is a very well balanced medium Latakia Blend, good for any time of the day.The Orientals definitely take the leading role, the Latakia provides smokey overtons, the Va's provide body and sweetness. If you like 'English' blends with an emphasis on Orientals, you should give this one a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Claudius Stradivarius Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Claudius Stradivarius (171)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Strong

I definitively loved the tin aroma, as well as the taste of this what-seems-to-be -high-quality English mixture.

My wife, however, complained bitterly about its room note. And there it stopped...

I belive it is a great English blend. I will have to revisit at the right time. But not until K &K proves to have respected the original SG's recipe.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

History Nut Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
History Nut (5)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I appreciate a good English blend and this is certainly one of them! Although it is not the strongest tobacco available, it is an extremely smooth and well balanced smoke. The quality of the leaf and the expert blending set this tobacco apart from the others. It burns slowly and steadily to provide what one can imagine as a typically "English" experience. Those who are looking for a power house of nicotine may not find this tobacco up to the task. However, I am a life long fan due to the smoothness, consistency and middle of the road strength of this tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

eamonclever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
eamonclever (45)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

upon opening I get a good earthy smell, i also detect a slight flavour of latakia. It is not that smoky smell like the hard english mixtures, but very gently and not bold or harsh. I like my tobaccos beeing moist to avoid tongue bite - this tobacco is perfect. Loading the pipe is easy, lighting also. The flavour of oriental and turkish progresses within the second half the first half of the bowl is more or less an easy smoking adventure, but in a nice way. The quality of leaf is very good it keeps lit all the way through. No problems even with large pipes as well. Good change of pace, not a nicotine bomb, nice and easy, the latakia is somewhere but not in the brutal scale like nightcape or even in rope tobaccos. Good to start with english tobaccos maybe for aro smokers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Daggers62 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Daggers62 (18)
★★☆☆
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable to Strong

When opening the tin you get hit with a strong earthy tobacco smell, very full bodied.

As soon as I put a light to it the first thing that hit me was a smell of cigars. The room note is quite strong and I havent found anybody who actually likes the smell.

Flavour wise, strong tobacco taste, nothing much more. There is the mild flavour of liqourice in the aftertaste which is not unpleasant. I will give this another try in a few months as I did enjoy it but not for my everyday use.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tee-dub Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tee-dub (48)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I am updating my earlier review. After some drying out and a bit of time, this tobacco has come out of its shell. Once dried the draw is effortless and generous, yet remains cool. Heaven knows what it will be like with some real age on it.

It is rich, savory, creamy, sweet, and smoky, and yields moments of pure tobacco Nirvana, as well as fragrant clouds of white smoke. from three and a half to four stars.

--------------------

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is my favorite English. Just the right proportion of Virginia, Latakia and Orientals with only medium strength make it an allday smoke for me. Latakia is really not overpowering here, just complements the other tastes. Unlike other latakia mixtures this one is also quite acceptable to the non-smokers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Newbie2010 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Newbie2010 (12)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I wasn't all that impressed with this blend when I first packed and sparked the pipe. The first real Balkan/English blend I tried was Harkness Tower from the Owl Shop, so I was expecting Squadron Leader to be just as full, but it isn't. While the room note is nice, the flavoring of that first smoke was somewhat bitter, if not soapy, and the pipe (Sav 320EX) gurgled. I pressed on, aired it out a bit first, as I read here, and enjoyed the second and subsequent bowls in a big Peterson System 307. I only have a little bit left, much to my chagrin, and I will buy more. The Virginia/Turkish lead the charge with the Latakia following up beautifully for a nice smoky and tangy finish. If you want a middle-of-the-road English/Balkan, Squadron Leader is a good way to go.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fellow traveler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fellow traveler (64)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Pouch: Moderately moist. Smell of latakia, musty smokey camp fire smell. Rich and full. Dry out before lighting. Not as smokey as Skiff.

Flame: Lights easily with medium body creamy smooth smoke. No harshness, moderate nose tingle. No tongue bite. Sweetness of the turkish is immediate upon lighting with a citrus note.

Side stream: Smooth, lighter bodied smoke. Slight nose tingle. The smell is sweet virginia enhanced with turkish, with a thinner smoke than the burly based blends. Natural tobacco flavor with no casing or flavoring. Sweet and musty at same time.

Down Bowl: Stays dry, no bitterness. Sweet taste of virginia, no rough edges, perfectly balanced blend. Latakia is present but compliments the other flavors, and is not overpowering. Few relights necessary. Medium N content that comes on gently. Does not get strong or dramatically change flavor.

Aftertaste: Tingle of Latakia, slightly peppery with tasty tobacco flavor. Flavor in nose is light tobacco.

Conclusion: Great virginia based medium english with turkish sweetness. Smoke with iced black coffee. This is medium, an afternoon relaxation smoke. **

This may be heresy but I also enjoy this mixed 50/50 with Skiff, when more smokiness is appreciated.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Good stuff. I haven't had any issues keeping this lit, but it's definitely not dry. Tin note had me worried - it smelled like EMP though less sweet. I know that EMP is a beloved blend, but it makes me a bit sick - at least the tin I picked up in Vienna in January. My worries were totally unnecessary though. This is a really nice tobacco. I taste a bit of black licorice in there, but it is extremely subtle. Really, I haven't smoked a whole lot better than this. It's worth a try to see if you like it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipesomkinsquirrel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipesomkinsquirrel (16)
★★☆☆
Very Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

Yet another tin of empty promises from Samuel Gawith. I was hoping for a nice mild but still complex English as advertised. This mixture came up way short.

The quality of tobacco was not bad, but there just was not a whole lot going on in this blend. One of the joys of smoking a pipe for me is to pick apart the tobacco in each blend as it makes a brief appearance throughout the smoke. Unfortunately in Squadron Leader I got mediocre flat Virginia leaf with even less exciting Latakia. All the way through the bowl this continued.

When I read the tin description I was expecting something similar to Early Morning Pipe. Not even close. EMP was complex, interesting, and kept me thinking. This mixture was boring, bland, and unfulfilling.

There was no nicotine kick to speak of. I understand this was supposed to be a mild blend, but mild to me at least gives me a nice buzz when I am finished smoking it.

I would maybe recommend this to folks who are experimenting with pipe tobacco, or to someone who likes to inhale his pipe smoke. Other than that, I can easily find other blends which satisfy much more.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BowHunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BowHunter (12)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong

Early afternoon, just left the lunch, I like to sit in front of my pc, reading some news on the web. I have two friends in that: my cup of coffee and my meerschaum lit full of Squadron Leader.

It's been first sight love with this wonderful all day EM. I like the oriental taste and the good note of latakia, definitely present, but not overwhelming.

A good tobacco for all day, but may be you want something stronger afterdinner, unless you want a tobacco you can smoke even doing something else.

Reccomended!

ps: a bit too much moisture. Better set apart the quantity of tobacco you want to smoke and leave this quantity outside the tin drying for about one hour before smoking. Unless you have no problem in re-lit every 5 minutes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Boomer-Z Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Boomer-Z (22)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I tried this based on all the reviews here. Not too bad, but a little to mild for me. That being said it is still a nice tobacco and I can see why people rave about it. It smells grreat, packs well, and stays lit. Like any others if you puff hard you will be get burned. Always my fault. If you are looking for a medium to mild smoke or something yo enjoy all day this might be a good one for you to try.

Me? I am going back to my stronger English Blends.

Z

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

hello, I was looking for a breakfast toba to turn with EMP, I found two ones, erinmore balkan mix and this one, both are great mix, without bad side.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ivycap Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ivycap (63)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

There are some nice flavors in here. Good balance of latakia and light touch of the musty Turkish leaf. For some reason I always feel like something is missing though, so I lean toward other English blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

risle-lariviere Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
risle-lariviere (33)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This one is a straight forward English blend.

Not complicated , good quality tobacco well balanced. The best way for me to review this blend is by saying it like Old Dublin from Peterson but milder and sweeter good if i will smoke more bowls than i'm used to . As a all-day smoke i prefer a bit more punch but this blend is really really good .

Happy to have tried this one , will buy more for sure.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PeteSavinelli Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PeteSavinelli (8)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

What more can one add that hasn't already been said repeatedly? This is very nearly the perfect tobacco of its type and will certainly remain a mainstay in my regular rotation. I will be buying this in bulk henceforth.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Traderbob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Traderbob (24)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Being an ex-pilot, I love the artwork on the tin. I had read a lot of reviews of Squadron Leader and was pretty excited about opening my first tin. The opening smell was okay – but did not wow me. The moisture level was just right for me as I like my tobacco a little moist. This tobacco is easy to load and light. I used the “Frank” method and found it to provide an easy to smoke bowl with this tobacco. There are evidently three different tins of SL on the market, my tin is the one with the SG logo at the top.

This tobacco produces a medium, creamy, and robust taste which mingles with the Turkish tobacco's that add a citrus note and a great tin aroma. The Virgina's finish off this blend by adding to it a very sweet taste that plays in just right. Several smokers have mentioned the campfire/leathery note – I think that describes it accurately. This is a cool smoke that takes a lot to get bitten from so even heavy puffers have little to worry about. Meanwhile you will be able to enjoy the great flavors that make this such a notable tobacco. I am only ½ way through my first tin so need to smoke more before deciding if I will keep this in my normal rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Captain bob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Captain bob (38)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

What's not to like? If full English or Light English is not what you want, this will fill the need for Medium English. It is a delightful high quality medium English non-aromatic blend and I do recommend it. Fly high Red Baron... I'm coming after you! A solid three stars!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

stephenspring Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
stephenspring (13)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Looks like I'm not the only one who tried Squadron Leader today. My shipment came in and tried it out of the tin. I tend to like the heavier English blends so I don't mind the aroma from the tin. Of course, I like Roquefort cheese as well so maybe that says something. I tried it using a Savinelli Punto Oro Military Estate pipe. The latakia is nice and subtle and gave me a consistently mild smoke with a very nice taste throughout. After being lit, it burned just fine throughout. There's loads of folks on pipes.org who live for Squadron Leader. I still prefer Peter Stokkybbe Balkan Supreme. This is very nice tobacco with a cool name, cool package, and cool smoke. It's a definite for my chest and something worth having.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is the real deal and exemplifies what a medium English is. Sweet and delicious Virginias are at the core, supported by the precise amount of Latakia and Turkish. It's a benchmark smoke . . . if you can find it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I have a tendency to verbosity, so I'll keep this one quick:

when looking for an ideal English blend, this drew my attention thanks to the clever name, and the fact it was from the Lake District, a part of the world very dear to me.

I was not disappointed. To my taste, an ideal blend of all things oriental, latakia and virginia. I can smoke this a number of times during the day with no 'baccy hangover.'

I know many dislike Lakeland tobaccos because of what they call a 'soapy' taste; I call it floral, and I love it to death. So please try this, but be aware that this element can make or break this blend for you. All the other Gawith blends, IMHO, have the same quality.

--smc

Nobody has rated this review yet.

renwardhoop Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
renwardhoop (58)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Medium Extra Strong

Bought a can of this stuff, that seems pretty highly rated on here.

Tin aroma is old leather boots. Tobacco is very very moist and needs a good drying out before going anywhere near the bowl.

Fortunately the leathery smell didn't manifest itself in the smoke, which was really not unpleasant at all. I can see why it's so highly thought of here.

It was an absolute bugger to keep alight. Mrs RW lets me smoke aromatics in the office but she grumbled about the smell. Like a cross between burning hay and old men's boots she declared.

SL is now off the menu unless I want to smoke in the freezing garage. I can't say it was outstanding enough for me to brave the elements and the dark inner sanctum of our garage, so, with a slight reluctance I'll go back to aromatics, which will please She Who Must Be Obeyed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gildervoigts Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gildervoigts (16)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have not smoked any of this out of a tin as of yet. I have 10 that are in the cellar though. I instead got 4 oz of this bulk from 4noggins. What can I say that hasn't been said. This is great stuff. For me this tobacco has an ability to coat my tongue with a covering that almost reminds me of black licorice, which I love. I love how it sticks with me when I put the pipe down too. If the tins are as good as the bulk, I am going to be a happy camper when I open them down the road.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

much has been said - so my unique spin-- how can you NOT buy a tobacco tin with the name squadron leader and plane on the lid looks like it was canned in world warII. The tobacco wasn't bad either i little damp but 15 minutes to air and just right my wife does not mind this blend and allows me to smoke it in the house my first tin was a little green but the second and third showed better age both on the nose and tongue. All said , a good smoke at a good price from a blender that i approach with cautious enthusiasm

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Meisterlowin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Meisterlowin (16)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

My only experience with an "English" blend thus far has been Tinderbox's Sherlock's Choice, which, as I understand it, is not a true English. Anyway, Squadron Leader surpasses the aforementioned by leaps and bounds.

The tin is tightly packed and slightly overmoist. The tin aroma, at first, was slightly offensive to me as I am used to tobacco that is cased with something, but now, I understand that this is what tobacco is supposed to smell like--not the PG laden crap that I smoked in my former days.

This packs easily but initially takes a bit of effort to keep lit--but that symptom is a product of my impatience and also me ignoring other posters' recommendations to let it dry out a bit. Once lit, it burns evenly and cool producing a fine ash.

I am terrible at describing tastes and aromas, so this may be way off-base, but there is a spicy nuttiness with an occasional mix of sweetness that melds into a savory smoke best enjoyed when one has the time to do so unhurriedly.

The bowl stayed cool and there was no trace of bite or bitterness. Highly recommended and worth the wait as most tobacconists are regularly out of stock on this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

camachoman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
camachoman (6)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I just wanted to jump on board with Squadron Leader. What else can I say that hasn't already been said? If you like English blends, and have somehow missed this one, you need to try it! Top-notch stuff here! Fantastic!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Susanna Hoffs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Susanna Hoffs (74)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Yep a great tobacco and a great looking tin. Smooth and creamy, with smokey campfire/leathery notes.. IMO it's VERY VERY similar to Old Dublin by Peterson. The only difference that I find is that SL has a slighlty 'saucier' tinge to it...and only a mild one at that.

Old Dublin just gets the nod in respect of strength and flavour as you work through the bowl. And when I have too, I do prefer to use the round screw-top tin (OD) as opposed the square one (SL) Just for ease of use.

But to me they are VERY similar tobacco's. Medium Latakia introductions for those wishing to try English blends for the first time.

Old Dublin - 9/10 Squadron Leader - 8/10

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sapo59 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sapo59 (5)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

One of my favorite english blends. This does need drying out of the tin. I will open a tin and leave it for a day, then tranfer it to a jar. Once this has been done it is very enjoyable. If you like english blends or you are thinking of trying some put this on your list.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ask4free Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ask4free (7)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

3rd Latakia /English blend I have tried since my journery into english blends and so far it's my fav! I've tried Old Dublin & Latakia Flake by MCclelland/Blackney. It tops both of them! Great balance, cool smoke, and super cool name! Slightly moist out of the tin but didn't have much issues with lighting really. It could be a little dryer but really not bad. Highly recommend if you are thinking about giving Squadron a go. Definitely in my daily rotation. I really really like this one!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Believe it or not, I tried this tobacco after years of Erinmore Mixture!! Took me 100g of smoking to get rid of the taste of the former! My impressions......one of the best, best tobaccos ever!! Lets get rid of the bad bits first.....in the UK it's difficult to get hold of (in Suffolk anyway), Samuel Gawith aren't interested in aswering any of your letters (this always pisses me off!), it's too moist when you open the tin (more profit!)...but then the good points!!!.....you open the tin and sniff....heaven!! Slight smell of bonfires witha pleasant tobacco after smell. I filled my first pipe lightly, as, in my mind, it was too moist, and then went to my shed (the only place I'm allowed to smoke my pipe nowadays - but it is a very nice shed!!) Quite hard to light and keep alight (it was a bit moist!), but....BOY....when it was firing correctly I didn't want to go back to the house. I sat there and smoked each "favourite" pipe one after the other....I turned the wireless on, lit the heater, and just wanted to continue!! Not too high a nicotine hit, no hiccups from over-smoking, no tongue burn, and if you like a subtle taste of Latakia then this is the one...it's gorgeous!! A really good "smoke" but difficult to keep alight. I since found, when dog walking in a light breeze, smoking my Peterson Billiard, it is a "dream"...but no breeze and I spend all the time with the dog pulling whilst I try and re-light. Overall, I would strongly recommend, if you like "english" tobaccos.....the only thing that holds me back is the lack of availability and the lack of any communication with Gawith. PLEASE try it, and 50g isn't enough....... I soon have a few 100's of grams of Punchbowle to try....at least you can buy it in a half decent tobacconists!! will let you know!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Big bad Jon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big bad Jon (232)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a traditional English blend in every respect. There is a very nice oriental note to the blend that plays with the sweet and earthy VA tobaccos. The Latakia added rounds this mixture into one of the smoothest and creamiest smokes around. The tobacco does not bite and burns cool, and leaves nothing behind. This is an overall great tobacco, and with a bit more kick would be an absolute favorite.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

metalbone Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
metalbone (4)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Unnoticeable

after one tin, I need another. Lot's of creamy delicious smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DEN-C1956 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DEN-C1956 (24)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

i just love this pipe tobacco,its my first tin....and im well into it...i have been meaning to try this tobacco for sometime now,so i ordered online it arrived,i had my first bowl...and then a second..just the job. leaves a taste in the mouth but not a foul taste,it could be that hint of 'more'.this is going to be high on my list of top pipe tobacco's,easy to obtain online with fast delivery,better than the over the counter tobacco's at the newsagent.well worth trying.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Squadron Leader is just an amazing tobacco all around. A traditional English blend with a taste all it's own given to it by the multiple tobacco's used in it's making.

The latakia makes for a strong, creamy, and robust taste which mingles with the Turkish tobacco's that add a citrus note and a great tin aroma. The Virgina's finish off this blend by adding to it a very sweet taste that plays in just right.

This is a cool smoke that takes alot to get bitten from so even heavy puffers have little to worry about. Meanwhile you will be able to enjoy the great flavors that make this such a notable tobacco.

The only problem that anyone might be able to find is that the after taste seems to linger (much like a cup of coffee one you have finished it), but even with this it's still a 4star blend.

A must for most English lovers!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

babysinister Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
babysinister (46)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Ah, the tin with the little 1930s airplane on the lid. This Turkish-Latakia-Virginia blend is one of my top favorites. Turkish leaf dominates this blend, with Latakia playing in the background. The Virginia is discernible but takes a back seat to the other two. This tobacco provides a lot of smoke, fine savory needles straight to the tastebuds, and rich aroma. I've stocked up on this one - which has become sporadically difficult to get lately - against the uncertain times ahead.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

langston302 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
langston302 (14)
★★★★
Mild Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have been wanting to get my hands on this blend for some time. I love SKIFF and this was just a natural move to try Squadron Leader.

I was not disappointed. I found the flavors to be right down the middle of the road with hints of fruit and creamy musk. I did find it hard to take to light but I suspect its a tad moist so I am gonna let it dry out a tad.

Its now on my daily rotation.

Get some and see how it fairs for you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Excellent burning characteristics, packs well, impossible to make it bite. First half of the bowl tastes of sea salt, second half is very creamy. Give it a couple of weeks to sit after you've popped the tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Alguhan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alguhan (140)
★★☆☆
Very Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I was expecting something powerful. The tobacco has nice flavors, sweet Virginia and cool Latakia but unfortunately these flavors are hard to detect. Burns even and smokes effortless. More strength and some more taste are needed while smoking it..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Rehfeldttw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rehfeldttw (8)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

I really like this blend. It taste exactly or pertty much same like the Old Dublin from Peterson but much stronger and much sweeter. If I have to choose between those 2 blend, I will go with the Squaderon Leader because of fuller taste.

This is an excellent tobacco with no bite.

No drying is necessary.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is a great blend at a great price.

I didn't find it to be as strong as I thought it was going to be. It was pretty much perfect on the strength scale for me.

As for the flavor, the first thing I tasted was a nutty flavor followed by a bit of spiciness that was very enjoyable. The flavor was consistent from start to finish and stayed lit throughout.

I smoked the first bowl a bit fast, but I received no tongue bite.

Highly recommend it. Pick up a tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (226)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

There is so much to like about this blend, the tin art is cool, the price per tin is very good, the aroma in the tin is to die for, it is a very pretty tobacco and it tastes great when smoking it. But it is one of those blends that i find myself trying for more out of it and end up with a sore tongue. It loads wonderful in the pipe and upon lighting it has a classic English aroma, the smoke and taste of a great Latakia, the sweetness of a good VA and the tangy, pungent taste of turkish. It smokes slow and burns down nice. But I just want more and once this blend gets going hot, look out! it will bite you. But just sipping it leaves me kinda flat, I enjoy it but there are so many blends of it's kind I enjoy better. So, I do recommend this to the English lovers that like a light English but if you like a deeper, fuller blend, in my case I like C and D Davinci for latakia, then I can't rate this better than three star.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

agentlemanfromindiana Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
agentlemanfromindiana (18)
★★☆☆
Very Mild Mild Medium Tolerable

I'm not a very big latakia fan, but I do like the thick meaty taste that comes with latakia. In this blend, I did not detect a meaty quality at all, just really smokey. Not terrible, just not very good. Definitely not worth what I paid for it. It's worth giving it a chance though.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

lycus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lycus (4)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is a very good English blend--my first English, in fact. Upon smelling it I was reminded of Peterson Irish Flake--a tobacco that is too strong for me just yet--so I was hesitant to try it, as I thought I may not like it.

I was wrong! It's a whole lot milder than Pete's Irish, and boy is it a cool smoker. The closest thing I can describe the taste as is lavender, perhaps sage as well? I get no tongue bite at all smoking this, and it's quite relaxing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I just bought my first tin of this today and here are my thoughts after one smoke:

1. Upon opening the tin, I was greeted with the most heavenly of aromas. I wanted to dive in and just swim in the stuff.

2. Packing the pipe with SL is a literal joy. There was one piece that was cut poorly, but other than one piece it was a perfect ribbon cut with the perfect moisture content.

3. Lighting this blend was incredibly easy. In fact, of all the blends I have tried, SL is by far the easiest light I have ever experienced. I did have to do a couple of relights during the bowl, but this is nothing unusual for any smoker.

4. The smoke itself is beautiful! It is rich and creamy, full yet subtle, strong yet mild. The Latakia, Virginia, and Turkish tobaccos are all full, present and also perfectly harmonized to create a wonderful smoking experience. I have tended to not be so enthusiastic about English blends - preferring instead Balkan blends as I find them to be fuller and more complex - but Squadron Leader has instantly become a favorite of mine.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (121)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

With nearly 200 reviews at this point, there really isn't much I can add that hasn't already been said. So here is my two cents: This is based on a small sample of the bulk form of this fine weed. I find this to be one of the best blends available. Taste is great, the amount of smoke produced is wonderful, smokes cool, slow burning and is perhaps the best blend on the market today.This can easily be an all day smoke for many. I can see why all the positive reviews are below my humble opinion. I can't recommend this blend enough.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

When I first smoked this tobacco if you had asked me if I liked it I would have said "no". I was still in love with aromatics an affair which was soon to end. I found myself grabbing for the Squadron Leader more than the aros and I realized soon enough that I was an English blend convert. When I couldn't get more SL I switched to Penzance, but Penzance just lacks the kick of SL and I am happy I was able to secure 5 more tins to add to my cellar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TTQC Driver Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TTQC Driver (6)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

In Autumn of 2008 I first bought Squadron Leader at J&R in Washington D.C. when I found out Dunhill London Mixture was no longer available. I liked it right off, and was able to purchase more from Iwan Reis in the 250 gram package which is more economical than per 50 gram tin. I find that right out of the tin the tobacco tastes like it has a bit of aviation gas in it, so I now open the package and let it dry out a bit before smoking my pipe. My prefered pipe shape is Canadian stem or a Savinelli Bing, and Squadron Leader makes a great first pipe of the day when I walk our Borzoi, Lara, before going to the office. It is also my last pipe of the day. There is a pleasant almost smokey/nutty flavor when my pipe is packed correctly and the tobacco has been allowed to dry enough. Since Dunhill London Mixture is essentially out of the question except for the 3 special occasion tins I have stashed away, Squadron Leader is my daily tobacco blend. Tomorrow another 250 gram package is supposed to arrive via UPS from South Carolina, and I am looking forward to opening it to dry...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

'Baccy'Ho Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
'Baccy'Ho (10)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

WOW!!! I just had a bowl of this in a meer that was absolutely a sublime experience. I have a stash of this that is going on 5 years old and the VA's have become wonderfully sweet and have melded beautifully with the latakia. This is always a wonderful experience regardless of the blend. This is good quality tobacco that as with most blends ages into a mature marriage. Not a hint of bite, just the sweet wonderful smokey flavors that this blend can provide. Pipe smoking at it's absolute finest IMHO.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Well SL, it is a clasic - For english tobaccos it well may be The Classic. Its been around for ever. And for good reason. It is simple, non assuming - a straight forward English. I would say it is right square in the middle of the Latakia taste dept.. Enough that you don't miss it - not a hand full to blow you away. I know most folks will buy this in bulk. I don't buy any tobacco in bulk if I can help it. Tins are a sure thing - I'm funny that way about food products. I'm sure the FDA will tell us more about that - so stay tuned. From the tin it is WAY TOO MOIST! From a tin - you MUST dry this for a while. I dry it until it will not stick together when pinched hard. Lights right up, wonderful creamy smoke. Not harsh, yet with a little of the latakia aftertaste that some of us enjoy. There are almost 200 reviews of this blend most are positive. Even a tin of SL is relatively inexpensive. The blend is ready to smoke today. If you want to waste money on something that's unaged, harsh, unsmokable for years. Look elsewhere. I age dollar bills in my Ball Jars - not tobacco. Thats the blenders job.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

SL is my every day blend and IMO one of the best blends easily available today. When you smoke a pipe-full you feel satisfied. It makes the world seem a better place. I discovered English blend as a young man (back in the 60s) and many I have loved have come and gone, but SL is a true English blend in the old tradition. Think Dunhill London Blend. If you are a Latakia-Turkish smoker, this is for you. If you are an aromatic smoker, try it. It just might convert you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

drdave Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
drdave (9)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Beautiful in the tin and tasty on the tongue this stuff is four plus stars. When it's still moist the Leader is smooth, sweet and creamy. Dried out a little adds some subtle flavors and a bit more robust flavor. Right up there with Red Rapp and anything Dunhill ever made.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This was my first foray into English blends, and I was immediately hooked. Opening the tin, I was greeted by a scent that brought me back to childhood for some reason. I finally figured out that it smelled exactly like an old box of antique polaroid and brownie cameras I once found at my grandmother's house. It was a musty smell that took over my bedroom back then, but I loved it because I loved those cameras. Anyways, the review: This is a nicely complex smoke. The latakia seems to be there all along, but definitely not overpowering. I get an occasional sweet reminder that the VA is there. To me though, the dominant taste is the Turkish. Every so often, I also get a slight tang of Vanilla. The flavor tends to sour a bit toward the end of the bowl, which is why I'm giving it 3 instead of 4 stars. My wife actually likes this one I think. She says it's "pipey" but a little smokey.

Oh yeah - almost forgot - as a pilot, I was pretty much obligated to try this one. Nice tin!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

well tampered clavier Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
well tampered clavier (9)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is a tobacco i have smoked for a good while now so is only fair that i start my reviews here. Any review has to be generally considered subjective and mine shall be no different. This tobacco optimises 'english' as does the name and it's ingredient. I do enjoy this tobacco greatly. It is contemplative and interesting throughout. It has been criticised for its lack in strength or latakia but i shall stress the term subjective again and I am confident that regardless of your enjoyment level of this tobacco you shall indeed find yourself appreciating the blenders ability. Like a good scotch this is a blend where you can say 'o yes, someone's put some thought in to this one'. I shall not go into flavours as there are plenty of other reviews that summarise very well. however i shall state the few things i dislike about it. Although not strong there is a strangely undetectable strength in nicotine that will creep up on a smoker, slightly nauseating on an empty stomach. also on the odd occasion i've noticed a slightly tainting of flavour resulting in instant dog breath. this has been few & far between though. SG ribbon cuts are very well prepared, perfectly blended and just the right level of moisture straight out of the tin. much better than SG's flakes (can be damp and awkward lengths). This is a tobacco that should be at least tried by every pipe smoker.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I smoked this blend in my Design Berlin Royal Star-68 as somehow this just seemed to me to be the perfect pipe of my small collection to try this in.

In a word - Wow!

To start with, upon popping the tin, I was greeted with an aroma that I can only decribe as that which, for me at least, pipe smoking is all about. I could close my eyes and easily imagine that I was hanging out all day at the tobacconist. Yeah, a tobacconists shop in a tin - pure heaven.

The tobacco itself is quite moist in the tin, but a short bit of drying made it quite smokable, though I suspect that it would benefit from some further drying.

I can imagine this this blend is definitely worth aging, but right out of the tin it was a joy to smoke. Even while still a bit moist, there was no hint of bite despite my puffing a bit hard in the beginning while lighting.

There's a sweetness to this blend that makes it's presence known from the very first, more than what I suspect is the product of the Virginia tobaccos therein. I've only just recently returned to smoking English blends, but I must say that of any blend I've smoked be it English, Oriental, what- have-you, this is the most evenly balanced bland of tobaccos it has been my joy to experience. The Virginias, Turkish, and Latakia, are all there in evidence, but as the saying goes, this blend is greater than the sum of it's parts. There are flavors and characteristics in this blend that I can't even begin to describe yet, though I hope to after a few more bowls.

This blend smokes very cool and does not produce a lot of smoke, yet delivers wonderful flavors and deep smoking satsfaction. If all this was not enough, this is the first blend that has left such a wonderful aftertaste behind. I find myself running my tongue around my mouth and gums trying to pick up that last bit of pleasure.

At first, I was having some trouble making the judgement as to whether this would be best as an all day or evening smoke, though after further contemplation, I've settled on the latter, as that's usually when I really kick back and enjoy, and this is just the blend for that.

In any case, if all of this is any indication of the promises this blend is making, then I can safely say that it's going to easily wind up on my desert island list, and stockpiled in my cellar.

I hope this helps.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kerdy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kerdy (43)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium Tolerable

I tried this in the bulk form.

I really, really enjoyed this one! Not too powerful and not to pungent for others. I smoked it in the store and asked if it was offensive and not one person complained. Smooth smoke, tasty, no bite! Fantastic blend for those who want to try English but are afraid to take that step. Didn?t shower until this morning. I know that sounds bad, but I liked having the aroma on me so I waited. Not at home (out of town), so the wife couldn?t complain about it. The owner of the store let me try some out in a new pipe I bought. Liked it so much I purchased some to take with me.

I will keep this one around for awhile, even though it?s not a powerful English.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Samurai Barry Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Samurai Barry (6)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

A very nice English style with a good blend of latakia, but not overpoweringly so. The other tobaccos in this keep the latakia "at bay" for want of a better term. Half way down, the church incense aroma kicked in and it REALLY reminded me of walking in the woods of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia on a warm autumn day. The pine/spruce smell of I assume the latakia and other orientals really tickles the nose. Though I like my latakias a bit brighter, you still can't go wrong with this one. If there was a 3 1/2 I would rank it as such, as I was torn between 3 and 4, so I gave it a 4. I also like the tin graphics.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (87)
★★★★
Mild Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I have been enjoyng Squadron Leader for a few years now, but have not reviewed it. Hence, I find myself back in the fold, so to speak. SL is a grand English blend in that it contains a solid base of mature Virginia, overseen by a quietly confident Latakia presence. As to the whereabouts of Turkish leaf, I am somewhat stumped. I rather enjoy Oriental mixtures but would not classify SL as one. To me, it is a mild, tasty English blend, in the traditional vein. What with Murrays-era Dunhill blends going for better than a c-note on eBay these days, a $7 tin of SL more than fits the bill.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Classic and very distinct english. SL has many nuances through the bowl, not boring at all. I usually smoke it in the afternoon/early night. The unburned leaf is the most beautifull I've seen.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

macbforme Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
macbforme (7)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Mild Unnoticeable

I am reflecting on my first experience with SL and can understand why there are comments such as "too mild and too bland" or "not enough flavor".

My first go at SL was from a freshly opened tin that sat semi-open for about 8 hours. The tobacco still seemed "moist" but considerably drier. Long story short: 9 relights and about 3/4 of the way down I gave up. I could slightly detect the spicy woodsy flavor. When it stayed lit I could smell the latakia burning. No bite at all and there was a pleasant aftertaste. Overall, nothing memorable like the first time I smoked McClelland's British Woods.

I must say that the pipe I was using has been a finicky fellow and that might have added to the "dull" experience. However, I feel that the tobacco was too moist and I intend to let this thoroughly dry out before giving it another go. Also I intend to try another pipe as well.

The aroma from a freshly opened tin is "heavenly". The woodsy, leathery of the Latakia dominates a kind of sweetish background (Virginias).

I am giving SL 3 stars right now because my experience was about a 2 and I give the additional star because I know I did not experience the full potential of this blend.

Bad pipe plus too moist tobacco will not yield the best results with SL.

UPDATE: 2/3/09

The tobacco has been sitting in a jar semi open since last review. It dried a bit and the result was a better smoke in the same pipe I was using.

This few times around the smoke was more voluminous and I was able to see and taste the potential of this blend. I cant seem to keep this lit! I had to relight several times to keep it going. The tobacco definitely has more taste and has more enjoyable smoke after the relight. After it simmers down it has a tendency to flatten out and become bland.

After the smoke I was left with a ashy slight tobacco taste in my mouth. I was left generally unsatisfied. All I could think about was getting my hands on another tin of McClelland's British Woods so that I could salvage this unsatisfying English smoking experience. With British Woods....it takes at most 3 charring lights and you are in business....clouds of smoke billow from the pipe and fill the room with a wonderful aroma. BW provides the silkiest, smoothest, richest, and spiciest smoke for my tastes. It smells and just tastes wonderful.

Sadly, I just dont think Squadron Leader is for me right now. Maybe down the road my tastes will change. But for now, I am sticking with British Woods or Frog Morton. They are so easy to smoke and they pack tons of flavor to boot.

Downgrade to 2 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (74)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I can see why this blend is considered a classic, it's a truly wonderful smoke in every way, with a very satisfying and intense complexity and absolutely no bite. Remarkably easy on the palate, bright, full and rich, entertaining yet deep, a Haydn sonata in a major key.

Update 3/12/11: I'm revisiting this after two years. I'm bumping this up to four stars -- this is truly a classic middle english blend, perhaps the quintessential example of the genre.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

p4p4 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
p4p4 (52)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

Like every Samuel Gawith products it's a high quality one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Squadron Leader is one of my top favorite smokes! I just love this stuff. Its not the best but its definetly my all day and go to smoke. With a tin price of just over $5 you can't beat it. The various leafs in this blend all mary well and play their parts, not one gets too out of hand when I smoke it. Just a perfect symphony of flavor! Must have! Commonwealth Mix is also very delightful.

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

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dr.sadik Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr.sadik (100)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

well thts an english comlicated blend,,u get wt ever u r promised with with every sip a changing will be done to the taste buds,,not too strong for those whom like to be knocked down i found it very mellow light and hold fire perfectly,,latakia and oriental spicy taste is just fair and the virginia effect is pronounced, good tobacco indeed to b treated with,,will buy again

Nobody has rated this review yet.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (119)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I normally dislike the last two inches of any cigar...gets too pungent for me unless it's a very good cigar. The second half of a bowl of Squadron Leader gets strong too, but in a very good way. I tried this last week for the first time - in a big Nording freehand - and liked it. Thought I'd give it a try today in a more neutral meer, and am now convinced this is a great blend! So I immediately took the eight ounces I bought and crammed it into two Ball jars for aging, planning to order more right away.

Starts out immediately with great flavor and a little complexity. For me it's better to keep it on the warm end of the spectrum - don't nurse it like a fine VA. More heat and smoke bring out the flavors. After about the first third it picks up strength and loses a bit of its complexity but remains very tasty. All the components meld so that nothing is overpowering, and nothing is left behind.

The cut and moisture were perfect, but this was bulk - I haven't tried it from a tin. It lit instantly and burned predictably. Typical tamping, maybe three times during the smoke, and not a single re-light.

Stokkebye's Balkan Supreme (still my favorite) finally has a challenger in my rotation. BS seems to stay more flavorful and complex, but SL will be my choice when I want some strength and more straightforward tobacco flavor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (195)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

This is the most English of any English tobacco out there, an amazing mixture of Latakia/Virginia/Turkish where the Turkish is the main player, while the smoke is very mild in nicotine, it is always very complex and entertaining, the Turkish is so nicely blended, giving an exciting, spicy, sexy, explosive and very fun mouth feel .

Wonderful English tobacco! Exclusive for winter

Nobody has rated this review yet.

orka Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
orka (50)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant

Smooth, tasty and sweet ('n sour) with a some nutty components is how I would break down the basics of Squadron Leader. Someone mentioned it benefits from a little airing time, and I agree with that. I leave it in the open for a minimum of 30 minutes before packing. The latakia is on the light side, the way I prefer it. Overall it's fairly uncomplicated with a consistent flavour from top to bottom, not really hitting any highs or lows, but on the other hand not becoming boring. I can see why this is popular, and will probably replace the tin with a new one once it's empty.

3/4

Nobody has rated this review yet.

rocket_man77 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rocket_man77 (10)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Excellent tobacco here. All the components of what I want in an English blend and blended to a perfect homogeneous mixture. I would have liked a "darker?" richer smoke from this and believe that I've read that Skiff is the next step from Squadron Leader although can't confirm this first hand. In a less than objective manner I'm happy to report that while unwinding from another day working that I can't recall the last time I enjoyed a new tobacco so much on the first smoke. Squadron leader took me back into a flood of feelings and memory that I could not pin down. Mid December days in Prague, a sojourn in in the northern Mediterranean in the late fall. The stacks of the Olin library on a rainy nite.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (141)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

I love blends containing latakia, but but I've had a very difficult time finding a straightforward mixture that I can enjoy on a regular basis. Either the Virginias scorch my tongue(Westminster), there is some indefinable yet nauseating flavor that repels me (Penzance or anything made by Dunhill), or the blend is just plain unexciting. Squadron Leader falls into the latter category: there just doesn't seem to be a lot of flavor and what flavor there is strikes me as unremarkable. It has the same basic profile that typifies the genre of medium English tobaccos, only the volume seems to be turned down compared with most other blends I've tasted. Bluntly put, I think it's boring.

Technically, however, this is a superb product: it looks great in the tin (which is itself pretty neat), it burns well, and it doesn't have a bite in it. Tastewise, I don't think it deserves more than 2 stars, but it arguably deserves 3 in recognition of its pedigree and painstaking quality. In the meantime, I'm going to keep looking for an all-day English blend to fit into my rotation (Westminster minus the tongue bite would be my ideal). Recommended for those traveling the road in search of a "classic" English tobacco that suits their taste -- even if you don't end up staying here, it's pretty much a mandatory stop.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

19volks71 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
19volks71 (9)
★★☆☆
Very Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Squadron Leader is an interesting smoke due to the fact that the tobacco just doesn't stand up to the tin aroma.

When I cracked open my first tin, I was excited by the smell and carried high hopes.

Unfortunately, they weren't met.

It's a finicky blend that requires slow smoking, but not with disregard. It needs tending to in order to keep its flavors alive as I imagine they were intended. Once they come through, it is painfully subtle. It's a peculiar taste, but one that is much more prevalent and enjoyable in other blends.

I keep a tin on hand during the summer. The only time I enjoy Squadron Leader is in the blistering heat because of it's lightness.

Two stars are all I have for this smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BigBear Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigBear (10)
★★★★
Mild Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Squadron Leader is an absolute delight to smoke. It is a perfect example of a good English mixture that can be smoked all day long. The room note is pleasant and the Latakia, oriental and VA's are perfectly matched. Not a Latakia monster but great medium example of English blends. Recommended for seasoned and beginning smokers alike.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jaybee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jaybee (76)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

In my opinion this is a fine representation of an English Blend. It comes a little moist in the tin and benefits from some drying time. I find the burn rate and taste to be middle-of-the-road (in the best possible sense). No element seems to override the others and I am just left with a calm satisfied feeling. I think GL Pease makes some wonderful blends, but they have nothing over this one IMHO. Not for the Latophobe, as the elements are perfectly balanced......Samuel Gawith knows their tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I'm a relatively new pipe smoker, less then a year. That being said, I probably can't add more to what's been said about this great blend in previous reviews, but I'll try.

This is all about balance between the different tobacco's contained with the blend. Nothing overpowers or steps on the other. It's one of the best English blends I've encountered so far in my brief pipe smoking experience.

This is going into my regular rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (96)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

When I first tried this as a sample, I was a little less than impressed, however, time passes and tastes change, so it was a couple of weeks ago, that seeing the tin upon the shelf, I ventured to give it another go, and glad I am that I did.

Perhaps it is the onset of winter that gives me the desire for something with a little more flavour, tbat besides, Squadron Leader delivers, a rich but not overwhelming flavour, more full than EMP, but not filling like FVF. This is one I expect to reach for more and more with the onset of the Northerly blasts we are expecting from the arctic.

This may not be my go to baccy, but it will get some attention during the coming months, thus an order placed for several tins.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DRijkers Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DRijkers (14)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I was turned onto this English blend by this website, when reading another review. Up until that time my only experience with an English was with Tinder Box's Sherlock's Choice. In my naiveté I thought I had a good bead on English blends. Hell, at that time I never really even looked into tinned tobaccos.

So, reading the other reviews here I had an idea of what I was in for. I was getting a tin that was difficult to open, emblazoned with the famous Sopwith Camel.

When the tin arrived I went after it armed with a trusty screwdriver, and was greeted with a familiar English aroma, damp and tightly packed surrounded with gold wrapping paper. I dug out enough for a pipe and lit up.

Well, this has changed my perception of what English blends are supposed to be. It delivered a wonderfully complex mix of tastes, especially when compared with Sherlock's Choice. I fluffed out the contents of the tin and put it into a mason jar for storage.

Now, about the dampness. I ended up putting SL back into the original tin, because I actually managed to smoke this quickly enough to get my pipe to gurgle. But I never had any trouble with the tin drying out to the consistency of kindling while I worked through the contents. Some here recommend loading your pipe in the morning and then smoking it in the afternoon. That approach works well for me.

I've since opened a brand new tin of SL (which I suspect was fresher than my first one) and I notice some....... peppermint? I never picked that up from the first tin, so I'm interested to see if that overtone drops away with time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Silver Spigot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Silver Spigot (18)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a good smoke, very similar to Dunhill Early Morning Pipe, without the very slight tongue bite evident in the Dunhill blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This, in my opinion, is a mild English / Balkan blend. I has to be smoked slowly in the right situation, otherwise it might anaesthesize your tongue (ie. take absolute care not to smoke it too fast). It is also quite difficult to keep the mild and enjoyable taste during the whole bowl. It is not my favorite tobacco in this category, but still, it's a good one. Might be good for pipe smokers who want to begin in this category. I was a little disappointed because of the remarkable tin, and it reminded me of Captain WE Johns books, of which I was very fond as a teen. For me, it had to be something at the same time oriental and English, but stronger.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Introibo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Introibo (45)
★★★★
Mild Medium to Strong Medium to Full Very Pleasant

UPDATE: I cracked open a vacuum sealed bag of this from Synjeco, purchased early in 2003. The aroma was that of rancid chocolate, of all things, the colour was almost black, and the leaf had hardened into a rock-like mishapen lump, with a few shiny crystaline bits on the edges.

Broke it into pieces with a knife, crumbled it up and packed a small billiard. It was completely unlike the fresh blend, as reviewed below. Dark and smoky, the Latakia comes to the forefront and the orientals are quiet. More like Balkan Supreme than Squadron Leader.

I wonder if anyone else has had this experience -- should tobacco be left in vacuum packs for a long time, or decanted into jars and sealed for storage?

ORIGINAL REVIEW With some trepidation, I write my first ever tobacco review, after being a keen reader of other people's reviews for the past several years.

Squadron Leader, smoked in the right pipe, fairly slowly, in the right mood and situation, seems to this relatively untutored brother of the briarhood at any rate, to be the tobacco equivalent of listening to Tatum playing Sweet Lorraine -- nothing too fast or discordant -- or perhaps the Ellington orchestra's Moon Mist. Every colour, tone and combination of flavour is there, changing in volume, pitch and texture as one burns one's way slowly but certainly to the final ashy remains.

Lighter than London blend, and less muscular than Durbar, sweeter and brighter than the old Balkan Sobranie of happy memory or Balkan Supreme/Sasieni, Squadron Leader might best be described as an oriental partly disguised as a balkan. I don't feel there is enough Latakia to call it an English or a balkan, and the virginias alternate with the orientals rather quietly -- like Ellington's wind and brass sections. There is an odd mixture of sweet and sour tastes, and in my case, the orientals suddently started shouting about 2/3 of the way through.

Unfortunately, there must end my comparison, because I don't know that many blends. Some people have compared SqL to Skiff, and the latter is definitely midler, and some have said that SqL is better described as the wimpy brother to bolder, darker and more volubly balkan/English blends such as Penzance. I can't say.

It may have been the pipe, the weather, or the slow smoking pace, but I started to imagine what would happen if we could just get all the delegates at the UN together, give them each a pipe full of Squadron Leader, a supply of matches, and start them smoking. Apart from the silence, I can picture a kind of contented, shared satisfaction, resulting in immediate cessation of all sqabbling and hostility and a promise of good fellowship all round when they had tapped out the pipes and settled back into business.

I can recommend SqL as an alternative for balkan devotees like myself, and for people keen to try orientals. Don't confuse it with a real English blend and then be disappointed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Old Puffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old Puffer (42)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Purchased 4oz. of this in bulk from pipesandcigars just to try out. Another selection based upon the recommendation of this August crowd of puffers. Good choice!

To me, this is a somewhat subdued Balkan Supreme but somehow better rounded. I cannot fault this baccy for anything. It arrived at the perfect moisture level, packs very easily (found NO sticks), Lights easily and stays lit well, smokes cool, and consistent all the way down to a dry ash. Never even a hint of a bite. While the flavors are somewhat complex, it is always pleasant and nothing demands itself over the others.

While I cannot fault Balkan Supreme, I find SL to be an all around better smoke and put it right up at the top with my other really good English blends... Five stars please!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

lensman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lensman (30)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

It's difficult to come up with original commentary on this oft- reviewed, classic blend. Thus, I'm merely weighing in. The Virginias are very nicely balanced, the latakia subdued yet impressionable, and the Turkish is the proverbial icing on the cake. I enjoy this blend in nearly any pipe and time of day. Well done, Samuel Gawith.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jeremy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jeremy (19)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is, for my money, one of the best of the subtle Latakia blends out there. It seems well balanced, and though it is VA based, it is mellow enough to be smoked regularly without tongue bite. It benefits greatly from some extended drying time (it came to me quite damp), but once dry, smokes evenly to the bottom with little mess or fuss at the end. I'm not a Latakia fanatic, although I enjoy it regularly, but this one tends to get smoked more than my other latakia blends. I do prefer Frog Morton on the Town to this (barely), which I state here to give a frame of reference for my Latakia tastes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Auld Eire Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Auld Eire (12)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

The guns on a Sopwith were synchronized to fire between the propellor blades...a marvel of early 20th Century British ingenuity and craftsmanship.

In this, the age of the megablender, Gawith never ceases to amaze. My first Gawith blends were Celtic Talisman (go figure) and the delightfully controversial Grousemoor. The subtle magic in the house's use of toppings made me eager to taste their English, and I was not disappointed. While Squadron Leader isn't my favorite English, I would gladly smoke it all day every day should the need arise. Top-notch tobaccos, perfectly (maybe too perfectly) blended. SL doesn't dazzle, but it sure does satisfy. I can't imagine anyone not enjoying it, whatever their preference or predilection. It may be the ideal introduction to Latakia or English blends.

I am now also enjoying FVF and Kendall Creme Flake, and plan to give Gawith the lion's share of my business - my small attempt to ensure that they go on forever. Whatever the variety, Gawith hits on all cylinders, and the guns never miss. : j

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

After breaking in the new pipe (Meerschaum) this started to work well for me. It is not overwhelming but has a good presence. I can't get into all the deep esoteric descriptions that I see and appreciate, so all I can say is that I do recommend this. Please note the "room note" is unknown to me, and wife is never around when I get out the pipes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jankoez Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jankoez (67)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

It is very good balanced mixture and one of the best classic English mixtures. Virginia, Latakia and other tobaccos are corresponding in such way that no one sort is dominating. This characteristic makes Squadron Leader good choice both for English blends lovers or for those who prefer aromatic mixtures. This is all day blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

After first pipe I undersood that this tabac will one of my favorite. Very gentle latakia and virginia, very nice smell. After first box finish I understood that I would like to smoke it more and more...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Roverboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Roverboy (5)
★★☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I had expected this tobacco to be better than it is. I thought anything that had been made since The Great War must be really great, sadly it is only a good tobacco not a great one. The word bland might have been invented for SL. I suppose it is fine for an all day everyday smoke but nothing special. The square tin is so annoying as once opened it won't reseal properly so I had to decant it into another tin. The best part of SL, for me, is the lingering aftertaste which is pleasant

Nobody has rated this review yet.

LtMac Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LtMac (21)
★★☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I have smoked two tins of Squadron Leader and have two more cellared. So far this tobacco hasn't impressed me, but I'm going to keep trying with my other two tins. I thought the flavor was too mild and noticed virtually no nicotine strength. My brother is very interested in all things airplane related and has his private pilot's license, so I did get some good out of the tin. I gave him an empty tin to display with his airplane collectables and he was impressed with the tin art.

If my impressions are the same after I smoke my last two tins, I don't plan to purchase any more Squadron Leader. Its just way too mild and monotonous for my tastes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I like this tobacco a lot.

On opening the tin my first thought was "this is Perfection without the vanilla flavouring", which frankly would be no bad thing. It was a little moist, but packed well.

The flavour is very accessible. I'm usually a Latakia fan and this is light on the Latakia, but there is a good, medium-bodied smoke and slightly sweet flavour from the Virginias. The Orientals kick in about halfway down the bowl with a pleasant spicy taste, though they make themselves known from the outset in that wonderful scent of church incense which they impart to the smoke.

This is NOT a complicated tobacco by any means, but as a quality all-day smoker I would say it was very hard to beat. It's also a good choice for anyone who wants an English blend with a bit less Latakia. Heartily recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fat Rat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fat Rat (4)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I was really turned off by the first English blend tobacco that I tried. Must have been way too heavy on Latakia, just not enjoyable. So when I decided to try this one, and opened the tin to a strong whiff of Latakia, I thought here we go again. I lit up and immediately was able to taste all of the components of this blend and not just the Latakia! What a great surprise and a great smoke! I love the tin too, what could be manlier and cooler than a sopwith camel on the attack?! Is that Snoopy in the cockpit?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This blend is all about balance. Some reviewers have complained about its lack of depth, but I think that's part of its charm. Squadron Leader is not a Penzance of complexity and it's not probably going to make many re-write Green Eggs and Ham either, but I like it. As claimed on the SG website, this is a perfect, medium bodied product. (And for the price in bulk this is hard to beat. More poundage is on the way.)

Of course there are other blends in this genre that I like more (Margate, Black Mallory and Penzance to name an uncomfortable couple) but I like Squadron Leader just fine.

as an aside:

SL seems to be popular enough for the stateside stores to run out of bulk from time to time. So, I decided to make my own. I ordered a half pound of Commonwealth and some Turkish blend and started mixing them in small batches of different proportions. Did I succeed? I think so. While not exactly Squadron Leader, I did manage to come up with a tasty smoke. It came close enough to make me wonder if SL is really just a combo of those two 'pre-blends' with some age on it. It's nice to know I have a back up.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

joseph Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
joseph (46)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Nice English blend, suited as all day smoke. The tobaccos (Virginia, Latakia, Turkish) support each other, they really 'team up' in this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A stylish blend. Not in the modern definition of "style", but in the classic sense. It reflects the goals and sensibilities of the blender. It shares common ingredients with scores of blends, and therefore similarities, but shouldn't be compared to any other out of respect.

Now that that's out of the way, this stuff tastes just like...Squadron Leader. I like it. I always have some open and several more in the cellar when I'm in the mood for...Squadron Leader. Usually right before lunch and again before dinner during cooler weather, but I've been known to make exceptions. It has a refreshing quality but still delivers a nice dosage of Latakia, and makes a nice transition after a few bowls of Virginia forward smokes. I've tried it before bedtime, but it leaves me wanting more, so when it gets dark outside I go with darker, richer blends.

Good stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

shed pipe smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
shed pipe smoker (1)
★★★☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Tolerable

Ah Squadron Leader, I eventually found a tobacconist who stocked it, so very hapilly handed over the near £10 to buy the tin. Very pleased with myself I decided to keep for a while before opening. Well after a few weeks I opened it with dissapointment! The only smell I could compare it to is A rubber hot water bottle. So I thought it must smoke better than it smells, but to me, and im no tobacco pro, it just seems that there was something missing. Im not sure what but im gonna leave the tin to rest for a week or so and see if its any better, If not, im gonna have to mix it with something sweeter like vanilla or something, Well maybe I will do another review next week if its any better!

Well I take it all back, After leaving it for nearly a week its completly changed taste, and for the better. It still smells a bit like a hot water bottle from the tin though!

Adding vanilla was a waste of time, ruined it, so dont bother trying that.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jeffo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jeffo (17)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Very Strong Overwhelming Overwhelming

i may have bought a bad tin the one i bought smells of soap tastes like soap but i am not giving up on it if i dont get any satisfaction after letting it sit for a couple of weeks i will try blending it with an aromatic i will update ata later date this is a update after 2 months of a open tin it has calmed down i had 2 pipes full last night and yes very nice so i up my recommendation to 3 stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I love this tobacco so much that I've agonized over how to best write a review-so I'm going to keep things simple.

This tobacco presents the perfect balance of orientals, latakia and virginia for an an English smoke that can be enjoyed all day, any day. In addition to being balanced, the tobaccos are of great quality as well and compliment one another very well.

This isn't overwhelming with nicotine, nor is it lacking.

A lot of reviewers rate the moisture content as high-I find it perfect; especially given the fact that a tin lasts me a while.

The smoking experience is top notch! Relights are a rarity, it doesn't burn hot or wet (especially if the tin has been opened a while) and the flavour is consistent throughout.

There may be other tobaccos that claim to be the benchmark English. For my money (and this IS reasonably priced); Squardon Leader is the best out there and is well deserving of a full 4 stars.

Check out the Samuel Gawith Website...great presentation. That they're still doing everything in-house, in England, makes this truly one of the last great English tobacco houses! Can I upgrade to 5 stars? :-)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe (18)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I really like this stuff, I've tried many blends in the last 2 years, but I keep going back every couple of weeks to SL.

Every time I tell myself, man this is good, I should be smoking it daily.

I am no expert by any means, and I cannot offer a breakdown of the different components, Buts its good, I think it is good as a crossover from aromatics.

I'll keep this in a rotation with Frog Morton, Penzance, and Dunhill Standard mixture medium

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe-arazzo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe-arazzo (71)
★★★★
Mild Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the third stop on my Lakeland tour.

I smoked and reviewed Skiff mixture earlier, so some comparisons will not go amiss. SL was wetter in the tin than Skiff, requiring 3-4 hours of drying time (for the tin, not per bowl) before reaching my preferred smoking moisture. But that may have been a result of a longer shelf time subsequent to packing for the particular tin of Skiff. Also, and surprisingly so, SL was considerably sweeter, in spite of the fact that it is supposedly more natural. If it gets its sweetness from virginia tobacco alone, these are some very sweet virginias.

But sweetness is not the only flavor. There is a considerable amount of various oriental flavors such as a kind of "woodsiness," smokiness, etc. The latakia is subdued. In fact, I think this would be better with a bit more latakia. Toward the end of the tin, I mixed some bowl-fulls with Commonwealth Mixture 1/2 and 1/2. Those were perhaps the best smokes, and I'd highly recommend you try this.

I was unable to smoke this straight through due to a personal issue that put a halt to my smoking for a few weeks. The tobacco lost a lot of flavor in that time. So I'd recommend you smoke this within three weeks of popping the tin for best results.

As with Skiff, there was considerably more tobacco, leading to more smokes, than with the SG flakes. In similarly sized bowls, I get 15 or so from the flakes and 21-23 with the mixtures. That's a 3/2 ratio, and given the identical prices, that means a greater bang for your buck. But for me, I still prefer the flakes. They are my favorite tobaccos over all, whereas the mixtures do not necessarily distinguish themselves from others in the market.

A bit better than Skiff for my tastes. I'll revisit it soon.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CPT/VSG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CPT/VSG (70)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Like the other recent reviewers it is hard to add anything new other than one additional response. SL is a favorite Saturday morning smoke for me; the orientals blend well with a strong cup of coffee and the Latakia is present but in the background. It's a really fine blend. The only reason I don't rate it a 4 is as the others stated, there are other English blends with a bit more character as far as my taste buds are concerned. But, I'd rate it a 3.5 if I could and will always keep it around.

Adding to the original review: I just finished a tin of the Chicago Pipe Show blend for 2008, which allegedly added some perique. Can't say I really tasted much difference from the regular SL but it was excellent, too.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A staple that most English tobacco fans probably have on hand at all times. A definitive medium English blend. Many approach it but none really match it. It would be a 4 star tobacco for me if it were not for the fact that in my old age I have developed an aversion to some orientals and have become somewhat of an aggressive puffer. Think you will find this tobacco to be great while sipping on any sweetened drink. Really enhances the pleasure.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

English on the tin and Oriental upon lighting, Squadron Leader is one of the few blends where Latakia is overpowered but other tobaccos. There's plenty of it to the eye and the nose, but when the times comes to enjoy the smoke, it's almost gone. If you're craving for Latakia, look somewhere else.

Now, for an Oriental mixture Squadron leader is a treat. The presence of Latakia makes it less sweet than other Orientals and therefore less cloying. The Virginias are very high quality (nothing new from SG), and the Smyrna leaf is quite tasty.

Why don't I give it 4 stars? Simple, because I find SL lacking in character. When I want to smoke Orientals, Campanile or McClelland's Grand Orientals are likely to do a better job; when I need an English very light on Latakia, nothing beats Red Rapparee.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RMBittner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RMBittner (66)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

After 130+ reviews, I'm not sure there's any point in adding my voice to the crowd, but here goes. . .

As many others have noted, this is a solid English blend that puts a slight emphasis on the orientals and shifts the latakia into a support position. The orientals here are slightly sour and pungent, and they bring just the right note to the blend. (To my palate, orientals range from sour or acrid to sweet and incense-like. But "sour" or "acrid" shouldn't be taken as negatives; I enjoy ALL of these variations.)

My favorite tobacco style is a rich Balkan blend, so I had to keep reminding myself this was never intended to be that. It's a mild-to-medium English that just happens to highlight the orientals, balancing them with some darker-tasting Virginias and a good dash of latakia.

Over the years, I've had a number of middle-of-the-road English blends that simply didn't bring anything special to the table. Squadron Leader stands out. It doesn't reach the heights of some richer blends that I absolutely love -- Westminster, Odyssey, Penzance, Yenidje Highlander -- but it soars.

Bob

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is a great English blend with more emphasis on the Turkish tobacco and less on the latakia than most in this class. The tin aroma and taste on first light-up are dominated by latakia, but that fades very quickly. The dominant flavor for most of the bowl is "toasty" from the Turkish with a little burnt flavor from the latakia. The middle part of the bowl produces a nice Virginia sweetness with little of the associated bite.

The tobacco didn't seem wet when I first opened the tin, but the burning characteristics were very bad until it dried out a bit. The wide, long ribbons pack very easily into an impenatrable snarl if you are heavy-handed with the pipe nail, especially if you don't let it dry out. Fluffing it up and leaving the tin open for a day or two will make everything work out a lot better.

The tin is packed very tight, so if you fluff it up enough to dry out it won't fit back in. My tin disappeared pretty quickly, so keeping the overflow in a ziplock wasn't a problem.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sylvian Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sylvian (28)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Late afternoon in a sun-pierced summer forest is a perfect time and place for this one. And what if it's one of those nice days when the cold rain beats against your windowpane and there is no forest in 5 miles distance? Will actually taste the same. Will also smell the same, so if someone minding your flying planes in the room is not a problem, be brave and light up.

Go ahead, join the Squadron! Our leader is an old weird dingy guy, but you weren't looking for a fairy maiden smell in a tin with a WW 1 plane, were you?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WillardFan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillardFan (68)
★★★★
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

What can I say about this blend which hasn't already been said? It sneaks up on you. The flavors of the Virginias are very subtle, and blend in well with the rest of the tobaccos. A very mild smoke, but still flavorful enough not to be boring. My only complaint was that it's hard to keep lit. Upon opening the tin I noticed that it was quite moist, but leaving it out for a few hours ought to fix that problem. Overall I really like this blend. My initial response upon opening this was a strong leathery smell. Nothing soapy here IMHO...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Country Gentleman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Country Gentleman (28)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

I had heard of Squadron Leader, but wasn't sure what it was. My guess was an English.

I like it. Priced fairly for a tin. Easy to pack and smoke. No bite. Leathery and Smokey. Not as grassy as some of the other English I've smoked. Although I like grassy. This one is more subtle. Only problem so far - the bowl won't stay lit as this was very moist upon opening. That's ok with me; better than too dry.

I believe this is the Squadron Leaders all day smoke. Easy, low maintenance and accesible; it won't get in the way of mowing the lawn, working in the garage or shooting down enemy planes. Smoke this one in the pipe you clench and save the fancy gourmet blends for the end of the day when the missions are over.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TechnoChimp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TechnoChimp (4)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Recently I ordered a tin of everything SG makes and I was very surprised by how well this blend works. There is nothing exceptional about the tobaccos used but the balance achieved is outstanding. This is a smooth no-bite smoke that develops beautifully throughout the bowl. At the end of the bowl you could happily enjoy another. It is a pleasant smoke with no fatigue. I had no expectations for this blend but I think I will always be sure to have a tin around. This could easily serve as an all-day-smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

john doe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
john doe (41)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I can't make heads or tails of this tobacco.

The first week I smoked it almost every day, and it was divine -- one of the very few tobaccos that I ever exhale through my nose. The aroma is almost like incense. Really gorgeous stuff.

After about a week (stored in the tin, not in a jar), the flavor turned to dust. It tasted like smoking dry dirt. It was incredibly unpleasant.

My theory is this leaf needs immediate jarring. When it dries out it loses its flavour and goes from oriental loveliness to dust flavor in the blink of an eye.

this one merits a second tin. Still puzzling over this one...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jmrtsus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jmrtsus (10)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Now that I am a big boy and have outgrown the aromatics I understand why us oldtimers seem to gravitate towards English mixtures like this. A smoke that gets its flavors and nuances from a selection of fine tobaccos rather than casings. Like other reviews the initial impression upon opening is "this stuff does not smell too nice"! Don't worry about it because it smokes with a great taste, no bite and cool burning.

I won't go on with all the good thing others have said about SL, just this, if you haven't tried it yet you are missing one of the great ones!

Like all of the SG tobaccos it arrives too wet but a few days in the humidor and it's ready for prime time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Big Kev Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Kev (8)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

To all of you beginners out there stuck on aromatics like i was, listen up!! After two months of smoking those mostly tasteless sometimes sickening sweet aromatics, some of which i did like, I tried my first English blend. Guys, if you are like I was and are wondering, what is it that these guys rave about with the taste of pipe tobacco, try this one.

I guess opening your first latakia and turkish blend can be a bit intimidating. A bit of a horse barn aroma. I thought "man, these guys are crazy!" This tobacco had me from first light. I was gifted with the perfect smoke. The taste? smokiness of the latakia the spice of the turkish and the sweetness of the virginias, it was all there. Three bowls latter i realized what the glory of the pipe was all about. Now that tin aroma is a bouquet of the sweetest rose.

Beginners and connoisseur alike this is what you have been seeking. Big Taste no bite!! A bit wet just opened, but packed loosely 3 relights is not unreasonable. Leave the tin open about 20 minutes and it is great. Beginners. If you, like me, plan to stick with a few aromatics, dedicate a pipe to this. It will linger. Squadron Leader has made me fall in love with the pipe.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PipePaladin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipePaladin (78)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I am not into the English team but I do like to taste some in my rotations. For a strange reason I do really like this blend! I also have used it to tame down both BLACK CHERRY and GROUSEMOOR and it worked really well! A good quality blend with no additions! I would recommend that blend to any pipe smoker of all tastes! Puff with ease though as it tends to bite a bit... 3 SOLID STARS!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is the first time I have smoked SL, and I was speechless: I felt as if I had been smoking this tobacco all my life. I smoked it in a new briar ( I will try in a meerschaum next). It has a very nice aroma, where the different tobaccos blend into a wonderfully balanced bouquet. It burns perfect: you can smoke it in a steady gentle puff without overheating it. It is the type of tobacco that reminds me why I love smoking pipe so much. Enjoy .

Addendum: smokes/burns faster than I would expect. the Turkish tobacco is there, with the latakia circling around . meerschaum,briar...smokes the same: consistent smoke . It reminds me to some of the old Dunhill mixtures ( I cannot remember which one).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

htduck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
htduck (23)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

This is one of my weekend tobaccos. I am a chef and weekends are nuts for me with all the smells and aromas in the air for hours. Squardon Leader is a great puff when it's all done for the evening to clean out the other tastes and complement a short glass of Forty Creek whiskey. Great in a Churchwarden. Three stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ex20adayman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ex20adayman (30)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I bought this tobacco on the basis of reviews on this website. I must start by saying I'm not a massive fan of latakia, however this is a well made tobacco that is quite tasty but mild enough for an all day smoke if you're into latakia (which is, I guess, why it gets such good reviews).

Dry in the tin, packs well, lights easily, burns coolly and doesn't bite.

Resolution on tin sticker could be better however IMO.

Glad I tried it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NapaWineLover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NapaWineLover (66)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

It's back !!!

It seemed quite fitting to upgrade this to my original review. I've left my previous comments untouched. The good news is that whatever quality issues have seemed to drive me away from a few SG blends appear to be gone. SL has returned to it's previous high standard, and as such, has made its way back my top shelf. All of my 2005 observations are again in play in the latest purchased tins of 'new' production.

=========

9-29-06 TWO STARS I'm forced to slightly downgrade my review from last year although I'm leaving it intact. The quality of this blenders product seems to have declined and while it is a classic blend, I feel compelled to react accordingly. I fear the qualities of the VAs have deteriorated.

Cheers, VC

9-23-05: FOUR STARS I've read most the reviews herein and I must say ... collaborations on taste facinate me because we're limited to conveying in words likes and dislikes. I look very forward to spotting reviewers that I have been able to identify that best represent my tastes and do further research. While not fond of real gussied-up tabaks, I do have a broad palate and don't need latakia in every blend to love it, I also am fonder of medium strong to strong tobaccos.

Squadron leader has my highest respect. I like this tobacco before meals since I find it perks up my taste buds. The Turkish component is rich and complex, the Latakia very well balanced and the Virginias are equally complex and tasty. This is one of my preferred afternoon smokes.

35 years ago, when I was dabbling with Captain Black, Flying Dutchman and aromatic tobaccos this tobacco would have smelled like a car fire and tasted as bad. Today, millions of miles later ... after quitting smoking, going to cigarettes (Turkish blends)... back to pipe and cigars .... quit and back to pipes again; its a pleasure to say I like this tobacco from the moment I open the tin until the I run a cleaner through the pipe. It's cool, tasty, can be relit repeatedly when activities force it and it interesting through the bowl. It burns clean and complete, a wonderful blending job of burning qualities. I highly recommend it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kenneth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kenneth (15)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

I have been a big fan of Dunhill My Mixture 965 only to find out that it is soon to become unavailable. I have always preferred English Mixtures that contain a goodly percentage of Latikia and Orientals with a dash of Turkish and maybe a hint of cigar leaf and 965 very nearly fit the bill, anyhow it was my preferred mixture. Where to go next. I had read other reviews of SL and liked what I read so I duly picked up a couple of 50gms tins yesterday along with a new Chacom Maya briar. I was to be in for a very pleasant surprise indeed. Not only did SL meet all my preferred criteria, it did so in abundance, I am hooked. This mixture has all the right ingredients but somehow it manages to separate them out and offer them delightfully. I will make SL my daily fair. I am also pleased that the blender is based in Cumbria which borders my own home county, West Yorkshire

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WmZiggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WmZiggy (66)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

A beautiful ribbon cut that isn't too wet when the tin is cracked. Nice aroma of Latakia and spice of Turkish leaf. From the charing light to the bottom of the bowl this is a well balanced mixture. At first just a small amount of tongue bite, but it settles down for a most enjoyable smoke. I smoked it in a well broken in Barling EXEL full bent sandblast. The sweetness of the Virginia predominates with hints of Turkish spice and Latakia. The Latakia is never overwhelming. I would classify this as a medium English blend and a wonderful all day smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Contemplative Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Contemplative (14)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

An authoritative example of this type of blend. I much prefer it to McConnell's Scottish Blend, which is similar, though nothing can beat Dunhill's Nightcap, of blessed memory (if these three mixtures are, in anyone's opinion, very different in composition, I won't argue, can only say that the mixtures seem to me to be, on the whole, different variations on the same theme).

It arrives nice and moist in the attractive square tin, and the firm gold paper enclosing the tobacco is attractive too, and makes for easy access to the mixture (none of that fiddling about with crinkly paper that you get in round tins, that so often ends in baccy spraying around). After a few days the moistness dries out a lot, and yes, I suppose, like others on this site, I do prefer a not overtly moist mix, though one completely dry is not usually to my taste either.

Squadron Leader seems to me to be very well-balanced, a very pleasurable smoke, and midway through my second tin I am certainly scared at the possibility of being without it, so have ensured the next tin is on its way. There is a certain undeniable authority about the mix, a certainty by the composers of this symphony that they know exactly the notes they wish to sound, and exactly the overall effect they have achieved.That certainty is evident even as you see and feel the composition of the mix upon opening the tin.

There is absolutely none of the harshness which can accompany this kind of mixture, only the pleasure of the eastern Latakia and Turkish, with a good mellow centralising effect which must be the Virginia kicking in.

The tobacco smokes very evenly and quite slowly, down to a fine white ash. No gloop. The occasional bit of twig (can't escape it anywhere these days) but never a problem.

This is fairly classy stuff. I won't go overboard about this, but it is very pleasing.

Note: I clicked on 'very pleasant' for 'room note', but for some reason it has come out as 'very mild', which is not the same thing at all.

Update: having almost finished second tin, the 'top note' of Turkish tobacco seems so strong that it almost overwhelms everything else. The Turkish flavour has somehow permeated my being....not, for me, an unpleasant sensation, it's like being in a Turkish bazaar without the cost of travelling there or the insistent attention of the bazaar salesmen. I don't mind, really, as Turkish is just about my favourite tobacco aroma, but the unfortunate side-effect of Turkish has also kicked-in: I'm coughing and spluttering like billy-o. No other pipe tobacco has that effect on me. I'm going to have to give this stuff a (cough, splutter) rest and get my throat and lungs back to normal. The Cavendish in James Baker's 'Sunday's Fantasy' (just ordered) should do the trick.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SirLoirn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirLoirn (126)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin: Squadron Leader comes wrapped in gold paper. The individual components are cut differently, giving an irregular cut. The Virginias are light tan ribbon, and dark broken flake. There is nutty, spicy Macedonian turkish oriental; black, smoky Latakia; with flecks of pale green. It has the usual run-of-the-mill light English aroma, a prominent Turkish scent, and hints of grass and mint, with a sweet VA undertone. A strong Latakia smell is not present.

Packing & Lighting: Packing was not much of a problem, with no stems to contend with. The tin was several months old and did not feel overly moist. SL lit unevenly with one match, then was tamped down and lit again.

Taste & Aroma: This is a light to medium English blend. SL does not have much body or character, being light in VA, oriental, and Latakia tobaccos, genteel. It has a light woodsy spiciness. The scent of oriental incense is the most apparent aspect. But, SL lacks strong flavor or richness.

This is a tobacco concerto, perhaps better described as a chord softly strummed on a Spanish guitar, each note, played together, comprising the whole. The Turkish provides a smooth, nutty, woodsy incense essence. VA tobacco usually has an oats or hay aroma, but not in SL. This VA provides a lightly sweet, almost caramel, soft almond presence. The Latakia is a light haze, not really smoky, being the most subtle player. The individual notes of these three tobaccos could be interchanged, the chord produced by the light strumming of all three together. The oriental notes seem to predominate the overall timbre.

There is a marked distinction in a tapered versus large straight-sided smoking chamber. The tapered chamber provides the aforementioned qualities, but by the end of the bowl, the straight-sided elicits a much more savory sweet caramel flavor from the VA; and the bowl is left quite sweet smelling.

Nicotine: mild

Room Note: mild, multiple bowls medium-strong. A light sweet English aroma, subtle almond and oriental incense spice, the sweet VA mellowing the orientals, with a light smoky Latakia undertone.

Overall: SL is a light English blend. It is not as strong or rich as some Latakia-based English blends, the key being on naturally aromatic Macedonian. Initially, I was dismayed by the lack of strong, robust qualities. From all the hype, I was expecting a blend with more strength. Even the name, Squadron Leader, seems to demand this. What I got was a marriage of three tobaccos working together to produce a harmonious light English blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (467)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a nice mild/medium English that I will sometimes mix with some perique. The tin contents come a little moist and needs some drying time. This is well balanced...the VAs don't dominate but let the latakia and turkish really shine. Excellent taste and nutty, smokey aroma. I find this works really well in one of my larger bowled pipes, one I have dedicated for English blends. Good volume of smoke and not too pricey...very nice.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ABSSiegel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ABSSiegel (21)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my current go to English blend. As you smoke it, the complexity of the blend comes alive. The sweetness of the Virginia is perfectly complimented bt the smokiness of the Latakia and spiciness of the Turkish. A wonderful sophisticated English/Balkan blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jake696 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jake696 (10)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This stuff is great. I like Balkan's and lots of Latakia. I like the flavor and the consistancy out of the tin has been just fine. I can't add anything more to the good reviews of it here;

however,

I do wonder why folks that prefer Aromatics or Black Cavendish blends ding a blend like this for not being in their wheelhouse?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I'm probably not the best judge of the medium English genre, preferring a lighter and slightly sweet English style blend for daytime cravings and heavier/Balkan blends for a late night smoke.

Maybe my tastebuds have been damaged by sampling one too many bowls of Dan aromatics and Mac Baren products but I don't taste anything extraordinary about the much ballyhooed, Squadron Leader.

It's a nicely balanced and nicely priced, solid smoke, but overall I'd view it as a horseplayer might view a 5-1 shot in a full field of contenders.

Looking at the ratings for all Sam Gawith tobaccos, it's interesting that this popular brand has but one ** blend (with a decent number of reviews), that being FVF.

This is pretty much how I see the Sam Gawith line. Good, but not great products, but I'll defer to you ME fans on this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fumeur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fumeur (6)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Unnoticeable

I can't say that I enjoyed this as much as others seem to. To me, it burns poorly, bites a bit, and has a taste that's not very pleasant, tending to sourness. Just not for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tennessee texan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tennessee texan (21)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Although I have, after many years, settled down to smoking almost exclusively Penzance, I did have a tin of this in storage. I have smoked most of the tin now, so am ready to review. I find SL to be an excellent English blend. No bite and burns well with the exception of needing several relights to keep going. Burns down without glop in the bottom of my pipe. Nice Va/Lat/ Turk blend. The balance between tobaccos is very good. I highly recommend this tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

The bulk version of this blend has a package note reminiscent of blends such as Crown Achievement (now discontinued) with a Virgina component supported by a smoky Latakia. The initial room note is similar. Others have suggested that there is more Virgina than earlier versions, but not having access to those it seems that the Latakia/Turkish components are nicely balanced. It packs well, lights easily, and burns down to a nice ash without bowl glop. Sometimes the smoke seems a trifle hot (could be me overpuffing) but there is a nice peppery spiciness (I don't find leather) coupled with wood.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Redd Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Redd (110)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild Strong

A first rate English Blend however this one is very smooth. The right amounts of Latakia & Turkish. No bite at all a good all day English if there is such a thing. Packs well and stays lit on the first strike. Good Stuff and don't get much better.

Finks English is a close rival at a much cheaper price in bulk. But you don't get the cool tin with the WW1 flying aces on it almost make it worth paying more. Otherwise both beldns are nearly the same.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

speckchaser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
speckchaser (22)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

A fine example of a blenders skills.Nothing jumps out and overpowers any one tobacco,except at first light the latakia takes center stage.For me that occurs on all blends that contain Latakia.Smooth burning to the end of the bowl.The leaves used are of the finest quality all blending to bring the reminiscense of Spads and Sopwiths flying over the coutryside.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dietl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dietl (8)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I ordered two tins of SL based upon the reviews in this thread. My first bowl was a disappointment, but subsequent bowls changed my mind.

Initially, I had a heck of a time keeping it lit and it struck me as harsh. I started to post a thread on another site to ask if others had this problem with it. However, after leaving the tin for a couple of days after opening, I loaded my pipe while working in the garage for the day and found it to be a very enjoyable smoke. Added a nice experience to a day of working on an old British motorcycle. I attribute the improvement to allowing the tobacco to dry a bit.

At first, I didn't get the 'leathery' aroma that some have alluded to, but now I do. I just hope it's not the tanning acids in this blend attempting to preserve my tongue (just kidding).

Overall, I think this is a blend that has a lot of character and has a peculiar taste and aroma that endears once one becomes used to it. If you have an old British motorcycle to work on for a day, this is precisely the companion tobacco.

:)

Update: I've smoked three cans of SL now and just tried my first bowl of bulk. Appropriately, I've updated my rating. After spending some time with this blend, I find that it has supplanted Old Ironsides as my favorite Latakia blend. The bulk tastes exactly like the canned version to me. It has that nice, bold Latakia taste with an underlying foundation of milder tobaccos that make it a very enjoyable smoke for me. I've found that I alternate between Latakia blends and sweet Virginias, depending upon my mood. This is now my Latakia-based blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tin Man Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tin Man (14)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I am reviewing the bulk SL. Don't know if the tinned is different, but just so you know. I like this stuff. I also like very much Yale Mixture, and although they are quite different I put them in the same category, because they are very similar in virginia content, cut, latakia content, nicotine content, and burn and pack characteristics. Where the SL diverges markedly is aroma and taste. I suppose it is the Turkish addition; Where Yale Mixture is reserved, cool, austere; SL interposes a bovine or equine warmth and sweetness. SL is also more moist. I let it dry for a good 24 hrs, which was no more than adequate for my sample. It must also be packed very lightly; a heavy hand results in disastrous, damp plugdottle. My sample also contained some anamolous stems and uncut leaves, a trial easily borne considering the blend's nominal cost in bulk.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hagen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hagen (91)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

th virginia and turkish of this mix are obviously of very high quality, which is important to me, as i prefer my mixtures to carry a smaller amount of latakia (or at least latakia shouldn't dominate). i don't see it as particularly bright - the stoved virginia adds lots of depth. as others have mentioned, the virginia is probably the same as best brown, only its sweetness is toned down by the turkish.

of course, it's quite wet. after all, it's british tobacco, and from gawith... pack your pipe in the morning, and it's ready to smoke in the evening. works for me.

so, i really like s.l.!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Squadron Leader.19/03/07. I was given a tin of S/Leader,approximately twelve month's ago.And it came to me after being aged as well. Now,I'll cut to the chase.Ï found this to be excellent,in it's style and class.But,remember,my tin was aged.It behaved perfectly in both lighting and smoking.Not a boring smoke at all,it held my interest and was most enjoyable and also very cool on the tongue,all the way along to bowl's end.Next to no goop at the bottom of the bowl and it left me with a nice darkened grey ash each time,plus,avery good enjoyable memories. "Highly recommended"

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A darn good smoke. Just enough spice and sweet, great balance. Smells nice, tastes nice (tingles on the tongue). I bought this tin because of it's uber-cool name and even cooler tin picture. It then turned out to also be a great smoke. It has a wonderful outdoors-y spice to it that reminds me of autumn walks. Smokes very consistently.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mike1614 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike1614 (5)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

Squadron Leader is a solid blend- as you can see from most of the reviews. I, too like the balance this blend has and the flavor is comfortable and satisfying. I can smoke bowl after bowl and my mouth doesn't feel like someone was marching in it. It's a tasty all day smoke that many guys make their every day blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kleophrades Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kleophrades (39)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

=UPDATE I have to update my review and take off a star. The last tin I opened -- a more recent purchase -- showed a real decline in quality. The Latakia has lost its pop, the VAs have lightened -- the color of the blend had shifted from brown-black to yellow-brown. It's become a boring light English. Maybe just a bad tin -- but NapaWineLover reports a similar complaint. Either Squadron Leader has become inconsistent or a great blend is in decline. Too bad, either way. =END UPDATE

I never thought anything could hold a candle to Margate ? until I tried Squadron Leader. There is enough Latakia to satisfy any reasonable demand, and it?s perfectly balanced with Orientals for complexity and with Virginias for a hint of sugar. Not all Latakia is created equal, and I think this stuff is superior to whatever goes into Dunhill or McClelland?s or CAO blends (and I like Old Ironsides!). Overall, Squadron Leader is lighter than Margate or Nightcap or Penzance, both in color and on the palate. Ordinarily that would be a criticism in my book, but in this case it?s a virtue. The lightness allows the Virginias and Orientals to stand out better against the Latakia, resulting in a strong, vibrant smoke for any time of day or night.

Squadron Leader burns well right of the tin to a fine pale ash, getting sweeter and more intense as you move down the bowl. It benefits from a large bowl: I smoke it in a Ser Jacopo Picta Picasso 24. In short, this is the perfect middleweight English, a desert island blend.

Did I mention that it?s cheap to boot? You can get it online for under $6 per 50g. Plus the picture on the tin is pretty irresistible.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ChicagoPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ChicagoPipe (45)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

I decided to try several other SG blends & flakes after enjoying Grousemoore so much. It's hard to say anything more about this outstanding blend that has been stated on the this site. This is a excellent and very tasty medimun English blend. The latakia level is perfect for my taste, the VA's provide the right amount of sweetness and the Turkish adds just a touch of spice.

Up to this point, C&D's Yale mixture was my favortie English, but Squardon Leader is taking it's place!

Highly Recommended

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Merple Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Merple (15)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

OK - So being from the Isle and an ExPat - I fell for the tin !! Have to say I di not enjoy my first experience. Had an awful time lighting and found it very fluffy to pack. Tin Aroma was pleasant, intial light up was hard work for me and back to cigarette taste.

A light EMP came to mind but lacking any body or character - more of a Squadron Follower and Leader !!

I'll try some more though and report back - I do hope it improves.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (140)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

In the pouch it smelled odd, not as I would have expected of such a highly reviewed blend. I had expected something closer to Dunhill standard mixture medium but this was much lighter in body.

Once lit, the blend failed to impress, it seems to be much lighter than anticipated. I would equate this to Early Morning Pipe, which I also find to be lacking in depth. I understand there is a market for the light English blend, but not in my cabinet. I want my English tobacco to make itself heard, I do not want to go looking for the flavor in an English blend.

Recommended for those who enjoy EMP or those who wish to try their first English.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

oldmanpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldmanpipe (62)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Despite my earlier resolve that I would not review a blend so overly-evaluated, here I go.

This tobacco has piqued my interest for some time. I have refrained from buying a tin because I had learned from previous experience that Lake District tobacconists have no way with Latakia.

SL is a delightful exception. In the jar (I received a sample from a shop in town) the Virginias lept to the nose, with the Oriental and Latakia lagging far behind. And indeed at the match and for the first third of the bowl, the auditory equivalent of Squadron Leader would be the CDs of the late 1980s...very "bright" with nothing beneath.

In the second-third, Squadron leader still plays in the treble range, much like GL Pease's Blackpoint, but, as with Blackpoint, other tastes add dimension and interest. This is good stuff, I thought.

Toward the bottom of the bowl, the Latakia comes on like gangbusters, though by then one is ready and prepared. A most interesting smoke.

There are better English blends to be found...though not many.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Camus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Camus (15)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

These days you can't get something back home from the shop without it being outdated while you were stuck in traffic and needing the XYZ plugin or some such. The world moves at a crazy pace. That was the reason why I took up the pipe - to slow down. It takes time and effort to learn and enjoy. Patience is rewarded. That is also why I get an enormous satisfaction that Samuel Gawith has been batting for over two hunded years - it's a great sense of tradition and stability, of not bowing to fads and fashion.

Squadron Leader sums this up. It's finely balanced and traditional. It doesn't shout or draw attention to itself. It takes some time to unravel. It smokes sublimely when dry, fresh from the tin it is only so so, but with some time to air it is fantastic.

It is one of those tobacco's where I feel sad to have come to the end of the bowl - but only until the next one of course...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I loaded up a Pete with some Squadron Leader three weeks ago and damn near forgot about it. It's been sitting in my little rack, entirely neglected by my absent mindedness. I hadn't put the thing to fire yet and can't quite remember why I hadn't gotten to it. Anyhow, someone else must have laid the pipe back in its home. Ten minutes ago I stared at this sight. "Should I smoke this," I thought? I prodded the top layer of tobacco in the pipe. It was dried to an absolute crisp. So I set down my tin of London Mixture and fired her up. Man, this is good stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bigbowls Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigbowls (12)
★★★★
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I LIKE this tobacco. Just a good all-around smoke. Only problem is the tin is too small. I blazed through a tin in no-time flat. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Castro Spendlove Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Castro Spendlove (3)
★★☆☆
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

I am a novice pipe smoker and so started on my SL with a Churchwarden. The smoke was cool enough but the flavours weren't distinct. I then tried it with a Peterson Kilkenny and the difference was worth remarking on. Despite the SL drying a little the smoke was smoother and fuller though I'm sure that with experience more flavour will be revealed to me. And as other reviwers have noted there does seem to be a lot of sticks in the mix.However, the 'oily'room note is probably less suited to indoors.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mattxix Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mattxix (1)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

As I sit here having my third bowl of this wonderful blend I have become more than just a fan - I am a fanatic for this most welcome english blend. I waited anxiously all day yesterday for my 8 oz. bulk SL to arrive and when it did I unsealed it with thoughts of Spitfires and Hurricanes swirling in a melee above and RAF pilots lounging about smoking their pipes while waiting for the scrammble! My first bowl was just satisfactory as the tobacco was too moist and my bowl pack was not well done. I am a "newbie" pipe enthusiast (three months) so I still have much to learn and smoking english blends is one of them. All the past english blends that have been recommended to me by friends and pipe gurus have left me either tasting nothing or tasting BURNING despite my best puffing technique. Not Squadron Leader however, unlike the other english blends this has a wonderful natural taste that is mild yet appreciatively pronounced and there is little to no harsh bite, if you will. As for the roomnote, the wife says "it smells like a camp fire" which equates to go outside for that one! This will be a staple blend for me, at least 2-3 bowls a day in my rotation along with some of the bulk aromatics I can puff on in the house without the old lady chasing me out. Five strars for SL!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mel51us Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mel51us (47)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Strong

06/30/2006 Squadron Leader is my first Samuel Gawith blend. I found it a bit too moist when I first opened the tin, but an hour or so of airing time, and we were ready to "load and fire". After smoking some Peterson blends and some McClelland #2040 Cyprian Mixture all day (which, by the way,are my current favorite blends), I found Squadron Leader to be a mild, flavorful smoke. I smoked it first in a filtered Dr. Grabow ( my "new blend" pipe ) and then a bowl in my favorite Peterson pipe. This is some scrumptious tobacco. IMHO, Squadron Leader would be a good all-day smoke ( and it is available online in bulk). The aroma from the tin was like many Latakia blends, spicy leather. SL took a charring light, a tamp, another match, and burned cool and clean throughout the pipe. The room note to me was pleasant, and my wife said it smelled a bit milder than some of my other blends. (I am fortunate, though, she likes the smell of almost any pipe tobacco) Another addition to my rotation, and one that will be very high on the list. ( By the way, the tin art is what attracted me to SL, and the well written reviews of those who were here before me) Squadron Leader may, indeed, be a bit strong for the beginning pipester. But seasoned Brothers and Sisters of the Briar should try one tin, at least. Definitely 10 of 10 stars for this Samuel Gawith triumph. =====10/14/2006 I tried the bulk form of SL today. As good as the tinned version is,I think the bulk version is even smoother and more flavorful. I loaded it into my new Jan Zeman Latitude 41 Cape Lark, and even in an unsmoked pipe,Squadron Leader is a great blend. ===============================================================10/25/2006 this has become my "staple". I enjoy many blends in the course of a week, but Squadron Leader is a 2 or 3 bowl a day tobacco for me. Even more so on days when I can't decide which other blend to smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Squadron Leader is quite simply a very good, very satisfying medium English mixture. Its smooth, refined character makes it a good all-day smoke; its mid-range strength isn't likely to wear you out, but it should be adequate to keep you happy. S.L. isn't overly complex, but it's hardly flat or dull. The Virginias are at the fore, with the Turkish lurking just in the background. There's just enough presence from the Latakia to keep things interesting; S.L. is not the kind of English mixture that gives you a big blast of Latakia. Recent tins of Squadron Leader have had a higher than usual moisture content, and are at their best if allowed a little airing before smoking. Otherwise, S.L. is solid and dependable, with no unpleasant surprises. It's a good choice for the English fancier to keep on hand as I do.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Scottgun Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Scottgun (11)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Simply a solid all-around smoke. I recommend giving this blend a chance rather than smoking two bowls and trading away. The blend really improved as it got drier. My only quibble is that there seemed to be an inordinate amount of twigs in the tin. I've talked to another piper who found twine in his, so it seems the manufacturer needs to be more alert about what gets in the tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SparkleMotion Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SparkleMotion (9)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

Squadron Leader wasn't bad, it was just nothing memorable either. Pretty good quality smoke and very smooth, but for me this just didnt do the trick.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Captain Pete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Captain Pete (83)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I just finished my third bowl of this stuff in about a week. I found it to be a very gentle smoking blend. It was easy to smoke; lots of sweet from the virginias with absolutely no bite. And the turkish seems to really mellow everything out really well. I wasn't left with a dissatisfied palate like some of the other English blends; some seem to be missing a certain something. This one had everything right, nothing missing. Sweet, slightly smokey, and mild; but with a nice bold taste. It was vaguely reminiscent of fine sumatra coffee, of which I am very fond as well.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipesmokingman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipesmokingman (2)
★★☆☆
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

This is a blend I really cant get my head around. A rather inconsistent tobacco is all I can say. Have just finished a tin of SL. First impressions were a very nice smoke. It then became very hit and miss. Sometimes smoking hot and basically unpleasant other times a delight. I had decided I wasnt going to try this blend again but the final pipeful made me think maybe I should

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I am in full agreement with Lois Kelly's assessment of this blend. It is indeed reminiscent of the original London Blend by Dunhill, although I must confess that I enjoyd the latter much more. As the current version of London Mixture does not compare to the old, I reach for Squadron Leader when in the mood.

This is a premium tobacco at a moderate price. Budget minded smokers can obtain this fine blend in bulk.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jackhackett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jackhackett (76)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

While the latakiaphile in me always wants more of that smokey stuff in most blends containing it, this blend is so well-balanced with just the right measure of each component, and so well-married, that doing so would unbalance and overwhelm. This works just the way it is, a superior blend of superior components, smooth, never harsh, intricate, and classic.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (165)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I have been alternating between Dorisco and Squadron Leader. I like them both, but instinctively turn to Squadron Leader oftener. This is a classic for its robust yet elegant balance. The highest accolades.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Javelin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Javelin (8)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Wow! In the 4-star world of tobaccoreviews.com, Samuel Gawith's Squadron Leader is, IMHO, a 5-star offering! SL has a wonderful tin aroma that translates into a fantastic smoke. The mellow sweetness of the Virginias meld well with the delightful depth and spiciness of the Latakia - with the naturally aromatic turkish adding an invigorating note. Superb stuff!!!

SL packed and lit well in my Stanwell Rhodesian, requiring no drying out straight from the freshly opened tin. The blend burned evenly and coolly to a fine ash without even a hint of tongue bite and was great tasting all the way to the bottom of the bowl.

I really cannot recommended SL highly enough. It is a real classic and it makes a truly magnificent accompaniment to a pint of dark mild or oyster stout! :-)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Wow, it has a vintage airplane on the tin lid! As an aircraft engine mechanic, I had to try this. So, how did it measure up?

When the tin arrived in the mail, I opened it up and gave it a good whiff. It smells great in the tin, if a little strong, and there was a nicely balanced mixture of tobaccos. However, it was a little too moist, so I let it dry out some before I gave it a whirl.

It packs easily and isn't too much of a hassle to light. The rather strong tin aroma belies how it actually tastes; medium strength with that nice smoky, almost woodsy note. I have gone so far as to smoke it in an enclosed space in the presence of a non-smoker, and he wasn't put off by the smell. It makes for a nice clean smoke and doesn't leave any junk in the pipe.

If you're an English-style mixture smoker who refuses to go aromatic but needs a blend those around you won't be overly offended by, look no further. But the question remains: would I buy it again?

Yes, with a caveat. I'm not exactly a well-funded pipe smoker, and I buy tins primarily as a means of trying out a small bit of tobacco, and display the tin on a shelf when it's empty. If Squadron Leader came in bulk, it would be a more regular smoke for me. However, since it's only available in tinned form, it's more of a "treat" tobacco.

And what a treat it is!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I find myself saving some tobaccos for special occasions. This one misses the mark due to excessive flavoring. Otherwise a fine smoke. Buteras Pelican, Presbyterian Mix., and G.L. Pease Blackpoint are better in this category in my opinion. 08/06/2004

Update: Tastes change over time. I have to agree with another reviewer the tinned version tastes superior to the bulk mix. This is an English that veers rather closely to the Balkan mixtures. Think of it as Balkan light. Very well balanced with a very smooth, rich Turkish component. If you like loads of Latakia, go elsewhere. As close to an all-day English as you will find. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

My tin of SL was aged slightly over 1.5 years, and I must admit this is top among my favorites. There is a good interplay between the tobaccos in this blend - definately enough going on to keep your interest.

Burns well, acceptable wife rating, and after some aging, SL is one of the finest tobaccos around. I must admit, I am a big fan of latakia.

I like Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout with a pipe and SL makes a great partner.

A must for all English Latakia fans!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Like Maverick, I was attracted to this blend becuase of its name and my prior USAF service. And, at $4.99 a tin at my local B&M, it was too good of a deal to pass up, especially after reading the reviews here. After smoking a few bowls of this, I think I'm going to go back and buy him out of his SL supply.

From a romantic standpoint, smoking SL took me to earth, hay fields, canvas tents, while I pondered maps of the trench lines on the Western Front, urging my mechanics to make sure my Sopwith was ready for my dawn mission, while I drank strong tea and smoked my briar. I couldn't wait for the call to clear weather and the order to take to the skies. For a short while, SL left me in the realm of the last true knights.

Anyway... this is a fine English blend. It was a little moist on opening (and, yes, I needed a flat screwdriver to open the tin properly), but I dried it sufficiently to ensure a smooth,clean smoke. The Virginias seem to take first place here, scanning the horizon, but there's enough Latakia to calm them down, and the Orientals keep your senses at a fine-tuned edge, just the way you want to be, when situational awareness is of concern. Great aroma, a good, complex mix of flavors without becoming confusing, well worth the underprice I bought it for. This one will definitely be a blend I stock up on and cellar. English blends don't come much more authentic than this, and it's good to have something in the rotation that splits the difference between a full Virginia/VAPER and a full Balkan.

Spin the prop, unchock the wheels, and thumbs up for takeoff. Squadron Leader has a new wingman here.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I too was brought to this tin because of the name and tin art. However, when I first began smoking this I was new to English blends and did not appreciate its subtle nature. Now, the Turkish gives it the highs and the latakia the lows and the Virginias the middle. There is something about a blend that is heavily laden with Turkish that is satisfying. Maybe the flowery sweetness, the tight nicotine punch, but it is represented well mingled with a supporting cast of Latakia and stoved pressed Virginia all building to a chocolate darkness.

Squadron Leader is just a pleasant smoke with complex flavors and lingering room note. I would give it 4 stars; however, I find Gawith's Perfection to be one step above in flavor in which I compare this very nicely done English blend. I would also venture to say that the Latakia is of the Syrian type which I so love or the age has mellowed it considerably. An open tin ages well, since, at one time this blend did not impress me, now it seems to be nicely complex with a pleasing aroma (to the smoker) and billows forth multitudes of smoke. Good smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SopwithCamel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SopwithCamel (256)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I really like this old timer. Certainly a benchmark blend for this style of mixture. I will certainly buy it again, as I find it to be perfectly balanced.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Let me begin by saying that I was initially attracted to this blend by its name, the wonderful graphics on the tin, its history, and the reviews on this website. World War I aviation is in my anscestry, and what could be better than a tobacco blended in honor of those "Knights of The Air". Last year (2005) I asked Samuel Gawith when they began blending Squadron Leader and they responded "about 90 years ago". Lots of history and tradition.

This is my first review on this site, so I thought I would begin here with Squadron Leader, my favorite all-around smoke. From the moment I first popped open the #%!?^#*... lid on the rectangular tin I have loved this tobacco. In the tin it smells of deep woodsy leather and campfire smoke. It packs easily and whether in tin or bulk form, the moisture content has never been out of line. This tobacco lights readily and burns cleanly all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Whenever I smoke it, my wife always comments that she likes the room note. But then, I'm lucky in that my wife actually likes the smell of latakia. She says it smells "like a real man".

Many others have gone into detail about burning this blend, so I won't here, at least not today, but let me just say that this is my "go to" tobacco: any season, any time of day or night, any place, any mood, it always satisfies me. I would welcome the opportunity to be stranded on the proverbial "desert island" with only this blend to smoke. If you are looking for a straight-forward medium English, give this one a try. There is no way I could ever have enough Squadron Leader in my cellar (or on my island). A true classic. THANK YOU, Samuel Gawith !! Four stars, with no hesitation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

raadman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
raadman (31)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Ok, just got my four tins of various SG tobaccos in the mail so lets give SL a go first since the tin art is so cool. Tin hard to open...I have a short, thick flathead screwdriver for just such an occasion. Tin aroma, packing, lighting, burning all excellent just not enough punch for me...kinda like dunhill Apertif's younger sister. Oh well, think I'll fly over and check out Best Brown Flake next. Did i say the tin art was cool?

dunhill grp 4

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

When I think of English tobaccos this blend is what comes to my mind. This is a truly wonderful smoke; I reach for Squadron Leader most often during the day. The aroma and flavor of Latakia doesn't overpower nor is it hidden by the Virginias and Orientals (as in many other blends) but rather marries with the others to produce a pipe full of flavor.

I detect no added flavorings just fine grade tobacco. The tobacco is a medium ribbon cut with equal amounts of light and dark brown strands with some dark Latakia added to create a visually attractive mix. There is a very nice nutty taste and a hint of sweetness from the Orientals; the aroma is not disliked by my wife. 8 out of 10 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sonoma Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sonoma (11)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Medium Tolerable

I wanted to like SL, I guess I was intrigued by the packaging and the Professor?s rating (he has recommended some remarkable blends), but this one missed the mark. The Latakia and Turkish Leaf are too subtle for my liking. The tin aroma is acceptable, it?s reminiscent of Esoterica?s ASTB without the heavy raisin and honey cough syrup smell. If you are partial to mild English blends, give this one a go, but for me, this will be my last tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A fairly complex smoke. I detected hints of leather, mint and spice. All this playing over a delicate sweetness.

Beautiful in the tin. Flecks of green, brown, tan, gold, black and yellow. Good stuff in all of my English blend pipes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

A. Morley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A. Morley (72)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

This is all that an English blend is meant to be. The weight of the overall flavor is carried by the two kinds of Virginia that make up the base. The Latakia is of fine quality and is further supported by a goodly amount of Turkish. Once again all that an English is supposed to be, and it burns rather cool at that.

Old style, traditional English mixtures such as Squadron Leader are so nice to come across nowadays. There seems to be this tendency among many modern blenders to seek innovation in tobacco blending by adding in Latakia to a perverse extent. While they may imagine that this means a stronger mixture, all that they have managed is a tobacco wherein the brutish essence of Latakia overtakes any other flavor, while their mixture is still lacking in true tobacco strength. It is the Virginias that make for a truly strong smoke. Squadron Leader realizes this fact and it is to Samuel Gawith's credit.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

f.j.tomas Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
f.j.tomas (3)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Typical English mixture with Virginias, Orientals and Latakia in perfect balance. But perhaps because of its irregular medium cut the components are in turns recognisable during the smoke: sometimes the sweetness of Virginia, then the spice and leather of the Orientals or the smokiness of Latakia, each for a short time seems to dominate. That's what makes SL an interesting mixture for me to smoke. Filling and firekeeping are quite easy, the smoke is rich and cool. Highly recomended as an excellent everyday smoke for those who like mixtures of the English type, beginners or old hands.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I just got a few tins of this blend mailed to me based on recommendations and reviews from several pipe forums and resources.

The lack of strength disappointed me a bit, and I might have to spice it with a generous amount of Black Rope XX. On the other hand, I found an easy burner, whith a decent cut and a balanced taste. I wouldn't mind this one for my everyday smoke. The Latakia is present but not overpowering, the Turkish mellows the blend without washing it and the well matured Virginia gives a satisfying smoke. Overall, while it's not one of the best blends I've tasted, it's well worth a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Nothing bad about this blend, it just doesn't make me jump from the chair and cry: "a miracle"! It has just the right amount of everything and it's a perfect all day smoke indeed: it burns well, cool, only a little wet and bitter if rushed. Recommended, especially for a beginner.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This was one of my earlier experiences with SG's blends and I've found it to be a light to medium expression of a fine English blend. The fragrance from the tin is engaging and the smoking experience presents with the benefit of an insightful, experienced hand. I understand it is a more recent addition to the SG line. The true character of a fine latakia is not lost here and the treatment of the virginia leaf produces a rich and fulfilling treat topped off by the mitigating effect of some fine turkish. It's quick to burn and requires that you practice some restraint in your approach so that it does not become too hot. This is a pleasant addition to the cluster of blends that I typically enjoy and I recommend it with one reservation: Smoke this one slowly.

Meerschaum Man Smoking a CAO Dunhill Man Pasha Meerschaum

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

When I read many of the previous reviews for this blend, I wonder if I am talking about the same tobacco as the other guys. When I see comments like "finest English blend on the market", I wonder if there is a parallel pipe smoker's universe somewhere (hey, that would explain 1792 flake).

Squadron Leader presents itself as a mild English blend packaged in the (infamous) Gawith square tin. The cut is a fine ribbon, and the tobacco is very moist upon first popping the cover. The smell is plesant enough, and the leaf is a mixture of about 1/3 dark and 2/3 lighter components. The wet leaf begs to be dried out before smoking (more on that later).

Upon lighting, the initial flavor is... okay. Not bad, kinda good, but not enough if it. I enjoy and appreciate many tobaccos with subtle flavors, but Squadron Leader seems as if it could provide so much more but was somehow muted in the blending. The flavor does not increase as smoking progresses, and the tobacco seems to smoke rather quickly and get harsher towards the bottom of the bowl.

My biggest problem with Squadron Leader (and indeed all of the blends sold in the Gawith square tins) is that, after smoking a bowl and storing the tin, a week later the tobacco is dry as dust. The tin simply doesn't reseal worth a damn.

I am not saying that Samuel Gawith's Squardon Leader is bad by any means. But even as a light English blend, I find that the tobacco lacks enough flavor, richness and complexity to make it an interesting smoke for me on a regular basis.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nojoqui Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nojoqui (28)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I haven't written a lot of reviews, but it does surprise me that I haven't written one on one of my all time favorite English blends. Moods, time of day, and pipes may be changing variables. Squadron Leader is easily my favorite "all occasions" tobacco blend. I can enjoy this stuff whether it is before dawn, after a pleasant meal, or late at night before a good night's sleep. If there were really a "happy" English blend, then I would strongly suggest that this is it. Squadron Leader also gives me a chance to enjoy my favorite tobaccos as I slowly sink into a bowl of this mixture. The Latakia is noted at the match, but soon runs off to be replaced by the Oriental presence. That holds true for most of the bowl, but the Virginas, bright and dark, take their turns capturing my attention. However, these are elusive attention getters. The Orientals keep coming back. The bottom gives me another hint of the Latakia, but it is not really important by then. In fact, as I finish a bowl of Squadron leader I'm always wondering what IS important? Perhaps another bowl of Squadron leader in a different pipe. Like Flyboy, I like Squadron Leader a little on the dry side in most pipes. I always keep this stuff on hand, preferably canned, and love going back and forth between older supplies and opening a fresh can. The pleasure is there either way. I have broken in pipes with Squadron Leader but don't think it's the best English for this. In that case, I prefer Peterson's Old Dublin. Maybe it's that Latakia that I love to taint my English pipes with. Or, is it the Cavendish? Both are either not too noticable or present in Squadron Leader. But, who cares? Like I said, after a bowl or two of this all time classic... Who cares about anything but even another bowl of this stuff!!!???!!!???

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Squadron Leader is my #1 all day smoke. It has a balance that very few have been able to match over the years. I keep this in both bulk and tins as both are excellent! The tins showcase the Va`s and orientals. The bulk is comparable with some aging (6-12mos). I find this to be tastier if smoked drier than norm. Too moist and you loose the flavor of the different leaf. Latakia is not over abundant and only enhances the union of the Va`s and Turkish tobaccos. As always it packs and burns well and the aroma(to me anyways) is very pleasing!! The tin graphics....unmatched!The only change I would welcome from S.G. would be to make a circular tin. Everything else....leave alone! This is a winner,so pack the cargo full and fly off to your next destination!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Black Dog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Black Dog (25)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Squadron Leader, in my opinion, may be the finest English blend on the market. It seems to be the perfect blend of Balkan and Virginia tobaccos, with a mild use of Latakia, all prepared in the excellent manner we can expect from all Samual Gawith products. Until I began smoking Squadron Leader, Early Morning Pipe had been my "standard" English blend. But no longer. I find Squadron Leader to be fuller, more voluptuous than EMP. There are more nuances with SL to discover, more depth to the quality of the smoke. The tobacco seems to me to principally have a lovely sweet flavor, due only to the tobacco components, with a mild smokey, campfirey essence wafting enticingly in the background. A bowl of Sqaudon Leader always leaves me wishing I had time for a second bowl. This is one of my very favorite tobaccos. Most highly recommended.

EDIT: 11/11/05 - I still think this is the best of the light English blends on the market. I love the flavor, and the room note is wonderful. Squadron Leader is my "If you were stranded on a desert island" tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

English Bulldog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
English Bulldog (10)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Well, I've finished a tin of this so I think it is about time I reviewed it. When I first opened the tin I must say I nearly retched-it smelled like burning tires and was extremely foul, I thought the smoke would be different but when I lit up the tin aroma was replicated. I threw it in my drawer in disgust and it was not until a few months later I approached it again with not a little trepidation.

On opening it a second time-my how things change, the smell was not nearly as strong as before, more mellow and earthy. For me this tobacco improves with drying out, after which it is easy to keep alight and smokes well to the bottom of the bowl. I prefer this over 965 (The old one at least I have not tried the new Orlick version) as it is smoother and does not make one feel ill afterward, my only qualm is that the earthy underton persists throughout and does not go away over time. Ergo, while a 'nice' English blend I will not make this a regular, perhaps i'll buy a few tins to age but there are other latakia blends that await smoking!

I recommend this to try because it is a good medium English, but leave it to dry a little before sparking up otherwise it can be a bit overwhelming.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Devonshire Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Devonshire (47)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

I will agree with other reviewers that this blend has a bit of an acidic, vinegary undertaste - a friend describes it as smoking sweaty socks. Still, I think the blend has a good, even flavour with a good bit of peppery spice.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This classic English blend has taken up residence in my trusty Peterson billiard and become my other regular all day smoke. To earn this distinction, a blend has to be dynamic enough to not to get boring yet still have that comfortable "old friend" solidity to it. Squadron Leader has these qualites in abundance. It has a solid base of quality Virginas and Orientals and just enough Latakia to tie it together. As opposed to more "pensive" blends such as Renaissance, Squadron Leader is pretty straightforward stuff. It paints in broad strokes, but what it paints is no less compelling. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

While I find this blend to be quite a satisfying and full-bodied English blend, I think that it lacks any real personality that would make it stand out amongst it`s competitors. And with so many alternatives with more character, I don`t see myself buying another tin anytime soon.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Update September 2005: Stays four stars because five stars are not available.

Update April 2005: My benchmark for medium English blends.

Bright, medium long (and cut) ribbons and dark Virginia broken flakes make up the base, with a compliment of lively, nutty Turkish and woodsy Latakia. This does not appear to be cased, topped or scented. I have only smoked the tinned version. It has been my mainstay for years.

The predominant flavor comes from the Virginias (about 50/50 lighter to darker leaf; no Cavendish detected) and then Turkish leaf. The flue-cured leaf really provides a naturally sweet, chewy and a nearly caramelized presence at times, while giving the blend its overall structure. The Virginias set SL apart from other beloved medium English offerings bar none.

The Turkish varietals are smooth, aged and tame, used only en condiment, yet providing the main "seasoning" of Squadron Leader. This has just the right amount of Latakia for a medium English blend, keeping this from a misclassification as a Balkan, Oriental, Latakia or Full-English blend. Compare to Dunhill's EMP or Standard Mixture Mild to know why SL is not a mild English (or Skiff by SG for that matter). If you do not like Turkish tobaccos or you define an English blend as heavy with Latakia with minimal Virginias and Turkish, then you do not like medium English blends and SL might not be for you.

The Turkish leaf in SL has none of the sharper edges of those in Dunhill's medium English blends (which I like, too) and Rattray's Red Rapparee, or the tanginess distinctive of Germain's in Margate (Full English) or Exotique (Oriental; quasi-Balkan), though more lively than in McClelland's British Woods. They are something akin to Renaissance by GL Pease, which approaches a full-bodied English (which also seems to have more Latakia) or Crown Achievement in complexity without CA's edgy personality.

SL burns to a white ash with no dottle. Even with the Virginias requiring slow, steady puffing, the smoker is rewarded with copious clouds of cool smoke. The flavors from the constituent leaf migrate in and out, deepening as the ash moves from the rim to bowl bottom. Delicious barely describes this blend.

This works best in group 4 or larger pipes in my experience. Compare straight sided to tapered smoking chambers with SL. The drier and cleaner the pipe, the more subtle flavors come through. SL really shines if the packaging moisture content is reduced so that the blend is still pliable without feeling moist.

SL is blending perfection for those who appreciate medium English blends in a classic presentation and form. SL is not an attempt at anything different than what it is quintessentially, so evaluate it for what it was created to be and by members of its class.

It seems rather silly to downgrade this because it is not a full English or Balkan. It is like saying "This soup is not very good because it is not stew." If you want heavier weight and more Latakia, try Margate or Commonwealth or other aforementioned blends. Nix the category errors, please. Sheer smoking pleasure, it is.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lancelot Gobbo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lancelot Gobbo (23)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is the real thing. High quality tobaccos cut in rather broad ribbons. It keeps moist in the tin (maybe the design of gasket has improved since the comments somewhere below) and benefits from being opened a little while to allow a little drying. If smoked when very moist it tends to burn the tongue, but after drying a while it is smooth, with a a rich tang on the palate. It has moments of marked sweetness interspersed with the smokiness of the latakia. Pack it firmly, keep it tamped and puff gently, and you'll soon be in heaven! A very dry smoke, with fluffy dry white ash and no dottle. Goes beautifully in a Falcon.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This blend is one of my daily choices. It is great when I want a somewhat lighter english tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KScelt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KScelt (5)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

It has taken me three bowls to settle in with this one. Partially I think this is due to the tin being moist enough when opened that it just did not stay lit well and that dampened the flavor from developing as well. As I adjusted for this, the characteristics of this blend became clearer to me.

It's good quality tobacco, a little twiggish element found here and there, but not much. From the tin aroma I anticipated a fairly spicy english smoke, but that proved not to be the case. I would call it a mild english blend, milder than either the tin or room aroma would lead you to believe. It does produce a good volume of smoke which makes some nice rings. For me, this is an english style blend that relies more on the virginia base for flavor, with a light touch on the exotics to enhance that base, not dominate.

If you are marginal in your tolerance of english style tobaccos, this could be a good one for you, or a fine all day smoke if the fuller blends get tiresome to you. At first I thought it a bit bland for an english - and those looking for the heavy dose english / balkans flavor might not care for this blend, but I wound up feeling it is intended as a more subtle experience. Lots to enjoy, and easy to see why so many think it a classic.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jetstream Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jetstream (10)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm not the biggest fan of latakia. I prefer turkish, burley, virginia more so. But I have to say of the lakakia blends I do smoke this is the best I've had. Nice and flavorful without being overly so. The tobacco itself is a bit dry and could stand a small amount of moisture. It burned a little hot at first but settles down into a even cool smolder. The flavor is full enough for me to enjoy sipping on while reading or driving. I rate this as an excellent blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Rather than repeat all that's been said, I'll give my two thumbs up for this outstanding blend. This showcases the best oriental/VA combination I have smoked and truly has balance like a great English should have.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipey (17)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Upon opening this, my first tin of the Squadron Leader, I was surprised to see the moisture content was a little higher than of other english blends.

The tin smell, sweet, warm, slightly smoky and intriguing.

I usually favor blends of this nature, with the added flavour of Perique, and this was the first english without it that really impressed me.

The smoke is interesting throughout the bowl, with the smoky latakia dominating the first quarter, and slowly fading out to allow the smooth, sweet virginias to take centre stage. Superb.

Although lovers of latakia dominated blends may not love this, the latakia never fully leaves the flavours zinging around the mouth, but isnt overpowering - nor underpowered, as some mixtures often can be.

It should also be noted that this mixture uses very good quality tobacco - which will be evident immediately - which is nice.

Although this blend is best leaving a little on a plate prior to smoking, its not necessary, unless frequent relights annoy you..

All in all, a lovely tobacco that makes for a nice change in my rotation - not my absolute favorite (dorisco) but most definately a keeper!!!

Thanks Sam! Well done!

P.S. BEWARE! This tobacco leaves behind a rather strange ghost... I think a pipe just for this one would be a good idea....

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Old English Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old English (6)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This tobacco is basically a medium latakia filler smoke for me. Orientals for me were very subtle to non-existant. Prefer Sullivan's "00" (if you could get it), Margate, Solani 779, etc.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (96)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Rather than repeat physical descriptions yet again, I'll just throw in my hoo-rah for this wonderful stuff. I've finally found the elusive oriental/VA that has the best of what I like of each: aromaticity and rich sweetness WITHOUT overbearing creosote. This tin will go fast. My grail EM found at last.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

FiveRings Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
FiveRings (21)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A great English blend SL is one of the top choices in the medium strength spectrum. Building on a top quality Va base, the Turkish and Latakia leafs add complexity and depth, delivering consistantly a cool, satisfying smoke. IMO SL is one of the very few English that can be smoked all day long with great satisfaction.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Professor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Professor (67)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Samuel Gawith has created one of the true mainstays in pipe tobacco. Imagine taking a finely-aged single malt Islay (island) scotch and transforming it into ribbon cut smokable weed and you have Squadron Leader. There is always at least one tin of this flight waiting in the hanger of my collection. How amazing: smoking, peaty, and pleasant. This is the classic English blend that soars to amazing heights virtually gunning down all of those who are inferior (as most are). A true leader--and heavenly to boot!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Cellarmaster Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Cellarmaster (13)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If I need a light English fix this is the stuff. The flavor of this blend is well balanced with no dominant players. A base of VA with Turkish making a appearance but the Latakia brings this one home. Just enough spice to keep this smoker interested. This offering from S.G & Co. may not be a daily daily but it sure can add a nice kick to the middle of the afternoon. My recomended pairing is black coffee.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This rates as one of the best Latakia blends that I carry in my satchel. A tasty combination of fine leafs (leaves?) that blend perfectly, producing a most pleasant smoking experience. In my top five of Latakia blends (along with several by G L Pease, C & D, and Frog Morton), this can't be beat. Used to be slightly high in price, but no more thanks to our friends at smokingpipes.com. (Great tin art, too)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

purpleronald Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
purpleronald (16)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Squadron Leader is a fine blend , and a good recommendation for anyone who likes natural tobacco flavors - or who wants to try an English/Balkan blend. My favorite is Balkan Sasieni , but I also like Margate and I like Gawith's 'Chocolate Flake'... So where does Squadron Leader fit? That would be my point - it fits in just fine! In fact the difference might be in pipe selection. I have a Ser Jacapo that is practically dedicated to Chocolate Flake...and I have a Peterson Harp that seems to like Balkan Sasieni... I have another pipe that seems to be more dedicated to an occasional perique blend... so I could see where Squadron Leader might in fact come down to pipe selection...and whereas one pipe might seem to like Sasieni - another might like Sasieni. It's one of the best! I give it 5 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bigblends Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigblends (46)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Here's a nicely presented English with roots in tradition, but also with something a little bit unique in the taste department. The balance here is old-school English to the letter. Marvelous execution, as is to be expected from Gawith. The depth of flavor is good, and the "nutty" notes one would expect from a well-made English are there.

Squadron Leader would benefit from a more full body. Something like Margate comes to mind. The flavor intensity also could use a boost. This doesn't mean that what's there isn't good enough; it's just that you can't really get enough of a good thing!

I rated this as "I smoke this on occasion" simply because I cannot rule out future purchases.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Montague Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Montague (32)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Squadron Leader Tobacco is a medium body Balkan pipe tobacco mixture blended by Samuel Gawith & Co. Ltd. located in Kendal, England.

The tin aroma of Squadron Leader is similar in respects to that of a light English blend but with grass and mint-like dimensions present. Squadron Leader is composed of Virginia, Latakia, and Turkish tobaccos. The colors produced by this mixture of tobaccos include black, orange/tan, and pale green.

The cut of Squadron Leader Tobacco is a medium/long ribbon cut. Squadron Leader is initially packed very firmly in a 50-gram rectangular tin and is enclosed in a handsome gold colored foil. No rubbing is needed. Packing of Squadron Leader is much like any other thin ribbon and presents no difficulties. The initial moisture is on the high end and some drying improves the smoking characteristics of this blend markedly.

Without the initial excess moisture eliminated, Squadron Leader Tobacco tends to light somewhat unevenly. But when sufficient moisture is removed from the blend, it lights fairly even. The burn for the most part is semi-complete and burns at a medium rate yielding a soft, light gray ash. The room note is strong and is most likely not appreciated by nonsmokers, but is still lighter than many Latakia rich blends.

Squadron Leader has a nutty and slightly sour taste with hints of a sweet background emerging at times. A smoky element is certainly present in the taste of Squadron Leader but is second in magnitude to the nutty and sour flavors. This is due to the greater proportion of the Macedonian tobaccos present in respect to the Latakia leaf. The flavor of Squadron Leader is not as rich or as full as many Latakia enriched pipe blends, but instead seems to have more dimensions. No casing or topping was noticed. Squadron Leader, when properly dried, has minimal bite. The smoke of this blend is medium.

Squadron Leader is an interesting blend that stands apart by its emphasis on the naturally aromatic Macedonian tobaccos. Although Squadron Leader may not have the superior burning characteristics of other similar blends, it does offer a change in pace from the full classic English Mixtures.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

If I had to move to a desert island, I would take Squadron Leader with me. The key word here is ?EQUILIBRIUM?. Squadron Leader seems a very good orchestra in action, letting every player show its abilities in the right moment. I agree with Paddy, the VA ?base? of this blend must be Best Brown Flake, but Latakia plays the solo, helped by an assertive set of Orientals. I would say that since the old Balkan Sobranie was discontinued Squadron Leader is the best English Mixture in nowadays, the very antithesis of a boring blend. Perfect.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Esoxhunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Esoxhunter (60)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

September 2004

Although I am told that this is the Grandaddy of oriental-dominated, Balkan-style English mixtures, to me it is just another nice, medium English smoke. It reminds me of the milder Dunhill oriental/latakia/Va blends, and isn't quite heavy enough to suit my tastes (although I really do like the sweetness of the orientals). I'm glad I tried it; after all, it is a classic.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Master Merlin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Master Merlin (11)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

What can I say, as an OLD TIME TESTED product, Wonderful. If there was a perfect middle ground english this is it! THIS should be called PERFECTION! Not that other god awful stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

preppypipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
preppypipe (57)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Friend and fellow S.Holmes pipe club member Nelson Pidgeon sold me a tin of this after he had smoked only a bowl of it,saying that it was a bit too light for his tastes.While not a "powerhouse", S.Q. is an excellent blend.The va and turkish leaf are the stars here,with latakia taking a bit of a "backseat".The flavor is nutty, rich and exotic.A bit of drying out is recommended,as it's quite moist upon opening.This was a compaint by Nelson,saying it was hard for him to keep it lit.This would be a great 1st bowl of the day,and folks who enjoy Piccadilly and EMP would most likely enjoy this as well === Highly Recommended=== prep (9-13-04)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

OSR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OSR (71)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Another blend with many reviews.

Let me say that when I first put a match to this tobacco, I was quickly reminded of the OLD Rattrays Red Rapparee. Orientals dance, the latakia is in the mix, but not overwhelming and the Virginia base keeps the blend sweet and adds the "middle" to this excellent offering.

Well done and a very close blend to the Old Red Rapp. Squadron Leader is a throwback to the days of carefully blended, excellent quality English blends. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I really wanted to like this stuff, especially with the cool artwork, but I just can't do it. To say that I don't like it might be just a little strong as well. I guess I'm merely indifferent. A little sharp and bitey, at the same time the turkish comes through quite pleasantly. All in all though just another middle of the road english very comparable to Crown Achievement as Beer so eloquently points out above. Personally I much prefer its cousins: Commonwealth and Skiff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (294)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

I don't quite get all the fuss about this traditional english blend. I ordered 50g bulk, and I was rather unimpressed: the aroma of the unburnt tobacco is, as someone else said, rather soft. In comparison to other blends of this kind, the strong Latakia smell one should expect is almost absent: and indeed the long ribbons that make up the blend contain a fairly small amount of dark leaf. It burns great, maybe a bit wet, but very even, leaving very little dottle in the light grey ash. However, the main disappointment comes from the rather bland taste: it is a medium english mixture, sweet and licoricey, but without the punch and fullness that I prefer. It shows some nice variations at each different puff, and actually gets tastier after the middle of the bowl. As expected, the Latakia presence is always very subtle. I found some similarities between this and Crown Achievement. Ultimately pleasant, but there are several better blends out there that I find more satisfying. Can't beat the convenience of buying this in bulk, though!

UPDATE: I tried the tin version of this tobacco, too. Well, it costs more, but the extra cost is certainly worth paying for. In the tin, Squadron Leader is a good medium EM, not as tasty as some of my favorites, but a very nice all-day smoke. The Latakia/Turkish taste is much more evident, and the sweet Virginia base has a nice flavor which is different from that of the Dunhill tobaccos: a well balanced blend. It has some similarities to Dunhill's EMP, probably a little tastier, especially if smoked slowly. Very gentle on the tongue, too. Buy the tinned one if you like English tobaccos!

2012 UPDATE: I keep returning to this tobacco once in a while, and it's always a solid choice! Recently I have fallen in love with Skiff Mixture by Samuel Gawith, and I can say that while both are very traditional medium English mixtures, the character is subtly different. Skiff is sweeter, while Squadron Leader tends to be spicier and drier (both in taste and moisture content). Squadron Leader seems to have a different kind of Latakia, and at times it almost seems of the Syrian variety (while Skiff is declaredly Cyprian). And it seems slightly stronger in nicotine than Skiff. I tend to prefer Skiff a little bit because of its rich creamy complexity, but I think that all lovers of English blends should seriously try both.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

port_and_pipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
port_and_pipes (5)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This and Schurch's Onyx are the two staples of my pipe-smoking diet. The first time I tried this tobacco I was hooked, it's got a wonderfully rounded English flavour to it, which doesn't fade away like some blends I've tried. Instead it seems to develop, to become subtly different - not better or worse, just different. It keeps my interest all the way to the bottom of the bowl. And the beauty of it is that it's not overwhelming - I can cruise all day smoking this beauty.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Excellent, superb tobacco. You can tell that it's a VA/Latakia blend right off the bat. There's a hint of a citrus-like tartness that lends itself brilliantly to this blend. It's almost, to me, a refined, slightly more complex version of some Esoterica latakia blends. It ranks right up there with Penzance as a fine english style tobacco.

All I can really say is that it is very good, and it deserves a place of honorable mention among the great english style blends. Gawith really knows what they're doing with this blend. Excellent all the way.

P.S. Dry it a little, first, though... It's a skosh wet.

DJM

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Carlo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Carlo (16)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin Aroma: A typical 'could be any English blend' aroma, where the latakia and orientals prevail. However, one can detect a sweet virginia in the background and a certain nutiness assails the nostrils.

Room Note: Again, typically English but perhaps a little toned down compared to some of the fuller latakia Englishes. Indeed, the latakia does not seem to offend the unitiated. I'm told by my companions it's more akin to a subtle incense-like note lurking amoungst a non descript virgnia.

Packing: Although I personally prefer the pinch method, the ribbon cut of the tobacco makes packing a joy which ever method one employs. Moisture content is near perfect.

Lighting: Again, a joy. One charring light, one fairly light tamper and a second match are all that's required for a slow, even burn with minimal maintenance. A well behaved blend that looks after it's self.

Appearance: A visual array of light and dark virginias, Turkish leaf and of course, black latakia; one can easily see and identify each component in this fine blend. The ribbon cut aids the overall attractive presentation.

Smoking: The initial flavour upon lighting is latakia as is usual with English blends. The secondary taste to the smokiness of the latakia is the dusky, dry but rich Turkish. However, the sweetness of the virginia does come through and although playing second fiddle is not drowned out by the orientals. This blend is what I consider to be a perfect balance: a real symphony of flavours where one can detect and enjoy all components simultaneously. It's a bit like listening to good jazz where all the musicians are contributing to the overall effect with equal skill whilst relying on each other for the final experience. The taste is rich and the finish clean and crisp. I would describe the overall taste as enjoying an almond slice with a cup of Lap Sang Souchong tea, but drier and not as sweet. It's a combination of the sweet, almond-like virginia in perfect harmony with the smoky, dusky orientals. This tobacco smokes extremely cool and dry right to the bottom of the bowl and leaves a fine, white ash. The flavour does not change or deteriorate on relights. Flavoursome, mellow, dry and very cool to the last with no bite at all. Nicotine content is moderate and again, in perfect harmony with the smoking experience. This blend would be ideal for someone trying Englishes for the first time in order to make a cross from aromatics, as the latakia is not over powering. Well done to the house of Samuel Gawith; absolute top marks! I can find no flaw in this perfectly balanced quality blend.

Pros: Packs, lights and smokes easily; even burning, extremely cool with no bite whatsoever. A perfect balance of flavours; each new smoke shows new complexities and dimensions.

Cons: None at all.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I went into this fully prepared to not like this blend. In fact, because of a few things I had been told abut it, I wouldn?t have even tried it. Luckily, someone included a generous sample of nicely aged Squadron Leader in a box pass I did. The bag that the sample is in says that it came from a tin that was purchased in 1998-9, opened 04/04. It is now August 2004 when I sampled this blend.

When I first lit it, SL had a bit of a sharp taste. I set it down to go get a cup of coffee, and when I re-lit it on my return, it was a different tobacco! The sharpness was gone, and a nice light, slightly spicy Turkish flavor had replaced it. The Latakia was very light throughout the smoke, and the Va never really asserted itself, but remained in the background and lent a hit of sweetness as only Va can.

The first bowl was in a small meerschaum. I went with a small bowl, because as I said, I didn?t expect to like it. I had been told that it was tasteless and that it bit something awful, hence the meerschaum. There was no need to have worried.

Subsequent bowls were smoked in larger briar pipes. The complexity that I found lacking in the initial bowl was a bit more evident in the larger bowls.

Following the guidance set forth on the website of a certain tobacco blending genius, I would place Squadron Leader in the Balkan category, as I found the focus of the blend to be the Turkish leaf with the Latakia in a condiment role. Further, I would class it as a medium to light Balkan.

I am glad I tried Squadron Leader. It was a very pleasant smoke. I am not sure I will replace it when it is gone though. There are other blends in this category that I prefer ? but this is in no way meant to detract from the blend at hand. It?s good pipe-weed. It smokes cool and dry, stays lit and is generally well-behaved.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Thatcher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Thatcher (58)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Unnoticeable

This blend has been around the block, has withstood the test of time, kicks it old school, and whatever other clichés one can come up with to laud this definitive English mixture that, in my opinion, sets the standard for the genre. I?m not saying that I think it is absolutely the most delicious English mixture out there, I?m just saying that it has probably earned the honor of being the definitive English blend still on the market. Personally, I prefer a little less Virginias than one finds in Squadron Leader and a little more Latakia, as the Leader will bite if you?re not careful. Nonetheless, this should be on the ?must try? list of anyone who enjoys English blends, especially if you want to experience how they made ?em back in the days of yore. Squadron Leader smokes cool and very dry all the way down the bowl, and a pipe cleaner is rarely if ever needed to remove moisture during the smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stormrider Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stormrider (14)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I was prepared not to like this, since the strongest factor in the tin aroma is Latakia, which reminds me of horse manure. That did not translate at all, however, in the taste of the smoke or the room note. Taste is smooth, cool, well balanced, all tobacco with no casing. There is more than a hint of smokiness reminiscent of a campfire, lending a pleasantness to the flavor as well as the room note. A bowl of this at the end of the day makes me feel like a hobbit (or maybe a ranger) with my feet up on the hearth of the Prancing Pony, a pint of ale by my side, and all's right with the world.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DeltaSnake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DeltaSnake (31)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

This is a blend I smoke occasionally, if for no other reason that I don't see it that often and my tobacconists special order a number of blends already (I try to only request blends I know I'll buy regularly, and that number is climbing). I like the often stark differences in nuance, it can have a strong turkish flavor at times, other moments bring out the latakia or virginia (I'm a small or medium pipe guy, so mixes can do that with me). It may just be me, but I do notice a stronger nicotine kick towards the end, similar to Dunhil Aperitiff or 695 which I don't look for in a medium blend. The tin isn't a good design as noted, but I get around that by bending the edges back in and that gets back that tight fit. Given a choice, I would tend to prefer Dunhill's or the old Balkan Sobranie, but those blends aren't around the way they used to be, and this is as good a bracing and robust medium English as you'll find so when I see it, I'll tend to buy it unless I see Old Ironsides along side, in which case, I'll pick latakia over turkish and virginia any day. I wouldn't recommend this blend for beginners, nor for those who haven't eaten yet that day, but for the experienced, I agree, it's a classic in a crowded field of similar blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Puffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puffer (9)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

What else can I say about this great tobacco that has not already been recorded here? I enjoy it thoroughly. It is one of my favorites.

The WWI biplane on the cover is the symbol of an old friend. The tin itself, although difficult to seal once opened, is sturdy and holds the slightly compressed ribbon cut weed, comprising a satisfying mix of light and dark. There a few "twigs," although I don't find these objectionable in the least. The moisture content is a bit high right from the tin, so a slight fluffing and a few minutes of resting yields a much better packing experience. The tin aroma is mellow and nutty, not at all sharp or leathery.

One match to start it off, then level it down, and the bowl doesn't even need a second light. Burning is even and slow, straight down to the bottom with no dottle or excess moisture at the end.

The taste is pretty constant throughout the bowl. I like to smoke slowly and carefully, just so the bowl is pleasantly warm to my hand. The smoke is cool, rich, and mellow. SL defines the "English" blend for me. Nicotine content is not excessive, but is definitely there. The Virginias are perfectly offset by just enough Latakia, along with a constant, insistent Oriental note coming through.

The aroma is most pleasant, particularly outdoors. My wife totally approves. An occasional sniff at the top of the bowl intensifies the experience with a sligtly stronger oriental aroma. There is no trace of sweetess or astringency common with the lighter Virginias. I love this stuff!

Right at the end, the smoke warms up a bit, then fades quickly, but with no harsh taste of ash. The fine grey ash falls from the completed bowl in a light, feathery stream.

This is great to smoke in both warm and cold weather, and leaves me satisfied without any symptoms of nicotine - just pleasure.

This is pure tobacco in its finest form. In an extra large pipe, you get about an hour of relaxing, slow puffing, with a mellow, nutty taste. Anybody who prefers pure, non-aromatic tobacco should try this leaf.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

There is little need in me describing this already esteemed and well known blend. The tin is lovely, the tobacco gorgeous. The smoke is cool, smooth, and tasty. As English as Churchill. What more could you ask for.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (125)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I have a theory about Squadron Leader. The reason it is so very good is because the Virginia component is SG Best Brown. The theory may be wrong, but this tobacco is a wonderfull English or Balkan blend. Orientals, latakia and Virginia of extraordinary quality in perfect harmony. Highly recommended. Paddy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1004)
★★☆☆
Extremely Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I finally popped a well aged tin (4 years old) of Squadron Leader to satisfy my once in a great while Latakia craving.

Well, not much to crave here. It is a very light Latakia blend with little nicotine (a recreational drug I enjoy in large daily doses!) and an almost nondescript taste. I can see where it will please the "light palate" crowd. I just need more of a slap in the face when I light my pipe. This one didn't have any oomph.

Oh well, the tin sure looks nice.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

With its reputation as a stellar example as an english blend, Squadron Leader is just one of those tobaccos that a latakia lover (such as myself) must try. There are a lot of english blends out there, and they can all kind of blur together in one's mind. In my book, SL falls into this category- which is not to say that it is a bad blend, just kind of typical of on-the-light-side english blends (many of which are pretty good). I tend to usually go for more latakia in my Englishes, but I also like a variety, and SL fits the bill for me on that score.

There is not a ton of latakia here (this is not Commonwealth!) but enough to make itself known. The tobacco lights well and burns well, with minimal relighting. The predominant flavor to my palate is the ample turkish, with the latakia playing a harmony role. The virginias get kind of drowned out by the high-handedness of the orientals, which is perhaps the main drawback of this mixture for me. I could go for a bit more virginia flavor, but you can't have everything, and I do appreciate the lack of bite.

One thing I appreciate about SL is the relatively low nicotine content. I truly enjoy Dunhill's english blends (and tend to use them as a standard of comparison), but find them over-the-top nicotine-wise. I can load up my big Bjarne freehand with SL for an after dinner smoke w/o having to be scraped off the porch deck after I have finished. I know that this makes me a wuss in some folk's books, but nicotine has never been a favorite recreational drug for me.

If I smoked more light/medium english blends, SL would be a standard in my rotation. As it is, I give it a go every few weeks and am always glad I did. In fact, I should order another tin soon...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is the closest I 've come to finding the perfect smoke. The taste is smooth, pure,full,and 100% tobacco. It is cool, and there is no bite. This is pure tobacco, and has a delicious aroma upon opening the tin or bag. It is a bit difficult to keep lit, but worth the extra work. It burns to a white ash, with no bitterness, and I have never regretted smoking it right down to the bottom of the bowl.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

LoisKelly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LoisKelly (55)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

In the search for an all day English smoke, I have encountered seemingly endless offerings, from the plodding and uninspired to the harsh and heady. What I tend to look for, particularly in so broad a category, is balance.

In this regard, Squadron Leader scores well. It's light enough on the palate, throat, stomach, and head to smoke continuously, without being bland. It's not rich enough for after dinner or late night, but still manages to maintain interest. Squadron Leader demonstrates that there is more to the S. Gawith line than Virginias.

The label, a model of understated elegance, is perhaps my favorite in all of tobaccodom. The same can't be said for the tin itself. I view rectangular tins, in general, as suspect for the long haul, and this one has the absolute worst gasket I have ever seen. Confidence inspiring it is not. Still, the tobacco itself is beautifully packaged.

An inevitable comparison in this genre is Dunhill's London Mixture, another venerable blend that has served the pipesmoking community for decades. Squadron Leader betters it in terms of both smoothness and flavor, and possesses the superior balance of sweet Orientals and Latakia presence. It does at least as good a job of conjuring up images of times past as the Dunhill, for what its worth. The nose of this blend is not up there with, say, a Margate, but it is enticing nonetheless.

Smoking is bad for you (that's right, I said it). The only justification for doing something bad for you is to derive pleasure, which, ultimately, Squadron Leader delivers to a satisfactory degree.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dwise Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dwise (25)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I like the taste of good coffee, but nothing can compare to the smell of freshly-ground beans. It's a little like that with Squadron Leader: the smell of a freshly-popped tin is absolutely intoxicating, but the taste of the smoke doesn't quite live up to the tin-aroma's promise. It's so mild as to be almost transparent. As such it's probably well-suited for the beginner Lat smoker. Its mildness is on a par with Frog Morton; if you like FM this should be right up your alley. (And a step up in quality, in my opinion.)

As for me, when I'm in the mood for Latakia, I'll usually turn to SL's big brother, Commonwealth Mixture, whose flavor is equal to the tin-aroma of Squadron Leader.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarLaw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarLaw (85)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Let me start with the positives: Nice tin aroma heavy on the Orientals; reasonably good cut; good moisture content; nice nutty Oriental taste; burns well to a nice clean ash.

The only negative for me is that Squadron Leader is far too light on the Latakia. I am partial to blends with more Latakia like 965 or Penzance.

So while I think Squadron Leader is a good tobacco, I can't get too excited about it. For those of you who like English blends but are not crazy about Latakia, this might just be perfect.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Squadron Leader (tin) comes in a nice sized rectangular tin picturing a world war I biplane so good feelings occur before even opening. Upon opening one is greated by the familiar aroma of an English latakia blend. The tobacco is packed so it is easily removed for filling the pipe. It is not compressed tightly as many similar blends tend to be. There are some stems and the cut is a little on the large size for a typical English. The packing is easy and lighting is a sinch. The first taste impression is that this is an English I have known for years even though I have never tried this blend before. The flavor is medium with the latakia kept under control so the overall effect is "ho hum, another English." Wrong! The more I have smoked SL the more I like it. It does not get tiring in any way. In other words it is faultless. It smokes cool all the way down to the bottom of the bowl leaving only white ash to remind one of the fine tobaccos used in the blend. I know that what I am saying is already known to many lovers of English blends, but if you havn't tried SL you should. It's a classic.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pork Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pork (4)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

Another offering from my good friend Peterpuffer, Squadron Leader may be the Holy Grail of pipe Tobacco [if you enjoy English blends].

The cut is a fairly coarse so it?s well suited for ?breezy day? smoking. Although there?s absolutely no need to rub it out or otherwise molest it for an even-burning indoor smoke.

IMHO, the S.L is reminiscent of a Balkan blend... yet mild. Shortly into the bowl, the blend yields to a Turkish pallet of flavors fond to those who favor the Balkan blends. However, the overall mildness allows a slight hue of the Virginia?s natural sweetness to present an almost ?woodsy? tone.

S.L. goes extremely well with Pusser?s British Navy Rum [or if you?re Peterpuffer ? Bombay Gin].

Room aroma... bugger off _sshole! The only people who can appreciate room aroma is... everyone but the Pipe Smoker. And frankly, I don?t give a sh_t how it smells to you. Pouch aroma... it smells like tobacco J_rkoff!

Once again, if you enjoy English blends than Squadron Leader is a must. If you don?t, than you deserve to have your pipe b_tch slapped out of your mouth.

And to our friends at Samuel Gawith... you are forgiven for that abomination known as Grouse-Moor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Squadron Leader is a very good, reliable English mixture. Its aroma is not as pungent as Skiff, but it has deeper, rounder, flavour. I does not stand up to Dunhill?s London Mixture or the Original Balkan Sobranie; rather, it is akin to Barney?s Ideal, in that both seem to be a bit harsher and less elegant in flavour and composition. This contrasting ribbon cut comes tightly packed in the tin (by the way, once you open a Gawith tin it becomes useless to keep the tobacco fresh, because the lid seems to bend and will not close air tight again, so it is advisable to change it into another container). I find it useful to air it a bit, and to part the cake, before packing it up. If done properly in a mid size bowl, the packing is easy and lightening should not be a problem. Keeping it lit is a different matter. The earthy tones of the Latakia and the Turkish (though in SL they are not as predominant as in Skiff), contrast famously with the tangy, matured Virginias, providing that unique taste that have given English mixtures a well deserved fame. I like the fact that this tobacco does not distract me when writing, reading or going for a walk. IMO, it is not a particularly complex English mixture. But it is very tasty, easy to smoke, not at all overwhelming, and for the experienced smoker it sure has more personality and character than Skiff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BostonPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BostonPipe (83)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

The first time I tried the blend I sat mesmerized for a good forty-five minutes to an hour. What a smooth, delightful, near perfect balence of Turkish, Virginia, and Latakia.

It burns clean, to a nice dull grey/white ash. The strength can vary, depending on how fast one puffs. I enjoy this blend in an older Charatan with a mug of Kenyan "AA" black coffee.

The perfect blend to enjoy...after my wife retires to sleep.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This was a most interesting tobacco experience. First, the tin was impossible to open with a coin or pipe nail. I finally had to pry it open with a knife! But things got better :)

The blend is firmly packed in a fresh 50 g tin, so much so that I have almost gouge it out in order to fill my pipe. The tin aroma surprised me: there was virtually none. The tobacco is cut into short pieces, almost like confetti. Packing is therefore a snap.

It lit easily and had a very light flavor. For me at least Squadron Leader is much milder than, say, Dunhill's Aperetif. Of course, your mileage may vary.

As I smoked this mixture, the taste remained pleasant and mild. You should definitely take your time and smoke this slowly (good advice for most pipe tobaccos IMHO).

One pleasant surprise was the occasional burst of tangy aroma from the bowl. Every five or six puffs would yield a sudden fragrance of something that almost smelled like liturgical incense! Really!! I guess it was the Orientals in the mix unveiling themselves.

All in all, a great tobacco to have at the ready. While maybe not an all-day smoke, it is certainly worth a daily bowl.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CJ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CJ (45)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

I purchased this in bulk rather than the standard tin. It is a ribbon cut blend that is all entangled into a large ball shaped mass. It can easily be rubbed out or plucked as little plugs of smashed ribbons. In either case, this is a deep, rich, mellow, smooth, and very satisfying English mixture of Virgina, Turkish, and Latakia. It is smoky with a hint of a nut like flavor, and it has a decent nicotine content. It burns extremely slow, and therefore resists bite. It packs quite a punch if exhaled through the nose. The flavor is consistent from top to bottom gathering a bit of strength right at the end. There was nothing at the bottom of the bowl except for a small quantity of fine white gray ash. I am quite surprised as to how little of anything is left in the bowl. Pardon the pun, but it all goes up in smoke. This is rapidly becoming one of my favorite, special blends for those times when I can concentrate on enjoying its flavor. I am disappointed when the last bit of tobacco is consumed. I want it to go on and on. I highly recommend Squadron Leader for experienced smokers of English Blends. It may be a bit strong for beginners.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

scumbag Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
scumbag (2)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

This tobacco came extremely wet and will require drying. Puffing too hard will cause bite. The taste is that of a smoked jalapeno mettwurst slathered in hot deli mustard with overtones of vinegar and undertones of roasted bitter nuts and flowers. Exhaled through the nostrils causes a burning sensation. The flavors are complex but not terribly strong. Will be curious to see how this is once it has a aged a bit. 2.5 stars.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Blue Bayou Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blue Bayou (59)
★☆☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable

Reminds me of shag cut cigarette tobacco, both in looks and taste. I found it rather flat and tasteless...

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Gingerbaker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gingerbaker (2)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I have recently returned to smoking a pipe after about a twenty-five year hiatus. Quite a lot of changes have occurred in the meantime, I must say, and not all to the good.

Gone is my local Pipe Shop, where one could try a bowl of many of the proprietors hand blends, or have one's own tastes met by a custom blend. Gone is Balkan Sobranie, and nearly all the Dunhill line, including my favorite tinned tobacco - Nightcap. My jaw dropped when I saw what a tin of the venerable Nightcap goes for on E-bay!

Enter the internet, and shopping by tobacco review. I purchased a smorgasbord of English - Balkan - Virginia based blends, with a couple others which included some burley for an alternative universe.

I must say that the only tobacco I ordered in any bulk was 4 ounces of Squadron Leader, based in no small part the recommendations of this forum. I regret to say it has been the most disappointing of all the selections I am trying out.

To my palate, Squadron leader is is too bitter, doesn't have enough Latakia smokiness, and the Orientals are too forward, leading to a flavor which is too arid. The flavors don't 'dance' for me, and after several bowls under different conditions, I just can't recommend this blend.

However, in contrast, I find GLP's Maltese Falcon to be extremely satisfying. Smoky, sweet, complex - now this blend 'dances' for me, with flavors developing intriguingly throughout the bowl. And very mild compared to S.L., despite arriving too dry in the tin.

---------------------------------------------------------------- Update

Well, I have tried a few more bowls of Squadron Leader, and I have upgraded my opinion of it. I am now experiencing a sweetness that I thought was missing from it. This is disturbing - that there is so much variation in my experience from day to day, from pipeful to pipeful. But, I thought it would be good to send along my update.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Nothingfancy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nothingfancy (6)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Fantastic blend. I set up this account because 3 stars just didn't do it justice for me. I prefer this to the revered Billy Budd. It's become my everyday smoke. Great for the morning after the gym and great for the night to wind down. By far the best tobacco I've had.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

acaciavet Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
acaciavet (1)
★★★★
Mild Very Mild Full Pleasant

I have never reviewed a tobacco before but I must say this is the best I ever smoked.It smokes cool and tastes the same from the first light to the final draw.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Easter Egg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Easter Egg (5)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Being a pipe novice, I tried some "off the shelf" tobaccos, but almost gave up until I noticed this website and started reading.

After trying some mild aromatics, I wanted to grow up and try English blends. First one i tried was Erinmore Balkan mixture, but that was too heavy for me and the nic sometimes made me a bit sick. The initial tastes and flavours however (after lighting and smoking for the first 10 - 20 minutes) still made me long for an English I could bare. SL does that for me. Bit mellower in taste, lower on the nic, it enables me to finish a bowl.

No tongue-bite but leaves me with a light tingling, zesty feeling on the tongue, feeling a bit like having sucked a tictac, but without the mint, if you know what I mean.

As for the room aroma : I occasionally smoke in the house when the kids are up (mostly not but when I do it is with the room ventilated - I don't want to force second-hand smoke on them) and the wife and kids actually appreciate the room note. Much more than the mellow aromatics I have lying around.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

gazpacho Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gazpacho (18)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As a novice pipe smoker who enjoys mostly aromatics, I enjoyed this tobacco very much. It packs and lights without difficulty, and didn't require many relights. With careful smoking, I didn't experience any bite, or overheating in the bowl. This is definately being added to my preferred tobacco stash.

Edit 04/24/2009: Any tobacco I order 5 tins at a time, want wipe out my B&Ms stock every time they get it, needs to be upgraded to 4 stars. At the rate I smoke it, I probably have about a few year's worth, but I'm cellaring it like the ban is coming tomorrow.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

I don't get it. With so many great tobacco blends out there why would anybody spend money on such a bland smoke? this comes in a great looking square tin and is inexpensive. Perhaps that is the reason. I did find a use for this blend. The tobacco's are a nice cut, doesn't have any apparent PG added or toppings I can detect. In this blend I found a type that was olive green in color. Was this a low quality tobacco? I decided to use this as a blending tobacco. Turned out decent when blended in this ratio and left in a jar to meld the flavors...65-70% SG, 25 % McClellands 5110 Red Cake Virgina, and 5-10% Perique from McClelland (they have great blending perique, far better than the fake periques out there). The last time I tried SL, I identified its lacked any depth and a bitterness that was not complimented by any other real flavor. I decided to add some good Virginia and Perique. I was able to salvage this tobacco by blending it. However, this was just an experiment as I really don't have the time to spend smoking salvaged tobacco. This blend was a loser. Bitterness, low quality tobacco...I expected so much more from this highly touted blend.

11/28/09 * I Let my blend from above sit for 6 months or so in a jar untouched until today. I REALLY liked this a lot. All the light greenish strands have turned into a nice tan. I would rate this new blen of mine a very strong 3 stars. Perhaps I got a VERY FRESH tin that needed additional aging for the Turkish and perhaps I just like VA which wasn't really standing out in the original blend. I likely will buy some more of this and blend it just as I did above and let it sit for a while 'cause this is darn good. Some may say that you shouldn't mess with the real thing but to those I pull out my inner Cartman and say "Whateva! I do what I want!!!"

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Tallman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tallman (35)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As a relatively new pipe smoker, and a recent cigarette smoker (who doesn't want to go there again), I was looking for something a little different from my usual aromatic blends. I use these reviews for my purchase decisions-and when I went to my tobacco shop, I saw this one and bought it..and scratched it off my "tobacco I want to try" list. Short version-NO DISAPPOINTMENT HERE! I didn't really know what to expect...but when I popped that tin open, I realized I was onto something. The tobacco scent was absolutely fabulous. The smoking experience was just as good. I look forward to many quiet evenings in the boat, fishing, with this one. Try it...you will not be disappointed.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

BillyS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BillyS (1)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

As someone who has only recently started smoking English blends, or any tobacco for that matter, and as someone who has only tried two different blends of English tobacco, I enjoy smoking this blend a lot. I finished my third bowl yesterday, and it was one of the better smokes I've had.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Smaug Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smaug (5)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Woody, leathery, slightly floral begining. Extremely alluring and thought provoking, Conjures moods akin to smoking your briar whilst reclining against a tree in a quiet forest. Sweetens towards the middle of the bowl, Latakia plays a subtle but supportive role. Notes of dried fruits from the virginas add a pleasant tang. Easy for a Latakia lover to pass over this one, but persistence reaps the gold.

===@}~

===@}~ :)

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

I've seen this tobacco around for a while and alwyas wanted to give it a try. Great graphics on the tin! I enjoyed very much the tin aroma. Overall I think this is a nice english blend, but really nothing special. As some other reviews have said, I too find it a little too light on the latakia for my tastes. The quality of the tobacco is good, but the blend is not quite right for me. If it were a blend in progress I would give it another go but I think I will pass on this blend. I am glad I experienced it though, but one tin is enough.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Loki Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Loki (2)
★☆☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

Hmm...my first review and I reluctantly begin on something of a sour note, as indeed does this blend. My only other foray into the world of Sam Gawith was a disastrous encounter with "Grousemoor" - a foetid nightmare of a blend, akin to being savaged by an effeminate rottweiler.

One of the numerous reasons I have adored english blends for the last 20 years is that they have never, ever bitten my tongue - until this blighter, that is.

First impressions are favourable; the picture on the tin is a delight and the packaging as a whole conveys the image of a reputable, long-established, though vaguely amateurish, cottage industry. The lid doesn't fit too snugly after opening but, hey! thev've only had 2 centuries to get it right. Aroma in the tin is light but pleasant, with the Turkish taking centre stage. The length of the ribbon cut makes packing a little awkward but not too much of a problem. The colour of the blend is what one might expect of a mild Latakia/oriental mixture and here's the crux of the problem; for me (a previously inveterate cigarette smoker)the whole thing is just too light and ephemeral to keep my interest. Once in a while the orientals weave their magic and for a brief moment one is transported to an astral plane but then it's back to dull old earth with a rather tedious thud. If this tobacco were a piece of music, it might be a middle-period Mozart piano concerto - just too darned rococo for this baroque baby. Ah well, I'm off for a pipeful of my beloved Dunhill, of which, more later...

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

22yrsonthepipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
22yrsonthepipe (21)
★☆☆☆
Extremely Mild Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

My first "English" blend, which isnt really English at all. Since it contains Latakia, it would be more proper to call it a Balkan. When I think of "English" blends I think of strong tobacco with leathery liqorice notes like Craven or lakeland essence like Condor. I wont make that mistake again.

Tin note smells identical to Dunhill London Mixture. i.e. like taking a whiff of creosote from a lit chimney stack. Nothing resembling tobacco at all. Once cracked, the tin stinks out the whole room, like a smoky woodburner, even while closed. Thankfully the awful charred-wood smell of what I now know to be Latakia does not translate much into the smoke.

First light is like the taste one gets when vomiting a little into the mouth and swallowing it again, only stronger. Then a very slight honey like flavour before the taste of clove 'herbal' cigarettes and overwhelming perique pepper kicks in.

I was astonished to not be able to taste anything resembling tobacco at all, just cloves, pepper and hot air with no body or tobaccoeyness whatsoever. Totally not what I was expecting. Whoever it was that said it reminds him of cheap communist bloc cigarettes was right.

The first tobacco of the many tobaccos I have tried to ever ghost my briar, even the mighty Condor didn't. Borkum whiskey made it sour, but didnt really ghost it as such. Everything tastes like white pepper and cloves now. Will have to salt it.

If you want to try an "English" or Latakia blend I would recommend getting a small sample from a fellow piper before paying for a whole tin.

To each their own, but I think you all who like this type of thing are out of your minds lol :) Its like taking a half pint of lager, diluting it in a gallon of water, then adding a pound each of charcoal, cloves and pepper, and calling it beer.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful.

rockindokken Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rockindokken (2)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

My first impression of this tobacco was it was fresh and strong smelling. It has a large room presence when I first opened the container. It didn't have any off smells, and it reminded me of a grassy note.

I packed it pretty soon after taking it out of the container. It was dry enough that I didn't have to wait. It took a good few false lights and a tamp, but then it was off to the races. It stays lit very easily, has a pleasing taste that I enjoyed while cleaning the garage up. This is my second trip into an English tobacco, so I am trying to feel it out still. I catch an almost lemony flavor on my tongue. I am very pleased so far, and I'll have to update my review once I have smoked a few more bowls.

One last note, this had quite the hit of nicotine for me. I would say within 10 sips I had a bit of a head rush. Granted, it was my first bowl in a while...

Pipe Used: Country Gentleman Missouri Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: Less than 3 Months

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes.com

Similar Blends: Dunhill - Early Morning Pipe.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful.