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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
Manufactured BySamuel Gawith
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutRibbon
Packaging50 grams tin
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
PipesAndCigars.com
Iwan Ries
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 67 Users

3.3
476 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
253
3 star:
155
2 star:
57
1 star:
11
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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.

25 people found this review helpful.

panduji68 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
panduji68 (28)
★★★★
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!

22 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
★★★★
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!

22 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The smoky, woody Cyprian latakia hit is modest, as are the light, light, light spice and moderate level dry wood notes from the Turkish. I find this to be more Virginia forward than English blends tend to be. The Virginia is grassy with some citrus. Has a mild nic-hit and no harsh spots. Won’t bite. Burns at a fair pace, cool and clean with a fairly smooth, consistent flavor. Requires few relights, and leaves little moisture in the bowl. Has a pleasant, short lived after taste. An all day English smoke with a little character, though it’s really not a complex blend. This is more of a mild to medium entry level introduction to English blends.

20 people found this review helpful.

MDP Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MDP (39)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Squadron Leader has been my mainstay, medium English mixture for 15 years running. It is the hub of my English mixture tasting wheel, my measure of a medium English mixture and all variance is indexed to it. (Do you have a benchmark tobacco in certain genres or categories? It would be interesting if you shared that in your reviews)

Bright, medium long ribbons and dark Virginia broken flake make up the base, with a compliment of lively, nutty Turkish and woodsy Latakia. This does not appear to be cased, topped or scented. Perfection, also by Samuel Gawith, would be example of a topped mixture.

The predominant flavor comes from the Virginias (about 50/50 lighter to darker leaf. I do not taste American-style Cavendish). 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. Next in flavor contribution comes the Turkish leaf as a noticeable, pleasant condiment. Then there is latakia.

It has just the right amount of Latakia for a medium English mixture. It could have a bit more, but not much more without bleeding into some other style. Compare to Dunhill's EMP or Standard Mixture Mild to know why SL is not a mild English. If you do not like Turkish tobaccos or you define an English mixture as heavy with Latakia with minimal Virginias and Turkish, then 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. Those in SL are something akin to long gone Renaissance by GL Pease 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 for me with group 4 or larger chambered pipes in my experience. Compare straight sided to tapered smoking chambers with SL, and note the differences in finish.

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 mixtures in a classic presentation and form.

Age When Smoked: New and Aged

Purchased From: Various

14 people found this review helpful.

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

The first tobacco that I took to immediately. I didn't know that non-aromatics could taste like this! In my formation as a pipe smoker, there's BSL and ASL - Before Squadron leader, and After Squadron Leader. In the beginning I smoked the aromatics that came with the starter kit my wife gave me for Christmas 2013. Being me, I then hit the internet seeking tobaccos with the highest nicotine content I could find (GW Happy Brown Bogie, SG Brown No. 4, etc.). After a month or so of smoking these -- intensely flavored, high nicotine -- tobaccos, I found myself no longer enjoying pipe smoking; and for a month or so I left off with it. Then I tried the aromatics again (mainly 1-Q) and found that they had enough nicotine to subtly soothe me after a day's work. But I wanted more -- and not just nicotine. I wanted a pipe smoking experience that was of a piece with the men from pre-industrial times. I enjoy the historical aspect of pipe smoking. For me, it's a romantic connection with the past -- with simpler times. And, in my imagination at least, men of yore smoked "real" tobacco -- not "aromatic" tobacco sprayed with food-grade flavoring. Also, I wanted more nicotine! I went to the local tobacco shop and asked for something between aromatics and the high-nicotine ropes I had tried. The guy behind the counter had no clue. (Cigars seem to dominate there.) On a whim, I asked for Squadron Leader (recalling a singular reference to its substantial nicotine content). The guy helping me asked the boss if they still had "that bag of Squadron Leader in the back", leaving me with the impression that it had been consigned to an out-of-the-way place and forgotten. Disappearing to the back of the store, he returned several minutes later with a giant sack of Squadron Leader. I procured two ounces, drove straight home, fired up a bowl, and immediately fell in love. My only experience with latakia thus far was Ten Russians -- a tobacco firmly situated in the unofficial category of "lat bomb". I didn't like it; but in the proportion found in Squadron Leader, the latakia gave the tobacco a new dimension that I had not previously experienced in non-aromatics. It is difficult to describe due to my unformed palate, but it seems to lend a subtle earthy, if not slightly exotic flavor. Yet, credit must not be withheld from the Virgina and Turkish tobaccos for their role in the ensemble. Something (Turkish or Virginia, I don't know) is playing a nice sweet note. The whole thing together is a symphony of taste that is quite magical to me. After learning that Squadron Leader is considered a somewhat quintessential English blend, I have procured several English blends, all of which are quite good, if not excellent; but I think Squadron Leader is just exceptional. My only beef with Squadron Leader is that it tends to smoke hot. I thought I was just being a noob, but after going through a fresh tin, trying various packing and smoking variations, I think it's the tobacco. Yet, when packed just right and sipped slowly it smokes just fine. Oh, and the nicotine level is quite nice -- probably around a six on a scale of ten.

13 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1646)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Samuel Gawith - Squadron Leader.

Note: 9/01/18. Retyped and updated due to disagreeing with original post.

The much hyped, talked about, 'legend', Squadron Leader. Does it warrant such acclaim, or does it deserve pillorying? After many years of smoking here's my view:

The blend's on the coarser side of ribbon, and without astonishment every tin arrives with damp contents. It gives an aroma of a very mild English.

Squadron' ignites easily, providing it's not been loaded fresh. The smoke from it's synonymous to the likes of D' Hill Early Morning': well rounded without the Latakia smashing your face in. The Lat' provides a smokiness, but is of an equal weight to the Turkish, which gives a woody, slightly floral, spiciness. The Virginia lends a sweetness but is easily outweighed by the LaTur side. There isn't any trace of added flavouring, it's a good old fashioned natural smoke. The burn couldn't be any better: cool and consistent.

Nicotine: below medium. Room-note: nice.

So, does it do justice to the hype? No. I don't think it's any better than a plethora of English's. That doesn't mean I won't highly recommend it, I will, the smoke's very good, but I don't think it warrants as much hype.

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Various

13 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.

11 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
★☆☆☆
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

8 people found this review helpful.

albfneto Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
albfneto (184)
★★☆☆
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...

8 people found this review helpful.

MAGNUM207 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MAGNUM207 (2)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Samuel Gawith- Squadron Leader:

Squadron Leader is a creamy, smooth, light English with excellent flavor. The Latakia is in perfect measure and does not overpower the gently sweet Virginia, and the light Orientals. This tobacco is easily an all-day smoke in any size pipe. As mentioned earlier, this tobacco is one of the "smoothest" English Blends I have ever enjoyed. Perfect from start to finish; never boring.

Pipe Used: Boswell freehand

Age When Smoked: New tin

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

7 people found this review helpful.

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

A very pleasant and light English blend. Upon opening the tin you will get a good grassy earth aroma with floral notes and just a hint of the smokey Latakia smell and excellent ribbons of tobacco. It is light on Latakia, and certainly does not have a great deal of oriental in it as there is no punch to it, but rather than being Virginia heavy in taste it does well to be a balanced blend in which you can taste all that is in it. It has a smooth retrohale which I find kind of sweet, normal with some English and in this case complimented well by the very small hint of "Lakeland essence" it contains.

To summarise its a very unoffensive blend that offers everything an English should.

Pipe Used: Peterson Kapet, Chacom Little, homemade pipes

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke-king.co.uk

7 people found this review helpful.

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

I think I need to preface all my reviews with "I have no idea what I'm talking about -- I just know what I like." I started smoking a pipe about a year ago and have been concentrating mostly on Virginias and mostly Virginia flakes. Early on I tried a tin of Three Nuns and Dunhill Nightcap and didn't find them to my liking. But recently I thought that maybe I should gently wade back into English blends that are just a bit more challenging than what I've been smoking, but none that are too strong or have too much latakia in them. Well, if that describes you at all, I think you should try this. I feel like I've hit paydirt with this one!

The smell when you open the tin is just heavenly. Someone in some other review here said there's no tin note to speak of. Whaaaaat? I shove my nose in the tin each time I open it and just inhale for a couple of minutes before packing my pipe. Sometimes I open the tin and sniff away even when I'm not going to smoke a bowl! And the flavour, once you do smoke it, is subtle, though ... I think anyway ... fairly complex. Flavours come and go as you progress through the bowl. It's like a chorus after the single note of Virginias. I don't really have the vocabulary yet to describe those flavours but suffice it to say that there's nothing here which is overly challenging though it's certainly a lot ... earthier? ... than my main go to tobaccos like Dunhill Flake. This one is going to be a new regular smoke for me. And the name and retro tin design don't hurt either. How can you go wrong with a pipe tobacco called "Squadron Leader"?!

Pipe Used: a variety of straight billiards

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: 4noggins.com

Similar Blends: Dunhill Mixture 965.

7 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

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 Latakia to crave here. It is a very light Latakia blend with little nicotine (a recreational drug I enjoy in large daily doses!) and an extremely smooth and refined taste. I can see where it will please the "light Latakia & Nicotine" crowd. The tin art also looks great!

7 people found this review helpful.

jedibastard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jedibastard (24)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Medium Tolerable

I bought my first tin of this back in 2013. Was watching this like a hawk till it was restocked probably for the 100th time. I was still fairly new to pipe smoking, so i truely didnt know what i had till today!!!

I think i had 2-3 bowls of this at absolute most when it first came in. It really didnt do anything for me. It wasn't horrible. Just......didnt care to smoke it.

I remeber cracking the tin, and seeing light and dark golden colors with some black strings in there. Well. Is that what an "english" tobacco looked like? NO WAY!!! It should be dark, dark, dark and smell terrible!!! Right?!?! Any way. This smoke didnt wow me.

Jump forward to today.

This tobacco has been on my mind for months now. And yet i still over look it.

I almost didnt recognize this tobacco. The leafhas completely changed color!! Its now a rich, chocolate brown, with even deeper blacks in the mix. Luckly it was labeled.

Opening that jar was amazing. The aroma is the most wonderful, tangy, zesty spice i have ever smelt. But its so smooth it doesnt burn your nose. It has almost a creamy texture to it. Lighting this was great. The aroma that came off the smoke was perfect. Smooth and spicy. Just how i like it!

Did i accidently grab some Dunhill 965?!?!?!?! Nope. Its Squadon Leader!!!

The profile has changed so incredibly much in 3 years, im shocked!!!!

It resembles 965, but less spicy, and a little less body. NOT IN A BAD WAY AT ALL!!! Dont take that the wrong way. This stuff is great. Period. But the characterists mock 965 now in just the slightest suggestion. Think.........mellow.

SL stays true the entire bowl. No added strength if pushed. No crazy head spins. Just pure soft spicy with added sweetness. Man. am i glad i still have some of this. I think its time to snag some more tins and let them rest for 3 years.

I can only imagine how more age will improve this blend.

Pipe Used: OMS Billiard

Age When Smoked: 3yrs

Purchased From: P&C

6 people found this review helpful.

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

Squadron Leader is not a name of deception. SL is truly a leader. The imagery of the tin is really great symbolism of this smoke as well. Like a squadron ace, this blend is full of zip and punch from the tin aroma to the last puff. Not lacking in nicotine, SL is a type-A(viator) smoke that is worth the ride. It is, surprisingly, a smooth smoke with zingy, latakia and oriental updrafts now and then.

6 people found this review helpful.

Falcon Fan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Falcon Fan (22)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Very Mild Very Full Tolerable

This was one of the first English blends I tried. I had great expectations based on the reviews and stars awarded, and the tin art is just super. The expectation mounted as the tin was opened and the tin aroma was that typical and very earthy "english" smell that I was just beginning to recognize and like. I was getting used to Early Morning Pipe and Frog Morton Cellar and was expecting more of the same. SQL lit well and the smoke started off ok for the first puff or two but what happened next was not expected - it turned out that I thought I had ordered the Biryani but got the Vindaloo instead. The peppery spice kicked in really heavily around puff no. 3 and was such a definite sensation and so unexpected that I really thought my daughter (who was 3 at the time) had got hold of the pepper shaker and emptied it in my pipe. I didn't like the experience but got on line, found out that it was a feature of SQL and one that peole liked. I tried a few more times and gradually started to get used to it a bit. But still didn't like it that much. However, The tobacco dried rapidly and within a few months the quality of the smoke had really deteriorated, become very hot and steamy to the mouth, and so I gave up without ever fully becoming acquainted with this standard bearer for the "English" style. I will try again but will have a corn cob at the ready when i do because it really ghosted my pipe.

Pipe Used: Barber B Line B3

Age When Smoked: New to 3 months

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

6 people found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
★★★☆
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.

6 people found this review helpful.

ASmithee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ASmithee (20)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Squadron Leader (SL) is a member of my personal "holy trinity" of essential English tobacco blends, the other two being Dunhill Nightcap and Dunhill EMP. SL has so many great qualities that make it one of the premier English tobacco blends on the market today. I would recommend you buy this in the 250g packs when available. The latakia in SL as it slowly burns in your pipe smells absolutely wonderful. Just that smell alone makes me love this blend so much. The components are well balanced. The one gripe is that it comes wet and needs some drying time. But that's to be experienced with any Sam Gawith tobacco.

Pipe Used: Briars, Meerschaums, and Clay

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

5 people found this review helpful.

Robykeys82 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Robykeys82 (20)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

This was my first mixture with Latakia. As it often happens with tobaccos, the packaging was a key factor in choosing it. The image is very nice, the story behind this tobacco is fascinating, and the reviews were very positive. A mixture with Latakia, not heavy on the Nicotine compartment. My first smoke was a bit difficult, (yes, SG tobaccos are very moist) with many relights. The following smokes were better, and I started to enjoy a completely different world, compared to the Aromatics one. It's been a while since I last smoked Squadron Leader, now I'am an Aperitif-addicted, but I plan to have another bowl soon.

Pipe Used: Peterson Wicklow

Age When Smoked: Fresh Tin

Purchased From: Local Tobacconist, Italy

5 people found this review helpful.

guitar2mw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
guitar2mw (92)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

There isn't much that I can say about this tobacco that hasn't already been said in previous reviews. It is one of the most perfectly balanced English blends that are out there today, and all of the hype is most definitely warranted. I am not one to jump on a bandwagon, but when it's good, it's good. This stuff is AWESOME. No tongue bite whatsoever, even if you get a bit too crazy with the puffing. The latakia is present but definitely not overwhelming. The other tobaccos have plenty of room to make their presence known. It is a wonderful candidate for an all-day smoke. If you like English blends at all, you want this in your pipe. Buy more than one tin, because a single tin just isn't enough.

Pipe Used: LHS Purex, Sasieni

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: JR Cigars, Statesville, NC

5 people found this review helpful.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (191)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My only regret with SL is that I didn't try it before, as my taste buds took a real pounding from all the heavy Latakia mixtures. The best way, for me, to try Latakia light English tobacco is to stop smoking for a few days, a reset of sorts and then smoke slowly. The tin artwork is great, the smell in the tin is of subdued Latakia some sweetness and an exotic bouquet. It lights easy and burns to a white ash. The mixture reminds me a bit of Presbyterian Mixture but with more Latakia and stronger Virginias and Turkish. A balanced smoke, that I consider an Oriental/"Balkan" mixture.

5 people found this review helpful.

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

I'm a "long time listener, first time caller" to English blends. After much research, I thought I would start with SL as it has so many, and overwhelmingly positive, reviews. And I admit I'm a sucker for the biplane on the tin. I was a bit put off by the smell from the tin. It wasn't really bad, just unexpected. Added to the woody smell is a bit of a funk. It burned very well, maybe because of the uniformity of the ribbon cut. So I was surprised when I found something that I can only describe as a twig. Not a problem, Just wondering how it got through the system. This definitely has the woodsmoke flavor English's are known for. Easy smoking, no bite, lots of smoke, and stays lit. I'm not sure if I will become an English smoker, but there's nothing wrong with this tobacco. And I now know what an English tastes like. Based on other's reviews, it probably doesn't get much better than this, so I will return someday or maybe try Frog Morton Cellar for a twist on an English.

Pipe Used: Peterson System

Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin

5 people found this review helpful.

SteveH Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteveH (35)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

A medium-strength Latakia mixture, also containing perique. The smell is fruity and floral. The taste is unique - dry and dark, with a hint of fruit and spice, no doubt from the perique. It is well balanced, and medium-bodied. This is in my regular tobacco rotation.

Age When Smoked: New

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

5 people found this review helpful.

JustinCarcerated Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustinCarcerated (99)
★★★☆
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?.

5 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (326)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This was a very pleasant smoke. It is Virginia-forward with grassy and slightly sweet notes. There is enough latakia to taste without overpowering the other flavors. You can distinguish the orientals and that 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

5 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.

5 people found this review helpful.

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

This is my first review out here and I want to start by saying thank you to you all. This site along with your reviews have really made this pipe smoking adventure so much more enjoyable. I have been a pipe smoker off and on for 10 years but it wasn’t until this last year that I really learned to smoke a pipe and with this site and your reviews, have made this a wonderful and pleasurable journey. Discovering all these tobaccos has been a revelation.

Samuel Gawith - Squadron Leader has become a staple in my rotation. I tend to like a little bit of everything, including this wonderful medium strength English blend. I started with and worked my way through two tins of this with great pleasure. Following the tins, I also have my first bulk order in hand and have a few ounces of that pound in ash.

I found that there WAS a difference in the two versions. The tined versions were more mellow and nearly perfect moisture wise. Compared to the bulk version, I found it to be overly moist and a little rougher around the edges. Just a couple months in a Mason jars(big one) it has mellowed out. I do have to give the bulk a little “per smoke” drying time – about 10-15 minutes and its perfect. The flavor has mellowed and while it’s still spicey/peppery that has subsided considerably.

Overall, I find a very interesting duality in this tobacco. On one hand it leans toward the peppery side for an English. It also has a real creamy character that is amazing. It’s almost like a good steak in that its filling and savory. I enjoy its spice but for me, it’s not an all-day smoke. After a two or three bowls my palate is a bit overloaded and it needs a rest from the pepper bite. That said, a bowl of Squadron Leader is a daily given at this point.

Even with the pepper aspect this is a smooth enjoyable smoke. I DID have problems with bite but it was with bulk that was overly moist and I was not practicing patience and self-restraint. Given proper drying time I have zero bite issues. I can’t lay blame on the tobacco for my error.

I have various English/Scottish blends in my rotation. Dunhill 965 would arguably be my “all day” blend of preference. That said, having an Ashton Artesian, Mac Baren Vintage Syrian along with this wonderful Squadron Leader blend is making for a very enthusiastic and quite content pipe smoker. This is my go to when I need a little zing in the bowl.

Given the spice, I have to give this a 3.5 of 4. Really that’s due to my personal preference. While I love it, I can over do the spice factor. If you haven’t tried it, the ratings are justified. I highly recommend it and not only is it a daily ritual, it is one of the few tobaccos that I buy in bulk and intend to always have in stock.

Pipe Used: Various - Generally Canadians

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: tobaccopipes.com

Similar Blends: Dunhill MM965.

4 people found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (102)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Samuel Gawith’s Squadron Leader is long-established and very popular for good reason, as it has pretty much defined the “mild English” category for longer than anyone living can remember. Though a contemporary tin surprised me with a poof of Liquid Smoke condiment when I popped it open, time faded this, and underneath the initially-fake smoke are the same scents I’ve always associated with the iconic tin art, namely peat moss under the smoke, and wet hay under that, and there are savory kabob spices well below that. The tobacco is cut into thin ribbons that range from dishwater blonde to medium brown, to black. It’s moist in the tin, and IMO it benefits from some drying, if only to get rid of the Liquid Smoke scent, if that’s a factor and a problem. Stuffed loosely, SL lights with ease and burns down at a fair clip. The burn can be slowed by packing it tighter, if it’s dried first. If it’s packed tightly while tin wet, it gets fussy. As for the smoke, itself, I find SL to be easy and quite relaxing, with well-met, perfectly balanced varietals that are harmonious rather than amalgamated. There are grassy, straw-like, golden VAs that add a little sweetness, and fragrant, exotic, savory Orientals that sour as one smokes SL down. There are aromatic, woody resins but there is little pepper. The Cyprian Latakia is just smoky enough, and it also adds some bracing astringency, especially down the home stretch, and here is the “soap” of yore! What’s not to love? Strength is mild. Tastes are toward medium from mild. Turkish/Macedonian varietals factor in the room note; hardly offensive to me, but you’ve been warned. Aftertaste is a fairly brief, slightly metallic, slightly ashy trailing off of the smoke; nothing to write home about.

Again, Squadron Leader has been popular since Hector was a pup, and no wondering why; it’s about as good a true, light English as one can find. If you’ve not yet tried it, you simply must sample this Tobacco Hall of Famer. 4 Stars, of course.

Pipe Used: larger "Turkish"/"Balkan" briars preferred

Age When Smoked: fresh new tin for this review

Purchased From: Cup O' Joe's

Similar Blends: Compare/contrast to SG's Skiff Mixture or G/H Eighteen Twenty.

4 people found this review helpful.

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

This was supposed to be the quintessential English blend. It wasn't, for me. It's a great tobacco, but my personal archetype of the genre is something different.

I bought the 250-gram pack, so I can't speak to the moisture or quality of the tins, and it's possible I don't know what I'm missing in the tins. What I got, though, was perfectly smokable with a little drying time. I should note that pretty soon after I got this tobacco, I transferred it to a canister with an ingenious lid that, pushed down in the manner of a French press, removes much of the air inside. It's not a vacuum seal, but it's fairly effective. Again, I have no basis to compare this storage method to others, but I've noticed that the tobacco is staying fairly close to its original moisture. Which, again, is a little too moist for smoking. I find it dries out fairly quickly once I remove it from the canister, so no matter. Canister note is a little more subdued than it was in the original package. I get three distinct aromas from the three constituent tobaccos: smoky latakia, sweet coffee with milk from the Virginias, and pine resin from the orientals. It's not an aroma that smacks you in the face; I had to really shove my face in there and sniff hard. It's a really good smell, though. The pine and smoke scents strongly evoke camping memories for me, and this tobacco would unquestionably be my choice for that kind of trip.

Squadron Leader comes as a very fine ribbon cut, with a few twiggy bits and some long stringy bits. The twigs aren't enough to be a hassle removing, but they're there. It's all kind of a mossy consistency. With the fineness of the cut, I like packing this with the palm-roll method, with a good firm tamp prior to the first light to settle the tobacco in the bowl.

Here's why I don't count this as my standard English: the orientals are too strong. It's a steady crescendo of piney, incense-y spiciness. I wouldn't call it an oriental blend, but my archetypal "English" blend is far more balanced by latakia and Virginias. Not that both of those components are undetectable or even unpleasant in this blend; to the contrary, they are delicious. Sweet caramel and cafe au lait tones from the Virginia, smoke and incense from the latakia; but, to my palate, they play second fiddle to the sharp piney, briny orientals. I went through a phase where I chased orientals in my blends: I've yet to smoke a full-on oriental blend, but I'd concentrate on the oriental component in the various Englishes I've tried. A less oriental-heavy blend makes this a very rewarding experience- Nightcap, Frog Morton Across the Pond, even Balkan Sasieni (weird that in a balkan blend, I get less orientals than in this English). Nightcap's cedar notes, FMATP's musty hardwood, Sasieni's fragrant cumin— all are interwoven with the other tobaccos in their respective blends so that there's a structure, a narrative to the smoke; flavors progress and change and meld and vary intensities. Squadron Leader's orientals are a little too loud for me. They build and build to a sharp astringency that seems overbearing to me. I wish there was more Virginia sweetening out that piney tang. I do like the flavor of oriental, and it's been an interesting change of pace not to have to chase it like I do with other blends. But here's the thing: I enjoy that chase. It keeps the smoke from being more than a background activity, an event in itself. Squadron Leader is very predictable to me: those orientals are going to intensify and intensify. By the time the bowl's done, I'm a bit tired of smoking it. It's too one-note.

I don't know if I've been smoking long enough now to have moved out of the category of "nicotine lightweight", but I got nothing in that way out of this blend. Sometimes I want a little buzz. Not going to get it here.

I tried this in 2 different pipes: an old Capitol bruyere billiard and a custom-made Joe Case devil anse. I prefer it in the billiard, as the stubbiness of the devil anse made it smoke a little hot. This isn't a hot blend though. The orientals were also a very little more subdued in the billiard, which means that's the pipe I'll be smoking the rest of this stuff in. That old Capitol seems to dampen, in the best way, the oriental tang of any English I've smoked in it (mostly Nightcap up till now) and bring out the dark, smokey, wet-leaves-and-campfires flavor of latakia. That, personally, is how I like my Englishes: the orientals playing a secondary or even tertiary role to Virginias and latakia.

I don't regret buying this at all, even in the large quantity that I did. I will smoke the rest of it, and I won't regret it. But, it will take me some time. I just don't care for the overall flavor enough to smoke it as often as all that. I haven't tried my hand at blending, but I might get some straight Virginia to try and sweeten this up. On its own, it's a perfectly decent English. Not my definitive English, not my favorite English, but a good one nonetheless.

Pipe Used: Capitol billiard, Joe Case custom devil anse

4 people found this review helpful.

aksamolsa Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
aksamolsa (20)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

One of the finest blends of Samuel Gawith that is around all the time. It is easy and satisfying, somewhat pleases the latakia lover. Lots of moisture in the tin, needs a bit of air at first. But towards to the end, it is perfect. I would like to have this one in my stock for all times.

4 people found this review helpful.

Swiss-smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Swiss-smoker (62)
★☆☆☆
Very Mild Very Mild Very Mild Tolerable

I like the tin label, since I am a pilot myself. Too moist out of tin, even for me. Had to let it dry considerably. Smoking conditions are unsatisfying. SQL is a light, faint English Mixture. Disagree with majority of reviewers.

The body of Virginias is obvious. A little scrumptious Latakia is there, but it is under-represented. The Turkish leaf adds some spiciness, which turns quite peppery, cigaretty and acrid in the second half of the bowl. Some guarded topping there, even if they claim there isn’t. This blend is really weak. No depth, no richness, no bouquet. At this point it is a big disappointment for me. I was expecting at least a little power and personality; I thought the name implies this. SQL might not even be an advisable entry to approach English blends. In my opinion this mixture is highly overrated and the occasional fuss about it is not justified. Credit, where credit is due. Not here, I’m afraid.

By the way: You may have heard that there also exists a green labelled Squadron Leader SPECIAL EDITION of 2000 tins only. According to the producer it is the same mixture like the regular SQL, with an addition of Perique. I have made the experiment myself, adding different amounts of pure Perique into the regular SQL. The best result is an upgraded SQL to 2 stars.

Age When Smoked: New.

Purchased From: Internet, www.smokingpipes.com, USA.

4 people found this review helpful.

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

One of my favorite straight-up medium Englishes, Squadron Leader exemplifies the Virginia/Turkish/Latakia subset of the phylum. The flavor is a delicate balance of sweet, musty, spicy and smoky. The Latakia adds a subtle influence but it's purely a condiment in the mix. Squadron Leader rides the line between being Virginia-focused & Oriental-focused, and often times it flip-flops between these two flavor influences, smoking sweet, woodsy and mellow for a while, only to turn musty and spicy after several minutes of sweet clarity. I have found that a pot shaped pipe or a wide bowl Prince of Wales works wonders for rendering its many flavors, often times increasing the number of its tasteful complexities. In a wider bowl the Turkish speaks louder with a spiciness that's almost at perique volume. Squadron Leader is just plain good. It takes to flame perfectly and stays lit quite well. It's an easy repeat smoke, one that you can smoke many bowls of in a day with little to no fatigue. It's a solid anytime mixture. The end smoke flavors are superb and I have always felt that that's the sign of a good English..

4 people found this review helpful.

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

Most things said about this mixture is true.It well deserves four of anyone's stars.It is complex and satisfying. The blend itself is pure genius, but,alas, I get the dreaded bite.Am I doing something wrong..I let it dry out just a tad.I tried different pipes.I want to like it,but how do you like a dog that nips you on the ankles. Well, I have a fair stash off it and will plod on. Maybe needs more ageing. I am smoking this now, after dinner and that severe bite seems to have been somewhat tamed.I think it's all down to palate chemistry. Boy, is this good ! Less bite, just a smooth, complex smoke. Judge not that he be judged ! Thinking of going to 3 stars...........will try tomorrow.I just know this is a great baccy, it just has to prove itself..... Bite is the only issue.Squdron leader is a great name for a tobacco.Why? Well,you must watch the movie,reach for the skies,about Douglas Bader and his great heroism as a pilot in WW2. At that time ,they all smoked a pipe.It was the pinnacle of pipe appreciation ,alas,lost,in the present day. Whilst blowing up Nazi targets,they would still have a pipe in their gobs. You had wing commanders ,air chief marshals, squadron leaders.What great fun to suck on a pipe whilst exterminating the evil Nazi regime

Pipe Used: Dunhill

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Gq

4 people found this review helpful.

Telling it how it is. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Telling it how it is. (73)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Somehow it's a moot point writing yet another review to this classic blend, but here it goes.

I can smell leather already through the yet unopened iconic tin but funnily when i open the tin i hardly can smell anything at all. To this day i cannot figure out why. The smell comes once the tin is open for a day or so, then it smells just nice but still very discreet.

Packing the bowl is easy as can be but lighting the bowl always takes me ages and shedloads of matches. Another thing with this blend that i cannot figure out for the life of me.

But once lit its pure joy. It has a very nice balanced and mild taste to it with a gentle sweetness underlined by some light smokiness of the latakia. The latakia is not in the foreground and even tho a classic english blend i wouldn't label it as a latakia blend.

It is very, very mild for an english blend. This is true for the taste but especially for the strength of it. In that regard it is a perfect morning pipe and a hard to beat every day smoke. It also makes it very suitable for the beginner.

But it is far from being bland or boring, even for a balkan lover it offers perfect balance and a really nice taste and smell experience.

But its unique selling point is the sheer smoothness, and silkiness of the smoke itself. It is so incredibly creamy i started to use it to cure tongue bite other blends might have given me.

The tobacco itself is wet, wet, wet. Which is my only beef with this blend really. Here is something depressing to do: weigh the freshly opened content of the tin and then weigh the content again after it dried out enough to be nicely conditioned. That is how you spell "rip off"!

But, aside from that, this is a must-try blend for anyone and a true example of how to blend an english blend. I truely and with a clear conscience can recommend this blend.

Pipe Used: It went trough rotation.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

4 people found this review helpful.

J. Ward Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
J. Ward (37)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Squadron Leader leads with light, grassy sweeet virginias, supported by woody (and slightly buttery) orientals, and there's just a whisper of latakia that makes this an elegant morning or all day English blend. This blend is just so very well balanced with quality leaf, and, I emphasize, elegant. Squadron Leader is a permanent staple of my regular rotation, and I can find no fault with it. 4 stars.

Pipe Used: Missouri Meerschaum Country Gentleman

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Dunhill - Early Morning Pipe.

3 people found this review helpful.

Alex reid Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alex reid (1)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

First I should point out I am new to a pipe some views should be considered naive that is to say I am unable to talk abou they types of tobacco tasted.

First being a fan of WW1 if I can say that without glorifying war. That packaging is amazing who doesn’t want to see a bi plan on the tin.

Initial smell reminds me of a well peated single malt , much like a Talisker.

The initial light is easy and smooth took a single false light then a proper light . The taste reminds me still of talisker , large earthy notes with a pleasant aroma.

Smokes on a. Lorenzo spitfire

Pipe Used: Lorenzo spitfire

Age When Smoked: Newish

3 people found this review helpful.

jhand45 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jhand45 (13)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A friend gave me this tin to my place over Christmas and I was delighted to be gifted this tobacco which is reputed to be a classic, textbook English blend. Before smoking it I had heard that its strength lay in its balance and this is true. Nothing really jumps out. Its sweet, its smoky, there are orientals, but all in perfect harmony. It is also strikingly consistent to smoke throughout although I find it does start to get rather acrid towards the end of the bowl. This is not uncommon though and is certainly not something to be held against the blend. Potentially an all day English smoke. Very nice.

3 people found this review helpful.

Stefanos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stefanos (150)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Upon opening the tin I was very surprised to see a mixture of very bright appearance. I had the impression that this was a darker, more Latakia-laden than its brethren blend Skiff Mixture. Yet compared with the dark brown complexion of Skiff, Squadron Leader consists of almost equal parts of blonde, red and light brown ribbons embellished with just a few black fire cured ones (Latakia). This is what I had got out of reading the reviews for both and the impression was enhanced by the connotation of a skiff with open air and of Squadron Leader's tin art of a WWI biplane with smoky engine fumes. But it actually is not so. Skiff is much smokier than Squadron Leader whose tin note is predominantly woody with only a slight smokiness and a hint of fruitiness (citrus but also some red fruit) which seems to be from the tobacco itself and not a casing.

As for moisture, it came smokable right out of the tin but could use a few minutes of drying time. It is coarse ribbon cut, coarser and with longer ribbons than Skiff and needs a little unfurling before loading to avoid clogging the draw. It smokes cool and dry to the end with no bite and with need of only a few relights. As expected by the cut and the mostly air cured? leafs it burns a little fast.

Now to the smoking experience itself, though I am not a devoted Latakia aficionado, I initially found Squadron Leader much blander than the smokier Skiff Mixture (not that Skiff is in any way bland!). I thought it lacked the ethereal smokiness of its brethren but also lacks its pronounced Oriental tang and its saliva inducing salinity. I actually, to my surprise, given its fame and esteem, found it quite bland and innocuous. What I could taste were mostly bright hay-lie Virginias with a faint touch of Orientals enhanced by a very light smokiness. It did give me though that sense of old school, aged tobacco which is not found in most English blends. It is of mild to medium strength, in this sense it’s good for an early morning smoke but I also found its flavor intensity only mild (towards medium approaching the end of the bowl).

So, overall I was not enthralled by my first experience with Squadron Leader. On the other hand my slight disappointment might have been due to failed expectations, and so I thought I should try to appreciate Squadron Leader on its own merits and not as a fuller, darker version of Skiff mixture as I mistakenly had supposed it to be, when actually it is just the other way around.

Taken by itself however, Squadron Leader is a smooth, mild, nuanced -though not overtly complex- mixture where bright hay-like Virginias are condimented lightly by Orientals and a little Latakia. Seen under this light it would be unfair to call it bland, it’s just a mild mixture and as such it can have a place in any piper’s rotation. The tobaccos are of excellent quality and I find, as with its brethren, that it is a uniquely tasting English mixture. To conclude I believe it is a mixture every piper should try for at least once. For this and the above reasons I am going to go with the flow and give it four stars.

Do I prefer Squadron Leader to Skiff? I find Skiff more tasteful, but while Squadron Leader could become (potentially) an all-day smoke for me, I doubt the same about Skiff Mixture.

----As time goes by I appreciate Squadron Leader more and more, it may have taken me some time - and drying - but I can now say with confidence that it's one of the best tobaccos around. I know I'm carrying owls to Athens but it took me some time to realise. It's an amazingly flavourful English and unique among too many similar-tasting blends. Actually it has become one of my favourite first smokes of the day.

Similar Blends: A milder, more Virginia and less Latakia and Oriental forward mixture than Skiff Mixture..

3 people found this review helpful.

dixcreek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dixcreek (103)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Another classic must try blend if you are into the English blends. Another of my daily smokes and a top 5 selection for me. While attempts to replicate this blend have been made it stands alone on its own merit. Sweet grassy Va. with subtle smoky orientals is the Leaders allure for me. Another blend which I have a well stocked supply of and don't plan to run short of. If you don't give this a try you are missing out on a truly exceptional smoke. Gawith tobaccos are among my favorites. Hard to beat tradition!

Pipe Used: Various briars and cobs

Age When Smoked: New and aged

Purchased From: Pipes and cigars and smoking pipes

3 people found this review helpful.

Brokenflake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brokenflake (3)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Received this as gift and it is dated nearly 3 years of age. This is an entry level English that many seem to enjoy, not me. The tobaccos didn't seem to want to provide any type of showcase as they just had a muted taste and I could have napped if it had not been for the way it burned. That is the majority of my issue with it. It took way to many lights to get going then once it was up it fell off again and I thought I was going to need to run to the store for more fluid. I sip my pipes and prefer a slow low temperate burn rate. Can't do that with this batch of SL. The gentleman I got this from had issues with it himself so maybe there is more to it but I have no plans to purchase a tin to find out.

Pipe Used: Malaga

Age When Smoked: ~3 years

Purchased From: gift

3 people found this review helpful.

Leaf Packer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Leaf Packer (30)
★★★★
Very Mild None Detected Mild Very Pleasant

I order two tins, smoke as soon as received , I thought I just wasted my money. I mixed the first tin with anything just to get rid of it. 3 mos. later I tried the second tin, what a surprise it turn out to be one the must balanced blends I have smoked, and I smoke a LOT of English.

Squadron Leader is soft smooth and satisfying smoke, anytime of the day or all day if you choose . None of the tobaccos stand out as dominate taste, you enjoy each with every draw, in my opinion it is just hard to beat.

Pipe Used: Sasieni dublin, Savinelli 320ks bowl

Age When Smoked: when recieved

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

Similar Blends: Sasieni.

3 people found this review helpful.

gladi8tor96 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gladi8tor96 (133)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Great description from the tin...I think it fits perfectly. A medium english blend that is refined and flavorful, but not over powering. I get the combination of virginia and latakia (sweet & smokey) mixed with a bit of nuttiness. It is just slightly sweet, but leans more on the salty/savory side. Great balance and nice creamy smoke throughout the bowl. No tongue bite and just an overall great english blend. Quite impressed. Reminds me of one of my favorite blends P.S. English Luxury.

2016 Update Smoked a portion of the remaining tin. Wow! This is really a great English blend. I can see why so many pipe smokers consider this a classic. It doesn't retain much moisture if left in the tin though...so make sure to put the tobacco in a jar after cracking the tin. Great stuff!

Pipe Used: Bent Billard, Dublin, Egg, Acorn, Corn Cob

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

Purchased From: Morgan Hill Cigar and Wine

Similar Blends: Peter Stokkebye - Proper English (No.52), Peter Stokkebye - English Luxury (No.17).

3 people found this review helpful.

Italo Svevo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Italo Svevo (19)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

UPDATE 22.03.2018: I attacked my second tin of Squadron Leader. The tin note was a little disappointing compared to my first experience, but still very nice. All in all it is still the same, very good English Mixture, although this time I sense the Orientals' spiciness more than the Virginia sweetness, which is more on the background. Sam Gawith products are hand crafted so I suppose some quality variations are normal. Or maybe it's the age of the tin? ==

== This was the first EM I bought in a long time. I fact, the first pipe tobacco after I resumed pipe smoking. I was looking for something not too heavy on Latakia and on strength, and the tobacconist recommended this to me. I must say, I was not disappointed at all. In fact, I loved it from the start.

At the opening of the tin, I was greeted by such a wonderful, intense, mostly sweet with some sour and a little smoky smell, I was almost moved. If you had none of this, there was some problem with your tin guys - it made me feel like eating it. And the smoke was just divine, quite corresponding to the scent, very relaxing, inebriating I would say. Of course, the tobacco was very moist, like everybody says, but hey, they must have a good reason why the make it like this...

So I can recommend this to everyone, as I don't see why a pipe smoker should not at least like it. My only advice: if you haven't consumed it within a few weeks or even days (which is probably the best thing to do) store it well, because it tends to lose this wonderful sweet aroma after a while. Now, after a couple of months, the sour and smoky notes have become more intense, and the sweetness is less. Some may like this, for me it has gone down... from extraordinary to very good. I'll definitely keep it in rotation in any case. Ciao

PS try it with some sweet/spicy chai tea!

Pipe Used: Brebbia, Savinelli

Age When Smoked: New, 1m, 2m...

Purchased From: Tabaccheria Vannicelli, Rome / Cigar World, Germany

3 people found this review helpful.

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

I purchased tins of this much venerated tobacco from smokingpipes.com. Building up stocks of quality English blends for the summer evenings. As much hype as this received it's about time I included it into these special and most favorite times of the year. I couldn't wait to try it so I cracked just one. Tin note as stated in previous review is not overwhelming. But pleasant for sure! Packs nicely and I didn't even have to dry it out. I did however give it a little rubbing to fit nicer into the small bowled Peterson Calabash. No stem and stock in the tobacco. Pure nicely cut leaf. Takes a light easily and delivers a big satisfying smoke. I found it amusing. A heavy manly smoke from a dainty feminine pipe. It builds off the Latakia nicely. Sometimes cool and creamy. Perhaps at times a slight cocoa or nut like flavor. Then a brief zing of the orientals. All in all a fun, complex blend which I found was exactly what I hoped it would be. Can't wait to run this in bigger pipes out by the fire.

Pipe Used: Peterson Calabash

Age When Smoked: >1 year

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

3 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

3 people found this review helpful.

SmokeDawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeDawg (82)
★★★★
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.

3 people found this review helpful.

bob323 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bob323 (46)
★★☆☆
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

3 people found this review helpful.

Wibblefishofdoom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wibblefishofdoom (139)
★★★★
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.

3 people found this review helpful.

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.

3 people found this review helpful.

Ocelot79 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ocelot79 (13)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Great quality and a skilfully blended 'English' mixture. The skill comes in letting every component do its job but no more. If I could change it, I'd wind down the orientals just a touch, because I'm very sensitive to the dry taste they can impart to a mix, but this one is still just within the bounds and works well. What a great introduction to 'English' mixtures for those who have not tried them; here's where you start!

Pipe Used: Large meerschaums and oil-cured briars

Age When Smoked: Unknown, but not that old.

Purchased From: Tobaccoblends Australia

2 people found this review helpful.

Theologia14 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Theologia14 (17)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is really as essential English as you can get. All the flavors are well balanced with maybe an ever so slight nod to the latakia in the mixture. It is incredibly wet straight from the tin, so its best to let it air out a bit before lighting. Even then I have a bit of trouble keeping it lit. For me it demands a bit more attention than I would like to give a middle of the road English blend. Good flavor, but a bit moody for me.

I like the blend but it is so difficult to find in any great quantity that I have all but given up keeping this stuff around. With so many great English blends out there, it shouldn't be too big of a loss. I would say that everyone should at least give this iconic blend a go, but it might not "wow" like some other English Blends on the market.

Pipe Used: Cob and Handmade Billiard

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

2 people found this review helpful.

kppeterson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kppeterson (19)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Why did it take me so long to try this? If you are looking for a Lat bomb to sock you right in your kisser please look elsewhere and leave this those that love perfectly balance mild/medium English blends. With the demise of the Murry's made Dunhill's it gets no more classic than this. I picked up some bulk SQ last summer and have been savoring it here and there while trying to finish tins of lesser blends. It's torture, knowing it's sitting there in the cellar and trying to resist. Everything that needs to be said about this blend has been said but I will reiterate; slightly sweet, a touch of spice, creamy and just smoky enough. The Virginias in this blend are excellent, as is everything else, and all the components sing in perfect harmony. What really sets this apart from lesser blends is that is gets better, not harsher, as you smoke down the bowl and it has a wonderful aftertaste. Love the smell leaves in my mustache (the Mrs. wouldn't agree). A perfect companion to morning coffee. Surprisingly I'm not enjoying Skiff Mixture nearly as much but will revisit. I have a limited edtion 2008 tin of this with perique in my cellar that I've not gotten around yet but will be moving it up in priority. This has quickly become one of my favorite English blends of all time joining Pease's Westminster, Esotericas Penzance, McClellands Yenidje Highlander and a few others. Highly Recommended to lovers of balanced mild/medium English blends.

Pipe Used: Norther Briar, Ashton, Vacher

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

Similar Blends: Murry's Dunhill's, Pease Westminster & Ashbury, Red Rapparee.

2 people found this review helpful.

dbl-bbl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dbl-bbl (37)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Wow! I was quite surprised when I fired up this baccy. I wasn't expecting the lightly sweet & tangy flavor mingled well with the smoky overtone of Latakia ... yet it was quite welcomed! Latakia tends to dry out my mouth & throat so I partake in moderation ... therefore it's not an all day smoke for me. Many before me have foretold of the wonderful flavor & aroma of this blend ... so I'll leave those fancy descriptions to suffice. If you're an Aro guy thinking about a venture into the world of natural tobacco flavors ... I'd recommend that you give this one a whirl. Good stuff ... loses some of the sweetness & becomes rather tart toward the bottom of the bowl ... me thinks this is because of the particular Orientals used in this blend ... as I haven't experienced this from other non-Oriental blends. This one marries well with a little BCA (if desired) to smooth out the tart edges. A few months of "cellar time" in a jar does wonders too.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

2 people found this review helpful.

Rob73 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rob73 (77)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Squadron Leader is one of the most famous and highly rated pipe tobaccos. The secret? The balance. Such a perfect balance of every component that leads me to call it harmony. 4,5/5 in my personal rating system.

Purchased From: Hobby Fumo, Milano (Italy)

2 people found this review helpful.

Daniel W. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Daniel W. (23)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

At the beginning I didn't like it very much. I thought it was to low flavours. But after some smokes I start liking it. I think because I was more into aromatics. Now I appreciate this blend. It is medium body, woody and grassy flavour, acidity is very present. Without filter it bites a little. With filter very few bitterness. Room note is kind of burned dry leaves. It is an everyday blend.

Pipe Used: Peterson POY 2016 w/filter

Age When Smoked: 0

Purchased From: Tabacosbr

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Very good medium balanced English, better to buy in bulk because it is ready to light right out of the bag. The tin version is super wet and is unsmokable. Has a great light to medium English flavor, highly recommended!

Pipe Used: Yes

2 people found this review helpful.

pendletonkm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pendletonkm (2)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Squadron Leader..... Not a technical review, but more of my thoughts regarding this legend.

I think most would agree SL is one of the baseline English mixtures to rate all others off of. SL in plain words is just a great anytime of the day/all day English that is consistent every single bowl. There is no part of this blend that overpowers any one ingredient; and as you smoke SL you get this nostalgic feeling that it has been around and satisfied many a pipe smoker. I highly recommend this blend with your morning cup of joe, but it fits nicely anytime of the day. It is not a heavy blend, but not a light weight either; and that is what makes SL special, it is a solid go to smoke that never disappoints. Negative reviews on SL are mostly from people that judge SL for what it is not or was not meant to be, but if you are looking for a anytime of the day classic English this is it. I give Squadron Leader 4 stars based on its consistent blending, availability, and all day smoking properties.

Pipe Used: Cob, Briar and Clay

Age When Smoked: 0-1 year

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

2 people found this review helpful.

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

There isn't much to add to a tobacco with so many reviews. It's an medium english mixture, with not so much latakia and good quality Virginias. It smokes cool, a little challenging to lit. The VA keeps the the smoke sweet. It's not as complex as other EM, like the 965, and it's very enjoyable. Definitely recommended for anyone that wants to try an EM and a good all-day smoke. I've actually been smoking SL only in the last week or so and I like it more and more.

Room note are tolerable, non-smokers won't like it (my wife certainly doesn't ;) )

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: Various

Purchased From: New Boston, Milan, Italy

2 people found this review helpful.

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

It's a good, pleasant English blend. The latakia is there but it doesn't dominate the rest. I'ts not that strong, rather smooth.

If you want something similar in lower price, try Mostex - Stanislaw London Mixture.

Pipe Used: Missouri Corn Cob

Similar Blends: Mostex - Stanislaw London Mixture.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Another highly reviewed blend that I disagree with majority. Had to majorly let each fill dry out for awhile. Even then it was difficult to keep lit and caused alot of dawdle at the end becoming very slurpy. Being a fan of heavier blends, I found this one way to light for a latakia blend. Mild in nicotine and taste. What was the worst, and maybe I just got a bad lot, is I spent alot of time picking out stems before packing. I don't want to take the risk of buying another tin to see if better because I don't like it at all. If you are like me, and like strong latakia blends, save yourself some money and time and skip this one.

Pipe Used: Ben Wades

2 people found this review helpful.

Granny Smith Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Granny Smith (25)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Very Pleasant

Reminds me a lot of Punchbowle - it's got a smiliar taste but is not quite as strong. If anything it is a little smoother and maybe, just maybe a better smoke. Depends what mood your in I suppose. One thing I like about this blend and not strictly about the tobacco but I collect tobacco tins and I love the tin artwork on this one - spiffing, old bean. Overall this is a great smoke that will remain in my rotation as I am quite fond of English/Balken style blends and this one is among the top ones I've tasted. It provides creamy smoke flavours - dry, earthy with that peppery tang that all Balkens possess. Top knotch I'd say.

Pipe Used: Mr Brog and Peterson standard System

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: Black swanne

Similar Blends: Punchbowle, balken blends.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Squadron Leader is, to me, the definition of an every day, always pleasing English blend. The flavoring is slightly sweet, slight sour, and even has a caramel taste to me if I smoke it slow enough. If you get it in a tin it has to be dried out a bit I've found, but I never buy it in tin anymore - I buy it in bulk/loose straight from P&C, which is a better cut in my opinion. The leaf is stringy, and keeps a light better.

Regarding packing and lighting, this baby will stay lit all day as long as your false light is good enough - I've found the tobacco will quickly go out if I don't char the tobacco rim sufficiently, but I don't think that's really the fault of the blend, but more of my impatience sometimes.

I've never been a huge English fan - I always stray towards Virginias... but Squadron Leader is my gateway drug, and I always have at least a half pound on hand in case I don't know what to smoke - it has never let me down, and it's not too strong or too light to make me wonder if I'm not in the mood for it. It's just right. It's also very well priced, so you can get a half pound for $20 shipped.

I cannot talk to the old Squadron Leader tins I see sometimes at shows or on eBay, but if it ages well I can only imagine that it's vibrant as I think. Highly recommended if you've never tried it... but seeing as it's one of the best selling bulk blends, I doubt many of us are left that haven't!

Pipe Used: Sandblasted Larsen Poker

Age When Smoked: 2013

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

2 people found this review helpful.

Plihopliheri Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Plihopliheri (12)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my go-to tobacco any time of day. Years ago, I smoked flavored blends, but for the last ten years, I've stayed with English blends exclusively, and since I found this (last not least through the reviews here) about 4 years ago, this has been my favorite amongst the milder blends. Smooth, with a noticeable amount of Latakia, and a pleasant overall blend of flavors. It lights and stays lit easily, starts fairly mild and midway through, the strength and taste intensify just a bit. Fresh out of the tin is fine, but it seems to be even tastier when aired for a couple of weeks to just about a year. Btw, if you don't know this tobacco and want to learn about the reviewer's other preferences, my favorite among the heavier blends is Artisan's Blend, and I also always stock Dunhill's 965 and EMP.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Punto Oro 6mm, BC Marly no filter

Age When Smoked: New to 1 yr.

2 people found this review helpful.

Chris66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Chris66 (10)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Unnoticeable

I predominantly enjoy English blends, Love Artisans Blend, hooked on Royal Yacht. I smoke this when I fancy a lighter smoke, the lat seems to be very mild and It has just a touch of spice. It definately needs to be allowed to dry for a bit, 15-20 mins at least, before packing. I think it could do with a bit more lat in it, or slightly less spice, as it sometimes tastes a little bit peppery to me. It burns well and is a pleasant enough smoke, but just needs that little someting adding ! Worth a try though, and a good starter if you want to try English blends.

Pipe Used: Savinelli free hand, clay, Falcon.

Age When Smoked: 1 Week

Purchased From: SmokeKing.com

2 people found this review helpful.

Lit a Kia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lit a Kia (69)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

An iconic brand and possibly the coolest-looking tin out there. Unlike Gawith's FVF, I was intrigued by this blend's appearance and tin note. A nice black and tan ribbon cut, and an enjoyable sweet-and-spicy, leathery aroma. This can use a little drying time, although it's not as fussy as, for example, McClelland's English blends.

The smoke itself was uninspiring, both on its own and compared to other English blends I've enjoyed. It's not bad...but I won't go out of my way to replenish this one. I'm probably not making any friends panning another product of such an iconic purveyor (maybe it's a Yank thing?), but it seems to me that other blenders are running circles around the folks from Kendal.

There are other Gawith tobaccos that I'm still planning to try. I'll also let this one age a bit and give it another go.

2 people found this review helpful.

balkan_boy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
balkan_boy (49)
★★★☆
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.

2 people found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (264)
★★★★
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.

2 people found this review helpful.

luvinthepipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
luvinthepipe (28)
★☆☆☆
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 oriental 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 5100 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. 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 think this blend shows I prefer Virginia forward blends while this one is strong on the Orientals. Won't buy this again.

2 people found this review helpful.

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.

2 people found this review helpful.

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.

2 people found this review helpful.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (127)
★★★★
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.

2 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!!!

2 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.

2 people found this review helpful.

ing.poparadu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ing.poparadu (14)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Wonderful tobacco.

Pretty soft, with a great aftertaste.

This has made me a fan of Samuel Gawith tobaccos, as I believe that if they produce such high quality products as Squadron Leader, all of them need to be tried out :) .

Pipe Used: DK 84

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

Pip Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pip (55)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Nice well rounded standard english blend. Smooth and pleasant. What a english should be and is. Perfect medium strength. No bite, good moisture and lights right up.

Age When Smoked: 10 yrs

1 person found this review helpful.

Calamiti Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Calamiti (66)
★☆☆☆
Very Mild None Detected Very Mild Unnoticeable

Squadron Leader is one of the best known examples of the Balkan style: very mild in nicotine, sprinkled with just a bit of Latakia and heavy in Orientals. Within that category, Squadron Leader, in my opinion, is quite a mediocre blend. Far from exuberant exotic symphony of Durbar, noble spicy tones of London Mixture or soothing mellowness of Early Morning Pipe, the only remarkable thing about Squadron Leader is it's overwhelming sourness. Sour, sour and sour.

I guess, it's not as much of a failure than of a feature. Many people love sour dry wines and sour black coffee while others don't. It's all about inner chemistry and Samuel Gawith tries to cater to everyone (for those who don't like sourness SG offers an array of less acidic choices, like ropes and dark fired tobaccos). Even given that, there are far better alternatives to Squadron Leader in the world of Balkan blends that usually combine trademark Oriental sourness with some flavour, complexity and a bit of strength - all of which Squadron Leader lacks sorely.

Samuel Gawith is prominent in making pressed Virginias, while not so much in making Orientals. Probably they just use inferior Oriental leaves, as their another Oriental-rich blend (Sam's Flake) is another miss - exactly because of poor acrid Orientals, even despite a good Virginia base. So, in rare cases when I want a Balkan, I better go for a Dunhill.

1 person found this review helpful.

RoundTwo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RoundTwo (38)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Very Mild Tolerable

High quality, smoothest blend I have ever tried, no tongue bite, I would recommend this to anyone, perfect for people who don't want too much spice, smoky or sweet, the name is truly accurate, the only thing missing is the smell of fresh cold air and diesel oil floating through the cockpit of your biplane.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Iwan Ries

1 person found this review helpful.

gahdzila Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gahdzila (60)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Not much to say other than what's already been said a bazillion times.

Ribbon cut, dark brown, a little on the moist side but can be smoked straight from the tin.

SL is a medium-ish latakia blend. The Virginias are nice and sweet. Are there orientals? Maybe a whisper, they don't jump out at me. Latakia component is well balanced, always there, a little smoky and woody, but never overwhelming.

I like it for what it is, though it's not the kind of thing I smoke very often.

1 person found this review helpful.

glondus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
glondus (4)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

it is an flavorfull english blend that does not kick you with nicotine.i smoked it right out of the tin and even then it was a cool and dry smoke. i highly recommend it if you like latakia taste but cannot tolarate nicotine.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pops Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pops Pipe (17)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I enjoyed SL, reminds me very much of Presbyterian Mixture but not as sharp. This is slightly nutty, slightly sweet, and a bit spicy but not too much. Its not a latakia bomb but it does have a creamy slight smokey quality. Its more of an all day english and a good one at that ! Id rather have Presbyterian but this is a good alternative.

1 person found this review helpful.

Talltree Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Talltree (24)
★★☆☆
Very Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant

I read a lot of the reviews and decided to give Squadron Leader a try. Smoked it right out of the tin. It is a little moist, requiring 5 or 6 lights. I dried it out and it tasted better, and stayed lit. Now, after leaving the can open for a while it is sufficiently dry.

I have been going back and forth on this one. My first impression after drying it out was bland. Then, for a brief time, it was quite enjoyable. Then it went back to being so-so. An inconsistent tobacco. I just can't build up any enthusiasm for Squadron Leader. I find it fairly bland, now and then tasty, but more often without distinguishing characteristics. sing character. So... 2-1/2 stars.

Pipe Used: unvarnished corn cob

Age When Smoked: right out of the tin

Purchased From: pipes and cigars

Similar Blends: a little English, a little Balkan, and even milder than Early Morning Pipe.

1 person found this review helpful.

Bhink Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bhink (1)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I'm not a technical reviewer, but i can say this...i have smoked this blend off and on for years. I've enjoyed it thoroughly. Enough nicotine to satisfy and enough flavor to crave more. That being said...i jarred this blend for 14 months and smoked some today...game changer! If you like this blend a few weeks after opening the tin...youll LOVE it a year later.

Pipe Used: Ashton XXX

Age When Smoked: 14 months

Purchased From: Iwan Ries

1 person found this review helpful.

CarlosGardel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CarlosGardel (15)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

Having been an airplane pilot myself in my forties I was drawn to to this blend by its name and its artwork. Because of its great reviews I bought my one tin with great expectations. Alas, I simply could not get myself to like it.

Opening the tin, the tobacco was moist, way too moist. Drying it and letting it age made it easier to smoke, but did not change its taste, which is is mild and flat in a way I personally fail to appreciate. I just can't see any reason to buy it again. It may though be interesting to those who do not obsess with latakia and smoke very often.

Pipe Used: Ser Jacopo, Volpe, Radice

Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin to few months old.

Purchased From: Local tobacconist

1 person found this review helpful.

cigarcohiba Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cigarcohiba (30)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

A very fine English blend. It gives off the latakia/oriental characteristics in a mild/mellow way. Other English blends as good are the Presbytarian by Planta, and Night Cap by Dunhill. However, Night Cap gives off a "rubbery", somehow stronger taste than the Squadron Leader.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

This is a nice wake-up call for first thing in the morning. It is not a double espresso by anybody's count, just something gentle to get you going.

I will not consider this an all time favorite, but I will probably never not have any.

Pipe Used: Several.

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Local b & m

1 person found this review helpful.

ATW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ATW (45)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I originally purchased a 1 oz sample about two years ago. It came on the dry side. First bowl I didn't like it. Had a good English overall flavor but I got this really bad metallic aftertaste. I did smoke a couple of more bowls before I put the pipe down for the summer. I'm not a fan of smoking pipes in high humid heat. I rehydrated it when winter came back and loaded a bowl but I still had the same effect. About in early March my wife and I went to Nashville and stopped by uptown's and I found a tin that had possibly been there for a while considering the dis coloring on the label from cigar smoke. Cracked the tin and this still smelled rich leathery and buttery. Loaded a bowl and it was great! Great traditional English flavor. Slightly smoky and slightly sweet but mostly leathery and buttery all the way down. Every bowl has been the same. I guess the bulk version just plain out sucks. Will be getting more hopefully soon!

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I used to smoke this as my main tobacco. Having started on not very good 'supermarket tobaccos' the pipe equivalent of Castella Classics, then somehow skipping St Bruno to jump to Erinmore Balkan Flake I read a review of this one and discovered MySmokingShop, decent pipes (My favourites are my Peterson red straight (small) billiard and a Captain Blacks cheap similar pipe although I have roughly 20 briars. Tried clay and meerschaum, and for some reason I love Missouri Meerschaum cobs - they're unpretentious and highly serviceable. Right. Nowadays I prefer a Virginia flake, but: If you like a balkan type mixture you will love this. That is all. I'd go back to it any time for a change. Good stuff.

Pipe Used: Many.

Age When Smoked: New to a few months in the tin.

Purchased From: MySmokingShop

Similar Blends: Well not really but a bit like some balkans..

1 person found this review helpful.

Tank Man Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tank Man (10)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I bought this bulk. Little dry. Will buy tin next time. Nice English blend. Great every day smoker. Mild. Not harsh. Burns nicely. Few relights. Can puff on this with steady cadence without getting hot. Some woody, floral notes. Great easy relaxing smoke. A must try for pipe smokers. Does not disappoint. Never tries to be anything but a mild easy going blend. Will buy often.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: New to Aged

Purchased From: Teds Tobacco Omaha. Great Store!

1 person found this review helpful.

Leeboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Leeboy (20)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Lovely stuff when dried properly. When I got it it was unsmokeable due to it being soaking wet. Sam Gawith sort the moisture out please. Once dry its a great sweet, mild and smooth all day smoke. Great in the morning with a cup of coffee. I would have given it 4 stars but the moisture is a pain. However it hasn't put me off getting more in the future.

Pipe Used: Mr Brog

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: smoke king

Similar Blends: Peterson - Old Dublin.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

It is difficult to find something sufficiently witty or intelligent to add to the volume of preceding reviews... This is a good all around English blend.

Pipe Used: Invicta Briar

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Local Tobacconist

1 person found this review helpful.

pecheur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pecheur (19)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

As there are loads of reviews,

A nice light English that needs a good few hours dry time as it smokes best just as the tobacco starts to rustle. The sweetness of the virginia base plays nicely with the latakia, no very complex but a lovely smoke.

I find this blend better in slightly smaller pipes, 20mm, as it lets the virginias shine and the latakia to dance in an out of the smoke. Wide pipes seem to flatten the virginias and the really reduce the body of the smoke and the overall taste. YMMV

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: mysmokingshop.com

1 person found this review helpful.

Tamper Dan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tamper Dan (9)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I aged a mason jar of this for a year and a half, which is a record for me. I thought about it every other day or so and even took the jar out to look at it a handful of times. I don't know why. It looked like a jar each time. When opened, it was just as moist as the day I bought it. I'm going to say that this is the best english I've smoked. I've had a handful of double or triple pipe nights with this one, where I just smoke one bowl after another. I'm able to pack this tobacco rather tightly, leaving me with almost no relights or tamping.

Pipe Used: Savinelli, Viking, Cob, Kaywoodie

Age When Smoked: 1 1/2 years

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes.com

1 person found this review helpful.

Tplumm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tplumm (39)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

A great introduction to medium strength English tobaccos. I probably didn't do myself any favors by trying this right in the middle of 8-10 other heavyweight English blends. It's good, great really, but nothing (to me) makes it stand out above the others. Rather a proper English in all aspects, expertly blended and perfect moisture right out of the tin.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

What can i say that has not already been said many times about this mixture. One of the best medium English mixtures available today. A lovely smoke any time any place. Peace

Pipe Used: Bringham billiard

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: Trade

Similar Blends: Most medium English mixtures. Just much better..

1 person found this review helpful.

raybrown55 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
raybrown55 (27)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Squadron Leader is the English Mixture I smoke most of the time, both in tin and in bulk version (I find no difference). I like it so much because of the extraordinary balance between Virginia, Orientals and Latakia, which merge themselves in a unique and wonderful taste. Highly recommended!

Purchased From: Noli Tabacchi, Milano

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I have usually been drawn to the straight virginias being a cig smoker but was given a tin of this for Xmas from the missus. Upon opening I thought "oh dear I better put a smile on as this really isn't for me". How wrong I was. My Peterson won't leave it alone! Cool burning and good nic hit. I'm converted! Just occurred that there are sandalwood and ideas of Old Spice aftershave going on here. As the contents age they just get better. Really smooth. Think of a quality leather gentleman's shoe made by Churchills I'm thinking....

Pipe Used: Peterson 303

Age When Smoked: New. But dry a pipeful on the lid for 20mins

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipesmoking101 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipesmoking101 (62)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Medium Tolerable

This tobacco seems to be like a lot of the tobacco I've been trying recently, it underwhelmed me. I don't know if I'm just proving very difficult to please, or if I've just been spoiling myself with some good aged tobacco, but this didn't set my world alight. This product is regarded as a classic, but for me, it was a very run-of-the-mill tobacco. A mild English, it uses top-notch tobaccos, no doubt about it, but the blend just didn't work exceptionally well (as I expected it to). I think for me there just wasn't enough Latakia for me, which is the element of Englishes that really make them work for me. The Orientals come into play with a power that I think detracts from my overall enjoyment of the blend. The tin note has the slightly sweet essence of the Virginia running a battle with the sourness of the Oriental scents, the Latakia is very much on the back-burner. It's not that I didn't enjoy it, I did - but only once I figured out what it was meant to be, as opposed to what I was initially expecting. On the basis that I enjoyed it, I will probably get some more in, and with the quantity of Virginas in it, this blend may age into something more wonderful. It burns easily, and on the basis that it is quite nice, once it's been figured out, I think I will give it 3 stars. The room note is an English/Balkan type aroma, nice to English blend smokers, but not so great for those who don't.

Pipe Used: Peterson Donegal Rocky 68

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: GQ Tobaccos

Similar Blends: Erinmore Balkan Mixture, Dunhill MM 965..

1 person found this review helpful.

Kunsan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kunsan (76)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Comes very wet in the tin and it is best to open the tin to break the vacuum, replace the lid then let it breathe for a few days.

Surprisingly light colored combination of tobaccos for an English blend. Smokes easily, packs easily. Has a distinct sour taste which some smokers will love and others will hate. An interesting smoke, light tastes, and with that salty sour note.

To my taste this is a light English with an extra kick of sour orientals. I don't think it would be my choice if I was a Squadron Leader - I'd want something a bit deeper in taste and with more creamy clouds of smoke. Nonetheless, there is 'something about this one' that's attractive and moreish and keeps me coming back for more.

1 person found this review helpful.

WillBrown Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillBrown (108)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Like many have said before me, this is a baseline English blend. If you like English blends, you're bound to like Squadron Leader—and, I do. However, because this blend is what it is, a baseline, it sits about in the middle when compared to the multitude of other English blends out there. When I'm in the mood for consistency, I reach for this; when I'm in the mood for more excitement I definitely reach for other English blends like Beck's Ol Limey, Chipman Hill or even Balkan Supreme. I try to always keep SL in stock, for it reminds me of what an English blend used to be, back in simpler times. A classic blend, but not as good or fun as other blends out there right now.

Pipe Used: Many different ones

Age When Smoked: ?

Purchased From: The Original Tinder Box, LA, CA

1 person found this review helpful.

doc pipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc pipes (21)
★★★☆
Very Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Being the 400th review of this tobacco, I do not know what I can say that hasn't been said by someone here already. I hadn't smoked this medium English for the past 3 or so years. I bought this tin fresh while out of town as the "tobacconist" (head shop) I visited had nothing but bad aros. While I don't remember being impressed with this previously, this last tin has been wonderful. There was more than just latakia and a background drone of VA this time around. The VAs were sweet and the Turkish gave a nice musty taste and spice cabinet aroma. No nicotine noticeable, and I could push this incredibly without any suggestion of bite.

Pipe Used: hardwood brandy shape

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: random head shop

1 person found this review helpful.

bradpaton3 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bradpaton3 (2)
★★★★
Mild Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

When I first tried this I wasn't impressed. Couldn't see why all the great reviews. Was hot and didn't taste right at all. Left it for a week, dried it out somewhat then gave it another go. Now I get it it! This stuff is sensational. Little if any bite. Stays lit and the flavor is delicious. Give it try and you won't regret it. I'll be ordering more. 4 stars for sure!!!

Pipe Used: Mr Brog Maestro.

Age When Smoked: 1 week.

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes.com

1 person found this review helpful.

Patryk Georgevitch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Patryk Georgevitch (11)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I totally agree with Smoketses review. Fell in love with SL, being a Latakia lover, the only difference with NightCap is the absence of Perique content. Although the Perique spiciness is most appealing to my palate, a milder form of english Latakia for those cooler lighter moments of the day is definitely SG Squadron Leader. A must have in your cellar

Pipe Used: Stanwell

Similar Blends: Nightcap (without the Perique "piquant" and milder) & Early Morning Pipe (SL being a bit earthier in taste).

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Since i'm quite new to pipe smoking (about 3 months), i can't say i have tried a lot of different verities, but this is by far the best tobacco that i have ever tasted. To most of my friends the room note is a bit intolerable, but what can you do if you fell in love with latakia on a first glance... The smoke is quite easy, cool and dry, and a bit similar to Dunhill "Nightcap" without the spiceness of perique as i gathered. It smokes really nicely to the end of the bowl, leaving nice light brown ash. Highly recomanded to all english mixture lovers.

Pipe Used: spitfire by Lorenzo (briar)

1 person found this review helpful.

gam86 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gam86 (49)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Mild Tolerable to Strong

It's very good tobacco, as per the Gawith you've to open the tin and let the tobacco breath a little in order to smoke it. In my opinion is very strong tobacco and not for beginer.

1 person found this review helpful.

russ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
russ (27)
★★★★
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

1 person found this review helpful.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (136)
★★★☆
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

1 person found this review helpful.

McKNooB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
McKNooB (35)
★★☆☆
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

22yrsonthepipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
22yrsonthepipe (22)
★☆☆☆
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (492)
★★★★
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

BTGreenwald Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BTGreenwald (13)
★★★★
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

1 person found this review helpful.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (129)
★★★★
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

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.

1 person found this review helpful.

TEO Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TEO (31)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild to 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.

Back to the pipe with this - Aging didn't really change anything about, except I sense a little similarity to Rattrays Black Mallory..and as with Black Mallory I always have the feellings I am not really satisfied with the body of Squadron Leader. It is too faint, at least for me. But It grows in sweetness as I use smaller pipes to smoke it. Strange. Overall 2 stars, no more then two, because: 1-SG con do a lot better, in body and taste, 2-I simply prefer more "heavy" tobaccos or, maybe simply I'm not witty enough to see the "grandeur" here, as in others SG tobaccos.

I tried and found out a little kick from a 20% Oriental McConnell, get the job done with SL lack in "personality"

1 person found this review helpful.

Bigdadz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bigdadz (35)
★★★★
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

Blue Bayou Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blue Bayou (60)
★☆☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable

Reminds me of shag cut cigarette tobacco, both in looks and taste. I found it rather flat and tasteless...

1 person found this review helpful.

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.

1 person found this review helpful.

renwardhoop Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
renwardhoop (106)
★★☆☆
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.

1 person 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 person found this review helpful.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (146)
★★☆☆
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

CPT/VSG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CPT/VSG (72)
★★★☆
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

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.

1 person found this review helpful.

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.

1 person found this review helpful.

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.

1 person found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (302)
★★★☆
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

Joe O'Brien Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joe O'Brien (4)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I expected more Latakia from something "English." So if, like me, you're new to this stuff and you're looking for something in the vein of 965 or Nightcap or even Early Morning Pipe - look elsewhere! This is, however, a very nice Virginia-forward smoke that will burn consistently and never bite or complain.

Pipe Used: Cob

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: smokingpipes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cherry picker 1779 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cherry picker 1779 (18)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Squadron leader is a good solid staple for many pipe smokers. It has a floral essence about it and has that pot pourri aspect to it that you may or may not like. that aspect can be found in many tobaccos on the market. I find it to have a delightful aroma in the tin, while smoking, and in the room note. I get some serious spice with this blend and sometimes it's too much for my palate. So I try to take it easy. I only smoke English and I like heavy Latakia laden blends. This has some amount of Latakia but I think the virginias and orientals outweigh the lat. I think Germains King Charles mix is similar but has a much sweeter flavor to it. At the squadron leader factory the tobacco usually is dropped in a glass of water right before packing. so drying time is a must and jarring the leaf is also necessary. this takes a few weeks to mellow out and meld into a decent smoke. It's good and I've ordered 3 tins, 3 separate times so it keeps me coming back. I find this tobacco to change all the time. From one smoke to another it's just something different every time I get to it. Sometimes In a good way , sometimes in a bad way. When it's good it's real good when it's. As it's usually too hot, spicy , and gives me the ol bite. But that may be my palate and the way I react to the acidity or something as I see most reviewers find this smooth and mellow. I find it sharp and spicy , But to each their own! I recommend it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Napping Puppy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Napping Puppy (25)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If only bits of the quality Virginia used in Gawith's Full Virginia Flake is added to this blend, in which case Squadron Leader would have easily reigned among the top English blends. But it is still a very good smoke for starters. Three stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

One of the best English mixtures you can find in the market, but everybody knows the high quality of Samuel Gawith. And there is no arguing with that. Squadron Leader has no defects and a lot of virtues. However in my opinion it is not perfect. It could be better. Why? Because there are a lot of excellent English mixtures that are available and Squadron Leader is one of them. What does it have more than the other ones? Why should I choose this one and not another one? I mean that when I smoke I want to touch the sky, to be paradise. Only in that way Squadron Leader could be better. Finally, in my personal rating system (from 1 to 10) my score is 9 and three and a half stars .

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Timelysmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Timelysmoker (5)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This review is a drop in the ocean. The tobaccos are excellent quality, the blend being a must smoke even if you just get a sample to try. Creamy, very slightly spicy, sweet, slightly sickly Virginia, incense. And a smokey flavour from the Latakia.

A great introduction to English blends and pipe tobacco. You'll be able to discern the sweet Virginia, Latakia and possibly Turkish.

If you're new to pipe tobacco, buy a tin and persevere with a few smokes. You may not like it, but it's a standard bearer.

If you're an aromatic person, you probably won't like it.

Medium-ish in nicotine. And one I usually have a tin of in my (small) rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (180)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

A short ribbon mixture of light to black tobacco. The tin note has Latakia up front, and there are some honey, malt and spice notes.

I reviewed this with its stablemate, Skiff Mixture, at the same time, and they are similar tobaccos. SL has a somewhat richer edge from the use of dark Virginias, and I think the Orientals are more earthy and spicy here than with Skiff. It shares a clear lemon note with SM, but here it is toned down a lot and the overall balance seems better applied.

A very interesting light to medium English with a strong Va presence. Just shy of 4 stars.

Pipe Used: Lepeltier, Missouri Pride

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jorge Soler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jorge Soler (130)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

When I opened the tin the other day, I honestly thought there was something terribly wrong with it. The tin note was so offensive and acrid that it smelled like one of those rubbish bins most pubs will keep at the rear in the alleyway to dump all the empty alcohol bottles in. Because of this, I honestly thought the tin had gone off, maybe because of over-fermentation, fungi or some other reason, so I thought that perhaps it was a good idea to get it back to the shop for a refund. In the end I never got myself around to doing it, so I decided it to give it a go instead and pack a bowl with it when it was properly dry. Upon lighting my pipe, however, all my doubts dissipated. I was very surprised then to find out SL was in fact a very good smoke after all. The strength of this mixture is rather medium, but its latakia properties or character is quite apparent and consistent right through. This tobacco does not seem to evolve that much as you go through every quarter of your bowl, but it will keep its intrinsic coherence or character until the very end of it. I've had a few bowls of this tobacco so far and, in every instance, I was finally able to smoke it to a fine ash leaving no dottle behind. The topping is not noticeable at all and it somewhat reminds me of Dunhill Standard Mixture. Even though it may burn somewhat fast in your bowl, it does not seem to heat up your pipe either. Also, I haven't had as many relights. I don't know what to make of the room note as I can barely notice it while I smoke, but I'd say it is rather pleasant to me. I think this is a very good and easy smoke (no tongue-bite detected), so I'll give it 3 stars.

Pipe Used: Northern Briars G4 squared poker

Age When Smoked: ?

Purchased From: A tobacconist in Spain

Similar Blends: Dunhill's Standard Mixture.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Perdurabo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Perdurabo (23)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Squadron Leader BULK:

Squadron Leader is a great mild English with a floral oriental/Turkish forward profile. Flavors of leather and floral oriental drift to the nose. Very clean and astringent on the palate. The Latakia is there but never overly smokey. The Virginia's offer a slight sweetness, sitting in the background. Notes of leather come to mind.

This blend does better in a pipe that has been broken in with heavy Latakia blends. My Balkan pipe tends to bring out the bitey quality of this blend. I don't know why this is the case. What works for some may not work for others. Go Figure.

I bought this in bulk because I couldn't find a tin. Finally obtained a tin, so when I crack it, I'll do an update. I've heard its a better blend from the tin. This tobacco would have gotten four stars if there weren't better Balkan blends out here. Hint Hint WILDERNESS!!!!!

Pipe Used: Patriot Cobb

Age When Smoked: Bulk

Purchased From: PipesandCigars.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cumarinophil Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cumarinophil (105)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Squadron Leader is my favorite medium English blend. I try lots of different tobaccos all the time, but this one is my last resort, my fallback or home-blend I always find myself coming back to. It ages well, but the contents are so harmoniously merged, that it is a perfectly satisfying smoke right out of a fresh tin. In terms of complexity a happy medium has definitely been found. Together with its deep, rich, spicy-sweet taste and slightly smoky flavors, the Squadron Leader always delivers. Reliability is what makes it special to me, tin after tin after tin.

If an alien came to earth asking me what English pipe tobacco is, I’d say this, my unfortunate friend, this is what we earthlings call medium English… .

Pipe Used: Various

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Tried this 2 days ago for the first time. Opening the tin, the smell is good but somehow there is a very light chemical tint. A bit too moist but I filled a bowl straightaway a bit loosely and fired away. Tastes good from the first puff and consistent taste and burn throughout the bowl. Despite my loose filling, only one relight towards the end. Pleasant smoke and no bite despite my eager puffing. The Turkish is not so overpowering but leaves a pleasant aftertaste. All in all a perfect introduction to English blends and comes highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Peterson Racing Green 9 mm

Age When Smoked: Fresh from the tin

Similar Blends: Sutliff Tobacco Company - Dunhill's Standard Mixture Medium Match.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

samanfromiran Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
samanfromiran (22)
★★★★
Very Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

a very nice blend with mild smoke with very nice smell.like dunhill blends its full english tobaacco that i love very much.mild english blend.highly recommened

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Now here is a great medium English with a nicely balanced aroma and flavor. This ribbon cut mixture packed well after a little drying, lights well for an SG product and produces a good volume of smoke. There are some musty, nutty, smoky notes which take turn being front and center and then there are times when they marry so well as to create something uniquely their own. This blend does seem to burn a little more quickly than others and I did have to relight quite a few times, but a good solid offering from SG. COLSA

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Smoked two tins of this and it very nice. My kind of English. As others have mentioned, the tin art is great and it has the coolest name of any tobacco i can think of. Fortunately the tobac livest up to expectations. One of the best SG's.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

When Dunhill Early Morning Pipe wasn't available I happened upon a tin of this delicacy. I was looking for a substitute, but found a blend that I actually enjoy more than EMP.

There wasn't any big flavor epiphany, but it is rich and perfectly-balanced. The latekia is certainly noticeable but doesn't make my head or stomach hurt. With slow puffing all of the constituent tobaccos are harmonious.

This is probably my favorite English / Balkan type tobacco. I like to smoke it after dinner.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Old6String Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old6String (27)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I just finished off my first tin and I can truly say that I can see what other lovers of this blend see. It was a consistently good smoke from beginning to end of each bowl. Will definitely have this in my rotation.

Pipe Used: MM Legend

Age When Smoked: New tin

Purchased From: JR Cigar, NC

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pacman357 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pacman357 (15)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is good stuff. Really good stuff. I doubt I could add much to the billion or so other reviews, except to add that I enjoy this even more when I mix in a little well-aged Syrian latakia. Adds nice depth and flavor, without smacking me with so much nicotine that my knees wobble. A three-star blend for me straight out of the box (where it isn't too damp for my liking, BTW), and when I add the SL, it becomes four-star stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Much nicer than Skiff. Skiff was my first outing to Samuel Gawith as a brand. Skiff left me cold, having come from Dunhill's. Just didn't do it for me. Squadron Leader came factory fresh and nice and moist in the can. Generous portion of tobacco, tightly stuffed into the can. Easy to pack, but I found it hard to keep lit, not sure why, maybe the high humidity here 92%. Tasty and full flavored. Big nicotine hit and I really get off on Vitamin N. Will try again, but not a patch on the Germain Perique.

Pipe Used: 1928 Peterson

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: James Barber

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This tobacco was on my wishlist for a long time and I anxiously awaited trying it. I might have let my excitement hype this blend up for me a little too much. This is a great medium English to my taste it just never wowed me I guess. But still an enjoyable blend none the less. Recommend it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flyingbottles Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flyingbottles (1)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I am a relatively new pipe smoker (2 years now, but on and off). I'm more of a havana cigar man, but I find the romance of a pipe attractive and worth exploring. I have been trying a number of pipe tobaccos but I do not think I have found my match (GL Pease's Blackpoint is the only one I really enjoy so far).

Tried this pipe weed many times already, and I found it to be bitter and tarry. I prefer a stronger presence of oriental tobaccos than latakia. There are sometimes hints of sweetness and exotic spice that peeks through the strong taste of tar, but it came too seldom and faint to be enjoyable to me. The aftertaste lingers a couple of hours; eating chocolate and brushing my teeth did little to wash it out.

Perhaps I would come back to this when my taste for latakia develops. I know many people enjoy the pleasant bitter flavors of some foods and tobacco, but I can't enjoy this one at this time. Maybe Samuel Gawith's Skiff Mixture will work out better for me.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Gaius Rusticated Bent Billiard

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Purchased From: 4noggins

Similar Blends: Dunhill MM 965.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe Newb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe Newb (49)
★★★☆
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 (19)
★★★☆
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.

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

CoolPilot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CoolPilot (69)
★★★☆
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 (14)
★★★☆
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 (65)
★★★☆
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 (18)
★★☆☆
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.

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.

Demetri Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Demetri (113)
★★★☆
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.

Laserboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Laserboy (16)
★★★★
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.

Hottgunn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hottgunn (19)
★★★☆
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.

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.

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 (58)
★★★☆
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.

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 (33)
★★★☆
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.

Mesh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mesh (50)
★★★☆
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.

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 (34)
★★★★
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.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
★★★☆
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.

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.

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 (17)
★★★★
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 (76)
★★☆☆
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.

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.

Arkie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arkie (129)
★★★☆
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.

vespa Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
vespa (18)
★★★★
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 (74)
★★★☆
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 (685)
★★★☆
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.

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.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (266)
★★★★
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.

Tripjoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tripjoker (65)
★★★☆
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 (13)
★★★★
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 .

Update: I had a closed tin for about 3 years and didn't enjoy it the moisture was fine, I just found it too mellow and not as tasty as when it was new.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (171)
★★★★
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.

cakeanddottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cakeanddottle (68)
★★★☆
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.

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.

Cochon74 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cochon74 (29)
★★★★
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.

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.

derlict311 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
derlict311 (70)
★★★☆
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? (61)
★★★☆
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.

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 (108)
★★★☆
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 (59)
★★★☆
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.

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.

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.

Edit (2016): I revised from 3 to 4 stars, as I find this to be my favorite blend that I keep coming back to.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Griswold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Griswold (18)
★★★☆
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.

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.

Newbie2010 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Newbie2010 (18)
★★★☆
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.

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.

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.

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.

DEN-C1956 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DEN-C1956 (32)
★★★★
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.

babysinister Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
babysinister (51)
★★★★
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.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (249)
★★★☆
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.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (180)
★★★★
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.

drdave Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
drdave (15)
★★★★
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.

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.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (102)
★★★★
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.

BingCrosby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BingCrosby (72)
★★★★
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (84)
★★★★
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 (59)
★★★☆
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.

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 (130)
★★★★
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 (204)
★★★★
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 (64)
★★★☆
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.

Jaybee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jaybee (77)
★★★★
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.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (110)
★★★★
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 (86)
★★★★
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.

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.

htduck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
htduck (28)
★★★☆
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.

WmZiggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WmZiggy (76)
★★★★
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 (22)
★★★☆
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.

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.

Redd Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Redd (117)
★★★★
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.

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.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (180)
★★☆☆
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.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (145)
★★★☆
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.

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.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
★★★★
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.

SopwithCamel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SopwithCamel (255)
★★★★
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.

A. Morley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A. Morley (97)
★★★★
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.

Relapse Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Relapse (18)
★★★☆
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.

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.

UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (110)
★★★★
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.

Ranger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ranger (64)
★★★★
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 Solani), 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.

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.

OSR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OSR (78)
★★★★
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.