Reviews: 80832 Tobaccos: 7061What's NewLoginRegister
Product Image


We have blended a carefully balanced selection of Kentucky & dark fired leaf to give this medium to strong flake. For the pipe smoker who seeks a satisfying smoke, then experience Bracken Flake, with its unique and alluring aroma, brought about by the application of a long-used essence.

BrandSamuel Gawith
Blended BySamuel Gawith
Manufactured BySamuel Gawith
Blend TypeVirginia/Burley
ContentsKentucky, Virginia
FlavoringOther / Misc
CutBroken Flake
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
Product Image
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable, Tolerable to Strong

Favorite Of 8 Users

101 reviews
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Sort By
Please login to review this blend.
SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Medium to Strong Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I tried Bracken Flake a long time ago, early in my life as a pipe smoker. I wasn't very “wowed” by it and it was likely due to my lack of experience with stronger tobaccos. I was recently gifted a healthy size sample to try again and found myself moving through the entire sample in very short order. There are lots of comparisons to 1792, but for my taste, the added flavoring in 1792 (Tonquin) is nothing like Bracken and I find the added flavors in Bracken to be less pronounced than 1792. But like all flavored blends, even when the underlying tobacco is great, as it is here, if you don't like the added flavor, it is going to be a no go. I like it. It is rich and earthy and leaves me with a tad bit of sweetness. Lovers of stronger Lakeland style blends should have this one on the “must try” list. If you are not a fan of blends with a hefty dose of Lady N, than you will want to take a pass on this one. Great Stuff!

13 people found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (303)
Extremely Strong Mild to Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

Well, sorry, but I really can't understand how someone may like such a fermented tobacco.

I mean: I like dark stoved Virginias, but only when they are smooth, leathery but still with a nice sweetness. In this blend, however (probably due to the Kentucky) the taste is pungent, earthy, woody, and somehow reminding me of the smell of cow dung.

It's absolutely the same approach of 1792 Flake, and while I understand that some may love it (especially those who like strong bodied cigars or Toscanos), it puts me off. It's not the kind of enjoyment I look forward in a pipe.

Actually, it may be slightly less intense than 1792 in the nicotine department: it IS strong, but in a small bowl it doesn't make me sweat or my heart race madly like 1792 did. Provided, of course, that I puff SLOWLY. Otherwise, it hits you with no forgiveness and becomes more acrid too. Luckily, the moisture and the thickness of the flake helps a lot to maintain a slow and cool combustion (although it may require some rubbing out otherwise it won't get lit at all).

Flavoring is attractive: not as sweet and tonquin dominated as 1792, but more "fresh" and "cool". Mint? Scented talcum powder? Cocoa? Liquorice? Whatever... Anyway, it's mostly in the scent, because the taste of the smoke is dominated by the tobacco (as it should be).

What else can I say? It simply isn't my cup of tea. It might have been many years ago, when I enjoyed Gitanes cigarettes (the ones with the black tobacco). Nowadays, my tastes have become subtler and more refined (which doesn't mean that this tobacco is gross and rustic: simply, it is stuff from another era...).

10 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2136)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The Virginias are boldly earthy, somewhat floral and vegetative, and fermented dark fruit sweet with a hint of spice. The Kentucky and dark-fired leaf offer a lot of earth, some nuttiness, minor spice notes, molasses, a little cocoa, smoke and wood with a slight sharpness. They compliment and at times overtake the Virginias a little. The soapy, floral tonquin topping is very noticeable without drowning out the tobaccos, and I think perhaps just a little fruit may have been added as well. I also get a bare essence of vanilla from the tonquin. The nic-hit is just past the medium level. The taste is a little closer to full than it is to medium, and its strength straddles the line between medium to full. Won’t bite even if pushed, and has no harsh or dull spots. Very moist out of the tin, you may prefer a little dry time, although I did not do that. Some flakes are thick and some not so much, so you’ll have told determine how you want to prepare them. Burns slow with a cool, clean, very smooth and consistent flavor from start to finish. Requires a fair number of relights, and leaves a little dampness in the bowl. You can burn it to ash, though you may have to stir up the last quarter of the bowl depending how much or if you gave it any dry time. The after taste pleasantly lingers a bit, and the room note is pervasive. Not an all day smoke, but depending on your proclivity for this type of product, you can easily repeat it - more so than many others with this type of strength.

8 people found this review helpful.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (84)
Strong Mild to Medium Very Full Strong

First, let me say that I love this flake, I find it uniquely satisfying. I went through three tins very quickly. Bracken Flake has quickly become one of my primary go-to flakes and entered a place in my top-ten desert island choices.

One of the reasons for this is that I find Bracken Flake's flavor profile so elusive that I keep being drawn to it to try to plumb its depths. It's like no other flake I know. There's an added essence to it, to be sure, but it's so perfectly integrated with its dark tonality its hard to discern. I just know that it works. It's not sweet (at least not overtly), it's not bitter (at least not overtly), it's not musty, nor like decaying flowers (at least not overtly), it's just... dark, like some exquisite subtle liquour the essence of terra. (Is there a hint of talcum, as Beer astutely noticed?) Indeed, there's something elemental about this flake, redolent of the humus of a dank forest floor, that I find immensely compelling. But this essence never overwhelms: the tobacco flavor predominates.

Comparisons to 1792 are apt in my opinion. It's like 1792 minus the strong tonquin topping, then infused with this essence of earth. If flavors exist on some kind of continuum like colors do on an HSV scale, it's like the blenders changed the flavor lookup table of the base flake from sweet to dark. I don't know how else to explain it: details are much easier to see when colors are bright, whereas they must be hunted for in a dark composition.

The tobacco was too moist in all three tins. I found that drying it under a bright light for 15-45 minutes or so until it's a little stiff (but not brittle) brought it to life. (Don't microwave it, since that seems to compromise the fragile oils and alter the flavor characteristics.) And I definitely preferred folding to breaking it up.

The only reason I give it three stars instead of four is that I don't feel comfortable giving my highest recommendation to a weed that the average pipester may not enjoy: I definitely think it's worth a try, obviously, but the flavor may be too strong, too intense, and too dark for the casual smoker. However, for the discerning palette of experienced pipesters, especially those with a penchant for dark flakes, I unhesitatingly give it my highest recommendation. (And SteelCowboy is right, it's an absolute must try for Lakeland explorers...) It's not a flavor that all will enjoy, to be sure, but those who do will be glad they found it.

UPDATE (a day later): No, I have to give it four stars. It deserves it: it's a masterpiece of the dark flake genre. It's tobaccos like this that (almost) make me feel sorry for non-smoking epicures who will shell out $110-an-ounce for a taste of Perigord black truffles, but will never experience the exquisite flavors we come upon.

If you're into strong, dark flakes -- especially of the Lakeland variety -- try it; if you're not, approach with caution. I also recommend reading the other reviews for this blend. For some reason I've particularly enjoyed the welter of voices trying to pin this one down...

UPDATE 05/31/13: I'm now on my fifth tin, and I'm a little concerned with SG's quality control. I almost feel sorry for SG: it can't be easy meeting such a great demand for their quality products using such ancient machinery. I worry about their mental and physical well-being.

My fourth tin had a problem with mold. Rather than return the tin, which is difficult for me to obtain, I removed the mold from the flakes and still smoked it since my craving was so great. It was fine.

My fifth tin contains flakes that have widths varying from paper thin to leather sandal thick. I've been seeing more comments lately about these variations in SG's flakes. I picture a lone arthritic old man who should have retired twenty years ago doing his best to meet his onerous quotas, slicing as quick as he can on his clunky Victorian machine in some Dickensian stone cellar.

Not that I'll stop smoking this flake, nor reduce its rating. It's just too good. But I am now curious to discover what surprise awaits me in each tin...

UPDATE 11/27/13: I've lost count on which tin I recently opened, but my current tin is like the first few I went through: the flakes are all uniformly thin. And it's like experiencing Bracken again for the first time. Thus I feel confident in stating with a degree of certainty that the width of the flakes has a decisive effect on the flavor of this blend: the thinner the flakes, the more the unique essence of Bracken comes through; thicker flakes are more difficult to smoke, and are not as flavorful. Sadly there's no way of knowing what width of flake you'll get when you open a new tin, but I hope for my sake -- and all those who want to experience Bracken in all its glory -- there will be nothing but thinly cut flakes from now on...

UPDATE 04/28/15: I learned back in November ('14) that SG has removed Bracken from its inventory. To quote an email from SG when I inquired about this: "Bracken used a particular type and style of leaf which we cannot get any more." (I pray SG can get that leaf again someday! Though, to again quote the email, it has been "permanently" removed from their inventory...)

I wish I had known this beforehand so I could have stocked up on it! I was devastated by the news, and am only now coming to terms with it. Thank goodness I found the last two tins in Canada at a brick & mortar in Toronto that I will cellar for as long as I can. In the meantime, the hunt for a replacement begins...

7 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

This appears to be another love/hate blend. Whenever one of those appears here on, that usually means it is a stout tobacco. And yes, this is a Virginia/Burley with flavoring that I find to be delicious.

There is quite a bit of powder in this keg, so if you do not tolerate blends with a healthy (and wonderful) dose of nicotine, you may want to head for lighter fare. This deep, almost black dark fired flake packs some punch. It's also too moist right out of the tin. I advise to let it air out a bit before breaking up and loading up.

Old world deep and rich flavor comes pouring out of the pipe in delightful waves of spine tingling enjoyment. I think this blend is Gawith 1792 Flake with an added flavoring that has been substituted for the Tonquin in 1792.

This one is not for those smokers with weak constitutions.

7 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A big thanks to StevieB for sending me this in a trade.

This is some good stuff. Smoky, earthy, leathery and mildly fruity and sweet with a topping I find very pleasing. I couldn't say for sure what's in that topping, but it taste great and that's what really counts. Has a good deal of strength that shouldn't leave anyone unsatisfied. A first class smoke in every respect.

Medium to strong in body and nic. Flavoring is mild to medium. Taste is full. Burns very well.

Pipe Used: MM Dagner Poker, Country Gentleman, Marcus

Age When Smoked: unknown

Purchased From: acquired in trade (Thanks Steve)

6 people found this review helpful.

CaptainEnormous Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaptainEnormous (17)
Extremely Strong Medium Full Tolerable

Yes, Bracken Flake is very strong stuff. Probably over-the-top for a lot of people. But I think that's a given when you look at the constituent tobaccos and consider that Samuel Gawith is the blender.

That said, if you like stout blends and enjoy other dark-fired offerings, this is a must-try.

There are considerable added flavorings. I'd compare it to 1792, just in terms of the amount of top-note. But rather than Tonquin, Bracken Flake brings it's own essences: chocolate, menthol, cedarwood, liquorish even? But none of these manages to be overpowering. Probably because the SG Kentucky and Dark Fired burleys are so overpowering on their own.

All that said, I'm not a big Lakeland fan. And this stuff is aggressively flavored.

So why 4 stars? Because Bracken Flake, when treated respectfully with a small chamber-size and some patience, is a one-of-a-kind experience. It's not something I reach for every day. But there are times when I want a strong, sipping smoke. In the right circumstances, with a bit of caution, Bracken satisfies like few blends can.

4 people found this review helpful.

Briarabbit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briarabbit (116)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Quality tobaccos with weird flavouring added. Much like it's brother 1792 it is strong but not as bold. The smell in the tin IMO smells like pine tar or cedar oil.The taste of the smoke is quite different however and I (almost) like it,though I tasted no black cherry. Hard as you might tug on this tobacco there is no bite. I'll let the tobacco dry out more and try it again later, and update. But for now (to me) it just isn't that great a smoke.


This is crap,and I'm dumping the rest of this awfull mess in the ##@$#%% rubbish bin. Even after drying this out it had no real significant taste,though it did smell like an out house that had caught on fire. It's amazing that Samuel Gawith even produces this dung.If you like smoking this you would probally like smoking Labrador.

4 people found this review helpful.

ynrozturk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ynrozturk (58)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I had tried this flake around ten years ago, and browsing in my tobacco shop the other day I found a tin of this and decided to give it another spin. I know it's a discontinued blend so a part of me was thinking about putting it in the cellar, but you know, the first thing I ended up doing when I got home was opening it up and having a smoke with some strong, black tea.

There's just something about this flake though. Like most Gawith flakes, I love the presentation. This however, was different in the way that it was not moist out of the tin at all, but just absolutely perfect. Almost a crumbly like texture, which surprised me as these things are usually very moist and need to be dried out. Not with this particular tin. Was ready as soon as I opened her up. Which makes me wonder how long this tin has been sitting around for. I wish I knew. The flakes that I have are covered in white sugar crystals, so I'm guessing it has some pretty good age on it.

Smells of rich, deep earth, and just straight up tobacco. I don't understand some of the other reviewers saying that they get vanilla and menthol and stuff like that. I don't at all. I just get tobacco. Dark, stoved tobacco, in very handsome flakes.

Packing is easy as I tend to rub out most of my flakes these days anyway. But keeping it lit is another story. Even with the right moisture content I usually need to relight 2-3 times after the initial light. But once it's going you get a very rich, creamy, strong and honest smoke. One of the key words here is strong - this is not for the faint of heart, or for beginner pipe smokers. The nicotine is just too much. I mean you could easily kill someone who only smokes American aromatics if you give them a big bowl of this. Which is why I usually smoke this in my corn cob - it's the smallest pipe I own. While it's not as strong as Black XX Twist - which literally feels like you're having a bowl of cardiac arrest - it's still not advised for the newcomers.

But smoked slow and respectfully, it will give you a very unique and great experience. It has lots of depth, lots of flavor, and it is just all round pleasant. I know it's not produced anymore but if you can find a tin somewhere then pick it up.

Pipe Used: Corncob

Age When Smoked: No idea

Purchased From: Local tobacconist

3 people found this review helpful.

Britannia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Britannia (10)
Strong Medium Very Full Strong

About the Reviewer: Primarily a cigarette smoker until switching totally to pipes in 2006. Due to this I primarily smoke and enjoy stronger blends. I have recently reset all my reviews because I feel that only now I really know what blends I enjoy and now have the experience to accurately give an honest review based on my personal tastes.

Blend Preferences: Straight Virginia - Sometimes (Spring/Summer) VA/BUR - Primarily VA/PER - Rarely (I believe Perique should be used as a condiment) English Mixtures (Oriental/Balkan/Latakia) - Sometimes (Fall/Winter) American - Sometimes Aromatics - Never

Smoking Frequency: Weekdays - 3 to 4 pipes per day. Weekends - 6 to 8 pipes per day.

Desert Island Blend - Samuel Gawith Bracken Flake

General Comments:

I jokingly refer to this as 1792's little brother. Where 1792's tonquin topping is over the top and Sam's Flake is too light to be noticed, Bracken Flake's topping shines. If I could consistently acquire this, I would smoke this morning, noon, and night. This flake is best smoked a little drier than what Samuel Gawith ships it as, just make sure to not let it get bone dry. My only complaint with this blend is that it can get bitey on the finish in the summer. I attribute this to the humid summers of Virginia and to be honest all my blends smoke wet when July rolls around.


On first light you get an immediate creamy smoke with a spicy sourish taste coupled with a light fruity/vanilla/musk undertones that come from the tonquin topping. One charring light and your ready to go.


By mid-bowl the sourness has increased and also the alkaloid taste of the Dark Fired Kentucky.The fruitiness/muskiness of the tonquin topping moves to the background. Lurking in and out you get a periodic Virginia tang.


The Kentucky really shines through with a rich strong finish. Minimal Virginia undertones. If you exhale through nose can detect faint hints of tonquin in the background. Little dottle and the majority burns to a nice grey ash.

Pipe Used: 1972 Dunhill Shell Briar

Age When Smoked: Unknown (No date on Samuel Gawith tins)

Purchased From: iwan ries

Similar Blends: Samuel Gawith 1792, Dunhill Royal Yacht, Sams Flake, Gawith and Hogarth Dark Flake.

3 people found this review helpful.

Sybariten Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sybariten (60)
Extremely Strong Medium Full Strong

Can you hear me, Samuel Gawith? Please bring this one back! As I have understood it this blend was discontinued because of a shortage of the leaf required, but if that is the case how come 1792 and Lakeland Dark are still in production? This is a great blend for the experienced smoker, rich, bold and powerful with a unique topping that really adds a one of a kind character. Stronger than Goliath it packs a punch few will shrug off, but a slow cadence treats the patient smoker to a sunset of impressions. Beware, and be amazed.

Taste: The scent of of the tobacco is that of an autumn forest; wet earth and moss, decaying leaves and a pine-like odour from the topping. Once lit this translates well in to the taste, a deep earthy taste with prominent strokes of wet leather and a pepperish tingle on the tongue. It is powerful, in every meaning of the word - strong in nicotine and flavour. It takes some sitting down and really focusing on it, as this dark blend simply won't let the smoker off the hook until it is finished. It should probably be noted that I am a fan of 1792 and Lakeland Dark and thus a fan of Samuel Gawiths dark and bold blends in general, but whereas some reviewers find this blend to be harsh I rather find it to be well rounded. That might have something to do with the age of the tobacco, as I smoke this it has been out of production for three years so this tin is at least that old, but I really couldn't say since I never had the pleasure of trying a fresh tin.

Mechanics: Samuel Gawith and their flakes, one never knows what to expect (a feature I actually really enjoy). This particular tin contained varying sizes with the shared trait that they need rubbing and drying, how much depending on the flake in question. After proper preparations it is a dry and biteless smoke that will require some relights. Loaded with nicotine!

Pipe Used: Various briars, cobs and clay

Age When Smoked: At least three years

Purchased From: in Sweden

Similar Blends: Samuel Gawith 1792 and Lakeland Dark.

2 people found this review helpful.

Calamiti Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Calamiti (57)
Very Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Unnoticeable

"They Don't Make 'Em Like That Anymore". It's a pity that SG don't produce this good, strong, old-fashioned mix anymore. The slight casing aroma is barely noticeable in the tin and almost totally fades away when smoking. The elusive aroma is quite unusual, I can't put my finger on it. It reminds me... well, of bracken! You know, that earthy pleasant smell of decaying leaves and bracken glades in the woods. I wonder, if they used some actual bracken essence... bracken is not a healthy plant to consume in any form, so perhaps that's why The Bracken Flake has been discontinued? I stocked some tins of this rare weed to smoke in the mornings, when I smoke my strongest tobaccos.

Recommended. If you find a tin around, buy it and try it. Cause They Don't Make 'Em Like That Anymore.

Pipe Used: Parker

Age When Smoked: 5

2 people found this review helpful.

aksamolsa Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
aksamolsa (20)
Strong Medium Full Strong

Ohh Bracken, smoking it almost feels like wrestling with Kraken! It smells really nice, both in the tin and when lit. Easy to fill, burns also nice, but: it is like heavy lifting with the chest. You feel full after smoking ten minutes. Best after lunch or dinner. It is a fine tobacco who wants to experience a tasty and satisfying smoke.

2 people found this review helpful.

H Gillman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
H Gillman (39)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I fully understand the 1 star reviews for this. If you aren't ready for a strong full bodied smoke then this one will be hard to enjoy. Definitely not for the first timer. I bought my tin from a place that just couldn't sell it. It is a minimum of 5 years old (on the shelf 5 years. Unknown production) and looked every bit like something brought over on the Mayflower. Black, broken tarry flakes with minute crystals. Tin note was similar to Copenhagen snuff on steroids, smokey, fermented tar odor. Some have criticized the look of the flake, uneven, thick/thin torn. To me, this is proof of handmade artisanal products. Not perfectly cut and portioned flakes as with others. I tried "Z" stuffing and hand rubbing. Hand rubbing resulted in fine shreds and grains. Lighting, tamping then re-lighting gave a steady smoke that burned to the bitter end. The smoke is definitely strong and a strong tea or high quality highland single malt would go hand in hand with this. I found no tongue bite and enjoyed the smoke rather well. I rolled it around my tongue and exhaled through my nose. This is a bit heavy for an early in the day smoke but makes a great after dinner puff. I would recommend this to the learned smoker as this could prove to be harsh and off putting to the beginner.

Pipe Used: Several Peterson's

Age When Smoked: 5 years sealed

2 people found this review helpful.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (182)
Strong Mild to Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

A beautiful VaK flake, moderately scented in the purest Lakeland tradition.

Perfectly balanced flue & dark fired tobaccos of the highest quality. Needs to let drying in the tin some long time for reaching optimal burning, but then it rewards you with wonderful plums of sweet/leathery smoke. The flavouring (a combination of essences of the like of bergamot, anise) is applied very coherently, the true tobacco base is never hidden. The strength builds gradually to the strong side, with plenty of body. Smokes very cool and as long as one hour in the smallest group 1 bowl which is pretty enough to satisfy the smoker…

Not my all-day smoke, but something worth having in normal rotation.

Flawless quality, four full stars.

2 people found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (262)
Strong Medium Full Strong

This is a review I never thought I'd write. It's about a tobacco that finally made me realise that whatever you know, there is something more to experience. And no matter how used you think you are to strong tobacco, there's always one blend out there, somewhere, that will get you close to hiccoughing.

I wanted a strong tobacco. I like Peterson's Irish Flake; that one's pretty strong. I bought a tin of this blend, not knowing what I had signed up for.

People in this forum have complained about various things with this blend. They are right. This stuff is too strong. It is too strongly flavoured. It is way too high in nicotine to be an all-day smoke.

Yet I love it. I can't fold it; it falls apart. I can only fill small bowls with basically broken flake at best. Some rubbing-out may enhance the experience. This stuff is... er... STRONG!!!

But enjoyably so. After most of my first tin (and more tins shall follow), I can make out the chocolate/aniseed flavouring. Don't ever attempt this blend before letting it dry out for a bit... but it's a beauty. Sorry... just smoked a bowl... may be a little light-headed...

2 people found this review helpful.

ChicagoPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ChicagoPipe (45)
Very Strong Strong Very Full Tolerable to Strong

Having enjoyed Grousemoor so much, I decided to try several SG Flakes, Bracken and Bulkan Flake. Bracken Flake is a very dark and fragrant burley and VA, with a good amount of that famous Lakeland essence, which I guess is Tonquin. Wow, this is strong stuff, and this is supposed to be milder than 1792!

This flake was little too much for my taste. Grousemoor seems like a beginner tobacco compared to this tobacco. I am convinced I don't like the taste of Tonquin. This is still a high quality tobacco that will be suited to full flavor smokers. I'll finish the tin, but this won't be in my rotation.

2 people found this review helpful.

Warwick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Warwick (37)
Strong Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my "desert island blend".

I recommend this blend to those who like 1792, ropes and fire-cured Kendals. If you dislike those, you'll probably dislike BF.

Nicotine is about a 8 out of 10 for me. (I'd put 1792 at 8.7 and DF at 9.7, and ropes fall in between those.)

The tins seem to be pretty damp, so a good bit of drying time should be expected.

Upon opening, the tin aroma is potpourri-like and I shuddered at the thought of that aroma infecting the smoke. However, upon lighting there was no potpourri note, no Lakeland floral/soapy note, nor any tonquin note. I would largely agree with a former employee of Knox Cigar in this regard that this is essentially 1792 without the tonquin.

Unlike, say, GH Dark Flake, Bracken Flake is darker, earthy, lacking the brighter vegetal notes of DF, yet darkly sweet (i.e., molasses/caramel-like). It is no aromatic, to be sure - this is a dark, strong Kendal tobacco flavor throughout.

BF burns slowly, even when bone dry, and there is no tongue burn. It can get bitter in the last 3rd and I don't usually get good DGT results with this blend. It is one of the few that sometimes benefit from judiciously dumping the ashes from the first half of the bowl in order to re-invigorate the last 3rd.

A pipeful of Bracken Flake and a glass of Lagavulin scotch make a glorious combination.

2 people found this review helpful.

DrDNA Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDNA (58)
Medium to Strong Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

Notes: I smoked this in a number of pipes, including a corncob, but I ultimately found it best in my Lakeland-dedicated Ashton, size 2.

Appearance: Dark brown to black with brownish streaks, a moderately densely pressed 6" flake, topping is evident.

Aroma: Black cherry, cough syrup, lemon curd, bitter collard greens. The familiar vanilla-bitter medicine scent of tonquin is easily detected.

Taste: The strong vanilla-bitter medicine flavor of the tonquin bean is immediately present and dominates the flavor profile. The taste is quite full and strong on the palate, earthy, with suggestions of cherry fruit and Brazil nuts.

Comparisons: Similar to Gawith's Cobb (1792) Flake, but with less nicotine and less tonquin. Those hoping for 1792 without the tonquin will be disappointed. This falls between 1792 and Gawith's Rum Flake in my estimate.

Bottom Line: For scented/Lakeland flake lovers, if you find 1792 (Cobb) Flake too strong but enjoy the tonquin flavor, this will be a welcome blend.

2 people found this review helpful.

Nepper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nepper (1)
Strong Mild to Medium Overwhelming Strong

I was provided this from a friend in our small local pipe club to sample. Let's see... Things that rhyme with Brack... AAAAK! Think I'm gonna YAK! For goodness sake, take it BACK! The man who gave me this deserves a good SMACK! I'd enjoy it more if I were smoking SHELLAC! Duck and cover, this Swamp Thing is on the ATTACK!

Well, I think that all pretty well sums up my opinions of this flake. Live and learn. Now where did I put the sand paper for my tongue???

2 people found this review helpful.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
Strong Very Mild Full Strong

Appearance: Small flake, with some broken, and some whole. The thickness of the flakes in NOT uniform, some being quite thick. To me, this is a quality control problem. Overall, very dark, with occasional bright flashes.

Aroma: Strong and pungent, almost cigarish in aroma. I suspect this is dark fired Kentucky. I don?t detect any Tonquin. Obviously not a close relative of 1792.

Packing:. Flakes break up fairly easily, but unevenly. Again, this is the variance in thickness of the flakes. Not an endearing trait.

Lighting:. Takes at least two charring lights to get it burning evenly and well. Once lit, seems to need a bit more draw than other flakes.

Initial flavor: Very full, smokey taste from the dark fired leaf. Some Virginia sweetness, but this is a background sensation. No layering of tastes noticeable.

Mid-bowl:. Maintains its flavor rather uniformly through the middle of the bowl. Burns cool always, but does need more relights than I would prefer. For me, seems to gurgle a bit. Probably my reaction to the dark fired leaf

Finish:. Gets a bit stronger in flavor at the bottom. Also gets a bit harsh in the mouth.

Summary:. A nice change of pace from more refined Virginias, but not compelling. I miss the nuances of the flavors.

2 people found this review helpful.

hawky454 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hawky454 (93)
Strong Strong Very Full Tolerable to Strong

Here lies another dead hero. I was lucky enough to acquire 5 well aged tins from 2011 from a gentleman that had to sell off his entire cellar, what a lucky buck I am! A lot of people say this is just 1792 with a different topping but I strongly disagree. Yes there are some similarities as they are both dark flakes that contain a nice dose of nicotine but that’s about where their similarities end. Samuel Gawith has stated that they stopped producing this blend because they could no longer source some of the necessary ingredients. I have to give it to them for having the integrity to axe the blend rather than keep it in production with sub par ingredients and honestly I wouldn’t expect anything less from the honorable Gawith house. I hold them in the highest regard and I’m very thankful to still have the wonderful blends they have in production today. The topping on this beast is very unique and hard to pinpoint but I definitely pick up on some rose. This is not like the Lakeland toppings that I would describe as “perfumed” but more of a singular rose note more in line with what I get from Condor and St. Bruno. It’s nothing like the two I mentioned just shares some similar toppings… Nothing beats this blend when paired with a nice cup of coffee, it’s the perfect wake-me-up. The nicotine is very potent in this mixture so be careful if you are smoking it first thing in the morning. Go slow with this one as with any strong tobaccos it can get a bit bitter towards the end if you are rushing it, I also prefer it in a smaller bowl for this reason. I will miss this blend very much when I get though these tins…

Absolutely essential (if you can find some).

Pipe Used: Rattray's Bulldog, St. Regis Prince

Age When Smoked: 6 years (2011)

Similar Blends: Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. - Westmorland Slices.

1 person found this review helpful.

Bluesmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluesmoke (75)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Very Pleasant

This damn flake makes me nauseated just as 1792 does. The difference is that I love the flavor profile of this weed...absolutely fantastic. This burns moderately well, yields a good volume of smoke and is more than satisfying from one bowls worth of indulgence. I really wish this came in a light version, just too much for me. MTLOGBY

Pipe Used: Sav

Age When Smoked: Fresh Tin

1 person found this review helpful.

David E Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
David E (4)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium Tolerable to Strong

If you like French cigs Gitannes and Gauloises you will love this flake. Im not in love with the taste or room note but I do like the nic hit and the flash back of when I smoked a gitanne.

Pipe Used: Altinok Meer

Age When Smoked: few months

Purchased From: Ottawa Cigar Emporium

1 person found this review helpful.

CoolPilot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CoolPilot (69)
Strong Mild Full Overwhelming

I love SG stuff, usually, and daily smoke FVF, Best Brown Flake, Golden Glow. My favourite being BBF I went for something that had "cocoa-chocolate", a bit stronger than BestBrown. What a mistake. I almost ruined my pipe! This tobacco is strong, the room note is simply impossible, and I found no chocolate or cocoa flavour (but probably that's because I was overshot by the strenght). I can only recommend this tobacco if you need to digest a mouse, a nail, a piece of iron, or something similar. It is perfect for arguing with wife and escape to the bar.

As someone else here as correctly stated "this is for lumberjacks". I can only recommend it to people looking for strong experiences with their pipes.

1 person found this review helpful.

marosi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
marosi (67)
Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I cannot put my finger on this one. Don't know what it is made of, don't know what it is flavored with, and can't figure out what the heck it tastes like. Is "wierd" too subjective?

Too start from the beginning, it is, like all Gawith flakes, of very nice high quality tobacco. It smokes like it has some perique, but none is noted anywhere. It is not as dark as 1792, but it is dark. I love it when Gawith tells you something is flavored with a "long used essence." A buddy of mine said it tasted like good tobacco and the best tasting shoe he had ever smoked. That is not far off. The tin odor is funky, in a pleasant way. It is tangy, and maybe has a little tonquin action going on, but again, none is noted. There is a sweet component to the smell, and that carries over to the smoke.

This one did not burn as readily for me as several of the other Gawith flakes. Even after drying out it took more effort to get it going, and it did not stay lit as long. I had no problem with it funking my pipe though, or leaving any goop in the bottom of the bowl.

The smoking experience is singular. It starts out very spicy, and stays that way throughout the bowl, albeit the second half mellows somewhat. Again, really smokes similar to a perique blend. There is a definite layer of sweetness which seems like virginias working, but also a dryer, "smokier" effect, ala latakia. Perhaps this has some orientals giving rise to this whisper underlying and playing off the sweetness? That long used essence is noticeable throughout the bowl. To me Ouzo and leather seems like the best way to describe it. It is probably moldy water from some dank part of Gawith's basement, but it still tastes pretty good.

A note about the strength. It may not be as strong as 1792, but I tried to smoke a good size bowl of this stuff and could not finish. I got loopy halfway through, and just could not take any more. With a smaller bowl this was not a problem, and the strength was noticeable, but enjoyable. I am no beginner, however, and it got to me, so be forewarned about the nicotine, and do not try to smoke this in a huge Autograph or Danish freehand, unless someone around you knows how to administer CPR.

Overall this is one odd blend. Everything about it is just different than most other blends. That is not a bad thing. I would not call it an everyday smoke by a long shot, but it is a very unique, flavorful, and strong smoking experience.

1 person found this review helpful.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (249)
Medium to Strong Medium Full Tolerable

This is a good blend for those that like 1792 as it is in this genre. I comes with broken loosw flakes of a rich walnut brown color, the flakes are loose but the tobacco is packed very tight making it a little harder to break up to pack in a pipe. The pouch aroma is very rich, peaty and much like 1792. But once loaded in the pipe and a few lights to get it going, it produces a rich smooth smoke that gives a burst of flavor on the pallette. I is very full bodied and strong, yet it does not give any tongue bite at all, and does not produce a lot of smoke. I have to relite several times in the course of a bowl, but that is no big deal, as the smoke is very pleasant and sweet. I could never smoke this as an all day blend, but it is great with a cold beer or cup of coffee. It burns rather fast and produces a darfk grey ash and just a touch of dottle at the bottom of the pipe. It will ghost your pipe a little so smoke it in one that you smoke this type of blend in. The room note is a little like shoe polish aroma so you won't win any fans when smoking it but it is a good smoke and can be smoked outdoors. All in all, between the two I would smoke 1792 flake but this would be a good replacement foor those times 1792 is scarce. I recommend a try, it is a very pleasant smoke.

1 person found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (833)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

The first thing I noticed upon cracking the tin is the beautiful dark brown flakes lined neatly in double-rowed stacks. Flakes of this color I find artistically beautiful (hey, art is whatever anyone says it is!). The second thing was a sweetish, artificial tin aroma that immediately transported me to my childhood, when my parents forced a cheap cough syrup on me. The image was not pleasant, but I perservered.

The topping was offensive to my nose but I believe it smoothed out the taste of this flake. I got a tasty, easy to smoke, non-Lakeland flavored, fairly powerful weed that, while it didn't seem to develop much down the bowl, smoked "earthy-sweet" from rim to dottle. There was a mild fruitiness but I did not get the dark chocolate others have mentioned. I was just happy that the soapy taste was totally absent from this Lakeland. I was also happy that it didn't have the heavier flavor of 1792, and I prefer BF's comparative subtleness.

Nice broken (bracken) flake, and one I'll repeat. It doesn't make my regular rotation due to its mono-dimensionality but it's a good smoke and one that should be tried by the smoker that is put off by 1792 but likes the richness.

1 person found this review helpful.

Jocose Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jocose (12)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

A tremendous value in bulk and a great smoke!

Even after smoking several pounds of the bulk version I still find it hard to describe other than Bracken flake to me is like a scented "light" version of Irish Flake. It must be a Virginia/Burley mix.

Taste is on the mild/medium side and the nicotine is medium.

This tastes nothing like 1792 whatsoever, I dont know why thats part of their description??

1 person found this review helpful.

bryantm3 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bryantm3 (29)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Very Full Tolerable

This is a strange tasting tobacco. On first opening your pouch or tin, it smells like chocolate with a little bit of soap in it. It isn't unpleasant, but it is rather unusual. This tobacco is 5-year aged, so its appearance is dark with shiny specks in it, in a full flake form. The shiny specks are the carbohydrates in the tobacco, which over time, have broken down into sugar, and is probably also due to the addition of sugar water. Now, for breaking it apart and packing into the pipe. This tobacco, when crumbling apart, becomes sticky and leaves a brown residue on your hands. It takes a bit of effort to light, but once it is lit, it tastes almost like it smells: like soapy chocolate. Halfway down, the taste becomes stronger and tastes almost like a Tootsie Roll. The strange thing is, is that it doesn't seem to be an added topping, it seems to be just the taste of this tobacco that has been aged. Either that, or the flavouring is so well matched that it seems to not be overwhelming or floating atop the taste of the tobacco. Whatever it is, I don't really like it that much. But I do know experienced pipe smokers who enjoy this very much. So I do respect the blend. It brings about memories of fall leaves and pulling out what you thought was a blow pop from your week old candy bag, wondering to yourself, "How did I miss this?" and five minutes later biting into what you thought was gum and turned out to be a disgusting balled up Tootsie Roll in the middle. I would recommend it for those who like Haddo's Delight. I would not recommend it to those (like me) who enjoy heavy Latakia blends like Pirate Kake.

1 person found this review helpful.

puro66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
puro66 (74)
Extremely Strong Medium Very Full Tolerable

I hesitated reviewing this too quickly so I spent the last few months trying to be fair. Like all SG tobaccos it is certainly of high quality. It's "special essences" are difficult to determine exactly what they are. I do not find the tin aroma to be particularly strong but I can see how some might make the observation of a medicine smell. The taste is somewhat blah and undistinguished but the overall strength of the blend is immediate from puff one and the nicotine hit too major for my tastes. If you like a lot of nicotine grab a tin. Everyone else should bum a bowl from a friend before buying.

1 person found this review helpful.

Grey Cloud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Grey Cloud (9)
Overwhelming Extra Strong Overwhelming Overwhelming

I might just throw the pipe I smoked this in, into the fire place. It srcambled my taste buds, and made me ill.

1 person found this review helpful.

BriarFire~ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarFire~ (24)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The Bracken Flake is a wonderful weed indeed.Upon opening the tin your greeted with an earthy tobacco smell and something that reminds me of clover honey.I dont find the aroma of the long-used essence intimidating,but those around me have commented on it.The flakes are dark and a little moist.This blend is just slightly cased and the fact that only a small amount is used will prevent it from having more than an infinitesimal effect on tobacco ignition and combustion-if any. One of my tins had what looked like in the sunlight sugar crystals.

Unlike SG's FVF where I prefer to smoke the flakes whole,the Bracken smokes better for me if I rub it out well.Upon lighting, the fire-cured and a hint of the topping work nicely together to deliver a somewhat sweet but stout smoke,after the first third of the bowl the topping gives way to the burley,and the taste becomes a little creamier and fuller.Its at this point if I puff too fast my tongue gets peppered with nicotine and an unpleasant hot sauce taste,easily remidied by slowing down.

The last half of the bowl is the best,the Kentucy and Virginias are perfectly matched and have deepened in flavor and strength,but not overly so.Try your hardest to get bit by the Bracken,it just wont happen.This is a very satisfying smoke that burns cool and clean.I have not DGT'd this but suspect it might do well.If you enjoy dark and robust tobacs you'll find a winner here.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Strong

Update: If you want to know what SG brown rope tastes like without having to fuss preparing the rope for pipe smoking, try Bracken Flake. I have also concluded that honey is part of the topping. This smokes to a dark, dry, powdery ash. I wish the flakes came unbroken, because the larger pieces, folded like whole flake, smoke better than the smaller pieces. BF is extraordinarily cool and has wonderful side-stream aroma.

1/25/07: I read somewhere that Ed Kolpin, the founder of the original Tinder Box in Santa Monica, California, was/is a pharmacist. Perhaps he knows what makes Bracken Flake taste the way it does, because the tin aroma is medicinal.

I will venture a guess that the name, Bracken Flake, comes from Bracken Co., Kentucky, USA, the birthplace of White Burley and still the home of all things Burley tobacco.

Bracken Flake has more than a shake of a variety of Burley tobaccos variously cured. There is a bit of Virginia involved here, not providing much in the way of sweetness to this cigar-like, shreds-of-tar spice factory. It really does not taste as it smells in the tin- a good situation.

As for the tonquin present in and strength of this blend, Bracken Flake is more companionable than 1792 Flake, but BF is still quite full and best on a full stomach.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mystic Rune Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mystic Rune (35)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

A dark colored flake with a tin aroma akin to Copenhagen dip. Crowns up beautifully on the charring light. A gentle tamp and one re-light gets things going nicely. From the start, Bracken has a hint of some type of Lakeland essence with a stout and rich Virginia flavor that deepens as the smoke progresses. By mid bowl, the burley comes through complimenting the Virginia while the nicotine starts to kick in. Finishes rich and smoky, no bite. Burns slow, to a fine gray ash. Those who love Virginia & Burley Flakes with full body and big flavor like Walnut Flake and St.Bruno Flake may like Bracken Flake as well.

1 person found this review helpful.

kilted1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kilted1 (43)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I have lately been exploring Lakeland Scented Flakes, and this one was high on the ?to try? list.

Appearance: A mostly black with some brown and tan mottling leathery flake of varying thickness.

Tin aroma: The first thing that is apparent when opening a tin of Bracken Flake is that it is fairly heavily scented. What kind of defies me is to decide what that scent is. I pick up tones of black cherry, something sweet and vaguely like molasses and hints of rose. Rose you say? Yes rose, as in Greek Rose Petal preserves (not a regular on many an American table). I can also detect deep Virginias and an underlying nuttiness which I attribute to the air curred Kentucky. Put side by side with Condor (another classic English scented flake) they smell very similar. This is an encouraging thing to me as Condor is not available in the USA anymore. I detect none of the tonquin others have noted.

This tobacco seems too moist to me, and after my first bowl I decided to air it for at least ½ hour before smoking another bowl. The first bowl smoked pretty dry, though a little steamy, the airing out helps tremendously with this one. I have increased the time to a full hour for this review smoke. As with most flake tobaccos I simply take several flakes together, fold them in half and insert them length-wise into the bowl trimming off the excess. I find it has a much better burn this way and makes for a long enjoyable smoke.

For this review, I?ve chosen an Edward's Husky Canadian which is dedicated to scented flakes.

A first light is brings billows of rich white smoke, followed with a brief visit of the tamper and then a tamping light. The topping or casing is immediately there and while a bit odd at first becomes a nice compliment to the fine quality leaf underneath. Flavors of cherry, rose and a deep nuttiness are exhaled with increasing pleasure. This is a delightful flake, which rather rapidly dispels myths of ?English Soap?. The flavors are intense and build rapidly while the topping or casing gradually fade into the background.

Mid Bowl: Approaching mid-bowl, the fullness tends to build and while I wouldn?t call this mixture particularly complex, the topping or casing gradually fade completely into the background but never leave the scene. The Virginias build in depth and character while the Kentucky slowly builds and begins to assert dominance. This blend can get away from you if you are not careful with technique. That is not to say that it will bite, I've never experienced tongue-bite with this blend. Rather, the Kentucky is a bit temperamental and can be over-puffed to the point of extreme bitterness. If one takes the time to smoke this slowly and methodically a sweet, rich and flavorful voyage is there for the taking.

Home Stretch: As end of the bowl approaches, I find that it becomes more intense though never overpoweringly so. The Kentucky eventually becomes the most dominant component with the Virginias and the topping/casing fading in intensity. Deep and resonant forest, leather and cigar tones emerge from the heart of this blend. The sweetness and topping/casing never fully leave, yet their initial flavors have matured and ripened into a fascinating mixture of stewed fruits and rich adult pleasures.

Supplemental Notes: This is very likely to become a regular part of my rotation as a replacement for the long absent Condor Original Flake I loved. ** 4 full stars

1 person found this review helpful.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Come on in and meet 1792's little brother!!! As usual Pipestud hits the nail on the head, and thus I have little to add. I will say however that this weed is not quite as unforgiving as 1792, nor as rich. It is a Va flake and if you don't smoke it as such it will nip. This could be an all dayer as opposed to the heaviness of 1792.

1 person found this review helpful.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (127)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

As with most Lake District flakes which come this moist, I like to rub it out right away before it dries, into a broken ribbon for easy packing. This is definitely a close relative of 1792, but far less assertive. The underlying flavor of the tobacco is that of dark English flake, ala G&H Dark Flake and Dark Birdseye which I like a lot, but not excessively bitter or as tangy. I am guessing that the flavor additive is tonkin bean because it has that peculiar sweetness of 1792, another favorite. Here, however, it is applied sparingly. This is a mild smoke with no bite. Those who like the stronger flavors of Lake District dark flakes may be disappointed as will those who appreciate the full monte of tonkin bean extract in 1792. For those who are looking for a milder tobacco that still delivers that tanginess on the back of the tongue with a little sweetness on the front, this could be an all day smoke, nothing complex but the flavor is interesting. And I think it would be a great introduction to this type of tobacco. I have been smoking this in Dunhill #3 which seems to be about right. Highly recommended for the fan of Lake District dark flakes.

1 person found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (162)
Medium to Strong Mild Full Strong

A down right good dark lakeland flake. Not as strong (in the nicotine or woozy dept.) as the famous or infamous SG "1792", but still a full tobacco treat in terms of body and taste. If 1792 is too much but you still kinda like dark flakes, try this one.

I rub it out some before smoking, although I prefer flakes you can just roll into your pipe (which breaks them up some) and smoke. This one smokes quite cool and slow enough even when rubbed out some.

It is fairly dry for a scented flake, but the scenting is just a touch or so. I still use a pipe cleaner during the middle and end of a bowl to keep it safely dry. The sweet scent (be it dark cherry or whatever; certainly no strong "bean" flavors here) is just slight to make the dark toasted leaf smoke sweet. You still get some of that spiciness underneath that 1792 offers, particularly near the bottom of the bowl.

I found it rich, full, and thick in flavor -- certainly having dark tones but also a sweetness to round it out some more. The burley helps round it out too (but not as round as SG Kendal Cream Flake). A lucious flavor.

SG's darker flakes in terms of strength are 1. full virginia flake (more of a toasted flavor than real dark), 2. Bracken ( a slight step up but real dark in tone), and 3. 1792 - real dark and spicy all the way (but it kinda surprizes you, too much for me). G&H's are as strong. McClelland's Dark Star (tinned) and dark navy flake (bulk) are milder in comparison. Esoterica's Stonehaven may be a winner here, slipping in between Bracken and 1792, with burley and virginia and a very slight scent. But certainly SG's dark entries are winners too, in the # 1 and 2 categories IMO.

1 person found this review helpful.

tillmanj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tillmanj (73)
Strong Mild Full Very Strong

While the aroma of this flake may be intimidating, the flavor, smoked slowly, is amazing. I may not be able to describe it without making reference to other Samuel Gawith tobaccos, as way of reference.

I found this flake to be dark and moist, and quite pungent in the tin, much like 1792 and Full Virginia Flake. It rubbed out easily, and packed nicely.

As far as strength goes, I would place it somewhere in between FVF and 1792, but leaning a bit more towards the 1792 end of that scale.

The biggest difference is the lack of Tonquin Bean essence in Bracken Flake. Whereas 1792 is loaded with this essence, Bracken has a dark sweetness to it, much like burnt caramel or molasses.

All in all, I found it to be an excellent flake for those who enjoy BIG flavor from their tobaccos. I would perhaps recommend this to pipe smokers who also enjoy dark, robust cigars.

1 person found this review helpful.

ajaj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ajaj (69)
Very Mild Mild Full Very Strong

I saw the new tin and had to try it; I'm glad I did. If you like 1792 Flake, then you'll probably enjoy this different tobacco. It's more than a milder version of 1792; there are hidden sweet flavors underneath the overall earthy tone. I can't quite put my finger on it, but, I swear I detect a hint...I mean HINT, of black cherry. Don't try this tobacco after a strong earthy one like 1792; the subtle flavors are lost and it tastes just like a mild 1792. Try it in a clean quality pipe and toke gently. I'm curious as to what flavors other reviewers detect. The smoke is very cool and there is absolutely no tongue bite.

1 person found this review helpful.

Alper.e Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alper.e (12)
Overwhelming None Detected Overwhelming Overwhelming

I smoked it four years ago, so this review is only the feelings that I remember. First: tin aroma and first puffs smells like "horse shit" (seriously). The nicotine hit is very intense. I never finished an entire bowl. Fex puffs and down to the ashtray. Room note is extremely strong, and no flavouring at all.

not recommended

Pipe Used: briars

Age When Smoked: newly opened old tin

Purchased From: pipomarket Istanbul

Nobody has rated this review yet.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1608)
Very Strong Mild to Medium Very Full Strong

Samuel Gawith - Bracken Flake.

Although this has been discontinued, I stumbled across some tins for sale from My Smoking Shop U.K.. It said Samuel Gawith found a few remaining tins, had badged them with a simple white label (due to the previous artwork being redundant), and My Smoking Shop bought the lot! So, I snapped some up, and here's how I find it:

Removal of the lid reveals some thin, almost black flakes. With the blend being Sam Gawith they're too wet of course, but in all fairness not the worst I've had from them. When I took my first puff the first thing to come to mind was the word 'Stout'. It doesn't lack strength in any department: strong nicotine, very full flavour, and an exceedingly strong room-note; not one to smoke in company. Although it has a lot of power, it's quite feeble in a couple of areas: temperature and tongue bite.

I get only a mild added taste at first, and it's quite pleasant: maybe vanilla like. After a quarter this can develop a chemical likeness, unless I puff with ease; this lingers as a ghost. There's also a note of hay from the Virginia, this is like a breath of fresh air against the heavy taste.

The rest of the flavour's robust: earthy, woody, bold, and fired.

Bracken Flake has to be one of the slowest burning blends I've piped, it seems endless!

The first couple of pipes were quite a novelty, but after a good few (half a tin) I can only somewhat recommend it.

Two stars.

Pipe Used: Peterson Kenmare X220

Age When Smoked: However long it's been at the store.

Purchased From: My Smoking Shop

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ElMog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ElMog (30)
Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I was lucky enough to procure one tin from my local B&M, not knowing that this tobacco had been discontinued for years already, even more lucky considering it was a blind buy based solely on the fact that i wanted to try something from the house of Gawith. The tin obviously had some age already, with some nice sugar crystals. The tin note from the ''long used essence'' truly reminds me of star anise, and the whole aroma reminds me of a particular kind of chinese stew with beef/potatoes/carrots whose whole flavor profile revolves around this spicy/sweet accord between ginger, sugar, anise and cinamon.

On to the smoking. Since I'm relatively new to pipe smoking, I tend to rub out my flakes. Some reviewers noted the inconsistent thickness of this flake from tin to tin: it seems i got a ''thick'' one. I let it dry for about 15 minutes and proceeded to smoke. I was surprised to find very little taste reminiscent of the smell, the taste was, to me, pure tobacco. Dark, dark tobacco. Not very savory, no high notes, no ''obvious'' notes. The first time i smoked it i was able to make a side by side comparison with Solani: Black and White, not because i consider them related, but simply because my dad happened to be smoking it then. This comparison really highlighted the ''fuller'' feel of Bracken Flake. This also allowed the slight smokiness of Bracken to shine (a dry smoke, peperry smoke, not campfire-ish), due to the DFK i suppose (at this moment i was reminded a bit of MacBaren Old Dark Fired). Around mid bowl (and a few relights too many, i have to fight with this baccy !), it sometimes gets harsh, though this may be due to lack of technique.

As for the strenght noted by other reviewers, since i smoked it in a rather small bowl, i didnt feel it at all (and i am no nicotine heavyweight...).

All in all, it is a bit too ''muted'' for my taste right now, as a novice, i guess i am looking for some high notes in my baccy, while this one is dark and hard to describe. I have jarred most of the tin, and once ive cut my teeth, ill go back to it. Still glad i got a tin before it was too late !

2017-07-05 UPDATE: well after a year, i can still say that i don't really know what to think of this tobacco... sometimes it seems almost tasteless, sometimes it is unbearably piquant at the beginning of the smoke... sometimes it develops a great honey-like sweetness, sometimes it remains earthy... what remains true all along is: 1) with those mega thick flakes, its hard to prepare 2) if you get smoke in your eyes, you'll regret it

Pipe Used: Savinelli Primo Fumo straight billiard

Age When Smoked: old...

Purchased From: Tabagie Giguère

Nobody has rated this review yet.

initials SG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
initials SG (29)
Strong Mild Full Strong

What a shame it is that this wonderful flake is discontinued! I'll miss it when my supply runs out.

As other reviewers have noted, the taste is hard to describe, since it is so full and complex. For a full, dark tobacco taste, it is hard to beat. Whatever fire-cured tobacco is in there is simply amazing, some of the best ever. The Virginias are uniquely Gawith and don't pull punches. The flavoring is not overdone, nor is it the same as in other Gawith blends. I love it.

As comparisons to 1792 Flake are inevitable, here is mine: I smoked pipes of 1792 and Bracken back to back. They are similar, sure, but there are tobacco tastes in the Bracken that are not found in 1792. Part of it could be the age difference of the tins (fresh with the 1792, years with the Bracken), but the Bracken is deeper, richer, and earthier.

The only drawback for me is that it is the only tobacco where I have to have a glass of water on hand, because it inevitably starts to tickle the back of my throat and will give me the hiccups if I don't drink a little water when smoking it. Not a huge problem, but it does happen. 1792 does not, even when I inhale a little.

If you chance on a tin and are a fan of the dark stuff at all, snap it up!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

nekeke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nekeke (19)
Strong Extremely Mild Full Unnoticeable

Some tobaccos are not really for inhaling. Or blowing away from your nose for that matter. Bracken is one of them. But if you don't do those, you fill find a sweet taste on the tip of your tongue. This must be what Bracken is for.

Pipe Used: Brebbia junior

Age When Smoked: Middle of a tin opened a month ago

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipessmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipessmoker (1)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Extra Strong

When i smoke at the first time it looks like 1792. At the room they dont like it. It is good for starting to day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Peter Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peter Piper (41)
Strong Medium Full Strong

Samuel Gawith once again show how an ostensibly simple base blend can be made so much more than the sum of its parts. The ingredients declared are no more than Kentucky, dark-fired Virginias and a mystery "long-used" essence. Don't worry, it is not of the conspicuous "Lakeland" variety.

The transformation clearly comes in the magic SG undertake in preparation, which results in a dark brown flake of madly uneven chunks. As ever with SG, a little drying out aids the breaking up, packing and smoking.

And then we have a smoke which is dark, deep and rich. The "essence" is hard to detect, one is just aware of good quality tobacco which burns slow and smooth. Perhaps there is a suggestion of chocolate on the after-taste, with the slightest hint of spice? Difficult to define, but if taken slowly impossible not to enjoy. A full and thoughtful smoke, not an everyday pleasure perhaps, but well worth space in your selection.


Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1280)
Overwhelming Strong Medium to Full Pleasant

I had found that the SG line of flakes were very inconsistently sized. The cut would be thin for one flake and then thick for the next flake. Also the flakes were a little difficult to rub out. Lastly, I had trouble keeping this stuff lit and producing an acceptable amount of smoke. These flakes had really nice flavor though. Eventually dropped the whole line of flakes due to these drawbacks. I loved the flavor of this flake and it would have been a keeper but it made me ill, strong flake to be sure, but I'm not sure if it was the nicotine or the flavoring additives. Too bad.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (266)
Strong Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

For me, this was very similar to St Bruno Flake -- no, not the same, but similar. This is a little stronger, a little darker, and the casing a bit more obvious, but for me a similar type. There are times when I want that strong dark jolt, the casing (which seemed to me to be more of a dark fruit than a Lakeland floral or herbal) providing a bit of balance.

Not for my regular rotation, but a good change of pace.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mike0831 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike0831 (10)
Very Strong Mild to Medium Very Full Very Strong

All I can say is "brutal". Imagine tobacco with no flavor..just strong and really unpleasant. I don't get it. Some of my pipe smoking brethren seem to really enjoy this tobacco. I smoked two pipefuls of it. The first I did t let it dry out enough..simple mistake to correct. The second pipeful was slightly less....I don't know the word for it. Both times I smoked it in a small bowl. I'm going to try it again but I don't get it. I've never had this experience with tobac before.

11/19 Update - I tried it again. In a small Stanwell. I broke it up into little pieces and although it was tolerable, I still didn't get a sense of rich flavorful tobac. I guess the experience is trending in the right direction though.

11/22 Update - I've never been called a quitter and I haven't quoted on the weed yet. I dried it out and it's still not 3 stars but its getting better. There is no appreciable room note. I think if you take this tobac very slow it pays off. It does have a considerable nicotine content.

12/22/12 Update I kind of like it now. Once you get it lite it's quite good. This turn of events might be due to the fact that its pretty dried out. As a matter of fact I'm sure that's the case. Still it is a pretty strong tobak.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KahveDelisi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KahveDelisi (52)
Strong Mild to Medium Full Strong

Strong yes, but nothing disturbing here. Description says "unique and alluring aroma" hmm.. not so sure about it, actually the scent reminds me indian incense sticks which I don't like. Bracken flake ghosts your pipe big time. Infact the next time you reach for your pipe, it will still be smelling like it was just out of an extreme yoga session.

Great tasting tobacco with repulsive aroma.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipelovingcalvinist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipelovingcalvinist (68)
Very Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I don't know, this just wasn't for me. The nicotine was a little over the top for me and detracted from my ability to enjoy the tobacco. This wasn't bad however, the taste was just OK to me. Not my favorite.

Soli Deo gloria!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

?pe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
?pe (41)
Strong Medium to Strong Very Full Tolerable

This has to be considered as a very robust smoke. If you like deep, earthy smokes then you'll really like this (and 1792).

As others have said, it does need a little drying to bring out the best.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SpeedyPete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SpeedyPete (29)
Strong Medium Full Very Pleasant

This is one of the finest virginias I've ever smoked. It's strong, yes and not for the faint of heart. But the taste of the smoke on my tongue is like honey. No bite what so ever. A bit hard to light staight from the tin, so let it dry out a bit by leaving the tin open over night. But, be careful, the drier it becomes, the stronger it gets. So don't overdo the drying.

This is REAL tobacco!! If you are a tobacco lover, GO for it!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Philosopher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philosopher (27)
Strong Medium Full Pleasant

I thought this was an excellent tobacco and I'll certainly be smoking it again. A kinder, gentler little brother to 1792 flake? Definitely one for smoking in a small bowl.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I have been gifted with all the SG blends (minus perhaps FireD flake, good quality bacci, just not to my taste) this one doesn't let you down..gotta try

Update: as I slow sip'ed my last Bracken Flake this AM, it seduced me BIG-TIME, just placed an order for a pnd of this wonderful weed...suggest you snag a few tins before it goes MIA again

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tee-dub Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tee-dub (48)
Strong Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

I'm finding that these Lakeland flakes have their own unique appeal. They burn cool and slow, they offer a healthy nicotine dose, they smell and taste kind of funky, and offer a satisfying pipeful.

In the tin, this smells like Kendal Cream Flake; whether this is a similarity in the essences or in the constituent tobaccos I don't know.

This is a mixture of Virginias and Kentuckys, with dark fired leaf. It is very much like Gawith & Hoggarth's Dark Flake, with some sort of essence added.

The essence is a complete mystery to me. It is peppery and leathery, with an underlying sweetness. Its mouthfeel reminds me of smoking a cigar.

Anyway, it suits me just fine.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Have enjoyed pipe smoking, again, for almost 5 years now and have tried a number of Blends all of which have been recommended by my supplier. I agree with a number of the reviews, the aroma when opening the tin is pleasant, the first half of the bowl is very pleasant..a little strong for me since I prefer a milder smoke...but I find it does tend to loose its flavour half way through. I guess the secret here is to smoke half a bowl. Nicotine is there but I do not find overpowering. Since I can not get my Gawiths Chocolate Flake any more a good substitute but will try others before my final descision as to whether I continue. Recommended for those that enjoy a medium to strong tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cech Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cech (4)
Medium to Strong Extra Strong Overwhelming Tolerable to Strong

It's hard to gauge the strength of this flake. It has some nicotine from what I hear and read but the smell and taste of it is just too overwhelming for me to enjoy it. At first smoke it was a tobacco I wanted to take back even thought I knew I'd have to fight my only decent tobacconist. I tried it few more times after some extensive drying periods, not so much to let it dry but to let the casing dissipate and then it was somewhat better to smoke but not much. I would certainly not recommend this tobacco to anyone but I know tastes differ and I wish all the best to those who like it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Traderbob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Traderbob (24)
Strong Mild to Medium Full Tolerable

This was my first try of a dark flake. I picked a tin up while on the road without knowing anything about this blend. My first pipe did not go well as I did not let it dry at all and tried folding it into my bowl. It was difficlt to keep lit and I scrapped it with about 1/4 bowl left to go. I tried it a couple of days later and had about the same results but this time I tried to rub it out a little first - found it difficult to break apart and still smoked it without drying. At this point I was about ready to trade it off, but decided to give it one more try in a couple of days. When ready to load my third bowl, I had an epiphany (soft of like gas but not the same) - maybe the guys I read about that open tobacco and let it dry know something I don't. I rubbed out a goodly amount on paper and let it dry for about 30 minutes. It packed much easier and lit easily as well. Boy what a difference! Great smoke with good taste and I like the room note even though I can see how some would not. I enjoyed this tobacco more with every bowl. Then discovered that no one has this in stock!

I will buy more of this as soon as I can. This tobacco is not for the novice for first time pipe smoker. One should have some experience before firing this one up.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This tobacco was recommended to me after my tobacconist was out of a virginia blend that i was looking for. He said Bracken Flake was a virginia (which i already knew) and would be different, but that I'd like it. Even though i had read some bad reviews about this tobacco, i went ahead and bought it.

Opening the tin, I was surprised. The smell reminded me of Peterson's Irish Flake, but not near as strong. I wasn't quite expecting this. After a few sniffs i could smell the dark virginia's coming through pretty nicely.

The first bowl i "rubbed out" (more like breaking apart really) a few pieces, packed and lit it up. The taste was fairly strong. I could smell a somewhat cocoa aroma. I wasn't very impressed. The second bowl (the next day) i took some of the larger flakes and folded and stuffed them in my pipe. The tobacco had dried slightly and smelled much better in the tin. This bowl was much better than the first. The aroma was very tobacco-ey and rich! The smoke was full flavored, slightly sweet undertones though! After 3 bowls i really liked these dark fired Virginias! I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes dark flakes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Azazelo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Azazelo (4)
Very Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

I´ve tried it just once, but it was quite an intensive smoke. With experience of some other Samuel Gawith´s strong flakes, I´d expected something like that - full taste, slow burning and really satisfying amount of nicotin that would come through my palate and nostrils. I had to stop my smoking for a while in one point... I recommend it for some quiet and "introvert" moments to enjoy it. I´m looking forward to another smoke...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

incoinnu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
incoinnu (6)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I am enjoying this blend right now as I write my first review. As recommended I have allowed it to dry out a fair bit. It was flavorful from the first draw and has burnt evenly to the bottom of the bowl. It is full bodied with some underlying flavoring of chocolate. The only problem that I forsee is trying to find a reliable supply in the future.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Puffingstuff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puffingstuff (98)
Extremely Strong Extra Strong Very Full Very Strong

Smells like a porta-potty caught fire and burned straight to the ground. I've never tasted a burned porta-potty, but it might just taste like Braken flake. You chaps who like this tobacco, my hat is off to you. You're a better man than me Gunga Din! No thank you. You gents must be true lumber jacks.

Update; I still don't like this. I want to enjoy a pipe of tobacco but the nico being that concentrated and the taste of a burnt manure, this is still not for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

commonsenseman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
commonsenseman (4)
Strong Mild to Medium Very Full Strong

I've been smoking this blend fairly regularly for almost a year now & I figured that's long enough to give it a fair review. It is a blend that needs to be smoked for a while to be fully appreciated, especially since it's so full-flavored.

When I first open a tin it has a quite pungent aroma (dark chocolate?), this dissipates after being open for a while, it also lessens with age. The flakes vary from very thick to fairly thin, which seems to be normal for SG flakes, especially in bulk. It comes quite moist & needs to be dried out for a while. It packs & lights very well whether folded & stuffed or rubbed out. The initial aroma is of Dark Chocolate just like the tin aroma, maybe just a hint of something fruity too, it slows down after the beginning of the bowl though & becomes just a delicious, very dark Virginia flavor. It's mellow & smooth all the way to the bottom of the bowl.

Those who do not enjoy a very strong tobacco aroma will not appreciate this blends' room note. It works very well to scare off non-smokers if you so desire though.

Many people compare this to 1792. If I had to guess I would say the base tobaccos are the same, but the topping is very different. They are both delicious in their own way.

I HIGHLY recommend this blend if you don't shy away from full- bodied, full-flavored tobacco.

I would also like to add that this is not an "English Blend", which implies it has Latakia, it does not.

4 out of 4.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
Very Strong Mild Very Full Tolerable to Strong

This was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. A few Reviewers have compared this to 1792 flake or Dark Flake. I see the similarities in strength (Dark Flake) and flavor (1792) but neither is really accurate. I feel a better description would be STONEHAVEN on CRACK!! It is very deep and smooth but powerful. It also has a trange flaovring. It is rather 1 dimensional but very enjoyable. Hic cups may follow if smoked in a large bowl. A must try for all pipe smokers. 3.5 of 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

rramstad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rramstad (115)
Medium to Strong Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

I'm not sure if my opinion here is accurate, but I had trouble keeping this lit. It doesn't have as much topping as 1792 or Cob Plug, but has a similar flavor profile, just toned down. I did get a bit of tongue bite from it. It does have some similarities to GH Dark Flake as well. Given that I'd rather smoke 1792 or Dark Flake, I can't see reaching for this much. I'd give it three stars except for the burn and slight bite.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe Boiler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe Boiler (11)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

As usual my yardstick for tobacco comparison is Petersons Old Dublin. Still my number one by some distance now. This my first SG tobacco but not my first flake. What hit me was not the spicyness of the flavour but how sigularly peppery it is which appealed to me. This puts it just ahead of the Peterson University flake. I dont get the soapy, chocolate and fruity flavours at all. All round a good enjoyable relaxing smoke but if you smoke it too quickly you will lose the pepper and get burned instead. Slow and easy is the trick for sure.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

stephenspring Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
stephenspring (13)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Was very surprised how much I liked this. I love rich taste with equal mildness and this hit the spot. Although my fav is Balkan Supreme, this really surprised me. I bought it in bulk from who do a great job with their products and service. Not sure how to describe the taste because it is different but for me I give it top rating. Cool smoke, rich flavor, lovely mildness. Super stuff

Nobody has rated this review yet.

LSU Tiger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LSU Tiger (13)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable

I love a good traditional English flake. However, I do not like Bracken Flake. Frankly, the "soapy" taste leaves me cold. Sam Gawith's tobaccos are among my favorites, but I can't get past the unusual flavoring. Too bad, I've liked everything else I've tried.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Tolerable

To me it does taste a bit like 1792, just slightly less strong and without the tonquin flavoring. I just got out of church, where I sing in the choir. We did an arrangement (bad) of Beethoven's hallelujah chorus from Mount of Olives which is a truncated version coupled with a snippet of the Ode to Joy from the Ninth Symphony, with the wrong words; and the rather difficult 16th century anthem Rejoice in the Lord Alway (composer unknown). Tobaccos like this remind me of Beethoven's choral writing-he leaves the tenors and sopranos up in the stratosphere, pounding out Gs and As with scarcely a chance to breathe. It is powerful, and not unpleasant; but too much of it leaves me with a pain in my throat. I should have smoked it in a smaller bowled pipe. After leaving this tobacco out all night, it was still not completely dry, so I may try leaving it under a lamp for a while next time. The harshness did fade a bit halfway through the bowl, and I was getting some nice flavors from small sips-the tobacco does burn well.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mike Toney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike Toney (44)
Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Due to the "board" reviews here, I chose to sample Braken Flake before giving 1792 Flake a try. The tin aroma seemed slightly sweet & tangy but is hard for me to discribe. I rubbed out a bowlful quantity and dried it a short while. It is dark brown, sort of stringy and moist. I sampled a few draws before lighting but could not discern the taste which was very slight. After lighting up, I noticed a slightly sweet cigar taste and aroma. The nicotine level was perfect for me...not overly strong, but certainly noticeable and satisfying. Room note is that of a quality cigar. For me, this blend delivers & I can't find anything bad to say about my experience with BF. Therefore, IMHO, BF merits four **s!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Buggs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Buggs (2)
Medium to Strong None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

Opening the tin revealed very dark flakes of varying thickness.The aroma is musty,not very plesant to my senses.the flakes required some drying for optimal burn.Slightly rubbed out and with a loose pack the tobacco took to the match quite well.On first light there was a faint flavor of dried apricots and a very lite lakeland scent.The tobacco crowned up quite high and required a lite tamp for the second light.With the second light there were no flavors or aroma noticed. The bowl settled down to an easy,strong and unflavorfull smoke.The tobacco burned dry to the bottom leaving a grey ash.

Overall impression.Premium leaf,burns well when dryed out a bit. No bite with a noticable nicotine content.not much if any flavor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Helmsman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Helmsman (18)
Strong Medium to Strong Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a very full flavor english blend. Enjoyed the bold taste. Rubs very easy, lites up easy and produces lots of smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

newmission Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
newmission (14)
Strong Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I just keep on trying the SG flakes and each one keeps coming up a winner. Bracken Flake is dark brown with hints of gold in it. The tin scent did not reflect the taste at all. I am pleasantly surprised at its consistant fullness and love the 'plain jane' feel of the smoke. No real flavors that jump out at you just a simple medium to strong smoke that really satisfies all my smoking desire. I will say that mid bowl when the flavor really starts to culminate it tastes a bit like a good cigar. Love this blend and will keep it in my rotation. Nice on a rainy Saturday morning when there is nothing much to do. Cant wait to smoke it in the Winter while drinking a cup of Turkish Coffee. May be a good mix. Happy smoking.

EDIT: Since falling head over heels in love with Kendal Cream in the tin I purchased a pound in bulk and what a difference the bulk was compared to the tin. Hoping to purchase BF in bulk. Will re-review if I can find it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

murfman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
murfman (3)
Strong Mild to Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a very nice and strong tobacco that is best smoked slowly. If you rush it, as I did the first time I tried it, The strength gets to you and the flavors combine into a slurry of sour.

Smoked slow, as it is intended I believe, this tobacco shows more hints of its complex nature. This is a sipping tobacco, and as a true Gawith flake it smokes long.

It does need a little drying after being rubbed out, but all in all a real pleasant smoke for the experienced smoker.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

AnalogMoz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AnalogMoz (9)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A strong and scented brown-black uneven flake tobacco. The tin I had contained tobacco needing time to dry before smoking. I find it very, very tasty. I cannot tell much about this that would be constructive, but if, like me, you tried 1792 and found it over-flavored but liked where it was going, then Bracken Flake is quite possibly a fit for you.

Being available in affordable bulk increases my excitement over my discovery of this product.

Fragrant, delicious, different. If you're getting into stronger flake tobaccos like Peterson Irish Flake, I would seriously suggest you purchase a quantity of this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

AcworthAl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AcworthAl (38)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Overwhelming

The operative word is strong. I liked it; my wife did not like the way it smelled. It makes for a rich and enjoyable smoke. It might smoke better if dried a bit; it took several re-lights to get it going. It seems to have a good deal of nicotine, which is not all bad. This is a very good smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

colt25314 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
colt25314 (42)
Strong Very Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Another great blend from SG&C. Bracken Flake is a great example of the best tobaccos to be had coupled with expert processing in that good old English tradition of elevating taste without purging the flake of good old vitamin "N". Set back, load a bowl full and watch your troubles float away with the smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lord Byron Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lord Byron (11)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

It is amazing to me how subjective perspectives can be on a singly objective subject. (Yes, that is a loaded statement)

I read a lot of the reviews posted here and find most of them quite interesting and informative. When it comes to this one however, they seem to be all over the place. Although experience is limited to individuals this one seems a little extreme. That being the case, I can not help but add my, hopefully objective, 2 cents...

Bracken flake and 1792 (which I really enjoy) have very little in common. Apart from their burning characteristics and fire cured leaf they are completely different. Bracken is a medium to full bodied flake that is exceptionally smooth, earthy and has an illusive fruity sweetness. I agree that it needs to be smoked slowly as there are many flavors that can be experienced as its sipped; cherry, licorice, sweet maduro leaf and chocolate to name a few. It can also get temperamental if rushed and since I usually feel the same way, no problems there. I detect the fruitiness in the topping when smelling the flake which is similar to cherry as well as anise. Both are done conservatively in my estimation and exploit both the tanginess of the Virginia as well as the spiciness of the Kentucky respectively; brilliant blending from a great tobacco house. As the bowl progresses these flavors all intermingle in a simple yet intriguing way. Not highly complex but very delicious.

I agree that this is a strong tobacco however I find it more than manageable if smoked as intended. I also like the fact that Bracken gives the impression of an aromatic with a full tobacco flavor and presence. It does not taste like one but acts like one at times, a good one. I won't give Bracken 4 stars as I feel it is inferior to the likes of FVF and 1792 but I find it quite enjoyable and will continue to keep it in my Lakeland rotation as it just agrees with my palate. A high quality flake for the seasoned piper, recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

p4p4 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
p4p4 (59)
Very Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A strange tobacco. Very very very cool, strong, and with tonquin flavor (but less that 1792). The flavor is complex: chocolate, matured virginia tobacco, medicine....and lot more. This one is not my prefer tobacco, but i find it very interesting, complex and enjoyable. This blend is composed by very high quality tobaccos, and so i highly recomended it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe-arazzo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe-arazzo (71)
Strong Mild to Medium Medium Strong

Lakeland Tour Stop 16

Hmm...Bracken Flake. This stuff was strong, even stronger than 1792, in my experience. I could handle it once I got used to it, but it always gave me quite the buzz. Like 1792, it came in a broken flake form, very easily rubbed out. It burns well and very cool...probably has some menthol or related element.

The flavor was nice and toasty, only slightly sweet, creamy, with some bitter cigar or black coffee flavors. As I went through the tin the darker flavors receded leaving a creamy toasty flavor and more prominence to the topping, whatever it is.

I prefer 1792, as it has more robust tobacco flavor and a sweeter topping. That being said, if you like 1792, you should try this too. Very similar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

IHT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
IHT (15)
Strong Extremely Mild Full Very Pleasant

This was one of my first entries into the SG Flake arena. I loved it!

Deep Dark flakes to match the flavors. If you've never had it, it tastes exactly like the tin aroma on the finish. It came across to me as some sort of spicy, peppery, syrup flavor.

While flavor should be the most important factor in choosing a tobac, some are just too darn fickle to deal with (like McClellands Dark Star). SG Flakes are the best in terms of preparation and smoking qualities, that all adds to the overall 4 star ranking I give Bracken Flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bluenoser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluenoser (34)
Strong Strong Full Pleasant

My favorite of the SG line. This tobacco could easily be a filler in a strong spicy Mexican cigar. As a matter of fact if I could role cigars I'd be using this weed as the filler. I prefer it rubbed out completely. I have been smoking this blend for nearly a decade and hope to continue puffing away at it for many more to come. Love it a lot, great stuff and should appeal to those of you who do enjoy a strong spicy stogie now and again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

itoosmokeapipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
itoosmokeapipe (3)
Strong Mild to Medium Full Strong

This is a weird one... when I opened the tin, the first thought that came to my mind was soap. It smells like soap. It doesn't quite taste like soap, but it is definitely a unique tobacco. I might get it again, but it won't be something I'm craving after. Also, it burns the hell out of you if you inhale it through your nose.... just watch out.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (107)
Strong Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

Good quality Virginias, Packs and burns well, this tobacco realy does make you smoke it slowly, an excellent disciplinarian, it basically comes down to whether or not you like the taste of the essence used, unfortunately for me, I do not. One star for quality, second for the reminder to smoke slow, but this is one SG I won't be buying again, SG do too many other tobacco's which IMO are far superior.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kleophrades Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kleophrades (39)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

=Update: 18 months in storage do nothing for this blend. The tin aroma has mellowed, but so too have the Virginias when you actually smoke the stuff. In the end, the only change is that the flavoring is more prominent. Not an improvement, to my mind. =

Blowfish's review is exactly on the money. The only things I'd add are, first, that the tin aroma is definitely "intimidating," as the blurb puts it. If anything, that's an understatement. The stuff smells awful: heavy, sweet, and medicinal. But the smoke is far more understated, so don't be put off.

Second, the flavor. It's surprisingly mild: a bit of prune, a bit of apricot, as much tangy as sweet. There are occasional wafts of cherry and anise in the background. But the sweetness is always light, if never exactly subtle. Once the Virginias kick in, this stuff becomes pretty delicious. I did not expect to like it, but was pleasantly surprised.

It does get bitter toward the end, so follow kilted1's advice and smoke slowly. Doing so may be difficult, though, if you like that nicotine wallop.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1280)
Very Strong Medium to Strong Very Full Strong

Too strong..made me gag...and I gave this stuff many chances in the last 2 years. Too bad, it has a very alluring aroma and taste but it turns too harsh very quickly and made me sick. I don't think this was due to nicotine since I've had some powerhouses in the past (pipe and cigs). If only this came in a "lite" version.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Idontwantapickle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Idontwantapickle (6)
Overwhelming Strong Overwhelming Overwhelming

Dear Goodness boys, how can you ever like this stuff? It tasted like I was smoking pure Bull dung, not that I've tried bull dung before. I will not waste my money or time with something what smells like arse fruit. The SG Full Virginia flake is good but this..I've said enough already.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Quoll Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Quoll (17)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Strong

I'm not going to relate this to 1792 because I haven't tried it. I have tried Petertson's Irish Flake and that is what this reminds me of. Not the same, but with some similarities.

First, it is strong. No other way to put it. If you like delicate mild flavours look elsewhere. In the tin are dark rough cut flakes with a strong aroma - raisins, figs, aniseed, cough medicine, sweaty. Not the typical hay/grass Virginia smell at all, but not Lakeland soap either. The flakes are a little moist. After a 15 minute airing they rubbed out readily and were quite dry. Very coarse and quite difficult pack with more tobacco smell than anything else by the time it had aired.

The taste & strength is reminiscent of PIF on the first light, with a cigar-like tobacco flavour. None of the tin aroma in the smoke. Slow burning, sips nicely. This is strong stuff, but smooth with it. By half-way the Virginia sweetness is there too ? kind of a more interesting cigar flavour with a peppery finish. I do not get complexity like in FVF, but a very satisfying smoke. Still surprised to find none of the tin aroma flavours in the smoke. The nicotine level is high, with a back-of-the-mouth sensation again like a good cigar. No bite at all.

3 stars from me. I would score it higher, but it is a little too strong for my tastes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Argo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Argo (17)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

It feels like so many of the reviews for Bracken Flake mention it's related to 1792. This frustrates me because it makes me wonder just how infectious some ideas are. The first thing that comes to mind is Erinmore and "pineapple" topping which is an idea based on a poor assumption of the tin art. Bracken Flake contains no noticeable tonquin. The only similarity it has to 1792, is it's a densely pressed flake of many layers. It's hard to keep lit, like 1792 for this reason. It is far from 1792 in taste and flavoring, so I would advise those deciding to try or not to try Bracken Flake based on their experience with 1792, or vice versa, to avoid doing so. I would compare Bracken Flake to a less fruity, bolder and fuller Grousemoor in flake form. Unfortunately I am not a fan of Grousemoor's topping which would detract my enjoyment of Bracken Flake. To be fair, the flavoring isn't in your face and eventually dissipates for the most part which allows me to enjoy the flavor of the tobacco itself at certain points of smoking this. Not disappointing enough to get rid of, but not pleasant enough to spend resources on a second time. Two of four stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

anixi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
anixi (17)
Strong Mild Full Pleasant

Tonquin and carrots are the tastes I get off this very fine flake. Add to that some mid-bowl tang and spiciness. This isn't much like Cob Plug, with that almost cloying aroma of tonquin, but more of a polite introduction to it. Just enough to make the aroma very nice. Monochromatic, if not for the spice. Super for those evening walks out in the snow.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Holy Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Holy Smoke (26)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Tolerable

Dark, rich and brooding - a truly wonderful smoke.

Admittedly all these cross-references to 1792 may be a bit confusing: These are two tobaccos at completely different ends of the flavour range. It is more comparable to a fruitier Irish Flake than it's Lakeland brothers and sisters.

This is a perfect walking tobacco and one that is certainly moving onto my rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

traveler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
traveler (40)
Strong Mild Very Full Strong

A heavyweight with a lot of body. The tin aroma is muddy and unpleasant but the smoke is rich, full and satisfying. The kinship with 1792 is undeniable, but thankfully, without the large dose of Tonquin.

Braken Flake is an old fashioned fire cured tobacco, best as an evening blend for a small pipe.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ducksbreath Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ducksbreath (109)
Very Strong Medium to Strong Full Very Strong

Very dark and rich, monochromatic and powerful, but not bitter or over the top. The only reason not to give this a = rating is I still have a supply of Condor and Walnut Flake. Otherwise, I like this more than 1792 (which I have not had for years).

I do not think there is any Tonka Bean in this, thank goodness. If there is, it is below the radar.

The best thing about BF is the combination of strength and sweetness without being cloying or overwhelming (this will be a matter of personal preference of course). In this regard, I think it's better than Bosun Cut Plug or Conniston Cut Plug.

A good deal darker (in looks and taste) and fuller than Rum Flake, I find it equally as sweet, but in a different way, and as strong or stronger than Rum Flake as well. In fact, the color is very much like Stonehaven, as is the full, not-biting creamy body, though the taste is of course different.

The "long used essence" is fairly subtle, at least for Lakeland flakes, and won't leave your fingers smelling like you just put on some cheap aftershave.

This should be tried by anyone who wants to explore the dark Lakeland flakes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (102)
Medium to Strong Strong Full Pleasant

There is something of the nature of the ever-controversial 1792 lurking in the physical aspect of Bracken, but the similarities end there. The tin aroma is reminiscent of a muted Erinmore, somewhat liquorice-like in character, perhaps some anise? Be that as it may, the flake is dark and wet. After a suitable drying, it breaks and packs well enough, staining my fingers with greasy goodness. The smoke is tasty, albeit somewhat monochromatic, but in a fashion I enjoy. It presents a goodly bit of strength and burns slowly, allowing one to really "drink" the Lakelands in. I can see this becoming a problem for me, as I only have one tin left, and I will open it as soon as I get home...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1280)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I was first given a tin of this from a friend who thought I might like Bracken Flake. Since then I have purchased several more tins. I would consider this a lighter weight cousin of 1792 as it lacks the tonquin that 1792 posesses. But still there is a flavoring of some sort that I find difficult to describe.

Bracken smokes best in a medium to large bowl and not finely rubbed out. The tins I have smoked needed to dry out. I have the best results when I smoke this outdoors. When smoked gently this stuff blossoms for me and developes gently as the tobacco is consumed. I almost get the same sensation on the back of my throat with BF as I get when enjoying pure maple syrup though I would not suggest that this tastes like nor smells like maple.

BF burns down to a fuffy white ash and leaves no dottle to speak of. While this will never be an everyday/all-day smoke for me (not due to any short-comings but just because my tastes are changing), it will have a place reserved for it in my stock.

Gretchen doesn't run away when I smoke it. She sets at my feet and chews her bone. I would give this a 4 out of a possible 5.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WxGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WxGuy (95)
Medium to Strong Medium Very Full Strong

Braken Flake is supposedly "of a lesser density than 1792", whatever that means. Though not bitey, it is harsher on the throat than 1792 IMO, and less flavorful.

I do not detect the "intimidating" aroma in the pouch (a curious word, that, to use in promoting a tobacco!) but it sure has a strong room note. A strong tobacco all around.

I find this reminds me more of the various black rope tobaccos than of 1792. I do not find it as enjoyable, either. It came a bit more moist than 1792 and I had to let it dry a few hours before sealing up in a Ball jar. I would hesitate to give up on a S. Gawith tobacco, 'cause the others have been so pleasurable. I will let this sit a while and see if it mellows with time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darwin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darwin (101)
Strong Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

Bracken Flake is almost black. It comes very moist and needs to be dried.

It has a very strong, almost cigar flavor that I don't like. While I haven't completely given up on Bracken Flake, I hesitate to recommend it to Virginia tobacco lovers. For those who like ropes and cigars, this might be a nice choice.

I don't mean to imply this is not a quality tobacco. It has a delicate sweetness, but is so high in nicotine and cigar-like flavor, I have trouble enjoying it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

smokestack Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smokestack (6)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a very dark, almost black, flake with a pronounced fragrance. I taste the topping on the back of my palate but, surprisingly, it is not nearly as strong as the tin aroma smells. Altogether it is a pleasant presence. The predominant taste is good, solid tobacco. The moisture content is high but smokeable in a fresh tin. After a week or so it has dried just a bit and is fine. At initial fire this tobacco crowns up more than anything I've seen but it tamps down easily at second light.If you don't break it up too much in rubbing out it is a very slow, smoldering smoke. Oh how fine it is! This works very well in a briar or a meeschaum. There is no way this is likely to bite but its no shrinking violet either. Flavour and nicotine are both definitely plentiful. I find I need more than the average number of relights but this tends to pace the smoke , so I don't consider it a problem. You may find that unless you live alone or have a tolerant wife you want to smoke Bracken Flake outdoors. It doesn't smell nasty like some orientals but it has a pretty heavy tobacco presence. By mid-bowl the fragrant topping is pretty well gone and the Kentucky leaf is coming into its own. What little ash there is is snow white. Even a small bowl last easily an hour.

This is the real thing! It stays good to the very last morsel.

Nobody has rated this review yet.