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Iwan Ries

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Storm-tossed seas, a howling wind, a ship with full sail beating into the wind and Jolly Jack Tar at the helm with his trusty pipe. Images which are conjured up whilst smoking Samuel Gawith's Navy Flake. A traditional offering of Virginias, pressed with just the right amount of Latakia and flavoured with Rum. Medium strength.

BrandSamuel Gawith
Blended BySamuel Gawith
Blend TypeVirginia/Latakia
ContentsLatakia, Virginia
FlavoringRum
CutFlake
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy Iwan Ries
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
Mild
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 15 Users

3.2
97 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
46
3 star:
32
2 star:
14
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5
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Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (125)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

This is another masterpiece from SG, similar in appearance and presentation to their Balkan Flake, but quite distinctive. My discription of the appearance and handling of this tobacco is the same as can be found in my review of SG Balkan Flake. Here the latakia is used sparingly and submerged into the overall flavor of the smoke. Clearly, the Virginia has a top dressing which reminds me of plum, but that is a mere approximation. The result is that the flavor of the Virginia combined with the latakia and top dressing hits a pure and beautiful note that is sustained throughout the entire bowl. This is a mild and mellow smoke that will transport you far from the madding crowd. Somebody at Samuel Gawith is a genius. Most highly recommended. Paddy.

9 people found this review helpful.

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

I am a SG flake lover. I also love rum, so I had high expectations for this tobacco. The tin aroma was strong Latakia. I did not detect much rum. As far as flakes go, this was not as difficult to stay lit as some others. Yea it goes out some but the pipe you smoke flakes in makes a big difference. If you are having problems with this, I suggest you get a pipe with a wider inner bowl dimension and one that is not too deep. Check out a Baronet Bruyere 320 EX, a fantastic inexpensive pipe. It sports a 1” inner diameter bowl which is great for flakes.

Back to the Navy Flake review. The smoke has a very pleasant sweetness on the tip of the tong from the rum. It is mild-medium with absolutely no bite and medium nicotine. Not sure of the room note. I definitely don't mind it in my car! My next step is to compare this tobacco to G.L. Peases' Sextant. I'll give this one three and a half stars. I highly recommend it and I enjoy smoking it.

5 people found this review helpful.

Clive Moses Apikouris Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Clive Moses Apikouris (30)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

This is an unbelievably satisfying and scrumptious tobacco. I was immersed in enjoyment from the moment I opened the tin. My nostrils filled with a literally mouthwatering sweet, smokey, savory aroma. Visually the strips of tobacco look to be chewy and tasty and match the olfactory experience. As others have mentioned previously, I felt the urge to tear off a bit and begin noshing on the stuff. Instead I rubbed it out and for a first run packed it into a favorite Peterson system pipe. It rubbed out moist but I never dry out tobacco. I like moist tobacco. Dry tobacco usually becomes bitter in my opinion. Lighting up my mouth was filled with smoke that was consistent with both the previous visual and olfactory information I had acquired. DEEELICIOUS! Lots of sweet n'smokey in a smooth viscus and non-monotonous manner. The flavor always stayed in the sweet n' smokey category but varied in degrees of bright and dark flavors. The latakia is only a seasoning here, this is nothing like a Balkan or English Oriental blend. It'a really on the other side of the "English" varieties. Just ripe sweet Virginias with a pinch of Latakia and a splash of Rum. Oh I suppose there is some of the famous (or infamous) Lakeland essence here also. The result is outstanding and a pure pleasure to smoke without a hint of harshness or tongue bite. I've since smoked it in a variety of pipes. It's best enjoyed in a medium size bowl with a bit of depth like my Blakemar Briars Straight Grain,bent billiard. I've smoked it in a nice Shalom Author and the lack of depth led to too much re-lighting. Most very highly recommended!

4 people found this review helpful.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

03-06-2005 Not a bell ringer for this piper.

Appearance and Tin Aroma: Smell sweet in the tin. Not sure what type of Rum that was used, but it is not overbearing.There is a slight odor of Latakia. The flakes are stacked neatly and look dark and feel sticky.

Packing and Lighting: even though the flakes are sticky, I just stufed them lengthwise in my pipe and let her rip. Surprisingly, it lit fairly easy, 4-5 lights max.

Initial Flavor: Sweet rum, Va tastes on the mature middle to low end flavor spectrum.

Mid-Bowl: A slight increase in strength. Not nuch complexity. Burns cool. Is there Latakia in here?

Bottom of Bowl: Just a slight increase of flavor. Nicotine is there but not overbearing. Definitely enough nicotine to require a good meal before smoking, though.

Overall: Where's the beef? This is a smooth no-nonsense Navy Flake, but it just did not do anything particularly exciting flavorwise for me. It is just a smooth middle of the road smoke. For some, that is enough. The leaf used in this blend is of high quality. I much prefer C&D's Black Frigate over this one.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Points

4 people found this review helpful.

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

The Virginias are slightly grassy and a bit tangy, providing a nice solid base for the light smokey, woodsy latakia. The latakia will pop up a little more here and there if you cube cut it, but never enough to dominate. The rum topping is light, but a welcome presence. This flake may necessitate a little dry time, but not too much, and you need a little moisture to get the inherent flavors. Slow burning and tasty all the way to the finish, though you may have a little wetness at the bottom. Depending on your smoking habits, this is nearly an all day smoke with just enough strength to keep you interested if you wish to indulge more than once a day.

3 people found this review helpful.

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

My local tobacconist got some of this in a few days ago. I was on my last flak of Mac Baren's NF, so i thought I would give SG's a try.

The rum flavoring may have come out in the aroma a little... but not much. There is plenty of Latakia, but not overwhelming amounts. Seemed to be nice dark virginias mostly. Lit it up easily after "fold-n-stuff". Has a very nice spicy taste! I loved it! Definitely will be ordering some more of this! Highly recommended

3 people found this review helpful.

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

Although rubbing out flakes can be bothersome, this is worth the effort! Great balance, with just enough Latakia and a nice rum taste in the background! Excellent smoke!

3 people found this review helpful.

JDev84 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JDev84 (7)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

like old dublin, but with rum. almost butterey. more latakia, too. good amount of nicotine, very tasty. good after dinner smoke. amazing taste when blown out the nose. ill buy it again from time to time.

3 people found this review helpful.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I love the presentation of this flake-big, meaty rectangles cut to fit the tin. Dark brown with little lighter flecks here and there, and also some strange almost powdery off-white discoloration. One can smell the Latakia and the rum, but these do not overpower the Virginias in either the tin smell or the smoke. A good smoke-when one wants a Gawith natural Virginia with a little Latakia and mild rum topping to make it interesting. A good change of pace, in other words. Like most Gawiths I've tried, best smoked slowly, but won't hurt you too bad if you don't.

Well, after finishing the tin just have to upgrade to four stars-can't see why not. A unique and satisfying tobacco, and one of my favorite uses of a light application of Latakia. I will have to get some more, and may try the bulk version.

3 people found this review helpful.

Hemlock Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hemlock (57)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Reliable latakia flake. I've had my tin open for over a year, just getting around to it again. Imagine SG's Full Virginia Flake with a latakia leaf or two pressed into the cake before the factory cut it into flakes. It is meant to smoke on the dry side-- jam a couple flakes in a bowl without much method (no rubbing), and it smokes on its own.

Don't analyze it, just smoke it and get about your other business as you do. It is a companion smoke, not a religious rite.

3 people found this review helpful.

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

On top of everything good that has been said about this weed, it has a very pleasant and distinctive tin aroma. I filled an empty tin of this with balkan Mixture, a week has gone now and every time I open the tin I still smell Navy Rum, rather than Balkan Mixture! A smell to die for.

3 people found this review helpful.

well tampered clavier Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
well tampered clavier (9)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a really interesting tobacco! i've had a real experiment with navies recently and this is a favorite. I came to realise with smoking this that the term Navy refers more to the process than to the archetypal rum casing. I'm certainly a latakia lover, and greatly enjoy smoking in public/amongst friends where Latakia isn't so appreciated by those around me. Well here we have a delightfully flavoured navy with a wee smidgeon of Latakia that satisfies the Lat-palette yet hides in the room note! for me this is fantastic and quite unique!

I especially like flake tobaccos when i want a long slow smoke or when outdoors where a ribbon or shag cut just seems to burn to fast with the wind. this is a good flake to walk smoking with. like i mentioned with squadron leader, a good amount of nicotine in this 1, so best on a full stomach.

there are a lot of complaints regarding the moisture content of this smoke, but all tobaccos required different technique and this is a wonderful tobacco if you simply fold with a air pocket and leave for 15mins before lightning up. treat it as it deserves and you get a lovely smoke! I must stress how unique this navy flake is with its splatter of latakia a real must-try.

3 people found this review helpful.

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

Lakeland Tour stop 18

This was pretty good. It's in the same vein as Balkan Flake and Chocolate flake--virginias much like Best Brown or Full Virginia with some latakia and a discrete topping. Like Balkan but unlike Chocolate flake, the latakia in Navy is noticeable enough to merit smoking this in latakia-dedicated pipes. Chocolate Flake seemed at home in virginia dedicated pipes and clashed with latakia pipes.

Of those three, Navy is, to me, the most immediately enjoyable, though perhaps not as interesting as Chocolate. The rum flavoring is discrete, and adds only a nice sweetness. This flake dried out very fast and had to be significantly re-hydrated at one point. Otherwise, not too distinctive but always enjoyable.

3 people found this review helpful.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (198)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Navy Flake is a sweet tobacco with rum casing and some top flavoring, Latakia isn?t strong, it?s here just for support, the smoke is sweet, honey like, nicely flavored with some perfume, mild tasty and enjoyable as dessert smoke.

Good quality Navy blends for sweet and top flavored tobacco lovers.

3 people found this review helpful.

matty Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
matty (21)
★★★★
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

This is another homerun for me . I pack this semi rubbed out in my ashton x pebblegrain billiard and smoke it slowly contemplating childhood memory's . This blend is not super powerfull but that does not mean it lacks taste. Sweet, and musty the perfect duo. Lots of white smoke make this a goto smoke on a cool night or a warm summer morning, pair it up with some fine columbian supremo and wala. That reminds me to order another pound or five. I found this smokes sweeter aged. Dribs and drabs of light cherrys, or plums as patty mentioned wait until you can see some white in the almost black flakes you won't be dissapointed.

3 people found this review helpful.

Django Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Django (4)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Full Tolerable

What a pleasure to smoke this ! I'm now having a great time with this tobacco ! In my opinion, this is the best flake I ever tasted. Although, it's a bit strong, the little dark chocolate aroma is excellent. It's a very well balanced tobacco. Very pleasant to smoke, I'm sure flake's amateurs will be delighted ! It shows well Samuel Gawith's experience in tobaccos.

3 people found this review helpful.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (96)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I've gone through several tins of this now over the last few months, and my views have changed, what I felt was a rather strong evening smoke, has now moved into a daytime one. The first time I smoked this, not being used to Latakia, I wondered what I was setting fire too. It seemed a bit strong but very pleasant, with just a hint of rum, so I kept this for an evening smoke with a book. As time and tins progressed, I now find I'm burning this earlier in the day and it seems quite mild and very pleasant. This is one of several Sam Gawiths Flakes I will not be without, and I keep a number of tins on hand. Four Stars.

3 people found this review helpful.

htduck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
htduck (23)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Very Pleasant

This blend of Navy Flake is to puffing as a good grilled sirloin is to eating. Full yet not harsh. I love this smoke in the evenings outside by a fire. I don't understand anyone having a hard time packing and lighting this if they would take the time to visit the website. The instructions take all the guess work out. A fun friendly smoke. Three stars.

3 people found this review helpful.

hagen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hagen (91)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

tin aroma reveals no rum, imo. only virginia and latakia. i rub the flakes out, as i find they light and burn too slowly i don't. the taste is rather different from the tin aroma. or rather, a lot of notes are added. this is a very spicy and complex tobacco. quite amazing, given it's simple contents. i wonder how the people at samuel gawith achieved this effect, as i don't feel that it's just the addition of rum.

anyway, this tobacco is a joy to smoke at any time of the day. bite free and lightweight, it's fine in the morning, and it's still got enough of interest to do fine in the evening. highly recommended.

3 people found this review helpful.

puro66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
puro66 (73)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Many companies offer a Navy Flake and they generally smoke hot with a bite if you're not careful. Not so with SG. This is a smooth smoke with no bite. The rum adds a faint sweetness that is very pleasant with just a hint of latakia. An excellent well balanced flake that can be enjoyed by many.

3 people found this review helpful.

ChicagoPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ChicagoPipe (45)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Out of the three flakes I tried from SG, the others being Bracken and Balkan, this is my favorite. Navy Flake is very similuar to Balkan Flake, but with less latakia and real rum. The VA's are dark brown and the rum flavor is light and provides a nice sweet background. Don't get me wrong, this does not taste like a aromatic. Burns cool and down to a fine grey ash, with no tounge bite.

Fairly moist in the tin, so it needs some air time. My flakes had beautiful sugar crystals on the VA's. Unfortunetlly, since SG does not put any dates on their tins, I don't know how old my tin was. Nice price for Smoking Pipes. I will buy this in bulk on the next order.

Highly Recommeded

3 people found this review helpful.

Captain Pete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Captain Pete (83)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

I'm updating my original review. Initially I found the flavor to be a little flat, and wasn't overly impressed with this flake. I have since found that, in the right pipe, it is quite a wonderful smoke. I have a Peterson tankard and an Irish Seconds zulu with a long stem, and these pipes are just the right size for a smallish, delicately flavored flake like Gawith's Navy flake. The dark brown, leathery flakes rub out to just the right broken consistency, and stuffed in a small pipe just so, light right up and stay lit. The latakia is almost a little overwhelming at first light, but fairly quickly fades into the background, there staying just as a lingering presence. The flavoring is mildly sweet, but not at all spicy like one would expect with a traditionally cased rum or navy flake. The trademark lakeland flavor just barely makes itself known ocassionally, but after one or two bowls is unnoticable. I will definitely be smoking more of this in the winter months to come.

3 people found this review helpful.

Talonr1701 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Talonr1701 (119)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is a great blend.....This is more of a Navy Flake than most other blends I have tried....Or at least to my expectations... The Virginia is typical S.G.- Nice, Sweet, flavorful...Just enough Latakia to make it exotic, and a great rum flavor that sweetens the whole effect. From begining to end, a smooth, tasty smoke. No hint of bite, no harshness...Just a good smoke. Definatly a doer....

3 people found this review helpful.

k9zm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
k9zm (7)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

I just love the taste of the tobaccos used in Sam Gawith flakes. I assume that it is a combination of where they are from and the processes used to produce the flake tobaccos. Almost a meaty flavor. Superb!

I have to leave a tin out for a couple days to dry a bit. I really don't mind, just wish they would pack a full two ounces per tin to make use of the space. But I have also been stocking up with pounds.

Rubs out easily, packs well. Navy flake smokes as cool as other Sam Gawith flakes. No tongue bite waiting here. Plenty of latakia and a nice chosen flavor. Yes, that could be rum, but it might just be good Virginia's and the process that makes a sweet tasting flake. The latakia is present and not overpowering. This could be an all day smoke for most.

This Podunker gives a thumbs up.

Enjoy, Carlos

3 people found this review helpful.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

As a big fan of Balkan flake I anticipated liking this and I do. As with moist flakes, I rub them out pretty thoroughly and load them in the pipe bowl. After waiting 15 to 60 minutes I fire it up. If it doesn't light right away let it sit a while. I think if you smoke this too wet the rum flavor is too much. My only regret is the limited amount in the tin. Looks like about ten smokes to me.

3 people found this review helpful.

The Happy Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Happy Piper (14)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

As soon as you open the tin of SGNF you know it's not like their more famous offerings- rich blonde Va with dark Lat ribbons. I'll be honest, I can't taste the casing- there's no inherent sweetness to my palate apart from that of Va. This is a tasty blend; the quality of the virginias definitely shines through. A good everyday tobacco, great to have around when you don't know what to smoke or you want something straightforward but not prosaic. A bit of an inspired offering from S.G. It's beige, but in a good way. :-)

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipemanuk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipemanuk (76)
★☆☆☆
Medium Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

Well, I agree with Wibble on this one.

To be honest I have got fed up with SG's poor track record. I've had quite a few tins either not sealed and/or rusted inside. Tobacco so unevenly cut and soaking wet that it's a pain to get them to smoke evenly. I've even found mouldy tobacco on opening the tins. Sad to say it because I love Bracken Flake and 1792, when I could get a decent tin that is.

As for Navy Flake...I've had one or two tins where it's been a tolerably nice smoke but on the whole I have had the results Wibble has had.

I go to G & H now in the main...always good in cut, taste and flavour...and value for money.

2 people found this review helpful.

CoolPilot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CoolPilot (65)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I rate this flake 4 stars, initially after a few bowls. Latakia is weak, I would say 15%, dark virginia like in brown flake, some rum made in the islands, for what is worth, but not disappointing. Tastes full, not so strong, and I can describe it as a delicious smoke. It is not even a mid-english blend, for me it is just a standalone blend. The Balkan flake is another matter. This is a brown flake with some latakia and rum flavour, maybe. Good, very good. Same problems of lightning and the tobacco need some drying, as in all SG tins, but that's part of the deal with SG.

Update after the first tin: the problem with this good flake is that it does not burn. We all know too well the SG attitude to deliver hard to smoke flakes, but this one beats all of the others. I mean I cannot bear with lighting 20 times the flake to keep it burning, and nothing changed no matter I tried all tricks. It is too pressed, I believe.

Update: by rolling a lot the flake, reducing it to broken flake, the smoke is ok. Lots of moisture nevertheless. But very good all the way.

Similar Blends: cornell & dhiel black frigate.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Good lord, this is a delicious tobacco. I think the good points have been stated well enough by others. It's meaty. I mean, it really has a meaty, sweet beef jerky kind of smell in the tin.

The first time I tried this flake, I expected it to be a lot heavier blend; in fact, it's pretty moderate. The flavor is rich and smooth, it burns beautifully if rubbed out and dried a little (it's downright moist on arrival), and it's got enough nic-kick to keep one going on a late night writing session.

Delicious. One of my favorites.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

I was quite disappointed in this blend. I read that this was Balkan Flake with rum, so I thought it would add a new dimension to the tobacco.I was wrong. This was one of the most boring tobacco's I have smoked. I don't know if I got a bum tin or what, but I found this to have less flavor than Balkan Flake. I could tell that this was quality tobacco and it burned nicely, (after drying out), but was wholly lacking in taste. Commonwealth Mixture is the exact opposite of this blend and I enjoy other SG offerings, but this one fell flat for me.

Soli Deo gloria!

2 people found this review helpful.

machinebcon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
machinebcon (50)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

An interesting mix of VA, Lat and Rum flavour. I got my last order in a rusty (!) tin, which had negative effect on the tin aroma. Big chunks of dark tobaccos, bit on the moist side. Smells like a mix of smoked bacon, liquorice and a hint of Ouzo. Tastes well-balanced, slightly sweet and not typical for a tobacco containing Latakia, which only plays a supporting role adding the leather base. Top quality tobacco, light to medium in Vitamin N. Tastes fantastic in cold, windy or rainy weather. Not a summertime tobacco in my opinion, but definitely recommended for autumn afternoons. Gets four stars if SG manages to introduce a better quality control for their tin material.

2 people found this review helpful.

Aussie-man-die-as Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Aussie-man-die-as (13)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Very Full Strong

I reach for Navy Flake when I want a strong, rummy flavor hit with Latakia. No-brainer really. Not too much nicotine, but strong enough.

Really good Virginias, a splash of Latakia and a dash of rum. Rich and full flavored; I can't smoke it all the time, but when I do I am always satisfied. Keep room note away from loved ones if you want to be loved.

This is tarry and difficult to rub out fully, and it leaves the fingers coated with Latakia/rum residue. But once lit (a few charring lights required) it smokes well with some attention. For me, it is worth the trouble, and is a unique combination in my experience. The consistency is similar to Sam Gawith's Balkan Flake, although a touch gummier. Less Latakia though, but more depth of flavor.

I "highly recommend" this to lovers of rich flavors, who are not afraid of a little extra preparation time. Others need not apply.

This too shall pass.

2 people found this review helpful.

DrCHicks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrCHicks (9)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Tolerable to Strong

This is one of my top 5 smokes. It is full of flavor and is just a great smoke to enjoy with a guinness. Truthfully the reason I enjoy this smoke so much is it returns me to Ireland. I can almost fil the mist and hear the sheep of that lovely green land when I light this tabocco. The smoke itself has a extremely warm and smooth body. I always return to this smoke when I just want to totally relax and leave my toughts of worries and cares behind.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Marosi's review echoes my sentiments: This flake explodes with flavor, and is smooth from first light to last puff. Despite how moist it is (I rub it out and only let it sit for 15 minutes to keep the rum flavor intact), it burns completely dry to a fine, light ash.

Unlike other Navy Flakes, this contains Latakia, but it is tamed in typical Lakeland fashion, and the rum flavoring adds a pleasing and complementary taste, atypical of other flavored English blends I've tried, where everything competes for attention and the result is a mishmash. Some have said that this is boring, but I disagree. It may not be contemplative, but it is never dull -- medium to full, I say, with enough nicotine to satisfy. It does smoke slow when not over-dry, so one flake will do ya.

Worth a try!

2 people found this review helpful.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (120)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I burned through a tin of this in no time flat. I was kind of curious as I cannot recall ever smoking a rum topped Navy flake with Latakia. These flakes are very moist in the tin that require drying for several minutes. I like to put some flakes on the cool ledge of the woodstove to delicately dry these in about 15 minutes. Rubbing out takes a bit of effort, but well worth it. Initial light reveals a slight Latakia flavor, but is in perfect harmony with the Va. The rum is there, but barely noticable. Small sips brings this out the best. Definitely a flake to keep around.

2 people found this review helpful.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (137)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As with some of the SG flakes, you will need to dry this for a bit before attempting to even come close to it with fire. I must say this is my first try of a navy flake and I find it is a very nice blend. After getting this lit, it seems to burn nicely and gives me a bit of an oomph in the Vitamin N department, which is hardly a bad thing. The rum flavoring is not overpowering in any sense of the word, but has a good presence. Overall, recommended.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Interesting blend of Va. and latakia with a light topping of rum. I like the concept of adding latakia to the mix in order to beef up the flavors, however, in this case I feel that SG overdid it a bit. Very flavorful flake and I enjoy it as a nice detour from my regular rotation of straight Virginias. Definitely more kick than MacBaren's and less sweet. Rum note is weak but present. Moist like most Gawith products so rub it out fully and find something else to do for an hour before packing and lighting up.

2 people found this review helpful.

goldfinger63 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
goldfinger63 (13)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

this is best navy flake i have ever smoked,excellent tobacco and has to be the brother of the balkan flake.i find this needs a little drying out before loading the pipe.when packing the pipe its best not to pack too hard.this is best enjoyed sipping rather than power puffing away.if you like english blends with latakia not over powering well worth trying.a top notch from samuel gawith.

2 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (589)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This one took quite awhile to show its strengths. I did not like the first half-tin but eventually I caught up to it. Certainly it seems straightforward enough but it let go of its secrets with reticence.

Nice looking flake... thick flakes that took well to fold-n-stuff. It performed best in that state and with minimal drying out. Too dry and it lost its sparkle, but somewhere halfway between tin moisture and tinder was best. No nicotine overload with this one.

This tobacco has one of the best finishes of any blend containing latakia that I've ever smoked. Even during the first half-tin when I was bored out of my skull, the finish on this was gorgeous. I think this is why I gave it so much attention - in order to get to the end! Eventually the high quality virginia tang won me over, with the wisp of latakia to make things interesting and complex. Never did taste any rum but I could smell it in the tin. A light smolder on this one rather than heavy clouds is the way to go. The flavor seems to open up better with the least amount of heat. This then becomes an almost chewy smoke with incredible depth. I can't quite rank it as a "top dog" but this is one that any VA lover that isn't afraid of a little latakia should try. I will probably pick up a couple more tins (if I can find them) and smoke on rare occasions. Man, that finish is to die for! If the entire smoke tasted like the last few puffs, this would be in the top 5 of my rotation.

2 people found this review helpful.

jazzmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jazzmoke (57)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Bought it, smoked it, loved it. Even though I am a rum drinker I still haven't found the taste of rum in any tobacco that I've smoked, even so I like everything about this flake, the high initial moisture that ensures long lasting in the tin strong smell, oily texture and the absolutely special taste. Not for beginners as the smell might scare them :), as it did to my cigarette smokers colleagues.

2 people found this review helpful.

flyrod6057 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flyrod6057 (18)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium to Full Strong

A good navy flake, with the added surprise of a bit of latakia. The appearance of this flake is dark and firm. I rubbed it out a bit, loading the pipe with a modified "fold and stuff" technique. It took a bit to light, but once the flame took, it burned cool and steady for quite a while. The flavor is a robust Virginia, with just enough latakia to make things interesting. The entire pipe was wonderful. I paid special attention to smoking this slowly and deliberately, and was richly rewarded. This leaf put me in the mind of sitting on the bow of a tall ship, taking a moment to relax after a hard day hauling lines. While too complex for an everyday smoke, this is a great blend for just kicking back and relaxing.

2 people found this review helpful.

Dubinthedam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dubinthedam (133)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

Take a good English blend and a great navy flake. Put them together and you get a gem like this. A solid dose of Latakia. Love it. Sweet and smokey.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

I don't smoke many flakes because of the bother of rubbing them out, but I make an exception for SG Navy Flake. It is worth the effort. The Virginia tobacco along with the rum give it a nice sweetness. Not an overpowering sweetness, but just a touch, and the latakia gives it some smokey body. A nice smoke for sitting in the shade and relaxing with.

2 people found this review helpful.

Croaker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Croaker (13)
★★☆☆
Medium Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

Navy Flake is a medium bodied flavored flake tobacco that can bite when smoked too quickly.

Navy Flake needs to be dried out from the tin. And, after quite a bit of experimenting I fully rub-out SG's flakes and I can't remember if I tried the fold-and-stuff approach with this flake. Navy Flake has some burning difficulties: it requires multiple re-lights and seldom burns to a fine ash. I get a somewhat vague Virginia and Latakia tobacco taste with a mild yet pungent rum flavoring. Between the burning difficulties and the (surprisingly) mild flavor I frequently smoked too fast and managed tongue bite.

This tobacco requires too much attention for my frequent use. When I did get a meditative smoking cadence I found the flavor a bit underwhelming. It does, regrettably, stink up a room. I am a big fan of SG and Navy Flake is certainly not a bad tobacco; nevertheless, I don't think I'll buy more tins.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Another winner from Samuel Gawith. If you let this dry out for a week it will greatly improve your experience with this blend. A European version of C&D's Black Frigate. A little less Latakia and a bit more European in character. This is a good one. 3 stars.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★☆☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

I don't know why I chose to order a bunch of Navy Flake tobacco recently. Perhaps because they all seem so different. I have read books, reviews, pipe board and pipe club "experts," etc, and I still can't seem to get a definitive answer as to what constitutes a Navy Flake tobacco. I've recently smoked three of these genre tobaccos from three different makers and gotten three totally different taste sensations. The only common ground seems to be Rum casing.

Gawith's version contains Latakia in subdued measure along with some varying types of Virginia. My tin was only six months old and perhaps that's why the Virginia didn't taste very "settled." The Latakia did come through lightly as did the rum flavoring.

I will either finish this tin or take it to my next pipe club meeting, but doubt I'll purchase another.

2 people found this review helpful.

grimpeur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
grimpeur (45)
★☆☆☆
Medium Very Strong Medium Tolerable

Sampling amongst all the various blends of tobacco and gauging the various reactions to those blends gives me a much needed reminder that we all have different tastes.

I found this to be a pleasant enough Virginia and Latakia flake. Except. The contents of my tin arrived wringing-wet with rum. I tried a couple of bowls, then tossed the tin aside. Forgotten for over half a year, I found it several days ago; I'm afraid my reaction hasn't changed. Unusually for an opened Samuel Gawith tin, the contents were still unsmokably wet.

I just don't like booze soaked tobacco, if you do, here's a blend for you!

2 people found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (300)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable

Similar to Blackbear Queen Anne's Revenge (the Knoxcigar flake made by Gawith), perhaps lighter in Latakia and overall punch... Read my review for this other tobacco, and you'll have an idea.

This Navy Flake is even duller, more monochromatic and boring: not smooth and delicate, just dull.

You can't almost feel the Latakia, and get less Virginia sweetness and richness than in Gawith's pure Va flakes.

I really can't smoke this stuff: not unpleasant, simply in the category of "why should I waste my time with it?".

2 people found this review helpful.

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

OK, OK, OK...now I get what all the fuss is about.

I bought a 50g tin of this at the local Edward's franchise (yes, there still is one in Denver) from all of the favorable reviews I've read on it. I like Latakia, so this seemed a no-brainer to try. Brought it home and rubbed out a couple of flakes right out of the tin. I will admit that I was annoyed, borderline shocked, at how wet it was right out of the tin...it left a gloppy mess in the bottom of the bowl of the pipe I was smoking it in. My initial thought was that I had wasted $14 on a tin of tobacco, but I decided to let it dry out for awhile to see if it might change. After all, I have a ton of tobaccos in my cellar, so what could it hurt to let this one sit for a bit to see what happens??

After reading the advice of another poster in this forum, I let it dry out for three weeks with the top off the tin in my cellar. I then took a couple of flakes and cut them crossways against the grain (per the other poster's advice) so it came out as a cube-cut tobacco, and gravity-loaded it into one of my pipes.

Man-Oh-Man what a difference that made! The sweetness of the Virginias comes shining through with the Latakia keeping everything ultra-cool all the way down the bowl. Highly-recommended, but with a month or so of cellaring before it's really enjoyable. Outstanding quality, but definitely needs some drying/cellaring time before it's at its optimum smoking height.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Nonpareil bent pot

Age When Smoked: < 1 month

1 person found this review helpful.

jonoz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jonoz (6)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

Although I don't like 'Navy Flakes' as a style, I was curious as to what S.G. would do. If you're looking for a full on, gale force Navy such as C&D Black Frigate, this will be too timid for you. It is sweet and gentle, although the Navy taste is all there. I just don't like that taste, no reflection on the tobacco, which is why I have given it 4 stars.Whatever floats your boat (sorry!)

Pipe Used: various

1 person found this review helpful.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (126)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Fold flakes in half and pack them right out of the tin. Burns cool and smooth. Voluminous plumes of smoke. Flavor is buttery/creamy straight Virginia with enough Latakia to lend a complementary smokiness, without overpowering. Very little flavor or aroma of rum noted. 4*.

Pipe Used: Karl Erik Semi-Churchwarden

Age When Smoked: Undated tin recently purchased.

Purchased From: Smokes on Burdick, Kalamazoo, MI

1 person found this review helpful.

onehitter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
onehitter (16)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

Bought 1oz from bulk. Wet out of the bag, it rubbed out well and dried on a plate for 10 minutes, packs well and burns well no relights for me. Fairly mild up front. I do get a sweet sea/seaweed fishy beach taste backed with a hint of latakia and a sweetness on my lips after a few puffs. For me it starts to taste bad or stronger on that sea taste as it burns deeper in the bowl and that's where it looses me. I gave it a few chances in different pipes and that's that, bye bye navy flake. I smoke outside so no room note.

1 person found this review helpful.

Nothing Finer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nothing Finer (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

First time on this tobacco for me. 25g bought loose here in the UK. Very powerful nose on opening the pouch, very dark flakes and very moist. I've had some bad experiences with "Rum Flake" in the past and I thought "here we go again".

Not so! A wonderful tobacco. Needs a few repeat lights but so very full of flavour and a good nicotine hit for those who want it.

Burns well once lit and a great alternative to Condor Long Cut which taints my pipes with it's bizzare taste.

Try a pouch is my advice. Great stuff

1 person found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (162)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Lovely Latakia and rum combo. With the exception of one flake, this tin had the thinnist flakes I've yet to come across, which made for pretty easy lighting despite my using the fold and stuff method. A medium-medium light Latakia blend, balanced nicely with the light rum flavoring. I really enjoyed this.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

wife doesn't fancy ('stinky-smoky but not as bad as cigars').

being an aromatics fan, I was expecting this to be a big no-no, but actually it is not bad. wet wood, gym socks, hints of peat,wet walls of an old building, burning moss. flavour..... smoky i guess?

overall not an everyday smoke for me, but wouldn't mind revisiting occasionally.

1 person found this review helpful.

The Persian Slipper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Persian Slipper (29)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

There is an expression in the United States where I live called "hem-haw". It means to be undecided about a subject. I'm hem-hawing about Samuel Gawith's Navy Flake. Not being much experienced in flakes I tried several different ways to smoke the blend. For me, they achieved the same results. For the positives on this blend, Navy Flake does smoke very slowly; much slower than I'm used to a pipe smoking, in fact. The Virginias are forefront in this blend, which is good if you're a Virginia lover. The blend burns even, with a nice white ash. It's pretty difficult to get it to bite. I've puffed it quickly in the past and it stayed pretty tame. The overall flavor is a medium to full taste, not recommended for the casual or new smoker, but for the dedicated smoker it will be a treat. Now we're going to get into the bads. The rum flavor that's touted on the tin is very rarely detected. That was one of my reasons for buying the blend, as I enjoy rum enhanced tobacco blends. The latakia is much muted, acting as a secondary element, not an equal one, to the Virginia. This is a problem to the latakia lover, as it isn't enough to satisfy. I'll give this blend a recommendation, as the elements of it come together quite well. Going into it for the right expectations, someone can get a nice smoke out of it.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Amazing tin aroma (well I LOVE rum)

smoked "out of tin" wet -- it is the bite machine

completely dried out -- starts kind of dull but through half of the bowl it gets sweetened and finish is extremely sweet.

I'd suggest occupying yourself with something else till you reach first half of the bowl.. then take a seat, enjoy the rest.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

This one promised a lot - on opening the tin there was a blast of spice and rum. But on lighting it just didn't follow through. I'm not sure whether to say "bland" or "refined" - possibly the latter and my taste is too coarse. Doubt about that gives it a 3 rather than a 2 star rating.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

If six stars were possible SG Navy Flake would receive six stars from me. This is the first Virginia/Latakia flake I have experienced. I received a tin of this yesterday and tried my first bowl this morning and all I can say is WOW! FANTASTIC!! I opened the tin last night and was greeted with that wonderful (my wife calls it rotten gym sock)aroma of toasty Latakia. The beautiful bacon strip like slices were neatly stacked and the tin aroma was fantastic. I think I had my nose in the tin for thirty minutes just taking in the musty nuances of this great blend. Knowing I was going to try my first bowl the next morning I pulled a couple of slices from the stack and gently broke them up into rough and still fairly large chunks and laid them out on a piece of copy paper to dry overnight. Next morning I drove to a nearby state park and found my favorite bench and sat down with anticipation of my first bowl of flake tobacco. I took with me my medium size GBD sandblast billiard which I reserve only for English blends and proceeded to carefully load the broken chunks of slice into the bowl. With a gentle tamp to seat the load into place and a check for draft I proceeded to the charring light. I found it took two wooden kitchen matches to create a good char and then after allowing the burn to go out I followed up with a light tamp and a final third match that burned to the bottom. I found the tobacco to burn slow and cool and for nearly a full hour. I experienced no bite at all found the aroma and taste to be heavenly all the way to the bottom of the bowl. I could sense no topping of rum at all, but then again I am not a drinker so I really would not know what to look for. I found this to be a complex and interesting smoke with many subtle and creamy flavors. The flavor and aroma I experienced the most I would compare to the aroma and taste of warm chocolate milk on a winter morning. The aftertaste was nearly non-existent and smooth leaving my mouth feeling clean and light. Great tobacco!!

Harkpuff

1 person found this review helpful.

SmokingMySav Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokingMySav (9)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

Never got any rum flavor out of this one.

I tried 2 different tins and a bulk 250g box and still no rum whatsoever. The taste is of very mild Balkan Flake, which I hate with passion, but somehow Navy Flake is quite tolerable and I see no reason not to finish what I have left.

Definitely not one of the SG products I plan on buying in the future.

1 person found this review helpful.

Blue Bayou Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blue Bayou (59)
★★☆☆
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

Too heavy on the Latakia for my taste. I prefer MacBaren Plumcake.

1 person found this review helpful.

cactusboy33 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cactusboy33 (5)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco is one of my preferred flakes. It's smoky, full of the typical Balkan flavours and the hints of rum really bring it all together.

A stand up tobacco that lights, smokes and tastes great as well as being flavoured with my all time favourite spirit. My perfect partner to a good rum on the rocks

1 person found this review helpful.

pipey duck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipey duck (15)
★★★☆
Very Mild Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

another really good blend with just the punch of rum to make this baccy different to other VA/LATAKIA flakes. Only the nic is here,and many other blends to less. But i like the taste and smell of it .Another thing are the slices which are very thick and wet ,though you have to rub it out and give it a hour to dry,otherwise you need lots of relights. wen it quite lit it smokes cool and with no bites. 3stars for being sweetAND english

update 27/04/12 I stored it for a while to see how it progress. I am sorry to confirm most of my review. 1 MUCH to thick slices 2 Very WET But 3 MUCH MUCH to light in NIC!!!!! I smoked so much blends and get from almost every blend a decent voooom but not from this. Taste is good. strengh for aromatics

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I ordered this tin because the blend is considered as the "legendary" "navy" flake. Maybe I gave it too much expectation, only to find it not so legendary. Good tobacco indeed but considering limited time frame for daily smoke and seemingly unlimited alternatives out there, I would only finish the tin on hand without further purchases.

1 person found this review helpful.

?pe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
?pe (41)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Balkan flake with a splash of rum. I wasn't keen on Balkan flake and the rum didn't fix it.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

A good, savoury tasting flake with a subtle latakia presence and an added tang from the rum.

I've never had a navy flake with latakia before and I can't think why no other manufacturer has thought of it. It just seems right to me. It fits.

The usual SG flake attributes of overmoistness and inconsistency of cut apply as does a slight reluctance to take light and a mild desire to bite (easily avoided with a little attention). It reminds me alot of SG's Kendal Mayors Collection Chocolate Flake but with a rum topping insead of a cocoa one, which I think works slightly better with the base tobaccos. Although, like Chocolate Flake, the taste doesn't vary much throughout the smoke and is ever-so-slightly dull.

Overall a good, interestingly differnt tasting, tobacco which is slightly 2 dimensional but worth a try.

1 person found this review helpful.

derlict311 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
derlict311 (67)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

Upon opening it, the rum smell takes over your senses. Wow! It smokes with the same definitive character. This is a unique blend. The flakes are dark, but not as dark as 1792. Dry em' out for the full experience, but not too dry, you'll miss out on some of the beauty.

1 person found this review helpful.

marosi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
marosi (47)
★★★★
Medium Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a fantastic smoke, and the finest navy flake, by far, that I have ever tried. In keeping with Gawith blends, this is really a horse of a different color, and not a cookie cutter navy flake. In relation to that, one could argue that the latakia component, which is generally not found, at least to any appreciable degree, in a navy flake makes this "not" a navy flake at all. If, however, you consider the navy flake genre to be the rum flavoring on a primarily VA flake, and see the addition of latakia as merely as an attempt to give it another dimension flavor (which it most certainly does) than this can fairly be considered a navy flake, and fly its colors proudly.

Some reviewers appear to be hung up on the latakia issue. I read at least one review that griped that this did not have enough latakia for his taste. In response I would point to paragraph one, and reiterate that the presence of latakia here is a pleasant surprise. This is not a "latakia" blend, and should not be reviewed as one. The latakia is here to add flavor and dimension to the mixture, but it is not the main attraction. Gawith does this masterfully (see chocolate flake) and the results are some of the most unique and tasty pipe tobaccos around. The latakia in this blend cools the smoke, and adds depth and richness which is simply lacking in similar blends (and I use the term "similar" loosely, because there is really nothing else like this out there that I am aware of).

Similarly, I find the rum application to be both one of the strongest, and tastiest, that I have ever tried. The tin aroma is delicious, and that odor is realized while smoking. In addition, while my general experience has been that alcohol cased tobaccos burn hot, this is an exceedingly cool smoke, like most Gawith flakes.

Some have noted, with varying degrees of consternation, that this is moist out of the tin. To this I say "duh!" Flakes are moist. I have a tin of Christmas Cheer from 98 or 99 that went about six years after opening before I needed to add a humidifier (I keep it for a special occasion smoke, so that it will last forever!). Further, tin moisture is not a relevant criteria for review, unless the tobacco is so dry as to be damaged. Most flakes are going to need to be dried out before smoking, unless you like your smoke exceedingly wet and hot. Have a little patience, dry that flake out for a couple of hours before smoking, and see what a difference that makes.

This flake explodes with flavor. The rum is present, the sweetness of the VA's is there, and the latakia rounds things out in a singular way. It is a cool smoke unless abused. The nicotine strength is medium to my tastes. It does not make me woozy like 1292 or Bracken flake do, and that is a good thing in my book, as it allows me to smoke more if this in a bigger bowled pipe.

Gawith has been making their singular products for literally centuries. No other company comes close in my book in terms of consistency and quality. People gripe about the Rattray's that used to be, or the blender who made Dunhill twenty years ago. Gawith has been cranking it out on the same machinery for a very long time, and believe me, they have the process down. I know I sound like a Gawith commercial, but after trying literally dozens upon dozens of blends from around the world, my experience is that Gawith products are usually a breed apart, and this Navy Flake is no exception. A super tasty, good smoking flake. Buy some and see for yourself! (FYI, there are still a few sources for Gawith blends in the USA right now if you look hard enough, and I personally have purchased six or eight tins in the last month. I am not telling where, though, because I am a selfish only child, and do not want to share, so there.)

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Sweet, smoky, and delicious. Like all Gawith flakes, this is top drawer tobacco, nicely prepared, with flakes of varying thickness.

I'd say this is on the milder side of medium, sweetened only slightly by the almost unnoticeable addition of rum. The rum is unobtrusive and somehow melds nicely with the Latakia, added with a gentle touch.

Too mild for an evening smoke, it is nevertheless an agreeable companion during the day. Three and a half stars. A little more heft and body and I'd rate it four stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

cech Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cech (4)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Almost the perfect baccy. I love everything about it. It can be smoked cool or hot (but not too hot) and one can have a wide range of sensations from it. The smell is what I love the most - both, when fresh or when smoked. I hoped would like to make this my all day smoke but it's probably little too strong for that. If you looked up this tobacco you're interested and there should be no reason to buy just a sample, you'd be going back soon for more anyway!

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipesrevisited Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipesrevisited (45)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Well.., I ordered this one because it was advertised as the 'younger brother' of Balkan Flake. The rum addition did not register in my mind at the time so the tin note came as a surprise, totally rum!

It ofcourse came very wet out of the tin, so I put one and a half flake out to dry, forgot about it and came home 6 hours later when it was very dry.

Fold and stuff, lighting was easy, taste bitter, sour in a nice way, but a bit harsh. The rum I noticed more in the nose than on the palate, overall a sweet nice smoke.

Subsequent smokes when dried only 15 to 30 minutes were smooth in taste but harder to keep lit.

All in all a pleasant experience best dried about halfway.

Update: When I only have time for one pipe on a day, I find myself grabbing Navy Flake as a treat, upped to 4 stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

macpuffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
macpuffer (17)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

after reading the reviews of this tobacco , i decided to give it a try...i must say i was very surprised at how good this tobacco was..it is now one which i smoke on a regular basis..try some.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

been awhile and popped a tin of this recently and thot "welcome back 'ol friend". a nice virginia with just a tad of latikia. dont really taste any rum.. yet..:)

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I used to think that SG Navy Flake was too strong for my tastes. But I pulled it out a year later, popped open a sealed jar, and found myself pleasantly surprised by the robust flavors I was enjoying. It reminded me of fresh espresso and cayenne pepper. It burned smooth and cool. I was very impressed.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

It's a balkan flake light. I didn't get where the rum is but put this aside i consider this one as entry level to English/Balkan , while medium in strength .

Quality tobacco but to light for my palate .More latakia Please SG, and put some more rum next time.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I'd give this 2.5 stars if I could, but can't justify three stars. There is a goodly bit of latakia in here, and the topping amplifies it. It can bite somewhat when relighting, and occasionally it gets fairly spicy. I am sure I will smoke more of this, I need to try it rubbed out more fully, as the flakes I received in a sample were more like pressed chipboard i.e. very hard to break up. I'm generally not a big fan of toppings with my English and this is no exception.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

One of my favorite tobaccos in rotation. The best way to describe it is as a "companion" smoke. It's great for smoking while going about your everyday business or just relaxing and reading a book. The smokiness of the Latakia is present but not overwhelming and same goes for the rum topping. I recommend this to anyone looking for a Navy Flake that isn't overpowering. 3 Stars

1 person found this review helpful.

Wolfpaw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wolfpaw (37)
★★★★
Medium Mild Full Tolerable

I recently tried Samuel Gawith's Navy Flake for the first time, and have quickly become very fond of it. Its moderate strength and full body make for a satisfying smoke, good any time of day and in any kind of weather. The Virginias are rich and flavorful in Navy Flake. I normally prefer a stronger dose of Latakia, but there is enough in Navy Flake to add some dimension to the Virginias. I don't seem to miss the extra Latakia of my customary English and Balkan blends when I smoke this. Navy Flake isn't especially complex, but it's far from dull or one-dimensional. The rum flavoring isn't too assertive; it seems to stay somewhat in the background here and blends well with the natural tobacco flavors. Navy Flake in bulk or in the tin resembles strips of bacon; the tobacco is rather moist and should be allowed to dry a little before lighting up. When sufficiently dry, Navy Flake burns well with only one or two relights required; when moist, it's tough to light and keep lit. I've never been bitten by Navy Flake, despite my sometimes vigorous puffing. While the room note doesn't seem to drive people from the room, neither does it earn many compliments-- but I like it myself, a rich, smoky, tobacco scent. Navy Flake is a good one; aromatic fans might enjoy this as a sort of change of pace too.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

This is correct tobacco - maybe to correct since in taste it lacks expected fullness of taste. Who knows, maybe it needs more latakia... However, it is good blend especially if you are in company with others in a room.

1 person found this review helpful.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

A very solid mixture of Virginias and Syrian Latakia with a mild rum-like topping. Although Navy Flake will satisfy your Latakia needs, its lack of complexity makes it more suitable for casual than comtemplative smoking. Being myself mostly a comtemplative smoker, I can't give it more than 3/4.

1 person found this review helpful.

WillardFan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillardFan (68)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I love most Latakia blends, so of course I had to try this one. I'm a big fan of Gawith Tobaccos, so I was hoping this would be a good choice.

I'm on the fence with this one. I like both Commonwealth Mixture and Squadron Leader, more than this offering from Gawith. My biggest con on this tobacco, was that I couldn't keep it lit. I must have relit this stuff 8 times, and even as I type this message out, I have to relight my pipe again.

On the plus side, it has a nice flavor, though I'd like a bit more of the Virginia's to come through. This is a rough cut flake, and took a bit of doing to get it broken up, in the way I like to load tobacco into my pipes. There were also quite a few pieces of stems and twiggy stuff mixed in as well. Maybe I got the floor sweepings on this tin?

The bowl I'm smoking, was loaded and left out over-night, before firing it up this morning, and it still doesn't want to burn.

I'll finish this tin, but I don't think I'll be buying anymore of this one...

1 person found this review helpful.

Kleophrades Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kleophrades (39)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

The emphasis in this blend is on Virginia, with a relatively mild Latakia adding body but remaining very much in the background. The rum flavoring takes the form of a pleasant added sugariness; it doesn't taste at all rummy, just nicely sweet. It comes from the tin quite moist and can be very nippy -- a tendency that the topping, however mild, can only exacerbate. The flavors get fuller as you go down the bowl and the bite tends to subside.

All in all, it's a pleasant tobacco but I don't think the extra sweetness is quite worth the extra bite. I prefer the natural sugars of a good VA flake -- almost as sweet and invariably better balanced.

1 person found this review helpful.

DrDNA Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDNA (58)
★★☆☆
Medium Medium to Strong Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Notes: I smoked about 100 grams of this in several pipes; I found it good in both my Meerschaums and my briar billiards. The tobacco was wet to start, I smoked it this way and also allowed it to dry out over time, which yielded a progressive improvement in flavor and burning characteristics.

Appearance: A black, densely pressed, moderately heavily cased perfumed 6" flake.

Aroma: Redolent of ripe plums and over-ripe cherries. A bit of a compost sort of smell, akin to mulch in the garden or forest undergrowth and morel mushrooms, reminscent of cow manure fertilizer and cherry-flavored cough syrup. This is typical of the mixture of aromatic topping with latakia leaf.

Taste: Strong flavor of sweet rum, mellow and dull in its flavor, not exactly smooth. Moderately to mildly perfumed with a Chanel No. 5 fragrance, mixed with ripe black plums, stewed mixed fruits, and freshly baked cherry pie. Smoky flavors stayed everpresent in the background.

Comparisons: Numerous blends are labelled "navy" which means universally that rum or rum flavor has been used in the casing. Most navy flakes from the early 20th century were rum-cased virginia blends cut into broad flakes. More recently, liberty has been taken with the descriptor. This is certainly the most perfumed, smokiest "navy" flake I've encountered. Amongst the lakelands, quite sweet and heavy but without the cakelike flavors of, say, Gawith and Hoggarth's Rum Flake.

Bottom Line: For Lakeland and scented flake enthusiasts who seek a smoky, sweet taste veering toward Saint Bruno, which still retains the typical lakeland perfume.

1 person found this review helpful.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

This is a very good tobacco, the rhum flavouring is clear but not overwhelming, you can still taste the virginia and latakia notes. To be a flake it's unbelievably easy to pack and light, and it burns evenly and really cool. Pay attention because its sweetness hides a strong nicotine content that becomes perceptible and maybe disturbing by the end of the bowl.

1 person found this review helpful.

Otis56 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Otis56 (12)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant

An awesome English blend with a dash of rum and sweet virgina's. The taste is sweet and the rum gives this a desert like smoke. Rubs out very easy and smokes nice and cool. Will take to a match after the 3rd time for myself. But over all a lovely smoke and very enjoyable. Peace.

Pipe Used: Philip Trypis - Strait Billard

Age When Smoked: 3 Months

Purchased From: 4noggins

Similar Blends: Nothing I have run into..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lochinvar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lochinvar (75)
★★★★
Medium Mild Mild Tolerable

This is one of my new favorite tobaccos, and is very unique. It is the only blend with Latakia I have ever smoked where I got the smoky flavor without the spicy, leathery flavors. From first light, I get a light rum taste and the sweet grassy taste of the Virginias. The rum quickly dissipates and the Latakia kicks in, the taste turning sweet, smoky and creamy. From mid bowl to the bottom, a kind of pine tar resinous taste starts peeking out every now and again.

I was floored by this flake. It's not like any other Navy flake, nor any Latakia flake. I still think Full Virginia Flake is the best thing Gawith produces, but Navy Flake is the most original.

Pipe Used: Colossal

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

nekeke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nekeke (19)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Very Full Pleasant

I am a fan of strong tobaccos, I really like nicotine. But for the purists, I believe this one is a every day, all day smoke. Enough strenght and enough flavour. Quite pleasant, but nothing too fancy... If you smoke from morning till bed time, this one is a keeper, but if you like a strong taste and strong flavour do not expect an eye opener...

EDIT* This has become my favorite tobacco of all. Best taste on the tongue and especially best blowing through your nose. If there is someone who hasnt tried it yet, please do. I agree, truly a masterpiece

Pipe Used: stanwell royal guard 63

Age When Smoked: new

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

similar to BALKAN flake, but with rum. almost butterey. more latakia, too. good amount of nicotine, very tasty. good after dinner smoke. amazing taste smoking slow. Regular tobacco in my rotation! For me the best navy flake out there!

Purchased From: http://www.pipe-shop.net/

Nobody has rated this review yet.

o3Ho3 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
o3Ho3 (28)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Well, I didn't expected much, btw I'm not a great fan of Latakia but......... The flake are almost perfect , not too moist, not too dry. Smell & taste surprisingly good. Latakia is just enough to give you a little spice and rum is there blended with VA. However you put in your bowl burns evenly and well with not much heat. I don't know , but for me, they almost chose the best Virginia for this one.

Pipe Used: always Peterson

Age When Smoked: 1-2 yrs

Purchased From: street corner shop

Nobody has rated this review yet.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (260)
★★★★
Medium Medium Very Full Very Pleasant

This is totally beautiful !Lovely thick and moist flakes and delicious aroma upon opening . A real pleasure to rub out as there was not much difficulty to break the flakes up and my bowl packed easily . I thought I had experienced thick smoke but this took thick smoke to a new level as you could practically feel it against your body ! A real even and slow burn which gave off a cool smoke with no bite whatsoever for me ! In summary ... GET SOME !

Pipe Used: Commoys Elegance

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke King

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Wibblefishofdoom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wibblefishofdoom (111)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

Where to start with this one, it's a toughy. Bought it as part of a bulk order with the idea of leaving it enough time to dry out enough not to suffer from any relights from that famous SG moisture. After six weeks and several smokes in the past seven days, I now know I needn't have bothered.

The aroma from the tin is that of a mild rum, very pleasant. The flakes are nicely cut and have an nice healthy brown glow to them. Rubbing out is easy enough as is the packing. The lighting, well, that's where the problems start. Without drying, the tobacco does need a few relights. With drying - this is five weeks worth followed by three seconds in a microwave (yes, I was that desperate) - this improves only marginally. The smoke itself, well, what is there to say? It's just a sorry mess. For the first few smokes I got little bits of rum here and there and the odd whiff of a sea breeze, a fond reminder of a day trip to Whitby perhaps. It was a little dull but not unpleasant. However, as time goes by, the smoke has descended into some kind of intolerable awfulness that just can't be described, the taste of seaweed perhaps? Or the taste of French grapeshot maybe? This quickly descended into something unsmokable and, as a result, confined the remainder to the bin.

So, a very sad day indeed. The first few smokes, while dull, had a little promise. That little taste of sea air that pops up is to be admired, quite noble and ambitious of SG to try something like that, something a bit different. But this sadly, does not float my boat. In fact, it quite nicely sinks it. Which is fine by me because if I had a load of this stuff in the lower decks, I'd quite happily see it sink into a watery grave.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

I must confess that I do not know what is meant by Navy Flake or Navy Cut. Peter Stokkebye's Luxury Navy Flake is a blend of virginia and perique, as is Dunhill's Deluxe Navy Rolls. Mac Baren's Navy Flake is a mixture of virginia and burley. Samuel Gawith's Navy Flake is a concoction of virginia, latakia and rum. This exuberance in nomenclature makes it difficult to make comparisons.

The pouch (Synjeco supplied my order in rather well designed pouches) aroma is clearly virginia and latakia, with the hint of rum. If you rub out the flakes between your palms and then put your nose to your palms, the rum aroma comes through very clearly. All three components merge together nicely into an inviting redolence. The taste is what the pouch aroma would lead you to expect. I did not find the blend to be particularly sweet; perhaps the proportion of latakia has been adjusted to prevent any cloying sweetness. Certainly, the proportion of latakia is far higher in this blend than in Chocolate Flake. The tobacco burns well once it has taken light, but stays cool. The `heaviness' of Samuel Gawith flakes generally results in slow and cool smokes - it is practically impossible to get them to burn hot unless they are severely maltreated.

I think an apt comparison would be with Esoterica's Pembroke. Pembroke, with no virginias and a sophisticated application of cognac, is like a wildly exciting can-can: alright for an occasional treat, but you can not make it your staple entertainment. Navy Flake is more like a homely amusement that you can live with every day without getting exhausted.

I only wish I could discover the marine commonalty between the various Navy blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

After a lot of dinking around with mild Latakias, to get used to English blends again after a long time, and revisiting a store actually carrying this blend (and a few other by SG) while visiting friends, I decided to splurge on a few tins, one of this blend being among them.

Opening the tin, I was hit by an as yet unequalled combined force of good rum and Latakia. I loved it on first smell. Unfortunately, like all SG flakes I have so far experienced, the tobacco is a bit on the moist side when opening the tin. With some preparation, still smokable, though.

The presentation is the usual stack of slices, with the slices being rather unevenly cut -- they are from a few microns to over a millimetre thick and packaged in random order, so I guess one could rummage around the tin to find the perfect slice to fit the size of pipe one feels like using for a fold-twist-dunk approach. The leaf is quite dark, with traces of white from either sugar or mould (or maybe both) -- whichever it is, it does not impair the flavour or aroma of the tobacco.

Because of the moisture levels, so far I have only been able to light this blend up rubbed out. Works fine, though. Good, meaty, sweet taste, the Latakia room note tempered by the rum to such an extent that it was actually described as "unobjectionable" by a non-smoker who usually goes looking for his gun whenever a lighter is used within a 1-mile radius. I was rather astonished at that. You might want to check with your significant other before trying SGNF in the house, though. It is, after all, a Latakia blend. A real beauty for me, though -- I live next to the sea, and this blend, from opening the tin to finishing off the last cinders, is the closest equivalent to an evening out on the pier I have yet experienced. It has the salt of the sea, the spice of the spray, the tanginess of the tar...

The burn when rubbed out is uncomplicated for me; even as moist as it comes from a fresh tin, it will take to the match after one or two re-starts, and then burn down right to the bottom without much maintenance. The taste continues sweet and meaty, the aroma will attract all horse afficionados right to the end, and all in all, I must say I like this 'baccy. A lot.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Juna Gu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Juna Gu (31)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I like Virginias, I like Latakia, I like Rum. So why is this tobacco so underwhelming? It is a bit of an odd mix and certainly isn't that arresting; there's nothing here that screams Classic to me.

I'm beginning to appreciate, though, how trying to communicate taste, and even judgements of taste, to other humans requires one to go deeper into one's own experience, and writing this now I am searching for what's going on here and it's proving an enjoyable hunt. So there's something to be considered here.

Now, my opinion of SG's tobaccos is that they are Premium Grade. Some of the best. I realise there is an obvious bias; my consciousness was forged under the same hills that have watched over the pretty town of Kendal long before tobacco became a commodity and I can't help but lean towards a view that there is an aesthetic appreciation informed by that landscape and running through the natives from thereabouts. One that set sail on the high seas at some point. I'm not too sure how much maritime history has any bearing on the choice of this blend of tobaccos that warrants the title Navy Flake but the description from SG for this one is probably its most florid and as such quite possibly raises undue expectation for those who mistake regional humour and cultural heritage for sales pitch. And maybe even the folks at SG can't tell the difference. Who knows?

But the sheer poetry of the words Navy Flake tend to infer I think a transporting experience and anything short of that is likely to disappoint.

Well, what of the tobacco? One thing to be said of it is that as far as the quality of the raw ingredients goes I don't detect anything less than the excellence of the same calibre as FVF. The rum is real.

So what must disappoint is the balance and treatment of the materials at hand.

Nothing in this flake jumps out and grabs you. The rum is ephemeral, the Latakia a light touch and the Virginias subsumed. So initially it comes across as rather bland and if you couple that with the most predominant complaints of SG's tobaccos, that they come too moist and are thus also scant portions, it is inclined to not register much for those on a Search for (affordable) Excellence.

However there really isn't much wrong with SG's Navy Flake. It burns well, it has a fairly pleasant room note, there are no artificial flavours to obstruct the natural ones and the flakes are solid and well prepared. It delivers the hallowed Vitamin N in a comfortable quantity, there's no bite to speak of and the after-taste is very satisfactory.

I suspect that ET's Penzance might actually be stealing this fellows wind, assuming that that blend has some direct inspiration from its namesake, but I haven't tried that one so I couldn't say for sure.

I agree with Hemlock - this is a companion smoke, and a very steady one at that. The other day I was walking to Hemel Hempsted from Berkhamsted in High Wind and this smoked really nicely whilst walking with my pipe girt between my teeth.

So there's something in the description. Perhaps the set and setting has more of a bearing than is given credit. You certainly have to take it into account with the ritual ingestion of psychotropic substances so this tobaccos je ne sais quoi could be its steady quality. It delivers, not excessively, on all important counts. Steady as she goes!!

I would definitely buy this again but on such a short voyage with this one I am reluctant to give it 4 stars. Time will tell, and also future voyages in the company of this somewhat inestimable flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipesomkinsquirrel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipesomkinsquirrel (16)
★☆☆☆
Mild Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

Just about every SG tobacco I have tried so far has been somewhat of a disappointment. Navy Flake unfortunately was no different.

The tin description sounded intriguing, and though I am not a big fan of casings with my Latakia blends, I decided to give it a shot.

The tin aroma was pretty horrid. The rum came out and simply assaulted me. I could barely detect a little bit of Latakia through the stench of the casing. The aroma of the sweet Virginia had been totally knocked out by the fake liqueur smell.

The pressed flakes were pretty dry and easy to break up, but then again my tin was about three years old.

I smoked this out of numerous different shapes and sizes of pipes, and still could not get it to taste like what it was advertised as.

The Virginia was not at all playing its part in this blend. In fact the only reason I could detect any VA leaf was the way this tobacco would bite when puffed even the slightest bit too hard.

The Latakia that was promised never really made an appearance, but lingered in the aroma instead.

I think had the casing not been present, this would have measured up to be yet another one of Samuel Gawith's two star bland mixtures.

Good thing I had 965 on hand to remind me what a good English mixture is supposed to taste like.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Monopod Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Monopod (23)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

Love at first light ? I have been working my way through the maze of tobaccos towards Navy Flake for quite a while. I had set to one side blends that contain Latakia, as I had tried many and palled of them all.They can become all-pervading in terms of taste and residual smell.

I didn't really register the "dash of Latakia" here until I opened the packet ........"Navy" flakes ? why are they so called ? My sample could have been used to caulk the timbers on HMS Victory judging by the texture and smell. I squeezed it, and it remained squeezed, just like tarry gaskin with almost the same smell. I must confess to being old enough to remember drainage pipes being jointed with stuff like this, but it didn't deter me from charging and lighting up my Plumb lightweight that I sample "stuff" in.

There the comedy ended. What on earth had I got here ? I regularly smoke Dark Flake Aromatic having found my "staple" baccy. Mouth full of tasty smoke, and "Latakia" in large case letters. It then became balanced with the other choice tobaccos, and turned into sheer heaven. Licked my lips .... yes, there was the Rum. Sweet but right in character. There went my resolve to reduce my library of acceptable tobaccos, as here is one which I shall have greater association with, along with "Cob" flake.

Oh well, who said that this journey would be short and uneventful ? The main thing that I have learned is that there are sufficient good "Honest" tobaccos here in Blighty to do ALL my tobacco shopping at home.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Seventh Cavalier Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Seventh Cavalier (3)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This is my first review here, and I would like to preface it by saying that I don't review a tobacco without getting to know it in as many ways possible. Some tobaccos are far more finicky than others, approaching perfection in a certain pipe or packed a certain way, and horror other ways, while other tobaccos can fit anywhere.

I've yet to experience a Samuel Gawith tobacco that, all else aside, deserves less than two stars. The quality is always there, and at a price few can compare to.

Opening a tin of S. Gawith's Navy Flake, I was a bit overwelmed by the powerful scent of Latakia, with the trademark scent of "Lakeland" Virginia a mere wallflower in the presence of the overbearing smoked weed, but still there nonetheless. I've yet to identify the scent of rum, though I admit my experience with alcohol to be less than thorough. After being slammed with the telltale scent, nay, olfactory overload of Latakia, I had a feeling that this would turn out to be more of a Navy-Style English than an English-Style Navy Flake.

But after rubbing out a few flakes and packing the first pipe, I found that the Latakia settled down in a perfect marriage with the Virginia in a cool, flavorful, and unique smoke. No bite at all, despite the presence of Va's, and I am a VERY hot smoker, being a cigarette smoker as well (though less so since taking up Pipe smoking with more vigor over the past few years).

I would not suggest this as an example of the standard Navy Flake, but I highly recommend it nonetheless. It's a pipe weed that could be enjoyed by smokers of Va's, English's, etc. I personally do not subscribe to any one type of tobacco, rather, I enjoy everything from Full Va Flake to the 965 to Peterson's outstanding yet cheesy named aromatic, Sunset Breeze. It bridges the gaps, an ambassador if you like, a Gandhi of the pipe tobacco world, bringing different styles and flavors together to create a weed where all exist in peace and harmony (especially for he who is smoking it), and that could only come from centuries of experience.

...And if you're one of those people apparently wealthy or foolish enough to through away your tin of this in disgust, by all means, contact me first.

Nobody has rated this review yet.