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The 2nd in our Mayors Collection. Sam's Flake is a combination of flue cured Virginias and Turkish leaf which after blending is pressed in the hot oven, cut and then treated to a light flavouring which adds another flavour dimension to the tobacco. Good smoke and roomaroma with a medium strength.

BrandSamuel Gawith
Blended BySamuel Gawith
Manufactured BySamuel Gawith
Blend TypeOriental
ContentsOriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringTonquin Bean
Packaging50 grams tin, bulk
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
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Mild to Medium
Room Note

Favorite Of 8 Users

67 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2144)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The matured flue cured Virginias have a fair amount of earth, a smattering of grass/hay, along with a little citrus and dried fruit sweetness. The Turkish is smokey, woody, lightly floral sweet with some earth and a minor spice note. It is nearly the equal of the Virginias in terms of taste, and also sports a light dry tone. The tonquin topping is very mildly applied, and has a synergistic interplay with the tobaccos instead of sublimating them as it often does in other tobacco products. The strength level is closer to medium than it is to mild. The nic-hit is just over the mild threshold. Won’t bite even if pushed and has no harsh moments. Very moist out of the tin, it does need some dry time. Burns slow as flakes often do, with a cool, clean, creamy smooth and very consistent flavor from start to finish. Expect a fair number of relights. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl. The after taste is very pleasant and lingers just a little.

20 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (833)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Sam Gawith produces wildly variant blends, and apparently something for everybody. For me, they hit home runs in BBF, FVF and Choc Flake, well struck doubles in Bracken Flake, Golden Glow and 1792, and embarrassing whiffs with Grousemoor, Perfection and the various ropes. Put this one in the former category... juuuuust beyond the outfielders glove rather than the 2nd deck blast of BBF and FVF.

Typical SG flake of various widths that comes overmoist in the tin. A good half hour of drying time made it smokable but it preferred about 2 hours. Easily loaded via fold-and-stuff, which is how I most enjoyed it. The tin nose was heavily of tonquin with a backdrop of fine orientals (and for my good friend Capt, blenders essentially mean the same thing when they say oriental vs turkish... emphasis on "essentially") and virginia well to the rear. The tonquin flavor was always there but switched places with its aroma, and moved to the back of the bus. This is an amazing virginia/turkish blend with a high concentration of middle-eastern leaf. There is an even mix of sweetness and earthiness which is hugely intoxicating. It reminded me of another blend, possibly something from C&D or GLP, but I never could put my finger on it (perhaps sort of a GLP Cairo with the perique substituted for tonquin). Here, the Turkish was much less a condiment and more a near-equal partner with the virginia. The taste was not of the incense of Drama or Smyrna but of the darker, toastier Samsun varietals. Excellent baked bread aroma but more of a wheat bread.

If you're looking for an excellent virginia with a good dose of orientals (and no latakia), here's a good stop for you. This one has made my rotation. Home Run for Sam Gawith!

20 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

For me, Sam’s Flake is an example of one of a small group of tobaccos that I am not very fond of when new, but find myself really enjoying when it has been aged. Sam’s, like many of the Sam Gawith flakes, arrives far too wet to smoke out of the tin. Once properly dried, I prefer to fold and stuff Sam’s although I find it tasty with any preparation. I like Tonquin Bean in smaller amounts and Sam’s fits in perfectly for me. I don’t know what other flavoring is used but there is something there. The Virginias and Orientals are of high quality, and provide for a straightforward, creamy, cool smoke. When aged, it offers ample sweetness as well. After St. James Plug, and St. James Flake, I find this to be one of my favorite SG blends. Four stars when aged and about 2.5 when new.

Age When Smoked: New and 9 yrs

10 people found this review helpful.

Steve Lewis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steve Lewis (5)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I enjoy a rich Virginia and oriental preferably Turkish tobacco. Therefore, I very much have enjoyed smoking SF. This rich rather mild blend comes from the tin moist as most Gawith blends. Rather than fold or rub out these flakes I find that by tearing these flakes in your hand and then stuffing into your pipes works best for me.

This SF take a little patience to light, however, once lit stays lit for a long time. The rewards are a mild yet full delightful smoke which begins with the full Virginias shining through soon followed by a almost sour taste of the Turkish as it begins to make its presence. Finally, both the Virginia and Turkish tobaccos are working in tandem and the combination is sublime. The room note is nothing special yet not offensive. This tobaccos complexity is middle of the road meaning there are really only two tobaccos going here with a very slight presence of some topping to maintain the marriage of the very nice combinations of tobaccos in this blend.

Purchased From:

9 people found this review helpful.

Alguhan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alguhan (140)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Well, very similar to FVF but a pleasant spicy flavor added with Turkish tobaccos. A appetisant look of flakes, dark, silky, and firm.

I preferred to dry the flakes. The flavors are tastier in this way. I usually don't rub the flakes but this is a bit hard to light so I rubbed a little. Smokes well and cool. It is so cool that I can say I've tasted a bit menta like freshness. At the end of the bowl you can say that "aa that's the Turkish!" A delightful, elegant, true tobacco smoke indeed.

One of the most satisfying tobaccos I have ever smoked. Will be added in my stock regularly.

7 people found this review helpful.

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

I think Paddy and Stan both stole my palate! My impressions of Sam's Flake are very similar. The addition of Turkish leaf to the fine Virginia tobacco makes for a unique and satisfying presentation.

My sample arrived at the perfect humidity level and I had no trouble rubbing out the short strips. I was expecting more of a "sweet" taste, perhaps due to the smell of the unburned tobacco, but upon lighting I received nothing but a true tobacco flavor that was light and delicious.

This blend does not have a tendency to bite at all - perhaps due to the Turkish. All I know is that I'm going to cellar some of this stuff. It's good now and should be heavenly with 3-5 years of age to it.

7 people found this review helpful.

Sylvian Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sylvian (28)
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

Sam's Flake is to me the younger and the weaker brother of the Kendal Cream Deluxe Flake. They are both generously flavored, having that controversial but to me not at all unpleasant floral note so often referred to as the 'Lakeland scent'.

Sam's Flake started as quite an interesting smoke fresh out of the tin, which was aged for 2 years. It does not have that nicotine kick of Kendal Cream, but is strong enough for me to serve as a satisfying evening smoke. Quality virginia which SG is known for, Orientals are barely noticeable, and a casing which clearly stands out.

Gradually though, as it aired out in the open tin, the flake lost practically all of its nice taste that was so pleasant in the beginning, which goes to show that its charm is mostly in its flavoring. Without it, it somehow became almost boring, as opposed to Kendal Cream which seemed only to improve towards the end of the tin.

Somewhat recommended, provided you move it to a jar after opening or smoke it very quickly, as within two weeks it's faded.

5 people found this review helpful.

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

While I don't find anything objectionable here, I also don't find anything appealing. Mostly mildly sour Oriental woodiness with just a hint of tang from the Virginias. The tonquin topping burns off around the half-way mark. Bores me to tears. I'll give it 2 stars since it doesn't offend.

Mild to medium in body and taste. Flavoring, while it's there, is mild. Burns pretty well.

Pipe Used: MM Marcus, Country Gentleman, Mark Twain

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

3 people found this review helpful.

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

Been smoking this blend for on and off last 2 years.The aroma of the tobacco is just amazing.My wife can't stand the room note in most of the blends with latakia or orientals but this one get her approval. As you open the tin you'll see just thin dark flakes and the sweet aroma fills your nose. The flake it self gives best result if you brake flake length wise to small threads and then fold those threads to should have by now a nice plug that you can insert gently into bowl. The plug is easy to lite and after few puffs you'll get this nice aroma from virginias,before you reach to the middle of the bowl the oriental leaf comes in and rest of the bowl is just pure joy to your taste buds. Only fault that I could find is that it is little too mild in strength...a very good morning smoke.

Pipe Used: Pete's,Savis,Stanwells and Big Bens

Age When Smoked: 6 months and straight from tin

Purchased From: local tobacconist

3 people found this review helpful.

emmbee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
emmbee (174)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

So far, nothing Gawith makes puts chills up & down my spine. Sam's flake is no exception. It's a lovely flake with occasional spots of birdseye & a soft bamboo-like texture. It rubs out into large, spiky strands, though I don't recommend merely folding & packing. It has occasional moments of woodsy taste & nutty aroma, but by the time you recognize it, the pleasure has fleetingly passed, like a hazy dream during a catnap. If you're into flake, don't bother with this. Instead, enjoy the softer, pleasingly aromatic Dunhill Light Flake, the rich, though hot Stokkebye Luxury Twist Flake or the profound & complex McClelland Dark Star. And, if you can find a tin of the no longer imported Troost Slices, indulge in its decadent lusciousness. Gawith is simply too hot & monochromatic to merit time & attention.

One and a half of five stars

3 people found this review helpful.

Stefanos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stefanos (147)
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

I finished Sam’s Flake tin so fast without realizing it, that I cannot give a very satisfactory review. What I can say, however, is that although wet and in need of significant drying time it burns much better than the heavily pressed Full Virginia Flake. Tin note is exquisite. Does it smell of tonquin? I guess so. Wish it translated more to the smoke.

The Virginias are sweet, yeasty and quite mature in taste something in between FVF and BBF. Orientals are earthy and add a significant spicy element and a high note (not sharp) which balances nicely the Virginia sweetness and the added flavoring.

Strength is medium and room note tobaccoey… I’d surely buy again. The tobacco is so wet though, that you buy 50 grams but if you dry it sufficiently to get a decent smoke you get to smoke significantly less.

2 people found this review helpful.

Greekpipesmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Greekpipesmoker (147)
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Another remarkable blend from S.Gawith.once the tin opens a sweet toquin and floral aroma comes out accompanied with spicy citruses.the flakes are mostly brown and the moisture level is high.rubs easy and needs drying time..don't be afraid to dry them the taste remains great.once dried it lights easy and several relights are needed.while smoking the tobacco flavours are great and work very nice with the topping.orientals are the main player offering you earth notes,spices and woods.virginias are citrusy and some times dark fruits come out.very rare some grass notes come out too.the topping is there from the beginning till the end very descreet giving a pleasant room note.the whole combination feels very natural.burns slow and cool creating a little moisture.tongue bite may appear if you go very hard on comparison with other blends that have toquin bean topping this is by far the most can be an all day smoke.

Age When Smoked: Rubbed and left to dry for 1/2 hour

2 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1609)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Sam Gawith - Sam's Flake.

Before I get on with the MANY positives I might as well get the only negative out of the way, it's very moist out of the tin (as many Sam Gawiths are) so it will need some drying time albeit it is a wonderful smoke! The actual flakes are fairly thick and mainly a dark brown colour. The unlit aroma is not particularly anything special, actually fairly standard for the tobaccos included with a very slight vanilla/sweet touch.

Despite the fact mine was still a touch moist when I came to light it (too impatient to wait!) it took to the flame well and the burn is a very steady one. It leaves behind a light grey ash and maintains the burn without needing many re-lights, all along delivering a fairly cool smoke with no tongue bite. Like the unlit aroma the tobacco the flavour of the smoke has (from the tonquin bean) a very subtle vanilla note to it with a beautiful Virginia hay taste and slight Oriental sour hint. This is a wonderful flake tobacco that will be a regular in my selection!

Nicotine: medium. Room-note: pleasant.

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Mr Brog

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Almeria Spain

2 people found this review helpful.

hagen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hagen (91)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

appearence: very dark, supple, leathery, humid, finely sliced flakes. tin aroma: well matured virginia plus a hint of earthiness from the turkish. no topping detected, must be added very sparingly. rather hard to light, as it's so moist, but 3-4 matches plus tamping gets it going. taste: this is wonderful! delicious! onctueux! a rich, semi-sweet taste of stoved first class virginia, with the tanginess subdued by the rather neutral, earthy turkish. a huge amount of cool smoke, very satisfying, and a good deal more strength than reported by others here, imo. dgt reveals some more turkish, and even more of the deep rich va notes.

must be one of the best tobaccos i've ever had (and i've never tasted anything similar). it brings the best of two worlds together: the earthyness of mixtures and the sweetness of virginias, without too much of the va tang nor the dryness of latakia.

sam gawith has done it again!

2 people found this review helpful.

Calamiti Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Calamiti (60)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

I much appreciate the concept on which many SG's flakes are built: take good and noble African Virginia Leaf (it's almost same in most SG's flakes) and add various condiments to it, thus creating different blends. In most cases this approach works wonders, like St James, generously blessed with the finest Perique I know of, or Balkan Flake, full of rich Latakia goodness.

Not all condiment tobaccos are created equal, however. Married with Orientals, the same Virginia behaves rather differently. The mixture gets that unwanted spirit of proverbial oriental treachery: it begins with nice, fragrant and enticing flavours and ends up with harsh, acrid and bity smoke. The second half of the bowl is actually a waste of tobacco as after some mysterious point it gets really hard to smoke.

I can't recommend this mixture while much better avatars of the same SG's Virginia exist, like St James Flake, Balkan Flake, Best Brown Flake, Full Virginia Flake and even Navy Flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

steppx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steppx (147)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A sort of forgotten blend in the gawith lineup. It is the non latakia Oriental version of St James Flake. In other words, scratch the perique and add a combination of oriental leaf. Medium strength and very tasty. Can be compared to Pease's Regent's Flake among others. The Pease has more oriental leaf and is a bit stronger overall. This is very smooth, very slow burning but not too difficult to keep lit. Needs a twenty minute dry time though. All gawith blends have a certain quality of richness and complexity and this is no exception. The tonquin add is a minor player but like some rum adds it serves to meld the flavors and soften any harshness. One barely notices it taste wise. This is a great flake and deserves much wider appreciation.

one add: Anyone complaining about the different size of the flakes...which is very modest in actuality, is not deserving of smoking gawith products. this is a very old school operation (like 19th century old...maybe end of the 18th ) using nearly ancient museum quality presses and is done with care and attention lacking in modern corporate life. Long may they produce as they have for generations.

2nd add: I continue to find myself enjoying this blend. Its just so neglected and for reasons I don't understand. The tonquin is very mild and perfectly melded with the rich Virginia base. Its an addictive blend. Honestly 5 stars if I could.

Purchased From: 4noggins

Similar Blends: Pebblecut (McClelland) and Regents Flake..

1 person found this review helpful.

Swiss-smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Swiss-smoker (62)
Mild Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

On opening the tin, an intense scent of hay and grass from Virginia greets you. Absolutely no whiff of Orientals, nor of any flavouring. Neatly arranged flake straps of yellow and brown colour, with very few black sparkles. Moisture in tin is unexpectedly low for a Samuel Gawith. This brand normally stands for soaking wet tobaccos. Still, it needs a little drying time before stuffing. According to the producer this mixture consists of Virginias and Orientals only, with an additional flavouring of tonka bean.

The main players of this mixture are the Virginias with flavours of hay, grass, earth and a hint of citrus. The Orientals are in a far background. They are here to donate some body, wood and a little spice to the blend, not to show up. They marry up well with the Virginias. IMO the tonka bean flavouring is unnecessary, but it has been done carefully. I care more about the traces of a floral note that I don’t like. Given the place of production (Kendal, Lakeland) it could be possible, that a cloud of dreadful “Lakeland essence” touched this blend unintentionally. These two alien flavours set back the natural tobacco aromas considerably. The nicotine level is low. This mixture is far from being characterful or deep digging. It does not stand out in any way. I shall not come back to it.

Age When Smoked: New, out of the tin.

Purchased From: Internetshop of “Synjeco’s Pipe Smoker’s Haven”, Brissago, Switzerland.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

This is a funny one. I am not really getting the orientals that are referenced in the description - to my palate this burns like a virginia flake with a little tonquin, and perhaps some perique (none to my knowledge is referenced, I am merely referencing a distinct spicy quality, especially in the first third of the bowl).

My flakes are old, and like strips of dark leather. They require a substantial (30+ minutes) amount of drying to be ready to smoke. They rub out easily, and burn for an eternity. When smoked slowly expect 1.5 hours or so from a medium sized bowl. The smell in the tin is very nice, sweet VA's and and raisin or prune quality. The tonquin is very mild, both in the tin and in the bowl, but it gives a nice additional dimension to this smoke.

It requires several false lights and light tamping to get it going, but burns nicely once lit. This requires slow smoking. While it does not bite, it will get quite hot if you puff too rapidy, and the flavor suffers. When smoked slowly the flavor is rich but mild. I taste VA's and spice, and not a whole lot else. The tonquin is there, but not in a forward way. This would be an excellent introduction to the flavor for someone not ready to take the 1792 plunge. There is not a lot of nicotine here, and a largish bowl can be smoked with pleasure.

Compared to most other flakes on the market this is a 4 star blend. The quality is off the chart, and the flavor, while mild, is singular. There are, however, other Gawith flakes that are significantly better, in my estimation, so I give it three stars. It does not have the magic of Best Brown or Full Virginia, or the complexity and richness of Navy Flake, 1792, of Chocolate Flake. It is a pleasant diversion, but once my stock is gone I will most likely not replace it, simply because of the aforementioned offerings that are simply better to my preference. This is definitely worth a try, however, and could fill a niche if you are looking for a VA flake that is different from most others.

Pipe Used: Armellini Bamboo Pot

Age When Smoked: 4+ years

1 person found this review helpful.

tobaccolover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tobaccolover (3)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Very Pleasant

Undoubtedly one of the best tobaccos I've ever smoked. I really love VAs, in all varieties, and also when accompanied by Burley or Perique. When I bought it, I was looking for a good quality VA with some more sweetness and flavour in comparison to "purer" leaves, and I found it! In fact, I wouldn't compare this tobacco to BBF, FVF or any other unscented VA, because these are different products entirely. What I get from my smoke is the taste of sweet, high-quality Virginia, a subdued, delicate scent of vanilla and tonquin bean. I think I'll smoke this tobacco whenever I'd like to smoke 1792 without being kicked in the butt by Nicotine. It has some of the wonderful creaminess of Kendal cream, but without the floral essence of the latter, which is also more acidic. The taste of Sam's flake reminds me of some freshly baked pastry. I wouldn't dare saying that the orientals don't come out at all, even if I can't isolate the taste. They probably cooperate in the final flavour of the blend. I'd absolutely recommend this tobacco to anyone who loves to taste some real tobacco but doesn't dislike a little casing, which in this case (as it is usually with Samuel Gawith, at least in my experience) is superb.

Pipe Used: Peterson

Age When Smoked: from the tin

Similar Blends: 1792, Kendal Cream.

1 person found this review helpful.

SamH Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SamH (31)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

I freely admit I bought this because I'm called Sam. However, whilst milder and dryer than my usual preferences I really enjoyed it. Just taken a break from working and I found the aroma delightful. This tobacco wafts up pleasantly. It is not strong, and usually that makes me yearn for a punchy virginia flake or a bowl crammed full of St Bruno (which whilst not strong is just right to me, as is Full Virginia Flake). I will be keeping some of this for when I get a week or so off over Christmas. (It's the only time Surveying students get to sleep, especially when they work as well....) Seriously though it is a rather nice tobacco for crisp days. It's one of those tobaccos which puts me in a contemplative mood. I like it.

Pipe Used: Corncob

Age When Smoked: Straight from tin.

Purchased From: SmokeKing

Similar Blends: Something I used to like. I'm not sure. update if I can think what it was. Balkan mix? Squadron leader?.

1 person found this review helpful.

Jorge Soler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jorge Soler (127)
Medium Mild Full Pleasant

Another very nice tobacco from the Kendal Mayor's collection. The flakes, as it is customary with S&G, do come in different lengths and thickness+ they need some drying time (the moist content is absolutely ridiculous), but they pack quite nicely in your bowl and are easy to crumble. You will find very nice orientals in this blend with spicy/piquant qualities. The flavour is quite rounded with sort of a creamy/buttery flavour to it. As I am smoking it, I get the impression of a well aged tobacco, and seeing those sugar crystals forming will give you the same idea too. The alleged tonquin beans flavouring seems to give this blend sort of a sweetness to it which is quite different from the Virginias but not in a bad way. I am not usually for cased tobaccos, but I guess I will make an exception with this particular one. The smoking experience is quite mellow and I cannot detect any tongue bite at all. Even though this is not a proper VaPer, or a straight Virginia for all that it matters, it is pretty much in line with many Virginia based tobaccos that will fall into those categories. This tobacco will develop different undertones and nuances as you progress in your smoke, but I advise to smoke it slowly so as to not break it. Don't worry if you find yourself relighting it. Just let your tobacco rest for sometime in your bowl and come back to it when your pipe cools down. I don't mean to imply this tobacco will smoke hot, which it doesn't, but I can see how it will benefit from it if you give it a rest every now and then. I don't see any flaws or loose end in this tobacco, so I will give it a 4 star.

Pipe Used: Meerschaum

1 person found this review helpful.

CriolloCorojo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CriolloCorojo (18)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I must point out that Samuel Gawith is in my top three tobacco companies. I currently have forty blends in rotation, and five of them are Samuel Gawith products. There would be more, but I am out of stock on a few. I am primarily a flake and English/Latakia smoker.

I agree with much of The German's review below. I will discuss my experience with the blend here:

The tobacco is fairly moist out of the tin. The flakes are all unique and no cut seems to be the same as the next (think snowflakes). If smoking right after cracking the seal, I recommend a looser pack. If dried and rubbed out finely, it can be packed by a traditional method (i.e. pack first pinch lightly, second slightly harder, third harder still, and so on depending on size/depth of bowl.

The Virginias are there the whole time, but seem to be more present in the second half of the bowl. This is even more pronounced if the tobacco is allowed to dry to where it is just slightly moist. The tonquin bean is more pronounced when the tobacco is wet and almost completely absent once the tobacco has been allowed to dry. I like the tonquin bean flavoring, as it is also present in some of my favorite blends (i.e. SG's Westmorland Mixture). The orientals (not latakia) are there the entire time, but take a back seat to the Virginias as the batch burns to the bottom of the bowl.

If moist, it needs a false light, a tamp, and a true light and tamp. From there it will keep burning to the bottom of the bowl with the occasional tamp. If allowed to dry to slightly moist, I find that it lights with one match and continues to burn with a few tamps along the way. In fact, as I am typing this, I am smoking a bowl and thought that it actually went out on me. I picked up the pipe, tamped it down gently as I lightly puffed in a quick rhythmic fashion to find the bowl started going again with no need to burn another match.

I would give this blend four stars if it had a little more vitamin N and about 10 - 15% latakia added to the blend prior to pressing. Then again, that might make it too much like Westmorland Mixture... thus taking away from the uniqueness of the blend overall. No need to canabalize one blend with another that is too similar. That wouldn't be good marketing ;-)

1 person found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (262)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I bought two new pipes (one Stanwell, one Big Ben), and since I'm going to have to break them in, I bought a few tins to enjoy in my already-broken-in pipes while I use cheap stuff to build up a reasonable cake in my new ones. Sam's Flake was in one of the tins.

The usual optics for a SG flake: dark leaf, and hit-and-miss thickness of the slices. Some people are actually complaining about that, it seems. I don't really see the problem; I rub 'em out anyway because with SG flakes, folding and sinking does not seem to work for me at all.

The tin note instantly calls my attention: there's good oriental in there, with its (sorry, folks) typical soap-ish notes that translate into sweetness and spice once lit up. I'd say Izmir. Comparing this blend with FVF as has been done before, in my opinion, would be like comparing a Bentley to a Lotus. Both quite good, but totally different beasts.

Anyway, some drying-out is necessary; just don't let it get too dry. I rubbed out my first few pipefuls and thoroughly enjoyed the highly civilised behaviour of this offering. Sweet/spicy taste, more sweetness from the VA, very calm burning properties, and at the end there is just about nothing left in the pipe except a very fine ash. A beautiful smoke, with a wonderful aftertaste of Turkish Delight lingering on for quite a while.

I could use a little more oomph, and the flavouring I believe to be superfluous (it tastes and smells somewhat vanilla-ish with perfume side-notes). Still a great smoke. It does not have that extra "BING!" effect for me that would make me give a full rating, but it's quite close to that, really; I'd say 3.75 stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

Tiepolo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tiepolo (40)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

2 tins aged for 3 years. Very impressive fermented note opening the tin, I wondered if I should smoke this or eat it. Quite humid, it takes a couple of hours to reach the right packing humidity. It should not be overly dried. The first time I let it dry near a heater and it became very dry, resulting in a smoke I had to ditch. I wanted this to be a replacement of Orlik Brown which was my favourite VA/Oriental, but it's not. The orientals are there but it needed more of it or another type. The flavoring I didn't find to be too prominent or objectionable as others here. All in all, this is a very good VA flake with a twist of something. Smokes dry and cool and picks up strength towards the end. I wouldn't call it monochromatic, it has quite some nuances. Last, it doesn't DGT well, it starts to get bitterish if left for some hours, so for me it has become an evening smoke watching a movie. The room note was approved, great relief!

1 person found this review helpful.

n9inchnails Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
n9inchnails (10)
Mild Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one weird tobac, it has an absolutely lovely tin note, but none of it comes out in the smoke. I don't detect any of the orientals, it burns hot and is prone to bite. Its a shame that all that the wonderful smelling casing does is cause it to burn too hot.

1 person found this review helpful.

Krumble Kake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Krumble Kake (3)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant


Upon opening the tin and peeling back the gold foil paper holding the dark slices of Virginia flake and Turkish tobaccos, I gave this blend my nose test, after all if you can't stand the smell why bother to continue. I was greeted with the aroma of ripened raisens with their tangy sweetness and honey mixed with a soft earthiness. Unlike the McClelland Virginia blends no ketchup here!

For my first pipeful I simply folded the slices in half and slid them into the bowl. Not allowing these slices to dry slightly made them rather difficult to light. After finally getting the fire stoked up I sat back and enjoyed a mild and sweet blend that I found most enjoyable with flavors of raisen, honey and a slight caramel undertone.

The next day I tried my second bowl only I prepared the leaf by rubbing it out but not fully. I don't know why but I decided to hold a slice in the sunlight coming into my kitchen to see the real colors of the tobacco and was surprised by what was revealed to me. Covering the slice were tiny granuales of sugar, leading me to believe I had recieved a tin that had a bit of age on it. They glistened in the sunlight like a fresh fallen snow in the moonlight. I prayed that these tiny specks weren't beetle eggs but what the hell any bug that can stand the heat of a pipe deserves to be taste tested! I found that rubbing out the flake made for an easier light and a more tastey bowl from start to finish.

Bottom line - A thouroughly wonderful smoke with great flavors and a gentle sweetness that fills the mouth. Not at all like the sweetness found in aromatics but the natural sweetness of a well prepared Virginia or maybe beetle eggs. Who knows?? I plan to get a few more tins to cellar for a few yars and hope that upon opening them I am not invaded by giant insects!! JOKING OF COURSE

Keep Da Faith

1 person found this review helpful.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (182)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

New trip to Kendal, it's now the time of SF. In the scale of Va flakes - at least those distributed in Italy, i.e. FVF, BBF and SF - Sam's seems to be in the right place as the milder one. One should have a "golden tongue" (I don't remember the name of the fellow reviewer at TR who coined this beautiful term) for appreciate the subtle differences among them, sure I haven't. In particular, the comparison between BBF and SF is very difficult. I have recently revised my opinion regarding the first, as I have finished the last flakes before they went to bone-dried, and have to say that BBF better opens its heart when completely dry ... maybe the same will happen to SF so I'm also leaving a couple of strips waiting months more (the tin was bought and opened before Christmas 2008). Well, first I would say that I don't trace any sign of orientals or it's a very minimal presence (just like supposed to be into CAO's Patriot Flake, which I find quite similar but stronger). Second: a sense of boredom is felt during the smoke, I really cannot deny. And again, I cannot allow this one more than two stars.


sorry, Sam has disappointed my expectations. Dry after months in the tin, the three flakes were waiting me for further essay. I knifed one of them into small cubes and stuffed into a group 4 Dunhill. Never experienced a boredom like that. Hot air is the closest thing I can say. I could not go further mid bowl and stop there. The rest went in the garbage.

1 person found this review helpful.

matty Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
matty (21)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I am a real fan of gawith but for some reason the topping makes me sick its like smoking a pack of big red bubble gum. I smoked 3 bowels in 3 different pipes and can't see myself EVER reaching for it again.

1 person found this review helpful.

kenneth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kenneth (15)
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

An interesting flake which I would say is SG take on Condor but more sophisticated. But that initial taste when lit reminds me of the early days when I smoked Condor but don't be put off by that. Sam's Flake has the good points of Condor without any of the bad ones, I really quite like it. I was attracted to trying this flake because it was supposed to be a Turkish blend but the Turkish note is minimal. I have just enjoyed 100 gram of SG Skiff Mixture which has a notable Turkish and Oriental taste with Latikia. This does not compare to Skiff and is a totally different experience. I would say, an old school English dark pressed Virginia with a slightly heady heather note mingled with a hint of St Bruno and Condor. A good mild mannered all day smoke which performs well in the great outdoors.

I am now into my third tin of this wonderfully even mannered tobacco and, do you know, I think this is going to be my favourite. I cannot fault it, it is also readily available at my local tobacconists in Leeds (Greens of Leeds). In fact the MD of SG was visiting Paul at Greens today.

One myth I should like to dispel and one which I think should be looked at by the forum and that is concerning room note designation. There is no such thing as a pleasant room note and the term is a misnomer. Most most pipe smokers are quite happy in the company of other pipe smokers and tolerate whatever each other is smoking. Non smokers, on the other hand find ALL tobacco distasteful and offensive which I can totally understand so to think that there are brands out there which non smokers will find pleasant is very misleading.

Update- Another reviewer commented on the variety in the thickness of the flakes which I something I have noticed and although I gather this tobacco is cut into flakes on a machine and I am mindful of the operators fingers I am not sure it rubs up very well. I am not sure what they can do but I will contact them to see if they can improve this. Sam's Flake, however has now become my main tobacco, I really find it very very good

Update 2- Regarding the unevenness of flake thickness I duly received a phone call from SG. They informed me that the machine they use is over a 100 years old and sometimes it misses a gear resulting in thick flates. OK this is the problem but it is not my problem and it is up to the manufacturer to address it's problems and come up with solutions for it's consumers. They did not offer to replace the faulty flakes which I thought was a poor show. Anyway, I will persevere and buy more of this flake but if the problem continues I shall move to a different manufacturer.

Update 3- just bought two more tins of Sam's Flake. Same thick flake problem experienced earlier which SG said they were aware of and had corrected so I am afraid it is goodbye Samuel Gawith. I just cannot imagine that tobacco companies can afford to loose customers this easy

1 person found this review helpful.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (107)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

The strength of this flake strikes me as being mild to medium, yet after finishing a bowl, it feels like medium, yet I could easily smoke another, (which is what I'm doing now) I think I'll jus put it down to pure greed.

Taste wise, I'd say it was just a notch up from St James flake, which in turn, is one up from BBF (IMHO) perhaps somwhere around Marlin Flake.

A nice well behaved flake, smooth and easy going, rubbed out well, no problem with burn.

I must either stop adding these flakes to my rotation, or earn more money. My cave is either begining to look like a small tobacconist back room or a smugglers den.

1 person found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1280)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

Ok, this is my time to rant a little bit about the quality control at SG, for this experience happens alot with SG flakes. I got a flake in this tin that had to be 1/8 of an inch thick! Conversely, some were as thin as shaved ham. At first I didn't know what to do with the damn thing...should I get out my pocket knife and whittle some off of this loaf? Well I finally got it "rubbed" out and loaded up. You get what you pay for and It's not the most expensive tin, yet it costs enough to me. You guys at SG really need to work on this...its not frickin' rocket science..cut the flakes evenly dammit!

On to the review.

This flake was quite unremarkable. It didn't have a bothersome aroma or taste due to the casing, but it really just did nothing for me. The addition of Oriental leaf sounds good, but it didn't add much in the bowl. Too moist in the tin, but this is not a big deal. If you'd like something better from SG try Best Brown Flake, if you'd like something stronger try 1792 or Bracken Flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

Darth 69 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth 69 (106)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I was seriously disappointed with this. A VA/Oriental flake sounds great in theory and is right up my ally. But this to me proved to be a pointless variation that is principly already present in the SG line. For this has the same casing as that of Kendal Cream, which has the impression to me of spice and honey. It is not that sweet in flavor but the aroma has a nagging sweet richness that is too much for me. The oriental componet was'nt that detectable but seem to add a slightly grassy character in the tin aroma. Mild in strength and flavor with very lights sweetness and pointless. If one likes that aroma Kendal Cream is far better.

1 person found this review helpful.

kilted1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kilted1 (43)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I have lately been exploring Lakeland Scented Flakes. It is a fascinating journey. Sam's Flake is the latest in this genre.

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

Tin aroma: Sam's Flake is that it is fairly lightly scented, and not one that most American pipe smokers would likely call ?soapy?. There is a faintly sweet aroma of maybe lavender or some other floral essence, it is very hard for me to tell. Some typical hay-like tones of nice ripe Virginias and a very slight hint of Turkish There is an underlying sour almost citrus scent as well.

This tobacco seems too moist to me, but I find that it generally performs well straight out of the tin. 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 a Lannes Johnson semi-churchwarden. 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 just there, a nice sweet compliment to the fine quality leaf underneath. I can only just detect the topping and really have no idea what the flavor really is, that said I do like it. Some have said the room note or aroma remind them of cinnamon toast and I think that's a fair assessment. There is a nice inter working of Virginia sweet 'n sour and Turkish mustiness. This is a fairly sweet mixture owing partly to the Virginias and to the topping/casing agents. As is fairly typical of English flake tobaccos when smoked un rubbed it takes a bit to get this blend going; once there though it smokes with minimal re-lights. The first third of a bowl is fairly uneventful, just kind of simmering along at a nice steady pace.

Mid Bowl: Approaching mid-bowl, the fullness tends to build getting rounder and building in complexity. The topping or casing gradually fades completely into the background imparting a steady and lasting sweetness to the bowl. The Virginias build in depth and character while the Turkish slowly builds and begins to assert a deepness and rounder quality to the Virginia. The over-all taste reminds me of some more well known offerings, though direct comparison is not really there completely. It seems to fall somewhere between Rattray's Marlin Flake and SG Full Virginia Flake in over-all flavors and strength. 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. This blend never reaches the strength of some other SG offerings such as 1792 or Bracken Flake. It is more subdued and mild by comparison. The Turkish never really does anything greater than fill in the gaps. Deep and resonant forest, leather and sweet tones emerge from the heart of this blend. The sweetness and topping/casing are more of an enhancement and have matured and ripened into a fascinating mixture of stewed spiced fruits and rich adult pleasures.

Overall this is a mild to medium bodied mixture of outstanding quality and flavor.

Supplemental Notes: This is very likely to become a regular part of my rotation as a something to be reached for when a heavily scented flake is desired without the strength of similar offerings. *1/2

1 person found this review helpful.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (127)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

As described by others, it is very siimilar to Full Virginia Flake in texture and appearance. The aroma of the tobacco in the tin reminds me of cinnamon toast. The smoke is quite mild with the natural taste of Virginia slightly spiced with Turkish. There is light, sweet element in the taste but none of the cinnamon aroma comes through. This is not a typical Lake District flake; no typical English flavorings interfere or complement the taste of tobacco. There are no "soapy" additives here. All in all, this is a nice Virginia and easy to smoke with no bite. Well recommended. Paddy.

1 person found this review helpful.

Napping Puppy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Napping Puppy (25)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

Not any blender can combine Oriental and Virginia leaves and come out with such an excellent tobacco. This flake deserves bearing the founder's first name. The merger between peppery Turkish/Oriental and sweet Virginia works and tastes pretty good in this flake. Highly recommended, if you really wish to experience a distinguished flake that resembles nothing and no one but its own unique beauty.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

initials SG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
initials SG (29)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable to Strong

Kind of my go-to when I get the jones for a little tonquin but don't want to go for the full-bore blast of 1792. Not my favorite flake but I end up buying it repeatedly, so there must be something bringing me back. It is nice to have an oriental blend with tonquin, which seems kind of unique.

Presentation is OK by me. Not too bothered with Gawith's old-school method of slicing up a flake. Think of the effect that using a muddler will have when mashing up something for a mixed drink. Not so neat and tidy but a better effect with the smoke, which is what counts. The flakes are dark with some birdseye, covered with sugar crystals and obviously stoved as there is a rind on the outer edges of the flake.

Nice dark and slightly musty virginias, Gawith style. If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that the orientals are dominated by Izmir, since when I am smoking something with Izmir in it at the same time as when I have a tin of Sam's open there are some similarities there.

Flavor profile changes quite a bit depending on whether you fold and stuff vs. rubbing it out and also on chamber size. I prefer the fold and stuff method with this tobacco. In a small chambered pipe the taste is mostly virginias with more honey/lakeland and a hint of the orientals. In a mid chambered pipe, which I prefer, from front to back it goes orientals, virginias, a hint of tonquin and a tiny bit of the lakeland. I enjoy the slightly herbal flavor with the tonquin quite a bit, although I might prefer a bit more tonquin. It is not tonquin forward at all like 1792 is, so if you hate tonquin, dry it out and no worries. Pretty mellow flavor all in all.

If you work at it there is sometimes a delicious sweet note that I like to call the 'green note' that comes out - super nice. Not the sweetest flake otherwise, in spite of all the sugar crystals.

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: several years

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jonoz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jonoz (12)
Mild Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

Over many years, I have found that a fabulous tin aroma doesn't translate into smoking pleasure. That is why this tobacco was so disappointing for me. It starts off harsh but settles down a bit. but where is the flavour? It has many components, but they seem to blend together to be lesser than their individual parts .

I have now got to the end of my 50g and it didn't come soon enough. For my favourites, please see my review of Full Virginia Flake

Purchased From:

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Carlos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Carlos (21)
Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable

Opening tin with this tobacco was a big surprise for me. Turkish leaves get some kind of exotic aroma to the whole blend. When tasting it, this is a very fine tobacco, pure natural Virginias, but easy to smoke and a bit fruity(?) because of Turkish tobacco. It can be smoked both by natural tobacco lovers and beginners who are making first steps with non-aromatic tobacco.

Purchased From: Synjeco

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Britannia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Britannia (10)
Mild Mild Mild Very Pleasant

General Impressions:

Sam's flake is a solid Virginia forward Oriental blend. I like the light tonquin topping and the smoke itself is a simple light and go. The strength is on the mild side, and that is the one thing that keeps me from adding into my regular rotation. However, I will be keeping some jarred tobacco on hand when the occasional fancy strikes.

Initial Light I can taste the high quality Virginia's at the forefront, I think the may have used Best Brown as the Virginia base for this. You can barely taste the fruity/vanilla tonquin topping, it peeks in and out lightly playing with the Virginia. The tang of the Orientals reside firmly in the background.

Mid Bowl: The Oriental tang starts ramping up, but the Virginia still resides in the forefront. Tonquin is still playing peek a boo with the Virginia.

Finish: Orientals move solidly to the forefront, tonquin topping is barely detectable on the finish. Smokes down to fine grey ash with little dottle.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Reddit Club Pipe

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

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: I know of no other Oriental blend with tonquin. This is in a league of its own..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (202)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

This is an easy going and very enjoyable smoke. The first portion of the bowl is quite straight-forward in flavor, but as the bowl progresses a tasty sour note comes through adding a much welcomed contrast to the sweetness. Around the same point a bit of spice from the Turkish develops bringing forth a nice layer of complexity creating a sweet/sour/spice combo.

As for the topping, there's a bit more going on here than just tonquin. The tonquin sweetness is present, especially at the beginning of a bowl. However, the primary top-note tastes fruity to me, and somewhat in the realm of Firedance Flake.

On the negative side, I do find that this blend turns a bit bitter if overheated and as another reviewer mentioned, it's a poor candidate for those who have a tendency to practice DGT.

While I love VA/Oriental blends, due to the topping I would probably only smoke this on rare occasions. Nonetheless, I find this to be quite good and I will definitely keep a tin on hand for such moments.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (84)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Typical SG quality, but surprisingly flavorless. It's tastes like nothing so much as a virginia flavored steam with hints of something oriental. Whatever personality it has is too subdued.

Not a bad smoke, in fact it's actually quite nice, but there's nothing special enough about it to recommend it either. Not one of SG's better flakes IMHO, but still worth a try, I supppose, as it seems to tickle the tastebuds of some of our esteemed brethren.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1280)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

I had found that the SG line of flakes were very inconsistently sized. The cut would be thin for one flake and then thick for the next flake. Also the flakes were a little difficult to rub out. Lastly, I had trouble keeping this stuff lit and producing an acceptable amount of smoke. These flakes had really nice flavor though. Eventually dropped the whole line of flakes due to these drawbacks. Again, this is not a flake I liked regarding the flavor, another odd additive, ugh!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

For me, this is a very good medium-strength (in terms of N, taste, etc). The flakes were fairly thin and easily worked, and a nice relaxing smoke. As for the flavoring: Orientals? Just enough to believe they are there, but I'm sure they add to the mild complexity of the blend. Tonquin, really? It must have been applied with a fairly light hand. If there had been just a touch of Latakia (which there wasn't; of course sometimes Latakia is considered an Oriental) this would have tasted much like a slightly darker version of the various Revelation replacements. I've hesitated between scoring this 3 or 4, but decided if I had to think about it this much, I should rate it a 3. I will certainly consider buying this again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Steden Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steden (94)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Opening the tin, the smell is of sweet Va and something like tonquin/flowery, the flakes are in different thickness and quite moist as usual with S.G. offerings, it seems that someone has sliced the cake with a rough axe and then sprayed all with a light touch of herbal/floral balm. Don't get me wrong, I don't complain at all: thickness and moisture are welcomed by me because I fully rub the flakes without drying too much, for my taste there's a drastic drop of flavors after the drying. Once lit, SF starts with a pleasant Va sweetness and after a few puffs some spicy/toastiness notes appear as well, the grassy/floral scent partially translates into the smoke, just a waft of "Lakeland blooming" moving in and out together with the sweet/toasty notes, near to the end the turkish roastiness increases in a pleasant way: SF never gets bitter nor sour, it smokes cool and smooth from the rim to the bottom of the bowl. Not in the top of my preferences but a good experience that I'll repeat for sure.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (171)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I waited a long time to try this, it is never in stock anywhere. I finally found an online source, and bought several tins, just in case I truly loved it.

The varying thickness of the flakes do not bother me, as I rub them completely out. But, even if folded and stuffed, why would it matter?

This tin note is a mix between Kendall Cream and 1792, I think anyway. It almost has that tonquin flavor of 1792, but the creaminess of Kendall Flake. The description above states it has Orientals in it. I can't find them. It is Va and Turkish. The turkish really stands out in this flake, bringing an slight acidic ashiness to the exhale. I love almost all Gawith blends, but this one really hasn't caught my attention yet. I will smoke the other few tins I have, and hopefully I can add at least one other star to my review. Pairing well right now with a Remy Martin VSOP.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

machinebcon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
machinebcon (50)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

First of all, I am a fan of Samuel Gawith's products, always having at least 5-6 different tins in rotation. Now comes the but: recently I have some bad experience with SG's tins. Two of them were completely rusty: Sam's and Navy Flake. But anyway I had to remove the flakes from the tin because there were too moist: the flakes are chunks, very moist and hard to keep lit. Rubbing out and drying them for 2 (!) weeks didn't improve the situation much. This is simply a boring smoke, I was lucky when it tastes like bean soup with a few drops of sweetener, a little cinammon and leather. I highly doubt there is any Oriental in this "blend", to me it seems more like a standard VA plus Lakeland. The tobacco is for sure of high quality, but the bothersome preparation and the bland taste are not worth it. Sorry SG, I hope others are happy with Sam's Flake, I'm not - I wouldn't buy it again and so I don't recommend it. BTW, I ended up putting a few flakes into the microwave oven for a few seconds, at least this time I could "enjoy" a bowl without relighting every 5 minutes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I liked this blend. Once rubbed out, I had no trouble keeping it lit and it burned all the way to the bottom. The flavor was of a light fruitiness and complimented the tobacco well. This blend is not in the fuller class of flakes like FVF or the BBF that I love, but was none-the-less a nice smoke.

Soli Deo gloria!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipey duck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipey duck (23)
Mild Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I am smoking right now a bowl of SF and i have to say it is no fun at all!! The variety of the thickness, often explained by " handwork" , is not tolerable. I had many different tins of SG , SAMS FLAKE include, but it get more and more worse. It needs so much heat to get the rubbed weed lit ,that it is no pleasure to smoke it , to beginning at least.In my tin i have count 5 extra thick, 2 thick and 1 and a half thin flakes. it can not be so difficult to cut smokeable flakes. For presentation 0 stars for the tobaccos and the flavor, which is actualy quiet nice and has no tonguebite to me, 3 stars, although i expected more strengh, but maybe my tastebuds have grown on the VA i have smoked before(INTERLUDE of C&D) Alltogether 2 stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Among other samuel gawith offerings I've tried, I can easily say sam's flake is the only one I'd like to stock as much as I can. Gone through half of the tin in less than a week and at this rate I believe it won't take another week to finish of it all. It's so good I had to restrain myself from writing a review with my first bowl but as you can see I couldn't wait till I finish the whole tin already.

I've had the pleasure of being in the same room while other pipe friends smoked sam's flake (actually I'd preffer calling this Cem's Flake but none would understand :P) The room note reminds me of the scent coming off when roasting coffee (not roasted coffee, it's not same) which is very similar to scent of baking bread. Through the half of the bowl I get slightly salty taste but other than that, it's like I'm smoking coffee from start to end. Obviously there's no coffee flavoring in this flake but either the addition of Turkish leaf or the Virginia itself or both of them combined, comes out as mild, semi-sweet, not so complex, clean coffee notes. Actually, Brazil yellow bourbon comes to my mind.

I got best results when fully rubbed and packed loose & wet (and when I say wet, I mean "just out of tin" wet) surprisingly it takes flame easier compared to other SG tobaccos I've tried.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Caripu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Caripu (11)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable

Where are the orientals in this blend? Maybe at the Samuel Gawith's house they forget adding it to the tobacco of my tin, but I can't detect any oriental.

The smoke is pretty decent as a bland straight Va., but if you expect an oriental blend you'll be highly disappointed.

Two stars, as this baccy is sold as a oriental blend, which clearly it is not.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JackSparrow Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JackSparrow (14)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

This review comes from my first tin, so I think it could be updated after more.

Very dark flakes with fruity notes (it reminds me of apple and pears), quite moist like all SG. I rub the flakes and let them dry for a couple of hours and then load in the bowl and light.

Lighting the mixture you can taste and smell a mild flavouring (not fruity when lit), always very pleasant and never overpowering, very well balanced and never tiring. Dry and sweet smoke, with spicy notes due to orientals.

Something different from usual VA mixtures, top quality flakes. Great smoke for morning and afternoon!

I'll buy more and keep in my rotation.

Highly recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Azazelo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Azazelo (4)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Maybe because I had anticipated something great (as with other blends by Samuel Gawith), it somehow disappointed me. But as I smoke it through I find several good reasons for buying another pack - spicy taste, a little bit unusual flavour and pleasant aroma. You just have to get used to it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BigFrank Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigFrank (4)
Medium Mild Mild Tolerable

After opening a tin that is well over 2 years old, I was greeted with dark almost black flakes with a thin coating of what I would assume are sugar crystals. The tobacco was extremely moist straight out of the tin which brings me to an issue. My tin was only a 50g tin, but the tobacco was so moist that I feel like I was honestly short changed on some tobacco. The tin was filled 50% at best. I compared this to a tin of Erinmore Flake that I recently opened and had twice as much tobacco inside the tin. I also noticed what some of the other reviewers noticed in regards to the flakes being unevenly cut. This was not a huge deal to me. The tobacco has a nice fig, raisin, dried fruit smell to it and some type of topping / casing. I am not sure what is used to top / case this flake. The topping / casing has a slightly fruity smell to it.

At first I decided to rub this flake out and later to cut the flakes up into small piece and smoke. Both methods produced the same results for me. After firing this blend up, I find that it lights extremely easy and needs no relighting. Flavors of dark Virginia greet me with that casing lingering in the background. As for the orientals, there are none that I can detect. They may be in the flake, although during the visual inspection I could not see any pressed in with the Virginia Leaf. I suspect they are in the mixture but in extremely low amounts and the casing overpowers what the orientals would have to offer to this smoke. As the bowl progresses the Virginia just picks up steam and becomes a little stronger then in the beginning. The casing sticks in the background only to jump in and out every so often to let you know it's there. Towards the end of the bowl, it's mainly Virginia that you get. The casing is barely there at all. The blend burned very well, and did not bite at all.

I find that a smoker would be better served sticking with the other S&G offerings, FVF comes to mind here. I was disappointed in the lack of orientals in this flake. I opened the tin with hopes of finding a flake with enough orientals to give me a change of pace. In the end, one would be better to just stick with a straight forward Virginia and save themselves the hours trying to figure out the casing / topping used on this flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

renwardhoop Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
renwardhoop (97)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

Fantastic open-tin aroma. Hard to describe, rich raisin or perhaps dates or even figs.

Neat soldiers of flakes await. I choose to rub out. Smooth tasty smoke, well worth picking out every other day, when the mood arrives.

I've almost finished the tin and still can't really get a handle on this taste.

Certainly not a tobacco to smoke all day every day. Don't know if I'd buy another tin, but certainly buy 25g quantities if on offer.

Well worth exploring. Boring it isn't.

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don1688 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
don1688 (27)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

I am a virginia smoker and find this very nice. I must say it has a wonderful tin aroma. I am going to try more Lakeland flakes to try more of their essences. I am not traditionally an aromatic smoker in the least. With that said I wish more of that wonderful tin note was in the smoke. Honest tobacco taste 3.5/4

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Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (204)
Very Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

Very mild, sweet dark Virginia flakes, lightly top flavored with some Lakeland perfume, tasty, mellow, extremely sweet, cool burning, truly enjoyable smoke!.

I believe there is some oriental in the mix but I could not notice any, for me this is a sweet Virginia with Lakeland topping.

Sam's Flake is a delicious Virginia smoke, very mild in nicotine, very sweet and tasty, with some honey/candy note similar to Mac Baren Virginia No.1. This is now a favorite of mine and I will add it to my regular daily smoke.

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SirLoirn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirLoirn (126)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Tin: Vaguely mint floral, SF has predominantly an earthly, grassy, VA aroma, combined with something acrid, like tomato paste. It is quite similar in appearance to SG FVF, like very supple, soft and pliable beef jerky; dark brown, bird's-eyed, mottled and striated with light brown and blonde; only half as long as bulk FVF. SF comes folded in a nice gold paper. Chalky white striations give the appearance of mildew.

Dried out, it has a lighter hue, tan overall, and the blonde is much more evident; it is only partly dry after 4 hours, not bone dry.

Packing and Lighting: When rubbing the pressed/sheet-cut into smaller pieces, it has a stickiness and is a chore to rub out. It is easy to pack too tight. A two-match light, it does not produce excessive gurgle and pretty much stays lit.

Taste and Aroma: It has a grassy floral aspect; someone suggested catnip. It is difficult to distinguish between the subtle contribution of the oriental, versus topping. There is no tongue bite.

Nicotine: mild to medium

Room Note: pleasant, like the taste and aroma.

Overall: Not worth much special attention. 2.9 stars

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Bezoar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bezoar (14)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Works best in its own pipe, or as an occasional change of pace in a straight VA pipe. I tried smoking it in my Early Morning Pipe and it doesnt work well that way. The tobacco taste itself is good and pleasent, but just cant compete with the virginia/oriental balance of EMP. However the tobaccos in this blend are excellent on their own. I merely wish the complexity of the tobacco did not depend so much upon the topping.

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lisztman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lisztman (15)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As others have noted, extremely moist straight out of the tin. I've found it takes exactly two lights to get it going -- the first, huff it just a bit to crisp it -- then tamp it down and then it'll light fine.

A very pleasant taste, not my favorite, but absolutely nothing wrong with this delightful blend. It has a "headier" flavor than my usual Va and VaPer flakes, but that doesn't mean "stronger".

Recommended for those who like Va's but could use some bass notes in the blend.

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Black Dog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Black Dog (25)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Sam's Flake is quickly becoming my favorite Virginia tobacco. It's got the depth of quality VA flavor of, say, Best Brown Flake or Old Gowrie, with a secondary citrus-y note from the Orientals. The topping is gentle, probably something along the lines of honeydew. I do not detect any flavor from the topping when smoking. I concur with the other reviewers who suggest making sure the flake is dry, and to use a large bowled pipe. I break up most of the flake directly into the bowl, and then rub out a little as "tinder" on the top of the bowl. My wife commented that she likes the room note of Sam's Flake, something she rarely does. Well recommended.

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UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (110)
Mild Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Although I've found many excellent Virginia tobaccos available (McClelland, Rattrays, F&T), somehow Sam Gawith puts a spin on them that I find irresistable. The only thing that keeps me from grabbing Sam's flake every time is the incredible moisture content. I actually have to plan a day or two ahead of time to get it to be ignitable (same with Chocolate Flake). Ah, but the steam is delicious when I finally succeed! Don't go too dry.

Unlike several other reviewers, I find this to be every bit as sweet as MacBaren's VA#1 and Marlin Flake: pseudo-aromatic, almost. The label even admits to a bit of topping; I find it spicy and fruity, sort of a mincemeat taste. Yummy! Cinnamon toast aroma? I'll second that.

Pipe: big. Go big and prepare the flake by rolling it around in your palm so that it is not entirely broken up. In a big pipe, I get a wonderful easy draw through it and (once finally ignited)it practically smokes itself with no bite. For a LONG time. Nicotine is mild enough that you won't be swimming. Prepare for moisture either with a reservoir pipe or with pipe cleaners.

This changes my idea what turkish tobacco tastes like. Maybe it's the VA's or the topping, but there is none of the leatheriness I associate with them.

Highly recommended to smokers of flake Virginias who enjoy them sweet and rich. A good companion to Gawith's FVF.

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Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (302)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I find this flake somewhere in between McConnell's Scottish Flake, and Ashton's Old London Pebble Cut (the English version). There may be no Burley (i.e., Kentucky) or Perique in Sam's Flake, but the Turkish element makes it, in my opinion, somewhat closer to those two blends (after all, the Lake District is in between Scotland and London) than to Gawith's own Full Virginia. Sam's flake is slightly richer than McConnell's, but milder than Ashton's. The Turkish and Virginia combine for a somewhat subdued smoking structure. A surprisingly smooth and mild flake, with a slight sweetness, it comes rather on the moist side. In my experience, it was difficult to light and keep lit. However, the flavor is nice and quiet, and the room aroma is not heavy at all. This can be regular smoke through out the day or, in any case, a nice change of pace for the Virginia smoker.

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NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (286)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I ordered this blend in a 50g tin and the nicely prepared,very pliable flakes were like the chewing gum I used to buy in my youth and ~ 3"x1.25"x1/16". None were damaged in processing or shipment which fit perfectly with my SOP of no rubout. The color ranged from black on the edges of the original cake to redish and brown with even some golden included. The intial mositure content was higher than my ideal and with my packing technique resulted in a difficult initial light and numerous relights. Even with drying, this was problematic. I sensed a hint of the Lakeland soap in the tin aroma but that wasn't present enough to spoil the tobacco taste for me. However, it smoked cool and without any bite even with the relights. It was not as sweet as my preferred straight VAs probably due to the Turkish add but still is worth a try by any flake lover.

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Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (162)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Typical bacon strips packed side by side, but one side looked lighter and thinner than the other darker half. Hmmmm. A pipe shop told me the bulk version looked more uniform. I guess that's the price we sometimes pay for old fashioned techniques, but I simply ripped two flakes up at a time in half and mixed them toghther as I rubbed them several times hard to a ribbon/shag.

More like SG's Full Virginia Flake and in body than SG's Chocolate Flake. But with a bit extra spice (not bite) from the small amount of turkish added. Scented with typical english flavors (floral? musk?) that are not sweet but hard to identify. Flavoring is not heavy and you can still taste the toasty virginia underneath. Cool, enjoyable, some effort to light but easy to stay lite and puff after rubbing.

Good for a virginia or lakeland flake buff. Still has many characterestics of FVF.

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

Sam's Flake looks like finely sliced strips of beef jerky with bright specks interplayed throughout. I suspect the the bright specks are the turkish leaf used int his flake. The tin aroma betrays some sort of topping, though it is not overwhelming by any means.

When lightly rubbed out, Sam's Flake takes easily to the match. The first impression I got at first light was of some acrid turkish leaf plus something sweet VA-like. The tobacco quickly settles down, though, and it becomes apparent that Sma's flake is an aromatic. The aroma was quite pleasajnt to those around me, but I experienced none of the drawbacks normally associated with aromatic type tobacco - namely tongue bite, nasty muddy taste from below averaqe tobaccos. Instead, Sam's Flake tastes like tobacco and good quality tobacco at that! The spicy/sweet flavor stayted consistent throughout the bowl and it burned down to a fluffy grey/white ash. Sam's flake is a middle weight when it comes to nicotine content though some I know have told me that it gave them a little nicotine "kick".

I will be buying more of this though it will not be my everyday smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ranger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ranger (62)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

A nice change of pace from straight Virginais. A slight top flavoring that doesn't overwhelm the flavors of the Virginias and Oriental tobaccos. Nice thick flakes with a good moisture content right out of the bag. Tastes delicious with a firm, dry ale, the slightly sweet taste of the smoke blending perfectly with the hops of a good pint. Also very good with strong, dark coffee. I've tried this in various shaped and sized pipes, and they all work fine.

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

This is my first review, so an introduction is in order. I took up the pipe again about four yeras ago and have stuck to Latakia mixures almost exclusively (Odyssey is my daily smoke), but have ventured into VA flakes recently. I resisted flakes initially because i moslty smoke while driving in California and rubbing out a flake while avioding other drivers on CA freeways approaches suicide. My method, which works very well for me, is to tear off a few shreds of flake and fold/squish them into a large bowled pipe and fire it up with a couple of charring lights, then a final light.

I received this mixture as a sample from Mr Tillman's fine organization (thanks again). It arrived in the ubiquitous baggy and looks like most VA flakes, except there are Turkish flecks in the flake. I suspect they layer the VA with Turkish and then press the tobacco leaves, fement, then slice the tobacco into flakes before tining. It has a slightly cased aroma opening the baggy, but i could not detect an aggressively applied casing in the smoking.

If you want a change of pace from regular VA flakes, but not a Latkia mixture, this is it. It is very complex for a VA flake and smokes cool down to a dry heal. It changes in flavour as you go through the bowl and is very interesting, but not to the point of demanding your undivided attention. I will buy more of this flake, cellar some and have some more for smoking. It does seem to have an almost undetectible scent of that famous (infamous) UK floral scent. It doesn't bother me, but i do know it really bugs many of the reviewers. Just a gentle caveat.

Sam's Flake works well in 9 mm filter pipes (with charcoal) and my traditional Italian-made pipes. Doesn't seem too fussy about the pipe, but i didn't try small bowld pipes.

If you are VA flake smoker, you must try this one. One of the best i've tried.

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